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  • Tina

Today at 3:21, we welcome the Autumnal Equinox. Autumn is the season many of us take stock or inventory. In the past, we stored our wares for the upcoming winter months, and our survival was based upon the stores we acquired over the warm months of summer and fall. Today, in the age of convenience, many of us no longer rely upon our stores to aid our existence. We simply go to the grocery store weekly or even daily. However, our human nature cannot be denied, and we continue to view autumn as a time to slow down, take a mental inventory of what is essential, and prepare for the upcoming year ahead.


Like the animals in nature, we snuggle in, create a warm, welcoming home environment, and nurture our families with comfort foods. Autumn presents a time of rest, reflection, and recharging of our internal batteries. It is a time when we draw closer to the hearth fires and rest after a season of labor and activity. From a personal perspective, autumn is a time when my workaholic bibbed wonder slows his pace and is forced inside earlier because the daylight ceases to be. Our busy market season ends, and we prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Our goats slow in their milk production and rest their bodies to prepare for the upcoming kidding season in the spring. The chickens go to bed earlier, and their bodies align with the season as egg production slows.


On our farm, we don’t “trick” our animal’s internal clocks to force production. We respect the natural process and allow everyone to align with the laws of nature. Rest and rejuvenation are important for all living things. Autumn is the season to rest and rejuvenate our bodies and our spirits. The spectacular display that nature puts on for us to enjoy should be welcomed and appreciated. The beautiful colors, the cozy temperatures, the warm fires, the clear night skies, the crisp breeze, and the nip in the air can’t help but calm our senses and rejuvenate our spirits. We, too, should try to align with nature and give ourselves a welcome break.


Autumn is my favorite season on the farm. When I was young, I would sit on the barn bridge in the cool misty mornings and listen as the Canadian geese flew in and landed on the pond. Their honking was a beautiful song of autumn, and the gentle crash as they landed on the pond rose to a crescendo. Walking the fields and catching a glimpse of a doe grazing on fallen acorns was almost magical in the morning mist. Seeing a fox hunting for field mice or voles was a rare and beautiful treat. Hearing the rush as a large flock of starlings take flight from the colorful trees was music to my ears.


I look forward to all the gifts autumn has to offer. Today I will make a large pot of creamy potato soup and fresh warm bread to welcome the season. We will enjoy a quiet fire with the first cup of hot chocolate for the season and retire to bed early because the days are shorter. We welcome autumn and all its glorious gifts.


As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, welcome autumn, and keep washing your hands.

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  • Tina


Our Tuesday Spotlight is on our classic staple soap and moisturizer, Rose. The rose oil we use is of the highest quality and a therapeutic grade. Our rose soap is a simple, fresh bar that smells like fresh old-fashioned roses. It has a long-lasting gentle scent. When combined in our original recipe, this creates a classic, beautiful bar that will definitely make you smile.


As always, our Tuesday Spotlight is half off on the website for the week. It is a wonderful time to try a classic or stock up on a favorite. As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the savings, and keep washing your hands.

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This weekend was a busy and memorable weekend for us. We don’t usually have an active social life, and if we are honest, we prefer it that way. However, Saturday, we attended my dear friend’s daughter’s wedding after the Ligonier Country Market. It is hard for me to fathom that little Erica is a grown woman, mother, and wife. It is also difficult to believe that my dear Monica is a grandmother. As I sat observing the wedding party, I recollected Monica and Len’s wedding day. Like her mama, Erica chose pink for her bridesmaid’s dresses. Also, like her mama, she created an atmosphere of sophisticated fun. Since our freshman year in college, I have been good friends with Monica and her twin sister Marie, but we have known each other since high school.


The “Schmidt twins” and I have seen each other through the ups and downs of life. Although we often go months without talking, we know we can pick up wherever we left off as if no time has passed at all. I love this about our friendship. We are always there for each other when it counts, when we celebrate, and when we fall apart. These are the people with whom I choose to surround myself. These are the people who make life fulfilling and rewarding. Although life happens and we all get busy dealing with our own day-to-day duties and struggles, it is these people who lift you up when you are down and celebrate the milestones of life.


Another celebratory moment was we also got to meet the youngest member of the Tonkin clan this weekend. One of my two favorite cousins returned home from Florida and brought her adorable little girl, Shayla. Shayla is one of the most beautiful babies I have met, second only to my bean. Miss Shay-Shay has a Buddha belly, big brown eyes, and her mama’s cheerful disposition. I believe I could hang out with this little peanut for quite some time and never tire of her. Although my cousins had a full schedule, they made a point to come to see us. I appreciate this and am so grateful I had the pleasure of meeting little Shayla.


I didn’t get close to my uncles until after my dad passed away. As in true Tonkin form, The Tonkin Boys step up when they are needed most. My Uncle Brian, in particular, has a genuine affection for my bean and always goes out his way to make her feel special. Whether watching scary movies or going metal detecting, he steps in and acts as her grandfather figure. Again, the people who take the time to be there for you make all the difference. My Uncle Brian, Aunt Kelly, Alesia and Niall, and Camilla have tirelessly supported our small business. They have spread the word, helped us in the shop, sold our products, and given advice. They all reached out to us to make sure we were okay when our world was crashing in; they love my bean as their own and go out of their way to include us in holiday celebrations. We are blessed they are in our lives, and I am grateful for them every single day.


Charles Schulz said, “In life, it’s not where you go but who you travel with.”I am happy to travel with the people in my circle. I keep my circle small, but I love them with all my heart. I’m feeling very blessed after this eventful weekend, and I hope you too, dear reader, travel with those who raise you up and support you. As always, stay safe, be smart, celebrate your circle, and keep washing your hands.

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