Hi All – I’m Sharon. Welcome to That Farm Mama blog – I am so happy you’re here! Before we go much further with the getting to know each other, here are some important facts you need to know about me.
- Farmer/Rancher’s Wife
- Homeschooling Mama to Four Little Miracles
- Passionate Home Cook
- List-maker Extraordinaire
- Essential Oil Junkie
- Amateur Photographer
- Recovering Perfectionist
- Football Fanatic … BIG TIME
- DIY Obsessed
- Lover of All Things Frugal
- Dachshund Mom
My Blogging Journey
I started this blog for everyone who has champagne taste but a tap-water budget. (That includes me.) I wanted to create the home and live the lifestyle of my dreams, but my budget was in direct conflict with my vision. I thought about waiting until our ‘ship came in’, but found that the ship just kept sailing right on by. lol I decided my family shouldn’t have to wait to have and do the things we wanted, and I set out to find ways to get it all – within my budget, without debt, and in the present. I hate to wait.
Now, I want to share what I’ve learned along the way – and what I’m still learning. This blog is an ongoing compilation of tips and ideas, projects, plans, and strategies. I’m giving you my most successful money-saving, time-saving, practical farm-girl advice for making whatever house you’re in, a home – whatever circumstance you’re currently in, more manageable – so you can bloom wherever you’re planted. Right now, not at some undetermined point in the future. I bet you hate to wait, too.
Farmer’s Daughter to That Farm Mama
Well, I grew up a farmer’s daughter. But what I really wanted to be was … a famous journalist with my own TV talk show.
I started writing & reporting the news around age 5. My first ‘beat’ was informing my parents of any and all activity carried on by my older brother. After spending some time doing movie and book reviews for my studio audience (my dolls and stuffed animals), I moved on to profile and human interest segments featuring our miniature poodle, Gigi. Eventually, I settled into what I loved the most – the interview format.
My favorite subject for these Q & A sessions was my grandma, who always encouraged me to follow my dream by exhibiting more patience than imaginable with my ceaseless questions. I interviewed her on pretty much a daily basis, as I would stay with her while my mom was at work and my dad was farming. I did biographical interviews, how-to segments, popular culture chat sessions and more, recording her answers with a pencil and notebook or my trusty cassette recorder. And as I honed my investigative journalism skills, I also gained a wealth of information about her life, her thoughts, her talents and her homemaking secrets.
Taking the Next Steps
After high school, I could not get far enough away from the farm fast enough. I shook the red dirt off my heels and headed to the city to attend journalism school. I quickly found out that I was not, as a personality, cut out for the cutthroat world of the fourth estate. So I moved my major to the kinder, gentler realm of English Literature.
After college, I immediately began pursuing a career in finding a job I loved that would provide me financial security while giving me the time I needed to write my best-selling novel. As a bonus, that moved me even farther from the farm – 4 states away. I put my education to mediocre use by working a series of high powered jobs: In the Music and Entertainment Industry (as an office manager); High Finance (as an assistant in a brokerage firm); Corporate Human Resources (as a placement coordinator for a temp agency); and Professional Sports (executive assistant to the GM of an arena football team).
A Lot of Making Do
My salary was never able to measure up to my idea of fine living. I struggled to make my apartments or townhouses look and feel more pulled-together & less like a dorm-room. Remembering my practical farm-girl upbringing, I started employing my domestic skills – sewing, crafting, painting, etc.. Using these basics, I was able to frugally add style to my surroundings.
And when my fiance (now my husband) asked me to marry him, I said yes. We then proceeded to move back to
my our home state, within 50 miles of my hometown.
Even More Making Do – I Was Getting GOOD at This!
Like most newlyweds, our budget was small. But my vision for our home and lifestyle was … not small. It was now, that I began really putting some of the childhood lessons learned from my beloved grandma to use. And with time and effort, slowly started turning our generic starter house into the home of
my our dreams.
After the birth of our first child, I quit my part-time newspaper job (finally scored that job in journalism – yeah!) to be a stay-at-home mama. With an even smaller budget than before, I felt I really needed to up my frugal living game. Then when our second child came along, I tackled fancy living on a budget like I was Art Shell in cropped pants. (Note: Football reference for those of you who aren’t the fan I am.)
Back to the Beginning
In what has to be one of the more ironic pathways of my life, we moved, several years ago, to the farm where I grew up … into my grandparents’ house. I honestly don’t even know how I ended up here, in this place I fled from, so long ago. I never had any intention of living on a farm again. Ever. But here I am. I know, I know … full circle … blah, blah, blah …
My story today is, basically, in a nutshell: We live in a very old, very small house built for two, by my grandparents. We are a family of six, plus an Irish-Viking dachshund with a beard. So, it’s … cozy. But it’s not our forever home. So in the meantime, I’ve spent the last 10 years working to turn this little house into a functional, beautiful, comfortable haven for our not-so-little family.
So Why Did I Decide to Start a Blog?
I started this blog several years ago, mostly as a creative outlet. I wanted a place to record all my little projects, my thoughts on various subjects – a journal, really, for myself. I love to write, and this was a great way for me to do that. And hopefully, it would be something my kids could one day read and learn a little bit more about their mama. I posted about my decorating ideas, recipes, money-saving methods, helpful home schooling tips, home remedies, etc.. My idea was that no one would ever read them but my friends and family.
I got to thinking one day … Maybe there were other people out there who were in circumstances similar to mine. People who were living in a house that wasn’t exactly what they wanted, trying to make ends meet on very small income. And, maybe, like me, they were feeling frustrated because the only ‘budget-friendly’ homemaking advice they could find was for people who have a budget of a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, rather than, like, $15.00 for the whole house.
So it is for all of those people — YOU! — that I decided to expand this blog. I want to share all the things that have helped me create contentment and satisfaction in my home and life – even during times when my life was anything but satisfying or content. By doing so, I hope I can help someone else who might be struggling or feeling like there is just no way to make life more beautiful on a very limited budget. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that life can be whatever you want it to be. You only have to be a little creative and a lot determined.
A Farm Girl’s Guide to Life
- Life is beautiful – even when it’s covered in good ‘ole red dirt.
- Husbands and kids and dogs and cows make a day interesting.
- Never underestimate the restorative power of a perfect sunset.
- Write stuff down because someday, someone who loves you will want to know it all.
- Praise God every day for the little moments, because when you look back, you’ll see they really were the biggest moments.