The Many Reasons WHY I Need A Vacation!

Warning…this post is not as positive as most.  There might even be some naughty words!  Proceed with caution…

img_7153Yesterday began like any other Monday…

  1. I woke up – 6:00 a.m.
  2. I sent the kiddos off to school.
  3. I ate breakfast, checked my blog/ e-mail and fed Murphy.
  4. I started laundry in both washers. (Yes, we have two washers and two dryers.  Best investment ever!  One set on each floor.  With teenagers and farm laundry, I am happy to not lug laundry, up and down stairs, all day long.  Now, if only I had two dishwashers!)
  5. 30 minutes of Yoga
  6. I meal planned and ordered groceries for the week, to be delivered in the afternoon. (I love that for a very small fee, grocery shopping is now completed from my phone, in 15 minutes.  I save hours and don’t forget a thing!  I also don’t buy all the extras that are not on the list!  Best service EVER!!!)
  7. I started my favorite little cleaning friend, Roomba – AKA “Rumi”!  (If you have ever considering investing in a little robot vac, I HIGHLY recommend it, especially if you have pets (children included)!  Rumi does a fantastic job.  She also occupies the cats for hours!)
  8. Finally, I bundled up, to head out, into the arctic bliss, for chores at 9:30a.m.

These steps all ran very smoothly!  I am a bit of a type A person.  (Big Surprise!) I am all about streamlining and multitasking.  I have a lot of passions and like to have time for them all, without the weight of weekly tasks getting in my way.


As I walked to the barn, I had a huge smile on my face!  The sun was shining, the sky was clear blue and no new snow had fallen overnight!  It might have only been 7 degrees, but it was gorgeous outside. Oh happy day!  Cue up “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves!img_7155.jpgAs I opened the barn door, I was instantly greeted by hungry animals.  Magic was huffy. I guess I was not moving fast enough!  Little Frodo was pawing at his stall door, wanting out immediately and the sheep were all BAAAAAAing up a storm.  You would think these animals were starving!  In the meantime, the goats frantically paced the fence, waiting for their hay.  I am only one person, yet I could hear all of the animals calling, “Me first, me first!”.

From that point on, my routine became a bit rocky.


  Let me make another list…

  1. Sam, the goat, decided to say “hello” by head-butting me, while I bent over to clean out the hay feeder.  Really? Are you kidding me… I love you and appreciate your playful way, to say “good morning”, but do I look like a goat!?
  2. One of the heated water bowls was frozen solid.  I broke the ice and filled the bowl  with hot water. I am in charge of living things.  Wifey is in charge of dead things.  The water bowl was not working, therefore it was “dead”.  Period.  Case Closed!  I immediately added that to Wifey’s to do list!
  3. When I entered the duck run, with a nice goat induced headache coming on, I notice one of the Indian Runner ducks had a bloody wing.  It looked like a pulled pin-feather, but it was difficult to tell.  She was hungry and was not going to tolerate me doctoring her, at the moment.  When I texted Wifey to tell her about ducky, the text went something like this…  ” I had a bloody *uck.”  You can imagine where Wifey went with that one!  I tend to dictate my texts and need to really slow down and proof them.  So, if I ever text any of you reading this, and you see the word *uck, please know that I am talking about my sweet DUCKS!
  4. I proceeded to the chicken run ,to give the girls their morning treats, including meal worms and crickets.  Sweetie, one of my seabright bantams, loves her treats and often flies and lands on my head or shoulder, impatiently waiting for a sprinkle.  Well, I guess I was not moving fast enough for her either, for she swooped down, landed on my head, and decided pecking my head would speed up the situation!  Goats…chickens…why my head, people!?
  5. At that point, I was glad to be done with critters.  The only love I received, was from Ophe the Newfoundland and the 6 barn cats!  At least a few of them were in a good mood!  I had gone from singing “Walking on Sunshine” to 9 to 5 by Dolly!
  6. I always save mucking stalls for last.  As you can see, if I mucked stalls first, it would be full on mutiny.  Without a doubt, Farmer Roda would be burned at the stake!  On a positive note, I had a moment of love when I noticed a piece of horse poo, in the perfect shape of a heart.  It was a magical piece of poo and for a moment, I smiled and felt love.  Then, I realized I was hit in the head harder than I thought, and it was really just a chunk of horse shit…I mean poo. (Girl, pull yourself together!) img_7156
  7. I loaded up the tractor, with soiled bedding from the stalls, and headed out to the compost pile.  With over a foot of snow on the ground, I knew low gear would be my friend.  Most importantly, I needed to be careful not to get the tractor stuck!  Considering our gator/plow was picked for repairs, nothing could happen to the tractor.  %&$*%&$*@&$@  Let’s just say that there were spinning tires, colorful language and flying horse nuggets!  But, in the end, I WON!  The tractor is back in the barn, safe and sound!
  8. Finally…3 hours later I was finished!  Just in time to shower before groceries would be delivered.  I am notorious for forgetting my towel before showering.  I am known for bellowing for someone to please bring me a towel.   Well, today I was on my own.  I would dry my feet on the bath mat, enough to get to the closet of towels, in our room.  As I opened the closet door, I realized I washed all of our towels this morning!  There was nothing but wash cloths and hand towels left!    I had no words…at least not any I should type!img_7158As you can see, these are all first world problems.  I know, I need to call the WHAMbulance…in fact, I think I will call it for myself!  One week from Friday, I escape the farm for 4 days, on my little mini vacation!img_7159 No laundry…  No cleaning…  No cooking… No chores… I will stay clean! Most importantly,  I will not get head butted! Although, a pigeon just might land on my head…img_7157

I am now singing, “It’s the Final Countdown” by Europe!

Where in the world is Roda going!?


Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…




The Gift of Gratitude: Humor

The Gift of Gratitude Day 24: Humor

Living with Wifey means our home is always full of humor! She might be shy, but Wifey is extremely funny and has the best one liners! Tonight, I asked her if she wanted to be a guest on my blog, for the Gratitude Series.  She looked at me like I was certifiable, but then she started listing off her Top 10 Gratitude List…a list that only Wifey could come up with!


The Gift of Gratitude: Wifey’s Top 10 List

  1. Stretchy Gloves: They keep my hands warm under my regular mittens.
  2. Cats: They are just fabulous!
  3. Gas Fireplaces: Turn the knob and poof, warmth. Also, there is no mess!
  4. Solar Lights: They are cool! No electricity needed! 
  5. Lint Rollers: Because we have cats…I love cats!
  6. My John Deere Tractor: Everything is an excuse to use the tractor!
  7. Bungee Cords: Almost everything can be fixed with a bungee cord!
  8. Wire Cutters: Best multipurpose tool on the farm.
  9. Zip Ties: Reason – See number 7
  10. Lowes: Lowes provides everything on my “need and want” list, but cats!

Roda: “Wait one minute…number 10 is really Lowes?”

Wifey: “I am very grateful for Lowes. They have Peanut Butter M&Ms, too, which I am extreemly grateful for.”

Roda: “Are you sure Lowes is what you are most grateful for?”

Wifey: “Well, no…probably Peanut Butter M&Ms.  It is tied.  Lowes and M&Ms are tied.  Oh, and Advil, due to all of the farm work you make me do.”

Roda: “Well, about that topic of ME… Is there a reason I am not on your list?”

Wifey: “Well that is given…you don’t have to be listed.”

Roda: “Nice save!”

Wifey: “Wait…I forgot about Coffee!!  Top…most important…COFFEE!”

Roda: “So coffee is more important than Lowes and Peanut Butter M&Ms?”

Wifey: “Yes…but that is a very hard decision.”

Roda: “Is coffee more important than ME…?”

Wifey: “Well…On most days, there is not enough coffee to deal with your 200,000 words in the morning.  So, coffee is very much a necessity.  It is just as important as breathing.”

Roda: “So, what you are saying is that coffee and I are tied for the TOP of your Gratitude list?”

Wifey: “Yeah…let’s go with that.”

Roda: “Good answer!”

A note from Wifey…

May your holiday be filled with love, laughter and a trip to Lowes!  Oh, and cats…don’t forget about cats!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself and Just Be You…


I’ll Get You My Pretty and Your Little Jeep, Too…

Everyone enjoys laughter! Well, the amazing Maine Paper Pusher, who secretly tames dragons, has come up with a fabulous idea! Not only is her site hilarious to read, but she has pulled together extremely talented and humorous writers to participate in “Guest in Jest”! Check it out! Remember…Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing…

This is my “Guest in Jest” feature for today!

If you read Growing Self often, you know that there is a very special member of our family named “Vern”. Vern has a beautiful, candy apple red complexion, lots of spunk and is passionate about Star Wars! Vern is very patient. She lives in the garage and waits, like a puppy about to go for a walk, for me to climb inside. Vern is my Mini Cooper S and I adore her.


A few weeks ago, it was confirmed for me that people are much like their vehicles. Wifey drives a Jeep. I find it hilarious that Jeep people have a specific language, all of their own! Visualize this…

– Contact has been made with another Jeep

– The hand does not leave the steering wheel

– A mere two fingers are slightly raised

– A bit of a head nod occurs

What is that!? This cool and subtle connection can hardly be noticed by the other driver! I laugh every time Wifey participates in this secret Jeep language. Now, let’s talk about some Mini Cooper love…

How can you not smile when you see a Mini Cooper on the road?! They are classy! They are adorable! They are just plain awesome! The first time I drove Vern, I could not wait to pass another Mini driver. There would be no sleight of hand or discrete nod. But, there would be all out flailing, with a side of mini delight!img_3224

When I see another Mini, I wave happily with one hand. If it is an extra adorable Mini, then both hands are off the steering wheel, waving excitedly. Usually I say “Hi” or “Hello” or “Oh, so cute!”, even if I know the person is unable to hear me….but, they can feel my Mini Love! What’s even better? The response from the other Mini driver is always the same. Mini Cooper people are happy, friendly people.img_3223

Now, this is when Roda became a little naughty…

A few weeks ago, Wifey and I had to pick up the “teenager” car from the shop. We drove the white bread box, I mean Jeep, to the dealership. She offered to drive the car home and said that I could drive her Jeep. I was not sure why she offered. Maybe she thought I would think the Jeep would be fun to drive? I don’t! I despise driving the Jeep! I like Vern. Period! Case Closed!img_3227

Wifey appeared excited that I would be driving her precious Jeep, so I didn’t think twice about it, until I remembered the ridiculous Jeep greeting! Ugh! I did not want to ruin Wifey’s reputation with the Jeep community, so I excepted the fact that if I came across another Jeep, I should probably follow the Jeep Language Protocol.

Within a few miles, I noticed a Jeep approaching. I participated in the slight nod and hand movement. I tried to not make eye contact and gazed ahead, with a very serious tone. Then, I instantly lost it, laughing so hard I almost wet myself! ( I am 46 and have had three babies…it is not difficult to do!) Considering it was about a 20 minute drive home, I knew I would pass by another Jeep.

I was about to turn left and there was a shiny black Jeep, at the stop sign, pulling out to turn right. He and is very cool James Bond like attitude, gave me the official Jeep greeting. What did I do? Well…I went full-out Mini Cooper happiness on him! I waved with both hands, smiled and continued this perkiness as I turned the corner. He looked at me like I was certifiable! I felt such joy!

There was only one slight issue… Wifey had been following behind me, in the little Ford Fusion, the entire time…  She witnessed the whole event! I could already hear in my head, “Roda… You have some explaining to do…”.

Within a few miles, I pulled in the driveway and took my time departing from the Jeep. Wifey was instantly waiting by the door. The first words out of her mouth were, “You can’t handle the Jeep!”  Followed by,  “No Jeep for you….EVER!” She turned and walked into the house. I was trying not to laugh, but I couldn’t help it. I don’t think I ruined Wifey’s Jeep reputation whatsoever! I just think I added a little Joy to it!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…


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