My 300 Happiness Jars

I only have a hundred more to go…

Packing my canning jars has filled me with nostalgia. Lots of memories, I spent almost five years figuring how to live off my gardens produce and chickens. This year I was able to fulfill my dream and totally live off of what I grew without having to go to the store! Now I have the skills to grow my food and I found my health along the way.  I am healthy after years of fibromyalgia symptoms, bad back, and sciatica. The best medicine is organic food, lots of hugs from good friends, clean air and water, and natures quiet equanimity that gives you room so you can find yourself. Time to go back out into the world and start another garden!

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My Happiness Jar

I was the first one up in our house today. The first person up in the morning takes our dog Mina out for her morning run, poop, and pee. I was walking our property line which a drainage ditch runs by and it was almost dry after a weeks worth of heavy rains. It’s been very warm and dry here in Oregon for the last couple days and the ditch dries up fast.

I saw something move in a small puddle and thought it might be a fingerling that came up from the creek. Straddling the ditch and squatting down to get a closer look, I almost fell into the ditch and squashed a bullfrog tadpole!

I found my balance and scooped the tadpole into the palm of my hand. I ran over to my garden shed and found a clean bucket, filled it full of ditch water and dropped the tadpole in the bucket. Mina had finished her chores and we went inside.

I found a clean gallon jar, added some algae, plants from our swamp and dead leaves. Bullfrog tadpoles eat greens like pond plants and algae.

I used to do this as a kid, keep the tadpoles until they got their legs and turn them loose. This little guy is about to get his legs. I will give him fresh water daily and enjoy watching him grow, just like I did when I was a kid.

Bullfrog Tadpole Bullfrog Tadpole

My Happiness Jar

I could hear this bullfrog calling all evening several springs ago. So I yelled at him to come and visit me and I will give you a kiss. The next day my Husband ran into the house and told me there was a huge frog in our garden and it wouldn’t move. I went to take a look and there was the big old bullfrog I heard the other evening. He just sat there, we looked at him for a couple of minutes, I reached down and picked him up. He just sat in my hand looking up at me. He was waiting for that kiss I promised him.

I kissed a frog and I liked it.
I kissed a frog and I liked it.

My Happiness Jar

Dusk is my second favorite time of the day and it only last a moment. The smell of the woods changes just before dark. When the fog settles in up here in the foothills of the Cascades sounds become muffled and scents are amplified. I have imagined the woods talks to me through my nose. If I stand there quietly and still my thoughts I can smell the woods thinking and talking.

My Happiness Jar

Today patterns brought me a moment of happiness.

The smell of the woods here in Oregon, earthy with a hint of cinnamon, the cold watery light of winter. The texture of frost covered deer netting, manmade designs covered by natures cold indifference. Just a momentary whisper of happiness, impossible to catch and hold even for a moment.

My Happiness Jar

My Scratch Living blog will be my happiness jar. I will post a little note at the end of every day about what made me happy. I tend to notice things that don’t make me happy and I would like to change my view. I am going to start paying attention to those little happy events I run into all the time. They are there, just more subtle compared to things that don’t make me happy.

Today several things made me happy. I woke up and hugged my husband. I do that daily, so I won’t mention that one again. My foot didn’t hurt today, it’s been aching since this last summer, I hurt it and I think it’s finally healed. The grass sparkled like it had diamonds strewn about as the sun shone on the frozen dew-drops.   I bent over and cleaned out the chickens feeding trough and no pain in my leg or back and it was freezing cold all day. I was pretty much pain-free today. I made tofu today and it turned out perfect! This photo makes me really happy. This years Cuckoo Marans chicks we hatched in our incubators. We hatched around a 100 this year. The chicks have grown and are laying eggs or in someone’s freezer. Yummy, a plate full of fuzzy cute chicks!

Chicks on a plate
Chicks on a plate