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1267 East 1200N Road
Melvin, IL, 60952
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Grab a beverage, find a comfy chair, and catch up with what we have been doing. You can read it all here on our blog page

Filtering by Category: Life

Becoming Disabled

Ann Stoll

Being disabled comes in all kinds of forms. There are those born with issues that prevents them from doing the things that others without that issue can do. Then there are people that develop problems along the way of life, such as blindness, illness, mobility, the list is endless. And then there is being disabled from social media. In particular, Facebook.

Sometime on Wednesday, my personal Facebook account was disabled by Facebook. This came as a surprise to me. I'm the one who posts about our animals on the homestead, my garden, Cassidy, my Great Pyrenees, travels, all the soapy goodness coming out of our business, well, you get the drift. What I don't typically talk about are politics, religion, and the government agenda of the day, you know, the 'hot' topics. While I definitely have my own views and convictions, I've hardly used Facebook as my soapbox. Yes, on occasion, but not very often. I want it to be a happy place for me and my followers. 

While I am missing what's going on in the world of Facebook from a personal level, the part that is having me climb a wall is not having access to our business page and all the groups I belong to, one of which is part of a paid business subscription, which is where I tend to hang out the most. I have no access to Messenger. So in essence, I'm cut off.

One thing I've learned in all of this is that Facebook has totally integrated into our lives. If you use Facebook at any level, especially if you're on it every day, once it's ripped from you, stand back and watch the convulsions begin. No kidding. I admit. I'm addicted to it and not in ways that most think. I rely on it to stay connected to my customers. I rely on it to meet with my business peeps. I rely on it to exchange information in certain groups that I have formed for different reasons. I rely on it to find answers to particular questions. These are the connections I crave! Never mind my personal news feed. It's become junked up with re-postings of memes and advertising. It's difficult to find the real things I want to see. I spend a great deal of time scrolling on my personal feed. I might not miss that so much. But this other. Yes. Most definitely.

I've been going through the Facebook protocol and channels they provide, which is very limited. I've started the appeal (5 times) and I have yet to hear from them. I know it's only been 2 days, but it's the longest two days I've endured in a long time. I'm surprised it's taking them so long to respond to my pleas. Something. Give me something! Not just your canned auto-respond email saying you received my request. Great. Now do something about it. This is all a huge mistake. Let's fix it and move on. 

What would life be like if I don't get my account back? I don't know. My first inkling would be to try to set up another account. My fears with that is not being able to rebuild the Blossom's Barn page without messing with the name. And then there's all my groups. In a way, it could be cleansing. Get rid of the people you aren't really connecting with anyway but are too kind to delete. I could move my shtick to another platform, say Instagram. I'm already there by the way, I'm just not rocking it like I should. Or Pinterest. All of these have their challenges, such as learning how to totally work them for the sake of business. I just dabble in them for now, but that tune may change here real quick.

I'll admit it's pretty strange not sitting on Facebook several times a day. Wow, just think of all the time I get back if I don't have an account any longer. Hmmmm....

The Little Black Screen

Ann Stoll

I like blogging, when I actually I have something to say that I think you might enjoy reading. Today is a strange service announcement. It's okay, nothing to fear. It's all part of technology changing at the speed of light and this lady has a hard time keeping up, but I give it my best.

If you haven't noticed, we have a new website. This site is so much easier for me to maintain and keep fresh. The customer service of Squarespace is exceptional, especially since they have to deal with me on a regular basis and they are oh so patient and thorough. I still have more to do to finish the site, but it will get there. Anyway, on to the service announcement.

I LOVE getting comments from you. Really, I do. I LOVE them. But here's the rub. I have just learned that there are some of you having difficulty leaving a comment. I have seen for myself the issue, but it's resolvable and not as scary as it seems. I also do not have a way around it at the moment. I also think this is only occurring on phones, but I could be wrong. If you leave a comment and this black screen appears, do not fret. I have the answer. 

Tap on the icon in the circle. This will give you a place to insert your name. Then click submit.

Tap on the icon in the circle. This will give you a place to insert your name. Then click submit.

All you have to do it to tap on the icon in the red circle. This will take you to a different screen to put your name and such, just like any other blog page. This screen automatically pops up on some devices, but not all. It will only do this on my phone. My laptop and Kindle Fire HD go right to to the comment box and I can submit my comment directly. So the black screen might confuse you. Just click on the appropriate icon and you should be good to go. 

I have submitted a ticket to the development department of Squarespace to say that going to this screen is confusing and they should get rid of it. I'm all for easy-peasy comment leaving.

Please, don't let this screen throw you off. It's not scary or weird, just a bit confusing. Just follow my instructions. I really want to hear from you!!  I love getting mail!!

Winter Slumps on a Sunny Day

Ann Stoll

winter slump

We all go through them. Even the strongest of us have days when we feel a bit grumpy. Some of us drag this feeling on for long periods of time. Whether you suffer from winter slumps all through the season or if it's just a few days, none of us enjoys it very much and it can be debilitating.

I am fortunate that I don't have the seasonal winter blahs. I call mine the month of March. I expect the winter months to be dreary, cold and snowy. I actually  love it. I'm one of those annoying people that hoot and holler when the forecast is predicting mountains of snow. Yes. That's me. I love winter. Not as much as fall or summer, but I love the changing seasons. 

Which brings me to the month of March. March is a struggle for me. It's that month that is 14 years old and is too young for many activities and too old for others. It's warm one day, and freezing and windy the next. Fruit trees may start to bloom, only to get frozen by the next wintry day. It's also a stressful time for our honey bees. A very critical time for them, indeed. They are just trying to finish off winter with hopes that they can forage soon because their stores are getting dangerously low. This is the  month of high mortality for bees.

Much rain and cloudiness can be an everyday occurrence. This is depressing for those of us who love to be outdoors, especially after some of those teaser spring/summer days. Yep, I don't like March much. It's enough to pull me down.

This brings me to some ideas I have on how those of us with short terms slumps can hopefully pull ourselves up. First up is, find a support group. I'm not necessarily talking about joining a physical group where you sit in a circle and share your woes, but if that works for you, then go for it. I'm talking about sharing with friends and maybe even joining a Facebook group or two of people who share similar interests as you. I personally belong to way more than I can keep up with, but I do have a few favorites that I participate in. These people, while they may not know you deeply, may be feeling the same thing you are or have been there, done that. Remember, you are not alone. Share with someone how you are feeling and let them love on you. It works.

Another idea is to plan some activities out and about. Have something to look forward to. If your calendar is bare, fill it up with a few outings with some friends, spouse or whoever can lift you up. Find something new to do or try a new restaurant or food. Life is full of lovely and wonderful things. Get out and find them.

Plan a weekend away with someone special. My hubby and I have several weekends and trips planned for this year. It's a first for us, since we are sort of empty-nesters. Sort of because our kids are old enough to fend for themselves and are pretty much taking care of themselves, even though they live at home. So we are spending out time visiting neat B & Bs in different areas and just enjoying out time. I'm looking forward to each one.

Go for a walk. A long walk. Take your dog if you have one.

Get a new outfit. Something that makes you feel beautiful. Never mind that there's no special occasion. Just do it.

Finally, go and help someone. Volunteer at a local charity. Move your focus away from yourself and onto someone else who needs it more. Some many people to love. So little time. Slap a smile on someone else's face and you'll have one in return. It's a natural by-product.

March is half way over and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Find that thing that puts life back into your day. Each day is a new beginning to start fresh. Do it now.

If you are having a serious struggle, please don't hesitate to seek professional help. Seek your pastor or medical professional.