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Filtering by Tag: love

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. 

Love Never Fails

Ann Stoll

Next to Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day is one of my favorites. I really can't explain why it is, maybe it's because I'm a romantic at heart, or that I like the colors chosen for decorations. Maybe it's because I like the candy. Whatever the reason, I do like this particular day, even though it's history is weird and twisted and really has a lot to do with nothing. It's so strange, that I won't even bore you with the details. You can google it for yourself to see what I mean.

I remember when I was a child, getting busy the days before the big event of Valentine's Day at school, making the special box that the cards would enter into at my desk AND all the cards to everyone in class. This was the day to score on Valentine cards and maybe some treats and extra candy. It was also a measure on your popularity, unfortunately.  In high school, there were the Candy-grams. These humiliating gifts were bought by well meaning friends and secret admirers and delivered throughout the school, all day long. Every time the door opened to a classroom, eager eyes darted to the door to see if they were going to be one of the lucky ones to receive one or more of these coveted gifts. Again, it was a popularity contest, although I think I did get one or two of those during my high school days. I guess on the upside, it was a fund-raiser for one of the clubs.

Beyond school was my high school sweetheart and later on, my marriages. Each one of these poor guys is destined for failure. How come, that is? It's called, High Expectations. Yep. There it is. Television, media and all the romantic things others were doing, definitely messes with your mind. Now the poor fella has to outdo the others. sigh. Lets just say, I was disappointed more than once.

The other day, my family and I were chatting and this conversation comes up. I happen to mention that Valentine's Day is my second favorite day on the calendar for a "holiday". My husband is completely surprised! This was a piece of information he didn't know. mmhmmm

Here's the deal. I've downplayed this day, all these years. I hate being disappointed with these ridiculous expectations. Besides, if my husband feels the pressure to show how much he loves me on one day of the year, then forget it. I want that romance all the year through, not just one day of the year. I had had enough of the ups and downs of my school days, or will he totally outdo my friends doings. Whatever. I don't want to be part of that.

Here's what I do know for a fact. My husband loves me. He works hard for our family everyday. Yes, I love flowers, but not the pre-cut ones from the store, unless I buy them myself because I want to. I love the flowers growing for real in my gardens. I love candy! Certain candy, to be sure and I think he knows that. But more than anything, I know that I love being cherished and loved by one man.

Valentine's Day to me, is a day of remembrance of these things. I love all the corny fun stuff that goes along with it, but it's really a day of remembrance for me. And if anyone really figures out the real reason for this day, let me know. K?

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16