Problem Solving

What is your method to solve problems?  Not that I have any problems at the moment – well,  none that are dire.

storm damaga

But I have been thinking about how we approach small problems. As you know Amanda is visiting and even though she has been here before there is a lot that she has not encountered. She needs to have her thinking brain turned on all the time.

girl and pig

For example. Every door in each barn is different, some slide, some are two doors one above the other, some are enormous, some so small you duck your head to get though  and some have bolts to close them, some have two hooks, some have one hook, some have chains, or dog collars, some are just broken (and on the list) some you have to lift to latch, many of the latches come from different generations and are antiques in every sense of the word, some gates you shove a brick across the front to prop open or closed. So every time she goes through a new door, usually laden with water and feed, she has to look and think and work out how to open and close gates or doors, with animals on the other side, and will be animals be aggressive or  bored and dogs jumping across from this side and no hands free and wind and rain blowing in her face. And thinking and problem solving all the time.

pig and chickens

So break it down – everything needs to be seen as a small problem to solve.  Not a frustration, but a nice little problem. Amanda is a teacher – she is good at problem solving.  She does not get frustrated she gets determined. And often we need to be reminded to think OUT LOUD about a problem then methodically and calmly sort through it.

high waters

I believe in little problem solving not little problems faced.  Our lives, as being a series of problems to be cheerfully solved, sounds so much more doable than a life of problems that we have to stand still and FACE. “Excellent” is my favourite response to a problem.

The farm is popular because most of these problems are quickly figured through. So much of our daily work brings satisfaction. And satisfaction in a simple and good job done well is a core element in Happy. The pursuit of happiness – we will discuss that a another day!


I love to know the name of the problem. Don’t you?  We can Identify it. Select a skill or solution. Work it.  We all do this quite naturally a thousand times a day.   The next step is to use the same mind set and series of steps for the BIG problems.

When you know the name of the problem  you can look at the skills you own and the strength you have and the resources at hand then break down and work through that problem.  Then call out NEXT!


Because there will always be another one. We are alive after all.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi



52 Comments on “Problem Solving

  1. Sounds like all the doors in this house. Of course, there aren’t nearly as many! I do admire Amanda’s gumboots in the photo with Tane and Boo – if you’re going to get cold and muddy, do it in style!
    I love your thoughts on problems and solving them. I have always found it very useful to share problems because others often produce the solution quite easily, and I learn so much from seeing how they approach it.

  2. My goodness the creek that is really a ditch is trieing to grow into a real river! Problem solving around here lately, has been picking up the phone and getting somebody else to fix – usually at huge cost – how sad is that 😦 Laura

  3. Open or close doors seems to be kind of an art here. 😉 Poor Amanda! You needn’t to learn that skills at your first stay – it was summer!
    Thank you, Celi, for your thoughtful post on problems being solved. Whew! That does so good and fits well to me… Can learn a lot of you on that… Stand still and face means to be a victim. Means to be delivered. – I’ll copy and paste your today’s words, I’ll print them out and hang the paper on my wall! It so so good to learn. Daily…
    I wish you the “problem” of cleaning after the storm being solved happily together! Have a lovely day you two!

    P-S : Did you ever see the beaver again? Is he still there or did he move?

  4. I love this “And satisfaction in a simple and good job done well is a core element in Happy.”

    Great post and yes while we have huge problems right now – breaking them into small tasks and working those tasks is the only way to move forward. My friends and I have a saying “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

  5. Problem? What problem? By the time i had read all the ways to open and shut a gate or door..I had a problem trying to remember which brick goes where. Its a good thing that Amanda’s brain is a lot younger than mine and can cope with these things…your brain , of course, is acclimatized (spelling) to these everyday gate and door problems. have a great day Miss C…and don’t forget to shut the door!

  6. Finding a solution to our problems is a good workout for the brain I think! Keeps us on our inventive toes!

  7. Just love the header picture Celi! Gorgeous! Doors….and remembering to place the locking wires, carabiners, or whatever has been created to keep them closed in crucial, that’s for sure! Especially after seeing our escapee goats happily frolicking in the yard a few months ago eating our apple trees, partying, and having a ‘big ole time’! 🙂

  8. Good morning. My small challenge today is getting to the coffee pot with my son and his lovely pregnant wife working out breakfast in my small kitchen! What a lovely problem!

  9. Celie, I think your name should go up on the philosophers’ Wall of Fame, alongside Plato, Descartes and the like. You are an example to us all.

    I suppose Amanda didn’t learn about doors when she was there in the summer because they were all open all the time. I can’t imagine how a barn can have so many doors!

    ViV sos

  10. I love the perspective of looking at a problem head-on and thinking, “Excellent” … it’s a challenge…a game to be played! This kind of thinking can change your entire day!! Well done!

  11. Well you know how I solve problems – sing at the top of my voice to Meat Loaf LOL. But seriously, sometimes when a problem seems difficult I find by switching my brain off and doing something out of the ordinary for a while, gives the grey cells time to re-arrange themselves and when I return to the ‘problem’ I see a better solution. Of course that doesn’t help when you have your hands full, the rain is slashing down and you are trying to open the hen house gate, which all that rain has swollen the wood, whilst your feet are slipping out from under you in the mud! “Life is a Lemon and I want my Money back!” LOL

  12. It has been said that methods of problem solving defines a society, or sub-society. I love your attitude of, “Excellent! Next?” lol… I will try to absorb that one. I suppose, too, that life’s series of problems to be solved on a farm are so satisfying because you MUST solve each one each day, due to the dependence of the animals on your moving past them to the next.
    Goodness sake, that is a tremendous mess from the trees! Is it all small branches that have broken and fallen off, and does it appear the trees will all survive without too much loss? I am thinking about that bon fire again… lol I know they’re horrible things, but so good to have hot dogs over an open bon fire. And your creek that is really a ditch, as someone else pointed out, is quite full… Hope it has an opportunity to empty out before the next freeze comes along.
    Hope your day is a lovely one too! ~ Mame 🙂

  13. The header photo is nothing short of gorgeous!! Great post today – as always! I’d rather have problems I can fix myself… as opposed to having to have someone come to fix them…. more satisfaction and less money!! ; o )

  14. Great post and I loved all the photos. That creek is almost a river for certain. Problems are only solutions waiting to be discovered. Sometimes, if you can’t go through, you go around. The mind needs the puzzle to keep the synapse’s firing. That’s why I quilt and sew. A puzzle with a product at the end. And I don’t waste paper. I talk myself through whatever I’m working on. Since my son has been living with me he has to check and make sure it’s not him I’m speaking to as I can babble to myself all day working things out. I’m learning to say his name before I make a statement or question for him directly. I used to be able to say I was just talking to the dog. No dog now so just a lot of puzzling out. 😉 Have a wonderful day. We will have sun, when it comes up.

  15. Brava! I love this post. And I have to say, this is one of the aspects of getting older that I LOVE. I am much, much better at solving my problems! It’s fun to watch my own brain work more calmly and efficiently.

  16. What about a Door Walk? Give each door a number. Maybe in the spring paint the number on each door.
    Then make a list of the doors on whatever works, give brief instructions, latch, not latch, brick no brick/ breakfast in bed/ don’t disturb tenants/wake up call to front desk/who knows?

  17. Yes, would I have enjoyed life far more from early on if I had realized the wisdom in what you are saying. Problems to be Solved. Never ending! Joy! Happy New Year, Ms. C!

  18. I had to get married to discover I worked problems out, inside my head. One day Jack suddenly said to me: “Your mother was right!” When I asked why, he said: “She told me that if you went quiet, I was not to trouble you as it meant you were working through a problem in your head!” “Why did you tell me that today?” I asked. ” Because you have not spoken to me for two days!” Yes, I was then sharing the problem and how I would solve it. Maybe it was good training for the past seventeen years living alone. Nowadays I only have the walls and spiders to consult! 😆 Love the Header photo and seeing Tane… I am wondering how his hip coped with all the nookie?

  19. If one ‘nibbles’ away at small problems and is quite disciplined about it large problems don’t actually eventuate methinks 🙂 ! Like every morning scrub one’s teeth, wash the dishes, make oneself spend a few minutes on the next step one has to take and DO IT!! I guess we all have our ways: main thing don’t try to hide the problem in the corner hoping it will go away: it won’t!!! Love Amanda’s boots also – my current one’s have daisies and pansies in riotous colour – New Zealand firm actually . . .

    • Just looked up the boots and other footwear: ’tis unromantically called ‘Betty Boots’ and sends out all over the world . . . vouch they look too good to wear and last forever – well, I guess I don’t muck out barns 😀 !!

        • Thanks for the link ere I go cook for the last ‘mob’ this year [but they can all go home ere late – I mean to watch the fireworks on my own in bed and have my own quiet NY resolutions 🙂 !!] . . . and I’ll start it very slowly in the next 😀 !! Looked up ‘Tomoko’: heaps of beautiful classic shoes and sandals on a knock-down sales price . . . no boots I could find!! The NZ firm has nifty rubber boots at about 50-60 bucks and clogs at about 30 . . . they sure do look ‘purty’!! [Just saw you at Mad’s: so would love to ask him to show Barcelona’s food alleys to me!!!!]

  20. Lovely thoughtful post. Life is unknotting one little clump after another. You’re right. “Facing” a problem isn’t as practical /as good an image as solving one. Staring face to face – scowling or shivering or being deer in the headlights at it is such a waste of time. Wading in is better than being frozen face to face with a problem.

  21. You do have a lot of limbs down. Problem solving is like working a jigsaw puzzle–one piece at a time.

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