As citizens of a fast moving world of commerce and technology and lifestyle and dubious news we must set upon ourselves the task of Keeping UP.  (Or Not: which is another good choice).  But the world is changed and changing. Very fast.  I want to keep up, but often I am frustrated that I don’t know how to learn all this new stuff and I needed to find someone who knows more than me. So I went on a search.

The someone I found is a young woman named Samantha.

Samantha is my newly minted Personal Web Assistant. She has created this new look for us, teaching me and coaching me all the way through it. She helped me set up the Amazon Affiliate page,  Zazzle and other social media challenges. She draws me pictures and makes screen shots with arrows and circles and does not sigh when I ask the same question twice.

If you don’t keep up you get left behind. And I have decided that I am not ready to drift off into a gentle backwater.  I want to know how to find the stuff I did not know I needed by being open and ready to learn.  I need specific information.this-one-038

Also (and probably more important) I am a woman with no apparent means or skills  – I have no ‘real’ job.  No formal training or income. I am an immigrant with no settlement. I have nothing to fall back on in times of trouble and i am not getting any younger.   Lately I feel fragile, exposed, unsettled, my future capricious and dependant on too many variables.   I farm here on John’s family land and grow all our food but I rely on my husband  and his summer income for my bread and butter and to “bring home the bacon” – though I churn the butter, and bake the bread and grow the bacon.  But you know what I mean. He brings home the cash, he pays the bills.   And illness or accident or natural disaster could sweep that all away in an instant.  I need to regain my self sufficiency.  I am almost self suffucuent in food, now I need to go the step further. This is another modern day truth.

And so I found Samantha to teach me all the stuff I need to know to try and develop and learn and expand using the tools the internet is giving me.  And because she helps me this affects you too.   (The Kitchens Garden is my mother ship and you are my associates, my Lounge, my Fellowship, my Marketing Team). So, here is our cohort.  Our Personal Web Assistant. She and our Resident Artist are helping us shape the future of The Kitchens Garden and the Farm and the Retreat and the Shops. 

Meet Samantha Glunt.  Say hullo Samantha!

There is no internet knot that she cannot unravel. No stupid question she cannot interpret. The internet it not ageist or sexist or racist. It can be used for more than Twitter arguments and Facebook nastiness. It is a tool that needs careful navigating though and I needed to learn where the maps are. Samantha is showing me. We have even changed to a FREE theme so she is saving me money too.

Samantha is well educated with WordPress and happy to share so if YOU  get stuck on stuff she would be happy to help you too.  No job too small.  And you won’t have to sell an arm or a leg. Tell her I sent you. Her small business takes place on the internet so you can employ her from anywhere in the world.

I will add her contact details to the page – Our Cottage Industries. 

I am a team player and am grateful to have such a team.

Meanwhile back on the farm.  I  have almost finalised a plan to sell my pork to The Chefs in Chicago.  This might even be a weekly income if the middle man I am contracting can sell it to the right chef. I will keep you up dated as to when and where (which restaurant) so we can all go up and eat my home grown pork cooked by a real live big time chef! He is confident he can sell my pork on the weekly list he sends to a number of chefs in Chicago.

This is big news for the farm and if all goes well it will bring in enough income to pay for their feed and fly me to New Zealand for Christmas with family. This is such a relief.  The hay loss was a big financial blow. So let’s hope this works out. 

And also – look at this. Yes. An udder developing and the owner of that udder is no other than Aunty Anna the grumpy one. Hmm. And I had put her out to pasture thinking her barren.  Of course there is also the chance that it is all the good clover enhancing her bosom – she does not look pregnant at all. No bump. But we will see. hay-and-cat-006

I towed 130 bales of the most beautiful hay home yesterday with my big truck. It was quite the drive but I made it without incident. You cannot see behind you when you tow hay and you have to go SO SLOW. But it was OK. this-one-016

Now I must away and work out the latest technical details to make sure this posts correctly.  I love this new format- especially the font – much clearer. But there are a few more steps I need to remember before publishing. (But that is OK –  I have made up a cheat sheet from Samantha’s instructions).

I LOVE learning new things but sometimes I would rather go to sleep under a tree … !!!this-one-032

I still hope you have a lovely day – this will never change. I really do hope you find loveliness today.

Love celi

WEATHER: It is warming up!

Friday 09/15 10% / 0 in
A mainly sunny sky. High 86F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

Friday Night 09/15 10% / 0 in
Clear skies. Low 63F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

6:33 am 7:01 pm
Waning Crescent, 20% visible 1:26 am 4:15 pm





40 Comments on “HOW TO LEARN NEW STUFF

  1. Well (laughter) after all that I did not get it right. We don’t have all the extra features. I will work on this today. I use chicken steps to learn – “Step, Step, Scratch, PECK. Step, Step, Scratch, PECK”. So off I STEP to find the place to SCRATCH at for the PECK I forgot to add. c

    • “Step, Step, Scratch, PECK. Step, Step, Scratch, PECK” – – HA!!!!! I love it!!! The new format is very nice and HELLO to Samantha!!!! I look forward to all the new stuff. Happy Friday!!!! Fry day – fired chicken – it’s whats for dinner tonight I believe!!!

  2. Celi and Samantha . . . . you have already shown you make an impressive team! Celi – I have sensed some of your feelings for quite a time now . . . with some I agree, but I know few people who have as many skills as you do . . . you have managed to teach yourself whatever you needed since bringing up quite a family on your own back home and doing it well and shall I count up all the jobs at which you have proven yourself to be good. Methinks with someone outside your immediate worry zone to help and advise, a new chapter has begun on the farmy . . . and the first pages read well!!! All the very best: we’ll be sitting in the Lounge and cheering you on! May the Greater Powers be there always . . .. . .

  3. I love the new look here! I really like the organization of links at the bottom. The blog pages have a clean look, and oddly the new header and black background really showcase the photographs! What a gift Samantha is (welcome Samantha!). I am not so excited to learn new things, I never have been. But, it is a wonderful thing to find help when we need it.

  4. The photos seem clearer, crisper or could it just be when one starts something anew things do shine just a little different. Great post. Congratulations on your launch. You impress me with your ability to launch into something new and so current! All the while, “just” being a farmer. Such a full adventurous life you have created. My hat goes off to you.

    As one of your Canadian followers I miss your conversion to Celsius. I love comparing your temperatures to my part of the world, a comparison of sorts, one farm to another. Today we have a high of 26 C and a low of 16C with foggy patches.

  5. Congratulations on your new look. Holiday in December sounds like a great plan! I have not had a holiday in 18 months and sorely in need of one but might have to wait a bit longer😔

  6. If working with the lovely Samantha gives you a sense of progress, security and hopefulness, then I think we ALL owe her a big debt of gratitude. You give us all something wonderful to look forward to each day, and I am very grateful that you are receiving something important in return. I love the clean look of the new format, I like the dark background, and thank you for bringing back the Instagram feed I missed 🙂 Fingers crossed that the Chefs appreciate your very superior pork, and that Aunty Anna is indeed breeding.

  7. In March of this year I finally made a theme change, and it was one of the best things I could have done. As it has here, it resulted in a cleaner, more appealing page that made working with it more enjoyable for me, too. Knowing about Samantha is good, too. In the next year or so, I will need some assistance and advice myself — more than the WordPress Happiness Engineers can provide — and I may well call on her.

    When I began my WordPress blog nearly ten years ago, I titled the first post, “Dazed and Confused.” You don’t seem at all dazed and not at all confused — you’re well on your way to something even better than you’ve had, which is saying a good bit.

  8. Soo Carlos the Tiny gets to stay another week along with Aunty Anna, maybe? When do we get to meet the resident artist and where is the loft in the Coop? 🙂 Welcome Samantha. Laura

    • Also, I notice the archived blogs going back to 2011 are no longer available? Laura

  9. I’m so glad your absence yesterday was due to something wonderful and not a problem on the farm.
    I don’t know how it came to be, but I have somehow created a permanent little space in my head for the life doings of your farm and so when you don’t show up I worry about problems.
    Your new site design is lovely.

  10. Hmmmm – so as you know – farming is a ‘real’ job, you are doing a disservice to farmers and yourself saying it is not.
    If you were to put a dollar value on the food that you put on your table/in your freezer etc, a dollar value on what a ‘farm manager’ earns these days, I suspect you ‘make’ more money than your husband. Not only do you have skills (vet, animal husbandry, agriculture, bookkeeping, marketing, etc) they are ‘marketable’ skills.
    If you did not do what you do – your husband would likely need to earn double what he does now to achieve the same end result. By all means, explore new options, learn new skills, ‘grow’ your business – but remember, to attach a dollar value to that as well. 😊

    • Yes, yes, YES! It is far too easy to fall into the old “I don’t make any $$, so my worth is less” trap. A very well said reminder Val! And Miss C. you are an extremely valuable person, without whom your farm would not, COULD NOT exist. Be well (and be good to yourself, please?)

  11. I know from what you speak! Just making a blog gave me a push away from those who don’t want to “somewhat” keep up with the ever changing techno world. Thanks for sharing your life and all you do with the rest of us.

  12. I love the look of the site and all the improvements you are making. I hope you learn and earn lots! I look forward to your posts. I agree with valbjerke totally, don’t under estimate the value of your contributions!

  13. The new look is great!
    And, as a newish student (I went back to college a year ago, just after turning 49), I must say I agree with you! It does the brain good to learn new things. Keeps ya fresh and young. Though sometimes my poor brain is working so hard to keep up. Last night we were studying bulk density and porosity of soils – OMG. Calculations. My own personal level of hell. Still, I imagine that if I just keep at it, eventually it will sink in.
    Anyway all this to say Good On You, Mate.
    Cheers, Elizabeth

  14. Hello Samantha! Have heard of you in recent past here at the farmy, but this is the first proper introduction and I’m so glad to meet you! The new look is very clear and crisp and not sure if it’s the background or what, but the colours in the photos seem brighter.
    And three cheers for Aunty Anna if she is expecting… but she is looking rather svelte. And that kitty sunning herself on the hay results in just about a perfect photo! Your possible sale to area chefs through your new ‘agent’ sounds pretty ideal and a wonderful way to bring in some coin!
    And, like itsathought2 above, I also worry when you don’t show up for a day or two… crazy, isn’t it, but that’s the environment you’ve created… so knowing yesterday’s absence was likely due to this upgrade is a relief. Hope your day is a lovely one too! ~ Mame 🙂

  15. This looks fantastic! Well done Celi and Samantha! Fingers crossed for all manner of good things in the offing.

  16. There is so much wonderful here, where to start? Everyone should have a Samantha in their lives. I have Tech Support. (my son). I’m thinking he could learn a few things from Samantha. Learning something new is my daily goal. Today I learned that bees in a tree stump don’t like you hammering stakes in the ground. So here I am nursing a sting! I understand your vulnerability more than you know. You don’t need to know why but I get it. You are taking good action steps to relieve that. Change is inevitable and the change here is lovely. I have to biggify everything I read because so much of the print is smaller than my old eyes can get but it is clear. Some with white print on black background almost defies my ability to get it read. It can take me days to read one post like that. I hope the pork deal happens for you and you get your Christmas trip home. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Aunty Anna. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled day yourself.

  17. Cominghomefor Christmas. Wouldn’t it be greatto meet up over a cup of coffee or better et, a glass of wine. Is your famiky still in the Wellington area?

  18. Welcome, Samantha!! Love the new look, cleaner, easier to read and sure makes the photos pop.
    Your desire to generate an income sure does resonate with me. I’ve tried a lot of things and not much has worked out. I am taking stock, inventory of supplies and tools and thinking about what I want to offer and how to say what i want for the Cottage Industries. I think as our world changes, we’re going to see a resurgence of hand-crafted, hand-made, home-grown things available online. I have to rely on my own efforts to generate an income of some kind. I loved having my retail store while I had it, our customers were a great group of people, but I can’t see doing a brick and mortar again, the costs are monstrous and changing directions difficult, you can change everything on a website in a week if you have to. Anyway, I know it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.
    Interesting that Aunty Anna is growing an udder, looks like a lovely one.
    Have a lovely evening and great day tomorrow.

  19. What a lovely post, so refreshing, honest, and charming. I wish you well and much success in all your endeavors. And, yes, learning new stuff is an everyday thing and often a constant struggle, especially when you are starting from scratch, I like me. You are so fortunate to have found Samantha! K D 🙂

  20. Just trying to catch up after a few days of “interesting times” at my house.

    Who is the wee baby and her mother on the instagram feed that I just looked at? Beautiful!

    Chris S in Canada

  21. Helloooo Samantha! Thanks for the help you’ve already given me as, I too, am trying to keep up with all this techno stuff. My mother refused to come into the new world, as the old one was just fine with her! Old dial black rubber phone, manual typewriter on which she wrote a humongous history book of our family’s genealogy, skip computers, put black tape over blinking digital clocks – you get the picture…. Lovely site here – thank you! Just wish there had been a little warning – thought something was skewed in my system.

  22. Catching up too. Just saw this, what a great step forward, all of it. (Only took reading all the way down to not miss the other format any more– change is good, though startling sometimes) The comments say everything better than anything I have to add. This calls for a toast. Here’s to Celi, who sends out so much goodness every day! All the best,

  23. What an inspiring qoutes. I loved it, just continue this kind of passion.

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