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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thankful for my health

It's the last week of November and I hope this month of thankfulness doesn't stop. Hopefully you have followed along on my thankful journey and you have enjoyed it.
I am thankful for all of you readers who have played along with me and hope you also have spread your own thankful love and appreciation in your own ways.




Remember to like this post and let me know what you are thankful for. I will pick one thankful person to share some nutty goodness with!


I am thankful for my health.




It's now officially winter and with the colder weather comes the snotty noses and the dry coughs. There is nothing I hate more about the change of weather, then the increase of the cold and flu season. It is nothing a little cough syrup can't cure though.  But besides the head colds that bless our house a few times a year, we are a pretty healthy household. I am very thankful for this.


For some reason it seems harder for me to eat healthier in the winter. The abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in my backyard diminishes and the rich soups or carbs seem more tempting. I am thankful for the healthier options of food available and need to work on adding them in my winter diet more.


Exercise is always easier do to in the summer when you want to be outside enjoying the sun. It is hard to get active outside when the weather is cooler and you have to layer up to stay warm. I am thankful for the mild California winters that still allow me to walk to pick up my son from school or take a stroll at the farm between chores. And of course we can all make new years resolutions to get fit and join a gym, but I think we all know how that will turn out. Just making an attempt to stay fit and healthy is good in my book, but it is staying honest and accountable that will keep you healthy.


We live in a day in age where severe illness affect most of us. If not directly, then indirectly. Most of us have a family member or close friend that has been diagnosed with cancer or a life threatening illness. Currently, I have two family members battling cancer and man does cancer suck. Cancer is an evil illness that can totally transform a persons body and way of life.


However, I am thankful for the advancements in medicine today that make having cancer not as terrible as it once was. Cancer can be treated and defeated. I pray that the loved ones I hold dear to me heart will beat their cancer and thrive through it. I am thankful for their doctors and medicine that are making them better. Slowly, but surely they will beat this.


I am thankful for modern day medicine and research that goes into making people healthy and preventing illness. My family has made it a priority to be more thankful and support organizations that do research and studies to prevent and treat cancer and life threatening illnesses.
For my son's third birthday this year, we are asking our friends and family to donate to St Jude's instead of buying a birthday gift for our son. It is my hope that we can help a child in need. We are blessed with our own health and we are thankful for what we have. We want to pass that on to someone who needs help more than we do.


This holiday season I challenge you to give thankfulness and love to those in need. Don't let it stop.


What are you thankful for?


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful for my food

Happy Thanksgiving!
Today is the reason I introduced a Thankful Thursday Giveaway series.


I wanted to take the real reason for the holiday season and spread it out to make the whole month of November a thankful month.
Every week, I have been posting something I am thankful for and challenging you to think of something you are thankful for. The idea is to appreciate what we have and stop thinking of all the negative that surrounds us. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have. So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.


I ask you to 'like' Almond Girl Jenny Facebook page AND this post AND then comment with something you are thankful for.  I will pick one person each week and send them some 'nutty' cheer to help them spread their happiness.




I am thankful for my food.



It seems fitting that today, the day to be thankful and the day to share in an abundant meal, we should be thankful for our food. We tend to lose sight of the real meaning of Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks. It isn't just a day to consume large amounts of food, but to appreciative and be thankful.


All too often, we tend to take our food for granted.


I am thankful that we go to the grocery store and what we want is there. The fact that we can find fresh produce at the grocery store all year round is not because they are grown in America all year round. It is because we rely on growers all over the world to provide for us in the off seasons.


I am thankful to live in a state that has the highest food safety standards in the world. As a farmer, this can be quite challenging, but as a consumer I know what I am eating is safe. In other parts of the world they do not have such high standards that growers have to abide by. Specifically in California, we have the more stringent food laws and regulations and I know what I am eating is safe.


I am thankful for the abundance of food options we have. America is the land of opportunity and diversity. With that comes people of all different backgrounds. This has given American the opportunity to offer such a diverse and eclectic food supply. The diverse options of fruits, vegetables, breads, or proteins that you can find here are really thanks to the diversity of America and the demand for such a eclectic food supply.


I am thankful for the ability to have access to and rely on our food supply. There are so many places and outlets for those with little to no income to still have access to a food supply. From soup kitchens, food banks, homeless centers, churches and even government programs all offering assistance to a safe and reliable food supply, this country makes sure we all have options.


Today and during the holiday season there are so many opportunities to donate to those less fortunate to ensure we all can be thankful to live in a country with an abundant food supply.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled with love, happiness and thankfulness.




What are you thankful for today?








Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thankful for my faith

It's Thursday again! Have you been reflecting on what you are thankful for?


Every week, I am posting something I am thankful for and challenging you to think of something you are thankful for. The idea is to appreciate what we have and stop thinking of all the negative that surrounds us. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have. So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.


I ask you to 'like' Almond Girl Jenny Facebook page AND this post AND then comment with something you are thankful for.  I will pick one person each week and send them some 'nutty' cheer to help them spread their happiness.




Something I am thankful for is my faith.




I feel blessed to live in a country where we have freedom to worship and believe what we want. We can raise our children with the faith we chose and believe in what we chose to believe. In many parts of this word, people don't have this freedom.


I am thankful to have been raised in a faith based home. My father was raised Catholic and my mother converted shortly after marrying my father. They raised my sister and I with strong Catholic values. I went to Catholic elementary school and was active in my church growing up.


I am thankful to have also married a Catholic man who was raised with the same appreciation for his faith as I was. I was married in the Church and am raising my children with the same values I was raised. I am blessed to also be the godmother of my oldest niece, something that is very special to me.
Faith was always present while I was growing up. It is something that I still appreciate. I have many found memories of participating in youth groups and attending youth retreats. It was something that helped me grow in my faith as I was maturing and figuring out the world around me.


This last weekend we baptized my baby daughter in the Catholic Church just as we did with our son when he was a baby. This is a special thing to be thankful for to me. Faith is a core foundation of who I am and I hope to raise my children with the same beliefs.
It brings me joy to watch our children learn more about their faith. My son is not even three yet, but he can recite grace before meals. He even grabs my hand and reminds me to pray if I forget before eating. He attends a Christian preschool and is learning about God and Christian values outside the house. It is important to my husband and I that our kids learn about these values not just at home but in school and everyday life.


To me, faith is something you turn to in times of need. When life gets rough, when things aren't going the right way, when you don't know where else to turn. I turn to God. Faith is what gives me strength. Faith is what gives me guidance. Faith is what gives me security.


Especially now, when our world has turned to hate, crime and devastation I am thankful to have faith in my life to turn to. There have been multiple loved ones in my life recently who have been affected with cancer. Faith is what will heal them. Faith is what will guide them in their journey. Faith is what I need to be thankful for when I question, "why?".


I am thankful for my faith and the ability to have faith. Faith gives me the ability to be thankful.


What are you thankful for?




Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thankful for farmers

In case you missed it last week, I introduced a Thankful Thursday Giveaway series.


Every week, I will post something I am thankful for and challenge you to think of something you are thankful for. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have.


So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.




I ask you to 'like' Almond Girl Jenny Facebook page AND this post AND then comment with something you are thankful for.  I will pick one person each week and send them some 'nutty' cheer to help them spread their happiness.


This week, I wanted to think of something that I did everyday and should be thankful for. Often times, we do things and don't realize how it impacts others. What do you do everyday and take it for granted to be able to do?




Well, I eat everyday. Three times a day, sometimes more than that. How do I get my food? Before you can answer with "the grocery store". Let's think beyond that. The people who get the food to the store. The people who plant, care for, and harvest the food. The farmers!


I am thankful for farmers.





I am a fourth generation California farmer on both my mother and father's sides. Before that my family had been farming in other parts of the world. My dad's side of the family were wine makers in Italy. My mom's side were sheep herders in the Mid West. But they all came to California in the early 1900's for one reason, to farm.




I am lucky to have married a fellow fourth generation California farmer. His great grandfather came to California for one reason, to farm. California seemed to be the land of opportunity, the land of hope, the place to make a fresh start. California had fertile land and seemed like a great place for many to plant roots in agriculture. Farming was their passion. Their desire to move to a new and unknown place, to start fresh and be a successful farmer. Becoming a farmer was what gave them drive and hope. It was the sought after career, the lifestyle of their dreams.




Today, farming can often be an under rated or looked down upon occupation or lifestyle. Farmers can be looked at as dumb or uneducated. In the movies or advertisements farmers are depicted as okies with overalls, wheat in their mouths or missing a front tooth.



But if you ask me, farmers are some of the smartest, most educated, eternally optimistic, and nicest people I know. Farmers have to be smart to be able to figure out how to do more with less. More and more land is being taken up by urban sprawl, city development, environmental regulations, or lack of resources. Yet, we are being asked to produce more. We are being allocated less water and given more regulations. We are being told to use less pesticides but grow a crop that looks blemish free and has no signs of insects. Farmers are the modern day superman, producing more with less.


Farmers work day in and day out to produce food to feed us all. They often do it without any praise or acknowledgement. They are the backbone of everyone's lives. Farmers are the unsung heroes.
How many of you expect that food to just be there when you want it? The farmers work hard every day to ensure your food is where it needs to be. I am thankful for the farmers in my life and all the farmers across the globe that work hard every day to provide a safe and reliable food supply for you and me.


What are you thankful for?


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny







Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thankful for my family

With all the hate, crime and devastation in the world these days I have found myself in need of love and joy. To me, November is the perfect month to reflect on what we are thankful for. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have. There is too much negativity to sometimes find the light, as I have written about before. So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.

To help me spread some love and happiness I thought I would do a fun thankful Thursday giveaway post every week this month of November. Every week, I will post something I am thankful for and challenge you to think of something you are thankful for.
The idea is to appreciate what we have and stop thinking of all the negative that surrounds us. Thanksgiving and Christmas are happy holidays were we should be thankful and not be dwelling on negative things.

Every week this month, I will share something I am thankful for and I want to know something you are thankful for.

I ask you to 'like' Almond Girl Jenny Facebook page AND this post AND then comment with something you are thankful for. I will pick one person each week and send them some 'nutty' cheer to help them spread their happiness.




So let's start out. Something I am thankful for is my family.






I am thankful for my husband. He is loving, compassionate, patient, and caring. He works hard every day to provide for us and never asks for anything in return. He is the best father to our children. Watching him play and read to our children just makes me love him more and more. It is true the old saying, "I never knew how much I loved your Daddy, until I saw how much he loved you". It is like my love for him grew astronomically when our children were born, and it only continues to grow each day I see them together.




I am thankful for my children. They challenge me, press my buttons and exhaust me beyond belief. But when my son comes up to me to kiss me and tell me he loves me, it melts my heart. When I don't get any sleep or can't seem to calm my tired baby and then she falls asleep smiling in my arms, it makes it all worth it. I know these 'little' days won't last forever and then they will be running off to college, so I cherish each hug, kiss, smile and embrace they give me.



I am thankful for my parents. My parents are always there for me when I need them and often times when I didn't know I needed them. They are my inspiration of what a loving and long lasting marriage should be. They are there to lend advice, a helping hand or just a place to vent when I need it. My parents have taught me so much about life, family, faith, and work ethic that I will never know how to repay them but in love... and grandchildren of course. Seeing my parent's faces light up when they see their grandchildren is a whole other love to be thankful for.





I am thankful for my sister, nieces, nephew, in-laws, grandparents, aunts and uncles and everyone in my family that helped make me who I am. Without my family there to support me, I wouldn't be where I am today. It is family that helps build you and make you stronger. It is family that makes you, you.




I challenge you to take sometime this week to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Tell them you love them, give them a warm embrace or just be there for them.




Who are you thankful for?






Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Harvest is done!

HARVEST IS DONE! Finished. Complete. Over. Ended. Final. No more!
Can you tell I am excited? In case you don't follow me on social media, we were so excited for harvest to be over we went on a mini family vacation to celebrate.
There is just something about working your hinny off for over two months that makes you want to celebrate when it's finally over.
empty elevator and shuttle cart
We started harvest this year at the beginning of August. We started off with a few hiccups but finally got the ball rolling the second full week of August. Others around us started the week or so earlier than we did. Some areas are still feeling the affects of the drought and their almonds come off earlier from the water stress. Some farmers have so many acres, they need to get the ball rolling before they get behind.
harvester picking up a final row
Once we were moving, harvest kept rolling through for a few weeks. Once nonpareil was all done shaking, there generally was a break around labor day. Then the pollinators come off after that. With so many different almond varieties out there, harvest timing can be totally different between growers.
We are finished, but some growers around us are still picking up almonds. Our final variety, Fritz, was slightly green still at the end of harvest. So instead of shaking straight through to finish, we had to take a few days break and wait for them to dry out more. Then, they were ready to shake and finish up. Once those final almonds were on the ground, it was pedal to the medal to finish sweeping and picking up. When the end is in the sight you just want to finish and be done. Not long after, we were.


And as harvest approached the finish line, we were headed out! My almond farmer husband has had two months of crazy hours, long days, exhausting work, and sweaty temperatures. He deserved a break. So off to the beach for a mini family vacation. We are blessed to live within two hours of a nice, relaxing beach to help us calm and refresh. Now on to the next chapter in almond farming.




Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The end in sight

Shaking is done! The shaker went through our last variety, in the last row, in our last field yesterday. What a relief it is to be one step closer to finishing harvest. It seems like forever ago that we started harvest, but in reality it was about two months ago. Two months of long hours, long weekends and tired feet. Our family and dedicated employees have worked hard to make it this far and now we are in the home stretch. I can see the end in sight.


Now that shaking is done we need to sweep and pick up what's left. And once we are all picked up, harvest will be done! We still have some of the Monterey variety to finish sweeping and then to finish picking up.
Shaking the last variety, in the last row, in the last field.




The finisher will be the Fritz that we just finished shaking. Fritz is always our last variety and the one we are waiting on. Now that we are done shaking we wait a week or so until they are dry enough to start sweeping.  Once they are dry we will sweep and pick them up. I can't wait until we can start picking them up, then the end will really be near.


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny