Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

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A Worried Mother Learns about Bears


Now that the camping trip is over, I feel a bit silly that I was actually worried about us encountering a bear. It didn’t help that just last spring there was a fatal attack by a black bear in the Cherokee National forest, which was where we were to camp. A 6-year old girl was killed after her mother and 2-year old brother were seriously injured by the bear.

I’ve found that instead of worrying, it’s best for me to do some research and learn what I can. That usually puts things into perspective, weakens the irrational fears, and empowers me. So, I headed to the computer to learn about bears.

Maybe most of you are not worry-warts like me, but for those of you who are, here are the more pertinent things I learned.

Continue reading

2007 Charger Challenge Track Meet or Competition vs. Internal Motivation


The Charger Challenge is a track meet for elementary students hosted by Chattanooga Christian School each spring. Our kids watched the meet 2 years ago and were looking forward to participating in the races this spring. For over a year they have been training – running 3 times a week on our street in the mornings. As the event approached, they went to CCS’s track to do a time trial and get experience being on the track.

I don’t know many children who are motivated enough to actually train at a sport, so we (and they) thought they would perform pretty well at this meet.

They didn’t perform well…or so it seemed at first. Continue reading

Red Wine and Food Poisoning

red wine

Paul to Timothy: “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”

Not too long ago, I bought a yummy looking salad from a local grocery store deli. After arriving home, unloading and putting away groceries, I sat down to enjoy my chunky chicken caesar salad. I took a few bites. Nice. One more. Oh. That must be some really strong cheese or something in there. Another bite. Uuhhh. What is that? A bad tasting olive?? I tried just an olive – it tasted fine. What was that strong, yucky taste? I tried another bite with some chicken. Oh no. Could it be the chicken? Poke a piece with my fork. Sniff, sniff. !!!! It smelled AWFUL!

Every piece of chicken in my salad looked beautiful, but every piece smelled rotten, putrid. I just knew I had given myself a case of food poisoning. Continue reading

Water Cured my Pre-Term Labor

If you’re pregnant and more than four weeks away from the due date for your baby, you obviously don’t want to be going into labor. If you are facing this crisis, however, the solution may be as simple as drinking more water.

After having 2 problem-free pregnancies, I was surprised to find myself having regular contractions at 30 weeks gestation during my 3rd pregnancy. I had been having frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions, but on one particular evening, they were coming every 5 minutes, lasting about a minute each. They didn’t hurt, but I knew this was nothing to be ignored. Continue reading

Seizures: “Everyone is allowed one”

To be human is to experience — infrequently and unexpectedly — a crisis which makes you think your world is coming to an end. Most of the time, it turns out to be no big deal.

I was 26 weeks pregnant with my 4th child. The 2nd trimester had been good to me: increased energy, better appetite, minimal discomfort. Surprisingly, though, I’d had more round ligament pains (those sharp, stabbing lower abdominal pains that can occur on either side) than I’d had in previous pregnancies.

On this particular morning I woke up, drank some diluted juice, and sat down at the computer to do some bookkeeping before the kids woke up. Slowly a round ligament pain started growing & building on my right lower abdomen. Usually mild and short-lived, I was surprised when this one kept building in intensity. I found myself gritting my teeth, breathing deeply, trying to work through the pain, waiting for it to lessen and stop. At one point the pain became so severe that I started seeing wavy black lines and thought that I might pass out. Continue reading

Is Farming the Highest Profession?

Several years ago, I was at a high school reunion, gathered with a group of 5-6 of my classmates. Someone asked what I had been up to lately: how I was supporting my growing family.

“I’m trying to do it by farming.”

Awkward silence. Continue reading

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