Life’s Difficult Changes

For the first time in 43 years, I am facing life alone.  My dear, sweet, love of my life, Murray, died from Covid on January 7.  I am still having a hard time believing that he is physically gone from my life.  His chair sits empty; my heart is breaking.  But life moves on and I will carry on.

I am extremely fortunate and blessed in so many ways.  The outpouring of overwhelming love and support from family and friends has helped sustain me during this incredibly difficult time and has helped me to move forward. 

With lots of help and support, I will continue to plant flowers and pumpkins.  Murray would have wanted me to do so.  The seeds have been purchased and plans are in the works.  This past Sunday afternoon I worked outside for three hours tilling the first flowerbed to be planted and will start planting as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer.  Right now it is snowing!!!!

I am looking forward to bringing the flower cart out, filling it with beautiful bouquets of flowers, and maybe being outside to say hi when you stop by.

Until next time,



Happy New Year, everyone!  I realize the New Year is about seven weeks old, but I am just getting back into the swing of things since my knee replacement in mid-December.  This is my second knee replacement.  My left knee was replaced twelve years ago.  I vowed that I would not wait so long to have my right knee replaced.  But I did.  Too many things kept coming up and my procrastination was in full force.  And, ironically, when the time came, it almost didn’t happen.Read More »


One of our big improvement projects on the farm this summer was giving our shed a facelift.  As we continue to transition from being a corn/soybean farm to a flower farm, we are looking for other ways to use our shed.  Since we don’t have the large farm equipment any longer, we now have a lot of space to work with.  The first thing we did this summer was to give the shed a much needed paint job.

1Read More »


The land on which my husband Murray and I live has been in the family for over 150 years.  The farm is recognized and registered with the State of Illinois as a Centennial Farm.  In 1850, William Trigger and his wife, Mary Ann Trigger left England and came to the United States, where they settled in Peoria County. In 1857, they made their home on the property on Grange Hall Road.  Their son, Richard N. Trigger was born on the farm on Grange Hall Road on September 26, 1860.  On January 11, 1893, Richard Trigger married Edith Irene Douglass.  On May 27, 1896, their only surviving child, a daughter, Dorothy Viola Trigger was born.

1Read More »


Spring is my favorite time of the year.  The farm is changing daily with new growth and blooms.  My morning walks are even more enjoyable as I am serenaded by the singing of the many birds as they welcome each new day.  Last week we received some much needed rainfall.  I am anxious for the return of sunshine and warm weather.

1Read More »


Life is truly filled with twists and turns.  The best laid plans can be changed or altered in an instance.  The only certain thing in life is the uncertainty of life.

My goal for this new year, 2016, was to rework the blog and introduce some exciting plans for this spring and summer.  But my plans have been put on hold for now.  In mid-December I came down with asthmatic bronchitis.  The first round of antibiotics did not do the trick, so right after the start of the new year we tried a second round of a different antibiotic.  Last week, I spent the good part of an early morning in the emergency room.  The lingering asthmatic bronchitis has turned into pneumonia.  Interestingly, I had pneumonia last April.  The first time in my life that I have had pneumonia or bronchitis.  And now I have had it twice in the past 10 months.  So now I am on a third antibiotic and doing breathing treatments.

Life’s twists and turns.  It is so easy to get discouraged when you are dealing with a lingering medical condition.  I choose to focus on all the good things and blessings in my life.  Like being able to work from home and the wonderful people in my office who are covering for me in my absence.  Like my wonderful husband who is always there for me.  Like my caring sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren who are more than willing to help in any way I need.  Like my faithful church family for all their thoughts and prayers and visits.  I may be a bit under the weather, but I am feeling strong and determined from all the support I am receiving.

So my plans are moving forward, just delayed a bit.  Ryan and I will be reworking the blog in February and sharing the story of Idylwood Farm and my hopes and dreams for the future of the farm.  I am also experimenting with taking pictures to see if I can get some better pictures for the blog.  Not sure how that will come out, but I am determined to try!

Life’s twists and turns.  Stay strong, everyone.  Life is good.

Until next time,



With another round of thunderstorms and severe weather in the area last night, I took a quick walk around the farm to see how things were growing.  Since we have had record rainfall this summer, the crops and flowers look fantastic.  Luckily, we have not had any standing water in the fields so things are lush and brilliant.  I hope you enjoy these pictures of what’s growing on the farm.

1Read More »


It is a spectacular spring day on our farm on Grange Hall Road.  I love this time of the year and watching the outside come to life with beautiful bright colors, extraordinary floral smells, and the spirt of hope and renewal after a long, cold winter.  And it is even more meaningful for me as I continue to gain back my strength and stamina after a bout with pneumonia for most of the month of April.

1Read More »