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Inspiring Women over 50: Siggy Buckley, Author

Inspiring Women over 50: Siggy Buckley, Author

Siggy Buckley, inspiring women over 50

Siggy Buckley, author of I Once Had a Farm in Ireland.
One of the inspiring women over 50 that I have the pleasure to know.

As Siggy puts it…”we over 50s can rule the world!”

Author, organic farmer, matchmaker…given all of Siggy’s qualifications…I believe she is one of the most inspiring women over 50 that I know!

She has a new book out: I Once Had a Farm in Ireland. She writes about her experience on her organic farm in Ireland. Funny, touching,and full of information….you will want to read it.

Siggy Buckley Bio:

A former English teacher, Siggy Buckley’s life took an unexpected turn when her husband, a CPA, opted out of the rat race in Germany and made his family emigrate to Ireland to become organic farmers.
Her new life only produced a crop of misgivings and the breakup of her marriage. Single again, she reinvented herself, launched a dating service in Dublin. Remarried, she now lives and writes in Florida. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women.

Amazon author page

My blog: www.SiggyBuckley.blogspot.com

My books http://amzn.to/YzIr9J

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Dreams of becoming a journalist were thwarted early on; I became a college teacher instead.

What or who inspired you to write?

I had kept a diary through my formative years as a farmer’s wife and then as a matchmaker. My now husband encouraged me to put my accumulated memories and experiences into a book while blogging about several topics. Authors who inspired me are strong female voices like Benoit Grout and Irish writer Nuala O’Faolain.

What is your favorite part of your book?

My Favorite part of Next Time Lucky is the beginning of the last chapter on p. 230:

“ Homeward Bound

The only obstacles that could keep us apart were visa issues.  A European resident is allowed to visit the USA for up to 180 days a year but only 90 per visit.  My first 90 days were up.  At the end of January, shortly before I had to leave the country, I started to feel blue.

“What’s up, Sweet-pea?” He wrapped his arms around me on the sofa.

“I don’t want to leave you.  For once I’ve found a man I love whole-heartedly, who respects me, who fulfils my needs, and I have to go away for silly reasons like a frigging visa.”

“We’ll find a way.  I’ll visit you in Germany next month.  And then you come back to me here in the US.  Are you sure you want to come back to me or do you want to think about it while you are over there? Maybe make a trip to Spain and check it out as planned?”

“Why should I go to Spain if all I want is to be with you, Connor? Start all over in yet another country? I’ve felt uprooted for such a long time; I don’t know anymore where my home is.” I leaned more into him, and he caressed my neck and shoulders.

“After my break-ups in Ireland, I didn’t know where I belonged.” I continued.  “I didn’t want to stay in Ireland any longer and now I miss it.  Imagine!”

“Well, it was your home for a while.  It all makes sense to me.”

My head snuggled even further into his arm that embraced me.  “When I am with you it feels like belonging again.”

Connor took my face in his hands.  Our eyes interlocked.

“My poor darling! I want you to be with me, I want to take care of you and spend my life with you.  You are my partner, my friend, and my beautiful lover.” He placed a gentle kiss on my lips.  “We have so much in common though we come from different backgrounds.  Quite extraordinary, really.  You are like the female version of me – maybe at long last the proverbial soul mate I have been waiting and searching for all my life.  We’ll figure something out.”

“But how?”

“Something will come to us.” This line from Meet Joe Black had tickled us both when we watched the film together.  In the eyes of adversity, that couple kept looking for a way to master their future together.  Sometimes all you can do is keep trying. “

 What have you learned from writing?

Patience, persistence and that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Product Detailshttp://www.amazon.com/Next-Time-Lucky-Find-Right-ebook/dp/B00B0K1M9C/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385282046&sr=1-3&keywords=Siggy+Buckley

Product Detailshttp://www.amazon.com/Next-Time-Lucky-Lessons-Matchmaker/dp/1456392441/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385282046&sr=1-5&keywords=Siggy+Buckley

Product Detailshttp://www.amazon.com/Intrepid-Swapping–Insider-Successful-Homeswapping-ebook/dp/B005N0N3CO/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385282046&sr=1-6&keywords=Siggy+Buckley

Extreme Gardening in Extreme Weather

Extreme Gardening in Extreme Weather Conditions

by Peggy Browning

extreme measures in extreme gardening

I just want to grow something using civil methods.
Image: winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

I am not an athlete. I do not participate in extreme sports of any kind; I don’t even watch them on TV. I like gentle pursuits like gardening, sewing, or lying on the couch eating potato chips while watching other people garden or sew on TV.

But for the last two years I’ve found myself engaged in the extremes. I am speaking of extreme gardening.

I like to plant flowers. I like to plant tomato vines and squash seeds. I like soaking okra seeds and planting when they burst open, exposing the little plant inside.

I enjoy watching them grow, bloom, and produce some type of harvest: flowers or tomatoes or big yellow straight-neck squash.

I like everything about it. I like digging in the dirt, planting the seeds, waiting for the seedlings to emerge, checking on them every day, and watching them grow into something beautiful.

I like the way tomato plants smell. I like the big blooms on squash plants. I like when the okra pods are too tough to use and I just let them stay on the stalk to dry and produce more seeds.

But this extreme gardening BS is wearing on my nerves. All I want is just a little happiness derived from watching stuff grow. I don’t want to have to exert great amounts of effort or emotion to make that happen.

Last year, I gardened in a drought. It was a record-breaking drought. We were restricted from any and all outside watering.

extreme measures in extreme gardening

No watering was allowed during the drought.
image: sakhorn38/freedigitalphotos.net

If you were caught using a water hose, you were promptly given a citation and a fine. Plus you were chastised by your neighbors.

I planted squash, tomatoes, and sunflowers in my front flowerbed anyway.

Extreme measures in extreme gardening

I managed to grow mammoth sunflowers by recycling my bath water.
image: artur84/freedigitalphotos.net

I plugged up my tub when I showered and carried my recycled water to the flowerbed to water my tiny, thirsty plants. And I harvested a few squash, a tomato or two, and giant Mammoth sunflower heads to feed the birds.

Extreme drought…water-rationing drought…effluent water recycling kind of drought…a drought that started five years ago (October 2010) and continued until May 4 of this year.

May 4 is when the rain started. And, as I write this on May 25, the rain hasn’t stopped yet.

And I do thank the Heavens Above for this magnificent rain. The lakes and reservoirs that provide our drinking water are 100% full again. The water is running over the spillways. The rivers and creeks are out of their banks and flooding roads and residential areas as well as fields and pastures. (I’m not going to mention the damage done to crops and homes or lives. That’s another serious subject for a blog…)

Now I’m doing extreme gardening in a flood. At first my beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, spinach, potatoes, herbs, Swiss chard and whatnot sucked up the rain and thrived from the moisture. It was great. It was so much fun to see their wet leaves each morning.

But now it has rained so much that there’s water standing in the garden because there’s no way it can soak in to the already saturated soil. The tomatoes look kind of fungus-y. The bean plants are turning yellow. The rosemary is under water. There’s several types of mushrooms growing even though I didn’t plant mushrooms.

Now I’m bailing water OUT of my garden instead of carrying water to it.  It looks like I’m doing hydroponic gardening.

Seasons come and go. Rain does too. I complain through each cycle. That’s what extreme gardening is all about.

(But to all you folks who were praying for rain…you can stop now. Your “Pray for Rain” yard signs are clogging the street drains.)

In Gardening, Hope Springs Eternal

Hope Springs Eternal … Life After 50

by Peggy Browning

In the spring of the year I planted a vegetable garden.  I planted potatoes and plugged in some onions in the soft dirt on top of them. Even though we are in the third year of drought and record setting warm temperatures and it hasn’t rained since I don’t know when…I planted it anyway.

All I can say is that hope springs eternal in a gardener’s heart.

In the days after I planted, I dug up more patches of dirt. I pulled out the Bermuda grass sprigs, emptied some bags of cow manure onto the dirt clods and worked the manure in with a shovel. I threw in some leaf mold and compost.

Then I hoped for the best and prayed for rain.

I grew up on a farm. And every year my mother planted a garden. She didn’t let dry weather stop her. Every year, she harvested a bountiful crop of potatoes, corn, squash, green beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, English peas, radishes, onions, okra, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, dill, beets, and tomatoes. What we didn’t eat fresh each day, she put away for later.

My mother canned the produce in glass Mason jars, carefully cleaning and storing the jars after we emptied each one at mealtime during the year. She blanched corn, peas, and squash and froze them. She pickled beets and cucumbers and okra.

We ate like kings almost the whole year round thanks to Mama’s diligence and hard work. And it wasn’t just my family that ate like that…all my relatives ate well too, because all my aunts gardened, harvested, and canned their own food.

With a background like this, how can I help but try again and again, year after year, to produce some tomatoes and squash, potatoes and onions, spinach and lettuce right here in my back yard? I’m not the gardener that my mother was, but some years I have a little bit of luck and fresh tomatoes.

Last year I had beautiful tomato vines and I watered them faithfully. They were covered with little yellow blooms, but didn’t produce even ONE tomato. After my water bill reached over $100 in June, I began to slack off the watering. I finally gave up and bought my fresh tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market.

Gardening is kind of like Life, really. You sow what you hope to reap, till and plant, spread the bull hockey around, and just hope and pray for the best.

At least that’s how I’ve always lived (and gardened as well.) I haven’t given up easily on my garden or my Life’s dreams either.

Hope springs eternal for both.