Mar 8, 2012

Spotlight: Heidi Gonzales

Heidi Gonzales

     Where do I begin? I am speechless and it takes a lot to make me that way. This sweet, beautiful, talented, smart, energetic lady is our Person in the Spotlight this week.  I wish that I had half the talent and energy that she has, if I did I would be able to work rings around myself...
     I asked her to write a story and she hesitated because she is not one to talk about herself, but with a little push from me she decided to do it.  She is the type of individual that speaks so highly of others and in such a sweet manner that you know she means everything she is saying. The best thing is she can make your day much brighter with those few spoken words.
  Thank you Heidi for sharing some of your story with us. Yes, that is right some of it, there are other things she has chosen not to share here that would amaze everyone. It is an honor to know you Heidi, my FarmGirl Sister and best of all friend.

Her Story In Her Own Words

     I am a forty-something stay at home wife.  The kids are all grown and gone.  I am Mama to three furbabies (Shih Tzu).  Their love got me through the empty nest phase alright.  My wonderful husband Jerry and I have been together for more than 2 decades and though we've traveled a few bumpy roads, we're closer and stronger today than every before.  I couldn't live without him.  He plans to retire this fall and we are looking for a small rural homestead to land on, sometime after that.  Our current residence is almost payed off, it's only about 2/3 acre though it is zoned for animals.  It just feels too cramped here since all the neighboring houses began popping up everywhere at the height of the housing boom in 2005.  I don't like hearing the neighbors holding conversations in their homes, that's how cramped it's become in so-called rural California.  We hope to find something that will allow us to live our dreams of sustainability, or close to it.  We both like the idea of being independent of most commerce.
     My hobbies are many.  I like to dabble or try a bit of everything.  I enjoy painting watercolor and I have tried my hand at:   ribbon embroidery, cross stitch, one-stoke painting, traditional tole painting, floral craft and topiary, cold-herbal remedies and concoctions, sewn dolls and ornaments, cooking, baking,candy making, candle making and my longest running "craft" hobby-quilting.  I have quilted for more than a decade, though I do much less quilting today than I once did.  My addictions are coffee and gardening.  In that order.
     I am relatively new or late to blogging, depending on your perspective.  I started following Ree Drummond's Blog last Spring and shared her awesome vanilla bean scones with my friend Michelle.  That girl can cook and bake!  That led me to search for more home centered blogs.  I did not really know what was available in blogland.
     Eventually, my good luck led me to meet Amy Walker of Homestead Revival.  She lives in the same town, and is friends with our neighbors.  We met at a surprise birthday party next door.  Imagine that.  We talked about gardening and shared many similar interests.  I had almost finished college with degrees in Plant Biology and Crop Science.  (At the time, I was just a class away from being a Pest Control Advisor.  My specific emphasis is organic controls, which I test in my own gardens).  We exchanged ideas and she gave me her insight on a few relative issues and welcomed me to check out her blog.  When I got home and started reading it, I was hooked!
     The Homestead Barn Hop was very helpful.  So many Like minded women sharing their real life experiences trying to get back to nature, back to our roots, back to a healthier, happier lifestyle.  I wanted in too.  Before I knew it I was blogging myself from my first blog My Simple Country Living.  Blog Hops led me to my favorite farmgirl site on Earth-Deborah Jean's Dandelion House by our favorite farmgirl Deb Bosworth, and Deb's Farmgirl Friday introduced me to The Hibiscus House and Dolly's amazing southern cooking.  Somebody pinch me. Wow! The Pioneer Woman aint' got nothing on you Dolly!

     I have enjoyed blogging so much, it is a great outlet for creativity and fulfills a need in me to share bits and pieces of myself with others.  I have several favorite blogs, and though at this time of the year, I have found it difficult to find time to write comments to every post ( especially with the new lengthier process), I DO read every linky every week, that is shared on the hops I participate in.  I also print and make many of the recipes people share with me.  It's hard for me to believe, but I have learned so much from the homemaking/homesteading blog community in less than a year. I have learned more about homesteading living simply from all of you than I ever could have learned in the classroom.  Thanks to everyone that shares their experience on the farmgirl/homemaking/homesteading hops.  You REALLY do make a difference.  I will get caught up on my writing just as soon as my garden in all "IN" the ground and happy.
Garden Blog Party

     I am always eager to help with any vegetable/fruit related questions so please share your ideas or concerns via e-mail or comment.  Organic gardening can be a bit more sophisticated process than conventional gardening, but it's worth the effort to keep our food safe.  I enjoy the challenge. There is nothing more satisfying to me than knowing I defied conventional wisdom, and succeeded.

Please be sure to stop by both of Heidi's blogs and also the three blog hop parties you will find lots of fun and informational ideas.

 Homemaker Blog Party 
**NOTE** Homemaker Blog Party is on hold at the moment.
Monthly Sewing Challenge
Blog Party

Proud member of MaryJanes FarmGirl Sisterhood

Proud member of MaryJane's Farmgirl Sisterhood

Heidi at this very moment is also being showcased on this fine
MJF Farmgirl Sisterhood Blog:

We're excited about something new Heidi has started!
She, Deb, Debbi and I are so glad to be a part of:
Farmgirl Chit-Chat
All Things Farmgirl
Facebook Page here

Thank you Heidi!


  1. Dolly, I'm so pleased to see our sweet friend Heidi here in your Spotlight Stories! Heidi is a beautiful, genuine, talented and all around great farmgirl soul! Her energy is contagious in blog land because it is so sincere. Thank you for sharing her story. I loved every word...How lucky are we that we've all met through blogging?
    yours in blogging sisterhood and farmgirl hugs!

  2. Deb, you are so right her energy is contagious. She like you is such a special person that it isn't hard to write about her. The hard thing was to get her to write about herself and she did a wonderful job. I smile as I say this we are lucky that we've all met and I am very thankful for that!
    My sisters...thank you so much.

  3. Dolly and Deb,
    Wow. Thank you both for your kind, thoughtful words. I'm hardly special, I'm just OCD, caffeine charged, and newly kidless- with lots of new found time on my hands. Things will slow down eventually. Besides, you are two of my greatest inspirations. You motivate me to think bigger and reach for my garden, kitchen, decorating, and farmgirl dreams. Thank you both!

    I am so grateful that I have amazing farmgirl friends like you. The three of us have so many of the same interests and similar likes and ideas, I think we must be related somehow. I am a Heinz 57, not a pedigree, so maybe. lol. I wish for you both to have a great, relaxing weekend.

    1. Love it, I think we must have! Could you imagine if we lived in the same town? Look out! Thanks for wonderful story and most of all friendship! Hope you have a great weekend! Hope Jerry's will be better soon!

    2. Hello my sisters!
      Heidi, Heinz 57 here too! I'm just so amazed at how much we can all inspire each other through blogging and the MJF sisterhood. You are a blessing in a world where not everyone get's why I like to go out to the hen house in the morning in my PJ's wearing my rubber boots... Did I just say that out loud??? Hey, I am among friends...!
      So, Farmboy Clint is the next Spotlight? I can't wait! He is most certainly one of US!!!
      Have a glorious day all! It's 67 today sunny, warm and I'm feeling energized!!!

  4. Such wonderful words! Each one of you are such wonderful people!

    1. Clint, you do know you are one of us don't you? Don't you try and hide you're gonna be next! Thanks for you sweet comments. Have a wonderful weekend this busy time of year! I can't wait to see the first vegetable popping through the soil...

  5. I really enjoyed reading Heidi's post. What a delightful read :) :) I'm in the central coast of California...and where I live, there's lots of houses...but not too far away, I can be out in the country where there's lots of space between houses :) :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    1. Sounds like you live in the most beautiful place, lucky girl. Heidi's story is good, I know she will be so pleased with your sweet comments. Hugs from SC..