The Favorite


It is fun being the ‘Favorite’!  I have a strict policy here at the farm, and every critter on it knows where I stand.  I do NOT have a favorite.  I do NOT show favoritism to one cow, chicken, dog, cat or otherwise, as it can wreak havoc.  Scratcher insists that she is the favorite cow.  Mrs. Gray will tell you with a flurry of feathers that she is the favorite chicken.  And Wilson will climb all over you, Mountain Goat style and tell all the rest that he is the favorite dog.  They are all wrong.  I love all my critters equally. I DO, however, willingly accept the position of being the ‘Favorite’.

Let me introduce you to Steve and Rose.  Technically, Steve is the eldest cousin in our family.  From the heart, he is the big brother I never had.  As a young man, Steve had the super intelligence to marry a wonderful woman, named Rose, who I quickly learned had the patience of a saint (something about me calling them really early on Christmas morning to see if they were coming to see Santa Claus – a family tradition.  I mean, it was TRADITION.  Why wouldn’t they want to be there????  Okay.  So, they had just gotten married the day before – not a big deal to a twelve year old. Why would that change TRADITION?????)  I quickly claimed her as my ‘Other Sister’, and have loved her ever since.

Steve and Rose are the ones who truly ‘got’ why Randy and I wanted to buy a farm.  Both were excited about our new venture, and to this day, they are supportive.  Both are creative people.  Neither back down from a challenge.  Although they live in a subdivision in Shreveport, that hasn’t stopped them from designing and building a wonderland in their back yard.  Primarily floral, just lately Steve has ventured into a new way of gardening, using five gallon buckets, minnow buckets, a fountain pump, perlite and a special blend of liquid fertilizer.  His vegetable plants are far more glorious than anything I have ever grown.  He’s told me the name of this technique, and I can never remember it.  I can tell you, however, that I really want us to try it here.  No weeds?  Right up my alley!!!!

I love our conversations that we have around our kitchen table.  We have been known to cover just about any subject – including politics.  One thing I have noticed, though.  If Rose gets up and starts wandering around, looking closely at things, you need to know something is percolating underneath that red hair.  When she asks for a measuring tape, then watch out.  She did this just recently, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out exactly what was up. 

The results of that brain-storming session she was having that day resulted in me knowing that I really was the ‘Favorite’.  Last Monday evening, they proved it.  Between the two of them, I believe their creative brains must have been the cause of all the thunder and lightning we’ve been having.  I am still in awe of their abilities.  These are two that can truly create a silk purse our of a sow’s ear, with not much more than scrounged bits and pieces.  A few pallet boards, a scrounged (and free) piece of granite…

If you don’t believe me, just take a close look at all the new pieces that have been added to the Paradise kitchen.  The work table is topped with African granite, a perfect place to make breads, pastries and other goodies.  The chalkboard will serve as a place to jot down ‘Words To Live By’ – special quotes that are designed to give you pause, to help you think outside the box or to make you smile.  The spice rack will help me keep my workspace neat, without all the clutter we usually have while cooking.  These three items will also blend beautifully with the over-sized clock they made for us a while back.  All of which are truly works of art.

So, see?  It just goes to say that I really am the Favorite.  I mean, if I have to be to get all these great pieces, just because has to speak to their preference for me over anyone else.  Right?  Wait.  What?  They do this for others?  Sigh… 

Now I know how Scratcher, Mrs. Gray and Wilson feel.  Maybe I need to change my way of thinking.  I kinda liked being the Favorite – even if it did only last for a few minutes.

Thank you, Steve and Rose for my wonderful goodies.  You two really are very precious to us – and always know that you can move in any time you want.   Just be sure to bring your garden with you.

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. I loved this post! Of course, I know better, you, being formed in the image of God, love each and every one of your animals as if it were you favorite; just as our Father loves each and every one of us equally. One request: Please try and get photos of Steve’s and Rose’s suburban garden. I’m intrigued, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.

    1. I’ll email them right away, Gary. I know they would love to show it off! And yes – I do love every single one of my animals as if they were my favorite. And I thank God daily – if not hourly and minute by minute – for His love. Without it, I wouldn’t make it a single step!

  2. Oh my gosh! I never even considered how it must feel to you that I walk around your house with a tape measure! Wow! I’m not sure I would appreciate someone doing that to me! It must have taken you the full 40+ years to accept all my forms of crazy! But I’m glad you have come to know me and take me in as one of your clan! The first 35 years wasn’t easy to live up to the Stephenson expectation! I am so glad you like the work bench. My brain is full of ideas for your farm house but I will try to keep my crazy down to a minimum! And Danyelle it is a form of hydroponics called the “dutch bucket system” The tomatoes did ok but the peppers just keep producing! We may try it again next year. Thanks Julie, we love you! Now lets get crackin on the bread oven build! My tape measure gathering dust! lol

    1. Author

      Oh, Rose! It feels wonderful for you to walk around my house. You and your tape measure are welcome anytime. And, PLEASE feel free to come out any time and let your CRAZY loose! I love being the benefactor to your crazy! In fact, if you lose steam, I can probably add some fuel to that fire. James will be here tomorrow (Monday) and I plan on going full force on getting the bread oven done. Hopefully, we’ll be having a pizza party before Thanksgiving. We love ya’ll immensely – and will always keep a place ready for you if you choose to move out here!!! Okay, Danyelle – there you have it. Dutch Bucket System. You can Google it, or I can get Steve to tell me the details and email them to you. I don’t think you will be sorry you tried!!!!

  3. Thanks, Danyelle! That is exactly what it is. You really do need to try this. Next time you are in town, come out, and I’ll try to get Steve and Rose to come, too. He can tell you everything you need to know about it – including how to do it the most inexpensively!!! Love and miss you!

  4. Hydroponics. I believe that’s what you call his system. Surprisingly they grow the best I’ve ever seen. I’ve always wanted to try it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.