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Just wanted to stop in and say I’m back and will be blogging here regularly again.  My hiatus was important and very productive.  Please meet our newest daughter – Gweneth Lenore.  She was born here in the cabin in July.  These photos were taken by Trista Hickerson.  I don’t know how many of the folks who used to read here will see this, but I’m excited to be starting anew.  I have so much to write about and I’m looking forward to sharing and talking here with folks again.  If you are interested in reading my latest work you can find it here. http://www.dailyyonder.com/designing-post-coal-economy/2012/11/26/5508 🙂

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Hey Everyone!  Hop on over to Waiting for the Click where I am the featured “click” story of the day.  Leslee has an interesting and inspiring blog, and I am so happy to get to do a guest post for her.  I hope you will spend some time there and get acquainted with her words.

Take care and have a lovely day!

I have a little quiet time.  Both of the girls are napping, which is a bit unusual.  I have a million things I need to be doing, but I’ve decided to update the blog in a more formal way.  I don’t know when I will have the chance again.

I was going to post about our work on the barn and moving our chickens there.  I don’t know how much time I have and I haven’t uploaded the pictures yet, so I will post about life for me now.  This is almost becoming a journal for me.  If nothing else, it is a way to keep my family up from afar, and a way for me to keep a record of our life.

After the last five weeks of things being so out of sorts around here, I feel like I’ve fallen into a land of chaos.  There is so much to do and so much to be done.  Catch my drift? 🙂  I think the ups and downs and the interruptions to our rhythm have fostered in a “stage” with the girls.  They are both so very needy right now in different ways.  It has caused me to pull back a little to problem solve.  Sometimes it is so overwhelming being a mother – meeting everyone’s needs.  I’m trying to observe where I am falling short in my keeping up a rhythm that satisfies all of us.  That takes thinking about the girls and their needs throughout the day, adding in my goals for things to accomplish, and making sure John is fed and has clean clothes, along with a semi-tidy house.  What about time to just be a family?

I have decided to use the Daily Guide I purchased from Little Acorn, but create my own curriculum to go in that.  I’m feeling we need something a bit more natural to us and to the age of the girls.  I have to find our flow.  There are several books that I’m looking to purchase to help me along, and one I have on loan.  The loaner is Festivals, Family, and Food by Diana Carey and Judy Large.  It is filled with seasonal songs, verses, food, stories, games, and crafts.  It has most of the major American holidays and lots of European holidays or those less familiar to us.    The others I plan to purchase are:

This is a lot of reading.  I am trying to read four books right now.  Eli, the Good by Silas House, Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer, Concentration by Ernest Wood, and The Christian Home by the Valley View Mennonite Church.  I do a daily Bible study.  I am also attempting to enjoy the magazines and journals I subscribe to – Mothering Magazine, Yoga Journal, Appalachian Heritage, and Fugue.  Reading the blogs I love as well as exploring the new ones, is another reading goal.  Studying up on Kundalini Yoga, keeping up with yahoogroups, Facebook, and email… more reading.  Did I mention I’m an information hound?

I’m feeling like I need to pull back from myself.  I’m healing and seeking and seeking some more.  It’s not a wonder that I am having such difficulty making my mind be still.  Again, I recall… “Cease striving and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10.  In trying to make things easier and more organized, I’m finding that I am slipping into a need for days to be 72 hours long.  I’m becoming more and more tempted to shut it all off for awhile and trying to just listen.  Yet, I need to study and prepare myself to teach my children, practice my yoga, and truly understand my spirituality and religious beliefs.  What gives? Did I mention that I am still trying to write and submit?

How do I stop this momentum?  How do I keep the things of interest and necessity to me to one at a time?  I’ve never been good at balancing my life or organizing it.  I get things done, but I’m wondering if I am not going about it the hard way.  I was gifted in other areas. 😉

In all of this, I see the tremendous blessings in my life.  I have the opportunity to learn about whatever I please, and devote as much time as is necessary and good to my family.  That is a jewel more precious than any diamond.

I’m waiting to listen to a free Waldorf homeschool workshop on teaching Waldorf Math. It starts at 8pm at The Waldorf Connection (http://attendthisevent.com/Modern/?eventid=9671790). We have been so busy this week and throughout the weekend. A dear family who we go to church with and the our children play together lost their mother to cancer. It has been a sad time for our little community, but her life was celebrated. It was most definitely an inspiring life.
John is home for the entire week, including the weekend!!! We are working on moving our chickens to the barn about two football fields distance from the cabin. Getting caught up on the things that go kaput when we aren’t all together has been time consuming.
The girls and I have had some trouble staying in our rhythm with all the staying away from home and extra errands over the last five weeks of John’s busy period. I’ve done the best I can, but I am realizing that our days need some tweaking. I’ve also decided to design our own curriculum for our homeschooling to better suit our needs. I’ll have to write more about that later too. It will still be Waldorf inspired. This lifestyle is working so well for us.
I have also started a new Kundalini yoga set that turned my body to jello today. It was amazingly challenging, and I’m looking forward to the work it will bring about. I’m leading myself without a DVD to try to bring my focus more inward instead of planning incessantly as I tend to do for what is next. “Cease striving and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10. I’m trying.
So, I’m writing this on the fly. I’m not proofreading, but I wanted to say I’ve taken some pictures of our barn renovations and chicken prep, and will post about that really soon. I have plans to post about my schooling decisions too when I get them worked out, and what ever else comes along as soon as possible.

Ms. Angie at The Artist, The Mom bestowed upon me my second blogging award ever!  She is such an inspiration to me in real life and on her blog.  I am flattered at the note she wrote about me and at being on her list.  I went through the other bloggers she awarded, and am humbled to be included.

AwardThe idea behind passing on this award is to list six things that others probably don’t know about me, and then to pass the award on to 5 other bloggers.

  1. I won’t be telling the things I really don’t want anyone to know.  I’m a very private person.  (That’s why this blog has been a huge deal for me.)
  2. Oh, my!  I tell so much here that there isn’t much that I’d be willing to share on this little list that isn’t already known.  I’m honest, so if asked, I answer questions honestly, and when writing about my life I am for the most part an open book.  I think we are all in this life together to learn from one another.  That’s the great thing about blogs too.
  3. I have things that I’d love to do/be, but fear I won’t get to do in this lifetime.  (Some examples are: knitting on a regular basis and learning to use a sewing machine, owning a bookstore, owning a traditional foods cafe, being a doula or midwife, teaching yoga, and owning my own natural health/mama-baby  store).
  4. My husband was only my third real boyfriend ever and my second serious one.  We’ve been a couple since I was fifteen years old and we are best friends.
  5. I’m really shy and introverted unless approached by someone else to talk, then I can talk your leg off.  I rarely initiate a conversation, and I’ve been known to hide because of being too nervous to talk.  However, get me in front of a room of people to teach or speak on a topic and I’m good to go.  I love public speaking.  Though it can get lonely sometimes, I’m really comfortable being on my own… in my own little world.  It’s something I think would be better if I could balance it out with some extroverted activities and IRL friends.  The problem is finding those in the country for an at-home mama.
  6. I love heights.  I love standing on cliffs.  Going up in small airplanes is something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed since childhood.  Rollercoasters are a blast.  I’d bungee jump if given the right opportunity.  I love a good thrilling ride, and the peace of being high up and looking out over earth.

Other Gorgeous Bloggers:

  1. On a Silent Sea –  I adore Alisha’s transparency.  This blog is open about a journey so many of us are not brave enough to take.  In fact, I’ve always been one to shy away from actively seeking some kind of self-improvement until we moved back to the mountains.  I always thought life would do it for me.  Alisha is an inspiration.
  2. Homemade Serenity –  This is a newer blog that I have found and fallen in love with.  It’s comfortable at Simple Mama’s place.  Her pictures are breathtaking, and her approach to life seems so pure.  Her words are a peaceful read.
  3. Life in Slow Motion – I love finding like-minded people in the blogging world.  (I wish I were finding more IRL.)  This blog helps me realize I’m not alone in my goals, struggles, and triumphs as a mama.  It’s a wonderful read.
  4. Green V Neck – I am enthralled by Deb’s sense of humor about everything.  Give her a topic and she can make you life.  Not to mention she is a homeschooling mama and we have many of the same goals.
  5. Fun Mama – She deserves this award for even attempting to be a fun mama.  I love her willingness to share her discoveries with others.

I’ve been attempting to write another post for this week, but life is really hectic right now. We are struggling to find family time because John is so very busy with work and traveling. We are blessed he is able to do so much right now, because usually this is a dry period for us, but it is still hard.
I’m watching the fog roll down the holler this morning, seeing a forecast of rain for trick-or-treat night, and watching two little girls as they seem to be getting sick. 😦 I think it is only a cold.
I will be back as soon as I can focus myself to write something worthwhile.

watermelon

John and Deladis have gone this morning to pick up our new little flock of baby chickens.  I am anxiously awaiting their return and using the time with just Ivy and I to get some computer work accomplished – thus blogging.  From now on, it is a goal of mine to limit my computer time even more than I already do, and to do it at times when the girls are engaged in other activities or sleeping.  Lately, with trying to find our true, tuned in, natural rhythm, I’ve discovered, with John’s help, that this laptop and the work I do on it has become an intruder – no matter how much I value what I do with my computer time.  It has become a source of frustration for me, and I am seeking to find the best time to work without making it hard on myself or the girls.

I have been privy to numerous conversations on the point of blogs and blogging.  I have heard both extremes and everything in between.  It ranges from bloggers are only attention seekers and those who read blogs are voyeuristic no different than those who dig bad reality television, to blogs are the future of spreading true, to the moment news and documenting real history and those who read blogs are seeking to inform themselves from a firsthand source.  A recent conversation that I was a small part of hurt my feelings without anyone intending to.  It happens often in circles of mothers, all scrambling to do it right, that one or another will say something that either knowingly or unknowingly shoots down a woman who is in the boat with them.  It was said that blogs were only self promotion and a strange need of cyber culture to share their personal business with the world, in so many words.

For a minute I thought, oh my gosh, is that what I’m doing without being aware of it? Then, the next minute, I balked and was angry at anyone insinuating that that is what many bloggers do, especially mommy bloggers.  Of course, as always, somewhere in between is the correct place to fall.  Sure, I blog to hopefully gain some readers for the writing I do away from this site and to make folks aware of my efforts with writing and cultural preservation.  If that is self promotion, then so be it.  However, I would blog here even if that weren’t my goals.  Motherhood, for me, here has been sort of isolating.  Finding women to talk with who share similar ideas as mine is a difficult task.  I so value any conversation with other mothers no matter their style of parenting, but the fact of the matter is, there isn’t much of a network going on in my area.  That is the one thing I miss most of all about the city.  I spent so many years without making friends in Louisville and then I had a baby and a wonderful world of networking, attachment parenting/natural family living mothers opened their arms to me.  Now, I read blogs of mothers like me.  There is a need to know that you aren’t alone in the world – that someone is sharing your struggles and victories.  There is a need to be part of conversations with those who share your interests.  I blog to be a part of the larger picture.

I gain so much valuable information from blogs.  I read very few of them actually, and the ones I do are chalk full of information that I can use and digest quickly as a busy mother with little reading time.  If I ever find that my blog is not providing anything worthwhile other than tidbits of things that should be kept to ourselves, like the countless Facebook and Myspace status posts of “I’m taking a shower and then laying down with my man” or “I’ll be at Wal-Mart, then the grocery store, then home”, I’ll shut it down, print what I want to save for the girls to read when they are grown, and take it off the web.

Technology is not as welcome in our home as in most modern homes today.  We limit everyone’s television viewing.  We don’t have cable or satellite.  We have one ancient barely working cell phone.  No Ipod.  No video gaming system.  We don’t miss or want those things, though sometimes a working cell phone would be nice with unreliable vehicles.  I didn’t even know what the internet was until college, so to lump all people using computers into the cyber generation is a longshot.  I squirm at the thought of paper books, magazines, and newspapers being replaced with computer screens.  I’m old fashioned in this way and always will be.  Finding blogging was much by chance, and I’m not sorry.

So, in the meantime, I will leave you with the glorious new flower I’ve discovered around our cabin.

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed

This is Joe Pye Weed.  It stands about 7 feet tall in most places around the cabin.  It is named for a Native American healer who used it to treat typhus.  It has other medicinal uses as well.  All the beautiful foliage around here makes me want to learn what to do with them.  I wanted to share this one with you as I find it exceptional and it has a neat story.

I’m also considering a new look for this site.  I’m not sure if what I have now is boring.  Let me know what you think.

I am exhausted yet I keep on going… somehow.  Ivy has been having trouble sleeping at night and last night was a bad one.  All four of us were up by 5:00 this morning.  Ivy tosses and turns all night, then she wakes, sits up in the bed and cries and/or babbles.  I wake up feeling like I’ve been in a tag team wrestling match and my hopes of quitting coffee in the near future have changed to sometime in the future.

I have also been informed by some bloodwork we had done that Ivy is slightly anemic.  So, I’ve been reading up on that at Nourished Kitchen and Cheeseslave.  Then, comes the decision of whether to use the supplemental drops along with the multivitamin with iron she already eats everyday.  I don’t want to overdo it.  The optimal choice would be to try to get her to eat more iron rich foods, but see… her appetite is hit or miss.  Not sure.  You gotta love those difficult mothering decisions.

The other excitement keeping both John and I busy is the preparation for a duo presentation to a group in Louisville on Appalachian culture.  John is presenting art and music of the mountains. I will be presenting Appalachian literature, and I am so excited to get to share information about authors from the Kentucky mountains.  I love talking culture and I can’t wait to give my take on the literature of our area in terms of where it has been and where it is headed.  I’m also going to share the URLs to some Appalachian themed or written blogs.

Mountain Muse

Blind Pig and The Acorn

The Breeder Files

Thrifty Southern Mama

Hazard’s Glory Years

Appalachian Lifestyles

Appalachian History

I’m even more thrilled that I get a day with my husband that is just the two of us.  A long car ride, we’ll stop at Whole Foods to stock up on those grocery items we can’t find here, and then home again.  Time to be a couple with John is something I’d like to experience a little more often than we do.

I have to admit that there is great satisfaction in having this opportunity to work a little and help John provide for us.  I believe I have accepted that right now isn’t going to be the time that I will have regular pay coming in.  Being an at-home mother is a choice I will never regret.  My job as a mother is the one that needs my full attention at this stage of our lives.  However, though my progress may be slow and staggered out, I am not hindered from working toward my goal of eventually working as a part of Haywood Art – the writer part. 🙂  Things will fall into place when the time is appropriate.

I sit here writing with heavy eyes and so many thoughts of things I need to do, should do, and would like to do.  I’m thinking of family I haven’t gotten to email or talk with in awhile, books I want to read, research on homeschooling and yoga I’d like to do,  and stories, essays, and novels I want to write.  I’d never in a million years have thought, when I sat bored in my room wishing for a way out of the holler and to the movie theater with my friends as a teen, that a person could be this busy here.  I love it that we live and learn.

I was happy and honored to receive notice that I earned the Kreativ Blogger Award from Sunnydaytodaymama.  I love her blog!  She often reminds me to cut back on my words, and her photos are stunning.  Her recent posts on education and parenting have really spurred me onward in my goals for myself and my family.

kreativ_blogger

Here are the rules of this award:
1. List 7 things that I love
2. Link back to the blog that awarded it to me
3. Choose 7 blogs to award as ‘Kreativ Bloggers’
4. Comment at each blog to let them know they’ve been chosen

7 Things That I Love:

  1. God and the world created for us to enjoy.
  2. My husband and all he does for us.
  3. My lovely little girls and being with them everyday.
  4. Our cabin on the creek.
  5. The Appalachian Mountains
  6. Writing
  7. Yoga

My Choice for the Kreativ Blogger Award

  1. The Breeder Files
  2. Mountain Muse
  3. On A Silent Sea
  4. Thrifty Southern Mama
  5. Green V Neck
  6. Gems: Mining in the Morning
  7. These Are Days
  8. The Artist The Mom
  9. Waiting for the Click
  10. exhale…return to center

I can’t choose just 7.  I had a hard time stopping with 10.  All of these blogs nourish me from time to time.  There are so many more.

This is all I have today.  I’m spent and I need to take a little time for myself.  I’m planning to post about sourdough bread soon, and days in and days out (of course).  Thanks ya’ll for reading.  It means a great deal to this mama.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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