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Ivy has been sick since Thursday night.  Fever and coughing.  I’m reluctant to call it the flu as no one else in our house has had those symptoms, but Ivy has been real poorly.  After sleepless nights keeping a check on the fever, it was amazing to wake up Saturday morning to see the ground covered in snow and huge chunky flakes falling from  the sky.  Both of the girls stood at our picture window mesmerized for the longest time.

Because Ivy is so sick, and we didn’t receive the best gravel job on the new road from the gas company, we decided it would be best to stay at my mother’s in case we needed to take Ivy to the ER.

The willow in Mom's yard and Lydia's (my step-dad's dog) doghouse. She's in there full of pups. Due Christmas Eve.

The wettness left from the rain we’ve had this last week caused the snow to lay in blankets over everything.  It was so beautiful.  I haven’t been able to shake my melancholy since my last post, and just seeing it filled me with a white peace for awhile.  There isn’t anything much more gorgeous than seeing a crown swooping from a white branch onto a ground covered in snow.

Maple in Mom's yard, planted when I was 12 or 13.  Just a stick then.

These hills are home in every season.  Home because they are real.  Life here is real.  It is these solitary moments – the in breath – that takes me through my days lately.

I want to thank all of you who left a comment of well wishes on my last post.  I appreciate it.  If you don’t mind, please pray for or send healing thoughts to my Ivy.  She’s so puny.  I will rise up… one day, I will.

Such is the way of the world

You can never know

Just where to put all your faith

And how will it grow?

Gonna rise up

Burning black holes in dark memories

Gonna rise up

Turning mistakes into gold

Such is the passage of time

Too fast to fold

Suddenly swallowed by signs

Lo and behold

Gonna rise up

Find my direction magnetically

Gonna rise up

Throw down my ace in the hole

-Eddie Veddar, “Rise” music from the motion picture Into the Wild

It is really apparent to me that I need a break.  Just a break.  A mama break.  Time to unwind.  It’s 11:30 at night on the day before we make our big annual trip to Paducah, Kentucky to visit John’s Granny and Papaw, aunts, uncle, and cousins.  I’m so excited that I have been asked to make some things to bring this year!  Maybe this means I’m growing up. 😉  So, tonight, I’m baking.  I’ve made sweet potato and raisin cookies and sourdough bread from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook, and a coconut oil fudge recipe I got from a message board.  At about midnight, I’ll put in the blueberry muffins.  In the morning, I’m making a pumpkin pie.

I’m looking forward to this trip.  I love John’s family as much as I do my own.  They are precious to me.  The trip will also give me time to reflect on what is and isn’t working in my mothering.  I have decided that I need an information purge.  I first read about the concept on Alisha’s blog – On a Silent Sea, and her journey through reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  She posted the idea on August 19th.  It has taken me this long to get the guts to try it.  Since we are going to be away for the weekend, I think it is the perfect time to start.

My biggest issue is the internet.  I never used to use it like I do since we moved.  I resented it really.  I hated the thought of computers taking the place of books with pages, sticking your nose right in the binding and taking in the scent of paper and ink, flipping, marking, and highlighting your way through.  I hated the internet for being trendy, the knew “thing”.  Yet, here I am right in the middle of it.  I don’t feel so strongly about it anymore, and I have come to see how useful it can be, especially to a mama who is kind of isolated in her beliefs and relationships.  That mama being me.

I live four and a half hours away from my best girlfriend and sister.  There are no more weekends on her couch watching TV, eating, and talking about what goes and who gives.  I am no longer close to the only Waldorf School in Kentucky, and therefore am missing out on that community.    The attachment parenting group that I am a member of is also far away now, and there’s no more meetings at the coffee house, or VBAC support.  I no longer have the community group meetings with my church sisters and brothers.  These were weekly activities that got me out and into the world when we lived in the city.  Granted, I’d be fine with just the weekends on the couch at Ariana’s, but I needed the rest too.  Despite all the wonderfulness of home, I’m missing the break that these things gave me.  A chance to get out of my shell once and awhile and experience people.

I took the girls to most of these outings, but it was a time to be with others, vent frustrations to people face to face, a time to develop friendship, have meaningful conversations.  Now, most days, the only conversations I have are either short evening ones with John, or on computer message boards.  It has become such that if I have any little issue, my first instinct is to go get advice or look it up online.  Sad, I know.  Useful, yes, but sad.

I’m so not good at making friends.  If you notice, the above activities already put me at a place where there were folks meeting for a purpose, or common goal.  I have such a hard time without that setting.  There aren’t many opportunities for mothers here to get together, and when there are, I don’t see many taking advantage of it.  John and I don’t get date nights.  It is a rare thing that I am doing anything sans the girls.  I simply don’t have childcare throughout the week when most things I would like to attend are going on.  John is busy weekends, so those are out most of the time.  I just don’t have anyone other than family (who work) that I am close enough to to feel unembarrassed to ask about childcare, and no money to pay anyone.  Historically has it most of the time been this way for mothers, or were extended families and communities part of the child rearing?

I drink Yogi Tea and on the little tabs they have a quote from Yogi Bhajan.  Yesterday, my quote was:

Self reliance conquers any difficulty.

While I believe that relying on God is the first thing, I can completely understand what Yogi Bhajan meant here.  The answers lie within ourselves.  God in us.  It’s there if we can shut out all the noise, observe, and listen.  I don’t do that – not at all.

That said, there will be no message boards, Facebook, or crazy internet searches for information for an unset amount of time.  I’m going to use the extra time that will give me to work on my home, my selfishness, and my relationship with the girls.  I’m going to use this time to listen, and come up with my own answers.

I realize these last few posts have been lots of words and no photos.  I will do better as soon as I am able.  I also apologize for the typos in the last post that I haven’t had the chance to fix yet.  I don’t know if letting others spend time in my head is interesting or not, but that’s what’s on my mind, and I’d like to tell someone.

I’ve been guiding myself through my yoga practice the last six days with a set from the back of The 8 Human Talents by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.  The music I have chosen, because I don’t have any yoga music, is Eddie Veddar’s work on the soundtrack to the movie Into the Wild.  If you have never seen the movie, it is beautiful, breathtaking, and based on a true story.  I love Pearl Jam and have since they became a band.  I believe Eddie Veddar to be the best lyricist possibly who ever lived.  There are two songs that seem to sing from a place where I am at now… Here they are for you.  I hope you enjoy them.

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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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