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It is very tempting to make this my last post.  It has been a year.  I’ve blogged for a whole year!  At the same time, I feel like life is changing for me.  A period is ending and another beginning.  Seasons are literal things.

This week Betsy, with the Appalachian Cultural Project, spent Sunday through Wednesday with us off and on.  It made me a little nervous being as private and backward as I am – often socially inept.  Honestly, I’m a bit exhausted just from thinking about the whole experience.  I’m sure Betsy is as well.  I talked her leg off.  I tried to explain everything thoroughly.  I feared portrayal through a lens that didn’t understand our reasons.  Betsy was respectful, and always asked if a subject matter might be questionable.  Really, what was there to fear?  Judgment comes whether we ask for it or not, and those who get their kicks from judging will do so despite our efforts to help them see beyond limitations.

It is hard sometimes being Appalachian.  It is hard being Appalachian and then still not fitting into any of the neat compartments within that term.  My whole life, when in contact with outsiders I’ve dealt with my speaking being corrected, asked if we have electricity, indoor toilets, and if we wear shoes at home.  I’ve heard people within our own home state say to others… “We’re from ______, the civilized part of the state.”  I’ve seen people’s perception of me change as soon as I open my mouth.  I’m a student of English literature.  In fact, I hold two degrees in that area, one of them being a graduate degree.  I don’t need correcting.  I know the proper pronunciation of the speech I choose.  If I did not, I would ask, admit to not knowing, or not use the word.  I also am not ashamed of where I am from.  I make no apologies to that extent.

Then, there is my identity within the identity.  We live in our tiny cabin.  Right now, the plan is to homeschool.  We don’t have cable or satelite TV.  I don’t have a cell phone, though I could use one.  We try to avoid fast food.  We play banjos, fiddles, and flat foot in the mornings.  We love our families, and weave our ideas in and out amongst theirs.  Gardening is a huge goal.  We want goats, and by cracky, those hens better start laying eggs soon, or they could end up on the plate.  None of these choices are to set ourselves apart from others,or to judge other choices.  It is only listening to our heart.  What is right for me is right for me, and if it isn’t I’ll change.

I can no longer call our homeschool choice Waldorf.  We are surely Waldorf inspired, but we are eclectic.  Come fall, Deladis will be learning her letters and simple numbers, along with long hours outside, art projects, her dance, and lots of music.  Delaying academics for her isn’t fitting in the flow of things.  She’s ready and asking.  I won’t try any more to fit a mold.

I won’t try to have a perfect yoga practice, or a perfect devotional period everyday.  I will have my practice and devotional everyday possible, listening to my needs and the urgings of my Creator.

I will continue to work hard at my new callings.  I will continue to learn and be taught.  I will try my best to listen to Truth and my intuition instead of ignoring it and second guessing.  I will do my personal best in all my pursuits.  I will love the people of my region and do all I can to offer myself as they/we need.  I will love those outside of my region and listen to their issues and share ours with them.

So, as I explained to Betsy why we have a busted fridge on our patio, and why there is a pile of scrap in the side yard.  As I exhausted myself making apologies for my lack of home organization and the sulfur orange stains in our tub, toilet, and sinks from tainted well water, I learned something.  It doesn’t matter.  There is a story behind us all.  All of us.  My job is to protect and love my family, the integrity of the services I am now offering to pregnant mamas and their families, and to understand as best I can that “the sun shines on everyone.  It doesn’t make choices.” (Snatam Kaur)  This won’t be my last post.

The picture CD I got from Betsy didn’t work in my PC. 😦  Hopefully, I will be able to share some of them with you soon. It also looks like that as of now, none of our pictures have made it to the ACP website.  You should look at the gorgeous pictures that are there though.  Betsy does have two up on her blog if you would like to see them.

I’m not a poet, but this day is poetry.

Releasing bonds and feeling myself in the space I’ve been led to take.

My mind churned all night from happiness.

Today, I woke to warmth and joy filled little girls.

Walks to the barn, marveling at such tiny little hens,

Songs, rhymes, small peat pot green houses and quick sprouting seeds;

Digging in the dark winter full dirt,

Swinging feels like flying.

Mommy can still hang upside down from bent knees, climb a tree and feel it grasp me back, enjoy wind in my hair, relax in height, and allow the Fix-It-Up-Chappy to make me a star bellied Sneetch.

We rest with smiles and the relief that seasons bring.

There was real joy in this last day of summer for myself and the girls.  I started going through our clothes, changing the breezy summer attire for the more cozy fall duds.  I actually got rid of half of my wardrobe of clothes – the chest of drawers is next.  Everything that is too big for me had to go.  I’m letting go of the fear that I will need those clothes again.  I’m residing in the fact that I will not.

For the last few weeks, we’ve been doing a fall theme for our Circle Time and our daily activities for homeschool.  Instead of changing after a week, I decided to draw this one out.  With all the festivals coming up and holidays, I thought it would be wonderful to have our own family festival as a culmination of the awareness our verse, songs, walks, cooking, and art are bringing to the natural change of season. (An non-original idea inspired by Heaven on Earth.) John is going to be horribly busy for the next few months, so I’m not sure when we will be able to have it.  I’ll have to plan well.

Today, we finished our leaf spiral.  Deladis worked on learning to use scissors while I traced and cut out paper leaves from the ones we gathered on our daily walks.  Deladis then glued them to the spiral we cut from construction paper.  We hung it in the kitchen.  I’m loving having these little projects decorating our cabin.

leafspiral

Our four bean plants are full of beans, so I took the girls outside and we picked our third mess of this late season.  Deladis and I picked, and Ivy was in charge of putting them in the basket.

dbeans

Ivybeans

These beans have the best flavor, but they are the toughest beans to string.  The last basket full took over an hour to string, and I still missed some.  I didn’t worry about the mud from the drizzle that came down all day.  The three of us wore the earth like a badge of dedication to work as fun.  I was pretty amazed that the cabbage seeds I planted are up and doing well despite our neglect of them.  I’m going to have to go in and start taking better care of them now.  Get the hoe out.

There is an aromatic plant around the cabin that is just starting to flower.  The scent is very much like mint, but with a tartness.  I know this plant has to have a good use.  The more I take notice of what grows wild here, the more I wish I could have someone come and show me what to do with it.  This one is in our garden amongst the beans.

pmint

It’s beautiful.  If you know what it is, please share it with me.

The earlier darkness has helped the girls find sleep easier tonight.  I will wake up tomorrow with a smile on my face.  Tomorrow we’ll go to the library and find books on autumn, squirrels, apples, and pumpkins.  We’ll go to the produce stand and get a few bags of apples and maybe try drying some.  I might even let the girls have one last Hawaiian Ice before the shack closes for the season.

On day 3 of my 40 days of commitment, I’m realizing just how much I dislike housework.  I want to use the word “hate”, but I refuse.  For, it is not my conscious mind that holds the dislike.  In fact, I want to like my housework.  I like other types of work that are similar to this.  I love tending the chickens, even cleaning their poopy nest boxes.  I love it!  I love turning the compost with a shovel borrowed from our landlord because we haven’t bought proper tools.  Seriously, I find joy in it.  Planting and hoeing the garden is another great joy.  I also absolutely love to cook.  However, put me at the sink to wash dishes, and I’m a wreck of nerves.

It is something deep down that causes me to have anxiety when trying to keep a tidy house.  I’ve been trying to find the source of that, so I looked to my childhood.  My mother didn’t seem to enjoy her housework.  She was too tired from her job, and I saw how she became aggravated when cleaning.  Then, there was the power struggle of my teen years and the begging for me to clean my room.  Other women I’ve been in close contact with, have been obsessive about cleaning, to the point of being militant.  If you found yourself having to help in the work, be careful and pay attention.  If it’s not done right, they’ll take your head off.  And then, I came to John’s mother and found an example of what I would like to be when it comes to homemaking.  She keeps an immaculate home, which I’m not aspiring to with two small children in the house.  What I do love about her is that she really does seem to enjoy cleaning and keeping things tidy.  I want that ease when it comes to that kind of work.  I’d love for my housecleaning to be a time of focus and almost meditation.

What happens to me now?  I feel my pulse rise.  I get the feelings of butterflies in my stomach, and I find myself ready to lash out.  It comes from somewhere deep inside and housework is the trigger.  No, I’m not lazy.  I’m a hard worker, and wouldn’t be anything but that.  I really don’t know other than seeing people view housework as a discipline tool or a burden until later in my life, where it could have come from.

When thinking of Waldorf inspired homemaking and education, how we approach our housework is really critical.  I’m realizing for the first time how our approach to it will set the tone for how our children will view this type of work.

As we wash the morning dishes, sweep the floor, dust the furniture, let’s ask ourselves what our child sees in our gesture.  Does he see care in our bodily rhythm as we bend toward the task, or does he see a hurried duty?  Does he see pleasure in the task, or resentment?  Because the young child learns by imitation, he will imitate not only our physical gestures, but also our “inner gesture”.  We can teach our child to enjoy the rhythmic activity of the care of his toys and playthings by our own conscious enjoyment of the care of our home.  As we bring our conscious presence to the rhythm of these tasks, we give our child a dual gift: a sense of purpose and presence in the rhythms of daily life.

Sharifa Oppenheimer, Heaven on Earth

I read this and realized how my actions were impacting not only myself and how I viewed my day to day, but also my children.  It’s not a wonder why Deladis won’t participate without coaxing in tidying her room.  She sees the stress it causes me and wants no part of that.  Now, I’m wondering how we change years of deeply grained habit.  I suppose little by little.  I’m trying to be conscious of my feelings when they arise, and to talk myself out of them or meditate through them.  There’s not a reason that cleaning up after our family should put me into hypertension.

I have to start somewhere.  I will start with acknowledging that I love the look of a tidy, clutter free home.  I will say I don’t mind sweeping or laundry so much.  I can say that there is nothing else that absolutely has to be done in my day aside from taking care of the girls and John, so there is time for it.  It’s a start.

I’ll use this as inspiration.

My favorite kitchen of the day in the Worcester House at New Echota

My favorite kitchen of the day in the Worcester House at New Echota

A little girl's room - very few "toys" - I loved it, so simple and pure as was the boy's room

A little girl's room - very few "toys" - I loved it, so simple and pure as was the boy's room

It wasn’t until my adult life and the city experience that I learned there was any other way than the Kentucky mountain way to fix green beans, or breeds of green beans that didn’t have large bullets (seed) in the pod.  It was odd to me that someone would simply steam their green beans, pick them early from the vine for the crisp thin pod, or squirt lemon juice over them.  Green beans in a salad was something I hadn’t seen before.  I had a hard time accepting there were people that liked green beans made without fatback bacon, bacon grease and salt and pepper.

Homeschooling the girls is opening my eyes to a lot of things.  We’ve been on the homeschool rhythm for a month now, and I’m even reluctant to call it a “homeschool” rhythm.  Naming it something other than our daily rhythm has helped give it priority for me.  It is now important enough not to neglect.  This rhythm has made me more conscious of involving both the girls in my chores and I have been pleasantly surprised at what they are capable of at such a young age.

We picked our first mess of green beans from our vines on Sunday.  A few days ago I decided to break them up and string them so we could have fresh beans for dinner.  At first, I was going to do the stringing and let Deladis break them, but she wanted to string too.  I showed her quickly as I kept the pace of our work.  She caught on so fast and when I looked up again she was meticulously pulling the strings down the pods and breaking the finished bean.

beans 1

I continued to work and was glad to share this with her.  This is real tradition right here folks.  Women and men in the mountains have been sharing the work of bean stringing since they came to the hills.  I can’t describe how my heart swelled with joy that my child taught me that she was ready and capable to learn this task.  I didn’t really teach her at all.  She learned through imitation.

beans2

She was so proud when we were finished.  I double checked the beans as there is nothing worse than a pot of stringy beans, and she did pretty good.  They were still a bit stringy when we ate them later, but not too bad.

To cook a mess of fresh green beans Appalachian style, you prepare them as we did here, then, follow these instructions.

  1. Cover the broken and strung beans with just enough water to be even with the beans.
  2. Place a generous amount of bacon grease (some folks use peanut oil).
  3. You may also add fatback (fatty salt pork) and cut onion, but that’s optional.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring the pot to a boil.  Turn down the heat then let simmer 2-4 hours depending on the amount of beans.

When the beans are cooked through they will be soft but not mushy.  They will be much darker in color and the bullets (seed) will have turned brown in most cases.  Common breeds of beans grown in the mountains are white half runners (probably the favorite), fall beans both white and speckled, October beans, Kentucky Blue Wonder, Creasy (Greasy) Beans, and bush beans.  The beans you see in these photos are Kentucky Blue Wonders.

Green beans like this are a wonderful summer and fall meal with cornbread, fresh cut tomato and cucumber,  roastin’ ears (corn on the cob) and fried potatoes.  It is definitely a fresh meal of substance when there isn’t meat available.  November was usually hog killing time in the mountains and that was the main meat source for the mountaineer.  Chicken and cattle were too valuable for other purposes to eat often.  Pork chop or tenderloin is also a good addition to this meal in the fall when you need heartier fare.

Another great way to make green beans is called shucky beans in most families with which I am familiar, but many Appalachians call them leather breeches. (Tipper at Blind Pig and the Acorn has a great post on leather breeches.)  These are dried beans and must be soaked overnight and cooked slow until tender once again with the same added ingredients as the fresh beans.

Enjoy!  We sure did. 🙂

The weather of the last three days has made me high on life, I tell you what.  Those cool breeze days are coming closer everyday.  🙂  The girls and I are experiencing rocks and gemstones this week with our Little Acorn Learning curriculum, and being outside these last days has been perfect.  While the girls washed some stones we had collected by the creek, I decided to start clearing up the garden, chicken coop, and working on our compost pile.

We’ve made several poor attempts at composting.  The first was dumping old food in the same spot in the back yard.  Our dog would come by and eat it all up, so our pile never grew.  Then, we decided to make a real attempt when we still had our little flock of chickens, so we made the pile bigger.  (Lack of research and thinking you already know how to do something isn’t always a promising adventure.)  John pitched some outdated chicken legs into the pile raw, and in a few days we had maggots like I have never seen before.  The stench was gawd awful.  I would go on to describe it in detail because the image is burned into my brain, but I will spare you.  So, we destroyed that pile.

Lately, I’ve slowly been researching composting a bit more, asking questions of those who know a bit about it, and we have a true compost heap.  I can’t call it a pile anymore because when composting without a container, you need a heap for it to work.  Today, I did most of the work to make it into a heap.  It now is the height of my knees.  I’m 5’8″.

It started like this.

compostThe point is to create enough moisture and heat to turn the organic matter into a rich, crumbly, earthy scented dark soil.  This soil can then be used as topsoil in the garden and around plants to give them more nutrients.  In organic gardening it is a must (we didn’t use it this year) because the nutrients it provides helps plants become strong enough to fight off diseases and naturally repel whatever might destroy them.

It can take quite awhile for compost to be ready, but with daily attention and aerating, you can have compost in 4-6 months.  That’s my goal.  When spring comes again, we’ll have compost.

I was most pleased to find out that you can compost shredded paper and cardboard.  We don’t have a recycling center in our county, so we collect our recycling wherever we can find the room to stash it until we can make a run to the next county for disposal.  It piles up fast.  I hate throwing away anything that could be recycled.  Now, we can recycle the paper stuffs ourselves.

The following websites helped me figure it all out.  There are several different ways to start a compost.  I wanted simple and free.  I can make a pile of layered material.  I can be a brut and turn the pile.  I ain’t afraid of hard work.  I am afraid of technicalities and costs.

Garden Guides – Guide to Composting

Dave’s Garden – Household Composting

We also have good news that we are going to be getting some new chickens soon.  They are just old enough to identify the sex.  Shredded paper is great for their nest boxes, and I’ll then compost the poopy bits. 🙂

I’m excited about trash.

If my mother asks for me

Tell her death done summoned me

I’m going to meet her at the station when the train comes along.

– Mike and Peggy Seeger (American Folksongs for Children, Rounder 1977)

A great name in traditional music passed on August 7, 2009.  Mike Seeger was the younger brother of the famous folk icon Pete Seeger, and a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers.  Though not originally from the mountains of Appalachia, Seeger did a great deal to pass on and preserve the music of our region.  John and I were fortunate enough to visit with him a few times.

We were looking for a traditional music CD for Deladis and found his American Folksongs for Children. It is one of many recording he has done of traditional music for children.  This one he did with Peggy Seeger.  The liner notes are a great primer on appropriate music for children.  Deladis was around eight months old at that time and really responded to a song with the line “Rose, Rose, and up she rises.”  She smiled and squealed, hearing her name in a song, circling our living room floor.

That June at Appalshop’s Seedtime on the Cumberland, Mike Seeger was a special guest.  I took the CD we had bought Deladis in hopes that I could get him to sign it for her.  I am horribly shy when it comes to certain things, and though Mike Seeger was out and about all during the festival mingling with the crowd, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for the autograph.  I got my dad to do it.  He’s not scared of a thing, and doesn’t care a bit to embarrass himself in front of anyone.  He took the CD with that sly smile of his and walked right up to Seeger.  I watched with Deladis in my arms from my little perch behind John’s art tent.  Seeger signed the CD smiling and laughing with my dad.  Then, I saw both men looking around, and my dad motion for me to come over.  It is easier for me to be introduced then for me to introduce myself, so I went on over.  We shook hands, and then, Seeger took Deladis by the big toe and sung to her her song.  She smiled a glistening grin.  My heart was melted.

Earlier this summer, John was contacted by Mike Seeger and company to be a part of some recording they were doing to document old-time mountain banjo music in the mountains of eastern Kentucky for the Smithsonian museum.  George Gibson was their primary focus, and having learned a lot from him, John was added to the list.  Seeger and his wife spent several days on the creek recording John, George and our friends playing banjo tunes in the various Kentucky styles.  Seeger said he remembered singing to Deladis when he met her again running in the yard by the cabin.  We talked a little on organic gardening and carrots, and again they were off to document.

It is a mysterious thing how quickly one can be full of life and then be taken by death.  It is a strong reminder to me that my work on self is so important.  I’m not afraid of death in terms of being taken from earth.  I want to be certain that everyday I have here counts for something.  I’m not a fan of wasted time.  Mike Seeger did very important work here and I’m sure he loved it.  It is so important for us to be passionate about our work.  As I sit now, listening to the CD of folksongs, my heart is light and my work is easy.  God bless Mike Seeger.

I do believe that I’m chilling out.  I’m becoming more patient.  It is a virtue that I have never had, but it’s coming – I feel it.  A few days ago, I received a sign.

milkCatching up on my writing, while the girls seemed to both be content to play on their own, was my task at hand.  They played in their room and I became absorbed with my work.  It was when things got a bit too quiet that I decided to get up and check things out.  Ivy had left the bedroom, crept into the kitchen, climbed upon the kitchen table, poured out milk, coffee and water on everything, and was using half a bag of napkins to try to clean it up.  I have a very adventurous little girl.  Yes, mommy should have been paying more attention.  Normally, I would freak out.  I’d say things like, “why” in a high pitched voice, immediately remove Ivy from the table, and be angry for a duration of time much longer than required.  I would pine away at my inability to do any sustained activity without Ivy napping, and feel punished for even having attempted it.

I didn’t do that this time.  I laughed.  I laughed, and my heart felt free.  At least my precious baby was trying to clean it up.  I’ve taught her well.  It was my fault, after all, that I neglected to push the chairs under the table after breakfast.  Some things happen for no reason at all.  Was I worried that she could have been hurt?  Not really.  She has very adept climbing skills and she would have hollered for me to get her down when she was finished.  Should I let it happen again?  No, but similar things are sure to come.  It’s the life of a mother and her children.  These feelings are a huge step in the right direction for me.  I’m celebrating. 🙂

Now, for the magic.  I am a firm believer that magic is all around us.  The Creator works in mysterious ways, and there is such glorious amazement to be found in the nature created for us to subdue and enjoy.  Since childhood, I have looked for oddities of nature, not necessarily looking for the whys and hows, just looking to gawk and be in awe.  Folks, I have a secret.  Gardeners for ages have planted various beds of flowers to attract butterflies to their yards.  One might plant beds of aster, marigolds, oregano, mint, and coneflower.

All the fuss and flowers aren’t necessary, gorgeous, but not necessary.  All you need to attract butterflies is poop.  Poop of the rooster and canine variety has attracted varying species of butterflies small and large to our property.  It is a beautiful show of color and dainty, careful flight.  The girls and I walk outside often to be surrounded by the magic of nature flitting here and there, circling us in radiance.

fliesonpoopHere are a smaller variety in all their lavender glory feasting on old man rooster poop.  The larger ones don’t like to be photographed.  Now, how do I answer Deladis’s question?  Why do butterflies eat poop?  It’s magic, honey.  🙂

Autumn is the best season of the year.  It is the time when I feel most at ease.  The weather is soothing.  The atmosphere of the season sparks my creative juices.  Halloween, my favorite holiday, is upcoming, as well as my birthday in October.  I will be an aunt once again at the end of September.  I look forward to the gorgeous starkness of the bluest skies you ever see in the mountains.  I ache for the weeds to die back so I can hike again with John and the girls around the property.  I’m ready.  I’m tired of all the rain and muggy days.  At the Dollar General last night I saw the first signs that I won’t have to wait for long.  The Halloween decorations are out.

I found the perfect curriculum for my homeschool, pre-school year with Deladis.  Little Acorn Learning offers E-books of lesson plans that are Waldorf inspired and affordable.  They are perfect for use with both Deladis and Ivy.  I think the plans, from what I have seen in the samples, will help keep me focused and develop a better rhythm than the one we’ve established in chaos.  Plus, I’m paying for it, so I have to do it or the money will be wasted.  That’s great motivation.  The curriculum is largely based in nature and officially begins in September, which is another reason to look forward to autumn.  I have bought the summer E-book and am waiting for it to be email to me.  It’s exciting and makes me hopeful.

I mentioned before that our fall garden is planted.  We only put out more cabbage and some broccoli in hopes it will be ready by November.  Honestly, I made a mistake in planting the summer garden.  I planted four hills of zucchini, two of squash, and about ten hills of cucumber.  It was far more than we’ve been able to eat or store for the summer, and because most everyone grows a garden in these hills, you can’t hardly give it away.  The two rows of salad lettuce I planted has allowed us to eat salad almost daily and I’ve made several large ones for social gatherings, given some away, and we still have lettuce rotting in the ground.

We could have used more beans, corn, and tomatoes in the ground.  I should have planted more potatoes as well.  These things are easier to store or keep unrefrigerated long term.  I planted half the garden in organic Painted Hills Multicolor Sweet Corn.  I don’t know if it was the seed, the weather, or my novice, but the seeds hardly sprouted and the stalks of those that did are so puny.  The ears we’ve gotten from it are tasty, though.  A blasted raccoon won’t stop ravenging the newly ripe ears.  I’d like to catch him just one time.  Our beans are hardly existing because the plan was a three sisters garden, so the beans would grow up the corn.  Since the corn didn’t do well, we couldn’t plant but one row of beans.  Those are getting their first blooms.

beans2The stalks are so skinny the weight of the beans are bending the stalks to the ground.  We’ve added some strong sticks to help them along, and the beans seem to like that.  We probably won’t have enough beans to put away for winter, but we’ll have enough to eat on for awhile.

beans1Our cabbage should have had large heads weeks ago, but something is eating them up.  I have never gotten a look at what kind of bug it is, so I assume it’s happening at night.  I believe it is some sort of slug.  I’ve sprayed them with soapy water, but it hasn’t done much good.  I planted two more rows for fall, and I hope whatever is eating them now will be dead by the time the fall plants mature.  We love cabbage and sausage, and I want to make kraut.

cabbageThe gloomy look to these pictures completely narrates the mood of the last days.  We’ve been stuck inside, and that aggravates me quickly.  My biggest excitment was going to the doctor this week.  I long, if it’s going to stay summer, to take the girls swimming in the lake.  I want to play outside with them in the creek.  I want to do something different than what I do everyday in this cabin.  Ooo… cabin fever.

*Update:  The rain didn’t come today, and I took the girls to the lake swimming!  Just me and them.  It was a beautiful time and they’ve been asleep since we got home. 🙂

I am shifting my priorities once again as some things are becoming quite clear to me.  My first responsibility is to my family and my home.  That is all there is to it.  Always the needs there come first, and as my daughters are getting older I am needing to grow in some areas of my mothering – most importantly in discipline.  My work around our home needs to continue with added fervor.  As much as I have the grand desire to “be” a writer, I have to realize that I need to have patience with it, and make the time I spend pursuing my writing count.  I’ve wasted too much time in this area of my life, mainly on the computer.  I don’t like being on the computer much, so it’s no wonder that it makes me anxious much of the time I’m on it.  The truth is I “am” a writer whether or not I am spending eight hours a day writing or only two doing it.  As long as I am working toward something, progress will be made.

Yesterday, I harvested all the remaining scallions and carrots.  They were turning too ripe in the ground.  carrotsI scrubbed clean and topped all the carrots and washed and and chopped all the onions.  I ended up with 3 gallons of carrots and 3 pint bags of chives and a gallon of bulbs.  John is hoeing the area where these were planted as I type this, and we are going to put in some fall crops.  I have plenty of seed for the planting.

I also am putting away more cucumbers as pickles.

pickles2We ate some on our burgers last night.  They are so yummy!  Check out the newest post at Nourished Kitchen today to learn more about ferment canning and pickles.

With all the changes going on in my mind, and some regret, my thoughts are scattered over here and yonder.  I’m torn between little time and all the things I love because of this feeling of immediacy.  My children will only be small once.  My husband and I will only have this year together once.  I only have so much time to pursue all these dreams.  Time is so infinite and yet so finite as well.  I wonder if it is wrong of me to place so much value to what I do while a resident of earth.  It doesn’t matter in the end… does it?  I mean, as long as I leave the smallest of footprints, serve the God of my beliefs, and raise the next generation well.  Anything else is a side note.

Other than my family and my home, my next priority has to be to my health in both the physical and emotional aspects.  I have another doctor’s appointment coming up to re-check my thyroid.  I never thought I’d say I look forward to a doctor’s appointment, but I do.  I’m tired of not feeling normal.  In seeking health, have really developed a fondness for yoga more and more as the days pass.  It is a great form of combining the physical with the spiritual.  I feel like I am more open to hearing God, and I find myself seeking my Creator with a renewed enthusiasm.  Yoga is perfect for the busy mama in that in its true essence you are combining the physical, mental, and spiritual components of your body into union.  You are destressing, becoming fit, and praying all at the same time.  Yoga means “union”.

When my family is happy, my home comfortable, and I am at peace with myself and the life my God would have me to lead, then anything else I want to do in my life will have a stronger foundation.  It will grow from a place of confidence.  It won’t manifest out of some fear that if I don’t do it now that it will never happen.  The final product of anything I do in the creative realm will be better.

sunflowerGrowth is the ultimate goal… for all of us.

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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.

November 2022
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