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I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.  The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.

-Psalm 121

This week has been a rough one, but also one of joy.  I was witness to another birth of a baby boy. 🙂  We celebrated Deladis’s fifth birthday (pictures to come), and I received my test results for my bloodwork.  I haven’t had a lot of time, and this next week will be busy as well.  I’m just trying my best to keep up.

The bloodwork says I have low blood sugar, my adrenals are shot, of course there’s my thyroid, and a few other minor things.  The low blood sugar is a shocker.  From what I understand it is connected to the function of the adrenals as well.  So, one is causing the other, or one is the symptom of the other.  I think the adrenals came first.  Anyway, I have to see another doctor Wednesday that is about an hour away.  I’m supposed to eat every two hours, which is going to be very difficult for me to do.  I just don’t get hungry like that.  I’m one that eats breakfast at 8am and doesn’t eat again sometimes until 2 or 3pm.  I do have this shake stuff to drink in between meals to help regulate my blood sugar, so that will help.

The most depressing thing for me is that I have to be off of dairy for 3 weeks.  I didn’t show an allergy, but she expects that I might be having some sensitivity to it because I’m not digesting well.  Have I ever mentioned that I love dairy?  I truly don’t know what I’m going to eat now.  I live off of milk products.  Now, this isn’t good from a traditional foods standpoint, because pastuerized and homogenized milk is so tampered with that it is hard for any human being to digest or utilize properly.  I don’t have access to raw milk products, and that is one piece of eating traditional foods that I have never been able to adopt.  Rather than go without dairy, I just ate conventional dairy.  I have been pointed in the direction of the PETA website called Milk Sucks.  I suppose I need to check it out.  I know conventional dairies are cruel.  I know these three weeks won’t kill me, but…. Did I mention I love dairy????

I have been having these episodes of dizziness and such that is related to my blood sugar, and I’m tired.  I’m lifting my eyes to the mountains, and pushing onward.  Whatever manifests in our body has its beginnings in our inner work.  I believe that thoroughly.  Healing is a time of inner work as much as it is getting well physically.

I posted a comment on Mama-Om and she was gracious enough to share with me some of her experiences with being a parent and not feeling well.  I wanted to share them here.  Sometimes I think us mothers tend to hide our pitfalls, and things that aren’t just so.  There’s nothing to hide.  Mothers are people afterall, and we all have work to do in this life. 

Mama-Om:

Thankful Anyway and Unraveled

“You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.”

– Cochise (“Like Ironweed”) Chiricahua Chief

I’m going to try to speak straight here and everywhere.  We can manipulate language in so many gratifying and harmful ways when we are fluent in it.  We can make the truth read/sound a thousand different ways.  Sunlight too, comes to us in unique and varying ways.  It can be just enough to warm us on a day between fall and winter.  It can beat down on us relentlessly with its burden of heat and sweat.  When words touch our hearts they feed us – our state of being.  They allow us to form opinions, to react emotionally, to prepare for great triumphs or damaging winds.  To render ourselves steadfast.  Cochise just asked that we talk straight.  We talk straight so that our words feed our hearts like sunlight.  So that there is fairness all around.

Summer has become that overbearing master once again.  Restricting us indoors.  The garden is out of control, though still producing well.  Peace from the summer sun is hard to find, and you become a worshipper of conveniences like air conditioning.  Deladis absolutely hates the summer sun, and though she wants to play outdoors, she cannot.  Her skin is really sensitive because of the eczema and she sweats which makes her itch.  Her face turns apple red, and then she starts to feel poorly.  Ivy is restless from being cooped up like the hen and diddles.  She takes an evening run through the living room and into the kitchen, slamming against the door and back again, like clockwork, everyday sometime after dinner.  We only have a wall unit a/c and a fan, and we don’t turn it on until about noon everyday, and turn it off again at night.  Our cabin is not extremely cool.  We try our best to acclimate for summer and winter.  We tend to freeze or burn up when we visit our family.  But, right now, indoors is the safer place for us.  This is the first summer since living at The Confluence that it has been this way.  Though I remember many summers like this.

The sun zaps my energy.  As a child I tried to play softball, and would end up vomitting on the field because the sun makes me sick.  I’m no different now.  It’s why I love the mountainside.  The shade.  The cool breezes.  The altitude.  What is harder on me this summer is that I’m not well.  I’ve been reluctant to post about it here.  I am a believer in what you put out into the world is what you will get back.  People tend to avoid those that don’t feel well… or pity them too much.  I’d rather not deal with either of those things.  Writing about it here is more about talking straight.  Writing about things being difficult, my patience being short, or my being tired all the time would be just complaints without being honest as to why.  I don’t want to complain.  And, I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself. 

John and I do without some things in order that the girls can have them, or that I can stay home and be the primary caregiver of the girls.  One of those things is health insurance.  So, I’ve put off seeing a doctor for a detailed workup of my health for sometime.  However, we’ve saved and worked it out so that now I can, and I am relieved.  I’ve been so angry at the fact that I should be healthier than I have ever been in my life.  My lifestyle, my diet, my physical activity are all joyful and healthy.  Yet, I feel awful many days.  I have horrible headaches that don’t go away, sometimes nagging for days.  I’m always tired.  It’s a challenge to keep up with my chores.  My moods are up and down.  I have stomach aches.  I’m dizzy…. etc…  The doctor says at this point she knows that it is my hormones and my glandular systems that are causing the trouble.  Nothing contagious.  Nothing that keeps me from doing my best.  Tomorrow, I go for a blood draw for something they are calling a whole panel.  This will give her a whole picture and then we’ll go from there. 

I’m excited at the thought of feeling better.  Of restoring my body to proper function.  Healing mind, body, and spirit.  Wholeness.  I know any improvement I experience comes from my Creator, and the journey is of most importance.  It is a way to grow.  It is to be accepted and worked on from a place of peace.  Being able to just go through the outward movements of going to the doctor, getting results, is allowing me to release the anger at the problem.  I’m hoping it will help me to be still as well.   

I suppose I’ll write some about it here because it will be my focus for sometime.  And, as the summer brings other exciting things I’ll have share some of those too.  Opportunities are everywhere right now.  I don’t know whether to chase them all or pick and choose. 🙂  The Creator will give me the work of my day upon the unfolding of it.

Introducing Little LuLu

Have I ever said that I prefer cats to dogs. This one is a darling.

Hi everyone!  I wanted to invite you to my “birth” blog today to check out a three part series I have been working on.  The first post is on the history of childbirth in eastern Kentucky.  I hope you enjoy it.

http://birthtrueblog.wordpress.com

This week has been very difficult for me emotionally and physically, though I’m seeing the light.  I took Ivy to the doctor today and she has a sinus infection.  She has had congestion since before Thanksgiving, so I took the prescription for antibiotics though most doctors in this area don’t do a finger prick to confirm bacteria.  It hurts my heart to give her the antibiotic, but I think it is in order.  I took her for a chiropractic adjustment as well.  She is going to be better soon.  She’s playing with Deladis right now.

A week of ups and downs this has been.  I think I’m going to have some exciting news to share here soon.  I hope so, in one form or another.  🙂  We have had our family portrait made (even with a sick Ivy), and our house is decorated for Christmas.  The girls can’t wait.

With all of the girls’ excitement, this holiday is historically hard for both John and I.  We strive to make it as simple as possible at home, and there is always that feeling of guilt that we can’t buy things for people like they may buy for us.  But, this holiday isn’t about buying things.  It’s about unconditional love from one to another.

I made some of the ornaments for the tree with Deladis this week.  She had fun, but it was stressful for me as Ivy wasn’t happy.  They turned out lovely though, and she is proud of them.  When I can, I will get pictures.

I’ve been thinking about gifts for the whole week in one form or another.  This week I received two blog awards, which I will share when I have more time for a post.  I received a Joel Goldsmith book from another blogger, whom I have never met in person, which was purchased for me.  It blessed my heart.  I have thought of gifts passed.

Today, I was brought back to my time in the city right before we moved home.  Childbirth has been on my mind a lot this week.  In April2008, my homebirth attempt at a vaginal birth after a cesarean section turned into a hospital transfer with a repeat surgery.  As filled with joy as I was at having a healthy new baby, the surgery broke my heart.  Being without many, in real life, mama friends close by has been growing hard for me.  Remembering what happened after that surgery makes me long for that even more.  A group of women that I had become acquainted with online through our similar parenting beliefs, came together and brought me food for two weeks straight while I healed.  It was food made from the heart – homecooked.  Cookies, soups, meatballs, chicken, yummy stuff.  It was left on my doorstep, delivered in person with a second to chat, and placed in my hands with a hug.  That food nourished my in body and soul.  It fed my family when I could not.  I was left feeling cared for.  Now, that was an amazing gift.  Christmas gifts should be like this.

Our winter interactive nature table.

Please visit tomorrow’s post at Waiting for the Click, or today’s for that matter.  It is a great blog.  However, tomorrow I am the featured “click” story. 🙂  I even sent her a nice picture of myself. hehe

This is my final week of being thirty.  At the end of this week I’ll be thirty-one.  A few days ago I discovered my first real gray hair.  It is long and sparkly.  I wonder what my gray hair will be like.  I’ve seen some women with the most beautiful long and luscious gray hair.  There is a seventy-one year old woman in Yoga Journal magazine this month with the greatest head full of gray curls and two cute little braids on each side.  She is so lovely.  So far, I don’t mind getting older.  The thirties have proven to be a very different time for me as of now.  I hope it continues in the direction it is going. 🙂

The weather broke today, and we had a lovely day of sun.  It is too bad that John is so busy preparing for the next two weekends of traveling to Memphis for River Arts, and then Louisiana for the Blackpot Festival.  He’ll be missing my birthday and trick-or-treat. 😦  After this month, our dry time begins, so he has to try to earn as much as he can while there is the opportunity.  Whoo-hoo for self employment in the arts!  Really, he loves it and it allows us a unique lifestyle that is both hard and wonderful.

Today, we started a week around the theme of corn with Little Acorn Learning.  I’m excited about it.  Tomorrow we are going to be making simple corn husk dolls.  For breakfast in the morning we’ll have cornmeal pancakes and fried apples with some sausage.  I can’t wait.  I loved showing the girls, today, about shucking corn, removing the kernals and grinding meal.  I wish we had a hand grist mill.  They are so expensive though.  I saw a coffee bean grinder in the Michael Olaf catalogue Child of the World that was very inexpensive. I wonder if that would work for some flour making?  If I had my preference, most every gift the girls got would come from that catalogue.

There wasn’t much time for being outside today.  We went to the library after spending a half hour at the pharmacy and found some great corn books.  Our library is only one room, but the librarians do their best with what they have and seem to genuinely love their job.  We love the library.

I’m not sure that we’ll have more outside time tomorrow.  The gas company is working on the new road and gas lines on the property.  They have a huge dozer parked in our side yard.  I’m not sure how safe playing outside will be until they are finished.  We are going to work on winterizing the cabin.  We have a condensation and mold problem.  Bad mold problem. 😦  Tomorrow we will be covering the windows with plastic and getting a dehumidifier.  I’m not sure what else will help.  We’ll see.

So, October is going by.  It’s not the best October by far.  We’ve missed going to the Louisville Zoo for trick-or-treat for the first time since Deladis was born, there has been too much rain, and John is so busy.  Yet, it’s okay.  We make the best of things and it works out.  I watch the wonder in the girls’ eyes and try to remember to keep my heart light.  I rested this weekend at my mother’s while John was away.  Deladis got to ride a horse at a birthday party for her friend, and we got to spend my grandmother’s seventy-fifth birthday with her.  Those are great things.  My biggest lesson learned this month is to stop fighting.  Stop trying to make life into something, but experience it as it comes.  Be still.

Cease striving and know that I am God…

– Psalms 46:10

I wanted to avoid even mentioning swine flu on this blog.  I try not to talk too much about my opinions on healthcare and western medicine.  I won’t even do it now as I feel the urge to do.  However, I have heard too many and been a part of too many conversations on this topic.  I am also bombarded with it during what little time I do seek out the news of the day.  I believe we are responsible for our own health in that we need to educate ourselves as much as we can when things like this creep up or when we are prescribed a new medicine, or told we need surgery.  No, we aren’t doctors, but as patients we have the right to be fully informed before taking a doctor’s recommendation.  Doctors are humans too.

So, when it come to the H1N1, here are some resources to look at.  Also, remember to try to look at a balance of sources.  Understand media is hype.  Know that if you are eating real foods, getting enough sleep, and moving your body daily, you should trust your immune system to work properly and help you fight the illnesses you do contract.  That is what it was made to do.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – H1N1 Flu Update

Dr. Bob Sears – world reknown pediatrician and author of The Vaccine Book – Scroll down half the page to find his comments on the H1N1 vaccine.

Dr. Joesph Mercola – New York Times Best Selling Author and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine with oodles of credentials – this is a page of his recent writings on H1N1.

Dr. Jay Gordon, MD FAAP IBCLC – H1N1 Update (Dr. Gordon has been featured on Fox News, Larry King Live and ABC’s 20/20

An Anti-Vaccine YouTube video – This is a song with some good general information as well and old news coverage of 1976.  Yes, it’s relevant as I think the views you look at should be balanced in order to be truly informed enough to make your own decisions and opinions.

I’m not saying that this is an exhaustive list.  I have provided you with a beginning to a bit of research you should do for yourself.  The first in the list is the CDC and the farthest on the right of this issue that I have provided.  They are also an objective resource.  It goes down the line from there with the last resource obviously being the farthest on the left.  I hope this is helpful to you, and I hope it helps you to relax a bit whatever decision you choose to make for yourself.

With three doctors’ visits this week, dealing with insurances and the lack thereof, filling prescriptions that I’m unsure of, and getting completely ticked off at western medicine’s approach to ill health, my mind is left soggy – like a saturated sponge.  I have sat down three times today to write a post and realized I don’t have much to say at all and what I do have to say probably won’t be all that coherent.  Not being negative, just stating the truth.

On A Silent Sea is doing awesome work over on her blog.  She has gotten me thinking with her new pledge of reading deprivation.  A clearing of the mind from outside influences on our creative capacities.  Overload is one reason we moved back to the mountains and in an isolated place.  Off grid was where we wanted to be, so that if we didn’t want to be reached we wouldn’t have to be.  Yet, I’ve found myself getting so excited over so many different things, and wanting to tackle them all at the same time.

This morning John told me I’m dabbling in too many projects and it is causing me to lose focus.  He’s right.  The problem is I have a hard time choosing just one when they are all so inviting and fun.  It leaves me feeling like I’d be losing something.  Maybe, I’m losing something by not focusing on just a few things.  Or, maybe I’m overanalyzing, reading too much, and I need a time away from learning new things.  There should be time for listening to what your heart and mind already knows.  I rarely do that.  Very rarely.

Where we live we are surrounded by mountains on all sides in close proximity to our cabin.  The vegetation is mature and on its downward movement from growing forth from the earth to becoming the earth.  We see no one else’s house.  We are familiar with a family of deer that grazes close by every evening.  Our first tomatoes are on the vines.  Birds of all sorts play in the sunflowers growing in our garden outside our picture window everyday showing off their gorgeous array of styles and colors.  Being off grid invites you to just be, but in my self somewhere lies a part that wants to control things to insure my safety.  I’m constantly reading for entertainment, information, trying to gain more knowledge about whatever is the hit subject at the moment.  I’m afraid to be quiet.  To do nothing but everything.  I have to stop and take the time to just be with my breath.  To listen inside and stop feeding myself with new things that will overload me.  I need to take an inventory.  It’s time.

This week has been nothing but storms and rain.

mist3

Tuesday, I went to a new doctor about my thyroid and exhaustion issues.  I came away with orders to rest and a prescription for Synthroid – a synthetic thyroid hormone medication.  I’ve been taking it now for three days and have been nearly out of commission all three days.  Today(Thursday) has been by far the worst.  I’ve either been on the couch or in bed all day.  I feel spacey, dizzy, nauseated, and physically listless.  My moods have been all over the place, but today I’m generally peaceful.  I’ve tried to get anxious a few times, especially when I realized I just couldn’t muster the strength to exercise, but quickly decided it isn’t worth it.

I have been told by other members of the family who have to take this medication that the way I feel is normal until my body adjusts to the hormones that it has been going without.  I am noticing two positive things since starting the medicine.  It is easier to sleep and my dreams are very vivid, and my breastmilk is letting down faster and my supply of it is up.  I so hope this medicine works for me, because I hate medications and pharmaceuticals are at the top of the list, but I need healing.  I’ve tried the vitamin and herbal supplement route with no results for this particular situation.

mist2

Having been forced to slow down has made me a little reflective.  I’ve played with the girls, given Ivy her first haircut, and written quite a bit on my novel.

1st Haircut - and my poor attempt at using John's professional camera

1st Haircut - and my poor attempt at using John's professional camera

I have only exercised one of the three days and have realized that I am probably overtraining and should take a break.  I’m interested in looking into natural movements and bodyweight exercises to bring myself more into what our body needs naturally when it comes to physicality.  I haven’t cleaned anything in the house, but washed and put away a few clothes.  I am coming to the realization that hormones are powerful things, and in order to be the best I can be at anything, I need to listen to the messages sent to me by the body that I’m in.

Now, I am struggling to find a way to get more sleep.  The doctor said that even if my hormone levels improve I won’t feel better without proper rest.  How does a mother with two children neither of which sleeps through the night and one of whom still nurses find uninterrupted sleep?  I’m forever trying to figure that one out.  I haven’t slept through an entire night without coming to consciousness at least once in four years.  I’ll take any advice you have for me there.

This forced stop has made me forget the momentum of the pressures I have put on myself that did not work.  I am choosing to go with the ups and downs of the day.  I am choosing to listen to the natural rhythms of life.  I am choosing to not just keep my spirituality in mind for a set time in a day, but to parent from a place of spirituality (again thanks to Breedermama).  I’m going to focus on what I do get done in a day and celebrating the little things.  I’m going to spend more time being present with my girls, talking to them and guiding them.  I’m going to work on my novel and not waste time doing meaningless things on the internet or otherwise.  I’m going to work on my house chores a little bit a day and come to terms that I won’t have an immaculate house, and when I do I’ll probably be missing the pitter-patter of the little feet that used to make it so hard to clean.

mist1

One day soon, I’ll feel better.  These endlessly raining days will be over, and I’ll be starting with fresh ground.  All because I was finally forced to stop.

by Ida Lee Hansel

regular guest blogger at http://1939blog.blogspot.com

I feel blessed in so many different ways because God gave my birth time and place in 1930’s Eastern Kentucky, heart of Appalachia, (to me at least). I would have wanted it no other way. My mother was part Cherokee from Walden’s Ridge, Dayton, TN.  My father was of Irish descent, and between those two grandmothers I was steeped in folk tales growing up. Children were fortunate in that Mothers were hard working, God fearing (most of them), excellent cooks, awesome seamstresses, and knew how to encircle their brood with unconditional love they learned from Bible reading. How many times did I get told to me, “The Bible says, ‘train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it’”  That was the basis of their rearing formula. Oh, it erred that is expected, but for the most part the training they gave, along with the hugs, kisses, and motherly pats, kept this child in tow and it has made for the retelling of many stories to my grandchildren.

Living in Appalachia, I learned as a small child what it meant to toil and labor, for we had a garden, made lye soap, made “lasses”, even homemade wine from grapes they grew. My Irish granny always said that a little wine on getting up and a little wine on lying down would keep the blood flowing. I laughed at that, and they smoked clay pipes, cob pipes, roll your own cigarettes from Bull Durham, Buffalo, and so many others that came in draw string pouches or cans. (They lived to a ripe old age too, or most of them did).

I found out by being born and reared in Appalachia the meaning of the words “unrequited love” and “neighborly”. People loved people; neighbors loved neighbors; doctors loved patients; time was of the essence for most people for they got up at the crack of dawn and went to bed before the sun set; however, if a neighbor needed help, they were there, no questions asked, no procrastination, they were there. Even upon the loss of a loved one, the neighbor women were called in to “lay out” the body and get it ready for burial because there was no means in the early years of my life for a body to be preserved for a “wake” or “sitting up” ritual, that came later in my childhood. All in all, Appalachian women were the backbone of the early American life, they did the work of men, they carried and birthed the babies, they canned food, they made lye soap, heated their water in big wash tubs, washed clothes, hung them out to dry, gathered them, ironed them with irons they heated in the hearth ashes and by hearth flames; they doctored their families, other families; they cooked meals fit for a king, and enough to pass around in the neighborhood, and even for strangers that passed by; yes, when a stranger passed, I never knew of my Appalachian women not asking, “Come in, rest yourself, and let me give you a plate of food and a good glass of cold milk”. I don’t recall it ever being turned down.

Where did all that love and kindness go with the passing of time; unconditional love was cast by the wayside it seems and now one barely has time to pat their youngster on the head or give their wife a smack as they leave out the door. My clothes were homemade, and there was nothing like a flour sack made into cloth, dyed and laundered, lace added, to make one a beautiful dress that could be worn to a ball. I never wore underwear made of sacks though, or I don’t recall anyone that I knew that did.  I got to go to Uncle Garrett’s grist mill and watch while he took our corn and ground it into meal. I loved going in the back of Uncle Noah’s wagon up the “holler” to the “mill”.  It was a good day and I always looked forward to it. I also loved when Uncle Noah would come by in his wagon loaded with veggies from his garden and he would pick me up and let me ride with him as he sold his veggies.  It was a ride worth taking.  Also, we didn’t own a vehicle, walked everywhere, but on Sundays I got to ride to Typo Ky to visit or to Jeff, Ky. To visit, by train; that is a story all in itself, but all in all not having a vehicle, in the grand scheme of things, never harmed me one bit.When I got sick, Mom or Granny also had a remedy, long before the word Homeopathic (sp); whatever ailed me, they had a cure and if they had to call for a doctor, they did, and paid him with taters, onions, veggies, etc. and he went away happy.

Those were the days, and I am afraid those days will never pass my way again and that is what hurts, my children and grandchildren did not get to live the good life, but they surely have heard about it.  We played in the streams and creek beds, free of pollution of any kind and so clear the minnows could be seen playing beneath the water; we roamed the hillsides looking for wildflowers of all different kinds, and made playhouses using moss as a lush green carpet, stones for furniture, and made belts, tiaras from using leaves and stems, interlacing them until it got long as we needed; we were introduced and acquainted with “critters” and taught at a young age to avoid those that were not to be toyed with; we learned to recognize plant life that could be brought out of the mountains and cooked of fried for supper; we learned the difference between good and toxic mushrooms; we were “home schooled” before that word was part of our language as it is today. Not so much in book learning because mothers had to quit school in early grades to help at home, but “common sense” home schooling which has kept me going all these years. Common sense has drifted by the wayside and that is sad.I could go on and on about the awesome life of a young girl given the chance to be born and reared in an Appalachian home with a Godly Mother, and grandmothers who told us stories brought to Appalachia by ancestors long gone before I was born.  Stories were told around the fires, around the quilting frame, in the swing on a wide open porch, or at the knees of the storyteller, very gifted people, who had time to share their thoughts and memories on to me, so that I one day could do the same. I think I did that.  My life as a child growing up in Appalachia resembles much the same as Laura Ingalls growing up on the prairie, just a different geographical area, and we both learned and passed it on.  Mothers, please take time to listen to your young child, they have so much to pass on, even in their language that years from now you will recall.  As the cliché goes, “Take time to stop and smell…” Well, I have it my own way for you, “Take time to stop, rest a spell, smell nature’s essences that abound, listen closely when a child speaks, take advantage of God’s treasures all around you in Appalachia, walk and talk with your child, and then at night, relate to them a story that you know that has been handed down to you; tuck your child in with a hug and kiss, and lay your head down for a much deserved rest.”  You are blessed beyond measure, Appalachian Mothers!

This morning was a time of peace for me, as it seems all the first day home after a trip mornings are.  We visited with family this weekend.  John’s Granny saw Ivy for the second time ever.  I saw my sister and best friend and spent the afternoon and evening watching movies and talking with her.  It was nice.

So, I woke up this morning before everyone else.  I tended to our new flock of chickens, hoed our carrots, went to the watering hole for the week’s water.  Though it may not sound like it, I eased into my day.  I felt fresh, alive and rested.

This is significant for me right now because I’m at a transitioning point in my year, my mothering, my work, and my life.  My health has become shoddy.  The thyroid issues that have plagued my family are starting to creep in on me.  I had to have blood tests done last week to check on all my levels, and to try to get to the bottom of why I can’t rest, why my hair is falling out by the handfuls, and why I feel so anxious.  I have a myriad of other symptoms that point to the thyroid issues as well.  Those symptoms have become something I am no longer able to ignore, but what just plain sucks about it is John and I have no insurance.  It’s part of the sacrifice you make when choosing the arts as your career, and yes… it is a choice of one over the other.  This means that I don’t have many options when it comes to getting well, and I have to research many things myself to make the decisions on what doctors I should give my money to to get results the fastest.  I spent $300 last week and I still need more testing, but it will have to wait.  So far, my way of eating seems to be all that I thought it was – wonderfully healthy.  My hormone levels on the other hand, are not.

In the meantime, I’m researching my condition and trying to figure out what I can do to treat it naturally.  That is taking more time than I want to devote to it.  That is because I have become serious about my writing.  Over the last year, all of my free time is going toward making writing my career.  It makes me nutty when I have to interrupt that flow.  I’ve become kind of uptight about it.  I want to contribute to our income so that we can have more together time as a family, and maybe one day afford some kind of insurance.  When the girls get school aged, I don’t want to resort to a job that takes me out of the home and makes me less present as a mother and wife.  I am committed to those things first.  I also don’t want to go back to teaching full time.  Writing is what I went to school to do, and it is what I will do come hell or high water.  I’m going to at the very least give it all I can give it and see what happens.

My passion is fiction.  I am working on one novel, and will soon be going on a trip to research another (which I’ll write more about later this week).  Being a mother of small children makes my writing time skewed.  Between my commitments to my novels and this blog, I’m growing more and more uncertain of where my focus needs to go.  Realistically, it is unlikely that I will ever bring in an income from blogging.  I enjoy it thoroughly.  I love having readers and getting comments.  I like writing about our life.  But, it takes time away from my other writing.  I’m trying to figure out at this stage in my life and mothering what I need to be working on most to get the results I’m looking for.  Should I devote the majority my time to fiction, or (as I’ve thought about recently) more time to blogging and the realm of personal essay and/or non-fiction topics of mothering and off-grid living?

Time is the big factor.  With all of my responisbilities as a wife, mother, and homemaker, my home tends to be what I let fall by the wayside, when I devote time to my writing.  I can no longer get up earlier than everyone on most days as I have found that I am overly exhausted from my health issues and lack of sleep.  I’ve not had a full night’s rest in four years.  It is so difficult for me to prioritize because I feel things so immediate.  I am impatient.  I see something I want to do, or might can fix, and I want to do it right away.  I become stressed if I have to wait.

Friday, we’ll begin our first non-work related trip as a family since the girls were born.  Well, I’ll be working, but it’s not the same as sitting in a booth for hours in the heat at art festivals.  We’ll be doing it all together.  I have so needed that time with my family.  I hope it helps us renew ourselves.  I hope it helps me prioritize and recouperate.  I can hardly wait on what is to come.  I feel like good things are on the way and I am wondering what form they will take.  I hope my emotional/mental health (thrown off from all the hormone imbalance) is equipped to let me be fully present.  My mind is swimming in a fog.  I don’t know how I can best prepare for the upcoming trip this week.  Do I work on housecleaning, writing, gardening, researching my health and what I need to do about it, or trying to do all of that?  It can be confusing wearing many hats.

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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.

December 2021
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