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Day Four:

Today started early for me.  I woke up wondering why I was wide awake and everyone else was deeply asleep.  I finally raised up off the bed and craned my head to look at the clock.  It was 5:23am.  I laid there for quite awhile before falling asleep again.  Light poured in from around the heavy curtain when we all woke at 7am.

We weren’t sure how the day would go because both museums we wanted to visit weren’t open.  I decided our best option was to start at the local library.

Calhoun, GA is like many other small towns in the south.  The buildings around town are old and in need of repair, but there was character.  Things moved slow like in a haze.  It could have been that running the air conditioner in the van has started to make it leak antifreeze and we are doing without it at a time when north Georgia had its first day in the 90 degree range.

In front of the library in Calhoun...

In front of the library in Calhoun...

John took the girls and I went to the special collections area, while they explored the kids wing of the library.  I found some interesting books that I’ve decided I’ll purchase for my collection.  They were Cherokee history and tradition books.  I was really excited about one I found on Cherokee Cooklore.

I discovered Echota (a big difference between Old/New Echota) was not only the Cherokee capital, but a city of refuge for those who had killed someone.  There were stipulations to that refuge, however.  I found it interesting and useful for my novel in that Arizona’s father went to New Echota after possibly killing his wife and young daughter.  This is speculation as no one has evidence of that, but everyone agreed that he was a violent man.  Echota gave him refuge, but not Arizona.

After looking in a few neat local shops and a folk art exhibit at the Harris Arts Center, we had lunch from the cooler and went to look for the historic sites we’ll visit tomorrow.  I’m excited about what we’ll find tomorrow.  It is bringing me closer to the past that made me.  At the Vann House, I got a short peek at an unfinished, large, woven reed basket that was abandoned in a Cherokee home during the 1838 removal – The Trail of Tears.  It brought to me a feeling of anger and grief.  I mourned for the woman who was forced from her home so quickly that she had to leave her work unfinished.

Overlook on the way up the hill to Fort Mountain...

Overlook on the way up the hill to Fort Mountain...

From Chatsworth, we moved on to Fort Mountain State Park.  Apparently, the Cherokee met up with white folks prior to Columbus who had crossed the ocean from Wales.  These men built a tower fort, which we got to see.

Tower possibly built by Prince Madoc of Wales - predating Columbus

Tower possibly built by Prince Madoc of Wales - predating Columbus

We read of the legends of the moon-eyed people who were fair skinned, light hair, and blue eyed.  It was said they were blind in the daylight and/or during certain phases of the moon.  The Cherokee claimed the Creeks annihilated them during one of their blind periods.

Probably the best thing we say today was a scenic overlook at Fort Mountain.  Flat land met the beginning/ending of the Appalachian mountains in such a way that can only be described as breathtaking.  I know John found it hard to breathe. 🙂

A start/end of the Appalachian Mountains

A start/end of the Appalachian Mountains



Back in town, sweaty and tired, we tried to shop at some outlet stores.  Don’t go shopping without money to spend.  It ruins the mood.  Giving up on shopping, we searched for a local establishment to get supper.  Failing at that, we pulled into Ruby Tuesday and had a wonderfully satisfying meal and spent way too much money on it.  It had been while since we had eaten at a Ruby Tuesday – prices had went up!  But, we needed a full meal, and it was delicious.  Deladis ate all of hers and some of ours.

Stopping to smell the flowers at Fort Mountain

Stopping to smell the flowers at Fort Mountain

After picking up some coffee at McDonalds, we went back to the motel for baths and rest.  I feel like things are moving sluggishly, but too fast all at once.  If you can be happy and melancholy together, that’s what I am.

On a tower window ledge at Fort Mountain

On a tower window ledge at Fort Mountain

kaclogoKelli B. Haywood has received professional development funding through the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supported by state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The following series of blog entries are compiled from my journal writings during my recent trip to research the historical background of a novel I am working on loosely based on the life of my Cherokee great great grandmother.  There are seven days and each has an abundance of pictures.  Hope you enjoy the ride.

Day One:

Preparing our little home for us to be away for ten days was more work than I had expected.  We woke to rain and weird red bugs all over the potato plants, feasting away.  I worked non-stop all morning and through the afternoon.  Our departure time of noon was shot down.  We left our holler around 5pm.

The trip to Spartanburg was wonderfully uneventful.  Driving through the mountains brought an easy peace to us.  The girls were happy and quiet.  My body released all the aggression I had been holding onto all day.  We had a nice dinner in Johnson City at a Cracker Barrel.  Surprisingly, I found suitable food there (or just inside good enough), and we all ate good.  Dark clouds threatened rain that never came.  We arrived at my family’s home around midnight.

Day Two:

Today, the plan was to be with our kin.  That’s exactly what we did.  Ivy and my Papaw hit it off as I thought they would.  Deladis spent hours playing with an Ewok village that I had spent hours with as a child.  She did some painting too.


I took a three mile run, and came back with an awful headache.  Lack of sleep really gets to me.  We didn’t get in bed until almost 2am.  That, coupled with weak coffee brought on a migraine that progressed in intensity through the day.

We lounged and talked.  My Mamaw showed me the best picture of Arizona (great great grandmother).  It gave me chills to see her in such a regal stance.  She was amazing to look upon.  Her native features were clear.  Her unsmiling lips just soft enough to reveal a proud contentment.

I found out she married around age 16 on Walden’s Ridge.  Looking at her brought new face to my journey.  I’ll never know the real story, the whole true story, but the one I will imagine will be inspired.

reconnectDay Three:

We arrived in Calhoun, GA around 7pm.  The four hour trip was interesting and felt very commercial.  When we got close to Atlanta, the interstate was lined with billboards.  Some were digital and changed advertisement every few seconds, which is something I had never seen.  Overwhelming – almost.

There is always a little insecurity that comes with traveling to a place unfamiliar.  We left my family this afternoon after a yummy lunch.  I fought tears, the urge settling somewhere in the spot where my head connects to my neck.  Deladis didn’t want to go and I didn’t want to take the girls from them so soon.


I wonder how Arizona felt.  A young girl of 14 or 15 setting out alone through the mountains in an unfamiliar way.  Leaving her brothers.  The mountains here are more foothills.  I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow as we enter into Tennessee.  The motivation was apparently too strong and overshot any fear she might have had.

Mamaw shared a letter written in Arizona’s hand in 1919 to her brother Walter that she had left behind.  Her husband had been killed in the mines in 1918, and she was writing of wanting to move to a farm in Ohio from where she was in east Kentucky.  She had to be attached to the land.  She lived in town in Hazard, KY.  I know I was always finding safety and solace in the hills as a kid, when I was troubled.  I can imagine her wanting that comfort back, seeking it.  I don’t think she saw Walter again after she ran away.  It had to feel lonesome sometimes.

Now, as the girls play on the hotel beds.  I think about where she slept her first night on the run.  I’ve been disappointed with this establishment since we got here.  The place is in poor shape, the pool is closed and unkept, our coffee was an empty wrapper, so we have none, and there is some kind of reddish brown bodily fluid splattered on the bathroom door.  I wouldn’t have expected that of a hotel in this chain.  At least we’re together and safe – joyful.  I think of Arizona, alone – so young and totally alone.

My great great grandmother was Arizona Webb Walker.  She was a Cherokee whose grandmother was one of the group who escaped the Trail of Tears and hid out to later create the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina.  Arizona’s father was of Caucasian and Cherokee decent and from what we know of him very cruel to his wife and children.  Their family traveled between Indian Territory in Oklahoma to New Echota, Georgia and Walden’s Ridge in Dayton, Tennessee several times.  Arizona’s mother disappeared leaving her older children with their father.  Arizona eventually escaped her father and walked the mountain ridge lines with a badly healed broken leg from New Echota, GA to be with her family in Tennessee.  She was a young girl – alone.  She married in Tennessee and she and her husband moved to Hazard, Kentucky for mining work in the early 1900s.

It is no small thing that I know this story.  I grew up thinking that everyone had met most of their great grandparents.  I thought it was common for people to know which country their European ancestors immigrated from.  I thought it usual that most people’s family members hung onto things like copies of their ancestors’ names on documents like the Mullay or Dawes Rolls.  Until I talked with friends who had no idea where they came from, I didn’t know exactly how fortunate I was to know so well my own heritage.  I owe this all to my paternal grandmother Ida Lee Stacy Hansel, who with friends and cousins has spent years researching and documenting our family history.  She spent hours with her grandchildren in the evenings and throughout the day telling us the stories as many times as we wanted to hear them.  I was so proud of my heritage that I would walk with my head up no matter how I was tormented in my school days.  I knew from where I came.  I knew the strength, wisdom, and faith of my people.

Ida and Matt Horn her uncle... about age 30

Ida and Matt Horn her uncle... about age 30

The more I learn about Arizona, the more I have wanted to tell her story to the world.  Her picture hangs in my living room and I stop and look at it several times a day.  She leans on a garden hoe to support her bad leg, but is tall and lovely.  There is so much raw strength and assurance in her eyes.  Her hair loosely braided and hanging down her back.  I see her in me.

I have decided to write her story as a work of fiction.  I received a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council to do some preliminary research for the historical background of the novel.  They have worked with me as a mother and provided a way for my family to go with me as well.  Starting at the end of the week, we will be taking a trip to New Echota, Georgia and Dayton, Tennesee to retrace my great great grandmother’s steps in her journey to Kentucky.  I will be researching the time in which she lived and the area’s visual appeal in order to create accurate settings.  I’m very excited about this journey.

This journey has come about at the perfect time in my life.  I fully believe in God’s timing for things, though I’m not the most patient person in waiting for it.  I’m not spoiled, but I remind myself of Veruca Salt in the “I want it NOW!” sense.  Our life is coming together in a beautiful way.  As a mother, I feel like I could do so much better in my relationship with my girls.  I do feel like our move back to the mountains was the best thing we could do for them, but I know I need to connect more with female members of my family.  I need to learn from them the critical pieces of womanhood that I have tended to miss in my upbringing.  I need to learn so I can pass them on.  My grandmothers were irreplaceable in giving me any confidence that I had in my appearance and my intellect.  I have a beautiful Aunt Sharon who taught me that common sense should be listened to, and a strong will can work both for and against you.  I have a strong female presence in my life, but it is imperative for me to learn how to foster a strong and healthy mother/daughter bond.  Because I didn’t feel comfortable in my ability to raise a girl properly, I didn’t think God would make me raise one.  I should have known better.  He’s given me two. 🙂

Also, I’m at a point in my life where I need to find who I want to be and what to bring forth from myself in the next ten years.  I’m 30 1/2 years old.  I’m not a kid anymore, but I have so much more to learn.  It is my firm belief that we must know and understand our past in order to bring about a better future.  I have so much to learn from Arizona’s life.  I think fictionalizing the missing pieces will help me bond with her beyond stories being told.  I will have to become a part of her in order to do her justice in my writing.  I am looking forward to that eventhough I know that some of those places will be dark.  The light that pours from her eyes is so much more.

This isn’t simply a vacation or a research project.  It is a chance for my little family to reconnect.  We haven’t been anywhere aside from work related things since before the girls were born.  This is our chance to be fully present for each other.  My grandfather has never seen Ivy.  He will get to see her for the first time when we stop by their house on our way to Georgia.  I will get to show the girls where they started.  Teach them that they come from a people to whom this country rightfully belongs.  A strong people who lived with the earth and used it as the Creator asked us to do – as stewards.  A people who perservered through hardships, created a way to keep records when others were trying to destroy their heritage, and to this day is not afraid to break new ground.  This is a quest for re-creation.  From the past will be brought forth a new life.

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.

The sky threatened rain all Thursday, Friday, and today, but it didn’t come.  A gray sky and a humid breeze carried a warm hope that the seeds I planted Thursday would get some water.   I got the garden planted from top to bottom and side to side.  We have onions, carrots, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, cabbage, lettuce, sunflowers, and tomatoes in the ground and sprouting.  I took walks with the girls, watched them play in the sandbox, read them stories.


The warm seasons are bittersweet for us.  Bittersweet, as a word, has become cliche, but appropriate here.  With a break from the cold and a promise of days spent in warmth and light, also comes a fact of life.  Daddy will often be on the road.  This is the season for artists and musicians to share their talents with the public.  To bring forth the work of the winter like the trees bring forth their fresh leaves.  As the leaves filter the sun and feed the trees, so the festivals, shows, and opportunities allow us to make a living.  This weekend was one of those.

Eastern Hemlock

Eastern Hemlock

John is traveling for music this weekend.  After Ivy was born, I stopped trying to go with him on the long overnight trips.  Taking both of the girls was a bit much as we often slept in the truck or camped.  The heat can get miserable, and being confined to a booth much of the time is no fun for little ones.  We notice when Daddy is not with us.  Deladis makes it known when she is ready for him to come home.

He came home last night on his way back from Roanoke, Virginia and on through to Morehead, Kentucky where he is recording with Brett Ratliff and The Blind Tiger Band.  He had the band with him and Deladis braved a walk alone to be with her daddy on George Gibson’s front porch and hear the band play.  I was cooking spicy stuffed cabbage for our guests, and thought it would be good for her to try the short walk on her own.  It is funny what missing someone bad enough will allow us to do.  It was her first time going it alone.


She sat with them last night as they played in the kitchen after supper, playing some on her little banjo.  She sat there until she was bone tired, falling out of her chair with sleep, her head slumping into her daddy’s lap.  Then, this morning, we ate oats and waved bye-bye as John and Brett set out again.

I’m looking forward to our upcoming trip to New Echota, Georgia and Dayton, Tenneesee (Walden’s Ridge) to research for my novel based on the life of Arizona Webb Walker my Cherokee great-great grandmother.  I want to spend some time – just us, not trying to get ready to work, working, or thinking about work.  I want to enjoy the warmth for awhile before it gets so hot we can’t breathe.  I want to walk with my man and watch our girls enjoy the outdoors.  To be filled with the light the Creator blesses us with each spring.  There will be some time for that on our trip.


The wild blackberry bushes have bloomed like they tend to do when Mother Nature can’t decide whether it should be chilly or warm.  I wanted to show John, and encourage him to remind us to take time to nuture the bushes and pick the berries at the first signs of ripeness.  I’ll try to make blackberry dumplings this season.


Today the sky still can’t decide what it wants to do.  Our seeds wait in the ground, covered and warm, to be soaked with the sprouting rain.  Today, we are waiting for daddy to come home.  We’ll take a rest in his warm arms until the time comes for us to miss him again.

Today’s post should have been about the beautiful Spring blooms all over the mountains around our house.  There are so many and they are unique.  I’ve really wanted to share them with others.  But, my camera is out of batteries, 2 out of 3 vehicles we have are not running, and John left for Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina in our only running vehicle yesterday.  No going out for batteries for me.  Instead, we are staying with my mother, and I am posting a blog of laments.

The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary says “lament” as a transitive verb means to regret strongly.  I regret strongly – very strongly – that all of my broccoli and tomato seedlings have perished.  They got too big for my little Jiffy greenhouse and peat pots and when I moved them to plastic egg cartons and free air, they wilted and died.  Apparently, vegetable seedlings are more dainty than flowers.  I’ve planted and grew flowers every year of my mature life with great success.  This is my first time vegetable gardening on my own.  With such a rainy Spring, the ground is too wet to direct seed.  The dirt clumps.  I am beginning to think that our first attempt at a large garden to feed our family might be more of a learning experience than an experience that ends in an abundance of food.

I also believe that my cloth diapering days have come to an end in great sadness.  Yes, I’m saying this the day after Earth Day.  I regret it strongly.  After moving off grid, I have been battling ammonia stinks in my diapers.  I have boiled, boiled, and boiled them.  I have stripped, stripped, and stripped them.  I have tried countless detergents.  I have used baking soda and vinegar together and separately.  I have done multiple rinses.  Multiple hot rinses.  Switched from a pail to a wet bag and back to a pail.  The culprit is our hot water heater combined with untreated well water.  Our hot water heater is old and doesn’t get very hot without shutting itself off.  It does fine for most things like dishwashing and bathing, so we can’t justify purchasing another one just yet.  Our water is tainted with sulfur and/or iron and comes from an untreated well.  I have come to the conclusion that it will be impossible for me to rid us of the stinkies.  I have decided to boil my diapers once more and send my stash of them to a friend due soon.  I suppose I’ll be ordering 7th Generation Diapers from  I’ll be doing this despite the fact that UPS doesn’t acknowledge that our address exists, and I’ll have to have them sent to my mother’s house.  It has come to the choice of using bacteria laden diapers on my Ivy, or disposables.  It breaks my heart.  I truly enjoy using cloth.

Ivy’s first birthday is in 5 days.  I will no longer and never again be the mother of an infant.  In a way, I too, regret that strongly.  I so loved being pregnant and anticipating birth.  I so wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and a homebirth.  I relished holding a newborn.  Nursing an infant is heavenly.  Watching a baby grow from inside your womb to the outside is like watching a miracle.  Now, my baby runs.  My first born sings her ABCs and plays outside all by herself.  Soon, they will have their own pursuits independent of needing me.

Next week will be joyful.  John will be home again.  We will celebrate Ivy’s birthday.  I will get to see my writing in print as I am being published in the upcoming issue of Kudzu Magazine.  I won the 2009 Gurney Norman Prize for Short Fiction to my ultimate delight.  Gurney Norman is a writing hero of mine, and I think his short story “Fat Monroe” is one of the best ever written.  I will get to attend Evening With Poets, and get to workshop with Gurney Norman the next day.  After a week of lamenting, I am looking forward to what is ahead.

In writing classes, we are told to write what we know.  In writing what we know, we can create vivid more universal prose.  I’ve always kept to this way of thinking with my writing in one way or another.  I write what I’m passionate about.  I’m finding it important to tell the story of my people.  Fellow Appalachians and my peers.

So, I set out to write my first novel with characters I had visited before.  Ones I had grown to care about.  The main male character, Glenville, will be going underground to mine for the first time in his life in this novel.  I will be going with Glenville there, but the only difference is that I physically won’t be going.  I have never in my life visited an underground coal mine.

I am a coal miner’s daughter of generations back.  My great great grandfather was part of the Harlan fights as was my great grandfather.  (When miners looking for their workplace rights in Harlan, Kentucky literally had to fight gun thugs hired by the coal company.)   My great grandmother was raised in a coal camp (housing provided to the coal miners’ families by the coal company).  My grandfather was an electrician in the mines.  My dad has worked both underground and in strip mining.  Currently, he works in reclamation and environmental compliance of strip jobs as an environmental engineer.  I was raised knowing that coal money fed us.  I was raised knowing those men with the uncanny dark faces and respected them like you would a soldier returning from war.  I also knew what they were putting on the line to provide for their family as they were taught men should do (and now women).  It was as much a part of my life to see these working men and their black rimmed eyes as it was to wake every morning and see the mountains.  But, in writing Glenville’s character I have realized one thing.  I haven’t a clue as to where they have been or from where they are coming.  It is something east Kentuckians live with everyday, but underground mining isn’t something we can say we know much about because many of us have never been down there.

I am relying on pictures I’ve seen on the internet and those I remember seeing of my dad underground.  I am also reading Nathan Hall’s coal journal which documents his experience as an underground miner.  I am taking what I have lived, looking at it from an opposite perspective, and writing the unknown.  It takes imagination.  A lot of imagination.  It is also very strange to think that something that is so much a part of the Appalachian unconscious and conscious is really an unknown to so many of us.

I’m going with Glenville into that mine.  We are going together.  Right now he’s nervous and has no clue what he is up against, what will be expected of him, and neither do I.  One thing I can guarantee, the next time I see that dust covered face at the grocery, I will see it a bit differently.

Some or all of us have been sick in my family since February.  Most recently Deladis developed another UTI and a cold, John had a cold, and Ivy got a cold which turned to the croup.  Deladis and Ivy have been sick all week.  Today, they both started a new week still sick.  Fortunately, I’ve not been sick this time around, but as the caregiver it takes its toll.  My stress level is out the roof, and I am constantly trying to strengthen or console my little girls, all while trying to convince my man to take a multi-vitamin. 🙂

I was heartbroken when my dad tried to take Deladis fishing for the first time this season on Saturday, and had to bring her right back home because she was too weak to stay.  I was angry that my little baby was once again to the point of straining to breathe.  I was taking just a minute to wonder why I’ve been losing hair in gobs, having awful mood swings, and feeling completely down with no other reason than all the illness around and my husband having to be away so much.

And then God blesses me with today.

I make the most delicious whole wheat pancakes I have made ever.  I ate them with plain yogurt and blackberry preserves.  Ivy found the first peaceful sleep in days at 11:30am and didn’t wake until 4:00pm.  Deladis relaxed next to me on the couch, and fell off to sleep around 1pm.  I typed three handwritten chapters of my novel into the laptop, worked on the blog, researched some recipes for next week, read up on good fat vs. bad fat, and cleaned the bathroom (which included mopping).  I discovered I could roast a chicken without a roasting pan, that it is proven that vegetable oils, refined sugar, and white flour causes heart disease… not fat, and relearned that there is always a calm before and after a storm.

Just when I thought my body and mind wouldn’t give me another day to be strong enough to take care of my sick babies.  Just when I wanted to scream not another day.  Just when I was about to give up ever being able to enjoy another sunny day any time in the near future.  Just when I thought I was losing ground…

God blesses me with today, and I’m renewed at least in spirit.

  1. Ivy started walking Sunday and she’s only 10 months old!
  2. A lady at the hospital asked what my children’s names were.  After being told, she looks at Ivy and says, “I’m sorry, honey.   You’re a pretty thing though.”
  3. We have a friend we lovingly nicknamed Jorge (Hor-hay).  Deladis says, “Daddy, you can’t have Jorge.  Horses eat hay.”
  4. I’m so sore from Taebo!  Billy Blanks said I shouldn’t do the workout all the way through the first time.  I said, “Who said?” and did it anyway. 🙂
  5. I got to read a story at a meeting of the Writers of the North Fork.  It’s great to have community.
  6. Oh, rain… I know we need you, but four days in a row?”
  7. The recycling center we have to use in the next county stopped taking glass.  It’s no longer worth it for them. 😦
  8. I’m looking forward to a Natural Parenting Group meeting tonight.  I hope there are more parents who find us.
  9. I’ve started writing a novel.
  10. I’ve really neglected house cleaning since starting to blog… thus 10 random thoughts. 😉


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.

June 2023

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