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Last night, it rained hard, slapping our tin roof like the wings of a hundred angry crows.  This morning, when we went out for our nature walk, the wind was roaring across the ridges like it tends to do in the mountains.  It roars and moves the clouds like someone shoving their way through a crowded room, or it whips down the hillsides shaking tree branches and blowing dried leaves, filling you nostrils with the scent of moist earth.  It does those things, or it gets trapped in the hollers whirring through them like the air through the whistle of a football coach when he wants his team to move now.  I love the wind.  It was warm today.  The girls and I walked down to the barn to give our chickens some scratch.  I took deep breaths.

This morning, I was disappointed by some news that I would have never thought would have hurt my feelings.  In fact, I had pictured myself being relieved – wonderfully so.  I haven’t been able to shake the melancholy.  Yesterday, I spent the day preparing myself, reminding myself that the news I thought I might get was the definite inarguable answer to my prayers.  Today, I don’t know what to call the news but inconclusive for now.  It’s hard sometimes being the only one who knows how it feels, for you I mean… right now.

Tonight, it is raining again.  I didn’t have the stamina after taking Deladis to dance (toting an unhappy Ivy who can’t stand not to be in the dance room with Deladis), grocery for supper, and church to put the girls to bed.  Instead, I shared with them pineapple and cottage cheese.  We popped some red popcorn in a pan for the first time ever and ate a whole bowl covered in real sea salt.  They lay sleeping across my lap now.  We have all been staying up too late.

My painting

Wednesdays are Painting Day for our homeschool.  We are working our way through the primary colors as suggested in Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children, by Sharifa Oppenheimer.  Right now, we are exploring red.

It is the freedom of the wet colors as they move, each in their own unique way, across the damp paper, that allows the various “natures”, or feeling qualities, of the colors to be known.

-Sharifa Oppenheimer Chapter 7 Artistic Experiences for Your Young Child

I rounded the corners of three pieces of watercolor paper and soaked them in water for a few seconds.  I mixed brilliant red with water in the new paint pots I bought for us over the holiday.  I tied the new green art aprons around the girls’ waists, and with each of us a brush in hand, we began to experience red.

My purpose is not to create a formed image, but rather to experience the feeling of red!

-Sharifa Oppenheimer Chapter 7

Deladis kept asking me what I was painting.  I kept saying red.  She got frustrated with me, insisting that I was painting something.  I kept insisting I was only painting red, until it clicked and I told her a story.  The red fairy found her gift one cold winter when the fairies wondered how they would keep warm.  She used the warmth of her color to ignite a fire in some wood she gathered.  Deladis was more than satisfied and asked me to tell her what she had painted – the fire fairy.

When the colors are introduced slowly and with care on the adult’s part, we can see that the children use the paint differently.  They approach color with wonder and respect, like they are playing with best friends.  It takes planning and effort, but this is a tremendous gift you can give your child and yourself.  Chances are good that you have never experienced color in this way,  either.  You will find that this can be a calming, centering, and healing time for both of you.

-Sharifa Oppenheimer Chapter 7

I felt red today.  I breathed red today.  I tried to make it make me warm.  I’m still disappointed – in myself.

I know… corny title, but hey, I have a fog machine in my brain and it is good at pointing out the obvious and that’s about it right now.  I have two things to write about today and I can’t decide between the two, so I’m writing about both.

First, I have to share this website with you.  Why Don’t You Look Like a Fitness Model? I have been seriously thinking about what a naturally capable and fit woman’s body should look like since I wrote the post on A Woman’s Perfect Body and Paleo women.  I found this website and article via a discussion forum I frequent and was really amazed by what this woman wrote and the pictures she posted on the site.  The pictures are of a variety of women athletes who competed in the Olympics.  As she states, you’re at the top of your game physically if you are competing at that level.  Their bodies were as varied as fingerprints and all ranges of gorgeous.  I highly suggest reading the article and looking at the pictures.  It isn’t about trying to achieve the look of someone from a magazine, but the look that is right for you.  There are a lot of factors that go into that.

And now… da ta ta ta… I present to you a new work of art by a blossoming new talent in the world of painting… Deladis Rose.

paintingShe is so happy when her daddy lets her have a piece of water color paper and turns her loose.  She will sit for hours, so focused and poised.  I’m amazed at how involved in her work that she becomes.  I’m thankful for her having the gift of focus.  I can’t wait to see what she does with that.  I’m a proud mama.


Even living in rural Appalachia, we get comments about choosing to live where we have.  Some folks seem impressed, some think we are weird or crazy, others worry about us.  But, we have found home.  It is here off-grid, in solitude.  It is near to perfect.

My mother’s and step-father’s preacher worries about us up here.  He wonders if I will be happy, or stay happy.  My mother worries about the boogey man.  I do sometimes half expect to look out my picture window and see Bigfoot, but it wouldn’t shock me at all.  That would be great.  I am more likely to see a deer or some other wild animal roaming in our yard than another human.  Animals don’t scare me.

John’s parents don’t like the road.  We don’t either really, but it is what it is.  It is not a permanent situation us driving in the creek.  Hopefully, by next winter we’ll have a better way.  If not, we’ll survive it.  My Dad says we’ve got the best place in the world for Armageddon, or when our country falls to anarchy, socialism, or whatever else he might equate with chaos.  He says we can sit up in here and”pick ’em off” as they come up the holler.  Leave it too a dad to find good his daughter’s decisions when no one else does.  He’s right.  It is a pretty cool place to be and I feel very safe.  I feel safer in God’s creation than in man’s.

A man from the gas company came to check on a gas leak a few days ago.  He said, “I don’t reckon many girls would live up in here.”  I said, “I really like it.”  “It’s nice here, peaceful,” he said.  I’ve never been like many other girls.  John played a show last night here in Knott County.  A man asked where he lived, said he was glad someone who could play the banjo like he could lived in the old homeplace.  That made John proud.

Our cabin was built in 1900 by a man named Uncle Ed Thomas.  I believe you can find mention of him in the Foxfire books and there may be a picture of him.  He was a dulcimer maker.  He put some fancy into this little place, as you can see in the work over the front porch.  I love a house with history.  There are several other older cabins on the property, but only 2 are finished enough to live in.

Our Cabin - Winterized front porch's is my husband's winter studio.  Talk about dedication!

Our Cabin - Winterized front porch's is my husband's winter studio. Talk about dedication!

We don’t own this property, but I hope we are here a good long time.  Moving off-grid is something I feel good about.  Being in my mountains is like nothing else.


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.

March 2023

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