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On the second, I started a post about the fact that I have actually made some New Year resolutions for 2013.  I was excited while writing, and at the same time feeling a bit ridiculous.  Gwen started fussing and I stopped writing.  Then, yesterday was a difficult one for us.  Ivy has started crying a lot throughout the day on most days for reasons so numerous that I’d have to write a book to describe it all and then some she just makes up on the spot.  I’ve been told that it is middle child syndrome, but I’m not satisfied with that answer.

It was the first sunny day in weeks, so I made sure the girls went outside for a bit of play.  However, Deladis decides that since they play in the creek during the summer, it would be a good idea to wade the creek in January in her new snow boots and Ivy in tennis shoes.  I had a hard time with patience and the fact that I thought she would know better.  There coats were thrown off in the floor.  Their wet clothes thrown in the floor.  I sit Gwen down to pick that up and to remind them that they also know where their clothes go, and she cries.

She doesn’t like to sit on her own much.  I have about 10 minutes before I have to get her back up.  She, like Deladis, is a spirited child.  She doesn’t like to take naps, though she’s a decent night sleeper.  Generally, a lot like her biggest sister.  Like my sister reminded me that evening on the phone, “You’ve never had a laid back child.”

This was after Deladis cried during our first day back at school because she didn’t complete something perfectly.  I wrestled Gwen through her fusses while trying to read Deladis her lessons, shifting Gwen from floor, to lap, to clothes basket.  Right after, Ivy cries like a wild banshee because I ask her to tell me her ABCs.  She says, “I’m too scared.”  Same little girl that will dance in front of 100 people, won’t say her ABCs for her mother who is just curious at how well she knows them.

By the middle of the day, I was feeling like a failure of a mother.  For sure, there was something bigger that needed to be fixed.  I needed to just stop daydreaming about plans and things I needed to get done.  The pile of dishes in the sink.  My New Year resolutions, and pay minute detail to what spurs these fits.  I felt bad for believing that I could tack yet more things onto my already determined to do list when I was already not doing that well.

Yet, I found reassurance from a group of mamas on Facebook.  I realized that if I can turn it into a positive it is fine.  I’m not failing, just seeing room for improvement.  I talked to my sister, who rubbed her two laid back kids in my face, while talking about how grown up the not so laid back one is getting to be. 😉  And, I felt better.  Not like it was the end of all I wanted to accomplish, but still just the beginning.

See, it is easy from these blogs and social media posts… and from mothering forums… Pinterest… to think that this parenting/homeschooling gig is a great accomplishment.  But, what we often miss out on is how dag gone hard it can be sometimes.  For, on this, we mostly see the end results.  Our kids dressed in the play costumes, with their basketball trophy, the cool cake we made for their birthday, all the boxes of stuff I’ve managed to purge out of our cabin.  We don’t see as often the work that got us there.  And so, when the results simply aren’t there on any given day.  It can feel like a loss.  What do we have to post about that day?  Sure don’t want to sound like you are complaining.  There is no room for complaining in such a blessed life.  How dare you feel like raising your voice or crying?!

The truth is… my list of resolutions is boring.  I have quite a few, and I’m not cutting it down.  The interesting stuff is the doing.  The grunt work.  For that is where our accomplishment is – the fact that we get up in the morning ready to do it all again.  We’ve not abandoned our post.  We’ll be there for those beautiful little souls when we wake up in the morning. Deladis always gets up before me now days.  We haven’t and aren’t giving up.

As my friend reminded me of tonight.  “I just think of it like this.  Such a strong willed child will one day grow up to make one heck of a strong woman.”  Amen, sister… Amen.

So, this year this blog is about the doing.  Forget what I plan to do.  I’ll share with you and record for my girls what we actually do and how we get it done.  That’s the point – right?

Below is the start of my resolutions post….

I’m not one to make resolutions in the New Year.  I never really have, or if I did I wasn’t serious enough about it to remember it right now.  2012 was a special year for me.  I had my third daughter at home in one of the most beautiful experiences possible – an HBA2C.  I accomplished something so very amazing for me and my beautiful daughter, our health and well-being, and am forever changed.

tired

I called it my Jesus year.  I was 33 for most of it.  I discovered just how powerful a spiritual practice can be.  I had the chance to pull back, reassess, and now I have come out with a plan.

My last post was all about my inspiration to be re-motivated for most of these resolutions.  Many of them aren’t new, but things that have served me in the past, and will again.

1. Recommit to eating a Traditional Foods diet.  (Being pressed for time and tired during the last months of pregnancy I haven’t been cooking from scratch as much as I’d like.)

2. Simplify our living space.  Look what I am purging so far.  I’m just getting started. 🙂

IMG_2261

3. Organize what is left of the cabin and create a sanctuary for living.  I’m making a designated school and office space in the living room!  Our space is small and if you’ve followed me when I wrote here before, you know this is something that I am constantly working on.  Yet, in this case, I have a new strategy, and am approaching it from a different mind set.  It’s going to be fun!  I’ve gotten some tremendous inspiration from some DIY homebuilding friends who have built a beautiful home at minimum cost and almost all on their own.  I am still inspired by this home I toured in New Echota a few years ago.

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

4.

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At Confluence Academy this week, we are taking a break from the routine studies to delve into some holiday fun.  The way we celebrate the Christmas season in the US has always been counter intuitive to me.  I miss the days of the winter spiral that we had in Louisville when we attended Parent/Child classes at the Waldorf School.  St. Nicholas and St. Lucia came by for a visit to our little homey classroom.  It was so cozy and introspective.

The rush and fuss of the holiday season often leaves me in tears.  Too much stress involved.  I don’t like feeling pulled and tugged.  Expectations are high.  We want to see all of our family, but it is hard to go to at least 3 different places in the course of 2 days.  That doesn’t include our own home.  There are always too many presents and I end up feeling more frustrated and guilty than blessed because we just can’t reciprocate and our space here is limited for bringing in more things for the girls.  It is my problem and not appropriate at all.  We are abundantly blessed.  It is the consumerism and the pressure that makes me feel like my head is a spinning top and my guts made of mush.  I don’t connect with this type of celebration at all.  I honestly do not think Jesus, Mother Nature, or St. Nicholas are bothered in the least by my rejection of it, because when they espoused this season they had a totally different thing in mind. I lackadaisically drift in and out of our families’ homes trying to keep an even keel.

The darkness and soft lights… the cold air… the gray blue sky… it makes me want to retreat.  I want to read books, drink warm drinks, eat hearty food, and make traditions with my daughters.  I want to breathe into the Truth of who we are – beings in the image of God, never lacking.

So, this week we are going to explore in our schooling things that are typically lost to us as we scramble to buy gifts, get to every expected location, and zip through it all barely conscious of why we are doing this in the first place.  We are going to look at the great stories, art, and timelessness of the season.

Tuesday, we explored The Nutcracker with this FREE unit.  We listened to an adaptation of the story on Story Nory, watched the ballet on YouTube, drew a nutcracker (see Deladis’s below), and read about Tchaikovsky.  We talked about composers and choreographers.  It was a good time.  Deladis has been humming the music since.

nutcracker

We discovered the story of the real Santa Claus – St. Nicholas – on a lovely website – St. Nicholas Center.  We read several of the stories.  Our favorite was – And Now We Call Him Santa Claus by Kay Tutt.  We did an drawing of St. Nick as well (again… Deladis’s is below).  Then, we went on a nature walk to gather decorations for the house – moss, evergreen twigs, rocks, seed puffs, and wood.  Tonight, we’ll eat popcorn and sip hot chocolate.

st.nick

We haven’t gotten around to putting up a tree this year with all the running around like chickens with no heads.  Sunday night, we decided not to put up one at all.  There isn’t the space right now, and I think we are going to go in a totally different direction with our decorating.  We are getting real, simple, light.  I think the fake tree will be going away beginning this season.

I think it is just right.

Our nativity set off with natural decor... moss, rocks, and wood chips.

Our nativity set off with natural decor… moss, rocks, and wood chips.

Our vine wreath decorated with evergreen twigs, red paper, scrub grass puffs, and old artificial flowers.

Our vine wreath decorated with evergreen twigs, red paper, scrub grass puffs, and old artificial flowers. 

We loved our time together.  I can’t believe it was 60 degrees out on Wednesday and today – Winter Solstice – it is snowing.

Checking out Eastern Hemlock twigs.

Checking out Eastern Hemlock twigs.

Thursday, we learned how to care for hermit crabs, since the girls will be getting one from us for Christmas.  They danced a Christmas performance at the area nursing home in the evening.  Today, we are learning about Winter Solstice.  Then… a much needed break from school.

Later, we’ll put up our stockings.  I’m going to read and do some more writing.  We are going inward.  Winter Solstice is drawing us inward with its snow and sleepy skies.

Maybe if I make a few reasonable adjustments, I’ll be able to enjoy my first new pair of tennis shoes in six years that I know my mother has under her tree.  I know I can manage. 🙂

Not in his goals, but in his transitions is man great.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is the hardest transition between seasons I think I have ever experienced.  Honestly, it is wearing me out.  Yesterday, it was around 76 degrees.  I was in shorts, babysitting my nephews, skipping rocks in the creek, and picnicking.  Today, it is going from blue sky to dark gray before it pours rain or spits of hail.  It is about 35 – 40 degrees.  The wind is blowing heavily like it is trying too hard to clear something away.  Something that just doesn’t want to budge.

My life is transitioning right now too.  To what, I’m not exactly sure.  My soul is ready, but my mind is hanging on.  Nervous to release old patterns of thought.  Getting disappointed over the same old things like we haven’t learned that lesson already.  Like it matters at all, really.  Coming back to this blog was part of this transition.  A space to not promote anything.  A space that is not a business.  A space where being “professional” isn’t necessary.  A space just to be me.

Yet, I think that is what all areas of my life is craving.  Just for me to be me and not to worry about what that means to other people.  We are all lit off the same spark, anyway.  Either it is meant for my path to cross yours or it isn’t.  I believe my Creator is in control regardless of what appears to be real.  Therefore, to worry over future, or results, or how someone feels about something I’ve written, a fact I share, or an opinion I hold (until someone cares to try to change my mind :)), is not important.  In fact, it is wasted energy.  Why haven’t I completely accepted that into my reality.  That is fact.  I know this to be Truth.

Transitions.

I’m working on relaxing and I’m not doing all that horrible with it.  I’m focusing on whatever presents in my day, my girls.  I should probably look a little more at housecleaning (always).  The rest (or unrest) – the waiting to hear if a piece I was asked to write has been accepted, waiting to have my first online client (Birth True Childbirth Education – Online Classes), the wondering what I should best do next, I’m trying to not consider as much.  Some days are better than others.

I took a course recently called Birth Heaven Now! through a great woman named, Stephanie Dawn, as a training for my childbirth education/doula work, and really enjoyed everything about it.  So much of what I learned through that course applies to my entire life and not just my work.  The focus on balance.  How can I give anyone my best if I am not caring for myself?  If I am worrying?  If I am working too hard, or struggling through something that really isn’t a fit?  It is true for everything.  One of the topics being excellent self-care.  I’ve been doing ok with that.  I’ve come to realize how caring for myself too can change everything about everything.

What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? – 1 Corinthian 6:19

Yet, again, there is that nagging of the old “self” rushing through my me time – contemplating my day, my week, my year, conversations I’ve had, conversations I plan to have, things I hope to do, things I have done.  I’m in transition.  I’m leaving that all behind.  Transitions take time.  And yet, what is time?

If what Emerson says is true, then I’m not waiting out a transition to see new life bloom on the other side.  Life is now.  Right now.  Right now in whatever it brings can be great.  Not me.  Not you.  Us.  I am.  We are.  And not great in the sense that we feel accomplished, or we got published, or our child was actually able to identify his/her numbers passed 10 today, but great because of who we are.  We are children of the Divine.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  -Marianne Williamson

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

1st flowers on the creek

“With the explosive growth of smart phones and social networks in the past few years, people’s lives are more saturated with technology than ever, which is a challenge if you want to stay connected with your peaceful nature as well as your text messages. Constantly checking your computer and phone for updates isn’t just distracting – it also induces anxiety, according to Linda Stone, a former technology executive at Apple and Microsoft, who has researched the effects of computing on human health. “The desire not to miss anything, along with our poor posture and compromised breathing, can evoke a fight-or-flight state,” she says.

– You’ve Got Connections by Jenn Shreve, Septemeber 2010 issue of Yoga Journal, http://www.yogajournal.com

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.

This here full moon has taken the place of the peace I had found on Thursday.  It’s gone and left me blue.  When I taught middle school, the teachers would all gather in the halls to discuss the day, and we’d often notice (or at least blame) rowdy behavior on the full moon.  Labor and delivery nurses will often do the same when they have a busy ward.  Same in the jailhouses and on the beat.  Now, that I am a mother, I’m starting to wonder if there might be some truth to it.

Ivy has decided that sleeping is no longer cool.  I mean she is a big kid now, being two and all.  She is getting in bed around 10pm and waking around 8am.  She is not napping most days, and the days that she does, she doesn’t sleep very long.  I am missing my nap time, quiet yoga practice.  Evening alone time with John, that doesn’t require staying up until midnight.  Then, during her waking hours, especially toward evening, she is non-stop and grouchy.  Biting Deladis, climbing whatever she can find to climb, turning sommersaults, using the toilet to get high on shelves in the bathroom to find her “lipstick” (chapstick) so she can put it on with her pretty dress and necklace (Where she gets this, I don’t know.  I don’t wear jewelry or makeup.), lots of crying when something doesn’t turn out just so, and picking the kitten up by the head.  Real nice.  Lots of fun for her mama.

Deladis has “gotten a mouth”.  She simply tells us “no” when she doesn’t like a request or our plans.  I had to chase her all over the playground at the music school on the last day.  She was loudly telling me that “no” she was not going home.  Plain and simple.  Today, during school time, she pretends she doesn’t know things that I know good and well she does.  Picking up her toys is also a “no”.

I’m exhausted.  I’m on the edge.  This is part of motherhood.  The times after you think you’ve gotten it under control – after you feel like things are going to be really good for awhile – when you realize that the next stage is just beginning and you will be adjusting all over again.  I don’t have it all together.  There are times when I feel like what I truly need is a break, and not a short one either.  When I feel like I need to completely change our lifestyle because something is not going right at all, it is so tempting to sit and whine.  To feel bad.  To blame myself.  To accuse myself of not being cut out for the job.  Then, what good does all that do?  Where do you go from here?  Parenting books, self-help, religious texts???  Complaining in online mothering forums.  Praying or meditating, hoping for some divine intervention.  Or waiting.  Realizing that there is nothing wrong with the picture.  It is what it is.  You are who you are, waiting for the full moon to wane.

To be an Appalachian is to exist in the midst of stereotype (we aren’t the only people who do).  You’ve read me going on about it here before.  There’s no escaping it, even in the most unexpected places.  I have lived with watching the perception of who I am change for a person as soon as I open my mouth and speak.  And as much as that can tick me off, I must admit that I believe most stereotypes are made from the misunderstanding of truth.  John believes it too, and it becomes apparent in his paintings.  There is a part of us that is prideful of being in that state of misunderstanding – it is comfortable to us.  It has been our way of life for generations.

Where You Goin' Baby? - John Haywood, 2009 http://www.haywoodart.com

One of the stereotypes that is very prominent in most Appalachians I know – at least in east Kentucky – is our fight.  Our clannish ways.  Our ability to hold a grudge.  Our seeming lack of concern about getting physical if need be.  Our willingness to stand up for what is right even when we know good and well it is wrong.

Every trait develops for a reason.  We are evolutionary beings.  We adapt ourselves to meet the needs of our environment both physical and emotional.  Otherwise we’d have all died out long ago.  I thank the Creator for that.  My people in particular (as with many Appalachians) are Native American and European.  In the specific combination of my family, it is Irish and Cherokee most abundantly.  My native people were here for thousands of years.  Here is there’s.  Simply.  My European ancestors dared to settle the frontier.  They dared to go up in them mountains and stay.  They were looking for home in landscape.  They were looking for respect.  They were looking for freedom to live the life they set out to live by coming to America, when they found in the early cities it was not the promised land and not as welcoming as they had expected.

My people entered the mountains with a fight in them.  I will live by the standards I set for myself – and family, God, and myself is the only answering I am obligated to do. A way of life developed.  We looked out for one another against those who came in from somewhere else.  We fought for what we believed mattered.

In present day, I see our fight regrettably directed at the wrong situations.  I see it serving its purpose in truth on rare occasion anymore.  It is intolerably sad, so I put that in the back of my mind.  But, right now, I am considering my fight.  Physically I’ve been in one real fight, and two almost fights.  I fought a boy in the fourth grade.  My daddy had taught me a trick – see, and I used that trick, so it didn’t last very long.  I had a bloody jaw.  The almost fights were in 8th grade and college and those were fights for honor.  Most of the fighting I did was on the basketball court.  Us mountain girls were terrors on the hardwood.  Not just for playing good ball, but because you didn’t want to get us too mad.  We’d get you out of the way as best we could without a bad call by the ref, but if it couldn’t be avoided, we’d take one.

What normally could be a kind hearted compassionate person woman or man is turned by a speck at the first thought of honor or home being threatened whether it be their own or a family member’s.  Gurney Norman read a story Friday night at the Seedtime on the Cumberland Literary Reading that got me to thinking about all this.  The family of characters disapprove of their daddy’s/grand-daddy’s new marriage, and when grand-daddy also comes to despise it, his daughter goes to run the woman off in her dress, hat, and nice black pocketbook, threatening to get physical with her.  We were all laughing and shaking our heads – get ’em girl.  It was hilarious.  A truly lovely story.

I got to read too!!!

It is this passion about our right to live the life we choose, where we choose, and how we choose that drives so many of us.  A life that is by no means a permanent fixture on this earth or even in our experience – our path.  And sometimes it becomes so personal that we forget there is a bigger picture, other experiences and paths.  A deep ingrained belief in respect for the “person”.  It has most definitely ignited passions in me or at the very least fueled them.  But, sometimes, when used in a way that is not appropriate it is more of a detriment than anything else.  It’s true for all of us in these hills.

Yesterday, I made a decision.  Whether it be a cause I believe in, something I feel I am supposed to be doing for people, or my perceived obligations in life, I’m approaching it differently.  What makes me – me?  How am I sure I’m doing the right things?  It’s one of those things that you can’t really put into words, but, I’m believing it is the difference between fighting through life and flying.  There comes a time when old ways of being leaves us stuck.  They don’t serve us anymore.  Putting them off doesn’t change who we are.  There is always our basis – what we know already, and in relying on that most basic of basic we can take the risk, and open ourselves to something new.  What we are doing right now is the result of the path we are taking, and how closely we are paying attention to where it leads, our mode of travel, and the true distractions along the way.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Ghandi

“And don’t expect it of anyone else…” Kelli (if I might add to Ghandi… :))

And I’m beginning to wonder why…

Why am I wondering why?  It has given Lars, our eldest dog of 11 years, a complex.  Today, as it has been for the last few days, he has been chasing the diddles, trying to eat them.  Add that to Goldie, our pup, chewing everything in site.  Add to that, Lars fighting Goldie over both his food and her food.  We have a mess on our hands… and we’re adding another baby to the mix in a few days – of the kitten variety.

Goldie and her mess.

I’m exhausted today.  Above you see Goldie and her mess.  She tore up our waders (fortunately they already had holes), the girls’ sidewalk chalk, a toy bunny from the sandbox, and somehow she got the girls’ snow hat from inside and tore it up outside.  Oh, and tearing into the food bags.  Ugh…

But, you know… I expect that.  She’s a pup.  They do those things.  Lars destroyed our couch and my pewter statue collection when he was a pup.  Yes, he chewed up soft metal.  What I didn’t expect was Lars to be fine for the first couple of weeks with Goldie around, but now that we have 9 diddles, and they are getting older, he has decided that he is nuts and doesn’t care about the rules.  He has turned on Goldie during mealtimes, yelps coming from the front porch as he puts her in her place.  And, after the last few days, I’m beginning to wonder if our joy with the diddles (“peeps” as Deladis calls them) will last.

The diddles have a mother.  A good mother.  She free ranged and set 9 eggs through hatching, and has made it with all 9 babies through a week as of today.  They are adorable, and we enjoy them like proud grandparents, giving them back to their mother for the complicated part of rearing.  This afternoon, however, as I fell into the peace of yoga, I was interrupted by an upset Deladis.  “A peep is under the house and she is stuck!”

“What!” I jumped out of my crescent moon lunge and we were out the door in a second.  Then, I see Lars – dirt smeared across his face and I see the evidence of him as the culprit of this mess.  Deladis confirmed it, as she had watched it from her swing.  The diddle jumped under the house for protection as the hen and the rest of her brood scattered around the side of the cabin.  The baby was left under the house without the capability of figuring out how to get back out.

First, I go under the cabin.  It’s dark – really dark.  Then, I see where the sound of the peeping is coming from, and that the floor joists are so low that I will have to army crawl to get to the diddle.  Not to mention the diddle is a black one, and I can’t actually see it, just hear it.

I hunt a flashlight.  The only one I find is a toy one of the girls’.  Tinker Bell.  I go back under and realize that this flashlight won’t cut it.  I also realize what I have suspected for some time.  I am a little put off by tight squeezes.  I go back out and call John for a better light and encoragement.  He tells me there are no flashlights within a reasonable proximity to me.  The diddle’s cries are louder now, and I know I have to suck it up and save that baby.  I take the Tinker Bell flashlight and put Deladis on guard outside one of the vent holes in our cinderblock foundation.  I take deep breaths and crawl, only hitting my head once, to the diddle.  It jumps and runs to a nearby corner.  I catch it between the block and a piece of plastic, pick it gently up, and hand it to Deladis who is still waiting outside the vent hole.  She then returns the baby to its mother.  We are all pleased after the minor freak out.

Then, I just get plain mad.  Lars needs to get over himself!  He’s well feed, gets plenty of attention, and has all the room and comfort he needs.  He is being a party pooper and is disregarding the rules of this family.  I guess he thinks he’s old enough now to do what he wants.  Well, you know what happens to grown kids when they get old enough to do what they want… ok, just kidding.  I won’t make him get his own place.  So, I’m left with having to respect his age and realize we a peers now.  And, that leaves me where I started, being mad.

Adding my new work to our daily schedule is already changing things up quite a bit.  Not in a bad way though.  I feel myself relaxing about things that worried me so much before, things that I took way to seriously.  Sure, it has only been two days since the end of my training workshop and I am still riding that wave of pure joy, but the relaxation is very real.

I don’t know why.  I suspect it is because I am finally paying attention to where my heart has been leading me for years.  Not just the childbirth education, but actually listening to that part of me that has said, you’d really enjoy _____.  Listening to that part of me instead of making decisions based on some “dream” idea of what our family life should look like, what makes a great parent, or how a grown woman can give to her community and children.  What makes one a productive, satisfied individual?  It definitely isn’t trying to adhere to someone else’s prescription of that idea.  So far, I’m finding that giving in and listening to what your heart says, doing the leg work for yourself, is much more satisfying.  No, it’s not going to look anything like what other people have found satisfying.  We are all gifted differently.  We are all unique, so it shouldn’t.

Yes, we may get ideas from one another.  Of course, if something speaks to us, but is challenging, we should give it our best effort and time to see if it is something that is beneficial for us.  But, if we are attempting something for our benefit and thus that of our family, and it is doing nothing but bringing discontentment, it is probably not a fit.  There can be great satisfaction in a challenge and hard work, so I am learning to look for that satisfaction.  For example, doing an hour of yoga everyday is a huge challenge.  Finding the time for it in my day, trying to relax despite the bustle around me, and listening for that still small voice is anything but easy.  Yet, while practicing, I feel satisfied.  I feel like I have done something important, and in turn I feel happy for it.  That is how you know that an idea is a good one.  The work it takes isn’t always easy, but you continually have the feeling that it is right.

This morning, Deladis started drawing bodies on her figures and animals.  Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer suggests that this is one of the first signs for academic readiness.  However, for most children this won’t occur until around age 6 or 7.  I watched Deladis’ glee as she showed her new accomplishment to her artist daddy, who in turn looks at me and says that his daughter is a genius. 🙂  I smile and think that it’s cute that Daddy gives such esteem to his little one.  Then, Deladis looks at me and says, “This little girl cat is beautiful and this boy one is handsome.”  Her mommy who thinks in words couldn’t help but be amazed and think maybe her daddy is really onto something.  Does it mean she is ready for academics?  I’m doubtful.  Do I ignore this sign?  Absolutely not.  The recommendation for Waldorf education is no formal academics until age 6 or 7.  Is that a strict rule to be adhered to in homeschool families?  I don’t think so.  I think it is something to deeply consider.  I’m going to spend many weeks, perhaps months watching her cues… seeing where she leads me, and listening to my heart.

Our lives are changing.  The road for me has been rocky, but some lessons are hard learned and should be.  I’m glad for it.  I’m really glad.

Please bear with me as I try to figure out what place this blog will have in my new schedule.  I am going to try to still post regularly, but I am almost certain that things will change here a little bit as I am devoting time to different things.  I hope you will continue to check back in and share your thoughts here.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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