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This is my fourth full day off of coffee!!!  My first day headache and body ache free.  I’m not nearly as emotional either.  It has amazed me what a complete hold something as “harmless” as caffeine can have on you.  I’ve been up and down all weekend.  So, today, my back decides to go out, but that hasn’t happened in awhile so it’s not completely a horrible thing.  I’m used to it.  I love chiropractors!

I felt ease in this day and coming home after a few days away felt really nice.  This afternoon we worked a little to prepare for the activities of the coming week and our homeschool.  We also wanted to make a few adjustments to the play area for the girls.

A pile of rocks for castle building or whatever they may become.

rocks

A pile of pine cones for future winter projects and neat bird feeders.

cone

birdfeeder

All from one tree in the front yard.

pine

We also put the finishing touches on the nature table that I will post pictures of on Wordless Wednesday.  I’m so happy with it.

However, when we came home today we found that a rather large creature that we have been trying to catch for over a month tried to chew through the pumpkin on our table.  We turned on our heater for the first time today as well, and when we pulled back the hearth, we found its nest.  Superman from Deladis’s birthday present of wooden super heroes was missing.  We found him in the nest with the back of his head chewed off.  This creature has the ability to carry baking potatoes to various spots around the cabin for its dining pleasure.  It eats and carries around our apples and our bananas.  It chewed through the lids on my containers of nuts.  I have seen this creature twice.  It is large.  The size of an older kitten, but really fat.  It doesn’t appear to have a tail, and it is apparently intelligent.  It has no interest in the fresh food we leave for it nightly in the live trap.  We added peanut butter tonight as per the advice of my step-dad, hunter extraordinaire.  We’ll see if that does the trick.  I’ll post pictures if it does.

Coming home anytime I’ve spent a night away opens my eyes to my blessings.  I’m blessed to be able to do what I am doing for my girls, live where I live, and have such an awesome adventure of sharing my home with and trying to catch wild creatures. 😉  I’m thankful… so thankful.

An arrangement of wildflowers for yellow Monday

An arrangement of wildflowers for yellow Monday

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

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

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

leafspiral

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

dbeans

Ivybeans

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

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

pmint

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

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

John and Deladis have gone this morning to pick up our new little flock of baby chickens.  I am anxiously awaiting their return and using the time with just Ivy and I to get some computer work accomplished – thus blogging.  From now on, it is a goal of mine to limit my computer time even more than I already do, and to do it at times when the girls are engaged in other activities or sleeping.  Lately, with trying to find our true, tuned in, natural rhythm, I’ve discovered, with John’s help, that this laptop and the work I do on it has become an intruder – no matter how much I value what I do with my computer time.  It has become a source of frustration for me, and I am seeking to find the best time to work without making it hard on myself or the girls.

I have been privy to numerous conversations on the point of blogs and blogging.  I have heard both extremes and everything in between.  It ranges from bloggers are only attention seekers and those who read blogs are voyeuristic no different than those who dig bad reality television, to blogs are the future of spreading true, to the moment news and documenting real history and those who read blogs are seeking to inform themselves from a firsthand source.  A recent conversation that I was a small part of hurt my feelings without anyone intending to.  It happens often in circles of mothers, all scrambling to do it right, that one or another will say something that either knowingly or unknowingly shoots down a woman who is in the boat with them.  It was said that blogs were only self promotion and a strange need of cyber culture to share their personal business with the world, in so many words.

For a minute I thought, oh my gosh, is that what I’m doing without being aware of it? Then, the next minute, I balked and was angry at anyone insinuating that that is what many bloggers do, especially mommy bloggers.  Of course, as always, somewhere in between is the correct place to fall.  Sure, I blog to hopefully gain some readers for the writing I do away from this site and to make folks aware of my efforts with writing and cultural preservation.  If that is self promotion, then so be it.  However, I would blog here even if that weren’t my goals.  Motherhood, for me, here has been sort of isolating.  Finding women to talk with who share similar ideas as mine is a difficult task.  I so value any conversation with other mothers no matter their style of parenting, but the fact of the matter is, there isn’t much of a network going on in my area.  That is the one thing I miss most of all about the city.  I spent so many years without making friends in Louisville and then I had a baby and a wonderful world of networking, attachment parenting/natural family living mothers opened their arms to me.  Now, I read blogs of mothers like me.  There is a need to know that you aren’t alone in the world – that someone is sharing your struggles and victories.  There is a need to be part of conversations with those who share your interests.  I blog to be a part of the larger picture.

I gain so much valuable information from blogs.  I read very few of them actually, and the ones I do are chalk full of information that I can use and digest quickly as a busy mother with little reading time.  If I ever find that my blog is not providing anything worthwhile other than tidbits of things that should be kept to ourselves, like the countless Facebook and Myspace status posts of “I’m taking a shower and then laying down with my man” or “I’ll be at Wal-Mart, then the grocery store, then home”, I’ll shut it down, print what I want to save for the girls to read when they are grown, and take it off the web.

Technology is not as welcome in our home as in most modern homes today.  We limit everyone’s television viewing.  We don’t have cable or satellite.  We have one ancient barely working cell phone.  No Ipod.  No video gaming system.  We don’t miss or want those things, though sometimes a working cell phone would be nice with unreliable vehicles.  I didn’t even know what the internet was until college, so to lump all people using computers into the cyber generation is a longshot.  I squirm at the thought of paper books, magazines, and newspapers being replaced with computer screens.  I’m old fashioned in this way and always will be.  Finding blogging was much by chance, and I’m not sorry.

So, in the meantime, I will leave you with the glorious new flower I’ve discovered around our cabin.

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed

This is Joe Pye Weed.  It stands about 7 feet tall in most places around the cabin.  It is named for a Native American healer who used it to treat typhus.  It has other medicinal uses as well.  All the beautiful foliage around here makes me want to learn what to do with them.  I wanted to share this one with you as I find it exceptional and it has a neat story.

I’m also considering a new look for this site.  I’m not sure if what I have now is boring.  Let me know what you think.

ironweed

It has been a healing weekend –  very uneventful.  I got some good news on my own health struggles and have dealt with a little minor blech.  But, we visited family and spent quiet days with each other, eating good food and watching the girls play.

Children are the most interesting creatures.  I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading in Waldorf educational philosophy as prep to teach and better understand my girls.  Most of the reading is on preschool development, and it has given me so much understanding as to why the girls act and react the way they do to things.  I hope it helps me to orchestrate our days.  The reading has made Ivy’s new accomplishments of the last few days even more exciting.  She has worked diligently on expanding her vocabulary.  Our big activity this weekend was to answer her question, “what’s that?”, a million times over.  Before this weekend, Ivy had around ten words that were regulars and a few more she chose to utter here and there.  As of today, she has added the following to her list.

  • ball
  • bear
  • bird
  • banana
  • burp
  • pee pee
  • Elmo

I’m not even sure if I’ve lost track and forgot a few there.  I thought she was on a pattern of Bs until she came out with “pee pee” and then added “Elmo” during a diaper change with her Mamaw this evening.  With “pee pee” and “burp” in her arsenal she’ll be working hard at catching up with her sister’s new love for the word “poop”.  You have to love the preschool potty talk.  Ivy is so proud of herself and has been the happiest baby.  I love watching the girls learn and create their lives.  I stood for a long time and looked at their newborn pictures today.  It is miraculous how quickly they go from completely vulnerable to such learned little things.

The girls and I went on a nature walk Friday.  The late summer wildflowers are blooming and we collected some for an arrangement.  Fortunately, we found a vase under our front porch.

wildflowersDeladis felt pleased with the arrangement and glad to have helped.  There are some red clover, goldenrod (our state flower), jewel weed, Queen Anne’s lace, and some daisies.  I have no idea what the deep purple flowers or the little pink ones are, but they are gorgeous.  I’ll have to see if I can find a book to help me better identify the herbs and plants around the cabin.  They do make for a beautiful sight.  They are my sign that autumn is more near to us everyday.

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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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