A Return to Life

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Autumn peppers just before I pulled the plants for the winter

I am back from the brink of chaos, and hoping to be able to maintain this blog with a little more consistency.  I had some very deeply personal challenges to overcome in the last two years and I was unable to juggle all the balls I had in the air.  So, I took a break from sharing my life through the blog for what I initially thought would be a short break that became an over a year long break.  But, alas, I’m back, because I love writing and I love photographing and I am making time for the things that bring me joy in life instead of constant “digging in the dirt” as it were.  Those things need to be dealt with, life would not have its richness and meaning without some trials and tribulations.  But, those that know me closely, understand that I have had more than my fair share of those experiences in my life, to the point of absurdity sometimes.  I have decided that I will do my best to stay in the positive side of things and not let the rest of it be an anchor around my soul anymore.  It took me a bit to figure out where I was going to drive my life after my latest foundation-shaker, but I am working that out and attempting to move forward with hope, grace and joy at the forefront.  We’ll see how it goes, eh?

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Liam and his girlfriend, Jillian, before the Winter Dance

Now, none of those apply to what is happening with our world right now.  Being deep in the effects of a deadly virus that has to date killed more then a million people world wide has been something that none of us could have predicted, nor are many of us equipped to deal with this long term.  I had to leave my job at Lowe’s working as an associate in the paint department because I have three underlying conditions that could well, make me getting this virus, deadly.  So, my husband is working at home, my oldest had to leave his job in a grocery store for my sake and my kids are doing school at home.  Our world, along with so many other folks, has been turned upside down.  And yet…it has provided with an invaluable opportunity for our family to reconnect with meals, games, movie nights, talks and just being together.  Having two teenagers who are very  busy normally with school, band, Boy Scouts, sports, jobs, friends, the gym…well, it’s been hard to book any quality time lately, so I don’t hate that quarantining has brought some closeness for us that has been missing recently.  But it has been rough on the members of my family that are deeply missing their lives outside of our four walls, most especially the two pictured above.   How are you handling it?  We are trying hard to stay positive and are so grateful that my husband is still employed and that his employer allowed him to work from home.  He’s the glue that holds this homestead together financially, and we’re feeling thankful that his job is stable for now.

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Rory during the annual Memorial Day Parade

This year away brought many little things to our lives that have been great.  We got the house painted last summer and it’s adorable now!  I will post a picture of that in the next blog post, I promise.  I’m waiting to get some flowers around it to cute-en it up since we don’t have much in the way of greenery yet here, it’s still very early in the year for that here.  Rory got his braces off recently, and his teeth look fantastic.  It was a long road for him because they had to pull so many teeth and do more than just straightening them. But, we knew it needed to be done when he started to hide his smile from people behind his hand raised to his face.  He smiles so openly and with confidence now and I’m really grateful that he feels better about himself this way.  As you can see from the picture above, he’s a pretty handsome kid and now his confidence and smile matches that.  I got to have a wonderful visit with my sister and brother and part of my sister’s family last fall.  It prompted a big gathering for all of our extended family, some who haven’t seen each other in many, many years, so that was a nice coming together of souls in my life.  I mentioned that I got a part time job at Lowe’s, which fits our family and homestead life much better than being gone 11 1/2 hours a day did with the other job I attempted.  We got some more smaller renos done on the house including a back splash in the kitchen, which looks great.

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The garden harvest last year was wonderful and we are looking for an even better one this year. Having put in the raised beds with fabric weed barrier underneath, we didn’t have any earthworms at all in the beds the first two years.  I added some amendments to it, like bloodmeal, wood ash, compost and Epsom salts. When I want to plant the sugar snap peas, radishes and beets recently, I found earthworms galore in those beds now!  Happy soil makes for happier and more nutritious food for sure!  With the state of affairs with our country the way it is, we are concentrating on planting food to feed us. Not doing much experimenting, mostly going for the vegetables and flowers that we know produce well here so that we can maximize the food on the table.  Times being this uncertain are scary for sure, but knowing we can grow some food on our own is a peace of mind everyone might want to be concentrating on right now.  I may also be getting some more egg laying chicks this spring so that we have the food security of eggs produced here on the homestead as well.  We originally had a game plan for this place of a few more years then perhaps onto the next, but that’s all going to depend on how the economy settles after all this is done.  In the event that we will be here longer than originally planned, we will need to produce food, and eggs are a great cheap and easy form of protein that just about anyone can have for their homestead.  Plus, chickens are just darned fun to watch!

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Brown Chicken (yes, that’s her name) having a little refreshment

Well, this is long enough for a reintroduction post.  I am happy to be back behind the shutter and the keyboard, it’s been a part of me I have been missing.  Inspiration was a little hard to come by, but I’m coming back to my joys.  I thank you for sticking by my side and reading what my sometimes scattered brain comes up with to write about.

Be back soon!  Until then, be well, be kind to each other and blessings to you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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