Tuesday, October 10

Seven Days

I told you I was like a kid at Christmas!

I'm half planning to load up my bed, a suitcase, a box of bacon and the coffee press, and call it good. If they want anything else, they can come back for it. Oh, and the patio furniture - I do love our patio furniture. That should be plenty, right?

We had a week off from ballet while the school was on fall break. Nearly missed trash day, woke Z up early on a day he didn't have to go to work, and accomplished very little in the way of returning library books that week. Evidently, we can't use a calendar without some kind of external anchor to remind us what day it is. Also, to Jacob's Russian teacher, I apologize. He comes by it honestly.

However, I remembered that I can, in fact, cook quite well when I have the time to do it. So, that's been fun. I'm really looking forward to getting settled and doing more in the kitchen again.

We animal-sat for friends over the long weekend. It was good, and we're glad we were able to help them out, but we are so not cut out for farm life. It probably would have been easier if we didn't live 50 minutes away, and often had to wear the rest of the day whatever we wore to tend the animals. That was kind of gross. Or, if we had any idea what might cause a goat to fall over. That was scary. (The goat is fine, and John rocked the medic training - he devised a carry sling and we let him tell us what to do, so we didn't completely suck at whatever it was we were supposed to be doing.) They'll be back today, and I am so incredibly glad.

Today is John's last day at work. They've been so good to him, and it was a wonderful experience for a first time job. With the move, though, he'd be working to earn the gas money to drive ... to work. Plus, he starts clinicals near the end of this semester, and that will take up a lot of additional time. He picks up another class at the CC on the 21st, as well. He has a plan and he's moving on it. It's neat to stand back and see that play out, see where he wants to go and how he's making it happen.

Today is also the last Harried Tuesday! Hurrah! No more! This time next week, I can drop Jacob at ballet and GO HOME to wait! There shall be scones! (We tweaked a keto bagel recipe and it's like lovely, decadent scones, only with scads of protein and few carbs. So good!)

Be encouraged!


Tuesday, October 3

14 Days

In 14 days, we move. Because it's a local move, I can't convince anyone in the house that it's a legitimate move or that it needs any actual preparation. I guess we'll teleport.

Whatever works, folks. Whatever works. I don't have the bandwidth to force the issue on the front end, so I'm just going with it for now and I'll fix it the following week, when everyone is surprised that their approach wasn't terribly efficient.

If Life has taught me anything (and it has, actually, taught me many things), the most recent is that sometime you just have to step back and let people do what they will. This is, perhaps the hardest lesson for me, so far.


Actually, I think any lesson is the hardest lesson (ever!) when we're in the middle of learning it, don't you think? It's not until after you've mastered the skill, or internalized the lesson that it becomes easy and self-evident. I'll be truthful with you - I am soooo ready for me to master this Letting Go thing. Just let it go. Let it be. It's fine. No worries.

In (mostly) unrelated news, we're spooling up on our wine knowledge. Ha. No, really, that is unrelated. We're doing the research now to see about the viability of a vineyard on the family ranch. We've sent in soil samples and met with a viticulture specialist. That's very exciting, and as with any industry or endeavor, there is so much to learn! It's overwhelming, but it's also exciting.

And there's wine.

So, serendipity, and all that. 😉

Friday, September 29

Little Things, Like Cool Mornings

When I was a kid, I dreamed of having a BIG LIFE, one full of adventure and travel, of friends met on the road and re-met on other roads (evidently, the world in my head was full of vagabonds). I dreamed of gauze-draped ceilings and rich tapestries keeping my small home comfortable while I was away, waiting to greet me with color and effervescence when I returned.

We've been here 12 years. I don't even have family pictures on the walls, much less tapestries or breezy draperies. This doesn't bother me (the thought of just how many cobwebs, and correspondingly, spiders, there would be with that kind of decor makes me a little queasy, truthfully). But it's definitely different.

And yet, my life is BIG. It's beautiful and loud and exhausting. It's not at all what I had pictured, but it's everything I could have wanted if I'd known about it. What surprises me the most is how the little things sprinkled throughout life are the things that bring the greatest joy.

For example, James is sitting beside me, reading for one of his classes. He occasionally lobs a snippet at me, or muses aloud about what he's reading. I do wish I'd read this book so we could discuss it, but I haven't, so I listen and make what I hope are engaging noises. This, though, is really precious to me, just being here together in the quiet of the morning with one of my favorite humans.

Jase is outside, working on Pine City. It's a city he's building for the My Little Pony ponies. It's got roads and parks and churches. There are houses and apartment complexes. How you build a two-story pine structure, without using bales or at least wire, is fascinating. He came in and told me I should go out on the balcony to write, "Because it's beautiful!" That he's enjoying it, and he wanted to share it, is beautiful to me and makes me sigh with contentment.

I had to take an Allegra to do it (one more thing I didn't see really picture), but he was right. It's the cool of the day, something we don't have year-round. It's back. And it is beautiful. Soon, I'll need to break out my shawl to sit outside and write! I can't wait!

We were all home for dinner last night.

The leaves that crunch under our feet as we walk.

The wonder of friendship, integrity, love. Wow! That totally beats whatever I had in mind.

Be encouraged!

Sunday, September 24

*psst* Hi.

I am not dead. Nor have I killed anyone, run anyone off, or set anything on fire. There should be cupcakes for that. We have, however, firmly identified the point at which we cannot function anymore, and ballet is it. Or rather, ballet, college, work, theater -- all in town, with us living in the country. That's it. That spot, right there.

So, we move into town next month (I'm doing daily countdown announcements like a six-year-old near Christmas!) and we'll be officially putting the Forever Home on the market. Not only will this buy us some breathing space, but it'll be significantly easier to show the place when we don't have seven people's worth of activities and lunch bags drizzled from the front door to the kitchen. (Because that's all we have the energy for when we do get home, limply drop our belongings as we stagger to the fridge.)

It's funny. Some of the kids have mused that we should have bought a house in town when we got here. It's a knee-jerk reaction to agree (because nobody wants to pack everything - that's their real motivation, there), but then I think back on it, and no. No, this was the perfect place to raise our family. Bonfires in the lower meadow, smaller campfires in the upper ... Dinners with friends on the balcony, airsoft in the woods ... Fruit from the trees and minnows from the creek (we ate the fruit, but not the minnows) ... Window frogs and lightning bugs ... Expeditions into the woods to look for new plants or harvest blackberries ... Building projects and Scout projects ... The Pinewood Derby track that lived in the basement, in use, for years ... Riding the wagon down the drive, or trying to get Balto to be a sled dog (didn't work) ... The incredible, amazing friends we've made here ... We have a dozen years of delicious, precious memories firmly rooted in this place, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

We'll make new memories in new places, yes, but they don't negate that the Forever Home was a pretty darned fantastic home base for over a decade. It just needs to be a fantastic place for someone else, now - someone with little ones who want to garden and play in the creek and really revel in all the delightful surprises this place has to offer.

And I need to live in a place that lets all my people do their thing while still giving Z and I time to do ours.

23 days!! *squee*

Be encouraged!

Sunday, August 27

It's like Military Maneuvers

... if your military were staffed by clowns and hippies.

We pulled into the parking lot with one minute until prayer began. The car doors were flying open before the thing was in park, and I heard from somewhere in the back, "All right, troops, move, move, MOVE!"

I clambered out, gathered my things, and was formulating a response when I heard, "Or, you know, eventually. That works, too." It was John, who was standing there, holding the door open as the little moved ever so slowly toward the door, chatting, gathering their things, putting on their shoes.

I stifled a laugh and grabbed the rest of my things.

That one little interaction pretty much summed up our Sunday mornings. We may have grand plans and ambitions, but we're only going to move as quickly as our least-focused cadet. And yet, we made it without any yelling, or making anyone cry. Sometimes there's a bit of resignation, though.

I do wish I were a more consistent photo taker. Jase was wearing shorts and big, heavy shoes, and he just exuded Christopher Robin. It was precious and wonderful and made me smile every time he scampered off somewhere. I hope he's the one who picks my clothes for me when I'm old.

Be encouraged!