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Mom Week

Last week, I had a Mom Week.  Not a Homeschooling Mom Week or a SAHM week or a Working Mom Week or even a Work-At-Home Mom Week.  And I don’t mean one of those magically wonderful weeks where I got to hang out with my kids and love and cuddle and play with them without interruption.  Come on, ladies, you know the kind of week I mean.

Sage House Market craft booth (Abby's goods and mine)

Sage House Market craft booth (Abby’s goods and mine)

That week where everything you do is done for the family you have contact with for about 4 minutes a day when all you talk about is what you have to accomplish next and how everyone is going to get everywhere and everything is going to get done.  Yeah.  That one.  I would tell you all about it, but honestly, it is one ginormous blur that I cannot, for the life of me, remember.  What I remember most is coming home from a craft show with my bestie on Saturday night and looking around at the boys I hadn’t seen in two days and basically telling them good night.  Because even though it was only 9 pm, I was done functioning for the week.

Don’t get me wrong; it was a great week.  I had a blast doing the craft show with Abby and Sage House Market and a lot got done on the new house and the Littles had a great learning week.  What I’m saying is, I’m grateful for yesterday.

Because we’ve all had that week, haven’t we?  When homeschooling or public schooling or homework clashes with activities or work or big projects and those activities clash with new ventures and by the time it’s all said and done, something got Completely Neglected or someone’s feelings got hurt and you would love it if that had not happened, but you just didn’t have the extra 2 minutes during that week to fix the problem?  (Admittedly, I’ve had several weeks in a row like that, but this last one was the worst.)

So yesterday, I took a nothing day.  Not a vacation day.  Not a break from the family day.  A nothing day.  And here is what I did:

Nothing.

serendipity

Serendipity-you know that awesome film with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in it–came on at some point yesterday afternoon and I Sat Down And Watched It.  My beautiful husband needed a little help putting up the band boards on the south side of the house, so I went and Held A Ladder.  My Littlest wanted to curl up on the couch and cuddle–I Curled Up On The Couch And Cuddled My Baby.  I cooked breakfast.  Martin and I cooked supper together.  I skipped lunch because I had no intention of cooking 3 times yesterday.  I watched the Broncos game. I watched some of the Bears game. (If you don’t already know what a Huge Football Fan I am, know that one of the reasons I married Martin is that he likes football as much as I do.  Go Broncos.) I got on Pinterest and found some new crockpot recipes.

I. Did. Not. Think.

I. Did. Not. Act.

In fact, I did so little that yesterday is kind of a blur, too.  The good kind of blur.

Before bed, I did do one thing.  I took all my guys outside and watched the lunar eclipse with them.  It was pretty awesome, because we got to watch the shadow  creep across the entire moon before clouds covered it up.  So at least we got to see the full eclipse, even if we didn’t get to see it uncover itself.  (Okay, I know that’s not how it works.  You get me.)  It was like having a mini homeschool science class in the dark, and everyone was awed by what we saw and learned.  Middle did his thing (he’s so like his mama).  He crept away until he was about 20 feet from the rest of us where he could be quiet with his thoughts.  I wonder what stories he was telling himself, but because he is so like me I know to wait until he’s ready to tell them rather than ask him about them.  He’s always telling himself stories.  So we aren’t offended when he breaks off from the crowd.

courtesy of earthsky.org

courtesy of earthsky.org

Today, I feel recharged.  I didn’t wear myself out yesterday and I got enough sleep last night.  We had an amazing day in school and now I’m Finally getting to touch base with my amazing readers.  For the moment, things have slowed to normal.  No, I don’t have time to sit down and watch a whole movie in the middle of the afternoon, but neither am I frantically rushing from one place to another.

Thank you, Nothing Day.  I highly recommend you to everyone.  Nothing is more calming than nothing.

Try it some time.  You need it.  You deserve it.

Love wins,

KT

 

Down the Rabbit Hole (A Mad Tea Party)

Homeschool day down the rabbit hole? Throw a fun tea party!

Ever had one of those days when homeschool feels like torture?  You’re down, your kids aren’t feeling it, or life is just overtaking you like a bobsledder?

Yeah, I’ve had those days.  To pull us out of our funk, I scrap the day’s lesson plan and try something fun.  Because fun.  And because some days homeschool feels like one of the impossible things.  I still believe in it, but only in theory.  You get me.

Usually, one day of lesson-scrapping pulls us together and refreshes us to get back on track the next day.  Sometimes it’s board games.  Sometimes it’s Netflix.  Sometimes?

Oh. Yeah.  They’re the best times.  Mad Tea Party, anyone?

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A Promise to Myself

Recently, a well-liked member of our community was diagnosed with lymphoma and given only 3 months to live.  Now, I wouldn’t call us close to this man, but we know him and like him and once spent a day at his farm picking the pears he generously offered.  He is a good guy with a family, and I am crushed for all of them.  It has, of course, gotten me thinking about what I would do if I was given only 3 more months on this beautiful planet.

IMG_20150827_170353702I know many people have a bucket list, and such a diagnosis would incite them to fill it.  When I think about only having 3 months left, I realize I am basically living my bucket list, especially since my beautiful husband (who apparently loves me very much) has offered to take me on my dream vacation in the spring.  He says the trip itself sounds boring to him, but that his favorite thing to do is just hang out with me and talk, so he knows he’ll have fun.  Yeah.  Living my bucket list.  What more could I want?

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Rather than rushing around to do all the things I’ve never done, I believe I would slow down and appreciate all the things I have.  Take daily walks in my woods and my neighborhood and soak in the feeling of sunlight on my skin, the smell of freshly mowed hay and leaf mold and wildflowers, the magical gloaming of twilight, the sounds of frogs croaking, trees creaking, birds singing.  I would eat whatever tastes good and not worry about how my dead thyroid is causing me to retain all that yumminess.  Mac n cheese would become part of my diet again.  For sure.

I would listen to each of my family members actively.  I would not be distracted. I would remind my littles daily to be kind above all else.  I would play with my dog (an amazing German shepherd named Raylan who thinks I am his flock and loves me unconditionally).  I would cuddle my crazy cat.  I would call my mama every day and tell her how much I love her.  I would remind my siblings that they have always been the friends I could count on whenever the world fell apart and how much I appreciate it.  I would make more time to see my wonderful best friend and make sure she knows that my life has been richer and sweeter (and waaaay funnier) with her in it, and I am grateful for her.

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And when I got too sick to keep doing these things?  I would ask my husband to make me a screened room because I hate hospitals and do not want to die in one.  I would lay in a bed in my screened room and read stories or have them read to me.  That way I could still feel the earth’s air on my skin and send out my senses to all the things I was missing while lying in that bed, and every single second–no matter the pain–appreciate that I got to live here, to be part of this world, to raise my breathtaking children, and love my gorgeous husband, and Be Loved by these people I’m not sure I deserve.

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I’m sure if you’ve been reading this blog for long or following me on Instagram you know I am completely in love with this planet.  So I would spend my last months appreciating being here and loving the people who are here with me.

Why would I have to be threatened with death to do that, though?

So here’s my promise to myself:  I’m going to spend the next 3 months like they are my last.  I’m going to do all the things I would do if I thought I would be leaving soon.  Except maybe the mac n cheese–my doctor might really kill me for that.  Or my body might.  So, no mac n cheese.  But all this other stuff-yeah.

I challenge you to join me.  And always remember,

Love wins,

KT

This Crazy Cool Country Life Part 2

IMG_20150825_112626541_HDRI know a lot of people hate August.  It’s hot, it’s long, nothing too exciting happens in the whole month.  But I love August.  I always have.  I love how the days are still long but the sunlight has changed color–that beautiful, deep, rich, golden red in the evenings that you don’t get at any other time of year.  I love how night lasts a bit longer in the mornings so you can sleep till 6 and still feel like you’re getting up early.  I love watching my world wind down toward autumn.  There is an ancient Celtic festival holiday called Lughnasadh (LOO-na-sa) on August 1st that celebrates the first harvest of the year and the Sun God, Lugh.  What better month is there to celebrate the sun than golden, delicious August?

We have been having a particularly fine August this year–mild weather, low humidity, gorgeously cool mornings and wonderfully hot afternoons.  I don’t remember there ever being an August like this in the Ohio Valley.  Usually, it is so hot and humid you can’t breathe. Not this year.  This year, August is everything I could hope for.  So we’ve been able to do nature walks this month in a much less limited way than usual.  And here is what we saw on our hour & a half walk yesterday, for your viewing pleasure.

pondWe have 2 more weeks before our official homeschool year starts, but that doesn’t mean we can’t study a little pond life as we head out on our walk.  I love this view of our fishing hole.

three littlesHere are all my littles as we head down the road.  Even Big took this walk with us.  As you can see, Big inherited my height while the Littles inherited their dad’s–yes, my Littles have outgrown me.  Yes, I still call out, “Littles!”  when I need them.  And yeah, I probably always will.  Now you can envision my country lane when I talk about driving down it. 🙂

IMG_20150825_122948984One of the really awesome, amazing things about living in a rural community is the sense of sharing we all have.  Some of us have goats, some horses, some cows, most have chickens.  Some have pear trees, some plum trees, some persimmon trees, some apples.  Some gardens produce more tomatoes, or cukes, or zukes.  At some point during this time of year, we are all calling each other or stopping by to see if our neighbors could use our excess.  I grew up in the city, and while we had some good neighbors, the generosity we have in my country community has not been matched in my life.  This neighbor’s horse called out hello to us and I couldn’t resist snapping a pic.

hill and sky Barn flowersThese views of the same neighbor’s land gave us a chance to discuss local wildflowers and pollination, and how nature is as intricately interwoven as our ‘neighborhood’ is.

littlest creekLittlest and I were the only two brave enough to walk the roadside creek bed where, despite the drenching we got throughout June, things were pretty dry.  Still we were able to find a couple of pools of water. And some interesting insects.

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And this elegant little spiderweb

spiderweb 2Just on the other side of the creek bed was another opportunity to discuss our local flora.  We saw about 6 different yellow wildflowers on our walk, but this view of forest sunflower and goldenrod was our favorite.

yellow roadside flowers

 

Soon we were headed home, but not before spotting some late-summer butterflies.

going home IMG_20150825_115414633_HDRI grew up reading books like Charlotte’s Web and Mrs. Frisby about people living on farms.  I loved the descriptions of just normal daily life–how everything was so simple and outdoorsy and everybody pretty much got what it meant to be part of this planet.  Never in a million years did I dream that one day I would be walking home to a view like this:

IMG_20150825_132514252_HDRIt takes my breath that something as simple as weeds growing up the side of a henhouse can elicit such joy in me.  How getting our first green egg from our spring chickens can make us all do a happy dance and consider going to the butcher to get the ham to go with it.

When I call this my crazy cool country life, I mean it is crazy that I get to live it.  I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I get to exist in such beauty every day.  I love this place like Scarlett loved Tara, and I’m teaching my boys to feel the same way.  After all, it will be theirs some day.  And, as always,

Love wins,

KT