Sunday, February 24, 2013

Since the last time...

I've been unsure about how and when I would follow up on the last blog post.  A number of things have happened since that time that have some bearing on both my ability to keep up with the blog and my feelings about how to frame the last number of weeks:
  • I had my first full blown anxiety and/or panic attack (something I would be very thrilled never to experience again) the night after I wrote the last very positive blog post, which by the way was all a very true description of how I was feeling that day. For a number of weeks, I had been experiencing some physical symptoms that had me feeling more uptight that usual including tightness in my chest, some shortness of breath, tingling in my arms, etc...  But after consulting both with medical people in the family (thank you Mom B and Dad M) and with my family doctor, it appears that I'm about as healthy as they come physically, and my body is responding to some of life's stressors in not such pleasant ways.  More on what I'm doing about that below...
  • We've traveled to and from West Virginia, enjoying a luxurious four days without my computer (that was step #1 in addressing the stress!), enjoying helping prepare for and then joining in the celebration of my cousin's wedding. We celebrated Fausnaught Day and are well into Lent, where we have successfully thus far given up all grocery shopping and have been found to forget numerous times to not eat anything with cheese in it (the other thing we were attempting to go without and which Kali keeps reminding us of - she chose not to join us in giving up cheese, and Alida also has not). 
  • Alida has become completely obsessed with computer keys.  She does not want to hear me talk about which keys she can/cannot press and wants full reign of the computer whenever I'm attempting to do anything on it.   So you might be wondering how I am getting away with this blogpost when she is not asleep and I'm home alone with her.  Well, she is chattering away beside me pressing buttons to her heart's content on our old dinosaur computer. It may never be the same once she is done, but she is content.
  • E & J closed on their home in Keezletown!  They are officially neighbors and we couldn't be more thrilled!  And being the natural connectors that they are, they are already getting to know their neighbors.  It just so happens that the family right across the street has three children, one of whom is a 9 year old girl.  Kali is over there now meeting her for the first time and using a metal detector to try to find treasure in E & J's yard!
So I've been trying to figure out what to write about my emotional state and how much to just focus on the day to day activities of our homestead, which have been in large part very pleasant.  Somehow it doesn't feel fair to anyone that happens to land upon our blog, or read it regularly, to paint an inaccurate picture of home life.  But I'm not planning to make this public form of scrapbooking the way I process the things most precious and most difficult in my life!

Some of the take-aways for me from the recent health scare and pretty clear symptoms of too much stress and anxiety include, but are not limited, to the following: 
  • Limiting the amount of time I spend on email on my days/evenings off work.
  • More family walks/hikes or other forms of low key family times.
  • Being a little more free to spend money on some things that we might be able to figure out how to do ourselves but which we really don't have time to add to the project list for this spring.
  • Tied to that, I'm going to relieve myself of the stress of diving into honeybees this spring. Instead we are going to get mason bees!  They seem super cool and I'm super excited and we hope to order them tonight!
There are other things Jason and I have been talking about but that is enough for now and my time with Alida content appears to be VERY limited. She just reached over and put my computer into stand by...

Here are some pictures from things we have recently been enjoying: cute girls and watching seeds grow. We are also eagerly anticipating ducklings hatching but another picture of eggs is in the incubator would not be very exciting - of interest, however is that after the first candling we removed 8 eggs that had not started developing and none after the second candling. So we are at 30 eggs with one and a half weeks to go!
Kali has gotten interested in doing more cooking.  We made crepes together for brunch this morning so here is some photo documentation of our brunch, enjoyed before a family lake to the hike.  You will see the final result of Alida's enjoyment of her chocolate crepe.  If you pick up on her chatter what she is saying is "not this one, not this one...this one."  It's a game we play with her fork when she is needing some additional motivation to consume more than one bite of dinner!
Time to sign off and get the final touches on dinner as we are hosting supper club this evening so will get to enjoy having our table full of friends this evening!

Friday, February 8, 2013


 So it wasn't until about 3 p.m. yesterday that it started sinking in (and I officially decided) that I was indeed taking the next week off work.  There really doesn't seem to be a "good" time of year for me to be out of the office for a full week, and it is a little hard to stick to one's vacation plans when you are spending the majority of the time at home.  But thanks to the encouragement of coworkers and the strong tug towards home, I'm officially on vacation until Monday, February 18th.  I was rather giddy on the way home last night and kicked off the vacation with not one but two episodes of Downton Abbey with members of our household here and then followed that by staying in bed until almost 8:30 a.m. this morning with Alida.  Luxurious!

"Clean" is on my to do list for today but thus far I've had way too much fun puttering around the house and just enjoying being home - I've got an organizing bug for one (which my family may tire of quickly).  I enjoyed a jog and a long walk with Alida, ending at the kale patch and came home with two big shopping bags full.  Yes, it is February and we are still savoring large amounts of fresh kale. 

I keep reminding myself that I don't have to do everything I want to do all in one day.  And I want to soak up time with Kali and Alida.  Alida is cracking us up these days with her insistence on dressing herself.  At this point it looks like she may not take after me in my distaste for tight skirts.  The silly gal likes to put both legs in the same hole of pants, the other pant leg serving as a tail.  It makes putting her in her high chair for meals rather challenging. Here you can see it for yourself:

Spring is approaching and with it the anticipation of a new growing season, flowers blooming and ducklings and chicks hatching.  Here's some of the sights around our place these days!

Thankfully we aren't in full swing yet with gardening and food processing and are enjoying fitting in some family hikes here and there.  The lake on our recent hike was beautiful with half it frozen, which was very enticing for Kali and her friend. I was thankful that we still had dry shoes on the way home!

Well, my time is up.  The girls just downed a box of macaroni and cheese and a can of green beans in the short time I was typing this so they are ready to move on to other things.  Kali is about to embark on making another potholder and Alida is "helping."