My apologies for going missing last week. I finally got the Administrator paper for my SIL’s estate and jumped into action to start processing all the pieces and parts. My week was full of constant phone calls, paperwork and appointments with a full day of volunteering at our Chamber of Commerce golf tournament thrown in. Oh, work. I even managed to squeeze in that darn work that helps to pay our bills. Don’t ask about sleep. I have given sleep up until all this is over.
This week has been more of the same but with the addition of school shopping thrown in and our internet being down for almost three days. Miss L. starts school this coming Monday. We got the school supplies on Monday and we got school clothes and soccer gear yesterday. Neither of us enjoy shopping for clothes and were both wiped out by the end of the day.
Several family members came to help clean out J’s storage units and we managed to get one clean completely and have to get the other one finished this weekend. We now have boxes piled in the house and soon in the barn. Everything has to be out of the unit by the end of the month and we have limited time to do it. The rest of the sorting out of stuff will happen here. I cannot stand “stuff” out of place or laying around for very long so my mission is to focus in and get this done as fast as possible.
Sooooooo, my apologies, but this is as good as you get this week. There is more on the schedule than I have time for. Hopefully next week will be better as we settle into a school schedule.
Take some time to slow down this week…for me as well as yourself!
I hope all is well in your world. We are only 8 days from Christmas and my week is centered on wrapping, cleaning, cooking, etc. while juggling the normal chores.
D. and I celebrated six months of married life this week. Six months ago I made huge life changes when I married him. The married part is great. Adjusting to the changes in everything else is beginning to be a struggle I think. Maybe it’s just winter. If you have read any of my previous posts you know I suffer through winter. I’m beginning to suspect there is more to it than just winter aversion though.
I have moved many times now and generally look at a move as a new adventure. I did the same this time. I jumped into country living with both feet. What I am discovering now is a need to adjust to a completely different stage of life not just a change in location. Quite frankly, I’m finding it difficult.
“What the heck is she talking about?” you ask. Well, first, my entire career and most of my life has been time oriented. Deadlines are the second most important part of my work, creativity being first. Then I spent years and years hauling kids to sports practice, youth church meetings, chorus and choir practice, tournaments near and far. In between all that I squeezed in the practical chores of laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, ect. always with a eye on the clock to get everything done on time. In the middle of all this I was usually also working a second job. Downtime was a rare, rare thing and when I got it, sleep was involved.
Suddenly I find myself living in an area where I’m not sure they use clocks! There are no deadlines. Estimated time at best. A fifteen to thirty minute visit seems to be the norm before getting down to business. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it has caused me some very frustrating moments in my time oriented brain. Time is so ingrained in my system that I physically cannot sit still when my internal alarm starts blaring.
Have you ever thought about your conditioned responses? Time is just one of my issues. Having been on my own as a single parent for thirteen years, I evidently developed some coping mechanisms that are no longer serving me very well. I’m used to making decisions without having to consult anyone else. I’m used to doing things my way and my way only. I’m used to things getting done on my schedule. All these I’m having to change if I want to stay married! Massive, sudden changes are tough!
If all this wouldn’t push a girl over the edge, we have a LONG list of remodeling and farm projects in various stages going on at once. My strong preference is to take on one project and complete it then start the next one. D. is more flexible than I am in that regard, and due to time and/or money constraints and season/weather our projects switch back and forth. So virtually nothing has been finished in the six months I have been here except the floors getting tiled. If I can hold it together until mid-February we will have a dishwasher again! I AM finishing the baseboards in the guest room and the painting of the bathroom in January!
Internal, long held habits and responses are extremely difficult to work through and change. I happened upon a book (will discuss next week) that actually made me realize what was going on. I was clueless about why I suddenly turned very cranky and I’m sure, difficult to live with. Now I am trying my best to be aware of what is going on, my response to it and why. Hopefully I can start chipping away at these habits and replace them with more appropriate ones for my new life. I could hardly stand myself so I’m sure D. will be happy for me to have an attitude adjustment.
I am planning on getting in a post next week, but kids start coming home this weekend, deer season is still going strong around here and there is still a list of things to do before Christmas.
Just in case a post doesn’t happen. Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to all.
I hope you all have had a lovely week. It has been a typical July week here. Hot as Hades all day with a late afternoon thunderstorm that hopefully cools the air a little. Often it doesn’t. Sometimes the air is so humid and thick after a storm that it feels difficult to breathe. You would think you could squeeze the juice out of it. My poor bees are spending more time on the outside of the hive than inside. I’m thinking I should get a tiny air conditioner for them. No, I do not spoil the creatures that live with me (much).
The past couple of weeks have been spent getting settled, finding my way around and meeting people. If I counted correctly, this is my tenth move in my lifetime. Most of my moves have been within miles of each other, but this is the third move to a completely new area. My first major move was as a newlywed to a different state. My then husband was working third shift, the company had put us up in a hotel until we could find a home and I knew no one. I couldn’t stay in the hotel room during the day while my husband was trying to sleep, but I had no where to go.
This was before cell phones and we had two not-so-great cars. So, I did what any bored, fearless (you have that in your 20’s) young woman would do. I got my car keys, filled the car up with gas and proceeded to drive in and out of town until I was hopelessly lost, then figure out how to get myself back to the hotel. Honestly, it was a huge adrenaline rush. Sometimes I barely made it back before my husband got up to go to work. By the time we moved out of the hotel three weeks later, I rarely got lost. I found all the important places (Town Hall, library, the MALL) and lots of scenic areas of the countryside.
I have been using this same technique with slightly more common sense this time. Lately our vehicles have been just as bad (except for THE BEAST, our F-350 pickup that I LOVE to drive), but I do have my cell phone and AAA card with me now. I found the library. People seem to think that libraries are not important anymore. I beg to differ. The bulletin board alone was a wealth of information. Local events and services that I had not been able to find online were on the bulletin board. So, I have the library, found the arts council, town hall, pharmacy, car mechanic and our local state park for hiking. Hey, not a bad start for two weeks of being lost!
The harder adjustment I am having to make is the pace of life here. I’m pretty sure it was the same way when I was growing up out in the country but I wasn’t aware of it. EVERYTHING is slower. I have been in Surburbia for twenty years. I have worked two jobs for about twelve years. I shuttled two kids to thousands of practices and events for eighteen years. All that has come to a screeching halt. I often find myself standing somewhere in disbelief that there is nothing on my To Do list that HAS to be done immediately. Trust me, I’m not complaining, but after decades of rushing around and working under endless deadlines, it is disorienting.
Now that I have said that life has slowed down, just this week events have fallen into place for D. to start a business he has been planning for about two years. Originally he was going to start it next year after he retires, but an opportunity presented itself that was too good to pass up. This means that for about four months I will be back to working two jobs again as we start this while he is still working full time. I will fill I the details as this moves along.
I need to mosey on now to finish tiling these floors (they WILL be done by the end of the month!). I’m going to leave you with some hard earned wisdom. If life is a little boring or drab, or the creative juices have quit flowing (they do sometimes), literally get in your car, on your bike, take the bus, use your feet and go get lost. The change in scenery and the adventure will do you good. Don’t use the GPS. Use your God given instincts!
Hello everyone! I was determined to get a post in this week. Better late than never. Last week we did not have any cell service at the school where we stayed so I could not post anything.
Wedding over. Move over. Mission trip over. Now it is down to finding all my stuff, creating a realistic schedule and settling into a new normal. This week none of that happened. My car has been undergoing repairs the whole month of June. Changing my name has taken a ridiculous amount of time. The garden has required work to get it back in shape after being gone for a week and unexpected farm chores and family/friend visits have slowed down planned projects. Maybe this IS the new normal!
I did get my work space somewhat workable, found my paints and managed to squeeze in time to do these tiny paintings this week. It’s a start!
Here are some pictures of our life events of the past three weeks.
The ASP mission trip involves a caravan of rented vans to get all of the humans and equipment to our destination.
This was my 7th and Danny’s 3rd year on the ASP trip. Each year there is a core group involved who believe in having a good time. Pranks and jokes are daily occurrences. One of the men stated that he laughs more in this one week than he does the rest of the year. This year… well see for yourself.
We got home Saturday and slept the whole afternoon and most of Sunday as well. There isn’t much rest on ASP. This week I managed to get my office/studio is some sort of working order and just had to get my hands on a paint brush.
If all goes well, I will be back on schedule next week. For my American readers, I wish you a fun, safe July 4th weekend.
I am in the final stages of my third move in four years. I refer to it as The Gypsy Years. Moving is hard on me. As a person who starts to take root in a place if she stands still for too long, the constant uprooting is mentally, physically and emotionally wearing. This one is a big emotional move. I have lived in the same town for almost twenty years and am now heading out of town into the country. It is not as bad as when I sold my home of fifteen years, but close.
So, I am trying to stay positive as once again I sort through my stuff and put it all into boxes. Depending on the day, I could be excited, depressed, frustrated, snippy or a complete basket case. D. has had his patience tried a few times with my whining.
The ugly part of moving to me is:
1- Canceling / transferring utilities and mail. There seems to be a huge margin of error involved here. I have spent up to six months trying to find my mail and have had to make frantic calls to certain utility companies that did not get the change info correct. Nothing like not having water or electricity when you need it!
2 – Finding homes for all the stuff. This move is especially bad. We are trying to cram 10 pounds of poop in a 5 pound bag. One of my recent homes was 1300 square feet. For some reason I was able to live very comfortably in that space with both my kids. This time D. and I are having an awful time trying to meld our 30+ years of household stuff into roughly the same amount of space. It will just be the two of us 90% of the time!
3 – The decisions. All this sorting, packing, storing requires enormous amounts of decision making. It wears a brain out. How many glasses do we need? Whose glasses do we keep? What do we do with the glasses that we don’t need? Which kid could use more glasses? Where should we donate the glasses? When do we take the glasses to Goodwill? Multiply this a few thousands times and you have a couple of frazzled, brain fried people you do not want to spend time with!
The good part of moving:
Letting go of what you don’t need anymore. This process can be physical and/or emotional. I had the very freeing experience this week of actually lighting a fire in the fire pit and methodically burning two large boxes of legal and financial records that had very bad memories attached to them. That was a great way to start a new phase in life.
2. Finding lost things. Every move I find something that I thought was lost forever. Usually it is a sentimental item that got packed up in a weird place. I love those little surprises.
3. Shaking things up. A move brings new routines, new furniture arrangements, new places to explore and new people to meet. These are the things that I enjoy about a move. I get to look at my old possessions in a new light as I find a new place for them and I have already discovered a lovely new garden nursery and met the owners. There is a growing list of places I intend to go draw and paint and a coffee shop and a fabric store that is calling my name. I also love to take a road I’ve never been on and see where it goes. I have plenty to choose from this time and all with beautiful views of mountains and forest.
Next week is shaping up to be the pinnacle of all things happening at once. My Dad is bringing my bees (will post about my beekeeping escapades soon), hay is being cut and will have to be put in the barn (not my favorite farm chore) and all my big furniture has to be moved. Keep in mind, we still have to work. There is a high probability there will not be a post next week. I’m sure there will be good stories to tell the following week though!
Happy Friday!! It is a rainy one here. Good thing I just have TILING on my To Do list today. Yes friends, I actually stuck tile to floor last week! Check it out.
Here is what I have learned so far if any of you happen to want to tile your own floor. 1) It is not hard. 2) It IS tedious. 3) It IS messy. I am still quite the novice at this and have not started cutting tile yet. If you notice in the picture I just got the whole tiles down. Today’s challenge is to test the cutter out. I have a manual cutter and hopefully that will work for the most part. There are a few pieces that will have to be cut lengthwise and I’m 99% sure my cutter will not do those. Bless my friend Helen. She has a wet saw we can borrow.
My goal is to get all the cut pieces down and mortar set so by Wednesday I can start the grout process. I need this first room done before we can move on to the rest of the house. You know, that whole move stuff out of one room so you can do the other room process.
All artwork is on hold probably until July. There simply is no time. It is all I can do to keep up with my design work right now. Gardening season is upon us and D. is chomping at the bit to get seeds in the ground. I am throwing a box of stuff in the car every trip up to D’s in my attempt to make a SLOW move this time. My last couple of moves have been fast and stressful. Now that process is reaching critical mass and we are having to make more and more decisions on what stays and what goes and how fast can it go.
Next week my town is having a recycling day. I am dropping off a carload! The next weekend the theatre company I work for is having their annual yard sale. Guess who will be dropping off a TRUCK load? Can you tell I am beginning to feel a little overwhelmed???
With all this going on I have avoided thinking about spending any time drawing or painting and started distracting myself with gardening ideas. Too much time on Pinterest will make you crazy. I started studying medicinal herbs, and decided to expand my herb garden this year. That started me thinking about my future bees and how to help them. That lead me to studying permaculture and now I have another whole list of projects for the farm. Someone please take my ipad away from me or slap me when I am on Pinterest or YouTube!
Soooo, about those bees. I spent Easter with Mom & Dad. Dad got me the bee hive for Christmas and has it put together now. It’s time to get the bees for it. The plan was to hopefully get a split from one of his hives. No such luck this year so I told him to go ahead and get me a nuc when he and my brother-in-law pick up their order next week. Then I asked him when we can get the bees settled in their new home.
Dad sort of hesitated and replied “Well, I need to keep them here for a little while so I can keep an eye on them and make sure they are alright.” Ok, I have to admit that my thought at that moment was…”Dad, I got your grandchildren to adulthood without losing, starving or maiming them, I think I can handle some bees.” I refrained. MAYBE I will get bees these year.
Since I have been slack for the past couple of weeks about including some environmental information I will recommend the documentary Vanishing of the Bees. The link take you to the website, but you can watch it on Netflix. We need the bees.
Have a wonderful week and go plant some flowers for the bees this week.
Every winter I wish I were a bear. The perfect winter in my world would consist of one good snowfall in the middle of the week that would make the roads in the direction of work impassable but the roads to a ski slope open and clear. After that one snow, sixty-five degree weather would return and winter would be over. If I can’t have it my way, then I should at least be able to eat until I’m fat and happy, then settle in for a long winter’s nap!
Now back to reality. I have at least been productive so far this winter instead of curling up in my fuzzy robe and hibernating. Not that I have much choice considering in four months I have to move again and throw in a wedding and house remodeling to boot.
Here are some of my accomplishments since January: Hand dyed fabric for a big, upcoming project that I will show you eventually (yes, the purple fabric here), the wedding invitation designed, kitchen cabinets painted, in the process of learning pattern design, more pillows being made for my Etsy shop and various and assorted art pieces that may or may not see the light of day.
Upcoming projects for February: Probable website changes in works, this weekend begins the priming and painting of two bedrooms, we have to get estimates on some floor repair and pick out new flooring, planning on some socialization time for Odie dog at the park (he seems to be getting more anxious and fearful) and of course the dreaded taxes need to get finished. Whew!
What hasn’t been happening? House cleaning is at minimal capacity, dogs are not getting their full walks (it’s been cold, wet and nasty many days), cooking is uninspired and limited, social engagements are slim to none. There is always a trade off for productivity.
Things that mess up your tightly packed schedule? This guy!
Yep, Bad Bob. This week I got a text from D’s neighbors that his horses were out of the pasture. He was at work, so I got to drive the hour to his house, try to get the three escapees back in the pasture. I was woefully unsuccessful if you must know. After some discussion with the other neighbor, we deducted that Bad Bob had figured out how to unlatch the pasture gate and had done so twice in less than 24 hours. The neighbors had already put them back in the pasture once already early that morning! Then I got to drive back the hour home. About a three hour glitch in my plans.
I have come to conclusion that every living creature has it’s own unique personality complete with good and bad traits. Bob is eat up with mischief. A horse his size can get into a pile of trouble with that much misdirected smarts. I think this summer Bad Bob is going to begin some serious training and I’m going to find him a job!
I’m wondering if writing a blog is like Facebook. Is it supposed to be all “perfect world” posts? The fact that I have started this at 4:45 am might be a clue that this one will not be one of those posts.
You don’t have to stop reading. I promise not to be Debbie Downer, but if I’m going to write this every week I have to be honest that every week is not sunshine and roses.
For several mornings in a row I have been wide awake at 4 am. Historically that means my poor brain is trying to cope with some overload and the fact that I get up and start work means I manage to accomplish something before exhaustion sets in around noon. I figured out about a decade ago that tossing and turning in bed for hours accomplishes nothing and I’m still exhausted by noon.
So what exactly is going on? 1) I have some big changes on the horizon and I’m working through that transition. 2) I’m having some time management problems. 3) I’m just dealing with general life aggravations like we all do.
I’m going to work through these backwards. If you have suggestions, I am happy to hear them.
#3 – Life aggravations. It’s the end of October. The holidays are looming. It’s pathetic, but I do not enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas insanity. I do not enjoy shopping. I don’t really enjoy cooking either. So here I am at the end of the year with my gift lists and my budget and never the twain shall meet. I just bought new tires for my car two weeks ago which was a hit to the saving but not dreadful. My son calls yesterday and his truck (my truck actually) needs over $800 in repairs. If you noticed an odd repeated “thud, thud, thud” sound yesterday, that was me banging my head on the wall.
#2 – Time management. Overall I am decent with my time management skills, but I have a couple of problem areas. First, I have a tendency to be a workaholic IF I have work I enjoy. Give me a project that excites me and I will work through meals, meetings, date nights, etc. You caught that right? My kids will tell you as will my fiancé that if I’m into something I have no clue what is going on around me. The dogs will be banging their water bowls and I don’t hear a thing. I resent being interrupted and they all resent being ignored. It’s a problem.
On the other end of the spectrum, if there is something I hate to do, I become the Queen of Procrastination. Three months of filing that needs to be done? Darn, there is something I need to go research on Pinterest right now! My patient readers, please pray that I will find the intestinal fortitude to face the two large boxes full of filing that must be done so that I do not have to spend a week of sleepless nights doing taxes this year. Have I mentioned that my accounting is about two months behind as well?
#1- Life changes. I believe the saying goes “There are only two things you can count on in life, death and taxes.” I would add “change” to that list. This coming Spring I am getting married. That is a big, YEAH! But, I have been a divorced, single parent for 13 years living in a suburban area. Come summer I will be a married, empty nester living in a very rural area. I’m beginning to believe that adjusting to being married will be the easy part. The logistics of moving my storage unit and all my stuff, beginning to remodel his house, finding my way around a new area, having a 25 minute drive to the nearest grocery store, merging two of EVERYTHING and deciding what stays and goes, adjusting to an hour commute to work from an 8 minute commute, and making my business fit all this without losing customers is making me lose some sleep.
It’s just life. Messy, inconvenient, overwhelming. I’m not complaining. These are normal, even good things. I just need to feel a little more in CONTROL. That is what it usually comes down to, right? We need to feel we have some control over what is happening in life. My conclusion is that we don’t have much control over anything, but what we do have we need to embrace. I’m going to go make my coffee and breakfast, set the timer and tackle some of that filing and accounting before I start back on my recent fun project which I will show you next week.
I am running late this week. The past two weeks have been busy, busy, busy. The work load has picked up as it usually does in the Fall, we have been trying to finish several outside projects at the farm before the weather gets cold (and hunting season kicks into high gear) and we are having our second annual chicken stew on Saturday which takes some prep work as well. So while I have a few minutes left…
I have decided that it is time I got serious about a few things. If you have read any of this blog you should be getting the idea that I’m serious maybe 20% of the time. It is not that I don’t take things seriously. I do. But something happens in my brain and often what went in seriously comes out with a warped and amused twist when it exits my brain and oozes down to my fingers or springs from my mouth. Serious stuff has happened over the years and that tends to make me selective about what really is serious. Did that make ANY sense at all??
Back to where I was going with this. I can do lots of things. That is not tooting my own horn, it is just my reality. I have had to learn how to do lots of things. Artsy stuff you know about, but I can also do minor car repairs, use power tools and do some basic carpentry, grow my own food, run a business, raise kids safely to adulthood (any parent will tell you that is HUGE), and a ton of other things. I bet you can as well.
The problem is that I am a jack-of-all-trades but the master of none. Most of what I know I had to learn quickly and “git ‘er done” on the fly. Even the subjects I wanted to explore and learn more about I have not had time to. Then there is that Creative Attention Deficit Disorder. Surely I am not alone in this. You are starting a new creative venture and loving it. About half way in you are doing some research and come across some new cool thing and BAM, you drop the first or thirtieth project and dive into the new one. This is actually how studios and storage units are acquired.
So now that life no longer includes sitting beside a soccer field for days on end or attending numerous networking meetings per week, I THINK I have time to begin drilling down on some skill set improvement. Number One – I need to do some concentrated drawing and painting again. You use it or lose it. Number Two – Improve my sewing. Actually I have been doing pretty good on this one. I have made myself several pieces of clothing lately. I will do a post on those soon. Number Three – I can’t just sit and watch TV or a movie. I have to do something. That something is usually knitting or crochet, but I have never challenged myself with much more than simple scarves, prayer shawls and the occasional fingerless gloves. Now I want to tackle socks. Why socks you ask? Because I need them and because sock yarn comes in luscious colors so I will have a reason to buy it. Number Four – I will soon become mama to three horses. I don’t know squat about horses. Guess it is time to get some horse sense.
So those of you who patiently read this rambling of mine each week, please keep me accountable. Heck, join me and let me know what you are working on and we can help each other. I’m going to need help badly. In the Spring I am getting married (yeah!) and that means ANOTHER move, plus we are remodeling his house extensively starting NOW (that should give me plenty of blog posts and new DIY skills).
I’m itching to finish the drawing I’m working on, but I am surrounded by piles and piles of boxes and can’t think! Both kids are moving out this week, but for a few more days I am drowning in BOXES!
This is just a small part of what has taken over my home. There are boxes all down the hall, in the living room, EVERYWHERE. Tomorrow the majority will be gone when we move my daughter into her first apartment. By the end of the week it will all be gone and it will be just me and the dog. I’m not sure how either of us will handle all the peace, quiet and open spaces!
Here is a little detail of what I’m working on and ready to finish. It’s soooo close to being done.
Next week there will be a MAJOR CLEANING so my brain can focus again.