Thursday, September 25, 2014

A season of change

I have found that many bloggers stopped right around when I did.  Bloggers I read regularly when I was on the computer more.  Gardenmama, Waldorfmama, and more... so any more.  All around Jan 2013.  I wonder what shifted that made the urge to experience instead of the urge to share. 

There are many reasons why I stopped writing consistently.  But mostly, it was a strong need to simplify.  I quit doing a lot of things around then, and instead, turned my focus onto my family and my own self care.  I put my oldest child into public school, quit my volunteer work and all of my church groups, and quit blogging.  I'd like to say I became incredibly productive, but I didn't do much more than before.  I was just present more.  For a while, I was just recovering from the harried life I had created for myself that had quickly become a rushing crutch of things I had to do but didn't really enjoy or experience.  Like scarfing down a really good meal in a hurry... I was just missing the point.

I have also found this with pictures.  Photos could document amazing moments… or they were a filter I hid behind to only see the highlights of my existence.  Yet again.  I was missing the point! 

A lot has happened since I wrote consistently.  Alex has finished a year and a half in public high school.  And it didn’t kill anybody.  Which is amazing considering the choice to put him in was a choice between sanity and giving up a lot of things I believed in.  He has started counseling.  Yet another choice that was pushed into place by a necessity between sanity and survival. 

I lost three wonderful people in my extended family.  People I just assumed would always be there.  I am at that age right?  That middle place where people who you have known all your life start passing into their next life and you are raising children who don’t understand how much those people meant to you because they have their own people who they will grow up with… and you start to realize that they are not going to be the same people. 

A lot of grief and a lot of trying to push past the grief because someone needed a snack and the world keeps turning, even if it isn’t what you thought it was.

There was more too… car accidents (nothing horrible, thank God), illness, home improvements….  you know… the normal doings of life.  But for a while, all of this was completely overwhelming.  So I didn’t write.  I didn’t take many pictures.  I didn’t do much of anything.  And yet, I raised children, made food, moved forward….  I am not sure how, but I did. 

The school year has started again.  And I am not sure how this year will go.  The oldest is now a senior at the local high school.  We are taking a distinctively ‘hands-off’ approach with that one.  He will fail, or he will not fail.  We have fought for SO long over him doing his own work and I just can’t fight about it any more.  This is VERY hard for me to do in practice…  I am a saver and a teacher.  I want to save and teach.  We have given him the tools, now he gets to use them….. or not.

Cyan, Logan and Luke are still at home with me… 8th grade, 2nd grade, and preschool respectively.  Last year I can honestly say I didn’t formally teach much of anything.  Thank goodness Cyan and Logan are both self motivated learners.  They continue to move forward, even if all I do is make a space for them to do their work and leave them to it.  I am lucky in that respect.  I would like to be more involved this year.  I would like to continue to educate in ways that I feel are compelling and interesting.  I can plan and hope… but you know what they say about the best laid plans. 


I know it’s September, but I can feel the winter crushing in.  Depression making it’s way to the surface and changing the way I see the world.  Where I have to shift my focus to the beautiful things.  This year, I am hopeful.  I have dedicated myself this summer to finding a ‘rain wardrobe’ for all of our family.  Rain boots, rain coats, warm sweaters, hats, etc.  We also have two amazing dogs now that will pull us from our shells and into the park with leashes and perky ears.  That will help me get outside every day and that always helps with depression.

I am anxious…. but I am also hopeful.  

I hope I start writing again.  It was such a great outlet for everything my introverted, yet loud, personality was craving.

Here’s hoping!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

No matter what… I still preserve food.

I am not sure what about canning is in my blood.  When I finished building the pantry, I openly told people I may not can this year.  I said it so many times that I actually believed it….  that was, until I got 3 bushels of apples just after getting two boxes of peaches…  It’s in my blood.  I don’t feel like myself without it.  I have gotten the recipes down to a science and I can almost do it in my sleep. 


Canning is a beautiful ritual of the summer and autumn seasons.  The food is SO abundant here in the PNW.  You can’t NOT can, or dry, or freeze, or preserve in some fashion the waterfall of food you see all around you.  So and so has a plum tree they do nothing with…  the neighbor has an apple tree that drops apples all season long, your mother-in-law grew more tomatoes than she knows what to do with….  all free, just waiting for you to gather them up and put them in their proper place… because wet and rainy is coming!


I wasn’t planning on it, because I built a pantry this year.  Isn’t that enough work for the food I put on the table??!? 

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I really wasn’t planning on it… but I now see that my shelf where I keep my canned goods is full of applesauce, tomato sauce, plum jam, apple peel jelly, blueberries, and peaches…..  Isn’t it nice that mother nature plans such a season for us?

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In the garden on a September evening


Tomatoes, pumpkins, basil, peppers, squash, and cucumbers.  All coming in daily.  Everything but tomatoes are starting to slow down and we are able to use nearly everything that we are bringing in.


So far, I have brought in 56lbs of tomatoes.  And I have turned them into 31 pints of Roasted Tomato Sauce!  That’s about half of what I need for the year.  I have been enjoying it so much that it’s hard to keep from using pints before they go to the pantry.


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