May 22, 2015

Back from Vacation

We're back!  Not that most people even knew we were gone... which is, of course, on purpose. :-)

We took the kids down to DC for almost a week and came back yesterday afternoon.  It was VERY nice for all of us to sleep in our own beds last night!

The photo is of a hand-painted replica of part of a stained glass window in the National Cathedral, which may have been one of the high points of the trip for me.  What a beautiful and amazing place!

Once I have more photos pulled together, I will post a bunch and tell some stories about our trip.  It was a great vacation and a nice capstone event to our school year for the kids.  Hard to believe we are now heading straight into summer vacation!  Woot!

Blessings on the journey~

May 8, 2015

A Few Weeks Makes a Big Difference

Here in NH a few weeks can bring VASTLY different weather.

This entire week we've seen temperatures in the mid to high 70's and even flirting with 80.  The big flower garden has been thoroughly mulched for the first time since we've moved here (in an attempt to keep down at least some of the weeds) and lots of things are poking through and the daffodils are blooming out happily.  I've dug out a bunch of thistles - which I've decided are the garden equivalent of ticks in the bug world - just evil and nasty looking!
The chickens are getting lots of outside run-around-pecking-things-madly time and are laying bountifully. The garden seedlings I've started are all mostly sprouted and Steve is plotting to build me a few raised garden boxes along the fence line.  So much activity in springtime!

Blessings on the journey~

April 30, 2015

A smile

Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyways.

I stumbled on the above graphic on the internet someplace and it struck a chord and made me smile.
Partially because I often feel messy and afraid (though I don't think I'm overly complicated), yet I do want to 'show up' in as many ways as possible in my life.  
Intentional living is important and fear can often be paralyzing for me in that pursuit.

Blessings on the journey~

April 1, 2015

Still Not Really Spring

A little of this and a little of that sort of post.

Such is life where we live... winter comes and just stays and stays.  April 1st and this is the view from the back door.  Lots of snow piled up still and a plank bridge out to the chicken coop for those warm/wet/muddy days when the yard turns into a bog.

Now to be fair, we've had tremendous amounts of melting and the dirt road we live on is a rutted mess on a good day and a quagmire on a warmer day.  This is also known as 'mud season' where we live, so it is all to be expected.

We are plodding along (sometimes literally!), Steve and I have begun our almost daily walks again - which is so lovely! There is a nice loop about 3 miles long that we do together and chat about everything and anything. It is time I cherish with the man I love.

The kids are entering the home stretch of our school year and as this is now officially the end of Jess' Jr. year (we have re-shuffled things due to a change of heart on her part), we are also making plans to meet with a college adviser, attend a few college fairs and looking towards some campus visits in the coming weeks.

Ben has begun learning to drive so I'm spending lots of time in the passenger seat again.  We are also contemplating the purchase of a new vehicle and that is producing not-a-little-bit of anxiety for me as I try to sort through models and trim lines, needs vs. nice-to-haves, do test drives, research pricing and financing options, etc.  Not my most favorite thing, but a necessary evil in the world of car buying.

This coming Sunday is Easter (Resurrection Sunday) and we will be officially accepted into membership at our church (MCC) and I'm feeling rather happy about that fact.

Blessings on the journey all~

March 11, 2015

New background because...

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

We've had two days in a row where temperatures have reached into the 40's, but the forecast is saying it won't last... and that makes me a little bit sad.
SO I thought I'd force some springlike stuff here instead.
gratuitous spring flowers from years past

We also - in a fit of cabin fever - booked a vacation!  Our first in two years.  Nothing huge, but it will be nice to get away and do some fun things with the kids for a bit.

Blessings on the journey~

March 4, 2015

Random Brain Ramblings

I haven't posted much of late as I've been sort of in a low spot in many ways and have had trouble pulling my brain out of the fog for more than is required for just general life a lot of the time.
We've had a very long stretch of cycling snow storms and freezing cold temperatures and that has caused it's own issues as well as creating a certain amount of drab feelings and cabin fever alternatingly (is that really a word?).

We've had frozen heat pipes, a giant frost heave just outside the garage door, the chicken coop is at a definite angle - probably also due to frost heaves, we've had ice dams and leaking into the house, and as of yesterday, a different heating pipe has begun to leak and the plumber can't come until next week Tuesday.  I've had a weird tendonitis thing in my right hand/wrist that has made life very challenging and has completely thwarted my self-therapy of sewing.  The dog had surgery and then a weird doggie vertigo episode that has resulted in lots of vet visits and bills.

All this is fairly negative on the surface, however there have been many good things and bright spots as well.
There are things to be thankful for even when things are hard:

  • After my temper-tantrum with God back in September (mom-camp), we started attending church in Peterborough (Monadnock Congregational Church) and that has been a tremendous blessing and source of peace.  Steve and I even attended membership class with the Pastor and are planning to become members during the month of March (Lord willing).
  • We've had some rough spots with friends and family that have required us to speak up and step out of our normal non-confrontational lifestyle to deal with uncomfortable issues - this has resulted in shifts in relationships that prayerfully God is putting on the right track again.
  • Almost all of the house issues have resolved - mostly - without any really dreadful situations or too horrendous of expenses.  And we are really evaluating what is needful for projects and home improvements both long and short-term.  I do see having to paint the family room this year after the water leaking in left water spots on the ceiling, but that was sort of needful anyway.
  • My chiropractor has made great improvement in my hand/wrist with a new technique.
  • Today it is 40 degrees and the sun is peaking out!
  • The kids are healthy and doing well with their school work and we are working on our plans for next year including starting to look at colleges for Jess.
  • Ben is learning to drive.
  • I'm reading several books right now.
  • Steve built Jess some fun built-in bookshelves in her room.
  • Steve is working on building me a design wall for my sewing room.
  • My chickens are all still laying and seem to be surviving their first winter okay.
  • My new cat Gypsy is settling in nicely and loves to sit on my desk with me.
  • We have had some great silly laugh-fests when we get a bit stir crazy.
  • I've got lots of projects to work on once my hand heals enough to get back to sewing.
  • There is prayer meeting on Thursday evenings at church and it's wonderful.
  • There is coffee and chocolate and fudge in my world.
  • I have a husband who is truly amazing, loves me so and cares for me completely, and we've just celebrated 19 years of marriage!
  • My kids are awesome, smart, funny and very helpful.
  • I have dear friends to share with, laugh with and who will keep me in prayer.
  • I know that Jesus loves me and will carry me through the toughest things by His grace & mercy.
Blessings on the journey~

February 15, 2015

Snow, snow, and for a change... snow!

In the last few weeks we have had a seemingly endless series of snow-storms and blizzards.  It is winter... we live in NH... this is not horribly unusual.  However, it is a tad wearying and somewhat exhausting to be dealing with FEET of snow on the ground and a repeating cycle of snow, clean up, snow again, clean up again that happens with annoying frequency.

My dear husband has been working tirelessly after each storm to dig out our home, clear the deck and multiple staircases, make paths around the yard for the animals and us to care for them, clear up the road edges- which is private and we have to have plowed by a local farmer and his giant John Deere tractor, and help clear some for the neighbor on occasion.
This morning was a much larger snow amount than forecasted and the crazy wind and hovering-at-zero temps made for a very long day.

My chickens are surviving and thriving in spite of the weather.  Their pen is surrounded by well over knee deep bankings and even their plastic sheeting to block the wind is partially buried in snow so they are generally below wind-level if they venture out.  I've been keeping them happy with food treats at least every other day or so - growing sprouts for them and giving them veggie scraps, etc.  They are mostly all still laying every day and everyone seems pretty fluffy and happy.
The cats are keeping entertained by the birds frequenting the feeder out back and Piper (the dog) just LOVES the snow and will roll around in the drifts snowplowing with her nose any chance she gets.

I am plodding on, trying not to complain too much as I know each day and even each snowfall is a gift from God for us to enjoy.  Thankfully we have the ability to clear up, the means to pay the plow guy, and Steve working from home is a tremendous blessing!

Stay warm!
Blessings on the journey,