These Days

These days I’m taking it easy.  I’m breathing deep everyday, and leaving my hands open for whatever God decides to give me that day.  Although I’m not getting everything done that would be on *my* list, I know at the end of the day that I attended to the things that were important.  So in the last week or two that I haven’t been blogging, because unfortunately I haven’t had the time.  Here’s what I have done:

IMG_3418

Gone a little overnight getaway without kids with Knut to the extended family’s lake cabin to celebrate our 13th anniversary.  It’s the first time in a few years we’ve done this, and it was very peaceful.  We actually sat and not talked for several of those hours, not because we were mad at each other, but because we both were in desperate need of silence in general.  It was short, yet glorious.

IMG_3419

IMG_3427

We had company stay overnight at our house…twice.  ‘Tis the season for family passing through town.  I’d complain except they are so awesome.  So I just have to put up with their awesomeness.  😉

I testified in a legal case.  I’ve never done that before.  I won’t get into details, except to say I’m not the one in trouble, lest you worry.  I was very afraid the days surrounding the case, because I didn’t want to re-live the event I was testifying about.  I was worried how I would handle it.  Once you have been in a dark place, you fear anything that could throw you back there.  The day before and the day after I spent a lot of time staring at walls, blankly.  I gave myself permission to do that.  My kids missed the doing county fair this year, because of this case, but I think that’s okay.  Actually, it slowed things up a lot removing those multiple deadlines for projects, and coaching the kids for their 4H interviews.

I went through a bout of insomnia.  It was likely related to the above mentioned event, but maybe not.  I really don’t think so.  I couldn’t go to sleep because I had on my mind completely different events, where people I loved were hurting.  So since I couldn’t sleep, I prayed for them.  2 nights in a row I didn’t even get remotely tired until about 3am.  It was like electricity was running through my veins and there was no way I would sleep.  With a 7am wake up, that is loud and abrupt due to my kids’ excitement about the sun rising, it left me dragging a bit.  Maybe it was stress.  Maybe it was biological.  I think that praying was just what I needed to do then and I did it.  Maybe there’s stuff going on we just can’t see.

IMG_3566

I’ve taken David to yet another doctor for his alopecia and surrounding medical issues.  David is shedding worse than our dogs now, and I think that within 2 weeks he won’t have any hair left.  He just has to touch his head for a downpour of hair all over his shoulders.

He was crying before his shower last week because he was worried that if he rubbed his head to wash it, he would come out of the shower bald, which was a real possibility.  This new doctor is taking a different approach, instead of offering a steroid treatment to fight his immune system that is attacking his hair follicles, she is probing why his immune system has gone awry in the first place.  She thinks that he has some markers in the MFTHR gene mutation, which means he cannot absorb Vitamin B properly, as well as a severe case of Celiacs disease.  We have to do a 4 day fast of all his supplements that help him function day to day, and then they are going to get full blood work done to confirm or deny these diagnosis.  Actually, she said Celiacs requires a surgical biopsy to diagnose with certainty, but she feels that the labs do at least point to this or away from this without being quite so invasive.  We could use your prayers as he goes off everything in preparation for the blood tests.  If it’s not one thing, it’s another with this kid.

The picture above was taken about a week ago, and it looks even worse now.  The back of the head is nearly gone, and the sides and top are thinning with chunks missing there too now.  Apparently this is rare for alopecia cases.  He’s our outside the box kid.

Also, while at the doctors, he was goofing off outside the building, hit a board he didn’t see, running at full speed, and now his balding head has a huge egg sized bump on it.  So we may delay shaving it yet a bit longer…  He’s nervous about shaving it.  He’s keeping a really brave face about it, but he’s acting out in other ways that I know he’s sick and tired of being sick and tired.

IMG_3436

We spent time together as a family over suppertime with a tornado warning and visible rotating clouds from our front door.  (The picture above was taken the next night.)  We played foosball and other games in the basement while we listened to hail pound our windows and garden outside, and prayed it wouldn’t come any closer.  While things were looking limp outside, nothing was damaged beyond repair, though I can’t speak for Knut’s fields.  I know he had some of paperwork to file after the storm.

I have raspberries coming out my ears now, and I’m behind on harvesting peas and green beans as well. So the garden wasn’t hit too bad, though we lost a day or two of garden harvest.  My theme this last week or so was “be gentle with myself and just go with it.”  I’m glad for that.  I made 1 bottle of raspberry syrup for pancakes, but other than that raspberries are aging very slowly in the fridge, and I hope to catch up on those the rest of this week.

IMG_3519

Another small joy that I’ve been blessed with is continuing to write letters to you dear readers.  I look forward to that “chore” more than anything some days.  I have a good handful left, and am giving myself to the end of August to finish them up.  I’ve already received a few letters back, though that was not the point of this project, and they have brought me more encouragement than you can possibly imagine.  I’m so grateful that I did this 50 letter project this summer.  You readers are just so dear to me.  You have no idea.

Finding Joy

 

I am pretty sure that I said “no” to pretty much all activities this summer to make it free for playing and family time.

IMG_3113 IMG_3121 IMG_3122Then I got fed up with my kids lack of desire to do anything fun besides sit in front of a box with pictures that flash in rapid succession, and we took a June challenge to stay off the computer and television, and you know, do other stuff.

IMG_3127 IMG_3143 IMG_3072_edited-1

Continue Reading

The Real Mother’s Day

Up until this weekend, the weather has been gorgeous.  Gorgeous weather means that planting runs smoothly.  Planting that is running smoothly means that I don’t get to see my husband much.  He’s been working at least 18 hour days this last week, and though we do talk on the phone and bring food out to him,  our conversations are short an to the point, with several interruptions.  I do what I always do and stay up at night just to see him, and also because I have a tough time going to sleep when he’s not home.  I’ll stay up until 11:30 or whenever he walks through the doors.  I want to give him a kiss, and then go to bed.  He however, the social one of the two of us, has not had many conversations all day.  He’s eager for conversation and listens to too much talk radio in the tractor and loves to tell me all the ways the world is ending.  He is starting to listen to sermons podcasts, and that has been better.  He doesn’t come home angry at the world then.

Continue Reading

Mudpie Kitchen

Those who follow me on Instagram may have noticed our creation of a mudpie kitchen outdoors this last week.

I first saw the concept of a “mudpie kitchen” from my friend, Ginny.  I love it when my kids play in dirt.  There’s something unexplainable about having them pour their sweat into the earth and sparks the most basic, the most wonderful imagination within them.  The desire for this kind of space was amplified when we started reading as a family over and over again Roxaboxen which is a delightful picture book about kids who create a whole imaginary village in a rock field.

The small building just outside our house is called “the summer kitchen” because the original owners of the house used it to cook and can during the hot summer months so it wouldn’t warm the house.  Most of the outbuildings on the farm are full of old things that have never been gone through.  They’re junk piles, really, but if you go digging you can find some treasures.  Treasures are in the eyes of the beholders in most of these cases.  The old large stove is still in the summer kitchen, as well as a rusty old cabinet, and bits and end pieces of original trim for the house.  We’ve added to it storing all of a garden stuff, as well as the bikes and sleds and any outside toys.

(This is a birthday cake, for those wondering.)

On one side of the summer kitchen there’s a pretty antique rose bush, and a piece of dirt that is mostly shaded and I have managed to kill years worth of flowers that I can’t seem to get to take root with it’s rocky foundation.  As I was debating which kind of flower would meet a slow death in this spot this year, I had an epiphany.  Nothing is ever here but dirt.  Therefore, it would be an ideal spot for a mudpie kitchen.

Continue Reading