Saturday Morning Thoughts

There has been so much to write, but since my dog passed away in late April I haven’t had the heart to write any of it.  A little list will have to do for the moment.

I’m spending part of my morning looking at door knobs and enjoying it way more than I feel like I should.  One of my favorite things about having our own home is choosing just what we want to put in it.

Things are changing at Mac n’ Cheese Manor!  Exciting, wonderful, lovely things!  More to come on that in the next few weeks.  : )

We started our seeds a bit late but they are thriving in their little plastic trays!  I’m excited and terrified as I do NOT have a good track record with plants.  And by “not good” I mean I have literally never managed to keep a plant alive in my life and not for lack of trying.

My sweet Sunshine is getting so big and has so much to say and I simply cannot (even as I perfectly can) remember how small she was or imagine how she will grow.

Our cat got a mouse last night!!!!  He really is the very best of cats, my sweet, salty Morris.

Time ticks onward, even without my Why?lee, and I’m grateful that spring is busy on a farm, even a very small one.
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All the Updates!

Big changes coming for Mac n’ Cheese Manor!!!  We are working with the Get the Lead Out program to certify our house as lead free which will include: new windows, siding, doors (inside and out), and trim.  We’re working with MassSave to insulate!  It will likely be a few months yet, but the contractors who will bid on the work have been here to look around and after months of paperwork and phone calls, I feel like we’re finally moving forward!

I have never had a garden and know nothing about growing things, but we’re going to give a small garden a try this year.  Wish me luck, I’m going to need it, or rather, our poor plants are going to need it!  On a similar but different note, we are also planning to build a chicken coop!  I mean, can we really call it a farm, even a little one, if there’s no garden or chickens?

On the battle front, we continue to lose to the squirrels.  We have four traps (three live/one kill) and every day the bait is gone but the traps are empty.  We’ll be welcoming two cats to our home as soon as the construction work is complete and hopefully they can succeed where we are failing.

I stopped using shampoo about a month ago and I’m never going back!!!  I’ve started using New Wash which is completely fantastic, but is also quite expensive.  So when I run out, I’m going to try the curly girl method and see if that works for me as well.  I have a friend who does it and her hair looks great so I’m crossing my fingers!

As it relates to writing, I’ve changed my mind about rewrites.  As I’ve gone through it, I find that most of what I wrote doesn’t want to be rewritten;  It was what it was at the time and looks too different in hindsight for me to even know where to begin.  I’m still going to fill out the rest of my Cancer Files, but by adding to them, not rewriting them.  Everything else I’m leaving be.  There are so many new chapters to write!

It’s been a lovely and difficult winter for me.  It is so beautiful here.  I haven’t loved snow like this since I was a child.  I fall more in love with our creaky, old, farmhouse and rambling eight or so acres every day.  We’ve made wonderful new friends, and I love being home with my Sunshine.  And yet, when the anniversary of my mid-December move arrived, I felt so sad for all we’re missing by not living closer to our families and friends back West. There is a certain kind of loneliness for much-loved people and places that is unbearably bittersweet.

2018 is just going to be a big and busy year for us.  Between repairs to the house, additions to the farm, and our wild baby, we’re going to be hopping and that’s not a bad thing.  I feel like I need to be this kind of busy right now.  Lots to do, but not sooooo much to do that I can’t sneak in a momosa and some writing time here and there.   : )

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Friday Randoms

Can a farmhouse also be a beach house?  I feel like this is the question my Pinterest is asking . . .

I love the feeling of satisfaction I get after putting everything in the crock pot that dinner is done and it’s only 10am.

I buy birdseed now.  Just one more, small step toward becoming my mother.  : )

Lacing up my Kodiaks with a smile on this ten degree morning to let my horses out, haul water buckets, throw hay, and walk my dogs and baby; I am so happy to be living this life, no matter all it took to get here.

Rereading the poetry and writing of my twenties–my shame, my cancer, my life before I understood what I had already been taught about value, love, and happiness has been at times difficult, but mostly an exquisite and tender opportunity to love myself as I was then in a way that I couldn’t as I was then.

Also, even when writing about the past, my words have always carried me forward.

Well, my hour for coffee and writing is up; the messy kitchen is calling . . .

 

Friday Randoms

When we finally arrived at our new life, I found the person I had packed up would not do at all.  Four boxes of clothing and only two pairs of Levi’s?
Who have I become?

I went back to open that dark door again,
but found only a small, bright window where it used to be.
And what should I make of that?

It’s been over a year and I just switched my focus forward from all I left behind.  Had I waited a moment longer, I might have fallen right over the edge of my life.

Motherhood broke my heart and I can’t keep anyone out anymore.

I’m going back to ugly places, where there are beautiful lines, poorly housed in shanty poems.  And when I get there, I’ll be kind to the girl who wrote all that falling down poetry.  Even if she’s a stranger now, I walked here in her shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Year

This year is for my writing.

He understands and gave me books to read and time alone for Christmas.

I’m not sure why now, I just know that my thirties feel complicated but without all the fire and fear of my twenties.  It’s as if I could write it all again, only thicker this time, with more satisfaction and less splattering.

I kicked jealousy out of my bed for hogging all the covers and my toes are finally warm.  My writing is much improved without the distraction of freezing toes.

This old house invites me to sit while she holds us all safe within and let my mind wander out past the field stone walls.  She seems to understand so well, I am clearly not the first writer to live here.

My daydreams are clearer, my fingers slower, my desire steadier, and my thoughts more complete than they have ever been.

This year is for my writing.

 

 

Snippets

Outside, the wind is swirling so many autumn leaves so high, it’s like living in a fall snow globe.

It feels like I have a place in this lovely, little town; I’m just not sure where it is yet.

To love and care for my old dog, who loved and cared for me so very well in his prime, has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

Don’t tell my husband or my mother in law, but my daughter is reminding me of everything I ever loved about Christmas before working in retail destroyed that love.  At least I thought it was destroyed . . .

We were going to call our little farm Boldlygo, but just the other day, my sweet Sunshine brought me a book off of her shelf and we read it together.  It was a long-forgotten favorite of mine and fits too perfectly to pass up naming our place The Tomten Farm.

As it always does, fall is pulling me into myself where all the winter words are, and though it hasn’t always been a pleasant journey, I find myself looking forward to writing from that dark, silent space.

I don’t know how he is always the man of my dreams when my dreams are always changing.  I just know that every day I wake up and it’s still him.

 

 

Rain, Rain

I’d tell it to go away, but it’s just too beautiful.  I love the way it rains here: big, cold drops that soak everything, a fine mist hanging in the air like we live in a cloud, and the world is all in shades of blue.

I have made so much bread this past month that my favorite, base recipe is memorized and I’ve gone through almost twenty pounds of flour!

Last week, while unpacking and going through my clothes, I found all my work slacks and blouses and had the surreal feeling that I was unpacking, shaking out, folding, and repacking a whole different person.  One year seems like a lifetime ago.

I don’t think I’ve ever taken so long to try at putting a new life together.  I could tell you it’s because I was so tired and so busy with new motherhood or I could tell you the truth; I didn’t want to move so, in my stubborn way, I did, but I also didn’t.  I’m incredibly grateful we happened upon this crazy, lovely house in this tiny, lovely town.  We have been welcomed so warmly, I’ve found it impossible to hold on to my anger and depression.

There’s a patch of blue sky getting bigger outside my kitchen window and the weather app says we’re heading for over 70 degrees . . . I think I’m going to pack up my sweet Sunshine when she’s done napping and find some water today.  : )

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Morning Mama Thoughts

My favorite thing about her ability to crawl and stand up is watching her choose where she would like to go and what she would like to do when she gets there.  She used to be limited to where we put her or what toys we presented her with, and now another layer of her personality is coming through.

My least favorite thing about her ability to crawl and stand up is that there are now roughly 10,762 new and exciting ways for her to accidentally maim/injure/kill herself.  I have nicknamed her “suicidal octopus” because I swear she has eight, lightning-fast arms and they’re all reaching for something dangerous!

We are getting closer to the end of nursing and I’m both excited and sad.  On one hand, I will be SO happy to be able to wear whatever I want without thinking about how hard/easy it will be to nurse in.  On the other hand, because my wild child is always on the go, nursing time has been our snuggle time and I wonder if/how she will snuggle when there’s no need to stop and snack in my arms.

I think about my parents all the time.  Having a child of my own puts an entirely different spin on so many of my memories.  Like when I was twelve and I was riding my horse bareback, with a bridle I made out of baling twine and jumping the irrigation canal/all the irrigation pipe in the field.  If I remember right, my dad was supposed to be watching me, but he had to go handle a work emergency so mom came to pick me up.  She was terrified of horses and I remember seeing her white knuckles on the fence as we thundered up the way.  I have always thought that story was hilarious.  Now I can actually imagine the worry and fear she must have felt that I would be hurt.  To my  mother’s credit, she did not punish me; she signed me up for jumping lessons.  : )

Another hilarious thinking of my mom moment came when I was exiting the restroom and passed a woman and her young son going in together.  It struck me for the very first time that my mother actually taught me to use the bathroom!!!!  Thanks, mom.  : )

I am so happy to finally be in a permanent living space.  Every situation we’ve been in since she was born has been temporary.  She’s been shuttled across the country multiple times, spent countless hours in the car while we looked for vehicles, then apartments, then houses.  She seems pretty happy wherever we are, but I think she’ll feel the difference as we get settled.

A lovely friend sent me a lovely book (The Magic of Motherhood) and though it’s hard to find time to read, my favorite line from the early chapters is, “Your body will be a home to your children.”  How very true.  My body doesn’t look or feel quite the way it did before my Sunshine came along but there is no place where she feels as safe and comfortable as my arms.  No other body will do, it’s only mine that gives her such peace and security–how beautiful is that?

She is swinging in the living room, fast asleep while I sip coffee and write.  Occasionally, I look up and her face swings into view.  If I had known before getting pregnant just how much I would feel as a mother, I might have chosen another path.  It’s frightening sometimes, the depth and breadth of it.  What I know now that she’s here is that I’d feel it all a thousand times for just one of her sunny smiles.

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My Sweet Miss Baby

According to medicine, you are three days late.  Some say you’re being stubborn, but I confess I feel proud that you’re already bucking the expectations of the establishment and you haven’t even left the womb!  Don’t let the man tell you when to be born, you tell the man!

Looking at it from your perspective, I doubt you’re any more eager to experience birth than I am.  I mean, even an infant can see that the physics involved are not in either of our favors.

I say to myself I won’t miss these aching hips but something tells me that one day I’ll look back and remember the feeling of your tiny feet against my ribs with a pang of sadness that we’ll never again be as we are now.

As you near the end of your journey into this world, I carry our two souls together knowing it will only be for a precious little longer.  This can be a sad and scary place, but there is so much to love, I’ve always found even the hardest times to be worth it.

Whenever you decide it’s time, your dad and I are here to welcome you with open arms, five furry siblings, and a very small pair of cowgirl boots.  : )

Uncomfortable Miracle

My body is changing so quickly to accommodate new life–these new breasts and veins, this expanding belly, and the feeling of our baby moving within . . . an uncomfortable miracle.

I can’t imagine there is anything more personal than holding a life inside yourself–nourishing a soul into physical existence with your own breath, your own body.

Becoming a mother is beautiful . . . and painful and exhausting.

I now understand why many wild animals just disappear into a suitable bush by themselves to give birth, only appearing when they and their young are good and ready.

I’m trying very hard to stop explaining my choices in regard to pregnancy and having children, even (or perhaps especially) when pressed. It seems my aversion to expectations is bordering on pathological and it’s no wonder to me that children take months to be able to walk . . . expectations are by far and away the heaviest material known to man.

I cannot wait to meet this person we made. I’m not particularly interested in shopping for baby things, I don’t have a theme or care what the nursery looks like, and I have no preference for gender.  But I cannot wait to meet this person we made–to show him or her what we love about this beautiful world and to find out what he or she will bring into our world that we have no way of knowing yet.

I worry about this child’s health, about all the things that could go wrong from now until I’m dead and can’t worry anymore. But alongside the fear is the most incredible hope and joy–a confusing mix that I imagine will simply be a part of the rest of my life–my uncomfortable miracle, indeed.