Being sick sucks hairy monkey balls.

Six Word Saturday

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Beaufort and flying never get old.

Six Word Saturday

When I met my Husband, he had a young throw away shepherd lab mix named Hydro. I had a rescue greyhound still using his track name, Bojack.

Bojack was diagnosed with cancer a month before we were expecting our first child. He died 2-1/2 months after Reade was born. Hydro continued on.

We moved (aka gloriously camped) into a house we were still building, birthed two more children, were adopted by a lot of cats and some horses, and then Rocky came into our world. That was eleven years and two more children ago.

Rocky is a Louisiana Catahoula mix. We knew his mama and she was 100% Catahoula. Rocky, at 6mo old, was going to be thrown away to the shelter. So we brought him home.

Hydro trained up Rocky on where to hunt, how to herd children and horses, and where the best spots on the bed and the floor were. About two years later at nearly 16yo, Hydro took a very peaceful natural last breath here at South of the Fork.

Gretel, our only sought after dog – a miniature schnauzer, made her debut a few years later and a year later another throw away shepherd lab puppy, Daisy, made her way to us.

It became Rocky’s role to now train the girls up to do the work he took over from Hydro. He is a good teacher. They are lousy learners.

Blonde Daisy, Speckled Rocky, Silver Gretel

Rocky is now getting tired. He has been in renal failure for two years. He has to wear a “male wrap” inside. It rarely is wet anymore because his body just is not working like it once did. He is winding down.

I plopped myself in the floor the other night and and just loved on him and got up briefly to take this photo wondering if it might be the last of his photos. Whether it is or not, what an awesome dog.

Sweet Rocky

UPDATE: Six days after I wrote this post, Rocky passed away. It was Imbolc which I think is a fitting time for a creature to leave this space. We thought we were prepared for his passing, but there are still so many tears. So many tears. This was his last photo from Tuesday afternoon, about 12 hours before he struggled through his last breath. We’ll Meet Again.

Today is her last swim champs. ❤️

Six Word Saturday

Insomnia is a real thing. Fortunately I only experience this demon under three conditions:

evening before menses,

after extreme successes,

when my Husband is out of town.

This time was a lovely combination of all three; the first and third being obvious and the second being the tremendous success I had in finally completing the Last Task about 8p. The Last Task not being the enchiladas.

I read and visited with the youngest child. I tidied the kitchen. I enjoyed two vodkas in celebration of my success. I knitted by the fire. I took melatonin. I took valerian. I flipped through a catalog. I played sudoku. I took more melatonin. I took more valerian. It was still only 1034p. So I kept playing sudoku. Not well.

At this point all three dogs and one child were in the bed. In an effort to move a limb I reloaded the fire with wood.

Reaching for more melatonin and thinking about how a little snack at 2a would be delicious, I decided on a pretzel. I turned to the kitchen pantry and *ding*ding*ding* there in all its dimmed kitchen light glory was the nespresso machine gifted to us Christmas before last. And immediately I wanted coffee.

Grateful for our opportunities and my thriftiness, I slipped an espresso cup from its copper wire support still sticky from the yellow Maxx for the minimum clearance tag ($2 for the set of four, thank you very much), and added to it a dash of amaretto, filled it with a decaf ristretto from the gifted machine, and topped it with a wee splash of coffee liqueur. Coffee, liquor. Pretty damn dreamy at 2a on a Wednesday with a full day behind me and full day ahead of me.

So I took this photo in the event this experiment panned out. And I think it did. I do not recall the clock passing 221a. But then again, maybe it was the fresh 25F air breathed in when bringing in firewood. No less, I am grateful.

Truth is I suck at food blogging yet I am an excellent cook. I promise. Ask my Husband and kids. I suck at taking pictures but I can cook all day for them with great success.

No less, I tried something new.

When my Husband is out of town, I loosen the nutrition belt and this week that meant a "5 ingredient Enchilada" for the kids.

It was a HUGE success. Such an anticipated success that I took this photo thinking "I'll blog these and the final product if they like them."

Bahahahahaha.

They liked them but apparently I am a quitter.

So here's the recipe via my Pinterest board "Non-FMD Dinners." But I could not stop. I had uncooked ground turkey leftover so I used about a pound of that. I had a pound of ground Neese's (that's pork sausage for those not in the South) and I used about a half of that. No beef at all in these 5 ingredient enchiladas.

The non-beef turkey and pork mix looked sad as it browned in the skillet, so I added about a half palm full of Frontier's organic Taco seasoning to it. I did that knowing I was adding the rest of a jar of Green Mountain Gringo Mild Salsa which is amply tasteful but that turkey and pork just looked so sad.

(NOTE: As I blog this from my phone because I am too tired from sitting at my desktop [see last paragraph] the previous paragraph appears in a gargantuan font. I do not know why. I suck at blogging in general. Not just food blogging.)

Now here is what is ridonkulous. I made enchilada sauce from scratch. These were 5-ingredient enchiladas, remember? I've made this sauce before. But this time I actually tried NOT to make it. I tried Aldi. No red enchilada sauce. I tried Harris Teeter. No red enchilada sauce. And then I was a total quitter. It was easier to make the enchilada sauce from scratch from ingredients I keep at home than to go into the other two groceries I would pass on my way home. Therefor me this the lone photo I have...

The final result? Gone. No photo. Kids ate it. They ate it all. ALL. Maybe it had something to do with my effort to use what we had so that meant only 7 flour tortillas and only 4 of the 5 kids at home and no adults eating, but still. I have no finished product photo.

So there. I suck as a food blogger but am a decent cook.

You know what I did do, though? Something TOTALLY out of my comfort zone. I finally, after 2-1/2 years knocked out a website. It's not perfect, but it is done. And I am proud even if it is from a template. God bless the the template makers. I mean that. You are valued and appreciated.

I did cry while I worked on this. They were not tears of joy. They were tears of frustration, anger, resentment. But I pushed through. This is not a natural skill for all. I am much more comfortable birthing at home or discussing natural law with teens or scooping horse stalls or soaking chicken behinds or even turning 5 ingredient enchiladas into 20-something ingredient enchiladas.

(Note: The preceding is in some odd font with no explanation as to why. I suck at blogging. Is what it is.)

Raleighwood never disappoints for good music.

Six Word Saturday

When I get anxious and I am home, I usually go to our barn. It’s maybe 250-275 yards from the house so it is a short trek and I have no excuse for not using it to calm my soul.

Sometimes anxious is getting frustrated with a kid, my Husband, a friend, or a peer. Anxious could be anticipation such as an impending activity for which I don’t feel fully prepared. It could be the shifting weather and where I am in phase with the moon. Anxious can be lots of things. And sometimes anxious is just anxious. Why does it really have to be a “thing” at all. Why isn’t it just a moment in life. A moment in which I must cope and respond with either grace or fear or anger. Why does the culture in which I am living insist on labeling everything? E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Maybe folks perceive that labeling means releasing responsibility. Uh, no. Not at all. I would still have to respond to the feeling – whatever its root, its purpose – regardless of what label travels with the feeling. So why complicate things?

While I very fortunately do not suffer from depression, depression is no less a luxury in name. So is anxiety. So are all the other labels. And to quote Cristian Mihai from the linked article, “That’s why happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. It’s not about goals, but about habits. It’s about the routine.” But read the entire post and watch the entire video. There’s truth and maybe even recognition sans labels in that for all.

After watching that video and reading that post, maybe take a trip down to our barn. And breathe.

“Breathe in love, breathe out love.” ~Adriene, Yoga with Adriene

 

Traveling to Detroit for the weekend.

Six Word Saturday

Planning is a forte of mine. I am naturally good at planning. Johnson O’Connor Institute calls this aptitude “foresight.” Well, I’ve got a lot of it.

Some folks think this means I cannot go with the flow. And it’s a little true – I cannot easily just let life roll. Unless I have a plan.

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I meal plan. This week had a Taco Tuesday. While at a swim meet with a child, my Husband and other children ate out instead of the beautifully planned, prepped, and presented Taco Tuesday. That’s OK! Guess what Wednesday’s dinner was? Taco Wednesday. And even better, that was one less meal to prepare on hump day.

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The kids’ lessons are planned. And trips out to enjoy lessons are planned. What happens when the 14yo doodles and listens to music for two hours at the super awesome Salvation Coffee rather than work on lessons? He does them later. And that’s a day’s less work for me look over.

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I plan my downtime – yoga, knitting, reading, etc. So I didn’t get to yoga after I cleaned up breakfast as planned because the 12yo wanted to talk. T(w)eens talk a lot. So I listened. And she talked some more. And before I knew it was time to skrt skrt out the door. OK. So when we made it back home, I hit the mat before leaving for the swim meet.

If I have a plan, I can alter the plan. If I don’t have a plan, I plan to panic. Why? Because there’s no map, no waze, not even google maps to help find alternate paths.

Best part of planning is that I often can knock out the expected so when the unexpected chain mail coif request for the airsoft battle less than 12 hours away comes across the wire, I can stop and make a kid happy.

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