Archives for category: Learning Together

Today is her last swim champs. ❤️

Six Word Saturday

Advertisements
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.)

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

 

Longtime readers of this blog and those who know me as a human in the real world know that I am big on personal responsibility. I believe, with great sincerity, that the majority of my life is the result of my choices – the good, the bad, the meh. All of those choices. The way I respond to each moment in my life is always my responsibility. Life is a series of choices.

My friend, Tricia, introduced me to a thirty day yoga journey with a YouTube Yogi named Adriene. While no stranger to yoga, I’m not a big watcher of programs and such so I had never know about this young woman who is quite the awesome yoga teacher.

While I have enjoyed practicing with her each day this month, Day 12: Curate struck me the most thus far. Adriene states throughout the practice that individuals make the choices on their mats, in their lives, in their world. After that particular practice on a Sunday, I took the time to soak (a practice I hold dear and will discuss more when I feel like it) and while soaking I was reading and article about a Sudanese immigrant farmer in issue 25: Hearth of Taproot magazine. As I read the overarching theme for me was also about making choices. Life is a series of choices.

Surely there are reminders of my personal responsibility all throughout my days, but this day was like a megaphone – choose the way you respond, Woman! And so it goes.

I make good, bad, and meh choices. I always will. So will most others. When something happens – an accident of some sort – while my choices may not have actively contributed to the accident, I can choose how I respond to the accident. Or the argument. Or the mistake. Or the cosmic fail. Life happens. Life is a series of choices. I am ultimately responsible for me.

There are a lot of Kellys in my life. Each of them is so very unique in her own way but also contributes uniquely to my life. One of the Kellys taught me the term “re-entry.” It describes the hours, days, weeks of returning to a regular rhythm after days without the usual. Maybe it was traveling or a break from lessons or weather or illness that broke apart the daily rhythm. No less, there is always re-entry. The times where no one really wants to be doing the usual but doing the usual actually feels better than anyone is willing to admit.

Our family’s re-entry from 2018 into 2019 was today. Sure, we had a few things going on last week, but not much really. Today, though, we needed to get to it. We actually needed to get to it for our minds, bodies, spirits. So we did. We woke at sane times, ate sane things at sane times, got a little movement into our day, and met the one obligation we had. Not bad. No less, it was indeed re-entry. A moment of anxiety, a moment of whining, a moment of trying to stay awake…

Sweet spot of the day was at the barn where I may have lingered longer than usual and certainly longer than necessary to just watch the animals from inside one of the chicken houses. I’ll probably find myself lingering a little more as re-entry continues.

IMG_2017-1.jpeg

Welcome. We are glad to meet you.
We welcomed 2014 with fires indoors and out. Gathering the wood for the outside fire was especially soulful for me. While not the same, it is similar to taking food from Nature. I am grateful for the trees.

IMG_9631

We enjoyed our traditional meal of ham (baked this year), hoppin’ John, and greens. I don’t know that any of us really believes that these foods will bring us health, fortune, or wealth. I do think we each enjoy knowing what to really expect a few days a year, New Year’s Day being one of those.

IMG_9637

 

We began our Three Kings Day conversations. We welcomed our newly made kings to the table with some folded stars and the Christ Candle from our Advent Spiral. We are grateful for the Light that led those Kings to honor a sweet baby king. We’ve only talked (and occasionally baked) about the day in the past years. I’m hoping it is something more memorable as we move into this new year.

IMG_9639

 

Rest is where our bodies and hearts are headed now. Rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1849

Our Christmas seasons can be fraught with gift needs and wants, places to be, people to see. There are gifts wants and needs and people we would like to see, but no fraught (fret?). Not this year.

 

I grew up in a family with faults far too numerous to count and far too in the past now to dredge. But there were some really cool things, too, that I have chosen to carry into this moment in my life. Like the sincere appreciation for homemade gifts. So, many years I make some if not all of the gifts even when I know they are not appreciated. I had the recipient in mind through the process and so the gift is a piece of me on behalf of my family.

IMG_1625

 

This year there are not so many homemade things. I don’t know why. There just isn’t. And it’s OK. I’m not in the least bothered by it as I would have been in the past. I don’t know why. I’m OK with not knowing why.

 

My Husband comes about the holidays in a different way than I do. He likes to go and look a half dozen times and then pick up a few things here and there. Stealing a piece of a text with my Sister …

That’s a big part of what gets his mind in the right place for the holidays. Funny how I just want to be home and bake and make while he wants to be out and about. This year, for the first year, I am perfectly OK with whatever. I have no stress. So odd and awesome at the same time.

And I am OK with that. This year. Typically I get my granny panties all wadded up over it. Not this year. I don’t know why not this year, but not this year.

 

As I type this I am just laughing at myself. There is a brief squabble over what color the next loom band ornament should be. There is a science experiment debate over proper microscope management and there is a miniature schnauzer in desperate need of a good grooming on my lap. It’s comical. And I’m all good with that.

 

I am grateful for the odd and awesome.

There is naturally a buzz here with the anticipation of celebration and gifts. But it is a pretty chill buzz this year. Chill by all of us. There isn’t a flurry to do this, make that, buy things. Sure, we’re picking up here and there and making with our minds and hands, but it isn’t rushed.

 

It feels so good.

 

The highlights are times with friends, the advent spiral, and lots of just being.

IMG_9577 IMG_9580 IMG_9581 IMG_9585 IMG_3659-1

Even the most perfect tree we just picked up yesterday sits in its most perfect spot sans lights and ornaments. Only a stand full water.

 

And this calm, this peace, this moment is just right as solstice nears and I prepare my heart for the gift of Christmas.

Last week I sat in our local co-op grocery with three of the sweetest of friends. We listened to teens and tweens make their first attempt at a formal meeting. We listened to younger friends rambunctiously laugh their way through nearly every wobbly tall stool in the place. And I became overwhelmed.

Several physical challenges were wrapped around our family. All at once. Nothing life-altering. Nothing permanent. Yet I was overwhelmed.

Why?

I am sitting with a woman who has lost two loves. Lost them. They were taken from her. In an instant they were gone. I cannot comprehend.

I am sitting with a woman who will be central to the future of her parents. Precious parents. Parents who love to kiss one another and me. Parents who love their daughter with words and actions I cannot comprehend.

I am sitting with a woman whose steadfastness has bound her family with one another and in determination through the most devastating of challenges. She is the glue. I cannot comprehend the many months, years of wondering.

And my woes are temporary. I cannot honestly say I feel any guilt about my worry. I am concerned about my worry taking me. I am simply overwhelmed. But I was with friends. Sweet, honest, solid friends.

That evening, as I was pounded by the jacuzzi jets that ease the pains in my legs, I made a decision. I decided I am taking these physical challenges of my family’s. I am taking them. I am making them into the most sincere pause of Advent, Solstice, Winter’s Nature that I can. Not by doing, but by being.

And the treadmill I so badly want to be back up on … the walks on our trails covered in hickory nuts and dotted with mud pits? I am taking them, too. After all, I have been medically declared the most non-compliant patient in the county. Why disappoint?

I recently won Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold from Mymcbook’s blog giveaway. I am truly excited about this as it is 1.) aviation, 2.) gold, 3.) a female, and 4.) a red-head. WOOOhoooo!

This makes me want to learn more about how to do giveaways. Not that I could determine what was relevant to the miss-mash here … SO much fun!