Our Notes

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Is it really October??


I can't believe September is gone. The weather hasn't exactly caught up to the calendar page yet, but October is here nonetheless. I'm glad. It was a hectic September here. We had Dewey home more often than not last month...a blessing and all, but when he hasn't been here very much and all of a sudden is here, it's a bit of a scheduling mess. We are all out of whack with schooling to say the least. Oh well, that's one of the beauties of homeschooling right? We aren't slaves to the calendar. We can catch up later. And it is t as though we did nothing all month. We just lost the routine of daily books here. We life skill (as a dear online friends calls it) and that means we are always learning something, book in hand or not. 

As the month closed out, we picked up the more stress-filled bits. October 20th my daughter and her boyfriend were in a car accident. They came off pavement onto a gravel road with quite loose gravel, lost control/over compensated, and went off the road into a tree. He banged up his leg a bit, nothing too bad, thank The Lord. My daughter, the driver, literally split her head open. Despite seat belt and airbag, the impact sent her outward, catching her head on the open window/door frame. She ended up with a nearly 7 1/2" long, 3/4" wide slash from eye up and over to the top of her head just behind her ear. She got out of the car and walked over 1/4 of a mile up the lane to our house to come get us because she couldn't find her cell phone. Praise The Lord for protecting and guiding her to us safely! I cannot wrap my head around damage she sustained in the accident and the way The Lord held her and protected her. She literally opened her scalp all the way to the skull itself, yet did no damage at all to her skull or brain.

To call it a miracle and His Mercy is such an understatement. 

She spent just 2 days in the hospital and surgery to repair the scalp damage went really well. The Lord provided us with an excellent plastic surgery crew to oversee the stitches along her forehead. When the stitches and staples were removed, the resulting scar line is very light and very narrow. She stayed home with us 2 weeks to recover and is back at work now with her Dad. Praise The Lord!! It was very close to being a whole other story. The Lord has plans for that girl. I pray every day she realizes that and opens her heart to the future He has planned for her.


Around the Homestead:
The same day as the accident, we had friends come out and pick up Judy and Bo, our Jersey pair. It was upsetting to come to the point they needed to go, but they did. We aren't set up as well as we should be for cows at all. I miss the milk and the butter for sure, but it was near I possible to get Judy bred out here, and I definitely have not got the space for a bull. I debated quite a while over finding them a new home, but in the end, it all worked out. 

In this day where I'm preaching preparedness to all who listen, here I am getting rid of a valuable homestead resource. Crazy, huh? A dairy cow is a huge resource for a family. We will miss that bounty Judy provided, but we aren't a cow kind of homestead here. We are woodland, not pasture and grazing space. We don't have access to breeding stock to keep her in milk. We will go back to focusing on the goats here, and perhaps get some meat rabbits later. We've talked about them for several years now. Maybe now is the time for that direction here.


With October upon us, I must get more time in with the sewing machine here. Not only do we have a few Christmas project ideas, but the clothing needs are always a work-in-progress with a large family. We also have a couple quilt projects we'd like to work on together. October starts leave little time to really work on things for Christmas, but that's how I roll. I wait until the last minute then stress about finishing on time. So entires it works out perfectly that way. Other times....well, not so much. I'm always hopeful though.


I'm anxious to see the weather meet up with the calendar so we can move from fans and air conditioning to the woodstove. So far, it's still in the mid to upper 80s around here, but cooler days are coming and I can't wait! There's just something extra special about those cooler days...audio books lending their voice to our schooling, children scattered around the cookstove with various projects in hand, my yarnwork basket and the rocking chair near the fire. I truly LIVE for days like that. 

If only it would snow down here...


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Old Days before Internet everything

That's about where we are at out here in the hinterlands beyond the boonies. Our signal is pretty hit and miss as it is, but lately, it's been absolute misery. This "mountain" we are on runs quite a distance north and south, and still just a bit upwards from us. There are countless acres of 'dead zone' directly behind us, and beyond that you're lucky to get a 1X signal, let alone anything better. Used to be we had a decent enough 3G here at the homestead, and the Netflix movies or Pandora station did moderately well.  Not anymore. The days of cell service and Internet signal at the homestead are pretty much a thing of the past.

Part of me is pretty miffed about that. I mean, we live in the Digital Age. Everything is Internet-based, from the checkout at the grocery store to the reading of my electric meter, the water meter, the TV signal, etc. and yet they can't get a decent signal out in the sticks. A mile down the road it's not too bad, and even the satellite dishes produce a decent following. I should be able to sit in my own living room and get a phone call, kwim? And for what we pay for cell service, I'm pretty dang sure I deserve better service. At the very least, I deserve reliable service for that inflated price. I enjoy the fellowship of my online friends, I enjoy sharing their days, praying for their needs on a one-on-one basis. I like visiting the few blogs I keep track of these days, wandering my bunny trails from one crafting idea to another, from school blogs to devotionals. 

Another part of me though, that homebody isolationist part, couldn't care less if the Internet and cell service is bottom-of-the-pond quality. No cell/Internet signal means no news updates reminding me what a sad state of affairs this world is running headlong into. It means very little outside interference with my daily life, like Facebook drama and the like. It would mean I could just exist in my own little homestead world, secluded in the happy ignorance that living behind the farthest rock in the back of the cave brings.

Tell me there's not a part of you that longs for that quiet life, at least once in a while. No connections, no white noise, no "knowing" everything that's taking place outside your little personal world. Just God, you, and your family. And time...

...time to spend on needful things, and things that bring you calming peace and quiet joy, things you choose to include in your day

...time for the simple things that make up your day, like baking special treats and home-cooked meals, preserving the bounty of the land around you, creating memories around the dinner table

...time for quiet learning, not simply school books or preprinted Bible studies, but true learning from the everyday lessons that are found in the simplest of tasks like washing dishes, or mending clothing...or the deep reflection that can only be found when you take your books and disappear into the woods to find that perfect spot, with it's dappled sunlight and the silence of nature around you

...time to stop your chores and simply BE QUIET, no hum of electronics around you, no filtered sounds of Facebook games, television, dogs crunching on their food, cats scratching at the litterbox, text messages buzzing in...just you, the sounds of nature, and that small, still voice that speaks to your soul

...time to truly share with those people you choose to keep close to your heart, sharing snippets and bits of your history and your future...not from a sense of obligation because you're in that group, or committed to that project, but because you have selected to spend those moments with those friends

Of course all of these things can be done with all the bells and whistles that online connections bring. Not everyone has Internet woes and troubles, and not everyone gets sucked into the big old world of Facebook, blogs, and websites. Sometimes though you just need to be able to breathe and not even have the thought of being connected in your mind. I'm one of those types. If it's available, I'll use it. No sense doing without when it's right there, this isn't the Dark Ages afterall. I can easily rationalize it all out to make avoiding the things I've mentioned above seem like the best idea.

Forced quietness is necessary for me every so often because I have no natural slow-down or stop and rest setting in my life. I don't hibernate, I need the hard reset every so often to recharge and renew. Perhaps the wonky Internet connection is plaguing me for a reason. Might be time to remove some things I don't need and focus on things I need more of...like selective Internet moments. I do miss those slower days of simply wandering blog to blog among friends, and visiting via email groups instead of instant texting. Honestly, I miss the truly slow pace that old fashioned letter writing brings to life. I want to walk for a while instead of run. 


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