Monday, July 27, 2015
For so long, I ran from one activity/meeting/class/event to another. When I decided to take a step back from it all a few, well, seven, years ago, I thought it would be a temporary break from running at a breakneck pace. Interestingly, I discovered I liked the peace of a slower pace.
Now, granted, the pace in Idaho was really slow, but somehow it seemed like there was just work. When one could take a break, there was nothing to do for enjoyment that might involve others. There was the rare town activity, but they were few and far between. We're pretty good at entertaining ourselves, but sometimes even we would just want a break from the sameness.
Here there is an abundance of opportunities and activities. Many of them are wonderful, but how much can one do without going a bit crazy? July has been just to the point of overwhelming to me.
August has a few days of Vacation Bible School and the start up of our regular school days. There are friends to get together with and work to do. It's hard to say no to some of the opportunities as some of them I think sound like fun, but I know that we can only run and go so much before it's just too much.
I'm not sure how to express myself in all this. It's not complaining at all. It is about not wanting to disappoint others by choosing differently.
I don't know. Madeleine L'Engle said it well, "When I am constantly running, there is no time for being. When there is not time for being, there is no time for listening." Somehow, it seems more valid when a "real" writer says it. ;)
I need that time to just be and to have the stillness to listen. I need that stillness to listen to the loved ones around me, but also to listen to my heart. And I need the few free moments to take a walk around and pick the flowers above, just to replenish my soul.
Plus, I know when the others return soon they, too, will notice the flowers and smile and be happy to be home. I want them to think of love, peace, beauty and rest when they think of home.
I hope you have a wonderful week, Dear Ones, and thanks for stopping by. I'd give each of you a bouquet and a cup of tea if I could.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I've been absorbing so many things.
With school done for awhile I've been reading a lot. Some of it is for school starting in a few weeks, but also just reading for myself.
I've got a stacks, well, really several stacks, of books I'm pouring through. Some are quick reads and just for entertainment, but many more are ones that must be read slowly to appreciate fully. I've got books on what feels like every subject and more than I'll get through before I've got to return them to the library. But that's ok. I'm noting which are worth checking back out.
We also went to two book sales in the last three weeks. One was completely free and the other was just donate as you wish. Um, we might have taken too many. Though the sellers were encouraging us to take even more. That was a lot of fun.
The kids have been busy with learning to swim and I've found getting them to the lessons everyday to be a bit much. We're done until September with formal lessons and I must confess to being glad.
I've taken two classes myself this summer one on cultivating mushrooms and the other on Holistic Land Management. Both fascinating. This afternoon was spent at a neighbor's who is a former art teacher. She spent the afternoon doing art with us.
We've also been doing a lot with family and friends. I've also picked up some work on the side and have a lot of Orchard House Farm products to put together. I've sold out of some things completely after doing some sales from home and planning to participate in a big sale next month. I also got a nice order yesterday for a bunch of gift baskets. Very exciting for me!
Sweetheart and I also went away for our Anniversary weekend. That's the first trip away just the two of us for more than a night in over ten years. We had a wonderful time.
We actually have nothing planned for tomorrow and I am so glad. It'll be the first full day at home in weeks. It's weird after often going a week or more without leaving the house.
I'm trying to find the quiet moments where I can. Some afternoons, it's sneaking off to the back to watch my friend, Skippy, from the picture above. You have to be quiet and still to hang out with him.
Though the quiet moments can feel very few and far between, I'm relishing them. Even this moment when the kids have run off to do something in the schoolhouse, I'm just sitting in the silence and relaxing. It'll be short lived as I need to continue making dinner, but I just wanted to take the moment and share here in the all too quiet place. But all is well.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
It was wonderful.
It was quiet.
(If you've met my family in person, then you know how important that was.)
I rested, read, prayed, planned and just enjoyed the break.
Back home, I decided I needed to be intentional about incorporating the elements of the retreat into everyday life here.
Atmosphere means a lot to me and affects how I feel quite a lot. To that end, I've got to figure out a balance between what I need to be happy and what everyone else here needs to be happy. Those things aren't always the same. Go figure.
Flowers, candles and beautiful music fill me with joy. I need to have a peaceful place I can step into where I can comfortably create things and rest. Everyone else wants places to play.
So, I cleared off my bedroom vanity of the crazy piles of books covering it and laid out the big lace runner. Then, I only put back on the things I love and really want on it. I've got my Bible open on the center, candles all around, a beautiful rock, a seashell, more lace lovelies, and flowers.
I made this arrangement the other day and just love it. It's a little wild, but it makes me smile. I've refreshed the white flowers and pulled out the droopies as needed. I brought in a little creamer filled with lillies of the valley so that I can sketch them today. Lavender blossoms fill the little heart dish by the candle as well.
I also hauled all my craft supplies that I'd been storing and put them in the school room. I even set up a little corner that I can sew in. My hope is that with everything more easily available, I'll create more. It also makes it more conducive to encouraging the kids' creativity as they can use my supplies as well.
So far, I've only done some simple watercolour samples to teach the kids some painting techniques, but I've got lots of plans. The kids have also been making their own felt play mats and been introduced to the glue guns. It might get a little crazy around here.
I decided I needed to stop hoarding all my special things and let the kids discover what they can do. I hate wasting things and cleaning up all the messes, but the time seems right to let go of all the rest of my much-hated perfectionism. I don't want to pass that onto them. Plus, they are now able to help and not just make the mess.
It's been a full week trying to arrange things and being more open to it all. I feel like I was gone a lot, but don't feel harried. Maybe because I can retreat to our room and enjoy the peace in there.
I'm also happiest when I am creating beauty. I even took a couple hours one evening with my Dad and learned from one of his friends how to make a wooden spoon. It was a blast and I hope to make a ton more.
The kids and I went to a neighbour's home who is an artist one afternoon as well. She and I are discussing planning an art and craft sale here at our home out under the cherry trees. It was fun. Maybe I'll make and sell some spoons along with all my other stuff.
This will be our last week of regular school lessons. I'm certainly looking forward to being done. I'm ready to be done, especially with math. We've also got planned a field trip one day with other home schoolers to a local candy factory. That should be fun.
Well, I need to see about making lunch now. Sweetheart made pancakes this morning for everyone. They were delicious! But I think everyone is probably about ready for lunch. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
As soon as school is complete tomorrow I am going on a personal retreat. The last time I was alone for an extended time was my trip to Portland about four years ago. Since we have only one car and no extra money, I had to get creative on how to make this work. I've got a free place to be here in town and wheels to borrow if I need them. (thanks mom!)
I was hoping for lovely weather and endless walks, but snow and rain are what is forecasted. No matter. I will not let it ruin this time.
I'll be back online next week. Enjoy your weekend.