Feeling a little overwhelmed

Taken by me in Greer, AZ

Today I have to go back to the imaging center where I had my annual mammogram last Thursday because the radiologist wants to take a closer look at a change in my left breast. This is nothing new for me since I have been down this road before in 2009. I am really hoping that it turns out to be nothing of real interest but I guess I will know more later this afternoon.

This weekend coming up is Memorial Weekend and my family and I will be doing just that, remembering my Mom. Who, last year on May 29th, passed away from complications of surgery. This past year has had its share of ups and downs and I am glad to see it go but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her terribly. I just remember the great times that we had and how much love she had for my kids, her only grandchildren. So we plug on, carrying on her legacy and doing things to make her proud as she watches over us.

We are still settling in here in the new house. The goats are doing good and adjusting to the temperature increase. The chickens are not laying near the amount of eggs they were before we moved from New Mexico. I assume they might not get back up to normal for a couple more weeks. I just hope that they adjust to the heat here in Arizona since it is a few more degrees hotter here than New Mexico. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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Settling in

Well the move is complete and the unpacking is ongoing. Since we moved from a house with approximately 2000 sq ft to a house with 1400 sq ft I have some MAJOR adjusting to do. So far I have a yard sale pile started and it keeps getting bigger. Ha ha! There are still items I cannot find like, my big pasta pot to make sauce in. I know my linens are at my Dad’s house since a friend dropped boxes there for me on a delivery trip from AZ to NM. I guess I will wait until Memorial Weekend to get those.

My goats are adjusting as well. My female goat, Bea, received a boyfriend on Mothers Day. We are attempting to breed her even though she is 6 and has never had kids. All 3 goats have the squirts due to too much sweet feed, hopefully. They aren’t lethargic and are still interested in food so I am optimistic that it will pass. Literally.

The chickens are doing great with the exception of eggs. I think they are still figuring out why they aren’t in their normal coop and why it is so damn hot. I am used to getting close to a dozen eggs on any given day and yesterday they gave me 4 and the day before none.

The 1 year anniversary of my Mom’s passing is approaching and the family is gathering at the cabin in the woods to celebrate her life and what she meant to us. Time really does make the acute pain dull but it can’t wipe it away completely. I cry less often and not as easily these days. It is the strange empty feeling that I am getting used to more and more. I am very grateful to be back in AZ and close to my family and friends again.

Figuring it out…. maybe

I just finished reading a second book written by the insanely talented Jon Katz. A Good Dog, written about his troubled Border Collie named Orson, was a bit of a tear-jerker but an enlightening and inspiring story. I have already read The Dogs of Bedlam Farm which was the start of my deep appreciation of Jon’s work. I first read his blog, BedlamFarm.com, when I heard about it on Jenna Woginrich’s blog, Cold Antler Farm. I was struck by his photography. He has this way of capturing a moment, or an emotion in just the right light and conveying it properly. I have started to check in on his blog daily and am enjoying reading about his dogs, donkeys, past and now present chickens, the wylie fox(es) and everyday life. I am starting another of his books, Dog Days, and after that is Rose in a Storm. I have them checked out from the public library so I have to hustle. I know this seems a bit overboardto plow through a number of his books like that but his writing moved me. That probably sounds silly to some of you, but it is true. I have  connected with something he said in A Good Dog, it was about the lifetime dog. I believe that I have found that in my current dog Tyme Bandit. A lifetime dog is a dog that comes along once in a lifetime for reasons that have to be discovered.

Tyme came into my life during a pretty dark time for me. I had just moved my family to New Mexico from Arizona and on the day we were to drive the moving truck my Mom passed away from complications following surgery. In the weeks before the move I had also put down two dogs due to illnesses and old age and a major move would not have been good for them. So I moved with my Akita, Mojin,  who, shortly after I arrived in New Mexico, fell ill from something unknown and I had to drive her down the road to the closest vet and have her put down as well. I was crushed. I had just lost my Mom, killed 3 dogs and moved to where I didn’t know a soul, things were pretty shitty. I let the dust settle for a couple of months but after watching my Dad with his Australian Shepherd, Cypher, I knew that would be the next type of dog for us. After all, our part lab, part who knows what, Bauer did not like our human children and ran away from them after growling whenever they came near. Eddie, our part lab, part possible pit bull, let the kids crawl all over him, hang on him, hug him and do whatever they wanted without a single complaint. Mojin, the Akita, could not stand the kids either. So the next dog had to love and endure the kids.

  

I emailed my Dad’s vet, who he had adopted Cypher from, and asked if she had an Aussies that needed a home. She rescues Aussies as well as breeds them, so I figured she would be a good place to start. She got back to me and let me know she had a 9 month old female that she had tried to home a couple of months back but it didn’t work out due to the dog herding their small children and cat. This dog was a sort of spase but sweet as sugar. Of course I fell in love with her picture and we agreed to go meet her. We drive to Tucson, AZ and go to the vets home and ring the bell. She opens the door with raucous barking from the other dogs she has and this wiggling pooch greets us with kisses and love. We go in and sit down, Tyme follows the kids without any barking, growling, nipping. She is sweet and docile but full of energy. The vet comments that Tyme has never been that agreeable with strangers and the bond was sealed. We left with her and she slept the entire car ride home. She just fits. She doesn’t try to herd my kids but will herd the hell out of some chickens and could kind of care less about the goats we got for her to herd. When I get upset thinking about my Mom she comes up and sits next to me. It is an intense bond; a deep, strange, wonderful connection and she just knows.

Moving thoughts

I am a planner. Ask any of the people who know me best and they will tell you about how I had my boxes packed 1 year in an advance of the move to New Mexico. The Planner rides again! I am currently packing boxes for the move that will happen sometime in May. Back to AZ. I am excited and nervous just as I was for the move here, perhaps more so. It seems the move here, New Mexico, was riddled with bad juju. I am hoping to reverse it going back to AZ. I still crave the slower pace of life that I believe my little family needs, it will just take some ingenuity to find it in the Valley of The Sun. I have been scouring the internet for little farms with You-Pick days, butchers of natural local meat, workshops to attend to gain more knowledge in my farming endeavor.

I daydream of what I want in a house: nice porch to enjoy watching my chickens, a clothesline to hang my favorite linens from, a window above the kitchen sink to start seeds in, I could go on and on. These things aren’t just wanted, they are required. I have come to love hanging laundry on the line like I used to when I was a kid. I think we were one of the few families without a dryer and I HATED it. I now find it to be a form of meditation and they smell great too. Since my Mom has passed I am trying to cultivate her spirit in my daily life. We were very close and her death crushed me for a time but I am learning how to pick up those pieces and integrate them differently. I have always shared her love of old things; linens, bowls, tables, you name it. I have inherited a lot of her table linens, books, sewing machine and some furniture.

I used the sewing machine last week and made a hobo purse, granted it was from a pattern from a big box craft store, but I ACTUALLY completed it AND it looks like the picture it came with! I did embellish it a tad with old buttons that were my Grandma’s that my Mom received as a result of my Grandma’s passing. I now have a ridiculous amount of old buttons to use. I think I am going to make some pillows fasten some buttons to them and give them away as gifts to friends. My Mom’s machine sews like a dream! I sold my machine so I could justify bringing hers home. I have never sewn a lot, in fact hardly ever, but I want to carry on her legacy. She wanted to make pillows and have a little stand at local craft fairs and sell her handmade goods. In the little world inside my head where everything works beautifully and there aren’t any snags or hiccups I have a little store where I sell vegetables from my garden, eggs from my hens, coffee and breads made by my friends and me and the handmade crafts my Mom would proud of. If you follow me on Pintrest under the board Neat Stuff I pin’d a picture called Storefront that depicts the little market of my dreams.

I will get there you just wait and see!!

Wowwweeee!!

I am eternally grateful to the words left by John Greenwood yesterday regarding my Inspiration post. I relish them. They give fuel to the fire that is already starting to catch inside my heart and for them I was teary eyed with joy.

 

Inspiration

Ok, so, today was completely moved to inspiration by a few of the blogs that I like to follow. Cold Antler Farm is my MAIN blog that gets my attention first thing in the morning and from her blog I linked to a blog that I read rather infrequently Bedlam Farm which lead me to a NEW favorite Megan Mayhew Bergman. It seems that Megan has it ALL going on! She just published her first book, which I have to read now. She is also a wife, mother, teacher, and farmer. Those are all things that I am either currently doing (wife, mother, quasi-farmer) or working towards (teacher, writer, author).  I just know that there has been an ember smoldering inside of my heart since last April when I borrowed my Mother’s library book for a car ride to New Mexico to look for a house. That book was Jenna Woginrich’s Made from Scratch and it changed my life. I read the entire book on the way from Tucson, Arizona to Las Cruces, New Mexico and back, so about 6 hours was all it took. Since then I have also been infected with a form of Barnheart which compelled me to purchase more chickens and 2 goats. The goats are merely yard art for now since the female has never been bred and she is 6 years old now and the male will be 1 in April and is wethered. I convinced myself that if I wanted dairy goats to be able to make and sell goats milk soap I had better break myself and the fam in slowly. It worked! Now there is a small hold on progress due to an upcoming move BACK to Arizona from New Mexico.

Back to my inspired morning. I have always loved to write and even had a poem published in my high school newspaper when I was a junior, which I might share on here. I do come from good teaching stock and it has taken me a while to embrace the idea of typing something for the rest of my life. I laugh at the thought now because in high school I scoffed at taking a typing class, (yes PRE computers here), because I always thought that I would have someone else typing for me. How wrong I was! You have to love teenage ignorance. So more importantly I am going to jump off and figure out what to write about, how to write it and how to (hopefully) make some decent money at it.

Welcome!

Ok, so here goes. I have been trying to start this blog for a while now but I kept finding something else to do or couldn’t figure out what to say. I don’t have the slightest idea who will read this but whoever you are Hi there, my name is Christee and this is my little world. I will ramble on about whatever moves me to put it on here. Some days are hard since the unexpected death of my Mom last May and some days are easier just knowing that she is always close to me in spirit. I just do the very best that I can and try as hard as I might to raise my kids and teach them the important things that she taught me when I was young. I might set up a separate page where I will write letters to my Mom to just get stuff out of my insides as a journal of sorts.

I am trying to get a little farm started and so far have 2 goats and 16 hens and 1 rooster. I am completely chomping at the bit to get my garden started for this upcoming Spring. I can’t wait for fresh, home-grown tomatoes!!! There is nothing better. I am going to try to use more vegetables in our meals instead of meats, much to my husbands dismay.

I have a couple of blogs that I read pretty frequently and I aspire to have that kind of success and interesting things to talk about. So if you are interested in this crazy ride I am jumping on welcome aboard!

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