Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Living my dream

It's been 2 hours since I woke to feed the animals. Usually I go back to sleep since feeding time corresponds with the dawn, which is ridiculously early in summertime! However, today I've been laying awake in our family bed with my 3-year old snuggled into my back and my expectant bundle wriggling in my belly, while my husband enjoys his one day a week to sleep past 6. Sadly, I haven't really been paying attention to the sweetness of the moment. I've been lost in a world of Internet articles about the SB 5 filibuster yesterday in Austin, Texas, the new found cultural norm of empowering stretch marks, and blogs of world travelers pondering when my dreams will become reality.

In truth, one I tend to forget often, I am living my dream in this moment. While we stress about silly things like insurance premiums, birth fees, and electricity bills, I haven't been personally affected by anti-abortion laws. I do struggle with a healthy body image that comes with being a woman in western society, but I also know sex appeal is an attitude, not an image.

And as for living my dream? Which one am I focusing on? The tongue-in-cheek "dream house" that is laughingly spoken of with indoor waterfalls, perfectly manicured moss-covered stone walks that overlook the ocean, and a gourmet kitchen we will never cook in for fear of scratching the stainless steal countertops? Yeah, those are fun to dream about as vacation destinations. I don't really want to live there. I like it here, comfortable with all the real life that surrounds me (as my dog begs to go outside to take care of her morning business of walking the property and remarking her territory).

I do dream of being closer to my family, my sisters and cousins specifically. Of going on huge family camp outs and listening to my daughter learn guitar tricks from her uncles. Of having the freedom to add more "farm" animals to my backyard, afternoons of canning homemade jam with my sister, and paying off Sallie Mae. 

Those things will happen in time, when I'm truly ready. Right now? Right now it's about cherishing the dream I am living: having time to spend with my daughter; prepping for a safe birth; enjoying the antics of backyard hens trying to raid the bird feeder at 7:30 on a Wednesday; living just slowly enough that we get to spend time with Peter, playing board games, going on walks and eating ice cream while listening to live local bands.

The time will come when politicians stop trying to legalize their personal morality, when I'll be thankful I never mumbled the   words "I'm fat, ugly and unattractive" in the presence of my girls, when student loans are repaid, and when I wonder if I really need all these rabbits, goats and chickens running around. While I still cling to my college dream of visiting 40 countries before I'm 80, I know I am living my dream to the fullest right now. Texas is a foreign country compared to Oregon, right? 

And in that future moment when the fox has got in the henhouse, or mother rabbit has consumed her kittens in fear, and I'm fed up with homesteading, hopefully I'll remember this moment: laying peacefully in the morning light and being content with right now.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Soltice!

Nothing beats a weekend of sharing lakeside campfires, twirling glow sticks and good food with amazing people! This midsummer celebration also marks a year of being apart of this community and I could not be more grateful for the friendships that have sprouted and bloomed in that time. I look forward to more days in the presence of these wonderful spiritualists!

Full super moon!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The battles of the seasons

I Am starting a war against the cottonwood borer! 

Last year there was one couple and they near killed a tree in the drought. This year I've seen at least 6 couples. While its been educational to watch them mate and then search for the root system and deposit eggs, I fear for the health of the trees! 

Since I dispise pesticides, I am using diatomaceous earth to dust the base of the tree. Once that had a chance to work, I will soak the root system in a neem oil spray with the hopes of defering any larva that do hatch from chewing through the root system. Sadly, this huge beattle, roughly 2" long with even longer antenna, are not interesting to the chickens. They hiss and are pretty intimidating, and i am a million times bigger than they are! 

All this comes after an interior attack on fleas and chiggers that, fortunately, did not resort to using a bug bomb. It was close though. Instead we DEed the carpet, let it sit for an hour, vacuumed. Then a few days later, vacuumed again to remove hair and trick flea eggs into hatching and then salted the rugs before vacuuming again. We have also washed all animals and bedding, neem oiled the dog and the carpet and the furniture, and resorted to frontline on the furry ones. The bites on us humans have significantly decreased, though the coating of baking soda paste for itch relief is still a daily application.

On to overcoming a bout of swimmers ear involving trapped lake water and a three year old. The miracles of hydrogen peroxide, lavender and eucaliptis essential oils and coconut oil! Now to stop the nasal drainage before we end up with a chest infection!

If all the time I've spent watching tinker bell movies hadn't been riddled with whining, itchy bites, fever and vacuuming I'd say I've been pretty lazy the last few weeks. Sleep has been nearly absent since the munchkin's fever raged in the nighttime until the clog loosened. Now she's coughing all night and requiring I sleep in her bed, while I toss and turn trying not to scratch. Needless to say, I'm tired!

 Fortunately we did get to take a break to go camping with some amazing friends! (How we acquired the plugged ear in the first place.) I'm hoping for a little break from maintaining healthy balance around my homestead for a while and find a moment for relaxing myself. 

Here's to a peaceful summer!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What a day!...err weekend.

The day started late and slowly but it took off from there! Grocery shopping, laundry, and then kitchen playtime. My little has pulled the box for my kitchen plus 2000 out a few times lately saying she wants to play this game. Having no idea what game you can play with the ultimate kitchen miracle, we made one up.

It involved the non-sharp parts (this thing has lots of blade attachments), some orzo, popcorn kernels, and some colored water. I don't think there were any rules other than mix pour and stir. 

She did steal a few of my jam strawberries to add in and see what happened. After quite a stimulating hour, she declared that the pink water tasted the best, like strawberries. We then needed a brain relaxation and decided to watch sleeping beauty while I cross-stitched and made dinner plans.

The salmon is from this recipe and a tiny on the spicy side, which worked well with the caprese and watermelon! Such a yummy dinner! 

And by the time this posts we well have held a rabbit, pet a puppy, rescued our cat from the roof, gone to tap class and bought fabric for a new dress. I think it may be time to stop and watch the rain.

Oh! And got painted at the Jo-Ann's grand opening sale. Always awesome to be able to match your body art with the sticker your favorite teacher gave you at the end of tap.

And since this is NOT a food blog I won't finish by bragging about the salmon Caesar salad with homemade croutons we just made. But I will give a short injured chicken update: I think she will make a full recovery! Her limp is nearly gone, new feathers have sprouted, her feisty-ness is returning and she's moving back up the pecking order. 

And that's, well, the last two days now. Hope yours have been as fulfilling and wonderful as ours have been!