My Passion

I received a bit bit of advice the other day from a mom I don’t know personally; we are just in a Facebook group together.  I have to think we previously had some discussion with one another, but sadly, I don’t remember it. Well, for some reason, I was on her mind; perhaps Godly intervention? And she sent some information that she thought might be helpful to me; and I tell you, I was touched. To think someone would think of me? It touched my heart.  So, this is what she told me, “to get people to buy from you, they have to like/know you; so pick like five things you are passionate about and write about those.” You see, I have an Etsy store, https://Etsy.com/shop/2findpeace , and I am wanting to make a success of it to help bring in much needed income.

I opened the store years ago to try to sell my baked goods. I actually LOVE to bake. So, baking, that’s a passion of mine. Well, I should say cooking in general, as I have a lasagna recipe I’m extremely proud of and love to make for people. But, it typically costs me about $100 to make it, so haven’t been able to do for some time. But, I did originally open the Etsy store to sell my baked goods. However, I do tend to have more passion/ideas/etc., than I do money, and I soon found I was unable to afford to ship baked goods. So, I closed my Etsy store. In 2016, I learned to sew. Sewing is another passion of mine. It’s both enjoyable and frustrating; it’s this crazy roller coaster you experience while making something that you hope will be loved and appreciated. A piece of my heart and soul goes into everything I make. I opened my Etsy store back up hoping to sell items I’ve sewn.

But, then the bottom fell out in 2016 and our family made a big move  I sold a couple of collectibles for ungodly cheap prices on my Etsy, but that was it for 2016.  I made items that I gave away, to get practice on sewing and then the rest of 2016 was filled with the chaos and emotions of moving.  I don’t feel there is a single soul that understands what I’ve gone through in the last year and how much I’m still trying to recover from it.  But, that’s ok, it’s just part of life and how people are.

So, sewing and baking/cooking are two things I’m passionate about. What else? Well, my number one passion in life is my son; I absolutely love being his mom. I’ve wanted to be a mom as long as I remember; and it was a very costly journey.  It took lots of years spent on fertility treatments, it took bits of my soul every time it didn’t work, it took my joy and happiness due to 3 failed pregnancies, it challenged my faith, it damaged my marriage, it took a lot of my life. Fertility issues and all the physical and mental damage that goes with it, that’s still something people don’t understand, because too many are ashamed to openly talk about it. But, from the moment I saw our son in the 1st ultrasound; I was not only deeply in love, but fiercely protective of the life growing inside of me.  Our son will be 3 years old in just a few months, the time goes so fast! And I am very passionate about being his mom, to stay dedicated to being a SAHM, you have to be. And to be a mom who is homeschooling, even more so. It can be very lonely and isolating, but worth every moment, every sacrifice.

So, my son, baking/cooking, sewing…that’s three passions right there.  But what else? Well, my spouse of course! I could of lumped my spouse and son together and just said I’m passionate about my family (because I am), but I think they both deserve and earned their own spot. So, my spouse, we have been together 19 years! We’ve been legally married for two years. She loves me when I am unloveable, and I do the same.  We are best friends. And the love only grows, now that we are parents as well. We’ve had ups and downs, but she’s my rock; and I am hers. The physical bodies may change, but our souls are forever joined. She’s my soulmate, and I am so proud of the crazy, stressful, chaotic, loving and supportive love and friendship that we have together.

So my son, my spouse, cooking/baking and sewing are all passions of mine.  That’s four passions there; I could make it three by just putting my family as a passion. So, what else am I passionate about? Well, I really put some thought into this. And people who truly know me will find this humorous; in all actuality, I could write all day long about things I am passionate about. So, the problem for me would not be FINDING five things, but narrowing it down to just five things!

Backstory for those who don’t know me: for many years, my spouse and I have contemplated on what we’d do if/when we won the lottery or came into a substantial amount of money (that wasn’t needed to bail us out of a financial jam). And it’s always been the following: get out of debt, start a savings account, help family/friends by gifting money, and start a nonprofit. So, what changes constantly is what type of nonprofit we would start. My spouse and I both have such big hearts, that we honestly just want to do EVERYTHING!

So, if I have to describe to someone what I’m passionate about, I guess it all boils down to LOVE. Because, honestly that’s all that matters! No matter what you are going through in life, God loves you. And shouldn’t we do our best to just give love? I think you have to love something to consider its passsion. So, I’m passionate about love. I love my family, I love baking, I love sewing, I love photography, I love supporting charitable causes, I love to give support and kindness, I love to be a cheerleader for others that don’t believe in themselves, I love to share my story in hopes to help others, I love to write, to draw, to express myself creatively; and mostly, I just love to love.

I don’t really have a good following on my blogs, my Etsy store, my FB pages, my Twitter or my Instagram; and that’s ok. I am ok with not being popular, as I never have been. But I do hope that if you stumble upon me, that I in some way have added value and love to your life.  I always say that I wish I knew the future plans that God has for me; but unfortunately, it’s not for me to know. I just have to trust God’s plan and have faith that my family will have a bright future.

Thank you for reading, have a blessed day!

 

Simplicity

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Growing up, my family had great expectations for me. I was smart, so I was constantly told. I was talented, so my dad always said; you’ll be working for Disney one day! Words of encouragement! What a lucky kid, right? Isn’t that what everyone wants, people to believe in them? I was indeed the only one in my family to graduate high school. And although I didn’t apply myself to my full potential, I was accepted into the University of Missouri, although I never went.

I often wonder if there is just something wrong with me. I do have talent. I am smart. I do have so many ideas and thoughts. I am full of potential. Yet, here I am, struggling financially and stressed about how we’re going to pay our bills. And what about my spouse? She works so hard to be the financial support of our family. I just want her life to be better. I want us to be able to provide for our son, our family, without so much worry.

Is there a reason that I struggle so much? The thing is, I’m mostly happy! The constant “support” from my parents when I was growing up, stressed me out. I felt their entire identity revolved around me being successful. But, what if success isn’t meant for me? What if that’s not my purpose in life? What if something from a past life is making me have to learn humility in this life?

Im not sure. But I do know God will reveal His plan for my life, in His time. There isn’t anything I can do to hurry it up. I do what I can to help provide for our family. I sell items on EBay. I have an Etsy store, https://www.etsy.com/shop/2findpeace?ref=search_shop_redirect  that I am continuing to work on. And I recently signed up with this company and launched my online store, https://www.countryscentscandles.com/store/mg  and I am hoping to bring in income that way as well.

My family and I recently bought (mortgaged) a small fixer upper home on 20 acres. The place had been neglected for at least the last 15 years and needs a lot of work. We have a TERRIBLE mortgage, and pray that somehow we can find a mortgage company or bank with a HEART, to refinance for us, without closing fees. Anyway, it’s always been our dream to be farmers and we really want to raise our child in the life of homesteading. But, we are not spring chickens! We are not rich! We are not even in very good shape physically! And trust me, nothing is as easy as it seems on HGTV.  The only thing we have going for us is our FAITH.

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We trust that God put all these feelings, ideas and passion in our hearts for a reason.  Those feelings and ideas that you dream about, that are always in your heart; that is your destiny! Or so, that’s what I believe, and it’s what has driven me in life.  And that takes me back to my parents, and their desire for my success.  Am I smart? Yes! Am I a talented artist? Yes! Actually, when I take time and draw daily, I’m very good. But, what has always been in my heart, what has always been my dream?

Simply, to be a mom! It’s all I thought about. And it took a LONG, CRAZY journey, but I am a mom.  And it brings me more happiness and fulfillment than anything else ever has.  So, in a world that pushes their kids so hard to achieve and media constantly pushing consumerism, “BIGGER is better”, etc.; what if I don’t want that? What if being “just a mom” is enough for me?  What if that is my destiny? What if I just want a low key, simple existence?

Maybe the talents I have and the knowledge I have is for me to pass on to my child. Maybe its just for me to share with the world to help others, but not to benefit me? You know, I think that’s ok with me. It’s truly my life goal to just make sure our child has a great childhood. I just want him to be a kid! I don’t really feel the pressure for him to be the best, as the world defines it! I just want him to be the best version of himself. God put him on this earth to fulfill his individual destiny, it is just my blessing to be his mom. He is an amazing child, he has his entire life ahead of him; I’m not putting pressure on him, the world will do that in time. It’s my job to nurture him, not to fit him into some box that the world thinks he needs to fit into.

We will be homeschooling for that very reason. I don’t want him growing up thinking he needs to fit into a box like everyone else.  He’s a very unique soul, I don’t want to take that away from him.  And of course I want him to learn, learn to grow in life, not learn to take tests!

We often talk and plan of the livestock we want to raise to become farmers. And we’ve put a lot of thoughts into the breeds we will raise and I can easily envision raising our child learning to be a guardian of the livestock and a gentle/humane farmer. I know he will benefit greatly from this life experience.  We also talk about having a small orchard and garden as well. We do have great ideas and plans. We also know we have much to learn and much to do to get our farm up and running.

But, there are days when I don’t want to do any of it.  I think to myself, I just want a simple life. Do I want to be a caretaker of more livestock? Do I want to be on baby watch? Do I want to have to constantly pluck weeds from the garden? That all seems like the opposite of a simple life. But, the fact is it’s not about what I want anymore. God have me what I wanted.  I am a mom, and that’s good enough for me.  I don’t need to be remembered for anything other than being a mom.

But God did provide this yearning in the hearts of my spouse and I about owning land and being farmers. It is something we always talked about. Not anything we ever took time to plan or learn about; but something we always wanted. It’s not something that is logical at all. So, I always felt it had more to do with our future child, than with us. And that is when we have to be BRAVE! We have to have trust and faith in God and know we are raising our son the way he needs to be raised. That we are following the plan put before us to live the life we were destined to live.

Living a life of a homesteader has a great appeal to me. I have this unexplainable desire to pull away from modern society and learn the old life skills and crafts. I didn’t feel this way before. The idea of living on land before was always more about not having neighbors and just preserving land. But, over the last few years, it’s definitely shifted into a different reason to have land. And I do desire a simple, peaceful life.  What I am having to learn though is what that means for my family versus someone else’s.

And I think for our family it means we just have to continue to nurture our child and make decisions based on his welfare.  That we have to continue to be brave and face fears and take some risks. We have to learn and grow and step out of our comfort zone. And we have to take baby steps, because as long as we are moving, the tasks will get accomplished. Doing nothing is failure! So, we have to just move forward and continue to take steps to live a more peaceful and simple life. It doesn’t come cheap, it doesn’t come easy; but I believe it’s our destiny as a family. We don’t measure our success in life by what is in our bank account; we measure it by the amount of love we put into our soul account.

It is our wish as parents that our son will always follow his dreams and live a simple, joyful life; on his terms. We know God will watch over him and guide him to his destiny.

 

Outdoor Play

IMG_0098As an older mom, I constantly battle with feeling that somehow I am letting my child down.  That they are at a deficit of some sort, because I’m not a younger, more vibrant mom. I’m trying to get back on a healthier track in life and hope to lose weight and become more energetic. I KNOW how to eat healthy and I know how to lose weight; but I’m finding it so hard right now. I know a lot has to do with worry over finances, as I am an emotional eater. But, I trust in Gods plan and know the resolution will be presented to us in HIS time.

That all being said, I have shed MANY tears over things that I feel are necessary for our child to have a great childhood. I swear I use to be such a kid & know how to play; but somehow life has just beat me down & I can’t get to that place. So, I think to myself if my child had a great outdoor play space, I could play with him and maybe learn to be a kid again. So, I have been OBSESSING over getting him a play kitchen for inside play (I love to cook), and for outside, I wanted to get him something from Cedarworks, Little Tikes, Step 2 or Gorilla Playsets.  All I could think is he NEEDS this amazing outside play area.

Our little boy actually enjoys watching American Ninja Warrior; it’s actually the only adult program I get to watch. He loves to climb and I know in my heart he would enjoy an outdoor play area.  So, I am constantly scouring the BST pages and Craigslist for a good bargain.  There have been a few obstacles with these finds though: (1) most items won’t fit in our SUV,  (2) even the good deals are typically too much for our current finances, (3) most people won’t hold items until you get there, and (4) people won’t deliver, even for gas money.  So, we’ve found it hard to find what my heart desires.

So, I tried talking with the companies that make the items I want. Asking them for discounts or anything to help.  What I got back was SILENCE.  This is hard, it’s actually a bit heartbreaking  I KNOW our son is not going to suffer from not having outside toys  But he is our only child. We are older parents who unfortunately also are poor financially; we just want him to have some things, the things we think are important.

Well, so then I was just at a standstill.  I was depressed and just overwhelmed.  I spend most of my time helping my spouse in her job search, selling (or trying to sell) items on EBay, and playing with our son.  So, I started thinking.  And I come to realize that I was allowing myself to be swept up in to the world of consumerism and the material world.  And I had to take a deep breath and remember why we are on this journey and what is important.

We desire to be homesteaders.  That though is expensive to start. Living a simple life, comes with a hefty price tag when you are starting from scratch!! But we view this as a worthwhile endeavor and it’s our goal to LEARN and to be able to TEACH our child.  So, with that in mind I went to my favorite Facebook pages to gain support and ideas.  These pictures are not mine, I found them on Google.  But after talking with some wonderful moms on the Waldorf Life Page and WildSchooling; these are my inspiration and what I hope to build for our son.

We have plenty of downed wood on our property and a few pallets. We are a bit out of shape, but we also are motivated. There are things we need: tires, pots, pans, buckets, washboard, sink or something similar and utensils, along with other miscellaneous items. The most expensive item we need is either a chainsaw or the money to hire someone to help us cut and move the wood. Even if we buy a chainsaw, we’ll probably still have to hire someone to move the wood to the build site. And then of course, the tires are the next most expensive item.  It’s all going to take time. And we have to do our planning to get it right. I have a post going on my local BST page asking for an old tractor tire and also for items for the music wall and Mud kitchen. I’m hoping to get at least one project done in time for Christmas.

The tire sandpit I had thought we were going to build this weekend.  But, we tend to get EXCITED and not always do our due diligence in preparing.  So, now we are looking for a tractor tire, as the tire on our property is pretty small. And we also didn’t have the area prepared.  We need to dig up the ground, put weed proof down and I’d love to cover the weed proof with some gravel or something.  Then we also need some plywood to make a top and a pool noodle, and maybe some paint. This quickly became a project that we can’t currently afford.

In a perfect world, I could get the Mud kitchen and music wall built in time for Christmas.  And then start getting the logs cut and moved to build the playground and cut stumps and such for him to walk and climb on.  This is my hope.  I’m truly hoping that I will encounter some kindness from the community and people will donate some items so I don’t have to buy a lot. But, if I do have to buy, I plan to shop at Goodwill or places similar, as I know they provide many services to the community.

My spouse is excited about us building our son a playground.  My hope is that we can actually physically and financially pull it off!  I want our son to grow up being in touch with the earth and nature, that is my greatest hope for him.  But I suffer with great anxiety about the dangers in nature…. it’s one of the biggest struggles I have as a parent. I want him to be brave, explore and enjoy all there is in life; but I want to keep him safe.  The best way for me to keep him safe is to educate myself about our surroundings, to be familiar and to be out there exploring with him. This is a great challenge for me, but it’s an obstacle I have to overcome.  I don’t want him to inherit my fears and anxieties, I don’t want him to grow up sheltered.  I want him to be in touch with all that nature has to offer, all the blessings God has provided for us.  Making this playground will force me to take him outside more often, and that is the first step.  It provides a safe place for him to explore, to play, to be outside.  And hopefully it will be the stepping stones to greater adventures in time.

Fowl Pox

I’m definitely a novice at owning livestock. As a kid we briefly lived on a farm. But my parents didn’t involve us kids. So, now as a mom myself…it’s important to me to start having livestock. To start LEARNING myself (even if it’s the HARD way), so I can teach my son and INVOLVE him. This is hard!! But everyone was once a beginner. Books are good, but lord I wish I had time to read. It is something I NEED to adjust in my life and make time for. I have an amazing friend (I know I drive her CRAZY) who helps me a lot. And I know I will learn from others in the farming community, as well. But the best learning comes from experience. As a mom, I am learning everyday. I have really good days & days that I wish I could rewind and start over. At the end of it, I just always end my day with a prayer of gratitude, forgiveness and pray that my loved ones know how important they are to me.

We are currently battling what we believe to be Fowl Pox. We chose (partially due to our goals & partially due to finances) to do natural treatment of our flock. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, but it’s what we are doing. I realize that I could lose my entire flock. So far, we had one hen that had a sudden onset of gurgling and died within hours. Her eyes never swelled. We have the BR rooster who seems to be well (best I can tell). We have the hen with two swollen eyes, which now has one eye partially open and swelling is going down. However, she still makes gurgling sounds. Then we have my favorite chicken Gertrude (she’s kind of fat & awkward like me) and she presented yesterday with a swollen eye.

This is how I’ve treated them. First day, warm compress and neosporin on eyes. Second day, added saline wash, then warm compress and neosporin. Third day, changed to just saline wash and bought Vetricyn to spray in eyes. I put Ropa Poultry Oregano solution in my chickens water. During treatment, I have doubled the amount I add to their water. Starting day 3, I also started putting Apple Cider Vinegar in their water. I can’t say this treatment will cure them. But I do know it hasn’t killed them. And I do believe it’s helped them to stay strong enough to battle the illness. Also, the day the chicken got the 2nd swollen eye and I noticed she wasn’t drinking, I gave her an oral shot of Gatorade. I’m hoping my flock survives. I am pretty attached to all of them.

WHAT CHICKENS HAVE TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE: Sunshine and fresh air help just about anything that ails you. Having friends (or your flock) near you when you’re ailing can give you the strength to go on. NEVER GIVE UP! Even if you lose, the days you lived enriched someone’s life. That I can overcome and deal with things that scare me or make me uncomfortable. I wanted to give up my flock because I was scared and felt like a failure. But keeping them and trying to heal them, it’s rewarding. And it teaches my son valuable lessons as well. It teaches him empathy, nurturing, responsibility and unfortunately that sometimes things don’t go how we want them to go.

I have days where life is too much, too hard for me. But my son needs me, and the animals at our ranch need me. It all helps me to cope and feel like I do have a purpose. And I try everyday to become a better version of myself. I am extremely blessed to be on this journey. And honestly the biggest problem I have in life is the lack of money, it creates so much stress in our home. Well, you know…. I may not be financially well off, but God has made me rich in so many ways. And I’d rather be rich in love and my blessings than to be so poor, that all I had was money.

I just read the information on this page today, from the Chicken Chick and it’s very interesting.  Seems we so far are dealing with the “wet” version of this illness.  We are going to clean the coop tomorrow with dawn dish soap and then spray down with vinegar. We also are going to try Iodine in their water and see if that helps.  INFO HERE: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/07/fowl-pox-prevention-treatment.html?m=1

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Life so far…

I am not blessed to have a lot of memories of my childhood, having Epilepsy as a child prevents that. But, some of my best and also worst memories are of when my family lived on a farm. It was those good memories that I tried to hold on to, and knew I wanted someday to have the chance to live that type of life again. And when God finally blessed me with a child, my spouse and I agreed 100% that we definitely wanted to raise our son on a “farm”, to give him space to play and freedom to just be a kid.

Well, as seems to be typical of our life, things never go as planned. On my other blog I go a little more into it. But, here I want to just try to focus on our life at the ranch. In March, my spouse bought our ranch. It’s a very small fixer upper on 20 acres! We have both pasture and woods, with two small ponds (watering holes). The homeowner was the 2nd person to live here, the home was built in 1951 and he purchased it in 1963. He raised a family here and ran a nursery, selling flowers and such, while also raising cattle and pigs. The neighbor said the owner had been in failing health and the place had just deteriorated over the last 15 years, as the owner was too elderly and in poor health to fix things.  So, we have much work to do!

The house is a sturdy little home, but indeed needs some repairs.  We are trying to repair our credit and not incurs debt, as we don’t want to ever lose a home again! We want this to be the place our son grows up & makes fantastic memories here; and if he so chooses, to raise a family here when we are gone.  So, we will continue to move forward and do what we can, as we can afford to. And we just pray that God will provide answers and solutions.

To anyone who is considering moving out to live on land, there are things to consider.  For me, the three things I’ve struggled with the most are: patience, fear and loneliness. And all of these issues have hit me hard and honestly, taken me by surprise.

First, patience, this has always been something I’ve struggled with. But, I thought I wouldn’t experience it here. There are two sides of thought I have about living here. The one side, wants to have livestock, a garden, etc and just fully embrace the life! The other side of me wants to take a year or two and just get the house done (cleaned, painted, organized) and just enjoy the peace & quiet. And then, get all the livestock, etc. But, what has happened is that being older parents, I feel time is against us; so I find I’m not patient with how long it takes to accomplish things. And so I struggle back in forth about having animals now, or waiting. And I worry about our finances and the just don’t want us to fail.

Secondly, fear, this is a terrible thing to deal with.  Sometimes I feel like I am a prisoner to my fear. Some days, I think I must have been crazy to think living in the country was a good idea. But, most days, I know it’s the right thing to give our son the best childhood experience possible! Being a mom, you are forced to confront so many fears you never knew existed before.  And now, if I want our son to enjoy life out here, I have to also confront old fears of mine. It’s important to me to not imprint all my fears & anxiety onto my son. I want him to be as innocent and carefree as possible, I also want him to be knowledgeable and BRAVE! So, I can’t run away every time I see a wasp or bee. I can’t freak out over bugs and such. And I’ve embraced the black rat snake we have, but I am so afraid of what could be lurking in the piles of wood or in the weeds.  I find somedays that I just have to fight so hard to not just sit and cry, because I’m afraid.  And I’m mostly afraid that I’m not being as good of a mom as I could be, because of some of my fears. Hopefully soon, we will find the money to afford a weedeater and to get these weeds & brush under control enough that we could use weed spray.

Lastly, is loneliness! I didn’t think I would be lonely.  Being a SAHM is a blessing, I am so grateful for. But, I do at times feel very isolated. My spouse is amazing, but she’s also exhausted most of the time. Just getting to our home was such a LONG journey and has been so physically and mentally hard on both of us. On her days off, she’ll try to take us out at least one day, but it typically doesn’t go well. Our son is two and lately has decided naps are not his thing; so that can lead to a bit of an issue on outings. I am with our son 24/7, so it doesn’t bother me, but my spouse gets all anxious and upset when he starts to fuss in public.  This leads to me getting upset and just wanting to go home! So, why don’t I just drive somewhere? Well, we only have one car. And, I have also never been a very confident driver. But, mainly due to my horrific car accident last year, I’ve only driven three times since. It has left me with a debilitating anxiety to driving and sometimes I can’t even handle riding in a car, especially if there has been bad weather or it’s dark, or a lot of traffic.

All of these things I need to overcome and hopefully in time I will; at the very least I hope I can encourage our son to not be like me, in these aspects.  I know there will come the day that I can confidently walk around on our property with our son and son explore nature like I want to. I know there will come the day that I will look at myself in the mirror with pride.  I know someday, I will be happily working my garden and living in harmony with Gods creatures, knowing they all serve a purpose. I look forward to the day our 1st animal is born here in our ranch. I look forward to so many adventures and memories to be made here! I just pray that God will provide, that He will allow our son to grow up here, that He will bless us with health and longevity. There is so much to do and the time goes so fast! I just pray that our son knows how much we love him, and that he has the BEST life experiences possible.