Tag Archives: Children
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My Mom’s China

27 Dec

This year 2013 has been a very eventful time. Our lives have recently best been explained by the following scripture found in the Old Testament of the bible.
No matter what belief system you embrace, this passage reflects what is on my heart.

Ecclesiastes 3
New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.

What does this have to do with china?
When going through tough times, it is common to take a look at what is really important in your life.
Cleaning out my china cabinet, I took down my favorite china, Burleigh Blue Calico by Staffordshire. It is made in England and is only available in limited pieces
I inherited an incomplete collection of this china when my mom passed away over twenty years ago.
I have children still at home, pondering this thought I stacked all of the blue china on the counter and carefully washed each piece.
When I was done, I took a deep breath and rearranged the mish mosh of classic pottery plates (also cobalt blue) to accommodate the new additions in the day-to-day dish cabinet.
Was I really ready to incorporate these precious, beautiful hard to replace pieces into our daily lives?
Would I cry or get angry if one was broken?
After a time I have come to realize that the risk is worth the joy of seeing the bright, cobalt calico print on our dining room table. We did have our first and second casualties; dinner plate and teacup.
We are now looking for a stone tumbler, precious broken bits saved in a Ziploc bag are now awaiting their rebirth.
Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder, whether something or someone retains value when broken has to do with the patience and hopeful scrutiny of the bearer.
I am thankful to have this exquisite reminder of my Mom every time we use these plates, fond memories of times shared together.
As my family and I anticipate the return home of my eldest son and his wife, I look forward to a time of new hope, dreams and future deposits of this memory bank called Life.

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Sigh, No Cherry Pie!

27 Feb

This year the holiday that was bombed…Valentine’s Day. Our family celebrates loving each other on Valentine’s Day by giving simply, things that we should do more often. We don’t need a holiday to tell a loved one that you, do indeed love them! 

After setting down to check for emails, I noticed the Facebook tab was flashing. My son and daughter in law, I always look forward to hearing from them. We are nine hours apart and it is challenging enough to remember what time of day it is on the other side of the world! My son wanted us to sign into Skype, this is a step by step process. The computer I am fortunate enough to be using is over 12 years old! An ongoing chuckle that is constantly being acknowledged by all who hear, is that the computer is held together by the breath of God!

In order to sign into Skype, I must close each and every window, save every file…backup again. Once I have accomplished this, I can click onto the Skype logo on my desktop. Hitting that button is rather like wondering if the 3 year old fireworks you found carefully stored in a box in the bottom of the closet will still catch and spark! Evidently some video driver is going corrupt and I am told it cannot be fixed, as a result sometimes the image is similar to a Brite Lite screen with fuzzy picture behind and bright pixel dots on the screen!

We are in luck today! The breath is strong today and I am thankful to be able to see my son and daughter in law. It has been since June that we saw them last. They came home to get married in a whirlwind leave and then they were gone. I can tell by looking at his face that he has news to share. We had been looking forward to them PCS’ing back to the states. (PCS=change of station/transfer to a different base). Not only had that just been swatted out of the sky, now he was deploying…for the third time.

We listened mostly and tried to keep the conversation going. There is always an awkwardness, when sharing bad news. My youngest son as soon as we signed off, went to his room and sat on his bed. He did not eat lunch, snacks or dinner. He did not want to talk, nor play, nor watch television. After a couple of hours passed, I walked past his room and he was doing school online. That night he tossed and turned, he kept getting up and came out hugging me from the back of the couch. “Mom, I miss my brother! My heart hurts.”

His sister didn’t comment and went about the rest of the day staying busy. Turning thirteen soon, I have noticed that she tends to be more independent. I knew when she wanted to talk, I would be available to listen. She went with my husband to run errands and they came home with beautiful flowers for me to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Brilliantly colored and variantly petaled Primroses that smell sweet like the promise of Spring! While I was making dinner, my daughter came in and started helping me without being asked, prepping food and putting away dishes.

I knew this was her way of demonstrating her love and concern about the talk we had that morning with her big brother. She brought up the disappointment of not having them here for her birthday, games and 4th of July. No camping or finally being able to celebrate a birthday with her big brother after 5 years and worst of all…still, NO Cherry Pie!!!

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Just an average Day…

20 Feb

Stayed up late, you guessed it..blogging! I thought that I should stray back towards the origins of this blog and write about an average day on Life on Z Farm.
Up at 3 am, stoked fire and checked to make sure children and husband are covered up. Husband has flu, so I am sleeping on our antique couch in front of the wood stove.
Waking at 7 to my hubby asking where my phone is, as he needs to call into work again, poor guy. Sure hope he feels better soon, he is worried even when he is sick about making our ends meet. We do not have health insurance, nor sick days.
Started a pot of coffee, love the new coffeemaker we got!
No fresh milk, so drinking it black and sweet.
Now breakfast plans, muffins in oven. Onto waking children for school.
We attend virtual school, but they still have a schedule to follow.
Stoke fire again, let kitty into get warmed up, then kick her back out.
After drinking 2 cups of coffee, I am out to do chores.
First stop is the chicken coop. We currently have a dozen laying hens and two roosters to let out, feed, water and throw scratch to.
Next it the Chicky tractor which houses the pullets until they are big enough to go in with the big girls around 5 months of age.
The sheep stall is on the backside of the Chicky Girlz coop, so I carry out alfalfa and divvy it up into two feeders, fresh water and let them out. We have one coming yearling Cheviot ram a Cheviot/Icelandic ewe close to lambing and a Southdown ewe just 2 months bred. After putting the carry lid back in the barn and letting sheep out, we walk over to the Big barn.
This is where the pony, old grey mare & her daughter and our dairy Goaty Girlz reside.
Up into the hay loft to drop hay, we used to cram the loft full. Since selling my horse and thinning out the goat-herd the loft is still used and much appreciated, but the price of hay has more than doubled in the last few years.
Walking down to the end of the aisleway, I get a can of Senior grain for our 26-year-old Arabian Mare Silk AN Silver. I feed her first she likes to savor her grain and it takes her the longest. Grain for Beauty her daughter and a I’m sorry you’re fat handful for the pony!
Goat doelings get grained next, then I put fresh hay out in hanging feeders in the pasture. Orchard grass, locally grown is topped off with Christmas Valley alfalfa priced at $270 a ton!
We have two senior does who are due to kid in 2-4 weeks and they are turned out into the pasture to eat while the little Goaty Girlz finish their grain. Don’t forget the clean, fresh water!
I have to leave one little doeling and her sister in the stall, as she broke her leg 3 weeks ago and she is a wild jumper. Probably how she broke her leg to begin with ,she is one of the smallest and bossiest kids we have…Well of the Goaty kids anyway!
Ah, I forgot to mention that upon entering big barn that we have our resident mascot~ Miss Peep~ to let out and feed and water.
She was in a batch of pullets that was brutally attacked through the wire on their pen.
When I went to move the pen one morning I walked around the side and found a pile of wings, feathers and legs. I checked the remaining pullets and one did not move. I picked her up and realized she only had one leg left! She is pretty amazing creature, we cleaned and salved her open wound where her leg used to be and she has been keeping us company at the barn ever since!
After the horses eat their grain, we put the old girl out with her daughter and after hay is eaten we throw the pony out. She is such a bossy little meany that she will eat and eat until she can no longer move! Don’t forget the clean, fresh water!

That is how morning chores are usually done. I used to drag the children out with me every morning, but now I get them up and breakfasted and then they start school. I discovered having them help with the evening chores when I am starting to fade is a good way to go! Evening chores are more involved, we clean stalls, make sure all have fresh bedding, food and water. Coop is tidied, eggs collected.
Here comes the sun, that means time to go out and possibly greet the sought after warming, golden rays of light.
What would you like to me to write about next? Kidding season, farm emergencies, children silliness, beauty in nature, creatures?
Hope your day is utilized to count your blessings, thank you for reading!
Zion Farm Goaty Girlz

Driving the sexy beast…

20 Feb

I saw this comment on my son and daughter in laws’ Facebook page. He posted a photo of his 1985 Mustang. He has invested a lot into that car and not only monetarily, emotionally as well.
Our family jokes that this car will forever be sought out by our local law enforcement. They are constantly seeking to find out when my son will be home on leave. I am sure they would like to just pull him aside and chat him up…right?
After I wrote the blog about driving your car, I had an opportunity to drive your car again. As I searched for a CD, (no I haven’t figured out how to download music into the 2nd cell phone yet. It took me 2 months to program the first one, excuse me if i am not jumping to do it all over again!) I find a CD that just looking at causes a fresh wave of missing you. It is a CD that you recorded for me and you wrote “Mom’s mix, love you MOm” on it. Recalling what prompted the creating of this music, I smile. You were 15 and making it known that you liked to listen to Other music now. I did not necessarily share the love of your genre of music, yet wanted to enjoy time with you. So, we compromised and you put a few songs you liked, then a few songs I liked and so forth.
Currently skipping through the rather loud choices, I settled upon a song called Seize the Day. I listened to that and when I came home, I time warped and expected you to walk out of your bedroom with your jet black hair, eyeliner and skinny jeans.
Now, I can’t get that song out of my head! I looked the lyrics up online and reading them realized why that song was stuck in my head.
I notice that the green light is on your FB this morning and I greet you and send you the lyrics to the song. I am so caught by surprise when you tell me that you were cleaning the house to the same song, it sounds like within the same time frame as when I listened to it.
This may just seem like coincidence, take into account that we live over 12,000 miles apart!
Little reminders in life, no matter how far apart we are in actual mileage , our hearts do not acknowledge this distance!
Enjoy your time in Europe, praying for safety in your next deployment and don’t worry..We will keep your car pristine…for the next leave when you “drive the sexy beast!”
Mayday ahah 246

Up at 3 am…

16 Feb

Our grandchildren are spending the weekend with us. We are trying to have them come at least once a month to visit and help on the farm.
We do not have the usual family dynamics. My children range from 29, 22, 12 and 10 years old. My grandchildren are 7 & 11. We also have my nephew age 11 who comes usually every Saturday night to stay over so he can visit and go to church on Sunday with us.
My brother lives in a studio behind us and is developmentally disabled. He has been living with us for almost 10 years and prior to that he had taken to being on the streets when my mom passed away.
Does reading that make you feel busy?
I have realized that there are a lot of families who have full plates, some with life dripping over the sides and some with stuff stuck to the plates!
I was sound asleep when my husband lovingly nudges me awake and says “hon, hon, your grand-daughter wanted you to know she is up puking”. Did she really ask for me? Is it just me or do most guys not deal with bodily fluids? Argh, I slowly creak out of bed and pad my little feet down to the bathroom. Poor little thing is trying to hold her hair back and not get the yuk on her. I rummage around and find her a hair tie, pulling her hair back into it. Next, I wrap a flannel sheet around her, get her a water bottle to rinse her mouth and ask her if she thinks her tummy is done protesting? She shakes her head no, so i hug her and tell her I will come back.
Hmmm, what to do to pass the time? Check my emails! This was probably not the wisest thing to do at 3 in the morning for most, however I am incredibly brave because I continually fight the no sleep minions.
I check mail and then pull up my bloggers page and enter titles into 3 more pages for ideas then go back to her.
She is huddled into the warmth of the flannel and tells me she is ready to go back to bed now. Rinse mouth, make sure jammies are in the clear of the vile vomit, wash face and hands, brush hair and we go to my daughter’s room. I make a bed for her on the floor with a soft comforter and fluffy pillow, flannel blanket, fuzzy blanket, tuck up to the chin and night-nights.
Now that she is seemingly doing better, I should be able to go back to bed. Houston, we have a problem! I am Wide awake!
I log onto Facebook to see if my daughter in law is online, my son and daughter in law are currently living in Germany and there is a 9 hour time difference. I am disappointed, no such luck this early morning.
Well, after reading this you will know how I deal with the insomnia issues! I have a routine when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning; bathroom, check on each child covering them up if needed and praying over each, giving thanks and uplifting them to the Creator. Stoke the fire, get a drink of water and back to bed.
I have been struggling with restlessness for a while now. I finally realized that my brain just does not want to turn off, so now when I wake and sleep is elusive…I pray and then I blog! Usually it is just long enough to type in some new titles and save them. I have found this is a wonderful mental cataloging that assists me with sorting the skeins of thought rolled up in my grey matter!
Well now that it is after 4 am and the fire died out, sigh, I think I will try going back to bed.
Our hardwood floors, though freshly vacuumed are chilly with no fire and I could not find my slippers in the dark!
Thank you for listening.

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Driving your car…

14 Feb

We had a Skype session yesterday, I received the news that heart had already know for so long.
Another deployment, broken promises of worthless paperwork, dashed dreams and crumbled crumbs of hope left on the table.
Before you enlisted, you and Dad went looking for cars.
When you came home from your seeking, sometimes it sounded like an updated story of the Three Bears story. This one was too old, this one was too trashed and then you found one that was just right.
Do you remember that it was the second time around of looking and going back that you were successful in your quest?
A car of your own! I recall that you questioned your Dad about the price of the car and knowing what it would take to make it road worthy.
So impressive when you asked if it was honest to buy the car for such a price when after you and Dad discussed what the car would probably need, you knew the car was worth more!
We gave you a key ring, your keys for the Mustang are still on it.
Looking towards the back door when I knew you were both returning from buying the car. Wanting to treasure the look on your face, triumphantly striding in with a smile so big your face looked as if it would crack!
Teaching you the power of this new car, your Dad took you out for the first time. He was driving and as he turned onto Hwy 126 the road was wet, it had been lightly sprinkling. Your eyes got so big as the car slid sideways across both lanes and right over the white line!
One night you were coming home from your then girlfriend’s house and a big deer jumped out of the woods and right into your car.
You came in the house and I could tell by your voice, when you opened the door and called out “Mom?”. I turned around and looked at you, your face was very pale. I asked what was wrong and I started to think you had been in an accident. Your story spilled out and we went out to look at the damage to the car. Wow, did the deer damage the front end! After cleaning it up, you dried the car off and spray painted ouch deer on the side!
That car taught you to budget, it also instructed you in the art of being humble. You got into trouble together and still have quite a reputation, just like our own Dukes of Hazzard and Boss Hog!
Both the Mustang and you like to show that you got it!
That car loves to drive! Old cars and trucks have personality.
I so enjoy being able to Drive your car. When I get in and adjust the seat, mirrors and stereo I look for a CD to listen to. The case of CD’s you left for me are still in the car. I discover a blue CD that says Mom’s mix~ Love you Mom. I pop it in the CD player and memories come flooding back, of differences and compromises we both came up with. Remembering our Mother~Son drives and “dates”, you are always freshly shaven, sharply dressed and smell like your favorite cologne.
Sometimes I would close my eyes, sit on my hands and chew on my tongue trying to hold off comments that would offend you in regards to your driving. Time passes, life goes on.
Can you come pick me up at the airport…in my car? Sure, we drive two cars to the airport, to give you your car and we have a way to get home. Your brother and sister help detail your car, your dad does work to suprise you while you are away.
We were talking about how we were going to meet you at the airport again and how you would drive to your new duty station. That won’t be happening anytime soon. I can’t sleep. The flag is flying at half-mast in Veneta, honoring fallen soldiers. It looks quite striking in contrast to the dark grey sky. I want to get a picture of it to show you every time I drive past that flag I think of you.
Every time I see your car I think of you. The tattoo on my ankle reminds me of the promise of protection from your Angel.
Every time I look at it, prayer follows, then praises.
No visit home, no duty station change, no sleep, no airline tickets, no money.
You have no idea how much it means when I can go out to your car, which still smells like your cologne.
Listening to the blue CD while Driving your car.
Mayday ahah 079

~The Quest towards Pearly Whites~

11 Feb

It has been at least two weeks since I last wrote about grieving the loss of part of my tooth.
After the visit to the dentist this week, I figured I needed to update you on what is happening.
Contrary to what my mind had already convinced my heart of, I do not need to have all of my teeth pulled for dentures!
The dentist is very kind and took the time to explain to me that even though I have been diligent about the care of my teeth, sometimes there are things that are not in our control!
I was very surprised at this explanation and he elaborated.
Your genetics, body chemistry, medications and what you eat and drink are all factors that affect the health of your body, mouth and teeth.
After listening, I told him I guess that leaves me with a trio out to attack my teeth!
He stated that unfortunately, he would not be able to salvage my broken tooth. The roots or what is left would not withhold the repair to enable me to keep my tooth.
I could feel my anxiety rise as he told me that I need to have the tooth pulled. I have networks of facial nerves that do not know they are supposed to follow a blueprint. It is hard to find and numb them and with my mouth being so small, very painful after work is done due to cramping of my facial muscles afterwards.
I shared my anxiety with him. He proceeded to show me the last filling.tooth he had repaired. Pointing out the extensive dental work on this tooth, he reminded me that it took a lot more time to do that work than he will have to do pulling the offending tooth now!
He reassured me that I did great then and will do fine for this procedure.
I left with such a mixed array of feelings; thankfulness, sadness, twinges of fear, regret, anger and resentment.
I cannot believe that out of all this dredges up that I wish my mom was around so I could tell her what is happening in my life right now. I do fine for a while, then go on my merry way and something like this blindsided me.
Missing her so much lately, not having her advice, her laughter. It is so hard to believe that she has been gone for almost 19 years.
I want to ask her why she got dentures as such a young age, did she have these problems? Just to hear her say one more time that it will be ok. I search memories to try to remember the sound of her voice.

My husband also went to the dentist and his attitude is angry about the dental work he needs. Well, we don’t have $4000 to fix my teeth. We have to live in the meanwhile.
How does it come down to this? Going from having insurance and retirement to nothing? I am currently searching through my house, seeking what I can sell to raise the money. I am stubbornly refusing to give in to the mentality of….oh we are poor, it just happens!
According to society, we are not poor.
We have a beautiful family, a small farm, our cars are paid off (even though only one is currently running), we are trying to balance our lives.
The children have health insurance, dental and vision. Even with the insurance comes copays that need to be kept paid up and current.

This morning I am readying to go do the chores to care for the animals and farm we are blessed with.
My children up and eating a hot breakfast, with a warm home and starting school.
On the morn of having my tooth pulled I am reflecting, how far do we go in search of Pearly whites? Is this Vanity?

Mayday ahah 253