Monday, February 24, 2014
End of February already. Time's flying, and I can't decide how to feel about that.
I'll probably never shut down a blog, per se, but I'm definitely putting this one on the back burner. As my interests shift into full-scale farming on a really small scale, and my busyness with both that and my work for the nonprofit escalates, I just don't have a lot to post on this here blog. Which is fine, cuz this space was for whining anyway. OK, it certainly wasn't all about that, but it was a much more personal space that I'm pulling away from right now. So whatev.
The big guy upstairs giveth, and he taketh away. We were forgiven my ER bill last month, but a trip to the tax man unveiled a painfully egregious underestimation of my quarterly tithe to the feds (and the state...so much for my pipe dream that I wouldn't have to pay NC because my contract is with a Florida company), so it's a little more than a wash. The result means we're looking at easily a year of debt, and it ain't pretty, because budgeting will only do so much. As I related to Lil Sis recently, it's totally doable, so long as we give up food...
That setback certainly hurts a little, because I was hoping this would be the year to start saving for our little patch of land. I'm hoping to not touch what's left of the nest egg (stocks), because I'm earmarking it as money for Les's teeth down the road. But I can't stay in a funk too long about where we're at, because it definitely needed to happen. We've been living a little too loose this first year, and freelancing barely does pay the bills. Recognizing that, and reorganizing to tackle it, should keep me from online shopping whims, for the most part.
A byproduct of some classes I'm taking to boost my knowledge for the nonprofit, is that it's showing me how to market myself as well. I know a girl from work who's a self-published author, and I used to chuckle at her borderline spam-like flooding of FB and other venues to get her name out there. But now I see her for the shrewd businesswoman that she is, making use of the tools at her disposal. Makes me wonder how many people in my age group find themselves in the same boat, because even after years of computer use, we just aren't used to thinking of the web in that way. So that's another thing keeping me busy in the coming months, finding more paying work, finding ways to get my name out there...
Hop on over to Melanie's Gym and Dark Meadow Farm if you get bored...I'm still fighting the big butt fight, and diving into permaculture on those outlets.
After a week of false spring, the temps are going to nosedive again this week and give us snow showers. I'm starting to itch to get my hands dirty, and when I walk outside to our front area, I'm pondering raised bed layouts and clearing under the tree. Time to start planning!
Image from here.
Friday, February 07, 2014
I've been itching to write lately, itching to find my focus and put words on paper (or screen, as it were). But I let life live me, I eat too many carbs and my brain gets fuzzy...there are a million excuses.
I've been making soups from scratch this week. It feels like a February thing to do, and I need the reminder of how dang easy it is to do, because I really do like a good soup or stew and lord knows, I'm not eating right and want to get away from anything that comes from a box or can...
I happened upon the blog of a woman who's perfectly average-looking, body-wise (actually, she's easily 25 pounds "overweight" probably), who is a triathlete and Ironman champion. Her blog mantra is "just keep moving forward®" and she writes under the name Swim Bike Mom. It gets me thinking about how I'm not even a mom, so what the hell's stopping me....
Letting life live me also resulted in me being behind on my Ashevillage work this week. I do not like the way that made me feel, like I'd let people down...
So, grumble, grumble, yea, yea.....the sad thing is there's nothing new here. New subject matter glossing over the same issues: disorganization, laziness, food addiction, and scatter-brained nonsense. Why not do something about it, Melanie?
That image above...can't decide if I'm pushing the snow down the hill or if I'm already underneath it...
Image from here.
Monday, January 27, 2014
As my work for Ashevillage increases, I'll be posting more over at Dark Meadow...plus, once Spring starts to sneak in around these parts, I'll be wrist deep in the soil and writing about that over there.
I'm also in a dry spell over at Melanie's Gym, but that's just laziness. I'm having a helluva time finding the necessary willpower and mental strength to make the changes this body needs. January has been Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (is that even attributed to Einstein? just realized it's one of those web quotes that's been used enough where you just assume, rather than research its veracity...). I voiced the issue rather succinctly on my FB this morning: I just want to detox from the Standard American Diet, while maintaining focus on my work and not desiring to murder everyone around me in the process. File it under work in progress, I guess...
It's been actual winter around here! Not getting much above 40 these days, and quite a bit of snow, though the white stuff is light and doesn't stick around. Still, so nifty to watch it fall and dance around in it like a kid!
Getting proactive about the indoor plants finally, keeping them in window areas during the day and watering them when needed. I fear I lost the rosemary and the holy basil...time will tell.
Have a great week, y'all! Stay warm!
Image from here.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I went to church this past Sunday, a UU congregation a half hour's drive from here. I bypassed the Asheville UU to get to them. I went to Asheville's UU once last year, and the vibe in the place just didn't appeal to me, no clue why. I have high standards with UU churches, because Rev. Dr. John Young (ret.) at the Jacksonville UU was excellent, very friendly and immensely learned. But the Swannanoa Valley UU felt better. The reverend seemed smart and jovial. I was in my shell the whole time I was there. That's the one hard part about hitting a new church - everyone's so dang friendly, and it takes me at least one service to thaw out. But I liked what I saw, and I'll be going back, weather-permitting, this Sunday.
In a case of painfully coincidental timing, the service I attended last Sunday was that congregation's chance to honor the members who passed on in 2012 and 2013. Reading out names, dedicating a song, ringing the meditation bell. I thought of Kendra and got teary, but I also felt a peace, similar to the comfort I experienced at the Catholic funeral last week. Hey, I'll take it.
Just wrote a pile of paragraphs on the frustration surrounding my MIL's attitude and living situation, and then thought better of it and stuck it on my private blog. So I'll just ask for prayers of compassion, that I may relate to her situation better and help her find her way eventually.
This week is about making new habits. I've half-assed started Whole 30, meaning I'm burning through the almond milk in the fridge first and THEN I'll really start, and there have been slip-ups here and there in just the 2 days that I've tried to be more conscious of my food intake. But my inflammation is down again already, noticed it when I woke up this morning, and that's motivating as hell. Eating clean, whole foods as often as possible, and getting back on a walking regimen are the main goals this week.
Image from here.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Every two months, for security reasons, my work password dies. I understand this; it's a pain in the tail, but easy to remedy.
In an instance of impressively shitty timing, this occurred yesterday. I spent yesterday attending a funeral, the reception that followed, and then driving from Hilton Head Island back to Weaverville, a 6-hour trip. I didn't go into the work tool to check the queues until 10:45 PM.
I'm stuck, unable to work until Monday, because IT doesn't work on the weekend. I did maybe half my usual quota of sites this week.
Sales hasn't quite ramped up since the New Year holiday, so I may have been screwed anyway; my boss said there wasn't much in the queue to work with. Small consolation.
It's the beginning of a pay period, so there's hope. I can bust my arse on work next week and make up the difference. This will occur only if sales ramps up enough to supply me with work.
I made a good living this past year, better than I expected. I get that this is a temporary condition, that sales should increase in the next week or so. Work has always experienced a significant drop around the holidays. Doesn't make it any easier, and it's certainly a well-deserved/timed wake-up call that I need to expand my portfolio and opportunities.
The funeral was lovely, a standard Catholic mass. I found it a comfort. I don't miss Christianity, but I do miss the rituals behind it.
It almost wasn't my place to grieve...I'd only met Kaye a few times; she was Les' aunt. My grief was for his cousins who lost their mother, and for the grandchildren who lost their grandmother. I was brought to tears by their tears. I watched a 15-year-old boy break down, and I wept for his pain.
His cousins are our peers, and I found myself doing character studies in my head about them on the ride home. We'd be closer friends with these folks, if we lived closer together. This death brought us a little closer, and in spite of the requisite funeral conversations about how we must get together on a happier occasion, I'd like to actually see that happen, instead of it being lip service. But they are spotty Facebook users, and real life gets in the way, so we'll see.
I watched this funeral with a new clarity about my beliefs. In the past, as a pagan, I've been terribly uncomfortable at Christian funerals, not knowing my place, not knowing how I felt. Over my father's dying body, I was forced to take communion and felt like a hypocrite. Yesterday, I bypassed communion and felt fine, felt I was honoring their rituals by not participating. But at the same time, I felt fine repeating the refrains of the mass, doing the motions of the sign of the cross or the little motions right before the reading of the Gospel. I have found my ways to respect religion without believing in it. I found both relief and comfort in this development.
My Lil Sis's friend Kendra is gravely ill. I've written about her before on here. She gave birth prematurely, because she came down with pneumonia, and then a host of other complications ensued, sending her into a medically induced coma for the last 2 months. She contracted pneumonia again, about 2 weeks ago, and if the updates we receive on Facebook are any indication, the doctors are obviously preparing the family for her to pass. Her baby daughter is out of the hospital and thriving, living with relatives while her husband sits vigil.
I learned how to pray again, thanks to this woman's fight...figured out how prayer was possible again, in spite of my non-Christian status. There are other lessons sneaking into my psyche as my mind wrestles with the sadness that this family has been experiencing. It's coming too soon after losing Kaye, standing in a church and realizing that I've hit mid-life and there's still so damn much I want to experience. These thoughts are exhausting, but necessary; they bring clarity about how unique and precious life is.
We came home last night to snow on the ground and bitter temperatures. These temps are supposed to stick around for the next week, turning the roads to ice. I'm going to get back to walking anyway, somehow, and I'm starting the Whole 30 next Sunday. All prayers welcome for my husband's and my sanity as I traverse that sucker.
Image from here.
Monday, December 30, 2013
I guess I really have become a homebody. We got back from traveling on Saturday night, and I'm still trying to get my head screwed back on straight.
It's been a year here, and I still revel in how good it feels to come home. Didn't have that in Jax for the longest time. Really makes you realize the difference between compromise and happiness.
It was a good holiday; Yule was awesome, and Christmas was fine. Everybody put on their happy faces, and I tried not to choke on the hypocrisy. We hit his mom's place first for Christmas Eve and Day. No big talks occurred, because of time constraints, and because we all recognize the futility of speaking seriously to people who are too high for anything to sink in. We then traveled to my mom and Lil Sis's place from Boxing Day til Saturday. It was a nice visit, and a nice way to come down a bit from the tension of the other place.
Les got me a gorgeous anniversary jacket band to go around my engagement ring (we celebrate 15 years in 2014; he's been wanting to get me something like this since around year 10). I plied him with weaponry.
Things won't get back to normal for another week unfortunately. We lost Les' Aunt Kaye on Christmas Day, and we're traveling again this week to see her laid to rest. She was a dear lady.
The weather's winter-grey and cold around here, with a whisper of snow in the forecast.
Image from here.