Category Archives: musings

Ho-hum Holiday Blues

I really want to love the holidays. Really, I do. But I get so apprehensive this time of year. November and December are there, glaring at me from the calendar all year long.

My birthday frustrates me. It’s so close to Thanksgiving, I always feel lucky if I even get remembered at all. I always want more that I feel I deserve, which is 100% successful in leading to disappointment.

Thanksgiving food is delicious, but so much work for one person to create a feast of that magnitude.

Christmas. Well. Christmas is a lot of work. I always want to give more than I have time and money for. After all the wrapping paper is collected in trash bags, the empty boxes can leave me feeling so empty inside too. Like all that effort, planning, hoping for positive reactions to the gifts I took such time to make, has it been appreciated? Was it worth it? All that time and money I spent on others, and I really want to spend it all on myself, just for once. I want to treat myself to as nice of a Christmas as I try to give others.

Is this feeling of longed – for selfishness normal? Does it make me a bad person for feeling that way? I know in my head that I shouldn’t want STUFF, but I do. I can’t help it. I have an amazon shopping cart with parked items almost as long as my wish list. Things I want to buy for myself, and can never justify spending the money on.

The holidays bring all this up for me, every year. I’ve actually gotten better! I used to dread December so much, now it’s more like a rain cloud on the horizon and less like a tornado of tormented feeling bearing down on me.

Who can say why I feel the way I do. I fight it. Feeling worthy is one of my inner demons. I fight with it, I want to feel worthy, I want to say to myself “yes, I love gifts! Please, shower me with presents, I deserve it.” But I just can’t.

Honestly. Maybe gifts is one of my love languages, and that particular cup isn’t getting full enough. It’s hard to be against blatant consumerism while at the same time wanting gifts. I’m such a hypocrite.

Another reason the holidays are hard is because I want to decorate and bake. My home is just too tiny to decorate and without electricity I can’t really justify running Christmas lights outside. We have no room for a tree, or even a wreath. I have no (real) oven to bake delicious things for my family in.

I was expecting to have our house done by Christmas this year. Considering it’s the last week in November and all we have is a stack of lumber sitting in a spot of cleared land, I guess it’s just one more thing I won’t get this year.

Ugh, I just feel like such a Debbie Downer. So many problems in the world and I’m upset because I have a birthday near a major holiday, I don’t get as many gifts as I want, and I dont have a bigger house. Boo-hoo. First world problems I guess.

Double “S” Curve

Most of you probably don’t know this about me, but I have scoliosis. It was discovered when I was about 10 years old during a routine school screening. From then on it was monitered. I’ve been given exercises to do, tried weight lifting, yoga, massage and chiropractic care. I was told I have a double “s” curve type of scoliosis with idiopathic origins. Which means my spine twisting around on multiple axi, and it started just because.

At different times in my life, I’ve had to take both over the counter and narcotic pain killers, muscle relaxers, alcohol, and/or Marijuana to help me cope with the pain. I have tried massage therapy and chiropractic care. I’ve considered braces, surgery and most recently, corsets. Most of those only offer short term relief, quite a few are moderately to extremely expensive, and several are worse for my health than the benefit I would receive from the therapy in the form of pain relief.

Obviously, massage and chiropractic care, coupled with a flexible brace offer my best hope of allowing me to age with maximum flexibility and grace. But a flexible brace is thousands of dollars, and massage therapy and chiropractic care would be even more expensive in the long run. And i dont have insurance other than the VA. The VA will only see me for care related to the injury I received in training that led to my medical discharge,  the VA hospital is an hour away, and it can take months to get an appointment.

Scoliosis has been such a major part of my life for so long that there is a constant low level of pain that I barely even recognize most days.

But not today. I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard physically¬† and emotionally lately. When I do that every once in a while my neck kinks up, and suddenly I can’t turn my head for a few days. Work grindit, s to a stop while I hold myself rigid and try to relax.

I am just about 10 days away from being 34 years old. I’m worried I won’t be much of a homesteader in a few years as my back ages faster than the rest of my body. What will I be able to offer my family, my husband, when I can’t even carry a bucket of water to our livestock or change a propane tank when the heat runs out in middle of the afternoon when my husbeast is at work?

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I don’t know what to do. I wish I had medical insurance. The kind that offered me the therapies I need, not just the ones that are the most profitable to the insurance company. I wish I could afford to take care of my body.

I wish I lived in a country that wanted to keep its citizens healthy, and not worry as much about keeping wall street’s bottom line healthy.

I wish my back didn’t hurt today.

Pots in the Fire

I love spinning yarn, but I’m slow at it. I’ve been working on this merino silk blend for almost a year now. Really, I’m not a slow spinner, just an infrequent one.

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I’ve got too many pots in the fire between farming, preserving food, parenting, knitting, spinning, needle felting, mending clothes for myself, my family and on commission, and trying to start a (very) small home based business making spirit/altar dolls. (That’s the sorry list, too! ) I also wish I had the time and space to sew clothes for myself and my daughters.

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I’m a creative goddess of the fiber arts. I’m a stay at home mom to two children under the age of five, so most of the things I want to do only happen in my head, or during the elusive moments when I have both hands free and I’m caught up on housework.

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There is no easy solution, unfortunately. Timeis really what it takes. As the girls get older they will require less intense supervision and care which will free up my time to indulge in my crafts.

I don’t think it’s necessary to stop crafting either, those creative outlets are important for me and my children. Today, watching me spin yarn, Pip asked a lot of questions and showed interest in learning to do it too.

Moving into a bigger home will help a lot too, because it will give me a bedroom with a corner of my own that I can set up with my supplies. Supplies that will be out of reach of little hands, supplies that I can leave at a moment’s notice and come back to when I have free time again. Supplies I don’t have to clean up because company is coming over our I need to clear the table for dinner.

Besides, once the house is built, the yurt will be my new creative space next year. It will get moved out of the center of the yard and into the treeline,¬† and either recovered with new canvas or permanently sided so it doesn’t get musty inside when it rains.

Creative outlets are important for everyone, but I think they are truly vital for women like me: at home with young children, working off their land, or confined to a small space for whatever reason. It allows us to escape the confines of our lives and grow and explore, to not feel trapped by the mundane daily tasks of daily life.

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But you know, I’m no expert. This is just an opinion piece. Maybe I’m just making things harder for myself.

Quiet Days Are Here Again

It’s the time of year when my days are getting more and more quiet. I still have chores to do: feed and water the animals, clean the house, etc. But I spend a lot more of time in my head beginning in the fall, even more than normal for an empathic, highly sensitive introvert who is also an INFJ.

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That being said, I don’t have much to talk about today that’s interesting.

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Here’s a picture of Peep asleep in my lap. She’s started sleeping this way during the day.

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I also decided to comb out my dread locs. I’m about halfway done since I started two days ago. They have been in for 8.5 months, so it’s a slow, painful process. I love the way they look, but I’m really missing brushing my hair. I’m hoping to have it all done in two more days. The key is to use a lot of coconut oil and take your time.

I live to take a walk down our driveway each day so Pip has a chance to run and we all get fresh air. The dog really loves it too. Pip is forever making mud pies. “Does mud melt, mama?”

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