Monday, July 20, 2015

focus




I went on an Internet hiatus the last few weeks, and it was good.

I was amazed at how much more productive I was during that time without social media distracting me. I was able to get so much housework done, did a lot of cooking and baking, got completely caught up on laundry, spent a lot of extra time in God's Word, did some rearranging in our home, and spent a lot of time doing tasks outside in the gardens and with the animals. I also had time to spend reading aloud with the kids, something we haven't really done since we finished up our homeschool year back in May.

It's been good.

And although I'm back online now, I'm going to make sure that I restrict my access. That means that the laptop stays off and put away during the day until all of my tasks are completed, and even after that, I know that I need to put a time limit on myself.

I have come to realize that I was using the Internet as a way to kind of escape the everyday drudgery. I would look online for inspiration, but I would spend so much time looking that I didn't have any time to do. And then, of course, there is the comparison trap that we all fall into from time to time.

Anyway, did I mention that going offline was good?

It's been a good month.  A productive month. A focused month. A restful month. A contented month.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The things of June





These days of summer have been so full and good. Many days have been rainy and soggy, but we take full advantage of those peeks of sun.

The alternating sun/rain has proven to do wonders to our gardens. Things are growing like crazy out there! My cucumber and zucchini plants are FULL of blossoms. The snaps peas are climbing high and full. We've been enjoying greens, onions, herbs, and radishes for weeks now. The only things suffering are the kale (boo) and the spinach. This is not because it's not growing, but, rather, because we seem to have a mischievous bunny rabbit enjoying its fill of those things. (big boohoo)

And the cherries? Oh the cherries! Not counting the many we've popped into our mouths, we have picked and frozen four gallons of cherries from our one little cherry tree so far. I borrowed a cherry pitter off of my friend Carmen over the weekend and spent at least an hour pitting and freezing cherries. I'm definitely investing in a cherry pitter. That was one nifty gadget that saved me so much time. In the past, I've always manually pitted them with my hands. This was so much faster and handy!

Our precious Midi contracted Lyme's Disease. I'm constantly pulling ticks out of that poor dog (not to mention our own bodies.) She was acting miserably sick last week. I waited and when she was still ill on the third day, I took her to the vet. She tested positive for Lyme's. She's been on an antibiotic now since last Friday and is back to her normal, energetic self.

The goats have settled in wonderfully. Oh do I love those little things! They are so fun, so affectionate (and also so mischievous!) They love attention. As soon as they see me out on the back deck in the morning, they start bleating and calling for attention. It's very endearing. What they probably really want is some hay, but I like to think they want to see me!

My little chicks are getting big. Our original ones that I purchased back in the early spring are now full-grown and are starting to lay eggs. The younger two batches are growing up. It's still a bit early for me to know which ones are roosters and which are hens (in the batch that we hatched.) I have my suspicions though. Some of those little ones are quite fiesty!

The kids found a boxer turtle in our back field yesterday. Oh my word, was it cute. I just can't help myself around things such as these. I really, really wanted to keep it as a pet because it was just so precious (as did the kids), but I told them that it was best that we put it back where we found it so it can go back to its home. I just could hardly stand that little face and those little feet!

I'm working on multiple yarn projects. I'm still working away at growing my stack of dishcloths. They're quick and, more importantly, practical. They're the only dishcloth I use anymore. They're sturdy and tough and pretty. I won't need all of the ones I have made so I will gift some and sell some in my booth this fall. I'm also crocheting this beautiful Alpine Frost Scarf. I typically have never enjoyed lacework in the past, but this is a nice, slow project. It's an easy stitch although it looks complicated and intricate. I adjusted the pattern so that it's double the width that the pattern called for so it will be more of a shawl than a scarf. Yesterday, I casted on a Low Tide. This Low Tide pattern by cabinfour is wonderful! It's an easy pattern, very meditative. I can sit there and knit and think or listen to Middlemarch on Audible without getting lost in the pattern.   I'm using Cascade Yarn's 100% Peruvian sport weight yarn for this shawl.

I'm so excited to be able to attend the Beth Moore conference in Cincinatti this weekend. It's a LONG drive, 5.5 hours one way to be exact. We're leaving early Friday morning and will return Saturday night. My mom, sisters, and best friend are attending. It'll be a nice girls' weekend, and I love her conferences. They're so solid and Biblical. I've always come away encouraged and challenged when I've attended her conferences in the past. Since I'm driving, I took a couple of hours last evening to clean out our extremely messy car. Again, I was reminded why I do not want a new vehicle. Kids are hard on car interiors!!!! I did my best though. Vacuumed, dusted, scrubbed, wiped down windows. It's as good as it's going to get, ladies!

I hope you're all enjoying your summer. I know that ours has been very busy, but is starting to slow down a bit which is so nice. Maybe we'll have some of those lazy days of summer they all talk about?