Long, long post as light dawns

A lot has happened in the last year or so, and not all of it can be blogged here. Chiefly, my children are in school, and life has changed around that immeasurably – I spend a lot of time driving them, and Neil spends a good deal more time earning money to pay for them.
That’s a massive oversimplification, but that’s what’s happened. We didn’t know if they would cope, academically and socially, and they have done both. Socially, they are surprisingly at ease, and academically, they are easily up to standard.
There were several reasons why this happened, and as I have said, I can’t go into all of them here, but by and large, it was my fault. I had two areas where I was not doing well – one was practical, the other personal/emotional – possibly a health issue.
Practically, I was not coping, my time was not organised, the house and garden were falling into disarray, I don’t want to rehearse here all my failings, this is not meant to be some kind of confessional, but suffice it to say, that home was not exactly where the heart was.
The other area – the personal one – is stuff I’m not going to go into here. Lets just say, I have a lot of issues. I even have a bunch of issues I didn’t even know I had until a few weeks ago. There is a lot to deal with.
The girls have been in their Christian school now for half a year – that’s one and a half terms in old money – and they are loving it. Just as I start to feel , what have I done? Why on earth are they in school?
I certainly felt a great empathy with Marisa when I chanced upon her blog last night. For a number of reasons.
The reality is, I have always gone off at a moment’s notice. Before now, if I’d thought, ‘oh, I want them to come home’ I’d have worked on my husband for a day or two, he would have come around to my point of view, and then the week after, we’d have given notice to the school. Not any more. My selfish, one person actions , have done enough damage, and now I have two young ladies with thoughts of their own to consider.
So. I have a new vision (or, as my niece, Jo would say a 2YP – two year plan) and this time, I do believe I have found the threads God intends to weave into my life, and if I can only stick with it, I may finally make the beautiful tapestry I know He has for me.
It’s like this. I miss my simple life, my homesteading, homeschooling (sorry , British pals to whom ‘home education’ matters so much, the phrase ‘homeschooling’ has personal meaning for me, and in this context, I must keep it. In ‘public’ I try hard to use the preferred term) and the close to God’s Word, deep in Creation, literal life I led.
At the same time, good stewardship requires us to look at how we are living – renting this property is not a wise fiscal decision, though given our past history, we don’t have a lot of choice right now. But we may do in a couple of years’ time.
I need to accept that I can’t just snatch and grab. If I want the girls to come home, they’re going to have to want it too. And most of the clearing up that needs doing to make that a possible scenario, is My Work. Two years is when it all seems to happen. So I have some targets, and I am right at the foot of the mountain.
• Home has to become the place we all want to be.
• That means my practical issues need to be resolved, organisation and harmony need to reign. Home needs to be the shelter, not the storm.
• It gives me two years to get my business (my veg box scheme) back on track. It doesn’t need to be a corporate whammy, just a little home business to help out a little. While I have the time, I need to use it wisely.
• I don’t do group therapy, but some of my personal issues need to be not issues. Whatever that takes, be it prayer, counselling, self discipline and/or a visit to the doctor, this box must be ticked.
• The while, I need to pray my girls will choose home, and try hard to make it the best choice. If they don’t, I must accept the alternative.
• We need to consider that in that time, our past abysmal financial record should be cleared, and there are also possibilities of affordable housing locally.
• That means our dream of a farm must be built on the land we now rent independently. This is a bloom where you are planted issue.
• Those last two are a whole nother post.
Finally, there is one other element present, which has been nudging at our hearts for some years, and which may become part of the plan. That counts as another thing about which I can’t blog yet.
I’m being put to the test by the fact that lambing is about to begin, and Neil contract lambs for someone else first, and is already into 70hour 7 day weeks in preparation. For the first time, I will have no willing little right hand girls to help take up the slack. I’m on my own.

goings on in the garden

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recorded today at this little war.

She, was born of earth, fire and water .....


What a weird 24 hours.

A lot of very strange things are happening to me.
They're not things I can talk about here, they are personal, family, in deep kind of things.
Transition, transformation ... something ... elemental. And life changing.

There is a theme, and that theme is to do with being ... duped. Taking the line of least resistance, and as a result, living continually in other people's realities. Accepting their version of events, and their backdrop, their score, as the inevitable starting point for my movie. Because to argue, to stand up and change the set, the chords or the storyboard is ... well ... hassle. And may bring conflict.

I've hidden deep, deep hurt, in the ease of accepting a version of events where there was someone on my side, even though there was someone not at all on my side. And now, as clear as day, I can see, that there never was anyone on my side at all! They were both pitched against me. Just only one of them had the dubious courage to let it show. Though not to explain it.

Events are re written, or I change - on the way between Guides and Pony Club, school and church, field and home, I change, to fit the requirements of other people's soap operas, other peoples lives, because it's easier. And I happily delude myself that it's all OK, that the synopsis they're offering me will fit the bill, I can work with that.

Well I can't. And I won't.

So I'm going back, where my green grass roots are growing. And also forward. Into the unknown.Cool.

Thanks, Loretta.

It's a long road back

Today, we took a day off from church. Last week, we went to the next nearest town, and attended a small independent evangelical church, it was a good place to be, it might be our new home. But we needed not to go anywhere this week. We need time to heal as a family. Because Neil works 6 or more long days a week, and we are always flat out, with community commitments as well as our own small farm to run, we find we seldom have days to just be. To just be a family, to take time, to live in creation. To worship with all five senses.
So today, we rode horses together, ate together, talked together, worshipped together (at home, by a roaring log fire, reading from God's word, and stories of heroes of the faith, singing, praying, being together) and we went and meandered around a garden centre, and drank tea, and drove around the villages where we first came to when we moved down here, and where Boo was born, and where H was a baby, and we aroused precious and somewhat enlightening memories.
Meanwhile, I was shadowed all day by a passage from Jenna's blog at Cold Antler Farm.

To be in her beautiful farmhouse drinking coffee near her woodstove while her new Lab chewed on a rope toy on the floor-felt wonderful. As we sipped our coffee and went through some fiber books I brought over, I couldn't help but look around her 160+ year old home. Mel was living my dream. A loving family, her own farm, a good dog, and a barn and truck outside the door. I used to look up to famous graphic designers and Iditarod mushers as my role models. Now I look up to people like Mel. Everyday people who made their lives what they wanted. People who raise children, go to work, and come home to make sure the pipes don't freeze. Fame or fortune doesn't prove self worth to me like it once did. There is nothing more extraordinary than what happens every day when people choose to be kind. Amen.

I almost hesitate to offer you a link to Jenna's blog, since the debate over her asking her readers to help her out has presented me with one of the most interesting moral conundrums I've come across in years. Is it a barefaced cheek for a single, healthy, employed person to come cap in hand to people she's never met, asking for help to buy a house, or is it a heart warming expression of our inner Amish - a virtual barn raising, a beautiful expression of community, albeit ethereal?

That aside, I realised, I am living the life, I am in 'Mel' s shoes, I have the farmhouse, the children, the Rayburn, the Beagador, the ponies, the soft meadows, the sheep, goats and hens, I am blessed beyond all possible measure. I remembered those days, when we first came down here from the world of home ownership, Neil's long hours in a high pressure sales job, my big girl, still toddling, my baby, unborn .... we arrived, we unpacked and before we knew it, Pewsey carnival was on, we walked down to the carnival field, feeling like Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, newly arrived in a wonderful, welcoming, crazy, pastoral, country life - heady and sweet - and a year later, my three year old won 'thelwell lookalike' on her pony, and my life was complete.

What that was, that blissful, simple, connected life, was an awesome, sparkling, gift from God. And who or what has robbed us of that gift? Churches. Pharisees. People who speak for God, and yet, they do not know Him. False prophets. It's a long way back. But we're ready.


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finally, my eyes stopped running.
After three days, I caved and took one teaspoonful of Boo's Piriton, and it's provided the relief I need to just get a few things done.
As I speak, the prickling is starting up again, and I have just taken another teaspoonful, in the hope of getting something, anything done this afternoon.

There is a lot of stuff going on around here which is not actually too great -apart from anything else, a friend went over to the barn to pick up a fleece, and found one of our ewes dead - no idea what and why - and Smartie's cough just is not getting any better, it looks like retirement for him, but where and how are anyone's guess. Ah the joys of livestock.

I can't see to type cos my eyes are streaming

Yet another cold. Normally, we don't get colds and things. Raw milk, outdoor life and low stress living tend to be your best defence.
But with the girls being at school, and me spending far too much time driving them to and fro, I think my defences are down. I had a foul cold followed by really really foul flu, possibly but not definitely swine, before Christmas, and now here I am again, with a fluorescent nose, and a tissue wedged behind my glasses. So stylish.
We have a few pony placing problems around here, and we went over to our field today to contemplate moving someone - oh my goodness, it's underwater, the whole thing is flooded and spongy. I'm sure it never was this bad when we first were there - but cultivation methods all around us have changed, and we seem to be getting everyone's run off.
It's not great, since now the girls are settled and I am trying to get my head around what to do next, I was planning to reopen the garden down there, and move some goats over, and get my community farm back up and running. But I'm going to be needing the community to be Atlantis at this rate.
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