Monday, October 11, 2010


   Tension Tamer, the name of the tea I am drinking this morning instead of my usual black coffee. My taste buds, while not at all averse to the pleasant play of lemon and herbs is wondering where in the heck the coffee is. My mind is sort of wondering too, although lately its been so busy running an endless cycle of worries that I am surprised it even noticed.
    I'm stressed. School is stressing me out. Up until this point in my college career, I have enjoyed the scholarly mayhem that is academe. I have enjoyed the stress of doing well, of completing assignments on time, and achieving goals I had set for myself. I was a dedicated, hardworking smarty-pants that had no fear she could complete this and become a Nurse. That was before Anatomy and Physiology.
    My life is being consumed by this class. My worry cycle, usually hung up on mundane things like the power bill, is now fully focused on this subject! The intensity of the class is beyond anything I was prepared for. I remember over the summer months, worrying about how I would handle seeing and working with cadavers.I had images of the TV medical student holding the vomit back with one hand while reaching for the door with the other.  I should not have worried, their silent presence is peaceful in comparison to the chaos of my mind.  They are a beautiful representation of how we are fearfully and wonderfully made, nothing to fear. Not that worry is ever good, but I should have concerned myself with how I would incorporate and memorize volumes of information, terms and knowledge into an already pretty full 42 year old mind. I am here to admit that things have begun to drop out the other side. Its like a vending machine: quarters in, candy out. Only the candy in my mind doesn't drop into a neat little containment section, it falls into vast empty space never to be retrieved. The candy happens to be rudimentary things that were learned early in life, and the ratio of importance seems to be about equal. For instance: Semitendinosus muscle in, how to tie my shoes...out. Not a serious issue. Easily fixed by Velcro or flip-flops.  However: Spatial and Temporal summation of post-synaptic potentials in, how to speak in complete sentences out. A bit of a problem. My professor has taken to tilting her head and squinting her eyes while I speak. I believe she sees me like a species similar to the Dodo, silently wondering how I have lived this long. And while we are on the subject of my professor, may I just inquire how it is that this woman can turn her eyes toward me and  I have to fight the urge not to pee my pants and roll over on the floor? I really cannot go into a retelling of actual events that have caused me to feel this way,  as the recall may actually spiral me into a vivid post traumatic flashback from which I will likely never recover.
   Yesterday morning though, as I sat and tried to hear God amidst the chaos that is my mind, I was reminded that it is not me. It is Him. It is not me. Its HIM. I am not doing this alone. I am not doing this under my own power. I have known that from the moment that God planted this seed of nursing into my mind. I have Fibromyalgia, I have Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease with a high probability of Lupus. Nursing school, and the career that follows does not seem the ideal career choice. But I didn't choose. I listened. And so I will continue to listen. And I will be reminded daily as I close my eyes and meditate on His word, that I am never alone. His power is made perfect in my weakness. With Him, all things are possible. I will continue to work hard, and I will probably even continue to stress over this class. But I am determined not to let the stress take over my life. I will do all that I can, without compromise to my time spent with my God or my family, and I will let him take care of the rest. Now....quick...someone email me and remind me... I've got the bread in the toasting machine thing, but I can't remember how to make it work.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Early Morning Thoughts

I love morning. I always have. When I go to bed at night, I often wish it was already morning. Many of you are probably rolling your eyes, and my husband is rolling them right along with you. My husband cannot understand my love affair with mornings. We still laugh about our life when we were first married. As soon as the sun came up I would be bouncing on the bed in an attempt to wake him up to explore the world with me. I have since learned that just because I am fond of mornings, does not mean my slumber loving husband is equally as fond. Now I let him sleep while I get up and meet God and greet the world.
Each season has its own delicious morning beauty, enhanced by a steaming mug of hot coffee.
In the spring I am so thankful that there is no snow and I wrap in a quilt and sit on my porch just admiring the waking of the world after a long winters nap. I note the buds on the trees and the warming of the soil and the anticipation of planting my garden fills me with joyful impatience.
In the summer, I wake early with the sun and with coffee in hand step outside and just breathe deep lung-fulls of Montana air. Its all mountain and pine, cottonwood and earth, and a sweetness I have never experienced anywhere else. I watch my garden grow in the summer, always in awe of God's gifts that grow from a tiny little seed.
Autumn mornings greet me with glorious color, woodsmoke and the magic of seeing my breath while wrapped in my quilt. Sunrise in the colorful contrast of autumn is one of my very favorite things.
Winter mornings are something unique. I enjoy them from my kitchen window. A cozy tucked away feeling comes over me as I observe the stark cold landscape and curl up in the bliss of being safe and warm inside my precious home.

I am thankful for mornings. All things are new. All things are possible in the morning. I see them as manifestations of God's grace. His mercies are new each day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Farm-Girl Genes

My daughter holding Elsie
I have always dreamed of being a farm-girl. When I lived in the city in Florida, I would line my journals with poems and pictures of the life that tugged at my soul. The desire to connect with the land and nature in this way overwhelms me at times. I have pondered, during moments such as these, where that particular dream may have come from.
The obvious answer is that I inherited it from my once upon a time Farm-Girl Mother.
Were those my formative years then? I was 8 years old when my mother and father moved us from the pavement smothered, smog filled highways of San Diego to 14 living breathing acres in the Flathead Valley, to Montana.
I watched as empty barns and faded out-buildings were dressed in fresh red paint. I played in the dirt as fences were repaired and painted, and I caught frogs in the deep shade of the gulley while, as if by farm-girl magic the animals appeared. 50 hens in the coop, goats in the paddock, 2 cows for milk and 1 for meals, pigs for bacon and horses for riding, a farm dog for companionship, and a striped little barn cat to handle the mice.
I can see her now, bandana kerchief holding back her beautiful chestnut hair, blue jeans and a flannel shirt. She is walking to the barn as the sun rises with milk pails in her hands. The cat follows with her tail raised high. There is bag balm near the sink, sterilized gallon jars lined up neatly on the  counter top, waiting for their morning fill of creamy fresh milk.
She is on her knees in the pea patch, nearly 1/2 an acre of garden around her. She is grinding grain, selling eggs, putting food by in glossy happy jars. She is mixing herbs, and making tinctures, plucking feathers, and bottle feeding goats, sewing aprons, and baking bread. She is a living example of everything I would grow up wanting to be.
Of course! I think to myself, it is her. My mama, the starter for my farm-girl loaf. And then I pause, my chickens scratching about the yard in the early morning light leaves me breathless with a contentment that reaches far beyond my bones, deep deep into the marrow of my existence. This is bigger, much larger than me, larger even that the remembered perfection of a little girl for her mama. I can feel in moments such as these, a connection. I am all at once connected to the women before me. It is as if our apron strings stretch out across time, and I am feeling a breath of their contentment with their own farm-girl life. It’s like electricity traveling along a wire. I hear strains of music from their life-songs~ it is sweet and mournful and it mingles with mine. I haven’t asked her, but I imagine that my mom felt much the same thing. What I do know, is that I am blessed to love this. I am blessed to have this. I am blessed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cute Overload and Over-run!

On November 15th, Sampson B. Bunny realized he was lonely. Being the enormous Flemish Giant that he was and full of bunny brand testosterone, Sampson wanted to. . . make bunnies. Being the brute that he is, he easily broke into the girls dorm and got married. Only, he married two lady bunnies. Naughty Sampson.

30 days later on December 15th, Lady Christmas was the proud mama of 9 little pink babies, and Lady TS was the proud mama of 5. I am not sure if you are up on your arithmetic, but that equals 14 baby Sampsons. 14. Fourteen. F O U R T E E N! After discussing child support and house duties, Lady Christmas and Lady TS decided it was best if they did not dorm together any longer and Lady TS moved into another dorm in the same building.

2 weeks later when the little guys decided to venture out from the nest on shaky little legs, we were AMAZED at the seriously high level of cute going on. 7 weeks after that, (today) we are AMAZED that they are the size of mini lops and poop and pee and eat with maniacal vengeance.
I placed an add in the local trader and have already sold 5 of them. The neighbors will thank me. The bunny urine was beginning to get quite odiferous. I am praying we can find homes for all but one. We will keep the little runt that we bottle fed.

One can easily see how raising rabbits for meat is a very very cost effective way to feed ones self. My husband and I have decided however, that it would need to be an absolute necessity. As it isn't for now. . . we are shipping the bunnies of to boarding school. Yes.. thats it. Boarding school! *wink*

They did leave me an enormous pile of little fertilizer pellets that I will use in the spring!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Longing for Spring

I am lonely for Spring. I walk about my house, listless, hopeless, and sad. It is as if my love left, promising to be back soon, never to return.
In some strange twist of reality, it feels as if this winter has gone on for a full year now. I miss the sun, I long for the birds, I am in desperate need of verdant green.
This is the fourth year that I have been back amongst the four seasons. For 12 years prior to those 4, I lived in Florida. It was sunny, partly sunny or going to be sunny 365 days of the year. I was tired of all that yellow bubbly happiness. I wanted autumn, and winter. I wanted piles of leaves, curls of smoke in the air and nights where the snow just fell and fell and fell. It was so romantic at first. So dark and mysterious.
But dark mystery turned out to be just cold, lifeless and dead. I am done with you now winter. Your short days and endless nights have lost their charm.
Its as if my chickens feel the very same. I opened the door to collect the eggs and they rushed me, cackling and gabbing as they hurried past me and out the door and into the snow covered yard. I don't know what they were expecting. I imagined them inside, talking about how their run was covered in snow, and how surely the yard was brilliant green with grass and teaming with delicious insects. They rushed out into the white landscape and then just stood there, bawking quietly and looking up at me. I knew what they were thinking. I nodded to them and then walked to the little barn and filled a small pail full of sunflower seeds.
"Here you go girls," I said quietly. "Its not the sun, but there is sun in the name and maybe that will get you through."
Hurry Spring, I miss you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear Blog,

   If you were a goldfish you would be dead. I have been so neglectful of you, and for this I apologize. You might be suprised to hear this, but I do think of you. In between classes, I think of you. While wrestling piles of textbooks and writing epic essay's, I think of you. Sometimes I even think of you in a rare moment of free time. Sadly, when I have those rare moments where nothing is required of me, I usually sit and stare, my mouth slightly agape. You see I have become so accustomed to doing, doing , doing... that when I sit still I fall directly into a catatonic state. I believe it has something to do with the 437 things in my personal life that need to be done and have been neglected just like you. Out of a mountain of 437, where do you begin?
   We have a bit of catching up to do so I will just skim the top and give you the highlights. Halloween. M'Kayla took her neice and nephew trick or treating, and Lulu decided (wicked pug that she is) that she would go too. In the chaos of the evening, I didn't know that she had slipped out the door. I wandered the neighborhood feeling like a character in some creepy B movie calling Lulu and asking the random mummy or ghost if they had seen a rotten black pug. Just when I was sure she had been dog-napped, she came running down an alley to greet me. She was full of exictement and most likely dropped candy.
   My wonderful mama prepared 2 Thanksgiving Feasts as we couldn't eat with my sister and her family due to some of us having colds and baby Nicolas's fragile health. She prepared two dinners and hand delivered both, eating twice. We are so blessed with our awesome mom!
   The day after Thanksgiving was tree day! We found our tree's in the woods once again. This year was special as M'Kayla and Garrett now have their own apartment and got a tree of their own!
   Finals came and went, the stress nearly sent me over the edge. The pressure on pre-nursing students is quite high as we must have as near a 4.0 GPA as possible. There are only 16 slots open each year in the program I am applying for and grades are the deciding factor.
   After finals, a break. . . where I think I mentioned I spent much of my time staring at the TV in a semi trance. I did manage to crochet and knit a few pair of hand-warmers for gifts, and crochet a hat for my sister and my daughter.
   Christmas was fun, we decided no gifts this year. I did make the hand warmers for my mom, M'Kayla and a good friend, but that was it. It was very nice not having the pressure of buying gifts, but at the same time it was surreal and made if feel almost as if Christmas came and went very quietly.
   Two more weeks off and then I was back in class. I am currently taking Interpersonal Relations and Communications during the intersession. Its two weeks of full day classes, but at the end I will have earned my 3 required credits for the subject.
   On January 18th I am all set for Chemistry 101, Probability and Linear Mathmatics, Sociology and Developmental Psychology. I am not looking forward to the Linear Algebra!
   We have had colder than normal temps like the rest of the country. Many nights in the -10 to -20 temperatures. Its been cold. We've been filling rabbit waters and even having to knock ice out of the heated chicken waterer.
   Oh and how could I forget! We've had 9 new additions to the farm. Christmas had a litter of kits, and they are the sweetest little babies in the world. I am a bit concerned about finding homes for them. . . and won't be repeating this process again while I'm in school!
   Much love to you dear blog. You are faithful thats for sure. I will try to feed you weekly words and water you with photos! Here are a few from the months gone by... see you soon!