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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Family Ties

No, not the classic 80s sitcom, although that was a good show. I'm talking about the actual ties to my family, my kids specifically.

I was one of those fortunate women that was able to spend as much time as humanly possible with my children for most of their lives. Of course, now I question whether that much influence from me, someone who realizes just how much she doesn't have figured out, was such a good thing. But that thought will take more than a blog post.

My oldest daughter moved out almost two years ago. Now, when I say 'moved out', I'm using that term very loosely. Sometimes I think she is at home more than her apartment, but technically, she has her own address. I love it when she is at our house and our family feels complete, I guess. When she is gone, it does seem like there is a hole in the atmosphere. Of course, there are times when she comes for the weekend and before you know it, it's Wednesday and she's still there - dirtying dishes, leaving her wet towels on the floor and eating the last of the cream cheese - and I start to ask myself, "doesn't she need to be getting home?" But inevitably, when she does finally leave, I miss her.

It always amazes me when my kids seem to want to hang out with me. When they are away from me and they genuinely miss being around me, this surprises me. I usually assume that hanging out with your parents when you are 13, 16 and 20, is not what you want to be doing, but my kids really do gravitate toward home and toward me. It is the ultimate compliment as a mom, I guess, but I always find myself being surprised.

We have friends that comment when they are around all of us, about how lucky we are and how nice it is to see how close we are, almost to the point of being 'clannish', as one friend put it. Clannish? I never thought of that. Although I will say, if you cross one of us, you cross us all, so maybe that's where that comes from.

Being the person that I am, good or bad, there's always been an assumption on my part that I was flying by the seat of my pants in the parenting department. Even though I had very strong ideas about parenting, it never seemed like I ever had a plan, so to speak.

So, to end up in this place where I am, with 3 healthy, fairly well-adjusted, able to conduct themselves in public and hold a fairly intelligent conversation, strong, caring women, who like me for the most part and enjoy being around me, I'm perplexed at how it happened, but also very thankful.

For someone who grew up with basically no family ties and the few there were would send any normal person running and/or screaming, it feels nice to have a family that actually wants to be together.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

'Tied', in a different way

This is a huge leap of subject today......I'm literally 'tied' to my desk. The organization I work for puts on the largest organic farming conference in the country every February.

The fact that a small office of 8 people pull this off every year is a miracle onto itself, but now that I'm in the office instead of observing from afar, I see just how much work goes into this thing.

I'm continually amazed at the people that I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by and what they get accomplished in one day. Every week we have a staff meeting and often this thought comes over me: "How did I land this gig?" It is an amazing feeling to be a part of an organization that its whole focus is to 'do the right thing' and do everything we can to help other people learn how to do the right thing, in terms of agriculture.

This job is such a bright light in my life and the fact that these people pay me to come be a part of this incredible team everyday, continues to amaze me. One more reason to be grateful for this life of mine.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


As you can see, not that much has changed, I still can't make it through this damn NaBloPoMo to save my life! Ok, so I'm out after only one day, oh well.

My title is untying, today. When you go through major upheavals in your life, there seems to be a lot of untying (that is a strange word, I had to look it up to make sure I was spelling it correctly) you have to do. You realize there are things in your life that you have tied yourself to and now that you are 'awake' you start to wonder why?

Discovering that you need to untie is only the first step. The actual untying process is a whole other situation. Of course, there always ends up being hurt feelings and confusion on the part of the people/things you decide to untie from. They wonder what the hell is wrong with you and why are you acting so strangely? Why don't you call me anymore? Why are you distancing yourself from me?

It's a painful process that takes a lot of time and honest communication, which is never easy. But I'm realizing that once you truly awaken and set your mind to what you really want out of life and stay really clear with yourself, it all falls into place. Then, for me, it's this huge sense of relief. It makes your life so much less work when you aren't trying to stay tied to something or someone that didn't really fit.

So, here's to you having the strength to 'untie' yourself from some things that have never just felt like they fit for you. Strength is what you will need, but it's inside of you somewhere and you'll know when the time is right. Free yourself.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sheeeeees Baaaaaack.

After receiving an email about the February theme for NoBloPoMo - ties - I thought, it's time for me to come back to blogging.

My last post was May, 2009. It's funny when I sit here and think back to May 2009 and all that has happened in my life since then.

You see ladies, (not sure there are any gentlemen out there reading) I needed to take a little time off for a few things. What few things, you might ask? Well, I wish I could say it was a 9 month sabbatical or a trip backpacking through Europe, but I can't. Truth? I've been smack-dab in the middle of a year long mid-life crises, or freak-out, or awakening, whatever term fits - maybe all of them. Not sure I'm even through it yet, to be honest. If any of you that used to be regular readers of my blog are still around, you know I was an organic farming, homeschooling, animal-raising, non-stop-energizer-bunny, married mom of 3 daughters.

Well, the daughters are still around, but most everything else looks pretty different around here. I'm taking a break from farming due mostly to the fact that I'm now working full-time at a non-profit, organic education service - a dream job that I feel very fortunate to have. My husband and I are trying to 'work out the kinks' so to speak and concentrating on finishing up our youngest daughter's last year of homeschooling before she heads off to high school.

It's been a challenging year. It's been quite a learning year. When you wake up one day, look around and think, "wait a minute. how did all this happen to me and am I sure this is what I want my life to be?" - after you've spent 20 years building that very kind of life you thought you wanted - it's a shock to the system, to say the least.

My heart is still in farming and raising animals, but economics require I can support myself with more than the farm can provide. So, I've decided to let some interns work my farm. This way, I can sit back, help with the knowledge I've accumulated over the years, watch these young kids who love farming be able to afford to do what they love, still get to eat great, organic food and embark on a whole new aspect of my life that I never thought was possible.

Gee, when I think of it that way, maybe the last year will be worth it after all!

How does all this tie in with the 'Ties' theme? As strange as it may seem and with all the changes in my life, I still feel 'tied' to this blogging community. I've lurked on many of your sites just to keep up with what's new and the happenings in your lives.

I'm anxious to get back in the saddle again. Ready to be 'tied' to all you great women again. So, here's to February blogging. It feels good to be back.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cheese anyone?

Who has time to blog when they are milking goats and pouring over carpet samples? Okay, no excuse, but a short update. We are moving back into our house this weekend. Just in time to leave for 10 days. Maddie has a clogging competition in Ohio, then off to Illinois for a graduation and art show. Not exactly the best time to be gone with the fields being taken over by weeds and a greenhouse full of transplants that need to get into the ground, not to mention MOVING our entire house!

On to the fun stuff: GOATS! If you have the chance to be around or own goats - do it. I know, I know, goats have a bad wrap a lot of the time, but I'm telling you, I am completely in love. We are getting a gallon of milk a day! Hence, the title of this post. Anyone have any good recipes for goat cheese? I'm particularly interested in feta. We are having a ball with the babies, they are a constant source of entertainment. Many, many pictures to post, but hell, I can't even find the time to blog so the pics will take a bit.