Sunday, July 31, 2011
Remember this? I blogged a little about it here. I described my intentions with it here on the Fiskars website in my article about it. I had such great hopes for it. This is what I wrote:
The past few weeks, as I've reflected on the things I'd like to improve on in my own life, I've found some extra motivation. This year is the year I will turn 40. I'm approaching the crest of that hill that is marked by silly black party decorations emblazoned with jabs of reaching a state of decrepitude. I'll admit that there are marked differences between me at 20 and me at 40. While I expect the physical decline will continue, you won't find me proclaiming a decline in the joy of life from this point. I'm looking at this hill like a roller coaster. The best part is reaching the crest of that big hill, raising your hands above your head, and loving every second of the trip down the other side.
The truth is I gave up on this book by April. 40 has not been the kind of thrilling roller coaster ride I'd planned for! My grandpa died in January. The owner of the clinic Shawn was working for decided to sell it so Shawn lost his contract and hasn't been able to find work with another clinic. The list goes on. One thing after another has presented us with challenges that have made this a difficult year. The book lost its appeal since I had envisioned it being filled with celebrations about the good things in life. To make it genuine I would have had to fill it with problems. Not that I've lost my joy with life! I'm living James 1: 2-8 right now.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
I know we're where we're supposed to be right now. It's just that the vibe of life and the vibe of my goal for the book weren't meshing.
Shawn still can't find work and some of the other challenges we've faced are unresolved but enough have passed that I think I can rearrange the pages in the book and start again. It's 2 months past my 40th birthday but better late than never!
Something that's helped me get back on track with it is Ali's Week In The Life project. I hadn't been keeping up with her blog lately but found myself there Tuesday afternoon. A Week in the Life had started Monday but this was a fantastic week for me to do it so I jumped on it. I had taken some photos Monday so I was covered there. I'll have to go take some photos to go back and add in for Tuesday but I feel like that will be OK. We live pretty consistent day-to-day lives so I plan to just cover some of those things that I've missed and use them as fill for Tuesday.
So many of the activities that define our lifestyle happened to fall during this week! We are big on DIY and being as self-sufficient as possible without losing your freedom to leave your home when you want to.
One of the things we do is raise chickens both for eggs and meat. Our meat chickens happened reach maturity this week so Monday we added a lot range-fed, antibiotic and hormone free meat to our freezer. I had enough inedible parts left over to make 5 stock pots of broth.
And these reached perfection on Monday.
So I did more canning. We have not eaten a store-bought canned peach since the first year I canned fresh peaches. Unbelievable difference in flavor and texture and the cost is about the same. And canning peaches is very easy since you do not need to pressure cook them.
Between butchering and packing and cooking and canning Monday was a very busy day!
Tuesday was "big grocery shopping" day. That's the day the boys and I go to Wal Mart and fill 2 grocery carts with staples for the month.
I try to remember to always buy them a little something to show them appreciation for helping me. They eat the stuff too so they should help! But I like to let them know I realize their time is valuable too. Will picked out these cookies.
Wednesday was a trip away from our little town where everthing you buy pretty much comes from the grocery store, Walmart, or Dollar General. We drove an hour to the closest town big enough to have stores like Lowes and Hobby Lobby and a mall. Among other places, we went to the hatchery and picked up our next batch chickens.
After we got home the guys went and bucked bales. It was about 105 degrees here Wednesday and when they got home, while I could have gotten some great photos as evidence of how hard they worked, they were not in the mood for a camera being pointed at them so I left them alone.
Instead I served them big glasses of sweet tea, t-bone steaks with grilled mushrooms and onions, and Bobby Flay's Onion Rings. Best onion rings ever!
I used onions from my garden. I usually buy onion sets but this year I started them from seed. Fun stuff!
While they were gone I studied. I'm finally seeing the finish line!!! (How do you like my fancy t-shirt with the hole in the armpit?)
I'll share the rest of the week over the next few days. I hope some of you have been doing Week In The Life and have also been blessed with a better understanding that when we focus on and think about all the details, life is more complex and rewarding than we sometimes believe.