Sunday, October 26, 2008

That one smell that you can't quite put your finger on

I woke up this morning to that smell. It is the smell of your heater clicking on after being off all summer long. When it gets to be this time of year I turn on the heater at night set at sixty three so that if it gets below that it clicks on and the kids don't freeze to death.

And this morning I woke up to that lovely smell. It is a weird thing to enjoy, I'll give you that. But I love it. Some of it is my intense hatred of hot sticky summer, but most of it is my deep love for fall and winter. And we are headed into the best time of year, the holidays! Granted it is going to be hectic this year as we are moving a few days after thanksgiving, but it will be wonderful as always, especially since the bee is big enough to really enjoy it this year.

Ooooo how happy I am this morning. I've got the sound of my grain mill in the background. A cup of good coffee. Eggs in the oven for breakfast. The bee coloring quietly across the table from me, Huck and daddy sleeping in the bedroom.

And that smell. The wonderful smell that makes me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that fall is here, and Christmas is on the way.

I'm a blessed woman indeed

Thursday, October 23, 2008

searching for our home

Simplicity in life is actually hard work, but I'll get there.

We are currently house hunting for our new home in Oklahoma. Oklahoma for many reasons is our dream location and we are thrilled to be moving there.

There are a few things in a home that we are passionate about. Right now we live in a very nice house. It is new construction, split floor plan which means the master bedroom is clear across the house from the bee's room. Huck still sleeps in our room and will for a while longer, so that isn't a big deal. But I hate being so far from the bee. When she wakes up at night those few seconds that it takes me to cross the house to comfort her seem like an eternity to me. I want to get to her as quickly as possible.

We have a large kitchen, open floor plan with a great room. I can see the living room while I'm cooking dinner, which is nice.

And I love many things about this house, it is large, open, big back yard, a lot of things that are nice.

But it isn't want we are dreaming about as we search for our first home to purchase. And of course we are doing most of this online until we get our house hunting leave in a couple of weeks. So what do we want?

A smaller home, less than 1500 sq feet, on at least 1/4 of an acre of land, hopefully closer to 1/2 an acre. We want a small home because we feel like in a smaller home families tend to be closer and more involved with each other. Plus while my children are small I want to have them close, but not in the same room. Co-sleeping doesn't work well for our family, so I just want them very close. I need a larger kitchen though. I'm willing to give up family room or dining room space to have a kitchen that is workable for me. Gas stoves are the preffered choice, but we'll see.

I want hardwood floors. Carpeting traps all sorts of nastiness and gives off noxious fumes even years after it has been installed. Though carpeting is a big step above the ASBOESTOS floors that they give you in base housing!

The land is very very important to me though because we will have fresh vegetables from our garden starting next summer! I'm hoping to have a fairly to very large garden and since I'm a good gardenener I should be successful the first year and will be putting up food next summer and fall to help sustain us through the following winter. I've got a ton of seeds right now, and will order some new ones after we move in and see what kind of land we have. Oklahoma has wonderful weather and soil for growing things and is a climate that I'm familiar with. We are getting there a little later than I had hoped, but hopefully the ground won't be frozen and I can get a plot put in ASAP and set up my composting heap soon there after.

I do NOT want wood paneling. And wood paneling is freakishly expensive there.

But something else that really doesn't interest us is living in the suburbs or new subdivisions. We hate those types of neighborhoods. For starters we aren't mall people and we don't want to eat at applebees, well ever really. Secondly those neighborhoods tend to be so insualar as I wrote about a few days ago. We want a neighborhood where we actually have the opportunity to get to know our neighbors and to be part of a community.

We are looking at neighborhoods with homes built in the forties and fifties. Brick ranches of course as it is Oklahoma. The neighborhoods are a bit more diverse than you will find out in the suburbs too. And those homes have character! One of the biggest complaints about our house now is there is no character. It is exactly the same as the house three houses away. Down to the type of tile in the bathroom.

Oh I'm so anxious to go out there and look!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I'm not a naturally gentle person. I'm blunt and abrupt. I have issues with people touching me to much. I don't like a lot of hugging and stuff like that.

I also come from a background where my mom thought the best forms of punishment were screaming and hitting. I am at a point in my life where I think she really felt she was doing her best. But it still left scars.

Yet something I crave is a gentle home for my children. No yelling. No hitting. No belittling. These things are really important. Guidelines and discipline yes, punitive parenting no.

Just a little thinking tonight about who I am vs. who I strive to be. I guess we are all works in progress

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My fence

Our house is on a 1/8 acre lot. It is a good size and we have a nice size backyard. We have a nice patio set with a really awesome umbrella with solar powered lights that make it wonderful to sit outside in the evenings. A kickin gas grill, kiddie pool, sand and water table, a clothes line, and lots of toys. And a six foot tall fence to keep us in and everybody else in the neighborhood out.

When I was growing up we had a house in a 1/4 acre lot. The Wellmans lived next door, Mrs. Fisher lived around the corner and beside her lived the pastor and his wife. Behind them lived my friend Sarah's family. There were on my block eight kids between the ages of four and ten. Nobody had a fence around their yard. There were two grapevines on my block and early in the morning in the summers all us kids would stuff ourselves on the grapes. We would wander from yard to yard playing in this huge space. All the adults and parents would watch out for one another. The preacher and Mrs. Fischer both had huge vegetable gardens and we always had fresh veggies because they grew far more than they could ever eat.

There are three little girls that live in the house beside me and there are two little kids who live behind us. Once in a while we will see them over the fence, but we don't know their names. They are very disconnected from us. In our little neighborhood there are tons of kids, but they never have the chance to play outside with each other because everybody has a six foot fence keeping people out.

Our society has set up this general attitude of isolation, and it is part of what is leading to our downfall. Would we be demanding more stuff if we had actual relationships with those in our neighborhoods? Would we need two hundred dollar a month digital cable packages if you were sitting in your back yard at night and your neighbor could walk over and you could have a light conversation? Would we care more about those who lived around us?

When I was seven my mom and I were in a near fatal car accident. We were hit head on driving home from my aunts house by a sleeping man. My mom went through the windshield and both of us had severe problems that we both still struggle with today. After our wreck our neighbors took care of us. Mrs. Fischer brought us meals for months. Yet when the woman across the street had twins earlier this year, nobody did anything for her.

There is a saying "Good fences make good neighbors" I say, good fences make crappy neighborhoods. Humans began settling together for several reasons, one of which is that we are social creatures and need to be in fellowship with other humans. Yet creature comforts, the internet, television, fences...they have turned us into something that we weren't meant to be, isolated.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm up earlier than usual

Huck woke up at four thirty this morning. He is suffering teething pains and needed to be fed NOW he shouted at me. So I made his bottle, fed him, and laid him back down where he now sleeps until probably seven or so. I however am not so lucky as to be able to go back to sleep, so I sit up and drink my coffee and think, then I blog.

I am a morning person for the most part. I love getting up early and having a couple of hours to myself where my house is mostly quiet and I can surf the web and think big thoughts and pray and do a devotional. Right now I can feel the cool fall air coming in the windows, which I opened all up as soon as I woke. The sounds I hear are coffee, the gentle hum of my slow cooker, and my grain mill chugging away in the background getting wheat ready for a new loaf of bread.

This morning I'm pondering jumping back into church life. We have had a year now, that we haven't been in a church. There are a few churches that are 'okay' but nothing that makes me actually think we would be in a body of believers, just a body of Churchgoers. However, that doesn't excuse us from going. We are told by God to be in fellowship with the body, and we haven't been for a year now. I'm not sure that these churches really are "the body" but they at least are people who are seeking something. Perhaps that is where we are to start. And I'm sure God will surprise us with a reality we aren't expecting.