Since we sold our valley home, I have felt a little lost. Until this week. What changed this week? I reintroduced myself to me. To all the little things that are important to my daily life, that fill my soul and fuel my family. Who knew? Something as simple as beginning a new sourdough starter for healthier bread options or home brewed kombucha fermenting in my mason jar carafe on my counter energized a part of me that had been asleep. Tiny seedlings peek through the dirt on my grow table in the basement. I *might* go talk to them every day while I check their progress. My Buddy’s pigs are thriving in their pen; man, those animals are interesting. They are completely different from anything we have had before. Did you know that they can imitate sounds? They “bark” back at our dog every day now. It is a very piggy kind of bark, but it is clear they are mimicking her. Even though I am not sure I like pigs, helping my son care for them daily brings a sense of satisfaction.
I love to listen to audiobooks from every kind of self-development subject, and I go on obsessive binges of true crime podcasts from time to time. I begin each day with Scripture and try valiantly to live up to what I learn in a sincere and authentic way – unless you are thinking about the true crime. I do NOT try to live up to that. I read fiction sometimes, but I generally save that for audio on road trips. And those have not really happened in a while. (Thanks, 2020!) Sometimes I find it necessary to write, as if my soul would burst if I did not share the words. Other times, I find it overwhelming, as if there are so many things to share that I cannot focus on one area enough to communicate a clear thought with a purpose.
I grew up in a pastor’s home here in Alabama. You would think that growing up in Alabama, I was always surrounded by the homestead-type themes that I have come to love in adulthood. Not so. Well, I guess technically they were near, but they were not incorporated into my lifestyle then. Even if I had been properly introduced to gardening and animal husbandry back then, I am not sure my previous girly girl extreme would have appreciated it like the earth-grounding, essential-oil-using, raw-juice-drinking person that I am today does. Loving homesteading was a process that began in early motherhood for me. One seed of knowledge grows and multiplies quickly. The more you know, the more you realize you need to know.
I am unapologetically imperfect. Hiding from flaws is a habit that I view as toxic. Obviously, we want to improve our shortcomings, but we should be real with ourselves about what they are. Authenticity is kind of the biggest deal that there is to me. In strength and in weakness if we are real it is okay.
I love music – for the art of music. My favorite song is Full Moon by Avi Kaplan; it is like the embodiment of all things melancholy and beautiful. I play piano, and I will play guitar. Right now, the chords I can play on guitar will not be played for anyone’s dis-enjoyment. You’re welcome for that (I have not picked up that skill easily). I sing at church, and pretty much anywhere I am working on something. Good thing I work from home! My favorite time to play my instrument is when I am alone. My kids have a rule that they will learn an instrument because I think that is good for us all. My daughter is learning violin, and my son will start either the bass or saxophone when we get him started, unless he changes his mind again by then.
I try to limit the chemicals in our home, but we sometimes drive to the country store and get candy and sodas in glass bottles. I cook from scratch as much as possible, but drive thru happens occasionally. Admittedly, drive thru happens a lot less now that we are 20 minutes minimum one way from the closest anywhere. That is a good thing. I want to get rid of the microwave, but we still use it. I hate that we still use it, but we do.
Coffee is a required part of every morning. Who am I kidding? Coffee is also a required part of every afternoon. One day, if I am willing to be tied down to a single place for the hours it would require, I could really love having a little coffee shop and farm store. Right now, I am not ready for that level of commitment in my life.
I feel like I have lived much of my life marching to the beat of a different drum than those around me. It used to stress me out, but now I have decided to fully embrace it and just be me. The funny thing about that is, when you chill out and just be you without trying to meet expectations, others meet you where you are. I have discovered different sides to the personalities around me, and I have also found new friends in the process. Do what you love, be who you are, and your tribe will develop around that. Also, it is absolutely okay to love high heels AND mud boots.