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Blog, Self Care Sunday

Self-Care Sunday, February 20th, 2022

In the last few weeks, I have discovered a few things, one being Rosemary Gladstar. I am glad that I have discovered her and her knowledge of herbal medicine which is something that I am just starting to learn. What I loved the most while looking through her posts is the quote above, “Give power to the things you love most in your life, those that nourish the spirit of joy and gratitude.” When I saw this I realized it is the best mindset to have. What are the things you love the most in your life? What things should you nourish?

This is something that we seem to forget to do as we rush around from day to day. Do we take the time that we should to nourish our spirit? This weekend I spent time nourishing my spirit by getting out and working in the garden. It would seem to many that working in the garden is just another form of work, which yes I guess it is, however being out in nature in the sun and working in the dirt just makes you feel so at peace in the end. I enjoy taking moments while working to notice the birds that are flying about or what little creatures are out for a walk. This connection helps to bring my focus away from the things that make me feel bad, angry, or hateful and to a place of relaxation. Working in the garden also makes me feel truly accomplished because I know what I am doing will provide us with food and a beautiful place to hang out.

What is the right way to nourish your spirit? There is only one right way to do it, so make sure you follow this rule exactly, Do what makes you feel happy, joyful, and at peace! That is the only rule. Don’t try to nourish your spirit at the bar getting drunk if every time you do you feel like shit the next day, do take a stroll through a used book store if the smell of the books makes your soul light up with the possible adventures contained in the pages. Don’t go take a long walk if you hate to hike, do sit outside in a beautiful garden and soak up nature that way. Go to church or don’t, meditate or don’t it really doesn’t matter what I suggest here because it is what nourishes YOUR soul no one can tell you how to nourish yourself.

I hope you can look at this as a reminder that you should be finding what makes you feel good, whatever it is, and making the time for it so that you don’t burn out and can tackle each day in the best mindset possible. Keep working on yourself so that you can get to the place that you want to be, the journey is long but it is yours so do it in your time.

Blog, Self Care Sunday

Self-Care Sunday February 13th, 2022

Many of us spend the majority of our day at work. If we are lucky we have a job we Love, if we are fortunate we have one we like most days. Plenty of people have a job because it is a job, a source of income, but no matter why you have your job some days going in feels like a death sentence. Maybe the work environment has become extra stressful, or you are having a bad day, and going to work is the last thing that you want. At these moments I say take a day!

If you can relate you may need a day off.

If you are like me and are in the U.S. you know that the view on sick days or mental health days is something that varies by company. There is no national plan that helps people take time when they need to, so they have to hope they get days through work, and even then you will risk not getting paid for the days that you do take. So what do you do if you really need a day? I say take it. If you need the money those hours would provide with you then try and switch shifts with someone so you don’t lose out but can still have that day you need. If you are like many people I know and are saving up your vacation days STOP! You have earned those days and you should take them if you are starting to feel stressed or burned out, you will feel better after you take some time. It is time to show people that it is ok not to be ok and need a day for yourself.

Taking some time to connect to nature can help you be ready for work

There are many other countries that have realized the health of their workers should come first since healthy, motivated workers actually work better and harder. Not all countries or employers care about this but we as employees should. We should take the time we have earned and when financially able take a day off even if it means no pay.

One reason I am starting my own business is so that I can have the freedom to have the schedule I want and need to function well at everything I do. I am lucky enough to be in a position that gives me the opportunity to do so, although I am even stretched thin trying to do it all. My hope is that one day with everyone’s voices working together we can help change how we are treated at work and have a national standard that helps to provide more time for self-care. Until then it is up to us to realize when we need a break and to be ok taking one, because you help no one by performing at less than your best.

I hope you read this and decide that yes you should come first so that you can have a better chance of enjoying the life you have been given.

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You Have Decided to Homeschool!

You did it!! You made the decision to homeschool your kids. In the past few years many states have seen an increase in the number of people homeschooling their kids for one reason or another, but how do you do it? This is often the first and biggest question that is seen in Facebook Groups for homeschooling families. Everyone always wants to know where do I start, how do I educate my child, what method is the best? These questions have easy and complex answers that I hope I can walk you through and help you find a direction that is good for you and your family.

There are two places to start. The first is with the family that has never sent their child to school. These are the families whose children are not yet school age but are about to be. For you lovely people the start of your journey is much different from others. You are blessed to be starting with a clean slate if you will. Your child has never experienced school so they have no expectations of what a class should look like. This is where my kids pretty much started. Only one of my boys ever went to anything that resembled school and that was only for 2 years in pre-school. The great thing about starting in this manner is that you can structure your school just the way you want and learn along with your child how they learn best.

The second type of family is one in which something has caused them to pull their child/children from school and start homeschooling. This is a tad harder only because both you and your child will have to take your idea of school roll it up into a ball and throw it away. If your child/children have just been pulled from school, either public or private, you will have to deschool them.

“Woah what did you just say I have to do to my kid?!?”

Good question. You will have to deschool them, which basically means giving them a break from schoolwork.

“Time out! You mean that I am pulling them out of school then not making them do any work? Are you crazy?”

Well, I may be crazy but yes. When you deschool your child you are giving them time to decompress, you are letting them begin to discover their natural love for learning again. You can take this time to do other things with your child, let them have this opportunity to figure out where their interests lie and what their natural flow for a day may look like.

“You realize you still sound crazy right?!?”

It does seem crazy to just stop all structured work, however, I am not saying this lasts forever. This process should only be a week or two. The first few days may look like your child just hanging out around the house doing nothing, but don’t worry that will change. During this time you and your child can go on field trips, check out local homeschool groups or clubs, and even just get to know the things that interest each of you. This is a great time to spend connecting with your kid before you begin to add back in more structured work.

“O.K. but what do I teach them? Do I use a curriculum? Do I sign them up for classes? Do I just wing it?”

What should you teach your child? This really depends on your view on what you want education to be for your child. At my house, I like to be sure that they know many of the basics, math, history, science, writing, and reading. I like to add in times where we read things and discuss them in-depth, but I also try to listen to my kids and what they would like to learn. Since I try to structure my children’s learning to their wants and goals, not everything I do is the same for each kid. Let’s look at the sciences I teach for example. My oldest son wants to go into Marine Biology, he is 12 and has done other basic science work, so this year I got him a college-level Marine Biology book and Lab manual and we are working through that. Now my middle (10) has said many times that he wants to grow up to be a chef or baker so his science this year is the science of baking. We are reading through a book that highlights the science of baking and practicing our skills at baking and cooking. My youngest is still learning the basics so we just spend time pointing things out and learning through experience and discussion. So for science, I do not have a curriculum that I follow I have made up what I want them each to do and it keeps them wanting to learn.

I do use a curriculum for our history and literature, but even this I take liberties with. We use a curriculum called Build Your Library, it is a secular curriculum and heavy in the reading. It has a history, literature, reading, science, and art section to it so you have to supplement for math and anything else you feel is missing. When I use this curriculum I use it as a way to sit and read to the kids and add in discussions. We have reading days at my house where we read the books in this curriculum and stop and discuss both vocabulary words, events, or ideas found in the books. I love these days because I think it is important that my kids get to express their ideas and feelings about subjects.

My kids also take some classes at a local co-op. These are supplemental, they are not meant to be a full course in a subject but something fun to do that may spark their interest in a field or idea that I may not know much about. I also teach at the co-op which lets me pass on what I know to others so that their kids can also learn about something new.

Lastly, I also wing it. Yup, that’s right sometimes I wake up in the morning realize it is going to be 75 and sunny, and just make up a lesson for the day. It might be an impromptu trip to a zoo or museum, maybe a hike at a new park or even getting together with friends for a creek day. All of these things are ways my kids learn that are not from books or worksheets and tend to be the things that stick the best.

“That all sounds great but I still have no clue what to do. Should I teach them in a certain way? I have seen so much about different styles like Waldorf or Montessori or Unschooling. Help!”

Here is the key to your homeschool success. You get to choose how you want to teach your kids. As you have seen from my example above I do a little bit of a lot of different styles. Seeing as you may be very new I am going to define a few styles for you so that you can have an easier time deciding.

  • Traditional Homeschooling: Traditional school at home.
  • Roadschooling: Just what it sounds like school on the open road, this method allows you to learn while on the go and can include not just typical subjects but learning through experience.
  • Worldschooling: Like roadschooling but you go much farther and venture out of the country. This method gives you a look at many other ways of life that you may never have seen otherwise.
  • Classical Homeschooling: Based in a three-part process that was developed in the Middle Ages.
  • Charlotte Mason Homeschooling: This style uses high-quality literature (living books) to teach children, a strong focus on nature study and creating positive habits.
  • Waldorf Homeschooling: The goal here is to educate the whole child, with a strong focus on teaching kids in the early years without textbooks and integrating the natural world. This has become a very popular method.
  • Unschooling: Here your child leads their education. This is not to say that kids learning this way just sit around and do nothing all day, but instead are free to explore what interests them.
  • Eclectic Homeschooling: This is pretty much what we do, a blending of many styles taking what works for you from the various forms.
  • Montessori Homeschooling: This is another form of child lead education. You would spend time setting up and making available materials your child can learn from. Your role is as a facilitator rather then just a teacher.
  • Unit Studies: Studying a specific unit for a given time period. For example you may do a unit study on Ancient Rome and go into great detail about the history, mythology and lifestyle of the time period for two weeks then move on to a different area of study.

Phew, that was a lot of information I just threw your way. If you weren’t overwhelmed before you may be now and I apologize, however you now have an idea of what is out there. Now to choose, or don’t choose. You can decide how you want your school to look, do you need a more traditional seeming day, or do you want to hit the road and just learn as you travel. Our school has evolved and changed each year based on what we have going on, the age of my kids, and what I think they need at the moment. Currently, we don’t have set times for school because we have a ton of appointments each week. Instead, I have set up a list each week of what I would like the kids to do and when I would like it done. I also let them know each day when I will have free time to work with them on things that they may not understand or a lesson I know they need to do with me. We also try to have at least two days that are reading days each week, plus a day for a hike and co-op. This keeps us learning in many different ways and situations. The last thing I have always done with the kids is real-world learning. Each of my boys has learned to do things like go into Starbucks and order Mom a drink and pay in cash, or debit for it (my oldest started doing this at 5.) They are made to find groceries in the store and must ask the workers to help them when they can’t find things. I won’t ask for any of them. You want to get a milkshake at the coffee shop, ok you place your order. These are all important skills they must be able to do and I started teaching them as soon as they could understand what it was they needed to do.

“Okay, I think I am ready except that my mother’s, sisters, neighbors cat was asking me how the kids would be socialized and how I would know they were learning.”

This is a common problem, although not normally from a cat. You will have many instances where family, friends, and even strangers will question what you are doing. They will stop by with “advice” or decide that the best way to prove their point is to quiz your child about facts they assume should be memorized by a certain age. When this happens your first step is to just take a deep breath, remember that you are doing something different that seems out of the norm, and then as politely as possible let them know you are doing what is best for your family. You can also start teaching the kids to respond in their own ways such as, “can I quiz you next?” or “thank you for being interested in my well-being but my parents have it under control.” Remember that these people just don’t understand why you have made this choice, take a moment to respond and help educate if possible. When all else fails just ask that this not be something that is discussed when you come by.

“But what about college!!!!”

Calm down, college is still in their sights even when being homeschooled. You will learn that there are many universities that are very open to receiving homeschooled students. The best way to prep your child for this is to figure out what is needed to get into the schools that they wish to go to and structure your school with that goal in mind. You can find a good number of examples of people that were schooled at home when you start to research. Plus your child may decide that college is not their goal, they can go to a trade school or find some other passion that will result in just as much success as going to college.

That’s it. Time to get started in whatever way you want, or you can change your mind and try something different. The goal is to prepare them for college, for a job, for life, in whichever way works best for them. If you are still confused, overwhelmed, or just nervous ask for some advice below I will be happy to help. Always remember that what works for you may not for others and you just do you and make sure your kid is getting what they need!

Good Luck and Welcome to the Club.

Blog, Self Care Sunday

Self-Care Sunday, January 23, 2022

Another week in the bag. We had some crazy weather here last week with the snow and ice. The biggest issue my family had was not being able to get up the driveway for 2 days, but that turned into a fun time for the kids who got to use the driveway as a sledding area. We also got to go for a fun hike in the woods and found some interesting tracks in the snow. I really enjoyed being snowed in, even though I don’t like snow, because I was able to spend extra time at home doing things with the kids that we sometimes don’t get around to.

Now for the rest of the week, after finally getting up the driveway my week became a bit overwhelming and I had to really listen to my own advice from a few posts back. I had to remind myself that it is ok to say No to things that I am not in the mental state to handle.

For me, I had to wrestle with whether or not I could take an online class for my job. Now, this class is not required for me to do my job, but it will help me advance and get paid better. These are both things that are great for me, however, as I tried to prepare for the class I realized that I did not have the mental stamina to do well in such a course right now. The amount of work outside of the class time was going to be more than I could fit into my week and schedule.

I tried to explain this to my immediate supervisor who did not seem to hear what I was saying and gave me the advice of just do your best, which I knew I could not currently give. Thankfully I spoke with the store manager who assured me that it was not a requirement and although they would love to see me do the course it could wait until I was ready. This was great to hear because it took a huge weight off my shoulders and helped me to make my decision to drop the course even easier.

My new plan is to keep all of the worksheets and information from the class handy and just work through it at a nice slow pace when I have time. I will then when I feel mentally able to hold more information in my brain ask to be signed up again so that I can really do my best and be able to advance.

This leads me to my self-care for this week. This week is again about knowing what you can handle and remembering that it is ok to say No. It is also ok to seek out those that are in charge at your job and talk to them about what is going on and how you are feeling. I admit I probably waited longer than I should have to talk about this, I let myself get completely overwhelmed first. I tried to convince myself that adding this to my plate was ok, that I could handle it because I have always been good at school and studying. I had to remind myself that when I was in school I was also not homeschooling 3 kids, running a homestead, starting a business, navigating doctor and therapy appointments for the kids, and working 24 hours a week. I had much more time to devote to studying and learning in the way needed. So I shall not take the class now, but I will take the time to learn through experience and studying when I can so that when I take the class I am prepared for it.

Now that we have all been reminded to put ourselves first it is time for a coffee, a book, and a nap!!! Have a great Sunday!

Blog, Self Care Sunday

Self-Care Sunday, January 16th, 2022

Snow Day Edition

Have you heard? Or maybe you are in the thick of it right now, but we are getting SNOW! For some of my friends that stop by snow may not be a big deal. You probably live somewhere that has snow every year, or you are like me and grew up with it but now live somewhere much warmer (I admit I moved to warmer climates because I hate to shovel.) However here in NC specifically the non-mountain regions, snow is not something we get every year. In fact, it is such a big deal when they forecast more than a half-inch of snow everyone must immediately run to the store and buy all the milk and bread. Why milk and bread? I have no idea.

Now how does this snow day affect your self-care? Simple, if you are like me and live in a state where a flurry shuts down everything you may not get a chance to get out and do what you wanted to for yourself this weekend. I know we had to rearrange plans so that we still got to spend time with friends which is an important part of my self-care each week. You may be having to spend the entire time at home, with the kids, as they have video game day, which involves screaming and loud sounds emitting from the television. What are you to do?

Well here is my plan for my Snow Day. First I am going to try and get some much-needed work around the house done (I know not relaxing), which will then be followed up by some time to read. I am way behind in my reading so I will be locking the door and hiding from the sounds of video games so I can read for a bit. I may even take a much-needed nap. The nice thing about a snow day for me is not the snow, it is the fact that suddenly I don’t have to be anywhere. I don’t need to run any extra errands because driving there may be dangerous, or the stores may be closed. Instead, I slow down and just relax.

I hope that you also take a moment this weekend to just stop and relax, in fact, if you don’t have a snow day take one anyway. If anyone asks just say you are taking a snow day like your friends in NC. Tell me what you like to do if the weather is bad and you are stuck at home.

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Self-Care Sunday, January 9th, 2022

This week at work I overheard some conversations about people feeling burned out at work. I know what this feels like, to feel as though you are pulling your weight and the weight of 6 other people. Most of us begin to feel this way after being at the same job for some time, or because the workplace is short-staffed or unorganized. These feelings of being overwhelmed in a workplace are becoming a topic of conversation far too often. How can we tackle this feeling? We can start by looking at ourselves and being sure we are getting everything we need.

Let’s first tackle a problem many of us have when it comes to our free time, saying NO. That’s right the word no is a problem when it comes to our free time because to many of us don’t seem to be able to say this word. No is the most important 2 letter word that we can use to help us with our self-care and mindset. You have to learn that it is ok to say No, I can not help, or No, I don’t want to go, or even No, I am too tired. This is the one word that as simple as it is people have trouble saying. Don’t worry I am definitely in the group of people that struggle with this. I have however tried to do better with not overcommitting and using this wonderful word.

The next problem many of us face that goes hand in hand with our wonderful word No is making our to-do list during our free time much longer than it needs to be. Don’t get me wrong I understand that we can not always get stuff done on the days we have work, however, we need to prioritize better leaving time for our own relaxation and fun. This is when you have to tell yourself No. Let’s take for example a typical free day for me which may include things like: Take son to practice, get groceries, pick up feed, drop off recycling, make dinner, work on the blog. All things that can be accomplished in a day, but do I really want to run around all day and not relax? Is there a way to take some of this off my plate? Maybe try to do a few of those things during my son’s practice so that I don’t just sit watching practice not getting things accomplished. Maybe I can send my husband to do one or two of those things, or lastly, maybe I can just not do something. I try to decide which things absolutely need doing and start with that, then I take a moment to relax and decide if I can do any more with my day. I try to be sure that making dinner is the last thing on my list and that after dinner it is just cleaning up and having time with the family. I don’t like to add in a quick trip to the store or doing laundry because now is the time to relax and everything else can wait.

Now back to problem number one feeling burned out at work. If you start to tackle this problem by using your free time to actually relax the problems at work may seem more in the realm of something you can take on since now you will be coming into work well-rested. Being well-rested will not alone fix your problems at work. You also need to take a step back and figure out what about the job is causing you to be burned out. Is it because here just like in your personal life No is a hard word. Do you continue to do more and more even if it is not in your job to always do so? Maybe you need to start practicing the use of this word at work too. Of course please don’t just say No to everything and get yourself fired but do make a decision to only take on what you are able to do and do well.

Next, look at your job and decide whether it is the job itself. Are you burned out because this job seems tedious, or do you realize this is no longer your passion? This may be a sign to start looking for something new. Is it the people you work with? I have had that issue and to combat that I just did my job and tried my best not to get angry with those around me. Most of the time I would remove myself from the situation and start with another task that I could do alone or with a fellow employee that I enjoy working with. I realize we don’t all have the ability to change who or what we are doing at work, but maybe if we take a look at the situation from a different point of view we can find a way to get through it without feeling like we are going to die.

In the end, you know what is best for you and if you can continue on in the job or routine that you have, or if you need a change. If you can not change jobs then you may want to change how you spend your day off, remember there are many things that we do that can wait for another day. When we take things off our plates we can then relax and be better ready to tackle those things that cause us stress.

Let me know how you have handled work burn out, maybe your methods will help others!

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Travel with a Homestead

I love staying home. Most days I don’t even want to go to activities for the kids, I would much rather stay home take care of the homestead, do school, then relax with a book or a crochet project. Sometimes however you have no choice but to travel, whether it be for holidays or abroad to discover something new, and that is when you need to be sure your homestead is well taken care of.

The hardest thing when you have more than just a few animals for someone to look after is finding someone who will do the job that you need. We have been fortunate to have good friends that don’t mind coming out and caring for our animals in exchange for eggs. Currently, we have 30 chickens, one guinea fowl (he thinks he is a chicken), and 4 turkeys. This may not seem like a lot of animals to most of you but when you are looking for someone to care for your animals this is probably a hard sell. Add into the mix the non-farm type animals, 1 dog, and 2 guinea pigs, and you may be hard-pressed to find a willing sitter. You can of course search for companies that do this kind of thing, I used to work for a dog walking/pet sitting company and we did take care of the occasional farm but it was usually just come mid-day and throw hay to the horses. The other thing you have to consider is if you have the budget to pay someone to come out, usually multiple times a day, to help. Depending on your area your options may be very limited.

So what do you do? How do you ensure your homestead is well cared for while you are away? First thing, don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family. I try to make sure I have 2 or even 3 people coming to help so the work does not only fall on one friend or family member. It also helps if you find friends that have kids that love animals. I have one friend who brings her granddaughter because she loves to go and collect all the colorful eggs! If you are new to an area or maybe don’t have any animal-loving friends then you can find a pet sitting service that may be able to cover everything. Just remember that many services may charge extra for animals that are more than just your dog or cat. I would do my research to be sure that the employees at such a service have the experience you may need. If you just have chickens then the experience level is much lower than if you have larger livestock. This year we found a new Facebook group in our area that brings together families that have farms or homesteads and may be in need of a sitter. The page is designed for everyone to provide free pet sitting in exchange for having their animals done at some point for free as well. We will be finding someone to help with the animals from this group for our next trip to help relieve some of the visits for our friends.

After you have done the work to find a suitable person or people to come take care of your animals it is time to make sure that everything will go as smoothly as possible while you are away. The first thing I do if I have a new person coming or anything has changed since the last time they have come is to have them stop by for a visit so that they can see what needs to be done around the homestead. This is especially important if you are using someone new as you want to be sure that they know where to find everything and so that they can meet the animals. You don’t want to be hours away with a pet sitter that shows up for the first time and can’t find anything or realizes when they get there that they are actually deathly afraid of your rooster. Having them stop by lets them ask any questions they have before they start and lets them see if the animals you have are going to be more than they are comfortable with. I like to try and do this a few weeks before I go away so that if for some reason after seeing my place they are not comfortable I have time to find someone else to do the job.

Now that you have found the people and they seem ok with what they have to do it is time to prepare the homestead for them. We like to make sure the week we are leaving that we have added fresh bedding, cleaned waterers/food bowls, and picked up more than enough food (I promise you will go through this while gone even with instructions it seems extra always gets used). I also when possible try to limit the amount of extra work that may need to be done. For example, I try to go away around the hatching of babies, or the raising of meat birds. These things add extra work and unless you have someone familiar with the extra tasks it is better to work around them. This past year our friends had to help move the chicken tractor while we were gone. We tried to have the meat birds ready for before we went away but they were just not quite there, they were able to do it easily but I also had to make sure they were willing. If you have babies while you are gone be it chicks or large breed animals you have to be sure that whoever is caring for them knows what to do if they get sick. This can be daunting to someone who has little experience so whenever possible try to go away around these times.

Can you imagine a friend having to deal with a turkey in a tree?

Dealing with babies is not the only thing that may make it harder on the person who is helping you with the care. When we are out of town we do not let the birds free-range. We have a big enough area that is fenced in for them that we can keep them in for a week with very little problem. This takes the stress off your sitter who may let them out in the morning go to work and worry all day about if a predator has come and gotten your flock. It also helps to make the end-of-day tasks less difficult, cooping 30+ birds in the evening for a new pet sitter is not a task most will feel comfortable with.

The last few things that I like to be sure are ready to go for anyone caring for my animals all deal with the setup for care. I like to make sure all feed bins are full and labeled, even though I will have gone through with them which food is which when they visit it is very easy to forget or confuse foods that look similar. We will wash and fill the waters the day we are leaving, our waters hold 5 gallons of water for the chickens so they should last a few days before needing to be filled unless it is summer. We add bedding to the coops dry right on top of the wet as we use a deep mulch system, change the bedding in the guinea pigs’ cage and ensure the dog has a bone or two lying about. I leave out cleaning supplies on the counter, check the heat, take out the trash and leave out egg cartons for any eggs collected while we are gone. I then double-check my written instructions ensuring they give a detailed description of what needs to be done, types of feed, amount to be fed, who to call in an emergency, and so forth. I may provide too much detail but I would rather the people coming to the house have too much information than not enough. Send a text letting everyone know that we are leaving lock up and head out.

an example of what I leave out for my sitters

Phew, you are done, you have gotten everything ready and are gone. Now here is the most important thing, check in every now and again but try your best to relax. You have done everything you possibly could to prepare for your trip. You got someone to care for your place and set it up to be as easy as possible. Remember though that even with great preparation things may still go wrong. On our last trip we had a turkey die while we were away, no sign of a predator and not being home I could not be sure what happened. I just had to instruct my friends what to do with the body and hope it was going to be the only problem. I have come back before to most of the garden on its last leg even with watering, but my friends could not have prevented it as we had such hot weather it basically fried my plants. Enjoy your trip and know that you have earned it and that you have done everything you can to prevent the preventable things from happening but sometimes animals die, or get sick and likely would have even with us present. I hope I have helped you find the right starting point to prepare for a trip and that you can find good help so you feel comfortable going away.

Blog, Self Care Sunday

Self-Care Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

2022 is finally here, and for many of us, it is a hope for a better possibly more normal year. Even if this is your hope for the year you need to be ready for the fact that it may be just as crazy and stressful for you, especially if you work in certain fields. So to start off this new year I feel like we need to take a moment and think about how we can work in self-care to our weekly or daily routine.

Many people are morning people and for those of you that are you can take this opportunity to give yourself a few moments of time to focus on yourself. Some good ways to start your day off more focused, centered, and ready for action can include the following:

My teas of choice recently…and yes I got the middle on because of Skywalker
  • Wake up 15 minutes early so you have time to relax and enjoy some coffee/tea or maybe write briefly in a journal
  • Exercise to start your day off. My husband enjoys getting up a few hours before work so he can enjoy some coffee go for a run and still have time to get ready for work
  • Take a short morning walk
  • Meditate or Yoga
  • Listen to your favorite music to help you get pumped up for the day
The gym is my escape

I don’t always get to wake up early and relax before starting my day because I work late at night and the turnaround can be very short. I do, however, try to get up early a few days a week and go to the gym either with my husband or son. It is really nice to start my day off going to the gym with my husband especially since our schedules are opposite one another, so even though I don’t get as much sleep I do get to spend time with him which makes the day better already.

For me, I must find my downtime when I can before going to work in the afternoon. I try my best to give myself at least 30min before I have to get ready for work to eat and either read or watch a little tv. It is at these times that the kids are also eating or playing outside. I try to make it the same time every day so that they know I will be relaxing for a little while before running off to work. Every so often when our schedule allows I will also try to sneak in a little nap, even if it is only 20 minutes.

my current waiting to be read pile!

If you are like me and can not always rise early then maybe you need to spend your downtime in the afternoon or evening. The choices at this time of day can be very similar to your morning routine but can also include things that you can spend more time doing.

  • Read a good book
  • Take a long shower or bath
  • Write in a journal or blog
  • Crochet
  • Call and talk with a friend
  • Take an evening walk and enjoy the sunset
  • Get your workout in now
  • Meditate
  • Drink a nice cup of tea
A work in progress. This is a Temperature blanket I started and have been working on

Today I want you to take a few minutes to think when you can add something into your day and post below what you are going to try and add-in. Then I would love to hear how this next week goes and what you have been able to add to your daily routine to help give you some time to focus on yourself.

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Slaughter Day Number 2

A few months back we had slaughter day number 2. This was a unique day because my husband was not there to help us with anything. We had to slaughter the birds on a Friday while he was at work because that weekend we had a lot going on and would not be home, so the task fell on just the older boys and me. Below is an interview I did with the boys about how they felt after helping more this time around. This video was taken a few weeks after the slaughter but due to internet issues, I was only just able to get it to load for the blog.

So what did you think? Did you enjoy our interview-style blog this time around? Would you like to see more of us? Please leave us some feedback and questions if you have any, I know the boys would love to hear what everyone has to say.

Blog, Self Care Sunday

Self-Care Sunday, December 26th, 2021

To start today I want to be sure to wish everyone Happy Holidays. Many of us just had a holiday weekend filled with family and friends, some of you may have had your holiday celebrations earlier this month, while others may be getting ready for your celebrations. While I know we are all excited to celebrate and be around family and friends, some of which we have seen very little of over the last year, we must remember that after all the hustle and bustle of the day we still need to take time for a little self-care.

With the new year right around the corner, I want to get back to trying to remind us all to take that time we need to relax and recharge. When better to start this than after a whirlwind of a month that seems to include parties and family events every week. There is a reason that as much as having that time with family is fun it is also stressful and exhausting. We spend so much of this month cooking extra meals, trying to get last-minute gifts, or just preparing for a trip that by the time it is all over we are drained and need a recharge.

So, what do you do to recharge your batteries? How can you create that time for yourself while you may still be visiting family or have a few more events your presence is desired at? First, we have to remember that your me-time can be as little as 5 minutes just a few minutes to yourself can help you feel recharged and ready to go.

A few of the things I try and do when away from home and visiting family over the holiday’s include:

Taking time for a walk sometimes alone, sometimes with my husband. This is a great way to have some quiet time for yourself away from all the commotion. Getting out of the house and into nature is always a good way to refocus. While on your walk take notice of things you may normally pass by without a thought. Did you notice the birds? Or maybe the wind through the branches? Perhaps you have noticed how quiet the roads are on a holiday weekend. Taking time to focus on these things will relax your mind from the stress and busyness that may come from being with your family.

Take a nap! That’s right curl up in the bed, on the couch, or in a quiet corner and take a nap. I promise you to deserve it! I enjoy the fact that there are enough adults at my family’s house that I can get in a nap when I normally spend my day going from one thing to the next. I love having the opportunity to listen to my body when it says, “Hey you have been tired for weeks take a nap.”

Escape with a book. Hide out for 20-30 minutes and read that book that has been looking at you for months. Books provide a wonderful escape from the commotion around you. Many times with a good book it can be hours later you before realize there is a whole world you have forgotten existed.

Put on some music you love and just sit there enjoying the tunes. I love to listen to music, but I often have the competition of audiobooks or just kids talking to enjoy it to the fullest. While at my family’s house my kids often disappear with their cousins, and I can take the time to enjoy my music to the fullest. I can even combine this with my walk.

Finally, take that nice long shower/bath you never have time for. In fact, while you are there add in some of our amazing bath and body products to help you come out feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Whatever you choose to do to relax, remember to make time for it since you want to have a good time visiting family and if you are stressed and tired you will not enjoy your visit.