Thursday, July 25, 2013

One of THOSE days

Today is one of those days that I ask myself, I ask God, "Why?" It is one of those days where I look from the present perspective and shout "I've failed again!" It is a day where I acknowledge the mistakes I've made as a parent and wish I hadn't made them. I think of all the things I should've done differently and how, if I'd listened to my instincts more in the early days, and not the "advice" of others, things might've turned out better. I don't want to look to the future today, because my mind is focused on "the worst".

Today, I wonder why I do it? Why do I put my kids and my hopes for their future before what I want to do in life or what I want out of life? Why do I give them all that I do, when there appears to be no point, no value, no reward in doing so.

My kids are spoiled. Granted I can stand back and look at kids in general and say, "Y'know my kids are actually pretty good kids." Today, I don't want to do that. The fact is they are spoiled. They are expectant. They are deceptive and mischievous. They are mean and spiteful! They are selfish and greedy. And I'm just supposed to accept it and tolerate it, because they're just being kids. I ask them to do something and all of a sudden they are hungry, or can't do it because it is too hard, or won't do it because the other person isn't doing it. It doesn't matter if it is a chore, school work, or just something simple. 

I'm not expecting them to be perfect. I'm not perfect either. And that is my problem. I've failed at building good character qualities in them. I've failed at leading them to be responsible, respectful, and helpful. I've failed to fill them with positive attitudes and love, compassion, and consideration.

I know that isn't completely true and that other people constantly compliment my kids. However, as their mom, I see them at their worst. And it isn't pretty. I pray it doesn't get uglier as they get older. I pray I'm not that ugly. Not from a physical perspective. I'm average. From a spiritual perspective, the perspective that matters most.

Today, I feel somewhat hopeless and pitiful. It is easy to think of all that I could accomplish, without them, even if it was just sending them to public school all day. Why not let someone else raise them. They show more respect to others than to me anyway. Right? The truth is, I know that is not the answer to solve this dilemma. It may alleviate some of the symptoms, but it won't take care of the root of the issue. Granted, all that "free time" would mean I'd actually have a clean house and be able to pursue my own interests. Sounds ideal! It also sounds selfish, for me. Not for everyone. For some people it is what is right and best. For me, it comes from a selfish heart. I don't want to do the difficult parenting, especially when I don't know what to do and I'm afraid of just making things even worse than they already are. It has happened before. I love my kids as unconditionally as I know how to and wouldn't really want to lose any of them for any reason. It's just one of those days where I feel crushed and overwhelmed.

I know in my heart I am not alone, and that God sees what I cannot. I know that not all our days will be this low. Not all of our memories will be negative. I also know that I'm not alone, because all parents have days like these. I just wish they weren't so frequent.  This is one of those times where I need God more than average. I'm thankful that He never leaves us or forsakes us and He carries the burdens we give over to Him. I just need to let go.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bruised Ribs, Family, and Hatchings

It's been a rough and wonderful week and a half.

Two Thursdays ago, I went out to pick some more mulberries. I've been worried about poison ivy near the tree so I've been hand picking them. It's pretty tranquil, listening to the sound of the many creatures in our "swamp" as I converse with God and gather berries. I can spend hours out there just enjoying it all. However, that day I reached and grabbed a branch. Turns out it was too far from me and as I pulled it closer to myself, the ladder started leaning towards the branch. I let go of the branch, hoping to stabilize the ladder, to no avail. It continued to fall. I don't know for sure, but I think I tried to jump off it. As I fell I could see the ladder land into another one we had nearby, and then smack, I hit the ladder. Crack! Then I fell off. I laid on the ground staring up at the sky, for once totally clear of any thought process, as my brain focused on just breathing. It hurt. I shouted "OUCH!" a few times and then to my oldest blessing. No one heard me, though. They were all inside. I knew no one was going to come. So I laid there, praying. "God, please don't let it be that bad. I'm not ready to die. I haven't done anything for you yet." After I don't know how many minutes, because it seemed like forever, I rolled over, grabbed my bag of mulberries, thanking God it wasn't all in vain. I got up, walked slowly to the house. I washed, bagged, weighed (1.5 lbs) and froze my berries. Then I had my daughter get my brother in law, as I realized it was definitely a hospital worthy injury. I didn't have to wait long in the ER. They gave me a shot in the tush, for the pain, that felt like fire burning my bum and took me to get x-rayed. When they returned me to my curtained area, my husband was there waiting. He'd been at work, when I'd sent him a text. All he could do was shake his head and give me a look. "Really? Twice in one week, you fall off the ladder?" Yeah, I'm that special. The doctor returned, with good news. I'm not going to die. I'm not broken. I may be fractured, but the fractures are too small to see on the x-ray. The diagnoses, bruised ribs. They send me home with Ibuprofen and Norco. I haven't taken the Norco and have been using less Ibuprofen. I'm not a huge fan of taking meds, but it does help ease the pain enough for me to sleep. I've now learned how dependent I truly am on using my left side for things and how much I really prefer sleeping on my sides!

In spite of my injury, I took my kids to a birthday party and a bbq on Saturday and sang at church on Sunday. My dad and his wife came in on Wednesday for a weekend visit and we kept busy. I didn't get the rest I should've during that first week, but the memories made have been priceless.

My visit with my dad and his wife were wonderful. We saw Despicable Me 2 and ate ice cream. Went to a nearby water park. I shouldn't have done the lazy river, but that is a special time blessing #3 and I can look back on. Hit up the flea market, farmers market, and a street sale. And played tons of board games! (We love games.) The icing on the cake was unexpected hatchings. We weren't expecting any turkey babies until the 27th. We now have 11 hatches and 3 more working on it. One did hatch with shell stuck to it because it got dried out. I managed to gently remove the shell by running warm water over the areas affected. That poult is doing great now. The first hatch batch is now loose in the barn and we thought we had lost one of them, but my husband found it under a couple of empty litter boxes, yesterday. So we still have all 10 of those. We also have a hen who actually hatched her own brood of 10 and they are all doing very well. They aren't growing as quickly as the ones we incubated, though they are no more than a week apart. It makes me wonder how healthy the ones we incubated, really are.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Where Did June Go?

We have been very blessed here on the farm.

In the past month we have hatched 5 eggs, that were fully incubated by us, and 5 that one of our turkey hens had abandon in the middle of incubating them naturally. Then we discovered a week or so later another turkey hen had hatched 10 on her own! We have around 25 or so eggs in the incubator as well. Looking forward to having plenty of turkey to last us a year, as well as, hopefully, some to sell.

We've also been discovering many surprise edibles on our property. Last month we had a Montmorency cherry tree burst forth with plenty of cherries for me to make 3 pies and 2 pints of jam! We also have what are either choke berries or black berries. I don't think I'll be harvesting them. I tasted one today and it was awful! I have, however, been harvesting lots of mulberries lately. I have about 3 and a half pounds of them. Not a lot, but I'm hand picking them. I just read an idea about laying down a sheet under the branches and shaking them. The problem is, our tree is growing next to our "swamp" and there is plenty of poison ivy around the base of the tree. Something we need to deal with, but haven't yet. So hand picking is what I'll do for now. Today we also found a June berry tree. Those are pretty good, but I don't know that I'll be harvesting any of those this year. We also have what appears to be black raspberries along the pond, but the bushes are surrounded by poison ivy. And either the same berries are out back or they are blackberries or red raspberries. I'm hoping to go look at them tomorrow, again. They don't have poison ivy around them. In the back we also have a peach tree that has tons of unripe peaches on it. All over the property we have wild grapes. Looking forward to harvesting those!

So lots of edibles all over the place. Our garden doesn't appear to be doing as well as the rest of the property. We do have corn growing. Summer squash, zucchini, possibly eggplant, beans or peas, pumpkins, sunflowers and watermelons are also growing. We started the garden from seeds. We did buy some herbs that seem to be doing ok so far. Although, the chickens have been digging in the garden where my herbs are. I've been harvesting barley the past few days and when I'm done doing that will move onto our wheat.

It certainly has been an adventure the past month!