52 Week Blog Challenge ~ Week 5 ~ My Favorite Holiday 

I’d have to say that my favorite holiday is Halloween or Samhain.

That’s probably because my favorite season is fall and I love practically everything about fall, including its major holiday.

I’ve loved Halloween for as long as I can remember. The cooler temps, the colors, decorations, the smells… everything.

I remember in my childhood, going to the church beside my house at Halloween.  They did a party for the kids from the church and neighborhood every year.  They had games like bean-bag-toss and bobbing for apples.  It always smelled like cinnamon and apples in there from the hot cider they served alongside the hot chocolate.

I also always enjoyed the idea that for one day out of the year, it was ok to be whatever you wanted to be.  A ghost, a hobo, a cartoon character…even a witch.

As an adult, the holiday has come to have a deeper meaning to me as well, including the thinning of the veil and honoring our ancestors, but I’ll never forget crunching through the dry leaves and smelling apple cider simmering.

Beltane Blessings

I won’t lie and say that I have a huge Beltane post ready for you today, I don’t.  It’s actually kind of snuck up on me this year with all the other things I’ve had going on and I find myself unprepared.

I did manage to get out and do a bit of gardening yesterday, but that’s about it.

The kids were supposed to come over today and get some yard work done and I’d thought we might have a little bonfire to honor the season tonight but I woke up to rainy, dreary skies and a wet ground this morning, so I guess it’ll be more of a personal day with everyone working.

I did realize yesterday, with more than a little dismay, that all of my gardening tools have disappeared over the last two years.  At least, I couldn’t find them anyway.

Even so, I managed to get my green onions transplanted into the dirt and out of the kitchen window.

 

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Green onions

 

 

I spent some time out on the porch both alone and sitting with Chicklet.  After waking up to my soggy world this morning, I’m glad I took the time yesterday.

Dinner was kind of a throw-together event that mostly featured my harvested green onions.

 

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Marinating steak bites

 

 

 

 

These are marinated steak bites.  A very throw-together kind of main dish, but they were very good.

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m finding a special kind of joy in eating things we grow ourselves and I’m thinking I want a garden again, even if it’s a container garden on the front porch with a herb garden over the sink.

Right now, the apple tree just finished blooming and I’m excitedly watching to see the process of the apples starting to come out since this is the first time I’ve owned an apple tree.

We also have some wild cherry growing out there, too.

Mini-Me and The Pain found several places when we were cleaning up the yard for Easter/Ostara, where blackberry vines are coming up in the yard and I’m more than a little excited about that.

Every time I open my door, I get hit with the sweet smells of honeysuckle and I have found where it’s growing all around the edges of the yard.

I want to look for ways to use honeysuckle before they fade away.

I also think I may have found some wild lettuce growing near my steps. It’s said to be nature’s morphine and one of the strongest natural pain-killers available.  If I find out for sure that it is wild lettuce, I’m going to be harvesting it and finding out how to use it as a natural pain alternative.

Here’s an article I found over on Ask A Prepper about wild lettuce.

Something about foraging my own property is appealing to me, just like intentionally growing my own food.

There’s something that I don’t think I’ve mentioned on this blog before, and today’s post seems like the right place to bring it up.  Paul and I used to have our own little homestead.

 

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The view from the pallet porch at the camper after we moved it to Chicklet’s yard.  This was taken after the accident.  A cookout with extended family last summer.

 

 

We used to live in a camper in a “friend’s” yard.  We shared a communal garden with them and there was talk of chickens, but then the accident happened and my entire life got put on hold.  It’s taken two years (it’ll officially be two years on June 13th) for me to even consider picking up the pieces of our old life.

While I’m fully aware that my physical limitations will prevent me from doing a lot of the things I was doing two years ago, I see no reason why I can’t do at least some of those things, just from a more modern-homestead approach.

The few years we spent building our homestead was when I fell in love with making my own things like butter, cool whip, bacon bits, laundry detergent and skincare products.

It was the time when I also learned a lot about using what you have and reusing and repurposing things.

Life has changed a lot in the last two years and there are some things that will probably never be the same, but since Beltane this year is going to be a solo day, I think I’ll spend the day looking back on what life used to be like and making some plans for what’s to come!

Running on Empty

I’ve been MIA recently and missed some of my own deadlines here on the blog.  I’m still kicking, but the pain issues I mentioned in my last post lead into a horrible bout of insomnia which has left me suffering from mild exhaustion.

funny-sleeping-animal-memes-7I’m going into Day 9 of little to no sleep.  My mind has reached such a state of breakdown from lack of sleep that it’s been hard to even think of writing anything useful.  The ideas have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The ideas seem to have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The pain has finally started to ease some, at least back to where it feels tolerable again, but it has caused such a disruption to my sleep patterns that now I find myself unable to sleep like I normally do.  Granted, “normal” for me still isn’t great and hasn’t been for two years now, but it was better than this.

Easter Sunday, the one day I really needed to be up and accomplishing things, I slept for

Easter 2017
Squishy and Mini-Me hunting eggs.

around 5 hours consecutively in the middle of the day and ran late on our family cookout.  The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

 

The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

Squishy was still adorable in her Easter outfit and since she’s only three, I don’t think she really remembered her first two Easters well enough to be disappointed that we only got to hide the eggs once, which was a plus.  She still had a good time as well and racked up on Easter gifts, but it didn’t ease my guilt over everything coming together so late in the day.

I was more than a little disappointed in myself that everything felt so rushed at the beginning and that I spent the entire first hour or so everyone was here in the kitchen doing the things I’d intended to be doing while I slept for nearly 5 hours.

The lack of sleep is causing some kind of brain-fog where it’s hard to think straight 90% of the time.  I’m awake at all hours and when I do finally sleep for a couple of hours, it’s at weird times and I’m starting to have nightmares that are leaving me feeling like I haven’t actually slept at all and the exhaustion is leaving me without the motivation to do anything other than sit at my desk and stare at the screen.

It’s also caused a drastic increase in my anxiety.  Logically, I know that I’m beyond tired, that I’m actually suffering from mild exhaustion and that I shouldn’t let things get to me, but when you’re as tired as I am, it’s often hard to control the emotional side of things.

The brain-fog I feel like I’m trapped in has caused some sort of weird writer’s block when

Sleep Meme
I totally feel the way that monkey looks lately.

it comes to the kind of material I had hoped to be producing here.

 

The timing of starting a new blog and this happening couldn’t have been worse.

This morning, I felt compelled to share something, even if it was just to say that I’m practically not sleeping and can’t seem to form meaningful content at the moment.

I’m sure most of you have experienced issues of some sort with writing at some point or have had trouble sleeping for one reason or another to the point that you feel practically useless beyond the bare minimum.

So please, bear with me.  My life is a bit of a train-wreck at the moment.  I hope that it all straightens out soon.

Oh, and today is Paul’s birthday.  We’re going to Mini-Me and The Pain’s for a cookout later today to celebrate.  Maybe I’ll get some pics while we’re there if I can remember to charge my phone today, something I kept forgetting to do over and over yesterday.

 

SOC Sunday ~ Weekly Dump

So, what is SOC Sunday?  Some of you may have seen a SOC post on other blogs.  There are a few of them out there, not all of them on Sunday, but for those who don’t know, let me explain.

Stream of Consciousness is supposed to be where you just write whatever is in your heart or on your mind as it comes to you.  No specific topic, at least not to start with (I usually find that my mind picks it’s own main topic while I write).  It’s a mind-dump.  No editing, beyond fixing typos.

*Note:  I’ve found it difficult sometimes to get this post done in real-time on Sundays and get it posted by a decent time, so going into the future, SOC Sunday will be like a weekly dump of “what happened this week” and will be posted on the Sunday after it’s written.


I’m running behind today, which seems to be the story of my life.  My kids laugh that I’ll be late to my own funeral, and I probably will be.

This week has had a lot of Spring Cleaning involved, and not just the physical kind.  It’s been spiritual, too.

I have been off my path for a long time and I finally started to see how it was affecting all the other aspects of my life. My relationships with those I love, my relationship with my home….it’s all interconnected.  When I get off the path too far spiritually, the rest seems to start to fall apart as well.

So this morning, I took some advice from my sister of the heart, Timber Leaves, and went out on the porch for a while.

While there wasn’t much sun on our porch this morning, I did get to enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents of nature.  I heard more wildlife than I saw although I did enjoy watching a carpenter bee making its way lazily from bud to bud on our apple tree.

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The Apple Tree in our front yard

It was peaceful, and just what I needed.  That’s one of the things I love about my sister-of-the-heart, she understands me and my needs, even before I do sometimes.

Before the day was out, I actually ended up out on the porch a few times.  DH and the oldest were doing some yard work and even cleared out around the bottom of the magnolia tree.

My hope is that the front yard will be ready for next Sunday so that Squishy has somewhere to hunt eggs.

In other news, my Dad is seeing someone.  She sounds like a lovely woman but this is new territory for me and I’m not completely sure what to do with it.

Mom has been gone for nearly 4 years, and I know he’s lonely.  I’m being as supportive as I know how to be and even extended an invitation to the cookout next Sunday.  Dad said she has things with her church and her siblings going on and probably won’t come, but I did offer, so I felt good about that.

I managed to hurt myself on Monday while taking Mini-Me and her family out to do some stuff, so I’m struggling to get on track with everything.  The blog is beginning to grow slowly, almost on its own so now I find myself looking at scheduling things in advance to give me a little more time to write and get things rolling around here.  Wish me luck in getting into the swing of things!

 

 

Spring Has Sprung at The Lair

Around here, Spring and Fall are a big deal.  Spring is the time for Spring Cleaning and recovering from the cold winter months when no one feels like doing much of anything except trying to stay warm.

The cleaning inside has been in full swing for a couple of weeks already.  Easter, which our family still celebrates because of Squishy, is next Sunday, so now the crunch to get the outside ready has begun in earnest.

Squishy Easter 2016
Squishy Easter 2016

We already have a cook-out planned, which is pretty much a tradition.  Easter is usually our first “true” cookout of the year.  Squishy did a good job last year hunting eggs for the first time with minimal assistance, so we’re hoping that this year she’ll be even more independent with it.

Squishy did a good job last year hunting eggs for the first time with minimal assistance, so we’re hoping that this year she’ll be even more independent with it.

Notice the red cheeks?  Yeah, she’s like her GiGi when it comes to being outside in the heat.  We’re not a heat-resistant bunch, so I’m hoping it’s not quite as hot this year as it was last year.

Of course, we’ll have a dinner for Ostara more around the 19th, but that’s usually a smaller affair and a good excuse to cook some of my favorites like ham and deviled eggs. For Easter, we’ll be grilling steaks that my Dad has generously offered to provide.

For Easter, we’ll be grilling steaks that my Dad has generously offered to provide along with my homemade baked beans and potato salad.

I’m itching to start planting things and buying plants for the porch.  I haven’t really felt capable of caring for plants since the accident and this will be the first year that I’ve really thought seriously about replacing all the things that died while I was recovering.

Sage, rosemary, and lavender are all on my list of things I want to grow.  I’m thinking of drying the sage and rosemary to make smudge wands and the lavender will help keep the mosquitoes off the porch some.

What kinds of things do you do in the Spring and how does your family celebrate Easter/Ostara?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below!