Friday, September 21, 2012

The Unconventionals Make a Move

The Unconventional Kids - September 2012 in a kitchen table hideout at Four Sisters Farm
The Unconventionals have moved...they are now several states away for the time being.  Before they left, Pop and I got to have them overnight.  We picked them up on Sunday evening and I got to play with them on Monday since Pop had to go to work.

We tried to cram in as many things that we love about the farm into a short amount of time...we played basketball, rode the go kart, made a hideout, baked some zucchini/pear bread, made some pie crust cinnamon and sugar crunchies (since they won't be at our annual family fall party), had pancakes (made in shapes, of course) for breakfast, invited cousins out to play, climbed trees, swung on the swings, played with the kittens, and of course, played our own "alphabet game" at bedtime.

We were in constant motion...all feeling the uncertainty of the upheaval in our lives.  The stress on the kids showed itself in fussing and fighting and being annoying to one another.  I fought my own emotional battles while they were here.

I alternately enjoyed them and wondered what God will do in each of them through the move and time away from family. I met their needs for food, clean clothing, and tended to the usual scratches and scrapes that come with playing at the farm.  I love to care for them and listen to them and watch them as they grow. I hugged them close, wanting to make the move go away; while knowing that Doc and DW are doing exactly what God is calling them to do.

I often have delayed reactions to big things in my life...sometimes just minutes...other times hours...and once in a while days.  I sometimes employ the "Scarlett O'Hara" principle and tell myself, " I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow. " is more than tomorrow and I'm thinking about things...and crying.  When I met DW to turn over the kiddos,  I hugged her goodbye.  I held onto her tightly and told her I love her.  As we parted I told her that I had the luxury of going home and curling into a ball but she did not.  As it turned out, I didn't have that luxury either - we had forgotten to pack up some important things that the kids had brought with them...the most important being a "Pop Bear" that one of the unconventionals relies on for comfort.  I drove back to the farm...crying most of the retrieve things are drive them to the Unconventionals Kansas home.  It afforded me another hug for Lou, DW and Doc (the other kids were sound asleep already).  I held myself together and drove back to the farm again...and delayed my emotional breakdown until yesterday and today.

Yesterday, Farm Chick told me she wishes she had hugged DW tighter the last time she saw her.  I feel her heart in this statement. Farm Chick knows that DW knows she loves her; but it doesn't hurt to remember at a time like this that we need to take advantage of every moment we are given and risk people thinking we are overly emotional.  We need to take the time to love and laugh and help and remind our loved ones how important they are to us.  We are given no guaranties for more time on this earth.

I look forward to seeing the Unconventionals via Skype and when they come for visits or we go there.  I know it isn't "forever" and I know we will all be okay.  It just stings a bit right now.  Pop and I moved our girls multiple times as they were growing and put our families and friends through this same type of grief...but it does pass...and reunions are sweet.  I trust God with them and I trust them to do what God calls them to do.

I choose to employ my "heavenly thinking" now instead of my flawed earthly thinking. I am grateful to God for the gift of His Son, Jesus that offers us eternal life where there will be no more separation from the ones we love.  No more tears when someone leaves.  No more worry about how they are.  I'm looking forward to that as I deal with the emotion of today.

DW texted to let me know they were enroute and I replied, "You go with God." What a blessing to know that is true.  Enjoy Indiana, Unconventionals.  Do well.  Have fun. We will see you soon, Lord willing.

I love you all.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect

Just so you know, not everything I do here at Four Sisters Farms turns out perfectly (or even perfectly imperfect).  Sometimes, I fail.  Farm Chick doesn't delight in my failures but recently I shared one of my attempts in my home decor venture that was pretty bad and she said she was glad things don't always work out for me...she said it makes her feel a little better about things.  I got to thinking about one really likes anyone who appears perfect from every angle, right?  In our right minds, we know that no one is perfect regardless of how perfect things appear.

We have all had those thoughts about someone who looks like they have it all together...a house straight from Better Homes and Gardens, children who look like models from The Gap, husbands who stay in top physical condition and help with the children and listen to their every get the picture.

I have a great life.  I am blessed. But I am far from perfect and I like it that way.  I like trying new and different things and love succeeding as much as anyone.  However, I have to say that as I've matured, I recognize that my failures teach me much.  I have learned that there is no such thing as perfect apart from God.  He is perfect and one day I will be made perfect in Him...but not in this life.

All that to say, I just had to share an "epic" fail with you.  I call it the The Great Dye Debacle.

Pop and I bought a set of sheets for our bed recently...the most expensive set of sheets we have ever bought.  It was on sale but it was still expensive.  It is quality.


after only using them for a short time, I ruined them.

I washed a load of RED towels and rag rugs one day.  (You know where I am going with this already, don't you?) Then I started the next load of my cherished, expensive, nearly new white sheets.  Yep.  When I went to move them from the washer to the dryer they were a beautiful shade of pastel pink sheets.  Really?????

Well...that is only the first part of this epic fail story.  I decided I would just dye them a shade of tan.  Tan would work with the color scheme.  I could live with tan.  I did my research and purchased a popular brand of dye.  I followed the instructions as well as I could.

Since I was dying 100% cotton, the instructions said to use salt in the dying process.   So I did.  But the salt refused to dissolve.  So I even put it on the stove top and boiled it.  Still, the salt did not dissolve.  I don't know if our water had anything to do with it, but there was a grotesque scum on the top of the, I did my best.

I poured the dye mixture out of the pan, trying to keep the scum and the undissolved salt in the pan and instead of counting my loss and abandoning the process, I went ahead with it.

Here is a picture of our sheets after being dyed...they are sort of tie-dyed, bohemian chic.  Don't you think?

Oh well.  Next I will try to dye them brown.  Until then, we will sleep on them.  They don't bother me at all in the dark.  Stay tuned.  

My attempt to dye white sheets (that were accidentally dyed pink) to a tan shade.  Fail. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Girls, Grasshoppers and Go Karts

My friends, Jewel and Daina came to Four Sisters Farm for a visit recently.  It has been a hot and dry summer and the grasshoppers are bad...really bad!

No one really enjoys grasshoppers jumping on them but Jewel really hates them...she hates them so much that she thought up a way to keep them from joining us in the go kart.  Check out our very "smart" go kart windshield!!  Go, Jewel!!

We enjoyed our rides nearly grasshopper free...but not excitement free!  Daina is a fun-loving friend but Jewel (the quiet one) is the true sport...she goes where few dare to into the almost dry pond...while Daina was at the wheel!!  Ha!!  Then, a little later Jewell grabbed the wheel again to force a donut spin with Daina screaming all the way.

I knew nothing about go karts when we moved to the farm, but Pop knows some stuff...and he taught me how to avoid rolling over the go kart and, yes, how to do I sometimes share that mad skill with my friends.

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
(Proverbs 27:9 NIV)