Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I think this is the right word.  If we were playing Taboo or Catch Phrase, I'd say, "It's that thing when you've thrown yourself so far into taking care of a baby or toddler that you kind of forget who you are and when you're apart for a spell you don't quite know how to think or act.  You know, it's when you know you're in there- you're not really lost- you're just surrounded by the you that takes care of the them?"

And you'd yell, "Encapsulated!" and we'd win the game because we're like sisters like that.

I'm not sure what age my youngest becomes when those encapsulating layers peel off, but since my kids are generally about three years apart, I know it happens close to or just about prior to age three.  Or maybe that last layer or two wasn't quite free before the next one came along.  Either way, the me starts to shine through the me-caring-for-them at some stage.  I know it does.  I've caught glimpses of her over the years.  Yes, I have.

It's just amazing how those layers pile back on. They form a nice, thick blanket of wondering if they're eating enough and if they might be teething and what was that thing they just put in their mouth and are they getting enough attention and are we spoiling them know- the constant mom-mantra-thought-stream that runs through our heads.  You know it, right?

The thing is, I feel quite naked without those layers.  I don't think it's because I'm uncomfortable with the me underneath (although when we get get reacquainted each time it takes a bit to fall back in sync).  I think I'm just wired to nurture.  And I recognize that not everyone might be.  It's my experience that it's a gift...and it's a bit of a curse because it can be hard to take care of a person who is surrounded by cushion-y layers of baby-need-thought-sequences.  So, maybe I don't take care of myself as well as I should (eating well, exercising, time for quiet and prayer).  Maybe I don't write as often as I'd like.  Or call up friends as much as they'd like.

So, what do I do about all this?  I need to find a way to burrow a little hole through the layers and into the soft, squishy center inside.  A tiny laundry chute, let's say- where I can pass myself some raw carrots and a walk on the treadmill now and then.  Where I can reach out through to my keyboard and type a quick (likely, oddly written) post about who knows what.

I don't want to become de-encapsulated quite yet.  It's not time.  But that girl in there could sure use some fresh air now and again. Snorkel, anyone?
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Projects Galore

 selling sunflowers (again)- this time to help raise funds toward a short-term medical missions trip

Sadie has taken over chicken duty (all 15 made the photo)

 It worked! Two years after planting three vines, we're harvesting and eating red, seedless grapes (with no spray).

 settling in- the smoke house now has a porch, post and stone foundation, stone step and slide. Because what smoke house is not complete without a slide?

this year's garden- mostly weeds and a few vegetables (with a new gate)

preparing for new siding: tearing down an old, unused chimney 

 slowly turning a multi-use barn into a buggy shed (for cars)

assembled hand-me-down trampoline 

the last two weeks of summer- finally some time to start quilting it

constructing a "Children's Zoo"- very important work, indeed
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