Category Archives: My Two Cents

The Stages of Parenting

So in 33 days, Aubrey, my youngest of four children, will graduate from high school. The realization that I am on the cusp of another major life change, has got me thinking a lot about the stages of parenting we move through. I have been parenting for 26 years! How is that possible? (Rhetorical question LOL)

These 26 years have been equally hard, and wonderful. We have been through many hard trials; two divorces, a new marriage, my DH being deployed in the Navy and gone much of the time for the first seven years of our marriage,  the death of my older children’s father, a cross-country move while the older two were in college, and the younger two were in high school and middle school, and Aubrey having two major hip surgeries this past year. But through each trial, no matter how hard, we have kept our sense of humor, and we have remained a family, who loves one another unconditionally. There have also been wonderful successes too; my oldest daughter Amalie graduated from college, spent ten months in Europe, and after not being able to find a good job when she returned, applied to, was accepted to, and graduated from, Navy Officer’s Candidate School. She is currently an Ensign serving aboard the USS Carney. My middle daughter Annabelle graduated from high school, and finished her first year of college at NMSU with a 4.0 and enough credits to be a second semester sophomore. She is taking a break from college, to follow her dream of being a model, and was recently signed with a modeling agency in NYC. My son Derek has been a late bloomer but remains one of the hardest working people I know. He is also one of the most thoughtful and caring people I know. And the baby chile, Aubrey is contemplating fashion design as a career, and will take some college courses during her “break”. She has had a very difficult year due to the hip surgeries, but throughout all of that, she maintained a 4.0 or higher all year. She remains a hardworking and focussed individual.

My four are my most amazing accomplishments, they are all strong, independent and loving beings.  Even though we are a blended family, my four think of each other as siblings, not “half” anything. They love each other unconditionally, it is so amazing to see them together!

But now, since my youngest will be graduating from high school and moving back East to live with her Dad and Step-Mom, My DH and I will finally be in the kid-free zone,  “Empty-Nesters”! What exactly does that mean? Granted there will be no children living here, so no physical presence, but do children really ever leave you? I know mine are in my thoughts constantly whether they a “here” or not. So I am not sure that term applies to anything more than physical presence. And what are the “benes” of being an “Empty-nester”? My DH pointed out the other evening, that for him, it means he can run around the house dressed, or undressed, however he pleases (BG) . I hardly think that is the sum total of the benefits. I did think of another benefit, as my youngest is the pickiest eater of the bunch, DH and I can now finally eat the foods we like and not worry about whether she will eat what I fix. in addition, since my husband is a great forager, I will no longer be expected to cook every night. I will not miss the pathetic looking child asking, “Are you cooking tonight?” after I have been working hard all day outside. But this is not REALLY a benefit, since most nights I LOVE to cook.

For me, honestly, this whole empty nest thing will take some getting used to, because I will miss not having any of my children here. It will be a huge adjustment for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were days during these 26 years when I thought, “Why did I have children?” “What was I thinking?” And I would dream about this day! But then I look at them and who they have become and I realize it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears to raise these kids. Recently, A dear friend of mine sent me a note. She had seen Annabelle at the restaurant where she works, and said, ” What a polite and beautiful young woman!! I could still see that sweet little girl I once met so long ago. You are a wonderful woman Margy and I can see the beauty you passed onto your kids ♥ children truly are our legacy…” Such an amazing and wonderful compliment and validation for all the hard work. As for having children and being a parent for 26 years, nope I would not change that for all the money in the world!

My Kids - Aubrey, Amalie, Derek and Annabelle

So, I look forward to this new stage in my life, with a wee bit of fear, but I will watch my children’s journeys, knowing that I could not have loved them any better.

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“Grow Where You Are Planted”

“Grow Where You Are Planted”. These five little words have so much depth to them! This quote has been a favorite of mine for many years. I have moved a bit over the years, and this has a special meaning to me. Because every where I have moved, I have tried to make the best of things. I have tried to focus on the good, I have not always been successful, but I have tried. I also believe that this means that where ever we are, we should improve ourselves, our environment, our lives. For me that translates into planting many beautiful growing things, cleaning up, fixing up, and making things better. But I think the most important thing it means to me is, we are each of us, responsible for our own happiness. So it is up to us to live in the here and now, to find our bliss, be happy and grow! I know I need reminding of this regularly and now I have one:

When I was searching where this quote came from I found there is much confusion as to it’s roots. It has been listed as a proverb, listed as originating from a bible chapter, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, from Psalm 1.3, attributed to kitsch artist Mary Engelbreit, and St. Francis de Sales. Of all the roots I found,  I think I prefer St. Francis de Sales quote the best:

“Truly charity has no limit; for the love of God has been poured into our hearts
by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us, calling us to a life of devotion and inviting us to bloom in the garden where He has planted and directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence.”

And while I am talking about planting and growing, I finally got to make use of one of my Christmas presents from my dear friend Kathleen.

It is called a “Topsy Turvey Strawberry Planter”. “Grow baby, Grow!”:

Ahhhhh…

After a successful and wonderfully enjoyable afternoon of shopping with my Darling Daughter Aubrey we returned home with our bounty. As it was a beautiful, sunny, and warm day out here, the first place we went was to Parker’s Nursery. It is an oasis of green and flowers nestled within a sea of brown and dry that we have out here just now. I will return in two weeks to purchase my lavender and daisy plants and will share pics then. It is a wonderful breath of fresh air and Spring in the High Plains. We were able to purchase a Narrowleaf Cottonwood tree, a Lalandei Firethorn bush,  some strawberry plants, and my tomato plants. I will be planting the whole mess tomorrow, but with Aubrey’s help, it will be enjoyable. She will be graduating from high school soon, and returning back to Pennsylvania to live with her father for a year, so each day I have to spend with her is a gift.

I could spend hours at perusing seed catalogs, visiting nurseries, and planning our gardens, but I must be honest with myself, it is a lot of work to plant all of the things I wish to grow! I usually end up with sore knees, back and shoulders. Usually a hot shower helps, but this afternoon I found something even better, hence my title of “Ahhhhh”. We had to stop at Costco to pick up a few things, and there they were, right inside the door! What is this magical body restoring miracle? Anti-gravity Lounge chairs! I have been wanting to purchase a couple of these for a long time, and today was my lucky day, the price was right! Aubrey and I set them up when we returned home and tried them, and they were awesome! After just a short half hour relaxing in this lounge chair, I felt relaxed. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow after our marathon planting day. To me, it is funny how a little thing can make such a big difference. Stay tuned, I will post pics of the “Big Plant” tomorrow, after I spend some time in my Anti-Gravity Lounge Chair!

Diet Redux

A Blessed good morning to all! In my journey to live healthier and more intentionally, I have been reading a lot about nutrition. And what I keep reading is this: the right foods can heal and prevent so many medical conditions that plague people these days. So after spending a few months researching nutrition, and talking to a very good friend of mine who is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I decided to make changes. Anytime you make dietary changes for your family, it is a paradigm shift. And that shift can cause some issues. I happen to have a rather picky teenage eater still at home, and not all the changes have been welcomed with open arms by her. So my advice, make changes slowly if you make them, and give them time to get used to new foods.

When our society was mostly agrarian, we did not have as many health issues. People worked hard, played hard and ate whole foods. They ate whole raw milk, real butter, whole grains, fresh vegetables, fresh meats and cheese. If one lived on a coast and fished for a living, there was fresh fish. We ate what we raised or caught, or grew, or gathered. And we were healthy! Then our society changed, and more and more people moved from farms, women started working outside the home, and we opted for convenience instead of healthy. I am a guilty as anyone, after spending hours at work, when I was raising my four kids, I rarely felt inspired to cook. And there was little time to raise our own food.

We have made some major changes in our diet here in the last few months, including adding cultured vegetables, sprouted grains, sourdough breads, organic greens greens greens, and organic whole milk and real butter. We are also giving some new grains a try, including Buckwheat (which is not a wheat at all), Amaranth, Quinoa, and Millet. We will be adding Royal Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend to our supplement regimen, which include Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex and Body Ecology Green Superfood.  My research also included learning to make things the “old way” by cooking from scratch. I am learning to make my own sourdough starter, butter, Kefir, buttermilk, stock, etc. I have been grinding my own grain for several years, and love the results! Recently, I purchased a food dehydrator, a good stock pot,  a butter churn and a pressure canner. It is an financial investment to purchase these items, they are not cheap, but they will last us for a long time. I have used all but the pressure canner so far, but am looking forward to canning what I am growing this summer!

This week I have made Sourdough starter and will be baking some rolls this afternoon using it. I also soaked and sprouted some Soft White Wheat berries and they are in the dehydrator as we speak, tomorrow they will be ground for flour. It is a process that takes a couple days, but it is well worth it as the nutritional value is high. The soaking and sprouting begins the enzymatic breakdown of the protein gluten and renders it more digestible. This is great for those of us who have an issue digesting some grains. See this reference on the nutritional information and uses for the different types of wheat:

http://www.somethingbetternaturalfoods.com/sitebuildercontent

/sitebuilderfiles/nutrition_grains_wheat_berries_soft_white_spring_og.pdf

I have recently purchased these “Handy Pantry Sprouting” wheat berries from Living Whole Foods, Inc., off www.amazon.com for sprouting then grinding to flour. I have tried both kinds and both sprouted perfectly!

Here is a pic of my now soaked and sprouted grains in the food dehydrator:

They will be ready tomorrow for grinding into flour. After trying some of these things the last few months. I am impressed with the process in making things from scratch. There is a feeling of comfort to it and a feeling of connection to my food I have not felt in a long time. I really believe food should not only feed your body, it should also feed your soul. Thanks for reading and Enjoy your day!

And so I begin…

It had to happen sooner or later. As of today, I join the ranks of bloggers. Living out here in the middle of nowhere, with very little face to face contact with other people save for occasional trips to the feed store, grocery store, etc., I do not get to chat much. So I will chat here, and if you enjoy what thoughts I share, please feel free to chat back. Who am I? I am a wife , a mother of four children, a nature lover, an animal lover, I am spiritual and am basically happy. I retired from education several years ago, and am a full time mother and care taker of our farm. I tend to be open minded, fairly opinionated, and mostly a “shoot from the hip” kinda gal. I live out on the high plains of New Mexico with my husband, and youngest daughter. We live on a small hobby farm “Grey Wolf Farm” (named after my husband who turned gray first <insert evil grin here>) We have five horses, two donkeys, five dogs, and two cats. I raise some of our own food, veggies, and some fruit, all grown organically. Lately I have been learning the “old ways” of doing things, making my own butter, grinding my own grain, making things from scratch. I am finding that it is very rewarding. I love to cook, bake, weave and read.  And now I hit the publish button and send this out into the ether of the internet, there is a certain amount of bravery involved in this process.

Me and one of our five horses, Monte