Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Planting pansies again

I visited a greenhouse today with Raccoon and Kitty. He was on a mission to find the largest spikey plant we could afford. I was hoping for an apple tree and Kitty just wanted to carry off any plant she could get her hands on.

Then I saw it, a table full of pansies. They were my first favorite flower, I even have pansies on my wedding dishes, but I have not thought of them in years. They are not common here, unlike in the U.S., so it felt like a message just for me. Somehow, a reminder of something important that I'd lost.

To be continued...

Monday, May 26, 2014

New Header by Raccoon

When I load pictures onto my computer, I continue to find surprises from Raccoon. The new header is our cat, Sunflower, running away from him in our front yard. A creative angle I would say. :)

For my records, this is the old blog look:

Happy Monday to all! Two weeks from today my parents come. I am VERY excited. I'm not sure our guest room will be done by then, but wherever we all end up sleeping, we will be together.

Friday, May 23, 2014

South American Sledding

I had promised Raccoon that I would jump on the trampoline with him while Kitty napped. When she woke up just a few minutes into her nap, I suddenly had two grumpy kids on my hands. A little cardboard, a hill of dirt, and pretty soon we were all laughing.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rescue Part II: Now what?

It's taken almost a month, but we finally found Storm waiting for us when we got home from church. At first I just fed her on the street, then she'd come in the yard to eat but leave again, then she started hanging around if we were home, but today she stayed without us. If she's still here in the morning, I'd say she's finally chosen us as home.

One of my gifts is mercy. I love the transformation from abandoned to belonging and well taken care of. The only problem is, now we have FOUR dogs. And three cats. I've never had seven pets before. Mercy can create a lot of work.

I call her Storm because she reminds me that with Jesus' help, storms pass and healing comes. Raccoon says her full name is Storm Lightning. He and Kitty both have taken Storm on as their favorite.

The vet says she needs an ultrasound to see the cause of the fluid build-up in her abdomen but that most likely she'll die or have to be put down.

She seems happier every day. She was barking at my cats today, much to their disgust, and she even tries to run. She seems to be feeling better, not worse. I don't have the heart to put her down just when she is enjoying doggy life for the first time.

My prayer is that she'll be like Lazarus, our chick who got chewed on by a dog. Raccoon found her just in time, her head in the neighbor dog's mouth. He gave the chick to me, confident I could make it better. The dog had chewed through the skin on her neck, but she wasn't bleeding much. I didn't want to kill her after Raccoon's daring rescue, so I put her in the henhouse, expecting to find her dead in the morning.

Much to our surprise, she was still clucking and has made a full recovery, so I named her Lazarus. I couldn't possibly eat her now so I hope she lays eggs. A pet chicken in my neighborhood would be something of a culture shock to my neighbors.

I have been this way as long as I can remember, highly tuned in to animals and their suffering. As a child I couldn't do anything about it, and I found it embarrassing since I often seemed to be the only one who felt such deep compassion for the animal world. I have long favored the underdog. As a child, I wanted to work with animals, but later I felt that I should focus on people instead since we have souls and our eternal future is in question. That's when I chose working with abandoned children as my life's calling.

But that door has been shut in my life, no orphanage or adoptions, so I'm back to rescuing animals.

There is a little girl down the road from us who needs rescuing too, from what I've heard around the neighborhood. The only problem is, people are much, much more complicated.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hello SPD

I had sort of forgotten that you're still hanging around my family. The many accomodations I make seem semi-normal now. I think I might have even hoped that you'd gone away. But today, as my son couldn't eat his picnic lunch because the grass was bothering him beyond all reason, I realized that you are still here with us.
A tired mama

Raccoon has been sick for about two weeks with a cough, runny nose, occasional fever, and just all around miserableness. Illness turns his super-senses into hyper-nothing-can-calm-me-down-everything-is-too-much meltdowns.

Then I feel like a failure as a parent. How did my son turn into this difficult little person. Where did I go wrong?

Then I remind myself that yes, there are things to work on, but I can't rewire his body. Living in his own skin is hard enough most days and he's doing the best he can not to lose it.

Help me, Lord, to give him the input that he needs and to limit the things that make us all come undone. And please restore our health and normal-for-us days.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The little things

There are bigs things going on in my life, projects and people things, but it is the little things that I like to write about.

I felt so blessed today, leaning up against the fence at dusk with Kitty on my hip. Together we watched our neighbor gather her nine cows and send them home. The hour before dark is my favorite part of the day. Kitty and I feed the chickens and shut the door to the henhouse. We water some trees and walk the fence. Every now and then we chase the neighbor's dog back under the fence, much to Kitty's delight.

We have all changed in the three months we've been here. We are blooming.
I love our land. There are problems and troubles, but underneath it all I feel joy and peace with where we are right now. It's a wonderful life and I am so, so thankful.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rescues: Storm and Gerry

Gerry wandered into our house one day a few weeks ago, chewed up and starving. He meowed for two days straight. We weren't sure what to do besides feed him and love him. Finally he settled down and has won over our other two cats.

Storm is just starting to stay around after feeding her for two weeks whenever she came by. Her abdomen is swollen and she's been abandoned for ahwile now. A vet saw her on Saturday and we're going to see what we can do within our budget.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I read this tonight on the Greater Joy Mom blog:

"We have looked back at our former life and thought too many times to count, “Maybe God wants us to go back?”  “Did we make a mistake?”  “What if we have completely missed God’s still small voice leading us in this?”  There have been days when God has been so silent in the storm…yet, He is there!"

This resonated with me because the King and I (love typing that) have been asking ourselves the same questions. Did we make a mistake coming back here? Why have things been so hard?

It has felt like God has been silent while we've struggled. But tonight as I read this, I felt peace. The Lord is working on our behalf, even if we don't always see or feel it.

Years ago, I wandered away from the Lord, even as I thought I was fulfilling the calling He gave me. Since then, I question myself a lot, wondering if I'm pursuing my will or His. I have a gift (and a curse) of making things go my way and getting what I want. My brother said he could never figure out why I had such a charmed life. But as an adult I have suffered plenty due to my willful and selfish ways.

I am confessing this here because I am trying to change, with the Lord's help. But when things seemed to be going all wrong, I wondered if I had done it again, gone my own way instead of following my Lord.

Tonight the Light shined (shone?) through the stormclouds and I heard His whisper "I will provide all you need right where you are. Stay the course. I have placed you here at this time for My purpose."

I am so relieved to feel confirmation of our being here that I'm almost giddy. I still mess up plenty, but this time, unlike years ago, I didn't Mess Up. Phew.

A friend came over tonight, and she clearly heard the good news of Christ. It made me so happy to share my faith with her (with my husband's help - he's the evangelist in the family. I feel things deeply but I have trouble sharing my heart spontaneously. I do much better if I can write out my thoughts.).

Perhaps the Lord brought us back just to share with her, alhough I feel like there is much more to come. The King mentioned the other day that he could see himself as an old man here on our land. I'm not even sure what so many years in one place would look like. My tumbleweed past cannot fathom such a thing, even as my heart longs for it.

I am typing this on my phone which is no easy feat, so I will conclude. I feel trememdously encouraged (despite still being sick) and I hope that when I share this with the King tomorrow, he will feel encouraged too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Being the mom of littles is hard

There are no sick days.

There are no lunch breaks.

You have to hide in the bathroom for a few moments of privacy.

And you can probably tell from the whiney tone of this post that I am sick. Sore throat, fever, body ache, exhaustion, the works. Somebody pause the world and let me sleep for a day, please?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Sermon

My husband preached today on what to do when life feels overwhelming. I wish I could have heard more than the title,  but I was busy being overwhelmed by children. Our home church doesn't have Sunday School yet. I did, however, get to take communion, I heard Raccoon singing for the first time, and Kitty clapped to the beat, so all in all it was a great service.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Testing, Testing

This is my first post from my phone since my laptop refuses to connect to our new wifi.
Now to see if I can add pictures.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Online but out of Oomph

We have high-speed internet! Out here in the sticks, as my fellow Mainiacs would say. Waaaaaaaaay out in the sticks. It's nothing short of a miracle. A neighbor found the company and wanted them to install internet at his house, but he's too low and there's no line of sight with their antenna. So he said, "I have a neighbor who might want internet." They showed up at our door, asked if we wanted internet, and we said, "YES!" Now our little house on the land is just about perfect.

I would like to say that I'll be posting everyday now, but I have gotten out of the habit of writing these last three months. I also have two busy children, three dogs, three cats (a kitten wandered in the other day and decided to stay. Since he looked beat up and starving, we let him stay. Sunflower and Tiger Lily were NOT happy about it, but they are now resigned and only swat him occasionally with their claws so he knows who's top cat), four chickens, and a house that never stays clean. But we are happy and active and about halfway done with the second floor. So exciting.

I was thinking of maybe doing a NaBloPoMo for inspiration. This month's theme is Nourish. I liked that, there are many things in my life that are nourishing my soul right now. Then I looked at the post and read that they're referring to food. Recipes and such. Not my strong point, so I'll pass.

Or maybe do my own...