I'm just a girl trying to find her own custom groove in this world without bending to the expectations of others.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just Like the Pioneers

We've been preparing for winter like little squirrels over here. Just like the first settlers rendered the fat and salted the pork, harvested and canned their vegetables and fruit and chopped and stock piled wood in preparation for the long, cold winters, we've been equally busy stashing away our winter forages too.


We bottled over 30 gallons of beer this past weekend. Wheat, Oktoberfest, Brown Ale, Chai Tea Beer and Red Ale. OH! and we made 20 gallons of hard cider and five gallons of apple wine. We still have to make a couple Christmas beers too. Remember, this isn't all for our consumption. We do give it away as gifts and we have parties. I think we should open our own microbrew pub.

We also spent the weekend canning apples. We got all these apples (for only $20).....

and with the help of my good friend and neighbor.....

We turned them into this - applesauce and dessert apples for pies and such.....
(plus the five gallons of wine)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Paris for the Weekend

During the several weeks when I was gone, I spent a weekend in Paris and the rest of the time jet-setting in Bel Air. Sounds so worldly doesn't it? In reality I spent a weekend canoeing in a backwards little village in Paris, Michigan and rather jet skied in the little knock about town of Bellaire, Michigan where we lived for six weeks. I recorded many things in my journal that I thought I would eventually post about, and maybe I will someday, but not today.

One thing I wanted to do was mention Owen on the anniversary of his death. Somehow not memorializing him on his day was almost as sad as the events of that awful day, but I suppose for healing to occur, you have to let go of some of the pain. So thus, another year has gone and the wound stings a little less. I did find a nice stone and had his name sandblasted on it along with a picture of a lamb to place by the tree we planted in his memory.

Steve is now a senior in high school. The moms out there who have kids graduating or already finished with high school know what I mean when I say how fast the time went, but those with small children look at us and see Steve as an adult and never imagine their own child being that old. I even think that way of Drew while Steve is proof before my eyes that kids grow up so quickly. Steve's a great kid. We've had our share of attitude with him, but the more I observe other teenage boys, I realize how lucky we are. He's a lot of fun to hang out with.

Emily, a freshman now, has received another flattering offer. We were contacted recently by a representative from The People to People Ambassador Program inviting Emily to tour and study in Paris (the real Paris) and Italy for three weeks in 2007. We have a meeting in October, but I'm not certain if I'm going to allow her to go. I would much rather she be a junior or senior for this kind of trip, but I also don't want to rob her of this opportunity. I haven't made up my mind yet.

We received some disappointing information on Drew. The kidney surgery he had last year wasn't as successful as we'd hoped. There's been some improvement, but the stage they are still rating the damage at would require surgery initially in a patient, but he may no longer be a candidate. We're not certain what all this means long term, but more tests are scheduled in November which require sedation. Think of me on November 8. I hate taking him to the hospital.

Work has been crazy. Now that we're pretty much finished with the house up north (we have to go back to install siding) I'm back to ceramic tile. This has been the job that never ends. That's where I'm headed now, so have a grand day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One Year

When you reach a certain age, it seems unlikely that you'll experience a major change in your self. I know a person never quits learning, but the biggest "coming of age" events usually happen sometime in the twenties.

Today's date marks one year since my very first post. When I first started posting, I was intimidated, nervous and self conscious. I never expected to be blogging a year later. Looking back through my posts, I can see how much I've grown over the last year. I kind of came into my own without really knowing it.

The self discovery at times was very painful and I grieved for certain things I had to leave behind in order to move forward. With encouragment and support from a handful of special bloggers, I've been able to arrive at a time in my life where I am excited about the future. There were a great number of years when I didn't have that excitement.

I'd like to personally thank each and every one of my readers - both the faithful that visit every day and those who no longer comment - for your support and patience, honesty and care. I look ahead with hope, excitement and new energy to another year in blogging.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Clear September Sky

Like every American, I remember the events of 9-11 vividly. The shock when a plane crashed into the first tower of the World Trade Center and stunned horror when the second plane hit and the world knew at once that this was no accident.

I grieved with the nation as we waited to hear of survivors. But I'm ashamed to say that I also felt cheated.

I felt cheated out of my own grief. Only a very short month before (to the date), we lost Owen. At that point in my life, I wasn't capable of hurting any more than I already did. And I was extremely upset that the rest of the world had moved on, seemingly without me.

When the events of that day pushed my heartache to the proverbial back burner, something inside me became numb. It didn't seem fair that just because my baby didn't die in a tragedy as great as 9-11 that his death should be forgotten. I felt almost as if people expected me to stop grieving my son and join in a collective grief for our country.

Looking back, I realize how silly that sounds, but in that state of bereavement when nothing makes sense, the feelings were very strong. Still though, on the eve of the anniversary of that fateful day, I feel the emotions pulling their tug of war. I grieve for all of the families who lost loved ones at the hands of terrorists and I grieve for what I lost as well.