The first thing that happened was I blew the brake lines out on my car. It's an old car and not really worth putting any significant money into repairs. Since I opted for semi-retirement last year and discovered I didn't have nearly enough money to get by on comfortably, I had to go without a vehicle until I could find a good deal on another used car. Have I mentioned I LIVE IN THE COUNTRY! That freed up a whole lot of time I would have used for last minute Christmas shopping.
The second life altering event was getting caught between internet providers. I cancelled the original service only to discover that the new provider was at capacity for customers and I would have to wait and wait and wait until they could determine whether they could get me enough signal, send someone out to test and set up an appointment for installation. Did I have any options to waiting weeks for service? No, because I LIVE IN THE COUNTRY!
I decided to zen out about it all and assume this was a sign that I should slow down and reassess my daily life. What did I want to keep and what did I want to let go? What did I enjoy and what did I do out of habit? What makes me happy and what has become a burden?
I discovered things I had no idea were going on in the house. The mystery of why the onions I planted weren't growing was explained by seeing where Clara Jane chooses to take her afternoon nap.
The unseasonably warm weather we've had here in Ontario gave me a third harvest of lavender on the 23rd. of December! ~
Now, there was time to take the lavender buds off all the bundles I had drying and the fragrant stems are in a basket by the woodstove to add a little something special to the evening fire. ~
I'm minding two little girls, one and two years old, each Monday for a friend. Their regular babysitter can't take them that day for awhile. I'm sure it was a shock to them to discover they were in a house with no cable TV. But, the age old things that have entertained children for generations still work.
We baked Christmas cookies. ~
They taught me there is no such thing as too many sparkles. ~
Clara Jane learned that the safest place in a house with two toddlers is the top of the fridge. The one-year-old learned to say, "Tzee tzee (kitty) is high! ~
Serves Clara Jane right for killing my onions!
There was time to devote to a grandson that chose to come for a five-day visit. This is a big step for him for, although he is a teenager, he has many developmental and emotional issues and has not stayed away from home before. It was quiet here and no car meant no running around to entertain him and that stopped any chance of sensory overload for him. We did fine together and he was making plans for a month-long summer visit before he left. In fact, he decided it would be best if I left the house to him in my will and he could move in and take care of my cats and chickens. I kind of like that plan. He's an old hand at chicken keeping and the cats love him.
I'm glad I've had this time to gather my thoughts together and begin the new year in a more conscious way. One thing I know for sure is I'll block out lots of time for whatever kids need me.
And, I know you'll still get lots of chicken posts because slowing down reminded me of how much I like to go out into the dusk and see the trees silhouetted against the sky as I put my girls to bed for the night.
Nothing calms the soul more than the cooing of happy chickens as they settle down for the night.
I think this past month I have been cooing in the evening myself!