The times, they are a changin’.

Big changes are afoot.  Lots of things have been happening around here the last while.
Major one, medical stuff for me.  Finally found a naturopathic doc that just felt right (well, and I came across him when I *really* started looking – like a case of the right place at the right time).

I’m hypothyroid, and can check off like 35 items on the 50 symptom checklist.  But the first time we got bloodwork, my levels were completely within the “normal” range.  Most regular docs in my area diagnose based on the blood tests, the actual symptoms aren’t a big deal.

Also, ended up with stage two adrenal fatigue.  Super fun.   The doc has had me on a whole basket of tinctures and the occasional medication.  It’s incredibly slow going with the healing, especially since we’re trying to get my body to get back to it’s normal.  Rather than put a band-aid on it.  At least, that’s what I’m attempting.  Ideally, I won’t be on medications in a year or two, but until then, there’s a basket and my phone alarm going off throughout the day to remind me to take something.

Another major change is that after years of unschooling/homeschooling, the kids are in public school this year.  Has been a little rough here and there, but they’re doing well.  A few struggles with figuring out the pecking order with new kids, plus the fairly rigid schedule it imposes on their days (let alone our family life).  Halfway through the year, the teachers have had good things to say about them.  I’m totally cool with that.  It’s also a trip that the teachers seem to like us because we’re concerned about the kids/how to help them be successful/not blaming the teacher for whatever reason.  We know our kids, they have strengths and weaknesses just like every other human being.  We’re  not going to make excuses for their bad behavior or blame it *all* on the teacher (at least not without good cause!).  Sigh.  Makes me cringe that so many teachers are blamed for things like that nowadays.

We also totally lucked out that we’re districted for one of the best elementary schools in the county, and the principal is fabulous.  She’s super picky, all over the best interests of kids, and I swear she almost lives at the school since she’s always there.  Some of the things she’s talked about that she’s had to do, wow.  She’s got her *bleep* together.  The 12yo’s 5th grade teacher is also great.  I had some reservations about him at first because he was rather laid back, just rolling with stuff (plus he and his wife homeschool their own kids).  But he’s the absolute perfect teacher for this kid of mine.  Trying different tactics to get kiddo to open up/be more confident, he has fairly fun assignments every so often (man, his version of book reports is so much more awesome than the boring ones I had to do years ago!), and he’s even cool with the kid doing a bunch of projects with Legos.  Like the fully erupting volcano with geologist team at the base of the mountain – that was the first model/project of the year for my kid.  It was so popular that we had to keep driving him to school so he could go show off the erupting Lego volcano to other classrooms.  You don’t even want to know how many times we’ve accidentally forgotten this child at school since they normally take the bus.  Whoops.  At least he’s old enough that they can put him to work when it takes us some time to get down to the school to snag him.  Last time, they had him helping put together the bouncy houses for Family Fun Night.  Yeah, I feel like a stellar parent for forgetting my child at school.  Sigh.  At least it’s the oldest one and not the youngest one

Following the whole school thing, I’ve had some time, not much (kids in school have me running around even more!), but some, to do things for myself.  Shopping for cute clothes at Goodwill, getting my doctor/dentist appointments taken care of, dropping in on friends every so often and being able to help out occasionally, lunch dates with the hubby, grocery shopping alone, it’s been nice to have a chance to do things for me.  Also coming up I’m thinking of joining a women’s club at a local gun range, and I have my first ever therapist appointment coming up.  I have a lot of issues from my past I need to finish facing head on, and get better at how I approach things.  There’s a lot there down that slippery slope, but suffice it to say, things are going to change.  😀

Garden time already?

What on earth?! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten part of the garden in this early. Partly because of weather, partly because of laziness. The kids helped me get the northern raised bed done (well, they gave it about an 80% effort). Then I attacked half of the herb bed – pulling out weeds among the randomness I’ve put in there on purpose.

As much as I’d love to have a beautiful, perfect garden with rows or little bunches here or there, that’s not us. I plant where I have room, I detest weeding, and I want to get as much out of the yard as I possibly can. So, yup. It looks nuts.

But. I got things planted! I need to make sure it’s the arnica that took over one corner of the herb bed, the horehound/gravelrooot (I think, again) is starting to pop up. A bunch of apple smelling chamomile already came up, and is about to flower! Seeded the empty spaces there with even more chamomile (not sure we could end up with too much!), planted a few lupine seeds to appease my daughter, planted some lettuce, Parisienne carrots, and Szechuan red radishes. Plus sage that came back gangbusters, as did the comfrey, and we’ll see if the motherwort survived me when I get it in the ground.

In the front by the garage, my lamb’s ear (natural band aids!), comfrey, and horehound have come back, plus with a random tulip (I’ll take it!). They overwintered quite well.

Then the bed we yanked most things out of…
Left day lilies in the middle (of course), the overwintered shallots, the kale that overwintered and went to seed, and the random parsley that came out. Then, my girl helped me plant: Lisbon bunching onions, Vates blue curled kale, Grand Rapids lettuce, Oxheart carrots (supposed to be great for clay soils!) Jutrzenka radishes, golden beets, Slo Bolt lettuce, Green Zebra tomatoes (at 9yo’s request), two cages of melting sugar snap peas, Opolanka radishes, Walla Walla onions (this is a crapshoot, the seeds were home-saved, and a few years old), then above the shallots I just sprinkled seeds for calendula and Nevada lettuce all over the place and hoped for the best.

Good news, we got a bunch done, especially for my usual lack of energy (sidenote, which seems to be coming around, at least according to my last doctor appt!). So yay, progress!

I also cracked the whip on the kids and made them help me with stuff in the laundry room – because putting lint into toilet paper tubes is akin to child abuse to them. Sigh. I stained the shelves to go in the shower stall, they’ve basically been curing in the garage for a few days. So hubby will get those up so I can put away certain things there. Then I need to frantically catch up on laundry, and have him disconnect the dryer so I can get back there and finish painting that corner of the laundry room. Maybe even disconnect the washer, not sure yet. Still need to finish painting back there, regardless.

Hubby’s also been making progress on the entryway. Lots dug out. He put in new posts to hold up that roof. Now he’s working on gravel and leveling things out to start placing the edging stones for the different tiers.

There’s also been in-law drama the last few weeks, so that’s been fun. Things are a changin’. But anyway. Now to get the rest of the yard whipped into shape… need to put down weed cloth in the greenhouse and put some wood chips down on top (the weeds were insane there). Need to put chemicals on the Canadian thistle. And so on. It never ends. 🙂

Finally got some snow

This year’s family photo.  That actually has all of us in it.  Wanted to get a photo of us running from Sue, but this was all the kids had patience for.  Plus, it was a holiday week so the museum was freakin’ packed.  We’re used to being the only five people in the place and having our run of it, not in a sea of hundreds.

Had a low-key Christmas.  Hubby got me a really cool recipe box, all personalized and such.  Kids got a rockin’ new go-kart, it’s bigger than the old one, so they can use it for forever.  So we have one the younger three can use, and one the 6+yo set can use.  Was so funny on Christmas (or the day after?) when hubby took it for a spin around the neighborhood.  He was pedaling down the street, steering with one hand, sipping his coffee with the other.  An SUV followed him down the street for a few houses before ours.  Their mouths were agape, and they both rubber-necked as they drove past us.  It was so amusing.  The kids love it.  Grandma got them a bucket as well, so they can shovel the driveway for us, and hubby has a local fabricator making chains for us.