Monday, July 29, 2013

A Vision

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." ~ Thomas A. Edison
This week has been a little busy.  I picked up an extra shift at work and altered my schedule around that.  My mother-in-law stayed with my sister-in-law for a week allowing my husband and I a small break from our caregiving roles.  I spent a lot of time regrounding myself with my daily duties and passions.  When I move at a too fast pace some things in my life get pushed to the back burner, such as my poorly neglected plant corner, also known the Jungle.  I watered my plants, and brought each plant out for my mother-in-law's inspection with the Scissors and she is RUTHLESS when it comes to trimming plants.  I have a tremendous ability when applied to help things grow, whether it's plants, animals or people.  My weakness is that sometimes there are some aspects of the living object that need to be adjusted for them to continue their healthy growth, such as plants that need the dead or weakened aspects of the plant removed so that the entire plant can continue to grow.  Enter my mother-in-law, also known as the "little" mother.  That woman is only 5' on a good day, and in her day, as she'll tell you, she was a redhead and was a "little bull headed".  I'm grateful that I'm not a "little bull headed".  As I like to tell my family I balance them out, and then they laugh as I realize that my nose has grown a few inches after that statement and that I might be more stubborn than all of them combined.  I like to say it's misplaced optimism; the hope that never dies.  ;)
    As far as my landscaping goals I've taken a tiny step in that direction.  I set a goal of 1 raised bed by October 1st.  I like the idea of raised beds due to their low maintenance.  At some point over the extensive history of this property, the Garden Spot was used a dumping ground and old pop cans and glass shards were found last year while tilling the ground.   I'll use some wood to outline the raised bed.  I'll use a cardboard kill mulch on the bottom, probably layers of newspapers, followed by straw from cleaning the Chicken Coop out and compost.  This should break down nicely over the Winter Snows and provide weed free, nutrient dense soil.  We also acquired a Pet Rabbit for my daughter and myself.  She's a 1 year old Brown and Black grey lop that we named Thumbelina; yes we read to many Fairy Tales at our house.  Thumbelina's house is a small pen constructed of wire with a house attached for night time and cold weather.  My husband is going to put some old Lawnmower wheels on it and a handle so we can move it to various parts of the lawn as a Rabbit Tractor allowing Thumbelina to fertilize my lawn, fresh grass, and protection, especially from my Chicken Killing Chihuahua Mix Dog..  A win-win situation for all. 
    Last but not least I rediscovered one of my passions.  A vision for where my life is headed.  A combination of gardening, farming, frugality and the simple life, on a small scale.  It was called homesteading, the modern term for it is Urban Farming.  It is simple living:  Choosing things in your life that bring you passion, like gardening, animals, family, cooking on a practical scale that anyone anywhere can accomplish.  For me it is cooking with whole foods, spending time with my family and friends that I love, my animals of course, gardening, reading and writing.  All done cheaply, because I am not made of money, and I don't know anyone personally that is.  I have the wrong connections I think, lol.  


An update on the growth of my Moonflowers in all their glory. I'm going to have to find homes for some of them I think.  6 15' tropical vining plants will be a bit much.  Check out their progress.
    As far as my writing I have done some planning on my novel, and have been writing some poetry.  What I LOVE about Poetry is that if it's done correctly, it can describe a situation and evoke certain feelings with only a few words.  The following is a poem that I wrote.  It gives a tiny glimpse into my writing ability.  Until next time, hang in there one and all. 

Forever Yours Yoko


The Darkest Night

The night was icy cold, the sky an inky black and all the world was silent, mute except for the frozen breaths she expelled as she sat there, lost deep in thought.  Thoughts of freeing herself from the shackles of the past, longing to embrace the hope for the future, but stuck enmeshed in the quandary of the present.  As she sat there watching the barren landscape, feeling the tomblike atmosphere around her; she saw it.  The sky began to lighten, shimmering a silver in the distance.  Slowly grey tendrils of light crept across the land as the Sun began to rise.  Soon splashes of Crimson Red and Golden Yellow filled the sky brightening the sky to a Turquoise Blue.  A ghost of a smile crossed her face as she realized what she had forgotten.  It was always darkest before the dawn, even the darkest of nights.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Onward Progress

"Do not expect to become perfect at once.  If you do, you will be disappointed.  Be better today than you were yesterday and be better tomorrow than you are today," ~ Lorenzo Snow.

    This week I wasn't able to make much progress on my listed goals, only several small ones.  However I did make progress in a goal that I had not listed previously.  Growing up, I did not obtain my drivers license until I was 20 and married.  My husband taught me how to drive a vehicle so that I could obtain my drivers license to commute to college.  After obtaining my drivers license I had only driven in small towns with two and three lane highways and two lane freeways and small town stoplights.  Yesterday I drove during rush hour in a largely populated city, survived and feel comfortable enough to start driving in the city when necessary, such as for medical checks ups and to visit my far flung family members.  This has given me a greater step towards my personal growth and independence.  I am now able to provide self-transport when necessary to pursue some of the goals that I set; both for myself and for my family.  The only thing that I will need to learn still is how to use the GPS on my phone; I have NO sense of direction.  We all have weaknesses, and this is one of mine.  The trick with weaknesses is simply to learn how to work around them to accomplish your set goals.  In celebration I visited with both sides of my family and went out to dinner and a concert.  It was a wonderful past couple of days.  The world is now mine to explore, sometimes virtually, and sometimes in real life.
    I have been busy whittling away at other goals.  I'm establishing a daily schedule that allows my girls to help me with basic tasks such as sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting.  They are such a wonderful help.
    My Moonflower seeds have sprouted I now have 5 seedlings and the 6th and last seed is sprouting.  It will be beautiful to see them grow.  Here is a current picture of the seedlings.  Their growth is AMAZING!!

      The goals for next week are to begin to further unclutter the bedroom, find separate containers for the Moonflowers which are rapidly overtaking their original container, do some research into grant writing and begin to flesh out the story of my novel.  I will continue with the treadmill which has been successful minus the last 4 days with travel and family obligations.  And no, the following picture is not mine, it simply represents the dragon named Clutter which I plan to slay.

Onward soldier, the war has been waged and victory for the future of our goals will be ours.  ;) 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Beginning

"Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments.  The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked is mine." ~ Nikola Tesla

 This week has been about obtaining my bearings.  I am a procrastinator by nature and it is sometimes hard for me to apply myself which is part of why I started this blog, to hold myself to my family and friends accountable for the goals I have set for myself on a global scale.  So no pressure there, lol.  My treadmill has now taken up residence in our living room so that I can walk/run now for at least 30 minutes, my goal is 60 minutes at least five days a week; why not outside you ask?  Well, we live in the mountains in the middle of nowhere and have snow minimum 9 months a year, with a chance of snow the other three months of the year.  I have lost 35 lbs. over the past 18 months through diet and lifestyle changes, to help improve my health and now am taking it up a notch through intensive exercise.  I have a family that I need to be around to help raise.  My poor husband is already outmatched with three women telling him what to do and where to go from his wife to mother and daughter.

    My daughter and I planted 6 Moonflower seeds, after all what is a blog about a home with Moonflowers without the Moonflowers?  They are already starting to sprout, we'll see how many will come up. 



    I have organized my writing space and have started detailing some of the characters in the fictional novel that I will be writing.  I have a list of websites for information on grant writing that I have been perusing, the writing itself will not be hard, but to find accurate legal grants etc. will be the challenge.
    As far as the bedroom remodel, I am working on decluttering the bedroom.  A person can only read so many books in a life time.  I'm hoping to paint in early September before the weather turns cold and after painting I will tear the carpet up.  The carpeting has been in there for approximately 40 years, at least 34 years of it had chain smoking in it.  The rest of the remodeling can be accomplished after cold weather arrives.
    The landscaping goal has only taken a minute step this summer; I have container plants on the three porches and planted a Bleeding Heart Plant and a Honeysuckle plant both of which are thriving well.  Stay tuned for next week's update, more progress in store.  ;)





Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Awakening

Let me introduce myself, you can call me Yoko, or rather my friends and family do.  I've been given many nicknames, but that is the one that I am most entertained by.  I was given the nickname by my step-daughter's friend years ago when she took a picture of my husband and said he looked like John Lennon, I became Yoko at that moment.  I live in the middle of nowhere in small town America.  I turned 30 last September and decided that time has not slowed down any and that there are certain goals and tasks that I want to accomplish in my life, and this blog will showcase my progress towards those goals.  Time will wait for no man, or woman in my case.  Now onto the cast of characters.  My husband and I have been married for 11 years.  My husband is significantly older than I am and after the death of my father-in-law we moved in with my mother-in-law to take care of her.  My mother-in-law has dementia and is not safe to live alone, the only alternative was a nursing home, and she's not ready for that stage yet.  This last December my husband and I began the process of adopting a little girl, she's 4 and has been such a blessing in our lives.  My husband and I also suffer from some chronic health conditions that we work our lives around.  In many ways we're typical American family, but in other ways we're very atypical.  For instance; my husband quit working to take care of his mother and our daughter so I am the source of income in my family.  We have two dogs, chickens, my mother-in-law's cat and a beta fish as pets.  I work the swing shift at my job and so given our schedule our day normally starts at 0700 and goes until midnight.  Given that most of my working career has been working either swing or night shifts as I am night owl by nature the Moonflower seemed the most appropriate flower for an icon.  A beautiful white vining flower that opens at dusk and stays open throughout the night, closing it's petals midmorning.  A few of my goals that I want to accomplish:  Improving my health through running as I just bought a treadmill, remodeling my bedroom, writing a novel that I have been plugging away at for years, learning how to write grants for extra denero and landscaping the yard.  I'm sure the rest of my goals will be accomplished, but these are enough to start with.  I plan to post once a week to update everyone on my many schemes, shenanigans, aka plans.  Welcome to my crazy world; we'll have such a fun time together.  ;)