On the Prairie

May 24, 2011

So, we have made it to the Little House on the Prairie. It is not as quiet as I expected. The birds are downright noisy and even a bit pushy. There is a rooster pheasant which demands to have his morning attention and a bit in the afternoon. He crows almost like a regular chicken rooster. He is loud and ruffles his feathers at us. He looks in from the road just outside of the front porch. I don’t know if you have ever looked at a pheasant closely or not.

They are beautiful birds. The colors are amazing. Pictures almost don’t do them justice. Red, blue, black, brilliant orange. When caught in the sunlight their chests just shine the most stunning copper color. Catch them in your grill–by accident of course– and they break it. I have done it once and felt terrible. I slowed way down and the bird seemed to walk away, but then changed it’s mind, went airborne and right in front of me. Yeah, no way to dead stop on gravel roads.

Living out here, 8 and a 1/2 miles from the nearest town of 1,000 is a new experience, but a good one. The vistas, gorgeous. The sunsets, moon risings, I could not ask for anything more scenic. I just discovered a lovely little path that is not really a short cut, but definitely a scenic route toward Peter’s boss’ house. It winds down and around a field and through a creek, well, there is cement path/bridgish thingy over the creek. I have heard there are turtles there, and there is certainly a myriad of life; ducks, frogs, birds, crickets and other uninvestigated music makers.  Of course there are larger creatures about.

We know that raccoons will visit us if we put out garbage they would be interested in. There is rumor of a mountain lion roaming around. I need to read up on hour large their territory might be and what we can do to stay out of its way. The other day I was driving toward town and encountered what must have been a rural North Dakota traffic jam–two antelope trotting down the road ahead of me. I slowed down substantially and they ran ahead of me until the next county road intersection and made a right. I went left. Traffic jam over. There are a lot of deer, mule deer and white tail. White tail fawns were in our yard one morning. It was awesome.

T and I go to school/work twice more, today and tomorrow, and then we are free for the summer to explore this new little prairie paradise we have landed in. Peter already knows the surrounding land well as he has been working it for more than a month. Heading to the big city now, Lemmon-1,200 people.  Enjoy your little slice of paradise today.

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Little house 8 miles out of town and 40 miles from my day job…

January 14, 2011

In all of the hustle and bustle of moving and starting our new journey, new adventure..creativity has been a challenge. Aside from the obvious adjustments, new town, new job, starting over with household items, there was also the challenge of being without the boys, for 2 and a half months. Now that I finally have them, nearly a month now, we are readjusting to being together again.
The dynamics of our family are completely changed. Now I am the ”out of the home” working mom. My time is not as flexible as it used to be. Peter has been relaxing for 2-3 weeks and job searching for one week. Luckily and because good references, he had 3 job offers, one from each of the producers he applied to.
The big choice. Well, it was not a 3 way tie. There was one producer he was definitely NOT getting good vibes from. I could see it on his face and in his demeanor after the interview. There was one job he could make pretty good money from. He would get an hourly wage, not at all common in the farming world, and it included the bonus of overtime for over 40 hours at time and a half. Then there was the interview from which he came home happy and with a bounce in his step and a gleam in his eye. So..money, which everyone needs, especially when you are starting from scratch again, or the position that you think is the best fit for what you are looking for, but with a 40 mile drive for the wife’s job. There is housing available which would offset the cost of fuel…
There was much conversation. We knew he could make A LOT of money–farming is not a 40 hour week, more like 60-80 hours or more with the one job. Then the job that made him happy. Well, there were many pluses that made the job interesting and there was a living wage plus housing. It was a struggle to decide. He wants to make money for us so we can achieve our goals. I want him around and happy, not working he 80 plus hours a week, each and every week. And the winner is….the little house 8 miles out of town and 40 miles from the wife’s day job. We are making changes to our spending habits so that we can be together and reach our financial goals, best of both worlds.
So, back to the creativity…see what I mean? It takes a real effort just lately. But! I am not making any new years resolutions, I am not really into that. I will, however, resolve to allow time for creativity each day. I may schedule an hour or more on some days or as little as 20 minutes. I figure it is like fitness, a little is better than none. And to begin is better than to wait.

Now, I am going to grab some paints and papers and get going before the boys wake up. Good Day! : )

Stash Assessment

January 1, 2011

The first day of the first week of the first month of the new year. Seems to me a perfect time to assess my stash. Peter did bring much of my stash back from Denmark, whew.

I feel compelled to order it and make it ready for making. There is nothing else pressing for me to complete today and this way I get to touch all my stuff. (happy face)

To be determined:

Project packs (great ideas I had that gathered all the goodies for)- decide if the project is still viable or if the gathered items will be dispersed among the general stash or tossed.

Items that are not included in project packs- decide whether or not they are items I still have interest in keeping in my stash.

Third and most troubling: where oh where will I store these for ease of use in this teeny tiny house?

Visions of Sugar plums

December 26, 2010

Not sleeping. Don’t know why, but 4 a.m. seems to be the time I need to awaken. Circadian rhythm mix up.

Buying a new sketchbook today and some watercolor paper. Had to leave that behind twice now, stashes of paper, erg. Hopefully the next move will allow me to take my entire, atash of art supplies with me. DH did bring all of the supplies I kept from DK, but I had let much go for the move.

Working on getting back in the groove of creating now that my family is more or less intact, at least most of us on the same continent. Seems like I can spend more energy on creative activities when I am not worried about my family….who woulda thunk it?

I will spend this lovely day after Christmas helping my daughter fold and put away about 40 bucks in Laundromat washed clothes. We had a hilarious time doing laundry together yesterday. The boys were the muscle and helped bunches too, but they missed some of the hilarity.

Sara and I went to change laundry over to find that two out of 4 of the loads did not wash. The tubs filled with water and sat. Flash forward: Freezing cold, soaking wet, heavy as heck laundry into a basket. She went to get the car. I, in all my brilliance, heaved the basket and carried the hundred pounds, dripping, sloshing, mess to her car leaving a trail, yes, a sodden trail behind me. Did I mention the water spilled down the front of my pants and into my snowboots? Well, I should have.

It all turned out just fine. It was wonderful to spend time with my little girl- not so little- and I know the boys had a good time watching AVP, which I am equally glad to have missed.

Loving the holidays. Starting a new chapter and of course new goals for the new year. Maybe I have finally decided what it is I am going to
focus on….maybe.

Today is the day…

December 19, 2010

Well, my family is all on US soil again. That is a relief and a joy. Especially since we will be spending the holiday together with Sara and Tucker as well. Hooray.
As for creativity, well, dh brought all of my art/quilting supplies back from DK. Today I get to unpack them (yes, touch them and look at them and make plans for the precious bits and pieces).
By the way…I have batteries…hooray! Back to taking and uploading pix.

sketchbook challenge…..

December 11, 2010

Just heard about The Sketchbook Challenge. I have many notebooks with sketches and ideas but never really felt confident enough for an actual sketchbook. No time like the present to try something new. So, come the beginning of January….I am in.
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Stress (even the good kind) and Creativity

October 31, 2010

Yes, we brought this stress on ourselves. We decided to move back to the states after a wonderful two years in Denmark. We really learned so much and had such a wonderful time and great experiences.

We decided we were ready and decided that I should choose a job and the boys would follow. We did not realize it would be so easy for me to find the job I was looking for at a living wage. Fortunate, the stars aligned, whatever it was, here I am, and waiting for the boys to finish up the Christmas tree season in Denmark.

So, stress. Well, the stress of moving, certainly. The stress of being away from family, most definitely. The stress of a dream job, what? Yes. Why, you might think? It is the perfect job, just what I wanted. Well, I want to know everything I need to know NOW. Not later, not as it comes, but NOW. Yes, it is self imposed, but the focus is intense and to find relief, I should turn to art, yes?

Well, in my haste, excitement, and stressed mind I thought I would have more time than I actually did to replenish my art supplies and reclaim my sewing machine before beginning work, or sometime during the weekends. Pooooie. Too pooped to pop. AND, so wonderfully busy catching up by phone with stateside fam and friends.

It has been wonderful and my art has gone by the wayside, until today. Today, I prepared my 4th and final TV tray for use. It is Mr. Clean shiny and ready for action. I have decided that a bookmark is in order. The local library has books to read and my Story Circle Group has 2 more books left for the year that I am eager to read.

The bookmark will be a double wide. I don’t know why, but I feel like that is the way to go. A double wide bookmark will feel more substantial. I can feel the need for something substantial and weighty after all of the upheaval of the past month.

Here is how I will begin ‘marking’ this time and place in my life and in the pages of the books I will be reading…

There is a scratching sound….

October 24, 2010

I do have things to work on. I am reading and reading so as to jump start my writing. I am planning and dreaming so I have much to look forward to and I am skyping and phoning my family to keep up with all the news and keep myself company.

I did not, however, bring my paints or canvas/papers, glues, fun stuff. I did bring fabric and will have to come up with hand sewing projects until I get a sewing machine, either my old one, from my daughter, or a new one. I have taken several pictures and written several paragraphs, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to satisfy the creative beast within.

It is roaring. Can you hear it?

It knows the inks and paints and papers and such are in DK, waiting. Just sitting. I honestly thought I would come by more quite a bit more easily, but i decided to move to a teeny tiny town and will need to drive through the plains to find a suitable watering hole for the beast to slake its thirst. (By the way, the first time I heard the word, slake, used was by Radar O’ Reilly on MASH)

I hear the beast scratching at the door now, time to grab a crochet hook and see if I can’t fend it off….

Traveling light…

October 4, 2010

Well, have been on US soil for 5 days now. So much has happened that it seems like longer. My journal has a few entries, but, without my bag of tricks, it has been limited. There are images that escape my jet lagged brain only in pencil and I have been taking many pictures.

The boys are in DK and I am missing them terribly. Sara and Tucker are so near and yet so far away.

My delayed bag is also near and yet far. It arrived in Minot on Wednesday and apparently no one took the responsibility to get it to me, they said they would, but I am still waiting. A nice sounding fellow called today and guaranteed me my bag by Tuesday, plus reimbursement for my needs since I have been without the bag.

Found a place to live today. Nothing special, but a place I can scrub and decorate up. By the way….the census information is very much out of date regarding Lemmon, South Dakota. Lots of beautiful land and farms, but…

This is a town of around 1300 folks. Small. At this rate we will be living alone in the middle of, well, no where in 5 years, haha. It is funny, though, so many folks know about this little town. Most anyone I have mentioned the name to, has a story or has had a relative who has lived here.

Well, nearly over the jet lag. One more day and I will feel like a million bucks.

Resilience….

September 21, 2010

The buds on my orchid are still blooming. There are 6 opening now and one more that is not quite ready. My irises used to bring me this kind of joy, my day lillies as well;

checking them each day in anticipation.

The flowers that have brought me the greatest joys are the ones that are resilient and relentless. The irises came back year after year with no help from me…brown thumb Carol has killed cacti in her not so distant past- this orchid..remember, I thought I had killed it..has recovered and thrived.

I have had days, months even when blooming was a distant memory; something I thought I could not do again. And, yet, there is the sensation of buds forming along my branches, figuratively speaking, and I believe blooming is a possibility. Just that, is a spectacular ray of light beckoning me to the future. Perhaps lying dormant for a time builds energy and strength for blooming to be possible again. There is value in stillness and quiet. This is a lesson for me.

I need to learn more about flowers.