At Home on Hill Haven

Musings, ramblings, and pontifications on motherhood, unschooling, farming, sustainability, spirit, and life in general...

Location: northwest Georgia, United States

I'm a living-working-breathing mom, writing, mothering, teaching, and soul-searching from our home in northwest Georgia. We are whole-life unschoolers, which basically means our kids actually have a say in what happens to them (it actually means infinitely more than that, but's it's a starting point for discussion). We are also hardcore environmentalists, anti-industrialists, trying to escape from our dependence on petroleum, manufactured products and other non-sustainable practices. We homebirth, homeschool, and homestead, and try to make sense of it all, in a constant whirlwind of chaos.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Fare Thee Well!

In case I needed one more little kick in the rear to feel great about leaving this house, I caught another brown recluse spider a couple of days ago, traipsing up my bedroom wall in the middle of the morning, happy as you please I suppose, if spiders have emotions... perhaps the spider is the perfect Buddha, no attachments, no suffering, enlightened. Live while living, then die, the end. Hm. Wait, isn't "perfect Buddha" redundant?

So I'm a little sad to leave this blog behind, lost in cyberspace as it will be, but it seems to be the thing to do. We will be moving in a few months (probably less than three, maybe just two months from now) and well, it just won't be hill haven anymore. And to be honest, it hardly ever was. I might have suspected when the hawks left the hill a few years ago that the time to leave was coming sooner than I had planned. I've faced some major challenges thus far in this house. I've dealt with financial train wrecks, the perils of pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing, starting and losing a business, losing and finding myself. Through it all I've had anxiety and panic as my constant companions, keeping me hypervigilant about anything and everything, always worried about potential crises large and small, figments of my imagination over which I would have no control if they did come to pass. (So far, none did.) I've even dealt with a major infestation of brown recluse spiders. Distractions. Drama to avoid facing the banality of living day in and day out, wiping noses and bottoms, being married long enough to start losing track, getting older, accomplishing so little in terms of measurables. I am a driven woman, and mothering is something I take (far too) seriously, and although I love my children beyond all measure it is not enough, so I thrash about and flail and struggle and sink and thrash and flail and sink and find my feet and finally walk into the shallows and sit down, where I can at least breathe and see around me, even if I cannot yet get out of the water entirely.

Not that I wish any of this were different. Let me be perfectly clear that I do not. Even when it is painful and difficult; especially then. I don't need to pretend I don't have pain, that I don't struggle. I do. That's life, and it would be abnormal otherwise. Suffering exists, and even if I could manufacture some seemingly perfect existence to insulate myself from the reality of impermanence, eventually suffering will come to visit. Modern medicine has pathologized everything normal so that we as a culture seem to think we're never supposed to feel bad. Are you kidding me?? Here, take your soma?! Was no one paying attention to Brave New World?? Helloooo!!

So the final word from Hill Haven is, it's not always okay, and I'm okay with that. It will change, so if it's bad now, maybe that's good :)

Here's my new blog, on WordPress:
Come on ovah! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Planning Ahead

I like my new title, but as far as I know, I can't give this thing a corresponding new url... I also think a fresh start is in order. So, I'm thinking new year, new me, new blog. I may switch to Wordpress; if I do, I'll let you know :)

See, the thing is, we're moving. At some point in the next six months, probably sooner. We are letting go of this house that has become an albatross. It's a long story, and perhaps merits telling, but for now suffice to say we're leaving "Hill Haven" so it makes sense to me energetically to end this blog and begin a new one. The timing being what it is, it has me thinking also about resolutions. Many years I'm not much for resolutions at this artificial marking of time, but some years it feels right and this is one of them. I'm mulling over the myriad things I aspire to, distilling ideas down into concrete processes with well-defined steps and goals and deadlines. Lots of writings and evidence exist to support the notion that the more clearly you define goals, the more likely you are to achieve them or at least make progress in the desired direction. So, I mull, and distill. For the purpose of helping my tired mommy brain, here are some of the objectives I'm kicking around:

Health. There are so many ways I need to improve in how I take care of myself, and the health of those around me has me really focused on this lately. Exercise and yoga, instituting a "real foods" policy, supplements to restore balance and heal deficiencies, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, taking good care of everyone's teeth... the list is long, but each piece is important to the whole.

Writing. I need to write very frequently; I desire a writing career of sorts. I really, truly want a successful blog, as well as experience with successful freelance work. I think I may also have books to write, but those will reveal themselves as they go and I currently don't feel the need to make commitments around that aspect.

Finances. By default, this will be a year in which we as a family make major shifts in the balance of our finances (thus the release of the house). My goal is that the result will be a regularly balanced budget and a year in the black!

Meditation. I know I need this, and my children need me to get it. I am an anxious person. As if that weren't enough motivation to train my mind, there are a gazillion other benefits to health and longevity, and absolutely to parenting peacefully and mindfully. I have thought about this for years without managing the discipline of a regular sitting practice. I need that discipline developed, too, for all my other goals in life, now and in the future. I really can't afford to continue to squander time without this practice in place.

Shamanism. This is how I move through the world, and whence my greatest gifts emanate. I offer intuitive counseling and have the ability to move people through stuck places and enable empowerment through transformation and compassionate understanding. It's what I do without thinking. I'm also medically intuitive. It is an insult to the gods that I do not offer this professionally. I need, want, and deserve to earn a living, and I am obligated to Those Who Empower Me to use my gifts in service to the world. I have no idea how to convey what I do to the right people so as to begin taking on clients and doing this work. I just know there's no sense in continuing to wait. It's time. Helpful suggestions are welcome!

Ahh, I feel better now. What are you kicking around?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frabjous Day

See what happens when I break my stride? Off the wagon I fall, BAM! (Insert gnashing of teeth.)

Funny things happen to me sometimes. (Actually, I would postulate that funny things happen to everyone all the time, but that is not my point at the moment.) My top funny since my last post was that my little Jehovah's Witness friend showed up again. This is a young girl, earnest and naive, who does not truly know why she wants to keep coming back to my house again and again to witness to me. I can't decide what's funnier, my shapeshifting into someone she thinks she can relate to, or her blindness to the call of the Goddess she's hearing through me :) Hee hee, I do so love being eeeee-vil (use your best Doofenschmirtz voice there, please).

Alright, back in the game, I guess, and since it's 2AM I'll call it good enough. Goodnight!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebrate Yo'self!

I'm off today to celebrate a wonderful momma friend of mine who lives where I used to, which means a short road trip with the one-year-old. (Wish me luck.) I love that I am doing this, that I am able to, and what it means to celebrate a friend. Life is not easy (although the purveyors of antidepressants want you to believe it should be, so you'll feel shittier about your life when it's hard and buy their drugs) and we deserve to joyfully celebrate our very existence. Sometimes it feels fake, and when that happens, it just means we're doubting our worth, or celebrating falsely. If that's the case, fake it 'til ya make it, and trust that you really do deserve to be celebrated!

We each exist for a unique purpose in this world. Who is your unique, authentic self? Have you come out to play today? What would celebrate you the best today? My wish is for you to make that happen. Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Random Nonsense

I'm wondering about this blog. Much can be said about "Hill Haven" morphing into "Hell Haven" or "Hill from Hell" or something, but at any rate, we're leaving in the fairly near future (hopefully, oh-so-hopefully AFTER the farmhouse has been gutted and restored) and I don't know what that means for this blog. Perhaps I'll write here until the nebulous move actually comes to pass... I really do like this blogging concept. I guess I'll figure this out as I go, just like I do everything else in life :)

Today's "shout it from the rooftops" discovery pertains to stomach acid, of all things. I first heard about low stomach acid on this fantabulous list I'm on about nutrition. Did you know that the symptoms of low stomach acid are the same as the symptoms for high stomach acid? Me neither! The medical history is a rather long and boring story, but suffice to say I concluded that low stomach acid was something I have going on. Today, I added ACV (that's apple cider vinegar to the uninitiated) with my meals and poof! No more heartburn! I am seriously impressed. This may be the root of my sensitivity to gluten, dairy, and who knows what else. I am so excited!

More to say, but duty calls...

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Just a Footnote

Well, I promised myself to push through this hinderedness and post daily until I no longer feel it's necessary. Apparently it's still necessary :) I loaded the recycling this morning, got all the kids buckled in, then discovered my car wouldn't start. I'm hoping it's only the battery (it certainly should be, it's got 120K miles on it) and not anything else, but it didn't behave exactly like a dead battery should...

Niftily enough, a friend called and wanted to come up to visit. Her son is a great buddy of G's too, so we got to have a playday anyway, housebound and all. Now G is complaining about his nose being stuffy, though, and Iris is utterly whiny and wretched and needs to be in bed. And, my battery is about out. So, to bed!


It's Only Love...

Love keeps coming up in conversations all around me lately, and it has me thinking. One friend, in the context of a relationship that has ended, pondered whether it was better to be loved or needed. Another friend was asked by person B for childhood stories as a gift for person C, "so he can know how much he's loved." I asked my friend whether person C would even want that, and she said no (which I suspected). How, then, does this mechanism of knowing one is loved work? Clearly, different people have different ideas about this. We all use this four letter word, and we assume we mean the same thing, but do we? What does that word really mean?

I have read that in Sanskrit (I think, and I'm just mouthing off here so I could be wrong) there are many different words for the different kinds of love. In English, we use adjectives, but I'm not sure we don't fall terribly short in our lack of vocabulary for this emotion. We learn platitudes that love "never changes" or "is forever" but I'm not sure that's true. If it is, then every single relationship that ever ended has to say it wasn't love in the first place because it's gone now. How shitty is that?

For me, I think feeling love from another means feeling acceptance, non-judgment, and an embracing of all of who I am. While I'm sure some others would share my opinions, I by no means think this is what love means to everyone. Some might believe love is that fluttery excited feeling, which in my world is infatuation. Others might think of love as a more solid, constant caring, maybe something I would call friendship but maybe not love. The range of possibilities must be as varied as we individuals are. Then, if that is true, how in the world do two people ever come together in a relationship and manage to communicate at all?

The thing is, if I am going to feel loved, that is about me. I have to feel it. And in order for that to happen, I have to believe it. It's that simple, and that complicated. If I don't believe it then nothing anyone else can ever do for me will make me feel loved, because I believe I am not. I determine my reality. If, on the other hand, I do believe that someone loves me, they can actually do very little, and I will see it all through the lens of that person loving me because I believe it to be so. People in relationship may not like this-- often othey would rather keep score and cling to their version of the truth. They hold up their interpretation of experience as if it were solid fact: "See? She doesn't love me because she cheated on me!" "See? He loves me because he bought me flowers!" But these actions are only actions, and are not in fact fastened to any emotion on the part of the actor whatsoever. Maybe she doesn't love you because she cheated, or maybe she cheated for a million other reasons that people cheat. Maybe those flowers mean love, or maybe it means he hopes you won't notice how late he is or he'll get out of the doghouse or he'll get laid. People are very vested in believing what they want to believe about their experience, and they'll go to great lengths to justify their conclusions with so-called evidence. But my interpretation of reality does not constitute evidence of anything other than the interpretation itself.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. For now, I'm losing focus, so I'm calling this one done for tonight.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not So Good

Here's what happened yesterday. Nice face plant, kid.
The best part of the story was how it all went down: baby is eating dog food. Three-year-old is pantless outside, screeching, "WIPE MY BUTT!" Almost eight-year-old is wailing at the top of his lungs, "WHY, WHY, WHY?!?!?!?!" over a dropped silly band that he can't find. Mom is valiantly resisting her impulse to curse at the big boy for flipping out over such a useless little shred of polymer, trying to be heard over the three-year-old, hands dirty now, when baby spins out and tumbles off the stoop, face first so he grinds it into the sidewalk really nicely. Thankfully his teeth are fine, and a bonus was that he spat the dog food out in the body roll rather than choking on it. Good grief.
Nonetheless, I had this half-composed post on love I was all ready to work on last night, but then the disasters of bedtime ensnared me and I surrendered. Since I've promised myself daily posts for a while to oil the writing joints, I'm going to attempt to post twice today. We'll see later if I follow through...

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