Keep your neon lights

For those of me that know me… I’ve had this hat for going on 20 years now. It’s my favorite, despite having an actual bush hat. It’s been through hell and back all across the US.

So I felt it fitting to use it for an experiment. I’ve never embroidered anything. I think I tried when I was little and got bored with it. But I wanted to add it to my bag of tricks.

So here is my very first embroidery project. It’s Looking Glass Rock in the fall. And to be honest, I had a lot of fun doing it.

It’s Halloween!

Happy Halloween! You know what that means?

Tomorrow starts NanoWrimo!

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been excited about writing. Even being as close to finished as I was with Forgotten Guardian, I’ve been working on it so long that it’s been hard to get excited about it.

But this time? This time I have a fun idea. Something completely new to work on and having the NanoWrimo goal set up helps things out.

Nova’s getting bigger, and is a little better at entertaining herself when she’s not eating. So she can sit next to me and help me while I work.

In other news… I’ve been keeping busy. In the past, when I’ve been out of work – I’ve gone stir crazy. A bundle of energy with no outlet. But not this time. This time I’ve had so many projects that I’ve been working on, along with taking care of Nova.

I need to build up a stock of crafts so that I can work on getting into craft shows to bring in money that way. I have some yarn I’m working through, I ordered some felt an roving so I can make some more. I’m practicing my hand at embroidery now so it looks good and I’m ready. All of these things have given me a great focus and lends themselves to having a variety of things to work on.

I know I won’t have enough stuff to do any shows before the end of the year… but I’m hoping to have enough to enter a couple of the spring shows nearby. There’s no point in jumping on Etsy unless you already have a customer base built up, so I’m not even bothering. I just need to get a good 12×12 pop up shade and a few folding tables to have at my disposal.

My plan is to can supplement our income with enough to make ends meet. Then I can save up some money to get into the herbalism school. I had entered a contest to win the course… but the likelihood of actually winning? Yeah, let’s just be realistic and plan forward.


At the keys again…

I may have lost my mind… but I’ve just signed up for NanoWrimo again. I had an idea and I’d like to hammer out a good outline, and honestly this is one of the best ways to do it. Despite not having to contend with work, I do still face a few challenges.

  • A nursing baby.
  • Other artistic distractions.
  • Adventure opportunities.
  • Visiting family and friends.
  • Being sure not to neglect the people in my household.
  • My own laziness.

They’re all manageable things if I can get enough momentum going. I have half a month to plan and get ready for it as well – so I should be able to get off to a running start. And since it’s an outline, I don’t have to worry about gritty details and stuff. I’ll knock out at least 50k words and then put it away for a while. That way when I come back to it, it’ll be new and ready to reveal any other secrets to me.

Now I just need some good characters.

Nova Hazel

The last couple of months has flown by. I suppose that always is the case when big things happen.

I finished out my pregnancy working at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I worked right up until the week that little Nova was due. This of course made most of my coworkers (which were almost all men) extremely nervous. It was honestly a bit comical towards the end how they watched me like a hawk. No one wanted to be caught on delivery duty (if it came down to that).

I bowed out a week before her due date. I was too tired in the evenings to keep going. So I came home and waited. We didn’t wait too long. We scheduled my induction for that Friday and went into the Hospital.

What a crazy cluster that was. Short of them giving me the initial dose of medication to start the process, we totally could have done everything else at home. It was just the two of us and a nurse prepping for the afterbirth in the room when I hit my final contractions. I dove for the bed when I felt the hardest contraction, and just in time too. Nova came somersaulting out, barely kept on the bed by Murphy as the rest of the delivery team FINALLY rushed in.

It was totally euphoric when the placed her on my chest. See I didn’t have any of that with Ethan. Things were so crazy with  his entrance that I didn’t get to hold him for nearly 3 days. And even then he was hooked up to machines and monitors. So getting to hold Nova was something else.

She’s an amazing little thing. She started smiling from day 1 (yes, gas, I know). But she’s happy and sweet and cuddly. The timing couldn’t have been better. We planned everything out, so now we get to spend the next few months with her. No rushing straight back to work or scrambling to find someone to take care of her.

Nova Hazel

We found a nursery that sells nut trees and bought a little Hazelnut tree. We’ll keep it in a pot until we can find a place to get settled. Then we can plant it for her, and she’ll always have a place with roots.

I can’t wait for her to meet her big brother. Hopefully Ethan and Terry will be coming up for Thanksgiving. I would love to see them again. For now though, we just spend our days having fun, doing some crafts and playing with our incredible little girl.


The sky is the wrong color blue.

Last year, the deep cerulean crept into the sky as early as August. A cool breeze played through the branches and spots of color blazed brilliantly on the mountainside. In fact, the last couple of years I’ve seen this.

But not this year. This year…. I am reminded of my childhood.

It was a sweltering summer. Not a lot of rain, not a lot of relief. The sort of heat that reminded me of hard Florida days (despite being in the heart of the Appalachian mountains.

That summer was a great summer, but it stretched on for what seemed like forever, deep into the school year. The heat washed out the blue sky to look more like faded blue jeans than the brilliant blue of the fall.

And then it happened. Almost all at once. The mountains flared to life almost in unison. The colors were intense… but short lived.

It’s already the middle of September, and no more than a branch here or there has changed. I think this fall is going to mimic that one so many years ago. It was a beautiful autumn. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I will actually get to enjoy my autumn this year (whenever it rolls around).

My season ended early with the birth of my baby girl, Nova. She’s an incredible little thing, and even at only 3 weeks she is full of personality. And poop. But I guess most newborns are filled with the latter considering their lives revolve around food.

Murphy will be off as of the end of this month, and October will be ours.

October is by far my favorite month. It has been since I was a child. There’s something about the change of the seasons that sparks my imagination. I have appreciated this summer, as hot as it was. I appreciated it because of how cold I was over the winter while I was pregnant. So I’ve tried not to complain too much.

But I will always look forward to October. I have some crafts to make… when I can finally pull myself away from a hungry baby. And tons of pictures to try and take. And I’m looking forward to time slowing down marginally. Admittedly, I kind of enjoy seasonal work. I like having the extended time off.

So sit back my friends. Fall will be here soon. Change is just around the corner.

Annoying changes

I received a phone call from my doctor the other day with some troubling news. My blood tests finally came back… And I have gestational diabetes.

This means quite a few things. As long as I keep my sugar under control, the baby will be safe and fine. I won’t be able to do the home birth because I now rate as a high risk.

It’s not even that I just need to cut out sugar. I eat pretty well. And the insulin resistance is just really strong. So I have to completely change my diet. I also have to start doing glucose testing and go to the doctor for stress tests.

This will be an interesting couple of final months.

I had a beautiful week in the outer banks. Murphy’s family is incredibly kind and fun. I was SO happy to spend some time with Ethan. The house was great, the weather was nice, it was the sort of thing where everything just kind of fell into place. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to be accepted and included, especially considering how unorthodox our small family dynamic is.

I didn’t mention it to anyone. While many people know the sex of my baby, there’s still a few people out there that want to be surprised. So please refrain from using pronouns and names in any comments. This of course is something I struggle with myself, but I’m trying really hard.

I’m sticking with relatively neutral colors for everything regardless because that way I can reuse everything in the future. You know, just being practical.

I’m in a place at the moment where I don’t really know how to proceed. And my blog has always helped, so we’ll see where this goes.

I suffer from that side of social anxiety where I don’t want to be a bother to anyone. I’d rather suffer in silence than stir things up or even ask for help. I’m content being invisible, because that’s how I feel I’ve always been.

For the first time in a very long time, I can honestly say that I love my life. That I feel content and safe. We live relatively secluded from everything, but also very separated from people we know. I’ve always been horrible at keeping in touch with people. And while logically I understand many of the people I know suffer the same problem, that nagging voice in my head tells me I’ve just been forgotten about and everyone has moved on. There are a few people that I’ve spoken with and maintained contact with, to which I am also incredibly grateful.

It’s been 12 years since I’ve had a small baby in the house. I held on to a bit of things for as long as I could justify, but when it finally got to the point that it seemed pointless, I got rid of it all. So I started this new path completely fresh.

Murphy’s mom and dad were able to collect so many things from give aways in their neighborhood it’s unreal. Every necessity has been accounted for and I’m beside myself. But on top of that, she has offered to host a little online baby shower (since I’m so far away from everyone, family and friends alike). All I need to give her are names and contact info….

And I choked.

I have a couple obvious…. But I didn’t know how to answer. That little voice popped up. “Why would anyone but you anything? You walked away from Florida, you don’t keep in touch, they’ve moved on with their own lives. They’re busy, they don’t have the money, don’t bother. You said hell or high water you’d make it work even if you have to do it on your own, so be on your own.”

It was loud in my head for a little while.

It’s not even that I NEED anything. But working seasonally means being on a tight budget. We have to make everything stretch as far as we can.

We’re paying for the birth in advanced, as long as everything remains smooth. I’ve been collecting diapers and a few clothes here and there. We’ll be co-sleeping, and the big stuff is accounted for. I put a few things on an Amazon registry to for me to get as money becomes available.

So I guess I’m curious as to who might be interested in helping out. Who might want an invite. If so, let me know and send me your address.

And now I’ll probably sit an stare at this post for a couple hours as I contemplate actually publishing it, or just saving it as a private musing. Whether I want to bare the harshness of my psyche, or just remain quiet and subtle in the sidelines.