Beating the Block

Yesterday all my best efforts were frustrated by a stubborn mental block that made it impossible to accomplish any meaningful work. I stared at my computer, wandered back and forth making coffee and snacks, checked my phone twenty bazillion times, and literally got nothing done. Late yesterday afternoon I caught myself spending 20 minutes googling images of “bird-brain” and “absent-minded,” believing that finding a funny meme would somehow cure me.

Today I woke up with a foul mood hanging over my head; the mental block was still there and it was souring my whole outlook. I sat down at my computer like a good worker bee, determined to beat this thing. But still I stared, and still I checked my phone. Nothing.

After reaching a level of negativity bordering on despondence, I decided to get out. Outside. In the rain. Threw on a jacket and just walked. It turned out to be beautiful out, the birds singing and the fields looking all dark-soiled and promising of plants to come. I listened to Fiona Apple while I walked and felt personally represented in every angsty, introspective lyric.

I can be a bit dramatic sometimes.

When I got home I thought I would feel refreshed and inspired and renewed. Fresh air and space, I’m cured! But, no. Still nothing, and that cloud of foul, sour, grumpy, yuckiness was waiting for me just inside the door. What the actual f*#k!

I sat and thought for a minute. There was a little voice that had been nagging at me for the last two days, begging me to “create something please!” And there were those 15 notes I had hastily typed into my phone, all poems, all waiting to be set to music. It occurred to me that my brain might be blocked because I wasn’t letting it do what it wanted to do.

So I grabbed my husband’s guitar. Strummed a few times, cursed my poor weak, uncalloused fingers, then kept strumming. Clumsy, tinny chords rang from the badly mishandled instrument, and a song immediately – literally instantaneously – jumped out of my mouth. The lyrics were there from last week when I was hanging out my clothes and was struck by how glorious country living is. The melody came fully-formed and joyful. Aaaaahhhhhhhhh, release.

Thank you universe for slapping me in the face hard enough to make me do what I love to do. I feel relaxed and happy, like I’ve just had a good meal on a sunny patio. Mmmmm.

Working = Never Blogging

So I’m really happy right now. And really, really busy. Working in the non-profit sector means always having more tasks than there are hours in the day, and of course having two small children is kind of exactly the same. So I’m not here anymore, and I’m sorry.

I don’t know when I’ll be back with something to actually SAY, but if you want to see where I have been blogging these days check out http://www.songprogram.org. This is my 100% overwhelming, all-consuming labour of love and complete passion. And it’s taking off and doing all the things I dreamed it would.

So thanks for following, I haven’t forgotten this blog I have just been pouring every over-caffeinated-to-combat-extreme-fatigue ounce of my energy into SONG. Maybe you’ll love it too?

Sounds of the Next Generation logo

Working = Happiness

Wow, it’s like a complete 180 for me. I immediately implemented the plan to work 4 days a week, and my life happiness shot up exponentially. All of a sudden my husband doesn’t annoy me. My kids are adorable, lovable little geniuses. My self-fulfillment is higher, and I feel more like me again. Thank god, because I think my self-imposed craziness was pretty tiresome for everyone (including me).

So now, the last piece of the puzzle is to get back in the groove taking care of my health. I’ve been cooking a lot, which almost always means healthy food. But I’ve been eating a lot too, it’s like a hobby for me. And even healthy homemade foods are fattening when you eat 3 helpings. But food! Yum!

And, even though it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, I can already feel the thoughts of Christmas baking creeping into the back of my skull. I’m sort of obsessed when it comes to Christmas baking; I’ll bake several containers full of goodies to have on hand in the freezer for any entertaining opportunity. The problem is that my husband and I eat everything before Christmas entertaining season even begins (say, early November) and I have to bake more! It’s tragic, obviously.

So, will power, please come for a visit. Please help me get back on track before mid-November when Christmas derails all my best plans. And please keep me from starting my Christmas baking until Halloween is over.

it's not as cute when I do it

it’s not as cute when I do it

Three Hysterical Tantrums Later

I became a stay-at-home-again mom four and a half months ago. With the impending move and the crazy farmer hours my husband was about to take on, it was a practical choice to make. I also felt like, having gone out into the workplace when my daughter was six months old, I could use some more time home with her especially. It seemed like the right choice and I owned it.

But I have learned some things in the past four and a half months.

Not long into the switch, I threw an angry, frustrated tantrum because the move was stressful and my parents wouldn’t get their shit out of our house fast enough for my liking, and all the house responsibilities had become MY responsibilities. Lesson from Tantrum #1, I need structure and order, and those things have taken an extended sabbatical in my household.

I got myself a cleaning lady, thinking maybe that would help because I wouldn’t feel so resentful that my husband no longer helps with cleaning at all, and I could spend my time unpacking and of course being with my kids without having to live in a filthy stink hole of a home.

Deep breath, yep this helps. Except wait. I still feel overwhelmed and anxious and like I am invisible. I still spend my whole day cooking and cleaning and hearing the word “MOMMY!!!” 47,283 times. Thus Tantrum #2, wherein I unloaded on my husband about how he doesn’t cook or do groceries or dishes EVER anymore and how I feel burdened and frustrated. He got mad, then he did dishes, cooked two dinners in a row and went grocery shopping. Lesson from Tantrum #2, maybe I just need to be more clear about my needs and everything will be fine.

And yet, here I am, puffy-eyed and tired from Tantrum #3 last night. I crawled out of bed and sobbed on the couch with my husband listening and worrying for over an hour. Lesson from Tantrum #3, no matter what my husband, a cleaning lady, or anyone else can do to help me, there is something I am not doing to help myself. So I’m admitting to myself, I miss working. I love working.

For some reason, I feel ashamed. No one else has put that on me, it’s all me. But I feel like I committed to being home with my kids, overestimated my abilities to do so, and now I’m copping out. I’ve read all the blogs debunking the Supermommy myth lately, and I am so appreciative of them…but I still thought I could actually love being at home with my kids if I just worked hard enough at it.

I realized last night, if I was this miserable in a “day job,” I would be looking to change careers. I have trouble admitting that being home with my kids is a job that I can NOT like. I can’t deny it anymore though, I am truly miserable and that doesn’t serve anyone in this family.

So I’m job hunting. And that’s exciting for me. I am already spending 2-3 days a week on the after-school music program I started, so I would like to spend 2 days a week doing something else. And I should probably spend 5 minutes every day reminding myself I’m not an asshole mother for making this decision.

Once upon a time…

…I wrote a blog. It wasn’t much and it wasn’t for any purpose except my own personal enjoyment, but I was writing somewhat regularly and having a good time. Now I look back fondly on those days and sigh.

The irony is, now I actually AM a farmer and I spend more than half my time concerned with food preparation and cooking. I guess I nailed it on the head with the blog title, just didn’t foresee that actually living the “Foodie Farmer” would make me so damn busy I’d stop writing about it altogether.

Well just this week I claimed a small place in the office (which my mother is still inhabiting with all her junk for some reason) AND found the battery charger for my camera. This means I can potentially write a bit more often, and should certainly be able to get some farm photos on here. We’ve got chickens, we’ve got tractors, and we’ve got the beginnings of next year’s vegetable garden. But I’ve got no photos to prove it; for all you know I moved to a loft in New York City.

Once a week. That’s my plan. I don’t blame you for not caring, if I were following a blog as dormant as this one I’d have given up interest long ago. But for me, once a week sounds good.

Life is good, but the food is terrible!

Oh geez, it’s the most pathetic thing and I hate to admit it. I`m now a full-fledged “farmer’s wife,” and I am responsible for 90% of the meals including lunch for my family, my dad and the hired man (Barry). My dad and Barry are accustomed to hot dogs and fries, with pudding for dessert, or sometimes hamburgers, chicken fingers, or beer-battered fish filets with microwaved potatoes and frozen corn. In other words, lunch is just made and eaten because people are hungry. It’s not a culinary event, and it’s certainly not healthy!

In my first week home I made fresh salads with my own dressing, I got fresh berries and whipped cream for desserts. I tried to make it delicious and nutritious. But now? Only weeks in?

I’ve given up! It’s so shameful.

I’ve got a freezer with a rapidly growing collection of frozen potato items and a stack of hot dogs. It’s so demoralizing. And it’s making me fat. I can’t keep this up!

So I’m asking, how do I feed these two men salad for lunch without them thinking I’m starving them to death? They like salad, but only as part of a meal that is as large as any supper I ever eat. And I don’t have it in me to make two suppers every day. And my waistline can’t take it.

What is a foodie to do???

The music program I keep hinting at

I’ve finally got a really ugly website and a really basic Facebook page up and running for my music program, so I’m ready to share it with the world! Hey, I’m no graphic designer but I know music. Please check it out, I’m really, REALLY proud of what we’re doing.

http://www.songprogram.org

This logo IS by a graphic designer, I can't even draw a stick figure.

This logo IS by a graphic designer, I can’t even draw a stick figure.

Thank you!