Posts Tagged With: moving

No Room in the School house.

Well the move has gone pretty well  and we are now officially up and running. The Holiday break is over for the school children and the husband and I should be back to the work grind soon. That is if I can get Christopher back into school.

One room school house in Ireland, WV.

One room school-house in Ireland, WV.

I should be thankful that this is only a minor problem caused by moving, but I can hardly believe it that two of the county elementary schools here are unable to add one more kindergartener Now the question is, should I just leave him in his current school for the rest of the year? I could move him to a school that is in whole other town but inside the county system, but do I want to change his schooling three times in a year? I have to drive him to school now and it is a 25 drive one way, twice a day every day. This equals 100 miles everyday for the remainder of the school year; around 4000 miles just for transportation for school.

I was hoping to head back to work by the end of the month as a Substitute teacher in the neighboring county middle school. This maybe the only job that I can actually do and work around the drop off and pick up requirements of a young school child. I am just feeling frustrated that when I want to use public education I can’t. Sadly I am not getting an income from the 100 miles a day I drive.

I will be looking into the amount of time that Christopher would have to ride a school bus to the next town to attend kindergarten in French Creek.If his bus ride is over the 25 minutes we drive now I will have to rethink this plan also.

These are all hard problems to solve quickly. I just have to take a deep breath and remember that his school problem is fixable and that I will work around what ever happens. I guess being a stay at home mom for another month or two is not the end of the world. I should just be happy that we made the move without any major disasters. The house and the new county are everything we want and more so this too will pass.

Categories: Christopher, elementary school, Moving Day, school | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

The Move to Higher Ground.

It has taken a lot of  hard work but my family is moving to another fixer upper that will be our forever home. The work on this house is more updating then anything but this wonderful brick ranch was over looked by so many others. Tom and I think that within about 3 years we should have this one in tip-top shape. I am looking forward to having more room and more storage. We are keeping in mind that grandma may have to stay with us again in the future and we just needed more space for our needs. new house

The move actually puts us closer to the more rugged mountains and for that I am grateful but not so high that I have no yard at all. We live at the top of what is regionally called Buckhannon Mountain. Upshure County is known for  Wesleyan Methodist College and the Strawberry festival that is the high light of every summer. We also love to visit the “Game Farm” where the state maintains a wild life zoo with regional species of animals and birds. We love to see the black bears and otters every trip that we stop by.

The house also sits only a few miles from a regional airport  and our house backs up to what was at one time an old air field.The land is flat and large and full of deer, ground hogs, birds or pray, mice and fox. Most of the community use the land for walking, letting dogs run, hunting and foraging. I excited to have such a nice “back yard”.

veiw of pine trees at the property line and old air field in back ground

view of pine trees at the property line and old air field in back ground

So this 1964 house is the loving creation of a family that we have been friends with for about 10 years. Andi’s mother and father built this house as their dream home and have continued to keep many of 60’s features of the house. Here are few of the photos of the houses present condition. Laugh if you want to, but this house has great bones and it totally livable. It just  needs some simple remodeling. In this case this will be our second kitchen remodel. Our first complete bathroom. The blue sink bathroom needs major renovation and the foot print of the fixtures will be moved to add a shower stall. Enjoy!

Kitchen with 1964 cabinets

Kitchen with 1964 cabinets

blue bathroom with shower

blue bathroom without shower

eat in kitchen and dining area

eat in kitchen and dining area

 

Family room

Family room

yellow bathroom

yellow bathroom

Laundry room

Laundry room

 

formal living room

formal living room

The house has 4 bedrooms.

my bedroom

my bedroom

Toms work room

Toms work room

Christopher's bedroom

Christopher’s bedroom

guest room

guest room

So I will be a little slow writing on the blog for a few weeks as our internet and phone will have to change companies.I will then have to find everything after move. Working hard never felt so good.

So in the mean time please have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to all of you.

Christmas 2014 at the new house

Christmas 2014 at the new house

Categories: Game Farm, grandma, Home, home remodeling, Moving Day, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Don’t toss out that ham bone, make Split Pea and Ham soup

I had a busy day today and have been working on cleaning out my freezer. One of the things that I wanted to use up was a meaty ham bone that was in my freezer from this spring. Our family usually has a large ham for both Easter and Christmas and I always save the bone for soup or beans. So today with the high temperatures only reaching 35 F degrees I thought Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with that ham bone sounded wonderful.

 

Splitpea and ham soup corn bread and sweet icetea on a very cold winter night

Split pea and ham soup corn bread and sweet ice tea on a very cold winter night

One of the great things about split peas is that they do not need soaked. I also love that in the slow cooker they cook down in a matter of 5 hours. So dinner was ready as I finished packing up another of the hundreds of boxes we have in the house now. We are packing to move once again but this time I think this is the last move for many years. So this soup was perfect as we work on getting things ready for the 19 mile move. 5 hours in the slow cooker and about ten minutes prep time and we had a great dinner.

For this soup you do need about a one pound ham bone or two ham hocks. They add a wonderful smoky flavor and the meat is a nice contrast to the creamy peas.

Slow cooker split pea with ham soup

1 pound split peas

3 carrots

1/2 large yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons celery flakes

1 bay leaf

1 meaty ham bone or 2 ham hocks

5 cups chicken stock or 5 cups water with bouillon cubes

Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and sort peas putting them in the base of a 5 quart slow cooker,

Split peas in slow cooker

Split peas in slow cooker

Then add carrots, onions, garlic, spices and top with ham bone.

split peas topped with vegetables and ham bone

split peas topped with vegetables and ham bone

Cover with broth and cook on high 5 hours or low for 7 to 8. Remove bone, meat should just fall off, then cut remaining meat off bone when cool and add back to soup pot. Usually the soup is pretty salty so salt at the end of cooking. The soup will thicken as it cools so this is one soup that needs to cool just slightly for my family.

I usually make a sweet corn bread or muffin to go with the salty soup. The left overs freeze well and keep the deep smokey flavor. Hope you think of this the next time you have a holiday ham and don’t know what to do with the bone.

Yes, I did say we are moving and that will be a post for this weekend… closing is tomorrow. I will be packing up the computer very soon so my posts will be a little slow for a little while as we get settled again in another home. I will write about all of it soon. Thanks to all the new followers. I am really glad you have joined me and my family on our adventures. We will be moving closer to the mountains and will see more snow in the winter but it will be nice to have several hundred acres of open space behind the house that my family can hunt, forage and hike on!

 

 

 

Categories: Corn bread, Ham, Moving Day, soup, soup | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

A Time and Place to Heal

    Do you ever wonder after some major change in your life that maybe even if things didn’t turn out the way you expected that they turned out for the best?

Quarter horse mare and foal... my baby "Dancer"

Quarter horse mare and foal… my baby “Dancer”

   When Tom and I moved off the farm 2 1/2 years ago I think we were both felt a little confused and lost. We had thought that our future was the land and the animals that we had filled it with. We both had jobs and at the time a toddler who needed us. We just had no idea that the future had us elsewhere and that we needed time away from the farm work to rest and heal. Tom needed two major surgeries and I needed to get time to raise Christopher, grandma need a place to recover from major surgery and I would eventually need time to heal a broken bone and time start this blog. ( this is my 50th blog post, a year has almost passed on WordPress)

Tom the day after arm surgery aug 2012

Tom the day after arm surgery Aug 2012

 When we moved Tom was suffering from not only Carpal tunnel but Cubital tunnel also, in both arms ( Cubital Tunnel is at the elbow) and it was getting worse. I knew without the surgeries his days of farm work and being a Farrier to our clients horses were over. I also knew that I was just plain tired of working so hard. Taking care of a toddler, working and looking after 7 head of horses and the rest of our animals was more than a full-time job. I wanted more time to play and show our son the world and you can’t just pack up and leave 15 or 20 animals alone and go to grandmas 1500 miles away.

Tom forming horse shoes on anvil

Tom forming horse shoes on anvil

  So our move off the farm was a good one, not because we understood that we needed to find the old unloved house that we now live in or bring it back to life. We had no way of knowing that the time and money to get Tom arms fixed would take years, not months to correct.That Christopher’s grandma would need loving care and at our house for several weeks or that I would need to let a broken bone heal for 6 weeks. Some how, not having the farm was just what we all needed at the right time.

Grandma staying with us after her surgery

Grandma staying with us after her surgery

   I guess this broken bone in my foot has really changed things for me.I was always looking after everyone else so they had time to heal, now it is me who needs the time off. I think I broke my foot in September but I’m not really sure. The pain just kept growing and no healing was taking place. The pain got so intense that I just couldn’t take a walk out to our mail box anymore. I had to see the Dr and hope they could fix what ever was wrong because without some kind of help I was looking at losing my job and not being able to do simple things like grocery shopping. All due to my feet hurting.

Well the mystery is now over and I look like this…..

Jolynn in her leg in air cast Dec 9th 2013

Jolynn in her leg in air cast Dec 9th 2013

I have some how ( the Dr say stress fractured) the small bone under my big toe joint. I would try to spell it but really it is not worth the mental anguish to figure it out. They are hoping that with 6 weeks off my feet and in the cast it should heal but given the fact that I think I have been walking on it for almost three months with no signs of healing they are not sure what to expect. If the bones do not knit themselves back together then surgery going to be in Feb. At that point they will remove a portion of the bone that is floating loose in the ball of my foot. That would mean another 4 to 6 weeks off.

    So as I look back over the last 2 1/2 years, the amount of time we have been off the farm, I can’t help but to see that we needed this move. The whole family needed less, less things, less land, fewer animals and more time to rest and heal. Who would have guess that my 1920s cottage with thousands in repairs would turn into a safe haven for all of our broken bodies. Again, I am always amazed at how things work out for the best even when we are unwilling or unprepared to see what we need at certain times in our lives. I am just glad to have this healing place we call home.

the new back porch Tom built on the old house last year

the new back porch Tom built on the old house last year

Categories: Family, Farming, Farrier work., Healing, Home | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Between Reading and Writing comes Drawing

    Between Reading and Writing comes Drawing. In recent years I have struggled to find  time to do what I love. Moving off the big farm and having a baby 4 years ago  just disturbed the genital balance of my life…. Well my creative life that is. My art work took a back seat to all the changes that were taking place in our lives.

   Tom and I spent about two years in the transition from the big house and yard to the little house and yard. While we moved Christopher was two.. The terrible twos and potty training what a mess. We attempted to buy a “finished” old home and the sale fell through the last day of our lease on the farm. We were homeless and everything we owned headed to storage. Toms mom just happened to have a one bedroom furnished apartment that she rented and did not need at the time. Tom, Christopher and I spent almost 5 months living there while looking for a home. In the end we took on a 1920 old store that had over the years been turned into a home for a couple of families but was never really updated and then abandoned for a couple of more years. Crazy, right! We worked nonstop for two years to make the house livable. It was one of the most emotional experiences of my adult life…to be homeless and working and with good credit. How does that happen? It was the most out of control I have ever felt. It was as if we had no say in what was happening to us and we were a boat adrift. It has been almost three years now  the house and I am finally starting to feel at peace enough to start drawing and painting.

    I used to draw pictures to regain my piece of mind, if things were to tough in the outside world I withdrew from the world and created pictures. If I was trying hard to recover from some loss, I took time out to put pencil to paper. If I was in love I poured my heart on to paper. While in college I worked very hard on my draftsmen skills and spent hours and hours exploring pen, paper, ink and canvas. Yet, when Christopher was born I just kind of stopped. I guess this always happens with a new life in the house but the rebound from his birth to me wanting to create has been a very long 4 and half years.

    Much to my relief I still have the skills to draw… just a little rusty but after a few scribbles I think I will be fine. The whole process is different now. I need peace and quite and time, lots of time to unwind my mind enough to sit quietly and put an idea down on paper. As a teen I only needed something to draw on, the energy was pushing its way out. This is why my mother finally gave up on trying to remove all the doodles that I embedded into a faded pairs of Levis. I could not stop myself, drawing was a constant habit. As if my hand was always in motion without any sign of me thinking about what or where the ideas came from.

nut and leaves drawing crop

nut and leaves drawing crop

   Now with adult problems, a toddler and work, I find myself constantly distracted from that free-flowing source of inspiration. Writing the blog helps, reading books saved me from a total melt down over the last few years but Thiers something more satisfying in the release that art and drawing does for me.

   First off, I never have a plan when I draw…. I use it as a form of meditation … free association really. Start with an image and let that image bring me to the next one and then the next, filling the space with images. Thiers is no way to remove a mistake in this form of drawing. Every line is part of the whole and incorporated into the drawing as I move on to the next line. It is these random doodles that grease the wheels of my mind and allow me to actually plan a piece of art work,something I have not done in years. I am sure to find the time to draw this fall when Christopher heads off to school.

 So with our month of  rain keeping me inside, I finally got out my favorite colored pen and sat down. I love blue and white together, so I started with that and wondered where should I begin? Then a leaf appeared and it needed some friends,well if you have leaves you should also have nuts, then a flower joined in and she wanted to have a friend so another one filled in the space that remained.  

  This is just a doodle and  creative 35 minutes of my life. It is in some of my doodles that I have found ideas for other projects.It is where I find my meditation Zone. I felt so much better when I finished for the day. Funny the drawing is in a state of “needing some more work” but a doodle is just a doodle… it needs nothing more does it? This is my way of warming up and restoring my skills… It is nice to know that not everything is lost over time.

Categories: About me, Drawing, Personal art work | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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