Sunday, May 26, 2013

Coping strategies, blooming roses, and a call for help

When we got little piglets several weeks ago, we had no idea they would be so personable and fun. The kids like to go into their pasture and play tag and hide and seek with them. The piggies love the attention and games!  They were especially fascinated by Eva's fairy dress, the same one she has worn every day for three weeks. Eva got a little scared when the pigs investigated her purple taffeta and tried to take a bite out of it, but her brothers came to her rescue.

The little guys (I am talking about the pigs, not my kids) are thriving on the whey I feed them from cheese making. Whenever they see me coming with the bucket, they scramble over each other to reach me first. When I mix the whey with their organic barley, they squeal and squeak with joy. Whoever came up with the term “eating like a pig” got it down right. They make a lot of noises and get incredibly messy when they attack their feed bucket.  And they get to dine with a view of this - fine dining at its best:

I spent this week being very overwhelmed, sad and grateful at the same time.  Between my friend being killed in a car accident and the Skagit River bridge collapsing, I am painfully aware of how suddenly life can end.  I am trying to be rational and not get a panic attack be calm every time Steve gets in the car, and I am trying to be optimistic driving over the many bridges one has to drive over in this watery state of ours without fearing that the minivan with my kids in it will plunge into the icy water.
So in these times of stress, how do I cope? Chocolate is the first survival strategy, of course.  Since I am still trying to eat very healthfully, I am eating 85% chocolate, which feels like medicine.  None of my other family members is allowed to touch this medicine at all cost.
Knitting is another trick in the bag for my mental health .  I have been cranking out lots of socks lately, just can't get enough of making them.  What an incredibly useful and pragmatic coping strategy, don't you think?

Another way to stay sane is gardening, weeding, and smelling the roses - literally.  June is a glorious month in my garden, because my roses start blooming now.  I have lots of Old English roses, not the fussy hybrid ones, and they smell intoxicatingly heavenly.  Eva is my little gardening helper, and she and I like to wander around the flowers, smelling them.

For my Type A German workaholic personality, getting stuff done also helps my mental state.  The other day, I made some of my luscious goat milk soap.  Kai helped me cut it up after its initial hardening period, and now it will sit quietly for a month to cure.  Can you guess how much soap we go through as a farming, living-in-the dirt, scratching-pigs'-backs kind of family?

One more quick thing?  Can I share something I posted on my Facebook page, and you read through it and do what you think you can?  Here we go:

Dear friends, some of you read my blog post about my friend who died tragically in a car accident. His wife Deborah Richmond Hallenbeck just received a bill from the towing company, who towed the wrecked car her husband was killed in. They are charging $900 to this grieving woman, who also faces funeral costs and many other expenses. 

It feels weird to do this here, but I want to help out as much as I can, and so I am wondering if people feel moved to do so, they would donate money to this cause. My friend Michelle Rogers and I are collecting donations through our paypal accounts. So far, we have raised $310 by selling goats. My paypal account is I am going to the memorial today at 2pm, maybe I will see some of you there. 

Thank you, and hug your loved ones today!


  1. Thank you for stopping by my space. So sorry for the loss of your friend, sending love, light and peace.

    Your home looks beautiful and those pigs, oh my so darn cute.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  2. Thanks, Kim! Thanks for the love, light and peace.
    Have a great weekend as well!