This month has been a crazy, dreary, rainy, emotional roller-coaster, but we are ever so thankful to see the sun again… and the light at the end of the tunnel. The sunshine has returned after torrential Texas rains (thankfully we weren’t flooded, but that is in large part due to the fact that we chose our current home BECAUSE it would likely never have flood issues). Our hearts go out to all those who did flood and are still dealing with receding water (some are having to add hours to their commute to town because major roadways are flooded and likely to be that way for weeks). We had a home in Houston once that FEMA destroyed, so we understand so well how horrible this is… and even worse, I think, in the cold months, when you are drenched through as you do clean-up and shivering. At least our house flooded always in the summer in Houston, so we weren’t freezing.
My mama’s birthday was in October. It was the first time I’ve been able to get to the cemetery on her birthday, so it was a teary-eyed event. Last year, on my way to see her there, I was hit by an 18-Wheeler and my SUV was totaled. Crazy that it has already been a whole year since that happened. That was around the timeframe when I finally decided that moving out to her place and fixing it up was the best course of action for our family… so it has been over a year now that we’ve been seriously wanting to move and make drastic changes to our family life by living rural for a while.
My husband secretly hopes I’ll fall in love with being a country-girl and want to stay out in Smalltown, Texas forever. I promised him at least two good years of giving it a chance to grow on me. I want the boys to get a taste of the farm-life that I grew up around almost every weekend as a child. I lived out there almost the whole year when I was four years old. There’s nothing quite like warm cream in a bucket, fresh from the barn where grandpa milked a Jersey… and there’s nothing quite like seeing the entire Milky-way every clear night…. or the silence (lack of the sounds of TRAFFIC). If Natural Grocers decides to deliver, I bet Kevin would get his wish! I might want to stay there for a good long while.
What’s been going on around here in the bee-hive?
You know me… I’m a list-maker. Here’s the short of it:
1. The kids and I have participated (but not completed) the Inktober prompts on Instagram. Inktober is just a creative prompt each year with a list of words you have to draw a picture for each day of the month. The rules are that you are supposed to only use pen and ink as your main tools. They say you can sketch with pencil and then cover it with pen, too… but they really want pen as the main source for the artwork. Many people also add watercolor or pastel or colored pencil as well. It has been fun. My 9 year old has really enjoyed it, too. He’s asked me almost every day this month, “What’s the Inktober word, mama?” It has helped us draw things we normally don’t draw, and given us more desire to spend time on art. I may finish my prompts out during November just for fun. There are some words I’m skipping… such as: cruel – you can go off script and add your own drawings if you don’t like a prompt… or you can come up with something entirely different. Most people used witches and such for the “spell” prompt. But as you can see, there were some who didn’t!
2. I already told you my girl moved back home. She’s been in high speed getting her ducks in a row. She managed to get a transfer to a store in Lubbock, Texas and she’s moving there to possibly attend Texas Tech and be near her boyfriend. She already got a transfer with her job at Starbucks and met her new store manager up there. She was shocked at the cost of living in Lubbock as opposed to Austin. Austin is probably the most expensive place to live in Texas, so almost anywhere else would be less of a drain on a young adult who is trying to get on their feet financially. Mama is savoring the last few days with girly-girl in the nest… and we are sharing glitter eyeshadow and Starbucks mark-outs, and talking about all her dreams for the future. If all goes well, she may ride off into the sunset and move to Washington State in a few years with her dude. Apparently, that’s where all the chemical engineering jobs are, and some great fresh salmon (which she wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole). I’d love to have a reason to visit Washington again. My roots go back that direction – and many fond memories as well.
3. We got a contract on the house. It is contingent upon the owners selling their house in Kentucky first. Praying for them and their journey back to Texas. Happy there will be other little ones enjoying our woodland tree mural on the boys’ bedroom wall, even if I’m sad to be moving away from this house we’ve loved for over a decade. We have an inspection next week, and the buyer starts a job here in town, so he’s leaving his wife behind to tie up all the loose ends while he works here in the Austin area. I’m praying this is the one! As sad as we are to leave our favorite part of Texas (Williamson County), we are even more sick of trying to sell a house. Moving will be the last hurdle. I hate moving more than selling a house. It takes me forever to get unpacked, purged, and organized after a move… and this time we will have all of mom’s things to deal with FIRST, plus two storage units. It makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and sing “la la la, I’m not listening” like a three year old just imagining what is coming…
4. I went to a Christian ladies retreat in the Texas hill country. It has been so busy since then, that I don’t even have the photos edited. I can’t wait until the next one. If you are in the Austin area, or anywhere in Texas, really… you should come check it out: Higher Ground Ministries. They have retreats for women and men, and they are life-changing. God is awesome. Spending time with Him on the mountain-top (well, a hill country “mountain”) and taking time away from your normal life is like a total recharge of your spiritual batteries.
5. My big kid started working full time and made the decision that he would not waste any more college money since we are out of district for the community college he’s been attending (which has cost him nearly as much as going to UT for the past couple years). He is working at an HR firm, and #adulting like a pro. I bet he will go with us when we move just until he has enough saved up to get his own place… but he won’t last long out there in the country. He’s the city-est slicker I’ve birthed. He can’t stand the country.
6. My girl got her first vehicle… a Ford Escape. It came with a 600$ base boom box and a lot of pep. Now if she could only get her driver’s license finalized in the next three weeks so she can take it with her when she goes!
7. I voted early this week. Civic duty, y’all. The boys and I will have conversations about voting and read our “Good Citizenship” books next week after we survive this busy weekend and picking up the house for realtors, buyers, and inspectors. Did you know that it is a mandatory “subject” in the State of Texas for homeschoolers to learn Good Citizenship? We take that responsibility seriously.
8. This time of year is great for hiking. On the few days this month where we’ve had sunshine, the guys have hiked some. I went with them once. I managed to get off a few photos, but a rainstorm was coming with lightning that we could see far off in the distance, so we turned around early. The next time daddy took the 9 year old, they managed to hike a total of five miles. Thankfully, the boy still has legs.
9. I made my first fall wreath. Pinterest ideas combined with 40-50% off discounts at Hobby Lobby… and a nice “welcome” for our open house guests. “Nailed it!” Let’s hope it stays together. I may sell it when I move, since who would ever see it in the middle of nowhere? That’s the worst part about moving to the country for me… the lack of people visiting. But then again, that’s my husband’s favorite part! Go figure. Opposites attract.
10. I created a little fall playlist on Spotify. I was thinking about putting it on my sidebar. It’s as eclectic as I am. Don’t judge me. I was a child of the 70’s and there’s not many types of music I don’t like, even if I have to be in the mood to listen to them. This one has been much like the sound of October for me… a little melancholy, a little rainy, soft, and moody… with short bursts of sunlight here and there. Let me know what you think if you listen in. My kids are tired of it.
Kind of mad at them that they don’t have Watermark’s “All Things New”… which was on my brain today. When fall starts, that’s the song that always comes to me first. I put the Youtube version here for your listening pleasure. We are a musical family. I sure miss my piano-teacher mama. Getting a new piano teacher for the boys once we move is on my list… and I’m sure there will be tears shed in the process. Mama would be proud of me for moving ahead with their lessons, though. The last thing she said to me was about their piano lessons. Aside from God, her grandbabies, and me, music was the most important thing in her life.
How has your October gone? What are you learning about?
I’m looking forward to more sunshiny fall days ahead… and to new beginnings, pages turned, country living, holidays, and downsizing. Bring on the slow life. I’m ready to exhale all the stress and embrace simple country life for a change. There’s so much to be said for downsizing to live within your means and make do with what you’ve been given. Contentment brings peace. I’m hoping being a little farther away from the wifi does the same for our little homeschool “future farm boys”….