Planning — Spring 2019

Winter Recap:

  • Wardrobe –I wore out all but one  my long-sleeve t-shirts. This means I need to watch clearance racks and find 4 new ones for next year. Things I noticed about shirts — I like them long and snug enough to wear a t-shirt over or a sweater. I rarely if ever just wear a long sleeve shirt. My pants and sweaters are all in good shape. I seriously need to find a pair of zero heel boots. I missed my boots this year.
  • Weather — It was a very wet winter, far wetter than normal. We had a few very cold snaps, including one that had temperatures colder than in a generation, but overall the temperatures were pretty normal for this part of Indiana. Things to consider for weather would be getting a pair of waterproof boots for wearing to church/shopping/errands.
  • Learning — Welsh is going really well (I know I keep writing about this, but it truly makes me so happy). Igniting the Flame is much easier than I anticipated. Less scholarly, more reflection. Permaculture class and I parted ways. I wasn’t getting enough out of it to justify the monthly cost. They are so focused on a younger generation that they can’t see modifications for older gardeners are needed. I’ll keep on keeping on and we will transform our space into one that will work for us now and for the next 20-30 years.
  • Health & Fitness — I completed Dedicate, a 30 day yoga journey, and then kept up my practice through February and March (up to the time of this post) by using a combination of YWA (Yoga with Adrienne) videos and my own flows. I took up Pilates as part of my strength training regime along with returning to the FWFL prep week workouts. I continue to walk each morning — usually inside during this weather.

Spring Plans —

  • Wardrobe: I don’t think anything will need replacing this year. I have plenty of t-shirts and graphic Ts, cotton cardigans in light weight and medium weight. I have my spring jacket and rain jacket, I have my farm boots and plenty of zero heel shoes for warmer weather.
    • Bottoms: 2 denim, 2 black + 2 skirts
    • short sleeve t-shirts: 1 black, 1 white, 1 navy, 2 gray,
    • graphic t-shirts to wear around the house x 4
    • 2nd layers: blue zip cardigan, red cardigan, green cardigan
    • shorts for around the house x 3
    • sneakers, flats, sandals — all zero heel
    • weather related: 3 jackets and farm boots
    • swim suit is still good too.


  • Weather
Apr.          68° / 43°.                8 days
May.         78° / 54°.                8 days
Jun.          85° / 62°.                6 days
  • Events:
    • Church: Easter and Pentecost
    • Spiritual Companion Group
    • Retreat Days
    • Errands and Grocery shopping
    • Celtic Vesper service team meetings
    • Hannah’s birthday
  • Farm and Garden tasks
    • build chicken yard and  rabbit house
    • plant 5 trees
    • pollinator garden expansion (and seeds)
    • ? additional clothes line ?
    • put up pool (re-level the ground)
    • purchase garden seeds, heirloom and organic only
    • cistern expansion
    • continue firewood collection one day per month
    • lawn mowing will begin




IgF: units 1-3, other thoughts

This post is a mishmash of thoughts and ideas from units 1-3 that didn’t seem to have quite enough follow through to become a post, but enough to keep them handy and to think about as time goes by.

What are my burning issues of the moment:

  • Debt reduction: We are working hard and have made tremendous progress, but lately it seems we can’t make huge strides. I think it is a combination of beginning of the year appointments (which we pay for because of our high deductible) and a new prescription plan that almost tripled our monthly out of pocket. Our pantry supplied a lot of staples that carried us with lower grocery bills for quite a while, and now it is depleted and we’re buying all our groceries on paydays. Debt reduction is a priority because we will need (and want) the freedom it will bring. We’d like to have all our land systems in place and a retirement cottage built on the land prior to retirement age — all done with no debt.
  • Strained relationships: What do you do when a person is toxic to your well-being and yet there is a bond of family? How do you make allowances for age, upbringing, health, and personality? At what point do those things not really matter? These are things I am dealing with — sometimes actively, sometimes just because I know the issue will come up again. Therapy (about this) has taught me that honesty is key–yet, this person is not open to working through issues. Living with a chronic condition makes me realize that pain and fatigue do cause issues, but I try very hard never to use my pain as an excuse for hurting another person or as an excuse for my own bad decisions. I know lots of people living with chronic pain that are kinder, gentler, and more loving because of it.

Routines and Distractions:

  • My morning routine works very well for me, so I don’t see any changes that I want to make. Laud, meditation, yoga, walk, and self-care practices. . . .
  • My day flows well and I have created enough restful spaces that I can get all my work done (unless it is a truly awful disease day).
  • My night routine needs some tuning up so I added Examen (building up form my past simple gratitude list), and started reading from my Kindle or an actual book instead of the phone. I’ve even started turning the phone completely off and putting in all the way across the room before going to sleep.
  • I put almost all notifications on “Do Not Disturb” including texts. I kept Kelly, Michael, and Hannah active, but all others are silenced. It helps. I in check between tasks to see who needs what and whether it needs a reply right now or if it can wait until I sit down.

What do I consider work? recreation?

  • Work: tidying up house, cleaning house, laundry, dishes, gardening (plants), farming (animals), property management (yard, woods, driveway, firewood), food prep (includes preserving the harvest), grocery shopping, Health Coaching clients, reading non-fiction, writing, exercise (not yoga), making candles, making salves, studying for my classes, Welsh (I almost put this in recreation because it feels fun, but it has the aspect of work because it also must be done),
  • Recreation: audiobooks, reading fiction, knitting/crocheting/coloring, leisurely walks, bike rides for fun, watching a show, chats with family and friends,
  • prayer/mindfulness: daily offices, yoga, meditation,

my journal

Hannah, my daughter, bought me this lovely notebook cover recently. An A5 notebook like my Leuchtturm 1917 fits inside just perfectly. I use a Lami Safari fountain pen, which stays clipped to the back cover, for the majority of my writing. Although I have been using Sharpie fine point pens to fill in my habit tracker, nutrition tracker, and to mark the 4 different times of my day.

In my journal:  I keep my monthly habit and goal tracker on a piece of dotted paper so that I can fill in the boxes as I move through the month.

My daily pages always include the date, day, weather, and nutrition tracker. I don’t count calories, I just fill in a box for each serving I eat. I have goals, but if I overeat on one category that is just fine. I refuse to stress too much about weight. I’ve been down that road a time or two and have decided it is not worth it. Not at all worth it. Then I just jot down (usually as a bullet point) what I did as I move through the day.


ItF: Unit 3

Life Long Learning: In trying to live out our way of life, we commit to lifelong learning in order to grow in wisdom and understanding. This isn’t purely academic learning, this is learning with a clear focus and purpose — to keep us from getting too comfortable.

Areas of learning to consider: Bible (read, memorize), creation, experience, saints, languages (human, music, and creatures),reading, writing. The importance of retreats . . .


If I had to sum up this entire section of the way of life with one word, I would choose curiosity. Sometimes, as adults, we lose our sense of curiosity. We get too bogged down in the day-to-day “adulting” and forget that we live in a magical and magnificent world surrounded by mystery and fantastic creatures.

Curiosity is one of my key values. It shows up every time I’m asked to define myself and my worldview. I strive to maintain a curious mind and to explore things that interest me.  It is a value I have passed onto my (adult) children. We are always learning something and sharing the information with the family,

For me, one of my greatest joys is my Welsh classes. But why Welsh? I chose Welsh for a few reasons. I have a lot of Welsh ancestry and felt like a connection to the past would be nice. I love (LOVE) Arthurian legend. I was looking for a language that would really stretch my language learning skills.

Why do I stick with Welsh? It challenges us, inspires me, delights me, and I look forward to sitting down everyday to “do Welsh.” I am at the point where I can intersperse my thoughts (and speaking aloud to myself) with Welsh words.  I chose an immersion style class — so the focus is on hearing, speaking, and comprehending. I’ve paired it with Duolingo for vocabulary building.  I do find myself growing more and more ready to crack open a grammar and get down to the nitty-gritty of the language. That is year 2 and I’m only 130 days into my journey, so I’ll trust the process and see where it leads.

Learning Welsh has naturally led to learning about Wales: geography, stories, saints, food, holidays, customs, etc.  This all feels like its leading up to a trip to Wales. That may just be a dream, but it feels right and natural. It feels like me.

In the past, and I really would like to resurrect this, I have kept track of what birds I see at the feeders. I would choose one, draw it, color in details, and then do a bit of reading in the bird books and on-line to learn more about the bird. I did one per week. I really think that next Fall when the feeders go back outside that I will keep my notebook and binoculars by the table. I never did the sounds of each bird, so that would make a nice addition.

Other ways I implement lifelong learning:

  • my daily yoga & meditation practice
  • my daily use of the BCP bible reading schedule
  • keeping up with sustainable small farming information to make the best choices for our land, animals, and family
  • Nightly gratitude list that has slowly morphed into Examen
  • My new reading plan that centers around clusters (2 fiction, 1 educational, 1 memoir/biography)
  • daily writing even if it never sees the light of day, just knowing that each day I will be writing something
  • twice a month Spiritual Companion Group followed by a retreat day


BookNotes: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack


Oh my! I learned so much science reading/listening to this book. I also learned how much science I simply assume all people understand. It was eye opening to learn about people who do not have that fundamental knowledge.

This is so much more than the story of HeLa cells and Henrietta Lacks, it is a story about presumption that occurred (and still occurs) in the medical and scientific communities. I’d like to hope these things don’t happen anymore, but I am uncertain.

February Habits and Goals:

  • 28 days of yoga I managed 27 days. One day I had a terrible migraine that required medication and made moving a problem.
  • 24 days of walking  24 days!
  • 8 days of strength training 10 days, included Pilates, Kettle Bells, and FWFL prep week workouts
  • continuing Welsh practice (bring section 2 levels up to 5, SSiW #6 and #7, and listening practice #1 each day.  Yes!  All these done. I even moved into Section 3 on 4 levels, and started Challenge #8
  • 24 days of writing — something, anything, for my class, for this blog, just on paper, whatever, but 6 days a week. Yes!!
  • 2 retreat days (after my Spiritual Companion Group, I’ll walk, and get lunch and then sit and read or think, but not work, until Hannah picks me up. Get ’em! This was surprisingly difficult. I felt like I “should” study, or write, or do more Welsh, or  . . .. , but the 2nd day was much easier than the first try.
  • read 2 fiction books and 2 non-fiction books Circe, Cherringham, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Atomic Habits  (+ audio books at night that I don’t really listen to so much as listen to until I fall asleep)



ItF: Unit 2

Unit 2: A Rhythm of Prayer, Work, and Recreation

R. Simpson — It is essential to establish a good rhythm before all else.
J. O’Donohue — to be spiritual is to be in rhythm

Rhythm — a link to creation, looking towards a way of life that keeps a balance. There are three labors of the monastic day: prayers, work, and recreation. Prayer creates spaces in the day for balancing the body, mind, and spirit. So be mindful of those spaces.

Take time to think about the things that are “daily” in my life. What makes it difficult to manage my time? What can I do to overcome those obstacles? What does a day in your life look like?

A Day in my Life

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to structure my day and my work into four periods of time where I focus on different things. I learned early in my Anglican journey the value of the daily offices and from the Enneagram (specifically, The Road Back to You) the value of SNAP. So I transition into my day and through my day with prayers and small moments of meditation. My day is a practice in interruption — a cute interruption called Jasper, the pup. “I need out.” “I need in.” “Here, throw this!” “Can I sit on your lap?” “Hey!” ” Intruder Alert!” “RED alert!” “Rabbit!!”

Morning (6 – 10 am): As soon as I know I am awake, I begin the day with the daily devotion Laud. I have it memorized and say the words aloud as I stretch and move for those first few moments. Upon leaving the bed, I quietly sit on my yoga mat for about 5 minutes, just breathing, and seeing what I feel and where I feel. That leads to my yoga practice, a walk, a shower, and then breakfast. After breakfast I have a system of tiding up (maintenance) and cleaning (focused attention) the house. I work my way from east to west, gathering laundry, and end by starting the washer. In the gardening months, I do my garden work after my walk and before my shower. I like to get out there early and get it done before it gets too warm. In order to make this work, I get up about an hour earlier in the gardening months.

Prime (10 am-2 pm): This time begins with a SNAP meditation and moves me into my academic and work part of the day. Things here aren’t nearly as structured as my morning. I have a list of what needs to be accomplished and steadily work my way through it. Bible reading is usually first and I read the passages from the chart in the BCP. Then I generally do some writing. I try to write every day, my assignments, blog posts, letters, snippets of story, etc.  I also try to write before I’ve consumed any news, blogs, or writings by others. It helps keep my words my own words. After writing, I usually spend time studying for whatever courses I am taking that semester/year. At 1 pm, I get up, reciting Sext in my head, prepare my lunch, and take a short break to eat, check news, and surf a bit. After lunch I do my Welsh. This is a highlight of each day and I look at more as a reward than a course I am taking.

Afternoon (2 -6 pm): Another SNAP meditation leads into this period. I start by either doing some strength training or a 15 minute Pilates session — I’m not trying to exercise so much as work out the kinks from four hours of primarily sitting still. I also take some time to switch laundry around. Because we have chosen not to have an electric dryer, laundry needs to be rotated on the racks by the stove or on the lines outside. This normally works out to be about an hour of moving around. Then I sit down with my knitting (or crochet, or coloring) basket and listen to an audiobook. Dinner preparation, another tidy up of areas where I worked, reading for pleasure, more laundry work, and dinner all happen in this time too. I conclude this time with lighting a candle and saying Vespers.

Evening (6 -9 pm): Another SNAP before news (and sometimes during news, because holy cow!) then quiet family time, sometimes a movie or tv episode (iTunes), usually just everybody sitting around together but doing their own thing. I choose to read, do Examen, and Compline before turning in early.

It is a quiet, predictable, life. I  have chosen carefully the best way to get enough rest to manage my disease and yet have enough interaction and busyness to keep me engaged and active.