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Friday, April 3, 2015

"Your Belly Looks and Feels Like Bread Dough"

   Spring seemed to come out of no where, but it was more than welcome.  I never really got the tranquil winter I wished for.  We didn't end up with much snow.  There was always another gun show, another place to go or thing to do and I never ended up feeling "settled".  The snow left as quickly as it came giving us a record early spring.  My cross country skis traded for running shoes, I began pounding the pavement haphazardly yelling at my dog every so often as I tried to keep tabs on her.
   Part of me rebelled daily against living in the main part of Yaak feeling like my life was on display for everybody to see, but the other part of me forced myself to take advantage of being around people.  Many of the days I was home, I worked out with my eccentric neighbor lady in her "girl cave".  She lives on a heavenly 40 acres of river in a log house overlooking a long stretch of waters.  She has elk, deer and turkeys all over her yard, along with her horses, dogs and cats.  She doesn't like to leave her home much, and welcomed having a friend to exercise with. Having almost every exercise dvd known to man, or so it seemed, she always had something new to mix things up with.
   Skiing with Elasta Woman and Gracie was fun, but the snow never stayed ideal for long.  In truth, putting away my skis was kind of a relief.  I flirted with the idea of signing up for a run, but lacked the motivation.  Still it egged the back of my mind until I felt rather yolky.  Finally, I couldn't hold back any longer and caved, signing up for Bloomsday.  Strangely, I found my Bloomie recruits at the local bar, no kidding.  I just so happened to end up dropping in on just the right days when somebody remotely my age was there.  The first time was at Crafty Kay's Good Bye Party.  After that it was at The Saint Patricks Day Party.  The conversation would go something like this "I never go here do you?  Do you run?  You do?  Great, lets FB".  Before long, we had a good little group of runners of whom I was the eldest and likely the shortest.  When I met our last recruit - a 20 something blonde - half my age and twice as tall, I really began questioning my sanity.  "What the heck are you thinking?"  I argued with myself.  "I don't know" I argued back.  "Maybe the challenge is good for me"  "Maybe you are just not all there in the head".  Usually the fight ends when I realize that arguing with myself only enforces that last idea.  In the end, she proved to be a kick butt runner and a sweet girl I would never in a zillion years keep up with, but I didn't care.  It makes me happy just to motivate others, and that is sometimes enough to motivate me. 
   And so it was that we had developed an informal girls running club.  Elasta Woman and Mist joined us as much as they could which made it feel like "the good old days" to me.  Tall Blondie of course paces ahead, but I'm good with that.  Then there is another girlfriend to add to my stories, she's still 10 years younger than me, but thankfully a little better matched to my pace.  I'm going to call her Belle.  We have an awful lot in common and that seems to make the miles go by a little faster.  She also knows a lot about yoga and those post stretches really make a difference.
   The other less than sane activity of which I pioneered is my new Facebook group "April Crunch and Munch" where I elicit a bunch of women to do crunches daily and eat more veggies.  Putting that kind of pressure on myself to preform crunches seems to be the only way I can motivate myself to faithfully do them.  Again, back to the above argument.
      In wrapping things up, I was enjoying a lazy, hot bath after pounding pavement, minding my own business, when Miss Moonbeam busted into the bathroom, stripped off her clothes and shamelessly bounced into the tub poking and prodding my belly.  It was then that she made that profound observation "Mama, your belly looks and feels like bread dough so I am pretending to knead it".  "Great just great" I thought.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bring Your Moose To Work Day

"YaaYaa" and I

I questioned myself more than once that day, and I couldn't honestly vouch for myself. What was I thinking? What had ever brought me to this point? I glanced over at the gigantic stuffed moose buckled into the passenger seat of my Toyota 4-Runner. I wondered if the Border Patrol agent that I was driving by could get a good glimpse of him. He waved - not the moose - the agent. He had an odd look on his face. I was pretty sure that the moose had been spotted. A sick feeling entered my stomach. What had I done? Oh God, What had I done?

That morning, I was planning my 24 hour marathon, or so I called it. All my kids were packed up to spend a day and night in Bonners Ferry. Art Dog was scheduled to spend the day testing for 2 sections of GED. The kids and I were going to the REC center in Canada to swim with our friends The Moseses. Then I was intercepting Art Dog, driving back to the Moseses and leaving all my kids there for the night while I worked a 12 hour night shift. Only young mothers and speed addicts would consider such a plight, but the lure of water was too much for me and I craved swimming laps more than I craved sleep or the ability to rationally function.

All of it seemed to be pulling off with slick satisfaction. I got my fix of lap swimming, I lounged in the hot tub. I played with the kids and visited with my girlfriend Yaayaa. We had a grand ol' time. Of course I would have to embarrass myself SOMEHOW and so I succeeded with that when I dove off the diving board, swam over to Yaayaa and she informed me that my nipple was sticking out of my swim get up. I looked down. Sure enough, my nipple was, indeed, hanging out there catching some prime daylight in the Canadian public eye.

I glanced over at my moose. We were nearing the hospital. He informed me that it would be impolite to leave him in the car all night. He said he might like to come in and visit. My stomach lurched.......

After the pool, I was feeling tuckered. It was also the first day of my moon cycle and I was feeling a bit lunar not to mention, tuckered. I once heard a wise woman say never to shop when it is the first day of your moon cycle, but that wisdom was clouded in my exhaustion and drive to run a million errands. Art dog was standing on a tall rock outside of the college office waving his arms to and fro. I slammed on the breaks and turned around. He proudly displayed a curled and used looking windshield scraper. He told me "women just don't know what to look for at thrift stores." I rolled my eyes secretly glad that most of the time men didn't come with me thrift shopping.

We had to take something back to another thrift store before we could head back to Moseses. Art Dog dawdled looking at stuff and so I browsed around until I had a large pile of items to try on. At long last we were leaving when I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He was near the door, and seemed to be calling out to me. He was the most gigantic moose I had ever seen. Big, Brown, Fluffy and with a cute brown gingham bow. I HAD to ask. The elderly lady smiled at me and said "He just got here. How about five bucks?". I said "I'll take him!!" i was so thrilled until I picked him up. He was uh, bigger than me. Well he had to be worth a fortune, what a deal!! Art Dog glanced over at me. "What are you going to do with him? He asked rather gingerly. I said "I don't know". That thought never occurred to me when I was buying him. Now I wondered "WHAT WOULD I DO WITH HIM?" I wondered. Art Dog reminded me that we live in a very small home and that Dad might not much want to share it with a very large moose. That thought hadn't occurred to me either. I told him that and he started laughing. "What were you thinking?" He asked me. I really don't know what I was thinking. He was just cute and big and seemed worth more than five bucks. I suggested I sell him at the next gun show. He said "nope, no room". I thought maybe I could keep him in my 4-Runner as a permanent passenger, but even as I thought it, I knew that wouldn't work with my dog and kids needing priority. Soon all kinds of crazy scenarios were unfolding in my mind and panic was over taking me. What had I done?

At the Moseses House, I carefully did not draw attention to my purchase. I snuck into their home quietly and ate a large portion of Yaayaa's "gooolosh". Yaayaa is from Czech Republic and she knows her gooolosh. I ate lumberjack proportions and flopped over on her couch in a gooolosh coma. When I came to, it was time to head to work. The kids were all playing and nobody cared at all that I was leaving. Yaayaa walked me out to my car and said very surprised "What is that?!?!" She had spotted my moose. It was kind of hard not to spot him. She asked me why I bought him. I told her "I don't know". She laughed and called her husband over. He asked me what I thought my husband would think. I told him "I don't know". We all knew my husband would not be impressed. They asked me where he would go. I didn't know that either. Super Catman, hearing the commotion ran up to the car. "What is that?!?! He asked horrified. Art Dog was laughing too. We all wondered what I would do with the mammoth moose.......

The monstrous moose and I had a conversation all the way to work. Mostly, I was regretting his purchase and not having gotten much rest. I apologized to him, but told him that i didn't think things were going to work out for us. He seemed hurt. I replayed all possible moose scenarios in my head and none of them looked to be turning out well. I felt stupid and embarrassed that I was such a waster of funds. My poor husband is at home slaving away in his shop while I am gallivanting around buying stuffed animals I have no use for.

The still small voice told me to bring him into work. I balked. I knew I had to do it. I also knew that when the moment was right, I would need to let go of my new oversized toy. I hefted him up. He looked to be taller and wider than me, so it looked like a giant stuffed animal was walking into the hospital. He attracted a lot of attention. Many employees gathered around me and asked me what was going on. I told them in a very confident and convincing manner "Didn't you know? Its bring your moose to work day!" Everyone was really excited. They whispered back and forth "Did you know that it is bring your moose to work day?!" Several of them took out cameras and began snapping shots. Employees were talking and laughing and pandemonium was beginning to break out. I placed the mammoth moose in an office chair and positioned my coffee cup near him. All evening, employees were taking selfies with him, bringing him in to see the patients and asking me endless questions about him. I became an instant celebrity. Soon the moose had his own facebook album. I went from feeling really stupid to quite clever. We all decided he was worth an untold fortune but I informed them I was accepting offers. Now I didn't want to give him up at all, but deep down I knew I needed to. He had really livened up an otherwise mundane shift. In the end, a new grandmother offered me a good bit more than I'd paid for him and I waved a bitter sweet goodbye.

In the morning, Art Dog drove us all home. He was very proud of me and that made it all worthwhile. "Mom" he said "I won't question you next time you think something is valuable." Both boys were very impressed with my profit. Still, I missed my moose, but their pride made me feel a bit better. Buying and selling and making good investments are a big deal to them. After all, thats what they pride themselves with doing gunshows. Nobody could wait to get home and tell Dad about all the adventures, and of course Mom's crazy moose.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Goat Girl's Baby and Gracie's New Job

Goat Girls Baby now - Baby Billy Goat with Miss Moonbeam:-)

Goat Girl's Miracle
I got to lend a helping hand
As you can see, she is soooo happy!!
Gracie Taking on the job!!
Taken through the window, we will have devotions here sometime this spring :-)
Where Gracie's Family will stay as Care Takers
The Spectacular and Legendary Estate
Here are some fun new pictures from when our beloved Goat Girl had her baby.  I got to be there with her most of the day.  It was a really special experience. 
Also our Gracie moved into a very legendary Estate in The Yaak.  She and her family will now be care takers for it.  Their boys are so excited to be there!!  Just walking through the old lodge, helping her clean was a really inspiring experience.  It spoke of many years gone by, rich in history and tales forgotton.  Super Catman helped the boys find a hidden room while Mist, Gracie and I cleaned cobwebs and gained tidbits of the mysteries the old place whispers.

Elasta Woman's girls are away with grandparents this week.  She and Matthew had a fun get away snowmobiling into hot springs in Canada. 
Goat Girl is getting her husband's grandbaby back this coming month.  He is a precious 2 year old who needs lots of love and stability.  We are all so excited to see him returning to her, as we know she's an awesome mama :-)
Mist just got back from a trip to California to see her little niece for the very first time!!
I've been extra blonde this week.  I started with a calamity of errors on Monday that seemed to never end.  I took Art Dog in to get his GED testing started.  The front desk girls looked at me like I was smoking wackie tabacci.  We finally figured out that they scheduled him in another city.  It was a crazy turn of events, but eventually they figured out a way to start his pre-testing for GED, which took the better part of the day.  Meanwhile I chased around Dr appts for Super Catman, and after hours upon hours discovered I could have treated him the same at home and with less headache.  I marched the kids into home school co-op to spend time with some friends only to realize that co-op was not till the next day.  Art Dog was loopy after hours of testing and he scared the crap out of me driving us home.  On and on I seemed to be blonder and blonder until I ended the day frying egg rolls at 8:00 that night for a very late dinner.
Last night, Miss Moonbeam and I had a serious talk.  We talked about how some kids do not live with both parents and how its very important for married people to spend special time together.  This talk was inspired by our pictures that were up on the bedroom wall from Hawaii.  As she snuggled with me in my tall log bed, she began silently crying.  I asked her why she was crying.  She told me she missed her husband Dr. Poopoo very much.  I was puzzled.  Since Dr. Poopoo is imaginary, I couldn't figure out why he was missing.  On and on she sobbed.  I began to wonder if there was some kind of imaginary separation or divorce going on, perhaps imaginary infidelity.  In the end, it turned out she was just missing the cardboard box that Art Dog had drawn for her.  I figure that's an easy fix ;-)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Springs of Living Water

The Following Photos are from our Hot Springs Trip
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This photo is the Spring run off I'm writing about

It was a quiet morning in the Yaak and all the turmoils of the past year seemed to be buried in the muddy new yard that we'd carved onto the properties bench. This February was unusually warm, and mud seemed to be everywhere. I wasn't sure where all the mud was coming from, but it was the least of my concerns. I was busy doing school with the kids, prepping meals, cleaning the house and getting ready for a night shift. Kevin called me over to the door and said "look". Out I looked and was amazed to see a spring that had appeared out of the side of the hill flowing down into the yard and down the drive. I got so excited. Instantly I remember the words of Mist last summer trying to convince me that the property wasn't so bad. She knew I wanted to be by water desperately and said "well maybe God will make Springs come out of the ground for you". I believed her and it helped me with the whole closing process that was so traumatic. So, seeing that spring come out of the ground was kind of like a Gift from God saying "see I really can do anything for somebody who tries to keep their heart right". I was giddy to the point of laughing. My husband later discovered another one on the other side of the house. I kept laughing saying "God is doing this for me!!" He got mad and said it wasn't God and that it was a bad thing. I couldn't believe that for a minute. After all, Mist had said God could do that for me clear back last summer. I laughed and laughed all the way to work.

When I got home, things were a different story though. The boys greeted me saying "see Dad was right the springs are bad!!" One concern in the back of my mind turned out to be true. The crawl space underneath the house, where I'd stored containers of food, clothes, and all kinds of random things was flooded. Soon my happy springs turned into nightmare springs and I was climbing down into deep sucking mud to try and get some of the stuff out of there. Right away I realized that there was no way I was getting it out. I sunk down into mud so deep that I couldn't even take a step. Finally I made my way across in high places and to my relief, most of the stuff was on high ground. I knew I couldn't move it through to the access hole, so I just moved what I could higher and hoped for the best. Then I picked up a little bit of floating trash, cardboard boxes and random house building pieces and maneuvered them up through the hole. It was unnerving and I was feeling overwhelmed, but it felt good to start with something.

Then I decided to tackle the problem from the outside. The boys had already diverted most of the water away from the house, but as they diverted, they discovered that more springs were popping up. Soon not one but two, then 3, then more were coming out of the porous mountain rock.

Soon I was digging trenches to divert water and back in my childhood yard remembering that I'd done the same thing every spring. I had forgotten how much fun it could be watching water flow through the little ditches and controlling their direction. The same giddy feeling returned and I decided that my husband could figure out how to get the water out of the crawl space, that it was temporary and that God, indeed sent the springs. I dug in the mud, lost for what seemed like an eternity until Gracies engine brought me back from the age of 10

Rootbeer on our Hot Springs Trip

Roasting Marshmallows on vacation at Lochsaw Lodge Cabins
to 40 something and I was racing around to get ready for our cross country ski outing.

We'd had a good devotion earlier that week, reading Heidi Baker's "Birthing The Miraculous". In it, she reminded the readers that water always flows into the lowest places and she compared it to Gods Spirit flowing over humble hearts. The lower you go, the more immersed in water you allow yourself to be. Every time the water went the wrong direction, the insight seemed to remind me that my heart has to keep low for the water to go in the right direction.

Elasta Woman, Gracie and I had been talking about all the miracles we'd seen God do. Now Goat girl had her baby, the one she'd always dreamed of - another miracle that we all got to be a part of. Elasta Woman's mom was miraculously alive after being given a 5% chance to live. Mist has 2 miracle babies after many many miscarriages. Elasta Woman's sister in law got a baby even though the Dr's thought it was impossible and could possibly take her life. On and on we recited miracles until it seemed like miracles were normal every day occurrences.

One last miracle was our last devotional group. A new woman came and shared that she had recently detoxed off of recreational drugs. She is a mom and wife and just wants to get back on track. She was excited to be learning and having us all as new friends. What a miracle it was to see her there, telling her story of how God did the impossible and got her clean so she could be a better mama to her 2 year old.


I'm afraid I've neglected this blog and I'm sorry about that, not so much because I like making people laugh at my crazy antics, or because there are more pictures than I'll ever catch up with, but because a lot of Gods miracles have passed through and they didn't get recorded like they should have. I promise I'll try harder to make time for blogging.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Big Bad Boogie Man Is Into Arts and Crafts



My earliest memories of art class around Kindergarten involved my grandmother trying to convince my art teacher that I was “really gifted”.  My grandmother, being a rather outspoken matriarch had marched into parent teacher conferences with the attitude that I was some kind of Picasso in the making.  The art teacher smiled politely but didn’t comment much.  Shortly after my turn, I remember hearing her rave about another student.  It was the first subtle hint jogging my memories that I was on the verge of something evil to come……

   Creepy, foreboding forest with an unnatural hush in the air is the setting.  Even the animals are too terrified to move or utter sound.  They know that horror lurks and its sharp, strong jaw will clench them if they but wince.  Then I come ambling along, too preoccupied to see the danger lurking.  “Fa la la la la” I hum loudly, tripping over my shoe laces.  A whoosh in the brush, a whir, a horrible, bone chilling scream and I am suddenly ambushed by none other than……………..art.

   Seriously, its been that way with me and crafts for some time now.  That Kindergarten memory was just the beginning.  At camp Wannakewin, I made a wide circle around the craft cabin and avoided it at all costs.  Even torrential rain and mosquitoes was better than going in there!!  In Jr High, I was getting an “F” in art.  I had to beg my boyfriend, now husband to cheat and submit some assignments for me just to pull up to a “D-“.  Another memory was the time a Sr. High boy drug me off into the art closet, locking us in together while the whole class roared in laughter at my screams and bangs on the door to be let out.  At the time, the art teacher thought it was funny.  Memory after memory of failed art projects, mean kids and unimpressed art mentors plague me.  By the time adulthood rolled around, and I get invited to do crafts with other women here and there, I flat out retort “Crafts Creep Me Out!”  Usually an eye roll is involved on the part of the inviting female.  They remain unimpressed with my lack of enthusiasm.  I truly mean with all my heart “Crafts Creep Me Out” and they do.

  If I don’t hum loudly and I hold really still and don’t breathe, when art passes by, he might not get me.  Still, every so often, I find him sniffing about hungrily wanting to devour me.  He’s the kind of raging animal that wakes me up in a cold sweat.  I suspect he’s been peering in the window at me while I am innocently drooling on my pillow.  He ever so cautiously waits to spring on me when I least expect it.  Sometimes he hides under my bed ready to gnaw my ankle off at the first sight of my foot hitting the floor.  It’s a totally irrational fear, about as rational as the Boogie man hiding under my bed.  Still, just typing about him makes me feel like hyperventilating.

   This big bad Boogie man had been holding my girlfriend Elasta Woman in chains for quite some time now.  He has her fascinated in this dreadful obsession called “crochet”.  Just like any unhealthy addiction such as drugs and alcohol, Elasta Woman got sucked into this terrible vortex of “triple treble”.  I tried to warn her about the evils of this crafty vice, but she just laughed it off and got her kids sucked in.  Before long her girls were making all manner of hats, scarves and even dresses.  Soon Goat girl and Mist were addicted.  This terrible plague seemed contagious and wide spread to all who were exposed.  “Krafty Kay” seemed to be the ring leader or yarn pusher if you will.  She seemed like a nice young mom from all outer appearances, but if you take a closer look, you will find that she and the whole craft thing are tight.  If you pull on the monstrous weave of tightly knit stitches, you will find “Krafty Kay” right smack dab in the center of all the handiwork.  What lengths would she go to to infect the entire valley with her fiendish scheme? 

  You guessed it.  She held another crocheting craft day at her apartment connected to the mercantile with all my innocent, addicted girlfriends, slaves, crocheted in its clutches.  This time Elasta Woman rather strongly suggested I attend.

   Night after night I tossed and turned, dreading the day.  Its like inviting your girlfriend to have a root canal with you, or maybe a colonoscopy.  What kind of warped mind thinks crocheting with a bunch of other girlfriends is fun anyway?  I gladly accepted a night shift working as an Emergency RN the night before, knowing it would delay the inevitable as I would have to sleep some of the day away.  At some point I would have to get up and show up.  I dawdled, drinking some coffee, washing my dishes, cleaning up dog puke and checking news on face book.  I knew I was about to face a ghastly opponent.  My stomach lurched.  I wanted to purl – I mean hurl.  I held back involuntary wretches as I stepped out the door with my kids in tow.  I could no longer delay the inevitable…….

      The girls seemed genuinely happy to see me upon my arrival.  Nervously I settled into a chair, bracing myself.  They all seemed oblivious of my discomfort.  Krafty Kay had me sit reeeaaal close to her so she could show me how to start my stitching pattern.  I forced myself to breath evenly.  “Show no fear” I reminded myself.  Thankfully, there was food on the counter and Miss Belly Fat called to me often.  I suspect that she and art are in cahoots with each other.  I tried to explain to the girls about my irrational fear of crafts.  I told them it was kind of like the time we all went cliff jumping.  “Remember being frozen out on that ledge?” I asked them.  They frowned and none of them felt they could reasonably compare crocheting with cliff jumping. 

   Bravely, like Dora on “Finding Nemo”, I repeated to myself “just keep crocheting” “just keep crocheting”.  At first it all looked like a menacing jumble of knots, but over time I could pick out just a bit of pattern.  The girls all encouraged me with words like “you can do it” and “look at you go”.  Gracie suggested “Just pretend like crocheting is not a craft”.  Later on Rabbit, Elasta Woman’s daughter rubbed my shoulders as I battled ferociously.  I imagined myself as Rocky in a fighting ring.  That old Rocky music was playing loudly, inspiring me.  Rabbit was like the coach on the corner between rounds.  I was really ready to knock out some bad boxer, maybe even the Boogie Man himself.  On and on, round after round I stitched suppressing the fears that shrieked loudly “Stop it right now!!  You don’t do crafts!!”

   When it was finally time to go home and get ready for work again I had an actual piece of work started.  It is a partially formed hat.  Remember the time all the girls sat around in a circle and whispered about you?  That’s how crafts were for me.  They were and still are kind of like a clique that I wasn’t a part of.  I was always an outsider, looking in, too insecure to even attempt to join them, embarrassed of myself letting my imagination go wild about what those girls might be whispering.  My shoulders slump, my head hangs down and I want to hide.  Somehow, today, just some how, the Boogie man wasn’t quite so threatening.  Somehow I managed to do some stitches like the other girls and bravely moved into uncharted territory.  Really, I think crafting is just as terrifying to me as cliff jumping.  It makes me sick to grab that hook and move the yarn around.  I want to throw up, but I force myself to do it anyway.  I asked God not to let me live my life missing out on anything.  Long ago I learned that the secret to getting out of yourself is to do things afraid.  That’s what I did and that’s how I accomplished part of a hat today.  Elasta Woman looked pleased and proud of me.  I smiled, wearing the hat that she recently stitched for me...............................

Friday, November 21, 2014

"The Cabin" - rewritten

I blame "the cabin" for my writing inspiration, but especially for its lack thereof....... I had written a detailed documentary of the cabin and its horrors only to have my husband read it and say that no way was it publishable. That teed me off and I thought "forget it, I'm not writing!!" Of course I knew the story was probably not all that appropriate for varied readers, but it was my story and the inability to share it made me feel a bit hedged.

It is nearly impossible to tell of the horrors of my life these past few months without giving due credit to "the cabin", so I will try once again with better perspective....................

The day came and went for the old man to move out of the cabin. Part of me greatly anticipated his departure, as it felt weird sharing the same property with him. I didn't know him, and living on the same property with a stranger put me continually on edge. Alas, the day came when he did, finally go, and along with him left my sanity.

Several times I inched through the cabin. Each and every time I was out of my mind with terror. Secret fantasies lurked in my mind involving gasoline and a match. In the end, my husband was very firm in advising that I would, indeed, move into the cabin. After that, fantasies of jumping on a train to my moms were entertained quite regularly.

After one particular Sunday service, I really really lost it. A lot of things compounded my agony, but mice breaking into my stash of several bags of Garden of Eaten' organic blue chips finished me off. I arrived at my girlfriends house in complete misery, describing multiple credible reasons why my moving into the cabin was not a rational one. She in turn, convinced me that Jesus was bigger than any known problem of the cabin and that she would help me clean it. Other girlfriends echoed in unison.

I had been advised to wear a space suit type apparatus, which I didn't possess. Some of my girlfriends husbands would't allow them to help me after all, as they too, were afraid. In the end, Elasta Woman and Goat Girl worked like dogs helping me sanitize and disinfect every inch of space. The fear left me and I felt Gods presence. It was empowering to no longer be afraid. Few things in life have been so difficult as cleaning and moving into that cabin, but one thing is for certain, Gods power was bigger than my fears and without Jesus loving girlfriends I don't know what would have become of me.

I can't say its been all peaches and cream since then. The day came for the motor home to be winterized and although God gave us an Indian Summer, freezing weather was bound to show up. I really really loved the shower in the motorhome. It has a pretty sky window, and although a short half life, the water is hot!! In the cabin, "hot" is a loose term when it comes to water there, as is "privacy" since the kitchen/bathroom are kind of combined in this bacheolor pad. Thankfully, Art Dog hung a curtian up just in time as the next day one of the workmen came in looking for water while I was on the biffy. I still cannot bring myself to observe the "tower of poop" which the men and boys are quite proud of exhibited in the outhouse. I will take my chances with the kitchen toilet.

As I agonized over the humiliation of living in that tiny bachelor pad, a lot of other good things were taking place. The new house was being built and God continued to be faithful. The workmen worked hard and fast. They tried hard to make sure we had every advantage. I made them coffee and desserts in the morning and allot of time lunches. At first it was hard cooking, as for months all I had to cook on was a grill and burner top. The RV had a tiny convection oven, but it usually shorted out the electricity making it pretty worthless in the end. After a time, I found an oven on Craigslist and was thrilled the day it got installed. Again, it was short lived because giant flames leaped in the oven and the place filled up with gas smell. Again I was back to the grill until my husband eventually figured out how to fix the problem.

I was much too embarrassed to have any one over to "the cabin", and when people did come, I felt sick to my stomach. There was barely walking room and usually boxes all over the place. Having the men to cook for gave me something to do, though, and I found some joy in that. There was also endless painting, staining and oiling to be done. Most days I crawled into bed without an ounce of energy to be found left.

God also moved on my husband in many ways I never thought possible. Moving back here was the hardest thing in the world for me, especially moving into that cabin, but even in my darkness, God kept shining hope . I read "Chasing The Dragon" by Jackie Pullinger to the family in the mornings and the evenings. Goatgirl encouraged us to pray in the spirit more often. Small, but notable miracles began taking place and I knew that God had not forgotten me.

One of my miracles was "Sheeba", Archer's German Shepherd. He had sold her when he left for college. After a lot of correspondence, the new owner felt prompted to give her to me. She's a very dear dog and friend who wants to be with me every moment of the day. She's as near a guardian angel as a dog can get ;-) Her presence gave me a lot of comfort.

One day the bedroom in the house was ready to move into. Another day my husband hooked up the dryer so we wouldn't have to spend hours elsewhere drying clothes. It didn't all come at once, but when it came, I promised myself I would never take such things for granted ever again. Finally the day came when the men said they were through. This was a great relief, as we were putting out a lot of money each week. My husband was on his own to finish up. Secretly I hoped we could be living in the house by Thanksgiving, but I didn't say anything. It was hard enough not to nag him daily about what was left to do. After all, work in his new shop seemed to be pouring in and we both knew we needed the income.

Most of my days were busy and exhausting, many emotional, but when I remembered what was important, they were bearable. When I remember that having babies is such a small fleeting time, I embrace every day with Miss Moonbeam. When I remember boys messes soon leads to their absence, the messy cabin isn't such horrible place. When I remember that there are allot of divorced and widowed women alone in the world, my husband's crazy idea of dragging me out here isn't all that horrible either because at least I'm sharing his adventure and letting him follow his dreams while he still has the opportunity. All in all, if I don't focus too much on the brown liquid dripping off the open insulation in the ceiling onto the stove top, I can almost juggle some contentment ;-)