Rob reminded me today to make sure that I am not just giving my friends and family the “highlight reel” of our life. To be sure, I always strive to be authentic and real. But when I go to post things, I usually use my photostream to jog my memory of topics to write about. And let’s face it, I don’t typically think to take pictures of piles of laundry but the sweet face of my cow makes a much more interesting subject to share!
But in the interest of transparency, I will start posting days that make things more challenging so that you will understand that we don’t live in some kind of magical kingdom of butterflies and frothy milk. Life is hard and we struggle just like everyone. I am always encouraged to read about others who struggle as well, it encourages me that we are all living a messy life that is both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
Without further ado…
- Four days ago, our washing machine went out. The guy who is installing our HAVAC (he also works on appliances) told me a few weeks ago that the bearings were going out (he heard it while he was working on the duct work), so it wasn’t a complete surprise. We typically use a family friend to fix appliances, but since this guy was here almost every day it made sense to use him (he’s a sweetheart and family friend as well). I wasn’t too concerned because we were actually completely caught up on laundry for the entire family! Well, with a family of seven, it piles up quickly. It doesn’t help that two of the children, unaware yet of the situation of the washer, decided it was a good time to strip their bed and bring it downstairs to wash. This is what our laundry looks like at the moment. Hopefully, it will be fixed later today – but I’m not holding my breath. This is our only full bathroom, so it makes it a bad eye sore when laundry piles up. It also doesn’t help that we are kind of minimalist with clothing, so we run out of things VERY quickly. I only own 2 pairs of jeans… Right now, I’m ready to head to a laundromat if he isn’t here in the next 2 hours…
- The HAVAC situation. We are flippin’ HOT! When we bought the place, we were aware that there was no central heating or air. There were window air units, baseboard electric heat, and a kick a** pellet stove! I suggested that we live the first year in the house as it stands. Families have lived here for generations with the current set up and I thought we should at least try it. Summer with only window units was “do-able”, barely. But the pellet store igniter went out 3 times, two of those times happened while Rob was in California dealing with the death of his father and it was 5 degrees here. A neighbor had to come over and help me fix it so that we could have heat (the wood stove store had a 6-week wait list!). The conclusion was that I can live without cold air, but we needed a heat back up that wasn’t just electric baseboard! In Feb/March, they began work on installing duct work over the 1900 sq ft two story house. I would say that it’s 80% done, but it was certainly supposed to be done quite a while back. Now it is 90 degrees+ and over 100 with the heat index and we don’t have air yet. But I’m not bitter, I am allowing God to use this as another opportunity to be content in all things. This is just a season and it’s won’t be hot forever. Just don’t ask me to bake any bread right now, I might duct tape your mouth. <<insert picture of myself covered in sweat and not moving off the couch>> Currently the kids are outside in a kiddie pool, trying to get cool!
- Driver’s Ed. My son is getting decent grades in his first public school class, driver’s ed. I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus publicly with details. But suffice it to say that we drove 50 miles, wasted an afternoon and didn’t have required things to get a permit. I know that everyone with a 15 year old son will relate. Also, my son’s vision is bad enough that he failed the vision test (it’s a very mild prescription)! Tomorrow we will try again, this time with his glasses. On the plus side, we spent the afternoon in the air conditioning of the car!
- Failed Cheese. Geeze, I should start getting this by now! I have made Mozzarella 3 times now and it’s been perfect! I scaled up the recipe for 3 gallons of milk and it totally failed me! It never came together and just looked like slightly clabbered milk! I decided to let it sit for an hour longer, but it didn’t change consistency. I was too depressed to do anything with it later that night and left it on the counter. The next day, the dang thing smelled and looked JUST like proofed yeast! I kinda want to study what happened to it overnight, because it was certainly yeast! Anyway, I wasted a ton of milk and it’s frustrating, but I will try again. Probably not until the calf is born in August…. but I will try again. On the plus side, before I used the milk for cheese, I skimmed off several pounds of cream that we made into butter, so it’s not a total loss!
- Not really relevant, but the kids decided to rub their faces with dandelions. Don’t ask. I don’t. I just snap pictures. Also to note… Harold has been going through a phase where he wears a 3 pc suit every day. Yeah, there’s that.