In January, my sweetest, most wonderful best friend Achaiah took pretty sick. I did everything I could, and I thought maybe we could save her, but after eleven and a half years together, she died in my arms. I took it pretty hard. I'm not even going to lie, I don't think anything's been that hard since mom's accident. Soul-hard. It seemed like I should have written a great post about her or told at least part of her story, but I just couldn't do anything. There was so much I could say, and nothing I could say at all. Maybe one day I could do some justice to honoring the honest-to-god greatness that was Achaiah. It's not now though.
It's also that awful time of year, the anniversary of mom's accident. Mother's Day. Hard stuff. I've tried to make this a healing year. I'm so grateful to peaceofpie, who gave me a healing attunement for a special healing ceremony I had planned. I've really felt a huge difference. I've been able to write again, and this week I've started going through some of mom's stuff, mainly her old writing. I've really been doing a lot of great healing/reiki/shamanic work lately, and it feels good to be getting back in alignment with myself again.
There's a lot of good. Maya took her first steps this very evening! She's only eight months old, but I knew this was coming early. She's such a great joy. She's truly an adult just hanging out in a baby's body. She's been mobile for months, walking today, I swear she's said "I love you!" or "love you!" on several occasions. She knows many words, though she's stubborn/coy and won't often say them when you ask. She signs a few. She's got a great sense of humor and totally gets everything around her, and she's so expressive even when she's not saying anything. She's a giant lovebug, though more with me than with anyone else. She'll get all smootchy and want to roll around smootching and hugging. Up until I cut my hair, she'd grab me with two fistfuls and just lay big slobbery ones on me. She's almost always smiling. She is awesome in so many great ways.
Eden's really grown up since we all had a baby, in more ways than one. She's a big help and a little mommy a lot of the times. Sometimes a bit bossy. Starting to see a lot of me when I was that age, and I know mom's just a laughing. Eden's gotten a bit purposefully sassy though, and I was never like that. I was a bossy and a know it all, but I never gave such sass to my mom. I wouldn't have gotten away with that. But we're working on that, and she really wants to go to Camp Wholekids this summer, so hopefully we can get that premature teenage attitude thing under control. She's stepped up in the chore department though, and she's doing a lot around the house now, so I'm really proud of her there.
Ivy is also a big help, though she does try to play up the "I just can't do it myself" thing. I pointed out all of the chores Eden's taken on though, so Ivy knows she's getting off easily. She's starting to volunteer to help a lot more when something needs to be done. And she's finally starting to get a real better grasp on reading and writing. She can sound out words very well now, and she's started writing some of the shopping lists for me. She's also very helpful with taking care of all the animals.
We have a new flock of chickens now. We got more Buckeyes and Ameraucanas, and we're trying out Phoenixes and Welsummers this year. Josh has four phoenixes. He's finally starting to settle on some names. They're a little over two months old now, I think. I love my chickens. I can tell all of the Ameraucanas and most of the Welsummers apart, and I'm working on names for most of those. My favorite is a big black & gold Ameraucana named Ereshkigal. Eden has a Welsummer rooster named Dave. All of our Welsummers were supposed to be girls, but Eden seemed to know right off the bat that he was a little guy named Dave. We had a cool one who had a scissor-beak, Roadrunner, but we lost her this week. I'm not sure what happened to her. She was really special, so that was hard for everyone. The buckeyes still all look the same and we have more of those. I can tell who a few boys are now though.
I do a lot of posting on our Grateful Stead FB page. I started that on Jan 1st too, I believe. Lots of cool homesteady stuff shared there. Some people really suggested I start a blog, so after some musing, I decided to. But I figured I shouldn't neglect the blog I already had. You might also have noticed that I changed my username! I had originally wanted Ahavah, but it was already taken. I snagged that up as soon as it became available. Yay! So I'm going to try to start posting here again, and I'm also going to try to do homestead posts at GratefulStead.com. It's a just getting started, but a friend is helping me figure everything out.
Since my healing ceremony, I'm writing a lot more. I'm working on another novel. This time I tried outlining, and I actually have a pretty good idea of a real stopping point. It's slow going, but I'm really enjoying it. The working title is the Neon Giraffe, which has nothing to do with anything. It's an apocalyptic survivalist-type story. I'm only just starting, and I'm working on part of chapter one in both 1st & 3rd POV. I'm not sure which way I want to go, but it's fun trying it both ways. I think I have an inkling of which one feels a bit more 'right' than the others, but I want to have a couple beta readers look it over when I'm done and see what they say.
I'm not working anymore. I'm glad to be staying home with my babies again. Routines & homeschooling tend to go slightly better when I do. It was kind of scary, because Josh got laid off right after we decided I should start staying home again. I freaked out a bit, but Josh actually found a much better job fairly quickly. It's hard, physical work at a saw mill, but he likes physical work. And it's only a few miles down the road, and our kinda-neighbor works there too. They carpool together, and then we usually get to go visit him at lunch, which is Maya's very favorite part of the day.
So, that's pretty much how I've been. Trying to get serious about my farm, trying to get serious about my healing, trying to get serious about my writing. Basking in my family. Going to try not to be a stranger so much anymore. Let me know if I've missed anything wonderful (or not so wonderful) in your lives! I'm going to try to read my f-list a lot more, but it probably won't be keeping up with every post like I used to when I was active on here. I have missed it though, and I hope some of you are still here with me!