Changes

As you may have noticed, the blog has been quiet (with the exception of my Memorial Day post) for quite a while. There has been a lot going on over here at the Rasmussen homestead. I’ve been picking up more days as a substitute teacher, doing more moving jobs, and going through some personal things. The conclusion I have come to is it is time for change.

To help me transition away from so much time online, I have enrolled in two classes on canning and home food preservation. I am ecstatic. I cannot wait to learn hands-on (even though I’ve already done quite a bit of canning) and meet more people who share my interests that I can learn from and form relationships with.

One of the first changes I made was to social media. The official start date is June 1st, but as of Friday, May 29th, I have limited my time on Facebook to once a day in the morning. I have removed the app from my phone, removed the shortcut from my Google Chrome toolbar, and moved my laptop out of the living room and into the den. Facebook had become a horrible addiction for me and it had to go. When I am more absorbed in the virtual world than the real world, there is a serious problem. I was not communicating with people unless it was through text or private message. I was getting sucked into things that didn’t concern me and allowing myself to take on the beliefs of others when they went against everything I had ever stood for. I was angry, anxious, and depressed.

The next change I made was to this blog. The majority of my thoughts and interests pertain to farming and homesteading, so that is the direction I am moving with this blog. Hopefully, it will inspire me to write more. One of the problems I noticed when I was spending all of my time online was that I stopped doing the things I loved. I stopped baking bread. I lost the desire to cook. I hated keeping up with my chores. My marriage began to suffer. In the last three days, communication has improved between me and my husband, I made a huge Sunday breakfast, baked a loaf of bread, and am tossing around ideas on what to whip up for dinner.

It has only been three days, but I feel so much better. I’m less tense and anxious. I feel much less fatigued. I’m smiling and laughing more. I know it won’t be easy. I have spent the last two years glued to a virtual world. I struggle with the thoughts of what people think and what they might be saying. Then, I come back to reality and remember that what others think of me is none of my business. All that matters is what I think of me. I’ve been wanting to make this break for quite some time now, but have been too afraid to do it. No more. I know what needs to happen and have put steps in place to ensure my success.

The homesteading life does not have a whole lot of room for downtime. There is way too much to be done. The garden always needs tending, clothes need mending, food needs making, someone is having a baby and needs something made with love, a neighbor needs help, family needs attention, etc. It is time to live the life I have always imagined, even if it is on a 1/4 acre in the suburbs and not a farm in the country, but that’s a post for another day.

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Remembering the Fallen

Monday is Memorial Day, and it is one of my favorite holidays. I grew up in a very patriotic family, so honoring our servicemen and women has always been a big part of my life. I had a great uncle who fought in the Korean War and another who fought in World War II. Both of them lived to tell about the horrors they witnessed.

War hit our family hard on May 19, 2012 when my cousin, Staff Sgt. Shane Barnard, was killed in Afghanistan. Shane was an EOD and died while diffusing a roadside bomb when a second device detonated. (The article can be found here.) He was supposed to be coming home to his family after multiple tours.

Before his death, I had the privilege of traveling to Washington, DC and visiting the Vietnam Wall, the Korean War Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. If you have never been to any of these monuments, I highly recommend you do so.

The Vietnam Wall left me in tears. We found my dad’s friend’s brother’s name. He was only 18 when he was killed. The Korean War Memorial is cool, but nothing compares to Arlington National Cemetery.

Upon arriving at Arlington, I was rendered speechless. It is just so incredible. We were able to watch the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The dedication these men have is awesome. I found myself in tears again. I came home from that trip with a whole new respect for the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made.

For today, I leave you with the song “Arlington” by Trace Adkins. Please remember to keep our fallen military members in your thoughts today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJO7lJIxG10