Welcome to our Homestead

Welcome to Rocky Oak Homestead™

A quiet, peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of everyday living in a world on the brink of insanity! A place where we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Weeds in our journey

Once again it's been far to long to since I visited here...Life is just busy, or rather I should say full. So here's my update and thoughts.

We bought a buck to breed to our doe's to this fall. We had intended to get 2 bucks, brothers, but with only 3 doe's we decided against that. We will add more bucks as we expand our herd a bit.

Our bee hive is flourishing and we are enjoying having bees and honey!

We had planned on getting more chickens, but talked myself out of it. I'm just not ready to be tied down with them again. I am enjoying my freedom to much! LOL

Farm man and I became grandparents for the 4th time in April.  A little girl named Remi. She just turned 2 months old and is a beautiful little lady. We are enjoying our blessings.

We have also been doing some light traveling in recent months delivering the puppies we sell. We are enjoying the freedom we have found since becoming empty nesters. :)

As usual life has had plenty to teach us and keep us busy here on the homestead. The one year anniversary of my friends death, the 2 year anniversary of my dads passing and the 4 year anniversary of leaving our church is all upon us...it certainly makes me weepy...so much loss in a short period of time. I am slowly working through all the emotions and changes that come from loss. I feel its been a very slow process but yet it also seems like yesterday all this happened. 

This morning as I checked my email there was an email from a person whose writings I subscribe to. It was so timely and spoke volumes. I want to share a snippit here...

The writer was talking abut where she lived as a child and all the beautiful gardens that once thrived there. Over the years they had become unkempt and overgrown. Someone had been working on restoring the gardens and said to her..

"You can't just go in with a garden like this and start tearing things out-everything would die off. You've got to go slowly and allow the secrets of of the garden to reveal themselves to you."

Wow! Profound! I feel that's kinda how my life has been for the past 4 years...Just bumbling around throwing out this and that with no rhyme or reason hoping against the odds all this pain and confusion would just go away... I've been so busy trying to rid all this pain that i've not taken the time to see the beauty or wisdom in all of this...and yes, there is beauty and wisdom in our pain...just like the garden above, many times we focus on the weeds to the point we can't see the beauty that lies just behind them...we think the only way to 'fix it" it to tear everything out and start over when in reality we just need to slow down and begin the daunting task of removing the weeds and keep the beautiful growth that lies just behind them. Weeding, as most of us know is a painful and slow process, sometimes it feels overwhelming and we simply just don't where to start...I think that's kind of been where my mindset has been..."where do I start"...truthfully, you just pick a place and start and slowly working to dig out all the weeds and sometimes very deep roots...it is painstaking...we will toil and sweat and want to give up..but we must stay at it to ever find the all the beauty that lies just behind the weeds...slowly we will begin to see to progress and the beauty will begin to emerge...all the effort will then be worth it...most of the time in the end we will come to find all the work put into weeding becomes so minimal compared to the radiance of the beauty left behind...We find it was all so worth it...

I have done a lot of weeding over the past 4 years, and it's been hard, back breaking work...I have discovered my focus has been so much on the weeds I have failed to see my progress in my journey...My brother pointed out to me in a conversation the other day I have come a long way and have been able to change my perspective so much...I guess because i've been in the trenches trying to dig my way out I forgot to stop and look at the beauty left behind in the wake of my weeding...and there is beauty, learning and much wisdom i've gained over the years...I just need a new perspective...I need to change my focus from a negative to a positive and realize our journey is for a reason...be it painful, joyful, easy, hard, ugly, pretty...its all for our benefit...All the hard work of weeding pays off with a bountiful harvest...so it is with our life journey...We can't appreciate the beauty if we never have weeds. We need to be grateful and thankful for the weeds in our journey!

Until next time...
Kris




Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Well, hello blogland!

Yes, I'm alive and doing well...Not sure why getting back to blogging has been so hard for me other than my time is being spent elsewhere..but hopefully I can figure out a way to fix that!

So what's going on with you all? Things are quiet as always around here...my youngest daughter is due very soon with our 4th grand-child, 3rd grand-daughter... we are excited! Spring has decided to to hold off I guess in these parts, it's frustrating as I am so ready to be outside playing in the dirt...when I'm outside in nature I am in my element! The goats we bought in December are doing well, the kids are growing and getting big...I have a buck on deposit and will pick him up the end of May or first part of June..

It's been a long journey the past years...but it's been good and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...finally! Grieving is hard and there is no time limit like we like to believe. People will say well, it been a year or however long...I always wanna say "and why does that matter.? See, i've learned grief is ongoing, it doesn't stop when you want it to, or wish it would, as a matter of fact...I don't believe it ever stops, we just somehow learn to live around the loss of our loved one...I think we grieve indefinitely and sometimes the grief is more intense than others...We do learn to do life differently without that person or persons but they’re always in our hearts, thoughts and lives to some degree...and because of that grief is too...

When I decided to stop homesteading I had it in my mind I just needed to "get over" all the loss we had suffered in the last 5 years..I thought I needed to time to "grieve" and when my grieving was done I could pick it all back up...but as I said, I have learned grieving doesn't end... I also learned life does indeed go on...I will grieve as I continue on my journey of life...when those feelings come up I just need to take time and feel them, process them and keep moving forward...

In order to move forward I must actively engage in those things that define my life...such as homesteading...in past months i've been stuck..stuck in thought and hope....hoping this grief would just magically be gone one day and when it wasn't I began thinking something was wrong with me...there is nothing wrong with me..my grief process has been normal....What isn't really normal(for lack of a better word" is my thinking...thinking this would all go away and I wouldn't grieve anymore after a certain time period had passed...

A lot of time has passed and I still cry from time to time over all the loss...but its ok...And it's time for me to realize that it's ok for me to still enjoy life and all things I used to love...I think I did need a break from all the stuff we had going on...I did need time to process all that had happened and to find me...I needed to time to figure out if what I was doing was really working for me, as person and woman...the answer I found was yes and no...Lord! why can't things just be cut and dry..LOL...Homesteading is my deep passion...but doing it on the scale I was trying to do it on was not working...So when we pick it up this time, it will be on different terms...a few goats, a dozen or chickens..and the bees...that's enough!

I realized in my 'down time' that if I spent all my time working I wasn't really living...Farm man and I want to travel even if its just short trips...we are making that a reality now...its been nice...

We are still not involved in organized religion and doubt we ever will be again...we have made our peace with ourselves, what we believe and with those that hurt us beyond words...albeit way different than before, it is working for us...

I look forward to sharing day to day life here with you all...I have no specific direction to take this blog in mind...it will simply be a collection of thoughts, lessons and what our life is like on Rocky Oak Homestead hope you all will join me!...Stay Tuned!


My new little buck to added very soon! No name yet.




Happy Homesteading,

~Kris

Monday, January 1, 2018

Well, we made it another year! I am so grateful. I woke this morning with a sense of hope...not sure I can adequately explain it but I just feel free! It’s like I have carried around a backpack full of bricks for a very long time and today they were gone...the heaviness is all gone...I had vowed a few weeks ago that I would leave the past the behind in 2018 and begin again, I can't go back and change anything....People I loved passed on from this life, the president is president regardless if you like him or you don't, our world is in the shape its in and the only way to change it is to be change...Each person has to want to make a change and when each of us personally change, change will happen collectively...I vowed to be better...a better person, a better friend, a better gardener, a better mom, a better wife...etc...I just want to be better...period... 

We have a lot of hurt in past 5 years of our lives here at Rocky Oak...it negatively affected us a whole...we spent a lot of years being and doing what we thought were the right things for the right reasons...but one day, in an instant, with some very ugly and harsh words from someone we loved and admired, trusted and looked up to...we realized we were not being true to who we were....we were living a life based on what others had told us our whole life was the right way...we grew from infants being taught and told "this is right and this is the only way"...for some maybe it is...for us leaving the organized church has been such a wonderful thing and has allowed us opprotunity to find what we believe and meet some wonderful people in the process...It has been freeing...We love our new found freedom! No longer in bondage of a legalistic way of life...Ahhhhh! its nice!


This year I just know is going to be awesome...I am excited to see what life has in store for us...We have so many plans we would like to see come to fruition, not only for

our little "homestead" but in our personal lives as well... but we will not fret if they don't....Joy and learning is in the journey, not in the destination!....I am going to embrace the journey this year and quit getting in my own way...I am going to take life as it comes and quit resisting....Something I have learned in my studies over the past couple of years is this...Change isn't what brings us saddness...its resisiting the change that brings us saddness....I believe it was Thich Naht Hanh that said that...Oh my did it speak volumes to me...I have always been one to resist change...and by doing so I got in my own way of happiness....This year I want to just enjoy the journey wherever it takes me...I want to learn in the process and be in the moment to savor all of life...My friend that passed was a busy woman...going here, going there, doing this or that....but never really stopping to touch life...just to breathe and take in all the goodness life offers...I want to feel, breathe, touch life and have no regrets...I am an outdoors person...I love nature...I love exploring it...photgraphing it...feeling the breeze on my face...I love lying in my hammock and looking up at the wonder of the heavens...I close my eyes and breathe deeply and thank the creator for life....OH! I can't wait for spring...Even this winter I have enjoyed more than previous winters...While I detest the cold, I know its a necessary part the cycle of life...I keep my bird feeders full and I daily I stand at the window and watch the birds come up to the feeder and get their tummies full...I love seeing the cardinals....I smile each time I see one and remember my dad and my friend...this morning when I saw 4 cardinals perached on the grape vines, I smiled...I didn't feel saddness that their journey on life was over, I felt joy that I had the time with them I had...they both taught me some of lifes greatest lessons...I am truly grateful.

I am so looking forward to what 2018 brings to us...I look forward to sharing it here, with you all...See ya soon!

Love, light and peace,
~Kris

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017 Year End Reflections,goals and lessons learned!

Every year I like to reflect on what I've experienced, but more importantly what lessons I learned from those experiences...It has been another year of learning for sure!

I lost my dad in 2016 and that was very much a learning experience for me, I found what unconditional love truly meant and what a wonderful thing it was to forgive someone who was really never sorry for what they had done to you...I learned it brought me peace to forgive...

In 2017 I lost my best friend of 21 years...it was the biggest thing I faced...In many ways it was harder than losing my dad...A relationship with a best friend is different than a relationship with your dad...My best friend had been there for so much in my life...the ups, the downs, the good, the bad and ugly as they say...We met when were both foster parents, we adopted our girls close together, we both suffered health issues, we had issues with our children(gasp! they weren't perfect...LOL...sarcasm intended) and we lost our parent within 3 weeks of each other, her mom...my dad...10 months later I lost her...still not sure how I feel about it all...I have struggled alot...I've struggled trying to figure out how I feel...it all happened so fast...she was sick for awhile but she had an autoimmune disease so it wasn't out of the ordinary for her to feel ill at times...in May we talked on the phone and she was feeling a little nauseous and tired...by mid May she was being diagnosed with pneumonia and no matter what meds they gave her she just wasn't responding...she had had breast cancer 4.5 years earlier but apparently that was of no merit to the docs( arrrg!) finally her pulmonologist decided to do a scan...On June 2nd my best friend was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to her adrenal glands, her liver, her bones and her lymph nodes....she was struggling to breathe the last time we talked by phone..I was in shock! I couldn't even cry it was like the world stopped spinning...and I just sat there...in silence...in denial..she opted for no chemo and her journey ended July 29th, 2017...I miss her more than words can express...I cry now...I dont't have a best friend anymore...I don't a friend to call up and say hey guess what....I don't have a friend to share those funny little memes with I find on facebook...I don't have friend to confide all my secrets in anymore, all my fears, ask all my questions to...share my journey of life with...I miss her...part of me died with her..Life will never be the same...I wonder if I will ever find another friend that just accepts me for me...my weirdness and all?...A friend that calls and we talk forever and work on solving all the worlds problems and a friend that can accept I am a deep thinker and I'm not much on small talk...Theresa, my friend used to tell me that she told her husband I was such an intellectual...LOL...I laughed...still do...but she valued my opinion, the way I saw the world, she valued and understood i'm not a people person and love being home and that I love silence...she didn't fault me for loving critters more than people...LOL...we didn't see everything the same...but we accepted and loved each other for who we were....she was the wife of a Baptist preacher...I at one time was the member of a very legalistic type church/cult...I then began the study of buddhism and she just accepted I had been very very hurt and she just loved me through it she didnt tell me I was sinner destined to hell, she ask me what value I found in my studies...I LOVED that!...She was a republican, I was/am and independant...We somehow found common ground and could discuss such things and still be besties...God knows how much I miss her...she's gone now, but she will never be forgotten....

Lessons I have learned:

  • Be quick to listen and slow to speak and you might learn something new...
  • Don't hold so tight to your beliefs that you fail to see the value in others beliefs...
  • Don't hold so tight to what you've been taught that you are unable to learn something new...
  • Just because someone doesn't believe like you doesn't mean their belief doesn't hold value...
  • Just because someone else's life journey is different than yours doesn't mean their journey is wrong...
  • Accept yourself for who you are, don't change to fit in...You are fine the way you are...
  • Tell those in your life you love them....you might not have tomorrow...
  • If someone in your life brings in drama, conflict and negativity....let them go, don't let them bring you down!
  • If someone can't accept you and wants to change you...they have a problem not you! You are created the way you are and its ok!
  • Spend less time judging others, hating others, and being mean to others and more time loving, learning and working on yourself!
  • It's a well known fact what you hate in others is usually a reflection of things you hate in you...Mediate or pray spend time alone and ask yourself the hard question as to why you hate a person or group of people...Be willing to look at yourself and realize you are the problem not the other people...if you can handle those people move on, but don't belittle, hate and abuse them...You will be happier and so will they!
My 2018 goals:
  • Blog more
  • Love more
  • Be kinder
  • Meditate/pray more
  • Feel more confident in who I am and what I believe in
  • Do a bit of traveling even if its just day trips
  • Realize my power comes from within not from outside sources. IE: family, friends, government etc...
I am truly looking forward to the new year, new beginnings and being the best me I can be...I am so ready to let go of the baggage and just embrace all of life and find the good more often than the bad...in those things and people that I truly struggle to see the good in I vow to let them go....I can't change others I can only change myself and I'm working hard at being real and true to who I am...I vow to no longer waste time on things and people that can't accept me for me and I vow to be the best version of me possible! Life is short, I'm getting old and we can't turn back time...

I leave you all with this quote:

"Around us, life burst forth with miracles - a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, raindrops. If you live in awareness it is easy to see miracles everywhere.--Thich Nhat Hanh

 Look for the good and the miracles in 2018!  It will change you!
Kris 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Got my "homestead groove" on again!

So, life has again changed here at Rocky Oak as does it for everyone out there from time to time. Dreams change, goals change and with that life changes...Even back to the name Rocky Oak Homestead here on my blog!

I have posted about my last daughter leaving the nest and starting  her own life, she is enjoying her newly found freedom and Farm man and  I are expecting our 4th grandchild in April. I love my empty nest and I'm not suffering any "syndrome" from my children moving out...LOL.... but I do find I get bored. I don't drive much due to the neuromuscular things I have going on so I am home most days. While that's fine because I am such an introvert and require lots of alone time to recharge and just be I do find myself needing something to do.. Since 2000 farm man and I have "homesteaded" we have consistantly had critters to look after...as you all know that changed a couple of years ago with my illness taking a turn for worst and my dad passing away...then losing my best friend of 21 years to cancer...been a rough road to say the least!

My days are very uneventful and while I like that because I am not a 'drama' kinda gal I missed having something to occupy my time....so...over the weekend we purchased 3 goats!  A doe and her 2 doelings....

I am not sure of breed, and it doesn't matter to me, I am not able to milk any more nor do I have the desire to,..I just needed something to do...I have enjoyed just spending time out petting them and it gives me a sense of joy knowing they are out there...They are still warming up to me...I find they like me much more if I take them a treat of carrots or raisins *Smile*...

I am going to begin making soap again and finding my groove...Life has been really tough the past couple of years and I have fallen victim to depression I think...I feel it lifting and its time to find my new normal.

Homesteading is just part of who we are, we won't ever be as big as we once were as we both are not in the health to handle that much again...I think goats are good...I still have my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as well and they bring me much joy....We will still garden and enjoy life at a slower pace...I am learning the art of mindfulness and it is awesome!

I am looking forward to once again blogging about "homesteading" albeit smaller than before...stay turned as I get my "homestead groove on again" đŸ˜€

If anyone has any ideas of what breed these may be, please share! Meet Fayth(doe) Hope(little one that looks most like mom) and Charitee(Little brown one)...I'm thinking nubian/something(s)?

Be Mindful~ Kris aka "The homestead Lady"