Saturday, July 14, 2018

Lost, But Hopefully Found

Friends, this is a hard post to write.  I've actually written it several times and then deleted it.  For the past two years I have been struggling.  My life has been full of anxiety and I feel stress and overwhelm by everything. 

I do want to say up front that none of this stems from marital problems!  I have to put that out there because I know that many will automatically think that is the issue.  No, no, no! 

In the past I had a moment here and there like this but had always been able to work through it.  In the last six months it has come to the point where I pretty much just don't care.  I have been going through the motions, yet I find no joy.  It makes me super sad as I have always found joy in the simple, ordinary things.  Honestly,  I generally have a huge love for life.  I think that is the hardest thing about the whole issue.  I have a great life and it's hard to understand why it isn't giving me joy. 

A couple of weeks ago I told Chuck that I was going to speak with my doctor.  In typical Chuck manner he said okay and gave me a slight pat on the back as we walked to the house.  I was like really!  I know my guy and he has to process things.  Later that evening we talked for a really long time. 

He knew that I had been off some, but thought that it was due to a busier than usual schedule.  I hid it well as he had no idea how bad it had become.  You know that saying, "fake it 'til you make it."  Well, that was me.  It has been getting harder to fake it. 

It is having an impact on the social aspects of my life.  For Mother's Day we were suppose to go to Chucks' grandmothers for a family gathering.  I hemmed and hawed around about not going saying stupid things like I wanted "my" day to spent at home.  The truth was I didn't feel like I could go.  We finally went and I was ready to leave as soon as we arrived.  I love his family and this hadn't been the case in the past.

I am not a huge fan of driving, but it has gotten worse.  I am fine in my little area.  When I leave that comfort zone into places unfamiliar I panic big time.

I have barely made dinner since we returned from the beach.  We have eaten out so much that my family is sick of it.  I actually took a peek at the menu in my pantry and it's from April!

I won't even begin to tell you the state of my home!  Although Chuck assures me it isn't as bad I keep saying.  Ha!

I am generally an avid reader.  I've read two books this year.  I just don't have the desire to pick up a book. 

The anxiety comes out of no where.  I can be at home and have a horrible feeling of anxiety.  No reason that I can see at that moment. 

Probably the worst of everything is church.  We haven't been to church since April.  (See a theme, April must have been the final straw for some reason.)  Oh church, what can I say.  We still haven't found a home church.  I'm sure that isn't helping matters.  I keep saying we need to find a church.  Chuck agrees, yet I can't get up and go.  I start having anxiety issues Saturday afternoon and then Sunday morning I can't get up and go.  I'm generally fine once the service starts, but getting myself up and there has become a huge issue.  I know, I know. 

I went to my normally scheduled doctors appointment and spilled it all.  I have been seeing this doctor for years and he actually attended our former church.  He listened and listened, asked me a bunch of questions and advised me.  He is a compassionate, gentle man.  I was back in the exam room with him for almost a hour. I didn't like everything he had to say, but it needed to be said.  He was kind.  He talked about my spiritual life and how Satan will use this issue to keep me from church today, tomorrow and then eventually forever.  He also told me that it isn't all about me since my family doesn't go to church without me.   Let me assure you all that I haven't lost my faith. 

He advised me to get up and do things even if I don't feel like I can or want to.  Such as making dinner or going to church.  Then he suggested that I try a low dose medication. 

Then my doctor did something that moved me to tears.  He asked if he could pray for me.  I was choked up as I thanked him.  Then he made me laugh as he paused before he left the room and said, "Wendi, I think you're salvageable." 

For the first time in a long time I felt that someone other then Chuck or my close family cared for me.  You see, I tried to talk to someone about this maybe a year ago.  I told her how stressed out I was feeling and her response in a sharp tone was, "What do you have to be stressed out about."  I didn't say anything else about it to anyone until I knew I could no longer handle this myself.  I've felt very alone. Many times I feel like I'm reaching out for friendship and it never happens.
So I've started medication.  I want to love this life that I've been blessed with.  I want to feel the joy that I use to.  I really, really do.  I want to go to church, family functions, make friends and enjoy it all without faking anything. 

I shared all of this to ask for prayer, if you are so inclined, and to let you know that I am stepping away from my blog for a while.  As my doctor advised I need to get up and do things.  So that, my friends, is what I am going to do.   This is not good-bye.  I'll be putting one foot in front of the other, praying deeply, and working to love my life and find my joy!  I'll be back!!!

Thank you all for the encouragement you have given me again and again.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Penny Smart #6

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

Purchased a kit that contained all of the spices I needed to make dill pickles for $2.99.  
 I didn't have all the spices I needed on hand.  It was going to be less expensive to purchase this than to buy jars of the spices I needed.  I could have invested a little more to have the spices for the future but at the time this fit my budget better.

I've been using rain water to water my flowers.  Free from Mother Nature!
 The garden is producing well.  That means less fresh items to purchase at the store.
 That also means there is plenty to put up for future savings.
 Patsy at A Working Pantry has a $5 or less pantry challenge.  She will take five dollars a week and add to her pantry.  This is separate from her regular grocery spending.  Since adding to my pantry is a goal of mine I decided to take up this challenge.  
I added seven cans of pork and beans.  They were on sale for $0.62 cents making my total $4.34.  Yes, I know I could increase my savings by using dried beans.  Both Chuck and I were raised eating these and it's our preference.  Sometimes it's better to pay a few extra pennies to have something you enjoy and know that you will eat.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Proverbs 13:11  

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit. So there you go. I hope this encourages you to do things to save money. The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days. I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also.

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Original Homestead

My mom was born and raised in northern Virginia. She moved to Indiana in the early '70's when she was married. I spent summers there on my grandparents farm. We still have family there and our roots run deep.  

Growing up I had heard my mom mention a family cemetery.  It was rumored to be on the property across the street from where she grew up.  She had never seen it.  For one she was a kid and by the 1950's the property was no longer in the family.  

Fast forward and the land is now in the hands of a developer.  The cemetery was discovered but no one knew who was buried there.  A public meeting was held and I guess it became a little heated.  Some digging was done after the meeting and one day my mom received a call asking if she was familiar with this cemetery.  

After tons of research and phone calls it was determined that it was in fact the Donohoe family cemetery.  On our way back from the beach the developer meet us at the property and we were able to explore.
When we pulled up we saw this house.  Here is the history of original property owner.  His name was Cornelius Donohoe and he immigrated from Ireland in 1745.  He is my 9th great grandfather.  He ended up in what is now Virginia and purchased 61 acres from Lord Fairfax in 1757.  He live here with his wife, Maggie, and their children. 

The original part of the house was built of stone and was added on to in the 1800's.  Considering the age of house and the fact that no one has lived here since the 1960's the house in remarkable shape.  We were able to go inside.  The view below is a peek into the original house.   
After peeking inside we walked around to the back and that is where we saw the original stone house. The first floor was dug down several feet and then there was a second story.  The wood section above the stone is not part of the original house. 
I was fascinated by this window and door way.  I can imagine my grandparents going in and out of the door and looking out the window to view the falling rain or snow. It's surreal to walk the same ground as my first ancestors in America and touch the door way that I know they used. 
The views were incredible.  Can you imagine looking out the window and seeing this every morning?  Beautiful! 
Not far from the door way was the spring house.  The sight of this thrilled me!
I am an avid reader of historical fiction.  One thing mentioned in almost every book is the spring house. Not only did I get to see a spring house, but the one Maggie would have used to store things from her family. Wow!!
Several barns were still on property.  Chuck was able to salvage some wood to bring home. 
After we explored the homestead we headed over to the cemetery.  I'm super grateful that it was discovered.  It would be easy for it to be missed.  Especially if the developer had come through with large equipment to clear the land.  
An archaeology firm has been out and confirmed there are nine graves.  The one below is the headstone of my 9th great grandfather, Cornelius Donohoe. 
We drove in late morning and were back on the road by late afternoon.  On the way out of town we made a stop to visit my grandparents. 
Right next to them is my great grandparents and great aunt.  
I can't even put into words how incredible it was to be able to walk the land of my family and see where they were buried.  To know exactly where your family settled and be able to walk on that land is something most people will never get to experience.  I love family history and being able to make this trip and see where it all began is life changing.  I'm grateful I was able to do this.  

As a family we have decided to ask for the cemetery to be moved.  I know that this is something that makes people uncomfortable.  It is something that hasn't been taken lightly.  At first we all said it should stay.  We have thought about it, prayed about it and talked and talked about this decision.  We knew that big changes were coming to the land and my thought was that we didn't want this area to be the only green space in a concrete jungle.  We all have seen those.  People zoom by and pay no respect and many times they are only the green space in an area and it becomes the area to hang out and smoke.  That is not respectful to my late family.  

The court will make the final decision and if granted we are asking the developer to move our family to same cemetery where my grandparents, great grandparents and many other Donohoe family members are buried.  A final resting place that we know will not be sold for development and there will never again be the question what to do with their final resting place.  

After visiting the site and seeing how the area is growing I feel peace with this decision.  Thanks for sharing this incredible journey with me. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Beach Memories

Chuck finally transferred my pictures from my broken laptop to the new one. We vacationed in Hatteras, NC on the Outer Banks. Here we were crossing over Alligator River which means we are getting ready to drive down the North Carolina coast. 
 Before heading off of the coast and out to the Outer Banks we stopped to see the ocean.  
Once over the bridge to the Outer Banks it's a beautiful drive.  Driving down the coast is one of my favorite things to do.  
Finally we are at our final destination.  While we settled in Megan hit the beach with her cousins.  I snapped these pictures from the deck outside of our bedroom.
One of the things Megan really wanted to do was fish.  She picked up a new pole from a local shop and we went down early one morning. 
The first day we were there a V-22 Osprey flew over.  Over the next several days we saw several different planes, including a F-16.  We later found out that we were on the flight path for border patrol.
It was really neat to see the daily flyovers. 

No trip to the Outer Banks would be complete without a trip to a lighthouse.  We only went to one this trip.  Right up the road from us was this lighthouse. 
The neat thing was that at night we could stand on our deck and see the light spinning around. 

We were much further down the island than in the past.  That meant we weren't able to view the sunrise over the ocean.  Regardless it was still beautiful. 

Megan found a couple of clams.  She threw one back into the ocean was going to bring one back to the house.  That is until it started to open.  She quickly dropped it when that happened!
An evening storm rolled through leaving behind a beautiful rainbow.  
We were about three miles from the end of the island.  Chuck and I had the opportunity to venture out alone one morning.  We went to breakfast and drove to the end of the island.  We then sat on the dock watching the ferry run. 
No trip would be complete without a shot of the whole vacation crew.  We vacationed with my parents and sister and her girls.  Sadly my brother-in-law and nephew-in-law couldn't make it.
It's always a great place to visit.  We are already talking about our next trip. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Happy 4th of July!

We had a wonderful 4th. Super hot, but good. We opted to skip the local parade since Chuck had a little accident over the weekend. He ended up with a severe sprain. He is off of crutches and using a cane now. Progress. Anyway, it was awfully hot so I was okay with skipping. After lunch we headed to my parents and meet up with my sister and her crew.
The afternoon was spent swimming. The water was cool and refreshing!
It was then time to grill out.  We had a traditional meal of hamburgers and hot dogs.  The holiday flare came through in the desserts. 
I made the cookies and the cheesecake was made by my nephew. 
The highlight of the day was fireworks. I love fireworks!
I love, love the 4th of July! As an American, I have freedom that was bought by brave men who gave up their lives so I can enjoy mine.  That is something that I take for granted sometimes.  But most of the time , I feel gratitude beyond comprehension.  Even with all of the issues that we are facing in our nation I can honestly say I love my country!

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Monday, July 02, 2018

Birthday Girl!

We spent the weekend celebrating Megan!  It's hard to believe that she is twelve. She is still very much a little girl yet I can see a glimpse here and there of the young woman she is becoming.  She brings us great joy.  She is funny, has a quick wit, and is still very head strong.  As frustrating as that sometimes is, I know that is a quality that helped her in the first months of her life and will make her a strong woman.  We just need to work on how to hone it into a positive attribute!  
She is certainly an introvert and timid with those she doesn't know or isn't comfortable around.  As we move toward her teen years we will be working to help her improve her social skills.  I know first hard how hard it is to put yourself out there, but she must learn how to function in the world without her parents always being by her side.  

 Megan has a creative soul.  I often refer to her at a girly tomboy!  She is able to keep herself busy by creating things from sticks, mud, popsicle sticks, and loves using her glue gun.  Her latest fascination is working with leather.  I look forward to watching her learn this skill.

  She isn't afraid of hard work or getting dirty.  She often amazes us by how she will jump in and help someone with a project.  She recently helped Grandpa spread mulch at his church.  She jumped right in carrying bags and getting down and dirty spreading it out. It made me smile when he told me this because that is so Megan!

 Although she is timid and her circle of friends is small, she is loyal.  If she invites you into her life you have a friend that will love you, support you, and value you.    
  I often wonder how the years have sped by so fast.  The years of little were good, but so is today.  It's my joy to watch my girl grow in a young woman.  I pray continuously for her future.  My greatest prayer is that she continues to grow in her faith and follow the Lord.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 4

Happy Birthday, Megan! We love you!!!

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!