Friday, October 23, 2015

A Test of Strength

Life is once again sending me events to test my fortitude and Grace.  I have the opportunity to choose a hard thing or an easy thing.  There is, perhaps, no right or wrong choice here...just a choice.  At a time when my own children are grown and gone, I have been put in the path of other children that desperately need stability, strength, and guidance.  My blood does not flow through their veins.  Yet, they are human beings and my compassion ties them to me as surely as had they come from my own flesh.

Still...I know that feeling compassion is not the same as actually having the strength to do what must be done to heal years worth of damage.  To remain calm, a fixed point no matter what tempest rages around me, will be a supreme challenge.  Do I have that strength?  Am I even brave enough to find out?  Many would shake their heads and tell me I shouldn't have to take so much on.  That my child raising is accomplished.  That we don't have space. WeeHavyn is a very small place, but she is filled with comfort, hospitality, and love. There is peace and calm here, something these children have never known.
Even now I plan ways to fit more people comfortably into our lives. As I write this, I realize my choice is already made.  After all, these children belong to someone very dear to me.

I must try.

Monday, October 12, 2015


We have had some lovely Autumn days here in the Ozarks.  The trees are starting to blaze with fall color and the air is crisp and cool in the morning.  The afternoons are warm, the soft breeze rich with the scent of fallen leaves, and the air filled with the scolding of squirrels as they gather up Summer's abundance to store against hunger in the cold days that are sure to come.

I find the nesting instinct grows strong within me this time of year as well.  I have the urge to set my little home in order, fill the pantry, and dream of next year's projects.  I feel such contentment looking out of a sparkling clean window at the sheets blowing softly on the line.  Gone is the wanderlust of Summer.  Now I look forward to dark winter days with a good book, crisp apple, and crackling fire.

Dare I say that my home is a reflection of who I am?  That the warmth, love, and life that emanates from what is essentially just a box flows from me.  Every change within me is somehow manifested in WeeHavyn. She has her imperfections, walls that aren't quite square, a few drafts, and a very steep and shady lot.  I improve those I can, and accept those I can't.  After all, the house is not one whit less warm or comfortable because of those curvy walls.  This helps me accept my own flaws, knowing I am not less kind or generous for all my stretch marks, grey hairs, and wrinkles. 

When WeeHavyn is chaotic, I only have to look within to see why.  The first thing I do when I find myself out of balance is to straighten up the house.  As each room becomes orderly and quiet, so too does my harried soul find peace.  I find that a quiet cup of jasmine tea in a freshly cleaned house can cure nearly any ill.

Perhaps you would like to join me....

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chicken House 2.0 (revisited)

It seems to be an unwritten rule on a homestead of any size that projects take much longer than one expects.  This was definitely the case with the second version of the WeeHavyn chicken house.  It took almost exactly a year.  It's not that there was so very much work involved, but it was kept on the back burner as more pressing projects were accomplished. Yet I can't help feeling it was worth the wait!

Built almost entirely of free pallets, the house is large enough for 6 to 8 hens.  It has three large nestboxes that are accessible from the outside, 2 levels, and a roost bar inside. All in all, it's a very comfy and attractive home for our new hens and I'm so thankful I have a wonderful guy who would take the time to build it.

Of course, the day after the hen house was finished, I started to search for hens to put into it.  I knew I didn't want babies this late in the year.  Besides, sometimes I am not the most patient person and I wanted eggs right away.  Through the miracle of the modern electronic age....otherwise known as Facebook, I found 4 lovely Salmon Faverolles quite nearby.  I had never even considered this breed, but after a few minutes of research, I found they are quiet, calm, and good layers.  Perfect for our city situation. 

WeeHavyn welcomes, Annie, Mary, Jane, and Kate.