H is for Hearth, Home, Health and Healing

I bet you thought I had given up on this, didn’t you? I’m like that. I usually finish what I start, but it is almost never done in a timely manner!

As is usually the case, it’s my perfectionism getting in the way again. I had a very specific picture in mind for this post, but never did seem to find the time to actually take that picture. Ah, but the holiday season is upon us, and things are more then crazy enough, thank-you-very-much. So, I am trying very hard to make a practice of being gentle with myself. This means some serious prioritizing. Having just the right picture for this post? Not so much a high priority. Sorry (though I’m not sure for what since I’m probably the only one who cares). Instead you are getting a selection of photos of our home taken over the course of our time here.


Home- I’m a homebody, a homemaker, a homebirther, a homeschooler. When my home is somehow “off”, it has a profound effect on me. Is it any wonder that I’ve been feeling like crawling out of my own skin lately? The whole concept of home right now is in major flux. We are still not sure how or when things are going to go down. It’s a nerving, but more then that, it almost feels like a challenge to my identity, which is…uncomfortable. I want to give you an update, to tell you are plans for the future, but the truth is, I really don’t know. It seems to change almost daily. We are taking things as they come and doing what we can, but the question is, as it’s always been, how much can we actually do?

I’ve been feeling regret over not documenting our time in the little house more thoroughly. There feelings come in waves, largely depending on whether or not our time here feels as though it’s coming to an end. I think that I would like to put together an album for the children, with many photos, detailing the unconventional life they’ve lived, for the majority of their young years. It feels like such an intregal part of our family’s history. I on
ly wish that I had been thinking in these terms sooner! So much has changed recently and there have been a great many changes over the last year and a half. I wish I had been taking pictures from the very beginning. The truth is that in the beginning I was just trying to survive! I’ll not go off on a whole in-depth history here of no electric, phone or running water. Of trying to learn to cook on the wood stove (not a cook stove, mind you!) or having nearly our entire living space taken up by tools. Of nights spent squatting on the floor by lantern light, trying to wash dishes in an old wok. No, I won’t bore you with all of the details here, but I will put them somewhere. Somewhere to be kept and remembered in times to come.

One of the main obstacles in beginning to chronicle our life now, is that the addition is blocking nearly all of our sunlight! Rendering well executed photos near to impossible. I’m piecing together pictures as I find them and taking additional ones here and there. Everything is still so unfinished, it’s hard to want to take pictures or to share them. But that’s the way we’ve been living, with torn foil walls and unfinished floors and that’s what I need to capture.

Hearth- I love the word. I love the concept. The giant fieldstone fireplace of our old home, was definitely the first thing to endear us to the place. Our hearth here is a simple one. Also made of fieldstone from our land, built by our own hands. There is still much that we would like to do to finish it, but for now it is functional. Someday I’d like to get around to creating a small hearth-side alter honoring both Hestia and Brighid.

Health/Healing- I’ve been working to make this a focus in our lives lately. I’m trying very hard to implement changes on many levels to allow my children and myself to continue to heal and grow and thrive. Again, I won’t bore you with the details, but it is where my mind is at often lately and it seemed like something I should share.


4 thoughts on “H is for Hearth, Home, Health and Healing

  1. Patience

    What wonderful photos. I know you don’t think they are “perfect”, but they have such REAL beauty. I love the patchy walls and the squished-up Little House In The Big Woods atmosphere. And I love the story of the life you have been going through. I know it isn’t much fun washing dishes in a wok, but to my visual, storyteller mind it is a great image, lol!

    I can also tell you that my family went through times similar to this when I was a child, although not as extreme, and they are the best memories of my life. I’m sure your children will feel the same way when they are grown up.

  2. Nicole

    When I was a little girl we had a tiny cabin in the woods it was a place we would go to on the weekends, or weeks at a time, so obviously not the same everyday existance you are living. We had an outhouse, a fireplace for heat, and a woodstove for cooking. As a child my siblings and I have amazing memories we had eachother and our parents, we seemed to always be making paper airplanes and telling alot of stories around the fireplace. Slowly the house gained a bathroom, and a more equipped kitchen… 30 years later we still have many “remember when we had that house in Vermont” stories. My Mom on the other hand has many special memories but it was harder for her as a parent to walk outside down a hill during the night when we needed to use the outhouse, or in the middle of the night when the fire went out and needed to be kept going, and washing our hair in the kitchen sink. What you are putting into your hearth and home shows love and togetherness thank you for showing these parts of your life to us. My three little ones seem to be the same age as yours and I know that just the everyday can be challenging enough without all the extras you have talked about. I wish you many blessings of health and healing!!! By the way love the new banner and all the light wood in your house looks beautiful!!!

  3. shukr

    This is such a brave post to me – only because you have done what so many of us *want* to do.
    I would love to hear all the little details of what it has been like, but I know they are probably personal.

    Thank you for sharing this post. I feel cloaked in your experience for a moment as I read. Many emotions!

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