Update & Claiming Liberty Blog Relaunch

It shouldn’t be that hard to maintain a blog, but over the past year, I’ve dropped the ball.  Most of the time, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going! I accomplished a lot of great stuff, and I also experienced some setbacks.  I had plenty of ideas for content to share with everyone, but I never seemed to make the time.

Even as I sit here now, I find myself noticing that just using the computer isn’t as easy as it used to be.  It’s worth it though.  I love sharing, I love learning, and I love feeling like I’m making a difference (even if that difference is only being noticed in my tiny corner of the universe.)

I’m not one to offer “excuses”, but I’m happy to share explanations that might help some folks understand where I’ve been all year.  I’m certain I’ll leave stuff out, but I think you’ll get the idea.

Back in April, we got the ball rolling to enroll our kids in private school for the 2014-2015 school year.  It was a lengthy process involving interviews, lots of paperwork, and some creative thinking to manage the transportation situation.  (The kids go to school at my church, St. Bartholomew, which is about 11 miles from home.  Since I don’t drive, we had to figure out how we were getting the kids to and from school without disrupting Fred’s work schedule.) Oh yeah, and because it’s a Catholic school, we had to get used to school uniforms.  Boy, does that set you back even when you’re getting school clothes on “half price day” at Goodwill.

In May, I decided to have a difficult talk with my doctor about depression.  Together, we decided that a very short course on an SSRI would likely do wonders for me.  It really took some convincing, but the decision was life-changing for me.  The only problem was, every medication we tried had side effects.  Some were pretty severe.  I don’t regret my decision at all; if I needed those meds again, I’d absolutely take them.  But the whole process threw me for a loop.  I tried four different meds from the end of May ’til the middle of September, so life became pretty interesting for my family and me.  I definitely needed to get my bearings.

In June, my best friend was out-of-state putting her dad in a nursing home when she got a call from her landlord that they were going to list her house.  She had so much planned for this year, and finding a house, buying a house, packing up her current house, and moving were NOT on the to-do list.  I was able to help out a lot, but it meant that I spent a lot of evenings away from my family.

And once we found the house they wanted to buy (three doors down from me!), we all started putting in a lot of effort on rehab.  For quite a while, it was all hands on deck as we tried to turn this little house with excellent bones into something my friends could live in and be proud of.  The house still isn’t theirs, but they expect to close on Monday or Tuesday.

In July, we introduced a new puppy to the homestead, but it turned out that she came to us with parvo.  We lost her 8 days after we brought her home, and it hit all of us pretty hard, especially because sweet Rosie died one year (to the day) after Likos (our 14.5-year-old dog that we lost in 2013.)

Our grief was soothed by the addition of two more dogs that needed new homes though.  I doubt we would have had either of these dogs if we hadn’t lost Rosie the way we did.  It all worked out the way it was supposed to, but boy was it ever hard.

The kids’ summer break was condensed into eight short weeks because of the switch to a “balanced” calendar.  That meant that for us, summer was over before it felt like it had begun.  It’s taken the better part of this semester for us to figure out the new flow, but we’re doing it, and it’s totally worth it! We’ve even managed to “accommodate” (if you can call it that) an unexpected open heart surgery for Dad and a new job and house-hunting for my in-laws.  I’m surprised I’ve been able to breathe these past months. :)

SO… What does this mean for the blog? It means that while I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions per se, I have found myself thinking about how I’ll start 2015.  Dad needs to continue to recover, my friends need to get moved out of their rental and into their own house, and I need to give myself a swift kick in the rear to get going with the blog, our homesteading activities, my health, and our financial position.

I’m not going to do anything cheesy with the blog relaunch.  I promise.  I’ve actually been working on a lot of stuff behind the scenes so that once I start producing content again, it’ll be less likely that I’ll get overwhelmed with the tasks of site maintenance and content generation.

I have some good ideas though, so you’ll just have to stay tuned to see what I have in store.  I may have been down, but I was never out!

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