A Walk in My Woods.

IMG_4524

I love October.

This October, however, was off to a cold and rainy start — plus a couple unexpected bills thrown my way. Also, we had no heat (again). The owners of this house told us the propane tank was half full but when we turned the heat on, it was empty. So, it was cold for a couple days, which brought me back to last winter in the RV. Not as cold as the RV, but still needed hoodies and blankets and warm socks. I was slightly amused. Some sweet friends loaned us their space heaters so the cold didn’t last long. And then it warmed up again! Oh, October.

Today arrived with warm sunshine and bright colors. After cleaning the house, I decided to go for a walk in my woods and snap some photos of the changing leaves. They’re not at their brightest, but still lovely.

That’s right. My woods: the beautiful three acres (or so) of woods behind this house.

Behind this house is a grassy hill, surrounded by trees. Through the trees is a mowed path to a little clearing just before you enter the woods. It’s a delightful path that feels slightly magical every time I walk down through it. I love it. I especially love the woods.

Now, instead of driving to the nearest nature preserve as I used to do when I lived in the Chicago area, I can walk through my own backyard. Ooooh! So excited!

The funny thing is, I’m slightly terrified of walking by myself out there.

When I took my walks in the preserves of the Chicago suburbs, I had no fear or worries. But here? There’s a little bit of fear and nervousness as I walk down to the woods. Is it the large spiders (including that tarantula-like eight-legged creature that crawled over my bare feet last week, resulting in a declaration that I’m done with flip flops)? The webs everywhere (tip: carry a stick and wave it around in front of you like you’re a ninja wielding an awesome sword)? The swooping bats? The fluffy baby skunks? The potential of animals attacking me? The fear of getting hit by a wandering bullet from a hunter’s rifle? The noises I never heard before? Stepping on a snake? I… don’t know. Maybe all of those. But at the same time, I’m enchanted. Wildlife to observe. Plants to notice. Quiet to appreciate. And fresh air! And this is all… in my backyard. Marvelous, indeed.

So, so looking forward to the Autumn season ahead.

IMG_4547

IMG_4573  IMG_4552

IMG_4558 IMG_4572

IMG_4563

Hope you are well, friends. Love.

A Joyful Autumn Arrival!

Happy Monday, my friends!

In contrast to the last blog post, it’s been a crazy week — in a good way!

First of all, you should know that autumn is my absolutely favorite time of year.

According to my wall calendar, autumn started last Monday. I ‘celebrated’ with an apple dish for breakfast and setting up all my fall décor. I also put together all the ingredients to make homemade pumpkin spice lattes (so fun and festive)! However, apparently, autumn actually started Monday night, so I was a bit premature in my seasonal rejoicing. Oh well. When the first full day of fall rolled around on Tuesday, Kyle (he was off work that day) and I went to the nearby apple orchard to explore and delight in the perfect weather. We walked through pumpkin patches (they looked quite sincere), admired the expansive apple orchard, visited the farm animals (goats and rabbits and alpacas, oh my!), got lost in a delightful little corn maze, and explored the goodies in the country store, leaving with several small pumpkins, apple cider donut holes, honey, and a bale of hay that we managed to fit in the backseat of my little car. We spent the rest of the day relaxing together. It was the perfect first day of fall and my last day of ‘break.’

Yep, that’s right — my background check came in and I started work on Wednesday!! Yay!! Oh boy, let me tell you — I am exhausted. At the end of my first day, I came home and plopped down on the couch to watch a movie. It was all I could manage to do. After work on Thursday, we headed to Lexington for some laser tag, roller skating, mini-golf, and all-you-can-eat pizza with some of Kyle’s coworkers. Everything was free; it was an enjoyable time but my body was too exhausted to do anything other than eat and mini golf. Friday’s work day was followed with a volunteer shift as part of the clean-up crew after a church-sponsored dance for people with special needs. It was wonderful being a part of it, but needless to say, I was, well…. exhausted. : The weekend brought me the rest that I needed (and I finally watched The Book Thief  — sooo good, like the book) and today, I energized myself with a large iced coffee. I am happy to be working.

I love two things about my job: the kids and the morning drive. The kids in my room — a handful of sweet, messy, playful wobblers (approximately nine to eighteen months old) — brighten my day constantly. Yes, it’s chaotic and messy, but that’s OK. It’s worth it. And the morning drive? It’s been heavenly!! It’s sixteen miles (about thirty minutes) of winding country roads through hills and fog past farms with fields of horses and cows. The route is nearly nonstop, with only one stoplight and a couple stop signs. No traffic at all, except for the occasional car that passes by. The best part? The sunrises! I leave for work right as the sun greets the day, which makes for marvelous skies. That, combined with the Kentucky mist (patches of fog in the hills), is glorious. I didn’t have mornings like these back in Chicagoland. I am constantly in awe, with eyes wide open. And yes, I have pulled over several times to snap photos. I don’t know if I will ever tire of the beauty that surrounds me here.

I am so happy my own personal fog has lifted. I feel useful and productive again. My back is also almost completely better! It is sore after work since I’m picking up kids all day, but it’s healing well. The next thing I have to tackle? A cold is creeping into my body. At least I have all my essential oils to help me with that!

Our internet situation is still a bit iffy — meaning, we don’t really have any. We are hoping to get that established by the end of October. Until then, it’s the occasional trip to the library (when they’re open), McDonald’s (the only other place in town with free WiFi), and Starbucks after work (yay for a Starbucks near work). I usually don’t mind this lack of internet because a break from the screen is good; however, I am itching to share more with you soon.

Love, peace, and light.

As a friend so lovingly put it, “YAY CORN.”