Grateful for a New Month

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I am so glad January is over. It was an overwhelming month and I was glad to see it go.

I finished up my last travel assignment…for now anyway.  It was a great experience working in a strictly pediatric ER and I will miss all the folks I met there.

In another week I will be returning to my home hospital.  It will be great to be back with plenty of familiar faces and not have a several hour commute to work.

I am dedicated to not working like a mad woman anymore, I am hopeful this new schedule will allow me a little less time in scrubs.

Things with the farmhouse have been a bit disappointing.  There has been a challenge with every step.  The land was recently surveyed and unfortunately this created a few potential issues with our loan.  Schumacher has been awesome throughout the whole process.  It will take a few months to sort everything out, so we will see what the future holds.

I went out to the farm this week and enjoyed some unusual quiet time with my critters.  It was nice to just be out there and enjoy some down time.

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Denali had a blast racing around the farm and jumping over the stream like a gazelle.

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Poor Oliver has had a limp this week so the vet is coming to take a look at it this weekend. Hopefully it isn’t anything serious.  I spent quite a bit of time rubbing his big belly and he was in heaven.  Although I appreciate the gesture, slobbery, open mouth pig kisses are not my favorite means of gratitude!

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There is a great video of the goats and Denali playing on my Facebook page, make sure to check it out!

I hope your February is off to a great start.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

HR 3rd Anniversary

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Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of Homestead Redhead.  It is strange to read the posts from January 2013 and know all of the challenges-and changes-that were ahead of me back then.

Take a look back at my first posts all those years ago (it sure seems like it anyway!)…January 2013 HR.

One of my very favorites posts of all time is Homestead Heritage.  I love thinking about the great grandfather I was never able to meet, but relate to so much.

I can only imagine what the next few years will hold for Homestead Redhead and my continued life journey.

There are such big events in the coming year, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.

In a few weeks I am leaving my travel nurse position and taking a permanent weekend position back at the first hospital I ever worked in.

In a month, everything will be set to begin construction on our forever farm house.

In a few months, I will be flying to a new state, I am terrified of flying, to have a week long Alaskan adventure and come back as Neil’s wife.

In six months, I am forever saying goodbye to my twenties and taking on a whole new decade.

I have been guilty of always telling myself, “Just get through this and then things will settle down.”  Over the last few years, I am slowly coming to the conclusion (I can be slow sometimes) that maybe things won’t actually settle down for a long time…if ever.  Life is extremely hectic and the years seem to fly by before I can even catch my breath.

Usually quite the optimist, I am finding myself totally surprised at this realization, and even a little saddened.   I don’t want to work all the time, but I have to.  I don’t want to spend the money I worked so hard to earn moving heavy patients, getting yelled at by drug addicts and holding down screaming, spitting children, on credit card payments, medical bills and groceries.  life

I want to be free from responsibilities to people, places and things.  I want to wake up and spend the day braiding flowers into my curls on a blanket warm from the sun, gathering freshly laid eggs and riding around a green pasture on beautiful horse with a flowing mane, but I can’t.  Perhaps this is the final whips of youthful dreams evaporating before my ever aging self or perhaps I just needs some time off.

With my gypsy soul bound by the chains of obligation, I will continue to push forward one step at a time.  Maybe one day my gypsy life will outweigh the responsibilities of my current life.  Maybe one day I will have a life that isn’t so utterly exhausting.  “Maybe one day”, is what I am holding onto for dear life.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

 

 

HRH2: Not Lose Your Mind

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Homestead Redhead How To: Not Lose Your Mind

The past five years of my life have been nothing short of insane.  I work a ton of hours at two different Emergency Rooms, maintain a committed relationship, take care of a farm, in the process of building a house, take care of a household, write a blog, and a few hundred more things squeezed in there.

I think folks today are under more pressure than ever to balance more than their share of responsibilities and are expected to make it look effortless.  Let me tell you, balancing as much as I do is definitely not effortless.  There are days that I am so exhausted I can’t seen straight and would much rather sit in my car and cry about everything I have to get done than clock in to work for the 15th day in a row.

However, that is typically not the option I choose, and over the years have figured out a few things along the way to balance such a crazy life.

If you are feeling overwhelmed in your life, let me share a few tips on how I have not completely lost my redheaded mind over the last few years.

  • Get organized.  This is definitely the place to start.  Make a list of your responsibilities, to do’s and a create a schedule.  I love the Erin Condren planners, I have used these for years and it is a fun way to stay organized.  They can be a little pricey, but sometimes you can Google a coupon.
  •  Cut it.  Take a hard look at your responsibilities.  If there is something that is causing way more stress than it is worth and isn’t absolutely vital to life-cut it!  Life is short and it flies by-you don’t want to look back and regret spending years on something that brought zero joy.
  • A few minutes every day.  Pinterest is slammed full of methods to keep a clean house.  For me personally, I do a little laundry and a few dishes most every day.  Although this can get a bit tedious, it makes me feel much more together when the sink isn’t piled full with dishes and the bedroom isn’t covered in dirty uniforms.  Just a few minutes every day keeps these necessary household tasks manageable.
  •  Crock Pot cooking.  I feel very strongly that it is one of my duties to cook healthy, nutritious meals for my family.  I also work 12 hour night shifts several times a week.  So how do these two things go together you might ask? The most wonderful invention ever-the crock pot.  I adore the crock pot and when I am working, I cook in one of my two crock pots every day.  I come home, throw some yummy ingredients together, season it, press a button and drag my tail to bed.  I wake up to the house smelling delicious, I have dinner to bring to work and Neil has a hot meal to come home to.  Win, win! (HR tip: Make sure you purchase a crock pot that automatically goes to a “warm” setting-this way if you don’t get home in time it keeps the food warm while not cooking it too long)
  • Take care of yourself.  I think particularly women have a hard time remembering this.  I know personally I have lived the last few years rarely making my emotional and physical health a priority and it sure caught up to me this year.  I feel that there is so little time in the day to care for myself-between caring for patients, my family, my animals-where is there time leftover for me?  I can’t stress how vital it is to take even just a few minutes every day for yourself.  It isn’t easy carving this time out of a already packed schedule, but there are ways to do it.  I have utilized my commute time to take a little time out of a hectic schedule to be alone and recharge my caregiver batteries.  I listen to books on CD or sing as loud as I want to with the radio or even just turn everything off and enjoy a quiet ride into work. A few other ideas:
    • Read a trashy magazine or play a game on your phone while standing in line at the grocery
    • Sit in your car for an extra minute before going inside and take a few deep breaths, pray, meditate, listen to the radio or just enjoy the quiet
    • Take a bath or if time is really pressed take a few more minutes in the shower, enjoy the hot relaxing water and steady sound of the bathroom fan
    • Eat a meal with a friend or alone with a book

There are still days that totally get away from me and days I struggle to go to sleep because my to do list is racing through my mind, but everything is much less overwhelming than it used to be now that I have figured a few things out.

What about you my dear friends? Do you have an tips for managing all the duties life brings these days?

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

The Gypsy Awakes

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Friends who know me well all have a running joke that I have a gypsy who stays locked inside me.

From time to time, she rears her wild head of reckless curls and induces a feeling of restlessness and wanderlust I can’t ignore.

This week, my gypsy was awoken.

Perhaps it is the fact I am turning 30 this year, or that the plans with the farm house are so close to coming to fruition, or that I work so very much of the time. Whatever the reason, she woke up and loudly proclaimed her prescence.

It has always been hard for me to wrap my head around “forever.”  I am not a lover of permanent decisions, I like the freedom to come and go, the opportunity to change my mind or take back a choice.

Building a forever farmhouse is definitely a permanent decision, it is a huge financial obligation, and an obvious forever commitment.

I have been so blessed in my life to find a partner who understands my gypsy soul and is able to love me in such a profound way, I never feel confined like I have felt in the past.

Neil and I both love adventures and have a commitment to each other to never let our love get mundane and ordinary.

I sometimes find myself daydreaming about a different life- one where my hair is always braided, all I own is in a bag on my back and I have no obligation to punch a clock every day.gypsy

Connecting with friends and animals have also brought peace to my sometimes wandering soul.  Over my adult life, I’ve built a world for myself filled with people who chose to love and spend time with me, and this has kept me grounded when my gypsy starts her internal pacing.

Being able to walk out my door and see the growth my garden is making and my goats jumping joyfully in their pen, bring a fulfillment I don’t get from my many adult obligations.

Being able to look over and see Neil’s familiar, smiling face, feel his strong arms around me pulling me in for a kiss, remind me of why I work so much and so hard.

I am so grateful I have a life where I can mostly balance my love of freedom and adventure with many responsibilities and obligations.

Do you ever daydream of a different life?

Until next time…

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New Year, New Adventures

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In my entire adult life, I cannot remember a time of being as ill as I have been the last few weeks.  Apparently my body was whole heartedly seeking revenge for the past 6 months of rarely getting more than 3 hours of sleep a day.

After two urgent care visits and nearly 4 weeks-I finally am getting back to feeling like myself.   I have dragged myself to work, no matter how my emotions or physical self felt.  When you are a nurse, this just comes with the territory.

I have pushed stretchers with a strained back, started IVs on patients who were more hydrated than I was, and done chest compression with a headache so intense I feared I would vomit on the poor dying patient-only adding to their mounting troubles.

However, I could not push through the demon illness that had abruptly knocked me down on my redheaded tail.  I called out of work twice which I never, ever, ever do.  When you are a travel nurse, there are no sick days and you end up paying the company back for the days you missed.  All around calling out is miserable and super expensive.

The last few weeks have been incredibly humbling.  The large feather tattoo on my right arm is a constant reminder of invincibility and strength for me, that no matter what is going on, I can fight through it, get through it and come out the other side stronger.  This biological warfare that was targeted on me, certainly made me feel otherwise.

I am down to the last three weeks of my travel assignment.  It has been such an interesting-and educational- experience to work in a strictly pediatric ER, but I am looking forward to rejoining my ER family and all the craziness that comes with that patient population in my home county once again.

The survey for our farmland is coming up soon and we are so excited to get this underway and officially be deeded the land.  Our last meeting with Schumacher is also coming up in the next two weeks.  In this meeting, we will finalize everything and hopefully soon after, begin the lot prep.

Building the farmhouse seems completely surreal for me.  Since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of owning a farm, having my own horses and tending to all the responsibilities living on a farm brings.  I can’t wait until construction begins and I watch my life long dream become a reality.

I hope this New Year is bringing many blessings and adventures so far for you and yours.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

 

2015 in Review

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What  year it has been, I can’t believe 2016 is already here.  This year raced by with lightening speed-take a look back with us…

We moved in (at the tail end of 2014) to a new house and completely remodeled it (Remodel Rewind).

We made it through Neil’s massive hip surgery (We Survived!).

We added Freyja the hedgehog to the homestead (Freyja the Hedgehog).

I started a new job, left that job and started travel nursing again.

We added chickens to the homestead and built them an amazing Chicken Palace (The Chickens Have Arrived, & Chicken Palace).

We added goats to the homestead (Two Goats).

We added a new puppy to the homestead (The homestead gets a puppy).

We put our homestead on the market and sold it within a week (Big adventure).

We decided to build our forever house on the family farm (Exciting announcement).

Neil asked me to be his wife and we decided to get married in Alaska (Exciting news).

What a year-that was exhausting just reading about it. It has been a whirlwind of new beginnings and adventures in 2015.  I can’t even imagine what 2016 has in store for us! We sure hope you continue to be a part of our story.

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Happy New Year from all of us here on the homestead!!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

 

Barely Survived

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It is official.  We will never, ever, ever, ever move (our stuff) again.  Moving just about killed us, for real.

After days of pushing myself as hard as I could to move stuff out of our house, to storage, to the farm or up three flights of stairs to the apartment, I started to come down with a bit of a sore throat and chills.  I chose to ignore it (it is winter and I do work in an ER filled with germ filled children) and keep moving boxes.

The next day, I felt a little worse, but again, I kept going.  Meanwhile, Neil who had also been hauling boxes up three flights of stairs for days-woke up to a wrist twice the size of his other one.  After a few days of pain and swelling, he went to an orthopedic doc and xrays diagnosed with a sprained joint capsule.

The days dragged on, Neil in a splint, and I was still feeling worse by the minute.  One morning, I developed a high fever and literally couldn’t get myself off the couch for days I was so sick.  I have never been so sick in my life.

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Missing work when you are a travel nurse is a huge deal, there are no sick days when you are a traveler.  After two days on the couch, my fever broke but I remained extremely fatigued, congested and had a horrible cough.

The two of us were quite a sight.  Now, a week later, I am still coughing and exhausted, but am able to manage for the most part.  Poor Neil had to take care of both of us, the farm, the animals, and the apartment for the last almost two weeks.  Taking care of us, he wasn’t able to tend to his wrist, so it is now worse than last week!  After taking such great care of me, he is now feeling ill too-uggh!

We have jointly decided that we will not be moving ourselves out of our apartment to our forever house, it is well worth paying someone to do it!

With as crazy as December was, January is scheduled to be even more insane-apparently nothing over the last few weeks has taught us anything!  There is something scheduled, work or otherwise almost every single day next month.

Before entering into that world of craziness, we are taking the weekend and driving as fast as we can to a lovely little inn in the NC mountains.  We have a few days to relax, get a couple’s massage and eat delicious local food.  I am counting down the minutes until we can leave, I have been at work for nearly six days in a row this week.

I am SO hoping February, when I come off the road and take a permanent job, will bring a bit more routine into things.  Life is so chaotic and hectic and we both can’t stand living this way.  We are both wanting to focus on building our forever house and enjoying that adventure together.

We both hope Christmas brought rest and good memories for you and yours.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF