Saturday, April 19, 2008

Issue 3- My New Home

In the past four months, I have started grad school at Bradley University, adopted a 2-year-old German Pincher named Dudley, turned 25, chopped off my hair, lost 15 pounds (on a good day), and survived the winter in the country …all in that order. (Oh, and Grant and I became an aunt and uncle again with the arrival of Trent Logan sister-in-law's new baby). Needless to say, these past four months have been filled with exciting new experiences of becoming a true student once again, changing my lifestyle to take care of a dog which is a lot more work then I thought it was going to be, and creating a home here on the farm.

Around Christmas time, I started looking around for dogs in the area that were available to adopt. After a few weeks searching on the internet, I found Dudley, a 2-year-old German Pincher that was at the Livingston Country Humane Society in Pontiac, IL. After many conversations about bringing a dog into our home, Grant and I took a trip out to Pontiac and feel in love instantly. The next weekend we went back and brought him home. After getting to know him, we’ve found that it doesn’t take much for him to make us laugh. He is such a sweetheart and is a great companion on my walks around the country roads. He’s also a good excuse to get some exercise when the last thing I want to do is go for a walk. While his energy level is higher than anyone or animal I know, he amazes me at how fast he can run away from me when he’s not on his leash, how excited he gets at trying to chase barn cats through our windows when he’s inside, and how high he jumps when he’s excited. I’ve grown to love him, Grant says he likes him, and I know my mom also has taken a liking to him since he travels with us to the suburbs. We can’t seem to figure out why he ended up at a humane society…our only guess is his bad habit of going to the bathroom in the house which is something we are constantly working on with him.

Grad school has also been an exciting experience. It’s been a nice change of pace to be a student once again. This blog is actually the result of one of my assignments for the technology class I am taking this spring. I’ve been looking forward to sharing this blog with you all, so you can more easily keep in touch with me, see what’s happening down here on the farm, and not have your email clog up with digital pictures that I send you.

In one of the pictures you can see my new hairdo! I’ve always wanted to donate my hair to Locks of Love, but since I didn’t want to cut off 10”, I donated 8” to Beautiful Lengths. I just love having short hair. It’s so much easier, sassy, fun, and professional looking. My students first reaction was, “You actually look like a teacher now!” My response was, “What did I look like before?!?!”

My short haircut also accompanies my improved waistline. Grant convinced me to go on the Atkins Diet with him on January 2nd. I was very resistant at first but then realized that it would be easier if I just tried it since I would be the one grocery shopping and trying to plan meals for his diet. The first few weeks it was difficult to change my way of thinking about food and eating, but it made me realize how “un-smart” my food choices were before. I don’t want to say that I was unhealthy before or ate too many sweets because that wasn’t the case. Instead, I’ve changed my food choices to include much more protein and vegetables instead of all those carbohydrates I was eating. By cutting out carbs, I realized right away how much more energy I had during the day, how much lighter I felt, and how I didn’t ever get hungry. All in all, it’s been a wonderful change of lifestyle and choices, and I love feeling healthy.

Now that the spring weather is finally here, I’m eager for the summer to begin. I don’t think we will have any more snow, so I can say that I survived my first winter living in the country. I didn’t think there would be anything too it, but I was completely unaware how different it would be from living in the city or suburbs. I never realized that streets may go unplowed all day, drifts can get up to 3 feet, roads can freeze over instantly when the conditions are just right, fog can be so dense that you can’t see more than 2 feet in front of you, and that my car can’t make it up hills in the snow (or even down the roads). I spent many stressful drives to and from work in my little Pontiac, and I’m happy that I no longer have to worry about the snow/ice/sleet/fog forecast.

The sun shinning through our bedroom shades before we get up is also a nice change. The change in weather also means a change in Grant’s work schedule. It’s been too wet outside to start spring planting, but within a week or so he will get busy once again. I figured if I survived harvest season, planting season will be a cinch. It’s been so nice to spend time together without me coaching basketball. We’ve been able to take trips up to the suburbs together, go out on dates, and watch Lost, The Office, American Idol, and many more of our tv shows at night. Our new addition of TiVo this past winter will also help Grant keep up with our shows this spring, since he won’t be getting home until the later evening hours. While he is out in the fields, I plan on joining him on some evenings, working on grad school assignments, and spending time with Dudley.

After reading through this addition of Farm Notes, I realize that I say that I “love” a lot of things that have changed in my life. That must be because that I love my life down here on the farm. I just went to lunch with a friend in the suburbs last weekend, and I was telling her how last spring at this time I was nervous for my move into a whole different way of life away from my friends and family. Despite those worries and fears that I had last spring and summer, I now know that the change has been wonderful for my soul. My grandmother sent me a newspaper article a few months ago that was titled “Finding a home and restfulness on Friday night”. In the article, it talked about how in our society we are so caught up in our busy lives that when we are sitting at home on a Friday night we tend to wish we were out being busy enjoying the social scene. Yet, “what we really want at the end of the day is home, ease, quiet, rest, someone to be comfortable with, some place to be comfortable in, a home.” Everyday, I find that I am “at home” and in love with the home that Grant and I have created in our little piece of heaven out here in the country. I do miss the people who were a part of my old home, but I am comforted knowing that here in little Dahinda my soul is quiet and at rest without the busyness and stress of my old way of life...and with that, I am truly happy. I hope you can find time to give your soul quiet and rest wherever you find yourself in your life.

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