6.10.06 – 7.27.20 you are so loved, you will so be missed

We set ourselves up for it don’t we. We give our hearts over to heartbreak. We know it’s going to happen, we know that in the next 10 years or so if we are lucky your heart will be broken with a love that you can never understand a love that you can never explain. A love that truly had no drama involved, no trust issues, no hurt, no anger, just straight out LOVE. The worst part? Most likely you are the one who has to make the choice… that is the most heartbreaking part of it all, you are the one who has to see the pain and decide that they can no longer live with it, you are the one that has to pull the trigger. And yet I would do it all over again knowing how much it will hurt, knowing that in a month I will most likely be expected to no longer morn her, so I will have to hide the sorrow, hide the pain.

14 years ago I made my first big adult decision I brought home the sweetest little puppy, a jack russell beagle mix. It’s a pretty big deal to bring a puppy home, after having babies I can say that raising a puppy is almost like having a newborn at home, you are up every few hours to put them outside, you have your choice of listening to them cry because you are kennel training them at night, or you let them come and sleep with you, I picked sleeping with me, her little whimpers got me every time.

Oh sweet girl how you will be missed! Not only by me but by your best friend, how do I explain to him that you aren’t coming back, how do I tell him to stop looking for her…

I will take a drink for you tonight, I will post random photos of you as I come across them because I have way to many to share, I don’t want to share any of you as an older dog, your pain is not how I want to remember you, I want to remember you as the hyper puppy who always wanted to chase the squirrel and catch the ball. I will remember when you growled at my pregnant tummy the first time the baby moved. How you would always get so excited when my parents came to visit, how you smiled when you where super excited, and yes she really did smile. So many memories are flooding in my mind right now, so much love,

So run sweet girl, run through the fields, sit on my daddy’s lap and kiss him nonstop like you did whenever he came to visit. I will always remember you, you are my “first born” my first “baby” you thought me to love more so than the dogs of my childhood because you where 100% mine, you picked me when you where 6 weeks old, i saw you the day you where born.

So run sweet girl run, you are free, you are loved, you are missed…

One last thing sweet girl… “SQUIRREL”

1 3/4 hours later

H (my 2 year old) is finally asleep, well not finally maybe in his eyes he is finally asleep, we or I am working on cutting out his afternoon nap in hopes he will sleep though the night, so really its 6:30 the earliest I will let him go to sleep. My husband just started a movie with my 9 & 5 year old so naturally I tell him I’m going to bed after I do all my chores with the animals (it was my idea to have them so I am the one who gets to take care of them). We finally had a storm today with a really good downpour, and I’m so happy because, well that is one less thing on my to-do list before going to bed, I no longer have to water the garden. So i feed the rabbits make sure they have enough water and make sure all the kits made it though the day (they did THANK GOD). Next put up the chickens, it’s a little early so I have to convince them with a little bit of food, not to hard, chickens are put up for the night…

I shouldn’t have looked at the garden I should have averted my eyes and just gone inside to go to sleep…

THE WEEDS oh my goodness the weeds where taking over and look at all the fresh veggies that need to be harvested! There is a nice bit of rain happening, enough to keep the heat and the bugs away, and the ground is ripe for the picking, so of course that is what I do, I start to weed and pick all the vegetables both of them could have waited for the morning, but hey why put of what you are able to do, and now in the morning I can enjoy my coffee just a little bit longer… I hope… that all depends on when the kids wake up.

So after the weeding and the harvesting I’m covered in mud so i take a quick sponge bath, I should really take a shower but… I really do want to go to sleep, and than I see all the things that still need to be done inside, I opt to just take care of the animals, yes more animals. 3 rabbits, 7 kits, 3 dogs, 1 cat 2 guinea pigs, and a hamster I feel like I’m forgetting something I hope not, maybe it’s the kids. So everyone is feed i hope and I know that my girls are going to wake me to tell me they are hungry because they didn’t eat dinner and I will give in because I JUST REALLY WANT TO SLEEP. So as I’m doing my last “chore” my 5 year old looks at me and says “mommy I thought you where going to bed” oh sweet girl I am you just have no idea what all comes with going to bed when you take care of the household…

So fingers crossed that my husband can do it, and fingers crossed that my little man sleeps though the night, fingers crossed that the new puppy doesn’t poop in the kids room like he loves to do in the middle of the night, we have no night terrors, and no wetting the bed… the house is still a mess even though I cleaned it about 10 times today, the hamper is still over flowing, and the kids are finally getting along, maybe because they are in front of the tv for the first time today…

Here’s to tomorrow, where we get to do just about the same thing all over again…

~mary e. J. mason

Regrets…

Today is a hard day that seems to always catch me off guard and makes me think of all the things that I should have done 3 years ago.

3 years ago…

3 years ago the day seemed just as hot as it is today, maybe that is because I was 9 months pregnant and my daughter was in the local 4h fair. I should have taken more photos, I should have been nicer, I should have not been acting like a very hot, very cranky, very pregnant with third child person. If I could go back to today 3 years ago and change things I would, oh how I would change things…

You see, 3 years ago was the last time I saw my dad, he died less than a month later, in fact it was the same day that my son was born, that is a whole different post.

I wish I had taken more photos of him with the girls that day, I don’t think I took any… I wish I had gotten a photo of the two of us… none where taken… I wish I had taken more photos with him and my mom… once again I didn’t take any… me a photographer didn’t take any photos, and I kick myself almost everyday when I think about it.

I still have the memory of dad and mom sitting on a bench under one of the tents taking a break from the heat giving each other a little peck, their anniversary was the day before. I wish I had more memories from that day…

I could go on and on about the guilt and what I should have done and how I should have acted differently, but who wants to read a pity party… I just needed to get some words out…

Take that photo, even if you don’t like the way you look, the person who loves you and doesn’t care will thank you later, let that photo be taken of you for the same reason, you can’t get back today… all of us where given a certain amount of time in this life, and it’s one thing that you can’t add more time to, we are all running out of it. So be nice, take that photo, give that hug, give that extra moment because you don’t know if it is your last, try not to yell at your kids, because thats not how you want your last moments with them to be. Be kind, be gentle, be loving…

~mary e. J mason

One crazy week on the homestead

Wow!!! Last week on Monday (7.13.20) this beautiful mama rabbit named Roxanne had her first litter (to me) of kits. She had 4 total one on the wire, the rest in the box. The kids and I where on our way to the pool after visiting our local post offfice, and i remembered that I had forgotten to check everyone’s water 😳 not good with the heat that we are having here in Va right now🥵. So we took a detour back to the house, and I am so glad that we did because this lady had her kits and was trying to get one into the nest box.

Two days latter my lovey Mittens had her very fist litter of kits 7 total and a first time mama, she had them all in the nest box and i was lucky enough to watch her give birth to all her kits, I wished I could tell you how long it took, but time was the last thing that was on my mind!

My dream of raising meat rabbits for my family and close friends is coming true, FINALLY, we got the rabbits back in March before everything went crazy and had to wait a while for them to be old enough to breed, we have to wait another 18 weeks before the new kits will be big enough for meat, but with how cute they are it’s really hard to think about that 😳

This is going to be a long post, so sorry.

Here comes the sad news… ALL of Roxanne’s kits have died because of the EXTREME heat that we are having here in the good ole VA. My very first litter for my attempt at growing/raising my own food died, talk about gut wrenching, I’m not going to lie I cried. I know that I was not planning on keeping them and they where more than likely going to end up on my dinner table…but it’s like when you see the baby deer on the side of the road…it never got the chance to live.

I’m sad, but I’m not going to give up. What might be worse is when I removed Roxanne’s nest box, I’m not sure she knew that her last kit had died, she seems fine now and I will try again later when the weather cools off.

I will try to get better at posting both the good and the bad… baby boy is up from his nap and needing me, more next time

~mary e. J mason

First Friday 7.3.2020 FCCA Fredericksburg, Va

First Friday was a little different this year… as in it did not happen… the gallery that I normally show my work in just reopened…but there was no juror talk… there was no opening reception… no seeing the locals who i only really see when I have work in the gallery, I’m no longer a “local” well i never was really, just passing though a small town, a small community, like i have always done and like i think i always will

i must apologize, i really do know the rules for proper grammar… i just normally blog how the thoughts come racing to my mind, much like a personal journal and if i don’t get the thoughts down as soon as they come, they disappear with the crying of a baby, the buzzing of the dryer, the whining of my puppy, the list just goes on and on…

So back to First Friday…

I did get to go to the gallery to see my work with my children by my side, it was nice because I didn’t have to keep an eye on them with the large crowds that are normally there, and the “eyes” that they are given for grabbing JUST one more cookie and than running away

Definitely less mom stress at this past First Friday, I could get used to that, i could stop brining them… try to find someone to watch them… but i want them to see what i do, i want them to see their mom’s work in a small town gallery, i want them to know that their dreams can come true… I haven’t made it to the big galleries yet and in truth I’m not sure how, but for now I’ll take the small town gallery where people know me from my photography and are surprised to see this new direction i am taking…

So long for now!

~mary e. J. mason

Morning coffee

It’s a perfect morning to read outside while the chickens make their loud clicking noises to each other the chicks are chirping, the birds are singing, my oldest two are still sleeping and my youngest is running around in his underwear #mylittlehomestead🐐🐓🦆🐇 #thisulgybeautifullifeilive💕 #joysoflivinginasmallhouse #joysoflovinginasmallhouse #smallfarmlife #smalltownlife

4.27.2020 face masks with filter for sale on etsy

I have been asked by A LOT of friends to make face masks for them, now that i have finished all of their orders I have been able to stock my Etsy shop inspiredbyhenry.etsy.com with some, these are 100% cotton double layer masks with a filter pocket I hope to have more made soon. Click the link below the photographs to see the listing in my shop. These masks are perfect for cleaning out your chicken coop or mowing the lawn, they do not come with a filter for the filter pocket.

And remember every purchase helps me feed my ever growing children and my little homestead.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/787231452/dust-mask-with-filter-pocket-face-mask?ref=shop_home_active_3
https://www.etsy.com/listing/801110273/dust-mask-with-filter-pocket-face-mask?ref=shop_home_active_2
https://www.etsy.com/listing/787242722/dust-mask-with-filter-pocket-face-mask?ref=shop_home_active_1

4.27.2020 face masks for sale on etsy

I have been asked by A LOT of friends to make face masks for them, now that I have finished all of their orders I have been able to stock my Etsy shop inspiredbyhenry.etsy.com with some, these are 100% cotton double layer masks. They DO NOT have a filter pocket. I have more masks coming to the shop soon with filter pockets they will cost a little more. Click the link below that photographs to see the listing in my shop.

And remember every purchase helps me feed my ever growing children and my little homestead

https://www.etsy.com/listing/797267927/dust-mask-face-mask-yard-work-mask-100?ref=shop_home_active_3
https://www.etsy.com/listing/797264819/dust-mask-face-mask-yard-work-mask-100?ref=shop_home_active_4
https://www.etsy.com/listing/797270639/dust-mask-face-mask-yard-work-mask-100?ref=shop_home_active_2
https://www.etsy.com/listing/783393850/dust-mask-face-mask-yard-work-mask-100?ref=shop_home_active_1

~mary e.

Who knew cut & paste could be so hard…

I’m having trouble coming up with things to write, and my best ideas come when i am washing dishes & by the time I’m finished and my hands are dry, i am pulled somewhere else, pulled to the screaming children because they too have been kept “inside” and together for too long. All three share the same room, they can’t even get away from each other with that simple idea, going to ones room.

I have written and rewritten this post so many times in my mind and I still don’t think that i have the right words to use. I’m feeling very stupid, very impatient. I had toyed with the idea of homeschooling when my oldest was still a baby, but the older she got the more that idea became, well a bad one. I decided not to homeschool because, well I cannot even handle cut & paste with my 5 year old.

I have to stay away from social media, i have to stop looking at photographs that friends are posting of their children doing school work and looking so very happy about it! I know that you are not sharing the whole truth, i know that you are more than likely having the same troubles that I am having when it comes to teaching your children, but it is very hard to believe.

Our day looks something like this, i have to use a timer, 1 hour of play, 20 minutes of school work, 1 hour of play, 30 minutes of cleaning, 20 minutes of school work, and by that point I’m finished

Like now, it’s not even noon and I’m ready for my nap, almost every night i’m up with the youngest two because they wake with night terrors and bad dreams, the dogs want in and out, and the cat won’t stop purring and kneading my stomach, i’m tired, i’m worn out, i’m doing this on my own…

More art to come soon I promise! I will get out of this funk.

~mary