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

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

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.

Bus stop knitting 🧶 #2

So yes I’m still working on my first sock, I haven’t even made it to working on the second… I do have 3 kids 9, 4, & 2 so I feel this is a good excuse. I have had to take some stitches and rows out a few times and am most likely going to have to redo this one because I don’t think I made the leg long enough. However here is my progress, fingers crossed I’ll post a photo of my finished sock soon or at least the start of the toe, I’m working on the foot now