2.18.22 it’s been forever and a day…

Wow has it been a long while since I have been on here to post! I have been focused on homeschooling, and just trying to be, so I haven’t thought much on blogging about my life… or just in general.

I have been having trouble with thinking that what i am doing is good enough, social media has not helped with this thinking. So I have turned everything off including my blog, I have taken a break, I have tried to get my mind back in order and not worry about comparing myself and my children with others. But now I think that I am back, I think I know or have an idea on how to turn off the noise from the outside and focus on what really matters, my little family.

Yesterday I made art for the first time in a long time, and I have a deep yearning to make more, something that has been missing from me for a long while. I am going to embrace my longing for the bright and whimsical images that are flooding my dreams at night, I am going to allow myself the freedom that I see in my children when they do art, they just do art as it feels it should be done, not as they feel the world feels it should be done. I will learn to look at things with their eyes because they seem to be more wise than I do at times.

So here’s to new art and hopefully new weekly updates on Fridays


Father’s Day…year 3 almost 4…6.20.21

Today hurts…

I can’t turn on the radio, I can’t go onto Facebook, not a bad thing because so much time is wasted there and lately it just make me so mad. I can’t stand seeing all the “happy” on there, to be reminded of one of my loved ones that I no longer have

This is my third year without my father on Father’s Day and it feels like the band aid has been ripped off an old wound too slowly. A wound that will never truly heal, a wound that everyone has seemed to have forgotten about, everyone but me. So i sit here and try not to cry, i sit here and try not to think about it, but in doing that I seem to be buried in memories both good and bad of my daddy.

My dad was the first to show up for me (family wise) after my husband’s accident, and this was after having just been released from the hospital for his own major surgery, my dad always made sure that his girls where taken care of, he called just to be funny, he called to sing happy birthday even when they where too young to understand, and I thought I was too old to be sung to. My dad showed my girls what a Godly man should look like, and even though he was not in their little lives for very long he had left a lasting impression. My dad loved taking the girls on little adventures, even driving down to watch a soccer game or magnet ball as we called it. He was the kind of dad that happened to need a new car right when mine broke down and he knew I couldn’t afford to get a new one, just so I could have his old one. My dad was one of the smartest men I knew, you see that rocket in the photo below…well he made that rocket he is also one of the master minds behind GPS, something that I didn’t find out until after his death. My dad didn’t say anything when I changed my major to art, he just said “if that is what you want to do than I will support you.” My dad would love the fact that his girls are getting homeschooled, he would love that I started playing the trombone again, he would love that I am raising meat rabbits. My dad taught me wood working, he gave me my love of photography, my love of working with my hands, he taught me how to love the outdoors, how to think for myself, but also how to see what the other side is thinking/feeling. I miss him more today than I did yesterday. I love that my son knows who he is, even if he never met him, I am sad when he says things like “he wishes he know him” believe me little man I wish you got to know him too. I wish that whenever I look at my baby boy i was not reminded of the person that I lost, when my son made his exit from the womb, but I also think that is the reason I was able to keep going, because another little person needed me as much as I needed them.

How is it that in August it will already be 4 years, when sometimes it feels like yesterday. How is it that next month at this time…well it will mark the last time I saw him. How is it that all his phone numbers are still in my phone… still with the favorites…how is it that I have to remind myself not to call.

Oh how he loved his granddaughters! Oh how he would have loved his grandson! I’m so happy that I “found out” what I was having before H was born, gave the paper to my mom when they visited all because I was worried about clothes! But oh how glad I am that I was worried about such a stupid little thing, because than my dad knew that he was going to have a grandson! My dad was able to buy a grandson, that he never got to meet the cutest little outfits that I will forever cherish.

If you are still blessed to have a father to call today please do so!!! If the last time you saw your father or even spoke to him you did so in hate and not love, please make amends!!! I know that i wish i had, but I thought hey I’ll see him after the baby is born and we can make up than… don’t leave in hate, no matter how much you want to, no matter how angry you are, no matter how tired…please, please, please, always leave in love…

I was not sure if I wanted to write this post, but I’m trying to be real, and hey this is as real as it gets right now, today, this Father’s Day and all the ones that I have to go through in the years to come. I am reminded by what I have lost, what my children have lost, and I am reminded to pray that one day they can say the same things about me on Mother’s Day, but most importantly pray, that they can say the same things about their father come Father’s Day.

I will forever miss you daddy, and I will always be your little girl ❤️

Jamestown… a few months back 4.15.21

I know that I’m always saying this…but wow am I bad about posting! As soon as I sit down to write something I seem to be needed elsewhere, but while the children are still sleeping after a long hot day at the pool yesterday I will try to remember Jamestown.

Because we are homeschooling we went the week after spring break with the hope that we would be just about the only people there, and sure enough we where IT WAS AMAZING! Yes it was a very long drive, just over 200 miles round trip, yes it was rainy and a little chilly, and yes I would have liked it if we had been able to stay longer to see more things, but with it just being a day trip our time was limited.

Needless to say that doing anything with a family of 5 can be quite costly! In deciding where to go the first thing I looked at was how much is this going to cost us and most places where $100 or more JUST FOR THE DAY!!! Also that $100 did not include food, or whatever else you have to pay for that is not included with the ticket price (like that $3 cup of coffee 😳 it was only 12oz and not very good at all! Rant over). I was very happy to see that Jamestown is a part of the Get Outside program for 4th graders, we still had to pay, and I wish I could remember how much… I think it was $21… the kids where free because of the program and mine and my husband’s tickets had a major discount.

The children are waking up… more to come later…

The kids had fun, and as you can see in the photos we where some of the only people there, so the kids got to be kids. I highly recommend going to Jamestown and if you can stay longer than a day so you don’t feel rushed and you can take advantage of your ticket receipt lasting for 7 days!

Well the chickens are clunking and the rabbits are thumping, so it’s time to get on with the morning chores 🤣

Next post Mount Vernon so stay tuned for more!

~mary e. J. Mason

Homeschool Day #52ish (4.9.21)

Wow! I need to update more, but it’s just a sign that we are super busy and I am very much lacking in free time right 😜! Haha also I must say I wrote this post on April 9, 2021 and I’m just now getting around to posting it (4.27.21)!!! So since we started homeschooling back in January, mine and the kids lives have changed SO MUCH! We restarted the school year in January so my oldest restarted 4th grade and my middle restarted kindergarten, my youngest…well he still runs around like crazy and is a big distraction, but hey at least he is now potty trained and has big sisters to play with ALL DAY LONG (even when they should be doing school). I think we are going to do year round school, and it kind of makes since to start a new school year at the beginning of the calendar year 🤷🏼‍♀️, but it depends on how well the kids do in summer on the assessment tests that are required by the state due in August. *since I wrote this we got the test scores back, and wow I have one smart kid on my hands!*

Most days (unlike today) have been going really well, we are not held to a set schedule and if the weather calls for a school day outside than we move table and chairs to the outdoors and have cows and chickens as our classmates. If the school day calls for more play than work, well at this age it seems just as important to use your imagination as it is to put pen to paper, and if we are just not feeling it, because even little ones need mental health days, than we spend our day cuddling, playing, or whatever my children might need. Because even if they are being “shielded” from the outside world with the drama of COVID-19 going on it still affects them.

Yesterday (4.8.21) we restarted our Thursday adventures back up and went to Fredericksburg to visit the National Cemetery and a Battlefield. The kids had a blast and history was brought to life! I loved seeing my oldest E read the signs to her siblings, I loved seeing history through their eyes as if for the first time, I loved that they saw the layout of a house that is MUCH smaller than ours and wonder at how people lived back than, not to mention the amount of people who lived in the house! Our house in only 1,000 square feet with 5 people, so in todays time it is a very small house indeed!

We had a picnic in the van with cheese, crackers, and fruit, oh was it a feast! The kids loved it from the 10 year old to the 3 year old they had a blast. I also let them each pick something out from the gift shop. Let me tell you that might have been the highlight of the trip 😜 I was/am super proud of little H because he wanted a book! WHAT 3 YEAR OLD BOY WANTS A BOOK!? MINE!!! The oldest E, wanted a quill and ink set, she couldn’t wait to get home to try it. She is pretty good at writing with it, but her favorite thing to do it draw. My 6 year old C asked for a Park Ranger doll that has now become her most favorite toy. I found a new book series that the oldest is in love with and have discovered so many more books in the series that I can get online.

Later that day after a short time at home for naps and a little bit of R&R for me. We headed over to Fort Germanna. If you are local and reading this, that is a nice easy walk by the river with lots of good sand spots for the kids to play. I have to say I slept well that night! Both of these where a good way to start our Thursday adventures back up!

More to come, the next week we headed to Jamestown it was a little over 200 miles round trip 😳

~mary E. J. mason

Homeschooling end of week #2 with a little bit of photography 01.22.2021

I have been wanting to get behind the camera again, I miss seeing things through the lens, I have missed sharing the world as I see it, I have missed seeing my life in black & white. So I am working on an ongoing photography project documenting our homeschool days. Some photographs will be posted with my blog posts but more will be posted in my projects

There are two people from my past that I have to thank for telling me it’s ok to start back into looking behind the camera with the things that are going on in my everyday.

I am now an official homeschool mom, and it’s tough, if you cut me i think it would just be coffee and wine instead of blood to flow out of my veins, did I tell you my 3 year old is potty training… it has been a very long 2 weeks.

It has been worth every minute. My 5 year old is no longer chewing on her hair, something that stated with this school year, my 9 year old isn’t talking back to me as much as she was before, my 3 year old has someone to play with all day. I’m finding i don’t need an escape from my littles like I have in the past…

School is very hands on a perfect way for little ones to learn they get to see, touch, and hear what they are learning, they are no longer sitting in front of a screen all day.

I am starting a photo project, about homeschooling, lets see where it takes me, lets see what my children will teach me, lets see where more inspiration will come from.

~mary E. J. mason

Show Entry… 01.22.2021

So I entered my first show in what feels like forever, I’m sure if I looked back at my last one it would only be a few months. Three photographs where entered and one got in here is the link to that post “Chicken Wire” Fine Art Photography. These two are the photographs that did not get in the show, I am rather happy with them so I am sharing them with you.

“Sunrise” 8×10 Color Photography taken with Fuji X-T2
“Cow Skull” 8×10 Color Photography taken with Fuji X-T2

Gloomy days…

I’m not going to lie… I love gloomy fall days, to me there seems to be a bit of magic in the air, and living in a small house in the middle of a farm with nothing but homemade blankets and second hand, sometimes third hand furniture so everything matches by not matching, this house that I am renting has such a warm and welcoming feel to it. One where you are not worried about sitting on the sofa or taking off your boots before coming in, the wood floors are well worn and in need of some tlc, the walls are covered with both mine and the kids art work, so when you first walk in it’s a lot to take in especially if it is your first time seeing everything, but all of this adds to the welcoming feel.

I’m still feeling “peace” while washing dishes… dinner is in the oven… i have put on my pajamas, and the light from the gloomy day brings in this quite hue that is asking you to light a candle, to turn on one lamp, because sometimes that light you see in the fog can be the most restful, beautiful and welcoming light of all, there is no harshness to it.

Normally I would have made myself a nice pot of tea cuddled up under one of my many handmade blankets to read a book, finish a project, watch a movie, or just watch the rain and listen to the crackle of the wood burning in the stove. Today I find myself opening a beer and washing dishes while the kids scream, the dogs fight and I try to find a bit of peace watching the chickens in the yard looking for their dinner, heck it’s not even a good beer, but it’s a cold one and my nerves are very much on edge.

In the short time that I put dinner in the oven (and it was a frozen dinner) washed a few dishes from this morning the house has been torn apart. My two youngest have taken all my blankets and pillows off my bed and moved them to the living room, they have also emptied the clean clothes that I was going to fold after dinner, the sofa is taken apart… I could go on and on. I am cold because there is no fire in the wood stove, my husband has yet to pull it out from the wall to clean, I would do it, but it is too big of a job for me to do alone with the kids running around crazy, the dogs fighting and heck the size and weight of the stove, it is just a job that I can not do on my own.

I am trying to find the joy in all of this, we have a roof over our heads, and dinner is cooling, there will be clean clothes to wear tomorrow and my van has a full tank of gas, but oh is it hard. The kids have decided that they don’t like dinner without trying it, and the fighting and crying just keeps going on and on.

I may have some wine after the kids go to bed and finally sit down to enjoy the gloomy day with my book, but for now I need to be the solo mom living on the homestead that is full of living things that very much depend on me for life.

But lets be real, I’m most likely just going to cuddle up under my big blanket and fall asleep to do it all over again tomorrow…

~mary e.J mason