Thursday, September 2, 2010

AAA - All About August

(Disclaimer: There are way more family photos and far fewer animal photos in this post than is customary. If you're not interested in this sort of thing, please skip over this post and come back tomorrow.)

(Disclaimer #2: This post is also way too long and, for this, I am truly sorry.)

Now. About August....

There are two keys things, I realize now (hindsight is always 20/20, right?), to getting through an emotional rough patch. One is to talk about it. I did this ... --> here. The second thing is to stay busy. Really busy.

And because I actually did these two things, I can say that I'm now feeling much better than I did when I wrote my beginning-of-August-not-so-happy post.

As I wrote then, my youngest son, Aidan, left on August 2nd for his assignment with AmeriCorps in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

One moment he was here, the next...he was in a different world.

His departure hit me really hard.

As a rule, when I'm feeling emotionally low, sad or just plain depressed, I'm not at all good at talking about it. However, one of the best things I did was blog about what I was going through. By writing it down here - in what I consider my safe place, it allowed me to clearly and (fairly) concisely get all my thoughts and feelings out about how I was feeling. Verbalizing is an amazing way to gain clarity, who would've guessed?! (I need to remind myself this next time I don't want to talk about something.) The bigger picture -and HUGE bonus-, though, is that I received so many supportive, gentle and kind comments from my blog friends. You are a very wise and loving bunch, you know. Thank you.

While I didn't answer you at the time, every one of the comments I received made me feel like I had an amazing team of supporters out there, rooting for me and wanting me to feel happy again. I loved this.

But since you all don't live on my road, ready to come and walk me every day and make me laugh, the second best way to combat the sadness in my heart was to stay really busy. So, over the course of the rest of the month of August...:

I surprised my friend, Marcee, by showing up unexpectedly at her house on August 7th. She's a hard one to surprise, so that was pretty fun.
It was good to see the llama ladies again and watch them enjoying Marcee's goat babies:

Then I made Marcee plant about 50 baby strawberry plants that I had dug up from my own garden so she would have more strawberries next spring. She didn't fuss at all. She's like that.

That's not to say we didn't have some fun while I was there:

When I got back home, only a few days later, another trip was planned. On the 12th, four of us from Portland (my Jim, my oldest son, Teagan, his girlfriend, Alana, and I) attended the amazing wedding of Jim's son, Brian, to his lovely bride, Avalon, in Victoria, B.C.

In preparation for the event, I had to go "fancy dress" shopping. My farm attire just wasn't going to cut it. I hadn't done this kind of shopping in so long, I took pictures of every single dress I tried on:

Having a major shoe fetish, I delighted in a gorgeous new pair of heels, too:

I think my son and his gal had as much fun on our trip as Jim and I did:

And I loved seeing them all dressed up for the wedding:

I also got to meet Teaka, who belongs to Brian's new mother-in-law:

She is two pounds of cuddly, shivery, excitable Yorkshire Terrier. (She's even smaller than my smallest chicken, Dottie.) Missing my own animals, she kindly allowed me to cuddle her up on more than one occasion:

When we got home, I harvested my garlic:

My barn smells delicious right now:

On August 18th, I realized this was my favorite time of the growing season. Look at everything that's suddenly ripe and ready to eat:

Around this time, I doggy-sat my mom's beloved dog, Wolfi, for a week while she was in Germany:

See what a good dog he was?

Most of the time, he and Roxy, my farm pup, were pretty lazy:

Except for on the 19th, when Roxy got a haircut:
Here's Roxy before:

And after:

Much better, right?

On the 24th, we celebrated my oldest son's 22nd birthday:

He still likes waking up at his mama's house on his birthday morning. This makes me so happy.

Also on the 24th, while washing windows, I inadvertently straddled a wasp's nest. *That* was an exciting moment when I realized those weren't flies flying up my dress and buzzing angrily around me:

And I didn't get stung despite their distress at me spritzing Windex above their nest.

On the 26th, five, delightful guests appeared on my doorstep for a little over 3 days of great fun. My friend, Marcee, brought her kids and mom for an end-of-summer get-away. This was Diane's (Marcee's mom's) first time to Oregon and she pretty much had that huge, wonderful smile on her face the whole time she was here:

Look, Diane brought me a few new donkeys for my collection:

Suddenly, I found myself almost at the end of the month. It went by so quickly!

It seemed especially fitting, then, that on the 27th, my heart got a special treat when I got to see Aidan on the CNN program "Anderson Cooper's 360" that was broadcasting out of New Orleans for the 5th anniversary commemoration of Hurricane Katrina:

He looks good. I also noticed that he's still very tall. :-)

So, that, in a rather lengthy nutshell, is how I spent my August. There was lots of travelling, lots of laughing, some gardening, absolutely no blogging...just living and learning how to be with no children in my house. Can't say I'm happy with this arrangement, but I don't feel like I'm going to shrivel up and become irrelevant anymore. This is a good thing.

Talk to you tomorrow.


  1. good for you dani. i am so glad you are feeling a bit better. when i went through that time some days it was hard to put one foot in front of the other! i hope you have not been as hot as we have. it seems we were rarely out of the 90's all summer. i guess that is because we rarely were!

  2. Glad to hear that you are feeling better, nothing worse than feeling kind of low and life still goes on the way it always has, it's hard at times to find the energy to keep up with it's flow. I love the pictues, seems like you had a great time while you tried to make yourself feel better. The donkeys for your collection are just adorable, especially the big one, just love it. Nice to see the lama girls too and the dogs are just too cute for words. Welcome back!

  3. Danni,
    This post was neither too long nor boring...and I loved the family shots, including the animals :) Coping with change is the hardest, especially when it involves our're a great example of naming your stress and taking purposeful steps to combat it the best way possible. I find "busy" to be the best for me as well during times of high anxiety...also a good way to get a few needed tasks accomplished :)
    Keep moving forward! See you again tomorrow :)

  4. Good for you, Danni!!! :) You had an awesome August... I loved being along with you for every moment and picture!

  5. ((hugs))
    I'm so glad you're feeling better. It was a very busy month. :)

    You know Aiden waving in the back is "HI MOM !!"

    Now, can you come do my windows?

  6. Hi Danni - so good to see you back in the blogging world, I missed you, honestly! I too find that when I am depressed, it is good to be around loved-ones even though I would rather isolate. I am not very social, and do not have many friends where I live, so my blogging-buddies are my social outlet and family. When I am feeling particularly lonely, I will continuously check for blog updates so I can post comments, like I'm talking with these gals, it helps my mood. I'm glad you've gotten thru you low-period, and you give me ideas of how I can stay out of mine. I'm getting ready to make a move to the country at the end of Sept, and I am excited as well as overwhelmed with having to get ready for the move. You have given me inspiration to keep busy and get 'er all done. Again, good to see you here. I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend. Love and Hugs from KY - take care.

  7. Welcome back! I missed you! Glad you had a good month!! It's so nice to see Aidan on CNN! The kids all look so happy in that picture! And i love the shoes!!! :) Hope you have many more opportunities to wear them!


  8. love you posts. Glad you made it thru August.

  9. This is all very nice, but I can't believe you went to Victoria and did NOT stop by to meet ME! But then maybe you flew, in which case I will forgive you. This time. :)

  10. You've had a great month! What could be better than being with friends, harvesting your garden, and especially attending a family wedding . . . PLUS a shopping spree. Oh my, you certainly know how to climb out of a slump! Good for you.

    I loved seeing Aidan's smiling face on TV, that's gotta have given you goose-bumps!

  11. Ahh Danni, that's the cure, work work and more work. I was only thinking of you last night when I was going to bed (does this mean I have a sad life... NO!) Don't know how I missed your Sept 1 post. Love the wedding snaps and the shoes. Avalon is such an old name, so pretty. Llama girls look great and very content. Do you think you could come downunder with 50 strawberry plants :D Roxy Dog, great haircut and bet you enjoyed Wolfi's company. Yes your Aiden is very tall, and both your boys very handsome. Glad to see you back.
    LiBBiE in Oz

  12. Well, at least you blogged...I however spent my funky time off the net. Sort of. At least off my blog. Trying to get back to it now.

    No wonder your friend had a smile on her face the whole time she was in Oregon. Who wouldn't. I heart Oregon!

  13. Lovely, newsy post. I always love your photos so much. That close-up of Wolfi is adorable. Sounds like you had a very full and productive month.

  14. Your posts are never too long nor too boring. We love to hear what is going on with you. Sounds like you did what needed to be done to help yourself with the changes going on.
    I found Teagan liking to wake up in your house on his birthday very touching.
    Only you know what is best for you. And you have the best support team anyone can ask for.
    hugs. xoxo

  15. Your posts will never be boring, there's just something about your sense of humor that will prevail even when you don't feel up to snuff (is that how you say it?). It's great to have you back and I enjoyed reading about your August adventures very much. -- Inger

  16. I'm glad your post was long. Love to hear what was going on. And as much as I love your animal shots, I equally love all the others as well....esp of the 2 legged folk! And how totally cool to see your baby on Anderson Cooper! Did you know he might be on? He's usually on at our house, but I don't remember seeing that piece about N.O.

    Thanks for brightening up my day with your posts :)

  17. Well there ya go girly. I agree busy is good when you need to think. I guess that sounds backwards but nope busy is good for thinking!

  18. Hindsight *is* always 20/20. How does that work anyway?

    August was busy for you...but look at how much fun you had...I mean, its not everyday that you get to see your boy on TV....(I wont tell anyone that you pressed the rewind button a zillion times and your smile got bigger and bigger every time we saw him on there :-) )

    And really? Its also not everyday that you get to plant so many strawberry plants at one time(which are doing fabulously well, by the way) Or that you can pull off a surprise in regards to moi. Im just sayin.

    Im so happy that you all had such a wonderful time at the wedding...couldnt have hurt at all that you had such great shoes to wear.

    I love seeing Roxy and Wolfi asleep on the bed! Look how relaxed they are. :-)

  19. Glad you are "feeling" better and are back blogging. We all missed you but knew you would soon be back. sounds like you had a busy and wonderful month.

  20. Glad you made it through Danni. Hopefully it will get better over time.


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