I thought I would go into August with a renewed sense of hope and faith, and all things good. I mean the last year pummeled us to a point of submission, on so many levels. Where else could we go but up, right?
Then our air conditioner broke, our sweet Marley died, all within the first 9 days of August, and I thought "well for goodness sake, this isn't what I envisioned for this month."
But then again, it never is, is it? We often have skewed ideas or views of how things should be or go. We make all these plans in our minds, and sometimes God obliges and the plans we make actually happen as we thought, but that's quite rare. At least for me, see my plans and views, are often changed dramatically, by my Father who sees all and knows all.
So the month started off shaky, but little did I know that God was about to take me from a place of feeling defeated, to a place of utter disbelief and happiness. He was about to gift me a blessing that I had only dreamed of for the past 23 years.
On Wednesday, I had that appointment that I mentioned to you all. I didn't want to say anything, I had kept very quiet about it all for the past 8 months, as I went through the process, filled out paperwork, paid quite a bit of money, and did what I had to do. In other words, did my part. The whole thing came about out of nowhere, on a quiet January morning, the 4th to be exact.
I felt the prompting from God and then my husband spoke the same words out loud. It's time, you need to apply for your Citizenship.
And so I did, quietly, under the radar, and kept mum. Something hard for me to do because I'm a very open person, and you know I love sharing my life. The good, and the bad, and everything in between.
But Wednesday I went through the last interview. Curt was not allowed to be with me, he had to wait outside the building. My nerves were shattered, I was shaking, I was sweating, I was terrified. Some may not understand why, but for those of us who were not blessed to be born in this wonderful country, becoming a citizen is a dream come true.
I did it. I sat through the interview, answered everything I had to answer, took my civics test and then heard the words I had only dreamed of hearing.
The pride, overwhelming love for the flag, and the joy that I felt in that moment, brought me to tears. I couldn't even speak, I uttered thank you, thank you, thank you and God bless you.
I walked out of that building in complete shock. The past 8 months have been hard friends. They've been excruciating. The enemy has thrown everything AND the kitchen sink at us. I had moments of utter desperation. But I didn't know that a huge blessing was just around the corner, on the other side of the pain and grief.
And for that I am eternally grateful.
It hasn't yet sunk in, and I do still have my Oath Ceremony coming up. I will share that with you when the time arrives. But thank you America, for being my home, for taking me in, for allowing me to love you and respect you and proudly be able to say that I am an American, and that I will always do everything within my grasp, to protect and defend this beautiful nation.
And with that part taken care of, I am now back to life, and continuing to get things on track. For me that means diving right back into blogging, cooking and backing, photography and getting ready for Fall and Winter.
This year is a Pecan harvest year, so we will be busy with that. I still have a huge canister of pecans from last year, which I plan on cracking this week, in preparation for the incoming harvest.
I've also been working on getting the last harvest of tomatoes, freezing and canning.
I planted 10 tomato plants this year, and only one survived, but it is huge and has been producing so many gorgeous tomatoes, that I am finding it a bit hard to keep up with.
Jam, tomato sauce, frozen tomatoes, you name it, it's happening. I just hate wasting food of any kind, and especially homegrown veggies. I really want to get a Fall/Winter garden going, so need to sit down and figure that out, do some planning, get the soil ready and hopefully everything into the ground within the next few weeks.
I've always loved the shift between summer and fall. That moment where it's not too hot anymore nor is it cooler yet. Where life is changing from busy on the go summer days, to the slower, quieter, more indoor kind of life, for fall and winter.
I have found myself spending more time in my kitchen, and actually enjoying the time I am in there. For the past few months, or maybe year or so, it just hasn't been a priority for me. I would go in there and quickly scrounge up a meal for the family and then out I was. Lately though, I've found myself spending hours in my kitchen, whether I'm whipping some yummy thing for us to enjoy, or organizing all the cabinets again, cleaning, doing dishes, whatever it may be......the kitchen is my go to again, and how I love that.
I spent most of yesterday in there, cooking for us and for my family. We haven't been able to see them in two weeks, they have all been feeling unwell, and my sister in law and nephew (my niece's husband), have both tested positive for Covid.
I don't need to tell you how serious it could be especially for Hayley who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments for her breast cancer. Steven, also tested positive and unfortunately has pneumonia in both lungs too. My niece is 22 weeks pregnant and trying to hold the fort down alone, while I do what I can from the outside.
I've been delivering meals, treats and whatever else I can, by leaving it all their front door, knocking and then quickly getting back in the car. And so have our last two weeks gone, knocks on doors, a quick wave from door to car, and spoken messages through the phone. It's not ideal, but we do what we can.
As we wind down into the last week of August, and I look back at all that has gone on, some devastating losses, some huge blessings, and the heartbreaking news from Afghanistan and the whole world around us, I am reminded by God that life goes on.
We are called to pray, that is our weapon and that is something I do all the time. Some days I find myself in constant prayer, all day long. It's what has gotten me through so many difficult moments, you know those where you feel like there's no way out and nothing is going to get better?
But we move on, and we cling onto the things that have some sort of normalcy still attached. Like our homes, local happening as our yearly Bicycle Race, moments with our pets, watering our gardens, cooking a meal, talking with a loved one, even grocery shopping.
For me it's all of those and then TV, but not just any show. I don't know about the rest of you, but I find that 2020 catapulted me into a state of change. I no longer enjoy some of the shows I used to, and have actually stopped watching them all together. If you know me and have followed me for a while, you know I was a huge fan of paranormal shows, ghost hunting and all that stuff.
Since last year, I just can't watch them. I refuse to, I don't feel right watching them, and I realize that they bring nothing to my life.
So I have changed my tv style, have spent a lot of time updating my subscriptions on Youtube, my watchlists on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and what I allow into my soul.
And again, as we get ready to end into the end of summer, and Fall looms around the corner, I have started compiling a list of shows to watch. I know a lot of you enjoying seeing what I have on my TV, so I'll leave you with the list below (well, not the full list or we will be here all day), and a sweet photo of our boy Elliott. He has now become my shadow and my companion. I am so thankful to God for bringing him into our lives last year, I couldn't understand why at the time, but now I get it.
Amazon Prime/Acorn TV
Bone Detectives (Tori Herridge and a team of scientists piece together the lives
behind unearthed bones to find out their stories. Once a skeleton has
been recorded, the bones immediately begin to reveal their mysteries,
opening up a secret history of Britain.)
Savile Row (A three-part series focusing on famed London shopping street Savile Row and how the long-standing tailor shops are adapting to an aging workforce.)
Love & War (In wartime life can be tough, brutal and short. But it can also be beautiful. This series tells the story of love that blossomed during the tension and misery.)
The Irish R.M Series 1 and 2 (Major Sinclair Yeates has settled in as a magistrate in rural
Ireland. Mrs Cadogan is always full of surprises. Flurry Knox is in love
with his cousin, and it seems that neither love nor fire should always
be taken at face value.)
Elizabeth I and her Enemies (Queen Elizabeth I was one of England's greatest monarchs, but she spent her life surrounded by enemies.)
A Stitch in Time (Fusing biography, art and the history of fashion, Amber Butchart
explores the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore.)
The Brilliant Bronte Sisters (How did the Brontë sisters-Charlotte, Emily, and Anne-spend much of
their lives in a remote parsonage on the edge of the Yorkshire moors and
yet write literary masterpieces that were shocking, erotic, and
Wartime Farm (BBC's turn-back-the-clock `Farm' series continue with this
eight-part look at the efforts of historian Ruth Goodman and
archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn, who run Manor Farm as if
it was during the Second World War.)
At Home with the Georgians (This is a docudrama, about life in Georgian times and focuses on homes, and homemaking.)
Victorian House of Arts and Crafts (In this landmark living history series, a late 1800s Victorian arts and crafts commune in the Welsh hills has been painstakingly brought back to life as a group)
1900 Island (Four families, with a longing to escape the demands of the modern
world, head back to the turn of the 20th century. They live for a month
as a small Welsh fishing community on the tidal island of Llanddwyn, off
the coast of Anglesey.)