Saturday, May 25, 2013

Living Simply

A tumultuous year is behind me, and another one is ahead.

November 2011 I received a layoff notice, ending the job  I had been going to for 9+ years.  I started taking St. Johns Wort right away.

April 2012 I started a new job ( at the same state agency) - but working for a previous supervisor that I had had a contentious relationship with.  He had not changed any.  Stress level went way up. still taking St. Johns Wort.

December 2012 - Governors budget came out, and our agency was only on it for one year - guess what that meant?  Yep - our agency was probably being shut down -no ones job was safe.

February 2013 - My daughter went in for one of the many tests that she routinely has to have with her heart condition.  Found out that her heart had become much worse, and her cardiologist was referring her for a heart transplant.  she is not sure that is what she wants, but at least is going along that path for now.

April 8, 2013 - finally some good news!  I started a new job, at another state agency, but this one with secure funding, doing something I really enjoy.  But, still taking St. Johns Wort.

Since March, besides getting a new job, our lives have been filled with Dr. visits.  There are many, many tests that you have to go through to find out if you are a candidate for a heart transplant.  Jess started going to the severe heart failure clinic in Portland - an hour drive away from our home.  Every two weeks we met with them, and along the way, there were in-hospital tests, out patient tests, lab tests - and the she was referred to OHSU - which is the primary hospital for heart transplants in the NorthWest.  Yesterday was our first meeting with one of the doctors from the heart transplant team.  Since we were up there anyway, and I had the day off of work, we packed in more tests that her doctors had ordered, labs, chest x-rays, immunizations and pulmonary breathing test.

We came home exhausted and I at least went to bed and slept for 10 hours.

When facing situations like this, it is best to simplify your life as much as possible.  For me, that has meant scaling back on my garden this year.  I don't know where we will be in the transplant process in the fall, when I am normally going nuts canning beans.  So I didn't plant beans this year.  And I have enough canned beans from last year to get me through another year if I don't eat beans every day.

I have planted tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.  And of course, the berries are coming on wonderfully - but I will probably give away what we can't eat fresh.  With a new job, and all the doctor and clinic visits, there just won't be time for the normal rhythm of growing, picking and canning.  And I don't even want to try.

So my work outside will be on adjusting infrastructure - working on the chicken house - things that I can do that if I have to walk away from the task for a few weeks, I can.  So I will be living as simply as possible for the next year.

I am glad that new visitors to this blog can still get instructions on how to create a raised bed, improve their soil structure  grow vegetables and fruit to feed their families and neighbors.  I am so proud of my children, who are each growing food (some in friends yards as my son in Seattle is doing).  My granddaughter just picked and ate the first peas that her parents are growing in the community garden they belong to at OSU in Corvallis.  At the end of the day, it is a simple joy to prepare your dinner with foods you have grown yourself, or bought from farmers in the area.

The need to live simply for awhile is sometimes brought upon by disaster, like those fellow Americans in OK who lost so much in the storms of life.  When you are reduced down to nothing by a few minutes of wind, it gets real.  What is really important?  In this past year of living with the change in job, then the imminent loss of my job, and the sharp reminder of my daughters mortality  - again, having a life that is already simplified as much as possible is important.  The yearly rhythm of planting, harvesting, preserving - even though scaled down, helps to keep my life in perspective.

I am sad to not blog as much as I was, but not apologetic.  I will post when I can.  I have a thread on growing carrot seed that I hope to post later this summer.  If you don't hear from me in awhile, it is because I am spending what precious free time I have in the garden - when not visiting doctors, clinics, or working.  And, I will keep taking St. Johns Wort.

My thoughts go out to all of you who are endeavoring in your own way to live simple lives...


for more info on St. Johns Wort:
And always let your dr know when you start taking an herbal supplement - I cleared taking this with my pharmacist first to make sure there would be no problems.  But my daughter could never take it, as it would interfere with her heart medications.  So always a good idea to check with your doctor or pharmacist first.

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