Odds & sods

How are you? How are you doing? What are you feeling?

If anyone asks me how I am doing, I rarely say only “fine” or “good.” I figure if you care enough about me to ask, I’m going to give you a full answer.

So how are you doing?

We’re in a weird time. A hard time. As Christmas approaches and virus cases rise, things feel a bit harder. As well, outside of a global pandemic, everybody has other stuff happening. Family stuff. Health stuff. Home stuff. Money stuff. Kid stuff.

In many cases, we don’t have a choice. You have to get through. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. However, it’s sometimes easier to keep going if you talk to someone about what you’re going through.

So how are you? I really want to know. Leave a comment if you feel comfortable. Or send me an email at homeon129acres@hotmail.com. Or find someone else you feel comfortable with and tell them how you’re doing.

It may make a difference in how you feel about your day.

For me, I’m doing alright. I’m definitely overdoing it with late nights right now as I try to work, organize Christmas and keep the rest of this train on the tracks. Ellie has been going through a hard toddler stretch, so I’m working on finding my patience, positivity and energy.

But I keep putting one foot in front of the other and checking another thing off my to-do list. And find downtime in front of the fire, with our books, in a good podcast or in a few minutes every night when I find something else that inspires me, intrigues me or interests me.

Here are some of the things I’ve come across recently.

This thought-provoking podcast about Indigenous fashion led me to an even more thought-provoking Instagram account for this Indigenous fashion designer. Her mission to use fashion for the betterment of future generations is powerful.

12 Days of Christmas, Canadian style

A stunning historic Canadian lakehouse gets a major makeover (I liked this episode the best so far, but you should go back and watch from the start.)

The kitchen of 1914. So much interesting commentary on the value of home making and how efficiency matters.

An amazing story of restoring a natural environment and our role as caretakers

My writing elsewhere:

I truly hope that you are well. If you’re struggling, I hope that you are able to reach out to someone and find some support. Take good care.

6 thoughts on “Odds & sods

  1. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I usually say ‘I’m doing okay.’ I do keep a lot of my feelings to myself which is probably a bad thing. I think about Matthew an awful lot and how much I really miss him. I don’t think those feelings will ever go away.
    The rising numbers of coronavirus cases is very scary. At the huge University hospital in London where Bill volunteered there are cases on every floor, including the transplant and cardiac floors. This frightens me.
    I do keep busy with Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, writing cards but my heart isn’t entirely in it. Carlisle is trying hard to keep everyone’s spirits up. There are more lights on people’s houses this year and the Optimist club have put 4 decorated trees at the 4 way stop.
    There are really many things to be thankful for, especially little Ellie, even though she is going through a 2 year old stage. She is so bright, funny, interesting and a truly amazing gift! I feel very blessed to have you, Julia, take the time out of your very busy schedule to write a daily email to me describing yours and Ellie’s day! It means so much to me.
    I need to respect other family members’ feelings about staying apart this Christmas, even though it is difficult to understand sometimes. I know they are doing it for our own good and I need to learn to respect that. I’m sure we can make up for it when this pandemic is over, hopefully in the near future.
    I am trying really hard to stay positive and to answer your question I guess I really am doing okay!
    Audrey 💕

    • I appreciate you opening up here, Audrey. I understand what you mean about your heart not being in Christmas right now. We’ve gone through so much and are still. It’s hard to find the energy and enthusiasm and joy in the way that we want to… or perhaps feel we should. I try to remember that we can be more than one thing. We can be sad and happy at the same time. As weird as that may sound. Ellie can be a bright spot (and I’m so glad she is), and there is still great sadness and regret, whether about Matt or about not seeing the rest of the family right now. We can respect other people’s choices, but can still struggle and disagree… and wish for more. You are a blessing in our lives as well, and I’m so grateful to have you.

  2. You are so sweet to ask this of your readers. I feel like you genuinely do want to know. We are doing ok here. My mom was to have routine cataract surgery and so she was tested for the virus and got a positive result. Which means my dad, brother and I were tested and quarentined while waiting. We all tested negative and mom feels perfectly fine and is now cleared.

    Steve and I are so thankful that we have been able to work through the virus. I am still working from home and I am so lucky that my job has allowed this.

    Thanksgiving was very quiet here as we all wanted to avoid large gatherings. We know that Christmas too, will be different from normal. But we know that this won’t last forever and that we want to do our part to slow the spread. So we will carry-on and count our blessings.

    • Oh Sarah. I am so glad your Mom is okay now. What a scary time for you. Amongst a scary time. I’m so glad as well that you have your new (not so new now) job. I feel like working from home wouldn’t have been possible with the other job. Employment and income is important, and having that security makes a difficult situation a bit easier. It sounds like you and Steve truly are making the best of things. I’m glad of that for you. Thank you for sharing how you’re doing. It’s nice to connect in this way.

  3. Thank you for asking this question of us, Julia.

    I’m in the process of closing my dog walking and pet sitting business as it didn’t survive the current pandemic. I opened it in March 2015 and it’ll be closing its doors for good at the end of this month, December 2020. I don’t even have a handful of clients left – most people are working from home these days, and no one’s traveling. I certainly hand’t included a pandemic in my business plan 5 years ago, ha!

    My feelings about closing it are mixed. On the one hand, I’m sad that I’ll be closing this chapter for good. After all, I’ve been in this industry since 2012. I put so much time, energy, hard work, and love into my own business over the years, and in return it provided me with a steady, good income.

    At the same time, I’ve noticed that it’s been straining me quite a bit both physically and mentally. I was literally tired of working what felt like constantly, including weekends and holidays – essentially when everyone else was off.

    Thankfully, I’ve had my blogging and writing gig on the side, which is what I’m now working on making a full-time career. I enjoy writing about my passion, dogs and raw feeding, and love creating new and updating old content.

    So for now, I’m working on embracing my transition. It’s an emotional one for me, and also a financially challenging one as I’m making nowhere near as much money currently as I was with the business. But I have faith that it’ll be OK. I’m surrounded by loving and supporting friends and family, which I’m grateful for.

    Again thanks for asking how I am. And thank you for sharing how you are.

    I’m sending you a big virtual hug.


    • This is a hard transition, even if it has its good sides. It sounds like you’re doing your best to be open to the changes and adapt–not easy to do. Entrepreneurship, whatever business you’re in, teaches you flexibility, I think. You adapt and adjust as you need to–including in big situations like this one. I also feel it’s so very motivating to work for yourself. For me, I know exactly what I’m working for, and I am willing to put in the effort. I’ve seen little glimpses of your hard work. I wish you all the best in this transition. Thank you for sharing how you’re doing.

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