The village changes…

Shopping at Target, I walked by the cute little newborn onesies & mini dinosaur socks on my way to the dorm room supplies. Instead of sippy cups, I’m looking for water filter pitchers. The mental list is a long one, so I try to write random notes when I think about it… extra forks & spoons, ibuprofen, scissors, Kleenex etc. There is a Target in Bozeman. I’m not sending him out into the wilderness alone. He is fully capable of getting anything he needs. This isn’t an episode of Survivor.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think your village must shift around this stage of life. The village changes to support the moms. I cannot speak for the dads, I feel like many of them don’t talk about this stuff. I’ve seen my village shift over the last 8 months. From supporting me while I looked through senior pics, to helping get ready for graduation open house, and now as I navigate the “last 16 days”””… it’s my friends and family who have picked me up. My village is changing.

  • A friend reminding me to journal out my feelings and (safely) burn the paper…
  • My sister sending an encouraging card…
  • A friend helping me navigate trying to get residency for a new state …
  • A friend listening to me wonder out loud about financial aid and logistics…
  • My sister sending a text to let me know she’s thinking of me…
  • Encouraging words from a friend who has been there…
  • A hug…
  • My husband’s patience as I order another “must have” from Amazon or Target, based on the Bobcat parent group or the ‘Grown and Flown’ group…

I feel like I’m prepared for this some days and other days I read an article about time flying and my eyes get misty. It’s so confusing to feel excited for him, nervous, sad, guilty and happy all at once. It’s strange because we didn’t have a senior year of “lasts” since he was enrolled at the tech school at the same time. It seems like the summer has flown and now I’m starting to use my packing list. I did pick up some extra Kleenex today and a really cool fan came to the door step from Costco.

The past 7 years, I’ve learned to ask for help (more than before). I’ve built a support system and had it shift and change. I’ve tried to prepare him to be out in his own, and he’s made me proud so many times. My village is changing and that’s ok. I’m thankful for those who have stuck with me and continue to support my roller coaster ride.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. If your village is changing, that’s ok… and if your new college momma is randomly teary, let her tears flow. Next time she will be sharing about the fun college adventures of her new adult.

Muscle memory…

I often get asked about my pie crust. It really is delicious, if I do say so myself. I was thinking about it the other day, and realized it’s probably a muscle memory thing. I’ve been baking pies for over 30 years. The crust ingredients aren’t fancy. It’s not a trade secret. Crisco, flour, salt and water. That’s it. Oh, and the special mixing fork. The perfect pie crust just “feels right.” There isn’t a good way to describe it. I mix the first three ingredients until they look just right, and then add the water and mix it until that looks just right. I’ve taught my sons how to make cookies and Krispie treats, but pie crust is tricky. They have made them for 4-h projects, but that’s about it.

An athlete knows when it feels just right. Baking isn’t necessarily a sport, but it’s a similar concept. The Olympics started and I’ve watched a few events. We assume this is easy, but it’s not. From our couch, it seems to go by quickly. They practice hours per day. Their muscles know how to propel them through the water or twist through the air because they’ve done it thousands of times.

Watching the Olympics is always inspiring to me. I remember watching the Winter Olympics on our green and gold couch with my leg in a full cast. This was before cable TV or internet or smart phones. I wonder how many people are inspired enough to say, “I can do that.”? The age range of Olympians is impressive. A 13 year old skater, a 45 year old gymnast… think of the combined hours of practice for all of these athletes. Wow. My hours of pie making doesn’t compare… but it’s not supposed to. Olympics weren’t in my plan, it wasn’t part of my goals.

I have a lot of respect for the women’s gymnastics team. For Simone knowing when she had to stop and for the other 3 girls for stepping in and winning silver. It’s raising a lot of awareness about mental health. We all have mental health, some people are more aware of their boundaries. It’s OK to not be OK, it’s not OK to not advocate for yourself.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. While I’m making blue & red pies and star shaped cookies this weekend, I’ll be thinking of those athletes. I wonder if any of them are bakers too.

Do you validate?

I’m not talking about parking. I’m talking about validation of feelings. I often think, “Why am I writing? What’s the point?” And then I would read an article from someone else and it would make me feel like I’m not alone. So that is why. I may end of being the validation for someone else. You just never know what someone else is going through or what they need to hear. If I can make someone feel like they are validated and not alone, then I’ve done my job.

The recent articles that made me feel validated were about exhausted moms, moms of seniors getting ready to go to college, introverts needing to recharge, and the value of true friendships. Sometimes when I’m writing, I feel exposed. “Wow, did I just write that? What will someone think?” They will think they aren’t alone, they aren’t crazy, and they can get through it. There is something about feeling like you have something in common with someone that gives you a bond. You feel validated in your emotions.

So my recent dilemma is with my cat. He is a shelter cat, probably 6 years old. Neutered male who was in and out of the shelter. He was an outside cat that would do ok inside. We took him home and he lives (mainly) in the garage. He likes to visit inside, but also loves to chase squirrels, birds, chipmunks and gophers. He’s had a couple of urinary blockages. He is otherwise fine and only went to the vet for his yearly shots. Now he has been in and out of the vet, the emergency vet and now he’s referred for surgery. I guess it’s common for male cats. I had no idea. I love the cat. My sons love the cat. My husband is not a fan. I grew up with farm cats, but Toothless is different. I am not sure I can explain it, other than “he’s part of the family.”

I kept reaching for an answer… for someone to tell me what to do. I spoke with a friend who validated my feelings. Loss of a cat at this time is not something I could handle. I reluctantly drove the cat 2 hrs to a vet who can do the surgery. I brought my laptop so I can work remotely. Decisions like this are not easy. It’s one of those adult decisions I am not prepared for. Hopefully the kitty will be ok, the recovery will go well, and the payment plan will work out.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Whatever your struggle, you may be surprised at who else is also going through it or has gone through it already. We are interconnected by an invisible web, woven together with shared experiences. We just don’t always see it until later.

6 and counting…

This is the shirt I wore on Monday. I normally just wear it around the house, but I thought it was appropriate. For 15 minutes, it sat on the chair in the doctor’s office for my yearly checkup (not that kind). I’ve graduated from oncology follow up appointments being every 6 months. Now I just go yearly for in person visits, still alternating MRI and mammogram every 6 months. It’s been over 6 years since I rang the bell. Each time I walk back into the cancer center, it takes my breath away a little bit.

Today’s appointment was fairly uneventful. I did get the green light to skip the dexascan (bone density) every 2 years. Since my numbers looked good last time, the Examestane & lack of estrogen must not be creating any bone issues. Although the dexascan is not painful or uncomfortable, there is something reassuring about not having to get one done. I’m 47, so osteoporosis is not super common, but it is more likely given my medical situation (side effects of estrogen reducing drugs and total hysterectomy/menopause). The Dr also asked if I wanted to continue the meds I’m on. I said “yes,” because my physical side effects are minimal (everyone is different), and I had aunts with breast cancer more than once. If a tiny, once a day pill can prolong my life, I’m all for it. And now that I met my deductible, the $500/month is covered.

We chatted awkwardly about the weather and how I had been feeling. I had nothing to note, really. I recently had my MRI, which showed small change in right side lymph nodes, but nothing to be worried about. We talked about my vertigo and other routine medical things. It was wonderfully uneventful. As soon as he left the room and I put my “breathe” shirt back on, I did just that. I took a deep breath and texted my family & friends that I had the “all clear” for another year. I walked outside into the sunny, 85 degree day, took off my mask and took a deep breath again. I walked over to the sculpture, snapped a picture and gave thanks. I’m thankful for my health, the support of my friends and family, the ability to keep sharing my story, and for the wonderful sunshine.

Why do I share such a mundane thing? Because for cancer survivors, it’s not over when they ring the bell. It’s not over when the treatment ends, when the scars heal or when their hair grows back. It’s a lifelong sensitivity to their health, follow up appointments they don’t discuss, health scares they may worry about in silence. They become the family member or friend who had cancer. They become an expert even when they don’t feel like they are… but they have been through it. They get calls or texts or messages from people asking how to help their newly diagnosed loved one… because they have been though it. I have been through it. While it is in my past, it will still make me pause each time I walk through those doors and wait for my appointment… thankful that I can just breathe.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Wherever you are, it’s always a good reminder to breathe deep & say a “thank you” when you do. And if you’re in Fargo, ND and want a fun treat, check out the Thai ice cream rolls at Tea & Crepe downtown. We had a nice walk downtown, stopping at some shops and visiting with friends.

Presence …

In lieu of blog post Tuesday

Presence…

Presence… It’s what came to mind when I took a break and walked outside today. I didn’t stop and smell the roses, but I did take a picture of my flowers. I’ve been in a slump this week. So much so that I didn’t post on Tuesday- the first time in a while. I had a post started about freedom, one about word triggers and one about presence. The one about Presence completely deleted and could not be recovered. I still felt I needed to write about it, so here I am.

I usually don’t figure out what my slump is from until I’m towards the end of it. I was out of sorts this week. The sigh of relief after the graduation party, putting the stuff away, missing out in seeing my sister more, sending Dallas off for a week at Rainy Lake, the rain (which was good), waiting for MRI results, and the moon… all of it made me want to retreat. I wasn’t present for me or for my family.

I enjoy working from home, but I often forget to disconnect. It’s too easy to forget to move around more… too easy to work just a little longer when it’s right there. I wasn’t taking time for myself. We value “being busy” so much that it seems like a luxury to relax. Have you ever thought, “It must be nice to be able to relax,”… I sure have. We value work and being busy so much that we feel guilty when we do relax. At least I do.

The last 17 months, we’ve spent a lot of time together. I didn’t think I’d miss Dallas being gone this week as much as I did. I’m used to him being gone, but normally I see him after work or on the weekends. I haven’t waited up for him this week, reminded him to bring up his laundry, fill his car with gas or bring his water jug to work. I miss his presence. I know it’s preparing me for when he goes to college. It won’t be long. He’s going to be 13+ hours away (if you drove straight through), so he won’t be popping home on the weekend. We won’t be stopping by to see him much. So while I’m missing his presence this week, I’m missing his future presence also.

Sometimes we need to acknowledge our feelings, honor those broken parts/fears/grief/frustration, then make a choice to move forward. So, going into the weekend, I’m going to try to focus on presence. Since His mercy is new each morning, I’m going to try to give myself a little mercy and grace.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

This was a lot…

This was a lot… a lot of preparation, a lot of planning, a lot of moving things & painting things, a lot of pulling weeds, a lot of mowing, a lot of baking cupcakes, a lot of pictures, a lot of lists, a lot of folding chairs. It was also a lot of friends & family helping out, a lot people showing up and a lot of memories made. We celebrated our son’s graduations from Tech School for welding and from high school this past weekend. We had a nice stream of people, a few sprinkles of rain, and a calm evening. Two of his high school buddies from his old school came for the weekend. The smile on Dallas’ face was worth all of the preparation. To hear him tell welding stories to the party guests and show off his certification welds made me happy.

I know he loves it. I know he will love Montana. I know he will make more friends and new memories… memories that I won’t be a part of. Seeing all of the pictures from when he was little made me nostalgic. Not sad, just nostalgic. I’m not sad that he is growing up. I’m not sad that he’s moving away. I will miss him for sure. I just wish I could have a little more time with that little boy farming on my carpet. I wish I could get back the year that I had cancer because it seemed like a blur. I wish I would have had the words to calm worries and mend broken hearts.

But I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot of conversations at bed time, a lot of cookies made and eaten, a lot of side hugs when my hands were full of something else. I don’t tell him how proud I am of him because I want him to be proud of himself… to seek that pride on his own instead of looking for someone else to fill it. But I am proud of him. I’m proud of how he came back from failing classes to accepting help. I’m proud that he can carry on a conversation with adults. I’m proud that he can be his own advocate. I’m proud he found a unique skill and learned how to improve on it. I could go on, but you get the idea. Is the kid perfect? Nope. And I don’t expect him to be. I’m proud nonetheless.

So I sat by the fire on Sunday night, reflecting on the week. There were a lot of emotions from the book launch, to graduation prep, to the party and the cleanup. There were a lot of cupcakes left over and a lot of things to put away. I’m thankful for it all.

I feel like summer can begin now. We were able to go tubing down the river with my sister and nieces and Dallas’ friend. The weather was perfect and it was a great way to top off the weekend. The quiet time by the fire was what I needed to. It may have been a lot, but it was also just enough.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Excuse me while I go make notes for a party four years from now….

Amazing…

Yesterday was our official book launch. It was overwhelming, full of emotion and magic. Our book became an Amazon best seller in 9 categories. All 23 women did live solo events and shared as though they were talking to an old friend.

I did my live event after work, in the back yard, holding a chicken (Butterscotch ended up laying an egg while I was holding her). I took the viewers on a tour of the garden area and sat by the chickens in the trees. I felt like I probably talked in circles, but hopefully gave people a sense of the real me. This whole experience is new and different and a little scary. I suddenly went from just a small blog following to a bunch of people seeing and hearing me.

I feel like I stepped through a door, yet my regular life continues. Celebration delayed due to work and graduation prep, youngest son’s birthday etc. The day was amazing and hopefully soon I can fully celebrate the accomplishment.

You can order a hard copy book from me if you’d like. The Amazon book sales go towards the primary author but we can sell copies ourselves. Retail is $18.88 but $22 covers shipping. I’m so thankful for my readers, friends and relatives who support me in this project. I hope you love the book as much as I do! (PayPal link is below, but you can reach out and order via Venmo also)

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Wild Woman Book of Shadows

Our Amazon best selling book is available here! The magic of nature, the moon, and the seasons had a profound effect on Melissa Kim Corter growing up. Mystical experiences unfolded in the simplest of moments. Rocks and trees were animated with life; the moon listened to her stories while the Earth held her as she stumbled through life as an empath (feeling everything so deeply). As she began to morph and adapt to the adolescent changes of life, magical views were stripped away until only a fragment of her imagination. She was lost and floundered until she awakened the wild, wise woman within. This book contains women who “know” truth through feeling and sensation without the need for evidence or approval. This collective includes women who own their light and release the opinions of others. It features women who have forged a path, and refuse to settle out of fear. The wise, wild woman lives in our bones and rises up through the core; she has an unapologetic desire to reflect this potential to those who feel called to welcome her. My chapter is called “Journey to Joy” and talks about two of the things that bring me joy and a little bit of my background story. The pages within are filled with powerful women who share a desire to live an enchanted life and connect you to the intuitive knowing you hold. In the Wild Woman’s Book of Shadows, Melissa Kim Corter and 22 magical women offer stories, tips, formulas, and wisdom to awaken and connect you to your own inner wisdom. They invite you to join them in sharing the most potent medicine of all … the reclamation of enchantment.

$22.00

I will end as I usually do – wishing you peace on your ‘journey of enough,’ and thanking you for being a part of my journey to joy. Life is short – do something to bring joy to yourself and others. Next week, I’ll be back to non-book related posts, but you can order anytime or reach out if you have questions.

Wild Woman launch day!

Today is launch day and I need your help!!!!!

We are launching our book Wild Woman Book of Shadows and it is on sale for only .99 cents today!!!!

Even if you purchased a print copy if you could download the book to help us achieve our goal of making this book a Bestseller!

Also, join us for our launch party! Prizes, giveaways, oracle card pulls and so much more! All 23 authors will go live today sharing their magic inside of the FB group!

• Download a copy of our book here: mybook.to/wwbookofshadows

• Then join us for the fun here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/787309181985109

I will go live at 5:30pm central time. I’ll be sitting with my chickens (weather permitting) & talking about my chapter. My prize will be an apron, recipes and a mixing fork like I use to make cookies and pies.

I can’t tell you what it meant to me to hold this book in my hand and see my words in print! I hope you’ll join me Monday!

He hears our cries…

I was holding off on my post this week, hoping I’d have a “homecoming” update about our cat. Our black cat, named after the “How to Train Your Dragon” movie star Toothless, has been at the vet. Last week, he stopped playing fetch. We thought maybe it was just a phase & didn’t think much beyond that. If you’ve been around cats, they kind of make their own rules. He switches his favorite resting spots so we thought he was just changing his favorite playtime toys.

Saturday, he didn’t seem like himself and got sick in the garage. At first I thought maybe he was just mad that we were moving things around. He was struggling to urinate also, so we knew something was up. Tried to give him lots of TLC, but Sunday he didn’t feel better. You could tell he was in pain. I tried the local ‘on call’ vet but couldn’t get through. I talked with an online vet who mentioned that bladder obstructions for male cats can be deadly. So, we took him to St.Cloud to the ER vet. Poor kitty had such sad meows the whole way there. Myles and I stayed at a hotel there instead of driving back. (PSA: the Hilton Garden Inn is very nice). They called me and said they removed the blockage but his potassium levels were dangerously high. He would have likely had a heart attack if we had waited. Several of his other numbers were elevated.

We picked him up at 6:30am. They said he was very loving after the procedure & was in pain meds. I’m sure he was purring and rubbing on them, so thankful for the relief! We took him to the regular vet to continue monitoring him and trying to flush his system out. We even made it back home before 8am! We thought he could come home today but he wasn’t quite clear and wasn’t going on his own yet. His blood work came back much better. They said he was eating well also. I miss him, but hopefully he will be fine tomorrow and we can give him lots of love and attention.

Hearing him cry was kind of like hearing an infant cry – you aren’t really sure what they need because they can’t tell you. And not being able to soothe them feels so difficult & helpless. I’ve had 2 kids, I understand it’s not the same thing, but it’s a similar helpless feeling. Sometimes when we cry out to God, we feel helpless too. We feel like he doesn’t understand what we need. We must not be saying it clear enough, right? Maybe he knows what we need and is clearing the way for better things.

I believe this for the most part but really struggle with the tragedy part. The young wife who is now a widow? The young man who took his life and left a heartbroken family? The mom with cancer leaving behind small kids and a spouse? Why did those things have to happen? I don’t know. I don’t claim to know. But, the young widow is bringing awareness to grief… the young man’s family is advocating for teen mental health all across the US… and the mom’s family is raising funds for cancer research. So I do think God hears our cries, and maybe he does really know what we need.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Reach out if you are struggling, you are not alone and you are always enough!

PS- the book launches June 21st!!! So exciting!!

Sometimes you need to sow again…

This is part of our farm/garden. On May 27th, we worried about frost. We covered our garden because of freezing temps. May 27th should be a “frost free” time frame. We didn’t lose plants, just a few asparagus. Then the temps jumped up into the 90’s. We worried about keeping the plants watered and hoped they wouldn’t burn. What extremes. Highs and lows follow us through life. Sometimes the swings are big, and sometimes things are steady for a while. The last two weeks have been full of temperature swings for sure.

The last few days we have been re-planting. There were gaps in the rows where the plants didn’t germinate. We waited until the garden had a little more shade, and the temps were down to the mid 80’s. I checked my “garden map” to see which varieties we needed and started to sow by hand. Filling the gaps. Replanting. I wasn’t thrilled about it. I was kind of annoyed. I don’t like being hot and this was hard on my back. But I knew it had to be done. In order to get a full harvest, we needed to sow the seeds again. Kind of like life, right? Sometimes things don’t turn out like we planned. Even if we had it just right, we might have to try again. Sometimes when we sow again, the timing is better or the conditions are better and it thrives.

There are 48-66 Bible verses related to sowing (according to two Google sources). either way, it’s mentioned quite a bit. I liked this one the best:

Luke 8:5-15 New International Version

5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant.10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.’11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. When harvest time comes, I’ll be thankful for the work we did now to sow again.