Daily Journal | Family Photo Album

Cooking, Baking, Gardening | Finding a New Normal

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Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the blog. I rarely ever comment on current world events. I don’t want my words to be trite or cliche. I want the words I share with you to be meaningful. I don’t want to add to the noise. I also don’t want to pretend like things are okay when they aren’t.

My first reaction in times of crisis is to hunker down with my family and keep everyone safe. We’ve been self-isolating for over 4 weeks now as many of you have as well. My husband, you may remember, spent much of January and February sick and in ICU. His doctor has told him he probably would not survive if he were to catch the virus.

I’ve been out to get supplies twice. But I’m working hard to make do with what we have and avoid going out unless it’s really necessary. On Sunday, April 5  I went out (pictured below) to Wal-Mart here in our little town and bought some essential items I felt we would need for the next few weeks. I shouldn’t have to leave my house until summer time. ​

As long as things stay as they are we can still run to the grocery store for perishables. No cases have been reported in our small town. Eastern Kentucky is much less transient than other parts of the state. People rarely leave town anyway.

When I finally ventured out last week, and walked into Wal-mart and saw the warning signs and taped floors and most people wearing masks – I felt emotional. It was like I had stepped into a world I didn’t recognize. I am thankful for the measures our local government has taken to ensure the health and safety of the people in Harlan, Ky. Each store has a large sign out front saying only one shopper per household allowed in the store. Many stores and businesses, of course, are closed.

We have settled into a slower, more normal routine this week. We are typically on the road so much that it’s been really nice to have a reason (albeit unfortunate) to slow down and enjoy time at home.

(Left) Me, Hannah, and Laura – Practicing social distancing on a hike. (Right) Me, headed to the grocery store for the first time in weeks.

The girls and I have been spring cleaning, cooking and baking, and putting in a small garden. I started writing in my journal again. The girls have entertained themselves by pulling out old board games from their childhood and playing together. The sound of their laughter is priceless.

Home is a precious place.

I’ve always loved home and everything the word embodies. I love homemaking. I want my family to remember home as a place that was safe and warm and happy. I want their memories of home to be cherished.

We’ve been long time homeschoolers – over 20 years now. That means as a family we spend a lot of time together regardless of whether there is a global crisis keeping everyone at home.

But I can’t help but feel that these days of uncertainly may lead to a more certain feeling of family closeness. I hope that your family is knitted tighter in these days as well.

I know that not everyone is blessed with a happy family or plenty of food to eat or job security. I know that this time is challenging for many, many people for so many different reasons.

Remember, we have a God who can hold us together even when the world around us is falling apart.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 

I naturally tend toward panic and anxiety, so don’t think I have it all together and not a care in the world. Hence why I tend to hunker down and focus on my family whenever life feels uncertain!

But like I said, regardless of the unfortunate reasons why we have been staying home for the last four weeks, there are certainly many reasons I’ve personally been enjoying this time.

So, I thought I’d share some photos of things we’ve been enjoying around home these last 4+ weeks.

(Left) Hannah making homemade crescent roll dough. (Right) Laura learning to make homemade pizza dough.

(Left) Hannah and Laura playing board games from their childhood. Their laughter was priceless! (Right) My Bible journaling this week.

Lots of cooking and baking going on here!

So the cat caught this little guy twice. He’s lucky he wasn’t hurt!

First time in years I’ve had time to put in a small garden. More coming! Plus, I still have lots of tulips and daffodils blooming all around my yard.

Our days are slower and it’s given me a lot of time to think and dream. I’ve mentioned to my family several times in conversation over the last few weeks how surreal all of this feels. It feels real. And yet it doesn’t!

We’ve had many special events canceled – as I’m sure you’ve experienced as well. There has been quite a bit of disappointment to work through. The second and third week were the hardest for me. I struggled with anxious feelings and a lot of disappointment as I realized things we usually do or had already planned weren’t going to happen. I’m not sure what the next few weeks hold, but I do know that we’ll be okay. God is good.

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and find ways to enjoy your day every day. Find a new normal if you haven’t already.

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below!

Printable Square Foot Garden Planner

I created two different pages, so whether you have 4 x 4 or 4 x 8 raised beds, you will find a grid to help you plan.

How to Plan Your Square Foot Garden @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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2 Comments

  1. Melissa, Thank you - your voice holds a spirit of calm and hope. I had to smile at the beautiful little snake in your photo. My mother in law lives in an apartment community for senior citizens and they have been very strictly quarantined, no one from outside allowed in the complex, all meals brought to their doors etc. Praise God they are all healthy! She has a tiny patio garden and a little snake has moved in. He has been easing her loneliness because he is there "in person!" Not just on the phone. God is so good to us. Thank you again for your newsletter.

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