The last few weeks have been very discouraging for me.  The monotony of a homeschool life, house cleaning, raising and training young children (including the discipline needs), and severe cabin fever, added to the frustrations of dealing with A’s uncooperative doctor and A’s as-yet-unexplained and exhausting behavioral issues on a daily basis.  I actually have tons of stuff to blog about, and lots of photos sitting on my camera, but lack the time and/or motivation to get it done.  I always have far too many other priorities around here, and most days, I just feel too drained and burnt out to do anything extra. 

Finally, last night, we had something to lift all our spirits.  Our first litter of baby rabbits in 9 months was kindled.  We have anticipated this day for some time.  They were born around dinner last night, and when I went to ensure they were tucked in for the chilly night, I was disheartened to discover every one of them was dead (8 in total).  It made me just sick to my stomach.  The downside of farmlife is death, and I hate it.  Always have.  The only thing I can figure was that she went in to feed them, and just forgot to bury them back into the fur pile, allowing them to chill.  We may give her one more chance, in the hopes it was just a fluke, as there were many other signs that she was trying to be a good mom.  With temps in the low twenties at the time, it doesn’t take long to chill those little guys. 

Now, I am well aware that I get into a mood like this toward the end of every winter season.  I have no doubt it’s a severe case of cabin fever.  I get irritated, frustrated, and want nothing more than to be outside in the warm sunshine, working on some project or just enjoying my animals.  It doesn’t help that we have been buried in ice and snow for so many months now, that I have lost count.  And there’s no sign of it ending any time soon.  This house was buried in snow and ice when we bought it last year, and it was still cold and snowy in early May when I delivered my first goat kids. 

Unlike past years, however, this year, there seems to be a remedy.  For the first time in my life, and certainly since I began having children, I am going on a “vacation” all alone.  Yesterday, we bought the plane tickets and reserved the rental car–and have at least 2 very upset children who desperately want to go with me.  I am headed to Red Gate Farm for a whole week to do some indoor work that I can never seem to do when the kids are around.  I might just go for a jog every morning like I did years ago–just because I can (or at least until my out-of-shape lungs prove otherwise!)  I am not a big shopper, but while paying off our mortgage, there were so many little things we put off that I am also planning a shopping trip to get that type of stuff.  I am going to go get a professional hair cut for the first time in 2 years (no offense, Honey!  S usually cuts my hair about 2-3 times a year).  Then, I am going to sleep soundly (assuming my body remembers how), enjoy the green grass, spring weather, and warm sun (60* IL sun is incredibly warm compared to our daily average of about 25-30*!).  At some point, I will get around to the painting and cleaning jobs I have planned.  Late at night, I hope to curl up with a good book.  I plan to attend the little church where we know a couple of people (not that anyone will recognize me without my rainbow collection of children in tow), and I might even be social with others.  If I want to.  I will also be a complete hermit at times, and just rest my soul.  I would love to delve into scripture and refresh my spirit as well as my body.  The extra exciting thing is that this could be the first of only 2 more trips there before we move there for good next year!!  I am so excited–for this trip and the move.  I’ve told S, the only problem with this trip is that S won’t be there to drag me away like he always does when it’s time to leave.  Of course, I’m sure I will be missing the family so much by the end, leaving won’t be too bad. 

Naturally, leaving things here on the homefront causes concern in itself.  I have two does due to deliver in the time frame I am gone.  S is far more practical, and likely more inclined to “let nature run it’s course” should issues arise.  In regards to our long-term goals, I know he is right, but it just isn’t really my way.  I obsess over every little detail. 

Yup, this trip will be good for me.  My biggest fear is that my perfectly competent husband will run things so smoothly during my absence that all my visions of being desperately needed will go right out the window.  I admit though, that it is a good thing to be able to completely and totally trust your spouse to handle everything in your absence.  If anything, he will feed the children better than I do!  And who knows, maybe his “superior officer” military ways will whip some of these bickering kiddos into shape while I am gone! 

For the next few weeks, everytime my cabin-feverish children start bickering, or I begin cleaning the floor for the 500th time that day, or I spend 2 or 3 hours preparing yet another double- or triple- recipe dinner that is eaten in about 10 minutes, I get to close my eyes and picture my upcoming trip, secluded on my gorgeous 25 acres, no phone, no computer, no radio even (hmmm….maybe I should buy a radio).  Except for the sound of crickets on warm nights, and a light spring breeze, it will be quiet and worry free.  Hopefully, it will be just the refreshment I so desperately need before we plunge into full-time farm life next year. 

I have 2 extra bedrooms if any of you other moms need solace of your own!  I also have to find some good natural/organic raw milk and food near Springfield (haven’t had much luck with that in the past!).  Normally, we take all our food with us, but I can’t this time.  Hmmmm…that could be a challenge!  Maybe I just won’t eat for a week.  Of course, being diabetic and all, that’s probably not the grandest idea.  For now, though, it’s back to the grind-stone I have truly been blessed with.  Laundry is calling, I have dishes waiting to be loaded in the dishwasher, and the carpets are screaming for a vacuum treatment.   Oh, just a few more weeks…..