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The Cowboy Baby Homestead
Sounds grand, doesn’t it? ‘The Cowboy Baby Homestead’ conjures up images of riding the range with a gnarly studmuffin in a cool hat, fur-lined coat, and silver belt buckle, mooing cows and adorable babies in little crocheted hats, snow-covered mountains in the distance, get along little doggies. Nah, right now The Cowboy Baby Homestead is more a state of mind than an actual place, as well as a Category Of Posts on this blog. Yep, I’m still stuck in suburbia, but dreaming of life in the mountains and coyotes howling in the night is what keeps me going through the month of January.
See, way back when lived in Alaska, I developed symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder – S.A.D. at Mayo Clinic – although it was never formally diagnosed. As you can imagine, it’s very common up there and I simply learned to deal with it. I know if I can get through January I’ll be okay. S.A.D. is brought on by the long, dark winters and it’s one big reason why we can’t move back to Alaska, although I’d love to be a Snowbird (people who live in Alaska only in the summer) come retirement. That’d be awesome, ’cause I truly love Alaska. The dark winters were the only thing I couldn’t handle.
Strategies for Survival
I think of depression as a monster I need to stay on alert for and be ready with strategies to deal with and dispatch. The following are my monster-fighting weapons, if you will. I’m happy to share and close ranks with you. Oorah!
Great Books & Magazines to Read
Well, of course, this would be a big deal for me, right? Book Blogger? Yeah. A library card is free and you can read the magazines there too. If you can afford it, you can buy them too. I like to read Contemporary, Historical, and Western Romance featuring what I call Intelligent Ladies Who Love Babies. All those kick-butt heroines and doctors and queens and such are nice enough, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t born with a lightsaber in my hand or a crown on my head. Don’t know about you, but it took me a long time to figure out my strengths. And they have nothing to do with flying fighter jets or commanding a corporate boardroom.
Frankly, I adore babies and I really cannot relate to women who don’t. Sorry. That’s just me. Besides, where would those women be if they didn’t have baby-crazy people like me to help raise their babies while they’re out saving the galaxy? So when I need a big cheer-me-up, that’s my go-to fiction.
I also love magazines focused on home, family, and backyard farming like Mary Jane’s Farm.
The new issues is coming out in a few days, so I might post about it next Sunday. You know how I love variety! This one’s got it. You get all the farming advice, plus healthy living, community online and in real life, beautiful home decorating and encouragement.
Gratitude and getting my focus off myself helps a lot. There are many opportunities to pitch in at church, schools, senior centers, libraries, and throughout our communities. One of my daughters and I will begin volunteering at our local food bank. She’s given hundreds of dollars and cans of food to them, so when we wanted a mother-daughter project it was a natural choice. I’m so proud of her generosity. To find a food bank near you, hit this link- Feeding America
Another daughter of mine is the super-creative type. We’re going to take classes in cake decorating at Michaels.
and she’ll take a class in sewing at Jo Ann’s Fabrics.
Of course, you can find classes in all sorts of things elsewhere, some are even free. Our local library always has something going on for all ages and stages.
Planning Spring & Summer Adventures
I love to brainstorm, you know, and thinking and researching about all the cool stuff I’m going to do when the snow melts really helps my emotional well-being. One of my projects will be to refurbish our backyard fire pit. The area was really nicely designed and built before we ever moved in, but it’s overgrown with weeds, the gravel is mostly sunk into the ground, and yellowjackets like to build nests in it, which scares us off any hot dog roasts. I’d also like to add more outdoor kitchen elements to the area. Here’s a fire pit like ours in a DIY video from HOME DEPOT.
Household Organization & Decor
Cleaning house after the holidays is the pits. Very depressing. Ugh. To spice it up and make it fun, head on over to your local antique and thrift stores! I never buy new, if I can help it. Seriously. That’s boring. I love furniture and such that comes with stories. I love stories. Duh. Book Blogger here. It’s a natural thing for me. Gimme old vintage stuff and I’m a happy girl.
In this digital age, it’s easy to forget about good ol’ fashioned board games and playing cards. Honestly, it’s a lot more relaxing for my brain, maybe because I work on the computer for blogging and novel-writing. A daughter and I play cards practically every day. Our favorite is ‘Kings in the Corner.’ Wikihow to Play Kings in the Corners
My son enjoys Monopoly and we own several different versions. Naturally, I prefer the one created in 1935.
Adventurous Television Shows
Oh, yeah, I love me some reality TV, but I prefer to avoid bridezillas and such in real life and entertainment.
One of our favorites is Finding Bigfoot. I don’t care if Bigfoot is real or not. The dude’s an adventure and a great story. I love stories, remember? Also, the four adventurers on the show are a fun bunch of folks and we like them. FINDING BIGFOOT on Animal Planet
The other one we really like is Man, Woman, Wild.
We love all the survivor-type shows, in fact, but this one has family dynamics in it. And so we watch it more.
Do you have a hard time getting through January? What are your favorite ways to deal with long, dark winters?
Stay Warm & Be Kind.
Disclaimer: These suggestions are my opinions based on my experiences only. They should not be taken as professional advice. If you suspect you have Seasonal Affective Disorder, please talk to your medical care provider.