We came home to homemade soup made with bear bone broth, home canned elk, a variety of left-overs and some fresh vegies, and herbs and spices. It was accompanied by two loaves of freshly baked GF bread, along with raw honey, some pepper jelly from a friend, and some of Joe's choke cherry jelly.
An extra bonus that added to the "feel good" impression of the meal was that the left-overs in the soup, too, were fun. They were so filled with homemade goodness. I used remnants of two hotdishes. The meat in one was a corned venison roast Joe cured two falls ago. The meat in the other was the meat pickings from the beef bone broth we cooked up last week. I bet there were 40-50 beef soup bones in that batch of broth. So even just the pickings was enough for two hotdishes.
All in all, it was an excellent lunch. The kids all ate the soup without complaint; and we filled in the edges with many slices of the still warm homemade bread and toppings.
At the end of the meal, Sharol Johnson came over with Clara's deer, so Joe excused himself to help hang it in the garage. When the men returned, sure enough as he is wont to do, Sharol had a bag of candy for the kids, so everyone got to choose a piece for the afternoon. Then we put the rest away. Sophie had made some fudge-like concoction yesterday from which we all also had a nibble.
After lunch, the kids did some outside chores. Matt came home from hunting with a load of left-over food stuffs that was apparently his portion from what got divvied up.
A little while later, Sharol returned asking which of the kids wanted to go out and sit with him in the deer stand. Clara had gotten hers the other afternoon hunting with him, and Sophie had yet to get one, so she went with him. Elsie and Joe headed out a little bit later. We have only three deer hanging in the garage right now. One is a good sized doe; the other two are yearlings, a buck and a doe. So really, that meat will not last us very long. North of here, in the area of Joe's St. Petri church, the firearm season goes another week yet, so it's possible Joe, or Joe and a couple of the kids, could find someone's land up that way on which to fill out their limits.
Brief Update on my depression
I don't want to ramble on about this too much, because I have several more detailed blog posts rattling around in my head that one day I may or may not put to the virtual paper. But I do want to rejoice a little bit, and ask you to join me in thanking God.
Really, it's so amazing to me how different I feel than I did six months ago, or even six weeks ago when I had a little "relapse" precipitated by all the stress and busyness of the last weeks of August and first weeks of September. It took me about four to six weeks to get my feet under me after that physical and emotional drain. But when I stop to think about things, when I compare myself to my last winter's self, or even the winter before that, really, I praise God for the healing He's allowed me.
Sunday has always been my Day of Rest. Besides the opportunity to rest and refresh my soul with the spiritual gifts of Word and Sacrament, I have made it my own little personal tradition to do next to nothing on Sundays. I try to have dinner started or at least prepped before church, so it can be put together quickly afterwards. After dinner is done, I'm done. That's it for the day, except a bare minimum of parenting responsibilities. Occasionally when I have energy enough, we might do a family activity such as an outdoor outing, or jigsaw puzzles, or games, or crafts. But anything like that is very rare the last several years. I simply ran out of oomph.
But today, TODAY! I have folded three loads of clothes and switched the wash; I will soon do the lunch dishes for my kids, since I agreed to do that so that they could get the outdoor chores done. And I have energy for it. I don't feel wiped out. I even feel rested! Isn't that strange?
And I made bread this morning. That in itself is amazing. I had oatmeal soaked for breakfast, so after my first cup of coffee, I got up and turned the oats onto medium-low heat, to come slowly to a simmer. While that was heating, I was able to think clearly enough that even with the kids buzzing around my feet and kitchen, I was able to double a recipe; and convert the basic ingredient, GF flour blend, to correct proportions of separate flour and meal components, since I currently have no GF flour mix done up. Things in my brain have been so muddled that concentration is difficult to achieve and fleeting once I can manage it.
That may not sound like a big deal to anyone who has their head screwed on straight. But it's been years since I've been able to do that. Really. At least two years, since I was able to double, convert, and mix up a recipe if my kids were around. Or if I had to summon the energy to accomplish something that took such thinking, I was wiped out afterwards for half a day at least. And here I am this afternoon, still energetic and clear headed! Truly, this is a gift of God. I cannot suitably express my excitement at this landmark!
So praise God with me,friends!
And if you are struggling through a low spot, take heart. God can and will bring you out, according to His will and timing; with or without medicinal intervention, natural treatments, or depending upon whatever course of action you prayerfully decide. He will never leave you or forsake you. And He indeed knows when best to give His gifts.
I can't help but exclaim inwardly with the Psalmist David,
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.