Friday, May 18, 2018

wish i may - wish i might

Hello my lovelies,

Another Friday, another Foxslane post.

So much of my last week, if not the past three weeks, or even the last year, has been affected by the fact that I can't sleep. It feels like I've spent so much time talking about and trying different preventatives and cures, working on my sleep hygiene, pushing harder at the gym, cutting down on coffee, learning meditation, taking herbs, writing lists...but still I can't sleep. My body has forgotten how to sleep. And so I've been walking around feeling like the front of my head is filled with soggy cotton wool and hoping the right words will come to me in conversation when I need them.

It's frustrating and exasperating and scary. I feel like I'm wasting the days of my life working at quarter strength. Wandering around in a daze, dazing around in a wonder.

But late last night when I was preparing myself for another eight hours of lying in the darkness, my farmer boy suggested that whatever happened or didn't happen overnight wouldn't matter because all I had to do today was sit up in bed, knit a couple of rows of my shawl, edit some photos and write my blog.

I hardly slept at all last night and feel like I'm in slow motion again today but it's been kind of nice taking the pressure off and not expecting to get anything done but the bare minimum. So please excuse me if I'm a bit incoherent in places, I'll totally forgive you if you lean on the pictures instead of the words. And let's just cross our fingers and hope that by some miracle something changes soon and I sleep and make sense again.

So how about we get back to the photo, or five, a day, okay?

may twelve

Last Saturday we picked the last sale-able apples from the trees. Five crates of Jonathan's. It was so cold that I couldn't feel my fingers, the rain was dripping off the trees and nets down my neck when I looked down and up my sleeves when I reached up, and it wasn't an altogether pleasant experience. But the apples were bright red and beautiful, they came off easily and we filled the crates in no time.

As we walked the rows of the orchard afterwards and noticed how the leaves were turning golden and fluttering to the ground, we thanked the trees for the beautiful apples, made plans to take the nets off before we pick the grannies, and acknowledged the fantastic season we've had and all that it involved.

We put those apples on the farm gate stall and by the next evening a box had been taken for an apple pie cooking lesson at a Women's prison nearby and the rest had been sold to passers by. We took the signs down, we put the scales away, we emptied the money tin and then we closed the stall doors until next season.

may thirteen

On Sunday we helped Indi paste one of her photos on the water tank at the top of the hill. It's part of her year 12 art folio and has all sorts of theory and meaning behind it, but like I said I'm not in the right head space for explaining anything complicated so you're just going to have to take my word for it.

She printed up some more yesterday that will hopefully get pasted around our farm over the weekend, I'll report back next week.

After the trek up the hill and the pasting we ate pancakes for Mother's Day lunch.

may fourteen

After school on Monday we went for a walk through the sunflower patch to assess the storm damage. Being such a late crop they're probably not as strong as they could be and many were lying down or bent over, but still there were enough standing upright staring at the sun for us to get lost in the magic of and bask in their glow.

may fifteen

These are the chrysanthemums I bought myself for Mother's Day. Bren bought me a blue handled pocket-knife which is equally as pretty and I probably should have taken a picture of, but I forgot.

may sixteen

On Wednesday Bren and Jobbo built the roof of my studio. I had been worried that adding a roof onto the structure would make it too big and overpowering in that space, but after they played around with angles for a while I think they got it just right. I love it and its little pitched roof.

Bren's parents drove up for lunch which was fun.

And then I walked up and down each row of flowers until I found enough for a bunch.

may seventeen

Yesterday I planted some more garlic, I pulled the basil out of the garden and saved the seeds, I watched as they wrapped the studio up in sisalation and Miss Jazzy got her braces put on her teeth.

may eighteen 

Today. A few days ago when they were discussing ideas for the ceiling of my studio, I sent my farmer boy an instagram photo of a ceiling I love. It was one of those dreamy cabin photos with a pitched roof, chunky rafters and big, wide, dark boards covering the the entire space. From there the boys went into action pulling bits of timber out, sanding, staining, oiling and then holding them up to be discussed. At one point Jobbo remarked that he'd always wanted to see what sump oil did to the colour of a wooden board and the next thing he knew Bren came back from the depths of an old shed with a bucket full from an old tractor. From time to time we laugh at him and his hoarding tendencies and then at other times we are swiftly reminded that he's the one laughing. Or feeling smug anyway.

Eventually they sourced some hardwood offcuts and spent today getting them ready. Jobbo cut them to size, Bren sanded them down and then they played with the ratios of linseed oil to sump oil for the dark and richness.

They got rained out this afternoon because sanding is not an inside job, but with any luck by this time next week I will not only have had some good hours of sleep - but I'll have a studio ceiling too. How exciting.

And I'm still knitting my Merricks shawl in Abbe's Noble Fox yarn. I've just finished the second colour and am about to make a start on the border, it's the most beautiful blue and I'm so excited to use it.

Which brings me to now, still sitting up in bed, staring at the late afternoon shadows dancing on the wall, wearing the new to me cardigan I bought myself this afternoon on our local buy/swap/sell Facebook page, wondering what to make for dinner that Jazzy and her new braces will be able to eat.

And that's me!

Please tell me about you. Are you building? Wallpapering? Is your team winning? Are you excited about something? Dreading something else? Please fill me in, I'd love to hear it all.

Love! Love!

Kate x


  1. Hola Kate. Por el tema del insomnio o no poder dormir, has mirado si la cama esta sobre algún cruce telurico, estas energías que salen de la tierra pueden provocar problemas. Es cuestión de mirarlo y si lo hubiera mover la cama de sitio.Espero que pronto puedas dormir como un bebe.

    1. Hello Kate. For the subject of insomnia or not being able to sleep, you have looked if the bed is on a telluric junction, these energies that leave the earth can cause problems. It is a matter of looking at it and if I had moved the bed of site. I hope that soon you can sleep like a baby

    2. Thank you dear Karmen, I'm not sure what that is but I'll look it up. Thank you so much. xx


      Este enlace lo explica . ¡Buenos días!

  2. as always love your weekly updates, feel as if we're having a chat. My weekend is going to be filled with laying floorboards. We're on a roll here, everyweekend we've been doing another room. They look so fantastic I wonder how on earth did I tolerate no floorboards for 8 and a half years!! Here's my girls working the nail gun 'like a boss'

  3. oh and you may find this interesting, Seven has been writing a series on sleep, and as she is a fellow mum, I'm paying attention for the first time

  4. Hi Kate, I always look forward to your Friday posts. Tokyo has started to heat up these past couple of days so I pulled out the fan and sun umbrella. I've never used one before but it makes a difference (there aren't too many shady tree on the way to the train station).
    Knowing you struggle with sleeping it always surprises me how productive you are during the week. Sleeping badly really slows me down or maybe it is my anxiety about it, anyway you are inspiring to me. I'm sorry you have a heavy head though, maybe sniffing some peppermint oils might help. Love, Melinda

  5. Hi Kate I also don’t sleep next Friday I am going for a sleep study. There are doctors here that study this. I will sleep at his office which is a big house fixed like all bedrooms and you are hooked up to many machines that measure things. He said he will figure it out for me. I can’t wait. I sleep maybe 3-4 hours a night in total I will let you know how it turns out.

  6. Hello from North Queensland. I too have a lot of trouble with sleep. The Husband is a shift worker, 4 days, 4 nights and 4 off. My sleep pattern is totally broken, but I've got a low-impact and usually fairly effective solution. It's called 'box breathing' and it works by making the brain concentrate on counting and breathing instead of wandering off on random subjects and refusing to relax. You breathe in slowly for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 4 and wait for a count of 4. I find it usually results in massive yawning and falling asleep after 15 minutes or so... I hope it works for you.

  7. I'm sorry about your sleep situation. No great solutions here. All I can suggest is don't add to the challenge by stressing about not sleeping. It sounds logical, but I've found the more I can't do something the more I stress, the harder it is to accomplish.

  8. This week we are mostly working at building our garden. This is a small suburban garden full of edibles and a few flowers. So far we have potatoes in grow bags, lettuces in containers, and four barefoot rhubarb that I thought had died because I let them get dried out too much before I planted them. I threw them in pots anyway, and I am amazed that they are alive and thriving. The tomatoes my husband started from seed are hardening off, and the ground should be warm enough to plant them after June 1st.

    I love your farm pictures and I am so looking forward to seeing your studio progress. I am just losing my studio to a burst water pipe in the old building in town where I rented a small space. It's forcing me to temporarily relocate to my unused living room. I find it tough to focus on creativity in the house because I am surrounded by constant reminders of all the work that still needs to be done. My husband is going to add some doors to the room. I'm hoping it will create enough of a separate space. I already miss my little room so much.

    Just a suggestion about the sleep issue: in my experience with insomnia, it's not the insomnia that's the problem, the insomnia is usually a symptom of something else. In my case, it's connected to grieving, but it can also be related to many other things. When you don't sleep, make sure you eat lots of good protein and get some potassium and stay hydrated. Not sleeping well over a long period of time can cause a lot of other physical and mental health problems. Our bodies really need sleep to function properly. My heart goes out to you. I hope you find some answers soon.

  9. those appples remind me of fairy tales... :)
    and the studio looks like it is going to be absolutely darling! <3

    hope sleep finds you soon...xo

  10. Have you tried valerian root at all? My partner finds it doesn’t put him to sleep but it relaxes him enough and switches off the thoughts of ‘I’m not sleeping’ enough to go to sleep and stay there. Also a nerve tonic so it is rebuilding you at the same time (just smells horrible ��) good lunch and many wishes for a deep rejuvenating sleep.

  11. Hi Kate,I can totally sympathise with you about the insomnia, I have good and bad weeks. Not sleeping sucks!On A brighter note, we are building something- my H is converting our old shed into a spare room/ sun room/sewing space/ teenage hang out- partly inspired by me reading about by your sun room! It is looking great and I can't wait to have a proper sewing space instead of the kitchen table and a tiny desk in our little laundry!

  12. Hi Kate, love the photos on the water tower what a brilliant idea. Glad you picked yourself a bunch of flowers they look lovely. We went to a local village today I and I bought a brand new summer dress from the charity shop there it’s really nice. I had a scrummy hot chocolate in small cafe. Try not to worry about not sleeping. I think these things go in fits and starts, I always slept really well without problems, now there are days or nights I should say when it’s really difficult to fall to sleep and sometimes I only get a couple of hours at the most. They say getting up to do something and then going back to bed sometimes helps, I haven’t tried it though.

  13. No doubt you will be flooded with ideas re a goodnight sleep. I don’t look at my electronic devices for at least one hour before going to bed, if I do I cannot sleep. There is evidence out there re this but I haven’t taken the time to look. I then read a ‘light’ novel for about 15 min to relax the brain. This is usually enough. Worth a try, no drugs involved. XX

  14. I am so sorry you are suffering such misery with your insomnia. Have you been tested for fibromyalgia? It is regarded as a sleep disorder. One of the indicators is a range of tender points on either side of your body - you can find diagrams online. I hope you can get to the bottom of it.

  15. As someone who hasn't slept well in over 18 years all I can say is let go of stress. It's the hardest and the easiest to help.

    I wish you the best!

  16. Dear Kate ... when I have periods of insomnia I take a magnesium supplement ~ helps with sleep but also the exhaustion that comes with sleeplessness and trying to function during the daytime. also some bodywork ~ massage/reflexology ~ helps the body to feel nurtured and loved. Christa xxxx

  17. Did you check out Dr Libby's natural herbs she has one for sleep. She's a bio-chemist among other things. Menopause it's a pain in the neck with broken sleep. My sister in Perth is finally going through it and waking up at 3am every morning...I used to wake up at 2am on the dot every morning and it drives me nuts

  18. Dear Kate, lovely blog as always, and the photos are also beautiful, you live in such a lovely part of Victoria, and we are so lucky that you share it with us in such a nice way, love your writing. Im currently making my weekly sourdough, which is keeping the house nice and warm! All the best with sleep, hope it comes in spades very soon! xs

  19. Hi Kate, I'm not sure if this comment will get through as I'm not familiar with commenting, but have you been checked for the common inherited gene condition of haemochromatosis. Insomnia is a common symptom. All the best, Christine.

  20. Hi Kate. Melatonin will change your life! Must be prescribed by a doctor and made by a compounding chemist but worth every sent. If naturally obsorbed by the body so no hangover. Often resets your body's sleep patterns after a short period. Honestly a miracle for those who cannot sleep. Kindest regards, Jody


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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