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"I'm A Scarecrow That Used To Be A Model"

A photo my mom snapped and sent to me (I was oblivious). At first, I wasn't too thrilled ... but kinda like it now. 

I do not believe in apologizing for missing posts, because I believe, for the most part, people never notice. And yet ... did any of you all notice that there was no post last Wednesday? Somehow I forgot to schedule one. And I could have easily fixed that ... but Wednesday was hectic, and I decided to just let it slide. 

And so for the first time in years, there was no post. 

Made me realize that it's been a while since I've done a current update. Have I even told y'all what life has been like since returning to the States? I don't think so. 

Life has been strange. 
At times it's been really hard. 
At times it's been beyond amazing. 

I said at one point that I was excited to return to the States because I loved my life so much here. Funny thing is my life hasn't returned to what it was before. I don't go to the same church anymore. I don't have the same friends anymore. I hardly even see my neighbors. Some of that is due to just being busy. Some of that is due to many of them not approving of my theology and politics. Most of it I still don't understand and I'm still processing. 

Yeah, it's been hard. I really loved my old life and all my friends and such. 
But ... somehow God gave me other friends. I wouldn't necessarily say better, because my old friends are still amazing people despite our inability to tolerate each other. But ... my new friends have been just what I've been needing these last few months and have helped me get over some hard patches. 

I still clean houses, but due to the world's current state, I am only at about a third of my normal capacity. Just can't find many people in need of a cleaner. It's tough, even though it's given me more time to help my dad with his campaign or have a fuller social life. 

Oh, did I tell you all that my dad is running for Montana State Senate? And I'm kinda his campaign manager? You can see a bit of what we're doing here. One of the main things I've been doing is church hopping. Because it's always seemed like a great adventure, full or stretching myself out of my comfort zone. With dad's campaign, I've had a good excuse and have been visiting all the churches in our district. 
Don't you love this little logo? Shortly after I took up calling myself the social porcupine. Not because I'm Libertarian, but because I just love the sound of it, and it felt true ;D

If you want a brief summary of what life has been, it's this: Just dealing with a lot of dirt through cleaning and campaigning. 

If you want a more vivid picture of what my life has been, here are some pictures.
My uncle and aunt recently moved nearby. I had never met her or their child, so it has been fun getting to know them. One day I stopped by and they made a lovely Asian meal and we went hiking. 
This is a lovely friend I met shortly after returning home. She and her husband recently just moved again, sadly, but it was fun hanging out with her while she was here. She was easy to connect to on a deeper level almost at once. Once we played chess. She put me in checkmate twice, and both times she didn't realize it until I told her. 
Often we'd meet when I was really feeling down and I'd make comments that she didn't approve of (self-deprecating comments, she said). Once I called myself a scarecrow. She reprimanded me. And thus the title of this blog. 
I met both of these girls in the strangest ways. 
The one on the left I met through blogging ... she has an amazing blog called The Hurt and The Healer. We became Instagram friends and I noticed she was dating an ex-Amish guy I knew. Recently she and her husband moved to Montana and I've been having fun getting to know her in real life. 
The girl on the right I met through Facebook. She sent me a friend request. I have no idea why I accepted. But I felt I should, so I did. Then I messaged her asking her why. She said she was wanting to move to the area. I asked if she had a place. She didn't. So I told her to come and stay with us. And so began a friendship I had no idea I desperately needed. Like really. Some of the hard things of life this spring would not have been manageable at all if it weren't for her. 
Once a bunch of friends and some of my siblings met up on Subway parking lot. Due to COVID, there was no seating, so we opted for grass. We danced, did plank challenges, ate, and all such good activities until the Sherriff came and told us to leave. 
My only regret is not having asked the Sherriff to join our selfie. 
On the day our governor made masks mandatory in Montana, I went barefoot all day. Because it's not about masks just as the Boston Tea Party wasn't about tea. It's about what makes us American. And American is freedom to follow one's conscious and do good, under no dictator. 
I've been doing a lot of speaking this spring. Not really good at it, but things need saying and I'm trying to do my part. I've spoken against feminism at a woman's rally. I spoke on how it's not enough to be different, but we need destination and direction, too, at a 4th of July event. I also shared a small bit of my testimony as The Girl Who Doesn't Exist. I've put a lot of time and energy into cultivating my speaking, into developing my political stances, and into doing things. I'm just going to say, I know I've hardly done anything so far, and yet I'm drained. 

And I've hardly written any fiction. I think that makes me more than a little sad a lot of the time. 

If y'all want to read some stuff that should appear as satire google "Rage Against the State Event" especially the stuff put out by Montana Human Rights Network. The article is mostly garbage. I commented on it when they posted, and they deleted what I said and blocked me from their page. Great media ;0 But then a few other papers (some of whom called) put out some more honest pieces on us. So all ended well, mostly. 
But amidst all the busy doing, I've been prioritizing reading and hiking (both alone and with friends, because the fresh air and sweat is somehow safeguarding my sanity).  I am purposely reading lots of fiction. I need entertainment, and I also need the poignancy that no sermon but a good book can ever truly offer. 

As always, you can find a review for anything I'm reading on GoodReads
I recently had two plane rides that made my day (all in the same day!). One was in a small two-seater operated by the brother of one of my friends. The other was with my uncle in a slightly larger plane. He had us do some of the flying. It was terrifying, but also exhilarating. Plus, my uncle told me that I was doing very good. Since he's short on words, I think it meant he actually thought I was doing decently for a first flight. 

I loved the scenery as we flew. In the first flight, I was amazed by the "cute" shadow of the plane. 
In the second flight, I was amazed by bridged and the way the rivers met, and so many other little things. I've flown many, many times. Yet these two flights were way different. 

I want to add, that I've been thinking of bridges a lot lately. Of how we are bridges, of how that means we will be used and walked on, and sometimes even have graffiti sprayed all over us. And yet, we must remain as bridges and not cave in or pull up or become dams. It is our calling to give of ourselves and love. It is my calling. It means I will be hurt. And yet being hurt is not a sin. 

When one says, "At least I've learned to not trust so easily," I cringe. 

No, pain isn't meant to teach us to pull into ourselves. Breakups ought not to teach a girl to hate all men. Abusive parents shouldn't mean that a child must hate all adults. Yes, for a time all men may appear as jerks. For a time adults will all be nothing more than control freaks. And yet ... those who are truly shaped into gold will learn that though they be jerks and control freaks, we must and can be better. We must not hate, but continue to give all of ourselves. 

It is not a sin to be hurt, but it is a sin to stop loving. We can only be responsible for our own responses. 
I bought several hundred birds. But eight of them are for my personal enjoyment: guineas. 
I finished my socks! One was made in Germany, one in the USA. To symbolize the connection I feel between the two lands. 

I've done a small bit of handwork since home. I've made a linen nightgown. Done mending and small bits of custom sewing. A little bit of work on my quilt. I've even started a new denim patchwork quilt that I can't wait to show off! 
Sweet William! These flowers always bring a smile to my face, whenever I can find them. 

Sometimes he hates me, but oddly enough he's starting to like more and more and more. He's a bit spoiled at times, but he's also good-natured in many ways. He's a weird child, but also a fun brother. 
Goats have been a huge part of our life this year. I know of at least three people that have personal pet goats. My sister has around fifteen goats (not pets, just to raise). Every time I see the goats, I miss having goats of my own. Maybe someday again. Hopefully soon. 
Another fun hiking picture with friends and such. 
A family photo and such ;D 
I love this picture for so many unspoken reasons. One superficial one, they both randomly friended me on FB, and I accepted for no good reason that I know of. But I have been blessed by knowing them both. 
Another great friend. You might remember her from my Berlin trip. She now cleans with me. And is expecting her first child! 
I love this dress. Made by a local lady. And I love reflection selfies. Been trying to do more fashion posts again ... but, oh, always so many things to do! 
Always looking for an excuse to wear my dirndl my au pair family bought for me! So comfortable, too. 
We did a RealmMakers meetup in Eastern Montana. I slept a lot, I'll admit. But I really needed it. I so enjoyed seeing my cousins. I'm sure some of you recognize Rakayle (cousin) and Jessi (friend). We also had some fun with Jessi's goats—I love how she feeds six at a time with her wine rack. 
Photo captured by Jerushah Lamb
This last picture is what I originally planned to post about on Wednesday. 
I've mentioned many times that some of my favorite books are Montgomery's "Emily of New Moon" series. I relate to the main character so much, especially over her struggle over her love of writing. In the book, she writes a letter to herself at age 14 to be read when she's 24. 

Yes, I stole it from her. 
But I carried it on so that I write a letter for myself to read in ten years on every birthday. 

Recently (July 17) I turned 24. And so I read the first letter I ever wrote to myself. It was enjoyable to see what I valued at age 14 and hoped for myself in ten years. I think my younger self would be proud of what I have, if not a little sad. But mostly proud. 

Oh, and I have three more siblings. 
Last night, after drafting most of this post, I received a very sweet note from MovieCritic. So I suppose people do notice when one doesn't post. All the same, I'm not apologizing. It felt nice skipping one day, even though I had plenty of content I could've posted. Don't ask my why. I love my routine and prefer not to have my life continually turned upside and down. 

And yet ... it's nice being ok with it once in a while. 

Thank you all for being such amazing readers, and for sticking with me all these years. I won't scare y'all again anytime soon ;) 

And let's keep each other and our country in every prayer and thought. Not of fear, but with anticipation of the possibility that this could wake the heart of every individual to claim the American Dream as more than textbook heritage, but as a personal lifestyle. 


  1. See, people care and check in on you. ;)

    I'm sorry that you feel that way about the masks! The government is just trying to protect people, like the ones in my family who are high risk. <3

    Now that you mention it, you really are so much like Emily! I love that you have been writing letters to your future self. Man, now I want to do that! Happy late birthday! :) Once again, I'm glad to see this post! :D

    1. Haha you're a gem, for sure ;)

      I have family members (my parents) who would be classified as high risk, too, especially my mother. But we believe our health is our responsibility and that the government has no say over it. It's not even their jurisdiction to wish to protect us. Their job is simply to protect our rights.

      Ahh so glad you see the connection! You should totally start writing letters to your futute self ;) Thanks so much for reaching out and for reading and commenting.

  2. "Every time I see the goats, I miss having goats of my own. Maybe someday again. Hopefully soon." My sentiments, exactly.

    This might be an odd question... but in the picture with you barefoot at the gas-station, I couldn't help but notice the shirt you were wearing. It reminded me so strongly of the shirts that our Karen (as in people group from Myanmar, not the woman's name) friends made. Perhaps this is far-fetched, but is that a Karen shirt by any chance?

    1. Ahh it's such a fun sentiment to share!

      Haha, not sure what you mean by Karen. Makes me think of all these Karen memes I see going around. But no I bought it at a vintage store and supposedly it's from Guatemala.

  3. I'm a few days on behind here, but I'm honored to be mentioned in your blog! ;) I'm loving getting to know you in real life as well. :)

  4. Love that family photo of you all. Every one looks so nice, also most of the kids have gotten bigger. ;)
    Loved seeing you when you can up here!

    1. You all seemed so much bigger, despite you being such a lovely, petite woman ;) hope to see you soon again!

  5. My favorite posts are the life updates. I love the pictures.

    And I don't believe that you don't like animals :P

    1. They are so fun to do, so glad you enjoy them!

      I like animals. Just not dogs 😂

  6. "I'm a scarecrow that used to be a model" - haha, I love it. It's super super relatable, actually...not that I was ever very model-like, but I sure was less scarecrow-like than I am now! (At least I'm a clean scarecrow, though. :P)

    I like your life update posts, and I'm sorry about some of the things making life harder :( but I'm glad you have good friends! Some of these pictures are really pretty.

    (And I totally noticed you didn't post, by the way. I usually notice when people don't, I think. But I would feel weird reaching out, partly just because I'm so horrible at commenting? Partly because when I don't post, it's usually just because I'm extra busy or just too tired to write [because i ALWAYS have ideas, they just take energy to write!], so...yeah. I did notice though.)

    1. Haha it's such fun imagery! Normally I love my "scarecrow" hair. But sometimes it's literally over everything and everywhere.

      Thanks! Life definitely is a complex mixture for all of us. But good friends and photos help.

      Oh wow. And now I feel melodramatic. You're so sweet. But never feel weird about not reaching out. You don't have to be a commenter to be a friend ;)

      Yeah, busy lives can consume energy for ideas. That's why I love scheduling. Lol obviously doesn't always work.

  7. This was such a beautiful post. The thing that got me the most was your thought about bridges. It really convicted me. I've been hurt a lot this year, most of all by a very close friend of mine and I've been trying hard not to let that make me trust people less, bu that's a very hard thing to do. I'm still in the raw stage of figuring out how to heal from what happened, so maybe trust will come back soon. I've just been praying a lot for a softened heart and forgiveness and healing in the matter. I can't close myself off just because one person hurt me. We're called to give of ourselves and love and I'm trying to keep that in mind more this year.
    I'm so glad you were able to meet so many new friends despite the pain that comes with losing old friends and I think it's really amazing how you've been stepping out and speaking on topics and issues important to you. I absolutely love that you went barefoot all day when the mask mandate went into effect. Ours just went into effect this week and it's been hard to figure out how to react to that and move forward without feeling like I'm just giving in to it.

    1. Hey, Melody! I'm so glad this has resonated with you, too. Bridges and all that; it's something I've been working through even after having written this. The soft heart that we both are praying for is so worth it, I think. I'm glad that you're learning to love more and trust all the same despite having been hurt. Many refuse to come to that. But it's so much better, right?

      Going barefoot was a blast.

      Feel free to message me and talk to me as you're going through stuff with friends and masks and all that. Even if you come to different conclusions than I have, might help to have someone in on it with you ;)

  8. I always love these posts! You have such a full life it's inspiring!!

    1. I do like to think my life makes good fodder for my fiction. But the blog only sees the prettier parts. Don't be inspired too much ;b


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