familypic
 
JessPlusMess

Limited Edition

Autographed Copy

Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

Subscribe to Blog

Your Name:
Your Email:

Search

Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

Zoo Creatures, Dead People, and Steel Magnolias

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

Ryan and I journeyed to Tennessee last week to begin preparations on our new zoo… I mean, our new HOUSE. We are currently residing in three particular movies: We Bought a Zoo, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Steel Magnolias. We Bought a Zoo - our version would be more appropriately named We Brought the Zoo to Tennessee and Then Looked at Each Other, Screaming in Disbelief, “WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE WE DONE”? Although that would probably be the longest movie title in history.

Under the Tuscan Sun - For those who have seen the movie, our new house is pretty darn close to the dilapidated state of the villa she purchases in the movie. We fell in love with the land and saw potential in the house. The reality is, the house needs A LOT of work. There was no paint, no flooring, no phone jacks, no cell service, no kitchen, no trim, no nothing, well not completely true, we had dry wall and some very strange oddities left behind by the extremely wealthy owner. For example, we are now proud owners of an oxygen portal installed straight into the wall which aided the wealthy Mrs. during her health decline years ago.

oxygenWeird Oxygen Thing

We now also own our very own cemetery, which holds the remains of the wealthy Mrs., admittedly a little bit cool and a little bit creepy…

graveyardOur very own graveyard

Despite the sad condition of the house, we love it and officially sealed the deal to purchase it.

Steel Magnolias – I herald from a decent size city in Michigan, I have no idea what the population is, but I have numerous options when it comes to dining out, entertainment, malls, and many large movie theaters.  In my new hometown I have a Walmart - 30 miles from my house - granted, it is a Super Center Walmart, but I’m thinking my clothing options may have just decreased considerably. There’s also a Piggly Wiggly AND a Family Dollar if I ever find myself needing a few alternatives. I knew I was in trouble as we came down to the final hour of our drive and every little town we came upon I was frantically googling the name of the town along with “mall?”, “gym?” “Family Dollar?” “Cato?” “Deb?” “Goodwill?” SOMETHING! ANYTHING! GOOD LORD! HOW DO THESE PEOPLE SURVIVE??!

The thought that I may have made a slightly rash decision was well enforced when I was asked three separate times by well coifed southern women “Honey, why in the world would you move here? No one moves here…” and I started to wonder, actually panic a wee bit, thinking “Why did I move here?” deep sigh….

The first evening we pulled up to our new palace, after a 12 hour day of driving, and we were confronted with a pack of bats, (I think they roam in packs?? Correct me if I’m wrong) circling around our car. After finally unlocking the gate and driving up the wheat field/driveway we arrived, set up our trailer and discovered that we didn’t have any water. After numerous attempts we relinquished our desire for cleanliness and gave in to the sweet smelling stench of one another, in the trailer, in a small bed, both of us hovering over our respective edges in an attempt to avoid all touching– not the most romantic night we’ve had together. We planned to either shower first thing in the morning when we found water or plan B - check into one of the luxurious hotel options, such as the classy Pine Hotel we had passed earlier in the day. We managed to find water the next morning, but no hot water, not even luke warm water, just pretty much frigid, icicle type water. We took cold showers and pretended like we were part of the other 90% of the world that isn’t American. The next few days we worked hard, painting 7 rooms, ordered all of the flooring, trying to figure out a school for our children (something we probably should have considered before buying the house), health insurance, doctors, dentists, hospitals, unpacked the trailer, and managed to get a few blessed moments of peace and serenity when “them Skeeters” weren’t eating us, admiring the beautiful views of the Tennessee River from our patio.


office                            Ryan working hard on the office

master              Painted Master Bedroom

greatroom                            The HUGE greatroom

river                          View from our porch

I have gone from complete exhilaration, to complete bewilderment repeatedly in this process of new home ownership. I love the house, absolutely love it, but it is SO out of my comfort zone and it is so much work. At times, I’ve wondered if Ryan and I are just gluttons for punishment. It’s hard enough moving 7 young children, but to move them, one severely handicapped child, to an entirely new state, a new house, a house that has absolutely nothing ready in it, and a small town where we don’t know a single soul seems like it may just be bordering on insanity. I feel like an alien in my new hometown, a strange girl from the “North” with an odd accent that everyone peers at through squinted vision, wondering who and what I’m doing invading their territory. I know, in my heart, that this move is so much more than meets the eye. It is about solidifying ourselves as a family, relying on one another, and truly learning to embrace each other and the roles we  play in the Ronne clan. A lot of it is about starting new as a family - a new for all of us. We believe that we are supposed to be in Tennessee, and we usually have a peace about it. Nothing good ever came about without some blood, sweat, and tears, and this home has become a symbol of our beautifully, blended family which has also found its beauty through blood, sweat, and tears. We want to raise our family in a particular way, void of all of the commercialism in the world, teaching our children to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and the reward that comes from some hard work (that lesson could take a while). We want to get away from the wastefulness of our society and teach by example where our food comes from through having the land and the resources to raise and grow our own. We desire to live simply, no cable, limited cell phone usage, (that’s not necessarily by choice but more of an AT&T decision), no microwave, yes you read that right, NO microwave, the simple life.  It’s a lifestyle we feel called to and a lifestyle we are usually excited about embracing. It’s a life that will be well earned at the end of the day - zoo creatures, dead people, and all of the steely magnolias I encounter along the way.


newhouseHome Sweet Home


Just keep livin!!

Tagged in: faith life
  • Guest
    Kris Monday, July 1, 2013

    Have you really thought through the no microwave idea... Haha?!

  • Jessica Ronne
    Jessica Ronne Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Honestly, we don't have a spot for one in the new kitchen! I threw out the idea to Ryan about seeing if we can make do without one, I did for about a year after Luke was born because I was convinced that radiated food could harm him, so I suppose I can do it again:) I'll keep you posted!

  • Guest
    Becky Saunders Monday, July 1, 2013

    Best wishes to you in your new world! I know it's not quite the same, but when I moved from big, fully-appointed capitol city of Columbus, Ohio to Guymon, Oklahoma, I kind of felt the same way. We moved there because we KNEW it was God's plan, but it sure was a change. I was a stranger, who didn't say "ya'll" or that I was "fixin'" to do anything, but those OK Panhandle natives grabbed my heart and still have a hold of it, even though we've moved 1200+ miles back east to Ohio again. I admire what you're doing, and the strength you have to do it. Keep us posted (despite your limited resources for internet, cell phones, etc.) :)

    Reply Cancel
  • Jessica Ronne
    Jessica Ronne Monday, July 1, 2013

    Thanks Becky! I married into ya'll and fixin, so I should be good to go with those two words:)

Leave your comment

Guest
Guest Sunday, March 26, 2017

Latest Blogs

Pure Goodness Spaghetti Sauce
3-4 TB olive oil (depends on how much garlic and onions you add). 1 large onion chopped 4-5 TB finely chopped fresh garlic (You can add chopped celery as well if you want) Saute these three ingredients for a few minutes. Add 4 14 ounce cans of quality tomatoes (crushed or whole is fine - I like Carmelina brand) Add as much fresh spinach as the pot will hold. 4 TB Italian seasoning 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup red wine 2 cups of tomato juice (we make our own) Salt and pepper to taste Simmer all of this on low for an hour or two.  Turn heat off and blend all together with a han...
Continue Reading...
Marriage Pep Talk and a GIVEAWAY!
In my second marriage to Ryan I have valiantly attempted to right the wrongs that I naively produced in the first marital relationship. They say “ignorance is bliss,” and I suppose that I was ignorant the first time around; however, having my eyes wide open through a second opportunity has changed my perspective on life and love. A few of my initial struggles were cemented in my identity as a strong willed, first born, young wife, and often included a lack of respect towards my husband (I knew best, of course!), and one that goes hand in hand with the respect issue, a lack of grace. I usually...
Continue Reading...
Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Delights
This week’s recipe is a spin off of my go to, extremely easy, “I only have 5 minutes to whip something together” dessert. The original recipe called for peanut butter, egg, and sugar. I’ve amped up the health factor by substituting some of the ingredients and adding a few more. My kids love em. Hope you do too. Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Delights. 1 cup almond butter 1 egg ½ cup maple syrup ½ cup pecans ½ cup dark chocolate chips. Mix everything together in a big bowl. Spoon droplets onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Just keep livin!
Continue Reading...
Numero Uno Sanity System - THE BIN
At the Ronne homestead we employ many systems in order to maintain some level of functionality for the family and for the parent’s sanity. The bin system is by far the most useful and consistent tool we use as it has been in place from almost day one of our blended family. This is a system that I grew up with (as the oldest of 10 children) and loathed with every cell of my being as a child. Funny how it made its way into my grownup family as well. The bin (or the brown box that I grew up with) is just a plastic container that holds the children’s misdemeanors for the week. The system starts ...
Continue Reading...
Healthier Chicken N` Dumplings
Simmering away and filling the house with deliciousness, my healthier take on a classic - chicken n' dumplings. This version includes bone broth, organic chicken, a plethora of herbs, and lots and lots of fresh veggies. Chicken N' Dumplings5 organic chicken breasts cut into bite sized piecesVariety of fresh veggies (carrots, mushrooms, celery, leeks, even spinach, whatever you have on hand) roughly chopped.Olive oilItalian spiceVege Sal1 tea thymeSalt if you must but the Vege Sal does a great job of seasoning if you let it.Pepper to taste2 cups water6 cups bone broth (or vegetable or chicken b...
Continue Reading...
Chocolate Cheese. Why Not?
Ryan and I enjoyed a wonderful, romantic dinner together on Valentine’s Day.  We don’t have the opportunity to travel far on most holidays or special occasions because of Annabelle, and since we only have two restaurants that we enjoy within about a ten mile radius of our home, Ryan suggested that we hire Mya to take care of Annabelle in the basement while he and I cook together.  We indulged in salad, pasta, bread, and one of our favorite, easy, desserts - dark chocolate cheese.  Sadly, we were too full from all the pasta, bread, and salad to even indulge in our dessert that ev...
Continue Reading...
Weekly Recipe - Healthier Cornbread
  Healthier Cornbread. 1/4 melted butter 1/4 melted coconut oil Mix these two together in a big bowl.   Add 1/4 cup plus 2 TB Maple syrup to the butter/oil mixture. Stir well. Cool this mixture.  Add 2 eggs, 1/2 tea baking soda, and 3/4 cup almond milk to the same bowl. Mix well.  Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup corn meal, 1/2 tea salt.  Mix again. Grease a large cast iron skillet with coconut oil.  Pour mixture into the skillet and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!   
Continue Reading...
Healthy, Luke Approved Turkey Burgers
As promised, I'm going to attempt to post a weekly Luke approved recipe, and the first one up are these super tasty, super nutritious turkey burgers that we had last night for dinner. This is my new favorite meal since giving up (for the majority of the time) red meat, well, this and the close cousin of the turkey burger, the chicken burger. In most of these recipes you will notice that I tend to pack as much hidden nutrition as humanly possible into the dish  because Luke is quite texture sensitive (if it's too hard (carrots and most veggies) or to...
Continue Reading...
Pebbles
 These past few weeks have been exhausting as a gigantic tidal wave of anger, despair, and helplessness has blasted upon humanity, invading our lives and our homes, crushing societies and towns and social media morale as the wave pounds and beckons and taunts us through the pale white glare, the Apple held firmly in our grasp, our tongues panting for all of the sweet drops of nectar, but as the story of old forewarns, the Apple is not always what it seems.  The wave continues its relentless, unforgiving pursuit, but we refuse to move or turn away lest we miss something! NO! We must k...
Continue Reading...
Cartful of Marriage Drama.
Hello friends, I'm here to interrupt your regularly scheduled Facebook drama and political controversies to involve you in an ongoing debate between my husband, myself, and this innate object -
Continue Reading...