Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pickin' Trash


When my children were young they were embarrassed by my trash picking. We would be driving down the road and someone would have something really nice put out to the trash and I would stop and check it over to see if it was something we could use. I was never too shy to stop and check things over.
I even got a marble top table once and lawn chairs in great shape. Most times I come away with nothing but the times I have found a treasure make it worth the stopping to check things out.
Today is trash day for our street and down the road from us, a rather nice house had a lot of trash out, they are moving. I had to stop. A maple table dinning room table, two maple chairs, a nice lamp and a few boxes.
One chair was broken, one was fine, needs to be refinished or painted, the table was perfect, but I didn't need it or the lamp, but there was a box of sewing patterns and I grabbed that up for sure.
Got home to find several children's patterns, some maternity patterns, jumper patterns and in my size !
I am a happy gal today. Better than thrift store shopping since this was 100% free and better to recycle than to fill up landfills.
What a good day !

An Early Birthday


Plain and simple, I am blessed. Yup, its not a brag its just a fact. This past week having my dad with us has been so wonderful. A reminder to me of how blessed I have been to be raised by such loving parents. My mom has been gone for 20 years but her impact on my life is still seen daily.
Having dad here reminds me of all the patience and love he showed my sisters and I consistently through our lives.
Its been fun spoiling him a bit with home made apple pie and for his early birthday, strawberry shortcake just like my grandmother (my moms mother) would make him each year for his birthday. We figured up that it had been over 30 years since he has had one like that. We make our strawberry shortcake on sweet biscuits and not with cake.
My dad had two big pieces last night and looked very satisfied.
His actual birthday is the 6th but since he will be back at his home then, we decided to celebrate early. I think he looks pretty good for going to be 85 next week.
I will take my dad to the airport tomorrow and it seems like this visit has gone way too fast and how we all wish he would just stay with us. He is such a joy to have around, and it would be such an honor to have him live with us.
Melanie and Casi were over too. They were glowing after a visit to the Doctors where they got to see baby moving all around during the ultrasound. The Dr will be seeing Melanie every two weeks instead of the normal once a month since she is a high risk patient, and he is already preparing her for the fact that they will induce her as soon as the baby is fully developed. It almost sounded like that could be one month early.
Melanie worked yesterday and nothing was mentioned about being fired or even being written up, but I still would like everyone to pray for that situation. If nothing else, that they be kind to her and lessen any stress for her.

We had the television on a couple times this week and I had to quickly turn the station as the language was graphic and smutty. It was a news type show and frankly it was shocking and certainly not something you felt comfortable listening to in mixed company, but each channel was much the same. We have become numb I think as a people to violence and sex. I remember reading the title to a book by a Rabbi not long ago, something to do with people not blushing anymore. How true.
I think its time to rethink having the squawk box in the house again. We went many many years without one, maybe its time to rethink the reason we have one. If its in the house, you tend to turn it on when you feel a bit bored. There are some good shows on but they are few and far between.
Simple is best and its just simplier to not subject your mind to the things on the television.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Morning Ramble...

Emery called me over to the back door to have a look at the sunrise. Once again the beauty of creation, took my breath away. What a gorgeous sign of renewal, assurance that a new day is breaking open to us. No matter what hardships may come, there is always a new day.
This past week I have felt a real resurgence in my life regarding prayer.
Many years ago I felt like a true prayer warrior and then, slowly, this relationship of prayer faded away until it came to the point of being stale and formal. Nothing deep and personal.
I think part of my wandering and searching has been due to this lack of a personal and perhaps real connection to God. This mornings sky seemed to be for me some sort of visual from God, saying, "yes, I am here".
Many years ago, when I was in Academy I had to memorize this passage from a book called Steps to Christ. Looking at this mornings sunrise, it came back to me as so true.
"Nature and revelation alike testify of God's love. Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man, but of all living creatures. The sunshine and the rain, that gladden and refresh the earth, the hills and seas and plains, all speak to us of the Creator's love. It is God who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures. In the beautiful words of the psalmist -
"The eyes of all wait upon Thee;And Thou givest them their meat in due season.Thou openest Thine hand,And satisfiest the desire of every living thing."Psalm 145:15, 16."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Being Tourists in Texas

Today Emery and I took my dad to the Texas Rangers Museum in Waco. It was a perfect sunny fall day and even the ride down was full of splendor.
Fields readied for winter, bales of hay laying in greening fields. The sky, reaching endlessly in all directions. My father commented on how flat it is and for me, its more that its wide open, almost begging you to get on a horse and ride off into the sunset.
At the museum I was surprised to be honest at the amount of Texas history that is contained in this one place. I learned so much and came out of there so proud to be living in this state.
They have a wonderful collection of guns that have been used by the Texas Rangers, some old handguns weighed nearly 5 lbs. They allowed to pick them up, making you wonder how a man could hold one up and shoot while riding a horse. My arm would be tired just holding the gun for a minute or two. You got to see how through time the guns changed style. It felt like you understood more how the west was won by being there and reading the history and seeing the old photos. The museum has many other items that were part of the Rangers life in early Texas history.
I especially enjoyed some of the exhibits that spoke about the life some of the early Rangers wives and how hard life was in the mid 1800's in this area. Gave me such an appreciation for those that paved the way for future generations. Often times the Rangers were gone for long periods of time, leaving their families alone. The women of those early years were tough and strong both emotionally and physically.

Of course I felt a twinge of discomfort thinking about how this land was stolen from the native people. That is something hard for me to reconcile.
It gave me time to ponder the differences in times.
How we all stay so connected these days by phone, cell phone and email, I wonder if we could remain calm, not knowing what is happening to our loved ones.
If we worry for just a few seconds about someone, we are on the phone connecting with them for reassurance.
I still don't have a cell phone but there is usually some way for me to reach family and friends.
The time change has left me feeling tired tonight and ready for bed long before my usual time. It will be nice to get up and have it light sooner, but on the other end of the day, I will be ready for bed soon after supper. Never in my life have I liked staying up late.
The lamps have been blown out for the night, the fire has died down, leaving only glowing embers casting a copper glow on the floor in front of the stove. The clock on the piano is clicking away the minutes, reminding me that a comfy bed awaits me. Tomorrow will be another day of baking goodies for my father to enjoy. Not so good for my diet though !

My Dad and Emery at the museum

A copy of a letter from a Texas Rangers wife in 1906. Click the picture to make it larger to read

tonight I am grateful for........

God, a power higher than ourselves in which we can hope in, have confidence in the fact that He will help us. We are not alone, not without help

For my dad, a wonderful man... full of health and vigor.

For my children, each one so amazingly wonderful, so thoughtful, so loving.

For my beloved....for his love note to me this morning. For his beautiful hands, strong and tender at the same time.

For our land, now turning green again with the fall rains.

For the fall sunsets of turquoise and peach. Colors that come in October and leave in November.

For the colors of salt glazed pottery, and natural stoneware. For the color of flax and cotton, wool and wheat freshly ground.

For life, love and laughter




Amish White Bread Recipe

The recipe for the Amish White Bread can be found in the January archives of my blog, I believe the 28th
Here is the link
http://morningramble.blogspot.com/2006_01_01_morningramble_archive.html

Its such a nice loaf a bread and easy to make.
I have used half whole wheat flour in the recipe too and it works out just fine.

Have fun baking bread and filling your home with the delightful aroma that nothing else compares to.

Baking Day


Yesterday was baking day. Emery was working yesterday and my dad was busy reading, and I was catching up
with my cleaning and baking.


Hot out of the oven Apple Pie

4 loaves of Amish White Bread

Saturday, October 28, 2006

URGENT PRAYER NEED !

I have a major prayer request and would appreciate if you can spread the word on this need.
Melanie is diabetic as you know and in need of health insurance especially now with the baby on the way.
She was store manager for some time but asked to step down as the stress was too much for her.
Since then it seem the district manager is just out to get her.
They changed the schedule this week without telling her and they had her to work this morning when last week she was supposed to have it off.
She did not of course show up this morning since she had no idea she was supposed to work.
Now she is so afraid they will fire her for a "no show".
Its nearly impossible to find part time work with insurance these days so if she gets fired, finding another job will be extremely difficult.
Her medical needs are so much each month and they could never afford them without insurance.
Please pray she does not get fired, or that God has something even better in store for her. She has been in tears all morning. May God hear our prayers !



More wedding photos



The Wedding ceremony was to start at 2:30 in the afternoon, but we had to be there just about 12:30 to set up the flowers and to have pictures taken. Pictures with the families are taken before the ceremony.
Everything was so well organized and planned out that no one in Priscilla's family was in need to miss anything, and there was even time to sit and talk a bit.
The church started filling up around 2, with families as far away as Mexico. One of Priscilla's uncles works at a mission in Mexico with Children and he was able to make it to the wedding.
The wedding itself was beautiful. The singing from the young people brought tears to many an eye as they sang Momma's Tears. First the devotional was given by a friend of Stevens, touching in the 5 good qualities he has seen in Steven that will continue to be a blessing for Steven as he builds him Christian home. After that the sermon was given by a man that Steven lived and worked with for a time and was about building a solid Christian home and he shared with Steven the importance of loving his new wife and caring for her. He used 1 John 4: 7-12 as foundation texts regarding the right type of love to have in a home and that no love is full unless God is at the head.
Then the bishop Jerry Ulrich married them, asking them a few questions and then announcing them as husband and wife. Steven teared up a bit during the ceremony and it made me feel good that we had raised a young man that is sensitive and so full of love that it overflows.
We felt so proud and while in the receiving line, so many congratulated us for what a good young man Steven has become.
They are now on their honey moon, and we are all praying for their safety and that each day be blessed with more and more love.

The wedding Party

Steven and Priscilla just before the ceremony

Casi, Emery and Steven

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wedding Photos



Priscilla and Steven

The Flowers

Priscillas family, including Steven. There are 10 children in her family

A Few Pictures From Last Night



Everything is ready for the big day. Tables set, decorations in place. The first picture is of the head table, set with Steven and Priscilla's new china. I love the pattern. We are just about to head out the door to the wedding. Flowers all done and we hope they will survive the strong winds getting them into the car.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sometimes You Just Have to Shake Your Head


Often times folks have no concept of how clearly their judgemental attitude shows up to those around them. The we are better than you type thing.
I had a conversation tonight with a woman that was downright strange. She plopped down next to me and astonded me with words that were strange at best.
I came away shaking my head. There was an agenda I am sure, but it seemed to not work well for her.
With all her comments, it reminded me of a quote from Fiddler on the Roof...... Hodel says....."I heard that the Rabbi who must congratulate himself has a congregation of one."


Steven and Priscilla's Home




Yesterday afternoon Steven took me and a couple of his friends out to see how his house is looking now that its all done and the furniture is all set up.
Its just lovely. He did such a nice job and Priscilla has everything so pretty. Compared to what this place looked like a few months ago, its nothing less than a miraculous change.
Although it was a rainy damp day, the house felt cozy and comfortable.
The wedding is just approaching so fast. We are all excited and anxious for it.
This morning, Priscilla and I will shop for the flowers for the arrangement to be used at the reception.
My dress is cut out, but not sewn together yet. I have no idea why I have procrastinated so much on this. Finally found a zipper to match the fabric tonight. It won't take me long to get it done, but it certainly is down to the last moment.
My dad arrived safely, thank you to all that prayed for his safe journey. You would never know he just had a new pace maker put in two weeks ago. The man is amazing. Its so nice to have him here with us.
Time for me to head to bed. A busy day tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sweet Gentle Rain


Its just one of those days when the house feels extra cozy. Soft rain has been falling for most of the day making being inside a pure delight.
The house seems a bit dark from lack of sunshine steaming in the windows but its not a bad thing, its nice. Looking out the windows, gives me a view of such bright green grass, dark wet tree bark and Robins hopping about. It surprised me to see them I must admit.
The lamp light isn't really necessary, more of just a pleasantry to chase away the grayness in one corner of the room.
The clock ticking away the minutes on the piano reminding me I should be sewing on my dress for the wedding and not sitting here at the computer.
I am tired though, went to the fitness center and worked out. Took a class that was certainly high impact, a step class. It was hard work and to be honest I am not sure if its the thing for me. I would rather spend that much energy throwing hay bales or carrying 50 pound feed sacks. I came away from the gym wondering today if its a place where people go to chase their youth more than staying fit. I have my own agenda of getting fit and loosing weight, but its really an environment of fountain of youth seekers and folks very into self. Yes, that seems like a judgment but it isn't, its just more retelling what some of the folks I met there told me. Not wanting to look old, not wanting to look saggy. Seeking the perfect body. I felt uncomfortable with that amount of self absorption.
Women stood together in little groups in the shower room complaining about their husbands and how they are so dissatisfied with their lives. I left there feeling strange that I had said, I love my husband and love my life. As though I had crossed some line of demarcation separating the masses from the few.
It seems to be very little balance in this environment.

Walking through my front door after working out, filled me with pure joy. The sweet gentle rain, making it feel all the more inviting to be inside looking out. I sat on the sofa and just looked out the window in silence. Reminders of love all around me. Simple life, simple dreams, simple goals, and so few disappointments in life for me.
I do work at being content, being grateful for the smallest things in each day. The way the leaves turn and bend in the wind, or the way the clouds float across the sky. The way Emery looks at me or what it felt like this morning to get a wonderful email from Melissa first thing this morning. So many things giving a bit of joy.
Bowing my head in prayer to thank God for His mercy and His never ending patience with me. Praying that my children's children will be god fearing and have lives filled with love all around them.
I am ever so grateful for the sweet gentle rain of this day.
Tonight we head to the airport to pick up my dad. Can't wait !

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Who is this in the mirror ?


Today was weight watchers and I was happy to see that I dropped another 2 and one half pounds. After WW I headed off to the fitness center where I worked out for a full 4 hours.
That will not be my normal routine but this is a busy week for me and I wanted to get some serious time in since I only have one more time to work out this week.
40 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes on the stationary bicycle, then did what seemed endless time on the elliptical and the stair master. I am sure it was about 15 minutes between them, but it felt like hours. Did quite a workout with my trainer then did Pilates and stretching. Tonight I am a little stiff and feel 52 years old. Usually I feel about 28 years old.
I noticed something today at the gym. I would walk to some other machine and notice myself in the mirror, (each wall is mirrored) and each time I saw myself I thought, "who is that ?" I don't feel like I look. Most of the time, mirrors are something I avoid.
In my mind, my body is not so fat, so big. But on the other hand, when sewing my clothes, 99% of the time, I make my clothes 2 or 3 sizes bigger than me. My brain never seems to get things right when it comes to looking at myself. Today I realized that by next year, my body, what I will see in the mirror, will match what I feel in my brain. This work of transforming my health and size, feels like a part time job. Its hard work. I let it go for too long. The older you are the harder it is to loose extra pounds.
My trainer Amanda is fantastic and we clicked right off. This is going to work for me this time, simply because I am ready to WORK to reach my goals.
It is work too. Really hard work.

Down 2.5 lbs this week

Me, never looking in the mirror. In time I will



Baby Quilts



In going through all the baby clothes, I came across the girls quilts from when they were babies. My mother in law made the sweetest quilt for them.
The first one is one she made Melissa when she was a little girl and by the amount of wear on it, I am thinking Melissa used it for several years. The second one was used by both the girls in their cribs. The puppy quilt was Melanie's and taken with her each time she was hospitalized, as it was always a comfort to her to have something from home with her during those times.
How fun it was to see these treasures and know they will bring joy to another generation soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

First Day at the Fitness Center

Big things happening here at the Lockwood's this week. My dad is arriving on Wednesday which is pretty exciting for us all and my sweet husband gave me a years membership to our local fitness club. Something I have been wanting for a while now. Had my first session with a personal trainer today. What fun I had and also had my first Pilates class. Think there are a few muscles in my arms, I had forgotten about in the past few years. They seem to be making their presence known tonight !
This whole thing of loosing weight and becoming more fit is very serious to me and this is one more step to take in reaching my goals.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Soup For Supper

Soup at this house is rarely made with a recipe. It starts with what is in the house. Today, carrots, onions, celery, some spike seasoning, lentils, some barley, a bit of turmeric, canned diced tomatoes with basil and a couple handfuls of Amish dumplings.
It simmered on the stove most of the day. A few slices of home made bread toasted and the meal was complete. Perfect for a fall evening when you imagine you can see your own breath as you exhale in the coolness of the night. Its not quite that cold yet, but it feels it.
Soon it will be time again for Homestead Heritage Craft Fair in Elm Mott Texas. We start looking forward to this as soon as the last one ends. The pottery on my table is all from there. Made right there by some of the young people in the community.
If you ever have the chance to attend this event, do !
You will not be disappointed.
You can visit their web site at
http://www.homesteadcraftfair.com/
which tells a bit about the community and the fair.
I usually get a new piece of pottery each year. Hope to find another one this year.

What Season Are You ?

No surprise here with my answer. I adore winter. Hot chocolate, snow, cozy fires, pine trees heavy with snow, the way your face feels when its cold, even shovelling. Yup, the whole nine yards.
http://www.blogthings.com/whatseasonareyouquiz/


You Belong in Winter
Quiet, calm, and totally at peace...You're happy to be at home, wrapped in a blanket, completely snowed inWhether you're lighting a fire or having a snowball fight, you always feel best in the winter.

What Season Are You?

Inner Life



Inner Life
by Edna Jaques
from the book "My Kitchen Window"

For we are more than just the thing we seem,
More than a little waking and a dream:
This life that seems so commonplace to me
Is woven into all eternity !
The little happenings that make a day
Are born of God and shall not pass away.

The fire when laid.. the supper-table spread,
Even the simple breaking of bread,
Are symbols of diviner things that lie
Close to our inner selves and will not die --
The roots of life beneath the commonplace
Weaving their tendrils through the human race.

As life goes on . . there will be these :
Warm clodded earth, and blossom-laden trees,
East winds and rain . . and flocks upon the hill,
The fresh, sweet wonder of the daffodil :
And over all . . and under all . . and through,
The mind of God made manifest in you.

Chilly Morning



The cold woke me. Pulling the covers up around my neck did little to chase away the chill. A window or two had been left open a bit last night inviting in the cold north wind. Pulling on my red wool socks, and donning a cozy flannel shirt over my nightgown.
The cold felt uncomfortable and in the fogginess of early morning thinking, I wondered how in the world we keep the house warm in winter when its really cold. The first few chilly days seem so much worse then they really are. The transition from hot dry summer that went on forever in my mind, made way for this other type of weather, that makes me question if cold is really fun like I say.
I took the tea kettle off the stove, knowing that as soon as I drifted off to sleep, this wild screaming tea kettle would start whistling. I was proud of myself for remembering that in a hour of the day when the brain is still stiff with sleep.
After the rooms felt cozy, I climbed back into bed, pulling up another comforter. It was 5 am by this time and Emery was awake. We told old jokes, laughed at being buried under mounds of covers and both of us half expected to be told by some adult to be quiet and go to sleep, but we are the adults and we could be as silly as we wanted.
Sleep came again and it was that deep comfortable sleep that is hard to wake from. The fire had gone out and to me it needed to be built up again. Emery was content to just put on his jacket, knowing it was going to warm up, but not me, I wanted that fire roaring.
Laying in bed while the fire was revived, I had time to think, think about the things that are important in my life. First thing, the thing that defines me, is my love of God. Or rather its my personal knowledge that God loves me and He takes care of me and therefore loving Him is natural and easy. I don't always understand all the fine details of what this relationship needs but the fact will always remain that I know who made me, and makes miracles happen over and over in my life.
Looking out my window and seeing the beauty of the day, assures me that His love is tender and filled with care.
While waiting for the floor to loose its wintry bite, I thought about the olden days in the United States, before telephones, computers and cars. You knew what you knew from your parents, the Bible, your pastor and teachers. They pretty much agreed. Taught the same core things. Now we are bombarded with things from every corner of thought.
You owned a few books if you were lucky. At this point in my life that sounds kind of good. The Amish go to school to the 8th grade, many Mennonites too. No T.V. no radio, no "worldly" books. Things all fit together, they hear the same thing from all around.
The biggest negative in my life is knowing too many philosophies, too many religious options of thought.
I wonder if I could ever recapture that simple belief system ever again. To accept one belief system without any influence from others, I don't mean other people in any personal sense, but rather "other" books, teachings etc.
We strive so hard to live a simple life and we are doing o.k. in that aspect, but simple thought, simple mindset is another whole road to go down. I do know it would bring me peace of mind though.
Life is full of challenges, my newest one will be to find that simple mind set that will settle my questioning mind.

Kindling helps get a fire going in the dark hours of early morning

The fire is cozy now

Red wool socks keep my feet warm


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thoughts of Being 95

In many ways I am conservative. O.k. family members are laughing here, I can hear it across the miles ! Most you have to understand most of my extended family sees me as rather the old hippy, But the fact remains, I am conservative in many ways. Music is not one of them. I don't listen to any of that rap stuff or hip hop, but when it comes to the music of the 1970's well, my taste of those days has stuck with me.
And I like my music loud, never would due to have me in an apartment since my stereo is often on MAX and it really is MAX.
Today I was sitting spinning wool, pewter behind me, woodstove next to me, might be a scene from some old book except, for a few things...... Lynard Skynard belting out Freebird on the stereo, followed by Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull, and Fleetwood Mac base shaking The Chain. The floor is vibrating under me. The tea cups rattling on their tidy shelf.
I tried to get a picture with me in it, but I kept getting blurred as I ran to get behind the wheel before the picture took. I needed more time to my timer !
So here is one of the setting at least. I have on a wild tie dye shirt, jeans and nice woolie socks.
Candles and incense are burning. Its just another perfect day.

I suddenly pictured myself being 95, looking all granny like, wearing a tie dye dress, buttons down the front, proper old lady style and having the stereo booming out the very same music I am now listening to, while quilting or spinning. Kinda a funny mental picture.

Our Greatest Work

As I was walking around the land today, I was doing some pretty heavy thinking. I had been thinking about my other blog and what I had written this week on there.
I thought about what really will matter in the end. I wondered about what my greatest work is in life. What is the most important aspect of this journey on earth.
As my feet were moving me across the green grass, I was making a mental list of my accomplishments and rating them. Its funny but one theme always came to the surface as the most important. Ahead of all others, or necessary for the outcome of what I had always seen as the most important.
In my younger years, I just don't think I understood what my greatest work was.
Raising my family always seemed paramount to all other jobs, but then today I realized that there was something ahead of even that.
I am not ready to tell you just yet, keep reading...
Looking over my own blog, there are accomplishments. Three children who have grown into wonderful adults, contributing to society in such positive ways. Simple living, a loving home, being able to sew, quilt, cook, make soap, spin wool, farm, knit etc. But none of those matter one tiny bit in the end of things. You can be Mrs. Organization, Mrs. Domestic Goddess and its not the most important work you have. Its just an external that might give you some recognition, but never be your legacy.
The work that is our greatest is the work of becoming a better person. Honest person, no games, no hiding, no white lies to cover emotional issues, just a good honest soul. Changing the things about yourself you know deep down are not beneficial to those around you. To stop making excuses for behaviors that are the result of negative influences in our childhood or by making wrong choices somewhere along the line. Its the work of being honest about who we are and what we need to be to be filled with compassion and understanding. Lacking completely in judgmental attitudes and preconceived ideas that were birthed in childhood with a child's perception of the world around them.
So, say you brag. I spent most of my life trying to be better. I know where it came from. Going to Seventh Day Adventist School and not being Adventist. I never fit in, didn't know the songs sung in worship, my parents smoked, and we didn't go to their church on Saturdays. The other kids were never allowed to play with me. I wasn't bad and neither were my parents.
But I was not one of "them". It scarred me, it really did. I can to this day feel the hurt of being excluded or not helped to understand. So I tried to be better than them. Show off. It carried over in my adult life and I knew it, and I knew why. I became a serious over achiever. Maybe you deal with anger or a feeling of inferiority or something. We all carry around childhood truths that no longer serve us well.
I never liked this aspect of myself and have spent the last two years working on it. Admitting it, telling others I don't like that aspect of myself. Sure cuts down on the thrill of others talking about it behind my back : )
I also hate that I get indignant at times by folks that don't understand things as I do. Working on that one too.
My accomplishments as a person, on who I will become now, will be better and in the proper perspective when done with sincere motivation. That is the greatest work, to live with sincere motivation. To work at being a good person for the right reason. Say for instance, there was no heaven, no starry crown, no mansion of gold. You die and that's that. Would you still be good ? Are you being a good person for the selfish reward or just because its the right thing to do, even with no reward ?
Hard questions.
Everyone knows deep down what their issues are and how we react to carrying around our own baggage. If you don't, believe me, others will share with you if you ask and don't loose it when they tell you honestly. And maybe, just maybe you stay so busy that you never have to look inside. Maybe you keep so much noise around you, you cannot even hear your own personal truth about what needs to be worked on.
You know if you are smothering and hovering to others or need to have things so you can prove something to family or friends. You can figure that one out if you look inside.
You know if you tell lies or shop more than you should. You know if you eat too much to numb the hard emotions that you would rather not deal with.
We all know what's wrong, if we sit quiet for a moment and think about it. Maybe we have anger issues and only our nearest and dearest know about it. We look great on the outside but wow, at home we can be a screaming maniac.
We know if we go overboard with our pets and treat them better than we do the humans in our neighborhood. Forgiving their bad habits more than we do the bad habits of those God put in our lives. It show us that we are in need of emotional connection with our children or others in some way. Or maybe we are trying to show love to them the way we wish we had been loved. We know what it is for us. Everyone else knows that about us. People see us without blinders on. So here again our greatest work is to become sincere, compassionate, humble and to be filled with the type of love God shows us. Our greatest work is of course the most difficult. It means thinking about and practicing how to deal with so many situations. It means being honest with ourselves and not making excuses. I have been a good mother I think. My children tell me so and they have turned out to be extraordinary young people, but I know that I would have been a better mother, had I started working on "our greatest work", while they were small, but still I can set an example of how change is benefical at any age and at any stage in life.

Just an Ordinary Day

Yesterday I had nothing to write about for this blog. I had things to do, errands to run, and chose to spend time with Melanie since she had a day off. We went shopping together, how odd it felt to be the one not pushing the grocery cart, but trailing along while she shopped. We traded places at that moment. I felt like the child shopping with an adult. Time on my hands to look at things I had never noticed before in the store. The shocking price of cigarettes. What other people had in their carts, figuring out what kind of diet they had. Most were pretty bad. It was fun just walking behind, not having to think of things I needed or plan a meal as I went along the isles.
I was also given a special gift from my dear gentle-man yesterday. He gave me a years membership to the health club. I adore working out. Love going to the gym. Its not a chore for me but a pleasure.

Just a very ordinary day. Nothing earth shattering, nothing profound. Nothing dull either. I think that sort of day is good for us. We are slave to nothing on such days.
The daytime faded into night with gradual grace. Easy conversation, a trip to Melanie and Casi's house to help them move something heavy. The short drive home, quiet and filled with a warm feeling of satisfaction for such a wonderful family. Ordinary seems to be a good thing indeed

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crisp October Morning


Chilly air seeped through the open windows before dawn, making it almost impossible to drag myself out from under the downy covers. The cool air making noses cold within the walls of the house. Last night it seemed so right to leave windows open, but now, we second guessed that decision.
In no time at all the fire glowed in the stove, casting copper shadows on the shiny wooden floor. Soon a bubbling pot of oatmeal was cooking on the stove, raisins and cinnamon added in, making the house fill up with good morning smells that make a soul feel very hungry.
The wind is still blowing cold from the north. The sky a solid covering of gray flannel clouds.
With Emery off to work, the morning mine, folding clothes that did not dry on the line last night so were brought inside and hung off the pegs on the wall that usually hold sweaters and hats. Morning chores done, a bit of time for some tea and spinning. My old wheel needs some attention. I busy myself with looking at what it needs to work again. All the while my mind fills with visions of what this old wheel has seen and about the hands that held wool for a families needs so long ago. The fire crackles, making me glad I left the door open. Cooking done, the fire now is more for atmosphere than work. The room toasty warm. The front of me, facing the fire as I sit with basket next to me filled with delicious looking wool, is warm, almost hot, but the back of me, chilly. The nature of a fire, warms one side at a time. We need rotating chairs I think. Perfect day for gingerbread men making and bread baking.
This crisp October morning is simply perfect in every way.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Cold North Wind

A cold front came through late this afternoon, dropping our temperature 20 degrees in a short time. It went from summer like to fall in no time at all.
Now its nearly 11 pm and the house is dark. The only light is what comes from the computer screen. The windows are open, despite the cool night air. The wind is chasing itself in swirling madness. The trees are bending and the old farm gate is rattling. My feet are cold, and I am dressed so strangely. A combination of summer and fall. Wool socks, shorts and a brightly colored stripped long sleeve pajama top from Hanna Anderson. Part of me wants to close the window and shut out the north wind but then another part of me is reveling in the cold night air. I thought I heard the pitter patter of rain a bit ago, but it never smelled like rain. Makes me doubt what I heard. Perhaps it was just the wind making noise on the crispy leaves still stubbornly holding onto the tree.
Tomorrow will be a good day for soup. The kind that needs to simmer on the stove all day long, filling the house with that steamy goodness, smelling of carrots and onions and other good thing.
It feels like all is well in my own little world tonight. Emery is asleep in the next room, his easy breathing peppered with a quiet little snore every once in a while. Good sounds, restful sounds. A dog barking in the distance, no doubt worried by some strange scent carried on the wind.
I was thinking about our pony Tony and how he would get so excited when a cold front was approaching. He was a wonderful weather indicator. He would run from one end of the pasture to the other as it was approaching, holding his tail up high and frolicking like a colt. I miss him. Tonight I think I miss farm animals and pails of warm milk being strained, bottled and refrigerated for the mornings use. I miss the smell of barns filled with clean hay and kittens sitting near the milking stand, hoping for a stream of warm milk to be shot in their direction.
The cold air makes me feel homesteadish. It always does.
That big old bed, with the steps at the foot is looking good to me. The feather mattress soft and inviting, tonight I will pull up the down comforter too and be lost in a sea of feathers. Yes, the windows will stay open all night, so I can watch the clouds race across the sky and hear the wind running in circles outside my window.

Its a perfect night.

I have much to be grateful for...

a baby coming in the family

a wedding coming up

cotton knit pajamas that are outrageously comfortable

a husband I adore

children that are a blessing beyond words

Music, all kinds of music

Cold North Wind, playing outside my window

Wool socks

My dads pacemaker was replaced without any problems

Love, compassion, and hope.

And of course, Simple things that make us all smile


Dieting Caution

Out there in blog land and on the internet in general there are lots of folks with advice on dieting. Since I have been writing about my own personal experience with the struggle of weight loss, I did some searching to see what's available.
I want to beg you to make sure you get sound advice when seeking to diet. Make certain you are looking in the direction of a well proven, nutritionally sound diet plan, not just what someone has discovered for themselves. People loose weight just eating just cabbage but that doesn't make it a sound diet. Look for information from an educated dietitian or a well proven plan like Weight Watchers, South Beach, Biggest Losers, SparkPeople or the like. People have their own particular health issues and you need to get wisdom from those that know what works for each situation. Diabetics need special advice as do other health issues.I am shocked at the meal suggestions out there for weight loss. Some of them are treading on dangerous ground and malpractice is alive and well for anyone who gives dietary advice acting like they are experts.
I have done some searches lately since I am dieting seriously and what I have seen out there is beyond words.
Get support from folks who have struggled with their own personal weight issues, and had success, but make sure the diet plan you use is sound and healthy.
There are suggestions we can all share for ways to deal with the issues associated with weight gain but when it comes to suggesting meal plans, please look to the experts.

Hand Made Baby Day Too !


Between my mother, sister Jan and myself there was lots of knitting and crocheting being done when I was expecting Melissa. I kept all the sweet little things that were made and what a treasure the things that were so lovingly made by my mother as she has been gone over 20 years now.
To think of another generation being kept warm in such treasures, is a gift of love that goes beyond words
My mother made such a sweet little shrug and a darling cape that are both so old fashioned in style that makes them all the more special. I have all her old baby knitting patterns and have been dreamily looking over them. Just waiting to know if the yarn should be pink or blue !

Today is Baby Girl Day



Today is baby girl day ! I had so much fun hanging up the little girl dresses, some of which were Melissa and Melanie's when they were babies. How time flies when you are having fun, and fun it has been raising my family. Each and every new stage was delightful and so full of blessings.
I see now that I have no where near the same amount of girl things as boy things, so maybe I should shop some. We all suspect that since I had no boy babies, the need to over compensate has occurred.