Showing posts from December, 2006

The Art of Growing Up

There are very few original thoughts in the world, most every subject has been covered somewhere at sometime and this is no exception.
When I read something profound, I want to mull it over, squeeze the truth out of it and look at it in its most basic element. I am ever so grateful for this thread of wisdom...
On the yahoo group I belong to, French Chic, there is a thread that started from one person reading a quote in the book Entre Nous, the quote is from Edith Wharton stating that the French woman is "in nearly all respects, as different as possible from the average American woman. The French woman is grown-up." Ouch......
My mind went into overdrive thinking about this. Thinking about different cultures where maturity is respected and valued. The adults are indeed grown up. If you start to think about this seriously, you can put together that our culture practically worships youth and our youth are the least respectful of the elders in our society. Could there b…

Very Frightening Day

We just got home from the tornado shelter. The sirens went off this afternoon at 3:50 pm with a tornado expected at 3:58 pm. At the city storm shelter, most of the people there formed a circle and joined in prayer for protection from the tornado, and by the grace of God the tornado went back up, passed over our town and touched down just outside of our town.
We are still under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. so we have everything handy should we have to leave home again. We had some hail the size of ping pong balls. You could hear it beating on the small windows at one end of the shelter, which is the basement of the woman's dormitory of the University down the road from us. It was so stressful being there, wondering if our homes were in one piece.
Melanie and Casi were at our house this afternoon watching the weather reports on TV and then went to the shelter with us.
Melanie and I were shopping today in a neighboring town, we decided to leave around 3 this afternoon and…

A Ramble from yesterday

There is a chill in the air and a blustery wind blowing . The sun was setting, filling the sky with pink clouds and pink vapor trails from jet planes, making the sky look like a giant etch- a- sketch.
It felt good to be outside in this kind of weather. Its invigorating. My hands were pink from cold as I shot a few baskets at the old worn out basketball hoop, the very same one that the boys played with for years. I got 10 out 15 shots.
The whole time I was shooting the basketball I was thinking only about making the basket. Feeling positive and shooting with intention. When I quit playing to lock up the chickens in the hen house for the night, I took the time to look around. They sky was beautiful, baby colors. Pink in a blue sky. The moon half full and glowing white.
It was difficult to stay on task. There was so much to see. Birds flying from here to there, something moving in the woods. Clothes needing to be pulled in off the clothes line, but I wanted to explore.
I w…

Our "Herd" of Cats

Aya watching Tuk Tuk as he heads off to a tree, ready to pounce on him if he misbehaves
Tuk Tuk loves to have his picture taken and will pose for me.
Ling Ling looking so sweet
And old man Smokey laying in the grass next to the rosemary.

Spring in Winter

Nature seems a bit confussed and things are blooming in my yard. Our cottonwood tree has buds also.
The first picture is of some little weed blooming in our front yard
Wisteria putting out tiny buds
And my paperwhites blooming as if it were spring.

Christmas Day

What a delightful Christmas we had ! A day filled with fun, laughter, good gifts and lots of love. Only one thing seemed wrong with the day and that was the fact that Melissa and James were not here with us.
How much we all missed Melissa. We talked several times on the phone, but its not the same as being together.
My family showered me with delightful meaningful gifts, each present assuring me that my family knows me well.
Today I was brave and went shopping for 50% off wrapping paper and Christmas cards for next year.
Just so happened that all the Hello Kitty ornaments and Christmas decorations were 50 % off too, so had to get some for gifts for next year.
The stores were not crowded, making shopping fun. A quick trip to Starbucks made the morning extra special, thanks to a Starbucks gift card I was given.
Tonight Emery and I met Melanie and Casi in the store where we all looked at baby beds and all sorts of baby equipment.
She needs everything but clothing for the baby !
What fun to be p…

Christmas Eve From Our House to Yours

On this Christmas Eve, we prepare to celebrate a very special day. A day of family, of love and of hope. Hope for many blessings of the coming new year.
We are so blessed this year as a family. Two of our children found and married their soul mates, making complete that our children have all found great and abiding love in life. What more could parents want for their children !
And now we are expecting two wee ones in the coming year. Yes, two...can you guess the parents of baby #2 ?
Our year has been so full, we have felt blessing after blessing poured out to us. We have been touched by wonderful friends and dear family. We celebrated 28 years of marriage, and can only say that our love has grown more each and every day.
Christmas has become a consumer holiday, often times forgetting what the man stood for, whose birthday we celebrate on this day. A man of peace and compassion. It would be a wonderful gift from us to give what he taught us to give. Love, unconditional…

T'was the Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas to Each of you, and on this Christmas eve, I wish to share with you my all time favorite poem. May your lives all be filled with love, hope, compassion and the real meaning of Christmas !

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.The children were nestled all snug in their beds,While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.Away to the window I flew like a flash,Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snowGave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.With a little old driver, so lively…


Melanie and Casi stopped by this afternoon and Melanie decided to check out just how nice the new pram is. The pram got pushed around the living room a bit. She was getting ready to go home, so that is why she had on her coat and wasn't that cold in the house : )
She just looks so cute and happy, but then I might be a bit bias ! We are hoping to find out if I should be knitting with pink or blue yarn by the first or second week of January.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup “Smart Balance” butter spread ( I used Earth Balanace, I really like it)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar, packed (I used Sucanat)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
10 oz. package chocolate chips
Fat: 4.1g
Carbohydrates: 18.2g
Protein: 1.5g
1. Mix together Smart Balance and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and continue mixing. Slowly add the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With a wooden spoon, mix in the oatmeal and chocolate chips.2. Cook at 375° F for 10-12 minutes.Makes 3 dozen (36 cookies). One cookie equals one serving.
Not sure where this recipe came from, I has it in my recipe files, but I sure like it. The cookies are fantastic. Moist, chewy, and not the least bit heavy. Next time I make them I think I will use 1 cup whole wheat and 3/4 white. I used not so healthy chocolate mint chips,…

Thoughts on a Winter Day

Maybe its my age. Maybe its all I have seen in life. Maybe its just a general weariness from watching the way people in need are ignored in the world. Homeless people seem invisible to us, starving children on the t.v. don't seem real. Asian workers in U.S. territories living and working in slave like conditions making things we purchase without a care of how they were made. It doesn't have to be this way. And Christmas time is a good time to make some changes in how we all see things.
Young families just starting out with so little. We might say it's good for them to do without or shake our heads when they use a credit card to buy food. Maybe we should pay their bill when we see them take out that plastic. And just tell them to remember to pass it on some time in life.
All of us know that "all beginnings are hard" so why not help out.
Does it even matter if they mismanage their money a bit ? Did you ever do that ? I did.
When our first child was bor…

Our Light

Holiday time brings out the best in people. Folks give more, have more compassion on those less fortunate and seem to remember a bit about the message of the birthday boy.
The world seems to get caught up in daily living for 11 months of the year. Forgetting that our real purpose in life is to end the suffering of others.
As humans in a world that is no longer small, we should consider how we live our life. Is it for our pleasure only, or to make the world a better place ?
Actually I believe the greatest pleasure, the greatest joy comes from living a life that reaches out to others.
This is what letting our light shine means. It doesn't matter what religion you are, compassion is the root to most of them. We no longer live in a small world, its global. All of us know what is happening to people all over the world. We know about AIDS orphans, starvation, genocide and so much more. Happening to people with all the same emotions we have. Yes, this is an idealistic thou…

For the Love of Home

This morning I gave myself permission to just stay home and pitter patter around the house. I had an appointment with my trainer for a workout session, but I felt less than energetic. Not sick, but not rearing to go either. I just wanted to stay home all day long.
Its nearly 10 in the morning and I am still in my pajama's. The fire is glowing, some favorite music playing on the stereo, Loreena McKennitt's CD Book of Secrets and my all time favorite CD of hers, The Visit. I made myself some peppermint coffee, had some toast made with Carrot bread, sat down and just listened to the music. Got a couple ameretti cookies after the toast was gone.
Burned some incense, exotic smells to go along with the music. Ancient sounds mixed with new. A blending of emotions from times past and present.
There is no better place in the world to me than this little house of ours. Its real. No pretending. Its a structure that holds our needs and our love. It doesn't own us…

Winter Solstice

Tonight a bit after sunset here, it officially became winter. To me Winter Solstice is always such a pleasant occasion, as winter is by far my favorite season. A time to hibernate a bit and enjoy the warmth and coziness of home. To do baking, knitting, and spinning. A time to wear my woolen shawl and home made wool socks.
To prepare for holidays and take the time to show appreciation for those we love.
I am fighting off a cold tonight, during Tai chi I felt hot and cold, my lips felt like they were burning and my eyes were watering. My bones achy.
Came home and did all my herbal remedies and took a nice long nap. Colds and flu are just part of the season, but I sure am going to fight this one off. I hope to win !
Picture of the late afternoon sky yesterday, taken looking east from my garden.

Tonights Sunset

Some pictures just don't need words !

this picture was taken off my front porch

A Christmas Goose, just where she should be

The ducks and geese were enjoying the wet weather today. They even seemed eager to pose for me.
I love the way the colors of the landscape come alive when rain has fallen. In a span of about a hour I took over 100 pictures today. Its hard to pick just a few to share with you all.
I was happy to be able to get a fairly good picture of a bird I am not familiar with so I could hopefully identify it from one of my bird books.
Today was a keen reminder to me that the simple beauty of nature is one of the most soothing visuals we have available to us.
It didn't cost me a dime today to have hours of enjoyment and pleasure. The walk was good, the air clean and invigorating and the scenery breathtaking. Simple pleasures.

I am no fan of eating a goose, and would much rather see them walking and squawking then on a serving plate. Much rather feed them, then be fed them.

Perfect Decorator

I have been held in awe of the skyscapes of the last few days. This morning we woke to rain, wind and chilly air.
On my way to the gym, my heart filled with delight at the changing clouds in the sky. They were breathtaking in their subtleness. No flashy colors, just muted shades of gray that ebbed and flowed as if they were an ocean of clouds. You could pick out the painted waves of a Japanese woodblock, or the pencil drawings of winter skys in a favorite book.
I had to stop at the health food store and instead of hopping out of the car, I found myself sitting there, gazing out the car window, mesmerized by the shapes and the softness of the sky. There were some clouds that were a bit puffy, but orderly. There was something familiar about them, but I couldn't think of what it was, then it came to me, they looked like my Grandmothers curls. Soft and full of those wonderful colors of aging hair. White, gray and true to form for the times, they had a touch of that purple-blu…


It is a long way off until the day breaks. Early morning silence prevails and graces this new day with time to think, time to reflect and time to listen to each heart song.
Outside the window, the pinkish lights of the school playground, although a mile away, these lights color the fog heavy sky with a hint of color. The now naked limbs of the trees standing dark against this man induced color sky. I am fascinated by the way the branches appear to be reaching up, like an old mans hands, full of veins and thinness. Its difficult to take my eyes off them, they are waving in the wind, but not gracefully as when there are leaves on the trees, now they appear more jerky in motion, less fluid. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we speak of old age as being the winter of life. The beauty is there all the same, maybe even more so. Less is hidden.
I love the morning silence. It gives way to deeper thinking, evaluating ones personally philosophy is possible when sitting in silence, gazi…

Being Willing To Learn

The last week has shown me something, a lesson right in front of my face, proof too of its importance has been obvious, now the question I willing to learn from this.
Most of my adult life I have known about eating healthy and from time to time I practice healthy eating. Seriously healthy eating. Often times with the zeal of a missionary, but then I fall off the wagon, loose my enthusiasm and drive. No, loose my discipline, that's what it really is. The other factors are minor. I am not disciplined.
Please, never think I am being hard on myself when I say how I see it , because that's all it is, not guilt, remorse, just facing the facts and that allows me to learn. I am willing to learn, willing to see where I go wrong. Willing to put priorities back in line.
This past week I have eaten things I have not been eating for a long time, due to their negetive affect on my body. Things like potato chips, onion dip made with sour cream and dry soup mix, salty thin…

The Fog of a Winter Afternoon

The warmth of the morning gave way to the chilly air arriving from the north, the result was a thick fog rolling in and hiding the earth.
It seemed forever morning, never getting lighter than what is normally early morning light.
Of course I had to head out with the camera and grab some shots. The local duck pond seemed the perfect place to go and much to my surprise seagulls were everywhere. We are 5 hours at least from any ocean. They soared over my head, so close I could almost touch them. From the time I was a child I loved watching seagulls and have had them eat from my hand many times.
The ground was wet, and soon my shoes were soaked but I cared not. It was invigorating and the air made my skin feel soft and youthful.
I could have stayed there all day feeding ducks and watching the gulls but it was time to head off to tai chi. On the drive to class, the fields looked like moist golden hair. It took all I had to keep driving and not go wandering the fields. I did st…

Around the House

Here are a few pictures that I took today around the house. The first two are of the living room taken from one end and then the other end of the room. The next picture is of the guest room.
I will take some more pictures later. Since the house is all tidy from the party, its a good time to take some pictures !