Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thank you !


Thank you so much to all who are praying for Melanie. What a comfort to know that her name is being lifted up in prayer by so many.
With just two full days left before I leave for Boston I have been trying to get a bunch of cooking done for the freezer for the family to have while I am gone. It was a good way to use up some of my nervous energy. I made up lots of French toast, sweet potato pancakes and several casseroles today.
By late afternoon, my bones were weary so I sat down to a cup of tea. Tea is comfort to me. Since my mood was a bit on the heavy side, my Baileys Irish coffee cup seemed perfect with its funny little expression.
As the sun was setting tonight I watered all the plants out front, which is always a special quiet time for me. There was a new "lace" edge on one of my plants. These bugs seemed to follow a pattern.
Its time for me to head to bed. It will be an early morning as we have to be in Ft Worth by 8 am. Tonight I will be able to sleep peacefully, knowing so many are praying for Melanie. I hope they will be able to take care of the problem tomorrow and not have to wait until Monday, when I am gone.
Thank you again for all the prayers.




Melanie Update


Just a bit of an update on Melanie. She has massive bleeding in her eye and has to go to a retina specialist to have it corrected. The ophthalmologist today said he didn't want to touch it and so we head to Ft Worth first thing in the morning to see a new doctor.
Keep her in your prayers please.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Diabetic Handbag by Adorn Designs is Amazing



Melanie has been diabetic since she was 7 years old. Its not an easy road to be on. For years she took care of herself like a model diabetic, then in the late teen years and on, she was just plain sick and tired of being diabetic. Tired of having a disease.
Tomorrow she has to go to the ophthalmologist to have her eyes looked at. It seems she is facing the results of some high blood sugars. A right in your face reality check for her. She is not invincible after all.
We were talking today about ways to make it easier for her to take good care of herself. Not missing shots etc. She has to have 4 shots a day, and supposed to check her blood about 5 times a day. Not a nice thing to be poked that many times every single day.
We looked on line for something less medical looking for her to carry her supplies in. At 23 you sure don't want to be carrying around some geriatric looking bag for your medical needs.
We found the most amazing handbag. Its a bit expensive but worth it in my mind. To be able to carry all your diabetic needs and not look like you have something "wrong" with you.
Made by a diabetic for diabetic ladies. Its perfect.
The link to order them is
http://www.adorndesigns.com/index.asp If you are diabetic take a look at these handbags. We put in an order right away. I am excited about this purse. I am hoping it will make life easier for Melanie. Make it less of a deal to carry her medical needs around. There is a place for an ice pack in this purse so you can carry your insulin all day long. Of course I am not getting anything for sharing this information. I just think its great and wish someone would have shared it with us.
Melanie decided to update her testing kit a few months ago. She is a real Hello Kitty fan which is reflected in the testing kit look.
Sometimes we who are healthy forget about difficult it can be to deal with the day to day aspects of having a disease for which there is no cure.
I am praying tomorrow will be just a warning, a wake up call and that Melanie is not loosing any vision. Maybe you can say a little prayer for her too. So much going on right now for her, with the wedding in August, a new job opportunity coming up. She doesn't need one more thing to deal with.

Pictures The handbag
Melanies testing kit, a bit customized

Monday, May 29, 2006

I Have Been Struggling With This

Last week I had a conversation with a man that has his words bothering me big time. I think I may just pop if I don't write about it.
By chance I was talking to someone about a young lady we both knew. Seems this girl has gotten pregnant, and is marrying the father. She is probably 22 or 23 now.
This "devout Christian" man with whom I was speaking said. "we were invited to the wedding but we sent a letter saying, "we would not attend". He explained it this way to me, "its bad enough she is pregnant but to marry the father is just another bad choice." I assumed the guy (father to be) must be a jerk or something, but no that is not the reason, its that this mans pastor said, "its a mistake to marry someone because you are pregnant." Maybe so in some instances and maybe not in others. But to judge someone so young in this manner, knowing she has a less than wonderful home life just seems so un-Christ like. So many people have sex before they are married but because they don't get pregnant, they find it easy to pass judgment on those that do. We are not to judge anyway. That is just plain and simple.
Seems to me Christ preached about forgiving 7 times 7 times 7. And he was kind to Mary, who had less than a desirable reputation.
This poor young girl is doing the best she knows how. Wouldn't it be better to go to her wedding, open up a door to help her with all the future big decisions she will be making? Help her with this next generation rather than send her a letter saying, we cannot support you and as he said, " we have to draw the line somewhere". What line ? Who made the line ? Is he free from sin, that he can cast a stone ? I found myself almost hoping one of his sons gets a girl pregnant and then how will this man feel, well no, he may just draw such a line with his own son. So no I don't really wish that on him, but you know how we all have thoughts about people when they are unjust and judgmental.
Where is the love in this man and woman's heart for a young girl going through so much. Maybe they pray for her, but what about how she feels towards Christians as a whole now ?
I hate injustice. And I think this is so unjust. Unkind and so unloving. The worst part being that this man is so self righteous. Makes me want to be very careful on what I say about judgment, even about him. I am not trying to judge him and what he has said is just another sad turn of events. But sometimes unkindness is so blatant, it jumps out at you and its simply a fact. I won't stop talking to this man or be unkind to him and maybe I could thank him for what a lesson he has taught me that passing judgment on anyone should be for the Creator of the Universe and Him alone.
There I feel better getting this off my chest. I just hate to see people shunned for a mistake when none of us are free from sin.

My Walking Stuff and Melissa's Hike



Always ready for a walk or a good hike, my backpack hangs off the peg board in my living room along with my binoculars and hat.
Melissa and James went for a hike today complete with all the goodies for a picnic. Caterpillars were hanging from the sky it seemed and bugs were in abundance along with this fella climbing up a tree. Once to the lake, they decide that nature was providing way too many creepy crawly things as company so the picnic happened in the living room.

here's some quotes to think about....

"The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose."
Charles Dickens

"If you want to know if your brain is flabby, feel you legs."
Bruce Barton

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I--I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference."
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

The Rest of the Photos from this morning



Rambling Around My Own Backyard







Today is probably a big shopping day for some folks, that extra day off from work. I decided to do a little natures window shopping. Shopping for photos that speak about my ordinary day filled with extraordinary sights. I would much rather look at the colors and sights in nature than walk in a mall. The air clean, silence all around me. My thoughts my own and no one forcing "wants" on me by way of maze like isles, designed with knowledge on how our brain works and how we look to this direction more than that and how this way will take you to the next item, carefully displayed to reach into our brain and make us loose reason. Feeling like we NEED what we don't.
This morning I stepped off the back step, painted white, a silly color to paint steps since it shows the myriad of cat and dog prints daily, but off the bottom step, a tiny bit of blue, a weed, which in reality "weed" is only the name of a misplaced flower, this blue greets me, calling me to examine it. Perfectly made. Creation at its finest. Morning glories have won the battle, they grow where they want, no matter how I have pulled them up. They will strangle the vegetables in no time if let to go on their own. So pretty, but another misplaced flower that can be called weed at times.
Mullein ready to bloom. Dip the blooms in wax and you have torches to light the night. Pull the blossom, carefully with tweezers, put them in olive oil and you suddenly have medicine for ear aches. Sunflowers all around me. Another weed, until you decide you like them. Bouncing Bet, or soapwort, taking over the small spot I had planted them in. Lightly fragrant. Much like an overgrown mutant carnation. I like them.
Blue sky, fluffy clouds. Summer.
Out front, flower beds, old and rambling, full of color. Planted more out of like for the plant than for any arrangement but it turned out well. English garden look, maybe. Gardens should be planted for the love of the plant, rather than for proper placement in the eyes of graph paper. Tiny spiders, zig zag stitches extraordinaire. I never made it to the back of the property, my walk well designed by Nature, took me to the next spot naturally and with ease. So many places to look in a small area. Simple life. No money spent shopping for me today.
I haven't even brushed my hair or put on shoes. But I heard the tiny house wren calling out to another, and saw the red of the cardinal jump from branch to branch. Hawks soared overhead, a crow in hot pursuit. Couldn't ask for a better morning.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bargin Shopping


Goodwill shopping or any thrift store shopping for that matter is always a hit or miss thing.
This past Friday I stopped in to see what they had and found a nice cotton dress, giggle here as it was a Ralph Lauren. Funny since I just posted about cotton with a designer label, anyway it was just $6 with the tags still on. But my good find as a bunch of cookbooks. I love to cook, and actually use the cookbooks I get. Since Friday I have been pouring over the books and getting some ideas of what I want to try first. Also got a few other good reads. Love books.
Got all the books for $20 which if bought new would add up to about $170. Like that kind of savings
.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Looking Back, An Old Hippy Remembers & Rambles On



Today Emery and I listened to the top 500 most requested hits of the year on our favorite oldies station. I noticed a huge change in the songs picked this year from last year. Last years songs were from before my time. This year there were lots of disco songs, and hippy songs like Spirit in the Sky. I suspect the people who have been requesting songs this year are all about my age since the songs picked were the ones that flooded me with memories and took me back to the things I was doing and the places I went when those songs were popular. Music connects us more than anything to times past. Sure pictures do but songs, wow, they just let you feel what you felt when that song was a hit. For me, I can go back to camping at Harold Parker 30 years ago and smell the campfire, see the radio hanging in a tree and feel the same emotions I felt so long ago when I hear "Long Cool Woman in a Black dress" play on the radio after all these years. Apathy flees from me when I hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sing the words "Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming." For a moment while the song is playing, I wonder where all that idealism has gone.
Tonight, Emery and I talked about how so many of our generation has sold out. In the old days we (meaning baby boomers as a generation) wore love beads, talked about our parents as "plastic people" and hated how our fathers worked so much and didn't emotionally connect with us because they were busy making money. We called them "materialistic". And now here we are, bigger houses and bigger cars than they ever imagined. Our love beads replaced by ear pieces to things like lap tops, cell phones, blackberries and the like. Now instead of children missing their fathers like in the song "Cats in the Cradle" kids can now sing a version where no parent is around to toss the ball with them. We didn't learn or we forgot. Guess these kids are going to be way to busy for us at some point in time, maybe that will be nursing home time for us. Yes, I am generalizing here and not everyone has all or even some of these aspects to their lives, but you get what I am saying. Not everyone was a hippy or a rebel with a cause but no one escaped knowing what was going on in our generation.
To be honest, today I would rather see peace symbols on cars bumpers than to see so much anger on the roads.
The term "plastic people" that was used in the late 60's and early 70's, meant superficial, now it could stand for "what's in your wallet" and your amount of debt. You go places and hear yuppies talking loud about all that they have. What have we become ?
Long ago, we wore cotton clothing, ate veggie foods, sang about peace and love. We may still wear cotton clothing as baby boomers, but we like a designer label attached to it. We eat health foods but ones bought in gourmet, over priced stores instead of growing it ourselves or in a communal plot. We don't sing about love and peace anymore. Not sure we sing anymore. Maybe we lost that too.
Our children that were once carried around in slings and back packs were not going to be part of this materialistic world we thought. Wrong....... they are consumers extraordinaire ! We didn't stay non-materialistic long enough to convince our children that things are not what's important. Most college kids are in credit card debt up to their eyeballs. And I am not talking school debt. What they see, they want and what they want they buy. How did that happen? We didn't want that for them. We read Mother Earth News. Had tee shirts that said things like "Save the Whales" on them. We have graduated to matching Capri's and shirts with embroidered flowers that match the trim on the Capri's. Neat and tidy and full of apathy.
We have our hair done, nails done, face lifts, tummy tucks and think of it as necessary.
A couple years ago I was at a real estate investment class and was talking to some of the instructors. Millionaires both. They were talking about getting into politics and I mentioned that wasn't for me. I protested in the early 70's and probably had an FBI file on me. They asked what I belonged to then and I said, just the SDS, (students for a Democratic Society) and they laughed, they had too. Idealisms then that they sold out to. Now money was everything to them. Fancy cars, mansions and the like.
I felt good saying I lived simple, small house, garden, earth shoes on my feet, but I still wanted to invest. What for ? I am not sure.
The music tonight made me think about all the things I once held dear, idealism, hope, a bit of an activist heart, desire to not be a "plastic person" and feeling like I could make the world a better place.
Sure I know that the hippy days had a down side. Fortunately one I avoided. Free love, drugs and that sort of thing was a cop out for facing stuff. Maybe trying to fill a void of some kind. Maybe Zoloft and other meds like that which are so widely prescribed today have taken the place of pot smoking for people our age that still feel that same void from 30 years ago. I don't know. Just guessing. Just thinking out loud. I do know there are exceptions and that idealism is still out there, somewhere. I know we all want peace in the world and would rather love than hate, but just not sure why we have stopped talking about it or why we watch and support so much violence on TV and in movies. Entertainment consists of things like Americas Funniest Home Videos where the biggest laughs come from people getting hurt .

pictures....
psychedelic tights from 1971. I loved them then and love them now. Just don't have anyplace to wear them : )
Me, picking blueberries in the woods, an earth child.
Emery, long hair...bell bottoms, wish they were in the picture, stripped things.

grateful for... the simple things like fresh vegetables from the garden, the sound of my spinning wheel. Pottery, and Peter Max. Earth Shoes and cotton clothing, hand made socks, soap made in my kitchen, incense, memories and music, and most of all, for hope and idealism.



Melissa and the Quilt


Can you tell I am a bit anxious to see Melissa and James ???
Here is Melissa holding the tie dye quilt. I mailed it off to her last week so she could have it before her birthday. She loves it and said it just makes you feel happy. I am so glad she likes it. When I mailed it, the ladies at the post office wanted me to show it to them. Its a small country post office where everyone knows one another real well. The workers are like old friends.
Melissa and James went out for Sushi with my sisters today before heading for home. Melissa is eating her salad with chopsticks.
Also included is a picture of Melissa and James in front of the Liberty Bell in Philly in April.

I am indeed feeling mighty blessed to have such wonderful children.

That's a Lot of U.T. Stuff


Melissa's birthday is June 8th so its coming up pretty quick. I am so glad we will get to spend it together, well a day late but still, close enough. I miss her so much !
Her mother in law sent her a huge box filled to the brim with University of Texas stuff. It looks like she bought out the UT store ! James has a perfect expression on his face regarding the AMOUNT of UT things.
Melissa and James spent the weekend with my sisters and I am so jealous, but in two weeks I will be with her too.
Just had to share this picture, its so funny.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Cafe on The Run at Central Market Ft Worth




Weekends are often the time that Emery and I leave the old homestead for a more up town sort of experience. One place we love to go is Central Market in Ft Worth. Its a wonderful market with fantastic gourmet foods, the best meats and produce to be found. The market also has the best gelato around. On the weekends they have live music at their Cafe On The Run. You purchase your food in the store and sit outside at the cafe and listen to the music. They sell beer and wine outside for you too. We usually get some bread, cheese and wine and of course some gelato. Never more than kiddy size though. Tonight I had violet flavor and Emery had Chocolate Hazelnut.
We had to wait for a table as the cafe was packed with people tonight enjoying the balmy evening air and the music. It was a country western group tonight and they were good although I must admit that I am no fan of country music as a rule. We had a nice fresh loaf of Pain de Champagne sliced for us and had havarti with herbs for our cheese. I had wine and Emery had French Limeade. We sat gazing into each others faces as young lovers do, unaware that we have been married so long now. The rest of the world seemed a haze to us as though we were the only ones there. We munched on a few Dutch mints for a special treat. All too soon the sky darkened to a deep cobalt blue and the musicians played their last song. We drove past down town Ft Worth on our way home. The sky lit up from the lights of our few skyscrapers. Easy Jazz playing on the car radio. Our food shopping of croissants and cheeses filled the car with the smell of a bakery and cheese market. A good combination of smells.
Back home we hear the chirping of crickets and smell the scent of dew laden grass. The sky black and seemingly endless. Stars twinkling as jewels on velvet. So different from the pale darkness of the city, where only the brightest of stars shine.
The chickens needing to be locked up and a few other farm chores needing to be done before we head to bed.
Melanie and Casi waiting for us like anxious parents. Both of them sitting on the sofa waiting to hear about our night. A sure sign we don't go out very often after all.
We left a note !
The roles seemed reversed and we chuckled over it.
As I climb into bed and close my eyes, I will remember the night and the way that Emery looked into my eyes and said so much without words spoken. Love is indeed a beautiful thing. We have waited so long to date again. The years with children gloriously wonderful but so isn't this new phase of life.
I stick the French cafe music in the CD player as if to recapture just a bit of the nights atmosphere. It works. I feel transported back a few hours in time to the cafe, where voices carry above the music and wine bottles clink when picked up. Most women are dressed in lovely outfits, casual but matched with all the right accessories. You get the feeling they read fashion magazines. The children in shorts and tee shirts, playing in the grass and dancing to the music. The people were almost all thin there. We notice it every time we shop there. I wonder what the difference is. America is 67% overweight, but not at this market and cafe.
It has been a night where I have experienced the best of both worlds, city and country.
This country mouse went to visit all the city mice tonight and had a great time.

Loving the Land

This mornings phone call of nearly two hours put me behind schedule. I had planned on mowing before it got too hot. That didn't happen. I ended up heading outside just after 11 and mowing for an hour. It was hot. Sweat kept falling off my brow and landing on the soil. Each drop that fell made me think of those before me who had worked the land by the sweat of their brow. I was just mowing and its not particularly difficult work, but it was enough that my thoughts kept returning to the concept of loving your land. I can think of so many times that Emery comes in soaked in sweat after turning the soil for the garden. Done with a shovel, no machine, his strength, his energy and the land watered by the sweat from his brow. With each fence post hole dug, each tree planted, each seed carefully laid in the ground, there is love.
When we lived in our nice California home, it never felt like ours. The yard the size of a patio. The front of the house groomed like a pet by gardeners. Not one drop of our sweat went into that soil. The house was just a house. A place to live. No one felt attached to it.
Here in our simple little home, where children's laughter has mingled with its frame, and where memories walk the rooms freely and easily, this is the place we call home and will always be home.
Gardens full of color and beautiful scents remind us all of some time we did this or that. A seed trade is responsible for the double hollyhocks in the picture. We loved them so but also can laugh now about how Steven pulled each and ever one out of the ground. He was "weeding". We still laugh about it now but at the time the young man got quite a scolding from me.
All part of life and part of our history on this land.
It almost felt like some sort of sacred moment today as I watched drop after drop of my sweat fall like great rain drops onto this land.
In the great scheme of things I can be thankful for the long phone call, it made me go out in the heat, work in less than perfect conditions and receive a lesson that will not be lost in time. I saw just how much I love this land. Another part of a simple life that gives so much back to the heart.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Funny Story

I know this picture was just on my blog a short while ago, but it goes with the story I am about to share with you.
Sometimes life is more interesting than fiction. Today Melanie came home from work with a story to tell.
She had me sit down in the living room while she retold the events that took place.
It seems someone came into her store to buy something and she had to take the mans address. She saw the address and commented that she too lived in that town. He said he had lived there for about a year and really liked it and then he told her about this house in the town that he loved. Said it was a Thomas Kincaid sort of house and someday he was going to own it. He had to own it at some point in life as he loves it so much. He told her about how he drives past it every day and it seems they plant more flowers all the time and its so neat and tidy and how they have trees growing everywhere. Said the house was just a perfect country home. He has even asked people in the community about this house. He then told Melanie it was a yellow house and named the street. He said it has pine trees out front and she just started to laugh. He said he had heard that the people lived there for over 20 years. She said, "no just about 13 years." He asked, "how do you know?" "Well, its my parents house and I live there and it will never be for sale. When they die, its going to be mine." He looked so shocked to find out he was talking about her house and was a bit embarrassed since he was so sure he was going to OWN it some day.
He told her it was just a house that made you want to live there. A house that was a home. The true Thomas Kincaid house. He went out the store and came right back in. He saw her car and said, "yup, that's the car I see parked outside that house." He went away sighing.
Whenever I have thoughts about wishing the house was this or that, I am going to think of this funny story and remember just how sweet a house it is.

The Little Home

Edgar A. Guest
The little house is not too small
To shelter friends who come to call.
Though low the roof and small its space
It holds the Lord's abounding grace,
And every simple room may be
Endowed with happy memory.
The little house, severely plain,
A wealth of beauty may contain.
Within it those who dwell may find
High faith which makes for peace of mind,
And that sweet understanding which
Can make the poorest cottage rich.
The little house can hold all things
From which the soul's contentment springs.'
Tis not too small for love to grow,
For all the joys that mortals know,
For mirth and song and that delight
Which make the humblest dwelling bright.

I Needed a Coffee Fix after that last post


After my intense therapy session in the last post I decided to sit down to tall glass of Greek Iced Coffee while listening to Josh Groban sing to me.
Seems to have been just what I needed.

Self Therapy : )


It probably comes as no surprise to any of you that I don't like pictures of myself. It would be very easy for me to hand my camera to Emery and ask him to take a picture. But I am always whining, " I look to fat". " My hair is a mess" or " I am bloated" . So the poor man never gets to take a picture of me.
But today I was thinking, why not show you the worst picture of me, face it all and just get over with it. Then when I share other pictures of me with you, you will be thinking I look pretty good. And besides it has to be some sort of therapeutic thing to share your most horrid picture when you have " PHOTO PHOBIA" . Sounds reasonable to me anyway. So here I am just stepped off the treadmill (too hot outside to run) after running 6 mph for a couple miles. Think I took a break once between miles for a minute to answer the phone. The angle of me holding the camera makes my nose look kinda big, and lets just say the flash makes my coloring a bit off. But I am sending it anyway. Have a laugh, its ok. Don't feel bad.
So here I am, all sweaty, hair a mess and of course no makeup or jewelry. Not that I wear any anyway.
How's that for facing up to my photo fear phobia ???

I am woman hear me roar !

Dreaming Kind of Day


Perhaps the glass bottles have inspired me more deeply than I had realized. I woke this morning with an eye on everything in my house. Almost wondering if I would like to get a job so I could afford this and that to make the house more of what I would like. Dark rich woods, primitive. Old pieces of crockery and pewter placed here and there. Hand-woven coverlets placed on the beds, really old ones that have the scent of the past forever in their threads, full of old stories held in silence in their patterns.
Endless supplies of hand dipped bayberry candles. The thought of going to work lasts but a brief moment.
With some reasoning in my own mind I figure it is possible to save for the things I would really like to own. I woke with dreams of having my home look the like houses in my cherished old copies of Country Living.

Maybe its that I like that feeling of being connected with my own history. My fathers family arrived in the United States in 1634. My husbands family came on the Winthrop fleet in 1630 . Our families have married more than once through the centuries. On my mothers side, they came on the Mayflower. I am the 10th great granddaughter of Francis Cooke. So our history in this country is a long one and it fills me with a love for Early American things. I once thought that most of my mothers family were German but found that was only on my paternal grandfathers side. Digging your family history is very enlightening ! I wonder what life was like in the 1600's for each of my family members I know by name. You can find things you never imagined.
At breakfast I leafed through my magazines, dreaming like a little girl about what her house will look like when she grows up. Maybe we never outgrow that as females. Always wanting to refine or enhance what we have in our homes. With a sigh, I know that all too soon I will be needing to redo Melanie's bedroom. So dream I do, of rope beds, black and maple furnishings or maybe buttermilk painted. Homespun looking curtains with inside shutters. Rich color woodwork, off white walls. A thick feather mattress. Quilts. Maybe an old child's rocker in a corner. I took out the plans we have for a hooded cradle, wondering if some winter soon there will be a wee one sleeping in it, warm by the fire, me gently rocking this wee one watching the baby's eyelashes grow as Finn spoke of in one of her comments on my blog.
So many dreams to dream each day.....

music... Martin Best Medieval Ensemble "Troubadour"
Tea..... the last of my Maple Tea from Melissa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Memory

Both my mother and grandmother loved colored glass. In every window in our house we had little Fenton pieces of glass in all sorts of colors. My mother liked the cranberry color and red but we had gold's and blues too. Not much in green. Somehow no one in my family has ever liked green things except in nature.
My mother decorated our house in a colonial early American style which is still my favorite style. We had these wonderful old bottles in the dining room or sometimes the kitchen. I always liked the funny shaped faces on those bottles. Since I was married I have never seen bottles like that. But today at Goodwill, there were three bottles just like my mothers. $2 each. I know I have been decluttering and such but these were just too sentimental to pass up. I washed them up, stuck them on the window sill in my dinning room and sat there looking at them. Thinking about my mother. Wish she could see my house, she would like it. She has been gone so long now but not a day passes when she is not in my thoughts.
Here are my new bottles. Catching the sun, casting colorful shadows on the table and on the floor.
A reminder of love.

A Couple More Photos


More Photos from this Morning



Mullein, the white sun of the early moring cloud cover, a new rose.

What My Mornings Are Made Of




Sometimes the picture inspires the words and sometimes the words make me seek a picture.
This morning I can't decide which way it should be. I woke to the sky changing from darkness to an almost lavender blue morning. It was still and quiet.
Now as I look out the window, the sun in gone, covered by grayness and there is wind blowing all the branches in wild movements. Nothing seems to be moving in the same direction. It all seems random and confused. There isn't rain in the forecast, but it sure looks like it should be.
The birds are silent. Never a comforting thing in my mind. It seems un-natural and foreboding. The sun, pale and weak looking. White light and not golden and bright. Strolling around with my camera looking for something to catch my eye, I stand in one spot trying to catch the sun peeking through the clouds, looking more like a nightlight than our bright sun.
But in a moments time, I see a patch of blue sky. The heavy damp air seems to instantly feel lighter and less oppressive. My whole outlook towards this strange morning changes. Its just low level cloudiness and it will pass quickly. Funny how we are so influenced by what is around us that it can set the mood for the day and it can all change as fast as the clouds soar by.
Hornets nests, mullein, roses, bee on yarrow, Echinacea, cats kissing, pale sun and patch of blue sky. All what this morning is made of.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Benefits of Simple Things

Due to excessive stress in my life a couple years ago from our youngest adopted son, I developed high blood pressure. I suppose having someone try to kill you a few times does something to you. Reluctantly I went on medications for my high blood pressure. It had always been low, and going on medication was like an insult to my whole being. I felt less than healthy. Hated the meds, made my muscles weak, slowed me down and after a while one of them gave me chest pains. Had everything all checked out and the old ticker was fine, like a teenagers they said. The cardiologist took lots of pictures after injecting me with some dye, and he showed me just how good it all looked.
I decided that if I changed what I ate, ran faithfully, practiced meditation and took some herbs, then I could turn things around and get off that nasty medication. I am not a fan of any pill that fixes one thing and breaks 4 so I wanted off that stuff. I am a master herbalist so you can understand that I wanted to do things the natural way.
Diet changes did something else. In the past two and a half months I have lost a whopping 19 lbs ! So here I am several months off the medication. Eating vegetarian except fish once in a blue moon. No preservatives, very little sugar, caffeine very limited, and as much organic as possible, hiking, walking and running. Meditating faithfully. Taking Twin Labs blood pressure control, eating Goji berries and blood pressure has been fantastic. Keeping things simple has always been a goal of mine but now I can see the real value of this life. The benefits health wise have been amazing. I have so much energy. Feel just about like I did at age 28 ish. No hot flashes either, ever.I took my blood pressure tonight after doing a bunch of stuff around the house. Busy work. Mopping the kitchen floor. My heart rate was up as its normally in the 50's. Tonight my BP was 122/75 , a bit high from what it has been running lately, but still it's not bad considering it was often 160/80 a couple years ago. Even on medication it was usually 135/80 so not bad. There are some real benefits to a simple life.

Simple Things



Sometimes the things that bring us pleasure are not all that fancy or eye catching. Today when I was out rambling around the property, I noticed a little pear growing so perfectly. It struck me with its simple beauty. And then I saw all the little yellow flowers in my cantaloupe patch. So many more than just two days ago. I wondered if they would be little round balls when I get back from my trip. The combination of the brown dirt, the green leaves and the little yellow flowers just seemed perfect. Certainly they are not gorgeous like my roses or other flowers but they are still beautiful.
Played soccer with Fergus this morning and I guess he thinks its too hot, he kept putting the ball under a tree and then just standing there as if to say, " don't you get it, its too hot to run around." so after a bit I caught on and just stopped running and getting the ball from him. He's been laying on the back porch since I left him.
Brought in a couple loads of clothes from the lines. They were stiff and scratchy feeling. Dried fast in the sun with no wind to soften them. Guess the towels will be like some fancy body scrub that you pay for. Simple things I guess.
Need to vacuum and don't feel like it. Steven and Pricilla are coming for supper. Making haystacks, they are like taco salad things. Easy to make, no heating up the kitchen. Always worries me to have the oven on in the kitchen, the air conditioner in the dining room window and then the ceiling fan smack dab in the middle. Seems like perfect conditions for some sort of bad storm. So I avoid the oven in summer. Wisdom on my part : )
Just a day filled with simple things, ordinary things that have a rhythm all their own. At some point I need to iron some shirts for Emery. I don't mind doing that, its just today I seem to be lacking inertia. Once I get going its easy, its just the getting going. Moving around at a snails pace, looking at everything with open eyes and looking for some meaning in it. Not much meaning in ironing shirts though. I could go with the thinking that "work is love made visible" and feel lofty about the chore, but the reality is, it just seems like a chore, ordinary chore. Not bad, not good, rather someplace in the middle of dull.
Decided to get my hair cut tomorrow. Always worry they will butcher it. You know sometimes when you ask for a trim or just an inch off, you wonder what they think a CUT would be. I ask for half an inch off and that way I get a pretty reliable trim of about 2 inches off. One time I had Emery trim the ends off my then long hair. He sat me in the chair, got out the masking tape, taped my hair to my back measuring it every inch or so and maybe he even tried to use a level on my shoulders, can't remember that for sure. Well it turned out to be quite a production. Took about an hour but I had very straight ends and a bit of masking tape stuck to my dress. But bless him, it was a good trim and he took off one inch exactly.
Simple stuff, everyday stuff. But good.
Time to get to that ironing....


no music playing, the sound of the air conditioners is enough noise
water in my glass, ice all melted
Bare feet, shorts and a tee shirt for my attire
Grateful for..... simple things, even if they are not all exciting

Monday, May 22, 2006

Night Ramble

" Today we are afraid of simple words like goodness and mercy and kindness. We don't believe in the good old words because we don't believe in good old values anymore. And that's why the world is sick."
Lin Yutang

In case no one ever noticed, I love the writings of Lin Yutang. A wise soul this man was and an excellent writer. " A Leaf in A Storm" is the first book I read of his and it changed me in some way. I was young, maybe too young to read such a tale of war and life. But it opened my eyes to the undeniable ugliness of people wanting to crush another group of people and take their land and their way of life. One people taking another people over. Each one with the same blood coursing through their veins, all with the same hopes, loves and pain. Brothers in humanity.
I am no fan of war and find little reason for it. Funny thing is that as a Mennonite or Amish, saying you are against war is acceptable and no one thinks you are unpatriotic, just simply NON-resistant. Turn the other cheek type of mentality and that's ok.. But keep that same attitude, change the clothes, and suddenly you are practically a communist. Hard to understand what clothes and name of your religion has to do with that.
Anyway, this post is not going where I had intended it to go. Funny how that happens, but this blog is called morning ramble and ramble it does sometimes. Not always in the morning I might add.
I was thinking earlier that today my blog has had about 600 hits. Pretty normal numbers for me, but I only get a dribble of comments. Not sure what that means. I find myself wanting to measure the success of my blog by the comments made and that is silly. Human, yes, but still silly. The blog is really just my thoughts anyway, thrown out into cyberspace, for anyone to read. I would write them out for myself even if there was no blog. I never get the feel of if my blog is of value to anyone else. Well I do in a way, since people come back day after day to read it. I wonder if my goal should be to meet a need perhaps, or am I doing o.k. with no goals at all ?
Think bed is calling me as my thoughts are getting dull and slowly following some old trail that leads nowhere.

Bought new clothes tonight for traveling. Gifts from that kind man I love. Bohemian hippy style clothes. That's how I feel these days. Even been debating if I should grow my hair and have a long gray braid. Sort of the wise woman look. Can't decide. Anyway, back to the new clothes subject. Cotton White gauze skirt, long and full, with white embroidery. Shirt to match. All white, significant maybe...summer or seeking to appear as someone with an element of clear, pure enlightenment. That sounds impressive. Like the sound of that, but I suspect its more that its summer and white is cool. Need jewelry to go with it and can't decide on shoes. Sneakers will look daft with a long skirt and the hiking boots will make me look like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. Orange Crocks, will make my feet virtually glow in the dark. Have to work on the shoe thing.

Tonight's picture is tonight's sky. Love the cirrus clouds.
Music playing is Donovan's Greatest Hits
In my glass... iced water

Sunday Blessings

Soft music, the gentle kind of music that makes you feel content with life... the view from the window as I sit and spin at the wheel makes ...