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Showing posts from June, 2006

Its A Moral Issue For Me

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For some reason, this whole concept of " stuff" will not let me rest. This morning very early, long before the sun kissed the cedar trees with golden reddish ochre hues, I finally figured it out for myself.
I think for me, and this is just me reasoning it out for myself. Not a lecture for mankind, although part of me would like to see a change in societies emphasis on material goods. Oh yes, I know about the worlds economy based on people purchasing goods, but what I am thinking about it the excess, the having 10 of the same thing in different colors etc or the bigger cars and houses.
Back to my original train of thought here, to me its a moral issue. That's it plain and simple. For me, and again this is a self lecture, its wrong to spend money on things I do not need. I love all the gifts of beautiful china I have been given from family and friends, but I am not sure I could justify owning it had I purchased it all myself.
With the exception of fabric for the wedding, I …

Shop till you Drop Wedding Things

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Here is a sampling of some of the things we purchased yesterday. Flower girl baskets, lights, candles, a ton of plates and cups etc, toasting glasses, guest book, punch bowl, ribbon, bows, candy and of course more fabric. The flower girls will wear pint size outfits like Melissa will wear as Matron of honor.
I got the flower girls, Asia and Serena, each a stack of tiny bangle braceletts for them to wear and Bindis for them to wear on their for foreheads.
Amazing all the things one has to purchase to get married !
Oh good news, they got the apartment around the corner from us. We are of course thrilled and Casimir starts Monday working with Emery for the Mennonite barn builders. He will be a salesman like Emery.

New Farm Life

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Its always so much fun to see new life on the farm.
Today I finally got a peek at the new chicks. Momma hen has been sitting on the eggs faithfully for what seems like an awfully long time. She is not exactly friendly so I didn't dare pick the chick up, but will be checking faithfully to see how many more show up.

The kittens are growing so fast and are so cute. We gave one away, but Melanie and I would love to be able to keep these two. Haven't been able to convince Emery we need a total of 5 cats though.

Needing Simplicity

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This morning when I got up, it felt good, satisfyingly good to sit in my rocker and look at the simplicity of my newly polyurethane floors. No extra "stuff" around, just plain and simple.
I thought about a couple things while I sat there mindlessly rocking away and sipping my iced Chai.
Shopping yesterday was mind boggling to me. I don't ever shop all day, never ! And watching so many people carry bags and bags of things to their cars amazed me. What on earth was everyone buying, I was shopping for a wedding of nearly 200 people. So it felt justifiable for me to be filling up the back of the station wagon (91 Taurus, just about 200,000 miles on it)
No matter how hard I try, the idea of how much stuff everyone has, haunts me. I just don't understand the need to have so much. Maybe part of me has this level of idealism that just can't go away. If we would just share what extra we have with those in need or not spend and help others more, or if we would jus…

More Wedding Plans

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Its great fun letting you all in on the wedding plans each step of the way. What a fun time for all of us here.
Today we ordered Melanie's wedding jewelry. Its rather elaborate but she will be one to carry it off. She has her nose pierced so will be wearing a red stone in her nose on that day too.
Melanie has loved India since she was a little child and it comes as no surprise that she would have a wedding with Indian dress and customs. It also works well for Casimir's family.
Before I met Emery, I was engaged to a man in India and have in my cedar chest, my Indian wedding dress that was never worn. Just before Jacob was to come to the states, I met Emery and I knew he was the truest love in my life and broke off my engagement to Jacob.
When the girls were small they loved taking out the red sari and trying it on and feeling the wonderful silk.
We even eat Indian food more than any other kind of food and the girls were raised listening to Ravi Shankar.
Our neighbors in Cal…

Wedding Outfits

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Thought I would share some of the wedding clothes so far.
Casimir will wear the brown Kurta, his brother will wear the gold kurta.
The fabric for my salwar kameez and dupatta are in the other picture and then my jewelry for the wedding is in the last picture.
Its funny but I wore a kameez for Melissa's wedding too. I love how comfortable they are and modest too.
We just need to get Emery's Kurta ordered then we are all set with clothes.

Hope to have the flower girls outfits and Melissa's outfit done by next week sometime.
I have to go find some beads to do some bead work on the front of my Kameez around the neckline.




Getting Ready for The Wedding

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Weddings are wonderful events. There is something so special about two people so in love that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.
There is also another wonderful aspect to a wedding, it makes you get things done around the house in preparation !
Today I am putting a fresh new coat of polyurethane on our floors. Somewhere around 10 years ago we put in new floors in our house. The old hardwood floors had been covered by carpet which we tore up. I don't like carpet, its not healthy. Allergies have grown to outrageous proportions in this country since the advent of wall to wall carpeting. Anyway, we had to put down plywood flooring to make this old house safe again as the hardwood floors were a mess. Not knowing what we wanted to do for flooring since we couldn't afford hardwood, I decided to just stain the plywood and put polyurethane over the stain so I could wash the floor.
It came out so nice. Looks fantastic, people love it and its certainly durable. S…

Breakfast Thoughts

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While having breakfast this morning, I was trying to read about Mother Teresa, but my mind was swimming with idea on just how I want to decorate Melanie's room after she is married. She laughs at my plans, suggesting that I am in a hurry to get her out of the house. Of course that's not true and she is only teasing me.
Finally, I gave into my dreaming and set aside a book on the "simple path" to something on the far opposite side of the spectrum.
I have pretty well decided on a girlie girl guest room, pink roses, not shabby chic but more of an English formal style.
I have been pouring over decorating books, especially my copy of "The Complete Book of Bedroom Elegance" by Lady Caroline Wrey. What a treasure this book is. Filled with gorgeous pictures and the "how to's" to make that look happen for you.
Its fun to dream and plan. Since I love so many of the rooms in this book, it seems almost a sure thing that the Amish quilt look gues…

Sad News

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Its not a good picture but you can tell the nest is empty. Once the little birdies start to call for food, it seems some creature hears them and makes a meal of them. I wanted to cry today when I saw the nest empty.

Learning Something Every Day

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As I was blog hopping tonight I read something quite good at Elizabeth's Rose Cottage http://turtlelane.blogspot.com/ She wrote yesterday about "Stuff" and I suspect since she had visited my blog recently she was thinking about what I had written.
She has some really good points about stuff and clutter, well worth reading. Elizabeth brings in some thoughts that put a different spin on the subject. I like her approach. I still have Mennonite mindset sometimes on having too many earthly possessions and I need to broaden my horizons some and find a more normal balance. So I honestly appreciated her words.
I think for me, the problem is we live in a small cottage with NO closets except the ones in our bedrooms so storage is at a premium. If I want to put things away for a while, there isn't any room unless I cart it off to the barn and that's not such a great place to store nice things.
Stuff can begin to feel like clutter when you are cleaning it or for me…

"My Cup Overflows...with the Comfort of God's Love"

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Every once in a while you come across a book that speaks to you in a special way. One of my Goodwill finds last week was the book "My Cup Overflows....with the Comfort of God's Love" by Emilie Barnes. I have long been a fan of hers. Many many years ago when we lived in Southern California I went to see her speak on More Hours in My Day. What a delight she was. Anyway, I thought when I picked up this book it would make a nice gift for someone if they were going through a hard time or something as that's what its about. Dealing with hard times. Today I sat down and read ever single word of the book. What a treat. Refreshing, enlightening, and certainly a book to encourage anyone.
If you get a chance to read this book, please do.
One paragraph, (really two so you know what its about) that just really touched me was this....
"And now more than ever, I understand why it sometimes seems to take so long for God to accomplish his work in us.
He Doesn't have …

Being Satistied with Life

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This morning I woke feeling resolved on some things. Its a simple fact that I tend to be idealistic. This sort of gets me in a muddle now and again.
After having a long talk with a very wise man, I came to the conclusion I cannot change the world and single handedly have all the people in the world de-stress and live in a way where "things" don't matter as much as people do.
I can however live that way myself.
Here are the facts, I live in a small town, a small house, drive old cars, have old furniture, love books, have a zillion interests, love people, have some "stuff" around my house. Live life authentically. No hiding, the real me kind of thing. What you see is what is real.
No games. My house is clean, but sometimes there is clutter around. After all we all have projects and interests and work on them.
I have headed in many directions in life. Done lots of things simply because I live life with that childlike enthusiasm that I quote so often.
So, wha…

"Books Like Friends Should Be Few and Well Chosen"

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The quote, "Books like friends, should be few and well-chosen." by Samuel Johnson has long been a favorite one of mine. I remember I saw this quote for the first time on a book mark, tenderly embroidered by some long forgotten hand and stuck between the pages of a first edition copy of a Louisa M. Alcott book I had purchased. Through the years, it has proved over and over to be one of life's truths for me.
Today my dear friend Nancy stopped by to restock me with books from her personal library for the summer. She has the most wonderful collection of old, rare books, mostly from the Victorian Era that are character building, enjoyable and memorable. Each book filled with men and women of noble hearts. Characters that are true heroes and heroines.
I handed Nancy the box of books she had lent me previously and I gladly took the new box of books. Now to not get so lost in the books that nothing else gets done !
This dear sweet friend of mine is also an afternoon tea d…

Lazy Saturday Afternoon Thoughts

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You can hear lawn mowers humming in the distance, and children's voices in play ever so faint, just too far off to be heard without leaning into the direction of the gentle breeze. It sounds like laughter.
The sun is bright, the color of the sunflowers that stand tall along the picket fence. I never bothered to look at the clouds today and that's a bit odd, except that so many other things caught my attention.
The cantaloupes peeking out from under the leaves, the mullein in bloom, tall torches of yellow, full of bees.
Trumpet vines reaching higher and higher in the old cottonwood tree. Fergus begging to play soccer with me and I consent but half heartedly as I would rather just wander around, looking, seeking and being amazed by the smallest marvels in nature. Simple things really. A strange black bug, a leaf that has fallen from the burr oak, tiny blue flowering weeds, and on and on. I check out the mint that grows near the fence to the garden, thinking I should pick …

Stuff and Stress

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Sometimes I think about the place my husband works at and what they sell and how many they sell. Storage buildings, called mini barns. They sell so many it amazes me. The amount they sell tells something about our society. We have outgrown our closets, our homes and need more space for our stuff. We truly are a consumer society. People have so much "stuff" that they need to fill another building with it. Most of it packed in boxes forgotten. So, is it important then ?

In our old house, there are just tiny tiny closets in each bedroom. No other closets. My husband and I share a closet that is 4 ft long. I suspect in the olden days, when this house was built, normal folks, working folks, didn't have truck loads of clothes and maybe one winter coat for each person.
The other bedrooms have small closets too.
I heard on the television tonight, once again that we are one of the most stressed generation ever. That the stress of fighting off warring clans or tigers woul…

Birdie Update

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Just went out to have a look at the babies in the nest and mom and dad bird were off some where so I had a better opportunity to take some pictures. The babies were just resting on the side of the nest but with a slight bending of the pine needles to get a better shot, they were instantly wide mouthed waiting for food.
Their feathers show more development each new day and today you can see their eyes are a bit open.
This is the stage of development my first crow I raised was at when he came to us. He was so needy and fragile but made it just fine. I miss "Nevermore". He was one of my all time favorite pets. Noisy to be sure but still lots of fun.

Afternoon Break

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After looking at the picture of my welsh cupboard, I decided to make it look more matched, it looked rather mish-mashed. And although I do have many different tea cups, most of my dishes have place settings for 8 and 12 of the same pattern.
My favorite dishes are the ones now displayed. Wedgwood, American Clipper, no longer available and most of my collection was purchased before I was married. I have 12 place settings and many serving pieces and we use it often. Its ironstone so not as fragile as fine bone china.

The baby cardinals are growing so fast it is as if you could see them grow when you are looking at them.
I try hard not to intrude too much so I just put the camera over the nest and hope for a good shot.
Today for tea we had Coconut Dundee cake, a recipe posted on Revee's Country Road blog. I don't have the link for her recipe right now and if I steer away from my blog to get it, I will loose what I am uploading. Will include it later on my cbox.
It is a del…

Bought A Home at Age 21

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It was too nice for just heading home after going out to eat last night, so like in our old dating days, we went for a drive. Windows open, wind blowing our hair, radio on. The "oldies" station playing good songs. Sun just starting to get low on the horizon. We held hands and chattered like teenagers about the plans we have in our lives.
We headed off towards Stevens new place since we knew he would be there working on it. Its about 18 miles from our home so a nice little country ride.
Corn fields and Milo ready to harvest along each road. Cows grazing, simple farm roads all the way.
Finally it was time to turn onto his dirt road, jokingly called Ulrich Hill since so many of that family had at one time lived up there. Stevens place is off to the left as you get to the top of the hill. Everything is green or golden now as its a transition time in nature.
Not spring and not fully summer.
There is a fantastic breeze up at his place, well actually its more of a wind that r…

Bought A Home at Age 21

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The road leading to Stevens new home, its on the top left of the picture
The barn
The chicken house and a mini barn

Sometimes A Girl Just Has To Shop

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Sometimes a girl just has to shop, even those who like the simple life and talk about having too much "stuff". Today was that kind of day for me.
I headed off to Goodwill, money in my pocket. I found books I had wanted, a cute little oak box that has a place on the top for a piece of needlepoint. A tiny tea cup still all wrapped up new . It has a sweet Bible verse on one side. The books were good finds. Victorian Cross stitch, a book on Stitching on Linen and more.
I even found myself a darling Elizabeth dress and Jacket set, brand new, tags still on it, for $6. My total was less than $15
What a good day it was.
On to Big Lots where I found a great hat box and a matching little case that will be perfect for all my hankies.
Came home put the things away and then my Darling asked me if I would like a date. You bet, going out to eat is always a treat.

Survial of the Fittest

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It was shocking to me this morning to see how much the little cardinals had grown in just one day, but I have to admit it was a bit disturbing to see that only 2 babies are now in the nest. Yesterday there was 4. One had been rather lethargic and there was another that seemed a bit less developed than the two strong ones. Those two are gone.
I am not sure if the mom knocked out the two weaker babies or if the stronger babies knocked them out of the nest, whatever, it was a reminder that in nature, the rule regarding the survival of the fittest is more than just a phrase.
When I came up to the nest this morning, the two remaining babies were sleeping, the slightest touch to the pine needles stirred one immediately and he/she was wide mouthed, ready for food.
I hope these two make it to the stage where they will fly out of the nest. I have seen so many nests on our land be invaded by some sort of creature.

Dishes and More Dishes !

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My dear friend "Farm Girl" asked me where I keep all my dishes etc. A very good question indeed. So I thought I would share.The main holder of China is my Welsh Cupboard, it holds a lot of china and has two drawers, one I use for flatware and the other holds my many cloth napkins.
Some of my tea things stay on my tea cart all the time and then I have two shelves for tea cups. Now I have told myself not to collect more tea cups than these two shelves can hold but if something wonderful came on eBay or something, I may just break that rule.
My everyday dishes, three sets, yes, that is excessive I know, but I adore dishes and you need different kinds of dishes for different types of food and atmosphere right ??? well anyway they are stored in the kitchen cabinets, along with my glasses and stemware.
Linens all stay in the one and only linen closet in this old house, which is really the boys old bedroom closet.
When that gets full, I guess there will be no "new" linen…

Hanging Laundry on a Humid Morning

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It seems to multiply in the night, this laundry of mine. Yesterday it rained on and off most of the day, meaning no clothes washing got done. By this morning the sky cleared but the amount of laundry seemed to have doubled in the night. I was not looking forward to hanging up numerous loads on this hot humid day. It is by choice that we do not own a dryer. If I had a clothes dryer I could think of so many reasons to not go outside and use the line. "Its hot". "Its humid". "I am tired". "Less ironing" and on and on the list would grow. But hanging clothes outside on a line is good for a soul. Good exercise, with all the lifting, bending etc. Aerobic for sure. It's good for you emotionally too. Clears your mind and its a good time to pray.
After hanging up 4 lines full of whites and lights, my face was dripping and my hair looked as though it had just been soaked under a hose. But while I was out there, my mood softened. I fel…