Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Great Find, with a Story behind it

Last week I happened to think about some books we read faithfully to the girls when they were little. Actually I read them as a child too in school and Emery read them when he was a kid.
I looked on eBay to see if I could find them. Put a bid on some. I was outbid. I remember saying,
"I really want those books" and left it at that.
Today, there was a set in Goodwill, never saw them there before, a full set of 10 volumes. $5.00 for the entire set. Lots less than what I had bid on the ones on e-bay. I got just what I wanted. Plain and simple. Same thing with some baby shoes I saw in Massachusetts when I was there last summer, I have yet to find them here in Texas. Butter soft leather, ankle strap with a button fastener. Just two days ago I said to my friend in Massachusetts, " I want those baby shoes we saw in that store" Yesterday I found them, brand new on eBay and got them, 1/3 of the price in the store. The Secret works. No matter how you think it was accomplished, it works. Perhaps its just that God hears my desires and gives them to me. Perhaps it is quantum physics at work, according to the very laws God works with. He is a God of order. All I know is that it works.
10 Volumes of Bible Stories by Arthur Maxwell

Overnight Spring Sprung

Just a walk around our land today provided so many beautiful things to look at. Signs of spring are everywhere. No need for words here, just enjoy our little bit of spring in picture. Gods marvelous creation all around us.
Apricot blossoms
Plum blossoms
Red Oak leaves coming out
A thick patch of Shepherds purse

Quiet Time

"Quiet time" is usually a phrase we use for that time when we want children in our life to calm down and find something quiet to do. Honestly, it's more often for us, then for them. We want some quiet time for us.
We all need time to pull aside from the busy-ness of life to become a bit introspective and just think.
I have known a few folks that are non stop, always on the go, fighting any opportunity to be quiet and alone with their own thoughts. Not me, I am always seeking times and situations that are conducive to just thinking.
This morning is gray, no sun, just a thick layer of clouds filling in every space of the sky. Its not the kind of day to lay in the grass or sit on the back steps with breakfast. Its the kind of day that makes me want to hike along the waters edge. Where the grays and muted greens blend so well.

Today I was thinking about all that has transpired in my life in the past couple weeks. Its not that my thoughts have changed really, more like there were finally words and slots in which my thoughts now fit.
I am the very same person I was a month ago, except I feel more hopeful perhaps. But... and that little word brings with it a huge change. I have said how I have felt, doesn't matter that I am the very same person and feel the same as I have for what seems like eons. Articulating my thoughts regarding The Secret has changed others around me. I am the same, only I have dared to say clearly what I feel. That has sent so many running, crossing fingers, pushing me away, and in an instant created their judgment that I am different. How strange that is to me. It makes me wonder, how we would judge each other if we were all a bit more transparent.
I am nothing but thankful for being able to be open and honest about what I feel. Its much like tossing up the grains of wheat in the wind and letting that chaff be blown away.

We all know lots of people that represent their lives one way, but we all know the reality. From the years of homeschooling I know mother after mother that shares an imaginary life of their now grown children. Hiding their hurt behind the facade that all is wonderful, carefully wording any sentence regarding their childrens lives to make it sound as though they are all wonderful missionary minded children, when their children are living with someone, had children born to them outside of marriage, maybe they had children on drugs. But, the mothers work hard at creating an alternate reality and talk badly about folks that have the very same real problems they have. No one can reach out and comfort those ladies living a lie. One such lady even has a web site to help homeschoolers raise godly children, pretending that her children are all perfect. Its sad and so un-necessary. Most of the time, people know the truth and if they are good friends, they would tell them, "this too shall pass" and if it doesn't, then you love them anyway. No one can offer to pray for her, that would crumble her castle in the sand. How many have heard about the folks giving marriage counseling only to find out their own marriage is a sham ? Being real, honest and saying how you feel is a risk, and perhaps that is why few are willing to be real. There are so many lined up to say to their neighbor, hold my cloak while I gather up the stones to throw at this person. All the while casting stones to make themselves look better.
Maybe its time for folks to stop playing games, and start living in honesty. Sure, it shakes up your world, but what's left is far more authentic.

At the same time, you can find joy in your quiet time because what is left is truth.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Blessings of the Day

You know there are days that are just meant to be outside and today was one of those days.
The temperature got up to 78, no need for a sweater or a light jacket. I spent time in the garden after Tai Chi. Just the perfect place to soak in the marvels of creation. The tiny onions poking their green stems out of the rich brown soil, the buds on the trees seem to grow by the hour. A pair of red tailed hawks soared overhead, graceful and majestic.
I pulled weeds. Its a wonderful activity when you are thinking.
I am so content with my life. Fifty-Two seems to be a wonderful amazing year for me. A time when I really don't have to pretend to be something I am not. I can redefine and define myself daily. I can run like the wind and skip across my yard but know and understand so much of life.
Emery says at 60, you start to feel that you are aging, but he is no proof of that. That man is young at heart and no one ever guesses his age right. He can climb mountains and leap over streams. Today when I was in the garden, hands dirty, remembering I should be wearing gloves but not doing it, I like the feel of the soil. I was thinking that each one of us is given a distinct personality, no one is the same. Amazing really.
Makes you wonder why some expect us to all be the same and think the same and act the same.
Tonight, there are still a few windows open, but there is a slight evening chill in the air. Emery is chatting with his mother on the phone. I have spoken to all three of my children, and we all said, " I love you". Emery glances at me with that tender look we have exchanged for going on 29 years. We had a funny meal of baked sweet potatoes and crackers. We didn't feel compelled to have our meal fit some standard set up on the plate. We had just what we wanted, no more, no less.
We talked about our plans and hopes. Laughing softly with that sort of comfortable feeling you have when love is free flowing.
We are not burdened down by stuff or wants.
We are surrounded by hopes and dreams. Melanie and Casi put the crib and changing table together last night, ready for Mei-Ling. Steven and Priscilla excited that there is a baby bump now, so very tiny, but there.
Melissa and James, each with jobs that touch peoples lives in a meaningful way. James, spreading music and fun to so many people. Melissa teaching wounded little ones, that need a tender word and a bit of security.
Life is just simply good.

Collard Greens
Tuk Tuk basking in the sun
Rosemary in bloom

Nameless Boy

Here he is, the nameless one. He was strutting his stuff for me today. Just showing me one side and then I think he thought his other side was really his better side. He liked the shot of him in the sun, showing off all those colors in his feathers. He, epitomizes the term "Cocky". The boy thinks he is one handsome fella, the hens have a different opinion of him however. They are sticking with Solomon.

Brunch On the Back Steps

My meal time of choice lately has been brunch. I seem to forget to eat breakfast and by 11:30 my stomach reminds me and its just a tad earlier than when I normally eat lunch, so brunch it is.
My meal itself seems to have taken on a routine, a comfortable one. I just love fruit and nut essene bread. In California, my friend would set her dough on the roof and let it slow bake in the sun. It was the best stuff. I tried making it that way once or twice and it was fantastic. But, now I buy mine at the health food store. Maybe I will try making it again . Along with the bread, I had a few Brazil nuts, 4 gives you plenty of selenium, a tiny handful of Goji berries and a couple pieces of candied ginger for a treat. Tea at my side in my favorite mug. It has a spiral on the inside of the bottom. Its fun to see them when you are finishing your tea. Makes me smile.
While sitting on the steps enjoying my simple meal, the wind chimes next to me moved ever so slightly, making a wonderful sound. They are huge chimes, people say they sound like church bells when the wind is blowing. My gentle man gave them to me for Christmas, he knows me so well, another smile. We love each other so much !
It's just a beautiful day no matter which direction I look. From my seat on the steps I could see the collard greens growing huge in the garden. We had fresh greens all winter long. Love that.
Time to walk away from the computer and get myself ready for Tai Chi. That is the best exercise I have ever done, no sore muscles after it and this profound feeling of peace creeps over you, and at the same time you are bringing in so much energy. There are people in my class that could hardly walk when they first started and now they have pep in their steps !

For you Newbies

Its not fair to leave you new readers out of the "joke" about Flip Flopping. You can go back nearly a year to Tuesday, April 18, 2006 in the archieves on my blog
and read the first post Elizabeth wrote regarding my struggles with where I stood after leaving the Mennonite life behind. It was one of those moments where the saying "Christians shoot their own wounded" really fit. It was one of the meanest things ever done to me. Now its just seems "from whence it comes" and pity is all I feel for the writer.
Her first post is copied there for you to read.

Amazing, its just about a year since she wrote that, some sort of cycle thing I guess.
Now that is the end of it on my side....

Time for Flip Flops !

Just love this warm weather. Time to wear my flip flops with pride again ! Sorry : ) Folks that know that story will have a giggle or two and I just had to add that in. That dear phrase, "flip flopping", is timeless really. It popped up again on Elizabeth's blog today .
Funny thing is, I love flip flops. Such a free feeling wearing them. They are so close to being bare foot and feeling the earth under your toes. I think maybe that thought applies to the other reference as well. Hummm.... But flip flops keep the soul right where its meant to be, oh wait, is that sole or soul, maybe it is both kinds . I am so grateful to Elizabeth for this posts inspiration ! Gee, I even said I respected her for her posting about The Secret and in return she uses the flip flop thing again, gosh !
Hey, truth is, I have said all along, I am not a finished work. Gosh, growth is what its all about. When a person is finished, its time to plant some daises over your head.
So ladies and men, in the spirit of growth, pull out those flip flops and wear them with pride. If its snowy outside, just wear them in the house and lift a glass of cheer for those that find flip flopping "sinful"
Strange, the quote, " Mediocrity attacks excellence" comes to mind right now.

My belief in God is as I have said before not stagnant, its open to new concepts and understandings. I am just looking at Him in a much bigger way these days ! Why does that even bother anyone else... wish I knew ? Naw, scratch that, I don't really want to understand that mentality.
Actually I feel kinda bad that she is so worried about my spiritual stability that she went back on her word to keep her blog free from such issues and stick to the pretty home life.

Anyway, to a far more serious subject. Today is deep house cleaning day and time to put away the colors of winter. Love being able to change things with the seasons. I am into brights right now. Last night my gentle man bought me a bunch of new towels along with perfume. He knows me well. Knows what I love. The old towels were looking their age. So I opted for the brightest boldest towels I could find, sorta a reflection on how good I feel. That "on top of the world" happy feeling. Picture Maria on the Sound of Music singing on the mountain top and you will get the idea.
Any way, I am cleaning today for the baby shower Sunday, the deep cleaning kind of cleaning. The music has to be right for this.... nothing dull or dreary.. the kind of music that makes you swing the mop while dancing your heart out. My sister sent me J. Giles Band "Live" Full House, CD for Christmas. Many many years ago I had the album but in time I wore it out, so she kindly replaced this for me. Its a wild bit of music, full of amazing harmonica playing, organ, drums and to be honest I just don't know how to label this music. Think its under the category of Rock but its just not your run of the mill stuff. And I have to be in the mood to listen to it and its not the kind of music you let play over and over, at least not at my age. I may have done that in the 1970's. I have mellowed through time. But when work needs to be done, this is the kind of music that charges the batteries big time and housework is done in record time.
I am getting old, the floors are done, so I put on Donovan, oh so much more me.....Like "Mellow Yellow" and lyrics like " the Sunshine came softly through my window today" ....and lets not forget, "caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within" . Truly profound lyrics, goes well with flip flops.
Then there are lyrics like " Wear your love like Heaven". Love those words but the rest of the words to that song make me think there must have been some sort of mushrooms consumed when it was written. I get lost in figuring it out. But I like the tune !
Life is grand indeed !

Heading to the kitchen for breakfast, Essene bread with fruit and nuts, a big cup of chamomile tea, enjoyed while sitting on the back steps listening to the birds sing and watching the garden grow.

Looking down at my very own flip flops on my feet, in the sweet green grass
My new towels. Love all those colors, just like the street scene from "Bride and Prejudice" hummm, said last year I wanted those colors in my house....must be the law of attraction at work.

Another Great Day, The Sun Reaches out of the Darkness

This early Texas Spring has me in a great mood, along with the fact I feel incredibly happy lately. Seems like everything in my life is just running perfectly. Good things around every corner. And the difficult things don't seem very difficult. There is always hope.
Waking up each day with this wonderful feeling of expectation, the good kind. As if someone dosed me with endorphins !
I can tell you the date and exact moment when this overwhelming feeling of joy came on, the first time I watched Oprah and heard about "The Secret." Most of you know I am a happy person anyway, except when overcome with carbon monoxide !
But for the first time in my life all my "wonderings" , yes, those never ending thoughts of " I wonder" have ended. I have the answers to all those questions, the life questions, the spiritual questions have been answered for me. If it was a different time and place I would say this was the "Age of Aquarius" as the song says for my life.
The WWBD has had a profound impact on my life too. I know what it feels like to be on the side of the fence that faces ignorant bigotry. There are no faceless people for me now. There is no one that I assume would not like a hello. No one looks unfriendly to me. There are a few that look wounded. At a Taco Bell the other day, there was a lady working there, a black woman in a white white world. She was all business. This is a tough area at time in the color wheel of humanity. I sensed the reason for the all business like. She had been snubbed way too many times. We should be ashamed of ourselves to ever act that way, no matter what color you are or nation of origin. But I started talking to her anyway. In a matter of minutes she was as friendly as if we had know each other for years. We talked about it some while I was getting a refill on my drink. Snubbed so many times, she just doesn't set herself up to experience it any more.
WWBD experiment taught me how painful and ugly prejudice is in any form for any reason. There are so many Hispanics in this area that are made to feel like second class citizens. Often looking down to the ground when white folk pass them in the store. Same thing...ugliness done to them has pushed their chin to their chest. We have created separate worlds by our lack of eye contact and the failure to speak making people different than us appear invisible, along with a million other very un- nice ways. The same thing goes for fat people, handicapped and even our wise aged folks that we should be sitting at their knees asking about what they have learned in life.
Well, this was not what I intoned to write about this morning but it just sort of happened. It just came out. Must have been a reason for that.
Remember that song, Reach out in the Darkness.... well sing it and feel it. Decide to be filled with joy, that abounding joy that knows no color, size or shape. Smell the morning air, the evening air, look up at the sky, look deeply at your hand and determine to use if for tenderness and help.
Pick your words carefully, knowing that what you put out is what you get back. Call that what you will, Karma, laws of attraction, do unto others, all the same thing, just different catch phrases. All the wise men on earth have told us about it. Wonder why so many of us are slow on the uptake ?
The birds are singing, heavenly music, not a one is out of tune. Its a new day or even the end of a day for some, but we can determine to leave a wonderful imprint on the day. Make a list of things you can appreciate about the person you struggle with. Remember what made you fall in love with the person you chose to be beside you for life. Fall in love all over again. Think about that child, now grown that you are not speaking to because you think they are not living according to your religious standards. Remember bringing them into the world, remember their first word, their tiny hands reaching for you. Decide its not all that important to always be right.
Think about your job, make a list of the people your job impacts. If you sweep floors, then think about how you are making a place better for all those people that see it, keeping them safer.

Folks, life is honestly what you make it. You are the one in control of your thoughts. No one can stop me from choosing to think good thoughts. Make all your thoughts positive ! You will feel better.
Here is a song for you to sing, at least hum, today.....(yeah I am dating myself big time with this song but no big deal, I am glad to be my age)
Reach Out in the Darkness by Friend and Lover
( Had to look up who sang that song, and still feel like I must have never known their names)
I think it's so groovy now
That people are finally getting together
I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together
I think it's so groovy now
That people are finally getting together
I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together
Reach out in the darknessReach out in the darkness
Reach out in the darknessAnd you may find a friendI
knew a man that I did not care for
And then one day this man gave me a call
We sat and talked about things on our mind
And now this man he is a friend of mine
Reach out in the darkness
Reach out in the darkness
Reach out in the darkness
And you may find a friendI
think it's so groovy now
That people are finally getting together
I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together
I think it's so groovy now
That people are finally getting together
I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together
Don't be afraid of love
Don't be afraid, don't be afraid to love
Everybody needs a little love
Everybody needs somebody
That they can be thinking of
Reach out in the darkness
Reach out in the darkness
Reach out in the darkness
And you may find a friend
I think it's so groovy now
That people are finally getting together
I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together
I think it's so groovy now
That people are finally getting together
I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together
I think it's so groovy now
That people are finally getting together
I think it's wonderful and how
That people are finally getting together
The pictures:
sunrise this morning
The sun shining through the window casting a wonderful glow on the closet door
the window
Tuk Tuk, stretching as he greets me.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Dirty Feet and Dirty Fingernails

What a simply glorious day ! Not a cloud in the sky. To sound a bit like an old hippy here, it was a harmonious day with nature. I never did hug a tree, even though that last line sounds like I must hug trees on a daily basis. Now, I will admit that my oak trees that stand in a circle all have names, fine strong Celtic names, suitable for such strong oak trees.
Anyway, back to the day... I had such fun playing in the dirt, wait, I meant to say digging in the garden. Must have been a bit of a slip of the tongue there.
I dug up some old iris bulbs and planted them in my new little garden spot. I felt right proud of how they looked, I put my hands on my hips and thought to myself, " good job".
There is nothing quite as invigorating to me as getting my feet and hands dirty in the soil planting. Its good emotionally too, to be connected to the earth that way. We put in 20 more asparagus plants this weekend and planted a bunch of potatoes. Just knowing we worked with hope for good food for the table is so basic, so simple.
Today my arms lifting shovels full of rich brown soil, making holes to plant the future. By summer I will be enjoying vase after vase of fragrant roses and seasoning my foods with herbs from the garden. I love making a recipe that used everything right from my back yard. Fresh and wholesome food. No pesticides or chemicals. We have had organic gardens always. We have been in this house nearing 15 years. The soil has been cared for tenderly all those years. Tuk Tuk sat beside me wherever I was planting. What a funny cat he is.
Tuk Tuk is named after those great little Taxi's in Thailand. Somehow that name suits him just fine. He is a bit out of the ordinary as far as cats go and those taxis are certainly out of the ordinary from what we know as taxi's.
Wish I had one to scoot around town with. Might just have to add that to my wish list.
The sun is hanging low in the sky now, looking like an orb of the finest gold. Not the least bit garish or harsh, but refined and beautiful. The young rooster is chasing hens all over the yard and crowing up a storm. Need to name that boy. How bout an old fashioned naming contest for him. Next post will be a picture of this young rooster and then you can tell me what you think we should name him. The prize for the best name will receive his first son, oh yeah, you may not want a rooster.....well how about the winner gets some of my home made soap and a pair of hand dipped beeswax candles that I made.
The winner will be picked by a panel of three judges, my grown children !

Food in its infant stage

Melissa, James and My List of Gratitudes for Monday

The windows and doors are open, warm air gently blowing the curtains. Its a Seals and Croft "Summer Breeze" sort of day, only its spring like and not summer. Be right back, gunna put that CD on, just have to hear it now.... ah yes, that is just the right music for the day.
Happy music, full of love and hope.
Melissa and James went to NYC for the weekend and had a great time. Love the way they embrace life and enjoy it. They have so many good friends from College to visit and go places with.
Fortunately for me, she sends me lots of pictures and calls me to share all about the things they got to see, its a bit like having a piece of their trip.
I cannot say enough, what a blessing it is to have such great young people in my life. We are so blessed to have good relationships with our children. I suspect it's genetic (very big grin and a bit of a giggle)
Seriously, we enjoy our children and how they see the world as theirs to explore.

here is my list for this week....
music, the kind that makes you feel a full range of good feelings.

open windows

blue sky, the color of robin eggs

Emery coming home for lunch and laughing with him for more than a minute over some silly thing, all the while comfortable in lounge chairs looking up at the sky


Seeing all the bright colors in the store for summer

Parents that allowed us to stretch our minds

Not being afraid of God

Pink m&m's for the baby shower

Spring flowers coming up through the ground

Strength and vigor

Tweezers for those horrid misplaced hairs that come with menopause

For so many wonderful friends

For looking down and seeing my wedding ring on my finger and remembering so well when Emery put it there and hearing the words, "eternal circle".

Easter Peeps arriving in the stores.

Kite flying

Having peace in my home

Love stronger than words

Dreaming in the green grass again

Being born at a time that allowed me to be forming ideals during the hippy generation.

The way the pine boughs look like they are sweeping the air in the breeze

Honest people

Being able to be open minded enough that I don't stagnate intellectually and spiritually

Knowing Rondi and Sunny again through blogging. I really like them and old friendships are so comfortable and good. I love them for being who they are.

Well, better quit there.
Make your own list and smile while you think about each item. Create your joyful moment and bask in it.

Our sweet Melissa with her husband James, who is honestly a really great person, having fun in NYC

Just for fun,

Summer Breeze,
dedicated to my two sisters who will laugh just thinking about the three of us singing this song in the dinning room, all sure we had the best voices in town !

See the curtains hangin' in the window, in the evenin' on a Friday night.
A little light a-shinin' through the window, lets me know everything is alright.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.

See the paper layin' in the sidewalk, a little music from the house next door.
So I walked on up to the doorstep, through the screen and across the floor.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.

Sweet days of summer, the jasmine's in bloom. July is dressed up and playing her tune.
And I come home from a hard day's work, and you're waiting there, not a care in the world.
See the smile a-waitin' in the kitchen, food cookin' and the plates for two.
See the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind. .


proselytized, proselytizing

1. To try to convert someone from one faith to another; to make converts.
Thesaurus: convert, persuade, win over, spread the gospel, make converts, bring to the fold, bring to God, evangelize, propagandize.

I am not sure anyone enjoys those knocks on the door from someone trying to convert them. You look through the window, see someone there all clad in nice clothes, Bible and books in hand. Intention clear in their expression. Most of us don't even answer the door. Its offensive to most of us since our belief systems are usually not up for discussion and when they are, we go ask for information or head off to a new church, or the library.
People have made jokes for years about those sari clad folks standing on corners but I would much rather see someone on the corner than at my front door.
At most a person might enjoy the fun of a discussion where they feel confident holding their own against someone that is proselytizing. But that is usually done with some intent to conquer or to boost ones ego as to how much more they know than the person who knocked on the door.
We have all met that kind too, the ones that say, "send them here, I'll set them straight". Never does that kind of comment come from a meek and humble loving heart. Its 100 % a thing of "I am right and you are wrong".
I have been writing about "The Secret" and true to form, there are a select group of folks who have taken it on as some sort of mission to set me and my readers "straight" according to their law. Now, if I think about it, my blog is about like my front door. You are welcome to come visit with me, read, disagree, agree, that's just pretty straight forward and simple. But please don't push yourself in the door, foot in the door jam and try and cram your personal beliefs down my throat or the throat of my readers. That becomes proselytizing and offensive at best.
I have yet to be so rude, so arrogant, as to visit someone's blog and tell them they are all wrong and heading down some evil path for not believing my way.
I have some pretty strong religious convictions and could find plenty to take issue with out in blogland, but I have far too much respect for another persons belief system. I would not begin to convert someone to what I believe. I personally am not even finished deciding what I believe and in the past week, my faith in some Christian folk has been shall we say "changed" to a less than positive opinion. I keep asking myself, "where is the love ?" Makes me want to break out into song there, singing that line along with Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, "where is the love"
So, if you are here to visit, to read my blog, fantastic, even feel free to comment on a subject. Take a page out of Elizabeth's book over at and write your own little warning against The Secret on your blog, if you feel some great need to shout, " The sky is falling!"

I greatly respect that she wrote about what she felt, of course she has not seen the DVD or read the book, but she wrote her little ditty, took it off and then put it back on. Her blog, she can do that. But, she didn't come here and do her bidding for who is right and who is wrong.
I don't mind a difference of opinion, but when it gets to this thing of, "YOU MUST BELIEVE THIS WAY" , and that's the only point of their post, and words like EVIL are used, well I just want to shake my head and wonder why they are reading my stuff.

Watchdogs never have much of a life, always waiting for someone attack.

If I am all wrong, I am sure God will point it out to me. He is after all better at that stuff than we are. I think we should let Him do His work. And after all the old saying, " the proof is in the pudding" is probably pretty darn wise. So far, God has not even whispered in my ear about this being wrong. I personally believe it gives Him all the glory for what comes to us, we just have to take some responisbility to ask for what we want.
My life is incredibly blessed. That is my proof.

If these folks that are so worried about the "evil" and had been strong enough in their convictions to be able to get past their garlic strands around the neck mentality and give the book a read, then they would have more of an ability to discuss things without sounding like the religious right Gestapo. I am almost expecting to hear they have planned a rally to burn the books soon.
My advice to them, use your own blog for your proselytizing, which by the way is a word developed in the 17th century, not a very good time for free thinkers in the world of spiritual matters.

There I said my piece. Bottom line.... I believe in God, the all knowing, ever present, never changing, always was, always will be, creator. But I am not a cookie cutter Christian and do not want to be converted into being one. I am not into that emotional religious high kind of believer. . Never was and hope to never be. And am perfectly content to let others believe in what they want. But I am very happy !

Moving on now to the beauty of the morning.

The goldfinch in the picture turned his head around to see a sound and has a watchdog type expression. Might have to click the picture to see it better.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Joy of Orange !

After a busy day working outside, well there was that half hour of laying in the sun in my lounge chair next to Emery in his, but other than that, it was a full day of working in the garden, so we needed a bit of energy this afternoon.
As most of you know, I am not into kitchen machines much. Rather put my own muscles to work but there is one kitchen machine I am sure I could not live without. My Champion Juicer.
With great affection I put it to work today. Its over 20 years old now but still works fantastic. Has a few nicks and dings in the paint after all these years, but I still love the thing. It gets so much use, probably more in the warmer part of the year since we use it to make banana "ice cream". Frozen banana's pushed through the juicer with the homogenizer on.
Today though, carrot juice mixed with Orange juice was on the menu. Its a real good pick me up sort of drink.
I juiced 5 lbs of carrots and 15 oranges. We ended up with two huge glasses of juice and plenty to put in the refrigerator for tomorrow.
When I was making the juice I remembered how nice this machine is for making baby food. Always thinking about grandbabies these days !
An old family friend, the Champion Juicer
A bowl of Orange juice and a bowl of Carrot juice
All bottled up for tomorrow

Gathering Shepherds Purse

Today was a perfect day for gathering the first Shepherds purse of the spring.
In Maria Treben's books , "Health Through God's Pharmacy" and "Health from God's Garden" she writes quite a bit about Shepherds Purse, also called,
Mothers Heart, Pickpurse, Pickpocket, Lady's Purse, and Rattle Pouches. The official name of the plant is Capsella bursa-pastoris. It grows just about every place in the world. A hardy plant most often regarded by most as a weed.
In Ms Trebens second book she writes...."Shepherds purse is a light green cruciferous plant that grows in beet and potato fields, along country paths, on fallow land, on fresh landfills, and between rocks and stones. Lying flat on the ground directly above the upper end of the long tap root is a rosette of leaves similar to that of a dandelion. The main stem reaches a height between 8 -16 inches or 20-40 cm and from it little heart shaped bursicles (the purses) grow all the way up to the small white blossoms at the stem tips. The entire plant has medicinal properties and should be picked in spring. The autumn plants are susceptible to a fungus infection and should not be used if any is present...."
The plant is well known even from ancient times for its astringent properties. It has the ability to staunch bleeding.
In her first book, Maria Treben writes..
"Shepherds purse tea, 2-3 cups daily is used with great success for all kinds of bleeding, as for example, nose, stomach, intestinal and uterine bleeding. A decoction of Shepherds Purse is most effective for wounds which will not stop bleeding.
2 cups (1 heaped teaspoon per cup) are drunk daily 8-10 days before the onset of menstruation, in cases of excessive menstrual flow.
Shepherds purse is used for both high and low blood pressure. 2 cups of Shepherds purse tea taken daily and stopped when the circulation has become normal.
For limb or muscular atrophy, Shepherds purse, finely chopped, macerated in rye spirits and kept in the sun or near the stove for 10 days, then rubbed well into the skin several times a day. In addition, 4 cups of Lady's Mantel tea is taken internally"

I have to say, we are never without this herb in our home. We have used it over and over for cuts and to stop nose bleeds.
Since this is the time for wildcrafting this herb in our area, I thought I would share about its healing properties. When gathering this herb and any other herb from the wild. Be careful not to gather from the side of a busy road where fumes from cars can affect the plant. Be aware of the surroundings !

By the end of this week I will have many bundles of Shepherds purse hanging up to dry and of course I will have some for making a tincture.

To make an infusion.: 1 heaped teaspoon per 1/4 liter of boiling water, infused for a short time.

Compress: 1 heaped double handful of Shepherds Purse, if possible the fresh herb, is places in a sieve over boiling water. The moist warm herb is put between a cloth and applied.

Tincture: Freshly picked Shepherds purse, the leaves, stems, flowers and seed pods are finely cut and placed loosely into a bottle to the neck, 38%- 40% rye whiskey is poured over it, (the herbs have to be covered) and left in the sun or a warm place for 10 days.

Shepherds Purse gathered today

The Morning in Pictures

Sometimes pictures just capture the day far better than words.
Even if you are having a miserable day, there is beauty to be found all around you that will life your spirits and give you things to be grateful for, greatly improving your mood.

Breakfast of multi-grain waffles with cardamon
Chickens searching for goodies
peach tree showing signs of green
Tuk Tuk

Men At Work

Yesterday, while Melanie and I were recovering from our trip to the "big city", the men folk were outside working on Casi's truck, giving it a tune up and whatever else they needed to do.
It was fun watching them working side by side. We teased them some about their male bonding time !

Glorious Morning

What a perfectly glorious morning it is. The sun rose bright and clear, the birds are singing right outside my window. The air is crisp and clean, which is especially appreciated after yesterdays dust storm.
The two roosters are crowing loudly, in competition with each other.
Emery is busy working in the garden, turning the soil in preparation for planting today. Buds are coming on all the fruit trees, now with a tiny bit of green showing. So much to be grateful for, to be filled with joy because of all the simple beauty around me.
Good morning kisses, laughter in the kitchen while breakfast is cooking, warm and cozy heat coming from the wood stove, sunshine filtering in through the lace curtains, scattering pretty patterns on the floors, baby things here and there, filled with anticipation. Waking up feeling excited to greet a new day, hopping out of bed with childlike enthusiasm and energy. So many wonderful things in our lives. It just makes you want to embrace life so fully and completely.
Emery and I laid in bed this morning, propped up with pillows under our heads, each sharing our list of blessings, long rambling lists, which in itself is wonderful, that our lists were so long.
The bird feeders need to be filled today, the wind blew them around so much yesterday that all the seed was spilled out and scattered. The doves are happy though, plenty of food for them on the ground. The chickens will have fun with the added treats once they are let out to range.
Just another great day here on the little homestead.
Now, off to get my fingernails dirty, planting flower bulbs and potatoes.

I do feel like I need to add this bit here about what was mentioned regarding Melanie and her pregnancy weight gain for my new readers. We are thrilled she has gained any weight at all. We are thankful however that she has not gained like some ladies do as that would be harmful in so many ways.
She was so sick her first few months that its a miracle we still have her with us. She herself lost so much weight. Not able to eat much of anything and keep it down. Hospital stays were pretty regular at first with morning sickness so severe her blood sugars brought her close to death, and that is not even a slight exaggeration.
She is type 1 diabetic for many years, which means her pancreas quit working about 17 years ago. Nothing to do with our life style as one "not so educated" person suggested in a comment that I happily deleted ! That comment did provide lots of amused laughs for many people.
Her Doctor is thrilled with how well she is doing and all the tests show a perfectly healthy baby. Nothing is easy when you are a type 1 diabetic and pregnant.

This mornings sunrise

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Crunchie Munchies

For company last night I wanted something for dessert, but not something that would compromise my commitment to eating healthy.
I looked around at what was in the cupboards and came up with this recipe...
Everyone loved them !

Crunchie Munchies

In a large mixing bowl add.....
1 1/2 cups organic brown rice crispy dry cereal
1 1/2 cups organic corn flake cereal
1/2 cup organic coconut flakes
1/2 cup organic almond slices
1/4 cup organic sunflower seeds
1/2 cup organic raisins

1/2 cup organic freshly ground nut butter,
you could use almond, cashew, or peanut .
I used peanut.
1/2 cup agave nectar (maple syrup or rice syrup would also work)
3 oz date sweetened dark chocolate chips
a drop or two of peppermint oil (cooking kind)

Add the peanut butter, chocolate and the agave nectar together in a small saucepan and cook on low until melted. Add the mint after removing from the stove and add to dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread into a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan and cool in the refrigerator.

They were so yummy this is all that is left !

Baby Shopping !

Melanie's baby shower is a week from tomorrow so today we took a trip to BabiesRUs to finish putting things on the registry .
Oh I have never seen so many wonderful baby things ! There was even a bib that said something about going to Grandma's house to have tea. I will have to get that one for sure.
Things have come a long way since my having baby days. So many gadgets and pieces of equipment !
Melanie and Casi are more into holding the baby then in finding places to put the baby so the equipment list is pretty low key for them compared to what is available.
Melanie was willing to pose for me in the dust storm in front of the store. She is a good sport !
She is looking so cute with that baby bump, but can't imagine how big she would be if she went until her real due date, which is the 24th of May.
She has gained only 5 lbs so far. Lost a lot of her own body weight in the early stages and now she eats really healthy stuff and not any fattening junk food. My mother, sister and I never gained more than 25 lbs in any pregnancy. Either its a familial thing or we all just eat super healthy during our pregnancies.
I want to add one thing here. Its a wonderful thing to be close with your grown children. I so enjoy my time with our kids. If you have a less than perfect relationship with your children or they with you, try to fix it if you can.
I know a few people who don't even communicate with their grown children and that is sad.

Sand Storm

We are having very high winds today. Gusts often up to 50 mph. I went outside to put away some of our plastic chairs and couldn't find two of them. One had been blown over the garden fence and sat in the middle of the garlic bed. The other one had been stuck smack dab in the middle of the back fence.
Melanie and I went to Ft Worth shopping for baby things and when we went into the store, it was cloudy and windy but when we came out, the entire sky was sepia color. A huge dust storm had blown in. I took the top picture trying to show a tan brick office building that is quite large. It seemed to blend into the sky but it doesn't even show up in the photo.
The sun shining through the dust made things look eerie. The cars and the car windows all looked iridescent.
It was a strange sky to be sure.
On the way home, we saw several roofs where many or most of the shingles had blown off.

In the top picture, between the building and the shopping cart sign, there is a large 3 story office building

The second picture shows the pond near our house, taken around 4 this afternoon. This tiny pond had white caps on the water.

An Experiment

This past Thursday I did an experiment. A simple thing, just wearing a t shirt. Black shirt, white letters, no picture. It reads, WWBD on the top line and under that it says, "What Would Buddha Do ? " Simple enough to understand. Checking my actions against the teachings of Buddha. Same concept as WWJD that was so marketable a few years ago.
What transpired by wearing this shirt left me speechless.
I kept thinking about the words of Christ written in Red and how he said we should treat people, including enemies. I believe the word he used was LOVE.In my experiment, I didn't want to be an enemy to people but just represent someone with a different approach to life and see what would happen.
To be honest I was shocked, left in a state of amazement, and not the good kind. Those around me, knowing what I was doing, were even more shocked.
Here is how the day went. In Tai Chi class, a woman in her 60's, daughter of a pastor, who just weeks before had a conversation with me and another gal while we all worked out on the Pre-core machines together. This woman talked all about how she never judges anyone and how she is so tolerant and went on and on how she knows how bad it feels to be judged. The discussion came from that fact that the other woman, raised buddhist in an Asian country but is now Christian, was sharing about her child that attends an SDA church here in town and is fighting the prejudice of not being SDA and attending their school.
Well this "non judgmental" lady, read the shirt I had on and laughed and snickered like a 10 year old the entire Tai Chi class, pointing at my shirt, making jokes about what the teacher was saying about Chi and on and on all the while pointing to my shirt.

This same "non-judgmental" woman, threw any degree of composure aside and had really lost her self in the moment and acted like a silly child, but like the story of some children watching another child stone its own bird, they all soon joined in, even if they knew it was wrong.
Walking through the gym, the glares were laced with daggers. Where was the love of Christ ? Where was the kind word that may have reached out to my heart if they thought I was really in need of being saved or something ?
One of the trainers came up to me and said, " you are indeed a brave person" she knew what I was doing, just because she knows me well. She was training a pastor when I first walked in and she said the venom spilled out of his mouth in rapid fire succession regarding me and not just my shirt, although he knew nothing about me. He showed no desire to reach out to me. You would think that if a person felt so strongly that they have the only truth, they would want to convert me, but instead, I was in their mind, "hung without a trial".

I suspect there are lots of folks that are not Christian, experience this type of behavior.
Later, a man confronted me in the health food store and came so close to me that I was sure he was going to scream in my face. He "demanded" to know what my shirt meant. People around, stepped back. Uncomfortable at his rage.
To be certain I was not just imagining these reactions, I wore the shirt all day long, even when I went out to eat with Emery, Casi and Melanie. They saw it too. One man, a few booths over, glared at me with contempt beyond words, in an instant I felt threatened. I looked back at him squarely, but he reeked of anger, the kind that would burn a cross on a front lawn. I said a prayer for him.
One sweet young woman, maybe 30 years old, came to our table, very timid, you knew it took everything she had to walk over to our table and handed me a small tract about Christ. She said, something about "Jesus told her to give this to me." I thanked her and smiled. Out of the entire day, one person shared the message of Christ with me, the rest and there were many many more than I have recounted here, they all were so hate filled, born of fear or something, they all condemned me before ever saying a word.
There is a lesson in this for anyone who is filled with hatred. Its ugly and its not Christ like. I wasn't even an enemy, but no one thought to ask.
You see, love should dwell in our hearts at all times. Fear driven hate is of the worst kind. You just need to look back through history at all the wars fought in the name of religion to see that. People burned at the stake, fields filled with dead bodies in the crusades, books burned, concentration camps with ovens and all from fear and ignorance and certainly no Christ like love in the hearts, only some pretense of righteousness. We just don't seem to learn.
My t- shirt experience taught me so much. It was certainly an unpleasant experience for me to be so scorned, and just once touched with the love Christians should hold in their hearts, but it reminded me too, of why so many Christians leave churches, this hatred I felt is not reserved for unbelievers only. Just do something or say something not to their liking and suddenly you are "evil". Evil comes from hatred. Hatred is born of fear.

By the way..... WWBD anyway, in a situation like I experienced ?

"Hatred did not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth... Overcome anger by love, Overcome evil by good. overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth."

and perhaps this one too,
"Consider others as yourself."

If those two quotes sound a bit familiar, it may be because Jesus said much the same thing, many years after Buddha walked the earth.

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. From anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again."

and this one too....

" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Many Blessings

Tonight my good friend Nancy came over for supper with three of her children. What a blessing it was to have them here. We chatted and laughed. I have known Nancy for just about 15 year. She is one of the first Mennonite ladies I met and it was instant friendship for both of us. We discussed the old books she brought over for me to read and also the ones she took back with her, that I had finished reading. She finds the best Victorian era books, that are full of goodness and ethics.
We had a nice cup of Earl Gray tea after dessert and had more of a chat.

Casi and Emery worked on Casi's truck as soon as their food was finished. I just love seeing them work together. Something good and right about a young man working along side his father in law.

Tuk Tuk followed me into the hen house today when I was gathering eggs. The sun peeking out from the clouds just long enough to cast a wonderful shadow on his sweet face. Of course I had my camera with me. Its really those simple moments, the ones so comfortably ordinary like Tuk Tuk in the shadows, or just a simple meal with friends, those are the real blessings to life. The very things that make you feel full to overflowing with gratitude for the life you have.
Then add things like a wonderful loving husband, fantastic children, outstanding health, lots of energy, and growing up with parents that made you feel loved every second of every day. You just can't beat those kinds of gratitude's, that are profound blessings.

The wind is blowing, storms are on the way. Comes with the warm weather we have been having. Hope I get to sleep before the bad stuff arrives.

Life is abundantly good !

A Safety Reminder

Some ladies have been more than willing to show all sorts of pictures of them homes on their blogs, which is lovely but ..... it can create a safety issue. Don't show entry ways, valuables, etc. In addition, be very careful not to put your mailing address on any forums, yahoo groups etc, that you link to your blog, especially if these groups are open to be viewed to the public.
Send mailing addresses to only the folks you feel comfortable with and as a private email.
We are often very careful to warn our young people about the dangers of blogging and such but sometimes forget to listen to our own wisdom.
In the past month I have seen this happen three times on three different blogs . This can create a safety issue.
I am of course going to listen to my own advice here : )

The Law of Attraction at work

Since reading the book, "The Secret" and watching the DVD of the same name, about 6 times now, I have to say, some pretty amazing things have happened. Its not the book or the DVD that has accomplished these amazing things, but putting into practice some of the principles outlined by the Law of Attraction.
First off, I happen to believe the science behind this law. I have read some rather basic works on Quantum physics and Melanie was a huge student of Q.P for years so there have been plenty of conversations around this house on the subject. Admittedly, there were times it sounded like Melanie was speaking a foreign language to Emery and I but we were able to grasp the general concept, if nothing else.
Some of the things that have happened cannot be explained away as simply "good timing" or "just a coincidence". The fact remains that the Law of Attraction is at work, no matter if you believe in it or not. Think about the times you have thought strongly about a person that you have not seen or heard from in years, and then out of the blue that person calls you or someone starts talking about them. I remember so well, how Melanie said she was going to marry a person that was at least half Asian and that was that. She had good reasons for that since she is very into the cultures of Asia and much of her life interests were tied up in those interests. She had a real list of the things that the person she was going to marry had to have. She also said she was not going to date anyone unless he seemed marriage material right off. Well, she found exactly what she was looking for and they were married less than a year from their first date. The laws of attraction were at work. She got just what she wanted and accepted nothing less. She had no doubt in her ability to get what she wanted.
I was the very same way when looking for my life mate.
In 1989 I rode in the car of a friend. It was a Gray Taurus station wagon. Third row seats. I fell in love with it. She said it was great but the transmission was a bit wonky. I remember saying to Emery I want a car just like that, and I kept saying it. Just when we were needing a new car, at the very place our old car was being repaired, was a 1991 gray Taurus station wagon, third row seats. Perfect for our family. The price was right and it was just like my friends. Even down to the transmission problems, we later discovered. So here I am in 2007 still driving my 1991 gray Taurus station wagon. Runs great and I still love it. Law of Attraction. I am however starting to think about how I have always wanted a Volvo Station wagon !
I told my best friend Debbie, she HAD to go get the DVD and watch it. She went out and got it but was not as " fired up" about it as I was. She was just being a good friend and indulging me at first. But....she is a firm believer now. This is a story of amazing results. Debbie wanted to come out to be here when Mei-Ling is born, but couldn't see how to make it work. She was just out here in August. Its a long trip from New England to here and flights are not always cheap. She and I said, "well, lets just put the Secret to the test !" We did, we just kept saying that we wanted her to come out in April. She had an idea to check her frequent flier miles, thinking she had 20,000 or so and might make the ticket cheaper. She called and they said she had 67,000 miles. She's not sure how she got that many but she booked a flight, first class, to come see us and its costing her a whopping $20. This law of attraction has manifest itself over and over at my husbands work the past two weeks. And for me, I cannot even begin to share all the little and big things that have happened. Doors have opened to me that I had no idea even existed. Its not all about money and things. The feeling of gratitude is nearly overwhelming, in all areas of my life. Good thoughts bring more good thoughts. Joy brings more joy.
One simple thing to share and then I will quit gushing over this book and its principles.
I put a piece of cloth on my table yesterday to use under the plate of beans I was taking a picture of. The colors just delighted my being. Bright and bold. I said to myself out loud, I want to find a table runner with those colors at Goodwill. The day progressed with many things taking my attention, but I did stop in to Goodwill for a minute after Tai Chi to look for baby things. On the rack by the baby blankets was a table runner....yes, you guessed right, the exact colors I had said I wanted, the lady at the register said she had just put it out two minutes before I got there. The law of attraction !

Gift in the Mail

In the mail yesterday, there was a package for me from a friend in California. Inside, a beautiful ball of handspun. It's perfect. The work is extraordinary and it was done on a drop spindle. It's spun of silk and pygora plied together.
I have never been able to master the spindle, matter of fact I hold in awe anyone that can even make it work ! I have just the project in mind for this handspun. A wee winter hat for Mei- Ling, complete with Bunny ears.
Thanks Kathy, I love the yarn and your thoughtfulness.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Black Beans, Yummy !

Honest and truly I am in love with my new cookbook, La Dolce Vegan ! Each new day I want to try another new recipe, which is good since I have felt stuck in a rut for the last couple years regarding cooking. Making the same old things over and over, playing my meals like an 8 track.
Not sure if this is my breakfast or lunch... I had tea early this morning but wasn't hungry enough to take time to eat so around 10:30 I had the hankering to fill my tummy with something tasty and good for me. I am heading out to plant in the garden and I was in need of nourishment.
Right off I found the perfect choice in my new cook book. Black beans on Toast. I am not going to give you the recipe because I think if you want to make it, you should buy the book so you will have LOTS of good recipes.
But suffice to say, its a simple recipe and out of convenience I made some substitutions. Used vegan chicken stock in place of the vegetable stock and used fresh Pico de Gallo in place of the salsa and added some turmeric simply because I am a turmeric fan. Good flavor and really good for your body. I served it with fresh, warm pita bread in place of the toast. It was filling, tasted heavenly, and filled me up with just a small portion on my plate.
Topped it off with a smoothie made with frozen dark cherries, frozen banana and very vanilla soy milk. I am ready to get to work. Full of energy and all kinds of good feelings. After all, life is simply wonderful !

Turkish Cafe music playing on the stereo, incense burning and windows and doors open wide. Another magnificent day.

The Story of the Kerosene Heater

This is the story of the kerosene heater. It represents many things in our life that we feel the need to own.
When I was a child we lived in a huge house that had a coal furnace. The ceilings were high, the rooms were many. It was an old Victorian home. We needed to supplement the coal furnace at times in the dead of the cold New England winter.
We had a kerosene heater just like the one in the picture here. I loved that thing, watching the designs dance on the walls and ceiling. Of course it was a dangerous monster, sucking the air out of any space no doubt, but I loved when we used it. I would just lay on the floor watching the shapes flicker on the ceiling as the giant wick burned.
When Emery and I were newlyweds and got an apartment right near my parents, it was an old building and there down in the basement (cellar as we called it) there was an old kerosene heater just like the one I knew as a child. I coveted that old rusted thing, and wanted to find out who it belonged to and see if they would be willing to part with it. It did after all remind me of a very pleasant childhood memory. We never could find the owner so there it sat and there I was wishing it was mine.
I thought of that heater a few times through the years and felt bad that it wasn't mine. A couple years ago I checked eBay for one. There it was, on the screen before me, in perfect condition. Had an old wick in it still. I was shocked to see it didn't have a million bids on it. I bid and held my breath. Sure enough it was mine. $40 with shipping.... a steal in my mind. I almost felt like it would change my life owning this piece of my childhood. I was thrilled when it came. Found a place of honor to display it. Looked at it several times a day for at least a week. Then I needed that corner where it was, to put something else. I moved the heater to another place, admired it, remembered those diamond shapes on the wall when I was a child and then went on with the business at hand.
One time I put a small light inside of it to see the patterns show up in the darkened room. It was fun, but not magic.
So here it is, two years later, the heater has been moved to so many spots and now it feels like an albatross around my neck as I try to find someplace to put it. The memories were wonderful, but owning this same heater did not change my life in the way I assumed it would.
You see, so many things we buy, we buy with the notion it will make our life happier, or give us never ending joy, when really it won't. Things don't do that for us. I suspect everyone reading this blog can think of one of more items that can be substituted in the spots where I wrote kerosene heater.
Most "things" don't give us lasting, never ending happiness. Some things like my camera bring me joy over and over, by capturing moments of beauty and emotion. Its a "thing" that keeps on giving. But then there is the "stuff" of life that just ends up getting moved from place to place. You find it didn't give you all the pleasure you thought it would.
A lesson, choose your things wisely and understand that true joy, true pleasure is not gained by acquiring "pretties" and nothing can replace the joy of a good memory. Hope I learned a lesson from this small, old heater.

Is Jesus really enough ?

Before you get into a panic at reading the subject, read through and think about it a minute. Imagine for a moment that you have been raised in some very isolated area, apart from people other than your parents. They had been raised the same way. You read no books, never heard of the Bible, or any religion. You have no concept of church. The word isn't even in your vocabulary. You do feel that there is something "bigger" out there but it has no name.
Somehow you unearth a copy of the book of Matthew, the words of Christ being highlighted in red. That is all you have. No Mark, Luke, John or any other book in the Bible.
Could you be a good Christian with only those words available to you ? Are the words of Christ sufficient ? If you believe he is the messiah, the son of God, the perfect man, I suspect you would think his words would be enough to show you the way to live a holy life.
But if you just had the words of Christ, would your Christianity look different than what you practice now ? Would there be less judgment in your practice ? Would there be more love ? Would you even know to go to church ? And would there be someone else, or a conference, telling you how to live ?
We seem to have gotten ourselves into a place where Christ's words stand second or take a back seat to others words. Even if you believe that all the scripture is inspired, surely you must know that not everyone who wrote in the Bible was the Messiah, the very son of God, and that alone should make the words of Christ stand highest. We should hear His words in Church the most and be challanged to live them daily.

If His words alone cannot keep you on the path to Heaven, then how could he have been perfect ? If His words alone are not complete in showing salvation in your mind, then what does that mean ?
If you never knew what happened after the cross, would you still live for Him ? Hard questions and answering them with the old come back of " all the words of the scripture are inspired" doesn't answer the hard questions I have asked here today. Its just a cop out for not looking at what you believe in and seeing if you think Christ alone is enough to keep you on the right road to being a really good person.
Even for you to say you need more words than just His words makes you look like you believe Christ must not have been complete, perfect etc, admitting perhaps that He didn't say all He needed to. And that is far less than perfect, to leave out something we HAVE to have.
Of course the point of all this is to have you look deep inside your heart and see where you really stand. Its hard to use just the words of Christ to judge others and to say things like, "well, we dress this way and we worship this way". You see, Christ didn't say those things to us. He gave us very little to hold over our brothers and sisters heads while we smirk, thinking we are better.

Here are some verses to chew on today, the very words of Christ.... putting them into practice would surely change the world. A Challange for many of us.

Matthew 5:
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'
39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Have you ever been afraid to step out in the grass for fear something creepy might be hidden there ?
Have you ever been afraid to take a certain class, just knowing it taught something way beyond your capabilities ?
Fear can be crippling and so many times, the fear itself is a much greater danger than what we imagine could be ahead of us.
The grass may contain only a delicate flower or the math class, a wonderful explanation of how things all work together, easily understood when taken step by step.
Fear comes in all sorts of forms and limits us in many ways. Even fear of new ideas. We are all bright enough, strong enough to look at something and decide what is right and what is not, but not before looking at it.
We all know that if a dictator wishes to keep in control, he first instills fear, then ignorance and then poverty comes of its own.
Don't allow yourself to be held in your own prison of ignorance out of fear, no matter what kind of fear that is. Be it in matters of health, wisdom and of course our spiritual walk.

Sure Signs of Spring

All week long I have been wandering around looking for the sure signs that spring is really on the way. I have my own signs that I look for every year. You know, natural things, certain plants popping up, that sort of thing.
Today I saw a couple things that made me know for certain, without a doubt, that spring has begun to sprung. First, the buds on the trees, the fruit trees to be exact, then there was the lizard, granted he was in the mouth of one sweet natured Ling Ling, but that is part of nature, like it or not. Then I noticed the most sure sign of all. Shepherds purse tiny and frail yet, but still there in the grass, tiny blossoms and those tender heart shaped leaves filled with the very thing to stop bleeding. Amazing stuff. Crush those tender juicy leaves on a cut and the bleeding stops instantly. We have used it for years on goats and on ourselves. I most always make a batch of tincture to take hiking with us too.
Shepherds always carry it in their purses and the leaves also looks like a tiny purses. I sat on the ground, Tuk tuk curled up by my leg, his black tail with its tip of white looking like he dipped it in a bucket of paint, wrapped around my foot. He was so cozy he stretched and stretched his razor sharp claws in my leg, no matter how often I told him that didn't feel very nice, he kept it up. Soothing to him maybe, but not to me.
While sitting on the tender grass, I could see so many wonders of nature. The Shepherds purse of course, but other things too, tiny plants of unknown variety. Old leaves, giving back to the soil and nourishing the new life. A bug, yes, a brave early one, venturing out to see if indeed the sun was that bright and warm. I saw the beginnings of fennel and mint, and mullein growing small furry leaves.
All these signs of spring made me know just one more important item that makes me excited enough to pass by the most expensive chocolates, and the finest cheeses. Yes, the very thing that only arrives in the early spring when the shepherds purse blooms......are you waiting to find out what it is....are you holding your breath ? It is one of my all time favorite things. I only indulge in two or three, sharing the rest with others..... those wonderful marshmallow like Easter candies that are like the orange circus peanuts. Never more than $1 for a bag, but I love them. The pink ones are the best. I carefully pulled the colored wrapper off the first one, taking a tiny bite, savoring each tiny morsel. Sweet beyond imagination....which is why I can only eat a couple of them and if the truth be told, I usually throw the rest away cause no one else wants them. I just really love them. In this package, the pink ones were bunnies, the yellow ones ducks and to be honest I have not been able to identify the white ones or the green ones. They look rather generic, like a bird, rabbit creature. I have had my fill, took their picture and shared the rest with the circular file in the kitchen. They are not even something I would feed my animals but once a year in some moment of madness, I have to have some. Memories of Easter baskets of long ago. So, its official, in Texas, spring has arrived, if only for the moment, as Shepherds purse and those hard pink marshmallow bunny things are in the stores !

Shepherds purse

Pear tree bud

Tuk Tuk, resting against my leg

The most certain sign of spring

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...