Showing posts from February, 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,…

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
Daffodil 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 lik…

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 …

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 wonde…

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 …

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 son…

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 ho…

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 ki…


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 usu…

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 juic…

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 whit…

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 full…

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.


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…

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 s…

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 a…

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 …

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 abo…

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.

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 …

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…

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 diffe…


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 hea…

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 l…