Showing posts from August, 2007

And The Winner Is....

Mei-Ling dug her little hand, (it was a bit wet from just coming from her mouth) into the basket of names and pulled up Lisa in N.M.
Mei-Ling seemed delighted with the whole game, except she wasn't too happy to let go of the name when I needed to read it. So here is a happy picture of her with the name of the winner. Lisa if you will email me with your mailing address I will get the cards off to you Tuesday. Thanks everyone for participating and I suspect I may do a drawing for Christmas cards in a week or so. This was so much fun !

Card Give Away at 5ish Friday

Just a reminder.... Friday around 5 p.m. (might not be exact as the baby may have other plans for me at that moment) will be the drawing for the note card give-away. Last chance to get you name in the pot for the drawing ! Just leave me a comment here or leave a comment in the CBox section of my blog

Grammie's Fun Day

Mei-Ling doesn't like to miss anything that is going on around her so she fights to stay awake. I took about 60 pictures of her when it was nap time, documenting her fight to stay awake. She was not about to give in but at last, sleep won out. Her tiny feet and hands fascinate me with their delicate movements and their perfect shape. I had such a fun day, got nothing done around the house but....this wee one is all giggles and smiles, which are such treasured moments and nothing was more important that these seconds in time, so dear and so treasured. She is one medications that upset her stomach, but she doesn't fuss much as all. A brave little one she is. Melanie called a couple times to see how we were making out so I put Mei-Lings ear up to the phone so she could hear her Mommy's voice...Mei-Ling was looking all around the room for her mommy when she heard her voice on the phone. Its now 10:30 at night... baby sleeps in cozy sleepers, her tummy full, her diaper dry. Blan…

A Feeling So Full of Peace

This week-end, Grampie and Grammie get to baby-sit ! Melanie and Casi are taking a well deserved weekend trip. It was just their first wedding anniversary the 26th.
Mei-Ling is here with me now, piano music filling the house as she sleeps, gentle music, the kind that makes you feel mellow, contemplative, the keys seem to know the way the soul feels.
The sweet face of the tiny one, her fingers bent as if to gently hold on to life itself. Her breathing gentle and easy. Not a care in the world showing on her round little face. I marvel at the idea that another generation is before me, pieces of her mother, her father, her grandparents and aunts and uncles all within her, yet she is uniquely and marvelously all her own person. I am flooded with a peacefulness as I watch her sleep. She is a miracle, as are all babies, as is our sweet Elizabeth.
I know that in these babies life time, I will read stories to them, hold them, rock them, bake cookies with them, tell them about places I have bee…

Would You Pray

My Auntie, who I love so much is having a surgical procedure tomorrow morning at 6:45. Would you just say a little prayer for her that it will go well. She is just one of the nicest ladies in the world, busy, active and she means the world to me.
Thanks everyone !

My Aunt Jeanne with my great grandfather
And here she is just looking so chic

Living Humbly and Simply

This afternoon I was reading the definition of two words, simply and humbly and was struck by how the two words can be interchanged in certain sentences regarding life style.
We have all heard the phrases, "a humble cottage", "the humble parish priest" and "humble beginnings". You get the same idea, the same picture in your mind if you say, " a simple cottage", "the simple parish priest" and "simple beginnings". Living simply, might just be the same as trying to live humbly in many ways. You can even use the word plainly, in place of simply and humbly. But the word humble is a tough one. Humility is so against the grain of modern life, where possessions account for so much of what we think is our value. Living simply and plainly just make you such an odd ball. You have to explain yourself so much, share the why of your lifestyle. I can do the simple and plain thing, I can say we live humbly, its our choice, but…

Information on Ordering MorningRamble Cards

Thank you all, for the great response to my new endeavor. I have been overwhelmed with pre-orders for the MorningRamble Cards . My web page is not available yet, so I will try and set up something with Esty today or tomorrow until the web page is available. I will be having several sets available with specific themes, you can order with or without a quote by me on them. At this point I plan on keeping all the photography, shots from home or at least shots taken on my morning walk near home. The themes will be... Simple Living, our homestead Tea Time Roses Spinning and Knitting Nature Christmas/Winter The cards are on good quality card stock, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches and will sell for $2.50 cents each or 12 in a set for $24 plus shipping. At present it is my plan for you to be able to choose which how many of each design you want within each category, so you can mix and match or have all of one design. It is our plan to have the cards available for sale in the early part of September. Feel free…

India's Cotton Growers

Tonight Emery and I watched PBS's Wide Angle. The show was about the "The Dying Fields" of India's cotton farms in Vidarbha, India's Cotton belt. In 2006, 1,044 suicides were reported in Vidarbha alone - that's one suicide every eight hours. To find out why this is happening, read this article I had no idea this was happening. We live in a world of instant communication, a world made small by technology, yet this has been a relatively unknown issue to most of us. The solution to this situation can be had for a small price compared to what we spend on luxuries in this country.
Most of this story can be viewed here Knowing about such issues should birth within our hearts a level of compassion that brings about change.
Frontline did a great job of reporting this story, the sad story of the "Seeds of Suicide"

Sweet Cornbread Recipe

Sweet Cornbread
1/2 cup butter melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups baking mix like bisquick
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup cornmeal
mix together and bake in a 9x9 greased pan in a 350 degree F oven for 35 minutes (180 C , Gasmark 4) I used white corn meal so the cornbread is not as yellow as usual, the photo makes it look like it is though : )

Just An Ordinary Day

The day started before the sun rose above the juniper trees along the eastern fence line. The wash I had put in before turning out the lights last night was waiting to be hung up in the cool morning air. I remember thinking while hanging the clothes about how nice it will be when the entire day is cool and when socks and long johns will be welcome against the chill in the air.The kittens chased my the hem of my skirt and got underfoot the entire time I was working. The lines full, it was time to feed the hens and see what damage the possum had done. We have a live trap, but haven't set it yet. Last night as Emery was looking up the chicken house, a large owl flew out of the tree by the woodshed. I wondered if he was hoping for a stray chicken for his evening meal. I was glad Emery was out there with a flashlight in his hand. There are so many creatures of the night that look for opportunity to feed on our chickens. The sun creeping up the sky reminded me that the day was…

A Give Away from MorningRamble

MorningRamble is stretching it's wings a bit and I have begun selling note cards and greeting cards with my photography and some of my writings. So far they have been well received and I have had nothing but praise for them. By October I plan on having a line of Christmas cards available for sale, all with a homestead, simple living theme.
I thought that it might be fun to give away a package of six blank note cards to one of my readers. All you need to do is leave a comment for me and I will have a drawing on Friday to pick a winner.

The Simple Life

Simple living is not about doing without, its more about doing with...doing with what you need and not chasing after all the things you want. It's about doing things with the rhythm of nature, working with the cycles of the garden, of the animals and their time to give wool or milk. It's about taking time to think, to see, to enjoy the things that have nothing to do with the cost of something. It's about making things and learning to enjoy family time more than running around chasing after things. It's all about finding out what will really matter in the end.
roving in the sunlight

Admitting It Wasn't The Best Way

It was the last thing on my mind last night and the first thing on my mind this morning.... I wasn't happy with how I explained my thoughts in the post before this. I thought about hopping out of bed, turning on the computer and just going in and editing the post so that it said more of what I was trying to say. But by the time I had gone to bed, about 200 readers had read the post, editing it would be lost to the folks that read it already. So, I rolled over and went to sleep. But long before the sun rose in the eastern sky, my mind was turning, thinking of how to phrase what I wanted to say.... talking it out in my head. Defining in my own mind my thoughts.
Lots of folks shy away from admitting they have made mistakes in life...its embarrassing, it shows others you are not perfect, ( as if they didn't know !) and it feels a bit uncomfortable pride wise. Probably most folks have already heard about Mother Teresa's letter where she wrote about her doubts in God, she…

Simple Sunday

Just a quiet day for us today. Emery planned a nice long drive around our area, taking in the sights and sounds of the countryside. Narrow winding roads, fields full of freshly cut hay, cows and horses grazing in the pastures, and the hum of summer all around us. It was refreshing to my soul to see the things that I love, country life, farm life, the simple things. I am longing for fall time, longing for fires in the wood stove and the smell of woodsmoke as I do my chores. For the cool morning air kissing my face as I head outside to greet the morning. Last year I wanted to spend at least a weekend without all the modern conveniences. A personal challenge. We have lived pretty simply for years but there has always been modern life right close at hand. I want to see if we are strong enough mentally and physically to step completely out of modern times. Emery spent much of his childhood without electricity and running water, so its really not a challenge to him, he knows well what …

Crock Pot Indian Pudding Recipe

Here is the recipe for Crock Pot Indian Pudding that I make Crock Pot Indian Pudding 3 cups milk 1/2 cup cornmeal 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/3 cup molasses 2 tbsp butter 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp ginger Lightly grease the crock. Preheat on high for 20 minutes. Meanwhile bring milk, cornmeal and salt to a boil. Boil stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Gradually beat in the hot cornmeal mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour into crock and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 6-8 hours We serve it warm with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream. Its a real family favorite. My Grandmother and Mother loved Indian Pudding, so I had it often as a child. Occasionally you can find it in a store in New England, ready made and in a can

Quiet Moments

Debbie should be on the plane now heading home to Massachusetts and Melissa is home in Vermont already. The house here is very quiet.When I got home from the airport, I headed straight outside to do chores. Emery has been faithfully doing them while company was here, freeing up my every moment to be with Melissa and Debbie. There is some sort of comfort in the regular routine of things. As though there is a fullness of balance when we do the familiar, the ordinary things in our life. Walking out to the chicken house, I saw a rose in bloom. I was in shock at how the morning glories have invaded our garden, work ahead of me for sure, lots of it. The sweet looking purple flowers have taken over every single inch of fence line. Strangling everything in sight.
The chickens were happy to see me, not for any other reason than the fact their feeder was empty. I fed them, watered them and let them run out the door to hunt for bugs. I wandered around with the feeling that it had b…

Saying Good-bye

Its 5 a.m. Melissa and Emery have left for the airport. Tears feel like raindrops, freely falling with sad hearts. Its so hard to say good-bye. I know how Melissa feels, I have said good-bye to my mother in just the same way. That mixed feeling of hating to leave, yet anxious to get home to my husband. That pain of leaving "home" the place where your childhood unfolded. Where you played in the yard, hid in a storm, teased your siblings, learned about life, ate so many meals around the table laughing, discussing, and making your first opposing point of view. The place where you know all the squeaks in the floor. Where the smells are so filled with memories, bread baking, cookies being baked, the smell of the laundry being folded, fresh off the line. This home, will always be a place where you can be yourself, where freedom to be just as you are is real. The love contained in the walls is accepting and warming. I know just how Melissa feels as tears stream down her cheeks. Bu…

Family Night

Steven treated us all to supper at Olive Garden tonight. What fun we had all together. We just needed to have Melissa's husband James with us and then it would have been complete. The food was wonderful, but best of all was the joy in being all together.
Emery will be taking Melissa in to the airport long before the sun rises tomorrow and later in the day I will be taking Debbie to the airport. Tomorrow night will seem awfully quiet around here. But what a blessing it has been to all be together. I feel like I have so many blessings in my life, but a close loving family is by far the greatest blessing of them all.

I was taking the picture !

Babies Babies and More Babies

Today was the baby shower for Priscilla. What a delightful event, filled with friends, and beautiful gifts for our sweet Miss Elizabeth. I was too busy holding babies to take many pictures... after all holding grand-babies is the most important aspect of any gathering. The house was filled with balloons, cake decorated with pink, pink flowers, pink gift bags and there was even pink punch on the table to drink. Here are a few pictures from the day. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such love all around me all the time. As you can see in the pictures there were several babies in attendance today. All so sweet and precious. Elizabeth and her two cousins, Emily and Mei-Ling Priscilla and Elizabeth The wee Miss Elizabeth My new favorite picture of my sweet daughter in law Lots of pretty new baby things

Show and Tell Friday

I love that Kelli over at hosts a show and tell Friday each week and its fun to sit and think about things to share. Today, being a bit rushed for computer time with all my wonderful company here, I decided to share something special to me, my collection of wheat pottery from Homestead Heritage in Elm Mott. If you do a search on my blog of Homestead Heritage you will come up with some pictures of this Christian community south of us. I love the rich colors of this design and what I love even more is that each piece I own has been a gift from my husband for a birthday or Christmas. I got my first piece in the late 1990's with Emery adding to my little collection through the years. Emery grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas so having the wheat design is special to our family and all my life I have loves salt glazed pottery. This past birthday, Emery gave me the creamer, sugar bowl and a cereal bowl. They are such nice additions to my collection.

Sensible Shoe Family

Some ladies spend a lot of money on fancy shoes, designer variety. Not me, I have been a sensible shoe wearer for all of my life. Good room for the toes, heels that are healthy and not harmful. Somehow that seems to translate into a shoe that my mother referred to as "nuns shoes". The kind of shoe a nun might have worn in the 1950's. My first Earth shoes were a delight to me, but not exactly chic. I wore them with pride all through the 1970's. In the 1980's I graduated to Birkenstock's and wore them until we started going to the Mennonite church. The shoes of that decade were black lace up SAS shoes. Now that those days are over I am back to Kalso Earth Shoes, not the ones found in Wal-Mart, but the negative heel variety. Some of the Earth Shoes are quite cute but I opted for what I had known 3 decades ago. Funny thing is, Melissa has some of the Earth Shoes in the same style as I have, but recently she purchased these cute Earth shoes with patches on them.…

Thinking . . .

A late evening visit to Starbucks has left me a bit caffeined up and sleepless. Everyone else in the house is tucked in for a good nights sleep. The house is dark except for this little work space at my desk, lit up by the monitor. The sound of the oscillating fan in the next room, brushing the air my way at times, the sound like the ebb and flow of the ocean if you use a little imagination.
Mei-Lings surgery being cancelled has left me feeling spent, as if there was no place for the worry I felt earlier to go. It feels like the worry just slid off the side of a cliff. No worry now, but some sort of fallout remains. Its a strange feeling. I am the kind that always feels like when plans are changed for you, that it is the great wheel of fate turning for you. Surgery being cancelled is like a major turn of fate. A sure sign to me that it was meant to NOT happen tomorrow for whatever reason. I even feel that sort of feeling when the phone rings as I am walking out the door…

No Surgery Tomorrow

Surgery for Mei-Ling has been cancelled for tomorrow. Her bladder infection is still pretty bad and they want to do another EKG and echo cardiogram on her.
We are all hoping this Deflux will do the job for her problem, but they still need to fix other problems she has with surgery. Poor tiny one has so much to deal with !
Not sure when they will try to get the Deflux done, but they said soon.

Mei-Ling, DeFlux for Vesicoureteral Reflux

Our sweet grand-daughter will be heading off to the hospital very early in the morning for her surgery. She is listed as EXTREME HIGH RISK, which sounds so scary. The risk is due to her heart condition. We know she will be in the safe care of the Great Physician. I thought you might want to know a bit about the procedure so here is some information. Most children go home the same day but they are keeping her overnight as an added precaution due to her many medical issues. Deflux® implant procedure
What is a Deflux implant
Deflux is a sterile, biodegradable gel used to
treat vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). The
Deflux implant is injected into the bladder
wall where the ureter enters the bladder,
forming a bulge at the opening. The bulge
reduces the size of the opening, to prevent
urine from flowing backwards into the
ureter. The opening is still flexible so urine
can flow into the bladder, as it should.
Deflux is gradually replaced by the body’s
own tissue, so the bulge remains.
General anest…


3BeautifulThings for this day are....
Seeing the way my children all grown interact with one another, their laughter and conversation.
The smile on Emery's face when he walked through the door early this afternoon to surprise me.
A silence in the house this morning that was tangible, with a feeling of holiness to it that was perfect for a lengthy prayer time.

Needing Prayers

Tomorrow is the day Mei-Ling has her surgery. Its difficult to hold her today and not think about what is to take place tomorrow. I keep thinking its not fair for such a tiny one to endure the pain of an operation. Yes, of course I know its needed and how amazing the things the Doctors can do...I am ever so grateful, but I also know its going to hurt her, cause her some pain and that is difficult to deal with. I know that God is able to do fantastic miracles. He can part the sea, create a world, and so much more. He could you know, heal Mei-Ling. Its in His power to do so. Frankly I question Him on why He doesn't do that. I'd be lying to myself and to everyone else if I didn't admit to those feelings and just say I am fine with His decision to NOT do that. Its just one of those things I just have to put in the "I don't understand" file. It doesn't make me mad or bitter or any of those things and I know all the correct responses about Gods will, God is usi…

The Directions are all there...

Have you ever been trying to put something together or operate some new gadget according to the directions you have but keep saying, "well, that's just too simple, I must be missing something". Its almost as if simple directions are too difficult to accept. We expect things to be complicated. Life is like that. Its really quite simple to live a simple life but we expect and almost want it to be complicated, to be some huge undertaking in order for us to make it attractive. Religion is like that. Nothing could be more simple than to live a life with the simple goal of loving God, and loving your fellow man. Of course to do that we need to not be so tied tightly to possessions and self interest. Things get in the way, so doesn't prosperity. You wouldn't think prosperity would be such a trap but it sure can be. The more we have, the more we want and the more we move away from giving of our time and of ourselves. I don't advocate seeking a life of poverty, but I …

Summer Treat

One of our favorite treats on a hot summer night is Banana "ice cream" made with the Champion Juicer. Simple to make, ingredient....frozen banana's and that's it !We like to top it off with some coconut and date sweetened carob chips. Soooo good. Simple, healthy and fun to make. We have owned our Champion Juicer since the very early 1980's and it has never let us down. It's a total work horse.

Seeing Clearly

There are times in life when we have a clouded vision of life simply because of an emotional attachment to something that is not even our reality. It may have been our reality at one time, or a childhood truth, but it no longer is a truth for us. Yet, we have grown so comfortable holding on to it that we seem to cherish this attachment. Looking honestly at our lives, and the freedom we have in a deep and abiding relationship with God, we can move past the things that are no longer our "truths". I will give you an example from my own life. When I was a child, my spelling was horrible. It was creative at best. The teachers used to take my spelling papers outside at recess to share with one another and laugh at. I saw them doing that and it was just proof to me that I was a horrible speller and I did nothing to change that, it was after all in my 3rd grade mind, a hopeless situation. Somewhere around age 30, I realized I actually could spell most any word I want…