Showing posts from May, 2007

Only 9 Days this Month Without Rain

No picture for this post, just a sad story. We had a tiny bit of blue sky this morning so I ran out to RE-hang the clothes that were brought in the house wet last night. I was so hopeful about getting these things dry. A load of whites and a load of towels, the stuff you need daily.
I get done, walk in the house to see a special weather notice on the TV. Severe thunderstorms heading right for us, should arrive within minutes. I run out and grab some of the more important whites, figuring I will hang them up in the house. By the time I took down the last piece I was planning on drying in the house, the heavens opened and torrential rain began to fall. I just stood in the back hall, looking out the screen door, watching two lines of clothes get drenched, AGAIN.
Maybe tomorrow they will dry, maybe...
Simple living isn't always so easy.

Goodwill Shopping for this week

This week at Goodwill I hit the jackpot. I love old editions of Ideals Magazines and there on the shelf of the store was a huge stack of them from 1960 and 1961, .50 cents each. I bought all 14 issues. I just love the poems and the pictures. Good home grown sort of stuff in them. Poems that relate to the simple way of living. In the past I have purchased some off of e-bay but had to pay lots more than 50 cents, especially with shipping charges.
Then there was this tea pot, I know, I know, I don't NEED another tea pot, well actually I am a bit low on the blue and white color scheme so...anyway it was only $4. Needed more baskets for a couple things around the house and they were very cheep, under $1.
I am ever so grateful for a wonderful thrift store close by. I do tell myself on the drive there, "remember, want and NEED are not the same things ". Sometimes this little lecture helps and sometimes it doesn't. Reading material is almost always a NEED ! Oh yes, almost for…

Plum Picking Time

The plum tree is overflowing with fruit. These are the smaller plums used to make prunes. But oh they are so sweet off the tree, you just have to eat about 6 to get your fill. Melanie and I went out picking plums just before another storm arrived yesterday. We saw the wind cloud and knew we had better get as many picked as possible in a short time. That wind would knock them all off the tree and since they are so ripe, most would explode when they hit the ground. I will be drying them today, making a slit in the fruit, pulling out the pit and then putting them in the dehydrator. We have all been snacking on them too. They are so juicy and sweet. All our fruits and veggies are grown organically, so we feel comfortable just picking them and eating them.
Its raining again today so no chance to dig potatoes this morning. The garden has take a back seat to a certain little baby, which means weeds are numerous. No pictures this spring, I would be embarrassed to show off the weeds, and the e…

A Stroll Around the Garden

The rain stopped long enough today for me to take the camera on walk with me. The red cabbage is ready to pick, mullein is setting blooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, shallots, and broccoli are ready to be picked also. The caterpillars have really taken over the fennel, so not sure there will be any left for us humans.
The ground is so soft that weeding is simply a delight. One slight tug on a weed and up it comes, roots and all. With all the rain, the weeds are growing just as fast and are just as lush as any of the things we planted. Tonight the rain stopped with great hopes that it will stay away long enough for me to get a few loads of wash dried. I am a bit tired of having clothes drying here and there in the house. Even on the drying racks in the house, they take forever to dry since its so humid out.

A red red rose Soapwort in bloom
Fennel Trumpet vine in bloom
Red cabbage

Baby in a Basket

Mei-Ling all cozy and happy in a basket right next to my knitting basket by my rocking chair of course. Babies are such fun ! Needless to say, not much knitting is getting done with such a sweet one here all day. The basket she is in, was another wonderful find at our Goodwill Thrift store. Pretty costy compared to some other finds, it was a whopping $5. When Mei-Ling has outgrown the basket, it will certainly hold a lot of wool !

Sometimes I Just Have to Laugh At Myself

They say its a woman's prerogative to change her mind, and that saying is true for me. I can change my mind. I can feel one way one day and another the next, provided its not really life changing stuff : ) Some woman change clothing style, the way they cook, the music they listen to, or even how they dot their i's.. remember when you are in high school and dot your i's with a tiny heart ? I made tiny circles too for a while over each i. Modern times seem to encourage this changability in us. Our imaginations are wide open to so many things. Technology bombards us with options and choices. Throughout my life I have learned its just important not to make big changes when in the mood to change !
There are some days I wake up just wanting to head off in a new direction, explore the modern side of life, explore new concepts or maybe just sit in my rocker for a couple hours and just think about the old ways, wishing I was living in Nova Scotia in the tiny town of Noel where my gr…

Take Care of Yourself and Those You Love

Treat yourself well. Take a long leisurely bath, candles lit, soft music. Caring for yourself is important, it rejuvenates the soul. It helps us gain focus.
Its no secret that when you are refreshed you find it easier to face difficulties and to have more patience. Its not selfish to take some time for yourself, its wisdom. Its a bit like recharging your batteries.
Even when my children were young, I took long soaking baths, complete with candles and a glass of wine or sometimes it was just plain iced water in a pretty plastic goblet.
Everyone knew it was my time and although there was no "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, the family knew this was time to leave mom alone. Dad was always handy at these times anyway, he could handle all the needs they had. If you are a single parent, wait till the children are asleep and take some well deserved time for yourself. Think positive thoughts, breath deeply and deliberately. Make the bath smell special, and I loved lots …

Sunday Afternoon Drive

The weather wasn't right for hiking today. It kept raining on and off and with as many flash flood warnings that are going on, we thought it best to just head off in the car and not on foot.
Rivers and creeks can rise awfully fast in these conditions, making some trails unsafe to hike.
I took some pictures of the local fields to share with you. Lots of wheat nearly ready to harvest and in some areas the corn is already tasseled.
In our area, cotton and soy beans are grown also. Hay crops have been great this year, after several years of nearly no hay crop due to the drought, the farmers are pretty happy about all the rain this year.
I love how you can see for miles and miles. Growing up with mountains all around me, I never knew the beauty of openness, but now when I go home to where I grew up, it almost feels claustrophobic to me. I love seeing the sky touch the land. I love watching clouds that go on for miles and miles. Feeling the wind off the prairie on hot summer da…

Goodies From Hong Kong Market

Melanie and Casi brought me all my favorite things from Hong Kong Market and from Hong Kong Bakery. Mung bean cakes, Phoenix rolls, coconut cream buns (filled with whipped cream)
Incense and money to burn !

Mei-Ling is A Month Old Tomorrow !

This little one is growing fast and changing daily. We actually see her awake more often ! She is now to the point where she should have been born as Melanies due date was the 24th of this month. Mei-Ling is following voices, and watching everything going on around her. What joy this child gives us.
I find myself just watching her by the hour. Each aspect of her little life, a miracle.
She is a smartie though, she now knows that a bit of a whimper brings Grammie running to her side, picking her up for a cuddle.

Rainy Saturday

Rain fell steadily through the night, starting off soothing, comforting, then at times it was torrential, monsoon like. In the past two days we have had 4 inches of rain fall at our place. The ground is soggy and in places your wellies stick in the mud with that suction cup sound, known all too well by farmers with mud on their place.
In front of our house there was a small river running alongside the road. I am thankful we are on the top of a hill. The water always runs away from us.
There have been moments without rain today, tiny glimpses of blue peeking through the heavy gray clouds. Rain is needed in these parts, we try not to complain about it, but the forecast shows rain for the next 5 days.
The rain creates such beauty and yes, it can create destruction, but today on the flowers were droplets of water, tiny mirrors, and on some blooms the water sat like a fat balloon on the top of the flower.
The grapes on our vines are swelling with goodness with all this rain right now. It see…

Goodwill Shopping

Yesterday I found the best bargains at our Goodwill Store. A Laura Ashley Full size comforter for $5 and its like new. Its perfect for my pink and white guest room.

I also found a knitted baby afghan in pink and white, a gorgeous pink crochet baby afghan that is amazing. Lots of crochet lacy edging that is so girlie. Beautiful bibs for Mei-Ling and a soft polar fleece blanket. I also found two darling outfits for Mei-Ling but they were in the washer when I was taking pictures. Each afghan was only $2 and the bibs were well under $1.

Thrift store shopping is such fun and a real blessing. Its just the best place to buy things for a fast growing grand-daughter ! Now I want to find a Silver Cross doll pram there, preferably the pink one : )

Living in The Time I Was Born

In the past week, I have come to a realization. For many years, too many to count I have said things like, " I am just a dinosaur " " I was born a century too late" " I just don't seem to fit in modern times" etc etc. I loved the things of old, wishing I could just step back in time. I suspect that is why I learned to do so many things the old fashioned way. Spinning wool, candle making, soap making, cooking on the wood stove, and more. In a light bulb moment I saw that this desire to be in another time, be in another place in history, I was saying, that I was discontent in being who I was now, and not real grateful for where I was placed in this life. One might say, its a bit like saying to God, well I think you made a mistake in putting me here and now, so I am going to try and be what I want as much as I can.
I wonder now, if I had worked so hard on keeping the things I cherish about the old day, which are probably all seen with rose colored glasse…

Loving Life

If any of you watched Oprah today, Martha Beck was on, one of my favorite writers by the way. Her book, The Joy Diet is a must for everyone to read. Martha Beck mentioned two things today that were simply profound. Imagine a loved one, your child, a spouse, a family member, sick in bed and you sneak in to look at them sleeping in the night, hoping they are feeling better, so glad they are sleeping peacefully, now imagine that experience, but the person in the bed is you. You are giving all that compassion and love to yourself. We all need to love ourselves with that same level of compassion. She also said something about how to raise happy children, I am paraphrasing here of course, but the essence of what she said is...if you want your children to love themselves, to love life, to be happy, then you the mother must love life. Profound. A lesson for me to be sure, to love myself more. The loving life part, well that I do. No work there for me to do.

A Picture Says It All

Sometimes a picture just says it all. Its a lazy day around here, even the cat is lounging. Its gray and rainy. Perfect day for a good book, a cup of tea and maybe even a good day for watching one of my favorite movies, "The Secret of Roan Inish." Watching that movie means the tea has to be Barrys Gold !

Personal Peace

Personal peace is a rare thing today. People don't take time to find inner peace for the most part. Silent meditation, prayer are hastily done or not done at all. We have learned to get in the hamster wheel of our thoughts and run over and over the negative ones. We dwell on the things we don't like, forgetting that each moment lived is gone the second it happens. Reliving the events of the past does nothing for our peace of mind. We should learn from our mistakes or the things that we go through and then move on.
True peace of mind is something no one can steal from you, you can only give it away to someone who is wanting to take it from you. Your thoughts are always yours.
Positive thoughts can be lived over and over in the mind without harming us it seems.
Positive thoughts are so much more powerful than the negative thoughts we have. Positive people have better health generally. Positive people are so much nicer to be around too. We all know the Chicken Little "the sky …

Culture Differences and Keeping Secrets, I Made a Mistake

Ever make a mistake without any idea you were even making one ? Well, I did recently and its made me feel sick just thinking about it. Evidently its the custom of some plain people to keep many aspects of pregnancy secret, maybe because of some fear, maybe its superstation, to be honest I don't know what the reason is in this case. The name of an expected baby is a secret I have now learned. I feel so bad and have apologized to Steven and now ask that you just forget what you read regarding the name of the baby.
I was not told that the name chosen for Stevens baby was a secret so shared it all with my blog readers and my family. If I had known it was a secret or even guessed that it COULD or SHOULD be a secret I would have never shared the information.
So, forget that you know the babies name : )
I am such an open book person, what you see is what you get and what I think can be shared. Secrets seem so archaic to me in regards to child bearing especially.
Secrets in general often just…

A Quick Post

Its food shopping day so I am kinda short on time this afternoon for posting. For now, here is a new favorite picture of this little miracle.
She is changing daily and is such a blessing to all of us.
I am off to buy lots of fruit as I am doing a three day cleanse, just fruit. Well, at least that is my intention. Tonight I hope to post again with some thoughts on living in the past, not in our personal past but on times past, different eras in time and how it affects our lives and our children's lives. I have been giving this subject much contemplation. So many people wish to reclaim the Victorian era or some other time in history. For me it was the Little House on the Prairie times. It really says much about how we feel about where God put us in life.

Compassion vs Intolerance

“No loss by flood and lightening, no destruction of cities and temples by the hostile forces of nature, has deprived man of so many noble lives and impulses as those which his intolerance has destroyed” Helen Keller
A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair. Abraham Joshua Heschel [New York Journal-American, April 5, 1963] In a world where we disdain prejudice, often times intolerance takes on the form prejudice and yet considered some form of righteousness. Whenever we pound our chests and say, "see how righteous I am and how unrighteous everyone else is" , that is the very moment we are the furthest from where we should be. There is no love in a statement like that. Compassion is perhaps when we see everyone in need of the same level of care, tolerance and of course with respect.

Thoughts of the Day

Life has been busy with the baby here. Its fun but busy. I find myself holding this wee one rather than doing things around the house. From experience, I know these moments will pass quickly and it will be no time until she has learned to say, "down" and want to be off walking on her own. I study her tiny fingers, the creases in her wrists, the way she holds her mouth and just gazing at the sheer beauty of a new life.
I had a funny thing happen to me today, part of this rather gaze at the baby then do anything constructive. I was in my nightshirt this morning longer than normal, I was after all holding Mei-Ling while Melanie slept in a bit from being up a couple times during the night. There were baby things all around the living room. In one chair, a bunch of baby things laid out to finish drying since it was sprinkling last night when the clothes were on the line. In another chair, there were baby blankets and a stack of birth announcements awaiting some fini…

Baby stuff and Gratitudes

Just a quick little post sharing one of my great finds at Goodwill this week. A crochet sweater and hat for $2. I love how dainty it is and love the price even more.
Mei-Ling wore her first smocked outfit today. She had one tiny shoes at one point also. We went to the pharmacy and took opportunity to introduced Mei-Ling to our friend there. He was thrilled to hear her name, its his wife's mothers name too !

In the past few weeks I have had so much to be grateful for, to feel blessed about.
Mei-Lings birth
Her coming home from the NICU
Melanie healing after a long difficult recovery
Rain after such a long drought
Roses in bloom
Fruit on all our fruit trees
Grape vines heavy with bunches of grapes
Children who tell me they love me
A husband that makes my heart leap when I see him
E-bay (yes, I am grateful for e-bay)
Sweet Kosher wines
Organic cotton socks
Watching a baby sleep
Knowing what is important and what isn't
Not being burdened down with too much stuff
being able to read insight…

Monday Morning Ramble

Monday mornings always feel like "catch up" day for me. There are almost always dishes in the sink, floors needing mopping and laundry needing to be done. Weekends are for fun and not for housework. I would rather spend every second with Emery than stand at the sink doing dishes. It works for us and has for nearly 30 years so why change now : )
The sky once again has that painting look to it. Almost too perfect in appearance. Small clumps of fluffy white clouds, against a perfectly blue sky. If you painted it just as it is, I suspect people would comment on how it looks like the backdrop in a local play, not quite real.

Melanie has mastitis. Poor kid has been through so much and now this. We are heading off to the Doctors this morning. Keep her in your prayers if you would.

Instead of sitting here, windows open beside me, slightest of breeze barely stirring the lace curtains, listening to the birds sing and the hum of the vehicles on the highway off in the distanc…

Night Sounds

There is no photo to go with this post because I simply feel too lazy to go outside in the dark and look for a subject. Its nearly midnight, the British Comedies I like have ended, its time to make it a day.
I hear an owl in the tree outside the window, its a haunting sound to me, probably because on so many occasions I have seen an owl wipe out an entire family of squirrels. And more than once found several of our chickens laying headless outside the hen house just as dusk fell. I have no doubt at all that it was either a black vulture or an owl that must have carried off our new duck. That "who, who" sound in the dark doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy towards owls.
I know all about the balance of nature etc, but that never seems to make you feel better about loosing a critter.
Its warm tonight, or rather the air is still, so the fan is on in our room. A gentle sound, as though a hushed disorganized tune was being hummed. A neighbors dog barks, a pick up tr…

Evening Wander

As usual Sundays are busy for us. Some running around doing errands, and there are always some small jobs around the place for Emery to do. This evening though, we took some time to be outside just wandering around, checking the garden, admiring the sky and chasing off mosquitoes !
More potatoes harvested. A bright red cardinal singing from the fence, plums ready to be eaten, I had a few right from the tree, cilantro in bloom, caterpillars taking over my fennel, but I don't mind, they will be beautiful butterflies after they eat their fill and make their cocoons. We were a bit surprised to see so many of them, we counted nearly 20 on one plant.
Its always so sweet to wander hand in hand, sometimes talking, sometimes not. We have been married long enough, that we often communicate with just a look or a nod. Some moments outside in nature just seem to need silence.
Its late now, nearly bed time. Melanie is talking to Mei-Ling, Casi feeling good with his new hair cut tha…

Compassion in place of Confrontation

Since my experience viewing the over whelmed mother in the Chinese take out restaurant, I have contemplated how modern society views violent actions, situations that need to be different, how we handle differences and all the many levels of disagreement.
I have been checking my own actions and know that when confronted in an antagonistic manner, I feel backed up against the wall and my first reaction is to come out fighting, not physically, but with some level of reaction.
It's not the reaction I want to feel, but it seems to be the one that surfaces when I am pushed, made to feel that someone is treating me unjustly, unfairly, or with disregard for who I am.
I have thought about how people have commented that speaking to the woman, so overwhelmed by mothering two small ones, or perhaps that is the only way she knows to react, at any rate we all know that when we confront someone in such situations, it can backfire on us. The person becomes so irritated, so angry, that later the ch…

A Tender Moment Captured forever

After seeing today what I did while waiting for my fried rice, (part of the food budget, big silly grin on my face) I could not help but feel so full of gratitude when I came home to see this sight. I told Melanie and Casi to just stay put until I got the camera and being the sweet young people that they are, they stayed in the same spot until I came back with my camera.
I just felt so full of love and overwhelmed by the purity of the tender scene before me.
May we all have the memory of being so loved.

A Painful Lesson for Me

I am ashamed of myself, disappointed in myself. I try not to ever have to say such things but today I am saddened over my failure to react.
I was waiting for my vegetable fried rice order at our favorite Chinese take out place, and there was a young mother of two, one child was probably close to 2 in age, the other one, probably about 4. The 4 year old was a brat, plain and simple. Crying and screaming because he wanted the chair his mother was sitting it, but the mother was making it worse, she was nasty, plain old ugly with this child. Finally her order was ready, she paid and got up to leave, the smaller child in her arms. The 4 year old grabbed the chair and started saying, "my chair, I got my chair." the mother then said, "fine, you have your chair now keep it" and walked out the door. The little boy of course ran crying after his mother, fearing she would leave him. He came within a centimeter of being squished by the big heavy door of the business. …

Some Words to Think About

From the time I was 14 I have loved the writtings and drawings of Kahlil Gibran. Here are a few quotes from him that are filled with much to ponder.

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. "

"To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to."

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."

~Kahlil Gibran~

photo of the sunset 5-18-07 taken off my front porch

9 pounds 1 oz.

This is our silly grin girl.... Makes you wonder what she is dreaming about.

Mei-Ling had her first check up with her pediatrician, well outside of the hospital that is, and all looks well. She is up to 9 pounds 1 oz ! The Doctor did say that her little heart "sings" .
We are still praying and thinking positively that the holes will seal up on their own.
The little lass was not too happy to have all her clothing removed and cried rather loudly during the exam. Needless to say she slept all the way home, just plain tuckered out from being poked and prodded.
She appears to enjoy sleeping most of the day but enjoys being talked to and cuddled most of the evening.
We sent Melanie and Casi off to see the new Shrek movie. Those two have had their share of difficulties in the past few months, so we thought they deserved a night out on the town. Melanie and Casi called many times just to check on Mei-Ling. Sorta made Emery and I laugh, reminded us of another couple, 20 some yea…

Some New Favorite Things and Living Earth Friendly

When I find something new that really excites me I like to share it with my readers.
Most of you know who have read my blog for any length of time, I am as they say now "green". We have been environmentally aware for 30 years. Emery and I both are committed to living earth friendly as much as we can and with what we know. We raised our children that way too. But we are all learning new things all the time.
This week on the news I heard a short segment connecting breast cancer with all the chemicals a woman uses, including what is in shampoo. I suspect the beauty industry will work hard to keep this study under wraps. This is no news to me, I have suspected it for a very long time. Compare our rates of breast cancer with "undeveloped" countries and their lack of "stuff" and more natural diet makes them less likely to get breast cancer.
No need for a multi-million dollar study to prove it, we can all figure out that modern times and all the chemicals is…