Friday, February 29, 2008

"Seek peace and pursue it."


"Seek peace and pursue it." A good sentence don't you think ? Sounds like a recipe for good. Do you know where this quote comes from ? Sounds a bit like something from the 1960's.
Sounds like it could be the words of a Buddhist monk, or a new age guru.
I think it's wise. A bit lofty maybe, in view of how we all seem to act towards one another. We live in a world so far from peaceful, but maybe it was written as instruction for each of us, personal instructions. Good for day to day stuff. Rather than jump on someone you disagree with, seek peace with them, pursue peace with them. Rather than yell at your husband/wife or children, seek peace with them. Instead of firing off a nasty email, seek peace with the person you feel angered at. Hard to get your point across though and prove your way is right when you are seeking peace, pursuing it actively. Oh, maybe that's the point...we don't have to prove our point. Ouch. Maybe pursuing peace means being secure enough to just let someone else go about their own business without our having to say a thing, even when we think they are all wrong.
Anyway, this quote is from Psalm 34: 14.

You Really Are What You Eat

A while back I posted about my adventure of eating according to Gillian McKeith's "You Are What You Eat" plan. I felt wonderful, but lost interest in sticking to the plan. After going out to eat and coming down with food poisoning, I just didn't go back to the healthy eating. I just wanted to eat what I wanted to. In a matter of two weeks time I began to notice changes in my health. Not sleeping quite so soundly, waking up with a touch of stiffness. Less energy and a bit of a stuffy nose in the mornings. Nothing earth shaking per say but things that had disappeared when I stuck to Gillian's program. There have been highs and lows in my day when not sticking to Gillians plan and they did not exist when my plate was filled with ONLY healthy foods.
Most of the ladies I know that are my age are on at least one medication or have trouble hiking a mile or two let alone 8 miles, so I tend to just think about how healthy I am, but this past week I realized I am what I eat and eating better makes such a huge difference. Checking out the condition of my tongue tells the story too. I am mending my ways and getting back on track. Its worth the work and the sacrifice to stay fit.
Even if you don't like McKeiths personality, its worth it to give her eating plan a try.

Graditudes

An extra day of the year seems like the perfect time to share some of the things that make my life feel extraordinary...
Love in all its forms
Comfort
Spring blossoms
music
the written word
baby laughter
tiny arms reaching up for me
goats
the sound of Emery's voice and his laughter
knowing my children are happily married
my sisters
having the same best friend for well over 40 years
that the world is changing in social conscience
ethical behavior
good health and lots of energy
earth shoes
Whole Foods Market
Learning about the Law of Attraction
Walking away from a legalistic religion
spinning wool
the smell of hay
computers and how they opened up a new world of keeping in touch
romance
walking hand in hand in the moonlight
memories
hiking
having plenty of money
the book, The Art of Happiness
the freedom to seek out truth
Meditation
Prayer
Freedom
speaking of Freedom, today is Sadie Hawkins day, allowing women to ask a man out on a date or even proposing marriage....so single ladies, this is your day to shine !
"Sadie Hawkins Day, an American folk event, made its debut in Al Capp's Li'l Abner strip November 15, 1937. Sadie Hawkins was "the homeliest gal in the hills" who grew tired of waiting for the fellows to come a courtin'. Her father, Hekzebiah Hawkins, a prominent resident of Dogpatch, was even more worried about Sadie living at home for the rest of his life, so he decreed the first annual Sadie Hawkins Day, a foot race in which the unmarried gals pursued the town's bachelors, with matrimony the consequence. By the late 1930's the event had swept the nation and had a life of its own. Life magazine reported over 200 colleges holding Sadie Hawkins Day events in 1939, only two years after its inception"
http://www.lil-abner.com/sadiehawk.html
the photo is of Emery and I holding hands last night

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Simple Things, Simple Joys, Emotional Happiness










As time passes, there is a stronger conviction each day, that living simply opens up for me more and more moments of joy. Each step I take has purpose, gives me a view of the moment. Life now allows me to look carefully at the smallest detail, to be silly if I want, to be contemplative if I choose. This morning when having my breakfast, Emery had already gone to work...I was late getting chores done. After putting some milk on my oatmeal and in my tea, there was a bit left in the creamer and looking around as if someone might just see, I tipped up the creamer and drank what milk was left as if it was in a cup. A moment of silliness. How my Grandmother would have scolded me. A woman must never ever forget her manners, but I didn't forget, I just took liberty ! I can honestly say that our choice of lifestyle, living with less so I could stay home and raise the children and homeschool them, choosing the sometimes difficult path of growing our food, heating with wood, limited appliances, and walking a narrow path for so many years has been so worth it. So long ago, it was worth it to have high standards in choosing a husband. One that I could pray with, that exemplifies living ethically, with deep and abiding morals. We are a sum of our choices, and we do have choices. We are not set in some pre-programmed rail that we cannot get off of.
Riches have never called to me, not the material kind. Somehow I always knew, even as a very young teen that things are not the ingredients that make a satisfying recipe. Last night I heard this felt a lot better about not having amassed a huge financial fortune....made me feel that what I do have is great wealth of love and happiness.

"The Center for Risk Research at the Stockholm School of Economics recently published some research that found "obsession with money or the excessive pursuit of it is really reflective of a deep deficiency of our emotional lives and of our relationships."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Ramble





Last night as I was running out the back door, hopping down the steps, not a care in the world, heading for the hen house, something caught my attention on the clothesline. There was a white dove sitting on one of the lines. Two cats sat quietly on the grass below the line, looking at this dove and if they could have, the cats would have been licking their lips. I stopped dead in my tracks to make sure what I saw was for real. You just simply don't find white doves around these parts. As I watched this beautiful bird, I thought about the old television show, "Touched by an Angel". This white dove felt like a gift . I watched in silence as it softly cooed. In an instant it was gone, but I couldn't find where to. It simply vanished. How I wised my camera had been around my neck like it is so often, just to capture and prove what I had seen.
This morning the air was cold. Jack Frost had made a visit and dusted the earth with his sparkles. The water in the buckets had ice on them. I wished for gloves on my hands as I went about my chores. The chicks all content under the heat lamps warmth. Their little peeping sounds so cute. The cats followed me around and sat with wide eyes by the chicks pen. I was thankful there is no way for the cats to reach the little chickens.
The goats bawling for me to feed them their grain. Freckles likes this sweet feed too and squirms through the fence, pushing her way to the feed bucket. Kindling bucket in hand I went about the job of snapping little twigs for getting the fire going. Bigger kindling already gathered and a good supply of wood in the wood ring in the house. The job went quickly and the bucket filled in no time.
Breakfast eaten, coffee drank, fire going, puppy napping, book in hand...but instead of reading, I did a bit of thinking...maybe it was more like daydreaming. The wood stove making its metal contracting and expanding noises, other than that, the room was silent.
I was thinking back to when my children were babies, remembering how Emery and I would pray together when we carefully laid the sleepy heads into their cribs. We prayed for God to watch over them, to bless them, to help us raise them in the way they should be, and to cover our mistakes done in ignorance. We prayed for them to grow into upstanding adults. I realized today that God answered all those prayers. Now it is time to be praying for this new generation. I also realized that I was not praying for our grand-babies as much as I should be. I wondered if my own children pray for their babies as they lay them in their cribs each night. I never have asked.
Time to get busy, do more decluttering, wash some dishes, dust the furniture, hang the sheets on the line, do some baking and go about the rest of my day with a song in my heart for all the wonder of the day. I can't help but wonder if that dove will visit once again, or if she was just here to remind me that life is extraordinary.

the temperature sure is different from the 90 degrees we saw the other day !

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Morning Chores




As the morning sun spilled golden rays onto the green grass and awoke the sky with vibrant hues, I headed outside to do my chores. More of them now with the goats, more the way I like it. Chicks and chickens fed, puppy following me at my heels, (she is showing all the signs of a good heeler) cats stretching in the hay, and today, goats at the gate waiting to be fed. It was cold this morning, especially compared to yesterdays summer like temps. Last night the wind blew with a fierceness, letting you know a front came through and with it much cooler temperatures. Cool enough that I have the wood stove going. Life just feels right again.

Monday, February 25, 2008

There's No Place Like Home



This young male squirrel watched me carefully as I neared the cottonwood tree in which he seems to have made his home. First he watched from a limb and then climbed in the hole. I think he looks pretty content, but still a bit suspicious of me.

The Goats Have Arrived









Steven, Priscilla and Elizabeth drove up with goats in the back of the pickup tonight. I have to say, as much as I love my new goats, somehow it was more fun to take pictures of the babies. Mei-Ling and Elizabeth are just such sweet babies !
After getting the goats settled and about 100 pictures taken, Steven took us all out for pizza. Casi was in class so he missed out on the fun. Tomorrow I will have time to take lots of good pictures of the goats. I thought I was settled on their names but after looking at them, I might just change them. Time will tell !

Maybe its Summer Already









It's actually HOT outside today. We have the windows and doors open. I stopped by Melanie and Casi's for a minute and Mei-Ling had on a sundress. Flowers were opening in almost time lapsed photography speed. Unfolding right before my eyes in the warm sun.
My day has been a busy one, taking care of the final preparations for Cinnamon and Clove to arrive tonight. So glad my husband is a wise man and had me keep so many of our goat keeping supplies. I spent the afternoon barefoot in the pasture, looking at the shepherds purse just now blooming and sizing up the dandelions for dandelion syrup. I dug up some young Mullein to mail to someone that wanted a few plants. We have hundreds of plants and most will be dug up as they are getting a bit out of hand.

Mei-Ling will have a MRI this week. She will be fully sedated, which is always a bit of an risk for her, so we would appreciate your prayers for her this Wednesday morning. They will be checking out her one kidney and the rest of her organs. We all feel a bit like holding our breath, wondering what they will discover.

The temperature today
fresh sweet goat grain
chicks
Freckles
clouds coming in
assorted spring blooms !

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Photos...







a tool handy for work
puppy enjoying the sunshine
Mei-Ling, feeling better (yes, her shirt does say, "if mom says no, ask Grandma")
new gate hung
The goat barn is freshly hayed

a little side note, no need for me to visit a fitness center this past week, I think pounding in about 30 t posts constitutes a good cardio workout !

Sunday Morning

The sun rose without much fanfare. Yellow ball rising in the east, cloudless sky. A stillness in the air for now, wind later we are told. Freckles barking in her crate, she is sure its time to play and run through the grass. Emery munching on dried fruit as he brings the fire in the wood stove to life. The floors are cold. There are baby things all around my living room, proof positive of our grandparenthood. There is no perfection of style, no magazine look, just real life, a lived in look. Signs of love and living. Books here and there, something needed to be looked up the old fashioned way, in a book, not on line. Another book set down on the cedar chest to be picked up whenever a quiet moment arises. My coffee cup, over sized with the hot steaming brew ready to be enjoyed, after its cooled down some. Incense burning, smoke curling, exotic smells filling the room, mixing with the smell of woodsmoke, a bit like me, old homestead-like but with a touch of far off places and dreams.
There is a gentleness of this young day...a peace that has filled each and ever corner with contentment. A feeling of accomplishment, living my life with a bigger purpose then just getting what I want. It is tangible, visible. Yesterday and the day before, Melanie, Casi and their friend Matt were here helping prepare for the goat. Giving of their time, their energy to help me move wood from one barn to another, to put clips on the fence posts. Melanie hayed the barn, like she has done so many times in her childhood. I felt such love in their work. Steven is bringing the goats to me tomorrow night. Melissa has helped even from afar. Sharing her wealth of information with me, reminding me of things I need. Emery, my dear gentle man, his work, his love made visible to me. His tender glances across the handles of the post hole diggers. His amazing craftsmanship evident in his work. This is what life is about for me, these things. This is what fills up the spaces in my day, and in our home. A quiet joy, not the jump up and down kind of thing, there are those moments too, but mostly in our lives there is this blanket of deep joy that warms us, carries us through things like an ambulance taking a sick baby to the hospital. There is a faith too, faith that God does not wish us harm. There is faith in good. God is not mean. He doesn't have to slap us around with bad things to teach us a lesson. That kind of thinking, gives you a very harsh idea of what God is. I was thinking the other day, God doesn't MAKE us do anything. We all know that. Yet somehow we buy into the idea that Satan can MAKE us do things. Does this mentality give Satan more power than God ? We make the choice, always. We are not any ones puppet. Our thoughts our always our own.
Its time for me to drink that now cooled coffee. Sit in silence for a while. To hear my own heartbeat, to think honestly about who I am today, in this moment and then get on my mud boots and head out to do my chores.
Just a note for you, yes you, my readers. You are all amazing, and you have a purpose that only you can fulfill.

Photo was taken at Mineral Wells State Park

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dreams are not the same as peer pressure


After writing about peer pressure the other day, I realized that my thoughts might just need some clarification. Peer pressure is mostly about feeling pressured to do something before you are ready or do something against your moral code, something you would not normally do.
I think people should all have dreams, visions of where they want to go in life, what they want to accomplish and shoot for the moon if they want, as long as its done with compassion.
Adult peer pressure might be best explained by an example of someone feeling pressured by friends to go out to eat and drop $50 when they haven't paid their taxes !
Life without dreaming is life without vision, life without vision is life without reaching and life without reaching becomes lazy and stagnant, a place where bitterness seems to grow.
As a parent, I encourage my now grown children to dream, to build vision boards, to practice the law of attraction, but I discourage them from caving into peer pressure.
Dream and plan, and then dream bigger, but don't grab at things before you are meant to have them.

Sunday Blessings

Soft music, the gentle kind of music that makes you feel content with life... the view from the window as I sit and spin at the wheel makes ...