Showing posts from April, 2008

Mei-Ling Update After Surgery

Surgery went great, it didn't take long at all and within a hour, she was all smiles and eating Jello. The nurses all fell in love with her and kept saying they were going to put on her chart that she needed longer observation in the Recovery Room just so they could hold her and play with her. She will probably come home tomorrow afternoon if her lab work all comes out good.
She took a good nap late this afternoon and woke up hungry.Thanks for all the prayers.

Just Pictures....

Time for me to take a break from blogging. I am finding it difficult to post, the joy of it is diminishing each day. I am always writing in fear of offending someone since such a broad spectrum of folks read this. Plus I am finding it difficult to always be checking comments consistently through my day and posting them after I have read them. But there is no way I can go back to not moderating them.
I am busy and the computer is needing to take a back seat in my life .
For a while, I am not going to be posting and may even take the blog off line for a while.
Mei-Ling has surgery tomorrow so I will probably post something about how things went, but after that, this blog will be on sabbatical !

A Prayer For Womanhood

A Prayer for Womanhood ~Grace Noll Crowell~ 1934
God, give each true good woman Her own small house to keep, No heart should ache with longing, No hurt should go too deep..... Grant her age-old desire: A house to love and sweep. Give her a man beside her, A kind man, and a true, And let them work together And love, a lifetime through, And let her mother children As gentle women do. Give her a shelf for dishes, And a shining box for bread, A white cloth for her table, And a white spread for her bed, A shaded lamp at nightfall, And a row of books much read. God, let her work with laughter, And let her rest with sleep. No life can truly offer A peace more sure and deep.... God, give each true woman Her own small house to keep.

The New Simple Living Fad

I think all this new talk of "Simple Living" is becoming just another fad for some folks,(disclaimer here, not talking about anyone in particular) just one more thing to keep up with. That requires you to buy a whole bunch of new things to replace the things that don't look like they belong in a "simple home". You might even have to re-decorate your house . And for some, a marketing bonanza. Just one more thing that if we are not doing, makes us less than in our own minds or according to another. It is so much more than just a lifestyle. Its a philosophy, a direction, a statement of what is important to us. It's not simple, not really. It's just living without buying into all the hype and for some, myself included, its a spiritual life. Not just a way to spend less money or to live "greener". If your life is emotionally complicated, putting on an apron will not make it simple.
For most folks that live the simple life, it works best when husban…

Insurance coupled with a bit of assurance

Many of us worry about the insurance we have, asking things like, "do we have enough coverage ?" "Does it cover this or that ?" "Should we buy more coverage ?" It's all a bit of a gamble to put money out each month for something that MIGHT happen, but many of us do it anyway, feeling it worth the cost. There are required insurances like car insurance, home owners insurance if you have a mortgage on your home etc, then there are the elective insurances like life insurance and health insurance. Some religious communities have a plan where they all agree to help one another with each others medical bills and that works out quite well. Everyone works together for each others common good. For an example, just read a few editions of "The Budget", an Amish newspaper to read about the needs within the community and how it is meet. There is within that system something greater than insurance, its assurance that things will be taken care of. I think w…

"Public Craves What Amish Stand For"

I read something in the Dallas Morning News yesterday....maybe we all are craving a bit of a rest from the rat race that doesn't seem to feed a deep hunger that is in us.

Public craves what Amish stand for
12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, April 26, 2008
By MARY JACOBS / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
Donald Kraybill has written and spoken extensively on the Amish and what they taught the world about forgiveness after the 2006 Nickel Mines school shooting tragedy. Now he's turning his scholarly focus to another facet of the religious community: Amish technology. That's not an oxymoron. "We have 2,000 Amish-owned and operated businesses in eastern Pennsylvania, and many of their products are produced by machines," said Mr. Kraybill, who will be in Dallas next week. Even though the Amish opt out of public utility electricity, and do not own motor vehicles or use computers, they are achieving remarkable success in the commercial world. Although the Amish were…

The Quiet of the Morning

The house seems very quiet this morning...Emery is off to work, my friend Debbie has gone home after a wonderful visit with her. The birthday party decorations have been removed, all the extra chairs put back in their proper place. Things are tidy and back to normal. The windows are closed, keeping the morning chill at bay, but making the house silent. I hear no cars going by or hear birds singing. If I listen carefully I can hear the rooster crowing in the distance.
The sound of the wood stove door with its squeaking hinges, seems extra loud as I build a small fire. It seems so strange to have a fire going in late April, but I like it. The smell of wood smoke will delight my nose as morning chores are done. Its a smell more dear to me than the finest of perfumes. Its a "home sweet home" kind of smell for me. A reminder that my dreams of so long ago have come true. I never had dreams of a big house, or a fancy car, just for a simple home in the woods, wood stove, growing my o…

Guess Who Turned One Year Old !

Little Miss Mei-Ling had her first birthday this week. Hard to imagine its been a year since this miracle entered into our lives, time seems to go so fast. She was a happy little girl, with all the attention and love showered on her today as friends and family celebrated her big day.
Keep her in your prayers, this week, Wednesday, she is scheduled for surgery to remove the stent they put in during her last surgery.

This is Frightening !
HOUSTON -- A trip to the pump may make you want to scream.
"It'll be like $80, something like that. It's ridiculous,” yelled a frustrated motorist as he filled his tank.
Hope he saved his vocal cords. Get this:
"Probably about $4.20 by summer. And prices continue to escalate,” said global oil analyst Jeff Rubin.
He is the chief economist for CIBC World Markets. In 2000, he predicted oil would be $50 a barrel by 2005.
That proved true.
He predicted $100 a barrel by the end of 2007. Once again, true.
Rubin's take on the future of oil?
"About $225 a barrel by 2012,” he said.
That would mean gas as high as $10 dollars a gallon within four years.
Cade Bernsen thought his $85 for a tank on Friday was bad. Try $230.
"Dude. That is crazy! I mean that is wild,” said Bernsen. “That's getting close to like monthly rent."
Pump prices pushed that high would likely have far-reaching impacts, such as i…

Just A Thought

Last night I was thinking about who I am, where I want to be in life, what sort of person I want to be, where I need to grow spiritually etc. Yes, its a lot to think about but we need to think, need to be aware of where we are and who we are as people in the present.
These are areas where I want to improve... not just on the clothing issue, because I think that is just one manifestation of wanting more than we need. Modesty of words, deeds and wants, is the direction I want to keep going in... dress is just an outward application of what we feel inside. Its not some religious conviction for me as much as a spiritual conviction, and there is a difference.
1 Timothy 2: 9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
1 Peter 3:3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry an…

The Joy of Working Side by Side

Before the sun made its debut, Emery and I were working in the garden together, side by side. Sometimes in silence, sometimes chatting along about life or just the amazing rate that weeds can grow !
It was nice just to be out there working together, watching the sun come up, hearing the many birds singing and breathing in fresh cool morning air. Just all part of our simple living. Holy Basil Tomatoes growing on the vine just some shots from this mornings chore time Wee Miss Mei-Ling came for a morning visit with her mommy and daddy !

Carried with love

Melanie and Casi can expect their new bundle of joy some time in November. Melanie's due date is in December but they will no doubt deliever the baby early like they did with Mei-Ling.
Here is the newest grand-blessing sitting in his or her heart shaped home.

Video Clip

This is a video clip of one of local Mennonite schools taking a field trip to Dallas. Thought you might enjoy seeing the children and hearing them sing. The teacher is a long time friend of ours.

p.s. there is a short ad before the video clip

The Birds Were Right !

Well the birds all acting a bit nervous yesterday was indeed a clue to the storms. Sirens sounded once again last night. Horrid storms, violent winds, a funnel cloud just down the road, torrential rains. 2 inches of rain fell in a very short period of time. From the house to the car, which is maybe 10 feet, we were totally soaked through and through.
Melanie and Mei-Ling were here with us most of the day, visiting and we like to keep a watch on her now that she is pregnant, her blood sugars have been getting dangerously low and with Casi at work and then off to college three evenings a week, Melanie needs to have someone keep an eye on her. Her blood sugar went down to just 30 in the afternoon. They sent everyone home from their evening college classes so Casi came over here and we all sat watching the television and just waiting for the siren to sound. Makes you feel as unsettled as all the birds were acting yesterday morning. Steven and his family left here when the storms were just s…

Birds !

The forecast is for storms, slight chance that they might be severe. The morning is humid like wet wool. Warm and sticky, the air clinging to your body.
Stepping off the back steps, on my way to do my morning chores, I was startled by the noise, it was more like a racket. Birds chirping wildly all around me. Small flocks flying over me in a near frenzied mood. My small plum tree ablaze with bright yellow as it had been taken over by goldfinch, mostly bright yellow males. Like small lemons hidden in the leaves. The neighbors driveway was moving with activity of small birds feeding, scratching through the pale caliche.
It was almost un-nerving to see so many small flocks of birds in one place. I am guessing there were several hundreds of these tiny winged creatures within an acre. Everything around me took on a feeling of nervousness. I had to wonder about the forecast, storms coming. I had to think about our country right now, so many nervous people, the econ…

Are you Ready for A Deep Recession or a near Second Depression ?

Filled up my car with gasoline yesterday, $45. The news is full of stories regarding entire new neighborhoods in foreclosure. Every time I go to the market for food, people in line complain about the prices. Everything is going up, except wages.
You would had have to stranded on a deserted island not to see this coming. In the U.S. people kept buying bigger vehicles, bigger houses, using more resources. Oil companies get greedier. After all they too want bigger mansions, more cars etc. Farmers find it more lucrative to grow corn for alternative fuel than to grow wheat and corn for people to eat, after all the farmers around here all drive gas guzzling trucks and big SUV's and they want bigger homes too. It hurts to fill up the car, but we don't drive a whole lot and that is about to be much less since we made that personal commitment to do so. Emery fills up his 1991 Tempo about once a month. We fill up the family car once a week. Credit card debt non repayment is at an all tim…

Earth Day 2008

As a family we have celebrated Earth Day for many many years. The girls both remember one Earth Day in particular when they were small, a tiny foal was born to people we knew and named Rainbow. The girls got to see the foal when it was just a few hours old and they were so excited.
I realized today, that pony would be 22 years old today. Today, we all got together at Spiral Diner (Our favorite Vegan Restaurant) for a healthy lunch. Emery was not with us since he couldn't get away from work. We chose to celebrate this day, re-affirm our goals to live "greener" and commit to making changes in both small and big things. My personal green goal this year, to make only one trip to town a week. I understand some weeks I won't be able to keep to this as life does happen, but to commit to only ONE shopping trip a week. Faithfully use my cloth shopping bags, keeping them in the car at all times, and to wait until an absolute must, to use the air conditioners.
How was your Earth Day…

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff...."

and much of life is small stuff. This week has been a busy one, a fun kind of busy. Melanie, Mei-Ling, Debbie and I have had fun during the day doing some shopping, going out for lunch, sitting and talking for hours, just playing with the baby. In the evenings Steven and Priscilla have been coming over and we talk and play with Elizabeth. As you notice housework has not been mentioned. We have been eating simply, doing dishes and that's about it. Oh wait, I did dust when it seemed the dust was approaching the stage of just begging to write you name in it.
This week, cleaning the house comes under the heading of "don't sweat the small stuff". Its what it is. In life there are priorities, moments that cannot be recovered ever. Moments in time that are just not "do- overs". People and relationships are so much more important than having an organized pantry or a laundry room that looks like it should be in a magazine. Magazine homes are often not of the laid bac…

Children Are A Blessing

This morning, taking a few minutes for silent meditation and prayer, I thought about the blessing of children. It seems just about everyone loves babies, cute small children but as children grow, so many parents neglect the nurturing aspect of parenting.
My phone rings several times a day, grown children calling to chat, to ask a question, to seek some advice, always letting us know we are loved. What opportunity for us as parents to continue to nurture, to let them know as adults that they continue to give us joy, happiness and bless us. As parents to adults we enter into new ground, the place where we can affirm their goodness, the positive aspects of their lives, and encourage to overcome the struggles they deal with. Positive parenting seems to stop for some when their children become adults, or the minute grandchildren arrive. So many parents tend to look at the things they don't like in their adult children, whisper behind their backs to others, "well, …

The Big Surprise

The big surprise is......Mei-Ling is going to be a big sister !
Melanie and Casi are expecting baby number 2 this fall. Everyone is very excited. This pregnancy seems so different for Melanie, no morning sickness which is a big blessing. She is having lots of low blood sugars, which happens when you are type 1 diabetic and pregnant. We were having hopes that maybe another young mother in the family might be expecting too, but not yet. Grammie is already planning new quilts, tiny sweaters and booties to knit. We feel so blessed to have this new baby joining our family.

Bisphenol -A Some Canandian Stores Pulling Items Off the Shelf

From CBC.CA "The chemical came under scrutiny by Health Canada in November 2007, as part of a human and animal study into how much BPA is leaching from consumer products. The chemical has been linked to certain health risks, including cancer and hormonal imbalances.
A 60-day public comment period will follow if Health Canada designates the chemical as dangerous. In the year to follow, Ottawa would draft and issue a report outlining how to control exposure.
The announcement comes a day after Sears Canada, Rexall Pharmacies, London Drugs and Home Depot Canada pulled plastic products containing the substance off their shelves.
Wal-Mart Canada, Canadian Tire, Hudson's Bay Co. and Forzani Group, Canada's largest sporting goods retailer also said they would rid their shelves of any BPA-containing products"

Wal-Mart's in the U.S will stop selling baby bottles with BPA by early next year
"Wal-Mart says it will stop se…

Planet Burgers On the Menu

Just time for a quick post of one the meals I will be serving this week . Its a family favorite.

1/2 c Sunflower kernels
16 oz Garbanzo beans (canned) -- drained and mashed
3 c Cooked brown rice
1 md Onion -- chopped
1 md Carrots -- shredded
1/2 c Italian-style breadcrumbs 1/3 c Chopped fresh parsley
2 Eggs -- lightly beaten 1/4 c Soy sauce ( we use Braggs)
1 t Dried thyme
Vegetable oil -- for frying
8 sl French bread
Toast sunflower kernels on baking sheet at 350 degrees F. for 5 to 7 minutes until golden. Combine sunflower kernels, beans, rice, onion, carrot, breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, soy sauce and thyme. Form into 8 rectangular patties. Pan-fry burgers in oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until thoroughly heated, about 4 minutes per side.
Serve on French bread with condiments.
Makes 8 Large Patties
Source: "Veg-able Rice"
We like them on whole wheat hamburger buns at times and they are just wonderful that way too. I usually make a lot of them and freeze the extr…

Storms Again

Storms again.....
Just have a minute to post some pictures I just took of my roses. Storms on the way, hail the size of tennis balls and 80 mph winds in some of these storms. Spring time in Texas ! I knew these roses would not stand up to hail and high winds, so decided to bring them inside to enjoy.