Saturday, May 31, 2008

Living Spherically

This past Mothers Day I got a letter from my oldest daughter and one of the things she wrote was this..."I love how you are fun, always have an adventure going on, and are cool enough to go get a beer with or cultured enough to go out to a cafe for lunch and look the part. " I loved what she wrote and all the other wonderful things she said, but this one sentence pretty well defines my approach to life. Live Spherically !
Please don't be shocked, that on Saint Patrick's day I have gone out with my girls for a green beer, they are after all grown up. We like to embrace our Irish roots and that is just one of our more silly ways to do it.
This past week I have reminded myself to dress a bit nicer for my husband, to set pretty place settings once again. We can get out of the habit of doing things nice or in the reverse, some folks forget to live a bit more simply at times. The real point of life is to not live in just one direction at all times, living like that can result in tunnel vision or missing out on some positive interaction with another. I never have been a person that walks in just one direction, just reads one kind of books, enjoys only one style of art, or eats just one kind of food. I dress differently for different occasions, and I am comfortable in many different settings. I certainly am an advocate of living spherically. If you read my blog for any length of time, you will know that about me. It is who I am.

Back To Norm

Ahhh, feeling refreshed and done with my mood to be fancy. Went on a date with my beloved, got dressed up, and since we are babysitting for the weekend, it felt like old times. . . out with a baby !
It was back to tee shirts and a long skirt this morning to do chores. I am not cut out for full time fancy, never have been. But, once in a while its kind of nice to step it up a notch, even when it comes to setting the table for an summer lunch outside.
But, I will always love "simple" the best of all.
Emery is always telling me that he fell in love with a flannel shirt and jean kinda girl, complete with Kalso Earth Shoes on her feet, so there is no need for me to change in his eyes. Seems like I will stay the same old me until the day I die : )

Rockport MA, 1978

Hiking the trail to Bridal Veil Falls, NH 1979
If you are ever in that area its a great little hike. You can find Coppermine Trail off Rt. 116 near Easton. The 80 foot falls are a 2.5 mile hike in.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Stepping Out of My "Norm"

Every once in a while I just step outside the very simple approach to life and want to surround myself with pretty things, fussy place settings, stepping it up a notch with my own appearance and generally just paying more attention to how things look in my world.
The beginning of summer time is when this mood usually appears. I might spend an hour pouring over magazines like Romantic Home, thinking about how to decorate my bedroom when its remodeled this year some time. It's a project that keeps getting put on hold while we do other projects.
I am in the mood to "live spherically" !
Found this blog today, The Paris Apartment and really had fun reading it.
Then decided to get some motivation on dressing better from Euro Chic

The Joy of Grandparenting

Grammie and Grampie get to babysit this weekend and are we having fun ! Little Miss Mei-Ling is the center of attention and no one seems to mind one bit. Its been a bit like playing dolls for me. I get to dress her up and play with her all day long. Nap time has me running around catching up on things around the house. Tonight this little miracle gets to accompany Grampie and Grammie on their Friday night date to our favorite Italian restaurant for Pizza. What fun we will have showing her off to everyone there.
Mei-Ling is settling down for nap time with her favorite sleep toy, a well loved lamb !

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Get Lazy

It's true, I can become very lazy about one aspect of my life. It's not housework or garden work or cooking, its about how I dress.
I have never been one to think much about how my hair looks, or what style looks best on me. I buy my clothes at Goodwill for the most part and look first and foremost to comfort, which seems to translate into tee shirts and pants with elastic waists. When I dressed plain, it was wonderful, same thing every single day, just a slight variation on fabric. I could cover my hair so I could just pull it up in a bun and that was that. But those days are gone. Never did think it was fair that the conservative mennonite men look just like anyone else but the women had to stand out like a sore thumb, talk about drawing attention to themselves ! Might be modest but it sure is an attention getter ! Anyway, back to the lazy me subject. Every so often I need to just take stock of my wardrobe. It's reverting back to what I call, "the man in my closet look"
Finding myself wearing clothes that any man might be able to wear without drawing any attention to himself.
So, today its going to be a day of cleaning out the closet, motivating myself to look a bit nicer and remembering that dressing up a bit is good for the soul.
I wrote this about how my style was slipping , it was true then and its true again now.
"So here I am wandering the isles of Goodwill, having no concept of what to buy. I suspect part of that is my body shape. Its a bit dumpy. Humpty Dumpty actually. I want to look svelte, sophisticated when I go out the door. That will come in time, I have no doubt about it, but right now, I feel like elastic waist and baggy. Comfortable sneakers, and cotton knit pants. But, that seems to affect my choices and actions some. We are going out on our dates to elastic waist places, not the Cafe on the Run, or the French Cafes and sitting for hours over a coffee and splitting a pastry. Its been Pizza or Taco's. Makes me forget to comb my hair and put on a favorite pair of earrings. I am not talking about the pursuit of vanity here, more like the pursuit of looking nice for myself and for my amazing husband. Looking good, makes us feel better about ourselves. Frump allows us to be frumpy eaters, frumpy cooks, frumpy dates. Yes, I date my husband, always have, but more now that the children are grown. I came out of Goodwill without one single purchase. Guess its time to watch Under the Tuscan Sun and French Kiss and get inspired. It doesn't take lots of money to look put together, it just takes some inertia ! Guess you know what I have been lacking in : ) "

and The Winner Is. . .

Thanks to all who entered this little give away. I kept telling Emery, I wish there was a way to have everyone win but we just couldn't come up with a feasible plan for that : )
Again, thank you all for your participation.

Novascotiagal, your name was drawn out of the hat, please email me so I can mail your gift to you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In the Mood For Summer

Tonight is a date night for my love and I. We are heading off to do some food shopping. We will stroll the isles hand in hand and after we will have a leisurely stop at a sidewalk cafe on a hill that overlooks the city. The lights will be enchanting, they always are and we chat about the wonder of life while gazing into each others eyes as if no one else in the world existed. We have had nearly 30 years of these magic moments. All day long I have been planning what to wear just as if it was a first date. I am picking out the music for the drive, perhaps it will be Frank Sinatra, so perfect for setting a romantic mood. Love doesn't have to get old and stale.
Summer time is perfect time for romantic picnics in the park, even when you have small children. Romance doesn't have to be put on hold when there are small ones running around. Romance is in a look, in a smile, in holding hands or with that note tucked on his pillow, or in his wallet.
We never had baby sitters, maybe once or twice my mother watched Melissa when she was a baby. And Emery's mother baby sat on a rare occasion. The girls were with us, by our side, dressed up to go on a date with mommy and daddy.
Summer time always makes me think of sidewalk cafe's. Strolling hand and hand as the sun sets.

I am in the mood for summer time and all the fun it brings.

Time For A Give Away, You have until 8 PM To Enter

It's time for me to do a give away !
Here is the deal, leave me a comment or email me at and let me know you want to be entered into the drawing for ONE pair of my hand dipped 100% beeswax candles and a THREE bars of my home made soap. I will hold the drawing Wednesday, May 28th.

This post will stay at the top of my postings until that date, so be sure to read below it in the days to come.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Visitor On A Rainy Day

This afternoon has been a delight. Lots of rain which has given me plenty of time to do the indoor chores. Some areas of North Texas have seen 4-5 inches already. I just looked out the front window and saw this fella on my front porch. Hoped he would hang around long enough for me to get the camera and he did.
Our driveway looks a bit like a pond so no wonder he made a visit.

Just An Ordinary Day

Emery let Pepper out this morning so I could catch another 40 winks. It felt good to sleep in a bit, but when I did get up, it was with both feet running. Got dressed, brushed my hair and pulled it back. Put on my apron as I was walking through the back door. Already the air was oppressive. Its not so much the heat as it is the humidity. I am glad it will soon be gone. It doesn't hang around in summer, its just dry heat then. Fed and hayed the goats, fed the cats and dog, fed the chickens and checked for eggs, they usually lay in the afternoon but with that snake still around, I find myself checking more often. Beating the snake to the nest sort of thing.
Watered the garden, picked some peas and tomatoes. Noticed the grass was getting tall by the north side of the house and under the clothesline, grabbed the mower and went to work. Mowed for about an hour, sweat was pouring off me by this time. I was thankful for my apron, it came in handy for wiping my brow. I called it quits and came in for some iced coffee. Sat by the fan and cooled off. As soon as I rested some, I went out front to trim the bushes and trim some branches off the tree. It was hot work, with leaves falling into my hair making me look a bit like mother earth, crowned with a wreath of leaves. It was now 11 am. The morning nearly gone.
My hands sore from all the work. Emery has been working hard every evening after work, last night he was cutting limbs until after 11. Needless to say, we both sleep soundly each night.
Tonight, we will cut some of the wood for the milking stand. We want to have the milking room all done by next weekend, just so its done before the real heat of the summer. So many plans, so many jobs to be done. But we love it.
Now its time for the indoor work to be done. Melanie is coming over this afternoon and we plan to do some sewing together. It is always fun to work on projects together with my girls. I wish Emery had some help with his projects. Our son enjoys the finer things in life and not physical labor !
If there is time, I will make some cookies after I get the floors washed.
Who needs a gym membership when you have a little homestead : )

A Repost... "The Good Old Days"

This is a post I wrote back in February 2006. I needed to read it today so thought I would share it.

A few days ago I was buying some fabric at Wal-mart and the cashier was an older man. He made a joke as he was ringing up my fabric by saying, "so you are a sew and sew". I laughed and he asked if I did a lot of sewing. I told him I did and used to make all my children's clothes. He then shared with me that when he went off to college in 1945 he took with him 31 shirts all made by his mother. I was amazed, thinking how making men's shirts is just not much fun and very detailed. No one was behind me in line so he told me about how his mother made lots of his sisters dresses out of sugar sacks and feed sacks. Then he said, "you know the good old days really weren't all that good" and he meant it. He said that life was hard, food was short, his mother went to bed exhausted from all the hard work with no modern conveniences and communication was nothing like it is now. People had to worry for days or weeks waiting for news of loved ones. His 31 shirts represented his mothers worn fingers. He said it would be better if she could have bought them and wasn't so worn to the bone by all the hard work.I thought about what he said a lot this week. I work hard at doing things the old fashioned way and he had me questioning why. The more I thought about it, the more I realized its not the way we do things now that has me wanting to step back in time but the way modern society acts. I want things the old fashioned way in some attempt to recapture the way people used to behave. With some sort of decorum and by an unwritten code of ethics that seems so much kinder than how people are today. Its not always necessary to say to someone just how you feel. Sometimes its kinder to just let some things slip when they are hurtful or unkind. We are too bold, we don't blush. There are so few mysteries to life any more. I have thought about the life of some of my ancestors. In the picture is my great great great Grandmother. Born in 1838 in Ireland. Came to Boston and worked as a maid. My great great great Grandfather saw her working when he was in Boston after sailing from Nova Scotia on his clipper ship. He was a man in love with the sea but also fell in love with her and her red hair. Joseph Webb married her and they had three children. The oldest girl in the picture is my great great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth. Margaret and Joseph had a wonderful love but after the baby was born, Joseph was lost at sea. Joseph had no radio to call for help or a cell phone to use. There was no coast guard helicopters to search for his ship. Margaret had to wait and wait and wait, hoping he would return. She waited for years. She had to raise her children alone, no government help. No social security. She had no family to help her except for her in laws. The good old days were not all that good for her. I think technology is a blessing, just we have changed so much in the last 100 years in the way we treat one another, but we don't know how to recapture the good we have lost. We don't know how to make children respect their elders or play like they used to. We don't know how to be patient or have friends and family be a real part of our daily lives. We are lonely for family when we are all scattered. Women are so busy trying to do it all and then not even sure why they are doing it. People quit things when they get a little hard. We wish they didn't. I guess its not the soap making, or the spinning wool that I am really after, its more the way people acted when everyone was doing that sort of thing. Little House on the Prairie is good not because they live so old fashioned, but because they lived so kind to one another. I think that sums it up

Times Are Changing, and are we ready ?

The world we live in is fast paced. People live to the max. Spend all they have as if there is no tomorrow. The news is full of sad stories of people with wants so much greater than what they could afford, buying simply because they wanted to. Not many have been trained in restraint, in modesty of living. On 60 Minutes the other night, they had a segment on "The "Millennials" Are Coming". I had never heard the term before. It was new to me and what they said about them, was hard to hear. The new generation raised in such a way, that they just don't seem able to deal with some of the harsher realities of life, such as, "Life isn't always fair". "Life isn't always easy." And, "You don't always get your way". Those are truisms for all mankind, in every generation. On the segment, there was this to say about this new generation..."They are called, among other things, "millennials." There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995, and they're rapidly taking over from the baby boomers who are now pushing 60. They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds. And if you persist in the belief you can, take your job and shove it. ...What are some of the do's and don'ts in speaking to the generation of young workers? "You do have to speak to them a little bit like a therapist on television might speak to a patient," Salzman says, laughing. "You can't be harsh. You cannot tell them you're disappointed in them. You can't really ask them to live and breathe the company. Because they're living and breathing themselves and that keeps them very busy."
You can read the entire article here
What will happen to people of any age with this kind of mentality, when you can't just go hop in the car and go where you want to because fuel costs are so high ? Or have a house with more bedrooms than people ? Or buy the newest television or cell phone ? Food costs keep rising so more people are planting gardens but finding out its just really hard work and they need everyone in the family to help. They are going to have to make their children put down the video games and pull some weeds, but did they train them to be willing to help the family ? What happens when parents cannot sign their children up for 4 different extra curricular activities because the gas is just too expensive to drive them all these places ? Can the children handle it, can the parents handle having their children around them all afternoon ? What happens when these "Millennials" have to make a choice of a new gadget or paying rent or buying food ? If you are all into getting what you want, rent is not really fun to pay.
I think many of my generation did our children a disservice by giving them everything they wanted and sheltering them from some of the less positive aspects of life.
I can't help but wonder if life as we know it now will have to change dramatically with the rising costs of things we just took for granted. Maybe we will have to go back to things like playing games in the parlor, visiting friends on the front porch in summer. Children might learn to do things like pulling taffy and playing outside. Having a back yard that functions as more than just pretty to look at, that we grow a garden to eat from. Maybe its time now to bring in some good soil or build up what you have and plant a few things.
Save fuel and hang your clothes up instead of using a clothes dryer. Even simple things like mixing by hand instead of plugging in the mixer, saves on electricity and keeps those arm muscles healthy ! Drive to town just once a week, combine trips. Plan carefully. Be realistic and forgo the fancy markets 50 miles from home and buy local. Maybe now is the time to explain to children and grandchildren that you can't have everything you want. Have them understand the word "no" is not connected with how much you love them or in their minds, don't love them. And maybe even some wives need a few lessons in that. We want, and when we don't get, we pout and we act spoiled and we teach our children well !

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mondays Happenings

Emery is working today. I have stayed put all day, except for quick trip down the road to Melanie and Casi's. A big accident at the end of our road took many of us outside to look. Care Flight helicopter landed on the road. A car and a large gas truck collided. Along the roadside, people stood and prayed and wildflowers in all their glory gently danced in the breeze, unaware of the tragedy right by them.
A little lady, resting on her bean bag...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Andy Rooney's "A Memorial Day Worth Remembering"

This is one of the best pieces I have heard on Memorial Day, so thought I would share it.

This segment was originally broadcast on May 29, 2005.
The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary
by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, the day we have set aside to honor by remembering all the Americans who have died fighting for the thing we like the most about our America: the freedom we have to live as we please. No official day to remember is adequate for something like that. It's too formal. It gets to be just another day on the calendar. No one would know from Memorial Day that Richie M., who was shot through the forehead coming onto Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, wore different color socks on each foot because he thought it brought him good luck. No one would remember on Memorial Day that Eddie G. had promised to marry Julie W. the day after he got home from the war, but didn’t marry Julie because he never came home from the war. Eddie was shot dead on an un-American desert island, Iwo Jima. For too many Americans, Memorial Day has become just another day off. There's only so much time any of us can spend remembering those we loved who have died, but the men, boys really, who died in our wars deserve at least a few moments of reflection during which we consider what they did for us. They died. We use the phrase "gave their lives," but they didn’t give their lives. Their lives were taken from them. There is more bravery at war than in peace, and it seems wrong that we have so often saved this virtue to use for our least noble activity - war. The goal of war is to cause death to other people. Because I was in the Army during World War II, I have more to remember on Memorial Day than most of you. I had good friends who were killed. Charley Wood wrote poetry in high school. He was killed when his Piper Cub was shot down while he was flying as a spotter for the artillery. Bob O'Connor went down in flames in his B-17. Obie Slingerland and I were best friends and co-captains of our high school football team. Obie was killed on the deck of the Saratoga when a bomb that hadn’t dropped exploded as he landed. I won’t think of them anymore tomorrow, Memorial Day, than I think of them any other day of my life. Remembering doesn’t do the remembered any good, of course. It's for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don’t find some new way - some new religion maybe - that takes war out of our lives. That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating.
Written By Andy Rooney© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday in Photos, all were taken today

A single photograph
--portrait of the moment--
is an inexhaustible epic,
a living tale beyond words
superior to a hundred volumes
written and fixed.

A photograph is consciousness painting,
the instant's art that opens
on the unbounded vistas
of the inner life.

~Daisaku Ikeda~

Why Do We Want To Hear This In New Terms ?

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

I was reading through the Bible this morning looking up the word KINDNESS. It's a popular word for those that call themselves "seekers" . The concept of kindness seems to be lacking in so many aspects of this rushed world that people are looking for it. Seeking peace and how to be patient, looking in all sorts of places for the very concepts outlined in these verses. Myself included. My own journey is one of seeking how to be more at peace within, to be gentle natured and to deeply feel a sense of joy that permeates my whole being no matter what life dishes out. At times I think to myself, I need something new, a new teaching, the old is just that, old and feels worn out. So, I buy the latest best seller and seek, but the words leave me feeling a bit empty, something is missing. Of course its God that is missing. These new books that are supposed to bring us to enlightenment, to a place where we feel only the moment, well there is a bit of wisdom and truth to some of what is said, but there is so little hope within the pages, no hope in a higher power to pull us through the tough times. It's all self and words like "energy". Self Help is a good description of these books. I came to a personal conclusion this morning, its not that what I have been taught, what I know so well by heart has grown outdated for me, or lost its power to inspire me to live a better life, its simply I don't really want to do the personal work to change. I feel lazy and would much prefer a "quick fix" one that doesn't require me to look so outdated, (not talking appearance here) so non-free thinking. It is not the information that doesn't work for me, its just my "self" wanting to be "cool". Not old and stuffy, appearing to just play follow the very OLD leader. Simply, it is my ego. The very things I am searching for, to find, to become have been there all along, right under my nose, in my bookcase, in my heart, in my mind from all my years of study, but the scripture and following God is just not sold on prime time afternoon television or on the New York Times Best Seller List. I was reading some pages of "A New Earth" last weekend and I thought to myself, "bits of truth, but no God." It left me empty feeling. It seemed for me, as I read, like the stories you read of people who search the whole world over for treasure only to come home and find that the real treasure is HOME.
Maybe its just time for me to step back and take a fresh new look at what I have known all along.
There is great wisdom, great truths, great directions for finding peace, joy, patience, gentleness and the all the things most of us are seeking, right under my nose, that has been part of my life for decades and decades. It's me that needs the overhaul, my mindset that needs to be adjusted, not my reading material. The very old Book on my shelf has all the truths I am seeking.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Picking Peas

As the sun sunk slowly in the west, the air cooled ever so slightly, making it tolerable to be outside to do some extra garden work. Peas needed to be picked. Green pods of goodness. Plump and full of tiny green orbs. The garden is a place of peace, of solitude and of bounty.
Pea pods, bursting with goodness
sweet peas ready to be steamed
and even the discarded pods have a beauty all of their own

"The Gratification of desire is not happiness."

"The gratification of desire is not happiness. If it were, as Socrates noted, a person who spends his life scratching an itch would have to be considered happy. Genuine happiness can only be achieved when we transform our way of life from the unthinking pursuit of pleasure to one committed to enriching our inner lives, when we focus on "being more" rather than simply having more.
taken from an essay by Daisaku Ikeda " A Human Revolution: Transforming Our Way of Living" April 12, 2007

Life is . . .

"Life is the blossoming of flowers in the spring, the ripening of fruit in the fall, the rhythm of the earth and of nature. Life is the cry of cicadas signaling the end of summer, migratory birds winging south in a transparent autumn sky, fish frolicking in a stream. Life is the joy beautiful music instills in us, the thrilling sight of a mountain peak reddened by the rising sun, the myriad combinations and permutations of visible and invisible phenomena. Life is all things. "
~Daisaku Ikeda~

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Loss. . .

This is a difficult post for me to write. Today at the Doctors, they couldn't find a heartbeat for Melanie's tiny baby. She was 11 weeks along today. I saw my child devastated by grief and lost hopes. I felt my own loss and my own helplessness in trying to "make it all better" for my youngest daughter. Thoughts kept running through my mind of stories I had heard of miracles when a baby's heart beat could not be heard, then when they went to do a D&C, the baby's heart was beating strong, a miracle. I keep hoping for that sort of miracle, but know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in control. I know that things in this imperfect world of ours can just go wrong. I have miscarried, I know the pain, but seeing my own child so grief stricken breaks my heart beyond words. I saw her tears falling onto Mei-Lings back as she held her so close, so grateful for the blessing of that dear baby in her arms. Life is precious. I thought about the 19 year old that sat next to me in the waiting room, pregnant with #3, her oldest child 4 years old. She was complaining about being pregnant, said her children ruined her life. Yes, it seems unfair to me, but life isn't about what is and is not fair. Its about trusting that God will lead us through the dark, stormy nights and bring us into the dawn of hope. Please say a little prayer for Melanie and Casi. They are hurting so much right now.

A Summer Like Evening

Yesterday was another hot day, the kind that makes sweat form on the your hairline at the neck. Not oppressive but ever present. As the sky changed from pastels to bright oranges, the same exact orange as the glow from the fire, the fireflies appeared. Close to the ground at first, like hundreds of sparks dancing in the evening air. I have never in my life seen so many fireflies at one time, they were everywhere. Little fairy lights dancing higher in the air the longer they were out. The garden and goats pasture was alive with these magnificent bits of light, flashing on and off. The air was changing fast. From hot to cool and refreshing. A gentle breeze stirred the cottonwood tree, the leaves making a sound much like a quaking Aspen. Pepper watched with suspicion the little chicks scurrying around for the last bit of food found on the ground. You could almost read the puppy's mind from watching her expression, "should I chase those little things or not?" She opted to just be lazy and lay at my feet. Emery was fixing the big farm gate up front, making it so the puppy could not get out and onto the road. How I love watching him work, always fixing things to perfection, nothing ever sloppy or half done and it seems he can do just about anything...growing up on a farm seems to give you all kinds of abilities.
The other day we had a repairman here to put in a new hot water heater. He said to me, " I have known your husband for years now and I so admire him, he is just the nicest person and walks the walk always." I agreed with him and could share that he is the same at home with his family as he is in public. In the nearly 30 years of marriage, this gentle man has never said one unkind word to me. Not one ! Watching him walk to his shop last night to get a tool or something, just warmed my heart, filled me with butterflies too, still, after all these years.
While I sat out there by the fire pit, thinking about how time moves so slowly in the absence of clocks, of television or radio. By the fire pit the evening lingers, fosters good conversations and sometimes when Melanie is out there with us, she sings to us...old Irish tunes. Some make us laugh and some make us feel mellow or remind us of ancient times.
I love evenings like last night. Long, slow and makes you aware of the sights and sounds that sooth the soul and calm you right to your core.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Repost. . . "Being Real, Being You"

This is for me, I needed to be reminded !
from Saturday, July 28, 2007 Being Real, Being You
So much talk on blog land about living this way or that way. We set ourselves up sometimes to roll in the mud of being discontent. We read blogs, reading only the stuff that they want us to see. We see only clean houses, pretty houses, sweet families. We look at our own reality and think, gee whiz I want life like that, so pretty, so serene, so different from where I am. So we set out to imitate, we seek to be like, we put on another skin, only to find out it doesn't fit, because the core of our being is shaped differently.
Anyone who knows me well, or has known me for any length of time, knows I am a firm believer in individuality. I march to my own drum beat and every single time I try to push that mindset down and try to conform to any kind of mold, I get uncomfortable. It never works. I need to be me.
You all know that simple living is for me. None of this rush rush, mad dash, grab it all, keep up with the Jones' for me. I like not being tied to the grid. If suddenly the world lost power, well I want to just carry on, no bump in the road that I can't get over. I have felt this way since I was a young teen. Its nothing new. When I lived in Southern California, I was the most miserable person. I hated the life there. It was full of "impressions" and "keeping up appearances". It was hard to find a person that had time to sit back and talk about the meaning of life. I lived in a house with no land. I lived in a house with no breathing room.Now here in blogland, I watch people take a left turn, a right turn, a left again and on and on until they end up where they started, but along the way they purchased so much to go along with whatever road they were on, that now they have all this stuff to deal with for a life they never really wanted to live, but only thought changing the circumstances and surroundings would change the stuff that is internal. The personal peace stuff. The who you are inside stuff.
My life is 100% right for me, but not for everyone else. But even though my life is right for me, its not a perfect life. There are illnesses, worries, days when dishes don't get done, times when if you came to visit, I would have to move stuff off a chair for you to sit down on. Dust abounds, and the other day there were actually cob webs on my dining room light that made it look like something from The Adams Family.
There is always the unsettled-ness of finding the right kind of eating for us. I love health food, but get weary of having to figure out meals, and I then miss having a plump donut filled with stuff I can't pronounce and fat enough for a month. Sure, sure they make healthy donuts and yeah I have recipes for them too, but what is better than a glazed chocolate dunkin donut, of nearly 300 calories ! I suddenly don't like to exercise, something I have always loved. So life here is not perfect. Close to it though.
If you like your appliances, go for it ! If you like your red meat, oh I just can't say go for it on that one, sorry. Red meat is just not good. Colon cancer, fat, the poor old steer, your heart, the list is long, just can't give ya that one, sorry. If you like going out to eat, go for it. If you like sparkly clothes, go for it. If you like huge houses and can afford it, go for it. If you like only wood heat, go for it. If you like hanging out clothes, go for it, I do. If you like having 20 children go for it, and God bless you ! If you want no children or 1 child, go for it. You get the point. Live your life and not someone elses. If you want to wear your hair short, do it.
I spent time trying so hard to fit into the Mennonite world. What a bad mix for me. I am outspoken, feisty, talk about what I read, am open minded and hate dresses. I worked at it, convinced it would make me happy. Thought God was telling me to be that way or at least that is what everyone there told me. Here I was angry inside, like pushing a square peg into a round hole. It hurt, it didn't fit and sure enough, it wasn't what God wanted for me. There are many doors into eternal bliss. I am a better person walking far and fast from that way of life. God had something much different in store for me.
Which reminds me, I heard something on the radio the other day about "Bible Thumpers" so called because they use the bible to measure up other peoples faults, not their own. Ouch.
I think Christianity is the only religion where folks are more concerned with other peoples righteousness than they are with their own.
Anyway, be true to your own journey in life. Sit down, make a list of the things you really love in life. Write down 50 things that make you happy. As long as they are not harmful, against your moral values, live them. Surround yourself with the things that make you feel good about your life. Don't read some other blog and say, oh yeah I want to be them. You never will be them or have their life. You can take some things from their life that you know will make you happy. There are some folks that have a real knack for decorating and seeing what they have done makes you feel happy, then go for it, do the same or something like it. But whole life style changes are serious and need to be looked at carefully. Look before you leap so you are not having to head back to the old way cause the new way just didn't fit into your circumstances.
And final word of advice, taken from Henry David Thoreau's Walden "I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.
Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old, and that to retain it would be like keeping new wine in old bottles. Our moulting season, like that of the fowls, must be a crisis in our lives. The loon retires to solitary ponds to spend it. Thus also the snake casts its slough, and the caterpillar its wormy coat, by an internal industry and expansion; for clothes are but our outmost cuticle and mortal coil. Otherwise we shall be found sailing under false colors, and be inevitably cashiered at last by our own opinion, as well as that of mankind. " Wise man this Henry David...
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
painting by my daughter Melanie, shows its ok to be different, and hold your head up

A Fun Health Test

This is fun, its free. Just sign up and answer some questions regarding your health and lifestyle and find out what you Biological age is, you life expectancy, your healthy life expectancy, and how many years your habits have added or subtracted from you life.

Here are my answers
Biological age 44.9 ( I am 53 and if I was the right weight I bet I would be younger still)
Life expectancy 98.3
Healthy Life Expectancy 91.7 (not to happy about living nearly 7 years unhealthy !)
Blue Zone Years.... I have added 14.9 years to my life due to my life habits

Vitality Compass

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summer Time Fun

Yes, I know its not officially summer yet, but at 95 degrees it sure feels it. This week is going to be hot each and every day according to the weather forecast.
Melanie set up Mei-Lings little pool while I was over there visiting and I got to snap a few pictures. Grammie got kinda wet from all the splashing but what fun I had.
Earlier Melanie and Mei-Ling were here at our house so I got to take pictures then too.
Mei-Ling is just like her mommy was, cries when you take her OUT of the pool.

A New Year

It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...