Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Repost....An Experiment

The response to my post today brought with it feedback that surprised me. I have received SOOOOOO many private emails regarding this post and the aspect of Christians gossiping about other Christians in an ugly way, a way that destroys, hurts and reminds me of the say, "Christians are the only people that shoot their wounded." All this has prompted me to re-post something I wrote last year after doing an experiment. This past Thursday I did an experiment. A simple thing, just wearing a t shirt. Black shirt, white letters, no picture. It reads, WWBD on the top line and under that it says, "What Would Buddha Do ? " Simple enough to understand. Checking my actions against the teachings of Buddha. Same concept as WWJD that was so marketable a few years ago.What transpired by wearing this shirt left me speechless.I kept thinking about the words of Christ written in Red and how he said we should treat people, including enemies. I believe the word he used was LOVE.In my experiment, I didn't want to be an enemy to people but just represent someone with a different approach to life and see what would happen.To be honest I was shocked, left in a state of amazement, and not the good kind. Those around me, knowing what I was doing, were even more shocked. Here is how the day went. In Tai Chi class, a woman in her 60's, daughter of a pastor, who just weeks before had a conversation with me and another gal while we all worked out on the Pre-core machines together. This woman talked all about how she never judges anyone and how she is so tolerant and went on and on how she knows how bad it feels to be judged. The discussion came from that fact that the other woman, raised Buddhist in an Asian country but is now Christian, was sharing about her child that attends an SDA church here in town and is fighting the prejudice of not being SDA and attending their school. Well this "non judgmental" lady, read the shirt I had on and laughed and snickered like a 10 year old the entire Tai Chi class, pointing at my shirt, making jokes about what the teacher was saying about Chi and on and on all the while pointing to my shirt. This same "non-judgmental" woman, threw any degree of composure aside and had really lost her self in the moment and acted like a silly child, but like the story of some children watching another child stone its own bird, they all soon joined in, even if they knew it was wrong.Walking through the gym, the glares were laced with daggers. Where was the love of Christ ? Where was the kind word that may have reached out to my heart if they thought I was really in need of being saved or something ?One of the trainers came up to me and said, " you are indeed a brave person" she knew what I was doing, just because she knows me well. She was training a pastor when I first walked in and she said the venom spilled out of his mouth in rapid fire succession regarding me and not just my shirt, although he knew nothing about me. He showed no desire to reach out to me. You would think that if a person felt so strongly that they have the only truth, they would want to convert me, but instead, I was in their mind, "hung without a trial". I suspect there are lots of folks that are not Christian, experience this type of behavior. Later, a man confronted me in the health food store and came so close to me that I was sure he was going to scream in my face. He "demanded" to know what my shirt meant. People around, stepped back. Uncomfortable at his rage.To be certain I was not just imagining these reactions, I wore the shirt all day long, even when I went out to eat with Emery, Casi and Melanie. They saw it too. One man, a few booths over, glared at me with contempt beyond words, in an instant I felt threatened. I looked back at him squarely, but he reeked of anger, the kind that would burn a cross on a front lawn. I said a prayer for him.One sweet young woman, maybe 30 years old, came to our table, very timid, you knew it took everything she had to walk over to our table and handed me a small tract about Christ. She said, something about "Jesus told her to give this to me." I thanked her and smiled. Out of the entire day, one person shared the message of Christ with me, the rest and there were many many more than I have recounted here, they all were so hate filled, born of fear or something, they all condemned me before ever saying a word.There is a lesson in this for anyone who is filled with hatred. Its ugly and its not Christ like. I wasn't even an enemy, but no one thought to ask. You see, love should dwell in our hearts at all times. Fear driven hate is of the worst kind. You just need to look back through history at all the wars fought in the name of religion to see that. People burned at the stake, fields filled with dead bodies in the crusades, books burned, concentration camps with ovens and all from fear and ignorance and certainly no Christ like love in the hearts, only some pretense of righteousness. We just don't seem to learn.My t- shirt experience taught me so much. It was certainly an unpleasant experience for me to be so scorned, and just once touched with the love Christians should hold in their hearts, but it reminded me too, of why so many Christians leave churches, this hatred I felt is not reserved for unbelievers only. Just do something or say something not to their liking and suddenly you are "evil". Evil comes from hatred. Hatred is born of fear. By the way..... WWBD anyway, in a situation like I experienced ?
" Hatred did not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth... Overcome anger by love, Overcome evil by good. overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth." ~Buddha~
and perhaps this one too,
"Consider others as yourself."
~Buddha~
If those two quotes sound a bit familiar, it may be because Jesus said much the same thing, many years after Buddha walked the earth.
"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. From anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again."

~Jesus~
and this one too....
" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

~Jesus~

http://morningramble.blogspot.com/2007/02/experiment.html

How Honest Can You Be About Yourself

Recently, someone said to me, "oh the mennonites don't talk bad about you near as much as they used to." I thought about that a bit then felt a tinge of anger, hurt and resentment, the kind that makes the hair on your neck stand up in indignation. Thoughts like, "just what are they still saying about me?" "How dare they, they claim to be such good Christians and gossip like that" and on and on. Then in a moments time I had complete peace....SO WHAT ! It didn't matter to me. What they said simply didn't matter. What they were saying wasn't going to push me into playing a role I didn't want to play any more. I walked away from the thought of trying to change to please them, a group of people that I no longer can relate to. But, and there always seems to be a but when it comes to these self realization type moments, here I am writing about it. Getting the last word in, if you please. Making certain I tell you WHO it was that has been talking about me. If it really didn't affect me, then why am I mentioning them by name ? Making sure I let you know that they weren't being very Christian by gossiping about our family proved that although I said it didn't bother me, it did make me mad. So, it does bother me, but on a different level then ever before. It isn't driving me to try and "comply" with their traditions so they will "like" me better. Can't go there anyway. I don't believe their teachings are right, not as I understand the teachings of Jesus. A uniform does not make you a good person !
Why am I sharing this ? There is a higher reason than just pointing fingers. Honest. I want to share that it is in baby steps that we grow. I have taken a step in this journey of walking from being a people pleaser, from being a chameleon that changes to suit the environment, to adapt to be accepted, but at the same time, there is much more work for me to do in becoming a better human. I need to get to the place where I practice what I know is truth, that this moment is already gone, it no longer exists. That the future is not here yet so why deal with things that do not exist ? To really live in the moment, not holding on to the negative, not embracing it with the same intensity of pressing your tongue hard against a toothache, making it hurt more, than moving it away to feel less pain. To not cherish the hurts done to us. For in thinking, that holding on is to protect us against more hurts, all it seems to do is blow on the embers and keep a destructive fire burning within.

I need to be honest with myself and press on. Get past the place where, even though the pain of anothers words don't push me into trying to please them, I find that place where hearing something negative doesn't do anything more than have me think, "well, its true, I am in constant need of improving". That would be the most honest thing I could say.

A Taste of Mindfulness


'Poem', by Jon Kabat-Zinn,
A Taste of Mindfulness
"Have you ever had the experience of stopping so completely,
of being in your body so completely,
of being in your life so completely,
that what you knew and what you didn't know,
that what had been and what was yet to come,
and the way things are right now,
no longer held even the slightest hint of anxiety or discord,
a moment of complete presence beyond striving,
beyond mere acceptance,
beyond the desire to escape or fix anything or plunge ahead,
a moment of pure being,
no longer in time,
a moment of pure seeing,
pure feeling,
a moment in which life simply is,
and that is-ness grabs you by all your senses,
all your memories, by your very genes,
by your loves,
and welcomes you home,
that is a taste of mindfulness."

Healthy Breakfast Biscuits

This recipe comes from the Weimar Institute NEWSTART Lifestyle Cookbook, as much as we love biscuits in this family I had to give them a try.
They are really good....

Breakfast Biscuits
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon apple juice
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup clean, raw cashews
2/3 cup water
1 cup barley or oat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat 1/4 cup water and apple juice to 115 degrees F. Pour into a bowl, then sprinkle yeast over the mixture. Process cashews and 2/3 cup water in a blender until very smooth. Add to yeast mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients and knead lightly. If dough is a little soft, add more flour. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick and cut into rounds. Let rise for 20 minutes. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Yields 20 23/4 inch biscuits.

per biscuit: 67 calories; 2.2 g protein (12%) 10.3 g carbohydrates (58%); 2.3 g fat (29%);
55 mg sodium; 7 mg calcium; 0 mg cholesterol
a little note here. the picture is of biscuits made another time and not so healthy, made with butter. I forgot to take pictures of the healthy ones before they were all gone.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maybe some rain ?


There are storms in the area and we are all hoping and praying for some cooling rain...however, we would like to skip any hail and high winds !

Mei-Ling Update

Mei-Ling was such a brave baby today. She went through two tests today and although she cried pretty hard through them both, she was such a good baby. The tech that did the tests was fantastic ! Next week Melanie and Casi will get the results from the Doctor, we are all praying for a good report.
Mei-Ling was all smiles within an hour of the tests, being as sweet as usual. What a blessing this baby is to our family and surely she teaches us all about patience and about enduring difficulties with a sweet disposition.
Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes for her today.

Hello NovaScotiaGal

Would you mind emailing me, I have a question for you. Thanks !
pasuhi54@msn.com

Cats, Kittens, Sunrise and Mei-Ling






Mei-Ling has her rather invasive test done this morning at the Children's hospital. Its a painful event. My heart aches for her when she has this test done. She cries so hard, that hurting sort of cry that breaks your heart.
We had some rain early this morning, just enough to make it humid. The clouds made for a pretty sunrise and the cats and kittens were waiting for me this morning. Anxious for their food !
One good thing, today we may just be able to have lunch at our favorite restaurant.....Spiral Diner ,
(check out their menu) It is the most wonderful Vegan Restaurant around these parts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tonights Sunset

Tonight's sunset left me in silent wonder

Peace Within


None of us can force peace upon another person, the sheer fact of using any force makes it not a peaceful act. We can however find peace within our own hearts and minds and scatter seeds of peace all around us. In our homes, seek peace and show peace to our loved ones. Bring our children up with peaceful hearts. Perhaps, peace within comes from a lack of being attached to things, to objects and from refraining from holding on so tight to our own self interests that a territorially nature arises within us. I don't have the answers, just the questions. I am walking this path of life just like everyone else. One step at a time, gleaning from life's happenings any bit of wisdom I can find. Watching others, seeing whats working and knowing what is not.
Always, in each step I take, the goal ahead remains the same, to be at peace within.


Progress
Let there be many windows to your soul,
That all the glory of the universe
May beautify it. Not the narrow pane
Of one poor creed can catch the radiant rays
That shine from countless sources. Tear away
The blinds of superstition; let the light
Pour through fair windows broad as truth itself
And high as God.
Why should the spirit peer
Through some priest-curtained orifice, and grope
Along dim corridors of doubt, when all
The splendor from unfathomed seas of space
Might bathe it with the golden waves of Love?
Sweep up the debris of decaying faiths;
Sweep down the cobwebs of worn-out beliefs,
And throw your soul wide open to the light
Of Reason and of Knowledge. Tune your ear
To all the wordless music of the stars
And to the voice of Nature, and your heart
Shall turn to truth and goodness as the plant
Turns to the sun. A thousand unseen hands
Reach down to help you to their peace-crowned heights,
And all the forces of the firmament
Shall fortify your strength. Be not afraid
To thrust aside half-truths and grasp the whole.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox~

A Rich Man's Hospitality

A Rich Man's Hospitality
Sometimes a Story says it all, this is one of those stories.

A Rich Man's Hospitality As told by Yanki Tauber ------------------------
For many years the two saintly brothers, Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk and Rabbi Zusha of Anipoli, wandered the back roads of Galicia. Disguised as simple beggars, they journeyed from town to town and from village to village, refining their souls with the travails of exile and inspiring their brethren with words of wisdom and encouragement.Late one evening, the brothers arrived in the town of Lodmir. Seeing a lighted window in a large, well-appointed home, they knocked on the door and asked for a place to stay the night. "I don't run a hotel," was the irate response of its large, well-appointed resident. "There's a poorhouse near the synagogue for wandering beggars. I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding accommodations there."The heavy door all but slammed in their faces, and Rabbi Elimelech and Rabbi Zusha walked on. Soon they came upon another lighted home, whose resident, the town scribe, welcomed them in and put his humble hut and resources at their disposal.Several years later, the two brothers again visited Lodmir. This time, they were official guests of the community, which had requested that the now-famous rabbis come for a Shabbat to grace the town with their presence and teachings. At the welcoming reception held in their honor and attended by the entire town, a wealthy gentleman approached them. "Rabbis!" he announced, "the town council has granted me the honor of hosting you during your stay. G-d has been generous to me, and you'll want for nothing in my home. I've already explained to your coachman how to find my residence, though he's sure not to miss it--everyone knows where 'Reb Feivel' lives..."The gathering dispersed, and Rabbi Elimelech and Rabbi Zusha went to pay their respects to the town rabbi and meet with the scholars in the local study hall. The rich man went home to supervise the final arrangements for the rabbis' stay. Soon the coachman arrived with the brothers' coach and luggage. The horses were placed in the stables, the luggage in the rabbis' rooms, and the coachman settled in the servants' quarters.Hours passed, but still no sign of the two visitors. Growing anxious, the host sought out their coachman. "What happened?" he asked. "When are they going to come here?""They're not coming," said the coachman. "Rabbi Elimelech and Rabbi Zusha are staying at the scribe's home.""At the scribe's?! What are you talking about?! You're here, aren't you?""Those were the rabbis' instructions. 'Take the horses and our luggage to Reb Feivel's,' they said to me. 'We'll be staying with the scribe.' "Reb Feivel rushed to the scribe's hut and fairly knocked down the door. "Honored Rabbis," he cried, finding Rabbi Elimelech and Rabbi Zusha before the fire, having a cup of tea with their host. "Why have you done this to me? It was agreed that I would host you. You must tell me what I have done to deserve such humiliation!""But you are hosting us," said Rabbi Elimelech, "at least, that part of us that you desire to host. Last time we were here, but without a coach, horses, coachman and bundles of pressed clothes, you turned us away from your door. So it is not us you want in your home, but our coachman, horses and luggage--which are currently enjoying your hospitality..."
From Chabad.org Chassidic Story
Painting by Zalman Kleinman "A Chassidic Fabrengen (gathering)"

Monday, July 28, 2008

105 in the shade

Yup, that's what the thermometer reads on our back porch. Its not in the direct sun either.
A cooker of a summer day.
All went well with Mei-Lings check up today. The Doctor was pleased with her progress.
Lets hope and pray the next Doctors visit this week has the same kind of good results.

Monday Morning Joys


Sleep did its job last night and I woke refreshed and ready to get busy. Yesterday it was 105 degrees out, that is hot. Today promises to be just as hot. Mei-Ling has a Doctors appointment this afternoon and no one is looking forward to heading off to the city where it is even hotter. The baby has a nephrostogram scheduled for Wednesday and we all would appreciate prayers for this little one. This test is not pleasant in any way shape or form.
I tried to get the goats to feed on the stanchions this morning in the new barn...they showed their stubbornness and they won. Still I enjoyed having my new feed room all set up and organized.
Pepper had fun in her pool this morning, within seconds it looked like a mud bath, thanks to all her running in the dirt and then jumping in the pool.
There is not a cloud in the sky this morning, just a few faint vapor trails from jets heading somewhere. Looking at those trails in the sky made me feel grateful to be home where I love to be the most. The easy way my days go, the sights and sounds that are familiar and well loved. The screen door banging, the little shop keepers bell on the front door, the color of the cedar trim in the living room, the squeaky floor in the dinning room and the faint scent of Emery's cologne in our room. Those are things that are held dear in my heart each and every moment of the day. There are memories to cherish of the children playing and laughing and memories of so many family gatherings. And of smiles on little faces when they were caught by surprise that was good and getting a little sticker with a teddy bear on it, that said, "YOU WERE CAUGHT DOING SOMETHING GOOD". How they loved those stickers ! This home of ours is filled with love. Prayer together each night, blessings over each meal, and discussions galore.
Just looking out the window and seeing the sprinkler watering our lawn is a joy. Now I must admit, it might be a bit more joyful if it was about 75 degrees for the high today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Evening

Early morning chores, working together most of the day beside Emery, as he put up a half wall and gate in the milking barn. There was a gentle cooling breeze all morning long, then the heat arrived with a vengeance, forcing us to take time off and be inside a bit. We would so love to have a day of doing nothing, a real day of rest but since Emery works 6 days a week, Sunday is his only day to get things done around the place.
By 9 pm we were finished with the work. A long COOL shower felt so good. Candles burned in the window, music played softly. The perfect end to what seemed like a very long hot day.

We had easy meals, tuna sandwiches for lunch, cereal for breakfast, watermelon for a treat and Taco Bell for our evening meal. No stressing out over what to eat, there was too much work today to obsess over it.
Sleep will come easy tonight, that kind of sleep that restores you to full energy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Granite Countertops....Radon Danger

When we were looking up information on safe counter tops for our kitchen, we were uncomfortable with the particle board laminate because of the dangers in the glue. I researched granite and found all sorts of information about radon found in them and just this week, more information has come out about it. Here is one article that speaks about information from a professor at Rice University. http://www.click2houston.com/news/16999005/detail.html
Naturally the companies that sell the product are going to say its just fine. Sorta like plastic baby bottles and disposable diapers !
Just because something is "natural" doesn't always mean it's safe !

As the day is done...

Our life is a busy one. Emery worked, and I had plenty to do. The feed store, chores, garden work, some sewing, cooking, and then some special chores with the goats. I wormed them, and then decided to give them both a bath. They were getting kind of dirty and when I would pet them, their hair felt dirty. Most goats simply hate water, but Cinnamon and Clove just stood there and let me hose them down, shampoo them and clean every inch of them. After their bath, they both took long drinks from the hose. Tomorrow I will trim their hooves and give them a good brushing. Then they should be set for a while.
Its dark out now, but Emery is still working on the milking barn. We are putting up a wall so that the feed can be kept in one section without worry of the goats getting into it, while the other half of the barn will house the milking stand. A fine hook hangs from the beam to hold the lantern for early winter darkness. Once we decided for sure that we were going to keep the goats, despite the rise in feed prices, we set right to work getting the things done that we were planning to do.
The clothes have been taken off the line, folded and hung up... in the house, quiet. The kind that feels good, its more like peace you can sense in all of your being. Sleep will come easily, we love how working hard on our little homestead does that for us. There are very few sleepless nights for us.
Life is good !

A Little Girls Wardrobe


Shopping at the yard sale today was certainly very fruitful for a wee little girl. Now, freshly washed and drying in the afternoon summer sun, its a joyful sight indeed.
100% Blessing, to find so many needed items for fall and winter. God is indeed good !
We fully believe in recycling : )

Shopping

Some ladies shop for clothes and shoes and then others like me, shop at feed stores and find things like new feed pails, de-wormers and fly traps to get excited about.
Today was spruce up the barn shopping day. I needed a new barrel to keep the goat chow in and a 5 gallon lidded pail to keep the goat minerals in. I needed things like vaccinations, de-wormer, needles, syringes, and shampoo and a new brush for the goats too. And while there I did fall prey to "want" and purchased a bag of "goat treats". Never saw those before but could almost justify that a treat of that sort could be considered a need when trimming hooves etc.
On the way home I stopped in to visit Emery at work and discovered some of the ladies from the church were having a yard sale. I found all kinds of wonderful baby clothes for Mei-Ling this winter. I know what style Melanie likes for Mei-Ling and she tells me what she likes, which makes shopping very easy plus she doesn't mind second hand items at all.

Graditudes

This morning as I was thinking about my life, about my day, about my children, about the love Emery and I share and about the power of gratitude, it occurred to me that within this great movement to show our gratitude's these days, often times something is missing in it for me.
Even in my own postings of what I am grateful for, I often times forget to acknowledge to whom I owe all this gratitude to. Lots of talk these days about being grateful which I think is a good thing, we need to see the blessings in our lives, but some of the talk sorta leaves you grateful for lots of things in your life but leaves you blank on who you are thankful to. Maybe that is due in part to word usage, using the word, grateful instead of blessed. Instead of just counting the blessing or gratitude's, it works better for me to first thank the one that bestowed the blessing !

Friday, July 25, 2008

Miss Elizabeth Discovers the Rocking Chair

After Dinner last night, Steven, Priscilla and Elizabeth came back to the house to visit with
everyone. Elizabeth discovered the fun of rocking in the little rocking chair. Just too cute not to capture on film. Next month she will be a year old, time sure flies !

The Beauty of Simplicity







What surrounds me each day, gives me such peace. Chickens drinking the cats water, a kitten stopping to pose for a picture, flowers, garden blessings, clothes flapping in the breeze, clouds profoundly beautiful and so much more. A goat face. The sound of summer insects singing in the heat of the day. A bird song. A pause to hear silence. No rushing around, no heading off here and there. Contentment at home. These are pictures from yesterday.

Dinner At Napoli


Our favorite Italian Restaurant made accommodations for all of us last night. 14 of us ! The babies sat in high chairs next to their mommies but hidden from the camera in the photos. Both were good as gold. Anytime we are all together, there is lots of laughter, lively conversation and best of all, lots of love. Friends, Nick and Matt joined in with the merriment

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Feeling Obligated To Do Good, Or From A Joyful Heart?

This morning as I was washing the floors and dusting the furniture, I was thinking about the difference between being made to feel obligated to do good and willingly doing good from a place in our hearts that springs forth with real joy.
I have sat in many a church service where you are made to feel quilted into giving or volunteering for some job that needs to be done. The joy isn't there, and at times you actually resent being asked, cornered. It doesn't have to be in a church setting, it can be anywhere, even something like helping a family member move furniture or help do a big job.
Then there are times we find such joy, feel the blessing and peace that comes from helping. What makes the difference ? Is it the need, is it the results we see or is it simply the state of our hearts ? I suspect it is the latter. Even when we feel pressured to do good, the feeling of pressure might just be our own self .
I did a little search to see just what the word "joyful" would turn up in the Bible.....
Deut 28: 47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
ouch ! That is a tough warning.
Then, further on in the Bible, wisdom here, but, oh how to be joyful always ? ....1 Thessalonians 5: 16 Be joyful always;
It is all from what is in our hearts. The responsibility is ours. I wonder how much good we actually do, when our hearts are not filled with joy.

Spinning New Wool

Last night, as the sky grew dim, and the conversation slowed, I took out my spinning wheel to try the gray Shetland wool that arrived in the mail yesterday. What a dream to spin ! Sarah was amazed to see the spinning wheel in action and how relaxing it is to turn the fiber into yarn. I love to see a child discover the beauty of things done the old fashioned way.
It would be nice to spend the entire morning spinning, but much to do.....Saturday maybe there will be some time. Today, I will just have to dream of what I plan to do with this wonderful soft wool, perhaps a new shawl, maybe a sweater.


Housewifery
Make me, O Lord, Thy spinning-wheel complete.
Thy holy Word my distaff make for me;

Make mine affections Thy swift flyers neat;
And make my soul Thy holy spool to be;
My conversation make to by Thy reel,
And reel the yarn thereon spun of Thy wheel.
Make me Thy loom, then; knit therein this twine;
And make Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, wind quills.
Then weave the web Thyself. The yarn is fine.
Thine ordinances make my fulling mills.
Then dye the same in heavenly colors choice,
All pinked with varnished flowers of paradise.
Then clothe therewith mine understanding will,
Affections, judgement, conscience, memory,
My words and actions, that their shine may fill
My ways with glory and Thee glorify.
Then mine apparel shall display before Ye
That I am clothed in holy robes for glory.
~Edward Thomas~
(1642-1729)

Fun Evening





Last night everyone was here for supper. Steven, Priscilla, Elizabeth, Melanie, Casi, Mei-Ling, Jan, Michael, Sarah, Cody, Emery and I. I was thankful that we have a big table ! More room to grow too, since we have one more leaf that can be added to the table.
There was chicken Alfredo, fire roasted eggplant, zucchini and peppers, Italian soda's, wine and of course dessert. Chocolate almond cake with Ricotta icing, served with Amaretto Gelato. The house was hot from having the stove and oven going so much of the afternoon, so we grabbed our espresso and headed into the living room as soon as the meal was over. Melanie had one root canal finished yesterday and another one started, so her mouth was sore, they left shortly after dessert and Steven has been heading to work at 5 a.m. so they left early too. The babies were so cute in their high chairs during the meal, making all the normal noise babies are meant to make. Playing peek a boo and "singing". It was just another fun evening with family round the table.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"The Quest"


The Quest
~Herald G. Phelps~
Sometimes we wonder
Where happiness lies.
Is it found on the ocean
Beneath the blue skies...
Or is it, I ask you,
In travel and fame...
In love everlasting,
Or in a great name ?
We search for it,
Yearn for it
Year after year,
And come back to find it
Awaiting us here...
In the warm clasp of friendship,
The light of a smile...
The cheer of a comrade
Which brightens each mile.
Though riches may lure us,
And travel may call...
In the light of our fireside
We're finding it all.

The Joy of the Morning

The morning light filtered through the bedroom curtains, telling me it was way past time to be so snuggled in bed. I heard Emery walking through the house, getting his own breakfast. I felt a bit of guilt, yet that comfort, that cozy, sleepy, not willing to get up feeling held me. I yawned and stretched like a cat napping on the hearth, but still I was not willing to give up my spot. Maybe it was all that swimming I did last night, or maybe it is just the summer heat, whatever it was or is, it has left me feeling plain old lazy feeling.
I finally did manage to make my feet hit the floor and then I was off. Watched the weather channel while I put my socks and shoes on to see where the hurricane is this morning. Did some dishes, and headed out the back door to do chores. The goats were wanting their breakfast, the cats were following me single file to their dishes, all 5 of them. Pepper could hardly contain her excitement of seeing me with food in my hand for her. The chickens, well they are just chickens, rather laid back, making the best of wherever they are. I filled my arms with hay and alfalfa for the goat manger. Bits sticking into my clothes giving me a bit of a mother nature look. I just stood in the barn looking around a bit, so grateful for this life of mine. So grateful for the serenity of it, the peacefulness of the morning. The goats, finished with their feed, came to stand next to me and munch on some alfalfa. They enjoyed the way I scratched their heads and played with their ears, well, maybe they didn't enjoy the ear rubbing as much as I enjoyed seeing them not like it so much. Its a tease sort of thing. Like tickling. The person that does the tickling enjoys it so much more than the tickled one. The whole scene before me just oozed tranquility. I wanted to etch it into my mind, this moment, for ever. There were no worries pressing me down, no list of "must do's". Nothing was that important that it could not wait. Dust can stay put on the furniture and the dishes left in the sink could just stay there. This bit of homestead heaven must be enjoyed. I whispered off a prayer of thankfulness, and thought about how many miracles have taken place in my life and thought that I never seem to give God enough praise for that. We take things for granted after a while. I don't mean I take God for granted, just the things He has done for me. I suspect its that way with many of our relationships. Remembering a few of the miraculous things in my life this morning, gave strength to my faith in God.
There is no breeze this morning, just stillness. The hum of insects, a few birds chirping, but after that, just silence. A good time to think and to count my blessings, one of which is the very life I live.