Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mei-Lings first tea

Mei-Ling tells me about her first tea

A Week end With Mei-Ling

We have had such fun watching Mei-Ling this weekend. She has been a little sweetie. We took her out to eat with us last night, had tea with her this morning and introduced her to our garden gnomes yesterday.
Mei-Ling is an exceptional 2 year old. Bed time comes, you tell her its bed time and she marches into her room and lifts her arms up for you to put her in her crib, kisses you goodnight and lays down and closes her eyes. If she needs a diaper change, same sort of thing, you ask her, "do you need a diaper change ?" and if she does she says yes and walks into the room and stands in front of the changing table

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pure Joy in Each Other

This is a photo from the phone camera and so its a bit fuzzy as its not exactly good for action shots, but you sure can see the pure joy Mei-Ling and her grandpa are having as they dance together in Grandpa's office. Emery loves it when his grandbabies visit him at work. Mei-Ling says she is "papa's girl" and it shows !

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Biopsy results

Just wanted to share the good news, results came back today of my biopsy and they are normal, no cancer. Its what the Doctor expected, but it sure is good to hear it.
Thank you to all who have been praying for me. God is good ~

A Pastel Sort of Day

A grand baby sleeps soundly in her snowy white crib, her black hair such contrast on bright white sheet peppered with tiny pink rose buds, in the rose bedroom that she calls "my room" when she is at Grammies house. What a blessing to be able to watch her for a couple of days while her mommy and daddy go to a convention. Music soft and soothing playing in the background. Sunlight mixing with shadows, dancing close in the gentle breeze. Iced meadow tea a golden sort of green in a frosty glass in the window sill next to me. A stack of fabric in baby colors on the table waiting to be cut into little blocks for a baby quilt, pastels that seem to match the very essence of the day. My head swimming with plans for the flower beds, plans to turn two areas into a proper English country garden. Foxglove and hollyhocks, dotted with daisy's, echinacea, yarrow and lots of lavender. Little stone pathways that meander here and there. Its such fun to dream and plan and plan and dream. Both ways are fun. The old picket fence needs painting, but I sort of like it the way it is, rustic, old and less than perfect by some standards, yet, so full of character and a sort of life experience look to it. Its an easy sort of day, a pastel sort of day.
I watched Mei-Ling and Emery play this morning at his office, he is just as good a grandpa as he was and is a dad. Laughing, stopping his feet playfully, a tiny one copying him, giggles spilling over like a waterfall in summer. There is so much love around me. Kisses and several hugs as a young mother, who is also a loving daughter, said her good-byes to her baby and her mother too for the weekend. I watch her get in the car, mature, wise, beautiful and so confident. I feel flooded with love and pride for her. I feel this way so many times with my children... they are the delights of our hearts.
Life, my friends is good.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Afternoon Tea for Me

It's a gorgeous day...robin egg blue skies, with tiny fluffy clouds dotting the vastness here and there. Sunshine, warm in the cool afternoon. Just all too beautiful to miss out on, so I took my tea pot and tea cup out to the front porch and sipped the first cup of my Earl Gray while lemon shortbread cooled on the counter, ready to enjoy with a second cup of tea. The echinacea is beginning to bloom along the front of the house and its not going to be much longer until the gladiolas are bursting forth in bloom too right along with the Echinacea, which is extra tall this year. As I sat out there, admiring the day, it occurred to me just how weary I have been with this low functioning thyroid of mine. In just a few days, the medication has brought me back to life. Someone asked if I had been depressed and I thought, no, never depressed, but I sure did have low motivation/ambition which for me, just about put a halt to many of the things I once enjoyed. At my doctors suggestion, I will be taking some Iodoral too which will give my adrenals a real boost. I tried for over a year to treat my thyroid issue with herbs and it just never did work. My hope is that this medication I am on will not be a life long thing. Hoping the Iodoral will help get things working again the natural way.
This week I bought some fabric to make a baby quilt just to be sewing again and will start on the new curtains for the living room. Feels good to be full of energy once again.

This is a repost from March 21, 2008 but its where my thoughts were again, on this morning while I was getting breakfast.

"This morning I woke early but lingered in bed to think and to pray. I was thinking about how many of my parents generation and now my generation have moved into retirement villages, places where their children have to sign in to stay a couple days, where children are only allowed at the community pool during certain hours and where the concept of generations blending is looked upon as some sort of thing to get away from. More and more of these adult communities are springing up all over the place, a place to get away from your children, from children in general as if they are just some sort of nuisance and not the blessings of life. If your children are not a blessing to you in your old age, why is that ? Is selfishness and pride keeping you from accepting them when they are less than perfect ? The world these days is a hard place to grow up in, children are bombarded with ugliness and attitudes that don't exactly foster kindness and selflessness and sometimes those attitudes came homegrown ! So often parents shout things like "shut up" or "go play, I am busy" to their children on a daily basis and then expect kindness and patience in return as they themselves grow to the place where they need help or a listening ear. Children do live what they learn from us and turning and running to some community for adults only, running from a place where we can say by our lifestyle, we want to be part of your life, we want to show our grandchildren or the neighbor children for that matter, that life is not just about "us" and our interests. All that talk about the generation gap, well we are sealing that deal with our demand for these children free communities !
I think about my dear grand-babies and what a joy it will be to have them part of our lives, to sing to them, to have them hear Grandpa ask the blessing before our meals with his strong but tender loving voice. To have a home where they can dash through Grammies front door any time, not even knock, not have security gates to drive through, with signs telling about all the rules regarding having children visit. We want to be accessible at any time. Lives bound together by a sense of family, generational love, The kind of heartstrings that bind us together with kindness that will reach from generation to generation. Family, that will always have time for one another. Sure, its not always an easy thing, but its a worth while thing. There is something very golden about wanting to spend time with your children and their children, more than spending time with friends or sitting in a club house with a bunch of people you hardly know. To those with children not living close to them, forget the senior community scene. When you retire, move to be close to your children and your grandchildren and share your life with them. If your children don't want you to be near them, then spend some time finding out why that is and begin mending those fences without resentment or blame or any hint of a defensive attitude on your part and start building anew.
Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

This mornings sunrise
Chilly enough for a good fire in the stove, and the kettle on for tea

Just a little note here about having close loving family. Melanie in her haste yesterday forgot to bring her syringes for her shots. Steven went to the pharmacy, picked some up for her and drove 45 miles or so from his home to the hospital and handed them to his sister. Rather than have her have to leave the baby and make the long trip home to get them. It brought tears to my eyes to see such brotherly love. "

todays note on this post, I hope we as parents have shown selflessness to our children and from that they too, learn to love giving of themselves to their families and to us in our elder years, when they arrive : )

Storms Last Night

Storms rolled into our area last night, bringing with them 60 mph winds, hail in some areas and lots of thunder and lightening. We have been having one of the wettest springs in several years and the poor garden is looking a bit over-watered by nature.
I took a couple of photos of the approaching storm and am ever so thankful for a digital camera that allowed me to take nearly 200 shots just to get one photo of some lightening. Imagine if I had to develop all those for just one picture ! If you click the bottom photo, you might be able to see the very thin line of lightening : )
It's time for me to get outside and do my morning chores and after they are done I hope to sit down and write a proper blog entry.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just some pictures

These were taken with my iPhone so the quality is not the same as when I take photos with my camera, but they are just too cute to not share.

Iona - Treasure

this is the music of the morning for me today....a long time favorite song by a group I enjoy... Where your treasure always a good question to ask yourself

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Garden

Just a little sampling of what we picked today. It's wonderful starting to see the reward of all our hard work. I believe there is more than a years worth of onions still in the ground. I will slice most of them and freeze them. We don't have a cool dry place to keep them for long periods of time so freezing them seems to be our best answer along with dehydrating some. We feel so blessed by what we were able to pick tonight.

Saturday Morning Ramble

A blue jay is squawking, a cardinal is chirping and a little house wren sit on the end of the clothesline watching my every move. The air is heavy, rain is on the way. The sky is a mix of white cloud and a pale blue gray sky. Grass is wet with last nights dew . I follow Harry's well worn trail to the barn, he is by my side, acting a little like a big puppy, "pronging"...leaping with all four legs off the ground at once. You have to laugh watching him. The baby goat is crying for her bottle, but she needs to be weaned. She will get mostly water in her bottle this morning in hopes that she figures out its time to stop being a bottle baby. Licorice is anxious to be milked and fed and talked to and brushed. Its our morning ritual and she likes it. The kittens are growing, only three left. Momma cat took them out in the yard and one kitten became part of the cycle of nature. We have hawks, black vultures and the like always overhead.
The garden is doing poorly this season. Too much rain, we had a few cold days after we planted and I am forever grateful we do not have to depend on the garden for our food, but rather use it as we can. The grape vines are full this year. More than I have ever seen. The plum tree is the same, full to overflowing. The blueberries ripening nicely too.
I feel a deep sense of peace as my hands work to fill the milk pail with warm fresh milk. It might just be the day for making some cheese, adding herbs from the herb garden to it and baking some crusty Spanish bread to go along with it.
The day feels so in tune with a natural rhythm of life. Nothing rushed, nothing hurried, just easy going.
The phone just rang, Melanie, Casi and Mei-Ling all have colds and are in need of moms herbs to help the misery. What a blessing to have what they need on hand. Life is good.

At the Door Of Happiness

At the Door of Happiness
~Virginia Katherine Oliver~
I stood at the door of happiness
And flung it open wide,
For I wished to have the chance to see
Just what might be inside.
And there I learned a lesson rare
That meant a lot to me,
Because I found how really happy
Folks everywhere can be.
Working, striving, living, and growing
Our best from day to day,
And trying to attain our highest
Is perhaps the surest way.
Doing all we can for others,
The little deeds that show
Our thoughts of love and of kindness
As through the world we go.
I stood at the door of happiness
And flung it open wide;
And I shall never close it now
For I know what is inside

Friday, May 22, 2009

As A Deer, John Michael Talbot

One of my favorite songs of all time....a good way to start my day

Chinese Drywall Hazard

This is certainly worth a read...
Health Hazards Remain a Mystery as Drywall Turns Up in Homes Across America
Toxic drywall

What We Think

The world is filled with nifty little sayings about life, bits of wisdom passed on to one another, the only thing is, most of us want to learn about life in some form of empirical knowledge. We want to learn from our own experiences. I remember reading as a teenager something about how we tend to become like that which we love. I thought that was so profound, yet I had no idea at that stage of the game just how much wisdom was in those few words. And now as an adult with a few years behind me, I can carry this even further, saying that we are what we think we are. Our very own thoughts can limit what we think we can do or in the other direction carry us to places we never could imagine. The sky is the limit sort of thing. I have also realized just how powerful our thoughts can be. The law of attraction is real, no two ways about it. I love this quote from the book, The Secret, "Thoughts that bring about good feelings mean you are on the right track. thoughts that bring about bad feelings means you are not on the right track." Its about listening to your conscience. Be grateful, be joyful, be peaceful, be optimistic, be happy, be on the lookout for true wisdom and let go of the thoughts that drag us down, the anger, the thoughts of failure, the jealousy, the things that do not serve us well. We are what we think about.
a glass of iced water, nearly empty, holding beauty all its own

A Slave to Our Things

This is a respost from April 1, 08 and I needed to read it again myself today.

Most of us complain about how much work it is to run a house and search and search for some magical formula to make it all work. We try system after system to organize all our things. The funny part is, there is a simple solution that requires no fancy system.... just stop being a slave to all the things we want to own.
Think about it, having a few well chosen "pretties" around the home would give you pleasure. Enjoyment at seeing them, but when there becomes many "pretties" around the house, we worry about dusting them, moving them, owning them, getting the next one that comes out, or seeing one prettier than what we have and soon they start to own us with the time and energy they require of us in one way or another. Even with furniture, we can have so many extra pieces that serve as eye candy only but require moving to clean behind, dusting and arranging a pretty setting on top, maybe even changing the setting for each season and holiday, which requires packing up and storing when the season or holiday is over.
Then look at the hobbies we might have, they require supplies and there is always something new and better to buy. All too often we end up storing an unfinished project or making more than we really need. More care and cleaning for us. I am not an advocate of a stripped down, naked house, but I also know first hand the joy of not having too much stuff around. Just today when washing my floors I took a serious look at what I really need in the living room. Do I need all the furniture we have, yes, I do. Do I need all the fancy little decorations....absolutely not. I love baskets so have about 8 in the living room here and there. I hardly notice the ones stored on the top shelves. The look nice, but they get dusty and I tend to avoid the work of dusting under them. After a while, they just don't hold the same thrill I got when I purchased them.Does the top of the shelves look just as nice without them. Honestly, yes they do. The house takes on a more simplistic appeal with less around.
Same thing for children's toys. We had strict strict guidelines for toys. They had to be non-mechanical, no batteries and foster creativity. Each child had a shelf to store them on and a basket. Too many toys, meant time to weed out the ones no longer played with. It was far better to not have children overwhelmed with so many toys they felt hopeless when you ask them to pick them up.
Don't live in a house that is bigger than you need. That's pretty simple. Probably don't need 5 bathrooms for 2 people, that sort of thing.
Now onto the laundry thing. What do you wear in a week ? Do you really need a room for your clothes ? That's a lot of work to maintain. A well chosen wardrobe can be minimal if you choose carefully. Do you children need 13 pairs of jeans, doubtful. That can translate to a lot of washing since they can change a couple times a day ! I loved that when my family was growing up, we had a simple wardrobe. NEVER EVER could there be more than 8 loads of wash at our house, because we didn't own more than that. Everyone had two sets of sheets for their bed, that's all I have now. I have one tiny linen cabinet for towels. Everyone had about a weeks worth of undergarments and two pair of pajama's, and the girls and I had 5 everyday dresses and 2 church dresses. A weeks worth of socks. The boys and Emery had 7 shirts and 5 pair of pants. I washed at twice a week. No one ran out of clothing ever. And never was there mounds and mounds of laundry to wash, iron and put away. Now I have way too many pieces of clothing. Shirts and skirts, pants and more shoes than I can wear before one of them has to be dusted. I miss the concept of a simple one piece dress hanging in the closet. It was so easy.
It's not the work that drives us crazy, its how much we own that requires us to take care of.Think of it this way. You go to work each day only to find the boss has taken on more and more projects for you each and every day. You begin to feel swamped and find it hard to get anything done since it seems hopeless. You feel overwhelmed.... now imagine you are the boss and have been doing that to yourself ! Doesn't make sense. People seek therapy for taking on more than they can handle, but we as homemakers have missed the real issue. We are making our work harder than we should, we keep adding and adding to our work in the accumulation of stuff and things we really don't need. We are slaves to our wants, slave to our things and we are the only ones that can change that for ourselves. Think simplicity, think of need vs want when you head out to the store or shop on line. Something to consider perhaps. I really need to listen to myself and get back to where I once was, before I started thinking I needed things that were not needs at all.
Picture of half our living room today after I washed the floors

Friday Morning Thoughts

I had my uterine biopsy done yesterday and it was a painful event, but glad I had it done and glad its over. The Doctor told me he was 99 % certain there is no cancer. Most likely there is a hormonal issue, related to being overweight. Hopefully now that my low thyroid is being treated, I can have the energy to work out again and get some running done and stop this cycle of being too tired to do the things I want to. The world of hormones is a complicated place, they all seem so interconnected, and so in need of that perfect balance.
The world we live in is bombarded with xenoestrogens that mess with our hormone balance which is fragile enough on its own as we age.

I woke this morning to a beautiful sunrise which quickly transformed into a gorgeous morning sky. How blessed I am to be able to just watch the sky without anything pressing on me to move beyond the moment. Well, that's not totally true, soon enough the goats saw me out on the porch and started hollering for their breakfast.
I think, that once my body is back to normal, my outlook on our simple life will once again be filled with the energy and excitement.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Having Energy

My lab work results came today in the mail and as I expected, my thyroid is low. Low enough to be the very thing that has been zapping my energy levels and making me feel like, I just don't like to do the things I used to do. It may not be that I don't like to sew much any more, but more that I haven't had the energy to sew much, same with many of the craft things I have always done. In view of my test result, I think I might have to retract some of the things I mentioned that I no longer like to do, and see if I still feel that way after being on some meds for the problem. I might just enjoy running again too.
I tried, without success to treat this problem with herbal remedies and by careful choices in food choices. Now its time to just get on some meds and take care of the low thyroid issue. The rest of my lab results were perfect, the Doctor commented on just how perfect they are and I just had to think, all the care and watchfulness in what I eat and how I exercise has paid off. Life is good, but make sure you take care of yourself, because then, its even better.

Tomorrow is another doctor day. The last stop in all this medical stuff, I hope, for a while.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Day is Made Complete

My son in law James' radio station is now streaming live so I get to listen to him over the computer. He does a fantastic job and we are so proud of him. He is in my humble opinion on of the best D.J.'s

Give him a listen....he is on from 2-7 EST

Some Good News

Lab work came back and everything was perfect except my thyroid which I pretty well knew would be low functioning. Tried herbs and diet for this for a year with poor results so now its time to do some medication. So 3/4 of the test results came back perfect. I see the specialist on Thursday and will know more then. But so far, so good.

Perfect Love and Fear

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. " 1 John 4:16-18

Think about those verses for a minute and then think about what you believe, what you feel in your heart. Is your good behavior fear motivated, or motivated by love ? I have learned so much about the crippling power of fear in recent weeks and in doing so, these verses have taken me to a much better understanding about my walk with God and where I want to go with this new found freedom that has led me to a place that is no longer a life motivated by "what if's" and fear.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Morning Blessings

Always, there is something to be thankful for, to consider a is my day for counting some of this blessings.
I am grateful for.....
a phone call from Desiree this morning, we always laugh so much together.
the cool spring morning air, that just fills you with good feelings.
so many song birds outside my window.
tiny kittens.
restored health. (still waiting on test results, but I feel great)
Emery and all the love we share.
Melissa for all she is.
For Melanie being such fun to hang out with and being such a fantastic mother.
For sons in law that I like.
For Steven being such a fine young man
and for Priscilla being such a hard working young mother and wife.
I am grateful for color, seasons, scents, and all that comes with them.
for growing up with my grandparents living with us.
for books, and for computers and technology.
for tenderness and compassion in the world.
for learning about the law of attraction.
for open windows and doors.
for a garden and for being able to do the work required to have one.
for finding Harry at the pound.
for learning that religion has very little to do with a spiritual life.
for a peaceful life, with very little, if any drama to it.
for my grand-daughters, what joy they bring to us.
for our local Goodwill store.
and for running water that is pure and good.
think I will stop here, but there is so much more.
oh one more thing, a rather materialistic iPhone : )
Life is good !

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shortbread pan delights

Yesterday at Goodwill, I found a beautiful Brown Bag Shortbread pan for $2. It was brand new, recipe card still attached. They sell new for $30 ! I couldn't wait to try it, so while Mei-Ling was napping, I was making and baking coconut shortbread. Emery just ate 3 pieces of it so I guess it came out pretty good.
there are some good shortbread recipes here

I have included a photo of the recipe that came with pan for coconut shortbread, click the photo and it will come up larger for you to read

The Little Farmer Falls Asleep

After all that fresh air, a wee one falls sound asleep in her crib at Grammies house. I snapped this with my iPhone which is nice and quite when snapping photos. Didn't want to wake her !

A Gentle Day

We woke to sunshine and cool morning air. After the rains we have had, the grass is so green and everything is so lush.
Mei-Ling came to visit with Grammie and Papa today and the first thing she wants to do after giving us kisses and hugs, is grab one of us by the hand and head for the back door, saying, "goats, goats !". She stops long enough at the back door to slip on her tiny mud boots and then she is off and running. I am so thankful she loves the animals. Elizabeth does too. With the new kittens in the barn, which had to be rescued this morning, since momma cat is not too bright and had them right under the run off from the old milk house roof. The tiny ones were laying in a puddle and one was near drowned. I got them all dried off and they seem fine now.
Mei-Ling climbed up on the milking stand, put her head through the opening to the feed dish and made her goat sounds. She laughed and laughed at herself for this funny antic. Of course I did too which no doubt encouraged her to keep doing it.
It is just this sort of thing that makes me love the life we live. Seeing a second generation grow up with animals to love and hay to play in and food to eat right from the garden. It is walking down the path to the barn, with a tiny hand in mine, that makes it seem so right. It is watching the wonder in my grandbabies eyes as they watch goats eat leaves from their hands and see the joy in their hearts in holding tenderly a new kitten or a beautiful flower.
It is sitting on the grass in the sunshine, with a jar of bubble stuff, laughing away the moments that fills my heart with such a peace and such joy.
It is the simple things, the old fashioned sort of fun that gives so much to us. And I am grateful for all the love and simplicity that surrounds my life. With the fear gone as a motivator for our chosen path, it all seems just that much better.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Ride in The Country

These are just some photos I took today on a little ride around our county. The machinery is related to the gas wells

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...