Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why Are So Many Walking Away from Responsibility ?

In the past two months I have heard a lot about mothers needing to get away from their families and to be honest it bothers me. Whenever I felt that way, it was the first sign that I was not walking close to God, it was a sign of my spiritual decline, so a word of experience from an older woman here.
And so, this post if for full time, stay at home Christian mothers, that feel a bit overwhelmed....
I wonder if Jesus mother, Mary ever felt she had to get away from her children and husband ? Seems a bit absurd to even think of, almost sacrilegious to entertain the thought of Mary having to get away from her family because she felt overwhelmed. But I am sure the duties of motherhood feel heavy on her shoulders just as they do mothers in modern times. So what makes the difference from then and now ? Maybe it was one simple thing, the relationship we have with God. That's an "ouch" kind of statement and we all have felt like the role of wife and mother is just too hard to handle and honestly, how we handle it comes down to where we get our strength and what kind of commitment we have to the idea that children are a blessing and not a curse 24/7. With children there are no re-do's. Each and every second we spend with them is never to be recreated with the exact sameness. Even if your children are behaving in such a way to make you feel like you want to pull your hair out, you have only yourself to look at. Why are they out of control ? Or, perhaps, why is it that your patience and kindness is not all it should be, why are you not turning to God instead of running off with friends or to the mall shopping ? Is there perhaps something more Dad can do to help when the busy times arrive in the day. Emery would faithfully take the children outside to play every single evening during the week when he got home from work, giving me time to prepare supper without a thousand little interruptions. It meant we ate at 6 rather than the minute he got home from work at 5, but how much he loved the time with the children and how much I appreciated this time to get things done in the kitchen. It was a small thing, but it helped tremendously. Take a day away from the home as a family once in a while, stroll hand and hand with your husband on a hike as your children run along the path. Watch your children with that eye of wonder at how amazing they are. Turn to God when you feel overwhelmed and pray with your husband about it, seek his help too on the days that seem to go on forever.
We stuck to an 8 o'clock bedtime for the children when they were under 10 years old. Which meant we started winding things down for them around 7. Bath time, family worship, story time, so they could be tucked in bed by 8 p.m. That gave Emery and I a couple hours of together time before we went to bed. The children went to bed at 9 even as young teens, which still gave us an hour alone. Of course our children had farm chores that meant getting up early and actually being tired at night, so it wasn't hard to get them to go to bed at night, ever.
Parenthood as well as marriage takes work, and it takes a game plan of sorts, plans to help one another. It also takes having God the strength that we draw from and prayer for patience for the greatest job there is on earth, being a parent.
No matter how many "Mommy's day off" you take, it will not be a cure for what is missing in your relationship with God. No matter how many times you go shopping by yourself and leave your children wondering what they have done to make Mommy want to "get away" from them, you will not regain a sense of purpose in mothering at the mall. No matter how many times you put on pajamas with 6 other mothers and have a "sleep over" as if you were 10 years old, it will not cure your discontentment in your marriage or in raising your children, or take away the deep seeded resentment you feel in regard to your husband and children.
To her absent husband, Susannah Wesley wrote:"I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe, the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles."
Susanna Wesley had a less than ideal life, her husband did not always care for his family as he should, they had 19 children, several of which died, yet she raised men like John and Charles Wesley.
Another example of a mother that we cannot imagine "needing to get away" from her children would be Sarah Edwards, wife to preacher husband Jonathan Edwards.
"The legacy left by the Edwards family is as fascinating as the study of their lives. Over four hundred descendants of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards have been traced. Of these, fourteen became college presidents, roughly one hundred became professors, another one hundred ministers, and about the same number became lawyers or judges. Nearly sixty became doctors, and others were authors or editors. The Edwards family pictures Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
But we read that "The Edwards had 11 children, 3 sons and 8 daughters. Sarah prayed consistently for their children. She disciplined her children with gentleness and firmness. The children demonstrated great respect for their parents, rising from their seats whenever their mother or father entered the room. Jonathan also took part in the rearing of their children, but the remarkable torrents of revival and his proclivity toward studying often occupied his time. He was always available for his family, but Sarah bore the greatest load in rearing the children."
There is no record of Sarah having to run off here and there, just to have some time to herself because of the stress of raising a family, instead we read about her deep faith, her commitment to her children and husband and her strength to do the job, coming straight from her close walk with God.
Don't try to escape the greatest job on earth when it feels overwhelming, but run to God and fall on your knees, to ask for strength, determination and to see the beauty of each and every aspect of the work ahead. For even wiping the mud off the floor for the millionth time with patience will show your children much more than you will ever imagine. Think of the strength of the mothers of generations past that were strong and determined, in the face of so many hardships, with husbands gone for weeks on end at sea or on jobs that took them far away, how these very women called on God to give them strength to bear hardships beyond what we could imagine, yet raise up men and women for God that have made our nation great.
in the photo, Emerys grandfather was the toddler on the left.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Busy Day

It was a busy day around here. Yesterday I worked on painting a wall in the living room so it would all be ready for Emery to help me move some furniture around when he got home from work, and he helped me lay more of the new flooring in the living room. We ended up staying up late to get more done, then we were both up early, so not as much sleep as normal.
I had Mei-Ling stay with me this morning as Melanie had a Doctors appointment. She has not been feeling all that great since she had the swine flu and it seems now she has a upper respiratory infection so they are watching her closely. Casi had the day off so I told them to enjoy the day, knowing that Mei-Ling and I would enjoy spending the day together and we did.
Playing, laughing, watching the animals, doing some house work, for which she loves to help.
And then nap time in Grammie and Grandpa's big old feather bed. I showed Mei-Ling a simple music box jewelry chest that I found at a thrift store, she wanted to find out what make it work and discovered that by taking out the bottom drawer, she could see the music box works and she sat there watching it with pure child delight, never touching it, just observing. A moment of pure delight for me just to watch her. She hugged a tree out back and I laughed, thinking she is her grandmothers girl.
Tonight the children were all here for supper, well not all the children since Melissa and James thought the drive from Vermont to Texas was just a little long : )
It's wonderful to be wrapped up in so much love, surrounded by family. Its what life is all about. Love and being loved. Life is good ~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Oh What A Night" as the song goes

"Oh, what a night !" but not the kind you want. Around 1:30 in the morning, we woke to the tornado siren screaming. Not a good way to wake up. In a daze Emery and I hunt for shoes and socks, turn on the television to see the radar, call Melanie to make sure they heard it too, they did and poor Melanie's voice is shaken, not at all a good way for a pregnant mommy to wake up. Mei-Ling slept through it, how, I have no idea since its practically an earth shattering sound. The siren seems to go on forever, relentless in its call to action. The sky is funny colored, which is never a good sign. On the radar there is low level rotation, and it looks like its heading right for our town. The batteries are dead in the weather radio, but we are watching the television for an update before we decide to head for the shelter which is less than a mile from our home. Melanie and I stay on the phone, watching the very same television channel, trying to decide what we should do, and then, suddenly the low level rotation disappears, the storm looses some strength and we get the all clear. This all takes place in about 10 minutes time but it felt a bit like forever. The scary weather is the one thing I HATE about Texas. Spring and fall can be crazy some years. This past spring was quiet for us regarding bad storms and no one complained. We didn't hear sirens once and that was just fine with us.
It was hard to wind down and relax enough to go back to sleep after all that adrenalin, but somehow we did. More storms on the way, so it looks like a nice day to batten down the hatches and stay put. Once again, we have been safe in His hands.

photo is of a storm that rolled through last December

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Around the Farm Today

Wandering around the place with camera in hand seemed to yield some fun photos today of the critters that call our land "home". The fall plantings are beginning to give us food for our meals and that is always a blessing.

The Old Fashioned Pair

The Old-Fashioned Pair

~Edgar Guest~

Tis a little old house with a squeak in the stairs,
And a porch that seems made for just two easy chairs;
In the yard is a group of geraniums red,
And a glorious old-fashioned peony bed.
Petunias and pansies and larkspurs are there
Proclaiming their love for the old-fashioned pair.
Oh, it's hard now to picture the peace of the place!
Never lovelier smile lit a fair woman's face
Than the smile of the little old lady who sits
On the porch through the bright days of summer and knits.
And a courtlier manner no prince ever had
Than the little old man that she speaks of as "dad."
In that little old house there is nothing of hate;
There are old-fashioned things by an old-fashioned grate;
On the walls there are pictures of fine looking men
And beautiful ladies to look at, and then
Time has placed on the mantel to comfort them there
The pictures of grandchildren, radiantly fair.
Every part of the house seems to whisper of joy,
Save the trinkets that speak of a lost little boy.
Yet Time has long since soothed the hurt and the pain,
And his glorious memories only remain:
The laughter of children the old walls have known,
And the joy of it stays, though the babies have flown.
I am fond of that house and that old-fashioned pair
And the glorious calm that is hovering there.
The riches of life are not silver and gold
But fine sons and daughters when we are grown old,
And I pray when the. years shall have silvered our hair
We shall know the delights of that old-fashioned pair.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I love the writings of Edgar Guest. He just seems to capture in word, what my heart so often feels. This day, I am feeling a bit like his Old Fashioned Pair ~
the photo is of Emerys ancenstors in Kansas

Natures Fall Garden

Natures Fall Garden
~Loise Pinkerton Fritz~

The treetops are sun-touched
Along country lanes
That wend through the meadows
And woodland terrain.
The leaves are so beauteous
With color aflame,
Since nature is singing
Its autumn refrain.

Near fence rows grow sumacs
All coned with bright red,
And bordering these beauties
Are goldenrod beds.
Sun's rays touch the earth shades
And highlight each hue
Of nature's fall garden
As autumn skips through.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

triad tänd ett ljus

I know, Christmas is a long ways off, but I just drank a bottle of Julmust and that always puts me in the mood for Christmas. I was surprised to see it in the store already but couldn't pass it up, no matter how early it is. This is the music of my morning, Julmust in hand ~

For All You Texans or anyone who wants to travel to Texas

Thanksgiving weekend is time again for the 22nd annual Homestead Heritage Craft Fair. We have gone for the past 17 years and it has to be something like a bad ice storm to keep us from going. We love it. Homemade items of the highest quality made by the members of a Christian community. Visit their web site to see all that goes on and I can tell you personally that the food is fantastic there.
If you would like, you can see some of my pasts posts that tell about the fair

Having A Good Kind of Pride In Being a Homemaker

Yesterday on my way to the hospital I passed a stretch of road that has at least 10 restaurants on each side. All the parking lots were packed. At least 20 restaurants with packed parking lots at noon time. On the way home, it was supper time and again the lots were packed and you could see more cars on their way into the parking lots. I have nothing against going out to eat occasionally, but by talking to some folk and seeing the traffic going into fast food places and restaurants, I am guessing lots of folks go out to eat a lot.
I can't say much about how life is for working wives and mothers since I have never really been one. I quit work nine months after I married, the very same day I went to the Doctors to discover I was pregnant and never went back except for a couple months when Emery lost his job in Oregon and that was only part time. But I can say how I see things from a stay at home mom view of things. Its what I know and honestly how I believe that things worked out best for us. We chose to live on one income, which meant for us, having less then a lot of folks out there. But it worked for us.
My mother never worked after she had children either. So that was my example. Emery and I decided that in order to have the kind of home and children we wanted to raise, it would take me being home full time. We agreed that it didn't matter how poor we were, or what we "didn't" have compared to others out there, we wanted our children to have mom home all the time.
And believe me, we were poor. Most of the time when Melissa was a baby, we didn't have two nickles to rub together, but so what, we had food and shelter and I had opportunity to take pride in being a homemaker. I felt so good when Emery sat down after a hard days work to a meal that was carefully planned and made with pride, knowing that there is a bit of truth to the old adage that " a way to a mans heart is through his stomach " I loved watching the smile spread across his face as he took the first bite of some new recipe I had tried. I took care and pride in how our food was prepared and satisfaction in seeing Emery's reaction. The same as I did in knitting him a warm sweater one year. How excited I was to watch him unwrap his package and pull out something I made for him, knitted each and every stitch with love and how good I felt when someone complimented him on his sweater and hearing the pride in his voice as he said, "my wife made this for me. " I wonder how it is that some young women today have no pride in homemaking and would rather go out to a restaurant several nights a week than to feel the delight of making a delicious meal for their family. I think something vital is lost when a woman fails to find work at home satisfying. Pride in your work is not a bad thing, and home-keeping is a wonderful job that never has to be seen as boring or unfulfilling. To this very day I feel such pride in how my children turned out. And it was my job to see that they turned out that way. Emery certainly was a hands on father so he played a big part in raising them too, but seeing that the girls were taught how to say the alphabet, how to say their weekly Bible verses and how to eat politely and have manners at all times, those were the things I taught them. And teaching them not to be bored, how to be amused in all settings, that was my work and I loved it and took care in how they learned about life and what sort of experiences they were having.
I taught them to cook and to clean and to be independent. Taught them how to learn and how to discover the things that interested them, just as my mother taught me. I would watch my mother prepare special meals and see the care she took in seeing it had the right flavor, the right presentation, even if it was just stew. I loved watching her face light up when she had fixed a special birthday meal for someone, (we always got our favorite meals on our birthdays) and the birthday person would oooooh and ahhhhh at the marvelous meal. She was a chef at that moment and the guests proved how good she was by the way they ate and complimented her. I feel the same. I like feeling like Julia Child in the kitchen, cooking up a masterpiece, a work of art for the ones I love. Like Gibran said, "work is love made visible".
By having someone else do your homemaking chores, you are robing yourself of some very satisfying tasks. It boosts the ego to a healthy level to accomplish something good. I remember so well how I would feel when someone would compliment the girls on their dresses when I had made them. It was just as satisfying to me as if I was a corporate giant that had made a huge acquisition, but the pay off is so much greater in so many ways. My mothers pride in her work at home has travelled two generations and going on to a third one now with Mei-Ling. Melanie has that same sort of pride in her work at home with her little family. Laziness does not dictate her day. Restaurants are infrequent places and not where family celebrations take place. Heartstrings of the best kind, tie us to home. Memories are made in the place were we lay our heads at night and sooth that fevered brow. It is where laughter runs down the hall accompanied by the pitter patter of little feet. It is where the house is filled with good smells coming from the kitchen and Momma is busy creating goodies we remember all our lives and we remember the look on her face when we declare it the best ever !
Its not the running to and from that children will remember with fondness, but the work we did at home that calls them back as adults and keeps a family close.
Take pride in your work at home and surround your family with tangible evidence that every thing you do is made with love.

So Sweet

Mei-Ling and her cousins all had their pictures taken at the botanic gardens wearing their Asian outfits and here are a couple photos of Mei-Ling from that day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CAT scan done

Now I just have to wait until November 3rd to find out the results of the CAT scan. I am not particularly patient when it comes to waiting for test results but I will do my best.
The scan was a breeze. My veins are easy to find so the IV was nothing, hardly felt it go in, but I sure felt the contrast go into my veins, that stuff was COLD.
Its been a miserably rainy day and the drive in and out was less than pleasant. It took me an hour to get home and usually its about a half hour drive into the big city.
Might need one more test, a cystoscopy, which I hope I won't need. But the possibility exists that I may have it done on the 3rd. I am praying hard on that one.
Sure will be happy to have this all done with. My symptoms have all disappeared which is a real blessing.
Thanks for all your prayers and I can feel the power of them.

Melanie is sick again, this time it appears she has the regular flu and Mei-Ling has a cold or a sinus infection. She goes to the Doctor Wednesday. Its been quite a month for us, health wise.

CAT scan today

It's not the scan that I am dreading, just the waiting a week until the results. If you think of it today, say a little prayer for me that I have patience in waiting and do not let my mind roam to all the "what if's".

cartoon found at

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Making Apple Cinnamon Garland

In the fall, I start thinking about the scent of cinnamon and apples. Each year I seem to make one more apple cinnamon garland for decorating in the cold months when the smell of apple pie makes you think of home and comfort.
Here is a post about how I make apple cinnamon garlands that lasts year after year. When they get a bit less fragrant, I just dot some of the apples with a some pure cinnamon oil and they are revived and refreshed for another year. The dried fruits are strung together on simple hemp twine.

A Dove

I took this photo two days ago and just keep looking at it, it sure looks like a big white dove in the sky to me.

It is the kind of morning I love best

It is the kind of morning I love best. Slow and easy, no demands, nothing to rush about. There are things I need to do today, but not dictated by any clock. Go to the vets for Harry's heart worm medicine. Go the feed store for hay and feed. Drop off a big bag of stuff at Goodwill and beyond that, nothing is pressing in any way. I will make a birthday cake for Steven and Priscilla later today (they have birthdays only a few days apart and celebrate their anniversary the day after Stevens birthday) and maybe even make the casserole for tomorrows family meal.
I will try to tidy the house a bit, but its still in chaos from the work that started before I got sick. Half the new living room floor is done, half remains to be done. We took out a bookcase that was built in and it is in the hallway, and the wall where we took it down, needs to be patched and painted. Furniture is not where it belongs, but such is life. Not everything gets done just when we want it and one thing getting older has done for me is release me from stressing over that fact. There are far more important things in life and I know it will get done in time. And probably before the middle of November when I will host a baby shower for Melanie. Stressing out over things doesn't make it happen before it can be done.
Every single day I count my blessings and it sort of puts things in perspective for me. So what if the floor isn't done yet, I wake up every morning knowing I am loved profoundly by the man I love just as much. I am never lonely. I have children that I enjoy and love so much and they love me and like to be around me. We talk every day. I have grandchildren that light up my life, seriously they do and I have friends that are good people. I have a warm and cozy house, it may not be big and fancy, but that is never what I wanted in life. I have just the kind of home I dreamed of, full of love and memories. Simple and a home through and through. It doesn't take all our money or cause us to worry about how we will manage on Social Security. I have good food to eat and room for a garden and animals that I enjoy. We have money to pay the bills that come each month and we have no debt, none, not even a house payment. I laugh every single day many times and rarely cry. Emery has never said one harsh or unkind word to me in our nearly 31 years of marriage. He has never lied to me or caused me any pain. I feel cared for and provided for. I have never been neglected in all my years of marriage or under-appreciated. I am thanked daily for the small things in life.
So how could I worry about something as silly as a wall needing to be painted when my life is so abundant !
Some would say I am lucky to have the good life that I have, but to be honest, it has nothing to do with luck, it has to do with choosing a fine godly man and praying about who I would marry and not settling for just anyone. Our life together has been one that is just as comfortable kneeling down together in prayer as it is sharing a meal at Taco Bell. I prayed for a gentle kind man to marry and never once thought about how much money he made or what kind of car he drove. I prayed for a man who was not self centered but loving and waited for God to put that man right in my path and He did.

Friday, October 23, 2009

crackling fire

This morning was a chilly one and one that required a fire in the stove. It was popping and crackling like a fine winter song.

Finding Balance

With my last post I wrote about having too much stuff out of fear of the "what if's" and that is a part of why some hold on to to many objects. However, as in all things, there needs to be a balance and my wise husband reminded me last night of the other side of the pendulum. People with many interests and many hobbies can't live with every horizontal surface empty. And then I remembered my mother who was a true intellectual saying many times that "only boring people have immaculate houses" which was in part her justification for her numerous interests laying around the house. No one would have ever accused my mother of being boring, she was one of the most interesting women I have ever known but that also meant there were bookcases all over the house, new hobbies here and there and things purchased out of a new interest and that made her someone you enjoyed talking to, and always learned from.
On the other side, we have all meet someone with a sparkling clean house that was really kind of a bore, all they do is clean and organize and talk about just that. Not many deep and profound discussions come out of their mouths and you often hear them say, "I'm bored". When I was growing up, saying we were bored was next to a sin of sorts. We heard many times that being bored was akin to saying our brain must be on vacation. There is a great big world out there waiting to be explored ! My children all knew that saying they were bored, meant momma was going to find some work for them to do !
So, here I sit at my desk, surrounded by things that don't have a proper place but things that make me who I am. A Chinese medicine book that I needed the other day to check out something. Copies of Mother Earth News that I am trying to decide if I need to keep of get rid of. A Crow caller, for calling crows. They are a favorite bird of mine. There is note paper, a magnifying glass for checking out the fossil I found at the park two days ago. That's just a sample of the stuff around me. Throughout my house you will find things like piles of wool in a couple baskets waiting to be spun into yarn, and two stacks of fabric cut for a baby quilt. Cupboards in the kitchen that contain soap making needs and another one with big slabs of beeswax and bayberry wax. Right now in the living room there are baskets of pine cones and herbs hanging from the beam to dry. A big old wooden bucket of kindling and a pile of wood next to the stove.
There are toys for grandblessings out for them to explore and have easily accessible, not hidden away just to make the room look neater. Play cloths hanging from the peg rack in the hallway, easy for tiny hands to grab and transform into so many things.
We are a sum of our thoughts and to be honest, I want to be a bit more than just a perfectly clean house with nothing in the corners. I paint, I read, I knit, I spin, I sew, I cook, I garden, I love nature, I take photos, I love old things, and those things require space. And I like to think that I am interesting and can honestly say, the only time I have been bored in my life is when I am sick and can't do the things I love.
Motivation by fear is not a good reason to hold on to things, but being prepared for real emergencies that could pop up is a good thing. In life, balance is best !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dumping the Fear

Way back in May of this year I had a personal revelation of sorts regarding fear in my life and how it motivated so many of my actions. It did and it still does to an extent, but its hold on me is less. I wrote about my feelings regarding this subject HERE but realized yesterday after watching Oprah and her bit on life in Denmark, that I still have a long way to go.
The recent economic situation in this country has left many folks realizing that the American lifestyle is a bit like lining up domino's, one thing falls, like your job for instance, and all the other things in life just tumble like that long row of domino's when the first one hits the next one.
Its your job, then your health coverage, next your house and car and soon you find that everything has tumbled into a depth of despair that is very hard to climb out of. Which in turn might be part of the motivation for this country becoming a nation of hoarders. We have houses full of stuff, then fill the garage, then we rent storage space or buy a storage building. And continue to shop, even if its just shopping at yard sales because there might be something out there that we might need sometime in the future or is just a deal too good to pass by, even if we never really need the item.
We have kitchens with cabinet space for a small army. We have pantry's full of enough food for a month and maybe even for a season, when we go to the store every week and often times more than that. Many have 4 sets of sheets for each bed, just because we want them, not need them.
We have closets so full of clothes some having a few sizes, just because we MIGHT want them if we ever loose that extra weight, only thing is, when we do loose the weight, we want to reward ourselves with NEW clothes, not drag out the old stuff. And then we have all the things we might need if that first domino falls.
Watching Oprah yesterday regarding the Danish lifestyle, it hit me straight on that they don't have houses full of stuff, because they don't live in fear, worried that if they loose their job, its going to be that domino effect. It just doesn't happen for them. They have safety nets in place, civilized options for folks that need a bit of help. There was a statement made by one of the Danish women when Oprah made a comment about Denmark being a Democratic country but with many programs that are of a Socialistic nature, and the response was, that they didn't see those programs as socialist, but as civilized ! Its civilized to want to take care of people.
I looked around my house, and all the corners are peppered with things I might need some day. The shower has a couple kinds of shampoos in the corners, not one, but more than one. I really only need one bottle at a time ! My sewing room is full of fabric I bought because it was pretty and MIGHT use some day for some project I MIGHT have in the future but was afraid they might not have it when I might need it. I have baskets of pretty yarn I MIGHT use some day but had to buy it because I was afraid they might not have it when I wanted it. AFRAID, is not a good motivation. Fears, both silly and grounded on what ?
Many of us have homes that need to be cleaned before guests arrive, and we take photos of rooms only after we have cleaned and pose things for the camera away from the chaos that somehow just seems to have appeared from our need to HAVE something just in case we needed it someday.
What freedom it would be to live without fear and live in the moment, and concentrate our time and energy on life at hand, on living this one day. That sounds quite civilized to me. Personally, I want to live with less fear as a motivator for my actions.
Here are a couple links from yesterdays Oprah Show

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time For Candle Dipping

There are just certain activities around here that are seasonal. Candle dipping is one of them. I usually make them in the fall time, making enough for the long winter nights when candle light is most welcome to chase away the early darkness. I have been dipping beeswax candles for decades and never tire of watching the warm golden wax build up, dip after dip, filling the kitchen with the scent of warm honey. There was a time when I would scent the wax or color it but these days I just keep sticking to the natural look. I have a pot of pure New England bayberry wax with a bit of beeswax in it melting in a pot too, these candles will be saved for Christmas time. According to colonial folklore, burning a gifted bayberry candle down to the end on Christmas Eve will bring luck and good fortune for the following year. In fact there is a poem that has been passed down through the years. "A bayberry candle burned to the socket, will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket."
Here are a couple of past posts about dipping candles

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photos of the Day

With the rains due tomorrow, I thought it was a good day for getting laundry done. Emery has gotten the winter clothes and things down from the attic and I like to wash them before using them. Afghans were flying in the breeze today on the line and smelled like sunshine and fresh air when I brought them in.
Carrot tops poking up out of the ground
A moment of gray clouds crossing in front of the sun
Sunflowers bright and cheery by the kindling barrel
Chickens hunting for bugs

Grand-blessings Day

It was a wonderful day, "practically perfect in every way". I got to spend time with both my grand-blessings and of course I enjoyed every moment : ) Tonight, Steven, Priscilla and Elizabeth came over for a visit, and naturally, Grammie had the camera in hand.

A Sunny Day At The Park

Melanie came by to pick me up and go with her and Mei-Ling to the park. A perfect day for some fun in the sunshine before the rains come in tomorrow. There is not a day that goes by that I don't count it a blessing to have my grand-blessings close by. A certain two year old cried when it was time to go home !

Being Content At Home

Things need to slow down a bit for me, because I am not getting enough done at home. Right now in my life, there seems to be something needing to be done outside the home much more than I like.
When the children were all home, I went out maybe once a week and the rest of the time I was home with them, teaching them, cleaning house, cooking, baking, sewing, reading, praying and having fun. But now it seems my life has become more hectic. I like home. I like working on projects at home and keeping up with my housework and chores.
The only time I didn't like staying at home was when we lived in Southern California and I hated it there. It was such a departure from my dreams of country living and everyone we knew was on the chase for more of this and more of that, only thing they never seemed to realize they all worked so hard, they never got to enjoy any of it. I felt so out of place there. So I would take the girls, get in the car and head off to shop. As if shopping would chase away that discontentment. New things do make you feel better for a little while, then they become just another "thing" in your house.
I see lots of that same mentality in so many of the young mothers these days, this discontentment at home. This inability to be content with staying at home and seeing the job of raising a family as the most precious job on earth, that has no do-overs. Each moment should be so carefully spent instructing and giving wings to the children. I loved playing with our children, not all the time as they need to learn creativity on their own, but how wonderful it was to take them on little walks, showing them the marvels of creation and creating in their hearts a love for nature. And some of the ones that are home a lot are on the computer more than with their families and that is so sad. We have only one shot at raising each child. Each moment is there for only that exact second that it exists. I think God will hold us accountable for how we spend our time with our children. If a life of going here and there in the car was the best circumstances for a child, then would not have God waited until now to have His son born into humanity ?
And as for homemaking, there was always such joy in trying a new recipe, being creative in the kitchen and not getting into a rut of cooking the same things over and over.
What a sense of accomplishment in sewing new curtains for a room and having them look cheerful and sunny, or to make a special afghan or quilt for a child that they will treasure and hold dear to them and be able to show their children and grandchildren. To create for our children a love of home, of loving the smell of freshly baked bread and cookies cooling on the counter. So much better than the smell of the mall or of some restaurants cooking.
There is not a day that goes by when I am at the computer that I don't thank God that He waited until my children were grown for the internet to be available. I know the computer would have been a terrible distraction for me, calling me to abandon my job as homemaker to be on line. It would have been a struggle for me I know. I give the computer more time than I should, and my house shows it !
I feel that even now, with my children all grown and married, that home should be that same way for Emery and I. A place of contentment, not just of a place to store more things I buy.
This morning I have sat silently, admiring the way the sunshine comes in the windows and enjoyed the music of the birds outside the window. That is so much better to me than getting in the car and going from store to store.
Discontentment has many faces I think and for some, one of the first signs that we are not content is when we keep running here and there after a new thrill or another new thing to buy. Avoiding home for some new pleasure. Its not always the case, but so many times it is. We are a nation on the go, yet we are not a happy content people. Being stressed out is normal these days, but there is in reality, nothing normal about being stressed out.
I am going to commit to be home a lot more because to be honest, I miss it when I am away from it, even if for only a few hours. Home is where my heart is and I like it that way.

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...