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Showing posts from May, 2010

Carrot Picking Day

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Mei-Ling was over for a visit and helped me with chores this morning, including carrot picking.
I watched as she wandered about in her wee lavender boots, talking to the goats, picking mint leaves, helping in the garden, playing in the dirt, hugging the cat, gathering eggs in the hen house and just exploring the big world around her...free and uninhibited. It's how I feel too, free to explore all that is in my simple little world that never needs to be big and expansive for me. I am sitting here at the computer, smelling the wonderful scent of mint tea brewing in the kitchen, made with mint just picked 10 minutes ago. A pile of warm biscuits sit on a plate on the table, tiny hands flattened the dough and cut them out, placing them with care on the baking sheet. "Let me try, Mimi" and I did. This is the life I love, simple, at home, content and full of awe for the wonders of creation all around me. And best of all, stress free.

Getting My Groove Back

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I am not much of a movie goer, think I have gone to the theater to see a movie 5 times in my 31 years of being married, so I am not much of a movie expert, but seems to me there was a movie about someone getting their groove back and although I have no idea what that movie was about, I can relate to the subject of getting ones "groove" back, which I am hoping means to get ones yest for life back.
For the past couple of years I have been struggling with an under active thyroid. Took synthroid for a bit but it gave me chest pains so I stopped. Tried about 100 different natural remedies to no avail so when I went to the Doctor about my knee, I mentioned my symptoms, the most serious one being, total lack of enthusiasm. I think my daughters both worried I was depressed, but that wasn't it, it was more like being too tired to do anything or care much about things. I was so tired, so worn out. Ate like a bird, lost no weight, was cold and shockingly the blood work also showed …

Feels Like Summer

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The past few days have felt more like summer than spring. Our temperatures have been in the low 90's, with high humidity. Today I had to water the garden since no rain has fallen in the past few days either. Tomatoes are hanging heavy on the vines, and the fruit trees are full of peaches, plums, apricots and figs. I noticed lots of tiny pears on the pear tree too.
My knee is nearly healed which means I can get back to working in the garden, so long as I remember not to over do it. My friend Debbie is here visiting for a couple weeks which should help keep me from spending too many hours working in the garden since we seem to want to visit more than work. We have been best friends for nearly 50 years. Yesterday we had a wonderful impromptu afternoon tea....Mei-Lings idea. She loves taking tea and even helped set the table in the living room for me. It was nice having friends and family gathered around sipping earl gray and eating finger foods. Life is all about that sort of thing, sit…

A Quick Note

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All is well, just was feeling a bit unmotivated to be on the computer while taking an antibiotic for a skin infection that made me very sleepy. I so appreciate all the notes of concern : )
Today my best friend Debbie arrived from Boston for a two week visit so there will be lots of chatter around the house for a while. The shot of cortisone took care of my knee problems which has been wonderful. Tomorrow I promise to take some time to catch my blog up !

Much Improved

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My knee is so much better that this morning I was able to go out and do my chores. How I loved being able to milk the goats again, sitting on the stanchion, talking to the "girls" and hauling a huge armload of sweet sudan hay over to the manger. Watching the kids at play and scooting away the kittens from under my feet as I went about my tasks.
I was tenderly reminded by Emery that just because the pain is less, doesn't mean I can just do as I want. Which seems to be that I always want to be doing some big project. Its never easy for me to just sit.
This morning my thoughts are running along these few verses that keep me inspired to remember what matters most in life.
Matthew 6: 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your…

25 Things That Make Me Smile

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On a lighter level, here is my list of 25 things that make me smile or give me joy simply because they are beautiful to me

1. My husband and family 2. Roses 3. Beautiful linens 4. Taking afternoon tea 5. Beautiful Art 6. Flower gardens 7. Fluffy clouds 8. English Prams 9. Baby clothes on the clothesline 10. The smell of baking bread 11. Good chocolate 12. Veuve clicquot champagne 13. Holding Emery's hand 14. Bed linens just off the line 15. Beautiful table settings 16. Baroque music 17. Lilacs 18. Lace curtains dancing in the wind 19. Birds at my feeders 20. Hats (this should be much higher up on the list) 21. Ladies gloves 22. Tackling complicated recipes with profound success 23. Gazing across the table at Emery and still feeling butterflies in my stomach 24. Heirloom baby clothes 25. Going barefooted in soft green grass

25 Things I Really Care About

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This is a list of things that I really care about, core things, regardless of what other people think. Think about the people in your life that influence you to act differently than how you feel deep inside, and how you would act if they were not in your life. Its eye opening to realize that some folks just push us to act a certain way. We all do it, even if we say we don't care one bit what others think. These are things I care deeply about but still, they can sometimes get pushed and shoved into the background from time to time, but are never far from the basic me.
1. My husband, children and grandchildren 2. Herbal Medicine 3. Simple living 4. Growing my own food 5. Spiritual Growth which to me has nothing to do with religion 6. Stepping Lightly on this earth 7. Tai Chi 8. Hiking 9. Natural fibers 10. Raising children to care about others 11. Seeking to live compassionately 12. Spinning wool 13. Healthy shoes 14. Health care reform 15. Separation between church and state 16. having books and …

The Power of Peer Pressure

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We so often think peer pressure is something children and young adults have to deal with and once you are older, you are past that problem, but I believe modern marketing and television shows are in their own ways producing that same sort of pressure. I keep seeing it over and over. Just recently had a conversation with a woman in her 50's who shared with me in a very casual manner how her own children influence her by their approval or disapproval. She wants to be up with the times in their eyes, fearing to appear outdated or old so she listens to music she really does not like and has gone so far as to decorate her kitchen to her daughters taste and not her own. I suspect this woman is not alone. Lots of middle agers seem to be better at doing things to seek approval than doing what they really want or what they believe in. Might be something as simple as words used or music listened to. Might be we are wearing clothes we don't even like but hate to appear old fashioned or n…

Bursitis of the Knee

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In the old days they called it housemaids knee and I am calling it my "gardeners knee". Its painful to be sure but with what seemed like a gigantic shot of cortisone, I should be on the mend rather quickly. Emery has been faithful in doing my chores and today, Melanie drove me to town to pick up some medicine and she made me get in one of those motorized wheelchair things they have at the stores. I felt pretty old ! Casi went to the feed store today and picked up a truck load of hay for me which made me count my blessings that I have such loving and kind children. I suspect for the next few days I will be doing hand work in the house and not much else. I snuck out to the laundry room and did a load of wash and hung it up since there is rain in the forecast for the next several days. The air is soft and full of humidity, with a gentle breeze which somehow translates into natures fabric softener. I already miss working in the garden and sitting on the stanchion milking the goat…

Not much time for the computer lately

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I have not vanished off the face of the earth, just not much computer time. I have been a lady of leisure for the past week, which has its good points and its bad points, since I like to be on the go.
Today though I did go pick some carrots and beans in the garden and manage to get a few photos. Its refreshing to my soul to see flowers in bloom, goats playing and watch young birds being fed by their parents.
I had a wonderful Mothers Day yesterday. Emery took me to a local nursery that specializes in English Garden plants and he bought me daisies, foxglove and a David Austin Rose, called Graham Thomas, which fits in my rose garden beautifully. Melanie and Casi took Emery and I out for supper at my favorite Chinese restaurant and after we ate, Mei wanted to come home to Mimi and Papa's house which we enjoyed of course. Steven stopped by with a bouquet of flowers and a card on his way into town shopping. I am expecting something in the mail today from Vermont ! Life is good when its…

Making Laundry Soap

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Today is a perfect day for making laundry soap. Nothing else demanding my time....earlier I got a few windows washed, clean curtains hung and did some hand work.
Home made laundry soap is just better in a lot of ways. Its cheaper than store bought, you know what is in it, there are no fillers or "fluff" and there is something kind of satisfying about making it. I make my with my home made soap but you can buy a one of the pure soaps on the market that has no moisturizers or be like me and make your own old fashioned lye soap. I grate two bars of home made soap very fine, I like to use soap that is at least a year old, preferably soap about 3 years old as its well cured and grates like a dream. For each bar of soap I grate, I add two cups of washing soda and two cups of borax. Mix it well, break any clumps up and store in an airtight container. For my washer which is a top loading old fashioned style, I use 1/4 cup for each load of wash. I heard you use less for those new fron…

Morning Ramble

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It's a gorgeous morning, but I find myself sitting around feeling lazy due to a sore right knee. Not too fond of this aging process, seems it can take control of you. But on the flip side of it, being still for a day or so gives me time to do some hand work and to read. Emery did my chores for me this morning and worked in the garden before he headed out the door for work. I am blessed with a man that hasn't got a single tiny lazy bone in his body. He grew up on a farm that required the words, "don't feel like it" banished from everyones vocabulary.
I will no doubt take a stroll around the place checking on things and admiring the beauty of Gods creation. I so often think of the verse in the 1st book of Romans, verse 20 that says so much to me and reminds me on those days when I wonder if God is listening, that His love is ever present in so many ways....verse 20: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine…

Keeping It Simple

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Every once in a while I need to sit down and remind myself why we have chosen to live a homestead sort of life. It started out as a combination of beliefs and a desire to live on a single income that was not what you would call substantial, now it is all about the choice to live apart from the pressure of society to live according to the peer pressure to have this or that.
Today, I watched Mei-Ling wander through the garden, and munch on fresh spinach right from the plant and play in the dirt, examine chicken feathers and kitten whiskers. I saw the delight on her face as she fed the goats leaves and bits of grass. I watched her chew on mint from the mint patch and ride on the old hobby horse on the back porch as if she was riding a fine real pony to some land of make-believe. I saw her write letters in the dirt with a stick and pocket handfuls of stones that she found to be simply beautiful. Watching her was just like watching my own little ones all over again and it reminded me of wh…

Homestead Life In Spring

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Springtime on the homestead is a busy time but also one of the prettiest times. Each and every day I am able to wander outside and enjoy the flowers we have planted and the gorgeous roses that are in full bloom right now. No less than three times this week I have picked huge bouquets that fill the rooms with that sweet scent that is so easily recognized. I love floribundas, old roses, English roses, the kind that are perfumy and have big full flowers. Of course I have some tea roses too, but the old roses will to me always be the best of the bunch.
Our driveway is lined with rose bushes and lilies an old fashioned sort of welcoming and there are iris and yarrow. Mint and Rosemary mixed in with the flowers to add scent and that deep green. In spring, the vegetable garden delights us with fresh goodies, so welcome after the long winter. Once again the goats give us fresh milk and the chickens give eggs with such bright yolks that stand so tall from all the greens they eat each day. The fr…