Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A BIG Correction !!!

A good friend pointed out a big typo on my post regarding "The Simple" I wrote that none of my children were good people, when it should have read they are all GOOD people !
I am sure hoping they didn't read it before I corrected it. Some days my mind is faster than my typing and I am already on a new thought, before I get the last one typed out : (
Just to clarify, it was not a Freudian slip either.

This afternoon, I have been busy cutting out a felt book for the grands to play with when they are visiting. I spent many an hour cutting out felts for my own children when they were small, and these little books were such a blessing during the church services. They would sit quietly playing with their felt books. All were nature or Bible stories and such a special treat for them to play with as they were only played with during church time.

A Couple Prayer Requests

Two of my children are in need of some prayer. Melanie had a tooth pulled last week and although she did everything she was told to do, she ended up with a dry socket, which I hear is extremely painful. I ask that you remember her in prayer that it heal properly, quickly.
And Steven and his family will be travelling this week and I pray that they have a safe flight and that all goes well. Also, Steven is having a bit of an issue with his blood pressure and needs some prayer that he will be able to get it under control. No matter how old our children are, we will always worry when things are not as they should be.

Thank you !
Melanie and Steven many years ago, always great pals

The Simple

Walking out to the barn this morning, my thoughts were on what really brings me joy. Real joy, not the temporary sort of thrill you get from buying something new or going on vacation, but the kind you feel that stays with you, helps you sleep soundly at night. The kind of inner peace that fills you with something hard to describe but yet it seems to spill out from you and erase some of the stress the world seems to push onto us.
Last night Steven and Priscilla stopped by for a visit and since Mei-Ling had been over for a visit, we kept her longer so she could play with Elizabeth. Watching those two darling girls play side by side gave me joy. Oh yes, they are at that age where whatever one has the other one wants, but still, watching them dance about the room with all that energy and hear their little voices chatter back and forth, its pure delight. It stays with you. And those little girl hugs and kisses just for me as they head to their own homes, that is priceless.
Wee little Yen, whose face lights up when I talk to him and whose entire face becomes a smile when I play patty cake with him, gives so much of that wonderful sense of joy to me. His little arms reaching for me warms my heart ! And in a couple more months, another blessing will arrive.
My own children, yes, now all grown and married bring such joy to Emery and I. The phone calls, the visits, all the things Melanie and I get to do together. Watching Emery and Steven talk shop or help each other out in some way or another. The closeness of our family is a blessing beyond words. I daily count my blessings that all of the children are good people. Contributing the the positive aspect of society.
This life we have carved out for ourselves is also one that gives great joy to us. Simple, uncomplicated aspects of life that draws us out into the great wonders of creation each and every day. Working in the soil, hearing the wind in the trees, knowing which bird is singing, or knowing what certain clouds tell us about the upcoming weather. Not having to worry about how to live if the storm causes the electricity to go out. We go on just fine without it. Finding delight in the handiwork of God that He made just to delight our souls. It is the simple and free things in life that bring the deepest most profound joys.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Not Enough Hours in My Day

I remember going to a seminar by that name many years ago and for me at that time in my life, the phrase had more to do with getting many things that needed to be done, done in one day. Now it seems that phrase has more to do with how fast time seems to pass by.
A weeks seems to only last a couple days ! Hard to imagine but our little Yen is nearly 6 months old and the newest addition to the family will be arriving in just about two months.
It was a fun weekend here for us. I made several batches of ice cream from our goats milk.
One flavor was extremely simple to make, just milk and maple syrup, combined and frozen in our Donvier ice cream maker. I also made fresh strawberry and a batch of Carob this morning. What a fun way to use our extra goat milk ! Next week I hope to get a few batches of cheese made.
This afternoon the sky opened up and some well needed rain fell. For a bit the sun came out which gave Mei-Ling and I opportunity to search for a rainbow. She was over for a little visit with Grammie today and what fun we had. I wish all my grandchildren lived so close by !
Each day I thank God for the blessing of another generation to love and be a part of.

Here are a few photos from the past few days....life is wondrous, at any age.
Faith appears to have a bad attitude !
making ice cream
Mommies rocking their babies...Mei-Ling loves to play with my doll that I had as a little girl
Sunset last week
Its so dry that the roses were drying on the bush

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fathers Day For Us

We woke with the sun and headed off to get chores done and then embark on a day made of all the things Emery enjoys the most. Giving him a real Fathers day. After a light breakfast we headed off to our favorite hiking trails. If we were going to get any hiking done, it had to be early since they were predicting triple digit temps for the day. We hiked to the highest spot on our first trail and sat in the morning wind, watching the birds fly over us and see Cedar Lake sparkle in the sunshine. This one trail we like so well, is a workout, all uphill with such a gradual decline on the other side of the hill that you never feel a bit like you are walking down hill. Then once again, its all uphill to the car. We decided to do just half that trail, then head off to another State Park about 20 miles away that runs along a river, we could cool off in the water if we get too hot.
By 1 p.m. we were done hiking. It was just too hot to do any more hiking.
Grabbed a quick lunch at Taco Bell and headed home for a nap. We "slept like Christians" as they often say of sound sleep, so sound in fact, that we never heard Steven knocking at the door. He ended up leaving a card and gift for Emery in the door. Steven and his family had made other plans and were not going to be able to join the rest of us at our favourite Chinese restaurant for supper. Emery and I woke up just in time to head out the door for our family gathering.
The children gave their father gifts full of sentiment and careful thought. A photo book that Melissa had made that contained as Emery said, " a million wonderful memories on each page".
Melanie gave her father a movie he adores but its a foreign film and nearly impossible to find and tennis balls for our renewed love of the game. Steven gave a gift that allows Emery to shop.
The day would have been perfect for Emery had Steven and his family and Melissa and James been with us.
Emery is a wonderful father. Kind, gentle, patient, listening, and best of all, the kind of father whose example is always a good one. He is the kind of Father that is a sermon by his deeds.
I gave Emery a watch, a nice watch. He needed one and I have wanted to give him one for over 30 years that would match the kind of gift my engagement watch was. We didn't do jewelry in those days and I hardly do now, so a watch was the typical engagement gift and of course it was a beautiful one !
Life is good, it really is

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Peace of Evening

After chores were done last night, I sat in my lawn chair by the pasture gate. I know, most people choose to have their lawn chairs over looking some wonderful vista and if the truth be told, the pasture is just that for me. I milked later than normal last night, so the woods to the south east were growing dark and I watched from my chair as the space below the tree canopy filled with darkness before any other space around. I listened to the final songs of the birds before they sought shelter for the night and heard the cicadas start their song, mixed in with the songs of crickets and an occasion croaking from a big old bullfrog that makes his home in my milk barn. The wind would race through the trees from time to time, bringing into the mix a new sound, rustling leaves. I sat there just listening, watching the evening fall upon me. Feeling a sense of sadness that so many people lock themselves up inside their homes watching television or sitting in front of a computer, rather than see what I was seeing, hear what I was hearing. As I sat there watching, the goats meandered into their barn, and scratched out their places in the thick hay to sleep the night away, and the kids settled down in their little barn, softly balling in a vain attempt to gain some sympathy from their mothers. In an instant, I knew why for thousands of years why people went to sleep with the sun, it felt so natural last night. The lullaby of nature made me feel sleepy, content, satisfied with the day being done, no desire to hold on to her by turning on artificial lights. From my chair, I saw the most amazing sight, as the woods grew darker, wonderful lights danced around in the open spaced under the trees... fireflies, like little fairies, darting here and there. Magical. I understood why so many ancient tales are filled with stories of tiny little winged people, the evening light makes you believe in such things, makes you loose reason and head full into the imaginary.
There is no movie that could hold my attention like this moment. I breathed a sigh of relief that my cell phone was in the house and no one could disturb me. Emery came and sat beside me, he loves this spot by the pasture gate, near the barn. He sat in silence next to me, soaking it all in too. Leave your closed up tight house some evening and just sit and listen to the night come, and the day light move on to another place. There is a peace to be found in this time of the day that nothing can match.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life The Way I Like It

This morning, early before the sun was above the tree line I was heading off to the barn, milk pail in hand, a little more pep in my step than in the months past. I fed the kids, and put the feed in the feed dish that hangs on the stanchion and called Faith into the milking barn. She was eager and never once acknowledged her crying kid just on the other side of the fence. I suspect the momma goats are glad to have the kids off of them. Between Faith and Licorice I got over a half a gallon of milk, which means Emery and I have a gallon of milk to drink each day ! I will make yogurt and cheese and share some of the extra with family. My hands were tired last night from milking but this morning it was as if I had been miking all along. Emery had hung a fan in the milk barn last night for me, and it sure felt good blowing on me while I milked and it chased away the flies that love to invade that space. My mind was soaking in the sweet smell of the fresh milk filling the pail, and the sounds of the many birds singing in the nearby trees. The sound of the wind in the trees adding the perfect background melody. After milking was done, I gave the cats bowls of milk, which they lapped up with gusto.
The morning was so beautiful I couldn't imagine being inside so the goats got a bath, and hoof trimming....still too nice to go inside I sat in the lawn chair by the pasture gate and watched the sprinkler go back and forth. This is the way I like life, easy breezy. Watched as the cardinals and Carolina wrens darted back and forth through the sprinklers like little children do. Catching a bit of water than heading for the fence. They did this over and over, playing in the sprinklers on a summer like morning. Time seemed totally irrelevant to me, it was simply a matter of enjoying the moment, however long I wanted that moment to last.
I tried living more city girl like recently, shopping, dressing better, spending more money, but it all left me feeling so unfulfilled , compared to working in the garden, doing chores and dressing to fit the life I love the best. Besides that, I never could keep up with all my housework being gone so much. The Country girl look suits me just fine, since thats what I am, just a country girl, plain and simple.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Unhappy Kids

Last night Emery and I spent a good hour rounding up the kids to separate them from their mothers. They are fast runners ! It's time. They are getting too big to nurse and all of them are eating grain and hay just fine. The mother goats kept pushing the kids away, even running from them at times. We decided to separate them last night after watching them for a bit. The kids were not happy about it, but the momma goats were thrilled. Since the kids have been on their mothers, they are not particularly tame compared to bottle fed babies so this separation will also give me better opportunity to tame the kids a bit, they will know me as the person that feeds them and that creates a bond. So, this was also is the first day of having to milk twice a day, which I don't mind but it does take some discipline to get up earlier to get the milking done.
It was hot in the barn even before the sun was up. This is going to be a hot, dry summer if our weather now is any indication.
The cats were happy to have milk again so it looks like the kids are the only unhappy ones in the barnyard this morning !
Looks like the farm girl is back in business....just can't turn a homestead woman into a chic city girl for very long.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Sweetest Things In Life

Last night when the house was quiet, I sat in my wooden rocker and rocked Mei-Ling to sleep. She spent the night at Grammie and Grampie's house but didn't want to miss anything so the thought of going to bed was not exciting to her. I had her climb up into my lap, wrapped her up in the old gray woolen shawl I had crocheted so many years ago and rocked my grandchild and told her about how angels watch over her and patted her sweet head. I told her how I had done the very same thing with her mother when she was a little girl and how much I love her. She hugged me tight and said she loved me so much. All the finest things in the world would never give me even a tiny bit of the kind of joy I felt rocking this child of my child. Grandchildren are indeed a reward, a blessing beyond blessings. This morning when she woke, she called to me and was all smiles, ready for a new day. Melanie had a dentist appointment early this morning so she came over with Yen for me to watch too and again my heart was filled with such joy when I picked him up in my arms, all sweet smelling and full of baby grins. I asked him if he was Grammies baby boy and he giggled out loud and his entire face was a smile. These are the sweetest things in life. Moments of love, moments that have nothing to do with where you live or what you drive. No money needed in the bank required for such moments. Just love.
I thought as I held Yen in one arm and Mei-Ling came up next to me for a snuggle, that I am so blessed to have so many years of children in my life.
All the shopping I have been doing lately has been work compared to sitting in a rocker, in the late hours of the night, child held close to me, wrapped in the same shawl that has wrapped up her mother and her aunt when they needed to be snuggled or comforted. Tiny hands patting my arm, a little voice like an angels, telling me I am loved. This is what the sweetness of life is all about.
And this morning, I watched Mei-Ling play with my doll, rocking her in that same big rocking chair I held her in last night and I heard her tell her "baby" that she loved her and she sang her a little made up song that was one of the sweetest sounds of the day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Black & White

A few things are coming together for the redecorating of my bathroom. I will be sewing a valance to match the little vanity chair in there with the black and white fabric. I was pleased to find wall art half off at Hobby Lobby, now just need to find the perfect frames and a very large mirror to hang beside the claw foot tub I want. The floor will be covered with black and white tile. I would love to use black and white marble but worry about how slippery it might be.
I found great white with black accent towels at Tuesday Morning and a great little silver box at Goodwill for holding bobby pins and hair bands.
I am having a great time planning for this project.

Embrace And Enjoy Your Life

Up before the sun for a game of tennis with Emery, then headed out to do chores and pick some things in the garden and check out the ripeness of the plum tree. So much to see and do on any given day. Life is there to be embraced and enjoyed.
Don't ever find yourself sitting in a chair wishing you had tried this or that or gone here or there. Live with vigor and enthusiasm, it gives you so much.
A bit of advice from me...if you are dragging around like an old goat, figure out why and change it. Don't settle for low energy or feeling uninspired ! Go for it, climb that mountain, ride those waves and just go for it !

Some wise words to inspire found on the web.....

"Some people drift through their entire life. They do it one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time. It happens so gradually they are unaware of how their lives are slipping away until it's too late."
~Mary Kay Ash~
"Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day."
~Melody Beattie, "Finding Your Way Home"~

"There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you do not do them."
~Charles D. Gill~

"Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin."
~Grace Hansen~

"If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens."
~Fay Weldon~

"That whisper you keep hearing is the universe trying to get your attention."
~Oprah WInfrey~

"Every now and then, bite off more than you can chew."
~Kobi Yamada~

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Living Spherically Once Again, With Lots of Energy

With my restored vigor, along with having company for two weeks, I was simply too busy to write !
Its strange to me that since taking the thyroid medication I can now see that for about 2 years I was just crawling at a snails pace through life, at least for me, a snails pace.
I have been playing tennis, riding my new bicycle, up with the sun each and every day. My mind has been racing with new projects for the house...with plans to have each and every room totally renovated by the end of 5 years. Along with plans to change the way we are living our life, making it more about making sure we don't reach old age full of regrets for the things we did NOT do.
Life is once again exciting to me. Amazing what a slowed down thyroid can do to you, taking away your enthusiasm and robbing you of a zest for living fully.
The house has been cleaned from top to bottom, crafts tossed away that have been sitting around waiting to be done for longer than I like to admit to. I have been shopping nearly every day for things for the two rooms we are redecorating this year. A glamorous chic look for our second bathroom which I use more than the main bathroom. Black and white, full of contrast but feeling just right. The guest room is being turned into a room of feminine pink roses and fine linens. Detailed mouldings and french antiques. Things that please my eye and bring me visual pleasure and comfort for our overnight quests.
Our life remains simple, uncomplicated and yet more full than it has been in years.
More together time for Emery and I....bike riding in the morning together, sipping wine in the evening on our porch, time for enjoying long conversations. And of course, playing in the mud with Mei-Ling : )
Life remains, good !

Thank you all for your emails of concern in my period of absence !

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...