Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rainy Morning

The gentleness of the morning fills my heart with a feeling much like love.  So tangible, yet so hard to put into words.  The air, cool and tender.  The rain, awakening colors after the long summer.  A rose in bloom.  Leaves falling.  Acorns adorning the oaks like ornaments of great delight.  The big rains have made it easy to dig up carrots for tonight's meal, with more for the freezer.   The woods are beckoning, calling me to stroll through the leafy carpet and see how joyful all of nature is with the welcome change of seasons.  
A day for chopping wood and working the soil for the love of my life.  His strong hands holding the tools needed for each new task.  Tea on the porch, blueberry tea in big white mugs, steam blowing in the breeze.  Break time.  We chat, we laugh and yes, he steals a kiss or two.  Wonderful comfort in being married 34 years to your best friend.  This rainy Sunday morning is just a bit of heaven on earth.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Very Early First Fire

Heavy rain blew in today, a very welcome event, yet, with it came a bit of a problem.  The wind blew the rain down the chimney, something that has only happened one other time in all our years of heating with wood.  Having spent the morning and afternoon at my husbands office I came home early evening to find the wood stove and the floor around it soaked.  Holding my breath, I looked up to the ceiling, hoping there was no leak in the ceiling, after all, Emery and our son Steven had recently redone our roof.  The ceiling was dry, but the inside chimney and the box at the ceiling, which I have no idea what it is called, but its a metal box at the top of the stove pipe, was leaking.   The rain had blown in the chimney, collected in this box and leaked.  Its not meant to be water tight ! 
So, after some cleaning up the stove and the brick pad that it sits on, I decided we needed a fire in the stove to dry it all out properly.  No one wants a rusty stove or pipe. 
Just as we got the fire going, the wind picked up from the north and the air turned cold.  Even though we have the front door open, the stove still felt warm and cozy.   Life is good, even when things go a bit wrong.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Finding Joy

 Each morning I wake up with the intention of finding joy in the new day.   Quiet joy, not the jump up and down sort of joy, but something more akin to happy contentment.  Walking outside each day, I look for things to remind me of the wonders of creation, made for us to enjoy.  To look with the same sort of eyesight a child has, looking with enthusiasm and a freedom to not feel foolish laying on the grass to watch a bug.  
Morning coffee or tea, most often outside on the porch, always includes moments of silence where I just thank the Master of The Universe, all the wonderful things He has put in my life.  Our home is simple, our live is simple and no matter how hard I try from time to time, (why, I have no idea) but I like simple clothes, simple comfortable shoes and always a simple hair style.  Perhaps its that sensible English blood that runs deep in me, perhaps, its just to me there is so much more to be concerned with than spending time being fussy about appearances.  Whatever it is, it seems I finally have given up on changing.   I like mud boots and the smell of hay.  I like jeans and comfy shirts.  I like woolie socks, knit with care and funky hats made from my homespun wool.  Finding joy often means, first finding out who you are and then there is the freedom to look for joy around every corner.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teaching Grandchildren To Love Nature

Two of my four grandchildren live just steps away from us, giving us the wonderful opportunity to see them almost daily.  They love coming over to Grammies and Grandpas house to play and to explore.  How they love to watch birds and lay in the grass watching the clouds go by.
Yesterday was Yens first time using the binoculars and what fun he had, discovering a new world close up.  With all the toys we have available for the children, its still remains the same truth, we learned with our own children.  Nature provides so much pleasure for the children.  Just digging in the dirt, finding sticks, gathering leaves and just looking up at the sky is the most amazing play !

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Christmas is coming....

The morning shadows are telling me that its not too early to start or in this case, finish some projects for Christmas.  Last year I started this advent project but just didn't get it done in time.  So once again, I am working on the 24 little felt packages that will be strung together with red and white check ribbon or perhaps some "God Jul" cotton trim.   With each package I embroider, I think about what sort of little gift to put in it.    The sunshine felt good this morning as I sat on the porch, drinking my coffee and eating my pulla.   A nice glass of Elderberry juice for health before the coffee !

Live deliberately. . .

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."

                                             me and my niece at Walden Pond, many years ago

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Uncomplicated living

Breathing in the morning air.  Sun rising, clouds catching color from the enormous orange orb we call the sun.   Nothing pressing, nothing rushing me.   Gathered sticks to make Christmas trees.  The holidays will be here in no time.  Thinking about spraying some fake snow on them, just a little bit, on the top of their branches.   I love snow.   
Standing at the window of my kitchen, the light and shadows delight me.  Uncomplicated living gives time to enjoy the ordinary which so often feels extraordinary when we take the time to soak it all in.   I choose daily, not to live a rushed life.  Weeding out the un-necessary, choosing to not be too busy with things I don't have to do, allows me to savor the beauty of each day.  
Avoiding drama as if it were the plague.  Living with the mindset that there is no need to worry needlessly.  You work on changing the things that can be changed and don't worry about the things that cannot be changed.   
The past few days I thought a lot about the mistakes made in parenting.  It seems many of us  have someone handy to remind us of our shortcomings, which is a good thing, despite how it ruffles our feathers at times. It points out where we need to make changes or perhaps just say, "I am sorry".   It seems as parents, we all make mistakes.  Many of us wish we were born with wise heads on our shoulders from the moment our children were conceived, but we aren't.   There are things we do and say that are meant well but come out not so good !  The best we can do for our children is to acknowledge we are not perfect, but that our hearts are full of love.   We can apologize for not doing something right or for causing one moment of hurt.   Then I thought more about this sort of thing and realized that its not just with our children that we make mistakes, its with ourselves, its with the way we treat our own parents, it happens between couples and with friends.  The bottom line is, life is less than perfect, yet, we can allow things to become complicated or we can choose to live uncomplicated lives by taking time to see clearly and change what we can change and live each day better than the last one.   Drama avoided, uncomplicated living, preserved once again.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Recently, I had my DNA tested for ethnicity and was surprised to find I am Finnish along with English, which was no surprise, but the Finnish was to some extent.   I have had a deep love of Scandinavian foods, and art for a very long time, so I guess perhaps that was something deep in my genes.  We are preparing to finish decorating the house, wanting to have it completed in the next 2 years.  Not major overhauls, like gutting the kitchen etc, but rather along the lines of cosmetic.   For the past little while, all white rooms have really appealed to me, that crisp look, that Scandinavian white look.  It works well with our old house.  Along with the white walls and white furnishings, I love how a touch of color here and there brings such focus on those few special objects.  As I get older, it seems I want less around, pretty sure it has little to do with age, but more to do with me becoming more of who I am meant to be.  I want space in the house, a clarity that comes from lack of clutter.  Being able to see clearly the things that matter and being able to give my brain a rest from being overloaded with so many visuals.    Space.
The work has begun in the kitchen and soon to start in the dinning room.  White walls, white floors, white dishes, white furniture, except for the hutch, I love the wood in that piece of furniture.   Making a departure in furniture choice too, the dinning room will be more modern for the table and chairs.  I am smiling as I type those last few woods, modern is just not something I ever imagined in my house, but a few well placed pieces suit me now.  Life is always changing, and I am comfortable with that.   Life is an adventure, where the twists and turns along the way are full of new and wonderful things, if we look to see them.  The weekend found us doing some shopping.  Some Swedish foods, some new dishes and flatware.   Today, brought a walk, while the air was damp and the ground wet under my feet.  Signs of change all around and I love it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An afternoon walk around our land

The joy of this day is beyond words, it is deep and held in my heart as I walk in silence, gathering sights and sounds and of course some treats of nature to put on the shelf to remind me of this delightful day

Time to Listen

Nothing in life is stagnant. . . wind, breath, waves and even the earths rotations ensure there is movement somewhere.   When I awoke this morning, the air was heavy, oppressive with humidity and heat.   The radar showed changes were on the way.  Rain and with it cooler temperatures, and, although the air was already dense with moisture, I was looking forward to the arrival of the wind cloud and the rain that would follow.  Rain, feels good, better than just humidity withouth any rain.   In the quiet of the morning I made breakfast, sat on the porch, watched the crows at their feeder.  7 at one time.  The approach of Autumn brings more of them.  Edgar, Allen and Poe, have no longer kept their feeding station a secret.    I left all the techno gadgets in the house and just sat with my coffee and Finnish pancake, listening to the chatter of the crows, the hammering of the woodpeckers and the sound of the wind as it bent branches ever so gently at first, high up in the tree, until the sky grew darker and darker and the winds blew stronger each time it arrived, first arriving at the front of the house and moving quickly through the Red Oaks, the Cottonwood tree next and then onto the Ash and Burr Oaks.  At the front of the house the young pine trees were bending and spilling their cones to the earth.  Seeds in armor, ready to sprout only when the time is right.  The marvels of nature never cease to amaze me.  The rain began to fall, lightly at first as if to get me used to the idea that water can and will fall from the heavens in due time, and then it fell in torrents, with wind that bent the large trees as if they were tiny willow branches.   I contemplated for a brief moment, dancing in the rain, with the uninhibited joy of a small child, then reason filled my brain and I wondered if there was lightening around.  Now, sitting in the house, never once hearing a rumble of thunder, I feel a bit of regret that I didn't just run out in the pasture, arms outstretched, turning in circles, free.  The day is but young and more rain to come !
Windows are open, gentle music filling the space around me.  Embracing this moment in time where I can listen to silence, listen to some music or fill my ears with the sound of rain falling on the metal roof of the porch.  Today is a day for not allowing technology take away my time for listening.
here is the recipe for . . .

Finnish Pancakes.

4 tbsp butter, melted
4 eggs
2 c milk
1/2 c flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons of cardamon
Preheat oven to 450o, melt butter in the oven in a 9″x16″ baking pan.
Beat eggs until foamy, until well-blended. Beat with milk, flour, sugar, cardamon and salt.
I put all the ingredients in the blender.  Pour into pan with butter and bake 20-23 minutes.
Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar or thicken some blueberries and pour over the pancakes.  I sometimes serve with a bit of jam.

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...