Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advent



The sun sinks low in the winter blue sky, there is time enough to pick fresh greens and berries to surround the Advent candles.  How fast these four weeks before Christmas have gone by.    Christmas is such a fun and busy time of the year.  Full of anticipation, of shopping for or making the perfect gift for a loved one.  There are special foods to be prepared and so many family get togethers, that my heart feels full already.   But tonight, I take a little bit of time apart from the hustle and bustle to sit and reflect on the deeper, the spiritual aspect of this holiday for me.  It seems as though each year that passes, the holiday grows more commercial, more about getting and spending, then it is about celebrating the birth of a man that gave to the world a way of peace, a way of hope.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Some Wonderful News


Notice anything different with Mei-Ling ?  Yes, after such a long time, she finally got her neck brace off.  CT scan showed her spinal fusion worked and the collar could be taken off.  What a perfect Christmas present !    Today Mei-Ling and Elizabeth, who both attend the same school, got to be in the Christmas program today.  All four of my Grandblessings together beside me today.  Joy all around 

Monday, December 16, 2013

And The Winner Is....

Last night was our towns Christmas parade and fireworks, so we got home late last night, so the drawing took place just before I turned off the computer for the night.  I apologize as I was just too tired to post the winner last night, but my husband did pull a name out of the bowl. 
The winner is Cheryl H !

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Christmas Time Give Away

In the spirit of Christmas giving, I am having a give away.  All you have to do is leave a comment here and then like MorningRambles Facebook Page and to better your chances of winning, leave a comment on the facebook page as well.  If you also share the link on my facebook page, your name will be entered into the drawing an additional time.  In the give away is a bar of home made soap, a pair of my hand dipped beeswax candles, three beeswax Christmas ornaments and a ball of my hand spun wool yarn.    I will draw a name on the evening of the 15th.  Good Luck !

St Lucia Celebration At Our House.



Our little Star Boy was with his other grandmother tonight, but we still enjoyed the festivities here at home with Mei-Ling.  She made our evening so delightful.   She grew so much since last year that I had to make her a new St Lucia dress today.  Hoping she will be able to get her cervical collar off the end of this month !   She has another big surgery coming up in January so it would be nice for her to only have to deal with one thing at a time.   

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday

On Facebook these days, there is something called "Throwback Thursday" where you post a photo from your past or something in the past that means something to you.  I really like that and decided today, I would do it on my blog.  I like things of the past, I am after all a kind of old fashioned gal.  Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the modern technology and to be honest, I feel a bit lost without my cell phone and my computer.  I certainly appreciate modern medicine too. But, there are aspects of the "good old days" I love.  I like hanging clothes outside and as you know decided long ago to have a clothes dryer in the house, knowing full well, that I might just grow a bit lazy and not do this productive 20 or so minutes of aerobics out by the solar powered, wind generated clothes dryer of mine, commonly referred to as the clothes line !   I feel a sense of accomplishment making soap and doing the dishes by hand.  No dishwasher here either, I know myself and might just get lazy.  I like the look of lamps burning in the evening and heating the house with wood.  I like hand written notes and baking bread without some machine doing it for me.   The simple life seems to be less inclined to drama and all this "gutta have" mentality that robs you of something, inner peace and time to think.  I have no need to go sit for hours in a meditation class, I can just go to the garden and pull weeds.  Powerful place to think and pray and at the same time be productive.
I was looking through old photos today for this Throwback Thursday thing and came across this one of my children out breaking up the ice on the corner near our house, taken in 96 I think.  They had no TV, no computer, no cell phones, no video games, but, what they did have was time to help people.  Time to head outside in the cold and break the ice in the road so the people in their cars had a bit more traction to make it around that corner.  We all remember that day with fondness and a few giggles because after a while, a whole bunch of neighbors came out and helped too and it felt like something really fun.   I didn't have to pull my children away from their phones or the computer.  It made it easy to get them out there.  No drama, no begging.  It made things easier.   Often times I wish we lived 100 years back and then my husband reminds me gently, about his life on the farm, without electricity, running water and how it wasn't always easy.  I tell him, I am not looking for easy, just uncomplicated.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Time









The Dinning Room is ready for Christmas and our annual St Lucia celebration.  I always look forward to seeing Mei-Ling and Yen coming up the driveway, on St Lucia day, crown all aglow on Mei and Yen as the little Star boy.  This is my favorite season !

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Soap


Soap out of the mold, over 40 bars made.  Next week I will shave them into nice looking bars and they will be ready for gift giving by the time Christmas rolls around.  I may just tell the recipients to wait a little while longer before using a bar, just for good measure.  It sure smells good !

A Busy Morning







Before there were blown glass ornaments, there were beeswax ornaments for Christmas.  I have heard that the German Gingerbread molds were used since in gingerbread was made with honey, there was often beeswax in the bakers possession and what better way to show of the fancy carved molds after the baking was done.  For years I have been making wax ornaments and dipping candles to chase away the dark on long winter nights.  There are also a few pairs of Bayberry candles hanging up.  I don't have a lot of the pure bayberry wax, so I only make a few pairs a year, to be burned on New Years Eve, to welcome in the new year and hope for a prosperous new year !  When the kitchen is cold as it has been this past week, its perfect for soap making and for candle dipping.  The wax hardens fast and the soap sets up just a bit faster.  Even with the cold weather, there are blessings !

Monday, December 09, 2013

Soap Making Day




Last week I rendered 10 lbs of beef fat, and today I made soap with it.  I think I have been making good old fashioned lye soap for about 20 years now, so its not a big deal, except for the time.  Stirring the soap for 30 minutes after all the preparations to get to that point, makes it a time consuming project, especially while keeping the stove feed while the soup is cooking on top, which required a couple trips to the wood pile on the back porch.  Thankful that my dear husband keeps about half a cord on the back porch all winter, so no need for me to head out to the wood shed every day.   Its a good feeling having the soap made.  Smells good too.  Scented with orange oil and just a tiny tiny bit of cinnamon oil and clove oil.  They are hard on the sensitive skin if you use much.  Its been a nice day, lots accomplished and yet, I never had the feeling of being pressed for time.  Just the way I like my days !  

Striving For Simplicity





Today, I decided on purpose to not have any music on, or watch television, even to check the weather, which has been a bit of an issue for our area for the past few days.  I went about my morning quietly.  Soup on the stove, which in the quiet I could hear simmering.  The wood in the stove popping from time to time and outside the window, by my chair, a white winged dove, so close, separated by glass and perhaps a foot, I could hear his quiet cooing.  Soothing sounds, all of them.  It was in this silence from the electronic world, that I realized the true and honest passing of time.  I could feel that the hours were ticking by a bit slower.  I could feel my heart rate, slowing too.    It felt good to not be bombarded by the things outside of my quiet day.  I could think.  I had time to notice how the copper pot caught the colors of the room and how the candles of the tower changed the atmosphere.  I had time to think about how I have at times forgotten to live out my dream of simple living.  How, the simple life has often been kicked aside for a day or two, when I allowed it to.   I thought a bit about growing older and being at peace with it when we are surrounded by commercials and advertisements that tell us every way to NOT look our age.  I wondered what Tasha Tudors influence on people would have been had she lived a life of botox and face lifts.  Would Aunt Bee been a better person to Opy and Andy had she gone to the gym each day or spent $60 a jar on face cream ?  With these thoughts, silly and actually ridiculous, I realized that in striving for a simple life style, we have to fight upstream all the way.  We have to fight the mindset of much of the "modern world" .   We need to not buy into all the chatter about having this and that, and what we wear and can't wear.  How we approach aging and youth.  How we live each minute and how we have to fight this new mindset about waiting for anything.  Conversations in business it is reported, are getting shorter and shorter.  People loosing attention after 1 minute.  Frustration brewing within us if our computers take a minute to load some application.   How we can't seem to appreciate photos any more unless the color is enhanced and made brighter than reality.  Striving for a simple life seems to take a real conscious effort, one that makes us feel as if we are swimming upstream.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Need Emergency Prayer

We have an emergency prayer need, our daughter Melanie is a type 1 diabetic, has been for 23 years. She is very sick tonight with some kind of flu or food poisoning. She is very dehydrated and really needs to go the hospital. Her blood sugars are all over the place and she cannot keep any food down. The roads are skating rinks, not safe at all. We need prayer that she starts to feel better and can keep some food or even water down. If the ambulance comes, then someone from home would have to go pick her up later. We need a miracle right now. Please pray

Winter Birds







Red Bellied Woodpecker outside the kitchen window, a sparrow with a cute expression and a white winged dove outside the living room window.

A Winter Walk With The Love of My Life







Took lots of pictures of the man I love yesterday on our winter walk.   Its hard for me to imagine that tomorrow we will be married 35 years.  We are so in love still and so aware of how time flies !

Sunday Blessings

Soft music, the gentle kind of music that makes you feel content with life... the view from the window as I sit and spin at the wheel makes ...