Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer Saturday Morning

A lazy summer morning.  Breakfast on the porch, enjoying the lower humidity.   Music playing beside me, a gentle breeze stirring the curtains.  Birds coming and going as if to make a short visit with me to just say hello.  Blue Jays, Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Black Throated Hummingbirds, Yellow Bellied Woodpeckers, of course my Crows come for their breakfast and hop around rather humorously following the ducks. Mockingbirds chase the Red Shouldered Hawk that comes by each day to rest in the Cottonwood tree for a bit.   Peaches to be picked, White Angel Trumpet flowers to enjoy for the short time they bloom.  Mullein blossoms to be picked and added to some olive oil as earache medicine.   Sunflowers bow to the ground as the heads dry to feed the birds. Banana tree grows by the hour, its growth astonishes us.  It is a simple morning, uncomplicated, allowing the freedom to enjoy all that surrounds me.  Life is good.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Fun

Mei-Ling was cleared for swimming and bathing with her collar on, so the pool has been a special treat for the children this week.  And when the sun becomes too hot, Grammie lets the children play in the sink and then we made play dough.  Its been a fun summer day for us.  How blessed I feel to have my grandchildren close by.   We had a special treat today at lunch time, Uncle Steven came by with his lunch to join us !  Its also nice having a son working so close by !

Busy Week

Emery's birthday party is always a tropical beach theme and this year I filled little pails with pudding, topped with a graham cracker, oreo crumb mixture that looked like sand.  The children were wide eyed as I brought the buckets and shovels to the table.   Were we really going to eat sand ????  The party day was a busy one, preparations and of course time to make some Finnish cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Its always a delight to have the family around the table, but especially nice for birthday celebrations.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Finished one Dala Horse pillow case to go with with the valances in my bedroom.  One more to go !

Quiet Time

There are times when we just need to sit in quiet, to hear our own heartbeat.  To hear nothing other than old floors creak from time to time.  This morning is one of those quiet times for me.  Time to push away all the squirrel cage thoughts and just do some hand work.  Listening to my needle puncture the fabric as I embroider.  Time to listen to that small still voice that so often guides us in the right direction.   Looking around the room, I feel an overwhelming sense of comfort, the kind that makes you sigh deeply in satisfaction.  Lavender drying behind the wood stove.  A basket of toys by the front bedroom door.  A wooden gnome home next to the couch with sleeping gnomes scattered about and wool felted owls perched on the top floor.  Mail from yesterday scattered on the coffee table.  Sunshine filtering in through the sheer curtains, and providing an almost Renoir sort of view of the outside.  Its a perfect morning.  Its a quiet morning, just what I needed today.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Simple Life

Be it fresh bread from the oven, the intricacy of a sunflower or observing the delicate wings of an insect, living simply, allows you to enjoy such moments.  From time to time, I get a bit off track and find myself caught up in this mad rush, instant access lifestyle the world seems to be living in right now, but for the most part, I like to take each day slow and easy, savoring each and ever moment for what lesson can be learned from it.  Of late, I have just about given up on shopping, I have enough yarn and fabric to last the rest of my life I think and going in the store just temps me to buy more.  I need to use up what I have already.  Shopping fills a void for some, the same as eating does, and I have used both activities as a pacifier from time to time in my life but contentment seems to rule these days.  Content to sit on the back porch, listening to the different bird calls, and watch them fly from limb to limb.  Or grab the hoe and weed in the garden.  Such reward for this work.  I would rather dead head my roses then stand in line at the store.  As we have aged, Emery and I both find our home to be such a place of solace and contentment.  A haven, a bit of heaven on earth.  Its a wonderful feeling.   So many of our friends reach our age and go out and buy a new house, bigger than the one they had, a new mortgage to pay off in their 60's. Even if its a small mortgage, its still a mortgage.  Then, after 5 years goes by, we hear them complaining about too much house work, too much yard work...they really didn't need a bigger house, now they want to downsize, get something simple.  Get rid of the things they don't need to be burdened with.   Its sad to listen to them tell their tale of woe. 
They wished they had just stayed debt free and if they felt they had to move, move into something smaller, not larger.  Something with no mortgage, lower cost to maintain.  They had bought...too much house.  No matter how old we are, we are subject to moments of peer pressure and the idea we need to keep up with the Jones',    Too bad the Jones didn't live a simple life, one not measured by what they own.   We need to invent a new Jones family !

Friday, July 12, 2013

Re-decorating Time

We have had plans for nearly 10 years to completely redecorate our bedroom.  We plan to take a wall down and make the room nearly twice as big, doing away with the computer/exercise room.  The problem is, I never could decide how I wanted to decorate the room.  I had two or three plans that I would go back and forth between.  As time has gone by, the house is taking on a theme.  A simple Scandinavian style.  Lots of white, with splashes of color as accents.  I like it, it suits this old simple house well.  Low ceilings, exposed beams, wooden floors and cedar woodwork.   I have opted for an all white bedroom, white walls, white floor but will keep our cherry furniture, although there are days I think I might like to paint it too, but I know Emery would protest since its such beautiful wood.  Last year I purchased a white duvet cover with a simple blue embroidery border around it.  That will work perfectly with the Dala Horse Fabric I purchased for valances for our windows.  Hung over white lace drapes from Ikea.  I suspect from time to time I might like to add a few more splashes of color so made some bright yellow pillow cases with blue trim and am working on some tiny blue polka dot pillowcases with white trim that I am embroidering with Dala Horses in the same blues and yellow as the fabric that I am making the valances out of.   In time I will make a crocheted throw for the bed with the same color scheme.  Something simple, mostly white.   We are not going to start the construction part of the room until fall time.  Just too hot right now to think about major renovations.  But, I sure am  having fun doing some sewing in preparation for when its done.    

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Music of the Evening

Tried And True Friends of Healthy Living

This morning I had a discussion with friends about the wonders of Activated Charcoal.  I can hardly remember a time in my life when I didn't use it.  It has been in my medicine cabinet since I was first married.   We use it for so many things, tummy aches, food poisoning, bug bites, infected cuts, to prevent infection in a cut.  Even used it on a pimple or two in my youth.  When I was younger and working, the hospital that I worked at, used activated charcoal as part of the treatment for drug overdoses and some accidental poisonings.   I can only share my personal experience of course.  My son in law was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider a couple of years ago and came to me with a nasty spot on his arm that was turning black.  He knew he was bitten by a spider and was shocked to see that in a couple days it was pretty nasty looking.  I quickly applied a poultice of activated charcoal and had him come over three times a day for a new poultice.   After just a day, the red circle around the blackening flesh was improving, and in a few days, there was nothing there but a tiny mark and after a week, the spot was free from any sign that a bite had even happened.   I saw the same kind of results when someone came to me with a badly infected ingrown toenail.   The skin at the side of the nail was already turning black when they came to me.  Same sort of results were seen as with the spider bite.    We keep activated charcoal capsules for tummy issues and food poisoning.   It takes care of gas problems very quickly !  
My second most important bottle in my medicine chest is Swedish Bitters.  I have written about the wonders of bitters before on my blog
Another important bottle in our medicine chest is White Flower Ointment, a Chinese medicinal. Used topically for aches and pains and a bit under the nose clears a stuffy nose quickly. 
The 4th item in the photo is Marmite, not a medicine per say, but a food item.  However, it is so full of B vitamins that when we use it, we are reminded of its health benefits.  Great source of Niacin.    
Healthy living pays off.  This was my blood pressure today.  Not bad for an old gal !  Emery, who will turn 67 in less than a week, just got his blood work done.  Perfect !  His blood pressure is about the same as mine too.  No medications at all.   I take something for my hypothyroidism, but that's it for me.   We both try hard to be mindful of what we eat, how we live and what kind of products we use around the house, but not to make that the focus of our life.  Life is precious, as is our health.  

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Summer Help : )

Sunflowers bright against the blue morning sky.  Grammies little helper, watering the flowers, watering some dry leaves in hopes that they will turn green again, filling the ducks pool and gathering some goodies from the garden.  Then, of course we setting down for some breakfast on the porch, tea and crumpets of course.  A perfect summer morning with a sweet as sugar, visitor.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Monday Morning Ramble

Summer weather has arrived after a nice reprieve from the heat last week.   Angel Trumpet in bloom, sunflowers reaching way up into the sky.  Happy ducks and singing birds fill the morning with natures symphony.  In the evening, the music changes.  Cicadas sing along with the crickets, while frogs sing bass from  the creek bed near us.  Morning chores done before breakfast time, yet in the evening we wait until the last minute to get them done.   It seems as if this summer is flying by.  Time is racing along at break neck speed.  I would be happy if it would slow down just a bit.  Perhaps the rate of speed is in relation to age.  

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...