Friday, September 27, 2013

Garden With A View

John Muir is one of my favorite authors, and today, his words match my feelings perfectly...
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. "

"No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening - still all is Beauty! "

Fall Garden Time

Yesterday morning, while the sun was just climbing up the eastern sky, we got busy in the garden, planting.  The day before, Emery had tilled and prepared the soil.   We worked side by side yesterday morning, chatting and getting seeds and plants in the ground.  This morning as the sun rose once again, we had the joy and to be honest it was a bit exciting, to hook up the hoses to the rain barrels and water the garden with the rain water we have been collecting.  More rain expected this weekend so the barrels will fill once again.  The simple life is a good life.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Living Life

People make life complicated when there is no need to do so. Don't over-think things. Don't validate yourself by what you own, wear or have in the bank. Take time to sit in silence, and just enjoy it for what it is. Don't try to impress people. Do what you love. Accept the fact that no one is perfect, no one ! Sprinkle compassion on every situation. And wake up grateful that you were given another day to see the good in it.
On a hike with my daughter and grandson yesterday, I was so reminded of the joy in living an uncomplicated life. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Looking Forward To Cold Weather

The first day of Autumn arrived with much cooler temperatures.  56 F and boy that felt nice this morning.   Breakfast on the porch, sweaters on.   The morning spent spinning more wool for winter warm hats and mittens.   Its a wonderful feeling to spend the day quietly doing the things I love, while near the one I love.  35 years ago today, Emery and I had our first date.  How time flies when your heart is overflowing with love.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The First Cool Morning of The Season

There is something very special about the first cool morning after the long hot summer.  We woke to 60 F this morning.  Windows open, fan in the window by the bed.  It got cold in the middle of the night so I grabbed my new pink hoodie and slept the rest of the night with it on.   Sunshine after rain, sparkling leaves with drops of rain stuck to them.  Birds singing, adding beautiful notes to the clickety clack of my spinning wheel that was sitting atop an uneven board.  The hum of the wheel, giving it all a sweet melody.  Coffee next to me, pumpkin spice, to be exact.  A perfect, simple morning with nothing pressing me to do anything other than just sit and enjoy this morning that reminds me, Autumn is knocking on the door.  My mind wanders a bit to things like, time to blacken the wood stove and this year we need to replace some fire brick and put a new gasket around the door of the stove.  I feel good knowing we have a wood shed stacked high with wood and that the garden is ready for fall planting.  I have a good stash of yarn for making socks and hats for the little ones.  I love the coming of cold weather and there is nothing but contentment and love in my heart on this gorgeous morning.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Maybe Its the Time Of Year, Or, Maybe Its,,,,,

The Summer heat of Texas is draining, by September you start to feel stir crazy, just wanting to get outside, walk around and not sweat, not feel the grass beneath your feet crunch like rice crispy cereal. You want to feel that invigorating feeling of cool air, and wear a cozy sweater.
But, every year about this time I start a bit of introspection.   I feel the need to recommit to living simply, living meaningfully, living with purpose, a higher calling sort of purpose.  To shake off all those trite little sayings that people have attached to life in the past year.  Those hundreds of Facebook quotes we get, that sound good, but we just click "like" and it ends there, trite. Meaningless, no, not meaningless, but more like things that never get past our frontal lobe.  We say, "ahhh, yes" and then forget to practice those good ideals.  So, this time of the year, I sit a stillness.  Thinking about getting rid of the trite stuff and find deeper meaning, fine tune what I believe. Recommit to the things that are profoundly important to me.   This year, its feels a bit like taking my first step.   This morning I thought how wonderful it would be to forget all the excess stuff I have ever heard in life and just go with what feels like, seems like, the most basic, simple truth to life.  Forget all the theories, the science, all the man concepts and just go with the very few simple words of Jesus.  I like his words.  Imagine a world that did what he said ?  Live simply, give to everyone that asks, don't even ask if they deserve it, that wasn't part of it.  Love everyone.  Have no need to worry, have no need to impress others, have no need to acquire more than the most basic needs.  Have a kind word for everyone.  Don't worry about judging someone else.  Just don't do it.  Don't worry, have faith, the kind that can move mountains.   I like all that.  Its all so simple.  How did we make it so complicated ?  So un-simple.   So us and them ?  
At any rate, in the fall, I start to re-examine my beliefs, because in time, you collect stuff to you that doesn't serve you well.  Its almost like we are bathed in sticky glue that picks up everything as we go about our life.  Stuff we just don't need, stuff we didn't even see we picked up.  We are bombarded with junk, that clouds our thinking, our perceptions.    Changes our thinking sometimes for the better, mostly not.
This is my time of the year for what you might call "spiritual retreat" retreating from the noise into the quiet to examine and shed off the unnecessary.  Simplicity is calling once again to take a careful look and refine, refine, refine.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Diaper Time !

With a new baby due in the family, I am once again, super excited !  Melissa and James are planning on using cloth diapers so I am more than happy to help out with that, I am after all a real advocate of cloth diapers, having used them myself for my children.  I have all my supplies ready and am going to town making some of these fancy smancy diapers.  I still think, the old way was a whole lot easier, and without all the fussy care you need to put into laundering these things.  May just slip a few of the old fashioned kind into her stash so they can see how nice it is to just wash and dry diapers without having to use special cleaners and use terms like" stripping" the diapers.  I am just an old fashioned, simple gal I guess LOL

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Signs of Change

This is the time of year, when its time for summer to move on.  Its the time of year when we are weary of !00 F temperatures and dry grass under our feet, that makes a crunching sound with each step.  It is the month when we begin to feel hope that things will be changing and that in the next 8 weeks there will be a need for a sweater.   I took a bit of a wander around the place the other day, looking for natures signs that things will indeed change, despite what seems like never ending heat.   Horse Apples fallen to the ground, food for the animals, leaves dry and fallen to the earth.  Berries ripening in the sun, and skyscapes that have a different look to them, a change, subtle perhaps but still visible to those who watch the sky daily.  Birds passing through in migration.  Edgar and Allen, our wild crows that come to visit daily, are louder, more frequent at their food.  Last night they both took a dip in the duck pool. It was fun to watch.  A large Red Shouldered Hawk sat above them in a tree, watching with a confused look.  Poe arrived a few minutes later but watched his elders with some cautiousness.   Later, all three of them sat on the same branch, two cool crows and one young one with beak open, hot.  I am no fan of the hot summer.  It is my time to hibernate, to sit in the cool house and wait for the time to pass, with hand work keeping me busy.  Summer in the South is like Winter in the frigid north.  You make adjustments.  But, now, with the signs showing, ever so subtly that cooler weather is around the corner.  I feel happy, knowing that it will once again be time for long walks, hikes on weekends and for lazy mornings on the porch just breathing in the scent of fall time.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

One More Day...

I took a photo of the treadmills, elliptical and stationary bikes, but I guess I was walking too fast and it blurred but they are lined up in fine rows, ready for takers.   This is a big part of my life these days, has been for a long time actually, years.  I LOVE to work out, love to swim, love the feeling of working muscles.  However, I do like sitting back in the Sauna after every workout and sweating out all those toxins that bombard us by environment and even in the food from the best diets these days.  Tomorrow I can head back to the gym.  Back to my jogging 50 laps in the pool, back to the treadmill and although I strongly dislike the elliptical machine, I will give it another try since its supposed to help my knee.  When the weather gets cool once again, I will head out for long walks each morning, camera around my neck, capturing the world around me and being thankful for the beauty of nature and how it has always inspired me.  Osteoarthritis is just a bump in the road, that doesn't seem that big of a deal right now, especially since I have no pain after that shot.  Glad to be heading back to the things I enjoy and planning that big hiking trip with Emery.   Life is good, it really is.
No one was at the gym, when I took the pictures last week, because I was there so early !

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Truth About Aging is Not Always Fun

For months I have been having knee pain.  Sure that I hurt it exercising  and certainly had torn something.  After all WebMD helped me figure out what was wrong so I could tell the Doctor LOL.  At any rate, my knee was getting more sore each day for the last week.  Painful enough that I had trouble sleeping.  I had bumped it one afternoon and it was not really pleasant going for even the small hike.  I made an appointment with the Orthopedic surgeon and had pretty well decided I would be having surgery right away for this tear.  Got there, and had my X-ray and when the Doctor came in and showed me my X-ray and told me what he saw, I simply wanted to cry.  I have osteoarthritis !  Made me feel OLD and I don't feel old, I don't even particularly like the concept of being old just yet.  He told me that I would probably need knee replacement surgery in 5-6 years.  There just isn't a lot of cartilage on one side of my knee.  I had a shot that made me want to cry and went on my way, feeling pretty downcast.  I go back in a couple weeks to see if the pain is better or if they need to investigate more closely for a tear on the other side of my knee.  Today, one day after that shot, my knee feels lots better.  I will be able to do all the things I love, just no jumping or running, which to be honest, I have not JUMPED in years anyway and as for running, I can be content to just walk miles upon miles.   While I was in pain, resting my knee....Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, I got lots of knitting done and made a pair of wool felt shoes for the baby to be, if its a girl that is, and if its not, I will hang them on the Christmas Tree.    I don't much like this aging business, but it is what it is.  Hard to hear your body is falling apart at the seams and that you just have to pull yourself up by your boot straps and fight it.  Good to know I can still do the things I love, just might be a time, here and there that I get more knitting done when the beastly thing flares up.  Good motivation to keep on with the dieting process and all those laps in the pool where I jog in the water.  I am grateful for being healthy over all and this is just one small hitch in the giddle of life.  Payment the Doctor thinks from years of Ballet.  I celebrated feeling better today by getting my hair trimmed and shopping at the health food store and a stop on the way home at Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Life is good !

Fun With Yen at Dinosaur State Park

We had Yen for the weekend last week and had such fun with him, leaving early in the morning to avoid the horrid heat of this summer, we took off for our adventure.   Emery and I often hike this park, matter of fact its the very park we got lost in 2 years ago when we failed to take our map with us, and it was the same weekend, so a hot one.  This year we opted for not venturing very far at all.  Just to the river bed, which was as dry as a dino bone.  Yen was thrilled with the dinosaur models and discovering the dino tracks in the rock river bed.  But, even despite the early hour, we couldn't stay long as the temperature was just too high.  Yen was hot and so were we.  We had an early lunch in the woods in the shade but even that was hot.  For the ride home, Yen hopped in his sisters car seat and fell sound asleep before we had left the park.  He slept all the way home !  Memories for certain were made and perhaps we have helped to foster a love of hiking for him.  Being a grandparent is just so much fun !!!

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...