Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Is Back








Yesterday was warm, 62 F, a good day to get ready for another arctic blast,  This week Emery is working at the Stock Show, so the chores are mine alone, which is fine, I enjoy doing all that needs to be done.  I spent the late afternoon hauling wood from the wood shed up to the back porch so I can easily grab it when I need to.   I stood in the doorway of the wood shed, feeling very satisfied knowing that we will be toasty warm for a long time.   Lamplight and candle light gives the house an extra cozy feeling as the sun set yesterday.   Today, its chilly, especially after a few very warm days, but I love it.   Raisin bread rising beside the wood stove, Cinnamon loaf bread cooling on the counter, ready for eating when Melanie stops by after Mei-Lings post op follow up at the Doctors.  Yen is playing quietly in the cradle, that is far too small for him but still the most favorite place to look at books for all the grandchildren.  Life is good. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Update

Thank you all for the prayers and healing thoughts for Mei-Ling.   It was a long surgery but the Dr is pleased.  They are keeping her heavily sedated as she woke briefly and was in a lot of pain.  We continue to pray there be no complications and that her healing process be quick and complete.  

This Morning

Early this morning, the trip to the hospital began with a stop and Grammie and Grandpa's house for two reasons.  One, to drop Yen off with us and another reason, so we could hug and kiss our little sweetie before she went to surgery.   She was so nervous, yet mustered up a smile for the camera.  Her heart is so compassionate, so full of love.  She wanted to let me know how much she loves us.   I thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.  This little one has endured so much, yet not once have I heard her complain.  She sees the beauty of God in everything around her.  A couple of weeks ago when she and I went to the local pond for a picnic, it was very windy and I mentioned to her that some people say that wind is the breath of God and she looked it me so seriously and said, " I think it is too, and I love the way His breath kisses my face when its windy."   The wind is gently blowing today and I think it is the breath of God, kissing sweet Mei on this very scary day for her.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Prayer Please

Please keep Mei-Ling and the family in your prayers as tomorrow is her surgery. We have no idea if it will be an easy fix or a very long and involved surgery. I think everyone is a little stressed over it since its a re-do of a surgery where we almost lost her and she ended up in ICU for quite some time. Surgery is at 1 p.m. Please pass this along to any prayer group, list etc

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Whole New World Project: The Castle Awaits Princess Mei | Mission Trip - YouCaring.com

A Whole New World Project: The Castle Awaits Princess Mei | Mission Trip - YouCaring.com

Making progress !   Mei Ling will be having another big surgery next week.  The Doctor has the O.R. reserved for 8 hours.  Praying that this summer she will be able to live out her dream and go to Disney World.  Thank you to all that have helped so far and hoping the goal is reached 

Willing To Grow, Willing To Change

This morning as I was out doing chores, and stopping every once in a while to soak in the beauty of the fog, I would notice this or that around the place that needed to be changed, or fixed and I started thinking about life in general and how things change and how I see within myself the need to change this or that, the need to grow in a certain area and how we all need to be willing to change the things in us that need fixing, adjusting, or a complete make-over.  I am not talking about het physical, that's a whole other subject.  I am talking about attitudes, faulty character traits, and learning to let go of those childhood truths that do not serve us as adults.
If we know we can be grouchy, we probably need to work on not being grouchy.   If we are impatient, we probably need to fix that.  So as much as I write about being content in life, I realized that I should never be completely content, because in that, there is danger in not growing spiritually, not growing into a better person.  Contentment can in some instances foster a sort of apathy to change and change can be a really good thing at times.   A few years ago I took a long look at my issue with not always finishing a project when it got to be the "not fun" part of it.  Or my ability to wait for the last minute to get something done.  I decided I needed to CHANGE that.  It didn't serve me well and it was something that I had to work on.  I did and now I am finishing each project before starting another one, with the exception of having a sewing project and a knitting project at the same time.  Sometimes I just need a change off from knitting because my hands feel tired, and I don't do well with not having a project to do.   Change can be good, changing the not so pleasant things about us requires we be honest with ourselves, and be willing to change what needs to be changed.  When I sit in meditation, my mind still, no racing thoughts of what I should be doing, what I just did, or who did what, when and how, I can look at myself calmly, honestly, and seek to look at my life as an open book,  see the fears I hold on to and see how they take hold of my choices, my attitudes and my actions, in much the same was as I saw all that needed to be done around our little farm place this morning, committing to do the work to get things the way they need to be to make things easier and yes, more harmonious !

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Big Chill and "Hygge"


Two pairs of socks on each day, sleeping in long underwear, day after day of keeping the wood stove going.   Ice to be broken each morning for the critters.   Wind chills of 0.  Is this Texas ?  Today its warmer but damp and still feels cold.  I am on my second load of wood for the stove already.   Bread dough rising by the hearth, coffee brewing in the pot and thankful for my warm flannel shirt that is over my thermal shirt.   I love winter and to be honest this weather invigorates me like nothing else.  The morning of our lowest temps I was up long before the sun, checking the thermometer every few minutes to see it fall lower and lower with that same kind of excitement you see in children on Christmas morning.  I should be living in Vermont !  That New England blood that runs deep in my veins is there to stay.  My oldest daughter Melissa was here for a couple days and we talked about the rather indescribable feeling that comes to you in winter in cold places, provided you have a good social circle and family around you.   The Danish call it "hygge" and although Melissa and I decided we totally understand the meaning of this word, its not really translatable to the English language.  It involves so much more than that cozy feeling of winter.  We decided it includes the smell of the cold air, the way your cheeks feel when you come in the warm house after shovelling snow for two hours.  Its the way it feels when your friends come over to play a game or just have some hot chocolate and talk and they are standing by the front door taking off all those winter items, like boots, hats, scarves, mittens and bulky jackets.  Its the feeling of wool socks, its that strange excitement you feel preparing for the big blizzard coming.   Its that sense of community you all feel in helping your neighbors and friends clear snow.  Its sitting around the table eating a meal that is total comfort food.  I miss that and try as I may to create it here in Texas with my family, its just not the same when it snows only 2 inches at most.   I would move, if all my children would move with us !   I love sitting next to the wood stove, knitting and listening to Emery chopping wood outside by the window next to me.  That sound of wood splitting in the cold air, the way there is a tiny echo after each hit of the axe.   It makes me feel complete, content, cozy, and yes it makes me understand more deeply that hard to pronounce Danish word, hygge, that is something like emotional coziness and well being, .    

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Welcome 2014



The cold front arrived last night with strong winds, strong enough to knock out our electricity for several hours, but no matter, it was bed time and we enjoyed having it so dark.  The dying fire in the stove cast a copper glow on the floor as I headed to bed, climbing under the mountains of covers.  The temperature steadily dropped through the night.  This morning when I got up it was 21 F with a wind chill of 9.  For us, that's cold, but Emery and I just laugh, put on another sweater and an extra pair of socks until we get the fire burning brightly.   We are a sturdy lot, not minding the cold one bit.   The birds are busy at the feeders, needing lots of food to help keep them warm.  I sit on the floor by the fire, camera in hand, aimed straight at the feeders.  Amazed at how fast the birds eat up the bird seed.    It seems we are filling the feeders every couple of days.   
It is a new year, but nothing feels different to me. Oh sure, I made a couple resolutions and decided to do some juicing for the first few days of 2014 to compensate for all those cookies I ate during the Christmas holiday.  My resolution...to be more aware of my thoughts, my actions and my reactions.  A tall order, but each tiny step forward is progress.  I saw something on Facebook yesterday that made me think.  It was about loving yourself more, and I must admit that when I first saw it, it seemed a bit self centered, then I remembered the words of Jesus, that tells us to love others as we love ourselves.  From that thought came a million other thoughts, such as, o.k. maybe what is wrong with humanity, is that on the most basic level we don't love ourselves very much and in that, we treat others with that same level of compassion that we show ourselves.  So the base of the problem is perhaps not that we are sometimes hateful to others while standing in line at the store, or when we are stuck in traffic, or dealing with our children or spouse but it is that we lack that love for ourselves.  The cure for all this, learning to love ourselves.  For me, that comes to a deeper understanding when I think about Gods love for me and learning to forgive myself for the things I feel I fail at.   We all have moments when we know we could have, should have done better.   The world we live in today, is filled with media that uses its own agenda driven measuring stick that one would have to be dead in order to not feel at one time or another.   Its not a big problem for me, but there is instances when an unkind word towards me, may give me that feeling that perhaps I don't measure up.  So, I guess from time to time in this new year, I will think about that little picture with the words about loving oneself and use it as a tool to help me with my resolution to be more aware.   The goal is always for me, to live a more simple, more loving life.  To move past the "wants" and see what the real needs are.  Even in striving for a more simple life, there can be so many "wants"    I remember wanting more chickens, a bigger garden than we really needed.  Wanting more objects and even clothing that let everyone know, I was a simple living gal.   I have learned a lot in the last few decades, and one thing is for sure, you need a lot less than you want !
Happy New Year Friends !  May this new year open our eyes to the blessings we are already surrounded by.

Catching Up... Christmas




Time for some catching up.  Christmas was wonderful this year, with one exception.  Melissa and James were both working on Christmas and not able to be with us.  The Grandblessings are at a perfect age for all the surprises and wonder of Christmas.  Their excitement, contagious.   We had a nice little dinner party on Christmas eve with some very dear friends and then Christmas brunch at our house with everyone.   It was a delightful day, quiet in the afternoon after the children left to celebrate with more family.   The gifts I received, all picked with care and simply perfect.  I feel blessed to have a son and daughters that fill my heart with such joy and of the grandchildren, joy beyond words.