Saturday, December 31, 2016

Winter Morning







Nature is sleeping, it is winter. The vibrant colors have faded, replaced by subtle shades of fade. Beauty can still be found all around, in shapes, and in the puffed up feathers of the birds, chasing off the morning chill. The sun, dulled by a sky filled with ice crystals, has an ethereal beauty that stirs the soul. The bare branches, showing their form and shape, delicate like the veins in the hand of an well used hand. How blessed we are to have eyes to see and words to express the beauty around us. Life is amazingly wonderful !

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Christmas Season

I was putting away some of my Christmas decorations and feeling a bit sad, since I love the Christmas season so much. All the vibrant colors, the scents and the joyfulness that goes along with the holidays. I sat down for my breakfast, using my favorite, Twas the Night Before Christmas dishes and smiling at how the decorations, casually sitting on the table near me, waiting to be put away in a box for another year, matched my breakfast dishes so nicely. It was nice to take a quiet little break and just enjoy the last of the Christmas season.
Its been a very busy month for me, both my daughter and father were in the hospital at the same time, on the same floor of the hospital.  There have been many issues to deal with regarding my Dads failing health that have kept me a bit stressed and very busy seeking the resources he needs in order to stay in his apartment as is his wish.   
Christmas eve, there were four generations at my table, ages 2-95.  I felt so blessed, so full of this love that spanned the generations.   We laughed, we ate, we shared fond memories and complained a bit about the very warm weather.  It always feels a bit "wrong" to have windows and doors open on Christmas eve.  We all like that winter feel of the season.  Warm sweaters, hats and gloves.  Warm puffs of air kissing the dark cold night as we say goodnight to one another at the door.  As the evening came to an end, with the little ones anxious to go to bed so Santa could come, I gathered all 5 grandchildren around me and read, "Twas The Night Before Christmas" to them,  hardly glancing at the words as I so long ago memorized this wonderful poem.   I felt so full of love, so full of hope, and so delighted that we could all be together.  
So, this morning, as I ate my breakfast, smiling at the words that go round the tea cup, I felt a bit sad that the holidays are over for another year.    
On January 2nd, I will start making presents for next Christmas, filling my special red hat box with socks, hats, hand made sheep, deer and bunnies.  Life is good.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The True Beauty of The Season




The Christmas season is one of my all time favorite times of the year.   I love the colors, the scents, the tastes, the laughter, the elements of anticipation and surprise.  I find joy in the happiness of this holiday.   But, the most important aspect for me is the true beauty of the season, the love.  The love that was born so long ago, that we celebrate during this season.  The transforming love that came from one life, one tiny baby, born in a stable.  Humility personified.  An example of how to live our lives with compassion, non-judgment, and empathy.  We celebrate all the good things in life at this time and many of us, seek to find deeper meaning in the way we live our lives at this time of the year.  Seeking to be more like Christ.  To look past the shopping madness and look inward and in turn, manifest goodness to those we love, to those less fortunate and for those with deep aches in their hearts. 
This is what the holiday season is about, the true meaning.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mei-Ling


I am not sure how it is that time has past so quickly that it has been months since I have posted.  We were sure that once we retired, we would have more time than we needed, but instead, it seems like we still need more hours each day to do all the things we want to.
The 3rd of November, Mei-Ling had a planned surgery to revise a previous surgery.  Everything seemed to go just fine, until it was discovered she had a pretty serious infection.  Emergency surgery was done last week and the next morning another surgery to do some additional repairs that were needed.   I think that was surgery #35 or somewhere around that number.  She is on isolation due to the infection and having an open wound.    It looks as if she will be hospitalized for many more days and she is beyond discouraged.  She hates missing school and no one likes being stuck in bed in a hospital room for this amount of time.  She cannot get out of bed, or leave her room.   My heart bleeds for her.  Today she had a little melt down, to which she is surly entitled and cried for quite some time.   She has been a real trooper, enduring pain which I cannot even imagine.  
I would love to have her flooded with get well wishes.  Fill her room with cards that will make her smile.  I am organizing a "card shower" for her, asking people to send her get well cards.   If you would like to participate, just email me at pasuhi54  @ msn.com for the address of the hospital.   You dear readers have been following her since she was a new born and I know so many of you feel like you know her.   She is still using the prayer quilt made for her several years ago.  
Thank you and of course, please pray for her to recover quickly. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Food For The Long Haul



A backpacking trip that lasts for weeks, requires lots of careful planning.  There are several lists posted on my refrigerator and one corner of the living room is piled high with what we will pack in the car as our resupply station.    I have been having so much fun making our meals for this trip.  All our meals will be of the "just add water" variety.  Little bags with complete meals fill our food storage container.   Freeze dried vegetables and fruits have made the preparation quite easy.  Instant rice, couscous, powdered eggs, dehydrated soy meat substitutes and milk have made it so these little meals are balanced and good tasting.
My dining room table resembled a little factory last week.    We saved a lot of money by making our own meals and not buying the already prepared backpacking meals.  Plus, I know first hand all that is in the meals and can easily adjust the seasonings to our personal preferences.

A New Adventure


It was at this same time last year, that we were preparing for our camping adventure in Colorado and New Mexico.  This year we are upping it a notch and adding in lots more backpacking trips, as we have next years trip in mind already.   This year we plan on heading to the Rocky Mountains and get some serious backpacking trips under our belts.   This is nothing new to us, hiking and backpacking have been a part of my life since I was 10 years old and as soon as we got married, nearly 38 years ago, I introduced it to Emery and he loved it from the start.  
Life is about living out your dreams and even more so when you are retired and have the time to do the things you love.  Such is the case for us.  We have the time to do what we love.  I recently read a quote about backpacking that made me laugh, simply due to the truth of it. It went something like this. . ." backpacking is where you spend a fortune to live like a homeless person."     This year our hikes require more equipment than in previous years.  Bigger backpacks, better rain gear, better water purifiers etc.  But next years adventure that's in the planning stages, hiking the nearly 500 miles of the Colorado Trail, will require even more !  But, what fun we are having and what fun we will have.  But beyond the beauty and serenity of our back country hiking, is something deeply profound.  We learn what we are made of, how strong our determination is.  In swimming, I have leaned that there are days when the first 500 meters are tough, but as soon as I push past that feeling of wanting to quit, I find that I can go on for so much further. Usually I manage to climb out of the water after 1500 meters, with a feeling of accomplishment that invigorates me for the rest of the day.  I have leaned that in many areas of life, once we push past the difficult stage, we can go on for so much longer.     I am looking forward to this years backpacking trip to discover more about what I can do at age 62.   I am excited about seeing new horizons, new mountain tops, and new paths.   We look forward to new challenges and so we are setting the bar higher each year.    Life is good, it really is.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Retirement Joy






What fun we are having being retired !  We thought time would slow down when we retired, but not so, it seems we don't have enough days in the week to accomplish all that we want to do.   Emery and I love spending every moment together and it seems we just laugh half of each day because we are having such fun. 
The Spring time was busy for us, gardens to get into shape after the winter, and we each had projects we were involved in.  For me, it was knitting socks for our late summer hiking and camping adventure, and for Emery, it has been keeping up with the gardens and having plenty of time to read the books on his list.   
At the end of April my dad, now 94 flew out to see us and will be leaving the middle of August.  How sad it will be to see him go.   He is doing well, but at this stage of his life, he is beginning to see some changes in what he can and cannot do.  Before he came out here, he did the difficult thing of selling his car and no longer driving.  Its been so hard on him.  He is an independent man. 
The Grandblessings are getting big, Mei-Ling is now 9 and has been doing great.  Soon Elizabeth will be 9 also.  Yen is now 6 and Victoria is soon to follow him.   Axel, he is two now and such a joy.  We are so blessed to have our children and grandchildren close and what joy it is to see them all often.   A close knit family is a source of great happiness.
Its now, hot summer here.  Heat indexes of over 100 for what seems like weeks on end.  The upcoming trip to the mountains will be a welcomed change of temperatures.
Soap was made last month and yesterday I trimmed the bars and have them stored away.  The lavender scent, filling the cabinet.   Daily we check the fig tree for just the right moment to pick and then dry the figs, and also keeping an eye on the Elderberry bushes.  We are out of elderberry syrup from last years harvest and I must say I am more than anxious to be restocked.   Elderberry syrup kept us free of colds and flu all winter, but when we ran out in April, I caught a nasty case of walking pneumonia.  No fun at all.
As you can see, we have been busy and I don't see any slowing down any time soon.  
Life is good and happiness and contentment fill each second of every day.   

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Good Life


It's not icy today, but its certainly chilly outside as I bring in the laundry.  I was wishing I had my fingerless gloves on, but still I linger taking each piece down.  The sun is sinking in the western sky, bathing everything in a glorious golden glow.  The tree tops, the roof tops, and over all of the field across the road.  The birds are making their last visit of the day to the feeders and catching that gold from the sunshine on their wings as they dart about.  The sheets smell of cool, clean air as I fold them into the laundry basket.   How sweet we will sleep tonight on them.   I stand at the screen door for a minute, soaking in all the sights and sounds.   The chickens clucking near by and Miss Kitty tickling my leg with her fluffy tail.  Emery is finishing up his work on the house for the day. Old houses always seem to need something done to them and that is good in a way, as it keeps my retired man busy.   How blessed I feel as I walk through the back door and into the kitchen.  Freshly made bread filling the house with a wonderful smell.  The wood stove glowing with warmth, casting a copper reflection on the floor of the living room.  All is well, and for this and so much more, I thank God above. 

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 ...