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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mid Life Crisis? Menopause? Madness?

The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained.  By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth. 
~Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958

On my way home from Muskogee today, I had a little time for reflection.  The trip totally exhausted me and some of the people I encountered in town were just plain scary.  So I got to thinking about life in general and mine specifically.  Some areas are great, best it's ever been.  And then there's this one little thing:

Reasons I Think My Life May Be Out Of Balance
  1. If my life as I know it now were a  song it would be "I 'm A Survivor" instead of my years gone by days of "Pretty Woman".  My personal appearance isn't number one on my list anymore.(not even in the top ten) but I sure know how to survive emotional and mental upheaval. I need to find a nice balance between the two.  Pretty woman meets Wonder Woman.
  2. When I drive in town, I turn the radio off to stay focused  instead of turning it up so loud it rocks the entire block.
  3. I sleep with a cute furry cat instead of a handsome hairy man and I don't care (well, maybe a little).
  4. I have dimples in my fannie instead of in my smiling face and I don't care (well maybe a little).
  5. My hair color out of a bottle for 35 years was red, now it's mostly natural silver and I don't care.
  6. The average size American woman is a 14, I am not and I don't care (well, maybe a little).
  7. I do the things my mother used to do to drive me crazy and it scares the hell out of me (when I can remember what they were).
  8. When it's 32 degrees outside, I'm comfortable in a thin long sleeve shirt (hot flashes you know).
  9. My waistline measures more than my bust line (that ain't right)!
  10. When I try to climb out of bed, all my bones cracking sounds like a 21 gun salute.
My goodness!  I didn't know it was going to turn into a novel!  Let's see, weight gain, wild mood swings(didn't confess to that one, did I?), hot flashes.  Hold on please, I need to look-up the definition of Mid Life Crisis. (An emotional period of doubt and anxiety sometimes experienced by people who realize that their life is already half over).  Wow, that was a close one!  There for a minute I thought it might be me. I refuse to look up the other M word.  That ain't it. Why? you ask.  Because I said so. I'd rather suffer from Madness!
O.K. time to get a grip. 
  1. No more midnight kitchen raids looking for chocolate (can abstaining from chocolate kill you?). 
  2. No more McDonald's Happy Meals because they don't make me happy when I can't fit into my clothes (contrary to popular thinking, spandex is not your friend). 
  3. I will use our in-home torture chamber (also known as a treadmill). 
  4. I will count my calorie intake instead of counting how much fat I can consume in one meal (that's what gives it flavor you know) and I will eat tofu with a smile (O.K. I'm lying about the tofu).
  5. Just in case it is the other M word, I will research Herbal Remedies.
  6. Set a goal:  I want to look like a healthy mature (fifty something) woman who is real sexy. Like Reba.  That Oklahoma gal has it going on in all the right places. It will take commitment (something I'm not real good with, been married twice you know), perseverance and A Sky Full Of Angels.  I'll start on Monday.  Haven't decided which month yet. That's another country song I'm sure.
Simple Living is not about escaping the pitfalls of life (natural and self made)but about picking yourself up, dusting off your bruised tush and surviving when others can't or won't.  It's about living life to the fullest with grace, dignity and a great sense of humor.  It's about seeking balance and fulfillment within and then it will manifest itself in every area of your life.  My life is momentarily out of balance but I recognize that problem and will seek my peace one day at a time. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

There Is A Season

Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it.  The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. 
~Earl Nightingale

Think It. See It. Believe It. It All Begins With A Small Seed.
We strive to make our home a place of peace and harmony.  And I think for that reason things just seem to grow well here.  Inside and out;  human, plant and animal, we all thrive. It just takes time, manual labor and mental fortitude (some days I'm a little weak on the mental part). Our yard (five plus acres) is alive with rabbits, birds, bees, deer and many large trees (40 & 50 feet tall) as well as fruit trees and ornamental bushes.  It is a joy to be outside but there is so much yet to prepare before Spring arrives. 

I am sooo...excited about Spring.  I'm brushing up on my "how to talk to plants" skills by practicing on the house plants. I also purchased a seeded pot for herbs (a pre-fab if you will) to talk to.  I just had to plant something.  Well, maybe not plant, but do something.
This is the day that I must go into Muskogee (dog food, cat food, bird food and people food).  While I'm there might as well pick up a few seed packets to start growing my salad garden indoors.  With the real cost of living increases we are immediately seeing, a home garden will be a necessity.  The cost of gasoline last night was $3.17 per gallon and the summertime increase hasn't even started yet.  Hang onto your wallets folks this could be a rough one.

I also began work on a fairy tree house (escape from reality?).  It will need plants and other little touches to make it enticing for any little beings that want to move in.  It's a nice starter home. 

Eco Friendly Wind Powered Rental Property.

To Every Thing There is a Season - Ecclesiastes 3. 1-8
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

"I am only one, But still I am one.
I cannot do everything, But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."
- Edward Everett Hale

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can Animals Predict Diaster?

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.  Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all.  But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself."
William Blake, 1799, The Letters    

As I was doing my daily meditation this morning (translation:  as I was sitting on the front  porch with my coffee, cigarette and two cats wrapped around my ankles), it occurred to me the importance of a sanctuary.  Everyone needs a safe place to hide from time to time. Speaking of hiding, the cats ate breakfast and then headed for the barn.  Even if the news had not been warning us of a severe storm, the cats would have alerted me to the fact simply by their behavior. If we pay attention, animals speak a language all their own.  They sense danger long before we have a clue. Our dogs have been humanized to the point they have no clue either.  Apparently, I'm not the only one that thinks their pre-diaster behavior is interesting.

O.K. on another subject.  This year Becky and I are planning a visit to Hoepfner Kiwi Farm in Eufaula.  We want to start growing our own fruit in accordance with our self-sustaining plan for life.  This is something we have wanted to do for a long time but the demands of life rarely give us the opportunity for a day trip.  However, this year I have a plan.  Just do it.  Here is a video giving some insight into growing kiwi.
Well, time to go for now.  Looks like the storm may be moving in and I need to shut down my beloved computer.  Hope to see you again soon.  In the meantime, hug a tree, plant a seed and embrace life. 

It seems we are safe from the storm for now.  Pushka is back on the porch biting my ankles.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Magical Time

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
—Ruth Stout
The first bloom of Spring invites others to join the dance.
Spring is simply a magical time.  A time when all things are renewed.  A time when all things seem possible.  It is a joyous time for all of the senses to go on high alert to the glorious riches unfolding.  The mystery of life itself is encoded in the burst of Spring-time activity.  Only God could perfect such a delicate balance of all the elements that converge to create Spring.  It is the time to release our child-like fantasies.  It is a time for myths and legends to come alive in our gardens!  In a garden, there is no reality.  There is only imagination.  So come with me and release the creative genius that resides in all of us.  You Can Do It! 
Another lonely traveler seeking the life-giving breath of Spring.

Flower Fairies of the Garden

Every flower is believed to have a flower fairy watching over it, monitoring everything from scent to colour. Different flower fairies possess different qualities:
  • Faeries of Joy – found in yellow flowers, such as primroses, buttercups and daffodils
  • Faeries of Healing – found in blue flowers, such as bluebells and forget-me-nots
  • Faeries of Purity and Hope – found in white flowers, such as daisies, lily of the valley and jasmine
  • Faeries of Love and Beauty – found in purple flowers, such as lavender, violets and foxgloves
  • Faeries of Energy – found in red flowers, such as poppies, roses and carnations
Can anyone who loves gardening resist a birdhouse?  Our yard is a bird haven year-round (have to remind the cats the "do no harm rule") with an abundance of beautiful creatures. To invite Spring to come early, I bought my first birdhouse of the season at the Dollar Store for $8.00.  This year we will also put up a Martin Birdhouse to help control the mosquitoes naturally.
If you were a bird, won't you just love it?
There are many elements that can be added to a garden to bring joy, fantasy, and life.  If you build it, they will come.  Butterflies, bees, birds and many other beings wanting to share in the fun.(Garden Faeries?) To me, nothing says "sanctuary" like a garden.  There is no room in a garden for earthly woes and burdens.

Even the cats are helping get ready for Spring.  Cleaning the yard is a family project. Gracie will drive the lawn mower while Pushka loads trash.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

“...in a well regulated kitchen nothing is ever wasted, but with careful preparation even the 'rough ends' of a beef steak may be made into a wholesome, tender and appetizing dish; that 'stale bread' may be used in the most delicious 'desserts' and 'farcies,' and 'left-over' food from the day before need not be thrown in the trash-box, but may be made into an endless variety of wholesome and nutrious dishes.”
‘The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book’ (1901)

It appears that I'm onto something here with my desire to be self-sustaining with a vegetable garden.  The lead story on the local news last night was the immediate price increase of fruits and vegetables due to the insane weather around the world.  The reporter was explaining how to start veggies indoors now.  That's great but we still have to eat until they produce and our apple and pear trees have a long way to go before we can enjoy their gifts.  (I will pick up my veggie plants at Arnold's Fruit Farm when I go into Muskogee tomorrow.)

Careful menu planning is a necessity to avoid a budget blowout.  So here are my budget recipes for a week of good "vittles". Some leftovers will go into Becky's lunch bag for the following day.
  1. Southern Ham And Brown Beans (pinto) are a staple in our household because they are inexpensive and easy to cook.  I will cook these next week when the weather is cold to add extra heat in the house (remember, everything must serve two purposes for maximum effectiveness).   Any leftover beans go into a Mexican dish as refried beans.
  2. We have a freezer full of fish so a nice  herb baked fish and rice  recipe with a green salad is especially easy.
  3. Ham and Pineapple Pizza. Photo by LifeIsGoodMy leftover veggies (bell peppers, onions), shredded cheese and ham will make a nice pizza with a generous amount of canned pineapple.

   4.   Also, in my fridge is fresh cauliflower which will make a great soup with   a melted cheese sandwich on the side.
   5.   Using my leftover beans, one pound of hamburger meat (90% lean stocked in the freezer), a package of taco seasoning, a can of diced tomatoes and a few more stocked items and  I have my Baked Mexican Casserole. 
Taco Bake II Recipe
   6.   The leftover fish will go into a chowder with other seafood which I have stocked in the freezer. 
Becky loves cheese, so again we will have a melted cheese sandwich. Seafood Chowder. Photo by CoolMonday
   7.   My freezer is my best friend when it comes to budget cooking.  I have frozen chicken fritters which I will bake in the oven.  Becky's recipe for 14 minute mashed parsley potatoes will be a perfect side dish.  A simple green salad will round out the meal beautifully.

My shopping list will be short and simple.  Some items will be purchased with double coupons at Homeland Grocery Store.  With a little planning, eating well is a breeze and very budget friendly.  Every penny I save can be put aside for emergencies or reinvested into our home to make it more eco-friendly.

The Big Picture, we are all connected:
Mickey Paggi of the Center for agricultural business said we should all be concerned over rising corn and wheat prices. "If corn prices hold up then everything that comes from corn is going to have to go up at some point, meat especially. You'll see meat and poultry, people that are big feeders of corn these prices are really high."

Cereal prices are expected to spike. The price of rice also saw an increase.

Several factors figured into the rising food costs. Paggi says they include growing demand, bad weather, rising fuel costs, as well as increased corn production for bio-fuel use.(The perfect storm for food production globally?) He said, "Now we use about the same amount for ethanol as we do as feed for livestock. It's about five billion bushels."

The ethanol industry said the impact of bio-fuels on rising food prices was "over-stated."(Personally, I have a great deal of difficulty believing this. Just ask any real farmer.) 

The UN believes global food prices will continue to rise. (No Surprise Here!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Can't Eat Money

Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten.
~ Cree Prophecy

A potted salad garden
This is more my country style for a salad garden with instructions at Real Simple.
The mild weather (after what winter has put us through I consider anything above freezing "mild") this morning intensifies my Spring Fever.  Is Mother Nature playing a trick on me?  We still have a full month of winter left and anything can happen.  I am a get er done kind of gal so the Patience is a Virtue concept is something for me to contend with. What the heck....I still want to start my preparations for my container garden today.  Really, I just want to feel the sunshine bathe my face and feel close to Nature and God.  No high dollar fragrance ever created by mankind can beat the smell of fresh-turned earth or donkey pooh. 

First thing I need to do is round up all my containers.  This requires a trip to my scary barn (boots required. no telling what's living in there besides two cats).
I think  a couple of "Lost Cities" may be in there.
Finding containers to plant my vegetable garden won't be a problem because I see a number of them oozing out of the barn.  Told you it was scary.  Organizing the containers is my project of the day in addition to my other daily chores.  My soul is singing "I want to plant, I want to plant, I want to plant". but the mundane things must be done before I can travel that path. But first here is my other passion..........

History has become my Muse (in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature are the goddesses or spirits who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. ...).
I am fascinated by the Native Americans that lived here before us.  They were true survivors.
A brief history lesson: 
In the 1830’s, gold was discovered in Georgia. The settlers began to covet the Cherokee homelands, and a period of Indian Removals began to make way for more white settlement. In 1838, thousands of Cherokee men, women and children were rounded up and marched 1,000 miles to Indian Territory, known today as the state of Oklahoma. Thousands died in the internment camps, on the trail, and after arrival (due to the effects of the journey.)
Becky is a card carrying  CDIB (Certified Degree of Indian Blood) Cherokee.  We can learn much about living off the land from the Ancient Ones. Bet they never went hungry until the White Man came. For those of you wanting to learn more, I have provided a link to the official Cherokee Nation website.   
When the white man discovered this country Indians were running it.
No taxes no debt, women did all the work
White man thought he could improve on a system like this.
~ Old Cherokee Saying

Monday, February 14, 2011

Imagination: Seeing The Possibilities

A day is Eternity's seed, and we are its Gardeners. 
~Erika Harris, lifeblazing.com

This morning we had a Maggie 911 so I called Karen and made an appointment.  At 10:30 we arrive (it wasn't an emergency or they would have taken us immediately).  Maggie is wearing her Oklahoma State University hoodie because she knows that will make Stacey happy since that is her Alma Mater. (Maggie was right, we got a two paws up from Stacey.)  I always enjoy my visits with the ladies.  We all think they are just great.  It's always a good sign when you pull up at a Vet's office and there is every animal imaginable running around happy and healthy.  The work is hard, the hours are long and still the compassion and humor never ceases with this team.  They really are more like part of our family.
Hubler Vet Clinic
Maggie and her Dream Team
Karen, Berta, Stacey
Mags gets an allergy shot and some medicine for her ear.  Stacey tells me to bathe her in Dawn Antibacterial Dish Soap.  Mags skin is very red and my other medicated dog shampoos could do more damage than good. Will need to stop at Dollar Store to pick it up but first it's a trip to McDonald's. 

 Injection=McDonald's Chicken Nuggets for Maggie.
Don't even think about touching my chicken!!!
After lunch, I began surfing the web for inspiration.  Don't you just love saying that!  It just sounds so up to date cool.  Anyway, back to my surfing.  I came across some ideas that really did inspire me and got me to thinking (just a little heads up David because when I starting thinking it means work for you).  

My front porch faces South and the summertime afternoon sun has always been a problem because it creates a lot of heat coming in the front door (100 degrees in the shade). 
Solution:  Make a living wall (also known as a vertical garden) of plants for the porch and the two windows that face South.

I had already thought of vertical vegetable gardening for out in the yard but now I say "why not as a screen to insulate the house?" There is no need to buy any materials for this project because I have all the stuff needed out in my scary barn.  And I have some great ideas for an original design and David's labor is real cheap (free).  He, of course, will have to bring some common sense and practicality to my idea.  I can never look at anything and see junk.  With a little imagination, almost anything has possibilities. Apparently, I have a great imagination because I imagined I was happily married (twice). Wrong answer!

Blueberry Hill has some unique and creative ideas.  This French (wine) riddling  rack was transformed into a vertical garden for lettuces, arugula, Swiss chard, mustard, strawberries and herbs by Anne Phillips and her landscape design firm Go Green Gardeners.
I also have room for this from the Blueberry Hill website.
Oh, David, we are going to have so much fun unless you are a party pooper and say it can't be done.  There is also the critter factor to consider.  Around here we always have to be mindful of snakes (I hate snakes), scorpions, ants, wasps and a whole sub-species of other creepy crawlies.

But before I can begin any outside projects, I have to complete the inside projects that I started.  Also, have to get David to do all the heavy lifting before he and Vicky hit the road this Spring with their concession stand.  So much to do, so little time!
The Possible's slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
~Emily Dickinson

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Beehives and Donkey Pooh?

The Bible Says:
make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 Verse 11 & 12

Sometimes it seems that manual labor is a lost art. 
This is the day that I choose what to plant in my garden this year.  The possibilities are endless so I must curb my enthusiasm and be realistic. But what fun it would be to grow enough for Beck and I and still have enough to give away to the family and friends.

According to the Farmers Almanac these are my choices: 
February  14th-15th   Fine For Planting Beans, Tomatoes, Corn, Cotton, Cucumbers, Peppers, Melons And Other Above ground Crops. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens.

 My dilemma:  Snow could still be on the ground.  We will have gone from below freezing temperatures to almost 70 degrees in less than a week.  More research is required or I can just ask someone.  But if I ask several people then I will get conflicting information because everyone has a different answer.  Shoot, shoot, shoot!  O.K. dummy, your planting in containers so this should not be a problem. Glad I thought that one through.   However, I will still be wearing rubber boots in the slush to plant a garden.  Anyone besides me thinks this is nuts?
Next on my list is buying a few tools to work with because mine look like this:

 Then there is the correct soil to plant my stuff in.  Wonder if I can use David's ( my big brother)  miniature donkey's pooh for fertilizer?   It's cheap (free) and plentiful.  I asked several friends (Charlie R. and Willis) who always have a bumper veggie crop and they said I could plant tomatoes in 100% donkey pooh and for other vegetables I could do a 25% soil and 75% donkey pooh mixture.  David will be glad to hear his pooh has a home but the bad news is: he will have to bring it to me.
O.K. There is suppose to be a photo here of David and his little donkeys but it didn't arrive.  So instead of donkeys here is a picture of what they produce that my garden needs:
 I don't know why I can't just stick a plant in the ground ,water it, talk to it and watch it grow.  Oh, yeah.  That's what I've done in the past and it doesn't work very well.  O.K. it doesn't work at all.  Maybe I was not saying the right things to my plants.  Is there proper conversation etiquette for talking to a plant?  Or would they prefer music?  Country? Jazz?  Classical?  So many decisions!
More good news for my garden!  The beehive in the tree in the front yard has survived the harsh winter and the bees are out today in full force. Again, growing my own self sustaining pollination system makes my little green heart happy. Bad news is: I'm highly allergic to bee stings.  However; in all the years we've lived here, I've never been stung by bees.  Wasp, yes.  Bees, no.  Wasp did not get the memo regarding do no harm.

To Summarize:  
  1. buy plants
  2. have David give me a load of crap (wouldn't be the first time)
  3. buy a few garden tools at Flea Market
  4. learn a chant or meditation so I can bond with bees
Raising a garden is an art so I must admit I am a novice, a rookie, a know nothing beginner but I shall not be defeated!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Anticipating Spring

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream."-   Barbara Winkler

There is a reason I don't have outside animals.  I hate going out in the extreme cold and heat that we have here in Oklahoma.  Perhaps I will change my mind (I do that a lot) sometime in the future, however; today I will be staying indoors and planning my Spring planting.  If I don't have to look at the snow outside, I can pretend it's not there.  Just for today in my world, it is already Spring.

First, I will decide what veggies we like best and plan my garden around these.  Also, it is necessary for me to keep in mind that I do not have the usual tools that country folk have (tractor, plow, a strong back).  This eliminates a lot of gardening options but opens the door for others.  I can do a vertical garden and container garden or veggies in old plastic bottles. I really like this idea because it involves reusing materials that junk up the planet ( and go easy on my bad back). Here is a quick summary:

(1) Plastic bottle with stop on top and perforated bottom (drainage); (2) Stop taken off and conical part of the bottle cut away; small slit cut in the cone; (3) Cone pushed to the bottom in the bottle; (4) Bottle filled with potting soil mixed with the water absorbing soil conditioner TerraCottem, well compacted up to 5 cm from the bottle top; (5) Seed(s) or seedling(s) in the soaked potting soil.
2007-03 Decapitated bottle
Prepared bottle : Through the cone, air is penetrating in the potting soil via the hole in the bottom of the bottle; it enables also the evacuation of an excess of water (drainage).
2007-03 : 4 bottles
Bottles of different dimensions with vegetables.

And then there is the vertical garden:

"DIY PlantersConfounded by vegetable digging cats and toiling in the vegetable patch, Instructables member pippa5 came up with this cool DIY vertical garden  solution.  In case you don't recognize it, she used an old closet shoe organizer.  Meant to keep your shoes off the floor and save you some space, this new use saves some space by getting your veggies or herbs off the ground."

There are several interesting ideas at this website 4 Amazing Vertical Garden Designs

vertical vegetable gardening
This is one of my favorites and entirely doable for me. It is from one of my favorite websites with a link on this page (Vegetable Gardening On-Line).
There are so many choices that I never knew existed.  I just needed to think outside the box (or the type of garden my Dad grew).  There is the chain link fence I can use to grow climbing vegetables, the old bathtub camouflaged in the weeds, my front porch not to mention utilizing the green house frame.   

I can't wait to get started!  Through the sweat and tears I will be able to grow my own (not in the same context as the 1970's mind you).  Ain't this fun?

Simple Living doesn't mean living without working it just means living more productively.  Now that I have a plan for the garden, tomorrow I will choose our veggies and Herbs to plant.  Have a great day and hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ode To Spring

Ode To Spring
It snowed today
Like yesterday
And once more
Snow tomorrow

A harsh winter
That's what they say
Colder than it's ever been
Snow like we've never seen
Spring... it will be late

But I will wait, for like fate
Spring always follows
Spring always comes
Spring has never failed me
Sonya Florentino

I refuse to let the howling wind and blowing snow outside dampen my enthusiasm because I know Spring is just around the next blizzard.  Speaking of Spring, who knew the beginning was in question?  My wall calendar indicates it starts on March 20th but other sources (including my countdown gadget) insists it is March 21st.  I will check the 2011 Old Farmers' Almanac to get to the truth of the matter. 

I am so excited about this Spring because it will be my first serious attempt to grow and preserve our own food. I have been researching the various methods of building a root cellar and cool pantry.  It will have to be inexpensive and hopefully using simple materials easily available. 

But in the meantime Beck, the animals and I are taking it easy and doing the smart thing in this weather:  staying home.  It's now nap time and everyone goes to their own space and their own blankies (no one likes to share personal items). Pushka has to be separated from the others just in case she has something contagious.  As soon as the weather breaks, we will take her to see Stacy for tests.
Grey Kittie (Pushka) is incarcerated until she can go to the Vet.  No, she is not going to live inside! When the temperature is above freezing, she is going back out and that is that.

Gigi just wants to wrap up in her puppy blankie.

Noah just wants a hug and a biscuit.

A human can't hardly find a place to sit around here.

How many times have you heard it said "what goes around comes around"?  It's an old fashioned way of saying "Karma". We are continuously polluting Mother Earth in 2011 as we were in 1937 (only much worse).  Will we (the human species) ever learn?  When we look to the past, have we made any positive changes or are we continuing to abuse the beautiful earth that God gave us?  We are his stewards and we need to start acting like it.

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. 
 (Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Letter, February 26, 1937, to state governors, urging uniform soil conservation laws.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Deja Vu

There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
none goes his way alone,
All that we send into the lives of others
comes back into our own.
~Edwin Markham

Deja Vu--the experience of thinking that a new situation had occurred before
It's snowing again! Not much, but we have five to ten inches more coming Tuesday night and Wednesday.  I don't know who hacked off Mother Nature but they need to say "sorry".  Karma, I'm telling you, Karma.

Becky said it sleeted on her going to work today.  The roads in her destination county were much better than the roads she had to travel in Muskogee County.  What's up with that? 

After hearing about the frenzy this weekend to buy bread at the local stores, I will spend the day baking bread, dog biscuits and anything else to make life more comfortable during the upcoming snow event.  I refuse to participate in the snatch and grab nonsense at the stores when I can very easily enjoy making it at home.  It's part of the Simple Living Code of Honor:     
Do No Harm (this includes pushing other people for a loaf of bread).  

It makes me wonder what would happen if we had a real food shortage!  Strange times, I'm telling you!  Strange times!  We desperately need to get back to the basics of our ancestors when it comes to food.  Now is the time to learn to plant, grow and harvest our own food before a real crisis occurs.  Preserving that harvest without harsh and dangerous chemical additives will not only prolong our lives but will also provide us with a strong, healthy earthly temple.
Home Canning is just one method of food preservation.

There are dozens of books to help you not to mention the Internet.
If you think I'm overreacting, try reading the labels on some of your store bought food.  I couldn't  pronounce half the stuff in it and didn't have a clue what the stuff was!  If a stranger gave you a bowl of food and you didn't know what was in it, would you eat it? (Stranger Danger Alert) Well, that is exactly what most of the uninformed public are doing!  I'm not playing Russian roulette with my life, thank you very much! 

Well, it's time to leave you for now.  There is much to do today.  Hope I have given you some things to think about and maybe you will make some life-style changes that will save your life.

As she has planted,
so does she harvest;
such is the field of karma. 
~Sri Guru Granth Sahib

The Gift of Good Friends

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.

This weekend began with a whimper.  Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. I called Dick (my boss) and said that I couldn't get my car out of the yard (we had a blizzard you know and I live way up in the pasture).  He reluctantly agreed to open the store.  A short time later, I received a call from one of my neighbors (he is also a regular customer at the store) asking if I need a ride to work. O.K. He's calling me on Dick's cell phone, so putting 2 and 2 together I quickly arrive at the conclusion that he is calling from the store.  What am I going to say "no thanks, I rather stay home snuggled up to the fire with my cat"?  The word was already out that I had made Beef Stew for lunch at the store so I'm wondering if it's me they want or my Beef Stew.  Anyway, two thoughtful neighbors pick me and my stew up and take us to work.   

It seems as though everyone has cabin fever and just want to get out.  After a busy morning shift of endless friends "sitting a spell and visiting" it's time to go home.  After my ride home gets through with his bowl of stew and cornbread I finally arrive back home (part of the deal was if you take me to work, you have to be here at 1:00 p.m. to take me home).  Beck had already started shoveling snow trying to get her car out to fuel up and get ready for work on Monday. Everywhere I look there is snow, snow, snow.  
Sunday morning I drive Beck's car to work.  To make up for yesterday, I go in early at 6:30 a.m.  It's still very dark and I don't see all that well.  After cooking breakfast, I find it odd there have been no customers.  When daylight finally arrives the missing customers are immediately explained.  The State has cleared the highway and all the snow is piled up across the entire front entrances to the store.  No one can get in.  Once Dick has been notified of the problem, I then call the State.  They say when the trucks come back around they will clear the entrances to the store.  They arrive as I am leaving the store a little after 1:00 p.m.  And then it started raining and raining and raining........    

Saturday there were so many people asking if I needed a ride home.  Everyone knew if I was there and my car wasn't parked next to the store, something was up.  Some people look for my car at the store just to stop in and say "hi". 
Dusty R. cleared the neighborhood and most driveways using his own equipment and fuel.  He didn't want to take credit for doing this but the word was out because he was seen (there are no secrets around here).  I am ever so grateful for his kindness and thoughtfulness.  Speck P. (Keefeton Volunteer Fire Department Chief) had also used his own equipment and fuel to clear my drive a second time (we were buried in snow and ice).  Speck does so very much for our community there are not enough words to express my gratitude. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else but the country?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oklahoma Blizzard 2011

 What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the master calls a butterfly.
 Richard Bach

We survived the history making 2011 blizzard here in Oklahoma.  Now it is just snowing and snowing and snowing!  Our driveway has been graded twice by really good neighbors and we still can't get out!  It has disappeared under the frozen tundra that defies explanation even for Oklahoma weather patterns.
Note to self:  Before next winter arrives, buy a four wheel drive pick up truck.  All the cool people have one.

The power stayed on, Thank You Jesus.  Our neighbors and family have  been calling to check on us to see if we need anything.  I love living in the country in Oklahoma (except when we can't escape).  The  simple truth is: people really care about each other. 

Here are a few pics I took this morning when the snow started to fall again:
Southwest View from front porch.

Northwest view from back porch.

Doggie runway .

Looking East from front porch.

This afternoon Becky made snow ice cream so we snapped a few more pics when she went out:
Becky gathers clean snow for ice cream.

Sophie is planning an escape if it ever stops snowing.

Won't be needing these lawn chairs anytime soon.
I know the snow will stop sooner or later because the world doesn't end in a snow-ma-geddon.  This is just a wake up call to let us know we are living in strange times.  The weather man says more stuff falling from the sky on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 
Note to self:  Read Matthew 24 again to make sure world doesn't end in ice and refresh my memory on signs of the end times.

Simple Living is all about making do with  what you have.  So, I must pose a question here.  Does anyone have a homemade recipe for toilet paper?  We had a case ordered to be delivered on Wednesday to our home.  Guess what?  It didn't make it.

My sister, Joyce, tells me that we must look on the positive side of things.  The groundhog did not see it's shadow so we are going to have an early spring.  I was feeling a little grumpy so I replied, "yeah, but he doesn't live in Oklahoma."
P.S. I wrote this Friday but the Internet connection was so slow that I fell asleep before I could post it.
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