Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here is a little snippet of what Christmas is looking like at our house. We strung a few cranberries and a little bit of popcorn to hang on the tree... not a lot - I don't have that kind of patience - just a few little strands to make the tree look festive.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas is coming!

We have a really cute little tree up and shining!! Family is coming over this afternoon, and I wish one more person were here. Well, two. I miss the girl who is way out west. I bet she misses us too. But if she is where she should be then it's all good. I just miss her, that's all. She has such a sweet smile and her laugh is infectious. One other is unable to make it, too. I wish they could both be here today. I love making Christmas memories with people I love so deeply. And all those who are able to come will be coming this afternoon. There will be homemade chili and pita chips, and who knows what else we'll come up with? There will be presents to open and there will be laughter and love. This is going to be fun!

First snow!

This was our first snowfall of the season! No cookie-dusting to prepare us... we got a major snowfall just a few days after Thanksgiving!! I like it! (pic: taken from the slider, December 4, 2009)
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

10:00 am - Right now, Father, in the fullness of mid-morning, I thank you for this moment. The turkey is in the oven. Thank you for the anticipation of feast and looking forward to family members piling in the door, full of love and happiness. Right now, I take a moment to pause, praise, and give thanks. I take a moment to breathe. Inhale, exhale... and savor peace in the midst of busy preparations. Thank you, Lord. (And please be with my friend, please work out for her the details of her day after the flood at her house. Please bring her some peace, too.)

11:30 am - Pausing for another breath. and a snack. How is it that while fixing so much food, I can forget to eat!? Half the family is still in bed, sick. One 12 year old daughter and I are getting things done. Got the potatoes cooked, ready to reheat and mash when people come in the door. The house is getting some last minute straightening. Thank you, Father, for help for the flood at my friend's house. I hope she has a good holiday after all. Now, I have to start the bread. An hour to rise, another hour to bake... should come out about right. I love holidays like this. Thank you, God for holidays! Please be with those today who have not enough. May they see the bits of beauty in their own lives, in spite of everything, and may someone help to meet their needs today, please, Father. And Lord, if there is someone who you want me to help out, please show me who that is today. Thank you, Lord. I gotta go start that bread.

1:15 pm - I can't believe how nice the house looks! Even shorthanded, even with all the breaks we've taken, the rooms are all picked up and the food is getting ready. It is time to put the bread in the oven. The tablecloth is being ironed on the table; the house smells wonderful, and people are soon going to be here! I pause right now to slow my mind a minute, and savor it all. Breathe, self, breathe.

7:30 pm - The last people leave. What a great day! Everyone got here around 2 pm, and we ate about 3. Everyone helped. There was way more food than we needed. It was a feast, after all! Family together, laughing, talking, eating, cleaning up. Babies everywhere!

I missed having the bigger girls here, but they are at a friend's wedding this weekend. Oldest son is on a short vacation with his sweet wife. All's well. Everyone is having a good time wherever they are. But here - here at my house - we eat and everyone is full and happy. Tiny cousinlets play together, people make music, we laugh and talk, babies get hugged, toys get strewn. It's a happy time. By the time the last one leaves, the little one is way past time to sleep, but she will fall asleep very soon, and she has learned today a little more of what it means to feel loved and surrounded by family. It's been a good day.

Now... everyone has gone, and I have the whole house to myself. The dishes will wait for another day. I can just relax in the quietness.


So much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 23, 2009

222. I am thankful they are taking a plane rather than negotiating the roads at this unpredictable, blizzards-come-up-out-of-nowhere time of year.

223. I am thankful that God goes wherever they do, and that He lives in Colorado, too.

224. I am thankful that they will have the joy of attending a friend's wedding.

225. I am thankful that other offspring will be here for Thanksgiving Day.

226. I am thankful that somehow, everything will get done that really needs to get done here.

227. I am thankful that whatever does not get done really won't matter anyway.

228. I am thankful for friends who understand.

229. I am thankful that Husband and I are on the same page.

230. I am thankful for prayers.

231. I am thankful that she might come back soon after all. Maybe.

232. I am thankful that the whole bunch of us get to travel to Chicago on Tuesday, to see them off.

233. I am thankful for beauty wherever it is found.

234. I am thankful for other peoples' lists of thankfulnesses, because they jump start my own.

235. I am thankful for color. That the whole world is not made in black, white and grey.

236. I am thankful for sequins.

237. I am thankful for the giggling of ticklish toddlers.

238. I am thankful for baby laughs.

239. I am thankful for parents who are teaching their own children about right and wrong, and that it is better to do right.

240. I am thankful that I am able to be thankful. (no matter what)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giving Thanks and Dancing in the Kitchen

Here comes another week, ready or not. I am tired and would wish for a little bit more weekend... one more day of rest. But here we go, the new week coming in on a new day. I wake wondering how things will go today, wondering where the energy will come from. I have studying to do, assignments to finish for a class I'm taking, laundry and dishes stacked too high and waiting for attention. The house needs me to get busy, and the children need my help with their schoolwork. Before I even get out of bed, before my eyes even open, I know I need help. Still lying between warm, wrinkled sheets I pray, "Lord, please help me this day to do what You want me to do. Help me, please, to glorify You in all I do." It always surprises me how a prayer submitted to His will turns as the words form in my mind, change from being about what I wanted to being about what He desires. There is nothing I want more than to please Him, after all.

So I get out of bed by faith, trusting that He will direct my day, my strength, and that He will help me accomplish what He wants. I start on the huge kitchen mess alone, with some music to accompany me. The music makes me want to dance, just for fun, and it feels good. When was the last time I danced and felt this joy? When I take a break for Facebook, I find a dear daughter's list of thanks-giving. This is vital, I know, this giving of thanks regardless of how I am feeling. Facts matter more than feelings, and the fact is that I am blessed - we all are blessed - with more gifts than we will ever know.

And today, I am thankful for:

209. Hot water for washing those dishes and laundry.
210. A helpful family.
211. A new day.
212. A God who knows how it is.
213. Furnaces! to keep the house warm and cozy when it is cold outside.
214. Warmer than average days for this time of year.
215. Sunshine! Not typical for November.
216. The fact that I am loved by God whether I feel lovable or not.
217. The fact that He can use me whether I feel usable or not.
218. Comfy clothes to work in.
219. The class I am taking, even though it is hard work sometimes.
220. Music for dancing in the kitchen.
221. The thankfulness lists of others, which remind me to give thanks.

When I choose to give thanks, my perspective invariably changes. Dancing in the kitchen helps, too! Joy grows and displaces the negativity that was settled in.

It could be that hormones, lack of sunshine, stress or other things beyond my immediate control contribute to a gloomy outlook, an anticipation of failure... but dancing in the kitchen to the praise music on the radio, and putting my mind on giving thanks... those things lift my perspective and energize my soul for the day.

May your day, too, be filled with thanks and joy!

Go dance!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


They tell me it's October. Wait. Really? What happened to summer?

Sure enough - I practically missed September, and now the leaves are turning beautiful colors, and I am still trying to let go of August!! Ha! It's time to catch up to reality!

So - summer was cooler than average and everyone here feels we got shortchanged in that department, but we are all willing to let bygones be and move on. Sure we are. The colors here are turning gorgeous shades of autumn - I still have trouble saying that word - and we seem to have raced right past sweater weather straight into, "Put your coat on, girl, you're gonna catch your death!!" Or it feels like it. NO, I don't see my breath on the air yet, but all the tomato plants have frozen.

I brought in close to 40 green ones the night of the freeze. Some had already gotten nipped but I still have 20 something on the counter, waiting to see if they ripen or if I fry them up still green. Yum, fried green tomatoes. Rare treat that I eat while the fam looks on, mostly.

So - September brought changes. Yes, the cold. But also we might have a buyer for the land. If everything works out, our beautiful land - 12 acres of it - may have a new owner by the end of the month.

And I have started a new study in a field that has interested me for years. I'll let you know how that goes. So far, I've completed the first module, and am looking at the second one feeling a little intimidated.

I am also trying out contact lenses Well, one. Yes, really. Because I don't need correction for up close, only for far, so I get one contact lens to use in one eye, to see far. I don't know if I am going to be able to adjust to that. We are still in the trial period. My brain has to figure out how to interpret the signals coming from two different eyes seeing differently. It needs to figure out that for close things, pay attention to the right, but for far things, pay attention to the left. Weird, huh? We'll see how it goes.

PS - Highs in the 40s today. See what I mean? Cold.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

three little gifts

184. The sound of scissors through thick wrapping paper, almost growling, making a straight line in preparation for gifting

185. Apple orchards heavy with sweet ripeness

186. Peaches for supper

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


He sits on the bed beside me, with rainbow-colored candy. I thought I would take a nap, but here he is, coming to sit by me while he eats the candy I bought for him while I was out this morning, to let him know I love him.

We talk about Twizzlers.

How I like the black, he likes the red.

And how these rainbow-colored ones are softer than those.

We laugh together about my hormonal outburst this morning, the one where I rivaled Niagra...the one that led me to buy him candy to make up for it.

No one talks about life or death. Or bills, or money. Or real estate. Or what-are-we-gonna-do.

It doesn't matter.

We have now. We have: half-a-nap, some rainbow-colored Twizzlers, and us.

We have us.


Sometimes love fits so comfortably, so easily, that you hardly notice it's there.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Joie de vivre?

My "Joie" is getting lost and tangled in my"de Vivre"...

Yesterday life began to catch up to me, and I was all set, counting my griefs, to have a bad day. I really was! Woke up feeling kind of down to begin, and then I remembered that I had lost my good camera. Stolen, along with my purse, on Monday. I really liked that camera. It helps me capture the little beauty-moments that I find everywhere, helps me not to overlook them. It was a gift from Husband.

So - no camera. No purse. All the little trinkets that I don't need but always have with me "just in case"... gone. (Except the cards. Thankfully, the cards were returned right away.)

And then I realized I would have to adjust my errand running this day, since we are down to one car. Dead Buick. Now there's an inconvenient truth.

Awe, man... no purse, camera gone, dead Buick...

And the lawn mower died, too. The grass is getting mighty long while we try to find something used and usable.

The dryer doesn't work either. yeah...

And then my sweet daughter lost her job that morning!!

So I was beginning to think I had plenty of reason to wallow in frustration and sadness. Then I heard someone else's story. Someone with real problems. And I was a little embarrassed.

I started remembering that is is much better to think on things that are "good, true, beautiful, worthy of praise..."

I remembered it really is better to see the beauty all around and be thankful, and how could I do that when I was so focused on the junk? So I decided to change. I decided to give myself a chance to list all the troubles one last time, grieve for a few minutes, acknowledge the sadness, and then start thinking thankfulness and other good things.

But I was in a slump. It was hard work to think positively. I was surprised what a job it could be to change my thinking. I knew I could use a boost: I went to the coffee house and got an iced chai AND a chocolate no-bake cookie. (This was a serious, 2-treat slump!) That helped me start feeling better and gave me some energy.

And then I thought, "I will begin my litany of thanks on the very things that I am having so much trouble with today, the things that are making me unhappy! There must be things right there that I can choose to be thankful for if I try." And I did. And I surprised myself! Watch this...

The Buick is dead: I am thankful that only one car is dead. I'm thankful that we have another car that works and is reliable, that husband works third shift right now, making our schedule fairly well-suited to using one car, at least for awhile. I am thankful that there are very low cost cars out there and that we can keep an eye out for one, but not feel a need to hurry into a purchase that might endanger our financial situation. (184 - 187)

The dryer doesn't work: I am so glad this happened in the summer. I love being out in the sunshine! I am glad that it didn't completely die but only (I think) needs maybe a heating element. I am thankful for that dryer in the first place, because it was a gift from a friend who no longer needed it!! I am thankful that there are other free or nearly free dryers out there once in awhile if we need to get another one. I am thankful for friends who share. (189 - 194)

The car was broken into: I am thankful no damage was done to the car. I am thankful (grudgingly, but still...) for the lesson to LOCK the car when you leave it, for crying out loud, and DON'T leave valuables in it unlocked and wide open when you do not know the neighborhood!! (195 - 196)

Stolen purse: I am thankful that all the credit cards, etc. were returned so quickly, never having been used. One person stole the things. Two people returned my cards, which were in two separate cases. I love knowing that there are a lot of good, decent people out there. In this case, by a ration of two to one over the not so decent! I am thankful that not much cash was taken. I am thankful that I was already considering replacing that purse when it was taken, as it was old and about ready to go. I am thankful for friends who helped me contact the police, search the bushes, and stay calm. I m thankful for the friend who prayed with me and taught me how to pray for those we might call our"enemies." It was beautiful, how she prayed for that person's needs to be met. We can be angry at wrong, yet still care about the one doing the wrong! (I am thankful that now I have a really good excuse for buying a new purse!!) (197 - 204)

Camera: I am sad about this. I am thankful that there were no really rare, precious pictures on that memory card when I lost it. I am thankful that I was about to replace that old memory card but hadn't bought a new one yet before it was stolen. (205 - 206)

Sweet daughter's job: I am sorry she lost her job, but thankful for this evidence that God is working uniquely in her life. I am so sad that she wants to move to a far away state where her friends are. She would be too far away for us to even visit, I'm afraid. I could never go out for coffee or shopping with her, or to the beach. I want the best for her, of course, but I would miss her terribly. Watching her ask questions and respond thoughtfully to our questions is encouraging. I am thankful for this. And seeing this unexpected drastic event in her life suggests to me that God has His own way of working in her life. I am sure he will do better than I could. (207 - 208)

It was hard at first to think of things to be thankful for in the middle of these crummy situations. But I'm glad I did because 1) it is the right thing to do. And 2) It did help me feel better and gain a better perspective.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Choosing Joy

It's raining. And cold. And frankly I would like to complain... I'd rather have more warmth, more summer, and some sunshine, thankyouverymuch... but whining won't help.

It is a good time to give thanks. When we least feel like it, giving thanks can help adjust our mind's perspective. Lifting my mind lifts my spirit; helps me get my mind onto a better, more productive path. Otherwise, if I follow the avenue of Whine and Complain, I find myself on a slippery road and I am bound to trip up, slip-sliding into an ugly mess. I can just see me there on the side of the path covered in mud and scratches, wallowing in even more self-pity. I've been there.

Today I choose thanksgiving.

162. Falling asleep to the sound of the rain singing a lullaby outside my bedroom window, as it dances it's own old soft-shoe on the porch roof.

163. Diversity in friendships! How huge a blessing to know people of different faiths, practices, personalities, and views... I learn from them. I love these friends. They enrich me immensely.

164. Maps! Seriously!

165. Panera Coffee, first thing in the morning. Smooth, hot, a little sweet.

166. "Hallelujah anyhow" days. You know, like this one... when you just say Hallelujah anyhow.

167. Opportunities to keep on growing.

168. Not knowing what is coming next. I do not find this one bit comfortable. But I am thanking God for it anyway because He knows what is going on, He cares what happens to me, and I trust Him.

169. Knowing for sure.

170. Seeing a child choose to do the right thing

171. Colors. All of them, everywhere!

172. God's Word - Dependable Truth that fits life.

173. Dresses on hot days. Especially sundresses.

174. Friends getting to start a new adventure! Wow, moving to Alaska to start a new job! That is not your ordinary retirement!

175. Watching the clouds break up outside.

176. Seeing the clouds break up inside myself.

177. The rainbow shine on the back of the cd.

178. Rainbows in parking lots because oil and water don't mix, but when they try, it looks kind of cool.

179. Curly heads

180. Sneaking out for breakfast, or coffee, all alone before the rest of the house is up.

180. Sneaking out for breakfast with husband. :-)

181. Giant, red and white table umbrellas caught by the wind, running off with people running after them!

182. Girl feeling better.

183. Birthday email clubs... lots of freebies coming my way this month!! Fun!

See there... I am feeling better already. Please share your thanksgivings
too, won't you... I'd love to hear them!


PS - And thanks to Anne Voskamp, who reminded me. May your day be full of joy, Anne!


Willow has this quote where I see it often, right down there on the right side of her blog...

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~~ Melody Beattie

What can I say? It really does do all that. Thanks, Willow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Clothesline and its Pleasures

The dryer has quit. This dryer was a gift from friends when our previous dryer quit some time ago. It had been sitting unused in their basement and they were generous enough to give it to us when we needed one. We have gotten a lot of use out of it... but it isn't working right now. Actually, I think it just needs a heating element. Maybe we can replace that when the weather turns cool.

For right now we are hanging things out on the line! I love it! It feels so good in the mornings to go out and hang clothes, the warm sun shining on the backs of my shoulders. I get tan and the laundry gets done at the same time!

This week has been rainy, and that changes our laundry plans considerably. On Monday, we washed all the dirty laundry in the house, knowing it was the last day we'd be able to hang clothes out for a while. Then we took a laundry hiatus for four days. Today looks sunnier, so hopefully we can get more done. One load from earlier in the week was overlooked and has been hiding out in the washer for several days. I re-laudered it last night when I discovered it, and hope to get it out on the line today, along with whatever else needs washing. The whole laundry room has been collecting things and is going to need a straightening as we work today.

Hanging clothes on the line is one job here that I really enjoy. Besides the sun, I feel the breezes, and listen to the birds, which are everywhere around me. Sometimes they perch on the TV antenna up onthe roof and sing while I work on laundry. It's great!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Fourth!

We had such a good day celebrating the fourth!

We did what we usually do on this holiday...

In the morning, we went to the parade. There is something fun about a small town parade that you don't get at the bigger ones. You probably know someone in the parade, and even if you don't the person next to you does. It's probably your neighbor.

There were fire trucks with screaming sirens, and cute little faces waving out the windows.

There were children everywhere dressed in the colors of our flag, looking sweet and festive, running and collecting candies thrown out from the parade.
Some even brought bags for collecting!

And there were the fifes and drums! This little girl took her job as sign-carrier very seriously.
She was so cute!

There were the sounds of the parade:
loud sirens blasting our eardrums; a local blue-grass band; the fifes and drums;
horse hooves clopping; chattering conversations.

And there were the smells:
Something sweet like candy, fresh horse dung,
heavy exhaust fumes from antique cars, and coffee.

When the parade was done, we went to the Arts and Crafts fair. It is very cool that the Township pays for all this fun stuff for us to enjoy on the Fourth! Wow!

Sweet Girl tried the Bungee bounce and loved it!! Being not yet full sized, she got stuck hanging there once and we were laughing so hard, all four of us telling her what to do -- full of advice, and yet not one of us moving to help the girl! (We didn't know if it was OK or if only the "qualified professionals" were allowed to help her.) It was really funny, and she was smiling the whole time.

She did some flips forward and backward and I was pretty impressed! It was her first time.

We got airbrush tattoos (she: a sunshine on her arm, me: a butterfly on the back of my shoulder) and we tried some spin art.

Even the dogs were dressed up for the day!

In the afternoon, we had a cookout at our house....

Family and friends (my son wore his colonial clothes),

Grandgirls here...

and Grandgirls there

Precious Grandgirls everywhere!

All dressed in Red, White and Blue.


And water balloons...

Bocce ball and horse shoes... good times, good neighbors, friends and people we love.

One good day.

I was so tired at the end of it... didn't know if I'd be able to stay awake at church the next day!

But I did.

What a great day. I love celebrating the Fourth here!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Deliciously Hot Day

Spring has been cool. The plants know it and we have been waiting
for "real" summer to get here.

It got here.

The temps since yesterday are around 90, and will be for most of the week.

We are all melting. I am glad for the sun, but still, it is hot. Last night, the heat had drained my energy and I felt exhausted by suppertime, but still had to fix a meal for everyone. By bedtime, I was feeling like a worn out rag. Pretty droopy.

So today, I got up and cooked in the cool of the morning. I boiled potatoes, eggs, and pasta so we could have cool salads for supper tonight. Yeah, I am going to fix potato salad, pasta salad, and tossed salad. I love cool, salad-based meals on hot days. I'm making big salads so they'll last a few days. Yum. I think this will work. (-: It's going to be nice the next few days to have food prepared ahead for meals. It will save me a lot of work on these hot days.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009

It's summer! Officially, finally and truly summer. Yesterday was solstice, and while we were celebrating Father's Day I barely noticed that it was the longest day of the year! This week is going to be sunny and hot -- very summer-like. Ahhh... finally, it's summer.

I'll have to put up a new banner. Not right now. But I will get to it. I kind of like the spring one I have up now, so... no rush. But I will find something to replace it soon.

Happy summer, everyone!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Question of the Day

If heat melts fat, why doesn't laying out in the sun make us skinny? Just askin'. We could get tan and lose weight in one easy step. Wouldn't that be cool?

(pic: We went to the beach last week.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Things the rain brings that I love:

156. Sitting and watching the raindrops fall gently


157. Gathering with the children in the living room during thunderstorms, opening all the blinds and curtains wide, and watching the lightning show!

"OHH! Did you see that one!!"

"Oh, that was bright!"

"So beautiful!"

"Wow, that one surprised me!"

158. Hearing their guesses as to the storm's distance as judged by the number of seconds between lightening and thunder.

After the rain...

159. Raindrops on clovers, catching the sun's sparkles and throwing them back.


160. Raindrops on flower petals... pretty!

And of course, the farmers are thankful for...

161. Refreshment for the earth and its crops. (And I am too.. that's my food in their fields.)

Rainy days slow us down and help us remember to relax, stop the hurrying and the flurried fretting. It's good.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Drumming at Festival

Festival here in Our Town is so great! It's a city-wide celebration of the Arts. Thousands of people come, and everyone seems so happy, relaxed, and friendly.
We come partly because we love the Arts, partly because we love the food!

I love drumming at Festival!

Here we are, my drumming friends and I.

These two men are the ones who have been my drumming instructors, Sunny on the left and Josh on the right.

Sunny was born in Nigeria and had a group there which traveled all over Africa and Europe bringing drumming and African dance to audiences. He's great. He began to teach me African drumming, and I loved it. He is also a great friend.

Eventually I began learning with Josh instead, and still am. He teaches Afro-Cuban style drumming and I enjoy learning with him.

Can you tell that I love doing this?

I really do.

One of the fun things about festival is the Audience participation. This
little participator was adorable.

"Sticks up",
Josh shouted to everyone involved, in order to give them a chance to listen to the instructions.

OK, there we go. That's better! Once everyone was together,
the people loved trying out the drums.

Meanwhile, I sneaked out my bubbles and started blowing them all over. It was good...
Jen, one of the more experienced drummers, grabbed one of the bubble wands and ran back and forth across the stage area, creating bubbles everywhere. We all loved it!
I was very glad I'd brought them along.


(Pics were taken either by Amy or KatyBeth... I don't know which are which. Thanks to both of them for handling my camera wile I was busy!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I love bubbles... rainbow-colored, floaty things that they are...

They are just so much fun!

Really! So fun! (Look at Dustin back there grinning for sheer joy!)


These pics were taken by my good friend Amy at Festival this past weekend where I drummed and we all had a great time! Amy takes good pictures and I love how she captured my mood in these.

I do not know why the comment thing is not working... you can email me if you like. Hope it gets fixed soon. I really look forward to comments.

Monday, May 25, 2009

VBAC consent form for the docs

For the women who want to have a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) and can't find a doctor who will listen to them or cooperate with them... for the women who feel pressured to do what they do not believe is best for their babies or themselves... Giselle has a post here that you have got to read! Yes, folks, it is a different kind of consent form, one for the ob guys to sign.

I found out about this breath of fresh air over here, on the Enjoy Birth blog, where there are some other great things to read, too.

Check out both of these.

If you are going to be giving birth, it is important to be informed! These two links have some good information in them. Also, down on the right of this page, you'll find a widget with links to Jan Tritten's blog. Jan is a woman who really knows her business. What she says reflects the latest research as well as ancient women's wisdom in matters of pregnancy, labor, and birth-giving. Jan is the mother and editor of the magazine Midwifery Today.

It matters how we give birth. It matters because we are giving life to a new generation, and the way that generation begins life can shape their future. And they will be the ones who shape the future for all of us. So as far as possible, give the best, most peaceful, loving start to the baby who has been entrusted to you, starting when you are pregnant.

It really matters how we give birth. It matters because women who give birth in joy and with an awareness of their power are never the same afterwards. Nothing, noone will be able to fully convince them they are weak, ever again. They know better. They have a confidence about them. And that is good for everyone.

It matters how we give birth, it really does.

Go check out those links, and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Things that make me smile

These are things that make me smile...

139. little girls in yellow tutus

(This is my friend Ellie... isn't she sweet? Her mom took this picture.)

140. that bright orange Baltimore Oriole out on my picnic table!

151. strawberry shortcake (I ate the whole thing for lunch - a great big bowl! Sooo good!!)

152. Strawberries shaped like hearts...

153. picking lilacs to put in a vase on the table - fills the room with that scent that only comes at this time of year

154. blowing soap bubbles in the breeze and watching them float far over the countryside (or city-side, whatever... the world)

(It's hard to chase these little guys with a camera!)

155. sweet, floral-scented breezes bringing the smell of flowers I can't name right to my very senses.

Monday, May 18, 2009


It's spring at my house. The trees are finally leafing
out and the lilacs are blooming. This is my front yard with deep
purple and white lilacs on tiny bushes at the edge of where we mow.

We have lilacs of all colors in the yard. The weather's been cool, and apparently the lilacs love it, even if the farmers are getting antsy to plant. All are hoping that last night's frost is the last of the season. I hope to plant tomatoes next weekend, if it looks safe.

Out in the yard to pick lilacs for the house, I spotted these two deer in the trees out front.
They watched us carefully for a while, and finally trotted off.

The rain was still clinging to the lilac blossoms.

I do love lilacs!

(Looking across the driveway.)

It's that time of year Grandma Grace used to call
"ten shades of green".
I wondered whether the trees' various colors,
even some shades of red and orange, indicated the colors
those same trees would take in the fall.
I asked my brilliant biologist son, who said, yes,
sometimes that is the case.
The green chlorophyll acts kind of like sunscreen
to protect the tiny new leaves from the sun's rays.

The back yard, with (left to right) mountain ash; dark purple lilac; lighter, old-fashioned lilac, and an apple tree, all in blossom. And across the golf course, trees in variegated colors on the hill.

Our road, with the trees just leafing out.

This mama robin has built a nest in our garage! Today when the garage was closed, she must have lain an egg outside, which the children found and placed in the nest for her. We will leave an opening to the garage from now on. Sorry, mama.

Two sisters - one just home from school -
hanging out in the back yard.They were enjoying each other's company.

My front porch, looking south
across the valley.

Here's my redbud!!
Two years ago it looked almost dead. I thought it would never have buds. But this spring it was loaded with tiny pink flowers!

I was so glad!

Redbuds are about my favorite blossoming tree. Lilacs are about my favorite spring flower.

(Except that I love all the spring flowers and they way they fill the air with rich fragrances.)

Sometimes when I step outside, the breeze carries some sweet scent right to me from a bush or flower somewhere out of my sight, and I am caught off guard by the wonder of it! Nature brings me such perfect gifts.

This time of year is to me the most wonderful time of the year. I love it!