Thursday, March 26, 2020

We Do What We Do

To carry on.
That's what we do~

It's the end of March.
Around here, it didn't come in roaring like it does some years.
It kinda came in the back door
then surprised us with mid-month snow.
So what do we usually do in March?
Well, in our house, we plan and we plant.
The weather is still a bit fickle
so we dance with it.
Inside, outside, inside, 2, 3, 4.
Outside, inside, outside, 6, 7, 8.
The birds and the breeze provide us with music
as we move about.
(It needs to get back to this orderly state:-))

My summer kitchen has served as a sorting area
for the oddball things left to go through after moving.
Still amazed by how much we collect over the years
and how long it takes to go through it all.
Item by item, it's all being dealt with.
In the interim though, it appears a bit disheveled.
It doesn't help that during the coldest months, 
I let things be as they happened 
so I could get back in where it was warm.
Oh what will I ever do with me?

I've begun straightening here and there as I have a few minutes.
It is getting better, but I still have a ways to go.
I got the last of the lavender cleaned which was a task,
a lovely scented task, but a task nonetheless.
I've finally been hanging laundry back out here
rather then the clothes trees in the house.
That helps the house to seem cleaner.
I know that sounds odd,
but racks of drying clothes appear as clutter in a small home.
It's that time of year when not only can we hang our laundry out to dry,
but we can open our windows and doors
here and there even for a few minutes.
That fresh air is as good for our soul as it is for our system.
It's important that we find our center.
That's a dancing term for our springtime dance we are doing.
I think a good portion of my fine readers have faith.
It's remarkable that in the mignst of chaos,
we can hold our centers,
keep our homes,
comfort our kin,
and carry on.
Faith is the opposite of fear.
So it's reasonable that if we have faith,
we are without fear.
What?
We all have fear, you say?
Perhaps, just perhaps, those are the areas 
in which we need to find our faith.
It sure is a relief to know that we have the most powerful weapon
for combating those fears.
So we can continue to do as we do
and dance as we do with Mother Nature 
while the weather if fickle.
The birds and the breeze still sing.
Let's plan and plant, shall we?
2, 3, 4.
6, 7, 8.







Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Rhythms~Routine~Ritual

The flow of rhythm~
The dependability of routine~
The harmony of ritual~
(Baby thyme sprouting - so hopeful.)

There are times when the waters get rough
or the road gets rocky.
I suppose it depends if you are sea faring
or a land lover.
Usually those rough and rocky times are due
to the unknown and all the "what-ifs" presented.
When there are situations out of our control,
it serves as a comfort to do those things you can control.

Many folks have lost sight of Home.
Not of their house or the avenues that lead
to and from the places they go,
but a real Home.
I prefer to see our current times
not as a time to panic,
but as the straightening a crooked picture
or righting an upturned vessel.
Perhaps the pendulum is moving a little bit back towards center.
That's a good thing, right?
It's not enjoyable to see people upset,
but it might be like when children don't understand
when something good is coming from the current unpleasant situation.
It might be difficult to begin a new exercise routine,
but after a time
we come to find comfort in the routine of it.
We are creatures of habit
who have veered far from healthy norms.
Perhaps Home will once again become our center.

There are things we can count on
and we should focus on those things
when life gets shaky.
We know we need to eat.
This is nothing new.
We've been doing it all our lives.
What might be new is how we go about providing
for that necessity.
Think first of what you know and build on that.
What meals do you know how to make?
What other meals do you enjoy?
Also, see what you have in stock
and build on what you have there.
If you have grains or beans,
what might you need to go with those things?
Not to worry, it will work out.

Another thing we can depend on 
is that we will need clean clothes.
Again, we already do this.
Just work it into the schedule.

And a clean and comfortable Home~
Awe yes,
there's that word again.
~Home~
Look at what you are making.
It's beautiful really.
 You are providing for yourself
and those you love if that's your situation.
We can now find that the seas are calming
and the roads are smoothing out.
What's happening in the world outside
becomes a little less significant
when we can depend upon those things
we know so well.
What happens when we do these things
is we become more aware of what is important to us.
The minutes of our day become uncluttered.
We'll appreciate the rhythm of the washing machine 
sloshing back and forth knowing the clothes are being cleaned.
We'll appreciate the routine of preparing meals
according to time of day and family needs.
We'll appreciate the ritual of caring for our surroundings.
And when we do,
we will once again feel 
at ease. . . .nah,
at Home.



Saturday, March 7, 2020

The $10 Lesson

This is a post I am so happy to share with y'all.
I know at least a good majority of my readers here are good people 
so I know you'll "get it."
In order to share the lesson,
I have to share the story.
Several years ago my mom went through an awful treatment for skin cancer.
She had an equally awful reaction that was life altering for her.
The response of the doctors was,
"That only happens to .01% of people."
She was in pain for quite a while.
The chemical cures they prescribed for the reaction 
by trial and error only hurt her more.
I gave her some homemade lotion to try
which she uses to this day.
She can no longer go outside and has to wear long sleeved UV clothing 
even inside if the sun is shining.
It's been long enough now that we can harass her about being a vampire,
but at first it was devastating
for someone who lived outside and who's therapy was the garden.
Fast forward a few years.
We had a gentleman come into the shop a while back
asking for a fix on the frame of a neat old pickup he recently acquired.
MrLB told him what he would do to fix it and about how much it would be.
We had a big job we were working on and said to give us a call
and we would work it into the schedule in February 
which was fine with the gentleman.
Hubby was just mentioning a week or so ago, that the fella with the pickup never came back.
He said, "I told him how I'd fix it so he probably had someone else do it."
Within a day or two of that statement,
he came into the shop, only we hardly recognized him.
It was the first time he had been out of the house in nearly 3 weeks.
His face looked like it had been beat with knife grass - that grass that cuts.
He explained that he had been in for skin treatment and had a reaction.
Evidently he is also one of the .01%.
After chatting for a few minutes,
it was obvious he had been and was still in pain.
I've made my own lotion for some time now and had a small jar in my desk drawer.
I gave it to him to try.
He called the next day and said he didn't react to it,
and that it actually felt soothing especially to his ears which were particularly painful.
I made him a batch over the weekend and took it in Monday 
which was when he was picking up his pickup.
I put it in a clean peanutbutter jar so he could get his hand into it.
I don't sell the lotion.
It's a Rosemary Gladstar recipe not mine,
and I told him that.
He paid me $10 more than the cost of the ingredients.
I was fine with that - my time etc.
I told him he didn't even have to pay me.
Knowing the pain my mom went through,
I would have made it for him regardless.
Any "extra" money I get throughout the year, I save for quilt show in October.
So I put the money in my little stash.
Then comes the lesson portion ~
A friend who lives in another state lives on a fixed income.
She recently pulled $10 from one allotted fund
to add a little something extra to her granddaughter's birthday gift.
She will be discontinuing her internet soon because she doesn't have the extra money 
and internet is not a necessity.
She is wise with her pennies,
and I respect her for that.
I was only too glad to send that $10 to her with a little note.
As I see it, it's really for her granddaughter.
I know it's not millions but am hoping it helps or at least replaces it.
Today while I was at work,
a woman came in with a jar that held a $10 bill.
It was the gentleman's wife.
She wouldn't let me refuse it.
She said "He had a bee in his bonnet, and I was to have it."
She also said the last two nights he has been able to wear his cpap machine again 
so has been able to sleep and is beginning to feel better.
So I replaced the $10 in my stash.
The thing about all of this, which I already knew deep down
is that I would have made the lotion for him for free.
It made me feel good to be able to offer some sort of help.
It was also easy for me to send the $10 to my friend.
I didn't even think twice about that.
And when generosity feels good,
it's just right and is rewarded on multiple levels.
This really isn't about me,
but each and every one of us.
If we can find a way to give that we genuinely feel good about,
we receive a gift far greater and everyone wins.
I know that - have known that,
but I think it must be easy to get caught up in our daily grind and forget.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who forgets this at times.
So needless to say,
I'm so happy to be reminded of this lesson.
$10 may seem like a silly sum these days,
but it's sure been a valuable lesson.
I hope this little story can help you as well.
Whether we are on the giving or receiving end,
generousity and graditude are just plain good for the soul.
I think we've all been on both sides at one time or another 
which makes it even better.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Tying Knots

Right out the gate, 
I want to share that this post is as much about tying up loose ends
as it is about tying knots.
To me, that's a good thing.

There was a time when knowing various knots 
was an admirable skill.
And it still is though not acknowledged by very many.

As kids, shortly after learning to tie our shoes,
we learned how to tie the bowline.
This meant we could hitch our own horse
and didn't have to ask for help or wait for our parents.
A sense of grown-up independence is an awesome feeling
at the age of 5 or 6.
The other bit we learned about tying a bowline
was that the horse could pull back and tighten it
and it could still be untied.
This was a big lesson about more than a knot
or just tying a horse.
If you take the time to do something right the first time,
later when you come back to it
life will be made easier on all accounts.
Lessons like that seem to be a rarity anymore.
What a shame.
One knot/braid I knew how to do years ago was a spliced hondo.
I could take a few of those loose strands
and weave them back into the rope to make a handy loop at the end.
By knowing that one "knot," I could make a lasso out of just about
any sort of rope, string, or twine.
This enables one to make the easiest halter or harness ever
for critters of all kinds.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've used this.
I was just going to grab a pix off the internet figuring there would be plenty.
There were none!
So maybe there are folks who don't know how to do this.
I found a piece of rope and call Rip - our trusty K9 companion.
Put the loop around the neck, then take the tale of the rope
behind the front legs, up and back under the neck loop.
For a halter, put the loop over the muzzle with the knot under the chin, 
tale up around the ears, then back through the loop again under the chin.
Also, do you know how difficult it is to get a picture of the back of a dog
that thinks you called him to play with him?


And strands of a different kind:
Strand ~ 1
Gracie is fixed!  :-)
She actually went no farther than Dr. Hubby.
Since she is in a cabinet, transporting her
with sketchy weather wasn't working out.
She no longer stalls then revs 100 mph.
I was so happy when testing her out.
She's back to the "ol' reliable" Gracie I know and love.
Mrs. Kirksey will be staying until her quilt top is assembled.
She's having a nice time and has completed 88 of the 136 blocks
needed for the top.
More on this soon.

Strand ~ 2
The floods have subsided and any vehicle associated with road
maintenance is in full action across 2 counties.
We just heard yesterday that from 1 rock-pit,
there were 93 semi trucks of rip rap that all went up the river.
That's just in 1 day!
It truly is amazing how such an event can occur,
and we humans march on.
Many folks are now trying to deal with insurance companies
or make life decisions because they did not have flood insurance.
(Many of the places flooded were not in flood zones.)
Again I am so thankful that we have only some hardscaping/landscaping 
issues to address - including replacing some riprap.
Moving water amazes me.
Huge 3-6 foot boulders completely carried away.
PS~ they just got the road between here and work reopened so we don't have to go the zig-zaggy way through town and crazy people.

Strand ~ 3
It's nearly spring! 
Not yet, but nearly.
I feel again this February much like I have in Februarys of the past.
It's that hanging onto winter but looking forward to spring.
Many of you have your seed catalogs dogeared and marked up.
If you are interested in planting by the moon 
or just some good garden advice, 
one book I like is Granny Miller's 'Garden Farming".
I have no affiliation with Amazon or Granny Miller.
I have both of her books and appreciate her sensible straightforwardness.

Strand ~ 4
I am taking a CAD class.
It's going well, but quite the learning curve.
Old dog, new tricks.
I like it, but wow there's a lot to remember: which little icon goes with which function and where to find the 1 of 52(?) drop down menus I'm looking for - oy!
The plan in addition to being able to do our own detail drawings for work
is to be able to design our retirement home.
This will be a bit of a long term project 
since we have a few years before retirement.
I've heard "live with your plans for a year before building."
I like that since in most cases, we are excited in the beginning 
and more apt to overlook something simple that might annoy us later on.
Remember that lesson from age 5-6 - 
do it right the first time.

Do you know how to tie a knot using 4 strands rather than just 2?
Ah now c'mon, you can do it.
It's fun.
Having knowledge even when it's not in use is still valuable.
And, before you think I'm all seriousness and have no sense of humor,
here's a very special sort of knot.
When we were kids, there was occasionally someone who shared
this with us, and we loved it.


Have a beautiful day!