Sunday, June 28, 2015

First Day Musings: What Really Matters....

open source photo

Most of my life I have struggled with my self-image. I was the tallest kid in class when I was in fourth grade -- a full 5'5" with the curves and bumps to match. All the boys oogled me; I slumped and dressed to hide the 21-year-old figure I had been blessed with a bit too early. At 16, I became anorexic, starving myself down to a shadowy 100 pounds, wearing size 14 girl's clothing, and loathing myself because I thought my thighs were too big and my boobs, well, they were far to obvious. By 21, I was at least 110 pounds, but still constantly concerned about my size and the scale. I weighed every day, cut my food to nothing until the numbers were "acceptable" and start the treadmill over again. 

When the Airman was born, I was "normal" weight, but I wore my regular clothes home from the hospital. He weighed a full eight pounds and six ounces, so I had made sure to eat properly and take care of giving him the best possible start -- even stopping caffeine and sugar to ensure he was healthy as possible. 

Then, the battle of the scales started again. 

I have been fat, thin, svelte, and all points in between. However, now, entering my seven decade, I realize that this fabulous body I have can do all things -- I unload 50-pound bags of feed alone; throw 60-pound hay bales; groom dogs; garden; canoe; bike (motorcycle and regular bicycle); trim goat hooves; paint houses, walls, and floors; and, about anything else I desire. I have come to accept that my weight really doesn't matter. Yes, I would like to be trimmer, but, perhaps all those years of abuse has taken a toll on my metabolism. Doctors say so, thus, it must be true, right? 

Regardless, I am grateful for this body of mine for all it does to serve the spirit within. Here, at my seventh decade, I see others the same age who are more limited in what they are able to accomplish or struggle with daily pain and diminishing strength. I am grateful that I still have a healthy appetite, enjoy my food, and able to keep moving. I am grateful to my Creator for allowing me to have a body that, in spite of days when I am sore or tired, will still allow me to help others; pet my dogs, cats, goats, and pigs; knit; raise terrific tomatoes and potatoes; spend a day with my Mother and Daddy strolling their farm; cuddle a baby or wrestle an errant kid. Life is good and comes only in one size -- extra large!

Strength and well-being are really all that matters. And I have a healthy dose of both! How is yours?

Friday, June 26, 2015


Summer brings so many wonderful scents, but I am certain that these are what heaven smells like....

Mini-roses, new to my garden this year

Homemade bread... with butter... and our honey...
Hay in any form -- rolls, bales, or stacks
Geraniums that I over Wintered

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful,
for beauty is God's handwriting.
~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Assignments....

One of the biggest chores this summer is just finishing projects. They range from house to fiber to yard / garden to... well, you see how it goes... Always something more to add to the list!

I have set out a list of projects that must be done before I return to campus. These are the ones that I think are MOST important and probably wouldn't make other people's list At All.

Spinning mohair / wool /nylon from Serial Knitters in Seattle.  

Setting the twist on handspun from Riverslea Farm NH. (Hi, Liz!)

Knitting a baby blankie from Cascade Cherub Aran. (Love this fiber! Sooo soft!)    

It has been in the 90s here which is highly unusual. So, staying inside and playing with wool or fiber is a delicious way to spend the day.

When I am not playing with fiber, I have been sorting One More Time to clean out space. We are doing some serious downsizing and many things have to go. The first time through, well, a lot of things didn't go. The second time, though, it is easier to let those things go that are not sentimental, heirlooms, or beautiful. I can't express how freeing it is to see things go to others who will be able to give them a good home. I'm going to miss the Mister - hahahahaha.

How are you staying cool??

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Where have all the men gone?

Today is my Father's 60th Father's Day and it has me thinking about how fathers have changed during my lifetime.

My father took his first job when he was 11 delivering groceries for Mr. Poore. He made 10-cents an hour and all deliveries were made on foot. Did I mention that he walked the three miles to and from work after school everyday? No wonder he was 145-pounds at 6'5". He kept a dollar for himself and the rest he gave to his Mother. He also helped her in the garden, hand dug her well, painted her house, and made all the household repairs until he left for the Army.

His Army service was in Germany after the war as a civil engineer specialist. While there, he met a gypsy who read his palm. He'd marry a red-headed nurse, have four children, and be very successful in life. She was right.

Returning home from Germany, he discovered his mother had given all his clothes to his eldest brother who was in seminary. All his pay had gone to support that brother and his next eldest who was in college. He took his first job as a salesman wearing his Army uniform for the first week until he got paid. And, he abandoned his dream of engineering school as his money was all gone.

The year I was four my Mother had cancer and my brother died. Her bills alone were over $5000. Daddy only earned $5500. He raised a garden, cooked for us, cared for us, and buried my brother with money he earned working and from extra jobs around our community. He took no handouts and probably no one knew how tough things were. 

Now, 60 years later, he still works every day.

He still calls my Mother "Baby" and hands her his wallet when she is leaving home for anything and says, "Do you have any money, baby? Take whatever you need. Is it enough?"

He worries about his children and grandchildren, but won't call. Instead, he has Mother call, who says, "Your Father is worried because you haven't called in two days. Is everything okay? Need anything?"

He flies a flag every day in honor of his grandson and wife. He is proud of their service and tells everyone that his two grandchildren proudly serve in the U.S. Air Force. He had a sign painted that hangs on his barn that declares, "My Grandson and Granddaughter Proudly Serve in the U.S. Air Force" along with an Air Force flag.

He sings in church, serves on committees, and is honored to have been a deacon for 60 years. 

He carefully checks the church bulletin for prayer needs and sends cards, money, or visits every one on the list over the course of the week. He always takes fresh eggs or produce to each shut-in he visits because he believes that blessings multiply.

Lest you think he is a saint, he also taught me to swear while plumbing, how to fight injustice or just 'cause I believe I am right, and to tell bawdy jokes whenever I can. He taught me to stand taller than I am to be sure I am never pushed around, stand up for myself, and never, ever, ever, let a man dominate me.

So, to me, this is what a man and father is. He is brave, tender, hard-working, devoted, supportive, generous, considerate, loving, and proud. He stands up and takes responsibility. He has become sadly missing in today's society. Where have all the men gone?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Well, My Darings...

I've been away for quite a while and have decided it is time to return to my blog. However, there will be changes. Still going to write about my farm, life, and so forth. But, other things may show up from time-to-time. I am not remarkable nor do I have a remarkable life, by the world's standards. It is, though, remarkable to be alive. The world is beautiful... more so every single day.

How can one not think so when there are sights such as these to be enjoyed just for the sitting and, well, opening one's eyes??

Or a hysterically funny deaf cat who watches ceiling fans...

Or a pantry full of homegrown goodness for the winter...

What brings you joy?