Tuesday, December 27, 2016

the prequel and the sequel to christmas

my post from yesterday
about christmas
actually flowed right out of me while i was writing in my journal on christmas morning
i'm going to share what i wrote

*christmas morning
up at 5:30 to water the chickens
quiet in my room (my bubby cave)
kitty & coffee
looked at internet
a video on Voskamp
i need a techno break
right. now.
there is too much of the world that comes into my life through SCREENS.
i.   can't.    handle.     it.
church.  i'm not feeling like going.  i would much rather go off into the woods.
God is with me.
i don't need to go to church to find Him.
i don't need to go to church to satisfy a legalistic need to participate in organized religion.

yep.  i wrote that.  then my post from yesterday just flowed out onto the paper.
sometimes you just need to write it.  get it out.  some things are worth sharing.  most is not, and thankfully i don't.

what i wrote above.....about church........
it had NOTHING to do with church.
it had EVERYTHING  to do with ME!
i get people overload.
i get situational overload (i may have just made that up but its real, people)
can i get an amen?

in the woods i can talk to God.  i can sing, i can pray, i can cry! or i can do nothing at all and just sit quiet before Him.

let's face it.
the boundaries are there.  the line you have to toe.  everyone likes to pretend it's not, but it is.
the judgments are there.  everyone likes to pretend they are not.  but they are.
we are all human.  i get it.  and i'm honest.  at least here.

so, when i'm already emotionally drained......
church is the last place i need to go!
again, i'm talking about me.  i'm talking about what i know is best for me.
when i go to church i have to "put my game face on"

this post is NOT about church
yada, yada, yada
i get it
don't preach it to me
don't forsake it
i don't
i just don't crave it
........maybe if i lived under a rock from monday through saturday and had no contact at all with other christian people............
but i don't

this seems rambling and all over the place but i'm getting to the good stuff, i promise.

this morning i went back to my regular bible study in the morning.  i had been studying isaiah before the advent break.
i opened my bible to where i needed to begin again

isaiah 29
v 1  what sorrow awaits Ariel, the city of David.  year after year you celebrate your feasts.
v2  yet I will bring disaster upon you and there will be much weeping and sorrow

i won't go on.......
i found this passage interesting
ironic even
in light of my brain dump about christmas

God works in mysterious ways.  

Monday, December 26, 2016

thank you Lord, its over for another year!

think about it.
think about the excess.
excess decorations....lights.....food.....gifts......
most of it is nonsense.
there is no "awe" in that.
if there is, then it's the "awe" of excess.
is it just americans?  i think most of the world can't nearly afford this excess.  and that most of the world could live...eat....have clean water and a roof for the amount the average american spends on christmas frivolity.
how do we justify this?  i think it's impossible to justify it.
the "celebration" of christmas as we know it is totally about giving in to the flesh.
sure......there are some spiritual "moments"
but it is OVERWHELMINGLY a physical, irreverent celebration.
too much food is consumed.
too much money is spent.
it is about more.  more things.  "what do i buy so and so, what do i buy for dinner, what do i buy for breakfast"  it's all about more.  everything is bigger in christmasland.

the "celebration" of christmas is completely opposite of what we should be concentrating on.
more of God.
more peace.
more stillness.
more prayer.

there are two sides to the christmas dilemma.  in both instances i will be talking about "christian" celebrations.
one side throws themselves into it with wild abandon.  embracing and enjoying everything about christmas.
the other side shuns it altogether.  they see the paganess and excesses and can't justify any of it.
there are those like me.
those whose hearts and minds are torn between the physical and the spiritual aspects of this celebration.
the christmas celebration has pagan roots.  there is no denying the truth so we won't argue the point.  it is mostly paganism wrapped up with a shiny bow.

the santa aspect represents childhood fantasy, which i totally support.  but why does santa need a tree to put the gifts under?  and why does santa have to bring PILES of gifts?  excess is the reason why.  americans love the excess.

since the majority of the rituals surrounding christmas have roots in paganism, we must choose carefully and sparingly what we participate in.
if only christmas could be more like thanksgiving, and thanksgiving could be an every day event.

shouldn't we acknowledge daily our need for a savior?  and that one was provided?  shouldn't we celebrate continually that God came for us?  that He came right down here to rescue us all if we only let Him?
why we set aside one day to excessively acknowledge this while feeding our own flesh is beyond me, and it is a shame.
why we only pull out the Nativity and wonder at the story once a year is beyond my comprehension.  this needs to change if WE are to change.

i will tell you why christmas is celebrated once a year.  it is a celebration that is tied to the pagan celebration of the solstice.  it is chained to the pagan worship of the sun god.

why can we not break these chains?  the pull of the "world" is strong.  it is hard and seemingly impossible to do things differently than everyone else.

can we "celebrate"  the fact that God came down here to get us, sent Jesus to be a man among us, die for our sins, pay the price, so we may come before God blameless, if we only choose that?  can we celebrate that?
how about
every day instead of saving it for december?

what would the practical application of this celebration....all year long.....look like?
let's brainstorm
regular family dinners
inviting friends,
inviting acquaintances  for coffee, lunch, dinner, to go for a walk, to talk....
turn off the screens.  be more conscious of what else you could be doing.  write someone a letter, a note, a card....make a phone call.....pop in for a visit......make the effort
open your eyes for everyday needs, every day.
get someone a gift or make someone a gift.......for no reason at all other than you were thinking of them.......just because......
infuse your life with Godly things:  books, music, video? (oh be careful little eyes, ears, feet, etc....)
keep the Nativity our all years.  light a Jesus candle every night.
make simple times special
invite God into every moment.

i pray that God will bless our efforts to excessively  invite Him into our every day instead of just the one day.

Friday, November 4, 2016

what's going on?

i have come to the conclusion that if i'm going to make my blogs like others i read then i need to take more pictures.
and since all of the pictures i take are of my grandbabies, then my blog would only be about them!

so here is what's going on

home organizing and cleaning:  my winter clothes are in and summer ones are out!  some went to the rag bag!  i tend to wear the same things over and over and over again.  went through my bookshelf and weeded out a small stack for goodwill.  i need to get on a cleaning schedule now that i am home every day.  it would make it so i didn't have to think.

crafting:  i made a no sew fleece blanket for sophie in purple camo!
cooking:  apples, apples, apples!!!  i went apple picking 3 times and i think i picked about 100 lbs!
so far i've made a ton of applesauce, six pie fillings, and a few apple cakes.  i'm going to make a couple dozen jumbo apple muffins and a few more apple desserts to keep in the deep freeze.

outside:  cutting down trees, raking leaves, cleaning the garage, and winterizing the coop.  the garden cleaned up so easily this year with having the chickens right there to feed the spent plants to!  i've also been working on a new garden area.
we cut our own wood

charlie keeping warm first thing in the morning.  we have yet to turn on the furnace this season

family:  lots of birthday celebrations lately and family visits.  these boys all love getting together.  their favorite thing to do now is to play hide and seek (charlie calls it hide and sneak)
the television goes on when the grown ups need a break!

school:  cruising right along with prepping lesson plans for sarah to teach ethan.  I hear that calvin is paying lots of attention and learning lots too.  maybe they can be in the same grade at some point since they are only 18 months apart in age?  i've also started to put together a learning packet for charlie at his mom's request.  with winter on our doorstep it will be perfect learning time!

faith:  every morning i do bible writing.  i'm in isaiah 24 right now and its very interesting.  learning a lot.  also attend a bible study with a couple friends and we are studying Girls Gone Wise.  AND, i also do a bible study on facebook for me and the girls, right now its Conversation Peace. 

well, that's it from the wink!  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

how the lazy fat man was used by God to change my life

I was going to make a post telling a story about how frustratingly difficult the last six months at my job had been.

I was going to make a post telling about how I was laying the blame for me losing my client and subsequently making the decision to walk away from my job, fully on my immediate supervisor.

I was going to make a post about how I had no support from anyone at the company while going through a difficult period with my client.

I was going to make a post about how all the company cares about is "growing" the company, not the level of care or appropriate staffing, not to mention the low wages and apparent wastefulness of taxpayer dollars.

But I'm not going to.

I am going to make a post about how God used these people to point me back where I needed to go.

I am going to make a post about how God is telling me that I can make a much greater impact on the world if I FULLY pour myself back into my home and family.

I am going to make a post about how I thank the lazy fat man for being lazy, for being useless to me..............

.......because of the lazy fat man I am doing a greater work.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Work six days

The example that God gave us.

Work six days, and on the seventh you can rest.

God did not work for five days and then party all weekend.

God did not work for three days and then spend the rest laying around on the sofa watching television. (I believe that the tv is a human invention that God must really DISLIKE because it causes so many of us not to work, and is also a portal that brings the sinful world into our homes)

We were created to work.
Even before the fall, in the garden, we were clearly told to work.
God told us to take care of what He had given to us.

If you don't work you don't eat.  That pretty much sums it up.  If you don't do something to contribute to your own well being and survival, if you don't take care of what you have been given, then you will be in a place of dependence on others.  There are those who truly need to depend on others:  the elderly, the disabled, children.  They need others to work harder so they will be taken care of.

However, we must have the mindset that there is work for everyone.  Work is not just reserved for the able-bodied people between the ages of 22-65.  We all must work!

Now, when I speak of work, don't confuse it with "employment".  Work is everything you do for yourself and others to ensure that all needs are covered.  Work is also being creative: building, painting, sewing, etc.  Hobbies are a form of work!  These are skills so we should put them to good use.

Your workday does not end when you leave your place of employment. (unless you just worked a 12+ hour day of manual labor)  Think about all of the needs of your home and family.  If you work outside the home, you should still come home and do your "chores"  Your home and property still have needs.  When you come home from work and sit in front of the tv your home will fall into disrepair.  Work.  Take pride in what you have been given.

If you are a woman whose work place is the home, then it should be a steady march through your day from sun up until bedtime.  There are plenty of hours in a day to take care of children, keep the home clean and tidy, and prepare healthy food for your family.  Your husband deserves to come home to a clean home and a good meal after working all day.

If both husband and wife work outside the home then home chores should be divided based on time spent outside the home and difficulty of jobs.  I won't even address this same scenario with children in the equation because I believe the only place for a mother to work is in the home with her family.

This post was inspired by my observation of my husbands work ethic.  He worked long hours for many years to support our family and enable me to be home.  Early on he pieced together two jobs to make ends meet, and then a job that had him leaving the house at 6:30 am and returning at 7:30 pm five days a week.  Every Saturday he would spend time working on things that needed to be done around the house in addition to playing with the kids.  Sunday was usually church and rest and play.

Even now, as empty nesters, he works a part time job.  He does not sit around and do nothing the rest of the time.  He works hard to maintain our home and property.  He builds stuff.  He helps others do stuff.  He plays his guitar and learns new music.  He works on wood all year practically in one way or another so that we can be warm in the winter.  He helps me with projects and he spends time with his grandchildren.

He worked steadily from the time he had a newspaper route and he still works now.  If you don't work, what is there? (remember what I said work was defined as)

I feel sorry for the younger generations that waste so much time in front of the television.  Or playing video games.  What the heck is up with that?  So unproductive.

So, to summarize my thoughts,

whether you are young or old, able or not, male or female,

find your work and do it.  The world will be a much better place if you do.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Honor you mother and father

I don't have a relationship with my mother.  My father is gone now and I didn't have much of one with him either.  There has been no disrespect.  No fights.  No words.  Just different lives.  Different opinions.  One wants everything on their terms only.  And one doesn't.  One wants to live and let live. The other one doesn't.

There are some who say that by not having a relationship with them is breaking God's commandment to honor you parents.  I don't think it does, but I can't be totally sure.  I guess God will tell me someday.

In the meantime, I guess, I could go over the scriptures with a fine toothed comb and come up with a bunch of references that support my position.  The position that it's best for my emotional well being to be "disconnected".  That it's better for my spiritual well being to not have to compromise my faith in order to have a relationship.

Of course I could also find many references that support the cause of making amends, having a relationship, keeping the peace.  Even if it goes against all I really feel is best.

sigh...........I guess I will just wait on God to tell me Himself which way is right.

And in the meantime, I will have to rely on God's forgiveness.............I know He understands this complex human dilemma.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Whats going on?

Here is what is going on around these parts these days.....

Home:  I love it here!  I could stay here and never leave...unless I was going to get a grand boy or girl!
I worked on reorganizing the really big bookshelf in my craft room.  Jeff just built me an even bigger one this week!  It's going in the dining room.  I need more space to store books and toys I don't want the kids to have free reign with.  So I will be off loading my old bookshelf and organizing the new one as soon as he gets it in and anchored to the wall.

Cooking:  I'm trying to get back into making a menu, then shopping, then actually sticking with the plan!

So far in the last couple of weeks i have made a pumpkin pie and a dutch apple pie.  Both are totally gone!  The next pies I make will go into the freezer that is for sure.  I also made pumpkin butter in the crock pot and it came out really good.  I used pumpkin flesh that I had cooked last year, scooped out and stuck in the freezer.  I just took it out and let it drain really well and then pureed it in the food processor.

Garden:  I've slowly been pulling up spent plants and feeding them to the chickens.  This way the beds will gradually get cleaned out over the next few weeks.  The sun is moving much lower across the sky and my garden is half in the shade now.  I am going to build some new beds next year in other areas around the yard to take advantage of sunnier spots and the plan is to concentrate on a couple beds being veggies that can grow in the shade!  I cut all of my basil yesterday and its all ready for me to make pesto later on today.
I am now getting 2 eggs daily.  I'm hoping the other 7 start laying soon and continue through the winter months.  I'm already keeping a light on in the coop to make sure they get about 14 hours of light.

Work:  Well!  I gave my notice at my job and my last day will be the 14th of October.  I will only be working 1 day a week for the next couple of weeks, so essentially, I'm done.  It is sad, but also a big relief.  Things went downhill in the last few months and got to the point that they couldn't be fixed.  So the plan is for me to take off the next six months and then look for something else.  All I'm going to want is 1 day a week.  I'm thinking a craft store???

Family:  Everyone was over yesterday for lunch and haircuts.  Jeff is the barber of the family.  He did 7 haircuts yesterday.  He had a couple whiners and one all out crier.  But he got the job done!

Health:  I'm trying to walk again.  I have Achilles tendinitis and it is a nuisance!  I'm remembering to stretch before walking and to ice after.  I'm sticking to 30 minutes or less and it's mostly on the treadmill.  I've put notes up on the fridge to remind me to take my supplements:
I started taking cod liver oil + vitamin d in addition to a B-complex, and turmeric (golden paste)
The B-complex gives me more energy and the turmeric helps with my aches and pains (and mood too, I think)  The cod liver oil is supposed to help with lots of things, primarily immune.  We shall see.

Until next time!

Friday, September 23, 2016

civil unrest

I am pretty far removed from the civil unrest that seems to be plaguing the more populated areas of this country.  The state of Maine has a low minority population.  That is not why I moved here.  I moved here because it has a low population, white or otherwise!

I don't have any answers to the problems in this country, other than looking to God in prayer to guide us and help us.  Without the Holy Spirit guiding us in love we will be lost.  We will be guided by our own human thoughts and desires.

My thoughts on the whole police vs. black citizens issues are this:

we are seeing the results of a society that has turned its back on God.  Descriptions of such a society are in scripture.  We know it, we are seeing it.  If the majority of young people are educated in a public system that denies God, then we are going to reap the rotten fruit of a spiritless society.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that every child that attends public schools will grow up to deny God.  But they will not have a strong enough faith to withstand the onslaught of false teachings and thoughts that exist in this world.  They will not be strong enough to not want to be like everyone else.  That is what we are seeing. Its sheep mentality.  Take one away and you can teach them.  When they are in a herd, they want to think like the herd.  This is truth.

Protesting?  I approve of peaceful protests that don't infringe on anyone else's right to peace.
Rioting, Looting, Destroying is not protesting.  It is anarchy.
It does nothing to further your cause.  It puts everyone else on edge and then it's inevitable that more lives will be lost.  Because of fear.  I can't say I can understand the fear a black person has.  I can't say I can understand the fear a police officer has.  They both have fear.  Both of their fears are justifiable.

I am your average "white" wife, mother, grandmother.  I home schooled.  I taught my children to respect authority.  I taught my children to work hard.  There are no really easy, good jobs here in our neck of the woods, but I taught them to work for what they wanted.  Do whatever it takes.  Any job. Just do it.  We could have given them anything they wanted.  But we didn't.  They had to earn it.  Their love and fear of God factors into everything they do.  They were never young people who ran amok.  I've never been inner city dirt poor so i don't have that perspective.  I've never been upper class white suburban either.  Those seem to be the two classes of people that are out there causing the violence.  The rest are just trying to keep on going, working and praying, black and white.  Just trying to protect their families.

If you want your "world" to be a certain way then you have to go out and "create" it.  If you create it by violence then it will be a violent world.  If you create it by serving God through loving your family and loving others and working hard to provide what is needed, then your world will be peaceful and orderly.

The choice is yours.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What's going on?

Here is what's going on!

Home:  Just when you think you have a plan for how your home should be......it will change!  I have been planning on making my dining room into just a dining room.  What was I thinking?!   I was thinking of getting a few pieces of furniture (jelly cupboards) to store my serving pieces in (which are in totes in a closet at the moment)  I've decided to get a piece of fitness equipment instead.  That is what is going in the dining room because the room we use for fitness equipment (previously a bedroom) is full and we can't place it well in there.  Health trumps fancy storage plain and simple.  So I am going through stuff and what has no meaning is going to Goodwill.  Hubby is building a really large bookshelf for me because the one I have is too small so I will utilize the very top shelves of that for some of the platters and serving pieces I use a lot.  For now.

Crafting:  I'm adding this category because I am a crafter!  I dabble in a lot of different things.  This week I went to Joann Fabrics and spent 2 hours walking around and deciding on a pattern (for baby granddaughter stuff) and fabrics for a few different sewing projects.  This week we crafted these pumpkins from scrap wood.  Hubby cut and sanded and I painted.  We are a team on the wink!

Garden:  Still picking green beans and some cucumbers.  There are a few little pumpkins still growing and my dwarf sunflowers bloomed.  Late, but then again I planted them late.  I pruned my raspberries, transplanted some back into line and mulched heavily with straw.  The blueberries got a heavy mulch of pine needles.  I worked on my compost pile  which is growing crazy since I got chickens because of the straw from the pen.  I keep the pen nice and dry so I change out the straw weekly.  Otherwise I've been doing some fall weeding in different flower beds.  The leaves are changing and some are falling here in northern New England.  I've been pulling up random plants that are done producing and feeding them to the chickens.  They loved the squash plants!  This way I will get the garden all cleaned up in bits and pieces.

Family:  We had a family get together yesterday for our son's 30th birthday.  This is my second child to hit this milestone age!  His party was planned and executed by his wife.  I didn't bake the cake, but I did get to frost the cupcakes.  Ask me if I liked not being in charge of my son's birthday cake.  I dare you! haha!  We have six grandchildren, 5 of them being boys 2 1/2 to 5 years of age.  I was ready to go home at the end of the party.  I don't always hold my tongue when it comes to behaviors I see, I really was trying yesterday and I didn't always succeed.  I have to remember that they are not my children and my input is not always welcome.

Home school:  We had a picnic on Wednesday for our grandson's first official day of homeschooling.  As I previously mentioned, I purchased the Horizons preschool curriculum from Alpha and Omega.  I take their lesson plan and rewrite it into an outline for my daughter in law and son to follow.  Then I assemble everything they will need to complete the lessons, crafts, activities, etc.  I love doing this! It is a start and a learning process as we go along.

Work:  This past week I only worked 10 hours!  I loved it.  This is what I want and I can't seem to get right now.  The company I work for knows what I want, but we are always so short staffed.  I usually work 20 hours a week, but this week I have 35 scheduled hours.  I am going to try to whittle that down a bit to 30 and I am going to take lots of deep breaths.

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

don't call me Miss Karen

Do you allow children to call you by your first name?

It's time to correct the wrongs committed by my generation.  When I was a child in the 1960's, I don't recall ever calling any adult by their first name.  It was Aunt, Uncle, Mr. Mrs.  It was respectful.  It's what you were taught to do.

Then the 1970's came along with all of the so -called "freedoms" and the respect went right out the window.  some people even went so far as to use first names with their parents!!

When my generation started their families, it became popular to call neighbors, babysitters, teachers, nearly every adult in a child's life by their first names.  I think some people thought it respectful to teach their kids to say "Miss Karen" instead of "Mrs. Smith".  It's not.

Living in the North, we were not raised to say "ma'am" and "sir".  I'm not sure why we weren't taught that way, but it is kind of sad.

I would like to see my grandchildren taught to speak respectfully to all adults and to not use their first names.  This is a little off-topic, but I don't like the habit of giving titles to people.  An example would be calling people "aunt" or "uncle"  when they are not related.  This is confusing to children.

I also would like to see my grandchildren speak to adults using the titles "ma'am" and "sir"  We teach them to say "please" and "thank you"  Let's teach them to use respectful titles when speaking to their elders. If we require it when they are young, then it will become habit.

It's not to late to start this!  This current generation is ready and willing to learn!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

what's going on?

We have been having a bit of a drought here along the downeast maine coast, but last night and this morning it rained A LOT!  That should help a bit!  It has also been warm and humid the last few days and this evening I have had to shut down all of the windows its so chilly.  Yesterday we cleaned the stovepipe so I know those chilly fall days are coming right along!

Home:  I have been trying really hard to keep a to-do list for all of the projects I need to do or want to do around the house.  The problem is that when I'm in the midst of one project I find more to write down so the list just grows!  But I love being home and doing home-related things, so it's a good thing!  I have been trying to pare things down a bit and simplify my life a little more so there is a box in the back of my van to take to goodwill.  That is a feeling I like.

Garden:  Julie picked a bowl full of green beans today and I picked a couple of wanky cucumbers!  I still have kale and swiss chard that I feed to my chickens because I didn't plant much.  There are a few baby bear pumpkins coming on and turning orange.  The zinnias and the cosmos are beautiful.  I didn't dry herbs this year because I still have so much from last year.  But I did make some flavored vodkas!  I made chocolate mint vodka and anise hyssop vodka.  I made simple syrup to keep in the fridge to add to it.  Yummm!

Family:  Everyone was over today and it was a wonderful day.  I wasn't sure what to make for lunch so I went through the freezer and came up with ingredients for a breakfast casserole to which I added pumpkin bread and white bread, salad, cantaloupe, and glazed carrots.  Then I made chocolate chip cookie bars and ice cream for dessert.  The boys all played well together and little miss Sophie got happily handed around the room for everyone to enjoy!  I love those times when a gathering all goes well.

Work:  I've had another stressful and somewhat aggravating week.  But there is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.  At the end of this month I should be able to cut my scheduled hours back to 15.  I will probably have 20 hours still but only if I choose to.  What I really want is to be scheduled 10 hours and fill in when needed and I want.  We will see what happens.

Homeschool:  Ethan (4) will "officially" start homeschool preschool this Wednesday.  We are going to kick off the school year with a picnic and playdate at the park.  I've been preparing his lesson plans from Horizon curriculum (A & O)  I gather what is needed and give his parents the lessons to teach.  They are responsible for the extras like arts and crafts and what not.  I will keep all of these lesson plans to use for all of the rest as they come along.

Wishing everyone a terrific week!

Friday, September 2, 2016

pig's snout

Proverbs 11:22

A beautiful woman who lacks discretion
is like a gold ring
in a pig's snout.

I came across this description a few days ago in my bible study as I was looking something else up.

Something in my jumbled head said "write about this"

so here I go:

discretion:  the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.

I'm going to talk about having discretion in the way a woman dresses.  Dressing in such a way that you keep what should be private, private.

This summer I've been nursing a sore heel.  Since I think doctors are a waste of time and money (for the most part)  I diagnosed myself as having achilles tendinitis and prescribed stretching and resting.  I did this using Google, of course.


I have spent a lot of time out in public......sitting and waiting for my client rather than walking, walking, walking.  Some call it "people watching"  Mostly at Walmart.

I have seen more skin, tattoos, and piercings this summer than I care to tell you.  I am disgusted.
And before you think that its a worldly problem, I gotta say it happens at church also.  I now have a new rule for church, if someone is dressed inappropriately (in my opinion)  I leave.

Now, here is an admission:  I wore some short shorts back in the day.  And out in public at times.  But, here is the point.  I was never taught any better and when I learned how a woman should dress I changed and taught my daughter the right way.

So, I can't "make" woman dress modestly.  I can't make them wear shorts and skirts and shirts of a longer length  I can't make them cover up their cleavage and their crack.  I can't make them act like a lady.  If they want to be like a pig with a gold ring in their nose with which they are led around by the whims of the world, then so be it.

The funny thing about the inappropriate attire is that women say its unfair to put restrictions on how they dress.  You know what is unfair?  Women think they are being treated "equal" when they are really being exploited in the name of fairness.

Friday, August 19, 2016

What's going on?

Here's what's going on in my world this week!

We are headed toward fall.  The season of green leaves is so short in northern new england.  There are already touches of yellow and red here and there in the woods on the wink.  We will still have warm weather (well, warm for us) and some humid days, but the wild sprint through summer is almost over.
When the crickets start to sing, you know it.  The stores are full of autumn and I even bought a few things myself yesterday at the Christmas Tree Shop.

Home:  I have been plugging along on some organizational things.  Mostly still getting paperwork under control and streamlined.  With the cooler weather coming I am planning on painting the master bedroom, already bought the paint.  Then this winter we will think about replacing the 18 year old carpet with new carpet.  As I have gotten older allergies have gone away and Jeff says he prefers the carpet over wood.  So this decision will be his!  We are having house guests for the next week, so I am putting off starting my big photo organization project until after Labor Day.

Work:  Things have been much better with my client.  So many things have gotten under control and it is more like it used to be.  It was a wild ride for a few months there--I almost gave up and quit--I'm glad I didn't.  I'm getting used to working the four days (20 hr)  and I won't mind picking up a little more until winter comes.

Garden:  All I am picking so far is flowers (glads and zinnias)  and green beans.  There are a few summer squash growing, but I know next year I have to hand pollinate.  cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers had a late start, and then not enough rain, but I will still get some through the next month or so.  The cucs actually look really good right now.   Picking wild black raspberries by the handful up along the driveway.  This year there is a ton of them, but there is also a wasp nest near them so it's a bit sketchy to pick!

Family:  The littles are all growing up.....sniff, sniff.....and running around like crazy.  Their favorite thing right now is to race each other across the back lawn (and I was thinking of turning it into gardens)  oh well.  They also love to go on "bear hunts"  up the trail out back.  One of our favorite books is "Going on a Bear Hunt"  Little baby girl is so cute and so snuggly, and is becoming more independent.  Looking forward to the next grandchild coming in February.

Misc:  I just purchased Horizons Preschool curriculum (alpha & omega) for Ethan to work through this year.  I will continue to put together book packets (books and activities that go along) and his parents will make sure he touches all the bases he should.  I like the Charlotte Mason method of learning using good books.  This will be a good introduction to homeschooling for his mom and dad.  I didn't home school the very early grades with my kids, but I did use the Lifepacs from A&O and I really liked them.

well, there you go!  Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 15, 2016

A letter to young mothers

disclaimer:  this is written to stay at home mothers, not career women.

Dear young mother,

Don't let your kids biggest memories of growing up be of riding in the car to this activity and that activity, this adventure and that adventure.  Kids biggest memories of growing up should center around their own backyard.

No wonder the current generation of mothers is so concerned about car seats and what not!  Their kids spend endless hours strapped into them being carted all over God's green earth!

Stay home!  That's what kids want to do!  Make your adventures happen at home and make memories at home!
Stay home!  You are paying lots of money to own a home.  Live in it, love it, embrace it, and create it!!

When all of the fun times and adventures happen away from the home, then kids will be bored at home.

Stay home!  Build forts, set up a pool & sprinkler, make cookies, do crafts, etc.  And in those quiet moments when the kids are occupied in some imaginative adventure then you should.............

Get to work!  Get your housework done in bits and pieces, but get it done!  Dishes, laundry, wiping down, sweeping up, do it daily then it won't build up.  Cook big and less often.  Make a menu and shop once a week then stay out of the stores!  Spend less money that way!

A husband who works all day deserves to come home to a restful and tidy home and a meal already prepared.  This is not 1950's nostalgia, it is still 2016 reality.

You are young, you can do it!!!  you have it in you!!! I have faith that you can do it! If you get your days into a rhythm there will be harmony.

Kids do not want to be dragged around and neither do husbands.  They want their home to be their sanctuary and it is your calling in life to make it just that.

Yours truly,

Old mother

Friday, August 12, 2016

what's going on?

I thought it was time to just do a daily life kind of blog post and not an opinion piece.  Although I love to voice my opinion!

So I'm going to try to break it down into categories if I can.

Home:  I've been trying to stay home as much as I can.  Home is my sanctuary.  The last few months my job has been very stressful and very overwhelming.  This may seen  funny to some people,  considering I only work part time (20 hours), but it's the type of work I do.
So we haven't been running around on the off days and we've mostly been staying put in the evenings.

Work:  Where do I start?  For the longest time I worked my 20 hours in 2 days.  In April it changed to 20 hours in 4 days.   Then circumstances arose that have made the last few months with my client very hard to deal with.  I'm hoping that we have peaked at the worst of it and that we are going to get calm again.  This week has been the first good week in months.  I would love to cut back to 10 hours a week, but I just don't see that happening right now because staffing needs are so great.

Garden:  I've identified another mistake I've been making since we moved here.  It could be contributing to my poor gardening skills:  I've been storing my shredded leaves under a couple of pine trees.  (palm to forehead)  Have I been screwing up the PH?  maybe.
Otherwise, I'm happier with the garden than I've been since I moved here and built it.  It has been a struggle to spend enough time out there.  I still don't, but I've spent more than normal and the results show.
 *We expanded one bed and built another one.  Now all of the available space in that area is used.
 *We have been collecting cardboard and lining the paths and putting down straw, so weeds are less.  * It has been a dry summer here in this part of Maine and I water each day, but I know it's not enough and I have even begun to water less because if the dryness continues I don't want my well to draw down.
 *We did plant a row of high bush blueberries & the raspberry row we planted last year gave us tons of pickings!
 *summer squash seems to be a bust again this year.  There are just not enough bees in the middle of the woods.  I've planted a lot more flowers, but it's not enough.  So I either have to be a bee keeper or pollinate the plants myself.  I don't see either one happening in the near future so I will just buy my squash from the farmer down the road.
 * I've grown some greens to feed the chickens, but I've been shopping the farmers market to feed me!

Family:  Our family is expanding!  Grand baby #7 will be coming along in February! Joe & Luke will be welcoming a new brother or sister.
  AND our daughter and son in law are buying a piece of land 2 miles from my house, on my road, and I am beyond happy about this!  I can walk there & back!!!  I can get skinny?????  hahaha, that won't happen because my daughter will feed me when I get there!

Anyway.....that is a little glimpse into my world.  Have a restful weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

social media = a distracted life

I signed out of facebook a week ago.  (deactivated)
I signed back in last night, looked around for about two minutes, and promptly signed back out. (deactivated)

Now, to be fair, I have another facebook account that only has three friends on it.  My daughter and two daughter in laws.  We use it to do bible study.  So, I can peek at pics of my grandchildren (which I don't really need to because they live right here) but not click like, not comment.  The downside to this is that the sidebar of trending topics is still there screaming a few lines of wordly filth at me.

What I've noticed this past week is that I'm praying more.  Now that's a biggie!!!!
My thoughts are clearer and I feel a lot calmer.  Reading all of that stuff on facebook world was causing me to have a jumbled head and an anxious heart.

I've already begun to fill up a notebook with future blogging posts and topics for posts to ponder.
I had accomplished a ton of stuff in the past week as far as my crafting, home organizing, gardening, and chickening go.

To sum it all up:  I feel soooooo much better!!!!

Am I abandoning facebook?  No.
Am I going to stay away longer?  Yes
Am I going to unfollow everything?  Yes
Will I clean up my friends list?  it's already in pretty tight shape, so I don't know.

I've been listening to Rich Mullins on Pandora Radio.
I wrote this line from a song down in my bible study notebook:

        Save me from those things that might distract me

the song goes on to say, I think:

       take them away and purify my heart
this is the goal.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

being responsible with alcohol

When I was growing up there was a shelf in the kitchen that served as the "bar"  It was loaded with alcohol at all times.  Whenever company came drinks were dispensed.  It then grew into daily drinks by our parents of their favorite spirits:  mint creme and amaretto, as I recall.  I don't remember beer being a staple, but I have memories of it being around and sips offered to children in the summer.

It is then surprising to me that only three out of six children grew into having problems with addiction; either at some point in their lives, or for their entire life to date.  The lack of parental guidance in all areas of life combined with the free acceptance of drinking alcoholic beverages on a regular basis played a significant part in the total dysfunction of the family.

Now I get personal.  I didn't drink anything alcoholic until I was eighteen years old.  I did not then go overboard and party like a crazy person, but alcohol was a pretty steady part of my life for the years that followed.  Looking back on my life now I can clearly see how I used alcohol to handle the stresses of life.  Hard day at work:  Have a drink!  Difficult day at home with the kids?  Have a drink! And I'm talking about beer or wine here.  Seems innocent enough to just take the edge off a little, doesn't it?

At some point I began to hear God speaking LOUDLY to my heart: "Karen, you have a pattern of reaching for a drink when you have a stressful day.  You are turning to alcohol instead of turning to Me."  I also continually heard Him saying "I want something different for your family."

That is when I made the decision that no alcohol would be kept in the house or consumed in front of the children.  Pretty extreme.  But necessary, and I have never regretted that decision.  When the kids grew up I loosened the reigns a bit because they had made it through the teen years without developing bad habits.

I now wish that I had kept the same strict guidelines for a longer period of time.  I now keep some alcohol in my house but I rarely to never have a "stress drink".  When I do I recognize it and acknowledge it as wrong behavior and worthy of re correcting.

There is no daily drinking in my home and usually weeks go by without an alcoholic drink.  But it is a tightrope walk and I must walk in a responsible, careful manner.  I enjoy an occasional beer or a glass of wine, or a cocktail.  But that is the key word right there:  occasional.

It is when it becomes a regular feature of your life, even one beer every day may indicate a problem.

What is more important is what message we are sending to our little ones.  Do we want them to think that drinking beer every day is okay?  Its not and I don't want them to grow up thinking that.

Having an occasional drink while not in the presence of children is okay.  It's called self control and its called responsible parenting and grand parenting.

Friday, August 5, 2016

old ladies and social media ineptness

so, just when i think i have this "privacy" thing under control on facebook, and i feel confident "juggling" who sees what...............

i slip up and a few people see a post that wasn't meant for them to see.

one of these people was my son.  it wasn't anything bad, this thing i posted.  it was the ultrasound of my 7th grandbaby.  i was going to share it with the people i had already told about it. (posted that without any trouble a couple weeks earlier)

but i was careless.  it was only up for 10 minutes, i didn't tag anyone, but then someone tagged a comment and that's when i realized my mistake.


by then my son saw it and instead of texting me, he tore me up on facebook.  (disrespectful children is an end times sign, isn't it? )

so an old lady momma made a facebook Faux pas and a son broke his mothers heart.  i know that's an over exaggeration........children break their mothers hearts over and over and over again.......and if they have a good momma they never even know it.........just ask the dads......they will tell you straight up the truth.


the rest of this post addresses the disrespect part.  we didn't do the best job we could have in teaching our kids some things.  mostly because we were still learning.    but speaking in a disrespectful manner was never tolerated.  i don't even remember it ever being an issue when they were growing up.

when i saw his words on facebook, i saw a little boy throwing a tantrum.  and at the same time that i was getting all upset over his tirade, i was forgiving him because that's what mommas do.  he has so much to learn in life and i for one know that.

its been a lot of years since we had any influence on his life.  we weren't done raising him yet when he moved from our circle of influence into another circle of influence.  it happens when kids grow up. so  i won't totally take the blame for his disrespectful attitude.  i will share it with the influences he has had for the last twelve years.

as a mom of grown and married children i don't always like what i see or hear.  and for every one thing i may mention, there are probably ten things i'm holding in.  respectfully.

well, back to my social media ineptness.....

i have deactivated my facebook for the next week....at least.....i'm hoping i can break that dirty fb habit.  i won't delete it because i have some awesome friends there.
but i'd like to do something else with my computer time.....like blogging!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

we are all slaves to the media

michelle obama.......i even hate to write that name.......slaves built the white house.
why the controversy?
does she think that americans,who should know their history, wouldn't already know that?
and that the rest should just make that assumption?
it was the 1800's and it was in the south.
..............so here we go again............if not for the slaves we would not have a white house in d.c..........................................i can live with that.
how long, as a country, do we have to pay for the sins of our forefathers?
or until the roles are reversed and people of lighter skin color, those of european descent, are made into slaves?
(historically speaking its already been done...check your facts on this one)
now, i admit i live in a white world.  it has way more to do with culture than skin color.  i would venture to say that it has everything to do with culture and in no way is related to skin color.
what's wrong with that?
i'm white.  (although i prefer "pinkish")

barak obama......another name i am loathe to write or say.....
turned out to be a divider and not a uniter.  it's a shame because unless we can get back to where we were and continue to move forward in a positive direction, then we are doomed as a country.
the country, and by that i mean people, that i live in does not want anyone to be subserviant to another.

we let examples of bad behavior fuel the hate all around us.  it's sad.  i've never seen people so paranoid, and angry, and scared at the same time.  (this is on the media because all is well on the wink)
when you hear things coming out of thse BLM protests like "kill the whites!"  "kill their children!"
gah!!!!!!!!!!  what did i ever do to you?????
i'm at the point that no matter what i write or say, it will be misconstrued as rascist.
i just want to live in peace with all people as much as it depends on me.  just like scripture says.

therefore, i work hard to take care of my family and home and i'm too busy to stir up strife.
i suggest all those protestors do the same:  go home and work hard at something.  raise your family and have pride in your accomplishments.
that is what the majority of americans are trying to do.

if not for the media this all would work out. the media stirs people up.  it creates controversy and nothing ever gets solved.

let's all just tune out for a while and see what happens.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


i made it to ten pounds!
and i'm in maintaining mode......i guess........
i'm eating healthy and trying not to eat to much in the evenings.
i haven't been walking too much the last week or two.  i've been having pain in my achilles. yuck. not good.  i'm going to see if i just stretch and rest for a couple of weeks if it gets better.

the reasons i keep going

this is absolutely amazing

Monday, April 18, 2016

week off aftermath

i'm still at it!!!!  week before last i took a week off from micro managing my food and exercise.  i purposefully did not weigh in for a week after that ended and i was still at a 9 lb. loss.  that was last week.  i haven't weighed in this week.  i think i'm going to try to not do it until friday.

i'm still keeping track of everything and exercising.  now that the weather is nicer there are many more opportunities to hike and garden.

i FEEL so much better, even though its just been 9 lbs.  imagine how i will feel when i've lost it all!
wow, i will probably just float away.

we have committed ourselves to do at least 10 hikes in Acadia National Park this season.  #1 is done
on sunday we hike The Great Head Trail

The Great Head Trail is an easy hike around a peninsula that juts out into the ocean.  there is very little elevation gain and the hike was about 2 miles at the most. (we left from sand beach parking lot and returned across the beach).

tomorrow i am going to an Autism walk in Bar Harbor so that should be about 2 miles on flat roads. oh, and its supposed to rain.  ugh.    

as long as i'm being scattered.................

this year i have one less long bed because we took it away to fit the chicken coop and the enclosure (which is not enclosed yet)  so we will be extending the bed all the way on the left and building another smaller one in this area.

i'm getting very close to getting my chicks.  we've gotten this far on the brooder box (thats a light sitting on top of the wire.  i went with a Brinsea ecoglow brooder to simulate the warmth of a mama chicken.  i'm afraid of heat lamps & i love my house.  the plan is to get 6 chicks and they will outgrow this in a few weeks and then we will go to plan b (whatever that is)

exciting times on the wink!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

crazy busy

i don't have a lot of time because i need to go for my walk before i get totally distracted by my day and time slips away.

i've upped my walk to 3 miles--60 minutes, and thats where its going to stay.  that burns approx. 400 calories for me at the moment and that is perfect.

i weighed in on friday and i had lost 9 lbs!!!  then easter weekend with some extra eating and CANDY, so i'm going to be either happy or sad come this friday.  but i'm not going to let it derail me.

the perfect numbers for me seem to be 1600 tops calories with 400 burned.  i lose weight and i'm not hungry.  i'm trying to stick to this goal.

i am a fan of eating a good percentage of my food as raw food.  i don't cook veggies as a general rule.
once a week i buy a lot of produce and then clean and chop everything into containers for salad.  then i can top them with my protein.

i try to use approx 50 % organic.  i heard once that the health benefits of the vegetables balanced it out.  i'm not going to say that is true or not, but in the winter when nothing is growing here in maine you have to do the best you can with the resources at hand.

i'm up to 3 containers full of mostly veggies and good greens.  the fourth container is my husbands (he doesn't like ALL of those veggies!)  the last salad is usually as fresh as the first as long as you are using fresh ingredients to start with.

                                                                   a beautiful thing.
this is my favorite salad combination.  french fried onions, gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, vidalia onion dressing.  all things measured--ALWAYS!

                                      another beautiful thing--my sweet grand baby sophie!

Monday, March 21, 2016

focusing more on myself

thats what i need to do:  focus more on ME

it doesn't come naturally, but if i'm going to do this thing.  this get healthy, be healthy, lose weight thing......then i have to do it.

i didn't weigh in this morning.  not because i'm afraid to.  i just didn't think of it.  i don't want to be sooo focused on that number on that scale that i become obsessed and then sick of it.

i'm still tweaking things.  still trying to figure out how to get enough protein without eating tons of dairy because i'm not a big meat eater.
i read about quinoa this weekend.  about how its really high in protein for a grain.  turns out i have some in the cupboard so i'm going to cook it and try adding it as one of my vegetable salad toppings.

i've been trying to put beans (black and garbanzo) on my salads.  for dairy its usually gorgonzola or shredded cheddar.

i've decided that i like to chew so smoothies are a no go for breakfast with me.  lol.

i have decided to up the walking to 3 miles this week.  starting today......and its snowing....we are at about  ehh 7 inches?  so i'll do my indoor walk dvd.  they are a 15 min mile pace which is faster than i walk outdoors.

so here is where i'm at (since this post is all over the place)

eating:  need to up my protein.  i don't seem to have a problem with most breakfasts being 300 calories at the most.  keeping snacks at 300 is very challenging but i'm working on it.

exercising:  walking is going well despite this sciatica.  we even went for a long hike on saturday and i survived!  i need to keep track of how many times a week i actually meet my goal on fitness and excercise.  if i'm entering it all on sparkpeople then its being plotted, but i don't enter stuff 7 days a week.

last time i weighed i was down about 6 lbs. that was last wednesday.  i feel like i've done pretty good so i'm just going to keep moving forward. and if i have a set back, whether it be eating some jelly beans or being lazy for a day, i will not let it determine the outcome.

Monday, March 14, 2016

a full life

i didn't update last monday because i ate A LOT  of good stuff on sunday.  the kids cooked food and made an awesome coconut cake for my birthday.

however on wednesday i jumped on the scale and found that i had lost 6 pounds.  6 pounds in 6 weeks. not too shabby.

i have no trouble sticking with the goal of keeping breakfast to 300 calories.  the exercising goal i've been doing well with also.  the eating after 7 pm i only struggle with on the two days i work because my schedule is 9-7 and i want a snack when i get home.  keeping snacks for the day to 300 is also a challenge.  as these were my four goals i am going to just keep working at them until they just come naturally and i don't HAVE to think about them.

we went away this weekend and also ate good food and probably a little too much, but i really tried to eat less than i normally would have.  however, i'm not weighing myself today and i'm going to try to not weigh until next monday.

the magic numbers that i have figured out by using the sparkpeople site, are to keep my calories eaten at about 1600 or less and my calories burned by exercise at about 400.  that gives me the perfect number of 1200 which should allow me to lose at least 2 lbs a week.  however that is only if i don't eat too many calories later in the day.

i'm not going to make any new goals for this week.

Monday, February 29, 2016

setting small goals

i started tracking my eating on www.sparkpeople.com about 4 weeks ago.  at first i just tracked and didn't try really hard to cut back.  i also purposed to exercise a bit more since i had gotten a little lazy over the winter.

after two weeks my weight was the same.  and i was still logging on and keeping track of my food.  thats an achievement!!

so on the third week i decided to start setting little goals.  on week three i set 2 goals.

1.  keep my breakfast calories at 300

2.  up my walking time to 50 minutes  5 times a week.

the results are in:  i lost 2 lbs this past week---great!!!!

so for week four i added another goal:  the keep my snack calories at 300. this is going to be a tough one.  i am an evening snacker!!!!  so i added something else to this goal:  i have to be DONE eating by 7 pm.  so it looks like i should be going to bed earlier.

setting small goals and trying to get them to become habit is my purpose.  i probably will stick with these goals without making more for a few weeks.

so to summarize

breakfast 300 calories
snacks 300 calories total
walk 50 min. 5x week
no food after 7 pm.

i have been taking the turmeric golden paste for a week now instead of ibuprofen (for sciatica and all around aches and pains)

my observations:  while i'm not pain free, i am also not 25 years old.  so some aches and pains are normal and to be expected.  however i really do feel like it has helped with the sciatica pain in my leg.  the burning pain when i walk is gone!  i have also noticed that i'm in a better mood. this could just be from the eating right and exercising, but the turmeric is supposed to be helpful in that respect also.
soooo, i'm going to continue to take it.

there is one more kind of weird thing that i have also decided to do.  i have decided to not get my haircut until i reach my goal weight.  its a control issue with me.

me and my turmeric golden paste!!!

until next time....................

Monday, February 22, 2016

i am such a slacker when it comes to this blog.  i just can't decide what it should be.  


so i am going to make it a health improvement blog.  

at least for the moment.


i'm fat.  

there.  i said it.  

i've always been fit.   yeah.....fat and fit.......

but then.......

i got older.   bleh.

almost 56.  can you believe it?  i don't look a day over 55!!!

i can't ignore it anymore.  

i'm fat.  its okay though.........i've got a plan

i'm gonna eat less and i'm going to walk more.  sounds simple enough!  i think i can do this!!!!

first i have to be honest.   in public........

i'm 56, 5'8" and my weight this morning was 249.  last time i had a checkup (4 years ago--i go every 5 years unless something comes up)
anyway, last full physical had all numbers still in the "okay" range.  who knows if they still are.  i sure don't want to know :)

in the last 5 or so years i've developed some sciatica pain.  i know its because i'm weighing down my body.  its purely compression.  therefore i do believe that being lighter would be helpful all around.

so.............i'm going to try to blog about this journey.  as a way of being accountable.  i started an account on sparkpeople.com.  its kinda like myfitnesspal.  it helps you log your calories and exercise.

and in the last couple of weeks i've come to realize that i am deficient in the protein category.  this is important because its the protein that makes you feel less hungry.  

so i will try to blog often about my struggles and successes and maybe i can be helpful to someone else. 

i also started a trial of taking golden paste made of turmeric for my aches and pains.  i'm in day 2.  so far it hasn't killed me. :)   i want to find an alternative to ibuprofen and this is touted as one.  

i will keep you informed.   wish me luck!!!!

oh!  and the most important reason of all for me doing this!!!  i'm holding one of them in the picture above (sophie 2 weeks old today and my first granddaughter) .  my grandchildren.  they call me bubby. and i want to be able to go on bear hunts (pretend) for a long, long, time with them.

my boys