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Live Richly, Live Free. Embrace All The Blessings From Our Creator and Marvel in His Creation.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Magnificent Memory Biscuit

Today Dad, My Husband and The Kids Cut, Split and Hauled Home This Load of Wood.

Mom and I Played This Game of Scrabble Outside at The Picnic Table while Moonbeam Slept. (I stomped her!!!)

Dad Picked Out These Giant Slabs of Bacon!! Mmmm.....

Every Day We Go Out For A Hike Together. Today Mom Did 4 Miles!!

There Is Also A lot Card Playing Going On!! Mom And Kaleb Give A High Five As They Win A Game!!

This evening, after dinner, I heard the river calling my name. As I kayaked, fresh crisp air and the stunning autumn beauty enveloped me. I couldn't help thinking about the conversation we'd had at dinner and I decided it was worthy of ink.
It was a special dinner. Mom and Dad had taken us grocery shopping yesterday and we'd ended up with a cart full of things the children were thrilled about. These bounties included 4 tubs of ice cream with toppings, 4 bags of assorted chips, bacon as as thick as your ear and giant fresh salmon slabs.
Buying fresh salmon is a rare luxury, and a favorite of all. Watchfully, I broiled it along with preparing lundberg rice, steamed green beans, and rolling out baking powder biscuits.
As we sat down, savoring the meal, my mom deeply inhaled with a smile. "Oh baking powder biscuits" she sighed, and suddenly she was far away. More than 50 years ago, as a little girl, my mother went camping at White Pines State Park along with her brothers and sisters. My mom was the youngest of 9 children. Her mother, being a poor but proud woman, went to the lodge. It was the only establishment around and she needed something to feed her brood. She told the manager that she didn't have enough money to take her children there to eat at the restaurant, but would like to buy something to feed them. Some 50 years ago, though the people very well may be dead and gone, a random act of kindness is still remembered as if were yesterday. My grandmother returned to her children with a coffee can of baking powder biscuits frosted in orange juice icing. That special breakfast triggered a memory that lived on in the mind of my mother and probably her brothers and sisters as well.
It got me to thinking of how important it is for me to make a difference to others today. In this whirlwind of days we live in, time flies away so fast that you will barely blink and what you're reading right now will be nothing but a memory. Fifty years from now, five years from now how will you be remembered? Did you encourage people? Did you make a difference in the life of a child? Have you comforted the sick or eased the financial struggles of a stranger? Will somebody remember that you went out of your way to help them?
My kids remember the best waitresses they've had even from years ago. They also remember people and workers who have been rude. One of our favorite family games is called "Apples to Apples". We make our own cards for the game and play it whenever we visit my side of the family. In the cards are a lot of old family jokes. Some one lays down an adjective card and everybody throws down a card that they think best describes it. People who have tried to cheat or insult or otherwise offend any of us over the years have earned their names in there and every year we have laugh at their expense all over again. Of course our own names are in there, as are characters in our favorite (or cheesiest) movies, silly nouns, etc.. On and on we play. On and on we laugh at the choices of cards played.
I guess my point is is that we should try to do things worthy of being remembered. Sometimes going out of your way in the time it takes to roll out a few baking powder biscuits will make a memory in somebody for life. Live wisely and purposefully. Live well and free or die with regret and make a difference with a random act of kindness.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Invitation of the Unseen Guest

My Mom and Dad Arrived Here off the Train A Couple of Days Ago!!Thankfully, The Archer Got This Wild Turkey The Same Day So We Could Have an Early Thanksgiving Feast!! Moonbeam and Friend

The other day, as "the girls" and I sat around my table sharing some rhubarb spice cake and coffee, we talked about our husbands plans for the future. One of them said "I'm just so afraid that I will get to the end of my life and find out that I missed what God had for me to do." It was a valid concern that many of us have pondered a time or two. As each friend quietly bared her soul, it became apparent that one morning of devotions couldn't resolve all the emanating issues. I proposed we set aside a couple of days for fasting and prayer..............
The days were chosen and executed as planned. Misunderstandings surfaced. Issues began to dissolve, though I didn't particularly feel anything different. Then, suddenly, that all familiar invisible guest appeared one stormy night. A gentle breeze blew through my bedroom window igniting His presence in the room. As He walked about the house, I felt reassured that Destiny would unveil itself. The unseen guest reminded me of things I'd been slacking in and sacrifices I hadn't been willing to make. Knowing how to speak to me like nobody else can, He planted a vision of the future all the while reminding me of how my present attitude would influence that plan. Though I didn't sleep much that night, I slept infinitely well, refreshed in the charged in the stormy atmosphere. As the rain poured outside and the breeze blew in, I couldn't imagine a place or time I'd rather be living in.
That next morning one of "the girls" called and we talked about how hungry she is. Though the fast is long since past, she can't seem to stop hungering and thirsting after The Unseen Guest, and for His plan to unfold in her life. I smiled, knowing He'd responded to our invitation. Things would be different now.
Have you invited the Unseen Guest into your home lately?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Showering April

Many years ago, a young family, "The Golds", moved here to the Yaak. Over time, they raised 5 girls up here, even home schooling them part of the time. The family worked for years running the volunteer ambulance service. They also have been a part of organizing the local food shelf, and operate it out of their own home. They've done so much for the community, I often times wondered what I could ever possibly do for them.
Here was my opportunity!! Their daughter, "April", was getting married and they asked if I would be the "Mistress of Ceremonies". Of course I would!! I also got to help hostess her bridal shower along with a couple of her sisters. It was an extra special day for an extra special girl. "April" is sweet as can be and a little shy. She met her fiance on eharmony a while back and they've decided on an early October day to tie the knot. We're all so excited for them!!

On a warm, sunny afternoon at the Community Center, a sister served pizza, salad and melon to twenty some special guests. After that, I had everybody do an ice breaker by all telling "their most romantic moment". There was a lot of laughing and smiles and even tears. Then we had a "bridal treasure hunt". I couldn't believe how fast the girls found their items!! Gift Opening was to follow. Then the winning treasure hunt team got to "dress the bride" in toilet paper!! I had a special surprise up my sleeve. The groom was supposed to show up after she was arrayed and tell her she was beautiful but he was late!! A sister drove off to find him. Another sister stalled and kept adding toilet paper layers...... By the time half an hour had passed I was beginning to sweat (and so was she in all her layers)!! Just as I had The Sock Fashion Expert cut the beautiful carrot cake with cream cheese and toasted coconut frosting she'd made, the groom arrived!! Everybody laughed and smiled as he gave her a big hug!! It was a fun bridal shower and certainly a day to remember!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Showering Mist

Mist and her boss

Mists Mom - Mother in Law - Grandmother

She sure looks good for 7 months!!

Mist and Elasta Woman Winner of the "Don't Say Baby" game

"Goat Girl" and I

Today was Mists Baby Shower which Elasta Woman and I hosted. Her mom, mother in law and grandmother came from Washington to be a part of it making it extra special!! A wide variety of women turned out for the event representing most every group in our little community. Mist is greatly loved by all regardless of environmental, political or religious belief and her sweet disposition and transparent heart once again ushered in a common theme of Unity for us all.......

Some 30-40 guests packed their way into Elasta Womans home until there was standing room (or floor room) only. I arrived a couple of hours early marking the way there with balloons. Though I'd brought pile of supplies including food, punch, games and assorted details, I suffered one painfully obvious oversight...... After preparing for games, reviewing an itinerary with Elasta Woman and some prayer, guests began to arrive. Though I didn't start decorating until late, and though my decorating skills were painfully inept, nobody seemed to notice.

We played a game called "Super Mommy" where each person got 1 minute to hang baby laundry while talking on a decoy phone and holding a large "Baby" Doll. The person who could hang the most won. Cronin started off the game in a hilarious manner and ended up tying for first place with a mom of 6!!

After that we gathered around Mist and blessed her with a special prayer. Then Mist and her family were first to dish up from the incredible feast. It included a gourmet type pizza, rhubarb punch, a wide array of hors' doeuvres and decadent desserts including a lavish whipped cream and strawberry cake. That's when my terrible oversight surfaced!! Silverware!! I didn't even remember until the line began and somebody asked "where's the silverware"? Then the sinking feeling came and I feared the worst, though nobody made a big deal about it at all. Everybody some how made due with what Elasta Woman had on hand.

Finally, Mist opened presents for what seemed like an eternity. Not only was there a gigantic turn out, but many people had sent presents along with other guests. She started out not having a lot for her baby and ended with so many beautiful gifts that her house will overflow with them for a long time to come. Not only did she receive beautiful clothing, hand crafted blankets and an incredible array of baby gear, but somebody else was center stage in blessing her. One of the ladies from our church offered a special gift drawing for anybody who would bring along an extra pack of diapers, and boy did the diapers march in!!

One thing I have a hard time with is focusing on one person when there is a such a big crowd of people, especially when I'm the one making things move along in events. I'm still not sure how to focus like that but one thing I did do. I decided that that I was going to stop and enjoy the day busy or not. During the game, I stopped to hold Moonbeam and enjoy her. During the gift opening I stopped to visit with a few people. During the "good byes", I stood up on the balcony and just enjoyed watching everybody interact. Finally, when it was all over, I sat down with a cup of coffee and visited with Elasta Woman, reminiscing. Just taking a few minutes, even a few seconds made the busy day more memorable and enjoyable for me. All in all it was an extra special day for an extra special friend :-)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Working Mom Blues and The Distraught Shopper

As you may have noticed, I've been pretty delinquent in my blogging exploits lately. From starting the school year to chasing after my 2 year old, I can't seem to keep myself treading water so to speak. Well, eventually the milk will turn into butter and I'll be able to stand up in the mess but by then my kids may well be grown up and moved out so I suppose I'd better just get to blogging and stop my silly excuses.

Yesterday began as a pleasant surprise for us girls. My husband watched Moonbeam so The Sock Fashion Expert and I could go to the big city with a friend of ours. We'd never been to the city with this particular lady, but we were quick to discover that we are "compatible shoppers" and were all quite pleased. This called for a celebration and ideas of future shopping dates to come. "Mary Jane" or so I will call her likes to hit the sales, power shop with some independence, and be able to regroup to the next store in a timely manner which is exactly how we like to shop. All three of us had cell phones so we could notify each other of "good deals" and coordinate our departures. It was the kind of shopping a girl could call "ideal". When a woman feels her shopping experience has been a good one, she has a sense of self accomplishment similar to that of a man bringing home his game from the hunt. She saw, she stalked, she conquered!!

Such was our feeling of fulfillment on this particular trip. The day would have been complete and perfect if not for this lone, obscure fact..... The men were alone all day unsupervised. This little detail remained unpondered until we arrived at home with a whirlwind of shopping bags and boxes. Suddenly that lone unpondered fact became the forefront of our attention. Namely, because we fell victim to "Man Meal" which is the traditional and ethnic meal of a man. "Man Meal" is anything a man can prepare that will not interrupt his train of thought or task at hand. For men living in the city, it probably involves a McDonald's drive through. For us, its the same, dreaded meal. Once we heard that Dad had made "the usual", we rolled our eyes and groaned loudly in protest. Dad's "Daddy Surprise" consists of pasta, hamburger and a vegetable mixed together with some bullion. It isn't all THAT bad. I'm sure about now my husband will point out to our readers that I didn't have to cook and so I should say no more. Capish?

The other little detail of unsupervised men is that they have no concept of the mess forming around them. For example, my husband once stayed at a house for about three weeks without me. When I arrived to surprise him, I was horrified to find there was NOT AN INCH of usable table space. It was entirely covered with junk. The kitchen counters had been only wiped in one small area of usage. The rest were covered in thick dust along with a little mouse dirt. This is a true story.
Any how, certain things I just can't stand. A dirty floor bothers me. A dirty floor goes unnoticed to the men of my house. Counters, floors, table surface, its all the same. Men, mine anyway, just don't see dirt, mess, or disorganization as a threat to their personal harmony and peace. I do. I just do.
"Mama!!" Moonbeam exploded as she ran across the living room. She was thrilled. Dirty face, dishevelled hair and wearing nothing but a diaper, she bounced into my arms. Poor little muffin bellowed loudly when I tried to go out for more bags. She wasn't about to give me up for a second. I sifted my way through the obstructions in the living room and sat on a corner of the floor with my muffin in tow as the kids hauled in the remainder of our shopping spoils.

Disturbing sounds were being emitted from the television. Another thing about men - they listen to the television in earth shattering decibels. You just can't ignore whats going on with a program when its yelling loudly to get your attention. This time it was a (disturbing to say the least) sci fi movie. Giant prickly things were attacking their victims from the inside out. Suddenly I felt on edge. All that screaming and suspenseful noises caused my heart to begin pounding. Goosebumps formed on my arms and all at once I suddenly started feeling rather tense. In the movie, a prickly hand began running around the room trying to get people. Each time Moonbeams little hand scratched at my neck I jumped!! Despite leaving the room several times, there was no place to escape the bone chilling sounds of horror. Sights of abstract "house mess" assaulted my mind making my house a living sci fi and I was soon nervously pacing back and forth in an out of control anxiety spiral.
Now think about this for a moment. My kind, wonderful and loving husband watched the baby all day. He helped the kids with school. He put aside his plans of hunting so I could be gone the entire day. He was subjected to making breakfast, lunch and dinner. He most likely had to change dirty diapers!! The idea of complaining about anything at all was NOT AN OPTION so I just nervously paced and fidgeted until I snowballed into MOUNTAIN OF ANXIETY.

How does such a peaceful, fulfilling day go to pot so fast?!?! Gosh I wish atmospheres didn't affect me quite so adversely. That night, I was sitting up in bed, in the dark, sipping chamomile tea to calm my nerves. Nightmares plagued me and I tossed to and fro in a restless manner. I had one of those cheesy "who done it" mystery dreams where my neighbor turned out to be the killer. It was a crazy night. Even now as I am typing, I laugh about what a basket case I melted into. Well, I will have another opportunity in the near future to practice tranquility amongst chaos as I am on a 2 night stretch......Selah...... Does this ever happen to you?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Theme Park Pics

Here are some pics from our recent trip to a Theme Park. I wrote a long story about it but decided not to post it. Seems like I am scratching a lot of my work these days. Just one of those moods I've been in!! Heres some interesting information that I've been saving from my herbal studies I wanted to post though :

Thyme is utterly shocking! This mightly little leaf is packed with power! There is so much information on this, I simply could not compile it all, but if there is any one plant you should grow this is the one. In Ancient Roman times, it was believed to give courage. Roman soldiers bathed in it and women gave them sprigs to wear into battle. Consequently it is also believed to stop nightmares in children. Thyme, rich in thymol, is a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, strong antioxidant, antifungal. In fact, one source I found said that listerine originated from thyme as well as it being used in surgical wool and dressings. It treats a gigantic gammit of problems including GI disorders of many kinds including irritable bowel, Respiritory tract disorders - upper respiratory, whooping cough, expectorant aid, Anti-cancer properties, Eye infections, skin infections, menstral complaints, immune system strengthener. Every site I visited echoed a common theme - it kills germs - bacterial and fungal, internal and topical. Studies even added it to raw food, such as salads and found it could make your food safer to eat!! Besides Thymol, it is rich in Vitamin K and maganese. Other uses included using thyme as an insect repellant and natural cleaning agent!! Just one tsp dried = 1 cup h2o for tea (or 1 tbsp fresh).

Due to all this research I decided to try it first hand. I had a persistent rash that I applied thyme leaves to. It almost INSTANTLY stopped itching and felt soothed. I tried some on my babies diaper rash and that also looked better in a short time. Wow am I convinced :-) I would not hesitate to try using it on other problems in the future.


Rosehips contain more vitamin C than a citrus fruit!! It was so high, in fact, that Great Britian harvested tons of them to use as a syrup C supplement for children when ships could not come in. Indians also harvested them. Besides making tea, they added the remaining pulp to stews. According to my research online, they also have vitamins A, D, E, Antioxidants, K, calcium, citric acid, iron, niacin, phospherus, tannin, B1,B2. A study was done on them for treatment of arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory properties in which patients required less pain medication after a few months. They are also found to help prevent bladder infections and prevent kidney stones, protect against cancer and cardiovascular heart disease. In fact, after reading many sites on rose hips I got tired of writing down all the possible health benefits. Sufficient to say, something so readily free and available growing wild all over with so many benefits, its a shame not to go pick and dry a few!! You only need 5 = 1 cup h2O to make tea.

*As with all plants and herbs please use them in moderation.