Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blogging and Life

I am still waiting for the arrival of that inspiration (or thread, as my last post indicated) to post regularly.  After a bit of reflection, I honestly believe that which I do in my daily life is because of those gifts I have been blessed with; I believe in God, and I believe He has blessed me for a reason. I am trying to find a new way to share it all, but I have that flickering doubt that no one wants to know what I'm up to.

The way I see it, blogs have always been personal websites, but so many have morphed into a platform to sell and promote other things.  Rare is the blog the remains a personal journal. I do not despair of any of them; life moves on, blogs mutate.  I have also changed, and various aspects of my lifestyle have certainly mutated.  I liked where I was, but I like where I am.  I am much the same as I ever was, but I am gratefully older and wiser.

When I first started writing here, it was to inspire daily writing for the English class I was taking at the local university.  At the time, I barely knew what a blog was.  Upon review, I still don't know what a blog is!  As for now, this blog will remain full of personal reflection about my daily life, my activities and thoughts, ideas, failures and successes, and likely a fair bit of nonsense!

Here is a sampling of what I do:

I still keep house!  I'm still that same stay-at-home mom, but have added a dog to that mix.  I've lived in this house for 12 years now, with no plans (until retirement) to leave.

I still cook from scratch, still baking bread daily.  Bread is life, I do not argue with such wisdom!

I continue to fuss over my gardens (now in the plural).  Of course, my gardens are mostly put to bed for the winter, but I had to include some lovely photos of my successes.  Broccoli was new for me this year, and worked well.  The above peach tree finally died.  We battled Peach Borers for 3 years, but the poor little tree couldn't take it anymore.  We have planted another peach tree, and hope to plant yet another in the spring.  We have four heirloom apple trees on order which will arrive mid-March. I'm obsessed with apples, and am thrilled to finally start my mini-orchard on my .40 acre lot.  :)

I stay up to date and educated about herbalism and plant medicine, growing much of what I use.  I'm a big believer in healing oneself at home if at all possible. Why run to the market for Bismuth when you could make a strong cup of ginger tea or reach for the ginger tincture you made last month?  I have successfully managed my own menopause symptoms with my herbal knowledge.

And there are still chickens, currently a dozen. We have recently built a new fence for the chicken paddock, and have plans to change the coop design. Chickens, oddly enough, have changed a great deal of how I see the world of food.

I took up quilting a year ago.  Here is my latest sitting on my favorite chair.

Although I am a happy home-body, I do get out on occasion. I'm a big supporter of the opera and symphony.  I saw Madame Butterfly a few weeks ago.

And I read, and read, and read.  This is a photo of a few of my gardening and cooking books, but I read so much more.  Lately, I cannot get enough non-fiction, my mind craves truth.  My nightstand holds a stack of theology books, my coffee table has a stack of gardening books.  Since I happen to find God in gardening, I suppose I could count those as theological, too!  I just finished reading If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis, which I honestly loved.  I'm also reading Backyard Farming on an Acre.  I also have several poetry books a friend gave me to read, and I like to read a few pages each day, along with a bible study guide and my daily philosophy readings.  I know, it's quite an eclectic grouping!

Ok, this post was long-ish, but it feels good to share some examples of my life as it is now.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fire and Thread

For the past few weeks I have been searching for the perfect color of thread to stitch together my thoughts.  You see, I needed the perfect color to act as a segue, something to bind my ideas and offer entry to the next.  I cannot find that thread, but I still want to add some thoughts here in the interim in the hopes of stitching them into the story at a later time.

My last post hinted at drastic changes in my spiritual life.  I've always felt a simmering spirituality, but it has never arrived at a full boil.  I have searched for that source of heat that might enable things to bubble.  I  threw myself into my religion, which left me feeling confused and worse off than before.  I tried yoga, which stirred the pot but cut my spirit in payment.  I found no source I could go to for help in lighting that internal fire.  I desperately wanted to feel the warmth.

One could argue, and I did, that I was practicing the wrong religion (whatever that means), and practicing the incorrect form of yoga, or that I didn't have enough faith or that I just wasn't "getting it." The past year I have studied my own reactions to these very thoughts, leaving no question, however difficult, unexplored.

If my religion leaves me cold and lost in disbelief, why do I stay?  Good question, and one I've looked at long and hard.  I made a list of everything I just couldn't swallow, listing those items of doctrine I felt were not true.  Reviewing this list helped me to see that I needed something to change. For years I've been focused on what I don't believe, so I redirected that focus to what I do believe. Through this, I've discovered my beliefs are strong, and that was a glorious thing to feel!

Three weeks ago I sat talking with a man who said the most wonderful thing to me which had the ring of truth. He explained that faith needs an object, you simply cannot have faith in faith.  Paraphrasing scripture, faith alone does not save, faith alone is dead unless it has works (James 2:17).  This has helped tremendously. Knowing what I believe, and feeling that truth, is helping me find my way out of this religious tumult I've felt for so many years.

I'm choosing my own path, following my own beliefs and my own discovered truth.  I hope to one day find the courage to express how I feel without being so vague.  I could really use the aforementioned thread, but I also know that when the time is right for me to be specific, the words will be there waiting.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Glass of Water

I have hinted here that I am in the midst of a spiritual change in my life; or rather, I have recognized myself to be someone and something completely different than I have been previously named. I have come to know the nature of my heart and I need to be able to live within that realm.  

I have been at odds with myself for years, my own spirituality not precisely lining up with my religion: Square peg, round hole. I had a mental filing cabinet that was jam packed with questions.  Nine years ago the drawers of that filing cabinet wouldn't close for their fullness, and I could no longer function with bits of myself - for those questions were me, they came from within - hidden away. 

So, for these past 9 years have explored books and texts, been reflective and thoughtful, I have studied various religions as well as adopting a yogic lifestyle in an attempt to discover my path, all while being grateful for the path I am already on.  

To paraphrase a passage I recently read (at the moment I cannot recall the book or the author, which is why I paraphrase), when we are thirsty, we do not go to books to read and discover what water is and how it functions; when we are thirsty, we drink.  

This thirsty soul has been handed a glass of water.  

This weekend I have the opportunity to drink that water, and I am honestly frightened. This is a big step for me. I have yet to officially accept the proffered water, but the more I think about it, the more determined I feel.  

It's silly, those things that are keeping me from accepting: Driving into downtown Salt Lake City on one of the busiest traffic days of the year - I thoroughly dislike driving.  Parking downtown! Ack!  Not knowing where to go, how to get where I need to be, not knowing which literal door to walk through, not knowing were to find the one who is helping me . . . etc. I keep telling myself my car has GPS, my soul doesn't, but upon reflection, I think it just might. 

Funny, the things that slow us down.  It's just fear showing up, disguised.  I know this is vague, I haven't actually mentioned where I'm going and what I'll be doing. I'm deliberately writing with transparency to help myself make up my mind, to make sense of the fear rising up.  

I hope to have an experience to write of come Monday.  

Monday, September 29, 2014


Last week was one I am not desirous of repeating.  I did, however, find something within the onslaught of events that was worth noting here.  Well, there's a lot to say, actually, but I am still working the crux of it into intelligible thought and the subsequent words.  Anywho . . . 

I had the opportunity to apologize. 

I found myself surrounded by differences of opinion, and I freely expressed mine.  What I shouldn't have done was offer that opinion with such a sharp tongue. Later on, I found myself regretting not what I said, but how I said it.  For me, and the way I approach life, I never want to be the type of person who is unkind.  In that moment last week, I was too sharp for any kindness to be seen.  This is not who I am, I felt horrible regret and sadness.  

What a blessing it is to know people who will hear your apology!  While I did not retract my opinion, I did take the time to explain my thoughts and feeling with a softer voice.  We disagreed, but we are friends still.  This is why it was such a blessed opportunity for me.  I was able to feel true humility, but also to recognize it in action, as well as recognize a true friend in my life.  

I need to remind myself of this, that words are powerful in both directions.

Monday, September 22, 2014

This or That

I've been reading some writing prompts lately as a means of inspiration for my journals as well as finding ideas for this wee blog.  I found a list today that I really like and I thought it might be fun to post it today. 

So, here are a few things about me:

  • Oh, I'm a tea lover through and through.  I do love a good cup of coffee, but tea is my blood. 
  • I've never been a terribly glossy girl, photos or otherwise.
  • I do not, and I repeat, do not have a sweet tooth.  I don't really like salty either, what I really like is food.  Do I have to choose? 
  • Radio, and almost always Classical or Irish Folk. If you'd like to read something completely silly, then read this post as to why I don't watch TV.
  • I am a morning person!  Really.
  • Oh, I love to write with pencils, but honestly, I love my calligraphy pens.  You know, nibs and ink?  There's nothing more glorious to write with. 
  • I am a bit introverted.  In person, I say and talk very little.  
  • My dearest mountains, I will never leave you.  Visits to the beach are nice, but mountains are home. 
  • I'm so boring, of course I'm structured!
  • I'm not a neat-freak, but I'm tidy about things.
  • I dream about apple orchards. 
  • Note the two arrows.  I like both, but there is not an option for what I am truly like, and that's stay home and cook it myself.  
See now, wasn't that fun?  Please share your choices if you're so moved, I'd love to read them!