Wednesday, November 21, 2007

my take on consciousness

Consciousness…to not only be aware, but to be responsible, to develop and have an awareness of the natural cycles of the earth and nature, to understand the seasons and the gift each one brings and to live and work in accord with understanding and a grateful heart….to be comfortable with yourself and unafraid to be real, honest and able to laugh at yourself, to see hope despite how the world or things and people in it may appear, to trust your inclinations and not go against that inner knowing, to honor and respect other’s right to be who they are and not feel it’s yours and anyone else’s responsibility to change them, to love and appreciate what you have and feel no lack, to know there is much you don’t know and some things you will never know, to live and love without regret, to know peace and simplicity as the way to peace and simplicity, to be grateful for all you have and thankful for all the people and the lessons you have learned in your life, not just some of them…to be mindful and kind to people and all living things, knowing they deserve to be here as much as you do…to trust there is always enough, to live creatively, to be unafraid to love and express that love in word and deed, to spend time alone in nature and in silence because you find it essential to your well being and you enjoy the company, to share with and serve others out of love rather than a sense of obligation and to place no expectations on others, to harbor no guilt or blame, but to see a bigger picture and trust the outcome, to understand you cannot control anything but your own responses and to know that no matter how things turn out, it will be ok…and to remember life is a journey, not a destination.

Friday, November 16, 2007

From My Homestead: a simple and seasonal recipe

From My Homestead: a simple and seasonal recipe

a simple and seasonal recipe

Now this is very seasonal, simple and sounds very yummy. I just happen to have a good supply of butternut squash from the garden so think I may be trying this soon.

Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake


It’s less than a week until Thanksgiving and I’m happy to say everything seems to be lining up quite well. This is our first time hosting the day since moving back to the farm a year ago in August. And now, here we are, gathering our family around, back in the old house where the kids spent most of their younger days. All in all it should prove to be a very abundant and filling Thanksgiving Day and we have much to be thankful for.

My son in law Tom picked up a 17 pound turkey from Whole Foods for the big day. Next week, Tom will be bringing homemade pumpkin pies and his yearly gift of homemade chocolate fudge, something I await eagerly each year. No one makes chocolate fudge like Tom and he knows how I anticipate it every year. He has been gifting me with it traditionally each year at the holiday season since long before he and Kandice began dating.

Speaking of Kandice, she will be making her traditional organic green bean casserole and some additional stuffing. My niece, Jenni, will provide deviled eggs and daughter in law, Linda, will be bringing a salad. My sister Susan will be contributing homemade bread or rolls and the traditional cranberry orange relish. I don’t know about others, but to me Thanksgiving is not complete without cranberry sauce or relish alongside the stuffing on my plate. And speaking of stuffing, I will make my traditional sausage stuffing as well as the turkey, gravy, taters, sweet potatoes, corn pudding and of course, Waldorf salad. I almost forgot about making the Waldorf salad. Fortunately while at the grocery store yesterday, it occurred to me, so I picked up the necessary ingredients. I make my Waldorf with pineapple, apples, raisins, and instead of nuts I add sunflower seeds. I tried it that way one time, we loved it and I have been making it that way ever since. Along with the aforementioned items, I may make some zucchini bread, since I have plenty of grated squash in the freezer.

I am thankful for so many things. I have my health, a wonderful relationship with a loving husband, a generous, loving family I hold dearly, healthy, happy grandchildren, good, kind friends, a warm home filled with memories and I am surrounded by country. I sleep well at night with few worries and many blessings. We have adequate everything and life is full and peaceful. Yes, I have very much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Question Of Lifestyle

"Why do we live the way we do? What things are important to us, and why? What is a "lifestyle," anyway?"

"The question of lifestyle is more than a question of deciding whether or not to participate in those parts of the human enterprise that endanger the living Earth. In the end, it is a question of choosing who we are."

This article from IN CONTEXT asks some interesting questions that just might get you thinking about who you are and what defines you.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sweet Potatoes

As I was browsing online for recipes I came across this link with a variety of sweet potato recipes from the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission. I love sweet potatoes, but too often don't think about serving them often. Gonna try and change that! Thought I'd share, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner.

New Makes @ the Homestead

Here at home I have, as usual, been busy crafting and creating. My daughter is modeling the newest hat style I created in 100% cotton yarn.

It was simply a matter of using a basic skull cap pattern in double crochet. By adding a few increased rows at the end instead of finishing off, I made what I call a boat hat. Great for spring and fall. I was going to keep it but it looked so much cuter on Kandice I had no choice to send it home with her. (Thanks Sue for taking the snapshots!) The cotton yarn gives a lot more when wearing, so it helps to use a smaller hook than a pattern might call for. As you can see, my boy Arther had to get in on the photos. I think they’re both pretty cute kids. :)

In other project news, hehe, Coop (bless his heart) made this simple peg rack for the bathroom wall.

I like these so much better than regular towel bars as they hold so much more. We have one near the tub to hang towels on, but needed something more for my jammies and such. A simple board spray painted black (to match the other) and a few inexpensive hooks completed the project. Total cost was about $2.00. The premade ones I priced at Home Depot and such were about $14.00. (Pay no attention to the unpainted woodwork…a project that hasn’t been tended to just yet. )

Today’s project is making up a batch of my “Winter Magic” aromatherapy spray. It’s a wonderfully spicy seasonal blend of essential oils. I concocted it to create a welcoming feeling conducive to ease and enjoyment. Last year I included it in my gift giving and it became an immediate favorite, so now a new batch is in order. I have a new scent or two in mind to work on, also, and can’t wait to get started. Here at the homestead the creativity never ends!

Monday, November 5, 2007

another monday ramble

It's Monday and I thought a good time to just ramble about things here at the homestead. I seem to have a thing for Monday rambles.

My friend Vicki flew back to Florida last Tues. We had a relaxing and enjoyable couple of weeks while she was here. I received my Reiki Master attunement and have a lot of good memories to hold me until we see one another again. The Friday after she arrived we went to a Halloween haunted forest put on by the local fire dept. What fun taking a hay ride to the woods and walking in the dark woods, not knowing who or what might spring forth to scare you.! I had not done that since my kids were teenagers still at home! We sure had a lot of laughs that night and some healthy exercise, too! The weather was great while Vicki was here and she got to experience the height of the Ohio autumn as she'd hoped, including a walk in the woods and a bonfire. I guess we even sent her home with a little bit of an education in making healthier food choices as well as some new recipes. We did some bead swapping, gift giving and receiving and shared lots and lots of laughter. Needless to say, like the sign in my kitchen reads, it's all good.

Fall is here in a big way. The view into the woods is fairly clear now with just a few trees holding on to their leaves. I imagine within the next few days, many of those remaining will disappear. We have spotted several large bucks nearby and imagine we'll be seeing more deer now that the trees have grown bare. Coop (bless his heart) has managed to get the garden space cleared. Summer items and patio furniture are gradually being put away for the winter to come. I've gathered enough zinnia seeds to share with family and neighbors for planting next Spring.

This month proves to be a busy one with birthdays and holidays approaching. I have a freezer full of plenty from Summers garden and will certainly be putting it to good use soon, baking loaves of zucchini bread and simmering pots of chili and stuffed peppers throughout the winter months. I have been devoted to crocheting gifts for family and friends, as well as becoming inspired and crafting some new and unique jewelry items. I really must get some of these things uploaded and listed on Etsy !!! Seems I am a plethora of inspiration, projects and plans most, if not all the time. I can really seem to drive myself crazy! It seems there are too few hours in the day and I find myself scattered at times, torn between so many plans and ideas that I seem unable to stay focused on just one thing at a time. I can take multi tasking to whole new level I think! Meanwhile, the dishes and dust do tend to lay in wait until I can give proper attention to them. Such is life!

I noticed the other day how much healthier our dog Shadow appears to be. His fur is so black and shiny now and he looks so much sleeker and fit. He is still shy of men, but has turned out to be quite playful with me at times. He's learned some tricks and now he volunteers a paw shake, awaiting the goodies. He's also become a fairly good watch dog. He is a sweetie to be sure. He greets me at the car whenever we come home from someplace and I have taken to carrying dog treats in the car, so he gets a snack when he greets me. To say he has become a tad bit spoiled is putting it mildly. It is a shame that such a lovely, well behaved, gentle spirit had been neglected for so long. But he is now apparently happy and comfortable and that is very rewarding for me, also. I just love the guy and am thankful for his presence here.

Well, I am off to go about the day and act as if it Monday despite it not feeling like a Monday to me...if that makes sense. As I said, the dust and dishes lay in wait. Coop has gone to town to renew his license plates, stop at the hardware and check on the prospect of an "over the winter" part time job. Coop will be 65 in 6 days and now that Medicare part B is kicking in this month, that will reduce our income by nearly $100. Doesn't sound like much, but when every penny counts, it makes a big difference, especially with the cost of winter heating. But, I have faith that we'll manage because we always have. I can stretch a dollar as far as it can go and I continue supplementing our income with sales of my handmade goods. Speaking of which, I just fulfilled a request for some of my massage oil from my daughter's acupuncture therapist. Her clients love it! And, although she cannot legally offer my aromatherapy products to her clients, she can refer them to me for their purchasing needs. Like I've said, it's all good!

Ok, I really am outa here...for now. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

a few beads, a few safety pins, some wire & voila'

A recent wisebread article, Savvy Suggestions for Safety Pins inspired me to get creative. Well, to be honest, it first reminded me that I had the components necessary (leftover from a few craft projects of the distant past) to make use of. So here are the results...two candle covers. The green and red one I made first to set over a tea light. Next I put together the purple one, making it with the daisy style beads and large enough to set over a votive cup. They turned out so pretty I just had to share. When lit, they look like jewels shimmering. I thought they'd be especially nice to use over the holiday season. All it took was a few large safety pins, an assortment of plastic beads and some 18 gage wire to string them all together. I've shown them here in bright light and then when lit in the dark.

Friday, November 2, 2007

It's no secret-LOA

Last week while my friend Vicki was here visiting, we had the opportunity to view "The Secret" together. As most know, it was a video about the law of attraction, how like attracts like and using the LOA to manifest the life we want. For us it was a refresher course in what we already were aware of. Actually, it was a very welcome and much needed reminder.

For a brief synopsis there are two main concepts. One is that there is a force (law of attraction) at work in the universe, (whether you call it God or Nature) that responds to our thoughts and energy. The other concept is that thoughts are things and the creative force behind what "happens" in our lives. Or as I always say, thought=action=result. I've studied this concept for several years, but had gotten out of the habit of practicing it. So being the open minded, willing participant in what I (from previous experience) already know works, I decided to take a few refresher notes while watching the video. And today, after reviewing my gratitude list, I thought, why not share the notes? They are posted as written.

Images/thoughts attract. Thoughts become things, sending a magnetic signal out, attracting like. Positive thoughts are far more powerful than negative. (Thank goodness!) Manifesting is not instant, allowing time to change your mind. You can always assess or reassess.

Most attract by default. Thoughts and feelings create your life and experience.

LOA is really obedient and always on.

Passion is key ingredient. Controlling feelings is easier than the impossible task of controlling thoughts.

Key Point-feeling good attracts more good feelings and good things. Shift emotions. Feeling creates the attraction.

Think of the universe as a big genie waiting to grant our wishes.

Be a deliberate creator:
(1) ask the universe and it will respond
(2)believe (in the unseen and your deservedness) without knowing how or when
(3) be open to receive, feel wonderful about it coming

Pay Attention!! When the universe nudges, act. Don't delay, don't guess, don't doubt.
"You don't have to see the whole stairway, just take the first step."- Martin Luther King

No rules; don't place time, place and other limitations and restrictions

Practice gratitude. What we think about and thank about we bring about.

Idea: carry a gratitude rock in your pocket daily. Whenever you take it out of or put it into your pocket, it reminds you to be grateful.

Visualize-if you've been there in your mind, you'll go there in the body.

Intend it to be.

Trust and act on inspired thought.

No one has the ability to control your happiness but you. Your joy is within you.

Do you treat yourself as you want others to treat you?

Fall in love with yourself.

Activism: don't be anti-war, be pro-peace.

It's not my job to change the world but to celebrate the world that exists.

Ask yourself, "So what?" Change your mind/your thoughts, change your life.

No regrets.

"The Secret" was very inspiring to watch and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. So many seem to go through life being victims of circumstance and if anything, this video will at least inspire people to take more charge of their lives and happiness. For me, the result was very encouraging, and a positive reminder. Plus, I realized once again, that there is very little I desire or feel is lacking in my life. And I am working on what seems to be. :) I am back to starting my day with a gratitude list, spending moments thinking about how blessed I am. I am reminded of what I used to practice on a more regular look for the gifts that exist in what circumstances bring me...remembering to have the eyes to see.

a home, a reflection, a refuge

As we go through the days we may tend to take our living space for granted, seeing it as simply a place to eat, sleep and work. Caring for our homes can begin to feel tedious at times as there are always dishes to wash and floors to sweep and bills to pay for the privilege of living within the walls we call home. Before long, one can become focused on all that feels burdensome rather than what is actually a blessing.

A home is so much more than a space we occupy or come to at the end of a day. It is more than a building that shelters us from the elements. A home is a refuge, a dwelling place that offers us warmth and protection, a gathering place for family and friends. A home reflects the spirit of those who dwell within it.

Everything in the universe is composed of constantly changing energy, so this is true also of your home and its contents. We invite energy into our home, (consciously or not) that makes it what it is. This energy not only mirrors us, but can greatly influence us. Realizing this, we can become more conscious and appreciative in caring for our homes. Rather than viewing our daily housekeeping as a burden, we can see it as a privilege and a blessing. We are the caretakers of the space we call home. We are not separate from it, but an integral part of it and everything within it. It is sacred space and with this thought in mind, we can imbue it with love and appreciation by the way we go about our tasks.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Organic food really is better for you

Organic food is healthier than conventional produce and may be better at preventing cancer and heart disease, according to the biggest study of its kind.

read more | digg story