Friday, December 28, 2012

reflections & introspection

Through the mirror of my mind
Time after time
I see reflections of you and me...
 (Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Edward Holland,Jr.)

unless you're in the vicinity of my age you may not know where those words come from.  i'll give you a hint...dianna ross, get out of my head!

the holiday season is near over and for a lot of people it has been a rough time.  maybe the hardest part of the year.  for me, yeah, that's pretty true.  i seem to make it through birthdays, anniversaries, and other dates you would think would get to the anniversary of coop's death...things likes that.  but the winter holidays are kinda like a double whammy.  not only am i trying to make new memories with mark, but at the same time without my family.  yeah, things used to be a whole lot different but then, not just for me. 

i have been reflecting on that part a lot it must be for those who used to be an important part of my life, how much anger and hurt they must feel to have to disrupt the family and exclude me entirely.  and the things is, i understand to a great degree how they must see me and my past actions.  i do however wonder if they actually see themselves.  doing that they would have to reconsider everything, not just my actions but theirs as well.  we all make mistakes so we can learn from them, but  it seems a lot easier to blame others than to look at yourself. looking at yourself can be pretty ugly at times.  plus it's hard to keep perspective and not go down that dark road to self loathing and depression.  i'm all too familiar with that place and it's not a place you choose to visit any too often. 

so, i guess i'm broadening my perception even more so these days.  the winter solstice season is a time for reflecting and introspection.  soul searching is necessary if we ever want to know ourselves, forgive ourselves and understand and forgive others.  then maybe we can move forward a little more gracefully.  this holiday season was really rough at first for a lot of reasons but i made it a whole lot better than it might have been.  it didn't just happen.  i chose it and i'm so glad i did. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

dear human 

after researching these words, i learned there is actually more to this.  it continues with...

"But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty."

Courtney A. Walsh


Sunday, October 28, 2012

think about it

People who inspire you are living a version of life that you want to live. And people that you envy hold the key to the things you "think" you are missing from your life. ~Mastin

Friday, September 14, 2012

we are so blessed

i look out from my morning table and cannot help but find myself in a state of appreciation as i watch the birds, squirrels and chipmunks scurry about.  twice i have seen a hummingbird come to the coral bells.  come the month of may next year we will put a feeder out for them.  i say "for them" when in fact it will actually be to enable myself to observe and enjoy these tiny miracles hover and dart about.

i came across a little sign in a downtown shop the other day.  it read, "we are so blessed".  i brought it home as a constant reminder of that truth.  so often we get caught in day to day struggling that we forget to take note of just how blessed our lives are.  we can often feel that our lives are mundane and lacking in flavor or nothing more than a series of struggles. if we think and feel this, that becomes our experience and we fail to see the beauty and magic all around us.  believe me, i know of what i'm talking about because i have been in that place more than once.  access to it is easy.  the truth of our existence is a matter of perception, of what we choose to focus on.  anything worth attaining takes focus and practice and most of all the desire to change.  and change is not necessarily hard.  sometimes it's simply a matter of changing your mind or switching your thoughts.  to do that simply requires an awareness of your thoughts.  so, today, try practicing that awareness. 

we are all on a journey of self knowledge and awareness whether we recognize it or not.  as i continue to learn and grow i hope to delve more deeply into this subject.  in the meantime count your blessings and take note of the beauty and gifts all around you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

nom nom, this is heaven in a cake

cinnamon roll cake

i found this recipe via pinterest last week and had to try it.  oh my god! we loved it!  mark's favorite cake was chocolate until he tried this.  in a phone call the other day i even heard him telling his friend bill how good this cake was.  he's hoping i make it again real soon. pssst, just ignore the probable calorie content.

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

the most important thing you'll ever see

this truly matters. i'm askiing you to watch it in it's entirety if you care about your life, liberty and freedom ad that of your children, grandchildren. i'm asking you to watch it if you care about anything concerning human life and the place we call home as well. it's probably the most important thing you will ever watch.  watch it here or visit the following link:
THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?
Visit for more information on THRIVE. THRIVE uses the Yekra player technology.  See for more information.

Friday, August 24, 2012

my morning table

i love cats.  simple fact.  and i have never allowed my cat(s) to be on the table or counters. with my mister and his precious, namely furby, has changed my outlook. you see, furby is with mark 99% of the time.  (i could be jealous if i were the jealous type)  she is a needy little one and at near 14 years of age, he caters to her every whim.  (actually, i think he's always catered to her whims, thus she is the way she is.  read that, spoiled!) her whims include being held at and allowed on the dining table.  now i for one never would have allowed this in the first place, but sometimes my soft spot gets the best of me and what can i say after after all?  he's been allowing this for years.  in this case, anyhow, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  now oden, my feline familiar, did not have permission to be a table cat.  well, until recently anyhow.  (really, he only wants to look out the window)  seeing as how it was ok for furby to rest on the table, it seemed only fair to our other "child" to allow the same.  now i know to some people this might seem disgusting, particularly because when a critter is laying on the table they have their butt on the table.  but rest assured, i clean my table regularly.  and oden is very aware that this is a privilege and still knows the counter tops are off limits...except of course when i am not looking. 

so, this is our morning table with all the necessary accompaniments, coffee, water, reading material, etc.  oh yeah, and critters.


Friday, August 17, 2012

a most blessed day

 you are the living earth
(copyright r. mark chadwick 2012)

a spirit breath of


a vibrant rain of


you gather stars
and gift them

monday was my 57th birthday and what a nice one.  i awoke to a lovely, romantic  birthday card from mark with this handwritten poem inside.  mark has made it tradition on special days to present me with a poem he's written especially for me.  he truly is a romantic guy and words are his gift. 

more surprises came my way throughout the day.  when he came back from picking up the mail he surprised me with these, remembering i loved sunflowers.

later in the day we went for lunch.  when we returned we checked the mailbox at the house and inside was an envelop from "the boys", my three grandsons luke, mike and nick.  inside i found a variety of notepads (because g-ma is a list maker :) and three most wonderful handmade birthday cards. the fact that they were on pink paper did not allude me.  luke, the oldest (11) remembered his grandma's favorite color.   :)

and just in case there is any doubt about who the best "gandma" is, mike has made it clear.  :)

so a big thank you to my wonderful, sweet man mark and my awesome offspring.  you may not know how much your thoughtfulness means to me but it meant the world.  i love you all!

i find it hard to believe i am nearing 60 years of age.  they (whoever they are) say you're only as old as you feel.  my body feels it but the mind says different.  without a doubt i feel i've matured in wisdom over the years, but there is and always will be a kid in me.  sure, i can't  do all the things i used to do and a lot of things i'd love to do due to physical limitations, yet inside this aging woman of routine and limitations lives the free spirit of a child.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

wednesday words

I have come to drag you out of your self
And take you in my heart.
I have come to bring out the beauty
You never know you had
And lift you like a prayer to the sky.
If no one can recognize you, I do
Because you are my life and soul.
Don't run away, accept your wounds and
Let bravery be your shield.
It takes a thousand stages for
For the perfect being to evolve.
Every step of the way I will walk with you
And never leave you stranded.
Be patient, do not open the lid too soon
Simmer away until you are ready.
In this game I make the rules.
I roll you like a ball and chase you
When I choose.

- Rumi

thanks for the inspiration akannie.  :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

let the creativity begin

ever since coop died and my daughter disowned me i have a real hard time whenever it gets near my birthday.  so today, despite starting the day in tears and depression, i set out to be somewhat productive.  i know from experience that the worst thing i can do when depression rears it's not so pretty head, is to get off my ass and do something.

i moved this, that and the other thing and finally became satisfied with the arrangement i had in the corner of our basement.  now i finally have my very own space where i can play with my beads and clay! 

 the wicker screen not only hides a storage area but provides a place to hang some of my creations.
the vintage stereo/record cabinet on the right makes a nice storage unit.  the wall above my art table is naked for now but i imagine that will eventually change.

 oden likes it a lot, too!

i love that the pegboard was already there making the perfect place to hang tools, wire and boards.

not a bad days work all things considered.  odd isn't it that the depression was my motivation?  just goes to show that a day doesn't have to end the way it began.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

just keep swimming, swimming

homestead heart blog used to be all about simple living, sustainability and homesteading.  i have changed the subheading because while i'll always have a homestead heart and  hold that lifestyle near and dear to me and adhere to the philosophy and principals i've always had, i no longer homestead or live in the country.  now i reside in  a neighborhood on the outskirts of small town, ohio. my heart will always be in the country, that is for sure.  but with life changes, age and physical limitations, i am where i need to be for now. 

as a commenter said in my last post, i am surfacing like dory in "finding nemo" who chanted, "just keep swimming, swimming.".  that is a good feeling.  when mark and i moved into this house from the apartment we were in i felt like i was getting back a little piece of myself.  just to be able to have some space around me, a nice back yard with trees, birds, squirrels, living things...that was priceless.  now i have a kitchen worthy of working in.  what a blessing!  i still love to cook and will no doubt be sharing recipes as i have in the past.  mostly i just want a place to be me, to assist in the reclaiming of myself.  i no longer want this blog to be one thing, but all things that matter to me.  maybe that's what it was before?  either way, it will be whatever i make it.  :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

decompressing/returning to me

this blog started out as one thing but now i'm not sure what it is or should become.  circumstances have changed, that's for sure.  i guess i feel as if i've failed at keeping my life, "simple, sacred & sustainable."  not so much by choice but by circumstance.  when coop died everything changed.  I suddenly lost a huge portion of my identity.  for thirty years it was wrapped up in being his wife and sharing our life, our mutual goals and day to day living.  i had some serious and difficult decisions to make and let me tell you, it was weird coming to the realization that it was just "me" now.  i suppose unless you've been through the death of a spouse or a divorce you'd have little comprehension of that feeling.  thirty years of living suddenly shifted into unknown territory.  someone once told me after coop died not to make any major decisions for at least two years.  i've come to find out that was good advice.  but, being that things were as they were i felt i had to make some major choices in order to survive emotionally and financially.  i can honestly say i wish i had been able to hold off on any life altering decisions but life altering circumstances were what drove me to make the choices i did.  a viscous circle you might say.

so too soon i ended up with a new love, a new residence and a situation that was not especially conducive to my well being.  unfortunately neither was my staying.  it has been three years since i left the farm and my old life.  in the process family relationships have changed dramatically.  i have tried to remedy that situation to no avail.  there are so many hard feelings i suppose will remain so until others can open their hearts and minds to understanding.  although i wish no harm, i believe it may take a similar situation affecting (in the most personal way) those i refer to, before they can find that understanding.  the fact of the matter is, in every relationship eventually one partner will suffer that loss.  

at this point in time i feel as if i may be heading in the direction of putting the pieces of me back together.  it has been a slow and tedious process with lots of unexpected hurdles, hurt and losses.  enough that it's called post traumatic stress syndrome or disorder (the same thing).  the death  of a husband, the alienation of daughter, granddaughter and son in law and a niece, the death of two sisters, three moves in under three years, and the list goes wouldn't believe how the list goes on so i will spare the rest.  but ptss explains why it is that i can barely function on some days and don't have the energy or motivation to do much so much of the time.  but i keep trying.  the doctor says i'm going through a period of decompression.  despite this lack of motivation i want so badly to feel alive and motivated again.  (i won't be a victim of this and i am not without hope!) when i felt the urge to return to this blog and start writing again, it was a good sign.  small but good. will i ever have the stamina to garden and do my own canning again?  probably not.  but by next spring maybe i can raise some patio veggies.  maybe soon i can find my muse and get back my strong creative flow.  maybe, too, i will figure out what direction this blog is heading in.  in the meantime i will simply write what spills out just as i have today.  whether anyone reads my ramblings or not i will write for no other reason than as an exercise in returning to me.


Monday, August 6, 2012

counting heads

how many of you are still out there?  i am asking because i have finally gotten to a place where i feel like writing again.  it's taken awhile and i have promised on several occasions that i would begin and then i didn't.   so much has changed in my life and probably yours as well.  for those of you unaware, i was an avid blogger about the simple life for some time.  then, unexpectedly in feb of 2009, just after our anniversary, my husband died.  life got really crazy for awhile and now, well let's say, it's a whole lot different.  i am with a new love, a fact which has alienated members of my family.  lots of reasons, none valid.  i am no longer in the country and homesteading these days because i'm simply not able to.  i was so very dependent on my husband's contribution to that lifestyle, plus my disabilities now prevent me from being as active as i once was.  amazing how a few short years (or just a day) can change ones life.  but change it has. 

so...i guess the question i would like answered is this, is anyone still interested in the ramblings of a woman who has managed to carry on after several devastating years and now wants to write again?  if you are reading these words your comments would be greatly appreciated.  i believe i still have something to share with my readers.  and i miss you.