Reflection

Reading

December 30, 2017

I just returned from our public library with 4 books.  I am a tad nervous, because I’ve never read any of these authors and the library will not be open again for 2 days.  If I do not like them, I am in trouble!  At 58, I have decided, that I never have to read anything I do not like, one of the perks of being a grown up.  However, I love to read and am lost without being in the middle of a book.

I am not a voracious reader.  Truth be told, I am actually a fairly slow reader.  I am, however a consistent reader.  This year I carved out more time for reading, many days over the summer, I even added ‘reading’ to my ‘to do’ list.  Alone often in the evening, I read instead of watching TV.  I am glad I did. I have discovered new authors, looked at life differently and learned some new stuff.  I managed to read 46 books this year, the most I’ve read since my days at UCLA as a history major where the reading requirements were overwhelming.

I used Pinterest to keep track of books I want to read.  This might be one of the smartest things I’ve ever done with that site.  This has been so helpful in remembering books I’ve heard about from friends and reviewing books on Amazon and then adding them to my book ‘board’.

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorites this year…

I love to buy books for others for almost any reason.  You might say, that I am a book pusher.  Actually, that is sort of my job at school, book pusher and book put away-er.  Here are some of my favorites for the kids.

Age 9-10

Age 7…

Age 5 or 6…

Ageless…

So, what great books did you enjoy this year or do you plan to read next year?

I also want to say how much I appreciate your coming along side me in this blog.  May you have a very Happy New Year.

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Hope

December 22, 2017

There is sawdust on my slippers, my ‘inside’ shoes.  We’ve been mixing Christmas activities such as cutting down our own tree in the forest, with work on THE bathroom.

I would say, that it is the longest bathroom remodel/addition in the history of Ellensburg, but I know someone who took 8 years on theirs.  We are way ahead of that!

The bead board trim and base boards are up, so the floor just needed to be sanded.  I took this task over, as someone was laying down on the job.My knees and back held out for all the sanding of the floors, so I applied the filler to the floors as well.  Giving My Loving Spouse time to put the finishing touches on THE Grandson’s Christmas present, a replica of a present his Grandfather made for him, when he was a small boy.  We are pretty excited to be giving this gift.  No, I cannot tell you what it is, it is a secret.We have mixed our time off from school and driving with a renewed determination to finish the damn/darn/beautiful bathroom.  Work and play have been in balance.  Number Two Son took me to the Gard Winery Christmas party.  Great wine, great food and fun down to earth people.  I was more star struck by the Farm manager who grows their grapes, than I’ve ever been by any famous actors I have met.  An Ugly Christmas sweater party, proved a bit more challenging, as we are too cheap to actually buy anything ugly.  I made My Loving Spouse this Ugly sweater and then ‘made’ him wear it, while I literally stole the tree skirt from under our Christmas tree.  I am grateful for these days, of working and playing together.  I am well aware, that this season, this season of hope can be painful and bleak.

I easily remember different Christmas days.  The desperate time of deep sadness, that after years of marriage counseling, my children would be having parents that divorced.  It hurts my heart still.

Where do we find ‘hope’?

I believe hope is given to us.  Given by those who walk alongside us, especially in our darkest days.  Hope is not thrust upon us, but believed for us.   I came out of my darkest days, with hope that life would some day be different, because dear, compassionate, trusted friends believed it for me, shared it with me and helped me to see, that our God is a God of love and second chances…even for me with all my mess…and even for you.

If this season is bleak, I want to share my hope for you.  I believe your life will get better and that you are loved, in all your mess.  After all, Jesus was born in a stable, and we all know that there had to be some mess in there.

Thank you for walking along with me,

Merry Christmas,

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Dear Bob

May 14, 2017

“Dear Bob,” is how I started my letters to Bob.  

“Dear Bob“, I wrote approximately 40+ times in the last 5 years.I had planned to go to Bob’s 100th birthday party in a few short months, but Bob was called home.

Last Sunday, he got dressed in his suit for church, unlocked the front door, so the choir director could come in and help him with his tie.  He sat down in his chair and quietly passed away….ready for church…ready to sing in God’s choir.  I cannot think of a better way for him to go…quietly, quickly, ready for church.

I’ve cried a few tears.

It will be odd to not write letters to “Dear Bob”.

I have been working on transforming the front garden.  There is lots of work to do.  I have lots of plans, but I am now doing it all out-of-order.  Today, I planted two climbing roses in Bob’s memory.  I think about one of the anthems Bob wants sung at his service…”May All Who Come Behind Us Find Us Faithful.

Often in life, it seems easy to feel as if, I haven’t been or done enough…as Bob’s friend, I have no regrets.

Bob’s Arbor….I have been blessed by my friendship with my dear Bob.

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My Oldest Friend

November 1, 2015

My oldest friend came for a quick visit.  We were born 2 days apart, next door to each other.  I, the youngest of 5, she the youngest of 6.  You could say we had some things in common!  How lucky was I to have a built-in playmate, best friend just next door.  We learned to roller-skate in her back yard as it was smooth cement.  We played kickball, baseball and all other sorts of games in the cul-de-sac we shared.  We spent most summer days in our pool, where some how once we could swim parents left us to ‘watch each other’…parents didn’t worry that we wouldn’t drown or drown each other…that might not have been a great idea, but still we did manage to survive.carol poolMy mother sewed us matching dresses…carol matching dress..and I was devastated when at 12 they moved away.  We stayed in touch, but still it was not next door.

When she was visiting Portland this weekend, they swung by Ellensburg for a visit.  (You gotta love Californians…who are not afraid to drive!)  It was quick, but it was sweet…to see someone who so truly knows your history….the shenanigans one might have possibly gotten up to when one was a child.

carolThe visit was much too short…but hopefully…my friend, my first friend…will be back…and I am blessed.

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Tractors Are Like Life

April 3, 2015

Tractors have gears.  I might not have known that a few years ago, and some of my city friends might not have known that as well…but it is true!  Tractors have gears and I don’t just mean forward and backward.  Most of my gear language knowledge comes from My Loving Spouse (The Brit).  When I learn vocabulary from him, I am never quite sure if I am speaking ‘American’, so there you go, that is my very own ‘disclaimer’.  The gears have ‘ranges’ too.  ‘Low range’ for slow and ‘high range’ for not so slow.  Except, here is the problem…everything is trial and error.  There are NO fancy dials (actually even the dials we do have don’t work), to say…Low Range=SLOW, although occasionally there is the voice of My Loving Spouse saying,

‘Why do you have it in that range?’

To which there is no real answer, because a lot of times I am not really sure which ‘range’ I am actually in.

Changing gears is a lot of fun too (enter sarcastic font here).  The gears don’t slide in like they do in a modern sports car (not that I’ve driven many of those) the gears grind like you’d expect on a tractor that is older than I am, here’s the math (56).  I mostly drive in whatever gear I can get my tractor into.

There is a gear called ‘road gear’.  Yep, that’s right it is for ‘fast’…for driving on the road…for getting from one field to another or for visiting your neighbor on your tractor.

What I have learned, is that tractors kick up a lot of dust-dirt-mayhem and it goes down the back of your shirt, on your neck and in your ears…so I always wear a hoody…with the hood up.  I also protect my seat…my seat, not the tractor seat.  The tractor seat is often wet and it is metal, so it is wet and cold…I try to never sit on the tractor seat without a barrier between me and it…usually an old cat food feed bag (feeding all those cats is good for something)!

Driving my tractor is good for my heart…it calms me down, it makes me feel productive and it is best when both my head and my seat are protected.  Every once in a while I accidentally put the tractor into ‘road gear’ (fast), when I don’t want ‘road gear’, I just want go-forward-sort-of-normal-gear and I get a big unhappy surprise, a bit of whiplash and I have to jump on the brakes, before I run into something.

Lately, that is how life has felt, as if I’ve been slammed into road gear when I wasn’t ready for it…or just didn’t plain old want it.  The truth is, I’m just doing my best with a bunch of old difficult gears.  Tractor driving is a lot like life!

Lord,

help me to find the right gear…

keep the dirt out of my ears…

make a productive difference…

do what is good for my heart…

visit my friends…

and not run over or into much…

Amen

 

Ford Jubilee Tractor

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Opportunity

March 20, 2015

There is a sense when living in a major metropolis’, that it is where the land of opportunity lays.  When people heard you might consider leaving the area, it was not uncommon to hear the words…

‘But what ever will you do?’

This was not a problem for me, as I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I have been beyond amazed however, at the opportunities that have availed themselves for Team Offspring, here in the country.  Number Two Son’s plan was to be a visitor at Glory Farm.  He was at a theater arts college on the East coast when we moved.  He was content at his school, acting, singing and writing plays…(I think he was studying too, but I do not actually know that to be a fact, but his grades were good so perhaps he found a bit of time for that as well).  Then….life threw him a curve ball…his school was in financial disarray so they doubled his tuition…and eventually he came ‘home’…to the country…our boy that loves New York City and subways and theater and city stuff.

Opportunity is abundant…and I believe that God is good.

Number Two Son is finishing up at Central Washington University.  He is back in his element…acting, performing, learning and working.

Working at Cave B… an estate winery with a fascinating and deep history set at the Columbia river’s edge.

This little picture does not begin to do justice the beauty of the winery.

(This little picture does not begin to do it justice)

Number Two loves being out at the winery, learning about the wine…how it is made…the grapes…the process…  The people are wonderful…and they want him…beyond graduation…and it is exciting…and he is happy.  We are also learning a lot more about wine, to which all I can say is…education is a good thing!  Cave B is expanding their ability to make more wine…

oh, and they are building a performing arts venue as well…

to which all I can say is…

cave b1‘Cheers!’

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What’s A Mother To Do?

Watch out Hong Kong, she is coming…One would never describe My Girl as being shy.  When she was a small child and we’d run into friends at the grocery store, she would hug them, chat with them, be happy to see them and then as we walked away, she’d say, “So, who was that?” She […]

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The Shepherd in the Field

The sheep are back in the hay fields behind our farm.  The sheep are nibbling on the left over bits of hay still growing up from the ground.  There are hundreds of sheep…watched over by one shepherd and a bunch of sheep dogs.  The dogs come in all sizes and know quite well how to […]

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Gifts of the Season

With just 4 days until Christmas gift giving is in full swing.  My Librarian, The School Nurse and I all received a gift from the kids to start our holiday break.  So, because of them sharing this ‘gift’ with me, this was my breakfast.  Prepared by My Loving Spouse and if you are part of […]

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Feeling Blessed

Sometimes I leave little loving messages for my kids….Because that is what life is about, this living together…communication, mess and love. My kids have all aged out of the teen years and we made it!  Oh, they still think I am a tad crazy, sort of forgetful and a bit over zealous about pumpkins, cows, […]

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Knee Day

For some family time on Father’s day, we moved another fence.  Squaring out the property and supplying our ‘massive’ (3) growing herd with more grass to eat.We were anxious to get this done prior to ‘knee day’.  Team Offspring were ‘invited’ to spend some quality time with us moving the fence, after all, it was […]

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Mother Daughter Banquet

The mother daughter church banquet was last night.  An annual affair with little girls all dressed up, older gals with flowers and a line of men to serve the meal and clean up.  It is a simply sweet meaningful event and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go… It has been 8 years since my […]

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