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Posts Tagged ‘Reflections’

 shu.com surprise

 

As a whole, are we on information overload?

Have you seen the (Bing.com) television commercial where a person is asked a simple question and the poor soul responds by rattling off all of the information they inadvertently received while doing a simple search on the internet? Cracks me up!

But, is it funny? Are we on overload?

Years ago I decided I could step off of the band wagon.  I thought I never needed to learn anything related to modern technology again.  Uh-huh…you can see how that worked out for me (Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, WordPress, Blogger, Google, Bing, You Tube, Hot Frog, website, mobile phone upgrades, digital camera upgrades, internet provider upgrades…).  With an online business there are wants, and there are real needs.

Most of us love to learn, so can we really be subjected to too much information? You might think twice after reading Wikipedia’s definition of information overload (and I copy):  “Information overload” is a term coined by Alvin Toffler which refers to an excess amount of information being provided, making processing and absorbing tasks very difficult for the individual because sometimes we cannot see the validity behind the information.” 

With the ease of the newest devices, and endless information at our finger-tips, along comes multi-tasking, and the breakdown in efficiency.  Less really can be more.  Can the brain only process a certain amount of information?

Believe me, I am not complaining.  The world (and learning) is awesome! But perhaps that is why I wake up and pray, and meditate, and repeat again.  No, that has to do with my faith in God…but let me tell you, it feels good to plant my feet on the ground and center myself.  No piece of equipment is going with me when I leave this world, is it? Neither is the Internet. 

Hmmmm….

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Misc 007When I ask myself the question, have you been reflective recently? The resounding answer is a definite yes! Meditative? Very!

The world comes with trials, disappointments, and frustrations.  What I do to armour myself against those trials is what helps me to win the battle(s).

My battles are won through faith in God.  Period. 

I could oh so easily throw my hands up in the air and say the words, “I give up, this is too difficult.”  But I am not turning back, I am sticking with the One that created me. 

Jesus said: “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…But seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  Matthew 6:31, 33-34

Amen! Over and out! When I find myself slipping into the notion of worrying about tomorrow, I quickly remind myself that it is up to Him to do the work.  He has plans for me! I need only concentrate on this very moment, do what is best for my future today.

With love to all of you!

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I was 15 years old when I noticed the long shadows cast by the setting sun in late August.  As I enjoyed the evening outdoors with my family, I appreciated the cool change to the air and quietly thought the shadows were beautiful.  An awareness of nature set into place once more.

I see the long shadows as I write this morning.  I am a few feet away from a southeast facing window.  The shadows from the trees and other objects definitely make their stretch across the lawn.

I equate the long shadows to the changing of the seasons.  A visual reminder that taps us on the shoulder, “Fall is coming.” 

I found interesting sites as I did a search on the long shadows of August!

A winery called Long Shadows:  http://www.longshadows.com/aboutlsv.aspx I do enjoy a small healthy glass of red wine most evenings.  As I added wine to my evening regime, I crinkled up my nose at what seemed like bitterness.  Now I am beginning to enjoy the difference in wineries and regions.  Have I developed a nose and taste for it? Not yet. 

A beautiful photography blog displaying an urban scene of the long shadows that I so love! http://www.capturethisphotography.com/2009/08/long-shadows.html I can just imagine a wonderful stroll!

And relating to love and aging:  http://www.girltalkhome.com/blog/as-evening-shadows-advance A letter to think about.

And beautiful long shadows at sunrise:  http://www.pbase.com/merriwolf/image/58729735 This photo makes me homesick for my grandparents.  I loved to go on garden walks early in the morning.  Cool air, dew everywhere, and quiet. 

Long shadows, appreciating the advancing of the seasons. 

Have a beautiful day!

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From My Rose Garden

From My Rose Garden

Stopping and smelling the roses isn’t all about the lovely rose scent coming from the plants in the garden. 

As I grew older I began to realize that beauty was not just what a person could see.  And the most important things in life were not material things.  What is most important is people. 

The phrase stop and smell the roses is referring to the act of slowing down, relaxing, and enjoying what is really of value in our lives.

Have you ever been so busy, so worried about “things,” or just so engrossed in a particular matter, that you forgot to pay attention to yourself or a loved one?  The misguided focus one day soon grows into a week, a week grows into a month, and quickly an entire season passes.  It is not a good feeling when the reality of the missed time and focus becomes clear.

Out of love, I am reminding you to stop and smell the roses, and out of love, I am going to schedule deliberate time to do the most important things in life!

Thank you to my friends, my family, all of the wonderful people in my life!

Have a beautiful weekend!

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Pink Ladies 001

 

(Grandma’s) Copper Penny Carrots

2 lb pkg fresh carrots

1 onion

1 green pepper

1 can tomato soup

3/4 c vinegar

3/4 c vegetable oil

1 c sugar

1 tsp prepared mustard and Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

Peel and clean carrots.  Cook until tender, drain and slice.  Place in a bowl.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in pan and cook until heated, then pour over carrots.  Let set overnight.  Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Grandma has been on my mind this week.  I miss her! Oddly, I do not remember these flowers ever popping up before, 3 of them did this week.  Grandma had flowers such as these in her yard.  She called them Pink Ladies.  She told me that they only bloom once a year and they bloom for only one day.  I guess I am about to find that out. 

By the way, I did a search on Pink Ladies and found Pink Ladies Slippers, which could be another variety of these flowers.  They apparently also grow on long single stems.  Whatever the true name of the flowers are, they are beautiful.

The copper penny carrot recipe was grandma’s.  Each time I visited her home she would tell me, “These are Father Pat’s favorites.  He always asks me for them when he visits.”  I would imagine he did. 

The last time I visited grandma in the nursing home, she talked to me about Mary, the grand-daughter named after herself (and her mother).  She also talked about her visit from Father Pat.  As I left she hugged me and said, “You are such a sweet lady, you will come back and see me?” That was good enough for me.  She remembered Mary, she just could no longer link her to me.

A few days later I received the call.  Grandmother was in the hospital, and it was not good.  I walked into the hospital lobby and was greeted by a man that I did not know, a pastor, a man also declared legally blind.  He really could not see me, he later told me.  He walked up to me, held my hand and said, “I am father Pat.”  I thought my heart would stop right then and there.  I thought I was too late.  “I am going to lead you to her room.  You need to pray for her, she is at peace.”  He walked me up and down the corridors.  We took the various elevators.  He knew his way around.  He talked lovingly of my grandmother.  I then knew why grandmother spoke so highly of Father Pat.  He also told me that several days before her hospitalization he had visited her and she asked him to pray with her.  She was able to recite everything that she knew, and spiritually she was ready to leave this earth apparently.  And at those words my heart was broken, but I was at peace because my grandmother did the right thing.  It gave me strength that was immeasurable.

I stayed with my grandmother until the end that day.  I held her hand and talked to her about letting go, and even though she did not answer me, we talked about where she was going.  It was beautiful.

So…there is my story about copper penny carrots (almost the color of Father Pat’s hair), big grin!!!

By the way, the recipe calls for Mazola oil.  And 3/4 C is a lot of oil…in my opinion!

Have a beautiful Tuesday!

 

 

 

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Misc 001

We get reminded now and then, no matter how busy life gets, nothing is as important as maintaining relationships.  Regular contacts with friends and family brings the “Ahhhh” back into the world.

Yesterday the guys worked on the tractor project.  I worked on my friend’s computer for a bit. 

After visiting for a few hours, I made a trip to the deli to pick up chicken and sides for lunch.  When I pulled back into the driveway I was greeted with, “I hope you bought enough.”  Extended family had shown up.  I had Luise with me, a wonderful friend.  She has Alzheimer’s disease, so I am very careful with her.  I love the feeling when our time together is successful, when all goes smoothly.  I have learned a lot from her.  Even now, as she can not put things into words as well as she used to, her wisdom still trinkles out, and I soak it in.  Anyhow, I said to Luise, “Do not unbuckle your seat belt, we are going back to the grocery store!” She did well, she really did.  I could see the tiredness in her eyes the second trip around, and her tiny hand began to feel cold.  We hold hands while we are out, unless she is pushing a cart.  She trusts me, and I feel confident in knowing that she will remain with me as long as the trust is there.  Sometimes I feel that I do not do enough for others, that I, myself, are way too busy to do what is needed, and when I can help, even with a smile, it is more fulfilling than anything else possibly can be.

I talked with another friend this morning, one whom felt rather neglected.  It makes a person quickly realize that friendship cannot be tossed about.  We all have feelings, and we all need a boost now and then. 

My sister just entered a new phase in her life.  I cannot tell you exactly what the change is all about, but I can tell you this, you ought to hear our recent phone calls, our text messages, and our emails.  Giggles abound.  But I listen, and I try to help.  She is growing in this new experience and I am proud of her.  I could not imagine not being here for her.  There is nothing like a sister!

Just a rambling about friends and family.  And really just a reminder to myself this morning as I sip on my coffee and reflect on the world.

Off topic just a bit…I am still cleaning up the categories here, and hope to get a blog roll added back in.  I was very excited to see each and every comment from the old blog appear.  I found it interesting how the posts came in one day and the comments imported slowly the next, as I wiped the sweat from my brow but no complaints here.  It was successful!

Have a beautiul Sunday!

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Do you remember what happens when I feel compelled, overwhelmed with thoughts that I feel I need to share?
The thoughts go to the blog.
If there is one piece of advice that I cannot give enough of, it is: Take care of yourself. If you do not do it, do not expect anyone else to do it for you.
Does that sound rather harsh?
No.
I am not just referring to physically taking care of yourself, even though mental can greatly affect your physical health, and in turn your physical well-being can put a huge stress on your mental health. What I was specifically referring to was, nurture yourself.
Allow yourself to blossom.
This particular idea (not a new one) has been on my mind a lot recently. And today when I saw the beautiful rose blossom opening with it’s own brilliancy I saw the connection before my eyes.
Before the rose bud opened it looked normal. As it began to open I saw a bit of what appeared to be rust around the edges. Just like a person that is rusty at remembering to take care of themselves. The person that forgets, or does not realize, that the world is at their fingertips. And then the blossom opened with wonderful colors, and the more it opened, the more anticipation came with it for the future.
If you have a passion, act on it. If you have a talent, allow it to grow. If you love something, make sure it is in your life. Sometimes the smallest of things are the biggest of things in our own hearts.
I am going to go through a list of people that I have noticed blossoming (leaving names out, sorry peeps):
A lovely lady lost her home, but now has a nice apartment and a new car. She is secure in her job, yet she is not happy. Someone listened to her one day, she talked about “everything that she had lost.” So the listener bought her a hummingbird feeder for her patio. Within a few hours she saw her first hummingbird. She cried. She realized that she had not lost everything, she just needed to remember what she loves, and she needed to remember that what she loves does not go away, it stays in her heart (the tiniest of things). And today she continues to grow, realizing the small things in life. And she is pursuing so much. She is no longer shut in to the pain, the world has many possibilities.
A wonderful friend is going through a tough time. She is taking better care of herself because it makes her feel good. She has had her hair re-done, her apartment painted (in the colors that makes her feel happy), and she is pursuing her dreams as a soap artist. Yes, a talented artisan! Through all of her troubles, she can still make her own heart sing.
A great friend has lost a lot of weight. She did not feel all that well before she lost the weight. She could have laid on the couch, moped, cried, allowed depression to take over, but no, she began daily and deliberate exercise. Today she revels in her new size, her new (younger) looks, but best of all, she feels fantastic, and she is vibrant and glowing. Not gloating. She took care of herself. Nobody else could have done it for her. She should be proud!
A dear friend has decided to build on her special talents. She decided to take her beautiful wares and sell them, offer them to others, open a shop where she takes the products that she has lovingly crafted to the public, and somewhere in her heart she has the urge to share that sense of joy with everyone that crosses her path. It took courage, but she has done it…for herself!
Do not forget what you love, despite the busyness and disappointments in life, do not forget who you are. You are special, and you have your own needs. Fulfill those needs.
Blossom!

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I love to read. I do not spend a lot of money on books, but the library I do very much love!
I am not much of a television watcher. I can barely tell you one show from another except for those that my husband frequents (and then I probably would not remember the actors names, nor the name of the show). I do not sit long. I am more of a person that likes to stay busy, and I have never really thought about it until now!
Based on one of the books that I am reading, I took the Clifton StrengthsFinder test to identify my signature themes. At first, after a 30 minute test, I looked at my themes and thought, “how lame.” No…wrong…none of us are lame. We are all designed to meet a purpose in life. I strongly believe God made us the way that we are for reasons. We are to grow in our natural born abilities!
My strengths are (in this order): Learner, Achiever, Empathy, Responsibility, and Focus.
Hmmm…I thought about the Learner and could not figure out how that could be good. Oh yes it can! How do I know about making soap? I began collecting it and became interested in it when I was 8 years old. I taught myself to make soap. I read a lot of books and did a lot of studying. I never witnessed a video or a single person making soap. Self taught. I also taught myself to raise a herd of goats. Again, tons of reading and studying. Then I thought about the job that I retired from, taught myself the ins and outs of government student loan rules and regulations. I took that 4″ thick manual home a lot. And I loved trying to interpret it. I ended up teaching others, leading classes (even though I was a very shy person). It fit like a glove. Is that such a bad thing? Probably not. So…the moral of my story is, do not beat yourself up for what you are good at. Make it better!
We all have natural talents and we tend to not see them. We go from day to day and forget that we are special. No, I do not like to wag my tail. I am a private type of person, but I am passionate about talking with people.
Achiever…not a bad thing either. That explains why I feel I must accomplish something each day. I must do something that is worth my time. I can relax and rest, but I also must do at least one constructive thing. On the days when it feels like everything goes wrong, it is quite the battle for me. Then I stop and remember, I am human, and I laugh. Again, I feel there is a reason for everything. Perhaps a goofed up day is a signal that we need to rest!
Empathy…this does not mean that we know everything about everyone, it is a gift of instinct. I can easily sense what people are feeling, what they might need, or even what kind of day they are having. This is probably why I can easily talk to strangers, or chit chat on the dime. I do not try to be a mother hen, I just seem to easily understand.
Responsibility and Focus…again something that makes me tick. I have to have something to do that has meaning, and I love to focus in on something difficult until the job is done, and the job is done right. I catch myself planning out the steps…just how do I get to the end result?
I am not here today to talk about myself, I am here today to remind my friends that we all have special gifts. Perhaps we are not good at being a sales person (cold calls), or perhaps we are not an extrovert that needs a crowd around us, or perhaps we are not good at speaking in front of a crowd, but we all have special gifts and talents that we can focus on, appreciate, and grow in. We can brush up on our weaknesses a tad. But do not focus on what you cannot do, focus on the natural good in you, and run with it.
I go into my soap shop and I think about everything that I can accomplish. What can I create? Where have I gone in life (and I never focus on the negative past), and where do I want to go? That is what we are designed to do…do what we do best. I love hearing that others are happy with what I sell to them. It isn’t all about the money, it is more about them finding a product that they really are satisfied with.
Introspect? Perhaps…but more that I wanted to share with you! I feel inspired.

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The fog is lifting and the sun is showing a lot of promise…promise for a beautiful Sunday, and a wonderful new week!
This has been a odd week at Annie’s Goat Hill. So…I am going to do some ramblings here…a recap of sorts.
I was “off” by one day each day during the week. Somehow the holidays seem to do that to me. On Tuesday, of course I thought it was Monday. I worked on that thought all day on Tuesday. When the day started on Wednesday I thought it was Thursday. Ha ha! Working from home tends to do some of that too. Oh boy…but that is behind me (us) now.

We had problems with sick kids as well. There was a lot of humidity, rain off an on, no real closure to the dampness. It is dissapointing when you have a great kidding season, no loss of kids, and then you lose two just as they are near the weaning age. But, that is part of life on the farm. Had goat buyers on the farm yesterday, a good couple that come every year. They had the exact same scenario at their farm this week. Sort of knocks the air out of a person. It can be expected from time to time but it happens so quickly and helps us to remember how fragile these lives we care for really are.

I did accomplish a lot of soaping this week, but I need to do a LOT more! I am testing new recipes. Always a big job! Too soft, too hard, not conditioning enough, want good lather. Wave the magic wand, or add chemicals, and you might have it. But the magic wand is Mary, and Mary goes as natural as possible. I wouldn’t have it any other way! When I placed my hands on my first bar of hand crafted soap many years ago I knew what I had, and I will continue to present it in that same fashion.

We had dinner with friends yesterday evening. Luise has Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately she has really been progressing. She is becoming more quiet and her episodes of confusion seem to be growing worse. She has good weeks, but when the difficult times arrive they come in bunches. It is a very sad disease. I have learned a lot from being with her, and I feel blessed to be one that she trusts completely, but there is nothing very good that comes out of it. The good part is someone that I love that I can be a friend to, help whenever I can.

Last night the storms rolled through. When they announced the tornado warning I listening. Bob and I have been in one tornado, thankfully it was a small tornado that pulled us off of the road. But that was an experience enough! So, now I watch and listen. I do not freak out but I do not ignore. Anyhow, we lost power right at 9:00 PM. We tend to forget just how quiet it really is without the sounds of the refrigerator humming, or how dark it is without the lights on the barn, or in the church parking lot next door. It really is beautiful to only hear the sounds of the bull-frogs on the pond. But, yet, we are spoiled by electricity and want it back quickly. It arrived back after a couple of hours.

Today we are visiting with friends, probably going to work on the tractor project. And after we arrive back home for evening feeding, we are going to start the week off right, with rest.

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like you are out of sync?
See the doe in the photo with her tongue sticking out? Yes, she was bellowing at me, “Maaaaa…you are feeding kind of late, and I am growing impa-a-a-a-tient!”
Yes, it was one of those kinds of days.
There are two very significant things about me. I work hard, I am honest, and I have a good sense of humor. Wait, those are three things that I just let out of the bag!
Because I work hard, I get into a lot of funny predicaments, and because I have a sense of humor, I can laugh at it all (eventually), and many times during.
When I start my day with breakfast (peanut butter on 2 pieces of whole wheat bread every morning, with black coffee, followed with a bottle of water) and I drop my butter knife 3 times on the table, bang, pick it up, bang (you get the picture), then proceed to wad up my napkin and place it in my cup of coffee…somehow I begin to wonder if my day is in trouble. Yes ma’am (or sir) IN TROUBLE!
When you try to delete pictures from your camera, but a few moments later realize that you have your phone in your hand, you are IN TROUBLE.
It was one of those days, thank heavens this out of sync feeling is not an every day thing, and now the day is almost over. Life is a grand thing…and I feel there is a reason for everything. Perhaps this sort of disorder is to make us laugh? Perhaps!
Now I need to fumble through the dozen Post-It-Notes that I have scattered across my desktop, all from today, good random thoughts, that somehow I just could not seem to organize into anything that gelled.
I had a father in the military, I hear the evening call, “Day is done…gone the sun…!”
Have a good evening…and stay in sync, believe me, it helps!

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