Monday, October 17, 2011


I am blessed. A couple of nights ago I sat in the rocking chair in my room and had a long conversation with my soon to be 16 year old daughter, Kyra. We talked of girl things like makeup and hair, how to dress modestly, be feminine and still be strong and independent.  The discussion turned to taking care of ourselves by eating things that are closer to the earth and how God created them, with it eventually morphing into a talk about being your true self, being kind and not caring what others think about who you are. It was one of those times as a parent when your cup is  full to overflowing.

Kyra is amazing...beautiful inside and out.  I know that whatever God has in store for her, it is good.  She is so sensible about people, always watching, listening and observing others.  Very discerning, that one.  I've learned to listen to what she has to say about those around us as it often makes a lot of sense.  Yes, sometimes you can even learn something from your teenagers. :-)

Jay and I have slowed down our lives a lot in the past couple of years.  For a few years, we did the rat-race-run-around-like-a-chicken thing, always on the run...going, going, going.  Many of the things we were busy doing were good things, but we got so tired and frazzled and--well--grumpy!  It was time to make a change and we made the decision to do so. As we began to live differently, we realized that our family unit had suffered during those busy years.  We didn't have the relationship with our kids that we wanted to have and we spent too much time being sick and tired.

Our life now is so very different.  Both of my girls are home schooled (by their choice), which gives us time together every day.  Yes, there are times when we all get a bit sick of each other :), but the blessings much outweigh the difficulties.  Most evenings we all gather around the table for a home cooked meal, which I feel is an important part of keeping our family close.  About a year and a half ago, Shelby was gone for about 6 months and during that time, Jay and I realized how fleeting these moments are that we have with our kids.  They grow up so quickly and one day they will be out in the world, pursuing whatever it is God has for them.  I don't want to look back on these years with regret.

Most of our mornings are spent at home, the girls getting their schoolwork done after Jay and Shelby leave for work.  Yes, we do have some days that get busy with things like art classes, errands, tutoring appointments, etc,(and some days I feel like I spend way too much of my life in the kitchen! :-) However, those busy days are the exception around here now, not the rule. That was our goal...simple. We still have other dreams and goals for our family, including a more independent, sustainable lifestyle that is good for us and makes us better stewards of this amazing creation that God has entrusted us with.  It will happen, we are working toward that goal.

As for this day, I choose to be thankful. I will be thankful for every single day that I have with my kids and Jay. I will cherish every conversation (even the difficult ones), every laugh (nothing in this world can make me smile like Shelby's laugh),  every "coffee shop school" day (we have a long winter), every moment when I look in my front room to find my girls reading or knitting, every hug, every cup of tea enjoyed together, and every meal that our family gets to sit down to.  Yes, I am blessed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Little Toddy for a Cold, Wet Day

For years now I have known about the benefits of including apple cider vinegar in my diet (thanks, Dad!), but have had trouble adding it regularly because, well, it is vinegar! This summer I read a blog post from my amazing and lovely niece, Ashley, who was looking for a more palatable way to include ACV in her diet. Check out her blog to see the very tasty solution she came up with.  Thanks, Ashley!  This is such a yummy, refreshing drink and it also was a great way to use the very large, overgrown pot of mint growing on my back deck. I enjoyed this all summer!

Now that the weather has taken a turn and it is suddenly fall, I just don't want to drink lots of cold drinks.  Today I decided to make myself a toddy using the same ingredients, but with hot water (obviously).  I have to say that it is quite delightful!  I am pleasantly surprised, as I was certain the vinegar would be totally overpowering when it was hot. The only thing that I did add to the hot toddy was a little bit of honey. I never sweetened the cold version.  Try it!  It is surprisingly good. :-)

[I always use organic ACV. Apples are full of pesticides, so I  buy Bragg's.]

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This would be an apt description of my feelings about life as of late...