Monthly Archives: September 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkins

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Waiting For The Dead

And that would be me…..

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These guys are just watching me and waiting for me to plop dead to the ground.  This is more than likely going to be a bit of an incoherent rant, sorry. But when others do it I always feel just a little more human, so if you continue past this sentence, congratulations, know others are suffering and feel human in your own pathetic way.  And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ve been trying really hard the last two weeks.  I am carrying a notebook around 24/7 with me so I don’t forget anything.  It houses a daily to do list.  Each day I mark “The Date” (come on that’s the easy part) then “Meal Plan”, with my  night’s dinner.  Then a list of “Have To’s”, meaning things that I need to do that day.  Then a list of “Should Do’s” those things that are lurking and not getting done or need to get done by the end of the week.  On the right hand side I’m listing “Coming Up”, or what things are coming up on the schedule ahead that I need to remember (School appointments and DVR’ing House M.D.).

Then at the front of each week I have my Weekly Meal Plan and my Grocery List.  On the back of each day I have a listing for “Daily $$” spent (decreasing),  “Things I Have Eaten” (too much), and “Exercise” (recently, none).  At the very bottom, a list of things I have extolled from the home for the week in the “Plan To Rid The Home of Junk”, otherwise know as” Too Much Clutter Makes Me Miserable And Wastes My Valuable Time“.

So I’m not sure if it’s working.  I cannot seem to work past the Have To’s because they look like this:

work, file school papers, sort mail, cook dinner, do dishes, do homework, girls baths, pack lunches, lay out clothes, scoop cat litter, feed all animals, take out compost, sweep floor.

And I’m not getting much past that because it’s only about four-five hours between get home time and the recently mandatory GET OFF THE COMPUTER AND GO TO BED  YOU ARE SLEEP DEPRIVED time.

Uggh.  It’s been a good exercise in getting my head wrapped around what I have on my plate, I’m moving along with a mission, but I am beat, baby, beat.

I have other lists too.  I’m a real lister.  Lists of all the things that need to be done on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.  Budgets. Lists of projects I want to complete for the home.   Lists of books to read.  Pages of recipes to try.  Craft ideas lurking in every corner.  Half started projects.

And did I mention I need to lose about 30-35 pounds?    If things continue this way those vultures across the road are going to be very happy indeed!

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Farm Fest

No time for apple picking today.  “Our farm” had it’s annual farm festival.  Usually when we go to the farm it’s a pat to the dogs and into the farm store to collect our meat/eggs/cheese/butter/honey, chat a bit with Robin or her daughters if they are working and then out the door to home.  Today we spent the day and met all the other “farm fanatics” who also frequent our farm.  It was a GOOD day for the family farmer.

It was a beautiful day, the rains held off, the locals were all displaying the best of their wares, there were boys playing bluegrass in the background.  We might not have our own farm, we might not even have chickens yet, but we are blessed, and I’ve said it a million times before, BLESSED to have a family farm a hop, skip and jump away.  If you are lucky enough to have one around you, please support them.  What they do is so important for us all.  Family farmers love their animals, family farmers love their land, and most importantly family farmers love you.  When I go to the meat section at the store, no one swaps recipes with me, no one catches me up on the latest news of local milk delivery and certainly no one let’s me know when the pie eating contest starts!

Ems it turns out might be my number one hand if we ever get a homestead up and running.  She seems to have a way with the animals.   For all her glam and sass she’s a down home girl after all.  I kept trying to explain we already had a rabbit at home and there was a moratorium on new pets until one of the current ones passes on.

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And yes, I wish these were our chicks, not ones we had to leave in the box 😦


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And we could not leave until the girls each had at least two turns round on the horses.  Ems has been begging for riding lessons because like every other 8-year old girl she is IN LOVE with horses.  What IS IT about girls and horses?

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We already have our turkey ordered fresh from Robin for Thanksgiving, he was roaming somewhere in the back fields while the festivities were going on, but one of the other area farmers had quails, pheasants and wild turkeys which I could have sat and watched forever, their feathers, their markings were beautiful.

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But of course, I didn’t stay with the fowl all day because you know where I was.  Even though they wanted to act all anti-social and head up to the far reaches of the field when you came by…I found them.  I couldn’t pass up my day without visiting these guys….

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A Day For Apples

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Steppingstone Museum Fall Festival.  Clearly a day for apples.

The apples graciously donated by a local orchard.

Now to go get some of our own.

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Collecting For Sarah.

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They are finally falling pretty steady now, the beginnings of fall.  By the end of the week, we should have a nice lot to give.

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments over the last few days as I blasted you with words.  Your comments and the subsequent email conversations surprised me and just reinforced what  a lovely blog circle this is.  How lucky am I to have found the best of blogmates ever?

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The Second Half

Buddhism is my philosophy of living.100_2731

Buddhism has allowed me to become who I am today, to feel comfortable in my own skin, to let me love ME and a whole lot of other people in the process.  It is very difficult for me to explain my relationship with Buddhism because it is a very personal one.

The four noble truths and the eight-fold path, the wise words of teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama and Pema Chodron awakened me to life.

Buddhism picked me up out of suffering and gave me hope.     When I was going through the worst of the end of my marriage, when I felt  defeated,  when every ounce of my self-confidence had been manipulated out of me, and when the man I loved stood before me and said, “You are nothing and you will never make it on your own”, it was not the words of Jesus that pulled me to my feet, it was the words of a wonderful woman, a Buddhist nun,  named Pema Chodron.  She wrote for me two wonderful books, The Places That Scare You and When Things Fall Apart.

Through her words and the words of the Buddha, I learned a few lessons, the most important being the words,  impermanence and loving-kindness.  I had to learn that my view of what was happening around me could and would change, and I had to learn to love myself again. It taught me how to use my love, my greatest strength, as a warrior would.

I have learned to accept my anger, my frustration and my feelings of being overwhelmed and accept them.  No more running away or hiding out from negative feelings.  I can breathe through these times and remind myself, this is now, this will pass.  I wrote a bit about it here.

Buddhism is what has carried me through, every single day.  It is in every single THING I do. Buddhism has taught me to slow down, to find the mindfulness in my every action. The past is past, done.  The future has not happened yet, cannot be formed in my mind.  There is the present and it demands my attention.  This mindfulness, this one moment at a time, is how I ultimately survive being a single mother.

How has Buddhism impacted my life?  A year and a half ago when I was curled into a ball in the corner of my own dark bathroom in despair and could not find the light I found the beginnings of  a new way of viewing my life.   And here and now I stand on my own two feet, battleworn but with my love intact, a bodhisattva-warrior—using my found wisdom and compassion to extend my love to others—and through that abundant love my own suffering is finally relieved.


 

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The First Half

My Christian mind, also called “here is where God fits in”.

I was brought up Christian (baptized Methodist, confirmed Episcopalian, raised in a congregation that thought it important to teach it’s youth about other religions and cultures).

After the birth of Ems in 2001, I began to see the ENTIRE world in a whole new light (that seems to be something that happens to first-time mothers).

In an instant of holding this girl, I was filled with miracles of which I knew nothing about, some wonderful thing had happened, taken hold inside of me and created this magnificent creature from nothing and it all happened with no control of my own. Right there proved the existence of God to me, more than any number of years sitting in church, Scriptures, hymns, you name it.

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As much as I loved God, the messages I was getting from the church could not coincide with the feelings I had about life, love and the world.

But, I believe in God.  I need God. We have some pretty crazy conversations somedays, some more filled with anger, some more filled with thanks.  God seems to be everywhere I look.  The sun, the moon, the girls, the trees, the plants unfurling, the winds blowing, the dog at my feet. I don’t know what God is.  God seems to take so many forms for so many people.  What God is most is a reason to live, a reason to believe, a reason to go on.  What I know of God resides in that still, quiet place in my heart.  The Quakers believe that God is available to anyone, that you should just be quiet and listen to that still place.

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But for me most of Christianity was still an “all or nothing” game.  If you were not “one of us” you were “one of them”.  There was no place there for my Muslim friend, for my gay friend, for all the people of the world that were not Christian, for if we could not love ourselves as we were, if we could not find a love or a common bond with EVERYONE, how could we ever conquer the hatred that so often consumes this world.  Because just as bringing a child opens you up to the miracle of life, so too does it instill in you a sense of the danger that lurks around every corner.  Ems was born in April 2001, and was a small, vulnerable package of sweetness when the September 11th attacks happened.  If there was ever a time that needed a message of love and inclusiveness that was it.

That was when I found the Quaker philosophy, perhaps the most loving and inclusive of all the Christians, and Buddhism, the flip side of  my coin, the other half to my whole.

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