Little did I know when I took the month of September off from blogging, it would turn into October and most of November as well. The computer hard drive crashed and, through friend Mary, I found someone to fix the problem…for a day or two. Then, other problems began and the computer stopped working, again, leaving me in a muddle. In October we celebrated Mom’s 80th birthday (photos and story at a later date) and her and Daddy’s 63rd wedding anniversary! My siblings always want me to be master of ceremonies and the single most on point thing I said was, “Mom and Daddy’s lives are a long obedience in the right direction.” The most wonderful memory I have of them both are when they read their Bibles. Daddy reads his every morning, before breakfast, and Mom reads her Bible sometime during the day. They’ve both studied God’s word for decades, used the Bible to guide them in making sound decisions about all of life and, by example, taught their children, other family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances what it means to “live a life of long obedience in the right direction.”
Other folks spoke up and one comment was, “When I think of Jim and Gladys, I think of the word “faithful”. They are faithful to God, to each other, to their family, to their community…”. Everyone should have a time in their lives when they hear the good stuff; don’t save it for a funeral or wake. Make it a point to tell someone ASAP what they mean to you; what a fine example they’ve set, what a blessing they’ve been to you or how much you appreciate them.
Now…I’m in a list making kinda mood so here are my suggestions for things to do everyday to add life to your years, quality to your life and joy all ’round.
1. Move, if possible, outside. Walk, run, bike, jump on a (mini) trampoline, lift weights… do something physical every day. Leave the ear buds behind as you take a walk or run; watch and listen to nature, to what’s around you. Look, listen and be attentive and where ever you are, be fully there.
2. Encourage others and don’t forget to encourage yourself as well. Hand write notes or letters and mail them, send a free e-card, make an agreement with yourself to never return to the house without giving at least one compliment to a stranger. Watch their face light up and know you’ve done a Very Good Thing. Encouragement can be such a small thing to do yet such a huge gift, both to give and receive. Cast your bread upon the water and know it will return, full fold, to you.
3. Practice gratitude. In your journal, save a few pages to being thankful in all things. You don’t have to be thankful for all things but there’s always a blessing peeking around the cloud. The small things in life are the bricks that make love’s foundation.
4. Make something. Be crafty and creative…sew, knit, crochet, weave, use textiles, fiber, paper, found objects, make a meal from scratch, garden, can produce, tie flies for fishing, woodwork…there’s no end to being crafty and creative. Stifle that (bad) teacher’s voice who told you, “You’re no artist, give it up” and make something anyway. Don’t worry about perfect…it’ll never be perfect but you can make it perfectly yours and that’s a good thing.
5. Be judicious in watching television which can be a time suck that devours minutes, hours, days of your one precious life! Watching television leaves not much to show other than more creative things being left undone. Television is a trade off; be careful what you trade because, essentially, you’re trading your life…
6. Be kind. Everyone has struggles that make life challenging. No matter how others behave, be kind to them. If they aren’t kind in return, if possible, as soon as possible, remove yourself from their sphere and negative influence. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself with gentleness and respect in what you say and do and how you act. Practice being kind with yourself so it becomes a habit with others.
7. Read uplifting material. Light a candle, make a favorite beverage and prepare to fuel your life with goodness. An old term is GIGO which means garbage in, garbage out; what you put into your head and thoughts will come out through your mouth and life. Now, that, my lovelies, is a frightening thought!
8. Get plenty of rest and sleep. An interview with Martha Stewart quoted her as saying she didn’t need more than four or five hours of sleep a night. P’raps so but I need a solid eight and will, when bone weary and exhausted, dip into nine or ten hours. The results are the next day I’m better able to handle what life throws at me.
9. Eat and drink healthfully. Women’s bodies are approximately 50% water while men’s bodies are approximately 60% water (adults). There’s a reason we’re told to drink 64 ounces of water a day; it keeps headaches and constipation at bay, gives a more radiant glow, flushes toxins from our body and keeps us healthier. Eat servings of fruit, vegetables, dairy, protein and carbs every day; if you have allergies, stay away from that which negatively affects you. There are almost as many diets as they are people and I once heard someone say, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” I’ve also heard the best exercise is a “push away”…as in we should all eat more slowly and, when we feel full, push away from the table.
10. Be a generous giver and gracious taker. Mom has always said, “There are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers and most fall into the second category.” I maintain there’s a third category and that’s a “generous giver and gracious taker.” Do you find most givers are dreadful takers? I think it’s difficult for givers to take with grace and I’ve often wondered why; do you know? (I ask because I’m a giver and know it’s difficult for me to take without doing/giving something in return…which, rather negates and, more than likely, takes pleasure from the original giver. hmmm…and, I should add, I’ve stopped giving to those who are mostly takers. That is a deep well of misery that I choose not to dip my ladle into these days.)
Well, Blog Buddies, this is what comes of not having a computer. My brain goes all introspective and I come up with list after list after list… you have been warned…
October was brilliant in color but extremely rainy and the first weekend in November, six inches of snow fell on the farm. So far, November is a reminder winter is close and closing in. Tonight, it’s snowing and I started a fire in the wood stove so the house is warm and cozy. The kitten is giving the evil eye to Miss Emma who is responding with threatening growls of, “Try it and I’ll kick you to Tuesday.” The dogs are crashed out on sofas and floor and (other than the absence of Dave) all is right with my inside world. Earlier, the kitten was snugged against Sam P. Spade, Secret Agent who has had a name change to Sam P. Spade, Secret Saint. Some readers may remember I rescued the kitten from roadside ditch, brought him home and, bless me! if he doesn’t keep growing. Even so, he was thrown away young, misses his mother and Sam was the only family member who allowed nursing and cuddling.
Meri Go Lightly, my easy keeper mare, has laminitis (again) and has been on a short lot with short rations and meds twice a day. Last night in the bitter cold, Dr. Anne came by to say it’s time for new meds, which she ordered today and I bought straw bales to put on the ground so Lightly could have a barrier against the cold earth. My horses are American Curly horses and giving free choice shelter which, generally, they choose not to use. Their winter coats are heavy with curls and provide excellent insulation against the elements.
For some reason, it’s taking me a long time to download, or is it upload, photos. Since that’s the case, I’m closing down and headed to bed robed in a flannel night gown, with a good book or magazine and three dogs for company. The temperature is now hovering around 22 and it’s, officially, a three dog night. Sweet dreams, all.
Blessings ~ a wonderful vet ~ a fire in the wood stove ~ Godly parents ~ a long obedience in the right direction ~ a daily wonderful life ~ you, for reading my blog…thank you! ~