Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If I Could Teach My Kids One Thing....

Learn to like what doesn’t cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different . . . different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction of doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
-Lowell Bennion

I ran across the above quote the other day and really LOVED the last line. The whole thing makes for a rather sensible life lesson for our children, but the last line is key.
If there was ONE thing I could teach my kids in life...and have them grab it and own would be the last part of the last sentence...

...refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.

Wouldn't it be so freeing to be able to teach our children this? Teach them to be who God created them to be. Teach them to be true to themselves above all else. Teach them to believe in themselves above and beyond their friends and their peer group.

Can you see the possibilities?

We wouldn't have little girls in such a hurry to wear make-up, contacts over glasses, have their eyebrows waxed when they are 10 and shave (and nearly bleed to death when they cut their knees or ankles) before they are even out of elementary school.

They would feel free to combine stripes and dots. They could wear every color of the rainbow. They could wear black without being labeled. They could wear a different color on every nail and not worry about what anyone thinks.

They could determine what their hobbies are without wondering who is going to make fun of them.

They could choose not to carry a cell phone and laugh at the drones that harass them over it.

They could put away their toys when they are ready...not when their friends are.

They could be friends with ANYONE they wanted.

They would be able to work any job as a teen.....not refuse employment over someone else's stuck-up opinions.

They could chose to wear their hair how they like....over what the current style is.

And all these things would be a CHOICE.

For this to work, we'd have to fix the adults in the world. You know, the ones that think they have to have two new cars and carry the everyone else.

Or the ones that have to have a big house...even when they can't truly afford it.

The ones that chase after the newest phones or other electronic gadgets.

The ones that have to have their kids in a million activities ...because everyone else does....and yet they are overcommitted financially, time wise or physically.

But what I think would be the very best result of this kind of thinking....would be that we wouldn't be afraid to support someone who thinks differently than we do. It frees us to be more supportive of others and their views.

Respecting ourselves leads to respecting others.

If we were able to love ourselves enough to make our own decisions, it would free us up to love others for making their own decisions. We'd be happy for them.

And there would be no more...

Working vs. stay home moms
bottle vs. breast fed
homeschool vs. public vs. private school
shots vs. no shots
home birth vs. hospital birth
organic vs. plain ole grocery store
vegetarian vs. meat eaters
one child vs. 8 children families

And accountability would make a reappearance in our world. We would own our own decisions instead of shrugging off the blame because everyone does it.....

Yes. I think if there was one thing I could teach kids in life, it would be
refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Autumn Asks: Have You Burned Yourself Lately?

I recently had a run-in with a shattered pot of boiling water. Don't ask how. I did something stupid and I don't wish to relive it.

Anyway. After screaming at the top of my lungs, my teenager ran in and immediately grabbed the yellow mustard out of the fridge so I could yank my clothes off and lather up.

I had doused my thigh and stomach pretty good. And as the scream was fading I thought I was in for a trip to the hospital.

So - got the clothes off and put the mustard on.

Now, when it first goes out it STINGS. Really. But only for a bit.

You let it dry on and then wash it off after its dried.

What I thought would be an entire burned thigh, became a half dollar sized red, tender spot. Not blistered even.

We learned the mustard trick from my friend Tricia. Not sure where or how she learned it.

I don't know why this works but it does. I can't explain it, but I believe it. (I will say that I have never used this on something I thought was a SERIOUS burn needing medical attention....just stuff I thought didn't deserve a doctors time. BAD burns need medical attention.)

To date I have used this on several kitchen know, grabbing the cast iron skillet that is still hot, or hitting the oven rack while pulling something out. Also, Songbird stepped on a live sparkler once and we used it on her foot. I branded myself with a foam cutting knife and was able to save the skin and return it from white and crispy brown to a healthy pink color. Used it on iron or curling iron burns also. Perfect for those camping trips. Anyone with boys knows there will be a burn at some point on a camping trip. LOL!

Several of these burns should have left small scars....but they didn't. They didn't even blister after using the mustard.

So, since people tend to be rather surprised by this home remedy as they never heard of it, I thought I would share with the internets.

One of these days I'm going to try it on a sunburn and see what happens.

Just one word of warning....mustard can stain, so watch your clothing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Snapshot Saturday

Joining my good friend Tricia in Snapshot Saturday this week. I really do need to pull my favorite camera's back out and start playing again. I have to admit I'm not a digital fan...except that you can immediately download to blogs!


From this last week...we had storms rolling by and the sky was awesome. First it was green and then it was yellow. Way cool.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Once in my lifetime....

Once in my lifetime... no matter how hard I try, I just cannot come up with the words to explain how great something was.

Once in my lifetime.... I looked back and realize I have just had the biggest blessing of my life.

Once in my lifetime......I spent from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. by the side of a pool and wonder how come the day flew by so fast.
Once in my lifetime....I spent more than 30 minutes in the sun, with fair skin, and didn't get sunburned.

Once in my lifetime...the friendships are so amazing that I can just relax, and share, and laugh...and not have to worry about acceptance or harsh judgment.

Once in my lifetime....watching my friends enjoy themselves is more satisfying than anything else I might think to do.

Once again in my heart breaks at the thought of the one of a kind friendship circle I will be leaving behind.

Will there ever be a point in my lifetime, where I won't have to say goodbye?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Own Personal B Rate Horror Movie

So I'm not much of a gardener. I have very little experience.

I have lofty hopes and try. But not real hard. The whole allergy things pretty much beats it out of me. There's nothing like breaking out in rashes and hives when you brush up against or touch a plant on purpose.

In Nebraska I did grow some tomatoes. If you want to call it that. I literally pulled up some flower beds and put tomato plants from Lowe's in the ground...and walked away. We had automatic sprinklers so I didn't even have to water.

When the tomatoes were red...we picked them and ate them. And they were great.

So I'm a big time gardener this year. Two plus gardens. One in my yard, on my patio and then the big garden I'm helping with.

And all of a sudden my tomatoes are dying. What???? I could tell something was eating them...but it took a few days to figure out what.
See, there's this thing called a Tomato Hornworm.
And they can eat a plant overnight. Just when the tomatoes are beginning to turn. The are hungry!

I know I need to pick these things off. And the first 2 days it wasn't a big deal as they were small. Small enough that you didn't really see the horn part.
But now they are big enough that the horn is THE thing I see.

So I run to the internets to find out WHAT they are and what to do about them. You see, although I am not bug squeamish....anything that looks like a stinger gets immediate respect. It has to do with that epi-pen I have to carry. I will not willing grab anything that looks like it can sting.
Luckily...they sell caterpillar tongs to grab them with. Okay - so I'm too cheap to buy something like this, but at least it gave me an idea. Yep. Kabob sticks. The pointy ones. Why pinch a ugly green caterpillar when you can spear it. (I'll spare you a picture.)

How come I never saw these in Nebraska? Or maybe its that whole "everything is bigger is Texas" thing? Don't know.

What I do know is that for the first time in my life I am wishing for a backyard full of wasps. The kind that do this....
See, you don't even kill these ones. You let those wasp babies hatch and eat all those other nasty looking worms. HAH!! Take that!

Until that happens...I still have to hand pick. They are too big for the natural bacteria I could have used. And the whole point of growing our own (besides money) is to stay organic.

So now I obsessively sneak out back to check for the worms, several times a day.

Not an easy task. They hide underneath the leaves since they don't like the sun. And they are the same color as the plant.

Autumn the worm spearer. Yep. That's me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Autumn Asks: Are you living a smelly nightmare???


Okay, so its not as bad as it could be....but COME ON!

One thing I will not miss about Texas is the skunks.

Yes, everywhere has skunks. I know that. But, for some reason, the has been the skunk season to beat all skunk seasons here in Texas.

As soon as spring started, we got bombarded. You couldn't drive more than 600 yards without passing yet another skunk bomb on the side of the road. It was crazy awful. You hadn't even caught your breath from the last assault before your nose was tortured again.

Some days the girls would just sit in the back seat and cry. Okay, so it was a whiny, fake cry, but still. If I was looking for a way to torture my children, I couldn't have found a better one. All we had to do was step foot in the car. And we are talking with the outside vents closed....not open. With them open we would have just run off the road and crashed.
Even DH is complaining and howling at the insults to our noses this year. WHAT IS IT??? WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SKUNKS????? -- Not a new rock song - just a bellow from the old man.

Many times we were afraid we smelled by the time we arrived at our destination. I mean, how could you drive in that for so far and not smell like it??? I guess we never noticed if anyone gave us strange looks.....probably because our eyes were still streaming from the relentless insults...and they drove through the same thing and couldn't smell either. Or smell too.

I never would have guessed I'd end up blogging about skunk stink. But yes, that is how prevalent it has become in my life. An every car ride thing.

I have no idea what makes this a banner year. One thing I do worry about though is rabies. Aren't skunks rabies carriers??? Does this mean we are in for a banner rabies summer also??? Okay friends, keep your dogs close.

So I went online to find some funny pictures on skunks for this post, and got a whole new education. So, being the helpful person I am, I thought I'd better share some new knowledge.

1. DO NOT let your 2nd grader do a report on skunks. Why not? Because when you type in skunk in google images, you get more hits/pictures of skunk weed than the animal. Are you ready to explain killer skunk weed??? If you are in California, you can just tell the little angel it's medicine......but around here that doesn't fly.

2. Skunks are cute. Why they are cute I don't understand, but they are. So it is very hard to have pictures of evil skunks when you talk bad about them....because they really are adorable. Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor. NOT FUNNY.
3. There are people that like skunks. To the tune of living with 2 dozen of them in their house, or making little clothes for them. If there is not already a disorder name for this....we need one. Any ideas?
4. Some people think skunk looks good. Like fashionable. Okay - so if you look like or are a make EVERYTHING look good. The majority of us are not going to pull this off.
5. There is such thing as a skunk car.....
but thankfully, not a skunk recipe.
6. There are no scary pictures of skunks or B rate horror movies I could find. This is as scary as it gets....

So there you are. You know you feel smarter for it.

Oh - and before I forget -- I have two new friends on my link list. One is a natural homemade soap site (review coming soon) and the other is a young lady that I am proud to call part of my family...Living the Life of a Teenaged Girl. Stop by and say hello to them if you have time!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Joining my friend Tricia in a focus on what I'm thankful for.... Click on her button and join her also!

I am thankful that tomorrow I will head out with six of my girlfriends for a weekend at the lake. A girlfriend overnight x2! Baby M will be joining us (mommy is her only food source currently), but otherwise we will also be kid free. God is good!!!!

Air conditioning.

Showers - yes I say a prayer of thanks almost 100% of the time I take a shower. That brilliance can only come from God.

A healthy family.

Getting in touch with old friends - and finding out they are going through the same cancer issues our family just went through. Being able to just say "I know", and getting a chance to say goodbye to a very large presence from my childhood. Only God could have orchestrated the timing on this one.

Fresh, organic food from our gardens. And the friends and knowledge from my mentors on this endeavor. But really, enough with the zucchini! LOL! (And did you know that Chocolate zucchini cake is really good?)

I am thankful that God is going to make sure my house sells - before we loose all we have and our credit too. I should also be thankful for lessons in patience...but sorry, I'm just not there yet.

Books and the ability to read.

I am thankful for a great youth program at church. I'm so going to miss it....and I'm sure Songbird is too.

What are you thankful for?