Sunday, June 8, 2008

I Photoshop'd this picture of one of my daughters.
I'm just learning but pleased with the way it came out.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Spring Sunburn

We went to the beach yesterday and it was beautiful. Although sunny, the wind was pretty strong and so we never felt hot. In fact, once out of the water everyone was pretty cold. My youngest took a break on the blanket while wrapped in a couple towels because he was so chilly. The older three were in the water the whole time. And, since it was so cool, I didn't even think about putting sunblock on everyone. The sunblock just sat in the car while we baked in the sun. It wasn't bad until we got home last night, and then we all had a hard time sleeping. And, of course, this morning we all looked like a bunch of lobsters.

I spent the morning looking up natural helps for sunburn and tried a few, none of which actually worked.

Vinegar-I found a lot of sites suggesting that vinegar, either straight or mixed with water, would take away the burn. I tried it on myself and it did not work at all.

Then there was the cucumber remedy--we all stood around rubbing and holding cucumber slices on our faces, which cooled the skin for a moment, but didn't really help once you removed it.

Then I tried a baking soda paste made with baking soda and water. I initially tried this on myself and at first it seemed to cool my burn so I put it on the kids too. Our faces, shoulders, backs, and arms were coated in a white pastey mask. We were supposed to leave it on until it dried then rinse it off, which we did, but the kids didn't enjoy the rinsing part since it tastes horrible if it gets into your mouth and stings a little if it gets into your eye. Well, afterward, the sunburn pain was still there and the redness didn't seem to fade in the least bit.

I know that the most important thing to do with a burn is to keep it cool so it doesn't continue to burn. And also, I've heard from firemen, never put any cream or oil on any burn since it blocks the heat from escaping as it coats your skin.

So far, I haven't found anything that would actually help draw the heat out so I am going with drinking a lot of water and spritzing with water to keep our skin cool for now. After it cools down we can apply moisturizers to keep it from drying out.

Regarding baking soda; I have used it succesfully as a toothpaste, mixing it with peroxide. And, although it really does taste pretty awful, it does an excellent job and my mouth feels very clean when done. I have also recently starting using it in place of shampoo along with apple cider vinegar as a rinse. This has been the best thing for my hair, not stripping it of all its natural oils, but gently cleansing it and leaving it very shiny and full of body.

I know there are a lot of great uses for baking soda and vinegar, but I think treating sunburn is not one of them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

My New Mantra

"Let go of things, hold onto people."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Full Belly

I have just realized that one of the most peaceful and satisfying parts of the day for me is in the morning just after everyone has been fed.

I've never felt this before.
I'm new to living in the country.
We have cats, and dogs, a horse, 75 hens, 3 roosters, and a handful of kids.
We've been here for less than a year and I am still adapting.

Upon waking, there is a lot of hustle and bustle and scurrying about within our modest little shack.
Once I get the coffee going, the kids start bumping into one another as they dress, wash, comb their hair, and make their beds. Then its time to feed the animals.

We didn't plan on assigning animals to each of us but it just kind of worked out that way. I greet and feed the horse, my 11yr. old daughter waters and feeds the hens, my 10yr. old girl takes care of the dogs, my 7yr. old son feeds the cats, and my youngest boy rotates, helping wherever he's needed most. After that, we all get into the kitchen to get our breakfast going. When breakfast is finished and everything is all cleaned up, I feel so good. There's a sense of accomplishment and peace knowing that everyone has a full belly and is ready for the rest of the day.

More and more I am loving this part of the day. Which is interesting because I am ordinarily not a morning person. But these chores can be done with minimal talking and this time of conversation-less activity gives me that little bit of waking time which I need before I have to start answering a million questions and giving instructions.

These morning have been good to me.
Thank God for the full belly.

My heart goes out to all of those individuals who are homeless, or penniless, or orphaned and in such great need and don't have the luxury of starting their day with a full belly. They are in my heart and mind and prayers. May those who suffer in this life experience great joy, peace, and happiness in the next life to come.

Friday, May 9, 2008

There is a Night So Dark

there is a night so dark
that there are never shadows

there is a night so dark
it blocks out all the sun

there is a night so dark
that grey appears as white

there is a night so dark
that morning never comes

there is a night so dark
the music heard is crying

there is a night so dark
there's talking but no words

there is a night so dark
the whispers are all screaming

there is a night so dark
your voice is never heard

there is a night so dark
that no one ever sees you

there is a night so dark
you never see again

there is a night so dark
the blind become the sighted

there is a night so dark
it's comfort is it's pain

there is a night so dark
you drink it 'til you're drowning

there is a night so dark
death is your welcome guest

there is a night so dark
it kills you as it holds you

there is a night so dark
it's solitude--your rest

there is a night so dark
life is a distant memory

there is a night so dark
that black is the new light

there is a night so dark
it's chills now soothe and warm you

there is a night so dark
so dark there is a night

Sunday, April 1, 2007

I Have My Own Moon

It's true. I have my own moon.
I'll admit, there have been times in the distant past when I thought I was an island, but never, ever did I consider myself to be a planet.

Even if I'm not really a planet, I've just discovered that I have my own moon. It's one of my daughters. My 14yr. old.

I was recently reflecting on some scripture and statements by Oswald Chambers from his devotional book "My Utmost For His Highest". One of the things he had been writing about was our response to God when He "tells" us something, whether by Spirit, or by scripture, or through someone else. He says, "When He tells you something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a misunderstanding of what honors Him and what doesn't."

While meditating on this my attention was brought to a recent disagreement I had with my daughter. She asked for something, I said "No", she said, "Why not?" and the debate began. Now in reflecting on this particular instance, I realized how she always has to know "why" in everything. She wants all the details, wants to analyze it, see if it makes sense to her, see if she agrees with it, and so on. And on one hand I don't want to discourage her from asking questions and searching for understanding, but there are times when you just have to have faith. Sometimes you just have to trust the person you're with, whether parent, teacher, friend, sibling, spouse, boss, and ultimately God.

Well, this daughter of mine seems to love to debate. Whatever you say she seems to have a hard time just accepting it and she has to "see for herself".

Here's a typical conversation with her:
"Mom, we need to buy shampoo."
"No we don't, we still have several bottles."
"No, Mom, I used up the last bottle yesterday."
"You used up the last bottle in the bathroom, but there's more in the attic pantry."
"No, Mom, I know there's none left, we need to put it on our list."
"Darlin', trust me, there is shampoo on the shelf. Dad just bought a bunch and I put it there myself."

(we both just stand there looking at each other)

"Honey, go look if you don't believe me."

The words "if you don't believe me" catch in my throat a little because I can't understand why she won't just trust me on this, or on any other topic of discussion, for that matter. There's a temptation there to start to feel like I'm an awful mother if my daughter doesn't feel like she can trust me, especially with small things like this. But, I use the word "temptation" because when I put my emotions aside, I know it has little to do with my mothering skills, and more to do the person that she is.

She walks to the attic pantry to check it out for herself and comes back wearing a funny grin.
I don't say anything. I just look at her, head tilted, eyebrows raised in a question.

With a weak laugh she says, "Yeah, there's some there. It's just that I thought...", and her voice trails off as she walks past me.
I sigh and think to myself, when will she ever learn?

Okay, here's the interesting part.
This daughter of mine...well, she's just a miniature me. A mini-me. She is just a reflection of who I am, and how I respond, not only to many circumstances in my life but also to God. I've always analyzed everything, especially my own thoughts and actions and to be honest it often wears me out. So, the truth is...

She's my Moon.
She's my Moon!
She's My Moon!

God must have given her to me just so I can have a better understanding of who I am, to others and to Him. I have always loved her. But, I'll admit, there have been times when I've gotten frustrated with her need to "see for herself". And sometimes I've even gotten just downright annoyed.

Well, not anymore. When I have these encounters with her from now on I'll be thankful that God has blessed me with her and that He's using her to teach me about myself, and about Him.

I have a Moon.
My very own Moon. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Of all the Things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."

Oh yeah, it's been happening for awhile.
The fog is moving in alright and it's moving in way up North...
into my cerebral hemisphere.
Which is nowhere near the equator, by the way.

I have not been able to get into my account for this blog.
Couldn't remember my username or password.
Couldn't use the "forgot username/password" feature either.
Yep, I had forgotten which email was associated with this account.

I have several email accounts.
One I consider my family account, which I have with my husband.
One for all my homeschooling stuff.
One for the many different online "groups" to which I belong.
An sbc account which came with our ISP, which we typically don't use but have to keep as long as we have our dsl.
A couple yahoo accounts which came with yahoo ID's I created ages ago.
An Opera email, which I set up when I started using their browser, just to see if I liked it.
An aol account which opened itself when I created an AIM screen name so I could instant message my college girls.
And actually, I thought I created a whole new gmail account just for this blog.
Don't ask why, just go with it.

Okay, do you really want to know?
My guess is because I tend to be compartmentalized in my approach to things.
This is probably why I find myself feeling very fragmented much of the time.

I need things to be clear cut.
Separated and lined up nicely in a row.

I never mixed my food together on my plate as a kid, nor do I now.
My husband likes to lump all his stuff together into one big food mountain.
Meat, veggies, potatoes or rice...then top it off with a nice big glop of gravy or some gravy-like substance.
I suppose it's a more efficient way of eating. And it's all going to the same place anyway, right?
(at least that's what they have been telling me)

I, on the other hand, usually eat all my veggies first, then my carbs, then my proteins.
I don't do this on purpose, it just kind of goes that way.
And now that I'm thinking about it, I realize that I don't even make casseroles.
I think I've made a total of 2 in the 19yrs. we've been married.

Wow, that was a big detour.
I need to find the ramp that get's me back onto the main highway.

Email Exit. 2 lines ahead. Keep left.
Back to my email accounts.

After wracking my brain for the past couple of weeks, and searching my hard drive for files which might contain this information. It came to me. It just suddenly popped into my head.
My email and password.
I never realized that there were such good hiding places in this gray matter of mine.
I know that there is a lot more information stealing away into all those nooks and crannies.
Wouldn't it be weird if they all popped out and presented themselves at the same time?
Whoa! Talk about your screen freezing up.
I'm sure I don't have enough RAM to handle that scenario.

I'm happy with just being able to retrieve my email and password for now.
My brain is exhausted.

Time to save and publish.