Sunday, January 22

January Comes and Goes...

And things don't change much, really.  It seems that January is usually a slow month, but this month has felt like it's gone by quickly.  We finally had a decent snow over the weekend, and everything has a nice white blanket now.  It's not supposed to last long, though.  What an odd winter!  We've had more rain than snow.  Oh well.  I have no control over the weather...yet.  Bwaaaahaaahaaa!

But I digress.  Or do I?  Bwaaaahaaahaaa!

A few weeks ago, we got a lot of rain overnight, and it caused some ponding on the back roads that I take to work.  The water had mostly subsided by the time I left work, and the roads were almost completely dry.  As I was driving, I came up behind an old man in a PT Cruiser, who came to a near-complete stop for some very shallow water that was coming across the road.  After getting through the death-defying water, he would go no faster than 35 mph down a road that was 55 mph, so I decided to pass him when there was no oncoming traffic.  As I passed him, he decides to flip me off!  I don't know why, because I had been patiently driving behind him, but I guess I offended him somehow.  An old man!  Old people aren't as nice as they used to be, I swear. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be extremely mad at him, and I was a little of both.  I won't tell you what went through my mind--that's between me and God.  I just figure that he was being a moron and I was right, and that's all there is to it.  The end.

Hmm, what else is going on?  I've been lacking motivation lately.  In fact, at times I feel as though I border on depression.  It's hard to try and be excited about doing things I don't want to do.  My husband and I are trying to get back into shape and eat healthier, so that's been a plus.  We've both lost a few pounds so far (I type as I stare at the large peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookie on the plate next to me--you can't deprive yourself of everything, right??) and we've been exercising every day during the week.  I finally have my craft room arranged and useable again, after purchasing two large storage cabinets for my craft supplies.  It's nice to be able to use the room again, and have room to work in there.  Both cabinets are white, so it brightens the room up in the dull winter daylight.  I'm very happy with it.  As a result, I'm working on some new items for my shop.  I got the raise at work that I should have gotten last May, but that raise timing coincided with the pastor who hired me getting assigned to a new church, so it didn't happen.  My husband received a glowing review from his boss at work last week, so we're happy about that.

Well...I guess that's it for now.  Another Sunday gone, and another case of the Mondays is about to set in.  At least I have a few delicious cookies to cheer me up this week.

I know you're jealous.

It's easy to feel alone or forgotten in this world.  Life is tough!  Here is a Scripture verse from Isaiah 41:10 that I find encouraging: "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."  I hope you find it encouraging, too!

Sunday, January 8

How To Build a Lightbox

I just added an instructional entry in my blog, A Shower of Sunflowers.  If you are interested, check it out!

Tuesday, January 3


While at Lowe's yesterday (why are we there so often??), I came across a magazine about modern homesteading.  It's becoming a growing trend among a lot of different types of people.  It seems more dangerous as time goes on to depend on others for our food, electricity, running water, heat, and so on...what happens if one or all of these things were to be unavailable suddenly?  Modern civilization would collapse upon itself.  There have been riots, earthquakes, and natural disasters of gigantic proportions this last year.  If a tornado wiped out your town, would you be able to live without the basic needs that would be interrupted (as in the case of Joplin, Missouri or Japan)?

Homesteading would be ideal in any of the situations mentioned above.  Many of you know that I've started trying to garden in our small back yard.  I love working the dirt and being able to grow food, and then being able to eat the products of my labor.  I would love to be able to have enough land to grow a garden that would supply us with home-grown, home-preserved food for the entire year.  Imagine your grocery bill cut in half!  I wish I had the time and space to be able to learn how to can and preserve food.  Plus, if you can can your food, your dependence on freezers and refrigeration would be much lower, should power be out for an extended period of time (which has happened to us before, and I'm sure will happen again).  It seems that there would be no greater pleasure than to have land that you can work and use to sustain your living.

I hate the rat race.  I hate having to commute to a job I don't like every day.  I think I would make a great hermit, actually!  I like to imagine living out in the country somewhere, secluded away from the traffic, stress, and frustration of everyday life as it has become.  I don't believe that we're supposed to work in big office buildings, with a little windowless cubicle as our space.  I can't for one second describe how mundane and tedious so much of the work and paperwork associated with an office job actually is (TPS reports, anyone?).  Yes, we all need to work.  Yes, we can't really get by in the world without money.  But the need for money greatly decreases when you are independent of "the grid"!  How much more satisfying would life be if you were only dependent upon yourself for your needs!  Our grandparents and great-grandparents (and all of the generations before them) lived this way.  They survived. Life was hard, but I do not believe for a moment that they would trade what they had for what we have today.  I am not saying I want to give up the modern conveniences of indoor plumbing, central heat and air, and all of the comforts of life as we know it, but there are ways to provide these services without being dependent of city power lines and water pipes.  Wouldn't that be awesome?

I love wide open spaces.  I love the idea of looking out my windows and seeing trees and grass and blue skies instead of looking at the house across the street from us.  I love the peace and quiet that comes with living in the country.  I think I'm one of those folks who would watch birds eating from the bird feeder outside of my window, and wait for the deer to come through the yard in the evening.  I love the idea of going to work outside in my yard instead of at an office where no one cares about you or appreciates what you do--you're just another body taking up space in the elevator.  For some people, maybe many people, this kind of work suits them fine, and that's great for them.  If you're happy with what you do, then obviously there is no need to change it.  It just isn't me.  Even when I was young, I thought it would be fun to have lived on a farm.  Perhaps I've always yearned for it, but lost sight of that dream as I got older and just did what everyone else did--got a job, graduated high school, went to college.  I knew no different.  There is a message that keeps popping up in my life: you don't have to do what's always been done.  Sometimes doing what's always been done is a good thing (don't quit using toilet paper, for example--the results will not be pleasant), but sometimes it's better to think outside of the outhouse, er, box.

Obviously, homesteading is not for everyone.  It is something that would take a tremendous amount of time and effort to make it work.  Not everyone would like being away from people, or using well water, or growing gardens and animals, or preserving harvests.  It would be really great if we could try it out before we committed to it.  Try before you buy!  Kind of like test-driving a lifestyle.  But I feel confident that it would be a good fit for me.  What's a good fit for you?

A few Internet references, if you are interested:
Daily Bread
Food Insurance
Backwoods Home
Mother Earth News
Christian Homesteaders
Always remember the Boy Scout motto (even if you never were one): Be prepared.

There are many verses about work and toil in the Bible.  Col 3:23-26 says," Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."  A more severe blow was given to us during the fall in the Garden of Eden: "To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19).  Bummer!  We are destined to work and sweat and labor for our livelihood.  Sure seems like we should find something tolerably toilable!