Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, August 3, 2018

fmf | anniversary

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An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.

When I pondered what and where I might start with this prompt word... anniversary... I went to a moment that happened just yesterday afternoon.  

I found myself in a really deep funk.  It's been a crazy, busy week (by our own doing)... lots of activities for the kids.  Things like camp, school functions (yes! you read that right!  - My 11yr old, son, is heading into middle school and so there is a lot of "training" and getting comfortable with a BIG school... as a newbie - young man!) and an evening VBS that our kids were excited to attend - again.   They remembered how much they enjoyed it last year...and wanted to go again.  But.
We're heading out to a family vacation - leaving early, early tomorrow morning.  I'm excited and ready... but, again... I've been in this deep funk and "dreading" the process of making this all happen.  Anybody, know or relate to what I'm saying?

So... yesterday afternoon.  I took a half an hour and sat out on the back porch, rocking away - totally taken away by the beauty of the skies with the colors and the clouds...
With thoughts swirling of, "I can't believe we've lived here already for over a year"; "we've talked about doing such and such - wonder when that project will ever get done?"... all while the to-do list that I should have been doing was getting done (in my head!) but not actually.   I needed to pause...
A storm had just rolled through, so the trees and plants and flowers were glistening with rain droplets that shimmered like glitter in the now filtered afternoon sunlight.  I was mesmerized.  Thoughts of everything just piling up... dreams of yesteryear... and hopes for tomorrow... all of this, collided as the screen door jolted me "awake".  I almost got rattled at the seemingly interruption.

It was my nine year old.  My beautiful girl.  The epitome of all my thoughts into one.  She was growing up way to fast.  We sat there together; on our porch rockers.  Me on one and she on the other.  The one that was all wet, but she didn't care... she would dry.  She said, with a smile! (Oh! to be so carefree... at nine years old with little to no worries or cares.)   Wasn't it just yesterday - I rocked her in my arms?  That little one, always alert and capturing everything...never missing a beat to anything.

As we talked of all the pretties, of the moment, within our view... I asked her to run in for my camera.
Together we captured, on lens, what we saw.  Of course, a teaching moment... in the how-to's... for her of using the lens (what little I know!)... and me "letting go" - of the way it should be done and letting her learn...

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
Happy Anniversary!
Here is to some creativity, with the camera, from both of us. 
Enjoy the photos of our lovely few minutes of yesterday afternoon.  
PS: Its hard to stop once the creative juices start flowing... 

If only we could have captured the clouds... the way they captured me, in the first place.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday Community.  Today's prompt was: Anniversary

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

{re post} The Day My Sister Pretty Much Saved My Life.

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Photo courtesy of my Sister Lorene!
On hot days like these last few have been - I think of water.  Naturally.  However, I must be true and say that I do not like to go swimming.  At least, this: Don't make me go under water if I don't have to.  I've had one too many close calls...

Today, I shall tell you about one of them. As, I have once promised, a long time ago...oops! 

A couple of years ago, now, we were at our usual Summer Vacay place - a cabin ~ Dutchman's Paradise ~ that we as a family have gone to pretty much since I was two years of age.  The one small river nearby, similar to this above photo, was pretty full that year.  It made great the idea for going tubing.  There was a small group of us.  Myself, my Uncle Roy (who has since passed on), my sister Lorene, and another cousin or two.  We started out from the one bridge, about 3 miles down the road from our cabin, and our plan was to go on downstream, over to the next road where we would get picked up via a vehicle to come on back to the cabin.  This was probably a two mile tubing trip - I would guess..

Keep in mind,  I was newly married at the time.  My husband had just left, that morning, to get back on the road.  (At the time, he was a Truck Driver). We had just said our Good-byes.  This "day of fun", here at the cabin was just getting started, for everyone...

Our little group.  We were off ... happily aboard our tubes; we set sail.  Lollygagging downstream...it was a beautiful morning, a lovely scenic float all along the way..trees on all sides.  Parts of the river were shaded, water sounds rippling over rocks and the birds singing made it even more peaceful.  I loved it!

This was the day my sister (Lorene) pretty much saved my life.  And, I'm forever grateful.

The group was ahead of me.  I saw the way the river was looking... coming up.  One side was pretty shallow, the other side nice, deep(er) and running pretty good.  It had rounded a bend and the other tubers were soon outta sight.  My turn.

As I was going toward this faster water coming up... I "planned" my maneuvers through there, so I thought.  It looked like a HUGE tree must have uprooted itself over onto the bank and all of it's root system was exposed..I figured I would maybe bump into that, twirl around and keep on floating downstream...naturally, going with the flow.

Except that I hit that root system pretty hard.  I flipped off my tube and could feel nothing below me, around me, above me. I was in a major whirlpool...twirling and swirling... my arm was stretched as far it could go above me.  I came up chocking and sputtering and (I still) absolutely cannot believe it to this day that my glasses stayed on my face. I reached out and found a root to hang onto... and hang on I did!!   While in that churning water - my life was going before me... my newly wedded husband off in a truck somewhere... I was praying... Lord, Jesus!  Help me!  I just knew I was...I WAS GOING TO DIE!!!  I remember telling myself over and over to "not panic" and to keep calm.  To deep breathe.. and to continue praying..

From my sister's point of view at this point   My tube came around the bend, but I wasn't on it.  She leaped into action.  I guess the others had kinda all gotten back over onto that shallow area and stopped to take a break.  Because they, too had just come through that "FAST and FURIOUS" area.. 

All I can remember is hearing my name being called, repeatedly and intensely; telling me to let go and grab the tube!!!   Little did I know that she was in the water herself, at this point - not being able to touch bottom.  Her "screaming" at me - snapped me enough to where I literally had to decide to let go of the root I was hanging onto (for dear life) and grab the tube she was holding out to me.  That right there was probably one of the most important decisions of my life where I HAD TO CHOOSE who or what to trust in, in that moment.

I let go.

I grabbed the tube and she miraculously pulled me out of that torrential whirlpool... My Uncle was now in the wings.  I think I sat there on that stony bank - opposite of the river - for a long while.   The problem was.  We were what? two hours into our float? We HAD TO FINISH.  People were waiting for us - or would be, at least.  And, THERE was NO WAY I could walk anywhere.  This was in the middle of absolute nowhere.  Literally.  I had to face it and keep going.

The rest of the 2 hours, floating downstream, was pretty non-eventful.  Thank God!  And beautiful...I truly was one Grateful Soul.. that my sister had presence of mind in knowing what to do in that moment.  The Lord was with us, for sure that morning.

My nose still burns of water, in the memory...

One of the funny things of that morning is that I can distinctly remember my Mom - jokingly, looking my way, while holding out a yellow rope, and saying something about, "Are you sure you don't want to have this along with you, while your tubing?".  I remember kinda blowing her off - as if to the fact that we would be fine..
Little did I know ... it would be me who needed it.

I guess that isn't very funny.  But we could have used the rope, too!  I suppose.

I just know this one thing, for sure.  You probably won't ever find me out there tubing again.  At least at this point - I don't think so. 

Unless...of two things.  One, my sister must be along and two, we take along a strong yellow rope!  haha..

This incident  and neardeath experience aside... I really did enjoy myself.

::  This photo is not of where this actually took place.

There are so many things I could pull from this.  So many analogies.. but I think if you read in between the lines, you know what they are.

What are your thoughts?? 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Garden Love

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Cabbage always has a heart;
Green beans string along.
You're such a cute tomato,
Will you peas to me belong?
You've been the apple of my eye,
You know how much I care;
So lettuce get together,
We'd make a perfect pear.
Now, something's sure to turnip
To prove you can't be beet;
So if you carrot at all for me,
Let's let our tulips meet.
Don't squash my hopes and dreams now.
Bee my honey dear.
Or tears will fill Potato's eyes
While sweet corn lends an ear.
I'll cauliflower shop
And say your dreams are parsley mine,
I'll work and share my celery,
So, be the apple of my eye!
~ Jeanne Losey

 I stumbled across this poem a while back and it still makes me smile.  Thought I'd share it with you this wonderful, rainy Sunday evening.   Gardens all around the area are in full bloom and the yield appears to be plentiful.  The other Saturday... I took my three kiddos out to Lancaster Co. for a drive and some shopping and yeah.. let's just say....our car was full of yummy goodness...till we got home.  There is nothing quite like fresh garden veggies in the prime of summer!
We love our zukes, cukes, mater's and corn!!! 
We've made two batches of our favorite relish recipe, so far.  Which is good!!  And, which was needed.

How does your garden grow?

I don't have much of anything planted, this year, which makes me feel kinda sad.  I had a few herbs in a pot out on our back deck - but they didn't last too long.  I'm not sure what got to them.  Like I said...kinda sad.  I do LOVE having parsley and basil at the ready... when needed.  :)  Oh, and a friend has brought by a bouquet or two of my favorite flowers.  I sure do love my zinnia's.  :)

 One of the projects around our place, the past couple of weeks, have been trimming back some majorly low (according to my hubby) tree limbs and uprooting some bushes, etc. that we longer want.  We have some big plans for our side flower bed.  So, maybe by next summer... we'll be set.  Right now... I'm enjoying everyone else's beauty. 
By the way. These pics are from several years ago... taken at a women's retreat center.  Their porches and seating areas were beautiful.   I just thought they would attach well to this poem that I just shared; something you'd find while thumbing through a magazine, as you're sitting there relaxing on a nice summer afternoon or evening with a tall glass of iced tea!!  You know??

I hope you are enjoying your summer...

Friday, July 6, 2018

fmf | A Place to Stay!

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 Some of you may know this already - if you follow me on Facebook - but, my girls and I just came back from a quick, 3 day, over the fourth of July - vacay!!  
My hubby and son were off on a week-long, Scout Camping Trip, since Sunday, and so us gals decided we'd go "glamping" and stay with my sister, where she lives.  It was about a 3 hour drive from me and in the beautiful mountains of Central Pa.   So, today's prompt word, vacation, was perfect...
If you want to see photos and hear/read specifics, on our time away you can go find me there, on Facebook, and catch up, that way.  However, here is more of the backstory... to our time away.

My girls were eager to pack their bags and grab their pillows and sleeping bags.   A chance to go see their aunt Gladys and spend some time... doing something different., rather than just hanging out all week - with mom - and no Daddy or brother around.  :(
When I think of vacation and what, at least for me, it is meant to be...I can have a certain expectation.
I KNOW that there are many times - out of ones' control - where a vacation can turn seriously stressful.   That may or may not ever happened before.
I'm so, so grateful that this one - for me - was a balm for my soul!!

What made this one so special?  One, I was proud of myself for getting my "road trip on" and making this happen.  It almost felt spontaneous and that was another success.    The thing is... I really needed this getaway and I don't know that I even realized how much so.  I had a few, pretty stressful days leading up to it and so, to feel all that melt away was pretty amazing.

Here is the thing!!   My sister is over the top AMAZING...in how she makes you feel at home!  Things like...

"Here, you take my bed; you can all three be in my room.  I'll take the couch."
"Here, I got you (3) camping chairs.  You said you didn't have any!"
"Here, lets go here - I have a surprise for you - for lunch!"
"Here... I made this strawberry lemonade... for us to take to the beach -at the park- but you can keep the jars; take them home!"
As she cleans out her fridge and we're packing up - out comes all this food... to bless!!
Homemade cinnamon rolls, Homemade strawberry Jam, leftover pancakes, yogurts and fruit...Chicken salad...
I'm telling you.
 She is AMAZING!!!  Her heart is AMAZING!!
Her HOME is comfortable (not uber fancy!) but AMAZING!!!

We stayed up late, too late... chatting the night away. Drinking coffee and swapping stories and reliving memories. 
Encouraging each other; giving counsel...bearing each other's burdens.

As we parted ways this morning - I had given her a handwritten note and card that said...
That her hospitality and generosity is and was beyond expectation in every way.

This is truly and simply was my kind of vacation.

Where my soul found rest!

Reminds me of a verse from Matthew 11:28-30 - these are Jesus' words.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I know she would tell me - not to stay away so long next time.   Come!!! (more often) - for a PLACE to STAY!!!
Following along and linking up with Five Minute Friday.  
vacationToday's prompt word is: Vacation
Thank you for reading!!

Friday, June 29, 2018

fmf | What IF I told you a story of happy feet and how they got there?

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This photo prompts a post all its own.

They're a bit in hiding... but, today I wanted to share a story about my feet.  Yup!!  You read that right.  My feet.

A couple of years ago, May of 2015, to be exact, I was invited to attend a small health and wellness presentation held at the home of a dear friend.  About 8 months, or so, prior... I had first heard about these particular amazing health supplements by way of a packet of information and testimonials.  I wasn't skeptical, per say, but rather intrigued.  I wondered, How could these couple of products help or relieve so many various and different symptoms?  So, now that I had heard about this... but, truly forgetting about it...due to life and months gone by, of this packet being buried under other stuff in my bedside table, the invitation to attend and completely being curious, was compelling.  It wasn't hard to RSVP with a "yes"!  I was eager to learn!  
First off, the gal, who was sharing was a Naturopathic Doctor.  And, she had me at "hello"!  Meaning, her story alone... sold me!  But, there was so much more.   Nothing magic, of course!!  Simply learning about things I had never put a name too - but was personally dealing with - were  now finally being explained and I was so grateful.   She explained in detail the woes of Candida (gut health) - wreaking havoc on and in our bodies; the importance of reducing Inflammation; and, what it means to have a balanced Glucose Metabolism.  Ya'll!!  I had no idea.  I had never heard of some of these words... but, boy!!  Did these "root issues" ever have their grip on me.  So, many people were coming to mind, as I sat and listened.  I realized everyone and anyone who has guts needed to hear about this.

One of those things I was dealing with - for a very L.O.N.G. time - were Plantar Warts, on my feet.  Bingo!!!  Candida.  Plantar Warts.... are/were some of the most painful things I have ever had to deal with.  Some days to the point where I couldn't walk around the house.  Socks hurt.  If I had to go anywhere... I wore bedroom slippers.  (Talk about embarrassing!)

You know how the Apostle Paul talks about that "thorn in his side"...?  Yeah - well, that was mine. 
What excited me that evening was learning - that I had hope!!

Hope, again, to feel better, in this area.
Oh, it wasn't going to happen overnight.  No way!!  (remember I said, no magic here!)  This was not going to be a quick fix.   But - if I chose to take my health seriously and realize it as being an investment... not looking at "this plan" as being an expense... I could truly see some light at the end of the tunnel.  I was TOTALLY worth it.  Was this going to be hard work?  Yes.  Was I going to be committed?  I had to ask myself that.  The thing was.  NO ONE pressured us to give these products a try.  No one!!  They only said... "if you decide to give these products a try, you are going to be so grateful".   It was the conviction with which they spoke.  They had been there... and had seen it for themselves.  We left that night to "sleep on it" and pray...
 Thankfully, my hubby was on board - willing to, at least, give it a try!   We had 60 days - or we could get our money back.  Which he was secretly planning to do - because... if this was like anything else in our past, it wasn't going to work.  He was going to "pull the plug", as soon as he could.

Truth was.  In little time, things were working.  There were changes.  Unexpected changes.  
Exciting changes!!!  Little bits at a time... but changes, nonetheless, in the right direction.

  My hubby had a different reason...for starting. However, my goal was to do this until my feet felt happy! 
Oh, I knew this was going to take "forever".  A month for every year I dealt with my issue, at best.  But... I was MAD enough, about it, to be Motivated.  To take Action.  And, I had Decided... this area in my health needed to change.

You've all heard the little quip.
You can't spell Challenge without Change.

Well, in order to see change - I had to take on the challenge.

Fast forward.  Here we are three (plus) years later... still going strong.  Obviously, the plug was not pulled.  Our lives were being changed.  So were many others.  Our friends and family who, at the time, were watching us - have since joined us and now they're seeing and loving these life- changing results, as well.   Everybody has a different story.  And, while similar, there are always different outcomes.  Which is really, really cool!  Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made.

My hubby saw his goal fulfilled.... something he had never seen before in other "side hustles"... that he had tried.    And, my feet?  

Well, that evening... with the Naturopathic Doctor explaining everything... I was told that the feet are the last to "be addressed"... that there was going to be a lot of detox happening in between.  What?!?!  Truthfully, by now, I didn't care.  I was ready.

Of course.. truth be told.  She was right!!  Just now... three (plus) years later... I can tell you that my feet are happy.  NOT PERFECT!  I am sure I still have a bit of ways to go.  But, to go from hard, HARD calloused, shoe-leather like feet - with painful, pinhead warts... shooting pains with every step... to that feeling of soft and pliable (I mean, I rub my feet together and I'm experiencing new "sensations"; of things I haven't felt in my feet in a long while) and while there are a few spots here and there... it is nothing like ever before.  I almost do not know what to think.   I am so happy!!

You ask.  All by simply and consistently addressing gut health, reducing inflammation and balancing blood sugar...?  Yes!!!  Consistency is key!!  You may wonder if I did anything else, to help?
Yes...I did.
I would often soak my feet in Epsom salt water, with ACV and sometimes essential oils.  (mostly that was for relief... from and while going through some of  my painful times).  Lots of lotions and creams... I tried everything.  Some things helped and other things didn't.

Do you know what, though?   Between my hubby, the kiddos and myself...the list of things that were addressed, alleviated or helped - from day one, of starting these products - till now... is significant!!  I knew we ALL needed these products, as a family.   The feet, for me, is simply just one area...

Connect with me in the comments - if you would like to hear more. 

Can I just say... I love my happy feet!!   
You have to realize this really and truly is a BIG deal, for me.   It makes me tear up!!  And, if you know me well, at all, you know I do cry easily, but... this has been life-changing for me.   I'm so, so grateful to have finally found something that works.  It truly continues to be a health journey for me.  I often wonder what would have happened IF I had not said yes.

I, also, honestly wonder how many other people are longing for hope in their health. I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Whether its you or someone you know... people are starting to wake up and recognize their need for a change to be had.  Let me encourage you.   
If you are one of those left wondering if there is any hope for you... 
there is!!  What if.  What if... this could change everything for you?  It's a good question.  Have you ever thought about this... How much is your health worth to you?  Its truly something to think about.

These feet are meant for walking!!!  The journey continues...with or without you.

Following along with Five Minute Friday.  No five minutes here.  Today's word prompt: IF
  Thank you for reading along today!!
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