Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Goals? I Faintly Remember Something About Goals.

It seems like forever since I've written goals for simplifying my life and evaluated them. I wrote the goals to decrease activities in my life because I frequently take on too much. I wanted to get back to what is really important and get rid of the stuff I can live without.

What has you running to another project?

The last three months have been unusually busy. The strange thing is the busyness wasn't initiated by me. I like to make to-do lists, or I should say a "wish list" of things to do. I always seem to want to cook, paint, sew, read, garden, get a new animal or make some commitment to do something. Overbooking myself and leaving my family lonely.

Are you all alone?

This year, so far has, been different. The only lists I have made seem to be for groceries or a few errands. Lately, my time has been spent with many different people. I believe the time I'm spending with others is God's design for my life right now.

It is important to God, for you not to be alone.

To begin the year, my son broke his right elbow. This has led to driving him to M.D. appointments, to the hospital for x-rays and keeping up with his physical therapy appointments. I spend a lot of time with my son normally with family activities and his schoolwork. All the time spent has let me see my son grow, mature and soften. It truly has been a heartfelt pleasure.

My husband and I have made a conscious effort to spend quality time together. We've discovered "quality time" is one of our love languages, it is number one for him and number two for me. To meet this need, we've been having dinners together, prayer time, family activities and have found an online TV program we like to watch. (We don't have regular TV and I normally don't even watch TV.) These activities have brought an easiness back into our marriage which we haven't had in over a year.

A lot more of my time has been spent with my 91 year old friend, Vera who was diagnosed with CHF. My Mother-in-law has taken on helping Vera more now. She doesn't believe Vera will live much longer and is spending as much time with her as she can. I believe I was involved for a needed period of time but now I'm meant to spend time on other relationships, such as my family and my newfound friend, who I will call "Kat".

My friend Kat, (Name has been changed to protect her privacy), has only recently come into my life. I've known her less than two weeks at the time of this writing. I believe she is an answer to a prayer I prayed awhile back. The prayer was a question to God, "who am I, to share your Word with?" The reply I found in His Word was "Whoever I send to you". I believe Kat was sent to me. She is such a blessing.

Everyone needs a supportive friend.

The day I'd met Kat was a Wednesday, I had been in a meeting with my husband and one of our  pastors. I was "hobbling" with my crutches through the youth room and near the door sat Kat. I didn't know her and asked her if she needed help. She said "no", she just wanted to sit and listen to the music the youth band was playing. It was obvious by her appearance and smell, she was under the influence of alcohol. Not knowing what to do, I hobbled back to get the pastor.

We came back and tried to talk to Kat. She became upset and ran out the door to her apartment next door. Hobbling after her, I convinced her to have a conversation and she shared her needs with me. She needed a vaccination against whooping cough to be able to see her newborn granddaughter and she wanted to quit drinking. After our conversation, I told her I would be back at 8:00 AM the next day to take her to the local Public Health for the vaccination and to the County Alcohol and Drug Department for help. We prayed and I left.

The next day, Thursday, Kat was sober and still wanting to quit drinking. To make a long story short, Kat followed through with her vaccination, started the process for treatment (her last intake meeting will be this Friday, then she will begin the program), she went back to Celebrate Recovery on Friday, (a church program for anyone who has an addiction of any kind), attended our church's one day Ladies Retreat on Saturday, came to church with me on Sunday and gave her heart back to Christ. Praise God!

It has been such an honor to see God work and change someone's life. I am so amazed at what God has did and how He has let me be a part of it. Why He chose me to be her friend I don't know, but I'm so grateful.

Who can you be a friend to?

Since meeting Kat, I've seen God work a miracle, the beginning of healing for a broken woman, how God meets someone where they are at, and remembrance of God's Word in Matthew 25:35-40 "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me, Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, 'truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" (NIV)

God wants us to serve Him by serving others. He wants us to meet people where they are. He uses us to meet the most basic needs of others, showing His love. By showing His love, God can change hearts, ours and the individuals we serve. We ourselves can't change anyone but we can point them to God who can.

Companionship and peace come from God.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rapid Weather Changes

Today the snow is rapidly melting again and we are dealing with mild flooding. With all the snow and flooding I've begun to think again about our emergency packs. I have 2 bags with stuff for our family in it. I bought a third bag for each one of us to have our own bag.

Entrance to our driveway.  
Another view of the entrance to our driveway.
I'm not complete with the bags yet because of lack of funds. I'm slowly getting things together and trying to search clearance items in the stores. I've learned to look in all areas of a store if there is a clearance sign because you never know what you will find.

The items I have so far are:
4 packs of single load laundry detergent
4 ponchos-in case one gets torn or lost
6 toothbrushes-they come six in a pack at the Dollar Store
3 small tubes of toothpaste
3 nail care kits
3 packages of dental floss
14 masks
1 Monistat for yeast infections
10 trial size bars of soap-I've collected these when I worked out of town by staying in motels. I just kept the extras in my room.
3 deodorants
several pair of heavy-duty socks
knit hats
winter scarfs
several pairs of ear plugs
6 razors
3 packs of water proof matches
long johns
shampoo and conditioner
hand warmers-8 pairs

Things I need yet are:
Lip Balm
emergency blankets
crank/solar flash light and radio
toilet paper—I have, just need to get into bags
emergency sleeping bags
light sticks
first aid kits
duct tape
change of clothes and jacket for each family member
medicines we take on a regular basis—I have, need to put into bags
cold medicine
manual can opener
dog food
book on emergency preparedness
paper and pens
books to read
card games

Have you started your pack?

Snow Anyone?

Our 23.9 inches of snow came and melted, quickly. The snow was melting fast but not fast enough. I didn't realize it had accumulated on a large branch of one of the giant trees in our front yard. The weight of the snow broke a large branch. When we get the funds and time we have to go an get the tree tar and cut the branch off. Weather can be hazardous.

The tree with the broken branch. 
The split branch.
Lilac bush with broken branch.
Closer view of broken Lilac branch. 

Snow Ducks

The snow was coming down in chunks yesterday. We accumulated another 14". I enjoyed watching it for a while. I even went out to check on the chickens and ducks. The ducks weren't fazed by the snow one bit. The chickens stayed in the coop except Goldie. She came out when she heard my voice.

Guard duck Spot wondering what I was doing. 
Maxine trying to stay out of the snowfall.
Goldie looking to me for a snack. 
The other girls staying warm.

As the day progressed, the snow started to come down harder and faster. The ducks and the chickens went to the coop early. They finally had their fill of the weather.

Approximately 30 minutes of snow accumulation. 
The snow was so fast and heavy it caused a whiteout. I had drove to a friend's house to pick her up for dinner at my house and the visibility was only a short distance, probably 100-150 feet. I made it there but had my husband drive her back home after dinner. The ducks were smart going in.

The background noise in this last video is my family, my son was outside and my husband inside the house, they could be heard because I forgot to close the door.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Here we go again!

After having a few weeks of rainy but fairly warm weather for this season, we're back to the snow. We are supposed to get 23.9 ". I like the snow. I just wish it wasn't so close to planting season. I have yet to talk my husband into tilling my garden area. I have my seeds, potato seeds and onion bulbs just sitting here waiting.

Beginning snow.
Snow an hour later.
Beginning snow.  
Snow an hour later.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Favorite Game-Give Away!

(Yes this is the same post as on Chicken Scrawls. Different Days for the giveaway. Too sick at present to write a new one) Our enjoyment of having chickens has overflowed into my husband's creative side. Our family loves to play games and loves our chicken pets. To put the two together my husband created the "Blue Chicken Game." A fun and fast-paced game where players "hatch" their own chicken.

The object of the game is to be the first to place your chicken piece card in a numerical sequence. You first start with the egg, which coincides with the number one. Once you have that you can start building. Each player taking turns to try to finish first before their hand is "scrambled" or a "thief" steals a chicken piece.

The game is geared for ages six to adults, two to six players. The game is colorful, fun and educational, teaching numbers and sequencing. Cards are 3" x 4" in size, making it easy to hold for little hands.

For a chance to win this exciting game become a follower of this blog and leave a comment below letting  me know you want the game. Entry to the give-away will end March 15, 1011 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time. One random person will be chosen the same day and announced by 12:00 PM Pacific Time. Check back here to see if you are the winner.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Updates, New Blog and Give Away

It has been several days since I last wrote. Many things have occurred since my last post: snow, power outages, our family ill from respiratory viruses and my 91 year old friend becoming ill. I'm still not out of the woods yet with my illness. I have the nasal congestion, cough and weakness.

Being ill has given me some time to think. This blog has been a mix-mash of different topics. I feel I've really gotten off track as I tend to do. I'm going to try to streamline things a bit; keeping this blog about my efforts to a simpler life (frugal activities, goals, self sufficiency etc), priorities, health and my spiritual life. Still a lot, but hopefully still providing information for everyone and my family who is keeping up with me through this blog.

In an effort to continue to share about my my micro-farm and animals, I've started a new blog called Chicken Scrawls. It can be found at http://chickenscrawlss.blogspot.com. I will post more of my fun animal adventures, egg recipes and hopefully additional helpful animal information. 

Best Part!! To kick off getting back on track and starting a new blog I am going to announce two giveaways. One will be on Julia's Life Journey the other on Chicken Scrawls. I plan to have everything prepared to post in the next few days. (I'm trying to get back up to par first). So keep tuned to both blogs. I will announce each giveaway on separate days.

Happy reading and good luck on the giveaways to all of you!!

"I'm going to be watching for those giveaways!"
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