Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We Visited Our New Home

My sister, Karen, called last night and was so excited to hear about our trip to visit property and what came of it. She said she'd been checking my blog for updates but I've been remiss in keeping anything posted. Not because we don't have really geat news, we do!

We are set to close on April 15th on our next and last home!

We found a solid house that needs an interior facelift - just what we had prayed about. Something that we could make our own without ripping up expensive remodeling, yet a home that would be sound and sheltering while we work at making it just right for our style of living. It's a little bigger than our last home. It's got 2 full bathrooms, a little office/library, a bigger kitchen than I've had in years, a craft/sewing room and, (hint hint) a guest bedroom (picture yourself there). Used to be we had to choose between a small sewing room for me or a small guest room. We'll feel downright spacious!

Oh, and it comes with a 24x24' shop for Kent attached to a two-car carport (think garage missing three sides, this baby is solid!)

and the package is wrapped up with 20 acres of pretty property ripe for some care and creativity. Several cleared acres for grazing and gardening, woods for tramping and providing wood to heat, a lovely creek running year round right through the woods, fruit trees, evidence of berries, roses, hydrangea, and possibly lilac. And lots of other spring surprises that hadn't yet awakened when we were there last week.

It will be a lot of work but we're excited to be starting the next phase of our big adventure together. We believe God has plans for us and has put us where we are for a reason. We'll just keep trying to live for Him daily and see what unfolds as we step out in faith.

Note: We did see it without the snow and tramped around a good bit. These pictures are from an earlier visit that Val, Amol and Steph made on our behalf.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Recommended Reading

You need to read this. Yes, You.

One Second After
This book is fiction. The danger of an EMP strike is not. Of all the things our country is worried about, this will have you calling your Senator and Representative and asking them why they aren't working on hardening our systems for this possibility. One nuclear warhead, detonated above the atmosphere over the continental United States would wreak havoc on our entire society. And the technology is not beyond the likes of small countries who already hate us.

So get your favorite blanket and be prepared to read a book you can't put down even though the part of you that would like to not know this will want to with every turn of the page.

A Happy Birthday

Well, my birthday was last week, the 10th, and it was a wonderful day. I got spoiled by Kent and Kathy and basically did nothing on Thursday. So why didn't I blog about it sooner? Probaby because I really don't like pics of myself and my birthday present has occupied my free moments.

Here we have a very pretty cake and Kent was being funny. Or safe. Perhaps 47 candles would have been a hazard. In any event, he 'numbered out' 37 to be sweet.

And there was fire. And singing. All very festive.

And the new family tradition, started by Steph on Val's BD and Val on Steph's BD... Birthday cake for Breakfast!! Yeah!! It doesn't get much more decadent or indulgent than that!

And I got my most hoped for gift. Something that just over a month earlier I would have said did not interest me. However, after ending up in Florida without reading material (well, I had a book but I'd already consumed it on the flight) and my niece loaning me her KINDLE for a couple weeks... I was totally sold! And Kent got me my very own. I was so tickled!!

Here it is, later that day, already loaded up with 80 books. All for free. Classic titles that will keep me in good reading for a long time. And Kathy got me a gift card so I could find some books to buy, as well!

And he even got me the superbly designed leather protective cover with build in reading light. I am one spoiled, spoiled girl!

So what did I have on my Kindle by that night without spending a penny?

An Old-Fashioned Girl - Alcott, Louisa May
Little Women - Alcott, Louisa May
Every Word - Amazon Digital Services
Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen - Andersen, H. C. (Hans Christian)
On Prayer and The Contemplative Life - Aquinas, Saint Thomas
Emma - Austen, Jane
Persuasion - Austen, Jane
Pride and Prejudice - Austen, Jane
Sense and Sensibility - Austen, Jane
The Velveteen Rabbit - Bianco, Margery Williams
Jane Eyre - Brontë, Charlotte
The Pilgrim's Progress from this world to that which is to come, delivered under the similitude of a dream, by John Bunyan - Bunyan, John
A Little Princess; being the whole story of Sara Crewe now told for the first time - Burnett, Frances Hodgson
The Secret Garden - Burnett, Frances Hodgson
The Land That Time Forgot - Burroughs, Edgar Rice
The Lost Continent - Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Carroll, Lewis
The Man Who Knew Too Much - Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith)
The American Frugal Housewife - Child, Lydia Maria Francis
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
The Last of the Mohicans; A narrative of 1757 - Cooper, James Fenimore
The Holy Bible English Standard Version (ESV) - Crossway Bibles
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) - Defoe, Daniel
A Tale of Two Cities - Dickens, Charles
Great Expectations - Dickens, Charles
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan
The Count of Monte Cristo - Dumas père, Alexandre
The Man in the Iron Mask - Dumas père, Alexandre
Middlemarch - Eliot, George
Silas Marner - Eliot, George
Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure - Fernie, William Thomas
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Franklin, Benjamin
The Wind in the Willows - Grahame, Kenneth
Grimm's Fairy Stories - Grimm, Jacob, Grimm, Wilhelm
Games for Everybody - Hofmann, May C.
Homestead on the Hillside - Holmes, Mary Jane
Les Misérables - Hugo, Victor
Riven - Jenkins, Jerry B.
Best Little Stories from the Civil War: More than 100 true stories - Kelly, C. Brian
The Life of Abraham Lincoln - Ketcham, Henry
Gray Matter - Kilpatrick, Joel, Levy,David
The Jungle Book - Kipling, Rudyard
Whisper on the Wind - Lang, Maureen
The Secret (Seasons of Grace, Book 1) - Lewis, Beverly
The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806 - Lewis, Meriwether, Clark, William
White Fang - London, Jack
Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know - Mabie, Hamilton Wright
Somewhere to Belong - Miller, Judith
She Walks in Beauty - Mitchell, Siri
Healing For a Broken World: Christian Perspective on Public Policy - Monsma, Steve
Utopia - Moore, Sir Saint Thomas
Daughter of Joy (Brides of Culdee Creek, Book 1) - Morgan, Kathleen
The Master's Indwelling - Murray, Andrew
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Orczy, Baroness Emmuska
Common Sense - Paine, Thomas
The Oregon Trail: sketches of prairie and Rocky-Mountain life - Parkman, Francis
Hide in Plain Sight - Perry, Marta
The Raven - Poe, Edgar Allan
The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 - Poe, Edgar Allan
Pollyanna - Porter, Eleanor H. (Hodgman)
Home Vegetable Gardening a Complete and Practical Guide to the Planting and Care of All Vegetables, Fruits and Berries Worth Growing for Home Use - Rockwell, F. P.
Ivanhoe - Scott, Sir Walter
Treasure Island - Stevenson, Robert Louis
Letters of a Woman Homesteader - Stewart, Elinore Pruitt
Dracula - Stoker, Bram
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Stowe, Harriet Beecher
A Girl of the Limberlost - Stratton-Porter, Gene
Freckles - Stratton-Porter, Gene
A Modest Proposal - Swift, Jonathan
Gulliver's Travels - Swift, Jonathan
Walking - Thoreau, Henry David
Democracy in America - Volume 1 - Tocqueville, Alexis de
Democracy in America - Volume 2 - Tocqueville, Alexis de
Life on the Mississippi - Twain, Mark
The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson - Twain, Mark
The Invisible Man - Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)
The Time Machine - Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)
The Age of Innocence - Wharton, Edith
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm - Wiggin, Kate Douglas Smith
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Wilde, Oscar
Craving God: A 21-Day Devotional Challenge - Zondervan

Ah. Huge. Contented. Sigh. I love books.

Brace Yourself - I Have a Bionic Dog!

Yes, they can make him better than he was: better, stronger, faster. And I'm not talking about Steve Austin.

Our dog and good friend, Bear, tore his cruciate ligament at the end of February. We had a couple of options and one non-option. The non-option was letting him suffer, in pain, hobbling around and getting worse until he needed euthanized. Like I said, non-option. We lost his brother to cancer just over a year ago, we weren't ready to lose another pup.

Another option was surgery. Not 100% sure to be successful. Would probably encourage him to be off the leg for an extended period of time thus putting even more strain on his already sore back.

Third option? Dog orthotics. Yup, there is a place in Denver that produces orthotics and prosthetics for pets. These folks have been amazingly helpful and kind to Bear. At his first appointment they took hours assessing him, took a mold of his leg, and gave us the tools to care for him while we waited for his stifle brace to be custom made.

Now he's learning to get around again and is building up the muscle he lost when he couldn't walk on it for a little more than two weeks. He's doing quite well, we think. We even take him for short, therapeutic walks. We still aren't sure if his miniscus is damaged. If it is, he will probably need a minor surgery to remove it so that he can be pain free.

Thanks, Orthopets!
You don't have to live in Denver to tap into Orthopets resources, they can even work with pets, pet owners and veterinarians long distance.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let's Make a Deal!

Yes, that's what we're hoping for. You see, we've made an offer on a little piece of paradise in PA. I was telling my friend about it this morning and she said, "It's like someone took your list and put together what you wanted." I told her, "Yeah, I believe it was God."

So we will make plans for our visit and trust that an agreement can be reached. It is, of course, contingent upon us seeing the property ourselves and approving. Our daughter, Stephanie, my niece and her husband, Val and Amol, and I presume young Samuel, have already toured the property for us and taken pictures and asked questions. It looks very promising indeed!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm Going Back to School

I've been ready to commit to this for over six months but it seems like life keeps "getting in the way". Since I imagine that is a pattern that won't soon change, I decided I need to take the plunge and work it in with my life.

So I'm enrolled in an online school for herbal and holistic studies. I'm beginning with the Family Herbalist course which could take about a year. My hope is that I'll discover I still know how to learn and study and that I love what I'm learning, in which case I hope to add three more years of study for the combined Holistic Wellness Professional / Clinical Master Herbalist programs. I'm quite excited!

The course outline for the first portion covers a lot of basics and is a prerequisite for the more advanced classes:

1. Germ v Terrain Theory
2. Holistic Nutrition Part One Macronutrients
3. Holistic Nutrition Part Two Micronutrients
4. Bread: The Staff of Life
5. Body Chemistry
6. Prevention in Childbearing
7. Prevention for First Year and Beyond
8. Vaccinations
9. Modern Childhood Epidemics
10. Pharmacognosy and Herbal Medicine
11. Body Systems
12. Herbal Home Use
13. Herbal Preparations Part One
14. Common Childhood Illnesses
15. Adult Illnesses
16. Other Illness and Difficulties
17. Herbal Classifications
18. Materia Medica I
19. Materia Medica II
20. Materia Medica III
21. Advanced Herbal Preparations
22. Aromatherapy I
23. Aromatherapy II
24. Aromatherapy III
25. Prevention in Homekeeping
26. Contacting Outside Help

I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Awwww... She's so cute!

You may remember this picture from several posts ago. Although I think my sister is pretty and her smile always brings a smile to my face, I don't know if my initial response would be, "Awww.. she's so cute!"

But when Kathy found THIS picture of Karen and Dad the other day, I did!

After all these years, they're still enjoying each other's company. And this week, my brother-in-law (Karen's husband), Brian, is staying in Florida to be with Dad as he continues working toward regaining his strength. I'm so amazed and proud of my family. And I'm told that their daughter, Shannon, will arrive as her father is leaving.

And kudos to my brother, Kevin, and his wife, Beth, and their daugther, Sarah, for opening their home to everyone. That's huge and loving. I'm proud of you all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Leaping Lizards!

Really. They can jump pretty good. I was quite taken with all the little lizards that just kind of hang around the yard at Kevin and Beth's. One afternoon I sat reading and looked up to see one draped over St. Francis' head in the front garden. Another afternoon I sat in the bay window and watched closely. Where there, at first glance, appeared to be no activity, I detected no less than 8 lizards within my field of vision without the need to turn my head. They vied for top spot on the pavers around the garden spot, they scrambled back and forth across the sidewalk. They leapt to the palm tree and scurried up long, slender fronds.

That afternoon I was telling my brother about it and he headed right out to catch me one. It was like the good old days. As kids he and I spent countless hours in the woods and little wild places around our home. Creeks always make great play areas and woods let you get away from it all. So like kids again, he caught me a lizard and displayed it for my camera (Ok, I didn't actually have a camera as a kid, so that wasn't the same).

He demonstrated the front view


And the ever popular belly up (at which point this poor lizard was probably sure it was going to die)

And on to the compare the similarities of the lizard to Kevin's snake tattoo. (Ok, he didn't have that as a kid, either)

And that's when it leaped out of his hand and seemed to disappear. We looked around and it seemed to have vanished. And then I spotted it clinging to my skirt. It sure blended in well. I'm glad I didn't head back into the house before seeing that!