Monday, December 31, 2007

Out with the old . ..

Out walking yesterday I saw this . . . Old Stump
and . . .Rusty Barb Wire

Old Bridge to Blackberry Bushes


I'm trying to tie these lamas into my thoughts . ..
so . .
(nope . ..got nothing)
Anyways .. .
I just want to wish you a safe and happy new years eve what ever you do.
I'm sure you are pondering your new years resolutions as you go about your day.
I know I sure am.
I'm just thankful that
my
Yesterdays are forgiven
Today is a gift
and my tomorrows are safely in the hands of my Father . ..
Have a great day . . .

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cleaning and reading

My friend Becky gave me the book called The Shack by William P. Young for Christmas. I finished reading that today and I'm sorting it out in my mind. As if often the case when something needs to be taught to me the Lord finds a way to present it to me in a way that I can grasp some truths. I can't say I feel particularly at ease with what I saw in my character but never the less I'm glad I see it and fully intend to allow my heart to soften and become all it should be.
The rest of the day I spent cleaning and running down to pick up some more flour for our annual New Years Cookie feast. Have you bought your flour, yeast, raisins, milk and canola oil for frying yet? I posted the recipe last year and fully expect that some of you will be frying up some raisin fritters yourself.

Clean sheets, laundry done, turkey borscht made . . .it's all good.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Miss Ella gets her motor

I have to say that when my beloved farmer mechanic called down for the seventy second time to the shipping company to see if Miss Ella's motor arrived, they were just as happy as he was that it indeed was dying to be picked up.
It's just a good thing I was home and appropriately attired or I would have surely been left running down the road waving frantically to come along. Before we left the shipping establishment, the box was opened to be sure it was not a cruel joke.

When we got home, I was instructed to put a pot of celebratory coffee on while he slid the crate off of the trailer. I remember when Miss Ella got her transmission there was no way that thing was coming completely out of the crate, since it would not be needed until the motor arrived.

For some reason or other the calendar that was used in the country of origin for Miss Ella's motor counts every two weeks as one and the month and a half that seemed like a short eternity dragged out to 3 months and well, lets just say the critters and menfolk alike were becoming a tad restless wondering of the whereabouts of "one slow to arrive hot rod motor".

Um, I'm not actually asking my beloved to pose here. I'm still planning on doing a test on New Years eve when it would not seem odd to have loved ones take pictures of me and mine hugging. Since I can't see his eyes when we hug, I want to know if he looks that pleased when embracing me. (I'll let you know)

So, there sat Miss Ella waiting to be fitted with her new hot rod motor and there sat all the parts that came in the crate waiting to be fitted on to the new hot rod motor . . .and my beloved? well he was burning up the phone lines calling his friend the mechanic to come and see.

By the time I came back out to the shop, the transmission was attached to the motor as well as those spare parts and they had her on the engine hoist ready to slip her into place.
By this time word had gotten out and our son who called everyday for 12 weeks to see if the motor had come or else called to tell his dad to call about the motor, or called to see if he had called the shipping establishment once it had been established the the motor was en route, miraculously did not work any overtime and also was there to see the motor slide into place.


Even Ethan (our little friend) who stopped in to show me his new tooth, opted to stand counted as one of the men who saw the motor on that very first day.

After the menfolk were all satisfied that indeed the 383 hot rod engine fit as it should, they all went back to where they came from and left my good man in peace to bring his shop to some semblance of order. I took this picture because I have never seen things scattered about so badly.
If you call my house and I'm not home, I'm likely in the shop with my beloved and his darling Miss Ella . .. .
It's all good. . .we're having fun.
Have a good day my friends . . . .

Thursday, December 27, 2007

over the mountain

Yesterday after the dishwasher was emptied and the linens were laundered we decided to go for a ride over the mountain. We live in a valley and we are surrounded by mountains that are covered in snow through the winter months. Within a half hour we can be in a beautiful winter wonderland and forget that in the valley down below we had mostly a green Christmas.
The rode we travelled was virtually empty except for some tobogganers and ATV's. My beloved asked me a few times if I was nervous . .. .nope. Keep going. I clicked away with my camera. Terry just smiled.

Who knows how far we would have gone if it had not been for the abandoned truck in the middle of the road. The ride over the mountain hasn't changed that much over the years. It's still as magical as I remembered it.
Terry backed the truck down the hill for a mile until he could find a place to turn around. What a guy.

At the base of the mountain is a railroad track. We waited for the train. . . .just because we could. No rush, no scurrying about . . .just chatting about the last few days.
Today, we're out and about looking for some fun. Have a wonderful day my friends.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas day 2007

Good coffee
A husband who can fix a stove on Christmas eve.

A part that comes in on Christmas eve after a 3 week wait.

Hmm, this device spotted on Christmas eve plugged into the wall.

This opened on Christmas morning, and the knowledge that I obviously have not driven my husband mad with taking pictures.


This satsified looking man who is mine.

The man that is mine taking pictures of me taking pictures.

The satisfied man snuggling his baby grandson.

The womenfolk scurrying around in the kitchen . ..

A beautiful Great Grandma snuggling her little baby Great Granddaughter.
It was a great day. I have everything I could possibly need.
Today is for the two of us to kick back and relax.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

O Come let us adore Him,

O Come let us adore Him,

O come let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!!

I wanted to say Thank you to all of you for being such kind friends. Over and over again I've been so humbled by your interest in the goin's on around the farm. I feel so privileged to have this forum to express my feelings and thoughts concerning the things that matter most to me.





Do you ever wonder what your purpose is on this earth? When we celebrate the birth of Christ today we are worshipping the King of the universe who loved us so much that he made a way to bridge the void that was created when sin entered the world. You can do nothing greater than to worship Jesus who came to save us and give us life. That just amazes me. If you had been the only lost soul, it would still have been for you.





What do you fill the void with in your life? Maybe it is the gifts and the food and the people you are with, or maybe your soul is already filled with the peace that comes from knowing Jesus and all the stuff is just an expression of your celebration of His birth. I sure hope so.


I pray that somehow your heart will be touched by the reality of His love today. Thank you for popping by and may your day be special whatever you do.

I'm off to put my breakfast bake in the oven for the two of us .. .


(pictures are of the sitting room and the foyer up at the B&B)

Monday, December 24, 2007

baby boy

Yesterday was very special. We had our first family brunch with the total number of attendees being eight. I cuddled babies until my heart nearly burst. Later in the evening when we were down to five we pulled out the albums to do the typical comparisons that all grammies must do. Do all mothers of sons search the eyes of their baby grandsons to see and remember the first weeks as new mothers? This lil farm hand already loves his mommy more than anyone else in the world.


As I looked back and saw this picture I wonder what I was thinking. Had I known then what I know today about that little baby boy I would have been smiling in that picture. How many times has that baby boy now grown up and a daddy himself made me smile?

As the new lil' farm hand snuggled in his mommy's arms enjoying his bedtime snack the daddy lamented about his aching back during the labor. Poor guy. It doesn't matter how big they get, they still sometimes need their back rubbed. Sometimes they even still say . .. "mom, can you rub my back"?After a bit of negotiating begging for my journalistic side I agreed. I need to put a bit more muscle in it now, but I can still make him wince with good pain. Normally this job doesn't fall in my realm of responsibility anymore but even now, it's a bit hard to say no . ..


So, today, some of us will be scurrying around beginning our dinner for tonight or tomorrow, and others will be spending a quiet few days because family is off travelling to see the other side. I do hope that whether you are alone or in a crowded room, that you will seek out the one who we celebrate.
Have a wonderful day my friends. I'll say Merry Christmas again tomorrow for those of you that have a moment. For the rest of you, have a very blessed time.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas luncheon

Guess who came for lunch today? Carolanne is here from Australia and so I made up a pot of Tomato Soup and called the girls over.
How amazing to meet someone who lives halfway across the world and there is none of the uncomfortable initial get to know you questions since we already know one another through blogging.

The conversation was all over the map. We talked of our parents, our kids, our countries and also had a lengthy chat about starting up a new blogger survivor show. I know .. . kind of funny.
I selected the warmify button on Picasso to warm Becky, Julie and I up a bit. We looked a tad pale next to Carolanne.

Thank you Becky (random ponderings blog) for bringing Carolanne (C outside the box blog) over and thank you Julie (pearls in a nutshell blog) my cousin for joining us too. I think we had a really nice time.
I'll be back to regular posting real soon. I've been making lots of trips to the shop to see what Miss Ella is glowing about .. . that girl.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

joy comes in the morning

This morning as my beloved and I sat in our usual spots having our morning coffee we saw this rainbow out our front window and I inwardly groaned knowing that today I must sit down and write about my "dark years". This summer at one point when I was feeling "jolly and gay" and needed some material, the thought crossed my mind but it was quickly erased and I knew that the time would come when writing of it would not be for me but . .. for you.
In 1985 when I was 27 years old it was decided that I needed some fairly extensive surgery that would end forever my ability to have more children. At the time I welcomed the idea of being done with the physical pain that I was enduring and it seemed like a win win decision. For a time I felt really well and indeed I enjoyed a pain free life.

Then, a few years later, my body basically rejected the idea that I had forced it into and I began to struggle with anxiety. This was not totally foreign to me, for I had from time to time had a really good bout of worry. In our family this was pretty normal as we still fondly remember our dad's bent to being a worrier. What I was experiencing felt quite different and it began with a simple realization that our youngest son would be requiring a root canal. Something in me snapped and I nearly vomited with extreme anxiety at how he would cope with this kind of dental appointment. Terry took him and he came back relatively unscathed and wore it like a badge.

A few weeks later while we were preparing to take our boys to Disneyland for the very first time my mom mentioned to me that our oldest son had a very large lymph node in his neck. I immediately checked him myself and wondered how I had missed something so obvious.
Having gone through Terry's cancer diagnosis when our youngest was six weeks old I had no more "this could never happen to us" left in me and I was certain that he too would be diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. We took him to the doctor and he assured us that it was most likely just a residual low grade infection that would likely dissipate with a round of antibiotics.
Off we went to Disneyland with the round of antibiotics and I daily watched that lymph node. It didn't budge. He was of course having the time of his life and never suspected how terrified I was. I could barely eat and for the only time in my life, lost weight on vacation.
We came home and began the process of biopsies and indeed around Christmas time we were told that he too had Hodgkin's disease and we began the regular trips to Children's hospital where that decision was eventually reversed.
We were told to go home and not worry about it, he would grow out of it.
By this time I was so deeply entrenched in my own nightmare of anxiety and depression that I kept very private. I had confided to a few people who though well intentioned simply could not relate to my experince. In time I came to realize that I needed to see a doctor and I was put on medication. My biggest fear was that I would completely lose it and would be hospitalized and then everyone would know. How horrific. My life would be exposed for all to see and I suspected judgement would be soon behind.


In all of this, I clung to my faith. I would live for the nighttime when I could sing in my head to sleep. Night after night, I would repeat . . .either "My Jesus I love thee" or "Blessed Jesus come to me . .". I begged for peace. In all this time, I never ever once mentioned to my extended family what I was going through. Everyone who knows me well, would never suggest to you that I am private. I wear my heart on my sleeve often much to my own disappointment.

After my mom passed away I perused her private diaries and found an entry where as she often did recorded her prayers. That particular day, she asked her Heavenly Father to give her little girl her joy back. She knew . .of course she knew but we just never discussed it. She had her own battle with depression and suspected I would want to deal with it the same way she did . . in silence.

We continued on with our social life and I often wonder what I must have been like to socialize with. I really don't want to go back there and try to imagine how prickly I must have often been.
Had it not been for the unfailing love of my husband that was a constant force in my life I may have ended up where I most feared to go. Our children seemed not to notice, I always prayed they wouldn't. Crawling to the washroom in the morning because I had no strength to walk was quite typical and then I would pull myself together and continue on with the day.
Slowly, and I mean slowly the constant little cloud that hung over my eyes started to lift and the skies again seemed a bit brighter. For the most part, I feel completely well now except for the odd day here and there. It serves as a reminder of where I've been and where I could again be and it makes me so very thankful for days when I feel completely well.

I really hesitated telling my story because I know that there are many differing views on what causes depression. I am someone who believes that Jesus came to save me and I never doubted ever that what I believed was true. I did wonder though why I had to walk that journey. Shouldn't Christians feel joy always? My life was essentially a fairytale and I felt such shame to be depressed. How could a woman in her right mind with a loving husband and two wonderful healthy children be depressed? It took me years to realize that my depression was as physical as arthritis or cancer. When I understood that at least the shame was alleviated and I could focus on complete physical and emotional healing.

The one thing that has amazed me over the years of me sharing bits of my story when I feel led is how many other people have similar experiences and also keep it private because of the stigma involved.


This still seems like the oddest post at this time of year and even now, it seems like one that should be saved in draft and yet because I know that there is hope and healing even for those struggling emotionally, it must be posted for all the world to see. This is who I really am, a cracked pot . .(smiling now).


Please do not use my experience to base any decisions regarding your own health. This is my experience and I share it as a testimony that if you are feeling wretched now, there is hope and you can also lean on the one who promises to never leave us or forsake us. How I would have ever survived without His gentle loving hand on my life, I have no idea. If you are struggling, I urge you to share it with someone you can trust to love you unconditionally and also seek medical advice.
I wish I could say that within a year I felt completely myself again but it was years before I didn't wake up in the morning and assess my feeling of well being. My healing was not instant. God's hand on my life, time and proper medical care all were part of those years.

All good things come from the Father above and so it is him I give the credit to.
I am so thankful that my joy does not depend on life's circumstances but rather on the One who came to this earth to bring life eternal. I am loved by my Heavenly Father who .. .just loves me. He loved me even before I invited him to be part of my life. I love Him and worship Him at Christmas because He first loved me.
I wish you all the most blessed of Christmas seasons. May you find Jesus near!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

created by Him

I have no idea why I have loved this picture over the years. Perhaps it is because it is the only time we had a picture taken with Santa. Since there was no large department store in our small town we travelled to Vancouver to see Santa.
My brother Gerry is four years older than me and obviously far less intimidated by Santa. I can still remember walking up the slanted walkway to the end where he sat. I remember waiting in the line up feeling unsure that I wanted to go through with this risky business.
Life is funny isn't it? Looking back I wonder what I feared. I often wonder why I couldn't have been born with the optimistic layer of skin that others naturally have.
I know that I was made by the creator that makes no mistakes. I will always struggle with anxiety and perhaps even a bit of depression even in the happiest of times. What a blessing to know that my joy is in the Lord. I am unconditionally loved by the one who's love is perfect.
I have no idea what you are feeling or if you are struggling emotionally during this season of celebrating Christ's birth. If you are, you are likely suffering silently and will be stoic in public, knowing that it is not acceptable to "be down". I understand and it has been on my heart to share my own journey with you. Soon, I will.
I'll be away from posting for a few days, I'm preparing my heart and my home.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

wrapping

The procrastination eventually has to end. Today is gift wrapping day. I love to give gifts to those we love. I even enjoy thinking of what that person would enjoy receiving. I even enjoy the hunt . . .so to speak.
Then . . .the collection begins, usually around Thanksgiving.

Today, I'll wrap up the things I've somewhat successfully hidden. Oh . ..how I wish I had an elf.
Have a good day my friends.