Monday, August 31, 2009

My Photography

As I am sure you have noticed, photography is one of my favorite pastimes. Sometimes I am amazed at the number of pictures that I have accumulated. Since I first received my Nikon D8O for Christmas 2 years ago, I have been taking pictures.

I recently started a pictorial blog The Picture As Janie Sees It. I wanted to be able to show more of my photography and the different areas I shoot. I would like to invite you to stop by when you have some free time to browse at the pictures. I can promise you that there will be more to come..


Friday, August 28, 2009

Barely Holding On

As August quickly ends, as it goes it takes with it the last remains of summer... The days have shortened and the mornings are cooler. Each morning the ground is covered with a heavy dew. Fall is fast approaching. I have to be honest and say that I am glad for change. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the changing colors of the trees, the way the animals seem to be overly active preparing for the colder months ahead.

The hummingbird feeders are now needing to be filled at least once a week and sometimes more as they prepare for their long journey south not long from now. The grass has slowed and is not needing mowed nearly as much as earlier in the season. Signs of the local Armadillo can be seen through out the yard as he forges for food each night. Even my cats are starting to fatten up. It can be seen in everything.

Still there are a few signs of summer still holding on. My hibiscus still occasionally gives me a brilliant flower to enjoy. I always know when I will be receiving another gift soon, as the bud appears and within a few days another beautiful face appears. They are a beautiful plant. The flower does not stay long, a day maybe two if we're lucky. Yet for that time it lifts its face up towards the sun for all it is worth.
This morning when I sat on the back porch to enjoy my morning coffee, I could see the reminder that in a day or two I would once again receive a present. A beautiful red one.

Take a moment, and enjoy something beautiful and have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peanut Butter Squares

It was not that long ago when our grandchildren would stay with us on a regular basis. We definitely had our routine down. When evening rolled around and it was time for her brother to go to bed, Kylie was ready for the ritual that her and Vince had created. I would tend to her little brother, seeing that he was bathed and dressed for bed. We usually would read a story and do our normal chit chat. Needless to say this took a while before I once more returned to the others. They likewise would begin their nightly tradition of going to the freezer and eating their frozen Reese Cups. It was one of their favorite things to do.

I was given this recipe a few years back by a young girl, whom I worked with. Courtney did not necessarily look like the cooking type yet she made some of the best things to eat. I usually only make these at Christmas time, yet they could be easily be enjoyed year around. They taste very similar to a Reese Cup.

2 sticks butter
2 cups smooth Peanut Butter
1 lb. box powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers

Melt 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of smooth Peanut Butter. Mix with 1lb. box of powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers. Spread in greased 9x13 pan. Pat down until smooth.

1 stick butter
12 oz. chocolate chips

Melt 1 stick butter with 12 oz chocolate chips. Pour over top of Peanut Butter Mixture. Refrigerate approximately 2 hours or until firm. Cut into bite size pieces and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

French Fries & Coffee with Cream

When I first started writing this, it was my intention to somehow help those who knew me and others who would eventually know me to possibly understand me a bit more. You see I am not the easiest person to get to know... At an early age, I was a very timid child and kept to myself most of the time. There were reasons for such behavior yet that is something that I do not necessarily want to dive into today. However because of this kind of character, I have always been the kind of person who stands back and observes. Slowly inching my way forward until I feel comfortable enough to dip my toe into the water. And believe me... sometimes this can take a while.

Because of this behavior, I have been considered aloof, recluse, snobbish, and just plain wierd... All of which I dont really consider myself... Ok.. maybe the last one, but only at times... In looking over the entries although I do believe that they give insight to me, I wondered if they gave enough..... I guess it is time that occasionally I write a bit more personal...

I spoke earlier that I was an observer. I am sure you know what I mean. The kind of person who just sort of sits back and watches. I have to say that it can be extremely insightful. I have learned that in doing this, one can find out so much about a person.... People like to tell you who and what they are, yet I think that many do not realize that they can say alot of things, yet it is their actions that will truly paint the truer picture.

In the town where I grew up, my mother cleaned the bank on a weekly basis. Since I was too young to attend school I accompanied her. The banker and his wife, took a liking to me, seeing that they themselves did not have children of their own. Each week, while my mother cleaned, Mr. Pate would see it as his duty to give me something to do. This could be a variety of things.

Sometimes we would go across the street to the local cafe where he would get me french fries and a cup of coffee. I have to say that it was more milk than coffee. To this day I still drink my coffee the same. He taught me to never drink my coffee with my spoon in the cup. Not only was this unmannerly, it also had the possibility of poking my eye out. Mr. Pate also felt an obligation to see that I was a proper little girl. In the closet next to his office he kept a nail file and nail polish remover. He did not feel it was appropriate for little girls to wear nail polish, so if needed he would clean my nails of any polish and file my nails down to an acceptable length.

Mr. Pate was a grandfather figure to me. That is the manner I remember him most. A kind man who was thoughtful and good. Not only to me did I see these actions exhibited yet to many others whom I watched him interact with.

Some thought the manner of his attention towards me was odd. In later days I even found out that others thought it more than odd and decided to add their own gossip and stories to the mix. I found this revelation sad and it greatly angered me. Yet, people will be people, especially in a small town. When there is no news to pass, there is a good chance that someone will think of something to talk about while they sit around the pool hall or coffee shop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good News

Since my grandchildren have moved out of state, much of my communication with them is in the form of letters and/or phone calls. I always look forward to talking to them on the telephone. I love trying to discern what it is my grandson is trying to tell me about each time. I am learning slowly his telephone talk, as he is quick to let me know when it is that I am wrong. My granddaughter is much more articulate and we have had some good conversations.

This last weekend, once again we had our weekend talk. However this time there was good news to be told. When my granddaughter called I could hear the excitement in her voice. Something must have happened at school or with one of her friends I thought... Maybe at her tumbling class. I could not have been farther from the truth. As she took the receiver from her mother to talk to me, she quickly blurted out the news... Momma is going to have a baby. Of course she wants a little sister, seeing that she has already had the "joy" of a little brother. A little sister in her mind would just be too much fun.

She has already began thinking about names for the baby. Of course they are all girl names. I asked her if the baby would sleep with her. She stated, "Only after she is potty trained. Until then she can sleep with my brother." Speaking of her brother, he informed me that he is "super excited too." Although I have a feeling that when April rolls around and a new little one is the center of attention that he may change his mind a little.

Needless to say I am also "super excited".

Friday, August 21, 2009

Continuous Fate

Long time… much ago
When things were younger still…
When time went slowly
And love was gained by will…

A boy with eyes of dragons
That shown an emerald green…
Felt love and lust for someone
Whose face he had never seen….

Yet still he could taste her passion
And yearn her skin to feel…
And long for that one moment
His fate with hers he’d seal.

His life it seemed was destined
To meld with her as one
Yet nowhere could he find her
Her presence was but gone

For many years he sought her
Her nearness a constant need
Seeking every corner
The path to her to lead.

At last one day she faced him
Her eyes a brilliant blue
That shown with Mother Moons own glory
And beamed a love so true

His hands they finally touched her
Ran his fingers cross her skin
Kissed her lips so softly
Wishing so much more to win

Their love transcended others
Much further than all else
For time had waited for this moment
To complete and fill the self

Even when at last they parted
Something not that either wished
Love still burned and shown as brightly
As when they received the gift

Through out time they seek each other
Wishing only just to find
That one that touched them deeply
And was one of their own kind

No one else can ever fill
The void left by that they lost
Never will they yield the search
No matter what the pain or cost

They will search until they find
The one that filled them with such joy
The love, the passion, and the pleasure
The final ending to their story.
By J. Sheik
Copyright 2009 - All rights reserved

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Loss of Wonderment

To many, living the modern life means dealing with daily stresses brought on by deadlines, worries, and a number of other things. There seems to be no time to just stop and listen to the world around us. There always seems to be something that distracts us from taking the time to stop and with all the senses we have experience the moment.

Yet also with this faster pace there have come new ways to cope. No longer does one need to grow and harvest their own food, wondering if the yield will be plenty to sustain them throughout the time needed. There are now supermarkets where one can easily go at anytime and purchase any and all they may need. Why take the time to walk in the quiet woods where the wild flowers grow freely and abundantly, gathering some to take home to admire and remind you of your solace. One can always go to the nearest florist and purchase a multitude of flowers that have been purposely grown in conditions which have been altered. Of course, the advantages that have come to us through the years are helpful and naturally one would not wish to do away with them. However they have come with a price.

We have lost our sense of wonderment. We find the need to work that extra overtime rather than come home and spend time with our family. We choose to stop and pick up take out, rather than fixing a fresh home cooked meal. We stay indoors on a beautiful summer eve as to not miss an episode of the latest reality show on television rather than sit out on the back porch and admire the uniquely beautiful sunset as it paints the sky in pale pinks, oranges and purples.

It is a choice one makes within themselves, whether to take the extra time to experience such joys. Yes, there are those times when it is not a possibility, however in most cases there is no reason that the later of the choices mentioned cannot be taken. Such action could actually help one to deal with the rat race a little more easily. It is hard to believe that one would argue that sitting in a comfortable reclined lawn chair, iced drink in hand, watching the beauty that mother nature can exhibit would be a stressful thing to endure.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Womans Kitchen

There is something about a woman’s kitchen. You can feel its energy as you enter. There are some that feel warm and inviting and give a feeling of comfort and solace. I remember my grandmothers kitchen in this way. It was a place of pleasant memories and wonderful dishes that had been prepared out of love for those she cared for. I believe most of us can recall such memories, whether it be from our grandmother, moms, or others who have touched us throughout our lives.

The kitchen has long been considered a sacred place. In earlier times the kitchen was considered an honored place of the home. It was the first area of a home to be built as it held the hearth or home fire. The hearth fire was seldom allowed to die out as it symbolized the heart of the home. Most of us are not fortunate enough to have a true fire built hearth in out kitchens. In today's world this is somewhat impractical so we settle for a gas or electric stove. Yet still it represents the same. Although for those who have used both, (gas or electric) the use of a gas stove is preferred. There is something about the sight of the actual flame burning as opposed to an element turning red and distributing heat.

In today's society it has become a time of quickness. There seems not to be the time it takes to prepare a “real” meal. Kitchens have become smaller in some cases and the microwave has taken the place of the oven. It is the simplicity of the boxed and/or frozen dinner that has lured many away. Not to mention the wonderful fast food revolution. Restaurants where you merely stop by on the way home and pick up take out, not considering the ingredients used, the nutritional value or the cleanliness of the place or its employees. Yet there are still those who practice the old ways. They have learned that even though one may have to do a little extra work, the result of their efforts can be well worth it. Not only is the taste so much more real, the nutritional and health value is better. Plus you know whether or not you washed your hands after using the restroom earlier that day.

Cooking has long been a passion of mine. There is something about taking the time and energy to gather and combine items in a matter to create something delightful for others. A true lover of the kitchen knows exactly what I am speaking of. Growing your own items to be used, cleaning and preparing it as needed, then the actual cooking and serving the dish you have prepared. In each act it is as if one injects a piece of themselves. Thus when given to others it is as if you are presenting yourself.

The memory of my grandmothers fresh baked plum pudding, my Aunt Inez home made chicken and noodles, or the way my mother could make a potato taste wonderful no matter how she prepared it, are all perfect examples. Maybe it is just because I love to eat and the taste of some foods can just make me smile all over… And I know there are those of you out there who know exactly what I am talking about. Consider yourself lucky when you have the opportunity to either experience these moments again and/or you have the time to share of yourself and give the gift to others. It is a bit of a lost art…

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Simple Yummy Snack

Recently while talking to my youngest son, he commented on how much he enjoyed the recipes each week. He also added that he had not tried any of them, he just enjoyed reading them. This statement got me to wondering if possibly the difficulty was too much for him.

This week I have chosen something that is by far one of my favorite foods to eat through out the summer. It is good for a snack, a meal whatever. The best thing about this food is that it is so low in calories so really you don't have to feel guilty about eating it. Even having seconds can not hurt you. Best of all, it is as simple as simple gets

I am talking about a sliced tomato sandwich. I learned this recipe from my mom, being the proper German she is. Take a slice of rye bread, I prefer the Jewish rye as it is lighter than pumpernickel and not as many seeds. Russian Rye is also good. Lightly butter the bread. Personally real butter is my preference. Lightly pepper. Thinly slice a tomato as to cover the bread then lightly once again salt and pepper the tomato.

That is all there is too it. Simple.... fast... and totally delicious. Roughly 80-100 calories depending on the type of bread you use. One note: If you feel you do not like rye bread and attempt to use wheat or white, be forewarned that you will not achieve the same taste. The rye bread is a large part of the wonderful taste of this sandwich and its denser texture lends itself nicely.


Friday, August 14, 2009


It amazes me at times how difficult some make it. What is it? Anything really. It is almost as if they strive for discord or difference. Their lives are just not complete without a little unsettleness occurring. When it comes to the discussion of ones beliefs, this is even more true.

Growing up in a small Oklahoma town, the one thing that we were not short of was churches. It always seemed that each one was striving to boost their attendance and membership more than the other and therefore whichever one was winning at the time was the place to be. Not growing up in a church going home I was what was considered fair game. I can say that out of the 7 churches in our small town of approximately 5000 I attended all but one. I do not regret this in anyway as it truly gave me a broad overview of all the denominations and their beliefs.

The church itself gave me much comfort and guidance as a child, something I will forever be grateful for. However the people truly made me cautious. I learned to be careful and not trust completely all that was said to me. I learned to search for myself to find the answers to the questions I asked. This search led me in several directions yet always it seemed to eventually lead me to what I needed to learn. "Seek & Ye shall find" Yet some of the paths which gave me the wisdom I longed for were forbidden by the "church".

It took a great deal of time to get past this feeling of shame and guilt that loomed over me. Yet with time and much soul searching, I made it past this point. Ones spiritualism is just that... one's spiritualism. It is a personal relationship that is shared between oneself and their God/Gods. It is not for any other to dictate and force onto one. However there will always be those who do just that. I truly feel that my beliefs and path is a combination of many.

"Belief" by John Mayer is a beautiful song. If you have never listened carefully to it, I recommend that you take a moment and do so. The first time I heard this song, its words rang so true in my mind and seemed so well to explain to me why people feel so passionately about what they believe. Allowing each their own is something I truly have always tried to do.... Knowing that I am not perfect and at times fall short. Yet still I have to keep in mind that as much as I want for others to allow me my space, my beliefs, that I likewise need to allow them theirs, regardless. I am sure that still I will find disagreement in my manner of belief. That as I become bolder and step out further in regards to this side of me, many who before I could call my friends may not be as receptive as previously.

Yet I have never been more complete in my life. My life has never been more full and enriching. The path I follow is truly where I need and should be. I know there are many out there who feel much the same way. Yet when it comes down to the bottom... I remember this one fact: It will not be those that disagree with my beliefs who I stand before or who will judge me and decide my fate as I pass on into the next phase of life. Just as it will not be me what they stand before. I am at peace with my God and that is truly all that matters.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sour Dough Bread Starter

Although it is only early August, we have been blessed with some wonderfully cooler days reminiscent of early fall. It never fails when the cooler days begin, my love for cooking, especially baking rises to the top of my priorities. With the kids not as close as before I have to watch the things that I may bake as an over abundance means waste or the fact that Vincent and I may have to eat it.

Breads are a good alternative to cakes, pies, and cookies,especially sour dough bread. The starter is kept and fed over a weeks period just in time to make a new loaf when the other has been eaten. I have also kept it in the fridge a bit longer than normal if a new loaf is not needed and it has survived just fine. This lends itself to a slightly sweet bread that I have toyed around with and made cinnamon bread and others. Enjoy


3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons of instant potato flakes
1 cup warm water

Mix together in the morning and let stand out of the refrigerator all day. You may make bread the first day, however I have found it is best when you let it stand a bit longer. At the end of the day place the starter in the refrigerator in a quart jar with a loose lid. Saran wrap placed loosely on top works well.

Let the starter sit for approximately 3 to 5 days. Take the jar out in the morning. feed with the above ingredients and let stand on counter for the day. In the evening or late afternoon you will be ready to prepare your bread dough.

Take one cup of starter out of the feeder jar and place the jar back into the refrigerator until you make bread again and start the process over.

Bread Recipe

1 cup of Sour Dough Starter
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup warm water
6 cups bread flour

Mix all the ingredients together and place in large greased pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap . Leave on counter overnight to rise.

Next morning, punch down and divide into 3 parts (possibly 2 depending on the size of your loaf pans). Knead each part on a floured surface and put into greased loaf pan. Brush the tops with oil. Cover lightly and let stand until doubled in size. This can be anywhere from 3-6 hours.

Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden. Brush with butter when removed from oven.

The starter gets larger each time you feed it. You may use an extra cup occasionally to make extra bread, or give the starter away to a friend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Rule Of Three

Bide ye the Rule of three ye must,
In Perfect Love & Perfect Trust.
Eight Words the Rule of three fulfill
And it Harm none, Do as ye will
Lest in Self Defense it be,
Ever mind the Rule of Three
Follow ye this Mind & Heart
Merry ye Meet & Merry ye Part

The Rule of Three has several variations. Each one in some way fitting a bit more comfortably with the one who prefers it written in that manner. However this is a rule that can and probably should be used by all, thus the translation above is used. Not necessarily does one have to follow Wicca to hold these words close to heart.

How grand of a world it would be if we all were to abide by the Rule of three. Our actions and words being carefully considered before we exhibit them. Verifying that to our knowledge no harm will come to anyone because of them. Unfortunately life is not so. We do not have the ability to control anyone lest ourselves.

To many this rule and/or law refers to a warning for anyone who may be considering to pass bad energy whether in the form of magic or other on to someone else. It warns that the repercussions would be three fold of whatever one projected towards another. When I first learnt of this rule it fascinated me as I tried to implement it. If one abides by its guidance, and in an honest manner, it is quite difficult to justify any wrong doing towards anyone, no matter how tempted we may become. The simple attempt to abide by it alone can alleviate many situations that may have other wise not been avoided.

Many will notice the reference to the exception of self defense. Not all renditions of this rule include this reference, however I have chosen to include it. Mainly because I think it is important to emphasize that this is not a rule that says one should roll over when injustice is done to them. On the contrary, I believe that when negativity is given to one that considering the situation, one should respond accordingly. This is consideration for the entire situation. A response and not a reaction. Meaning an action taken after reflection and not immediately in haste and strong emotion. I have found that dealing with such times in this manner will not only make the result more fair and just, it may detour it all together. Forgiveness is something that is often found in quiet times of reflection when we look at something not necessarily from solely our own eyes, yet the many perspectives that may be involved.

The message can be found in many variations. Examples of such are that of Hinduism's Karma concept, Christianity's Golden Rule, Wicca's Rule of Three and many more. All emphasize the need to think before we act. To understand that a consequence, whether good or bad, comes with each action we choose. It challenges us to be more diligent as we walk the path laid before us. To become more aware of our surroundings and the energies that may be coming from us. Many choose to not acknowledge the power they may have simply by the words that come from their mouths or the manner in which they conduct themselves.

A simple exercise... a conscious effort to stay aware of the Rule of Three. No, perfection is not a possibility however, it is something that should be our goal.

Content Copyright 2009 - Janie Sheik - All rights reserved

Monday, August 10, 2009


Content Copyright 2009 - Janie Sheik - All rights reserved

Another week is upon us and I look at all the things that I have to be done... Much is the normal things... housework, yard work, etc... Yet there is that pile of other things... you know the things that you have good intentions of eventually getting to, yet it just never seems to get completed. My pile seems to keep growing...

None of the things in the pile are exactly pressing or of any time limitation, however they are all things that I would like to work on and eventually complete. Much of the reason that I have not lent the time that I usually do to this stack of growing items, is that Vince has been home more than often this year and so much of my excess time (and some of my non-excess) has been given to him... I am not exactly sure why it is hard for me to stay on schedule when he is home, yet it is... A conclusion that I have to just accept as fact.

However, this weekend his older brother and him are planning on a long bike ride down to New Mexico to visit with their little brother. Although I would love to be on the back of the Harley for a nice long trip, I am also looking forward to the solitude... A few days with silence and possibly some time to do a little work to that pile I mentioned previously. I do not think I am exactly what some may refer to as a hermit, yet I do like to have my time alone occasionally.

Having the entire bed to myself, for a few days, is nice. Not having to cook if I don't necessarily want to... although that is really not something that is a bother to me.. as I love to tool around in the kitchen and make things... Watching my TV programs....or just turning it off if I want to... It will be nice... Yet I am sure when the few days are coming to their close that I will be happy to see him when he returns from his trip.

The pile of things that need to be done.... Well to be honest I am not sure how much of that I will get to... Some I am hoping, although I am honest in knowing that I may not even touch it... Spending most of the time I have doing other things I feel are more pressing and the things I would like to work on once again being put to the side, waiting for that moment when there is more time to work on it... Ah... the life of a procrastinator.....

Enjoy your Monday

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mother Moon

On a cool November eve,
After setting of the sun.
As the twilight hastens forth,
And the night has just begun.

In her brilliance forth she comes,
Lifting from the east
Shining forth for all to see,
From grandest down to least

Upward slowly as she climbs,
Into the darken sky
Shedding glow to all below,
From her pedestal on high

She is known as mother moon,
And full this night she be
In all her glory forth she comes,
And shines her light on me

Her strength is felt deep in my soul,
Her guidance in my heart
Shes been with me for many years,
Yes from the very start

Each month I watch her come and go,
From waxing thru to wane
Her movements guide me thoroughly,
Thru loses and thru gains

My mother moon, my dearest friend,
To you always be true
For you have been there all for me,
I give myself to you.

Content Copyright 2009 - Janie Sheik

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Banana Nut Bread

One of the things I miss most about my old job are the friends that were made. Some of them I still keep in contact with and visit with quite often. Yet there are some that I have not. One inparticular was a woman named Mireida. She was of Dutch descent and came from Aruba. She was a lovely woman with truly compassionate personality. Often she would bring me goodies as a gesture of our friendship. One of my favorites was her Banana Nut Bread. It was so moist and so wonderful with a cup of coffee. It took some coaxing yet eventually I was able to get the recipe from her. I am not usually a big banana bread lover, yet this recipe changed my mind. Enjoy.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisens
* Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time. Beating well after each addition. Add bananas and mix until smooth.
* Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture, stirring just enough to moisten. Fold in chopped pecans and raisens.
* Pour batter into greased and floured 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

There is nothing like a summer shower to break the heat. We have been fortunate enough to have approximately 3 weeks of cooler weather with a nice rain thrown in here and there. Once again our yard is green and lush like it was at the beginning of spring. Birds are more abundant and seem to be more active. New flowers have bloomed and flourished also since the beginning of our cooler wet spell. Yet it seems that summer is not quite finished with us yet.

Although July gave us a nice break from the heat and reminded us of the wonderfulness of fall, August came in and seems to be telling us that summer is not over just yet. The 100 degree plus temperatures are said to be heading back our way this week. The added heat has already given a nice boost to the grass and mowing is going to be a chore that will need to be tended with before the week is over.

The heat has also once again urged the sunflowers to once again grow and bloom their big beautiful yellow flowers. Lifting their faces towards the sun at the start of day and turning them slowly as if to follow it throughout the day to bask in all its warmth and sunshine. Being an avid bird lover, sunflower seeds is something that are abundant at our home. Throughout the yard small seedlings can be found. Not just underneath the obvious bird feeders yet also throughout the yard from where the birds have dropped them, the seeds seem to be everywhere. Many of these seedlings are mowed over or plucked from their place in the ground. Yet this year many have been allowed to grow and bloom.

Thanks to my granddaughter, who shared her left over pumpkin seeds with me a couple years back, I have learned the joy of cultivating the seeds of many plants and using them the next year around. Thus, the large yellow flowers that eventually drop their faces from the sun and lean over as if in exhaustion due to the weight of the seeds that have grown to cover their face, are then cut and dried. When fully dried the seeds are then extracted and kept until the next year to once again start the cycle over.

Granted many of my sunflowers are not grown in this manner yet from the seeds that have dropped from the birds, yet there are a few that still are planted from the seeds that have been recycled from the years past. This is still a project in the early stages. With flowers only being on a 2nd or 3rd generation. Yet I look forward to the years when I can enjoy the flowers that have been grown from seeds that have been taken from a plant, that can claim the first seeds as a long distant relative.

Much like an aloe vera plant given to me, which came from a plant that is over 30 years old. Many a new growth has been taken from her and many have enjoyed her remedies. Imagine 30 years. Silly maybe, yet to pass something, even a plant through time excites me.

Peace & Blessings

Monday, August 3, 2009

Taking Advantage of the Moment

You may have noticed that the last few days I have not been as vigilant at keeping to my promise to have an entry every day. I could make up several excuses as to why this is so, yet the truth of the matter is that I have been enjoying spending time with Vincent.

It is a grand thing when you find someone who you truly just love to spend time with. Vincent and I are that way. He had been working non-stop for the month of July and when he finally received some time off, we took advantage of it. The weather had been just beautiful, much cooler than normal late July weather. We took the bike out a few times, worked in our yard, went to the movies, and did nothing at times. It has been enjoyable and well worth the laziness. Yet once again it is time to get back to the things that need tending.

I think it is important to take advantage of moments like that. I think of my grandkids and know there were plenty of times when I let things slide just so I could sit and play with them. I would not trade those moments for anything. I have found that most things will still be there when you decide to become industrious again and tend to them.

Love & Peace

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Birthday

Today is a special day. It was 25 years ago today that my youngest son was born. I remember it as if it were only yesterday. He was ill at the beginning of his life and there were some scary moments yet as he is in life he pulled through. So many memories I have of him as a child... Hiding was one of his favorite things to do when he was small... He thought it so funny when you could not find him. One time we looked for hours only to find him asleep under his bed. His little grin would say it all. He thought it all so funny.

He was a quiet child as he grew. Loving to lose himself in a thick book or spend tedious hours working on his models of world war II tanks. He seemed to be like a sponge, drawing up all the information he could. Although he did have his moments when he would follow his older brothers temptations and join in for some simple teasing of his younger sister. Although it seemed he always got the bad end of the deal.

As he grew older, his intelligence grew and he went to a advanced school in another city, which required him to be away from home. It was not a hard decision for me at all allowing him to take this opportunity and run with it. I knew the possibilities that would come from it would be more than any he could have gotten at his home school. It became even more than I had hoped for. It fed him with challenges and engaged him with others of like minds. It gave him a broader view of the world and thus made him more aware of the differences in people. It was also at this place where he met his fiance. A wonderful girl who only helped him to grow more.

Today, as I look at him I smile. He is a young man who challenges himself, grabs opportunities when he sees them and never turns down an opportunity to learn. He travels the world and experiences new things and accepts the fact that there are others who are different than he. He is compassionate to others and their feelings even when they do not necessarily go along with his own. He is diplomatic and examines both sides of a situation. Understanding that there are many perspectives to a story and not just his own. He is a fine young man.

Yet at times.... when he smiles... I still see that little boy I fell in love with so many years ago. Happy Birthday, Zac