Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dust Bunnies Can Be Warm Fuzzies


     Home is where the heart is;  A man's home is his castle;  There's no place like home...you've heard them all.  I love my home.  It's nothing fancy, just a small farm house where Kenneth and I live comfortably.  It's the one place in the world that I can really let my hair down, be me, with no false pretense and no one I have to impress.  It's my refuge from the world and from the storm.

     Once upon a time, when I was young and innocent, I fell victim to the brainwashing of a society that measured the worth of a woman by how clean she kept her house.   I believed that everything had to be spotless - everything had to be polished, dusted, swept, mopped or whatever else I could do to make it sparkle and shine.  

     Then, one day, it happened.  I began to have these forbidden thoughts.   What would happen if I didn't get the carpet swept one week?   Or, heaven forbid, I didn't get the furniture dusted?   What was the worst that could happen...would I be kicked out of housewives of America, or be banned from reading Good Housekeeping?    Oh, no!!!

    Gradually, over the years, I have managed to reprogram my thinking, and also my cleaning habits.  A lot of the change was out of necessity because of health problems, but much of it I contribute to coming to my senses.  I no longer feel the need to keep everything spotless.  After all, a home should look lived in.  It should be a place of comfort and relaxation.  I think of it as my free space; free from pressures and judgements; free to be a little messy if I want.

     The reality is, the world doesn't end if your house isn't as clean as it could be.  Truth is, when you are laid up following back surgery or a broken ankle, dust bunnies can become like pets.  When we are lonely, or a little down, we all like warm fuzzies that make us feel better.  Some of my warm fuzzies include a warm throw, a good book, fluffy socks, and my dust bunnies.     They are my assurance that some things in this world are just more important than a spotless house.

Until next time...that's my view.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Do You Want Fries With That?

   The preacher's sermon at church yesterday really got me to thinking about the power of prayer and how we so often take it for granted, or worse yet, misunderstand just what prayer really is.   How many times do we forget to pray for the happy times in our life and only go to God in prayer when something bad happens.   I know it is really easy for me to get caught up in my hectic, day to day routine and forget to take time to talk to God.  And isn't that what prayer is really suppose to be?   What could be better, or easier, than a one on one conversation with the creator of heaven and earth?

   My favorite part of Dave's sermon yesterday was his illustration about people trying to put prayer in the same category as fast food.  We think we can pull up to the speaker, give God our order and then drive around to the window and immediately get our answer. 
    Let's get real here people...do you really think that's the way it works with God?  I don't.  He doesn't work on our timetable.  He's not always in a hurry the way we are.  I'm sure He would also like to see us slow down a bit.

     I'm not really trying to preach a sermon here; I'll leave that to the professionals.  I'm just reflecting on my feelings about prayer and what it means in my life.  I don't think prayer is for bargaining with God.  I don't really think He makes bargains (that's not to say I haven't tried).  In my opinion prayer should be a time of meditation.  A quiet time when I tell God what's in my heart and on my mind...praise him for the bountiful blessings and tell him how I feel about the pain and the difficulties.   I don't expect instant miracles, but it sure makes me feel better.   
     Often, I don't think we ever know if our prayers are answered or not.  Sometimes the answer is not the one we wanted so we assume it was not an answer at all.   As Garth Brooks once said in a song, "Somestimes the greatest blessings in life are unanswered prayer".      Please don't get hysterical if those are not his exact words because I don't remember the song word for word, but I do know this is what he meant.  We don't always know what is best for us at the moment we utter a prayer, but God does. 

     For me, I need to work on improving my prayer life and I plan to start now.  I need to be more open and honest with myself, (I'm not fooling God anyway!) doing more soul searching instead of keeping it all buried deep inside.  Starting now, this is a new journey.  My quest is to become a better prayer partner...with God.

Until next time...that's my view


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Out of Control

     Living on a dairy farm provides endless opportunity to learn "life lessons", both good and bad. Some are subtle...just a passing thought.    Others may hit you like a ton of bricks.  
     On a farm, no two days are ever the same.  Each day brings with it new adventures, accomplishments or disappointments.  You never know what to expect when you get up in the morning.  The only thing you know for sure is to expect the unexpected.

     Through 39 years of farm living  I have seen it all - from lush, green fields with bountiful harvest and healthy cows, to dried up fields and creek beds with cows dropping like flies.  Through all of it, I've learned what I consider one the most important "life lessons".
We are not in control! (We only think we are.)

     This may come as a shock to some of you control freaks.  Get over it!   We think we control our own lives but truth is, there is very little that we actually can control.  Farming success depends on several outside variables, such as, weather, economy, good help, markets, health, etc....all of which we have very little control over.   And if you really think about it how does this differ for any of you, no matter what your profession.  We are all affected both positively and negatively by outside influences that are beyond our control.   The sooner we realize this the happier we will be and the easier it is to deal with the hard times.
     Blaming ourselves for all the bad things that happen can lead to a very unhappy and unhealthy life.  Sometimes we just have to admit that some things are out of our control, whether it be an act of nature, an act of God, the government, our boss, a friend, or any other entity.  Realize it is what it is and deal with it.  In other words, learn to roll with the punches and give yourself a break.  If you must,  repeat to yourself over and over, "I can't control every situation", I can't control every situation".  Do this until you actually believe it.

Until next time...that's my view.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

     How many times have you wished that you could slow down and just take it easy for awhile?  Well, I'm here to tell you, be very careful what you wish for; you just might get it.  Four weeks ago yesterday, Kenneth and I went out for what was supposed to be a fun evening.  We drove to Indianapolis, IN. to attend a charity concert for which I had won free tickets.  It was sponsored by my favorite Nascar driver, Jimmie Johnson, and the concert was to be Craig Morgan, who I am also a fan of.   What could be better!   And actually, the concert itself was wonderful.  I got to see both Jimmie and Craig up close and personal.  I even got Jimmie's autograph.  The food on the buffet was good and Kenneth and I were getting to spend some rare quality time together, away from the farm.  It was like heaven...                                                                                                              
     Until it was over.   As soon as we walked out the front door of the Indiana Theater, it all went down hill...fast.   Heading back toward the car, I didn't see the curb.  In the blink of an eye (although it seemed like it happened in slow motion) I lay flat on the concrete.  People were wanting me to sit up and straighten my legs but all I remember is the pain in both feet and ankles.  There was no way I could stand up.  After what seemed like an eternity the ambulance arrived and Kenneth and I spent the rest of the night in the emergency room.
      Short version of a very long story, I ended up with a broken right ankle and a left foot that was messed up with sprained ligaments and tendons.     My permanent footwear for at least 6 weeks is a knee high boot on my right foot and an ugly black shoe on my left.  I was told to stay off of them as much as possible and keep them elevated.  The shoe I can take off at night but the boot doesn't come off at all, for anything.  
     At first the rest was wonderful, but after a few days in the recliner I soon started to get bored.  There is only so much you can do sitting down and I've tried it all.  I read, work puzzles, watch TV, movies, cut recipes out of magazines and play on my laptop - all of which becomes boring after so long.  I hate not being able to drive and I have 3 more weeks to go.  Ugh!!!   Take my word for it, slowing down is not all it's cracked up to be.  It is so BORING!
     But, as all unpleasant things in life, this too shall pass. (And I did get Jimmie's autograph!)
So, until next time...that's my view.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meet Felix

     Meet Felix.  Felix owns the house we live in and we just live here, or at least that's what he thinks.  He claims everything as his domain and expects us to not disturb him.  But all considered, he is a very lovable cat.
     As a child, I remember always having cats around, both inside and out.  I guess it was just natural that I'm a cat person and not a dog person.  Nothing against dogs; some of my best friends are dog owners.  I just prefer cats.
     Felix is the first cat I've kept in the house in my adult life.  I've had him now 2 years and 4 months.  He was from a shelter and was about 6 months old.  I had forgotten how quickly you get attached to a pet.  It doesn't take long for them to become like one of the family.  Especially when they just take over and make themselves right at home.
     Felix is a loving pet.  He loves to lay in my lap and sleep.  He thinks I should always be right there to rub his head and if I get out of his sight he goes from one window to the next whining.  I love my cat and he is a lot of company for me when my husband is out working.  He is definitely entertaining with all his antics.
     Pets are one of the few things in this world we can depend on.  Their innocence and unconditional love is constant.  They never fuss at you or put you down.  They don't ask for much.  Just a good home, some food and water, and lots of love.  There have even been studies that show that people who own pets live longer.
     Of course, having an indoor pet is not all a bed of roses.  With the joy also comes the hair.  Felix sheds so bad that cat hair covers everything in my house.  I don't know how 1 cat can shed so much.  It just seems impossible to keep it cleaned up.  Therefore, I find myself in a constant dilemma.  I get so tired of the hair that I think about giving Felix away, and then he comes and jumps in my lap and nuzzles up against me.  What's a person to do.  At this time, I'm still not sure what I will do.  If the right person comes along, I might let him go...but then, how do you give away a member of your family? 
For now....that's my view.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Lost Art of Being a Lady

     My mom was recently killed in a car accident.   As a result, my sisters and I faced the difficult task of going through her belongings.  Mom lived a simple life, so there wasn't a lot of fancy or extravagant things to go through, mostly clothes, a few nick-knacks and a little jewelry.   But in those humble belongings, I found a piece of mother that will stay with me the rest of my life.
     Tucked away in a dresser drawer was Mom's stack of ladies cotton handkerchiefs.  She never went anywhere without one of these hankies in her purse or pocket.   I don't think I ever saw her without one.  And now, you will always find a cotton hanky in my purse. 
     Back in the day, as we all like to say, a lady would never be caught without a beautiful cotton hanky on her person.  Whether it was tucked in her belt, pocket or in her purse, it was always close at hand...ready to dry a tear, or to catch the eye of a nearby gentleman when it was dropped on the floor.  After all, how many gentlemen would stop to pick up a paper tissue?
     In today's environment, being a lady has almost become a 4-letter word; what with feminists movements and independent thinking, etc.  I'm not saying that's all bad.  We certainly had a lot of room for improvement.  But in the process of becoming equal with the male species, have we also lost much of our femininity?  Have we become so tough and independent that we have totally forgotten how to be a lady?  I say let's find a happy medium and be strong and independent, without giving up the basic traits of being a lady. 
     Carrying a cotton hanky in my purse may seem like a trivial thing to most people, but to me, it's my link to the past.  It's a piece of my mom that I will carry with me always...a reminder of days gone by... memories of a special lady...and hope for the future because of the lessons she taught.  Thanks Mom.

Until next time...
That's the view through my eyes.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To Blog or not to Blog

     Blogging is a whole new concept to me.  I've followed a couple of friends blogs, but never really thought about it myself.  You see, I'm what you call a wannabe when it comes to technology.  I can hold my own using a computer, but beyond that, strictly a wannabe.  I wannabe proficient on the IPhone, IPad, IPod and everything else that starts with an I.  Instead, I have to settle for my laptop and my not quite a smart phone since the I's cost more money than this I can afford to spend.                                                                      
     It seems like the world has gone I crazy these days, and is that really such a good thing?    With so many I's to consume our time, it seems that we've lost a lot of the we in our society.  Now, we spend less and less time with friends and family because we can just email, text or video chat them without ever leaving our favorite chair.  A lot of people won't even use their phone to call you, allowing you to at least hear their voice, because it's quicker to send a text.  Call me old fashion, but I miss the personal contact.  Don't get me wrong, I would still love to have all the latest techno gadgets...I'm just saying I think we need to keep them in perspective and not let them replace the basic human need of personal contact.  We need to find a happy balance between the two.
     You know, I just might get the hang of this blogging.   So, until next time...
That's the view through my eyes.