Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grackles and Kite hawks

A sure sign of spring here in NW Kansas is when the grackles and kite hawks show up. I love it when at dusk both groups come in for the night. To the west of our house is a huge tree and the grackles roost there and on the east side is the water tower and the kites park there. It is almost like a stand off. But every year it is the same, kites on the tower and grackles in the tree. They will be here a few weeks and then suddenly are gone. The grackles clean out our bird feeders several times while here. Then the finches come back and reclaim the feeders. Birds are fun to watch. Our dear neighbor, Marianna (a young 80's lady) spiked our interest in bird watching several years ago. She is an avid watcher. We are always thrilled to see some unusual bird at our feeder and then can't wait to tell her about it. She inspired us to get an Audubon Society field guide so that we can identify a new bird. One year we took a trip up to Ogalla, Ne. so see the bald eagles that were migrating at the time. And we still go to see the sandhill cranes. It has given us many hours of enjoyment. So, thank you Marianna. Something I hope we will pass on to our kids and grandkids. No cost entertainment right in our own backyard. Simple living.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stereo, 8 tracks, cassettes, Ipods

Wow! I sometimes have to shake my head just looking back at the changes during MY lifetime. I had the record player that spun the old records. Now I slip these little ear phones in and clip this tiny little square box to my shirt and listen to all the music I want. And I can easily change it to something different or go online and download new music. Amazing. I wonder what will be next. I love all kinds of music, new age, classic rock n roll, country, just anything. Well, wait. Definitely not rap. Never have understood that. To each his own. We have these continuous metal awnings in front of all the stores here in downtown Oberlin. And music is played through speakers downtown. For reasons unknown, Oberlin has experienced a change of directors several times in the last couple years for the Chamber of Commerce. And that person has been in charge of playing the music for public listening while strolling the sidewalks downtown. I found it interesting that with each director was the music! For a spell we had alot of country music playing, then more classical stuff and rock and roll was next. Once again we are without a director and they are advertising for a new one. I wonder if they are asked about their music preference during the interview?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Handing over the control

We have the free will to make our own choices, but God is hoping that we will let him guide and direct us, gently steering us away from the rocks. LaVern and I have been looking for acreage for over a year now but most recently in earnest. We were the captains and in control. I kept asking God to show us the way, to send me that "electric billboard". And as always He did. Swung the door wide open. It wasn't in Missouri but southern Iowa. I think both LaVern and I are still in awe that we were able to purchase the Amish homestead. Talk about testimony! There were 9 other people lined up behind us on that Saturday and 2 couples had looked at it on Thursday evening but did not have their funds ready. The Amish will not do "business" on Good Friday (even though people showed up) so that allowed us to make the 8 hour drive back and be there early Saturday morning. The guy who was the 3rd appt. jumped out of his vehicle and said, "I suppose I am too late, I'll pay the price and don't have to look at it". We were already signing the paperwork! Imagine that! When our son called to tell us about it, after seeing an ad in a shopper, he said, "Mom, I think the ad is wrong. The price can not be right." But......the price was right. Imagine that! We met the gentleman who owns the adjoining acreage. He is very active with "Feeding the Children" program. Rosa, the Amish wife, cooks on a wood cookstove. The same brand and model that I am looking at (and have a picture of on my vision board). Imagine that! Her chicken are Rhode Island reds (same as on my board). Imagine that! This family is already living "off grid" just as we want to. Imagine that! The list just goes on and on. I want to learn beekeeping and while at an auction this past weekend, a man from McCook offered to teach me all there is to know. He has been a beekeeper for over 25 years. He orders his supplies from a company in Auburn, NE. LaVern's sister lives there and it is only a couple hours from our farm. Imagine that!

LaVern said yesterday that he doesn't know what God's plan is for us once we move but he knows there is a purpose in all of this. Maybe LaVern will be involved with Feeding the Children or it might be something as simple as helping our elderly neighbor up the road. We know the direction won't be from our navigation but God's. Hand over the control. Be still and listen for His counsel.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A simple way of life

LaVern and I admire the Amish and their way of life. It's a simple life that they choose to do. They are devoted to family and God. I think that all the government restrictions are making it harder for the Amish and that is sad. It's hard for our families to understand why LaVern and I want to live "off grid". I gently remind them that it is our choice. I think the Amish are making alot out of their lives because they have a very definite conception of what they are living for. I recently read in Countryside magazine about a woman who finally was realizing her life long dream of homesteading. She had purchased alittle land and moved to the country. She is 73 years old (young).
Our dream: small homestead, big garden, solar and wind power, off grid, chickens, rolling hills and trees, harvesting rain water, recycling, canning, self sufficient, beekeeping, horse and buggy..........oh, did I forget to mention.........we have purchased the above property from an Amish family.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Celebrating the Little Things

The big things in life are important. Births, graduations, weddings, life-changing events all mark the changing seasons of life. We recently have had a "life-changing" event (in a future blog) and it will definitely be a new season in our life to which we will embrace. But this morning I was reminded it's the little things that keep me going on ordinary days. Fresh perked coffee, a smile from a stranger, first spring rain---small miracles that are easily taken for granted yet make up the stuff of everyday life. Celebrate the small things in life. Celebrate what you accomplished today. Celebrate the fact that you are alive, breathing and blessed by God.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Bone to Pick

Once again I am behind on blogging. And once again someone said to me, "I have a bone to pick with you." Well, that got me to thinking about where that phrase came from. "Bone to pick," dates back to the 16th century, simply refers to a dog chewing endlessly on, and "picking clean," a large bone. A "bone to pick" is thus a subject or issue that is expected to require considerable discussion or argument. A similar phrase, "bone of contention," meaning an issue over which two people argue, also dates back to the 1500s and refers, appropriately, to two dogs fighting over an especially choice bone. Here in the States the meaning is the same. A 'bone to pick' is an issue to be discussed and resolved between individuals. Hopefully this blog should resolve that grievance! I find it interesting that this phrase dates back so far. And we still use it today! I am going to have a dog bone on hand at my desk. Just for those times when I "have a bone to pick". lolol Thanks, Pat!! Keep those lines coming! I love it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A must see

I'm just going to blog about an awesome video. People making the effort to change the world with music. Peace be with you.

Then watch the video: Stand By Me

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Just saw another article in a magazine about the group of women known as "Sisters on the fly". they are a group of ladies that have vintage trailers and love to fly fish and ride horses. I have never been fly fishing but imagine that I might like it. The solitude, scenery and gracefulness of the sport. I love the waders that they wear. They remind me of the little rubber boots I wore on the farm as a kid. There are easier ways to fish, but I think this is an artistic, challenging way. One of those times when I would be proud of myself that I made the extra effort to do something the hard way.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Peace be with you

The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs.But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Almighty God, you will make it to a place called Success.

Peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.