Friday, November 21, 2008

Take him out back to the woodpile

Back when I used to work at the school for boys who had gotten into trouble, they used to have to move woodpiles back and forth as a punishment for doing not so nice things.

Well, at our house, it isn't technically a punishment because, ummm, even if it isn't much fun we still have to do it, so the house can be warm.

Dan wanted me to take a picture of him and all that he (his brother helped a bit) has accomplished in the past year in regards to woodpiles (this doesn't include what is already in the basement).

Now, take special notice in this close-up of the dangerous hazards that can befall you while working in the out-of-doors around our place.

Dan might be wearing a warm fur cap (it was really windy that day), but I don't think it was supposed to come with a Siamese Cat attachment.

I promise to help Dan move these woodpiles into the house slowly, but surely as Winter progresses . . . no more snow since the bit that had fallen earlier in the month, but it has been chilly, chilly lately. Ice is now covering the lake just down the road from us. Dan is hoping that it will continue to freeze well, so that he might be able to go ice-skating the day after Thanksgiving.

Ohh, one more picture.

This is from Thanksgiving Day 6 years ago (Dan and I were just married). We went ice skating on this little lake not too far from his parents' place with his old dog, Ginger. We had so much fun! She loved ice skating and would even pull you around out on the ice!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kindness and other qualities that are kinda nice . . .

(Here is a random picture I took of Dan's aunt and uncle's shed just to distract you from the fact that I am a rambling person lately)

So anyway, kindness . . .

I don't know how many of you have come to my blog lately and seen on the sidebar that I have a link to National Tie One On Day (the day before Thanksgiving). By participating in this day you would make (or goodness, even go out and buy) a loaf of bread, write a little note of encouragement of some kind, wrap it up in an apron, and deliver it to someone in need of sustenance or encouragement. (If you have the means, go ahead and give more than a loaf of bread, I say, especially if you know a family is in need of sustenance).

This day perfectly wraps up what we should be doing for eachother every day. In some small way or in large ways let us all think of something we can do to encourage our neighbors whether near or far. I know I need it often enough and I know that you all need it, too.

Other organizations that do similar things to this are Operation Christmas Child, Heifer, your local food shelf, your local church, Feed the Children--the list goes on and on.

Just last night on the news, I heard of a woman just North of where I live that put an ad on Craig's List to give one family a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. Now, there is a woman that we can all aspire to be.

Let us do likewise, and not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but in January and May and August. I am not perfect in providing care and encouragement to others and I certainly need to work harder at it and not get frustrated when there are those who will take advantage of other people's kindnesses.

Let us love one another . . .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things and all

It snowed this past week. At the moment it has all melted and gone, but it will soon be back. This week has been a rush of so many things-dance classes (being taught by me because the instructor was sick--aack!--and the recital is only a few weeks away--double aack!), driving to the cities, going down to Iowa last weekend to see my brother in a beautiful 0pera, The Sparks Fly Upward, (I knew he had a part, but goodness, I mean this was a PART--it was the premier of an opera about the holocaust in which there are three main families-two Jewish and one Christian-all friends. My brother played the part of the husband in the Christian family that helped to hide and protect the other families----it was a wonderful and moving opera. The composer has been working on it for 15 years and is hoping that it will get picked up by a producer or go on tour or who knows.), getting ready for an open house at the gallery, and more and more . . .

Let's look at a picture or two instead of having me write, huh?

All Better!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm not sure on a good title . . .

Hey, all---I don't know if you are a person like me (probably not, I suppose), but I have mixed feelings about events this week.

Don't get me wrong, I do think that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will do a decent job being in office. I really do think that somehow, some way people will be able to work together on things again and I am hopeful for our future.

I am a person that gets sad when people are rude to one another and who likes to see people being kind to one another. I guess I say this as an Evangelical Christian person who feels hurt by how Evangelical Christian people are shown as being ignorant of the world and extremely unkind to others who hold different beliefs from them. For me, being a Christian means that I should love others around me, including the people that are mean to me and who I disagree with, and that I should constantly strive to all around me with the same kindness Christ showed to those around Him. Maybe I am thought of as silly and naive, but I would rather look dumb, I guess, than to be someone else that I am not.

I may not be making a whole lot of sense to anyone, I am just writing out some thoughts I have had in the past few days. I was reminded recently of one of the administrators that used to speak once a week at chapel during college. He was doing a series from the Sermon on the Mount and would often tell us college students who worried about what we should be doing with our lives and what kind of jobs we would have later on and who we should be dating and all of that, "I don't know what major you should have or the person you should marry, but I do know that God's will for your life is to . . . (love one another, look at your own faults before you look at the faults of others, or care for those in need depending on the section from the Sermon on the Mount he had been preaching from that day).

I guess I think back on those days a lot when I see some controversial subject being talked about and I think, "Hmmm, God wants me to love my neighbor and my neighbor is everyone, right? I guess I need to be conscious of doing that whether I understand their life or not. God knows what He is doing and things will turn out well."

I think back on those days when Dan and I are wondering how money situations will get handled and I think, "Okay, God has things under control and I don't need to worry. Just keep going and doing the work that needs to get done and somehow things will be fine." Fine doesn't mean things won't be hard. Fine doesn't mean I get everything I want, but fine means that I will somehow have the things I need when I need them most.

Ummm . . . anyway, let's try and to be kind to one another and not be mean to someone who might have voted differently than you or I or whomever else. A little love and kindness to those who are hurting (and even to those who are not hurting) can go a long way to making people whole again.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Weekend and Horse Adventures

Well, Dan and I had a wonderful weekend, for the most part. Fun times on Halloween with a bonfire, hayride, and friends over on Friday night. Saturday was a beautiful day as well. We went out into the pasture and had a little campfire out by this little cabin my brother built many years ago all by ourselves (well, Little Hank and the dogs came out with us and the horses were munching on grass in the background, so we weren't totally "by ourselves" I guess)

If you look straight above the round bale a little ways, you will see a little whitish thing on the hill and that is the cabin. My mom took this picture before Dan and I were married (over six years ago now, but the landscape hasn't changed all that much except that we make small square bales not round bales)

Sunday we went to church and then ate out at Carlson's Orchard which is a restaurant and apple orchard open only in the Fall that I worked at for one season (the year Dan and I were married in fact). Mmmm . . . we had tasty fresh foccacia club sandwiches, cider, a little soup, and apple pie!

We came home and Dan decided he would like to try out riding Beauty. (My horse that I have not yet ridden, but she has been ridden about three times and worked with some and all that, ummm, but she is still stubborn about stuff (hmmm, much like me)).

She behaved really quite well as Dan was putting the saddle on and adjusting and tightening things. I mean not perfect or anything, but she wasn't mad at all. Then Dan got on her and she was just like a bucking bronco. (and I was standing right next to them--eeeeks)

Well, I ran away, Dan flew off her, and then she came running back for me. Then I had to run again. Dan said she looked like she was about to pounce on me and I thought it seemed like she was trying to slow herself down not to hit me, but there are now huge skid marks at the spot I had been standing. Poor Dan got the brunt of it all though. It has been a while since he was thrown off a horse (In fact, I believe he has been thrown off of all of our horses now. Old Reno used to be a fighter and Checotah was even worse. They have calmed down a great deal now that they are in their mid-twenties). Nothing is broken and I gave him a good back massage last night, but he may be needing to see the chiropractor. We'll see how he is feeling tonight. His neck felt stiff this morning, but he wasn't dizzy or anything!

Beauty calmed down, too. She was able to get led around and have the saddle get pulled on and pushed around on her and all of that without getting upset. Next time Dan will take more time getting up on her (he said that she seemed so calm up to that point it didn't seem like he would have to do the normal just leaning on the saddle a bit and that kind of stuff, but he figures that was a bad idea now) and hopefully she will respond a lot more nicely.

Poor Dan gets the tough jobs around our house--all I really spent the day doing yesterday was washing and folding clothes and doing some Christmas knitting.