Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mother's Day

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are enjoying sunshine and 70's for the first time this year. The garden is going in thus I must keep this short and sweet.

As an adult I rarely got to spend Mother's Day with my own mom. She lived too far away. I would send a corsage for her to wear to church and call. Now, she has been gone for two years and I still miss her dearly. So far I've been blessed to spend most Mother's Days with the two precious ones who call me Mom.

1994 waiting for the parade to pass with Mom & daughters

This year we have a full weekend planned. First, there is this:

We are a team: Family of 4

We live such a sheltered life, it is unimaginable what is happening right now on this planet. If you feel inspired to help with a small donation that would be awesome! Every little bit helps!

Next on our agenda is the annual Mother's Day hike. Weather permitting we'll be hiking Mount Si

Mount Si

If all goes as planned I will follow up with some pics of our adventures. 

I hope your May basket is filled with sweets and blessings!

Linda <><

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reflections on Earth Day

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Isaiah 6:3

It's Earth Day 2014! What are you doing about it? I have always tried to live 'green', but I know there are many areas where I fall short. Here is a list of what I've done, what I do and what I hope to do!

1)   Ever since I went to college (1978) I've used cloth napkins. Back then my roommate and I bought a few on sale to save money. Since then I've made my own and even used old shirts to make some. We use them every day. They don't really take up much room in the wash and folding them is a small chore for a child. It helps make every meal a special meal. Here are some great ones from RecycledGrace on etsy.

cloth napkins by RecycledGrace

2)   I do the least amount of cleaning necessary saving cleaning products and my own energy! The truth is I am trying to make most of my cleaning products with earth friendly ingredients and have found many, many sources online for great alternatives for most household products. Check out these beautifully packaged cleaners from NaturalGreenCleaning on etsy.

Natural Cleaning Products by NaturalGreenCleaning

3)   I work from home and plan carefully my errands so use less gas. 

4)   We have a mostly organic vegetable garden with some veggies and herbs to use year round. Etsy is a great place to fine a wide variety of seeds. I've used several from DigDirtCheapSeeds. We also eat local and love our town's farmers' market.

Brussells Sprout seeds by DigDirtCheapSeeds

5)   I love buying my clothes and housewares from thrift stores. And sending the unwanted and unneeded back that way. I've made yarn from t shirts and totes and quilts from old clothes.

basket I made from recycled t shirt yarn

6)   Recycling. It is easy in our town. Love this by VeganeseTees on esty.

Organic cotton tee by Veganesetees

7)   I always bring shopping bags, mostly ones I've made from old clothes or fabric remnants. Many towns here are banning plastic shopping bags. Here's a neat one by julsofparadise on esty.

reusable shopping bag by julsofparadise

There are probably others, but that's all I can think of now! Here's some of the biggies I hope to change in the future.

1)   Composting. I try, but it's not very convenient here. We eat a lot of fruits and veggies so I need to make a greater effort. Maybe this would help by VintageGardenArt.

Spoon garden art by VintageGardenArt

2)   Driving a more energy efficient car and living in a place where walking and bike riding would be more convenient to run errands. It's just far enough and hilly enough to make it generally pretty difficult to get anywhere useful from my home. Even public transportation falls short. 

3)   I live in the Pacific Northwest, why don't I have some rain barrels?

4)   I've recently decided that lawns are just stupid. Well, that was after a weekend of thatching and aerating the neighborhood lawns. I want to plant more food and native plants and less lawn.

Again, there is probably more, much more I could do. I think we are called to be stewards of this beautiful planet we inhabit! And what is God's greatest creation? Us! So first and foremost we must care for each other! What are you doing?

Have a great Earth Day!
Linda <><

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Cleaning

Today in my exercise class we did something new. Some kind of side plank, lift and kick thing. Our fearless leader said, "This is new, this is big, this is ugly!" I think oftentimes that is true of new things in life. They may even be a bit painful, but ultimately it's worthwhile! I am reflecting on this as the Lenten season comes to it's joyous end.

My husband and I decided for Lent we would get rid of at least one thing every day. And although we might have missed a day or two we definitely made up for it other days and can easily continue long after Easter. One full truckload has already gone to the thrift store and more is gathering. The goal was not just to get rid of stuff, but to simplify, scale down and truly give sacrificially. Not just getting rid of what we don't want, but keeping only the minimum of what we really need. That scenario will require much more from us, but I'm ready!

I've been, ever so slowly, reading the book Radical by David Platt. It's not a long book, but it is deeply convicting. Part of it is a message similar to that of this sculpture. It is the message Jesus shares with us in Matthew 25:31-46. 

Homeless Jesus
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message)

So I look forward to celebrating Christ's resurrection Sunday and continuing my journey going new, big and, yes, ugly! 

photo by Brian David Casey

Rejoice! He is risen!

Linda <><

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

post apocalyptic skills

Just got back from a run. 3.5 miles. Let me be  more specific. When I say run I mean jog and when I say jog, it's a very slow jog. But it's more than I could do 10, 20, even 30 years ago. As I ran I listened to my playlist and considered other things I never could have dreamed I would be doing.

First of all, I was listening to a mix of hundreds of songs on my phone. I usually don't do that because I feel like I need all of my senses to keep from falling over. I've never been very graceful, but it's amazing how the music distracts, energizes and in general improves any workout. New Shoes by Paolo Nutini got me going and an old favorite, Your Smiling Face by James Taylor, got me up the biggest hill with a smile on my face. The list includes two other new workout favorites: Shake by Mercy Me and Overcomer by Mandisa. What are your favorites?

My new running shoes

On that same phone I tracked my miles run, speed and calories burned! I couldn't have come up with all this in my wildest dreams. Had it been a bit sunnier I could have snapped a pic of Mt. Rainier and shared it with the world instantly.  Like I did  with this picture I instagramed on a recent run with my daughter in Bellingham.

Misty morning run Klipsun Trail

Before the run I used my 'read the Bible in a year schedule' app for today's reading and even read the Bible selection there. I am in awe!

I can't tell you how many times that smart little thing has set on the kitchen counter with a recipe I found on Pinterest to guide me through another meal prep. I even use it to Skype with the next door neighbors and family that lives on the opposite end of the country! And then I do much of my etsy business with it.

This is all fun and games, but I continue to keep my post apocalyptic skills honed even though I don't intend to be here to use them. I crochet, knit, hand sew and garden to name a few. 

Mason jar cozies

It's just all so mind-boggling when I think of my dad. Just one generation ago and what I call post apocalyptic skills were his reality. Born in a sod house on the Oregon Trail he lived without electricity or running water. Both of my grandmothers found time for great scratch cooking and amazing quilts and fine tatted lace.

So, yes, I love all of my convenience devices, especially the phone that is rarely used for a phone call, but do they really save time or enhance the quality of life?

Snow hiking at Mount Baker

I'm not so sure. May your week be blessed with simple pleasures.

Linda <><