Monday, November 26, 2012

Yes, I am thankful!

I think it is a good thing to list the things I am thankful for, to remind me that whatever happens out there in the world, that here in my world life is pretty good!

I am thankful
-that our country had an election and there were no riots or military takeovers. I am sure that the endless second guessing will make me just nuts any day now. (in case you were wondering – Barack Obama won because God has a plan, and this is how we get to where God wants us. It is not any more complicated than that. So now all the pundits can go home for Christmas. Just an idea!)
- for a year with no major health concerns for myself or hubby.
- that my kids are all doing well.
- that my grandmother turned 100 and I got to help her celebrate!
- that my mother seems to be following the same path and going strong.
- that we have a wonderful church and friends from the church.
- that I have hot running water – this will stay with me for awhile I think  (smile)
- that the wood stove we had not tried till it got cold has worked like a trooper.
- that we added another daughter in law to our family this year (can grandchildren be in our future?)

There are many more things to be thankful for, but I run out of time and energy, my memory needs to be jogged, I lose focus and start thinking of other things.... but the big one is this

- that the Lord has blessed us and kept us and made his face to shine upon us and given us peace!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weddings, Birthdays and Hot Water!

WOW what a month this has been! Middle of September Handy Hubby and I drove to My moms house to be close to the festivities as our youngest son got married. She is adorable and a nice Christian girl and we are very pleased for them. The wedding was a 'themed' wedding – everyone was supposed to dress up in period dress from the 20's through the 60's. It was lots of fun and don't let anyone tell you that hamburgers, hotdogs and soda's aren't a pleasant change from standard wedding fare! Handy Hubby drove home by himself pickup loaded down with the last of the stuff in Mom's backyard shed that was ours. I can't believe he got all the way home without me to help him drive!! (smile, I call it navigating, he has another less pleasant word, nag or something like that!)

My Mom and I got on a plane and headed to Missouri by way of Dallas/Fort Worth (don't ask me how they figure out flight paths), to spend some time with my Grandma (Maternal) who was turning 100 years old! Quite a milestone birthday! Did you know they actually make birthday cards that say happy 100th birthday on them? I didn't either! We got to spend about a week and a half with her before the birthday celebration with family was planned and had a wonderful time, even spent a whole day going from cemetery to cemetery with cousins. (Those of you who are into genealogy know this is not as creepy as it sounds!) Mom, Grandma and I all have birthdays in a two week time frame so we celebrated quite a bit!  Grandma still lives in her own house, drives (they renewed her license for two years now, she only missed one on the test), cans and freezes, and rides an exercise bike. She is slowing down and her mind is still there it just works a little slower than it used to! I do not know what her secret is and neither does she, when asked she will comment that she has never not eaten whatever she wanted to because someone told her she shouldn't. She was a farm wife of a man who expected her to work like a man, and she did. She had a creative talent that came out in her sewing (never a pattern), crafts (quilting and so many other things) and then she started to oil paint when she was 75 and she was prolific, fine art canvases, saws, candles – she just painted on anything she could get her hands on. She puts sugar on nearly everything, salts all her food (and her coffee) and eats a sweet pickle (home canned) with almost all her meals. I have a theory. She is a Godly woman(and has been for nearly 100 years!)  Someone once said of her “it doesn't do any good to tell her any gossip it just stops there!” I have never heard her say a bad thing about anyone, and neither have her daughters or anyone else who knows her. She is the most easy going person I've ever known. I think she just doesn't worry, she seems to have the ability to give it all to God and then let him keep it and not try to help him. (Ahem, apparently there are people who think God needs their input! So I hear anyway!)
There were almost 200 people at her party, and a good time was had by all. I also was getting in some much needed Mommy time myself, hadn't seen my Mom for about 8 months! Shortly after the party Mom and I got on the plane again in Kansas City and flew to Denver CO, where we visit my Dads family, my Aunt and cousins. It was the beginning of sugar beet harvest so it was very busy but still got to go to the mountains and see the aspens, go to the art collection showing at the Loveland museum, used book stores and an awesome quilt shop in Berthoud, CO! By now I had been gone from home for almost a month and while I was having a lovely time, it really was time to go home! Handy Hubby was missing me I think too!

I made my tearful farewells to Mom and headed for home, flew out of a snow shower into sunshine in southwestern Idaho. I have been home for a week and a half and am finally done putting the things away that came home before me in the truck, getting out my winter clothes, rearranging my studio to fit the rest of my 'stuff', and putting up the last of the apples. To top off my exciting month, yesterday, the plumber came out and INSTALLED THE WATER HEATER!!! Handy Hubby had been very busy and gotten all of the things done that he could do while I was gone and it was ready for the stuff that Hubby just really didn't feel comfortable doing. I HAVE HOT RUNNING WATER!!! I am very excited! We both took hot showers last night, I let him go first - he had earned it! I washed the dishes today without boiling any water, things are so much faster when the water comes out of the tap hot! We will not soon take this for granted. We are thankful for simple pleasures!
Life is good!!!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The War on Women

I wrote this post after the conventions and before things got sort of wild and busy and just forgot to post it,so here it is – late but hopefully still relevant.

The Republican's War on Women” - This phrase irritates me on several levels, first is the assumption that this so-called war is real, then of course is the implied assertion that the Democrats are going to save women and thirdly the rather wild and even strange claims that are being made by the media and assorted sycophants such as or Emily's list.

First let me admit a few things, confession being good for the soul. I am watching 'clips' of the Democratic National Convention, I tried to watch, I started to watch, my intentions were good, but then my blood pressure started going up and you know I decided that since heart attacks were the number one killer of women – the DNC had apparently declared war on me!!! OK I know it wasn't personal but I just couldn't watch the whole thing. I should also confess that I don't care about Roe v. Wade being the law. ( by the way revoking Roe v. Wade doesn't make abortion illegal, it just lets the states decide) I am staunchly anti abortion, but believe that until the law makes me violate my beliefs then it just allows others to do things I don't agree with. I am sure there were laws on the books in King Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom that allowed things Daniel didn't approve of, but Daniel didn't defy his government until King Darius made a law that would have forced Daniel to commit a sin. My responsibility is to educate and encourage young women not to have abortions and to contribute to programs that help young women who have become pregnant either keep the child and become a good parent or help place the child in adoption. I am not responsible for the actions of non believers, I believe that people are on their way to hell because they have rejected God and specifically Jesus, not because they broke one of the ten commandments. (Thank God, no seriously Thank God) So I guess I'm just mildly intolerant!!! (smile)

Back to the 'war on women', I wanted to be fair, I thought maybe I was hearing through my own mental filter (we all have one you know) that was leading me astray, so I Googled it – nope I was right – the 'war on women' is primarily about abortion, oh they throw a few things in there to change it up and make it sound more broad and pervasive but it is really about abortions - sorry “reproductive freedom”.

According to the Democrats the Republicans want women to die due to botched abortions, to get pregnant in the first place because they can't afford birth control, to loose the valuable breast exam services of Planned Parenthood (who knew that from the name?), and to take away legal protections against rape (no I am not kidding check Sandra Fluke, the poor 30 something student/activist at a very expensive college who can't afford her birth control is the  poster girl for the new woman.  "Hello - I graduated with honors from Cornell University, got my post graduate degree from Georgetown University, and can't find the $10 birth control at Wal-Mart! I have worked on behalf of domestic violence and human trafficking victims, testified before a congressional committee and it never occurred to me that if I could not afford my birth control I should quit having sex!" Really? This is the spokesperson for women in America?

Lets be honest, the 'War on Women' is very real, and it's been around for about 40 years or so (longer I think maybe), but it's not against the Sandra Flukes of the world – it's against me, and probably you. The war is being waged against women who home-school their kids, who stay married to the same man for years, who believe in the Christian marriage, who gave birth to the unexpected child and just squeeze the budget. The war is being waged against women who stay home and take care of the kids and create a home, against women who sacrifice careers for children, who let a man be the head of the house, who own a gun (or two) and who are ready to defend themselves and their kids (hubby has his own gun).

BUT WHY!!!????

Power – There used to be a saying that “the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world” no one says that anymore – the hand that used to rock the cradle and rule the world is now encouraged to live a “life of Julia” sort of pathetic dependence and then teach that dependence to their kids and then we all vote for more government help and then......yeah we get where this is going. The real 'war on women' has been going on for a long time and it has had a devastating effect on America.  Come on girls we need to vote!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Waning Days of Summer

It is in the air, that thing, the smell, the feel that says we are on the tale end of summer and not the beginning.  You would know even without a calendar - but you can't explain it to your city friends to save your life!  We have accomplished so much and yet have so much left to do. (sigh)
Still no hot running water - the plumbing issues were worse than we thought and now there is more electrical rewiring.  So we get to practice our disaster plans for water and bathing etc.  Yes we can do without hot running water - it is just not as easy.  But we have lived now without running water, without hot water, without a stove, and without air conditioning in the hottest summer on record.  Yup it's doable - OK so I'm ready to stop practicing!!  (smile)

I have been thinking about the political climate and all that is going on in the political arena lately. I am convinced now that so many differences could be solved if we just used the right words!  We conservatives need to learn to use the correct words so we could quit scaring the the other side!  We do scare them you know, with our guns and our God, all that clinging you know.  So I have come up with a few suggestions to help our progressive neighbors get over their fears....
My suggested word Substitutes:
Food Storage = Earthquake Kit (Snowstorm Kit, Hurricane Kit -you see where I'm going here)
Bicycle, horse = Green Transportation
Homesteading/living off the grid = Sustainable Lifestyle, Permaculture living
Gardening and food preservation = Natural/organic food
Concealed Carry classes I teach for women = Empowering women, closing the gender gap
(smile) I think I just lost them!!  Oh well I still think the theory is a good one!

Back to fall -  fall and winter are my favorite seasons, I hate to be hot, I am more comfortable a little cool.  I love the colors and the smells.  I love that crisp bite to the air.  I love football!!!  My beloved Broncos will be playing this Sunday night and I have already informed my sports challenged Handy Hubby that the TV is mine for the duration of the game!!!  What?? Orange is a fall color!!!  I miss my Daddy most this time of year, he and I and my brother - hundreds of miles apart would be calling each other throughout every Bronco game and then do the breakdown afterward.  He was a HS football coach for years and my brother and I were weaned on football.  My Mother is a saint!!!

For the record - I love the colors of the leaves on the trees, once they hit the ground or the roof they become enemies, if I could just train them to fall into the compost buckets!

Friday, July 20, 2012

What Were We Thinking!? (It is a good thing God is in Charge!)

I have not posted here in quite sometime, our daily lives have been taken up with our 'new' old house and all the resultant work. 
Our original goal was to live in an apartment for a year and get used to the area - make sure we were in a place we liked, and and then buy a place we could pay cash for, live a semi - self sustainable life style and be prepared to welcome our kids and relatives if things got bad in other places.  When we hit March and started actively looking for places to buy we got an education!  Seems that there is a 'list' price on homes and then investors come in and start bidding wars and the selling price can be as much as double.  This left us out in the cold, we couldn't get the place we had thought we wanted and needed.  We began to look at smaller homes, with smaller lots, in towns, in the not as nice part of town, we kept praying though, and we kept praying for the home we thought we had needed.  We had just decided to look at mobile home parks, thinking maybe God wanted us to be there, maybe we were being told to narrow our goals, I looked online and a home that had been on the HUD website before was back, it had issues, but we would go look at it, it certainly wouldn't be the first dead end or unproductive trip.  Our real estate agent (a lovely LDS lady also a prepper, who knew what we were going for) met us at the house and we looked around, when we walked out onto the back porch we were hooked, none of us could believe that this house had not been snapped up, she called for sure - "no, its not eligible for a conventional loan, plumbing issues, roof issues, electrical issues, HUD is not offering a loan."  So we made a cash offer of exactly the amount they were asking, 4 days later they accepted our offer and we had to wait the standard 45 days for HUD and then it was ours, we  signed the paperwork on May 27th and got the keys on the 29th.  After all of our looking and praying we got the house we wanted in the first place, 1/2 acre in a rural/residential area, 1600 sq. ft. (big enough to have extra people live with us), private well and septic, sheds and shops, large mature trees, garden space etc.  Just one problem - we would have to fix our issues ourselves!  We had a contractor fix the plumbing leak in the main line that required a backhoe and crawling under the house, but then the rest would have to be done ourselves as the money was available, we had enough cash to buy a refrigerator - after Hubby rewired most of the kitchen, we moved in on the 1st of July and had electricity, and walls and a leaky roof and the refrigerator!  But we also knew this was the house the Lord had led us to.  We still had a microwave and the pump was pouring out pure clear water, it was just outside and cold!  I have had much reason to thank the Lord for my handy Hubby who spent years working with electrical machinery for aerospace, and who can figure things out in a mechanical sense, he has so many useful skills!  He managed to finish the rewiring of the rest of the kitchen (the 220 part) and now we have a stove!  Yippee!  Amazing how my standards have gotten a little lower now on what makes me happy.  Did I mention - no air conditioning?  We are still taking 'bucket baths' (heat the water, mix with cold, lather up, rinse), and still boiling water for dish-washing, but the cold water now comes out of the taps, and as soon as we (not me of course) get the plumbing fixed to the water heater and purchase a new one we will have hot running water.  I am anxiously awaiting my first hot shower in nearly a month!  I may have some kind of celebration!
I have not been idle - while Hubby is working on his projects I have painted the entire inside a clean white on walls and ceilings, (I celebrated the last painting day by giving myself a manicure and picking the white paint out of my hair, my hair is not gray it is Clairol 6G!), I have nearly unpacked everything out of storage and apartment, and have begun to replace the curtains from another house that don't quite fit with curtains made for each window.
In the middle of all this moving in and roughing it (smile), the cherry tree on the back side of the house produced a beautiful bounty of "pie cherries" (sour) before I had the stove to can them on! Sooo 15 lbs. of cherries that had to be hand pitted (red streaks down my arms) and then frozen, at least until I can find the box with the canning jars, so I currently have a pound of chicken and 15lbs of cherries in my freezer!  However I also have this wonderful view from the back porch, 11 tomatoes ripening on the vine, 8 or 9 cucumbers looking like small beans right now and several green pepper blooms in my "pot garden".  Hubby and I go to bed tired and happy and alternating between pinching ourselves that we have the place we dreamed of (some assembly required) and laughing at ourselves for doubting - not God of course- but doubting our interpretation of his plan for us.  We are so blessed and He is so good to us!  I will try to get back to posting more recipes here pretty soon and if the new cherry pie filling recipe is any good - guinea pig husband will let us know - I will also post it - Kathy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Woman - The True Original Feminist

Feminism - The doctrine — and the political movement based on it — that women should have the same economic, social, and political rights as men.
A movement for granting women political, social, and economic equality with men.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

I think of myself as an Intelligent, Conservative, Christian, Feminist. Do those words look strange together in a sentence? It is really sad that people don't think of those words as belonging together because the author of feminism is God. Do you really think that Gods purpose for women was to be beaten, abused, humiliated and kept in slavery to the whims of a man? I believe that God created us to be exactly what he said in Genesis, a helpmate. Seriously, think about Gods view of women, how does the One who created us want us to be treated? How does He work through us? How do we appear to Him? Look at the women in the Bible – Gloria Steinem eat your heart out! These women were in charge, won wars, provided for the family, saved their entire race, Gloria should have been as productive or important.

Numbers 27:7 – God establishes the daughters right to inherit if there is no son to pass on the name.  Judges chapter 4 – This is a chapter all about women and what they can do, Deborah (a married woman with a career) is the judge (deliverer) of the children of Israel. Deborah ends up having to accompany Israel into the battle and then the enemy leader is captured and killed by a woman, Jael. There is Ruth - who takes care of another woman (obviously not a 'Mean Girl) and joins the ancestry of Jesus. Esther, who saves the Jewish people from one who would destroy them, by risking her life - brave women whose place in history is assured because of their obedience to God and sometimes heroic actions.

Many will say that the New Testament is very hard on women, they have to be quiet and submissive!

Submissive -
Inclined or ready to submit;  unresistingly or humbly obedient: Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2012.

In the time of Paul's ministry there was Priscilla – she made tents with her husband, it doesn't say she was married to a tent maker, she was a tent maker, She and her husband Aquila also go on a missionary journey with Paul (didn't he hate women? Stop it!!) and end up staying and ministering in Ephesus and helping Apollos in his growth in the way of truth. There are Lois and Eunice – The grandmother and mother of Timothy. Jesus own mother, and his friends Mary and Martha, there was Lydia, and more. Jesus, his disciples, and even Paul talked about the women who helped, and they all hung out with strong amazing women.

Yes I know there are instances in the Bible when women were treated horribly, but I don't think this is Gods purpose, I do think that humans are fallible and men make mistakes. I think the horrible treatment of women is a perversion of God rules and that his heart (the heart of a father) bleeds for his daughters who are treated this way. It is an interesting fact that some of the most restrictive religions of the world at least regarding women and their behavior are the religions which were started by a male 'prophet' reinterpreting Gods will for the world.   Some of the most cruel punishments for women are given when men lose control of themselves.  It was the woman's fault she was raped.  Of course it was!!  Women have no souls, women can only get to heaven if they marry a man of the faith, men marry multiple women to save them.  Really?  Do any of these things sound like words of God?  Of course not they sound like the words of men!  In the Christian church shortly after the death and resurrection of Christ, women were missionaries and teachers, helpers in the church.  The subjugation of women by the church is, I believe man made - the voluntary submission of a wife to her husband is not the same thing. He then submits to Christ and now we have a chain of command. I have no problem with this, the key word is voluntary.

The women of the Bible, including the 'perfect' Proverbs 31 woman, were strong, they worked outside the home at times, some raised children. They were smart - training missionaries for Paul, and they were careful to behave in ways that would not dishonor themselves or their families including their husbands, in other words they were Intelligent, Conservative, Judeo-Christian Feminists. Women should have the same political, economic and social rights as men. But when the discussion gets into the physical then it gets all ridiculous – “Men don't have to have babies, they can sleep around with no consequences so I need the abortion choice!” or “I want to be a firefighter, so can you make the test easier for me so I can do the same job as a man”? Whoa there!! If you think either one of those sentences sound reasonable just go away now, you are never going to agree with me and you will probably irritate me. I do not want to be a man! (OK I am a little envious of the pee standing up thing)

I am a woman - with all that entails, My husband loves me and takes care of many things and frees me to be myself, we discuss our plans but if we do not agree he has the burden of making the final call and living with the consequence of his decision. I have run my own business for years, but I never could have given my kids the life they had on my own, the fact that my husband took the responsibility and did his biblical job gave me the freedom to be the wife and mother and homemaker and cook and shopper without the concern about those things he took care of – roof over our heads, money, security etc.. What a great freedom for me!

OK I think I'm done now. This turned into a really long rant and I hope you are not too bored, I promise to turn off the TV the next time that ridiculous Kathleen Sebelius starts talking about women being denied their 'constitutional' rights to an abortion by the horrible GOP!!!! OK I probably won't turn it off but I will try to work out my anger by pinching her head while she's on the screen!! (It really is only mildly childish!!)

- Kathy

Monday, January 16, 2012

Not Resolutions - Projects!

Resolutions are things that were invented to make us feel bad about ourselves!  Probably invented by the chocolate manufacturers of the world to sell more chocolate.  See...this is how it works - first you make a resolution, say, to start excersizing more.  Now if you are normal, this is vague and hard to do and by February you have given up and are depressed and are eating chocolate for the emotional comfort!!!  I'm tellin ya, I think it's a conspiracy!  
This year I am going to beat the bad guys.  This year I'm making a list of projects - not resolutions.  I am pretty good at projects and organizing for projects, I suck at resolutions, so I will play to my strengths.  I have also found that I can trick myself, or as I call it 'playing head games with myself and winning', which probably says something sad about my mind (but that is another topic).  So for the next few days I will be coming up with my lists and organizing my projects.

The first thing to make sure that I always keep the Lord in the lead, sometimes I get to thinking I'm in the lead and have ended up in some bogs and marshes in my life!  (and yes I do look sheepish when I say that, I do know better!)

So my first project is to increase my Bible study time.  This last year the Lord helped me break through my issue with forgetting my daily devotions.  My Bible and devotional book sit on the kitchen table all the time and whenever I get to the table and sit down be it 7am or noon I do my devotional reading and read some in my 'reading through the Bible continuously'  project. First part of the project - I feel the need for more than simply reading the Bible now though, I need individual study time.  Church Bible study is wonderful and important but I want to look at things that are individual for me.  The second part of the project is to become more organized in my prayer life.  To my great shame I find that my heart is in the right place  "of course I will keep you in prayer"  but my mind fails me and several days later it comes to my mind again and I feel terrible.  While I may have 'a prayer on my lips' many times during the day, that is for the immediate need or praise.  Like so many areas of my life my prayer life needs organizing.

The next step then is to break it down and decide what methods will work for me.  Since leaving my Bible and devotional on the kitchen table worked for the daily devotional project, maybe the same technique in a different room will work for this.  I have picked a study that I want to do, I have had the book and workbook for years (something I was going to do and know).  It is "The Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges.  I read in the evening at my desk in my home office, the small table beside the desk is where I lay my Bible when I get home from church.  Two Bibles, one in the kitchen one in my room.  One of the advantages to growing up in a Christian home is that you have a collection of Bibles to choose from when you get to be my age!  I am currently reading out of the New American Standard and will study out of the Scoffield KJV that I carry to church.  Bible study time will come in the evening, after dinner.  I like pretty, purposed tools and comforting processes - the feel of the leather on the Bible cover, teapots with matching cups, my lovely Bible cover with pockets and zipper and now hopefully my prayer book.  A dear lady in our last church Pat, was the leader of the womens Bible study and made each of us a covered prayer book with our names on them, yes she is a quilter and seamstress.  When we moved, it got packed and forgotten.  I have found it and am ready to use it to help me.

Isn't this just fun to think about using?

I now have the goal articulated, a list of the needed tools and a plan of action.
- Each evening I will work on Bible study and an organized prayer time
- In my Bible, next to my phones and in my purse are pretty notepads dedicated to writing down prayer requests from others
- Each week will have a page for requests - added to daily if needed
- Saturday night when I'm laying out things for church on Sunday I will flip to the next weeks page in the prayer book
Set up and ready to go!
- I will try to never say flippantly that I will pray for someone without writing it down, I don't think they will mind
-If a 'rabbit trail' in my Bible study throws me off target I will embrace it and enjoy the side trip
-If I miss a day, fall asleep in my chair or can't keep my eyes open I will understand that these things happen and give myself a break

I will not be perfect and I am ok with that - So is God by the way, he too wants to see me keep striving, even knowing as he does perfect isn't in the picture - better certainly is!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy New Year!

It takes about a week into a new year before my mind catches up to the fact! 
Christmas is over and we had a wonderful time with the kids and with my mom, the handmade Christmas went over very well and everyone was pleased with the Heirloom gifts, we had great weather for our journey and it is good to be home! 
  It is so nice to trust in the sovereignty of God, I don't even want to contemplate what kind of place the world must be for someone who doesn't have that confidence.  My mother gave me a lovely devotional book for Christmas by Billy Graham called 'Unto the Hills", in it Rev Graham had a quote from John Baillie - it is a perfect reflection for a new year especially one with so much perceived uncertainty - God has a plan! So this will end my first post of 2012.
"The Bible indicates that the future is in God's hands.If it were in our hands, we would make a mess of it.  The future is not in the devil's hands, for then he would lead us into destruction. The future is not at the mercy of any historical determinism leading us blindly forward, for then life would be without meaning.  But the future is in the hands of One who is preparing something better than eye hath seen or ear heard, or has entered into the heart of man to conceive."