If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. ~ William Morris

20 December, 2017

A Bit of Shameless Self-Promotion

Only one of these posts and I promise to get back to the vintage writings which were the intent of this blog to begin with.

Yet, it never does hurt to do a bit of self-promotion.

As my ability to live a 1930's style farm life has faded over the last four years, I've had to find my alternative calling.  Granted raising sheep and goats wasn't terribly profitable to begin with, but awfully lots of fun and gave me great personal enjoyment.  I still miss them.

However, I was finally forced to admit that I had an additional calling and that is to help others. 

In 2008 I had received my Level I Reiki attunement never planning to take it outside of family and friends.  Recently it came to my attention that it was time to do just that.

So I pursued the upper levels with more focused intent.  Being me, however, I am rarely if ever satisfied with the status quo so my practice is slightly different from the norm, incorporating elements of Qi Gong and other biofield modalities as well as aromatherapy which I will eventually offer as a separate service upon completion of my certification.

I will be working with both people and animals and I look forward to growing as a practitioner in the coming year.

If you are curious and want to know more, you can view my other website here:

15 December, 2017

Tradition ~ And why it doesn't always matter....

I have to admit it has been a ridiculously busy stretch for me from September to now, one which I always seem to so desperately try to avoid and yet fall into anyway.

It starts with back-to-school, which for most of my friends who are parents means quiet days as the children head away on the bus each  morning.  Only one of mine does, the other is still home schooled.  That means my presence is required every school day as though I were going to school with him on the bus. He is older now, 11, and with the gift of on-line learning now does four out of six subjects on-line and through video instruction, but I still need to be available.

The other young man who has special needs has a very difficult 6:15 a.m. bus time each morning for which I arise each morning at 4:45 a.m. to make sure he is up dressed, fed and packed for school and delivered safely to the bus.  I then have to be available again to get him off that bus at 3 p.m.

In between I have a husband who very much enjoys eating regular meals, a home to clean (for which I am grateful), the laundry of three males to do, two dogs, four little birds, household administrative duties (groceries, bills, etc...) and somewhere in there, my own enrichment.  

I am currently taking two distance courses which will increase to three in January and carry through May.  The garden is quiet now, but the snow if there is any must be kept up with and the outdoor bird feeders filled, and meals planned a little more regularly as easy, last minute shopping isn't always an option during the winter.

Overall, I have no complaints.  I am grateful for the home, the laundry, the two boys and the man I live with.  I am grateful for the food in our pantry and bellies, and the clothes on our backs.  I am grateful for the electricity and heat, and the clean running water.

And yet, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

This past Thanksgiving was the most different I've had in over ten years.  Over the last decade we ate the day after Thanksgiving and invited family friends.  Sometimes there were as many as 16 or 17 people.  I cooked for a week before, turning out a turkey, a ham, five sides and pies and a birthday cake for my youngest son.  This year dear friends were experiencing some issues due to an upcoming surgery, other friends no longer attend, and my eldest daughter needed flexibility to work around her jam packed thanksgiving day meeting three other family obligations.

So we ate rather quietly and unceremoniously Wednesday evening, with only one kind of pie in a store bought gluten free crust and my son's birthday cake.  I made it all about turning 11 for a very special boy instead of a giant feast.  My heart wasn't in it this year.  And although a little sad (as change usually is), it worked out just fine.

My daughter and I discussed just how much we should really reschedule our annual Thanksgiving Day to sometime in October.... it's too close to Christmas... and food overload.  My son celebrates his birthday on the 29th, then Christmas, then my other son's birthday just after the new year.  It all felt too much all at once.  It always has.  But in the past I marathon-ed my way through it, checking lists as I went .... one... two.... three....!

It made me think about tradition and how much, in the end, it doesn't really matter all that terribly much.  My friend and I were discussing how it was all about getting together.... not the correct Thursday or the food.

This Christmas, my younger daughter will home for the first time in three years on Christmas.  We will all be together for a short time before we rush off in our prospective directions.

This sort of thing never would have been acceptable to my Grandmother.  We ate promptly at noon on Thanksgiving Day....if you were late they started without you.  Not coming home for the holidays despite the cause (unless it was complete bodily traction in the hospital) was generally frowned upon.  Sometimes the joy is in the simplicity and flexibility is beautiful.

It reminds me of the ever popular "pot roast" story, many variations exist:

The new bride is making her first big dinner for her husband and tries her hand at her mother’s pot roast, cutting off the ends of the roast the way her mother always did. Hubby thinks the meat is delicious, but says, “Why do you cut off the ends — that’s the best part!” She answers, “That’s the way my mother always made it.”

The next week, they go to the grandmother's house, and she prepares the famous roast recipe, again cutting off the ends. The young bride is sure she must be missing some vital information, so she asks her grandma why she cut off the ends. Grandma says, “that’s the only way it will fit in the pan!”

The moral of this story is; some traditions are temporary and by necessity, some we honor just because "that's the way we always do it," and some we have no idea why.  Are they necessary for the moment?  Not always.

As we go forward into the holidays keep this in mind.  Ask yourself what is really important?  What brings you joy?  What can you add and what can you take away?

Presence is often far more important than 'presents,' and sometimes that requires change.

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