I've just made my coffee and done my weekly chore of sorting out my pills for daily use. I used to have a little 7 day pill holder but I've added quite a few vitamins and supplements lately for my joints and bones mainly, so I decided to make use of old pill bottles. I'm also using them to save garden seeds. They're a handy little size. This morning I doled out doses of my morning regiment into 7 recycled bottles labeled with the days of the week. I have one big dark bottle labeled PM into which I put 7 doses of the things I have to take before bedtime. Gosh its fun getting old. I take more vitamins than a pregnant woman--or at least it seems that way. On the bright side--something in that mix seems to have helped my hands a little--YEAH!
I'm now relaxing here with my coffee cup and looking out at a very dark sky. It is not dawn yet, almost 6 am. There is a moon behind the tallest bare branched tree in the garden. Its either a full moon or just a little bit less than full, I'm not sure really. I should learn to keep track of that, its interesting, as most nature study is. I cannot see anything else out there the sky is completely black. This tells me that all the clouds must have wandered away sometime in the night. The storm seems to have left.
We didn't get as bad of weather as we could have. We thought it was going to sleet for 12 hours and then snow. I don't know if it snowed much in the night- too dark to tell right now. I do know my lights never went out nor did my water. Hubby may chuckle at my preparations! I think though, if I had not filled all those buckets of water--perhaps the electric would have gone out. I don't like to be giving in to that sort of 'magical thinking' but by golly--it sure seems that way sometimes. You let go one of your balls when juggling and everything falls down! Anyone else ever get that feeling in life?
Yesterday I cooked up a pot full of black beans, this morning I'm doing white beans. I used the black beans in a sort of 'cuban' rice, beans and shrimp dish that used up all our spanish rice and salsa from taco night. I also made a couple of chickens later in the day. The guys had rice and beans for breakfast, polished off the leftover taco meat at lunch and then ate most of the two chickens for dinner! Good heavens they can pack away the calories!
Speaking of calories--when its as cold as it is the birds outside need extra ones. We had feathered guests all day long yesterday. It looked like a little buffalo migration on the ground except the herd was made up of juncos, doves and towhees. Up in the trees and sitting at the feeder were finches, cardinals, titmice, Carolina wrens, and woodpeckers among others. I felt bad for the wood peckers and the wrens so I made up a batch of peanut butter and bacon fat suet with seeds and cornmeal. Its not the best recipe. I found it online and it was said to be proven--but when I made it was way too dry and crumby. I ended up adding some peanut oil on top and patting it into a pan and reheating in a warm oven to try to get it to stick together better. I ended up with a 9 x 12 pan of semi-acceptable suet. I filled three suet feeders with it and am going to freeze the rest. I will not use this recipe again but I'm sure the birds will appreciate it for now. Beggars can't be choosers eh?
Watching the birds in the garden and on the hill side is the most relaxing entertainment it gives me so much pleasure that I continue to adjust our budget to allow for the cost of sunflower seeds no matter how much the price goes up. I think I am feeding every little 'sky rat' in town on cold days, as there are so many here now. It makes me think how dead the place seemed when we first bought this place and there wasn't a bird in sight. I'll always remember that. It was the same feeling I had when we moved out of our own home in Wisconsin and rented that old farmhouse and all there were there was the drab little sparrows all winter, and then in Fargo sparrows again for the most part. Now I have more birds to watch than ever and I feel as if it is a nice reward for my vigilance and generosity toward them.
As the old man in Fargo told me, "If you feed them, they will come." So true--works with birds as well as lost dogs and cats, and stray people as well.
I seem to find that its best to have a pattern to my days. I get up and do the same things and if I need to add some new habit I find it a spot in my 'pattern' and just do it. I've added turning on the lights for my seedlings every morning. I do that at just about 7 am, so I can turn them off at 7 pm. Usually I will also turn them off awhile in the day time when the sun is shining best through the windows. The seedlings are coming along very nicely. It hardly seems as if planting time is anyplace near. Yesterday I was out in the garden and it was treacherous! The ground beneath me was coated with ice as were our cars and the road here. I stepped very carefully. As I was refilling the bird feeders I looked at the big containers standing ready to be planted with peas soon and I wondered at the idea of planting anything in such hard frozen soil. February is the beginning of pea planting though and I will be doing that! I may wait a week or two though--we'll see.
Today I have a goal. My new Etsy shop will open and 2 items will be listed. Perhaps a nice needlework book and Jasper the Jazz Bear. I'll post a link to the Etsy shop on the sidebar for folks to look at when I've got it done. I think I let myself fall of track with it because I was a bit jolted by my daughter's recent news.
I must say this has certainly been an eventful season in my life. I always thought somehow that things got a little easier as you got older. Now it makes me chuckle to even write that statement!
Well, Daughter has her life and challenges and while I do intend to help her somewhat, I don't intend to give up my own interests in order to do so! I need to make that distinction. I need to just take things in stride--fit those things I choose to do for her into my pattern and yet not lose sight of it. My days are still in a way, my own--even though they are tugged at around the edges--the core of them belongs to Hubby and I and our vision for our own lives. I think that's true anyhow.
I know as a Christian we die to self and we take up our cross and follow, but I think also maintain our priorities as we see them. Christ too did that. He didn't drop everything to run every time someone needed him, he got there when it fit his priorities. The story of Lazarus comes to mind. Certainly he could have come sooner and prevented his friend from dying--but so many lessons were taught when he did it the way he chose. Heavens! He didn't even sweat life and death situations. How can we be his followers and behave like jumping beans whenever someone has a need? I was thinking about that because-- well-- helping others should come FROM something. From a settled choice. I'm no good to anyone if I am teetering on the brink myself. Jesus took the time he needed. Often he'd be someplace the disciples would have to look for him. He'd gone ahead, lagged behind, strayed off to the garden. He is the prime example of a sacrificial lamb--One who gave his life for us--and yet there are these many examples to show us he was in no hurry for anyone, He did not give up his moments in a distracted manner.
And so I think, as I'm looking up at that moon which has moved a bit since I started to write this-- it is in its place, in its pattern. I may not understand its pattern fully since I really haven't studied it that well--I could study it--but haven't. I may not understand its 'track' in the night sky, but I do know it has one.
I too, have my days, my pattern, my ways about me. Even if I must fit things into my days that I wasn't planning on, I don't really have to give up my orbit all together in order to respond to sudden changes. There is something positive to be said about being a bit 'set in one's ways'. For one thing, you know where you are better, and don't feel as overwhelmed.
Everything in its place, seasons of all sorts, and the moon and me.