“Always Wanting Another Now”

Lao Tzu

I had a wonderful conversation today with my dear friend Monique, my old walking partner.  I walked on the beach while she pushed her stroller through unseasonably warm Farmington.

We talked about how we fall into the trap of always wanting another “now,” when this moment is the only one we can live in.  We spend all our energy striving for future change and “progress,” but paradoxically, we only progress as we accept and pay attention to the moment we are living in, rather than wasting this moment wishing for another one, a different kind of now.

This moment is the only one where we have a body and can act and choose to be wise, kind, and grateful.  Yet we so often mentally leave this moment to fear, strive, worry, and plot our future or lament our past. But in the past and in the future we are paralyzed, because we can never live there.  It literally takes away our God-given body to always have our mind in the past or the future where we cannot act.  How ironic that we come and have this physical experience only to end up spending all our time disembodied—mentally the past or future where we are powerless—our eyes closed to the moment’s lesson God has already provided for us here, in the one place we can act, in this very moment.

Our intellectual mind wants to know the plan–sure, we trust there is a divine program going on, but could we just see the whole blueprint first just in case?

I think it is a matter of trust–do we trust that God can provide this moments lesson here and now, where we can work with it, and that the lesson is the right one for us?

Why do we assume that our own weaknesses or past mistakes can derail the Divine ability to make this flawed moment the perfect teacher? Can we trust that God is big enough to make this imperfect moment and our flawed self into the perfect lesson?

And wasn’t that the beautiful, painful, grace-filled plan from the beginning?

The circumstances and players of this moment in my life is both irrelevant (because all moments have divine power to teach so much), and also so very important (because this moment holds the most relevant and perfect lesson I need in this moment).  My moment’s lessons, when I stop to look, breathe, and feel my body from the inside, are often exactly what I need, I learn that I am safe, that there is beauty, that I am held.

This kind of post I usually reserve for my other blog with spiritual thoughts, but this idea of not wanting another now is so critical to this experiment.  To learn from this, I have to be here in both mind and body, and it’s strange how hard that can be in this crazy world.

 

Run faster! Or not.

Mosiah 4:27:And see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.


Of course this scripture doesn’t apply to me, and probably not to you.  We have too much to do. Clearly this scripture was written before the 24-hour stresses of daily modern life evolved and now literally demand that we run, process and accomplish tasks as fast as our computers can—the robots set the pace. What I’m sure the scripture meant was, Do not run faster than the strength:

  1. you wish you had
  2. you once had, ten, twenty or thirty years ago.
  3. you think you should have if only you would try harder
  4. you imagine everyone else has
  5. you would have if you had less stress and enough money
  6. you had in that one instant where you were your strongest ever
  7. your kids have
  8. your delusional supermom fantasies lead you to believe you have
  9. all those inspirational famous people appear to have
  10. the robots.
This past week, during a little informal dieting support group I attend, I was told by others that I needed to slow down, take an occasional break, and maybe let up on some of the pressures I put on myself.  It was even suggested that I stop stressing about diet stuff altogether for a little while. My knee-jerk response to this was to wave it off.  I’ve done lots of things at once, I’m a veteran multi-tasker. After the past ten years of almost constant chaos, upheaval and stress, I can now look death in the face and laugh. Hah!

Plus, if I slowed down, it’s possible that any burdens I took off myself would simply be replaced by the guilt of doing so. So, why bother?

But after more thought, I realized that, although trials do make us stronger, I’m at a weak point right now. I get tired, emotionally and physically, more often at this moment in my life, for whatever reason. Perhaps I did need to readjust my expectations. I don’t think my schedule is that busy right now, honestly it feels like most of the pressure is actually coming from inside my own head (be better, faster, stronger!), but let’s take a look.

My list probably looks a lot like most people’s in my stage of life.  If I do everything I’m supposed to do in a day, it looks like this:
  • Feed people (3x)
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Daily job (M-Kitchen, T-Bathrooms, W-Living Areas, H-Bedrooms, F-Van/yard)
  • Scriptures (usually done by audio while multitasking)
  • Check Bills/finances
  • Prayer (2x+) (usually in the shower–multitasking again)
  • Track/plan food
  • Kid shuffling: Homework, chores, piano practice, Activity Days, scouts, piano, tae kwon do
  • Music Practice: voice (U admission auditions 2/27), learn UCA music, piano proficiency exam prep, children’s choir prep
  • Exercise
  • Kid love: Cuddle and talk with kids, not about homework, chores or piano 
  • Husband time 
  • Service (VT, temple, trying to listen to the Spirit about who/what needs me, etc.)
  • Try to make some money 
  • Journal/Write
  • Quiet meditation (Hah. This generally doubles as “sleep.”)
No surprise, I don’t often get to the things toward the bottom of the daily list, the things that make me and my family more happy, sane and less stressed financially.  When I focus on the business of home and family and getting the absolute necessities taken care of, when I finally get to my own shower and am ready to at last get to work on the rest, it’s about 11:30 p.m. and I crash. 

Also, if my mind just revolts, and I sit down to rest or think in a quiet place for a minute, which is happening involuntarily more and more these days, there is always something that theoretically should be filling that time. No vacancies in the schedule allowed.
  
I know this is almost a universal problem with women in my place in life. I know we are supposed to simplify, yet my family and home need almost constant attention, I’ve felt direction from the Lord on the path I’m taking  with music even though that takes time. I just can’t see quite where I’m supposed to cut.

Then again, what’s not on my list, but takes a ton of my time and mental energy, is fruitless, tail-chasing anxiety, wall-staring panic, and Tetris-playing despair. Somehow, I never book enough time in the day to allow for these time hogs.

President Uchdorf said on this great talk on the subject

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives. 

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks…

…My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness.

In that same talk, President Uchdorf said that our relationships with God, our family, our fellowman, and ourselves, are the top priorities. The first task of the first priority, our relationship with God, was, in fact, quiet meditation, the neglected item at the bottom of my list:

Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study…these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

So, as I approach these last two husbandless weeks of bar prep and stress, I am going to make a commitment to myself to a sort of mental/spiritual/physical refocus, not with a longer to-do list, but by making the last first, beginning each day with quiet prayer and study to get inspiration for the day. Maybe that would help me minimize the unscheduled time-hogs (anxiety, panic, despair) by replacing all that paralyzing fear with some faith.  And I think I’ll put some kid love time before the kid shuffling time each day.

The Creator of the universe manages everything in order and love, so it only makes sense that as I face my own to-do list each morning, that I consult with Him first. 

Run faster! Or not.

Mosiah 4:27:And see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.


Of course this scripture doesn’t apply to me, and probably not to you.  We have too much to do. Clearly this scripture was written before the 24-hour stresses of daily modern life evolved and now literally demand that we run, process and accomplish tasks as fast as our computers can—the robots set the pace. What I’m sure the scripture meant was, Do not run faster than the strength:

  1. you wish you had
  2. you once had, ten, twenty or thirty years ago.
  3. you think you should have if only you would try harder
  4. you imagine everyone else has
  5. you would have if you had less stress and enough money
  6. you had in that one instant where you were your strongest ever
  7. your kids have
  8. your delusional supermom fantasies lead you to believe you have
  9. all those inspirational famous people appear to have
  10. the robots.
This past week, during a little informal dieting support group I attend, I was told by others that I needed to slow down, take an occasional break, and maybe let up on some of the pressures I put on myself.  It was even suggested that I stop stressing about diet stuff altogether for a little while. My knee-jerk response to this was to wave it off.  I’ve done lots of things at once, I’m a veteran multi-tasker. After the past ten years of almost constant chaos, upheaval and stress, I can now look death in the face and laugh. Hah!

Plus, if I slowed down, it’s possible that any burdens I took off myself would simply be replaced by the guilt of doing so. So, why bother?

But after more thought, I realized that, although trials do make us stronger, I’m at a weak point right now. I get tired, emotionally and physically, more often at this moment in my life, for whatever reason. Perhaps I did need to readjust my expectations. I don’t think my schedule is that busy right now, honestly it feels like most of the pressure is actually coming from inside my own head (be better, faster, stronger!), but let’s take a look.

My list probably looks a lot like most people’s in my stage of life.  If I do everything I’m supposed to do in a day, it looks like this:
  • Feed people (3x)
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Daily job (M-Kitchen, T-Bathrooms, W-Living Areas, H-Bedrooms, F-Van/yard)
  • Scriptures (usually done by audio while multitasking)
  • Check Bills/finances
  • Prayer (2x+) (usually in the shower–multitasking again)
  • Track/plan food
  • Kid shuffling: Homework, chores, piano practice, Activity Days, scouts, piano, tae kwon do
  • Music Practice: voice (U admission auditions 2/27), learn UCA music, piano proficiency exam prep, children’s choir prep
  • Exercise
  • Kid love: Cuddle and talk with kids, not about homework, chores or piano 
  • Husband time 
  • Service (VT, temple, trying to listen to the Spirit about who/what needs me, etc.)
  • Try to make some money 
  • Journal/Write
  • Quiet meditation (Hah. This generally doubles as “sleep.”)
No surprise, I don’t often get to the things toward the bottom of the daily list, the things that make me and my family more happy, sane and less stressed financially.  When I focus on the business of home and family and getting the absolute necessities taken care of, when I finally get to my own shower and am ready to at last get to work on the rest, it’s about 11:30 p.m. and I crash. 

Also, if my mind just revolts, and I sit down to rest or think in a quiet place for a minute, which is happening involuntarily more and more these days, there is always something that theoretically should be filling that time. No vacancies in the schedule allowed.
  
I know this is almost a universal problem with women in my place in life. I know we are supposed to simplify, yet my family and home need almost constant attention, I’ve felt direction from the Lord on the path I’m taking  with music even though that takes time. I just can’t see quite where I’m supposed to cut.

Then again, what’s not on my list, but takes a ton of my time and mental energy, is fruitless, tail-chasing anxiety, wall-staring panic, and Tetris-playing despair. Somehow, I never book enough time in the day to allow for these time hogs.

President Uchdorf said on this great talk on the subject

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives. 

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks…

…My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness.

In that same talk, President Uchdorf said that our relationships with God, our family, our fellowman, and ourselves, are the top priorities. The first task of the first priority, our relationship with God, was, in fact, quiet meditation, the neglected item at the bottom of my list:

Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study…these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

So, as I approach these last two husbandless weeks of bar prep and stress, I am going to make a commitment to myself to a sort of mental/spiritual/physical refocus, not with a longer to-do list, but by making the last first, beginning each day with quiet prayer and study to get inspiration for the day. Maybe that would help me minimize the unscheduled time-hogs (anxiety, panic, despair) by replacing all that paralyzing fear with some faith.  And I think I’ll put some kid love time before the kid shuffling time each day.

The Creator of the universe manages everything in order and love, so it only makes sense that as I face my own to-do list each morning, that I consult with Him first. 

Coming Home

I promised myself that when I finally left the workplace to come back home I’d write myself a letter to remember why it was a good thing.  It’s so tempting to get back into the noise and mess and wonder why I left the quiet pleasantness and good friends for this chaos. 

It’s a sad reality, but I am much better at writing marketing plans than I am mothering and taking care of a house.  (This is why I admire you so much, Carrie.)  I’m not a natural mother–I love my children fiercely, but I don’t “get” children in that way some nurturing types do.  Maybe it was my upbringing as an only child and mostly single mother that made me think child rearing would be a lot quieter, and, well, a lot less childish.  It’s no secret that being home is much harder work physically, emotionally and spiritually than being at the office. 

It sounds like I’m writing the reasons to not stay at home, but I think it’s just the opposite.

There is no wisdom in thinking the path of least resistance is the easiest path, but there is much evidence to the contrary.  There’s a great saying used a lot in my Weight Watchers meeting: “Choose your hard.”  Being fat is hard, dieting is hard.  Choose the hard you’d rather do. 

As hard as it is to be with the kids, being away from the kids is hard.  For me, it was impossible to work without shutting off some of the little maternal instinct I have. I wasn’t parenting the way I had always meant to parent (I know, who does?)

Part of it is probably just my personal psyche–I have a hard time multitasking and shifting gears.  When I’m working my brain stays at work and I have a hard time fully focusing on my home and family.  After being home for a vacation or a long weekend, the reverse is true.  And maybe some moms can shift gears faster and better. 

But for me, I felt unable to prevent compromise on what I wanted my children to be doing and the habits I wanted them to be taught.  And, despite so much argument to the contrary, my children were clearly worse off without even my lame guidance–not just because they pined for me, but because they were left with less guidance and teaching than they needed.  I can see that there was some independence gained, but overall, it wasn’t an ideal situation for them.

Just one day home makes it clear how many teaching opportunities come up in a single day–from the gospel to occupational tasks to civics and government back to more gospel principles.  And the complexity and intensity of the forces facing our children as they come of age is mind-boggling—every lesson they can get will be sorely needed.

Yet another set of lessons lost are the ones they teach me–how to master myself, how to control my words, how to not be a huge hypocrite, how to run a household–how to pray into my life the charity I need to accomplish what I came here to earth to do in the first place. 

And not just self-discipline, but the accidental lessons learned while watching and listening to my children. Their little spirits just amaze me–and there’s no saying that just because I got here 30 years earlier I am so much wiser. (Yet, even with this knowledge, I’m perfectly willing to practice the grown-up double standard far too often.)

Also, in the past week at home, even though I’ve been working more than I ever did at the office, I’ve been able to hear so many great conversations that have helped my love for my children grow in a way that makes it easier to be a parent.  It’s difficult when we only see each other tired and cranky at the end of the day to build what has so quickly begun to regenerate after only two weeks.

I’ve learned that when Noah refers to any extreme of distance he will use the word “tippy”—as in, “the very tippy bottom,” the “tippy back of the shelf.”  Ben and Sophie both need hugs and physical attention every day, several times a day, to help him feel grounded and safe, and I hadn’t noticed that.  Lucy has a rare but hysterical giggle. 

Yesterday in the car, Sophie, Noah and Lucy were planning how they were going to play in the backyard playhouse when they got home–who wanted to be the mom, the baby, and the mayor, and that the mayor had dibs on the stroller this time.  Obviously all of these roles are critical when playing house.  It made me laugh–and sadly, I don’t often laugh with my kids.

Working for those two years was not a mistake–I was led to that decision and led to that fantastic job and we were able to quickly solve some difficult problems, but the moment it was time to come home, I felt it. 

When your time is spent primarily on any one thing, things that interfere with that primary focus are distractions, a nuisance, and a frustration.  When your life is work, other personal projects (a blog!) or even an obsession with a personal problem, the children become the bother.  I wrote a whole essay about this some time ago, but how can I can be expected to actually remember past life lessons more than five minutes?

At the same time, I have a very hard time just sitting down and staring at my children or doing kid things.  I didn’t do a lot of being a kid as a kid, so it feels very forced. However, even with my motherhood-impaired temperament, what I learned when we first moved to our little “farm” is that the slower, “old-fashioned” life can be lived alongside children rather than in spite of them, that I can enjoy what I’m doing and my children at the same time while teaching them important things.

I’m anxious to return to—and re-learn—that life, and spend less time actively teaching myself the latest marketing strategies and more time passively letting life (the Lord) teach me.  Everything is so full of lessons.

So, future self, when you want to run to the quiet safety of an office, run to the garden, kids in tow, and let the chaos escape into the open air.

As a hen gathers her chickens

I promise, I won’t always be about the chicken thing, but here’s an interesting thing I’ve learned.  

If you have read Isaiah at all, and/or the Book of Mormon, it is almost impossible not to look at a mother hen and wonder what the Lord meant when He said He would gather us as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings.  


She literally puts them under her wings.  I mean, I picked her up to count the chicks and make sure none were missing (one ran off and actually spent a whole night outside the coop alone because I didn’t check under her the night before).  And–there were only two chicks under her, yet the hen’s body was peeping.  No chicks falling out–the other two were all tucked up inside there.

Mama hen fluffs herself out huge in order to cover them and protect them–she guides with clucking and wings and, at the slightest danger (which means me), she rustles them back to safety, which often means under herself.  

Such a nurturing image–a very engaged, concerned parent protecting the child both physically and with constant direction and teaching.  God is quite a poet.

California Dreamin’

How many blog posts do you think have that title? My guess is quite a few.

Well, I had a fabulous trip to California. My time with Doris (as discussed below) was precious and too rare. The funeral was bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter, with good memories and many old and dear friends like Di and Megan. I got to sing with my dear friend Michele, whose daughter Addy was with Ben in those wonderful three years with Nancy as a primary teacher.

We played a lot, did Chuck E Cheese with sweet Shauna, saw Tasha and Yuka’s beautiful new (and both long awaited for) little baby girls. I smelled the ocean air from the Getty hilltop, I gazed up at the Pasadena mountains from the park bench at Lacy Park, I smelled the oranges in the groves at the Arboretum. I ate yummy cottage cheese pancakes with my good friends the Chamberlains on a sunny Sunday morning. I enjoyed the company of my bro and sis in law in Vegas while driving to and fro.

In my mind I saw a 2-year old Ben swinging at Hamilton Park as I watched my big 10-year old sat swinging intently in the same swing in just the same way. I drove by the house where Noah was born, by the hospital where Sophie and Eden were born, by the townhouse we brought the tiny 5-lb Lucy home to and by the one home I ever owned. I was taught yet another major life lesson by Patti Jones–not the first time, hopefully not the last.

At 37, a third of my life was spent in SoCal, and probably two thirds of my life’s lessons thus far. Time and place hold such significance for us nostalgic types. At the same time, I am very aware of how hard it was to live there on many levels, and a brief visit in the glory of January is not an accurate picture of things. I did have moments on this visit where I thought, “This is the place of my undoing”–there were some ridiculously difficult times. Still, I just hold a lot of room in my heart for the people and places down there.

Now I’m home, and working full time this week to make up the lost hours. I am lucky to have a good job that I enjoy and people I enjoy working with, and most of the work I don’t mind so much either. But I do feel an increasing pull back home and see things in my family that make it clear this can’t go on forever.

I went to the temple last night because I was feeling a little bummed. Although I was exhausted from the trip and could hardly stay awake I still had a distinct impression that I was to lift up my head and rejoice and love the Lord for all He’s done for me. I feel God is working in me to help make changes I’ve been unable to make on my own, and I feel a quieter, more peaceful feeling than I’ve felt in a long time.

California Dreamin’

How many blog posts do you think have that title? My guess is quite a few.

Well, I had a fabulous trip to California. My time with Doris (as discussed below) was precious and too rare. The funeral was bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter, with good memories and many old and dear friends like Di and Megan. I got to sing with my dear friend Michele, whose daughter Addy was with Ben in those wonderful three years with Nancy as a primary teacher.

We played a lot, did Chuck E Cheese with sweet Shauna, saw Tasha and Yuka’s beautiful new (and both long awaited for) little baby girls. I smelled the ocean air from the Getty hilltop, I gazed up at the Pasadena mountains from the park bench at Lacy Park, I smelled the oranges in the groves at the Arboretum. I ate yummy cottage cheese pancakes with my good friends the Chamberlains on a sunny Sunday morning. I enjoyed the company of my bro and sis in law in Vegas while driving to and fro.

In my mind I saw a 2-year old Ben swinging at Hamilton Park as I watched my big 10-year old sat swinging intently in the same swing in just the same way. I drove by the house where Noah was born, by the hospital where Sophie and Eden were born, by the townhouse we brought the tiny 5-lb Lucy home to and by the one home I ever owned. I was taught yet another major life lesson by Patti Jones–not the first time, hopefully not the last.

At 37, a third of my life was spent in SoCal, and probably two thirds of my life’s lessons thus far. Time and place hold such significance for us nostalgic types. At the same time, I am very aware of how hard it was to live there on many levels, and a brief visit in the glory of January is not an accurate picture of things. I did have moments on this visit where I thought, “This is the place of my undoing”–there were some ridiculously difficult times. Still, I just hold a lot of room in my heart for the people and places down there.

Now I’m home, and working full time this week to make up the lost hours. I am lucky to have a good job that I enjoy and people I enjoy working with, and most of the work I don’t mind so much either. But I do feel an increasing pull back home and see things in my family that make it clear this can’t go on forever.

I went to the temple last night because I was feeling a little bummed. Although I was exhausted from the trip and could hardly stay awake I still had a distinct impression that I was to lift up my head and rejoice and love the Lord for all He’s done for me. I feel God is working in me to help make changes I’ve been unable to make on my own, and I feel a quieter, more peaceful feeling than I’ve felt in a long time.

Fall 09

White turkeys are the ones generally sold commercially. I meant to take a picture of both the bronze and whites before, but I just have a white before and a bronze after.

And After II (yes, we cook our turkey’s upside down, it’s part of a very elaborate turkey roasting ritual my husband carries out):

Our white hens that we got last year still lay wonderfully–one big fat white egg a day usually. But, I’m down to 6 now. I had them loose for much of the summer and I guess I lost two to predators.

Cute lucy on the tree ladder.

Lucy and Noah in the back yard.

Mother hen (used to be the rooster I called “sissy chicken”) and her 12 chicks out learning how to forage. She is pretty fierce if you get too close, as you can kind of see in this picture. She’s a great mother, and she does gather them under her wings, just like the scriptures say God will do for us.
I need to take more pictures of the trees here–it is so gorgeous. Yesterday we got the sod cutter rented again and took out more grass for next year’s garden. It seems counterintuitive to follow up my miserable neglected failure of this year with expanded ambitions for next year, but we feel we should try again. The first year was very fulfilling, and we did get some good out of this year’s but I was learning how to juggle the work/family/health/garden issues.

Talk about fall, we picked tons of apples yesterday from the neglected tree way back on the property (you have to commando crawl under a fence to get over there, then pass the buckets back over when done). Some of them were so perfect and huge. If we found a wormy one, we threw it to our neighbor’s (very grateful) sheep. I have applesauce canning on the agenda this week.
Yesterday I also inventoried my food storage, and I’m not so bad as I thought. We are fervently working on that now. I’ll go on record that I think the constant media talk of signs of recovery is just that–talk–and I personally think we haven’t yet seen the worst of it. I realize only 20% of economists agree with me on that, though.
I heard a comment in general conference that perfectly summed up what I’ve been feeling as I’ve been reading about both the economy and studying the scriptures much more than I have before (funny how well they go together!)
It was D. Todd Christofferson who said, “We cannot presume that the future will resemble the past—that things and patterns we have relied upon economically, politically, socially will remain as they have been.”
I think there is a lot of false security thrown about in the name of what has always happened, but real security is in obedience to and trust in God and trying to live by the Spirit.

Fall 09

White turkeys are the ones generally sold commercially. I meant to take a picture of both the bronze and whites before, but I just have a white before and a bronze after.

And After II (yes, we cook our turkey’s upside down, it’s part of a very elaborate turkey roasting ritual my husband carries out):

Our white hens that we got last year still lay wonderfully–one big fat white egg a day usually. But, I’m down to 6 now. I had them loose for much of the summer and I guess I lost two to predators.

Cute lucy on the tree ladder.

Lucy and Noah in the back yard.

Mother hen (used to be the rooster I called “sissy chicken”) and her 12 chicks out learning how to forage. She is pretty fierce if you get too close, as you can kind of see in this picture. She’s a great mother, and she does gather them under her wings, just like the scriptures say God will do for us.
I need to take more pictures of the trees here–it is so gorgeous. Yesterday we got the sod cutter rented again and took out more grass for next year’s garden. It seems counterintuitive to follow up my miserable neglected failure of this year with expanded ambitions for next year, but we feel we should try again. The first year was very fulfilling, and we did get some good out of this year’s but I was learning how to juggle the work/family/health/garden issues.

Talk about fall, we picked tons of apples yesterday from the neglected tree way back on the property (you have to commando crawl under a fence to get over there, then pass the buckets back over when done). Some of them were so perfect and huge. If we found a wormy one, we threw it to our neighbor’s (very grateful) sheep. I have applesauce canning on the agenda this week.
Yesterday I also inventoried my food storage, and I’m not so bad as I thought. We are fervently working on that now. I’ll go on record that I think the constant media talk of signs of recovery is just that–talk–and I personally think we haven’t yet seen the worst of it. I realize only 20% of economists agree with me on that, though.
I heard a comment in general conference that perfectly summed up what I’ve been feeling as I’ve been reading about both the economy and studying the scriptures much more than I have before (funny how well they go together!)
It was D. Todd Christofferson who said, “We cannot presume that the future will resemble the past—that things and patterns we have relied upon economically, politically, socially will remain as they have been.”
I think there is a lot of false security thrown about in the name of what has always happened, but real security is in obedience to and trust in God and trying to live by the Spirit.