Saturday, 29 September 2012

“You're Never Too Old, Too Wacky, Too Wild, To Pick Up A Book And Read To A Child.”

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

Seuss embraced the life of the imagination and detested staid adults who dismissed the whimsical,
“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” ― Dr. Seuss

These quotations From Dr. Seuss hardly need an introduction. Any one who is or has been a parent will reconize most of them.This selection focuses on phrases that urge people to look at life with joyful expectation. I won't even bother expounding  on these quotes because Dr. Seuss says everything much better than I can. Anyway, Seuss hated wordy writing,
"So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” ― Dr. Seuss

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” 
Born: March 2, 1904, Springfield
Died: September 24, 1991, La Jolla
Full name: Theodor Seuss Geisel

Spouse: Helen Palmer Geisel (m. 1927–1967)
McBoing-Boing ShowMore

 “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
“A person's a person, no matter how small.”
"If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too.”

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”

 “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains.”

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

“Think and wonder, wonder and think.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind.”

Monday, 24 September 2012

A Theological Debate: Child's Play

It was early evening.

We often played musical beds at bedtime because the kids liked the security of a sibling or two falling asleep with them, especially when older brothers and sisters were still up and having fun.  So it happened that I was laying down on Emily's bed nursing an infant while she played with my hair and sucked her thumb. Five-year-old David  was almost asleep across the room. His breathing was slow and deep. The only other sound in the peaceful room came from a fan that created  just enough white noise to drown out the other kid's voices.

David suddenly sat straight up in bed, popped his eyes open and yelled excitedly,
"Someone just called my name. I think it was God!"
Emily  took her thumb out of her mouth and lisped
"Who is God?"
I turned my head to look at her and smiled, "You know, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Emily was still puzzled,
"You mean the priest at church?"
"No", I responded, "The God that fills the whole universe."
Emily took her thumb out of her mouth and said very dismissively,
Then she closed her eyes and stuck her thumb back in her mouth.
 Discussion closed.

I barely held in my laughter. This little squirt took for granted her close relationship with the Living God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God is close to babies and little children. His relationship with them is not complicated, as natural as breathing. They are simply His children; He loves them and they reflect love back.

David interrupted and added joyfully,
"Well, He called my name!"

Emily opened her eyes and stated very authoritatively but in a nasal, little girl voice,
"It was just your imagination, Dave." 

Then she closed her eyes and started sucking her thumb again.

David was upset. I countered her statement,
"It could be God, Emily. The Holy Spirit lives in our hearts and does communicate with us."

David was satisfied and he lay back down to sleep.

But Emily, with her eyes still closed whispered to me,
"It was just his imagination!"
Then she popped her thumb back into her mouth.
Discussion closed.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Stunning Photos Re-blogged fromthisworldthrumyeyes

I couldn't resist posting photos from this site. For more of this photographers' gorgeous short please visit her site

                                           Black and White @ the Conservatory


Which One Do You Like Best                                                On the Water

The Traumatized Chicken Encounters The Sly Fox

Red was very adept at snatching chickens
We all marvelled at the fox's audacity because this episode occurred in broad daylight

The sly fox.
No words better describe our intelligent, resident fox. Red consistently fooled our dumb guard dog by laying his foxy scent in pointless circles. He knew that Shadow, our dog, would follow his nose mindlessly and not use his eyes. However, we soon discovered that Red was even more adept at nabbing chickens than outwitting our dog.
About five years ago, Michael was by the house when suddenly a streak of red caught his eye. He was surprised to realize that this was our fox, out in broad daylight. Michael lost sight of him but he yelled for our dog a moment later when he saw a large, white feathered chicken in the foxes' mouth. Red looked over at the dog, who had leaped excitedly over a garden bed. The smart fox decided that the heavy chicken wasn't worth dying for and he immediately dropped his supper. Quick thinking as alwyas, even in a crisis, Red ran into some bushes between the chicken coop and the barn, squirmed out, changed directions and ran into the cornfield. Shadow was left in his wake, sniffing in circles among the bushes around the barn. Of course our great guard dog didn't catch on to the fact that the fox was long gone.
Meanwhile Michael rushed over to the traumatized chicken. That chicken had not moved one feather since she was dropped, nor had she uttered a sound!
Chickens always cluck, especially when they are frightened or startled. The clucking then rises in pitch and speed and transforms into nerve rattling squawking. Not this stunned bird. Michael noticed that there wasn't a scratch on her because the fox only bite down with his soft mouth. His teeth did not pierce the chicken's skin at all, not one drop of blood. Michael gently placed the chicken back into the outdoor run and still she sat, silently like a statute!
We all marvelled at the fox's audacity because this episode occurred in broad daylight. Red did not even wait for the cover of darkness, nor did he care that his enemy,our 'guard dog' was around. What he had been doing during daylight hours, for almost two weeks was sneaking through the long grass just beyond the chicken wire fence then slipping right into the chicken run and snatching birds. The whole process had been a silent one. It seems the chickens were as shocked as we were and no chicken alarm was raised. We were oblivious to the fox's tricks till the day when Red became a little too bold.
We quickly fixed the fence , thereby cutting off his easy pickings. Do not feel sorry for the sly fox. He had a supply of ten chickens to last him a long time.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Why Did You Have So Many Kids?

my oldest daughter is ducking behind her dad and I am pregnant with our ninth child

The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people.
After the birth of our fourth child, Michael and I struggled to understand exactly how we were meant to live our lives. We were discussing an article by an author whose main premise was that letting go of control and trusting in God was not some abstract principle but a day-to-day practical call that included the surrender of our fertility. Of course we practised natural family planning but I was one of those rare people who could conceive long before ovulation.
As my doctor said once, "Ah, I remember reading about a woman in New Zealand, two years ago, who conceived five days before ovulation."
I raised my hand and chirped, "Well, you can add me to that list!"
Although we could not imagine how large our family would become, the words of that article resonated within both my husband and I. Guilt lifted off us and a surge of excitement, a sense of purpose welled up from within. Although it took time to really believe that none of our children were simply a failure of the natural family planning method. Many small experiences kept reinforcing the truth the for us that God called each of our children into being with our co-operation. We'd stumbled blindly at times and then a burst of clarity would shine light on our purpose.
For example, twenty-five years ago, I once again slipped into panic mode, worrying if I was pregnant with my fifth child. Suddenly a wave of peace enveloped me and my whole body relaxed.
I heard these words within me,
"This is your call. This is your vocation. This is your witness to the world."
All sorts of objections rushed into my head,
" What on earth do you mean a witness, a witness to what?- stupidityy? People don't understand. They just think we are irresponsible or idiots......"
Then unexpected joy bubbled within me and I sensed these words in my spirit, "I am with you."
Once again a blanket of peace wrapped like a blanket around me. It was an actual physical sensation and I was at peace, my mind calm and my spirit felt strong.
That was it for me; I understood and I said "yes".
Though I still cringed under disapproval from society, I always understood that my children were saving me by compelling me to dive deeper into my spirit. They challenged me to dig deeper, discovering the power of eternal Love at my very core. A love that can stand strong against all opposition

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

This Canadian Loved Obama's Speech.

Obama's speeches are a bright light shining from the States.
I am an outsider, a Canadian, who rarely watches T.V. but perhaps this gives me a fresh perspective on Obama's speech.

I usually write in the family section but I disagreed so strongly with a recent post on the American President that I took a stab at writing a political article.

A post, written by 'Susan', expressed her angry reaction to a speech given by the American President when he was in Roanoke in July. She was upset because her family had struggled and suffered great hardships to build a business, without any outside help. Obama's words seemed to belittle their efforts.The following is the speech given by President Obama in Roanoke this July.
"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn't -- look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That's how we funded the G.I. Bill. That's how we created the middle class. That's how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That's how we invented the Internet. That's how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that's the reason I'm running for President -- because I still believe in that idea. You are not on your own, we're in this together."

A commentator asked what I thought about this speech, as a mother of a large family, who has worked hard with her husband, to provide for our family. She expected Obama's "attack" on hard-working citizens would upset me. I wasn't upset in the least. It seems to me that many American are quick to take offense and even quicker to attack verbally, often taking quotes out of context.

Now I don't understand all of Obama's policies or his whole agenda but I do know that he strikes me as an intelligent, knowledgeable man who is honestly trying to improve his country. The American system is a strangely adversarial, as other opposing politicians only seem interested in thwarting their president not serving their country. I am an outsider, a Canadian, who rarely watches T.V. but perhaps this gives me a fresh perspective on this typical speech by Obama.

I liked it.


In my opinion, Obama was not attacking small business people who work hard, seemingly without help. He was talking about something completely different from "Susan". I commiserate with "Susan's" pain because we also have struggled against financial difficulties and faced oppressive forces that seemed bent to destroy us. We felt alone, isolated

However, on a different level, I know that the past generation's ceiling is my floor. I was not forced to "reinvent the wheel " but rather I benefited from the knowledge and practical experience of my fore fathers. Our family is especially grateful to those who fought for freedom and democracy. Our lives would have been very different if we had lived in a communist country.

THAT is what your president was trying to say.

THAT is what he meant.

We are not island unto ourselves, we are a community. Every one's actions and even thoughts, attitudes and emotions affect those around them and even reverberate throughout the larger community.
In Obama's words,"You are not on your own, we're in this together."

Want To Be Happy?: Take off your dung coloured glasses!


A child looks at everything with delight.

I received free cognitive therapy because I was surrounded by a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe.

The fleeting dream that eludes many of us is happiness. We are running around, miserable in our insular little worlds, only catching glimpses of the world around us through dung coloured glasses.The solution to our dilemma is easy. Stop. Take off our mud coloured lenses. Look. Appreciate. A therapist would charge you hundreds of dollars to teach you how to do this, calling this method cognitive therapy. I will give you this key to happiness for free.
I heard of a fellow who hated his job.Unable to find another position, he finally decided to do something to change his apathy. After dragging himself home every night after work, rather staring at the T.V. all evening, he sat in front of his computer to write. His challenge? To find one thing that he was grateful for that day and write that discovery in a new blog. His posts connected with others and soon he had a huge following. At the request of a publisher, he is now writing a book.
I discovered the same secret after years of mothering my tiny children. They taught me to take my eyes off my exhaustion and to take delight in the plethora of tiny details all around me. Little kids are born with a sense of wonder and the ability to enjoy little things. My daughter's retain an appreciation for detail; they all remember the little things.
A friend of mine once asked Rachel, when she was about six, what she liked most about Christmas. She replied immediately,
"The pineapple."
My daughter's answer astounded Martha. Similarly, one evening before dinner Emily, now a young adult, said,
"I always remember the fresh smell of clean sheets every week."
Such a small thing, yet a child, with a heart full of gratitude, takes great pleasure from it.
A few months back, Katie was recounting how pleased she was with a plant in her garden. Realizing that she was enjoying such a small thing she laughed,
"Oh my god, I sound just like Mum."
Another daughter and her husband of three months celebrated their marriage with a huge wedding reception for two hundred people. Mara had planned every detail from the match covers to the large buffet. Most of all, she poured her creative spirit into making all the decorations by hand with sisters and friends. The reception room, with black backdrops was stunning. From green wheat grass in planters, tissue paper flowers in greens and plum to spray painted Hydrangea blooms in purple, sliver, black and lime green, the room looked professionally decorated.
The things that raise my spirits are usually small and most people would not consider them significant. For example, one Christmas I was very tired and only one gift brought me genuine joy. It was hand crocheted dish clothes from my friend Cathy. clothes, beautifully made, colourful, something I used a hundred times a day.
Perhaps this is one of the blessings of a large family; free cognitive therapy from a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Pre-Natal Memories

Do you remember when you were in mummy's tummy?

A young child, who knows enough words to communicate can describe their life in the womb

The day Melissa turned two, her godmother dropped by to celebrate her birthday. Since Melissa was very articulate for her age, her godmother wanted to try an experiment she had about read in a hospital newsletter. The article stated that if you asked a young child, when they knew enough words to communicate but before they were too old, they could tell you about their life in the womb. So we decided to test this premise.
Melissa was very tiny but smart, so she startled people with her clear diction and large vocabulary. This particular day she was standing on a chair behind the kitchen table, playing with a new doll. During the conversation she answered mainly with one word sentences because most of her attention was on her toy.
I felt a bit foolish as I asked my daughter, " Melissa, do you remember when you were in mummy's tummy?
She answered, "yaaa."
So then I wondered if she remembered any details, "What was it like?"
Again Melissa could only spare a one word answer,"Warm."
"What else was it like?" I questioned.
To which Melissa answered quite succinctly, "Dark."
"What could you see?", I probed.Melissa was frustrated by my dumb question, " Nothin; it was dark!"
So I scrambled, "What did you do in my tummy?"
Melissa said nonchalantly, "dwimming."
I checked to make sure I understood her, "Swimming?"
Melissa nodded.
"Did you like living in my tummy?", I wondered.
Melissa nodded again.
Then I thought of a really good question, "Do you remember coming out, being born?"
Melissa scrunched up her nose and sighed, "yaaa."
"What was it like?"
Melissa stopped playing, looked up and said in disgust, "Like a B.M.!!!"(a bowel movement).
That answer shocked me into silence. I looked over at my sister-in-law.
She raised her eyebrows and said one word, "Wow."

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Let's Play Tag

Look out. You might be tagged next!
I am starting my hit list because -
I was just tagged by coffeepoweredmom
The rules for playing blog tag are….
  • You must post the rules
  • Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
  • Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged (or use the existing ones)
  • Tag (eleven) people with a link to your post
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged
Now I must answer  coffeepoweredmom's questions

I’m not big on having regrets. What was your biggest regret and why do you think that it helped you to get where you are today? After all, if you had changed it, something else about you would have changed.

My biggest regret is that I have taken so long to smarten up and shake off an inherited victim identity. Most women have it. I can finally, for minutes at a time, live in the light and receive a joy that is incredibly infectious to everyone around me.  Because this process has taken so long, I treasure freedom and joy.
Also it took me a long time to start writing again, although I am still not drawing and painting. This long lapse has helped me because I  still have hundreds of things to write about that are stuffed inside. Also time gave me  perspective and insight into the most insignificant events.

Where is your favourite place to be?

In my garden or in the library reading of typing.

How much money do you spend on groceries every month?

We still have meat in our freezers from our hobby farm but less than $400.00 per month because all my adult children contribute to the meals when they come out.

Is there an errand that you hate running with a particular vengeance?

I hate all errands that is why I still don't drive. I hate shopping. My husband shops, I clean and cook.

Have you ever had surgery? And for what?

No, except my tonsils. I am very healthy.

What day is garbage day?

No day is arbage day. We have to drive our garbage to the dump.

Are your parents married? Divorced? Married to other people?

My parents are very happily married for 58 years and counting. They stuck by each other through difficult times and are reaping the rewards now.

Fill in the blanks. I think people are _______when they ___________.

I think people are ignorant when they dismiss an opinion, person or the chance to experience something new without at least attempting to talk, listen and learn about something it.

Do you have a recurring dream? About what?

One scene springs to mind immediately.An empy city with flat-topped, rectangular, warm sandy coloured buildings. There are no windows or doors in the buildings, and I'm wandering up and down the streets, completely alone.

Have you started your Christmas (or other winter holiday) shopping?

Are you kidding me? No I subscribe to the chaos and panic method of preparing for Christmas.

Do you have a particular trait, characteristic, etc. that you do NOT want to pass on to your kids?

How long should I make this list? My husband and I have conciously confronted each inherited ,generational curse and sin and said, "the 'buck' stops here. You are not touching my kids." We are still dealing with negative stuff as if surfaces but my kids are much stronger and freer than we ever were at their age. Hence my saying "MY CEILING IS MY CHILDREN'S FLOOR."

Now is the FUN part of this exercise. I make up 11 of my own questions.

Now is the FUN part of this exercise. I make up 11 of my own questions

1.Explain the title of your blog. Why did you choose it?

2. Why do you write?

3. What is your greatest fear?

4.  What makes you smile or laugh out loud

5.  What’s your worst habit, and what are you doing to change it?

6. What do you think about God, eternity and/or prayer?

7.  What makes you sad (or mad) enough to cry

8.  Describe the most embarrassing thing you have ever done or said?

9.  Do you have any hopes or dreams?
10.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

11  Do you hate me for tagging you? 

The 11 bloggers I tagged-

Emily at Coffee and Spell Check

Hollin Scott published author and blogger

Thursday, 13 September 2012

To the Four-Year-Old Gagging on Overcooked Brussel sprouts

 Vegetables are good for you right?

The Canadian Food Guide tells us to eat a huge amount of fruit and veggies, something like 5-10 servings a day.

 Tell that to the four year old gagging on overcooked Brussels sprouts.

At least we're not in the 1950's anymore; I remember sitting at the table and trying to shudder down cooked carrots.

 Now we know how to stir fry veggies so they are still crunchy but hot and the sauces they make now!!! The bought sauces often have too much sugar and salt but a little dab can entice reluctant taste buds.

Another secret is to grate cheese on hot food. It will make any vegetable palatable to even the most picky eater. Even thirty years ago we put peanut butter on celery with raisins and called it ants on a log and cut up raw vegetables to dip in salad dressing.

It was my adult children who demonstrated how to grate carrot or zucchini into everything from cake, soup to spaghetti sauce with no one being the wiser; any meal can be served on hot but crunchy bean sprouts or spinach. It's actually fun to create new ways to sneak extra vegetables into other meals.

 There are two facts that kept me sane in my early years as a little kid's chef
1. Something new has to be offered at least three times before it is trusted by cautious eaters. (My rule is that you must try at least a nibble.)

2. When toddlers are offered a whole table of different healthy food, they will instinctively eat a balanced diet. Now it might be 11 bananas on one day and mainly milk the next but after thirty day,  it will be a perfectly balanced diet! So relax moms; just exercise a few tricks without resorting to pressure tactics and add a huge dollop of humour.

 Oh I almost forgot. Kids love to grow their own vegetables, pick and wash them and eat them right outside. Freshly picked carrots taste like candy and even toddlers will walk over to pull a carrot for a snack.

Important mantra to repeat in the midst of a raging battle,
Actually, don't bother fighting; little people just dig in their heels. Get them to taste a nibble SMOTHERED IN DIP and then let them eat a healthy alternative. Food digests better when everyone is calm. Beside, kids do have more sensitive taste bus than we do.

I STILL remember those overcooked Lima beans that great aunt Maisie forced my sister and I to eat BEFORE we were allowed a sip of milk!!! That was almost 50 years ago!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

There Is More Than One Way To Win A War

This post describes the war my family has waged against vegetable lovers such as muskrats,groundhogs, rabbits, raccoons and deer, bears and mice.

The      Our garden enemies  are sneaky and tenacious; focused on a single goal- to eat and store as much of our fresh produce as possible. Sometimes they will climb inconceivable obstacles to reach our garden.

For For example, one year our carrots were disappearing at an alarming rate. Every morning there were a few neat, long holes left in the clay soil where our carrots had been. They were disappearing without a trace. Finally we began to notice that there was a long worn down pathway from our back vegetable patch, over the front yard, across the road, through the neighbour’s property, down the hill and right to the bank of the creek. This long trail was becoming more trampled down each night. My husband and elderly neighbour finally solved the mystery.

 The creek had flooded a few weeks before and probably washed out the resident muskrat's buried winter supplies.

This particular muskrat was replenishing his storehouse with our carrots. We decided to share SOME of them with him. Since he was intent on stealing the entire crop, we quickly pulled almost all the carrots, even though they would have stayed fresher in the ground. The muskrats were never as desperate again and therefore never as much of a problem again but the groundhogs were constant pests

Groundhogs are voracious eaters for their size. They can devour an entire zucchini plant, vines, leaves and vegetables before we can get out of bed.( The operative word in their name is 'hog'.) Our war plan was to assign the early risers to patrol duty, making as little noise as possible.

The kids made a real game out of this spying mission. They would tip -toe through the house, peer out the windows , tip- toe back to shake Michael awake, while one of the older kids would silently raise one of the windows and prop it open in preparation for Dad's gun.

 (Wild pest lovers, read no further, please!!!) Michael shot thirty-one FAT groundhogs one year. After a fifteen year battle, the groundhog population seemed to decline. A trapper told us that a fisher (a fierce predator) had move in across the road and now we hardly ever see a groundhog.

expect our Our wonderful guard dog managed to keep the next group of veggie lovers away- raccoons and deer. Although deer can usually snack on apples at night from the apple trees that are at the far end of our acreage without alerting the dog, the raccoons can't resist corn near the house.

 Raccoons are not subtle.  They rip and tear their way through a patch of corn, bringing six foot corn stalks down. They make a terrible sound as well, a cross between a cat screeching and a baby crying. Needless to say, this racket wakes up our dog , who in turn wakes up the entire household while he is still inside AND while he is outside because he is acting like a tough guard dog.

A couple of years ago, black bears were a problem. When one such bear found our sweet corn, he was so happy, he rolled around, flattening a huge area before he settled down to eat the prized corncobs. I don't have to tell you that we left that massive vegetable lover alone. The dumb dog could smell the bear while he was in the house and he wouldn't stop barking but he did not have a clue what he would be facing if we had let him out.
Needless to say we loved our dog more than the corn, so he stayed inside

. In   In contrast to the huge black bear, mice and chipmunks might be little but a little nibble out of a tomato or a strawberry will rot the whole fruit.
Our cats do their best to keep the mice population down but the half rotted vegetables taste like fine dining to the pigs so at least all the spoiled food doesn't go to waste.

We finally realized that the secret to the war of the vegetables is to plant almost twice as many vegetables as we need.

We plant 75 foot rows of veggies-
Some for us
Some for the vegetable lovers
ome for our farm animals (who also like weeds, thank God)  
Some to either barter with or give away to our generous friends and relatives.

There is more than one way to win a war.