Monday, July 27, 2009

We Have a Queen!


Not all my summer projects have worked out like I'd hoped. We expected to have enough honey for the family this season, but the mosquito plane that circled our neighborhood ended that. I took out our queen a a good portion of the hive. At least some survived and with the help of our neighborhood Bee Whisperer, Wayne, we got a new frame of brood to start over.

It was probably for the best that we get as much bee education as possible before our friends move. And I did learn to spot a queen cell a few days after inserting the brood. Then yesterday, we went looking for her, all without a suit on ( I let my husband wear it as he was actually lifting the top hive box off.) I didn't realize the queen was just extra long, so we pulled the whole hive apart only to find that she was on the first frame we tried in the top box. And-good news- she is laying. So, maybe with some sugar water placed nearby, they'll make some honey yet.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Who Knew?



Who knew a mother-in-law's tongue could bloom? I've had these forever- as long as my youngest child. They were inherited from a lovely friend who passed away and have unobtrusively grown and multiplied in whatever cast-off containers or planters I had on hand as they followed me through several moves. They asked for so little.
Huh.
My grandmother's have also bloomed this summer too. Her neighbor said years ago that everything has a bloom. I have always liked thinking about that, but in my thoughts I'd add, "even if does mean that it's dying."
I think all of my "companion plants" have bloomed now. I really cherish this in the succulents, because they require little but patience: a picture of my last few years. I've been sort of unattended on the surface, but my roots unhampered beneath the ground- where there was much secret growth. I think it won't be long before the fruit bathes in sunlight.
I believe God was working this out, meaning for me to flower over time, stressed to grow strong. I don't think we are made to be like the Century that surely has it's bloom, even if it is dying. But that doesn't frighten me either.




Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Woman At Home




I read another blog about homemaking today with the best vintage illustrations and was reminded about one of my favorite books, Woman at Home and how it gave me just the encouragement I needed when I was in my early twenties, listening to my conscience, rocking a little colicky baby all day and night, and the only homemaker I knew. It's probably out of print, but worth looking for.
So now it's not only acceptable to choose to stay home, but a bit of a movement. Whatever. I don't care so much about brandishing a label to define myself; however if I did, "Homemaker" would be right up there with "Child of God" at the top of my list.
Thought I'd lookup some of my family's images of home life: moments that are hard to have when we're too busy for one another. And I get that this isn't necessarily caused by working outside of the home or remedied by staying at home all day. I have known plenty of people who are home but not really "there." At times, I've been that person. I so want to be mindful, thoughtful of my husband and children. If I lose sight of this and start focusing on myself, my desires, or just put one foot in front of the other to pass thru each day like the last, I'm just moving through time, not making a home.
Besides, sharing the work and play of each day is happy fun time!




Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Games


Seems like we don't play as much during the school year.
A few of our favorites:
Rummikub
Uno
Blind man's bluff with all the lights out
Bottom Wars on the trampoline until everyone gives out
Crack the egg on the trampoline- my chiropractor just loves this one
The Mommy mummy (basically, chase through the house)
Kill you with kindness (chasing my son and tickling him to death)
Colors in the swimming pool
SCRABBLE!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Do I Really Want to Yoke Myself to ... Myself?


Comparing Ancient Yoga Text to The Bible:

The Bhagavad Gita (so far in my reading):

Detachment leads to freedom/Nirvana:  "Having made yourself alike in pain and pleasure, profit and loss, victory and defeat, engage in this great battle and you will be freed from sin."

Realizing the divine self to reach Nirvana: "They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in themselves."

Unifying consciousness as remedy to anxiety: "When consciousness is unified all vain anxiety is left behind."

Living a life of unselfish service: "never engage in action for the sake of reward"
"They are forever free who renounce all selfish desires and break away from the ego-cage of "I," "me," and "mine" to be united to the lord."and  "Selfish action imprisons the world"

Thoughts and actions filtered thru detachment and selfless yoga are skilled: "Yoga is skill in action"
Finding God(creator):  "All paths lead to me," says Krishna

The Bible:
On detachment from the material world: "I have learned whatever state I am in, to be content: I know how to be abased, and ...how to abound...to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Paul in Philippians 4:11-13.

And: "I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus... for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him ...through faith... That I may know Him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to his death, if ,by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."  (Philippians 3:8-11)

But, according to the Bible, state of detachment doesn't lead to Heaven: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved...whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:9,13) "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."(Ephesians 2:8) "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) So, salvation comes before perfection.

On our consciousness being unified to the divine self: Christ speaking to God the Father, "...that they (believers) may be one just as We (God and Christ) are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one." (John 16: 22-23) As Christians, we are accepted by God, His spirit resides within ours, then He begins changing us to be more like Him.  But we don't share the same being. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."(Romans 12:2) "but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory." (2Corinthians 3:17-18) "So God created man in His own image." (Genesis 1:27) But "God is not a man." (1 Samuel15:29)

Remedy for anxiety: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6- 7. 
"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You." (Isaiah 26:3) 

Both agree on unselfish motivations for our good deeds: "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." ( Philippians 2:3-4)
"Whatever you do, do it heartily as if to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord, you will receieve the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24)  But the Bible teaches these good deeds don't lead to eternal freedom/salvation (see above) but do follow it.

Thoughts and actions of believer with indwelling  Spirit of God that is ever-working to perfect also skillful.  Be diligent, a worker who needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2Timothy 2:15)  The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (wrong beliefs, traditions) casting down arguments,...bringing every thought into captivity to obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Galations 5:22-23)
Lots of ways to the Lord? "For wide is the gate and broad is the way which leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life." (Matthew 7:13-14)
"Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth , and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.' " (John 14:6)  

Super long post  ( Paul is a bit more "wordy" than writer of The Gita) but the further I go toward my RYT, the more important it has become for me to have a clear understanding about the two belief systems.  I don't see how they can gel.  One sees the self as the divine creative force in the universe that will eventually work it's way to bliss, the other sees the self as the creation of an individual divine creator, with the free will to choose devotion (and Heaven) or not.       

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Happy Ending











Finished our small budget recycled patio in time for the fourth. We used broken chunks of concrete from old foundations that we picked up on the side of the road set into a base of decomposed granite. The logs are cypress. The arbor was made like our garden arbor on a larger scale. We all helped make it. The kids painted the arbor top, Adam set the logs and helped me set the stones. I leveled them but am getting a little more granite to raise some places a bit. Pretty good job for a couple of hundred and do-it-yourself.
But , man ,were we sore the next two days!!
This is the patio I've wanted for ten years finally realized. You know, I get lots of ideas that require patience. I could always force it, push myself to complete something before I or my family are ready or before we can really afford it. It's hard to wait, but it's worth it to do it the way you want within the means you have.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mindful Living

    The last month I have slowed down on projects.  Instead I have made time to just be and consider how I'm living:
I see a need to rest more.
To "cut out the parts of me that may tempt me to sin."  In my case, that would be ruminating on certain thoughts or truths that lead to a bad attitude.
To recognize that my body rarely feels like I pushed too hard, so I just have to "mama" myself and assume it sometimes.
Finishing some of the books I started feels so good, even if they weren't the greatest.
When I stand back and look at myself, I see a whole lot of strength and self- control toward others that I didn't always have (not perfection here, but good stuff.)
And lastly, I am so very grateful to my parents and grandparents for their love and examples. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Living is Easy

    Not really with a diving economy, sobering thoughts of working outside the home, tightening the belt, giving up (gasp!) cable, etc.  Just reminding myself to keep a summer frame of mind.