Monday, July 22, 2013

Living Simply or Simply Living

What does living simply mean? What does living plainly mean? What does homemaking mean? I have, thanks to Rhoda Jean, over at Down to Earth ( been thinking a lot about this.

When I first got married I had a certain notion of what a homemaker did, and I researched, read blogs, and came up with plans and strategies to implement my vision. When things finally seemed to be falling into place in that regard, the rest of my marriage fell apart and I found myself a refugee at my Mom's house. Well a year later I am redefining what it means for me to be a homemaker. I find myself looking at the word quite literally - to make a home.  I am in the process of doing just that. I am making a home for the Bumper and myself. I am learning the art of being and adult child living at home. I have discovered that is not so much about how well I keep the house clean, although that is important, but more about the little ways I make sure we are comfortable and content. It is about the mealtimes, the story times, the bath times and bedtimes. It is about taking the time to play with the Bumper, to teach the Bumper and to discipline the Bumper. It is about keeping the door open and creating a welcoming, loving atmosphere for family and friends. For me being a homemaker means creating a home regardless of where I live.

I will cover simple living and plain living in another post.

I am going on vacation this week. We are traveling to see Nana's family in St. Louis MO. This will be the first time the Bumper has gone on an extended car trip. I am going to try and keep posting  will on vacation, but I will see how it goes. I will be back for sure next Wednesday.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy Meatless Saturday-- I mean Monday!

We had our first official harvest from the garden this weekend, and it was wonderful!. We feasted on fresh tomatoes, green beans, peppers, yellow squash and eggplant. Oh Yum!, Yummy and did I say Yum?

 In addition to what we had harvested, while we were at the gym, the Bumper picked out a cumber from the basket our gym instructor's garden, I do not have and pictures of the cumber because the Bumper ate it before I could get my camera.

It was truly a family effort to get supper on the table Saturday night. The Bumper picked the vegetables, I chopped them up ( the Bumper nibbled the raw veggies as I chopped) and Nana, marinated them in a wonderfully simple olive oil and herb mixture. We were all ready to fire up the grill, but the weather did not cooperated. It rained, but we were undaunted we popped the tray in to the oven and roasted the little suckers. They were delicious, although the Bumper was not fond of the  texture of the roasted eggplant --she preferred the crisp, lightly steamed green beans. We rounded off the meal with my busy mom's go to Black-bean and mango salsa and East Indian flat bread.

Tonight promises to be more of the same except with the addition of fresh corn on the cob and watermelon. Oh I do love the summertime!



P.S. Tonight's the night! Fire up the grill! I have some eggplant that is just begging for char marks, I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Random Thoughts on Faith

I don't often write about my faith, but today that is what I feel like doing. I consider myself a Christian, yet I don't go around quoting the Bible, I don't admonish the Bumper by citing parables, I don't listen to only "Christian" music, and I don't think I have ever asked anyone if they were saved.

I do however pray. I hit my knees, most days, in the morning and in the evening. Sometimes, the only prayer I utter is in the shower and goes something like: "God please just help me get through the day." Other times the only thing I can mange is a quick thank you just before I tumble into bed.

For me being a Christian is about trying, to the best of my ability, to live the Gospel with my life, to follow Christ and to do what the Lord asks of me.

I like what Thomas Merton has to say about this.

I feel like this prayer is very appropriate for what I am going through with the Bumper's Dad right now. His condition is getting worse and I am at a loss.


Thomas Merton's Prayer

 of Abandonment


My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.


I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.


Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.


But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.


And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.


Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I have this blog because of these documents. I live in a stable, prosperous, country because of these documents.  I can practice my faith without fear of government persecution, live free, and nor under the yoke of slavery, and share my dreams because for the last 237 years men and women have sought to do their best to put these ideas into practice. To them I am grateful, because otherwise these documents would be just two more flowery speeches on yellowed parchment. Happy Independence Day.


The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor

The Bill of Rights: A Transcription
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Here it is Wednesday already! This week has just been zooming by! Sunday I had a sleepless night as the Bumper is afraid of thunderstorms and kept both of us awake. On Monday we had such severe weather that the internet kept going in and out I couldn't even stay online long enough to check my email let alone anything else. Monday night I decided to take a sleeping pill. That was a BIG mistake! Yesterday I was so groggy and out of it, I could not get any thing done. I kept trying to write, or clean, or crochet, but just kept sitting and staring. I finally accepted that I just needed to rest, drink plenty of water and try and get the rest of the drug out of my system. It is chamomile tea for me from here on out. So I settled my myself of the sofa and let Nana watch the Bumper. Well the Bumper wasn't having any of that! She wanted to be with mama, and on mama, and under mama. It wasn't until very late last night that the Bumper finally settled down. So what with one thing and another I decided o not give myself a hard time for the things I wanted to get done, but could not.

 It may not be what I had planned for my week, but it is what God has given me. I am making the most of it. I think the hardest part was giving myself permission to be out of commission a couple of days. Life happens and that is just fine with me. Oh Yeah, the Bumper stress eats raw Broccoli, more on that later, life is grand.