Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The edges of our lives

     I recently signed up for a class in permaculture and have been meditating on the concept of "edges". The picture above is a picture of a natural edge. This edge is the transition area between the forest and the field where there is more life than anywhere else either ecosystem. this is where the most varieties of plants and animals live and thrive.
     We human beings also have our edges. Our yard for instance is our transitional area between our home and the rest of the neighborhood. If we are using our yards to their fullest, as the forest edges are, we can utilize this area for any number of activities or functions.It is not just a place to cut and prune every weekend. It is a place where we can live and grow as well. We can use it to grow horticultural and vegetable gardens, It is a place where we can play catch with the dog. We can even use it to entertain others. A hundred years ago the acre around the home was the part a farm where 99% of the farm activities occurred. It was truly an natural edge.
        Edges however, do not simply exist in space, but edges also exist in time. Every morning is an edge. Noctural animals are laying down for the day and birds of all shapes and sizes are coming awake in song. There is an energy in plants and the atmosphere that were not there before sunrise and dissipates after a few minutes.
     At night there is a similar edge the day creatures subside while the night creatures come out. As the sun goes down, bats come out to gobble down their evening ration of insects. Crickets begin their chirping and night birds calling to one another.
      Seasons come with edges.  Autumn and Spring are more dramatic in their coming and goings than are those of the seasons of Summer and Winter. One day it is summer green, and then the next the world explodes in fall colors and autumn activities as nature recognizes that the time has come to prepare for the deadness of winter. Autumn fades into winter. Then after several months of dead silence, a change occurs, the new edge of Spring begins to emerge. It begins slowly then boom! Everything seems to come alive again. New growth abounds and everywhere you look are the pastels of spring flowers. Eventually this edge too blurs into the coming summer season to wait until the next season's edge.
        It is not just nature that has edges, we humans have our own created edges. We get up in the morning, and we have our transition time in which we prepare for work. We drive to work, another transition. We have breaks between work activities. We work to finish projects at the end of the day. Another transition and we're driving home.You get the idea.
       Illnesses are transition periods or edges in our lives too. Illnesses are warning signs that we have not created the right balance in our lives. If we are wise, we recognize that illnesses are edges created for us to reflect on how balanced or out of balance our lives are.
       Last week I was ill. I have not been ill in a long time, but I suffered food poisoning. Many people would say, "food poisoning, how terrible!" I however embraced the illness and used it as and edge of transition between the poor exercise and food choices I had been making toward making better choices. I edged away from the dairy and flour. I drank my meals instead of eating them. I drank lots of water, but I made sure that I had plenty of electrolytes as well. I distanced myself from excessive meat and carbohydrates and focused on small amounts of fruit and vegetables. When my system was cleansed, it began to return to normal. It is still not normal. It still has healing, but I am on the mend.
      In many ways I feel better than I did before I was ill. Before the illness, I had severe arthritis pain that made it difficult for me to exercise. Now I am doing yoga again, the pain that I had before the illness seemed to have been cleansed away as well. I am eating better. I am meditating again. I even have had time to write here.
      I have become aware that there are habits that I need to change. I get irritable and yell at my daughter. I don't like that. I am getting evening headaches because of the coffee I drink in the morning. I have started limiting my coffee to just two cups in the morning which is probably why the headaches are occurring.
      As I recognize and utilize these edges in my life, my life will continue to grow and change because as it is in the forest garden, it is in the edges where change and growth can occur most rapidly.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Every Day is a New Beginning

      Every day is a new beginning. It is such a wonderful thing to know!

     No matter what happened yesterday, we are able to start again this morning. It is certainly a good thing to know. I read something the other day that was interesting. The article that I was reading said that we often over-estimate what we can do in a day, but we under-estimate what we are able to do over the course of time. This has been staying with me as I work on my education, work on my writing business, and work on the new business that I started in March. The job that I thought I was starting in February didn't work out, so I decided that the best thing for me to do was to start my own business with To Market To Market Gourmet Goods. 
      As many weekends as possible, I am a vendor at a flea market or a festival. This year, because I was just getting started, I missed the spring festivals, and this spring was not a good one for the spring festivals anyway because the weather was so cold and rainy. I did pretty well attending Baker's Creek in May, but June wasn't as good. I hope July is better. On weekends when I am not at Baker's Creek, I spend at a flea market called Vendor's Mart. At Vendor's Mart, I have also been selling yard sale type items. Those yard sale items are what primarily pay for my booth so I don't have to pay out of my Vendor's Mart earnings for the booth space. Plus I can clear out some of my household items. It is a win all around. 
     At Baker's Creek I am not only selling To Market To Market, but I have been bartering as well. So far, I have bartered for a wood-burned gourd container, asparagus, some natural tick and chigger foot powder, and a natural face cream. The people I bartered with enjoyed the barters as much as I did. 
      A few weeks ago I started another blog that is related to this one and I call it Retiring to the Country. Click on the link and check it out! Some times I think I have bitten off more than I can chew. I have an idea about all the things that I want to do, and it seems as though to do it all would take many lifetimes. My goals are to eventually move back to the country, but first things first and I am making progress, one project at a time, one day at a time, and all leads to a life that has simply been lived.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Determined Simply Living

I have been thinking a lot lately about where I am going to go from here in a lot of areas in my life. My husband, daughter, and I currently live here in Springfield, Missouri, and live a simple life in a townhouse that we rent. My husband is back to truck driving and I am working on my bachelors of Arts online. I found out today that as long as I don't take any breaks from my school schedule, I will be completing my degree July 30, 2014!

I am almost ready to start a new job, but I also want to continue writing even though, it is likely that my job and my education will be taking most of my time over the next year and a half. I need the job now because I am going to need to pay off the student loan debt that I collected. I would like to be able to say that I am debt free as soon as I graduate. I would also like to have a new small truck.

I want to continue down the road to a simple life. I want to begin again by living healthier as well as more simply. I believe that I can live better while still living less expensively. It just takes a plan and sticking to that plan.

A stress free life is a simpler life. No more worries about money. No more time stealers or procrastination. I am turning over a new leaf. Every day I will turn over a new leaf if I have to. I will use my time, my money and my talents fully each day. I will work hard, and I will take time to enjoy the simple things of life. Today is a new day. Today I am simply living.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Physical Benefits of Fasting

Pouring water into a glass

     It's a new year and its the time of year that many of us clean out and organize our homes and our businesses and give ourselves the best possible advantage during the coming year. This time of the year is also a good time to clean out our bodies through fasting. Here are a few benefits of fasting. 

1.  It has healing properties
2.  It purifies the blood
3.  It removes from the body almost all poisons of 
4.  Fasting starves disease causing bacteria and viruses.
5.  It improves circulation, and removes plaque from the 
      blood stream
6.  The stomach and other organs get to take a vacation 
      during the duration of the fast.
7.  When a person is ill, fasting conserves energy. 
     When breaking down food, the body uses energy 
      that a sick person does not have available to use.
8.  Fasting is said to cure 99% of ailments.
9.  Fasting quickly heals minor diseases such as boils, 
     skin blemishes, indigestion, dyspepsia, constipation, 
     fever, anemia, and asthma. A major fasting increases 
     the body’s ability to fight off major diseases.
10. Fasting improves the mind’s ability for thinking, 
      studying, remembering and concentrating.
11. After the initial cleansing detox (10-15 days) the
      body becomes physically stronger
12. A headache during a fast proves that you needed the fast.
13. Fasting will rid the body of headaches caused from too much caffeine. (as long as you stop drinking 
      the caffeine.
14. By using a strict water fast, bad habits like alcohol use, tobacco use, and other addictive habits can 
      be overcome in as little as 3 days.
15. Fasting restores natural youth.
16. Fasting regularly can increase your lifespan by 20-40 years
17. Fasting removes tumors, ulcers, and goiters.
18. After 2 weeks on a fast, the bad breath of the early days of the fast becomes pure as a child’s 
19. The bad taste in your mouth goes away because of fasting.
20. Excess meat stored in the intestines is discharged and the intestines return to normal size.
21. Fasting gets rid of cravings for unhealthy processed foods.

Friday, January 11, 2013

This Year's Resolution to Simplify

       Like many people, January is the time of the year when I spend a lot of time evaluating what we accomplished the year just finished and what we want to accomplish in the year to come.  Many people make resolutions in January that are often too much for them to accomplish. I have a tendency to do the same thing. For instance, last year I resolved to write 365 articles. I probably wrote about 20. I also wanted to lose 50 pounds. I didn’t lose the weight either.  I obviously over-committed. This year I want to do something different. I want to make my life simpler, not more difficult, That’s why this year, my goal is to be productive by focusing on finishing what I have already started. Also,  I have decided that it is important for me to focus on the results, not just the actions so that I know whether what I am doing is productive or not.
      Every day I have many different projects that I could be doing. I know that I cannot do all of them, so it is important for me to determine which of these different projects and the tasks related to them result in fulfilling my long-term goals.  When scheduling what I intend to do each day, I must ask myself, “How does what I do today connect me with my long-term goal.”
      My daily tasks are markers to determine if I am accomplishing my short-term goals (goals I have created for the month, quarter or year), my short-term goals lead to my long-term goals (goals  that extend beyond one year, into three, five or ten years.)   
        Everything that I do, should be guided by my life’s purpose, my vision, and my mission.  By working toward what I know I want out of life, I will simplify my life by focusing on living my life the way I know that I am destined to live. That is what I am determining to do this year. That is my resolution for 2013.
          This year I have made the resolution simplify my life for results, not disappointment. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Being Sure to Drink enough water

      One of the things that I am intent on doing this new year is making sure that I am drinking enough water. As everyone knows, water provides many health benefits. Several studies indicate that drinking plenty of water is instrumental in helping individuals control their weight. If I am dehydrated I may eat instead of drinking water, thus consuming more calories than I might if I were sufficiently hydrated.  Drinking water before meals helps me eat less during meals. Drinking eight glasses of ice cold water is said to burn an additional 100 calories per day.    

Glass_of_water : face of a young healthy woman and a glass of clean water 
      The problem with drinking eight glasses of water per day for me is remembering to drink eight glasses of water per day. Until I am able to develop drinking water as a habit, I have to be sure to make an effort to remind myself every day to drink enough water. 
      However, I have a plan. With a plan, I can turn intentions like drinking eight glasses of water a day into a habit. So, how do I implement this plan?
      I am using a system which is contained in the acronym SOFF. SOFF stands for:





       First thing I do is  START my plan the night before to prepare for drinking water eight glasses the following day. I ORGANIZE to create easy access to the required eight glasses of water the following day. If I'm staying home, I sufficient water into a pitcher in the refrigerator to drink the following day' iIf I intend to go out of the house the following day, however, I prepare bottles of water to take with me, and on hot days,  I have a cooler ready to put the bottles of water into in the morning to take with me. 
      Also as part of ORGANIZING I set the alarm on my smart phone to remind me to drink water every hour during working hours the following day. If after I few days I realize that I forget to drink the water, I also include placing notes around the house and car to remind me to drink the water. 
      For about three weeks I FOCUS on keeping myself supplied in water, and reminding myself to drink the water every hour for eight hours every day. 
       The final step each day in this water-drinking campaign is that I make sure I FINISH the water during my final meal of the day and before seven pm. The reason I finish the water before seven pm is because I also value my sleep. If I drink water any later than 7 pm, I will probably be getting up several times during the night. 
      Drinking water is just one way that I use ROFF for an overview of how to use ROFF to schedule your day, go to my article Daily Planning: Increase Productivity.
      If you enjoy my writing style and are interested in fiction check out my novels on my Amazon Author Page

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Adventure on another Ozark Greeways Trail

Photo: This morning we checked out another trail.

South Creek Greenway  - National Recreation Trail

      My husband looked on Craig's list Sunday, and found a bike carrier for our car. Because he was going to be going back to work soon, he decided to put the carrier to the test that we would check out another trail. He decided the place to go was South Creek Greenway which runs east-west through the center of Springfield. We loaded the bikes on the rack and left the house at about eight o' clock Monday morning. After we left the house we checked the weather. We saw a major storm system north of here, but we figured that we might hit the edge of it, and the rain would pass us by.

We started at McDaniel Park Trailhead at National & Sunset. Jeff and Boni got on their bikes, but I knew I would not be able to ride bike just yet. I did want to get some exercise though, so I decided to hit the trail walking.
      When we were on the Galloway Trail Saturday, I left my phone in the car rather than taking it with me on the bike. I wished I had taken it Saturday so Monday, learning from Saturday's mistake, I took my phone with me. We decided that since I was walking, they would call me when they turned around. That way, I figured, we would arrive back at the house at about the same time.However, that's not what happened.
      They took off on their bikes, and I took off walking in the same direction. I saw the sky grow dark to the northeast. It started to rain, but I decided that I didn't want to stop until I reached the mile marker so that I could return and have walked 2 miles. It started to pour, but still I pressed on. I was soaked to the skin. I would later learn that winds were up to 68 mile an hour winds and 8000 electricity customers were without power. The wind blew off a North Springfield church. I turned around at the mile mark. I heard thunder above my head. Rain pelted my head, the wind blew. I arrived back at the car soaked to the skin. I was so wet that I had a hard time getting the phone to work. I made a note to self to keep several towels in the car for that kind of emergency. I talked to Jeff. He told me that he and Boni were safe in a tunnel under S. Campbell Avenue. I put the car into gear and went to get them. I got turned around and it took me longer than it should have to get there. We loaded up the bikes on the car.  when we all were in the car Jeff showed me this picture of these ducks who lived in the tunnel where he and Boni found shelter from the storm. We were cold and wet but fortunately safe. We arrived home. Someday return to this trail and try it again. For now, we are simply glad that we were not harmed.