The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
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600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.
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After brunch with our new dog, “Midnight” sleeping at Dean and I’s feet in the midst of grandchildren’s squeals, toys, crinkled holiday wrapping paper. Taking a surprise nap, my deceased father’s canine companion enters our lives as a surprise present this Christmas … part of my father in our midst. Duck hunting on special occasions, with many more days at the farm and greenhouse. “The poetry of the earth is never dead.” John Keats
I just have a couple of gifts to wrap and brunch preparations this evening. I get better each year with do-ahead plans for the gatherings and celebrations. But I am weary by Christmas Eve. What I grow weary of is the pettiness that people bring with the holidays … and expectations galore! Do you remember the Billy Crystal movie City Slickers where he is told by the lone cowboy (Palance), “Find that ‘just one thing’?” I believe in Christmas and the gift God brought us with His Son Jesus. Nothing else matters. In a few minutes I will attend church, focus on that “just one thing” Jesus, Our Gift, worship Him alone, and allow His presence to permeate the remainder of my evening and Christmas Day. Christmas blessings to you!
“We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning, ” 1800’s preacher Henry Ward Beecher is quoted. At 5:00 this morning I woke to a dark winter sky, and yes, holiday thoughts from last evening loomed this early morning. A fresh 6-foot white pine became our Christmas tree last night with blue lights, blue & gold glass balls, hand-crafted ornaments, and simple momentos decorated throughout the house. I woke with immediate thoughts of gift shopping and wrapping. Our trip to Lee’s Summit is 2 days away, and everything needs to be done. Yet, God gave me a sunrise this morning that was stop-in-your-tracks breathing-taking … Awesome!
Before the rains come, we decided on a mid-week trip to Boone Hollow Farm last night to deliver our work station for the greenhouse. If it is too wet, we have to walk into the farm. We miss our jeep! The 18-passenger van is too heavy, and our jeep is still needing a new engine. Carrying this huge, heavy repurposed wood shelf and counter top up the hill to our greenhouse would be next to impossible this weekend with the rainy forecast. We invited my oldest daughter, son-in-law, and their three children to join us. So glad we opted to take the 15-minute drive last night! Christmas lights scattered throughout on the country homes and barns presenting quite a show for our eyes. Our Charlie Brown spruce tree shined with blue in the distance visible from the country highway. On the hill, next to the greenhouse the lights got brighter as we came up the hill. Those solar lights are awesome!
But the real celestial show was yet to be seen… An ominous night sky in the countryside of Defiance, MO with a shooting star visible every 2 or 3 minutes. Our Ella Serene and Michael Elijah witnessed their first shooting star last night, with 20 more to follow. A cold winter night, yet it warmed my heart to see God’s creations surround and feel His love blanket my husband, children, and grandchildren. Singing “O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining …” The grace of Jesus’ birth is for my family and yours. I read in the media this morning, apparently we witnessed the Geminid meteor shower.
So I relearned a neat word yesterday at the Toastmaster’s meeting, “jocund”. It means “high spirited” , “joyful”, “cheerful”, … “chirpy”, which is another appropriate word to describe the season we are in. Have you ever noticed how the birds chirp and chatter just before a cold front or snow storm comes? They are busy about filling themselves with seeds and any bugs in sight before they “hunker down” (as Farmer Dave says on the 550 AM radio station in St. Louis, Dean & I’s wake-up station every morning) to protect themselves from the cold air. Full bellies and colorful, warm feathered jackets. Serene and quiet in their nests while the world is as white as snow. Well, I think we people do the same. We chirp and chatter making this a jocund season “noisy”. Yes, lots of fuss over holiday gifts and food celebrations. What kind of noise or song are you creating? I hope it is one of good cheer, merry wishes, feeding each other good seeds, while sharing the peace, hope, and love that Jesus’ birth gave mankind. I hope for a serene and quiet moment for each of you during this jocund season!
So much of our thinking and planning seems to align to conventional practices. This is in every area of our lives, relationships, career paths, foods we eat, medicines we take, what we spend time with or on, the house we live in, so on and so on. Break throughs in sciences seem to tell us that some old practices have been the best practices all along. For instance, the present interstate highway system we have has caused major traffic congestion in the cities, and kept local commerce from growing. The lecture I attended at Washington University last week where John Norquist gave the alternative. Tear down some of those interstates in the city. Allow secondary arteries, the urban streets to be available for travelers to slow down and visit the city, create more jobs, circulate more commerce, allow pride in the citizens to show off their cultures. Maybe more walking and biking will be encouraged with sidewalk systems. Hooray for out-of-the box thinkers! St. Louis City and County are looking into this option. What do Milwaukee citizens think about the similar project that took place in their city?
Then there is the Slow Food movement. (There is that word “slow” again.) This started in Europe, Rome, Italy to be exact as a direct statement to the fast food construction plans for a McDonald’s back in 1986. According to founder and president Carlo Petrini, “everyone has the right to good, clean, and fair food”. That means quality, flavorful food, it is natural form, and produced and tranported in an ethical manner at a fair price. A person who eats locally, is called a locavore. Slow Food includes local food. (There is that word “local” once again.) Foods grown, produced, and consumed on a local level will support local folks, right? So this is where Deanna Greens And Garden Art resides. Local!!! I cannot wait to get those beds raised and plant some organic seeds for herbs and veggies. We hope to sell more seedlings to local farmers, and herbs to local farmer’s market folks next spring. And Dean & I will consume lots of our own homegrown veggies. Veggies are the alternative to pre-packaged, processed grain products. Herbs are the alternative to salt and synthetic chemicals the food label lists. Check out the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis from your local library and see what today’s wheat and corn are doing to our bodies. Or Dr. Davis has his own blog: www.wheatbellyblog.com. An eye opener. Yes, an alternative diet, yet what we ate like before WWII. Old practices return.
Dean and I personally shop local as well. 95% of our Christmas gifts are bought locally. Wine from Chandler Hill Vineyards and foods & crafts from local artisans. I hope you supported Local Saturday in your community a couple of weeks ago. Last weekend we slowed our pace down, savored a local beer and satisfied our palettes while listening to local music at our neighborhood joint, the St. Charles Coffee House. www.saintcharlescoffeehouse.com. What is your favorite local eatery? In our travels, Dean & I look for those local joints, and we may visit yours!