May 31, 2012


Hello friends! 

Today, I want to share with you, one of my favorite little treasures I picked up in China Town. He sits upon my kitchen window sill and greets me with that fat cat smiling chubbsy face every time I make coffee or wash dishes. Shops in China Town are busting at the seams with these lucky cat figurines, and I just had to take one home with me! I just had 'ta!! Have you ever just been drawn to something....and you just gotta have it?!

Most of us know this little cat as Chinese Lucky Cat. Well, I did a little research... cause that's what I do!! Inquiring minds want to know! LOL! If you are an inquiring mind, read on!

Chinese Lucky Cat is not actually Chinese in is actually Japanese.  However, with it's popularity in the Chinese culture, is has been mistaken to be Chinese. It has long been believed to bring good luck and fortune to it's owner. Maneki-neko, typically a calico Japanese bobtail,  are often found displayed in the entryway to Chinese restaurants and shops.  Many Japanese lucky cats only have one paw raised,  either left or right. Typically, a raised right paw signifies good luck and wealth, while a raised left paw, is use for luck to bring in customers. Both raised paws means protection for home and business. Many Maneki-neko figurines have battery or solar powered waving arms which, to me, are quite adorable!

Translated, it's name, Maneki-neko, means "beckoning cat." The figurine is also commonly known as, Welcoming Cat, Money Cat, Fortune Cat and Lucky Cat. Most Americans see the cat as waving, but the difference between Asian and Western body language and gestures is quite different. When we, as Americans, raise our hand, palm out, it means we are waving, either saying hello or good bye. In Asian culture, a raised hand, palm out, bending the fingers and opening them again repeatedly, is actually a beckoning signal, meaning, to come, or follow.

The figurines are usually ceramic and come in many different colors and styles...some a little more decorative than others.  The cats traditionally don a collar with a bell, accompanied by an ornate decoration on their belly. Most figurines have the cat holding a gold coin as well, signifying fortune.

Whatever the reason for the raised paws....I just like the little guy for his charm...his fat belly, his great big smile and his cute little bell. Being as luck and Christianity don't really go together, I don't place any credence in the luck it represents.....I just plain ole like him!! There is a huge variety of  adorable Japanese Lucky Cats on the market and I have a feeling I will definitely buy another.  I'll be on the look out now.    P.S. Can anyone interpret these symbols?

May 30, 2012

Out of sync

As many of you know, I took a little vacation to visit my sister in Long Island, NY. It was definitely exciting and adventurous. I am so glad I went...I want to return and see more of what the city has to offer! There is plenty left to discover! We spent a lot of time in the city...  A LOT of walking and A LOT of subway riding...not to mention many steps, up and down in the subway areas.  We left the house each morning around 10am and returned each night around 10pm. We were exhausted, but somehow found the strength to get back up and do it all over again the next day!! Spending the better part of our time in the city, I am happy to say, that I feel a  true appreciation for it.

I learned that, for myself, it took a few hours, on the first day in the city, before I started feeling comfortable.

It was quite the assault to my senses and I was surprised that I felt that way. I am accustomed to rural areas, green and lush, and very quiet.  So, as you can imagine, the constant honking, the sound of car engines, revving and stopping, revving and stopping, the echoing of the "beep, beep, beep" back-up alarm sound on large trucks, jack hammers for construction, ambulance sirens, music, all echoing off of the buildings...also the amount of people...dodging them to your right and left...I always felt like I was in someones way... and the smell of heavenly food drifting from open air restaurants...but then, mixing with the dank, foul smell of the sewers, at the corners of each street...

...that is quite confusing to sensory system in the brain...

It's like, I like it, oh, wait, that's not good, oh man, that smells horrible, wait, something smells fantastic, oh wow, I want to eat that....oh no, wait, oh that's bad, oh that's vomitous....oh hold on, something good is cooking, I must find it...oh no, stop, no.

The bombardment I felt, was overwhelming. I hate to admit it because I don't think of myself as a wimp! And then I start thinking to myself, "and you actually were contemplating going on a mission trip to Cuba???? ya, that makes total sense, you can't even handle a day in New York City, you big baby! ya, great idea, you'd last about 2 minutes!"


My honest feeling of the city, at first, was not good. I was really thinking to myself, I don't like this...and, I don't "get it". That is my most vivid memory of coming up out of the subway smack dab in the middle of Manhattan....very busy, very crammed, and very loud...very assaulting to the senses.

HOWEVER, it wasn't long before I started enjoying myself, finding my rhythm, popping in and out of coffee houses, bakeries, bagel shops, Asian restaurants,

and......EVERYTHING was delicious! I was very surprised!! I did not experience one disappointment from any shop, cafe, or person.  Soon, I started to fall in love...and I "got it". Especially when we started exploring the more residential parts of the city with the brown stones and local neighborhood eateries. I have summed up my trip, in a nutshell...there's lots of details, but I won't bore now know, that I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the big understand that I want to go back for, I want to tell you about my "out of sync-ness" that followed my trip to New York...and my disappointment that I cannot get out of this funk!

I wonder if anyone can relate to this???

~  * ~  * ~  *

I have been home now for 2 weeks and I am still not really back into my groove. How is that possible? How can a 6 day vacation in the city disrupt my life so much? The first few days back, I kinda did the old "walk in circles" thing....should I do this? should I do that? What bills need paid? Is there any food in the freezer? Should I do some laundry? Should I start dinner now? Should I take a nap? It's so weird how that happens.

Ok, so here's the personal price of going on vacation...let me set the scene.  Before I left for New York, I had been in a blissful state of euphoria. It was good! The earth was blossoming with green-ness!!  Wild flowers were plentiful and speckled the field behind our house. The hens were laying abundantly, the quail were beginning to plump up and grow feathers. We were experiencing a plethora of birds every morning, singing and flitting about, more than we had ever been privy to!

I was feeling very excited and homey and lovey dovey about my recent purchase of canning supplies and learning how to can and preserve locally grown fruits and vegetables this summer. I guess you could say I was feeling a great connection to the earth and what it gives us and how it nourishes and nurtures us.

Also, I was reading the Bible every night before bed, and every morning...specifically setting aside time {I have a new study Bible} I was absorbing  it and learning a lot. It was definitely bringing a lot of peace and clarity into my life, and I was appreciative. I felt very content. I was beginning to feel more humble and less judging. I was understanding where it is that God wants me right now, asking Him for His will, every day, and really, truly meaning it.

I am telling you.... I was in sync!!!


It's all gone now.

I am trying to get it back, but I can't quite catch that swinging's just out of reach, it keeps swinging back towards me, I reach for it, but I can't grasp it... and I feel yick! I think I feel "yick",  but I'm not sure...cause I can't describe it.

I know I will get it back, I know it.

The peace is in me, I just have to tap into it again.

I want it back.

I want that feeling back again.

In sync.

Sympatico with God and nature.

My goodness, it was a wonderful high.

I've experienced it before, and I will experience it again...I just got bumped off the familiar path a little.

Funny thing is, I had a feeling this would happen.

I just had a feeling... a feeling that by leaving this place, home, my children and husband... it would disrupt the natural flow of my life....... and the peace I was feeling would to drift away, like a silk scarf slipping from my neck, slowly at first, but then lifted on a summer breeze, to be quickly carried away..... out of reach and out of sight.

Yes, poetic, I know...but that is how I tend to see everything.

Even though I was so excited to go to Long Island and New York City, I must admit, there was a part of me that didn't want to go anymore....because I knew the price.


Truly, I must keep this in perspective's not as if my world would end...I am not THAT dramatic.

So, guess what?

Just about the time I get back to sympatico with God and nature....

{and I will...}

in  2 weeks....

my hubby and I are packing up the kids and heading out on a  family vacation to Cape Cod for a week.

Can you say disruption, folks?


Oh man, too funny!

I remain positive about it though...I know that God uses all for His purpose... for His plan for my life. I wonder what this recession in my psyche means??

What does He want me to learn from this?

I never doubt there is a lesson in everything.

Let me say this about our upcoming vacation to Cape Cod!!! I am SOOO looking forward to it! So are my hubby and our children!  This is going to be a very relaxed, very beautiful vacation. We're camping and riding our bikes to the beach....oh ya, and eating plenty of lobster rolls, clam chowder and fried clams. We have a day trip to Martha's Vineyard planned as well as an afternoon cruise on a beautiful sailboat.  If anything, sitting on the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod, and breathing in all that fresh ocean air, listening to the rhythmic lull ocean and the cry of sea gulls...that will definitely bring about a peaceful mind and attitude!
In the meantime, I will get back to my Bible study...cause I have gotten away from it!!! I know, I know!

Happy summer!

May 17, 2012

Happy Mothers Day??

It's Thursday, people!
Here's a little something to carry you to Friday!
I wonder if my blog friends in Kansas have seen such a thing out on the prairies?
I suppose if they did, they would say "We're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy!"
If you didn't know....these photos were taken in Times Square on Mother's Day.
Is that wrong?
Mother's  day?
Hey, even Mom's need a good laugh once in a while!

May 16, 2012

I've been out of town!

Momma has been busy! Momma left the nest for 5 days... Momma went to NYC by herself! Momma stayed with her sister Elaine, on Long Island! Momma ate some food....Momma took some photos. Momma rode the subway... Momma walked her butt off! Momma is tired,  but Momma is happy! Momma will be back to tell you more!  :)

May 1, 2012

Help! I need some canning confidence!

Dear blogging friends and readers,

Hello there! I am about to embark on a learning experience of canning fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables this spring and summer. I have been VERY interested in canning for years now, but have never been BRAVE enough to take that step. This might seem silly to some, but I think it's because I did not grow up with a mom that canned....or with a grandma that canned. My mom always cooked and baked...every single day....I have totally inherited that gene from her....but she never canned or preserved food...other than freezing, of course.  My mom was very domestic, she was a stay at home mom, she was never afraid to try new things.....however, she never canned a day in her life......and so, I am at a little disadvantage here for not growing up in a home where this was the norm. Oh I wish I had....because then I don't think I would even think twice about it.

Today I received my new pressure canner in the mail! Yay!!  I have already purchased a water bath canner and accessories. I am on my step at a time! I will first master water bath canning, then I will move on to pressure canning. I do NOT plan on learning to can meat. No, I am really not that brave. However I do want to be able to can green beans, carrots and corn....and for that, a pressure canner is a must. I have been interested in canning for years now and I am finally giving it a go.

Now, having said there anyone out there reading this, that can give me some confidence. First let me tell you....I am a seeker of you do not have to worry about me not taking the proper don't have to worry about me creating my own recipes and just winging it, I would not do that in a million years, ...I have read and understand when to use the water bath canner and I know when to use the pressure canner...I am very aware of the safety rules to me, I will be up on every single pre-caution, every single sterilization process, every single attention to detail there is, before I pressure can...or water bath can. I am not interested in killing over from botulism.

So getting that out of the way.....can any of you, who have ever canned, please talk to me....tell me your experiences, tell me your mishaps, let me learn from you, tell me your success, tell me how you have been canning for years and it has been wonderful.....tell me you have been canning for years and never got sick, I am going to do this with our without you....but it would sure be nice to have some positive talk and feedback with you about this!  I NEED FEEDBACK people, positive feedback!! If you can help me, I would be most appreciative!

P.S. I only know a couple people who have canned just a couple of different items....such as tomatoes, salsa and jam....and that's it. Also, when I have talked to these people....they aren't anal retentative about it as I am. They are just kinda casual when talking about it and I am not finding that to be of any use to me. My one friend who has canned 2 different items is like "ummm, well, ya, you just do this, and then that and, oh wait, I forget, oh ya, that's right.....scared? of what? no. I'm not scared....I just do it.....{and then I'm like.......ok!?!?!} These books that I have been reading offer up the most scariest of information about potential deadly botulism....why aren't you afraid????? LOL!

Ok, so anyhow......can anyone boost my confidence here???? I need a friend!!!