God is talking to me but my husband’s not listening

I said those words to my husband the other day; he laughed.

I went to the local library to pick up a few things including a book titled Back to Basics.  As I reached to grab the book from the shelf another book fell onto the floor right at my feet.

I had a really bad day at the office and the desire to quit my job was so strong.  For several years now I’ve really wanted to stay at home and not have a job other then tending to things at home.  This book is so very appropriate for that and I felt that God was trying to tell me to follow the yearnings of my old soul (because I’ve really been praying for some help in recent months).  My husband just doesn’t understand and most others don’t either.  It is a feeling that you have deep down in your soul for the desire to be at home.  To tend to things there and to find fulfillment for yourself.

I grew up in a rural community on a farm and spent summers at home and going to town on my bicycle.  I really wanted to see the world and to have a fulfilling job.  Now as an adult I just want to go back to the simplistic domestic life.  It is difficult, even without children, to have a full time office job in a city 35 miles from home and to balance home life with that.  I never in my life wanted to take care of my home as I do now.  And I know it also means that I really need to take care of myself because I’m really burned out.  There is no fulfillment for me in a job outside of the home anymore.  I know that the daily commute and anxiety and stress of that commute as well as the job has really taken its toll on me.

I’ve decided to take a little vacation this week and get away from the job and be at home to recharge myself and find some happy.  Last evening I began reading this book and it screams to me to follow my soul’s desires.  Selling that to my husband just doesn’t seem to be working though (and I’ve been trying for several years).  I’ve even thought of ways to make money to sustain us a bit.  I thought of selling photography, knitted and crocheted items on Etsy but after reading books about those ventures I’m not sure.  And if you look on the world wide web it seems like everyone is doing it and competition is fierce.  So since those things don’t seem to be working in my favor maybe it’s a sign to just stay at home, be me and find some happy.

Even the photo on the front reminds me of me.  I love to knit and cook and bake and I wear my glasses when I’m at home.  It was meant to be for me to read.  As I read through this book I will know a bit more about whether it is what I truly should be doing for myself to survive.

A Glimpse of a Rural Life – in images – take two

Photography has been a hobby passion of mine since I was a young girl.  I had dreamed of working and traveling the world for National Geographic.  That hasn’t come to fruition but I still enjoy documenting things in my life through the lens.  For the past few years I’ve set the camera aside to take up some new hobbies: knitting and crochet.  You can read all about it here: Hook and Needle Story.  I had decided that it was time to stop pressuring myself for the best images and just enjoy the moments.  So that is what I live by now.

Last year I had a short-lived photography series titled A Glimpse of a Rural Life.  Below is my explanation of what my expectations were for that series of images.

Life in Rural America is a very special kind of living.  There’s more open space to enjoy, the air is cleaner and the sounds are so much better than city life (at least in my opinion).

Beginning May 4th, I will share a weekly image from what I am calling “A Glimpse of a Rural Life Series.”  I will share images from my rural property and the rural areas which surround me.  Views which I see everyday and are a very important part of my life.  I hope to preserve those glimpses in a way that allows you to better understand the importance of rural areas throughout our country.

There will be images showing you many things which may seem insignificant but truly are critical to the rural way of life.  There are many things people take for granted and may soon disappear if Rural America is abandoned and developed by ‘big business.’  Many of the rural family-owned farms, small businesses and factories have already shuttered due to big corporations and companies which have taken over America.

I am appalled and saddened when farmland is inherited by a generation of children who don’t see and appreciate its true value and sell it for developmental purposes.  So much of America’s farmland is lost this way.  So much of America’s heritage is disappearing.  There is a program with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture dedicated to Farmland Preservation  and their mission is very important.  And I hope through viewing my images of life in the country that you will better understand the importance of preserving this way of life and advocate for preservation of Rural Areas where you live so that it may be saved for future generations before it is something only found in history books.

Because not only do farmers feed their families, they also help to feed the world.  It is critical that their land and rich soil are preserved and saved from future home and business development so that they can continue their vital contributions.

I really would like to bring this back to my readers and try to show you more of my environment.

I won’t put pressure on myself though and say that I will definitely have images each week.

What I will do though is tag them with my category titled Glimpse of Rural Life so that you will know those images represent what I have explained above and to bring awareness to the rapid loss of rural areas throughout our country.

Things which comfort my ‘old soul’

My old-soul feels comforted while “wrapped up…”

…in made-from-scratch comfort foods which I made in my kitchen

…in the months from October through February

…in vintage Christmas songs

…while watching The Waltons & Charlie Brown Holiday Specials on television

…in my house watching the snow fall and wearing cozy socks

…day-dreaming of my childhood life on the old homesteads

…thinking of the youthful days of walking/riding my bicycle all over town with no cell phones and no adult worries or responsibilities

…in thoughts of my family members who have passed on into the next life


Do you often feel like the world around you is just going crazy and out of control?

I do.

And it seems to be getting worse for me.

I feel like my old-soul has really grown weary of late by being bombarded with all of this technology and the ‘noise’ it provides.  I get disgusted while standing at the gas pumps when a television screen is filled with more noise.  I just want peace and quiet.

I want to get away from people and technology and all of the noise and distractions which they produce.

I don’t feel guilty or sorry about it either.

I’m just tired.

My old-soul has aged quite considerably in the last 6 years.

I feel lost in this world and am willing to fall into my rabbit hole into the mid 20th century away from all of this and live on Walton’s Mountain.

Do you feel like falling with me?

Let us meander for a day

To celebrate another year in which God has kept me on this Earth we took a day trip to meander some roads which we seldom travel.

It was nice to just drive along with the day being all about food, meandering and visiting a few places.

As we sat watching a snow squall which happened upon us, while enjoying chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa in a small coffee cafe, I noticed this sign on the little shop’s wall.

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It sums up the time which I’ve been spending these past few days as I celebrate another birthday.

The rural country roads which we traveled are adorned with many farms and beautiful views.

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It was a relaxing day and I was very tired from the trip but it was well worth it!

Family Photos

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 Does this make it any easier or less painful to sell someone else’s family memories in a consignment shop?

I still wonder how someone’s beloved family photos would end up here.

Maybe some are extras from the photo studio which took the image but other ones have personal messages/dates/names written on the back.

I looked through this basket just to make sure none of my family were waiting to be found…

I Miss You and Who I Once Was With You

Maybe it is because I miss who I was when I was there

Or because of the innocence and carefree life it held for me

Maybe for what it stood for and for who was there

For all the good that happened; for all the memories it holds of my life as it stands for someone else

Maybe for what it has done to me to shape me into the woman I am today

But I feel…mostly for the fact that it is a capsule of time which I want to live in forever because I miss everything about you and who I once was with you

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{my first home}

Its been a long time

I must write this down.

Even if for no other reason than to document and preserve the memory and feelings I’ve had since last evening.

We attended a local spaghetti supper to benefit a community.  It is a yearly event and the food is outstanding with a large gathering of people who come and go throughout the day.  I often see people whom I have either worked with or know from my hometown/community.  There is all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad bar (in a canoe!), homemade soups and desserts.

As I came to the end of the canoe and was reviewing the various salad dressings I felt someone touch my back.  I turned to find the smiling face of a former schoolmate of mine whom I haven’t seen for many years.  She game me a huge hug and we talked for approximately two minutes and ended with another hug.  It is hard to describe the feelings I’ve had since that moment.  It was wonderful to see “M” even though we weren’t close friends in school.  She was always part of the ‘in crowd,’ had many friends, boyfriends, the best clothes and involved in many school activities.  I often was jealous of her and her friends because it seemed like they had everything one could ever want.  My school years weren’t the happiest of my life due to being picked-on by so many in our small high school and having very few friends to support me (it seemed like they abandoned me too, at times).  I ended up getting an after-school job at age 16 at the local supermarket and worked a lot with no social life at all.  I am very happy that my life has turned out better than it appeared it would be when I was a teenager.

Seeing “M” was really nice, actually.  I have avoided all of the class reunions that have happened since my high school graduation and I currently have very-rare contact with a couple of girls from my class.  But seeing “M” was really good and that has surprised me.  Maybe it is because time has changed us both and we’ve learned many life lessons and have forgotten all of the childish things that occurred between us in those dark days of school.  I learned a long time ago that no matter how good someone else’s life may appear to us it may be that they are struggling with so much and  their life could be worse than our own.  Maybe “M’s” life wasn’t as good as it appeared to me; maybe she was struggling at home, too, with so much.  A few years ago “M’s” sister succumbed to her demons and took her own life.  She was a very popular, always-smiling girl in our school.  I was shocked when I learned that news and often think of her.  I remember she gave me a senior photo with the sweetest words written on the back.  I still have that and have often thought of that nice gesture to me.  When she gave me that photo I was over the moon after reading those words.  It made such a difference to me in those rough school days.

I am very happy that “M” made the decision to walk over to me when she saw me (I hadn’t seen her).  I’ve been thinking about her and our conversation and it wasn’t a bad experience to see her.  I always avoided classmates because I didn’t want to dig up all of those bad memories and feelings from yesteryear.

God does place people in front of us for a reason.  And there must be a reason that he placed “M” there for me last evening.  In His time I shall learn that, I’m sure.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

My most favorite animated Christmas television special is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I’ve always enjoyed watching the various Charlie Brown holiday specials when I was a child and I continue the tradition of watching all of them each year.  There’s something nostalgic about Charlie and his friends and I deeply love it.

There is something about the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas that wraps me up and makes me want to transport back in time.  It is so cozy to me and I often listen to it throughout the year.  Those songs seem to transport me to a time of a peaceful childhood with no worries, of snow days and early school dismissals/closings, of baking Christmas cookies, of decorating the house for the Holiday and they give me a feeling of everything being right in this world.  There’s just something warm and fuzzy about all of that.

I love the ambiance of the season with all of the sounds, smells, yummy foods and lights.

But most importantly, the goodness of mankind which shines so brightly at this time of each year.

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“MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN!!”

Eating our way through Autumn; One Pumpkin Pie at a time.

I have always enjoyed Autumn here in Pennsylvania.

It is a beautiful time of year with colorful leaves, crisp cool air, sweatshirts to wear and festivals all around.

I also love getting back to making comfort foods and baking more in my kitchen.

For the last few years I’ve been baking through many different Pumpkin Pie recipes in my search to find the perfect one:

The first Pumpkin Pie I fell in love with.

My Grandmother’s.

I do have many of her recipes including the few cookbooks which she owned but like many of her generation, The Greatest Generation, the recipes to daily eating were kept hidden well in their memory and not written down.  I have tried many of the Pumpkin Pie recipes among her collection but I can’t seem to find the exact one which she made.  She may have used one of the written recipes which I’ve found but tweaked it a bit by adding or omitting something which I can’t seem to figure out.  I even asked my Aunt (my Grandmother’s daughter-in-law) if she had my Grandmother’s recipe.  She doesn’t but she did share the one which she has always made and it is very good as well.

One thing is certain.

My husband isn’t debating with me over all of the taste-testing which he’s been enduring through my many attempts at finding the ‘one!’ 😉

I recently purchased a blue used cookbook titled The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cookbook Wartime Edition.

It is a book full of recipes which use common household items found during the War time.  Nothing fancy is needed and there is a lot to be found within the covers among the nearly 1000 pages.

I have found a Pumpkin Pie recipe in there which has gotten me to the closest I think I can get to my Grandmother’s pie.  It seemed to have the appearance, taste and consistency of her Pumpkin Pie; from what I can remember anyway.

To usher in the Season and to share with you, here is the one from that book and I hope you will enjoy it this Holiday Season.

Happy Autumn!!

Ingredients

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup sugar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 2/3 cups milk

1 1/2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin

1 Pie Crust

Directions

Sift dry ingredients together and stir into eggs.  Add milk and pumpkin.  Line pie pan with crust and pour in filling.  Bake in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce to 325 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.   Cool.

Variation

Use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp ginger instead of pumpkin pie spice