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.

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?

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…

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!!”

Broken

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While driving along a rural highway last Autumn I found this abandoned home.

These types of places always peak my interest and yet they break my heart.

I think of all the good times which happened within the walls of this home with children and holidays and family gatherings.

And I wonder how a place could come to this point.  Why would anyone ever desert a place to allow Mother Nature and all the elements to claim it?

So sad.

So alone.

So broken.

Overwhelmed by blank pages

Blank pieces of paper are so full of promise.

So much space to write thoughts, ideas.

To draw or doodle something unique.

Yet quite overwhelming too!

I love the look of empty clean pieces of paper and the possibilities are endless

to what will be written or drawn.

And yet I am often overwhelmed with all of that blank space.

Like now.

I want to write but nothing seems to be flowing from the deep recesses of the brain.  I’m been able to pick up the camera again and find some things to share with you though.

It seems that many times I am better at showing you something versus describing in great detail through writing.  I love details but they aren’t often something which I can explain easily.

I hope you understand and will bear with me as I trudge through the empty corridors of my brain searching for something else to write.

There must be a file cabinet somewhere in there which holds the words which I am seeking…

So many things about the local family-owned grocery store attracts me to it

Even though we live in a rural area, we are not immune to Walmart.  Walmart has pretty much taken over this country’s landscape by being everywhere.  I remember the time when it wasn’t anywhere in Pennsylvania (and only seen in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) and now there is a store as close as ten minutes from my home.  When my husband and I were dating, Walmart built the first store close to us and we would go there occasionally.  When we married, we’d go about once a month to buy all the things we needed that we couldn’t buy at the local grocery stores and it didn’t bother us to only visit it once a month (probably saved us a lot of money that way!).  After a big chain store named ‘Ames’ closed the local store which had been around for many years this rural area no longer had a retailer to frequent.  We’d now have to drive 35 miles minimum for purchasing items other than groceries.  After an ad was placed in the local newspaper asking residents to call Walmart’s corporate office and request a store to be built in our area to replace the now-closed ‘Ames’ retailer, it came to fruition and in 2007 it opened its doors.  The prices are good for most things compared to many other retailers and that unfortunately has helped to close many of the local and family-owned businesses.  Eventually we began to shop weekly for everything including groceries and it was convenient and saved money for us.

But a lot has changed due to Walmart and their business practices and we dislike going there now (we only go for a few things on occasion).  We’ve gone back to patronizing the local PA family-owned grocery store named Weis Markets and we love it.

So many things about shopping at Weis attracts me more than ever before.  The local store is close to my husband’s job location which makes it quite convenient for him to shop at in the early afternoons when he is finished working.  It saves me a trip on most Saturdays and has saved my precious weekend time to do other things (because I can stand in line at Walmart for 30-45 minutes just to pay for my groceries).  When he, or I even, go to Weis there usually isn’t a crowd of people and it is nice and quiet to shop there with relatively short check-out lines.  The employees are very personable too (you won’t get much of that at Walmart).  Walmart is a nightmare and they only have a few registers open at any given time with very long lines out into the other sections of the store.  I’ve even begun buying health and beauty items at my local Weis store.  The difference in the higher prices versus Walmart prices is worth it by saving me all the aggravation of going to Walmart (and Weis doubles coupons too!!).  And the best thing of all is that the money doesn’t leave the state; Weis Markets is family-owned and here in Pennsylvania.  PA also has another rather large chain grocery store called Giant Food Stores and we do go there occasionally.  But I’m still drawn back to Weis.  Maybe its due to my ever present longing for nostalgia from my youth.  When I was young we stayed home and in our local area mostly; shopped at the only local family-owned grocery store (where everyone shopped at) which began in their home!  Leaving our area for any type of shopping was very rare in those days.    Everyone patronized their neighbors and didn’t think of leaving the valley for anything else.  Going to even a Weis store was rare but I do remember visiting them.  I also like the Weis near us due to its appearance inside.  Someone once told me that she doesn’t care for them much because she thinks they look “old fashioned” (or she used some other term similar in meaning).  They are updating many stores and building some new ones to be more energy efficient and to have more variety and larger selections to choose from.  I still enjoy our local one; it hasn’t been upgraded recently but that is all good by me.

I still enjoy the local owned businesses too.  They support local communities and its people and remind us what truly helped to build our small rural areas in the first place.

Even during the holiday season it seems so much more fun for me to go to the local grocery store.  It reminds me of all my excitement as a child of going there and getting all the seasonal goodies and baking items needed.  There is nothing too commercialized about a grocery store, it is all about the food, and I enjoy that aspect the most.  🙂  Food brings fond memories, doesn’t it?!

I will continue to shop at my local Weis Markets to help keep it here where it has been for many years.

That old wonderful vinyl collection

I love John Denver’s music and I am currently listening to an album with so many of his greatest songs which really bring on the Nostalgia.  As a child, I became exposed to his music when listening to so many of his vinyl records; I think my Father still has those albums too.  I really was exposed to so much great music through that vast vinyl collection. 🙂  I remember playing those records and 8-track tapes constantly and my love of music just grew and grew (as well as the scratches on those records from playing so much).  I would listen to 45’s and 33 1/3’s and found such joy in all of that “vintage” music (including Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Juice Newton, etc.); many albums which my Father grew up on too.

Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song’ is one of his hits which I adore.  And I really love this video which I’ve seen on television which uses his song in the background.

It will make you cry.

And it will show you many things that this Wonderful World has to offer us each and every day; things which we should respect and appreciate more.

Security Blankets are Forever

Merriam-Webster.com defines Security Blanket with two full definitions:

  1. a blanket carried by a child as a protection against anxiety

  2. a usually familiar object whose presence dispels anxiety

I believe that for a child it can be defined both literally and figuratively.  In the literal sense it is actually a blanket which is important while the figurative items may be an object or even a person/parent close to the child.

I also believe that humans keep a security blanket throughout their lives and it is not something that is discarded like a former childhood plush animal.

If a baby is introduced to a pacifier at birth, that becomes a very important security blanket and may become a difficult habit to break for a child.  Eventually he/she may suck on their thumb as a substitute for that pacifier and that too can last for a long time (at least from my observations of children).  Then the child may evolve into having a teddy bear as a buddy or even a cozy well-loved blanket.  But the greatest security blanket for many children is a parent or another guardian who is close to that child.  That is the person whom they run to for protection, affection and affirmation for many days to come.  That individual may show unconditional love and support through the child’s life and become the rock that is needed at all times.  It is only human nature to want to find love and to be loved and typically our parents are the first ones to show us love.

For many families it becomes the child who must endure the death and loss of the parent and to me that is the way the life cycle should be.  When the parent is no longer here on Earth to comfort the child, the child eventually acquires something else to be his/her security blanket for the rest of their days.

I believe that Nostalgia becomes that Security Blanket.  It comforts us during the most difficult times and also when life is rolling along at a regular pace.  Isn’t it common to reminisce with friends and family during the bereavement process?  We pull out old photos albums and watch videos and share stories with others about the deceased.  It provides comfort for all who partake in the bereavement of someone loved.

Nostalgia is defined by Merriam-Webster.com as simply : pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.

I absolutely love that definition.

I notice that nostalgia becomes commonplace in our thoughts as we age and I know this because it has become that for me and I’m observing it in others as well.  Maybe it is due to accepting our mortality and that we are quickly running towards that door or maybe because of the loss of a parent or other loved ones in our lives.  I think nostalgia wraps us up in a safer, more peaceful time when everything was right in the world and we had no worries.  It transports us to a place in our life when we were younger and actually living our lives and not worrying about death because death was for old folks and we were never going to get that old; or at least that is what we fooled ourselves into believing.  We lived in the moment and never peered beyond the next week.  Now as we age quickly, because time truly passes faster as we become older adults, we begin to reach inside for the Security Blanket which time or others can never take away.  It comforts us because we now face a future which we thought we would never deal with.  You quickly find yourself as an adult in a very adult world with adult responsibilities and worries and where lots of bad things happen which we have no control over.

I’ve been a dreamer all of my life so reminiscing and nostalgic thoughts come naturally to me and flow freely through my mind.  I choose my nostalgia for pleasure to transport myself into that perfect world again.  It is my Security Blanket in a world spinning out of control and makes me want to go back in time to experience it all over again.

 

What has become your Security Blanket and Why?

 

Decaying Relationship

From afar I watch you struggle,

I am able to do nothing.

You suffer, cry, laugh, fight; but keep existing.

I know it will never be the same.

Empty promises, hopes and dream unfulfilled,

It was never the intent to be.

Resolutions on new paths in life are to be distinct,

They tear apart what was once so golden.

The tree will bear its fruit with positive assurance.

You see no further than yourself,

To know the torment that I contend with.

If only you would be honest with the truths and to me,

So that I won’t be deceived by you anymore.

The hurt and anger are cracking me,

Keeping me from seeking anew.

I want to discover a lifelong ally,

One who dreams like I do.

Are those lies you spew to keep me by your side?

You are holding me back from happiness,

Don’t you see?

I am trapped in your world and jaded by your empty promises,

And I desire to end this corroded intimacy.

I’m not buying into all the upgrades

I’m not the first person to jump at the newest gadget on the market.  I still love older, simpler and high quality items which will endure for many years even through hard use.  I’m “old school” in many ways and proud to be!  I am fortunate to have lived with the Greatest Generation and exposed to so many wonderful things.  It can be difficult though to find something so simple now.  I see the upsurge in people who want good quality handmade items and older items which can be found at Estate sales.  There is always that affirmation of long endurance from something vintage.

At times though we must replace a much needed item in our home/life and I get worried.  Not worried about the cost of the item because we do keep a rainy-day fund but I worry about choosing because there just seems to be too many options out there and yet it is difficult to find the one which I am looking for among the sea of plenty.

Recently we had to purchase a new washer.  Our previous one was the perfect simple washer for us but the drum rusted and pieces were flying around inside so there really wasn’t a way for my husband to fix it.  It was so difficult to find the one which we truly wanted.  We wanted another which was exactly like the one we had.  I was so disgusted with the reviews I read about the ones available in the home improvement stores and I told my husband that we should just ‘belt-up’ one of his International engines to a ringer-washer because that would do the job and it was so simple and yet so perfect in washing clothes.

“No, I don’t want a front loading leaking washer.”

“No, I don’t want one with all electronic buttons like a smart phone.”

“No, I don’t want one that locks when it starts the wash cycle because I know of someone who had one that wouldn’t unlock after the wash cycle.”

“No, I don’t want one that rinses with the same temperature water as the wash cycle (namely warm & hot).  I want only cold rinse for all wash cycles even if I used hot water to wash my husband’s greasy clothes.”

“No, I don’t want one without an agitator in the middle.  That is an essential mechanism to cleaning clothes; you do know that, right?”

“I want one with simple push and pull type knobs which I can open at anytime and insert clothes during any part of the washing cycle.”

There was only one option for us to buy among the sea of plenty and we had searched several stores.  My husband said that maybe we should’ve bought an extra one to keep on stand-by. 🙂  I live with a man who runs the tool room in a machine shop and plays with tractors, farm machinery and grease in his free-time.  I need a work-horse of a washing machine that agitates clothes to clean really well (in collaboration with detergent, of course).

Last year we had to replace our toilet.  It was in our home when we bought it 15 years ago and it was old and not flushing well anymore.  And yes, at some point toilets just don’t flush anymore to push everything down the pipes like they should.  We dreaded replacing it because in the sea of plenty we would be limited by the toilets which are now all about conserving water usage.  Isn’t the point of a commode to move things along down the pipes into the septic system?  What better substance to move along poo than water?  Don’t you agree?  More home owners are having problems with clogged pipes these days due to these water-conserving toilets because only a little water goes down the pipes and sometimes there is very little pressure behind that surge of water.  We did research online, read reviews of other buyers and watched videos of various toilets and the ‘sales-pitches’ they had and finally chose one which appeared to be the one we were searching for.  It uses the highest amount of water allowable in toilets these days and so far, so good.

When we began the search for our third vehicle a few years ago we were able to shop around.  Our two other vehicles which we both use to get to-and-from work were still running but the car was nearing 200,000 miles by that point (still running today at 211,000 + miles as I type!).  We decided on a vehicle and began looking around at various dealerships and had an idea of what we did and didn’t want.  We got to do a few test-drives which was nice too.  But at this one dealership, they were really pushy.  There was one there which we test drove and the two salesmen were trying to convince us that we had to have this one.  It has all the electronic extras in the package including blue-tooth (is that how it’s spelled?!) and something with programming the garage door opener to the vehicle along with so many other things that we don’t need or even want!  It hiked the price on the new vehicle up even higher and we didn’t want any of it.  Eventually we got out of there and we won’t be going back there again.  We did get one eventually which is just perfect for us and from another dealership (without all the extra add-ons which we don’t want).  What ever happened to a simple vehicle without all that electronic stuff?!  As my husband always says, the more electronic gizmos on a vehicle, the more that can and will fail and need to be repaired.  It’s not as easy to repair a newer vehicle as older ones due to all the electronic extras added on them these days.  I agree.  I can say the same about all of those fancy washers and dryers for sale too!

I’m glad we found a simple washer and a commode that has great flushing power as well as a third vehicle that isn’t all hopped-up on electronics!

Unique Discovery

One think which I really love about vintage cookbooks are the unexpected and quite unique features which are often found within those pages.  There are always tips and advice which wouldn’t be found in a present-day cookbook.  I think those are indicators of a simpler time of life and the mores of society.  When reading these things it is hard to imagine that they would be tolerable or even printable in today’s society.  I find no offense when reading these things but enjoyment and often find that they are useful tools to have in my arsenal.

Here is an example of one such unique discovery which I found in my ‘Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.’

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Here are “Short cuts to making work easy.”  I know this is referring to housework since many women in the 1950’s didn’t work outside of the home but who couldn’t use some of these tips today anyway?

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And a rhyme to enjoy!

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“Wear comfortable clothes and properly fitted shoes while working around the house.”

To be honest, you won’t find me wearing a dress and heels while cleaning the house. 🙂  But, I think many women may have done that in past.

In the “For personal outlook” block-I certainly don’t apply make-up, cologne and earrings before I eat breakfast! 🙂

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In the “If you feel tired” block-I laugh when I read that one! :OP

The middle block advice is a great one though and we should all strive to follow that to help with our personal health.

In the “If you have just a moment” block-that’s funny too!

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Been hearing about good posture since I was a child.

Alternate sitting and standing is always good for health and back.

“Check up on yourself” is sage advice; don’t you think?!

“Refresh your spirits” is a good one too.  

I don’t find it humorous when a cat is stuck in a tree though!

Well…some of that advice is good but some of it is just too funny to me too. 🙂  I still enjoy finding these types of things in vintage printings of the past.  It reminds me of a simpler time, in my opinion, and of a time which I really wish I could have truly experienced.