Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Along Came A Deer

All summer long we have had unusual visitors to our back yard. Living in the mist of town, you wouldn't think to find these wild creatures living amongst our homes, but they do. They terrorized our garden, and left us barely a tomato to spare.

In the warm days of June, a pair of deer would come venturing into our yard most evenings, or early morning. Along with the dozen rabbits, uncountable number of squirels, and numerous birds, but it was always the deer that struck me with the most amazement.

Yesterday started deer season for the hunters. This afternoon, as I was in the middle of waiting for dinner to cook, and tossing a load of laundery in the dry, I looked up and out the window of our back door. There she was, a lone doe, standing in our back yard. I almost felt sad and happy a the same time. Sad, because I wondered what happened to her mate. Happy, because to see a deer living in town just brings a smile to your face. It makes you wonder how they got there in the first place and keep managing to come back all this time without being hit by a car, let alone the fear of being hunted.

I didn't even care the deer was eating leaves from my farthest bush behind the house. It was good to see, to recognize, and watch the same doe I had seen in the summer return to our yard, as if it called the place home, just as much as I did.

When darkness fell, the deer was no longer in view, but I have hope it will return. I miss living in the country setting of our old home. It has been one year since we moved to the place we live now, and awaken each morning to the sounds of buses, and morning traffice. Then I think of the deer and I think about how we live in town, then I don't think it's as bad as I first thought, especially if the deer can find refuge in my back yard.

Monday, November 10, 2008

40 Days

For the past six weeks our church has doing 40 days of community. We've been attending small group meetings, and through those groups we've gotten to know a few more people in our church, but not only that - there's been alot of prayer, support, and bounding.

In 40 days, our church completed 32 outreach projects. Yeah, 32! We've collected clothes for the needy and food for the hungry. We've cleaned store rooms and toys. We've scrubbed, sandeded, and painted hallways the size of a football field. All for our community.

It's inspiring isn't it? For once nobody asked, what can my community do for me. No, they were saying just the opposite, and then they went out and did it.

Many hands make light work. (That just might be the title of my next blog.)

I'm currently working on writing an article for my local newspaper on the good deeds our church has done, not as brag list, but as an encouragement to others to do the same.

In a time when gas prices fluxate daily, food prices never drop, and warm blankets are always needed to wait out the cold of winter, the most important thing our community needs is the people within it striving to help one another.

That's not easy. Since moving to this town, all I've heard is about the way it used to be, before the drug dealers and the crime came in by the bus loads. Everyone's dewelling on the past, but I think it's time we all start making a future. Together.

40 days made me realize that we all have so much more to give, and I'm not talking about possessions, I'm talking about our time.

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. It's a time for celebrateing the many blessing in our lives. As the days follow up towards this holiday, I challenge each one of you, to go out and become a blessing to others. It doesn't have to be huge. It can be small. Perhaps you can start by saying hello to your neighbor, and if you have never met your neighbor before - then it's a good time to get acquiented. A name, at the very least is better than waving each morning in the driveway to a stranger.

40 days doesn't end, as long as we keep it going. How long can it last? We'll just see won't we?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A long climb up.

This morning while I stood at my back door sipping a cup of tea I watched a squirrel sit in our tree. We only have one. The squirrel seemed to be awaking with the morning. It rubbed little saucer eyes and stretched where it had laid huddled for a long night nap. It scuttled up a branch, tasted the fattening buds, and proceeded to the whole way to the top most place it could be in the tree.

At that moment, I felt I had a lot in common with that squirrel. We are all just climbing a tree, and just like that squirrel I find myself still sitting at the base where the tree splits and extendeds many different ways. We've all got a goal, we've got to get to the top.

But at that serene moment, my three year old screamed and my five year old yelled "MOM!". A saw a flash of red go up the stairs and very unhappy five year old chasing after. I looked back at the split of the base of the tree. Above on the hanging branch the squirrel sampled his new found fare. I sighed, put my tea and trodded off to bring peace back to the house.

Life is like a thousand branches, some thick, some thin, some snap at the slightess pressure. Whethere we are hanging by a limb in our career, climbing to reach further in our social ranking, or lounging between splits, our base continues to be our foundation. My base is my family, and my branches have become my many interest. I'm learning to prune them and rake away the dead leaves.

This week I realized my accounting degree may be great for doing the family finances, but writing has really more of whom I am. Details bore me, creativity adores me, and clocks just don't like me. But I manage to arrive, late, to everything. Perhaps that is why it took me until now, the last few months of being twenty - something, to realize what I am supposed to be when I grow up.

Not that being a mother and a wife, isn't three full time jobs and the center of my life already, mind you. I signed up this week to go back to school. I'm going to start by taking an english class. You'll probably make a few notices by end of summer that some of my grammer and puntuation, and spelling will have improved. Now only if I could get the arrive fifteen minutes early routine down. LOL, I guess we'll just have to see.

The past few months I've spent putting our new home in order, and continue to do so. So far I have painted my office, green, and my bedroom, blue and silver for my wedding colors. There is so much more to do, and along the way I have been decluttering. By May I expect to have a grand yard sale. I met a woman today who has no tv, and lives without it in harmony. I grew envious for I shall miss my WILDFIRE series soon when it ends this season. With that being said I probably don't need a tv once it's not on anymore. It may give me more time to write.

Part of living "green" is decluttering our homes. What can you live without? What can't you part with? When my kids toys seem to be everywhere, too many for the box they are stashed, I sort them. I hide away the excess and after two months if a particular toy is not requested, then I donate the excess toys to my local thrift shop. What can you hide away for a month or two? Then go back to it and decide if you really need it after all? I think my closet needs a little more cleaning this week. I'll let you know.

Friday, January 11, 2008

This Little Light of Mine

There's an old saying about good things which come in small packages. My postman brought me such a package not long ago from a surprising source. Who would have thought my local electric company could make me feel like a kid again?

But then your asking yourself, who in their right mind, gets excited about receiving a light bulb? Yep, that's right, they sent me a light bulb, two actually, and not just any ordinary light bulbs - Compact Florescent Light Bulbs.

I found myself humming the lyrics to This little light of mine all afternoon.

While my children may be too young to understand the significance of a light bulb, as a mother I appreciate a single light bulb as much as I do as saving a few dollars on my grocery bill each month. Of course, who can refuse something when its FREE!!

The light bulbs were the result of responding to a flyer sent to us after signing on as new customers at www.pplelectric.com. I opened them immediately and swapped out two of my regular incandescent bulbs and put in my new ones. The light was the same, bright, steady, 60 watts like we've always used. Except the difference I can't see looking at the shining light will come on my electic bill over the life time of use of the bulbs.

Who would have thought one little bulb could save me so much money, and create so much light using so little energy. CFL's (Compact Florescent Lights) use50-80% less energy than our regular incandescent bulbs making them enviromentally freindly. Just one bulb will keep 1/2 ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Doesn't really seem like a lot does it?

So what do you suppose would happen if we all ran out and bought just two energy saving light bulbs and swapped them with two of our old lights in our homes? We'd be able to power a city with 3 million people for a year or the equivlant to 2.6 million cars taken off the road. Even one bulb swapped out would save enough energy to turn off two power plants!

I immediately went out to Walmart. Just one little light, actually they came in a four packs, cost me $7.58. One little light bulb cost me just $1.90, and I won't have to change any of my light bulbs again for 7-10 years. YEARS!!! No more teetering on a chair with arm outstretched in the dark trying to replace a blown out globe at inappropriate moments of the day. Not only that, that little bulb is going to save me an estimated $38 during it's life time of use. Broken down, it's about fifty cents a day. Gosh, if you think of it like my kids do - a candy bar or a can of soda per day. But as a mother of three, I find there's another reward much greater than a candy bar, the money saved per year, is the energy savings it also produced.

But if your a mathmatician, like my husband, think of it this way. We have 22 lights in our home, and all have been replaced with new CFL's. 22 x $.50 a day is $11 a day, $33 a month, $ 396 a year. If each light is good for 10 years that's a total savings of $3,960 for my household.

How many lights are in your home?

It only takes one to start saving - saving money, and saving our environment to secure the future of our children for another generation to come.

So this little light of mine, well let's just say, I'm gonna let it shine!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Welcome Home

"Welcome Home"

That's what I said when I carried my babe and escorted my kids through the threshold of our new home. New being a relative word these days. We've lived in our current house for seven weeks. And now I find my self yearning for the small town living we left behind in order to make an attempt to give our kids a better life. Although I'm not sure living in a tiny crammed two bedroom house in a small town with the population of 664 (just guessing, but probably close) was so bad after moving a much larger town.


That my friends is the sound of shooting. This afternoon while I prepared my younger children to walk to the bus stop to meet my older child at the bus stop there was gun shoots. The nearby middle school and hospital was put on lock down. My heart skipped several beats when I got to the bus stop and was warned by security to stay safe and be careful walking back home. The shoots where not far off from where I stood awaiting my child. My first thought was my children and how would I be able to protect them all from somthing I had never experienced, never wanted to experienced, and never before in my life ever had to fear.

In the past four days, there have been five, maybe six in our "town". Of course that doesn't included traffic accident. Yep, had one of those right smack in front of our house a few days ago. SUV swirved and weaved and left a trail of three damaged vehicles and one innocent victim sent to the hospital.

We lived near Detroit for many years, I hated it, I hated the violence on the streets, the disrespect of personal property, and the lack of community found there. We left, no surprise there, we two years in a small town community, but our family grew, and we made the decision to move again. I just keep telling myself, "this is a town, a big town, but a town. It's not a metro, it's not Detroit." But today, you couldn't have told me any different. At least in Detroit, I knew one thing, there was respect for children. I never feared for my child, because everyone you met, even the teenagers, had more kids then I did.

But here, this town, this place, is a mine field, and I stumble across it blindly with hope that when the sunrises in the morning it will bring more then the unusal warm tempatures we've been receiving. I'd hope it would bring a sense of peace over a "town" plagued by stray bullets and unleashed angered, where childern and parents don't have to fear their safety for things as simple as going to school.

"Welcome Home." A home is where we chose to make it, and right now this is my home, this is my life, and beyond my street, beyond the houses, I refuse to think of what is going on outside my door (which is chained and locked), so I may make it through one more night in this place I call home.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy 2008!

The new year has brought Global Warming concerns to our nation. We're so worried about oil and the price of gas right that we've failed to see the damages we've done to our own planet. Women usually blame men for having little minds, but when you think of how many people live in cities and towns it's so large to us, our homes are small, but we never stop to realize how HUGE the earth is and how we are destorying it. Or at least I didn't till I finally moved to a town where I could get a channel on TV that wasn't so snow laiden I could hear and see the anchor man giving the news report. That within it's self to me was a Christmas Miracle to be thankful for this year and last.

I couldn't help thinking, while I rocked my small infant daughter to sleep one night, how when human kind is on the extinct list, those few of us still alive will still probably be trying to decide how best to conquer china or lead the Iraqians to giving up their old ways and adapting more peaceful ones. Wouldn't that be funny, a couple of survivors trying to bicker the prices of oil with a few others when they should really just be worried about the essentials, oh, like, say, air, water, food for instance. Nope, not our country we're complaining about the price of gas.

We're so busy upgrading things in our lives, no one stops to think about be conservative. Just this past year we pushed aside our Ford Tauras for a Honda Odessey mini van, being our family was increasing once again and the family car was already cramped. Instead of downsizeing to compact cars and fuel effecient vehicles, more and more people have been on the rising of those wonderful things called "gas hogs", oops, I mean SUV's. Every real man's dream of picking up chicks is in a SUV or big wheel truck right? Who wants someone with a tiny little car? Hello!! Men with little cars, have bigger wallets ladies, they don't have to spend $100 - $200 a fill up at the pumps just to pick you up for a date!


I really never realized how much resources we waste a day in our ordinary lives. My husband's grandmotehr used to save everything from empty milk jugs to rewashing her maxi pads. Yeah, gross I know. Talk about a personal hygene issue. The sad part is I'm starting to adapt a few of her habits, oh no, not the maxi pad by far!, but a few days ago I took a tin can and made a horse back with my oldest daughter. Yesterday I dropped off my empty plastic containers after saving them up for a few weeks to the local recycle center. We've been sorting out our trash for the last month. We burn paper in our wood furnance. We seperate tin cans, soda cans, glass, plastics, and put them in seperate trash cans in our laundry room. We've even been rolling around the idea of starting a compost pile to be put in a garden this spring. Not that I'm big on gardening, but when you have to pay $3.oo for a tomato - a gallon of gas seems so unimportat.

Feeding my family is.

I live in town, and say there are at least thirty houses down my street, probably more, just think if each of those houses did what I was doing how much more we would save by recycling and saving the natural resources we are using to make all new again? Would that gallon of milk cost more if it were in a recycled jug compared to a newly made jug? Probably, the cost of milk is always rising, but not because of the packaging, somebody's got to feed and milk those cows to produce the milk we consume.

My trash bill this month - a big fat ZERO. My trash bill next month - a big fat ZERO. My trash bill the month after that - $10 to dispose of the few bags accumulated and taken to the local transit site. A total savings of $35 for three months if I would have paid the trash man to carry it away. Some of you may be sniffing at $35, but to me that is half the price of one month school meals for my oldest child, or the way you may look at it - a month of cable TV.

If you had to predict what 2008 is going to hold for your future what would it be? I look at my children and I know excately what to expect: the unexpected, the blessed, and the hatchet with "expenses" written across the blade. If the Artic is going to melt by 2012, that means my youngest will be only 12 yrs old when we have completed the cycle into a new hotter climate. What will the future hold for my children? For yours? I don't know, let's just see where it leads us.

Right now it's leading me back to my rocking chair to nurse my baby and watch TV.


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