It's All About the Journey

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All the Shoes I’ve Worn Before

Not so long ago, I did an essay on FEET.  Yes.  I did.  Written on an envelope in a moment of complete creativity, and remembrance of…wait.  My feet.  I can’t remember my feet!

I haven’t much recollection of them, but here’s a stab at it.

I don’t remember much, but I do remember cotton Carter pajamas with feet in them, and the little dots to keep me from slipping.  I’m not so sure they actually worked, but I do remember with sadness my mother cutting them off because they were the first part that wore out on the pajama. (that’s me, the little one, with the pajama feet missing).

Yes2little girls from Albany St

The next instant I distinctly remember is the saddle shoe.  Oh, there were buckle shoes for church and special occasions, but your every day was the saddle shoe.

KindGradKathyThird grade I had the greatest pair of shoes, I can barely remember them, they were tan, but they collapsed midway through and we bought a cheap substitute and they hurt my feet, I do remember that.  They had ridges on the soles.  My poor choice.

More modern buckle shoes, and then in 7th grade came the chunky heel.  And a classmate had the same shoe.  I thought “hey, neat!” but she thought otherwise and dark polished hers, so as not to be on the same level as me.  I didn’t quite understand, but kids can be like that.

Between my junior and senior year of high school, I remember a pair of sandals that were very comfortable, and my boyfriend at that time told me I had bony feet.  I was a little embarrassed.  (And his feet were probably not the greatest.)  I had a bike accident though, and those sandals were destroyed (which will make a great new story at some point, the bike accident, not the sandal destruction).  We both bought water buffalo sandals.  His broke in nicely, while mine fell apart.  Mom wouldn’t pay for another pair (can you blame her?  No).

When one is criticized, they carry that criticism, no matter who else comes to bat and rescues them from that bad dream.  It took me many years to get over the bony feet comment.

In 1975 the world turned to the platform shoe.  I remember buying a pair that were extremely comfortable.  This was the day and age that we still had the old fashioned shoe store and you were waited on.  I loved these stores.  They were bright and you were always measured.  There were large store front windows, this was a day and age where the mall was still too far away from your doorstep and downtown still prosperous and active.  Anyway, I bought these great platform shoes for work.  They had ties and a nice tight fit.  My mother had a fit, “you’ll break your neck!” she exclaimed.  I took them back the next day.

The earth shoe.  They were the replacement for another pair of platforms that I’d worn all throughout work, and then I changed jobs and became the mail girl.  The earth shoes were now a replacement, based on bruised toes from walking the halls all day.  They lasted awhile, but had to be replaced eventually, and then I got a pair that were in the bruised and dented collection at the shoe outlet.  Yes, shoes were now gaining in price and as a young 20 year old, I had to watch my budget.  They were still ties, but they had a nudge on the suede, which became a tear, and they fell apart rather quickly.

Then I had a black pair of wedge shoes.  They lasted quite awhile. Days of wedge shoes and Converse sneakers, which lasted quite awhile.

I got married and wore white high heeled sandals, which went over into work, and I wore them to my job interview at St. Joseph’s College (before it became a university) at the AFROTC.  I got the job, with my hair in a cute perm and a lace collared dress, and those white sandals!

I remember wanting to wear a pair of wooden shoes with bright colored leather that had been my mother-in-law’s when she and her husband went to Cuba, in the 50’s I believe.  Just a little too big, but they were beauties!  And then I had a pair of green suede sandals that I loved.  But there was a bunch in the shoe I did not realize, and by the time I’d walked to work (3 blocks to my office), I had damaged the padding of my left foot badly, and it lingers to this day, causing me to only be able to buy any shoe that I have to practice and the slightest discomfort (which quickly turns to crippling) return, limiting me to Adidas in sneakers and now the Merrill’s for shoes.

Life goes in a fuzz and I cannot remember the shoes in between.  Let us fast forward to today, when I rely on my Merrill’s to keep my feet safe.  I fell several years ago now, and injured my right foot, wearing a pair of sandals that were supposed to be good support, but stepping on the curb in a hurry, twisted it.  Ever since then, any shoe that hasn’t the support I cannot wear.

Oh.  An autoimmune disorder exists now, too.  Suddenly I couldn’t wear shoes and was reduced to spa shoes, that stuck to my soles.  That was difficult.  Stelara to the rescue, and my feet are back “in business.”

I do have a pair of  sandals that hug my feet tight, but they are falling apart and the glue from the cobbler’s is only a temporary fix.

Anyway, I’ve come a long way from footie pajamas and saddle shoes.  And I do like my feet.  The farmer tells me they are beautiful, as he massages them.

Life is good.  Hug and kiss your children’s (and grandchildren’s) feet.  They are precious.  And tell them their feet are beautiful.  They carry us great distances, and we need to pay attention to them!

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Setting Pace with Nature

A friend pointed out to me an article in The Conservationist, a circular that encompasses New York State wildlife.  An Emerson fan, she thought of me when the author of an article spoke of Emerson.  Naturally drawn to Emerson, I looked up the article, Chomping at Nature’s Bit by Eli Knapp.  There it was.  “Adapt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.”  

I can agree with this concept.  Nature is very patient.  She wait for us to mess up, then she calmly takes over.  Paved roads break up while she takes over.  Brush grows up in fields that the farmer has kept plowed, our neglect becomes her tapestry.

I have forbidden the groundhog hunt here on our civilized patch.  Build more garden, share it, I say (I’m not the one building the garden, easy for me to say).  Then again, if you need to remove them, do not ever let me know.  I cannot bear the thought.  I’m definitely a human heart here, while they live on instinct, and the reality of the world is that, if we want to keep our crops for harvest, we need to limit their “help” in harvesting!

Back to the subject at hand, Emerson and Nature.  I encourage you to read his essay.  Absorb it.  Be patient with it.

In patience, I seek a word from this essay to inspire you, my readers, to seek.  Difficult at the least, I send you this:  Nature is loved by what is best in us.  It is loved as the city of God.  I dare not say more, at least, not now.  Emerson is difficult in that we cannot take mere quotes and have them realized in and of themselves, they must be coupled with the rest of the essay.  The one thing I have learned from Emerson can bring my defeat as his follower:  Lay this volume down.   You had better never see my essays than to be warped by their attraction out of your own orbit and be made my satellite.  Then let me lay this volume down, and step outdoors where my dog absorbs nature, she is my lesson.  As are the birds, the groundhog, and the breeze which blows against my face.

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How “it’s done!”

Leslie said, “this is how it’s done.”


No Mom! Said Jake, THIS is how it’s done!”


Now wait, says Grandma, this is how it’s REALLY done!”


(Videography by Joscelyn Studios)


A Case of Rip Van Winkle

Did anyone see 60 Minutes last night?  There was this great article regarding our smart phones and an interview with a millenial about programming our brains, needing assurance that there are people out there paying attention to us.

Here is the link. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-hacking-tech-insiders-60-minutes/

I’ll say no more, let the article speak for itself!  Let me wake up from my sleep, like Rip Van Winkle, and understand our world.  Now I know why the pings from my followers are so important to me.  And to you.

 


Shoo Fly! And other things that fly…

As I sit and watch the flies multiply, I wondered what was out there to combat it besides the old-fashioned fly swatter.  And keeping the door closed (not an option here, folks).  I found the following, and must share these natural ingredients to aid.  I have not tried them yet, but then again, I just found it.  We can all try and respond!  I appreciate comments from those who have tried or are working on these homespun remedies.

Citronella – Well known for its anti-mosquitos properties, citronella also works incredible well for other flying pests.

Peppermint –  Works as natural pest deterrent not only for flies, mosquitos but also for mice and spiders. It is also a heavy hitter in the garden and also works as a natural insecticide for squash bugs, aphids, beetles, ants, flies and fleas.

Clove – Do you remember grandma’s old trick of putting cloves into a apple and setting it on the picnic table to keep the flies and mosquitos away from the food?  That “old” trick still works because the smell of clove is highly hated by flies. Clove oil is great for more then just flies, its also an excellent immune booster and a key component in the highly sought after Thieves oil. It was used in the 15th century by the original “four Thieves” to boost the immune system and keep the plague away.

Rosemary – Rosemary is a time honored herb, praised for its antioxidant properties and applied topically it’s said to treat muscle aches, improve circulation and arthritis. This potent herb is also an excellent resource for pest control not only in the barn but in the garden, working to deter cabbage loving larvae, like caterpillars.

Glycerin – Glycerin is simple a “host” or a emulsifier for the oils.  I use food grade glycerin from Azure Standard, but you can also get it from Amazon HERE. Considering I also use this in homemade cosmetic’s and as a key component to teat wash its a excellent essential to have for the DIYer.

Further instruction from the site I have found was the following recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  •  20 Drops Citronella
  • 20 Drops Clove
  • 20 Drops Thyme or Rosemary
  • 20 Drops Peppermint
  • 1/4 cup Food grade Glycerin

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a 16oz spray bottle add the Essential Oils and glycerin and top it off with water. Spray as needed.

“I spray my cows with Homemade Fly Spray before every milking.  This will keep the flies at bay and save me from trying to milk a irritated cow.  I choose to double the recipe and make up a big batch using a 32ounce spray bottle.  During the heavy summer months, this will typically last me for 2 weeks.  Which isn’t bad, considering I have 6 cows that I’m spraying.” (In quotes because this is not my recipe

There are many recipes out there, too.  While this is just the tip of the iceberg, here is the link I’m sure you will all find interesting!  http://livinlovinfarmin.com/homemade-livestock-fly-spray/


Life is an Emoji

Skipping through social media, as best as I could this morning, waiting for the ads to load so I could scroll, I stumbled across the word “emoji,” and have thought about it some.  As I scroll, I hit these little icons of like, love, thankful, wow.  I rarely do any of the others, I just keep scrolling.  Sometimes I remember to delete the ads I’ve seen way too much, for fear of saying something spiteful, we shouldn’t dwell in a negative world.

Then my break comes.  Gracie, the black lab.  She gets up in the morning, and while I am hovering over the laptop and a cuppa joe, she wants her hugs.  “You are the best puppy ever!” I state, and she shudders and chatters her teeth, her happy sign.  I wish I had an emoji for that.  Wait.  No I don’t.  She is alive and affectionate.  We step outside, where her “babies” wait for her (a stuffed bone, and a stuffed skunk, she takes her pick).  The morning birds announce the morning, despite the dark rain clouds that keep the sun from shining.

And the birds, we keep the bird feeders full, despite instruction that they need to now find food on their own.  We are enjoying them way too much.  We even saw Baltimore orioles the other day!

We found her crying in the box of sawdust.  The stray kitten that wandered from mama’s nest, somewhere in that haymow.  She cried and cried.  Barn kittens, we leave them for mama to find.  (She did find her!)

All signs of life, a full life, and in the circle of life.  Life in signs:  the apple blossoms, the dogwood trees, the daffodils and tulips as they awaken, and now, the lilacs.  (As soon as the sweet honeysuckle blooms, I am reminded that heaven exists.)

Stop and listen.  Just for a moment.  The world goes on.  It’s a better place.