Ramblings

Life, family, business


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Blow like the Wind

The wind is unseen, yet its force causes the leaves to flutter and the branches to bounce.

The wind is invisible, yet one can feel it, on their skin and in their hair.

The wind is hidden from our eyes, yet our ears can perceive its presence.

The wind can be gentle; a breeze lightly teasing the grass.

The wind can be ferocious; tearing apart buildings and blowing down trees.

We can be like the wind; we can do many things without anyone seeing us.  But the results of our actions can be momentous.  Good or bad depends on the one who discerns, and the one who acts.

 

 


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What’s Your Opinion?

I can be a very opinionated person.  I have a very strong belief system and I defend my beliefs.   An opinion is simply a belief or view or judgment formed about something.  We all have them.  Some have more than others.

Every person is entitled to their own opinion about anything.  Here in the United States we have the freedom of speech, and we have the right to voice our opinions.  However, its important to remember that not everyone has the same opinion, and even though you can voice your opinion, I don’t have to listen.

What makes some people feel the need to express their opinion to people they barely know, with no invitation?  What makes these people think that their opinion means anything to people they don’t know?

This is one of the things I’ve been pondering over this Christmas holiday.  It seems like I meet one of these people every year or two.  But what makes a person act like this? I’m not talking about your outspoken friend talking to you, I’m talking about that person who has just met you, or is in your line at the store, or the person behind you in line at the buffet who makes unkind or rude comments about your choice of food.

The one theme I see in people like this is ignorance.  People who don’t take the time to learn about a situation and just try to judge others are very ignorant.  People who try to tell you what they think or believe without being invited into the conversation are rude, discourteous, and lacking manners.

I know I have acted this way as well, especially when I was younger.  Its something I try very hard not to do.  These rules are obviously not for close friends, they are my rules for meeting new people and talking to people you don’t know well:

NEVER insert your opinion where its not wanted. How do you know if it’s wanted?  The person will ask you for it if they want it. If they don’t ask, keep your yap shut.

NEVER criticize other adults for their choices.  Its not your life, you don’t get to choose for anyone except yourself.  If you don’t like the way someone else did it, then don’t do it that way yourself, and keep your yap shut.

And lastly, you can judge people all you want in your head, but keep your yap shut.  Karma is a bitch. You reap what you sow.  Once you start judging others out loud, you will become the target of those who will judge you as harshly as you judge others.

I can tell you from experience that when you try to insert your opinion into someone else’s life, they generally aren’t going to like it, especially if it doesn’t agree with theirs.  When people do any of these things to me, or breaks my rules, it creates an instant dislike of that person.  Is this me judging?  Yes, it is.  As an adult, I get to decide who my friends are, and who I talk to.  There are so many negative people in this world, I try my hardest to make sure I don’t add any of them into my  circle of friends, or even my list of acquaintances.

Since I have started choosing the people I allow into my life more carefully, I have become a much happier person.  I surround myself with people who are also tolerant, loving, and peaceful.  I reject those who are abrasive, self-serving, or disrespectful of my life’s beliefs.  Every one of us gets to choose who we let in; respect yourself and make purposeful choices.


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A Christmas Story from the Store

I am the owner of a small convenience store in a small town in rural North Dakota.  Every morning, a group of mostly retired men come to the store to have coffee or a bottle of water, and shoot the breeze.  Some play cards, some play practical jokes. Its a great group of guys who have become almost like family to me.  We’re open every morning of the year, except Christmas.   We joke around a lot, and keep tabs on what everyone is doing or where they are going for the winter.  Almost all of them have a great sense of humor, and we laugh so much, sometimes my cheeks hurt.  

One of the jokesters was getting ready to leave this morning.  I asked him if he had gotten something nice for his wife’s Christmas present.  He said, “Nope!  I got her a present a few years ago and she never used it.”

I asked him what he had gotten her.

He laughed, “A cemetery plot.”

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a fantastically wonderful New Year!

 

 


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Why its Important to Teach an Old Dog Some New Tricks

I started playing piano about a year ago.  I was so good about practicing every day, and I was even impressed how quickly I was able to play some of the songs.  But then spring came, and my true passion ensued: gardening.  I love gardening so much; planting seeds, the smell of fresh soil, the first shoots of germination, the breath of new spring life.

On rainy days when I was off work, I still practiced, but those were few and far between.  My poor piano sat neglected.  But then eventually, as it always does, the frost came, and the piano came back to life.  I lost so much from my negligence, but I’m gaining it back.  I’m working my way to where I was when spring sprung and I ran outdoors, leaping for joy at the new growth and spring rain, and plants.  I’m still ahead of where I was last year at this time when I just started.

My doctor told me that learning something new, like playing an instrument is amazingly good for your brain.  It creates new pathways, new connections.  The funny thing is,  I can feel them growing!!   I know, it sounds crazy, but I can feel my brain working, expanding and improving.  I can only practice for so long, before I can’t take it anymore.  Its as though my brain says, “Ok, this is all can muster for today,” and I need to stop.

I also want to learn Spanish, but I haven’t gotten very far with that.  Buenas Tardes!!   I have gotten through the first few lessons, however.  If only I had more time!!  I think this is why its so important to help our children learn these things when they are young.  When we are children, we learn so much faster, and we have the time to learn, and to practice.  But if we do not have the opportunities as children, there’s no reason not to learn the things we want to know as we get older.  Its good for our brains, and its good for our self-esteem.  I love being able to play a new song, or understand what someone said in Spanish, even though I maybe can’t say it on my own quite yet.  The neural pathways are still being constructed.  But once they are painstakingly built, I will work harder to keep them in good condition.  Perhaps I will try speaking Spanish to my plants, or play them a song.

Its so good for each one of us to learn something new.  Did you know that learning a new hobby or trade can ward off depression?  How about protecting yourself from dementia and Alzheimer’s?  I consider myself to be a bit young to worry about that yet, but as we all age, we all are at risk for so many mind-killing diseases and disorders.

You’ve always dreamed about learning a new language?  Speak it!!  It will only help you!  Always dreamed of learning to play a musical instrument?  Play it!  It will make you feel great!  Always wanted to learn a new hobby, or trade?  Learn it!!  It will set you ahead of yourself, and it will help your brain stay younger.

What are the dreams you have?  The things you want to learn?  What language do you want to speak?  Find your interests, and go with it.  Learn something new, no matter what your age.  You’re NEVER too old to learn some new tricks!


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The Fall of Summer

As the leaves turn from green to yellow to red, the fruits ripen, and the chipmunks are busy gathering their winter supplies, my heart saddens, knowing the joyous days of summer’s heat are being cut short.  The blue jays, with their clever calls mimicking the sound of a hovering hawk, fight over the acorns with the squirrels. The yellow jackets appear more intensely, hungry for every fallen apple, and ready to bite every intruder.  The luscious season of tomatoes ripening, juicy goodness only available in the late summer, is almost over.  The bags and bags of them in the entry way, waiting for me to do something.

The first nip of frost blackens my squash and pumpkins leaves, and they ripen quickly, forced into readiness by their natural enzymes.  “Hurry up, everyone!” the frost seems to say, “Your time is almost done”.  The zucchini plants make one final attempt to produce more fruit, and the yellow squash does the same, sending out new blossoms, calling to the bees. The bees are also in a hurry, to bring more nectar back to the hive for their winter syrup of life.

The wild animals grow heavier coats. My chickens grow in their heavy under feathers, getting ready for the cold.  The air in the evenings has a crispness to it, a chill, and the fire warms our hands and feet.  The leaves crunch underfoot.  The flowers are faded, turning to stalks. The seeds blow on the wind, their ingenious parachutes and umbrellas of fuzz setting them adrift in the sky.  Like the pioneers, they set off, not knowing where they will land, but they will try to make a life wherever that is.

The geese and ducks fly overhead.  Going south, who can blame them?  The Monarch butterflies too, migrating back to their warmer climate for survival.  Their instinct pulls them into the migration patterns their ancestors followed for generations, and now they follow as well, creating an amazing pattern of life.

Every fall, I add another number to my chronological age.  The numbers don’t really bother me like I thought they would, I still feel the same inside.  An old neighbor of mine once told told me that the years go by faster the older you get.  This scares me, because they go by so quickly already.

The winter comes every year, and every year it catches me off guard.  I’m not ready.  Not ready for the cold or the wind, or the snow or the ice.  I wish for the warm nights of summer, fireflies dancing in the grass, and planting.  Planting everything, working the garden to see what will grow, what will fail, and what will turn into something extraordinary from a seed, some dirt, and some water; the promise of what is yet to come.  The miracle of life and death, and rebirth; of hibernation and migration, the circle of life.


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The Love of Gardens

10428087_10207352175110670_1916599059228317282_nMy favorite thing about spring, summer, and fall, is my garden.  Well, gardens.  I have several flower gardens, and small plots of different things, but my vegetable garden is my prize.  I love being able to grow my own food and share it with my children and their friends, and my friends and neighbors.  I believe that we are meant to care for the Earth and nurture the soil and its inhabitants.  I am an organic gardener, I use no man made chemicals.  I use my labor, and my love instead.  I do use some organically approved insecticidal soap if the need arises, but I normally don’t have an issue with bugs because I have chickens.  Chickens eat the bugs before they can damage my crop.  The chickens will eat a little out of my garden, but I offer them veggies and fruits they love in a designated area, so they usually just look in that spot if they want a tomato, or some over ripe raspberries or cucumbers. I put netting around my lettuce patch, but that is the chicken’s favorite. If I want any, I need to keep them out!

 I always grow more than I need so I have some to offer to others.  I use a heavy mulching method so I have very few weeds, and I can just enjoy my time looking at the plants and picking the harvest when its ready. Nothing tastes as good as vegetables right from the garden!

I don’t get to this blog as often in the summer, since I love being outdoors, and I try to spend my free time enjoying the short summer we have here in North Dakota.  But today is a rainy day, and my laptop was calling.

I noticed that in the past year, more people from Brazil have read my blog than people from any other country.  I want to say “hello!” and welcome my South American readers!  I appreciate you, and I’d love to get to know you.  If any of you are gardeners, or small business owners as well, I’d love to hear about it.  In fact, I really love getting to know people from other countries and cultures, and I’d love it if you would drop me a line, and tell me about yourself!


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Wandering

Sometimes I feel like I am drifting through life with no real purpose. I am the wanderer, wandering.

I’ve done the homework, the writing, the thinking, the praying.

What am I meant for?

I can write out sheets and sheets of goals and purposes, but what do they really mean? What are they worth?

I can read book after book, and I have, but still, none of them tell me what I should be doing, what I should be giving back to this world.

I know that, in the sense of the Universe, I’m right where I need to be.  I know how to act, how to be, how to love.

But what can I do to change the world?

What can I do to make some sense out of this crazy place called Earth, full of greed and hate, and apathy?  Full of loneliness, despair, and hurt.  Full of rejection, sadness, and sorrow.

What can I do to make people wake up and realize that this isn’t all there is, there is more!

I want to help. I want to change lives. I want to teach.

But the majority of people don’t want help, they don’t want to change, and they don’t want to learn.

If only I could open their eyes to see!!  There is more than this!!!  There is so much more!!!

So I work on me; my life, changing me, learning new things to help me.  Maybe someday, this will pay off.  But I still pace, wringing my hands, feeling like I should be doing something MORE.  But what?  What can I give? What can I give to this crazy Earth full of love and peace, and compassion? Full of happiness, joy, and kindness?  Full of cooperation, encouragement, and God?

I will breathe in. I will breathe out.  I will breathe in.  I will breathe…and I will wait.