Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Journal List of Today's Ordinary Blessings...

I know I already posted a photo of these flowers, but I'm playing around
with the camera (even though it's only on "auto")
to see what happens in different light. I liked this one.

"This is the day that the Lord has made.
I will rejoice and be glad in it."

I'm up later than usual today at 6:30 a.m. and struggling to drag myself out of bed at that. I like to get up early because morning is my favorite time of day. Ah, well. There's still a lot of morning left, and it's a lovely one today.

I eat a bowl of
almond sprouted grain cereal for breakfast with coconut sprinkles and fresh, raw cow's milk (just picked it up yesterday). I'm so thankful for simple, healthy, fresh, tasty food. Real food.

And now for some coffee. This morning it's
Stumptown Roasters' Hair Bender Blend, brewed, as usual, in my beloved French press. And off to the table on the deck with my pile of books, Bible, journal, and notebook. It's so nice to be able to take my time and sit for my quiet time like this. I'm blessed to be able to be home every day.

I have a piece of two or chocolate and eat them with a small bit of
cacao nibs, my latest addiction. Mmm. I could eat this all day. But I won't.

I pour a half gallon jar of raw goat's milk into a pan and stir it with some vinegar over low heat to make fresh goat milk cheese, and while it gently heats, I settle in at the sink to wash the dishes, staring, as usual out the front window to see what's going on in our natural surroundings. I am so blessed to have lovely things to see out my window.

Ooh. There are lots more jack rabbits out there eating in the front yard this morning. I haven't mowed the grass for awhile, so it's much longer than usual. Are they eating the clover or the grass? The clover I think, but I get out the binoculars to have a closer look. I watch a rabbit nibble away. Yes, it's the clover. And the rabbits are all so happy out there with plenty to eat. The rabbit I'm staring at through the binoculars, glances up at me for a few seconds, so I tell him not to worry, to eat to his heart's content, that I won't mow away his food today.

I didn't snap this photo, but I did try to capture one
of the rabbits on film. Maybe tomorrow morning.

I remember once reading about clover being good for soil, so I get out the gardening book I own that is most likely to talk about reasons to keep clover in the grass rather than poisoning it away--
Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards-- and I begin to see such a list of benefits of having clover in the grass that I am thinking of becoming a back-to-nature yard activist. :-) Clover in the grass helps to build healthy soil. It contributes to a strong, natural ecosystem. And look at those nice rabbits out there, all happy and fed! You can't grow up reading and loving Beatrix Potter without caring about bunnies.

I walk across the property to
dump the contents of my compost pail into Mike's compost heap, and on my way back I notice the towels that have been hanging on the line for several days and decide that it's time for them to come down! They're probably pretty dry by now. Ah, yes, nice and, uh, extra-crunchy. But they do smell sweeter than anything could possibly smell coming out of the dryer. And now I have room to hang my sheets and another load of towels.

I create a salad for lunch with some of my wonderful seasonal produce-- an heirloom tomato-corn salad with three kinds of heirloom tomatoes, slivered basil, sweet white corn just cut from the cob, fresh lemon juice, chopped kalamata olives, and some of that fresh goat cheese I just made this morning. A bit of sea salt for seasoning, and boy was it good!

Eating fresh food in season is a true blessing, a gift from God: "These all look to thee, to give them their food in due season. When thou gives to them, they gather it up; when thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good things." (Ps. 104:27-28)

I do some housecleaning, wash a couple loads of laundry and hang them on the line, water a few spots in the yard that are excessively dry, and do some weeding in the front flower beds. There aren't many weeds there because it's well mulched. But there sure are a lot of bees buzzing around.
I've used this photo before, but I wanted another one for this post,
and this will do nicely. :-)

It's hot with the sun beating down on me. Why did I wait until mid-afternoon to do this weeding? Ah, well. It's good for me. I'm tempted to wimp out and finish tomorrow, but there's not much weeding to do, and I've been working on following through and finishing things well. And now it's finished.

Today, Thursday, is my day to pick up eggs and raw goat's milk at a friend's house, five miles or so down the road. We get to chatting, and she tells me that she's been making neufchatel cheese with the milk and that it's turning out really well. Oh! I'm going to try that. It's a completely raw cheese. Jill tries to give me some rennet to make the cheese, but since I'm pretty sure I'll make it often, I tell her that I'll just buy some rennet next time I'm in town. She says that a half gallon of milk makes a lot of cheese, so, yay, I can share some with Michelle.

Dinnertime. I make slow-roasted salmon with a lemon butter sauce, very slightly steamed white corn (we've eaten lots of corn lately), and a Mediterranean-style roasted eggplant salad. At every meal, I feel extremely blessed and thankful to have plenty of good food to eat.

And, again, while doing dishes, I enjoy the view out the window, this time of the light cast by the lowering sun. It makes the Ponderosa pine trees and the long, red-tipped grass in the meadows glimmer beautifully. The light on the distant hills is lovely. Evening, like morning, is a peaceful time.

I hear Georgie, the Cocker Spaniel barking in the family room/computer room. He never barks in the house, so what's up? I walk in, and there against the wall, is a snake. How in the world did that get in here?! It's a baby bull snake, and thank goodness it's a baby because the adult snakes get huge. Even still, I'm intimidated. I hate snakes worse than Indiana Jones hates snakes! So, Melissa bravely captures it and puts it outside.

And now we're closing in on bedtime. Time to wind things down, to put the outside dog in the kennel, to clean any messes that are left around the house, to chat with Melissa, to make a list of things to do tomorrow, and to settle in for the night with a book or two.

It's been a quieter than usual, yet ordinary, day, and also a blessed and beautiful day.
(And if you've read to the end of this post, I think you deserve an award.)