I believe Joel and I have become accustomed to the ebbs and flows of country life and being acreage owners. We've had some interesting and challenging things thrown our way over the past few weeks, but here we are, still going strong!
To summarize what we've learned recently:
All in all, it's been just fine. Like I said, we're getting used to the flow of things, but it has been a learning curve.
The wonderful thing about all of these "adventures" is that it has kept our life interesting, our attitudes about what's important in check, and we're more active than ever. Gone are the days when we come home from work and lounge for an entire night. We have both been outside every night doing something for a few hours before we wind down.
I've probably mentioned before that Teddy Roosevelt is my #1 hero and is a huge inspiration to me. He was very physically active and encouraged others to be physically active as a way to live a better life. He was also a big outdoorsman. Loved nature. I think about him often when I'm dragging branches from the front to the back of our 2 acre property. When I'm scraping paint from various nooks and crannies with sweat dripping from my brow. And especially when I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and give thanks for the beautiful habitat we've surrounded ourselves with.
I've observed a growing sense of pride, accomplishment, and gratitude within each of us after we end a long day at work with a long evening outside. It's amazing and new and so lovely. Something we can share. Another way we are growing together on our journey.
I snapped a few pics of our recent work outside. Below you'll see Joel at work clearing (a lot) of brush after the last big (surprise) storm we had. And along with it, my work on our porches. This was the project Mother Nature interrupted. But it's still coming along nicely.
I have told several people lately that I'm pretty close to becoming a vegetarian. I am just not into meat anymore. I'm not trying to be "different," take a stance against the meat business, or anything like that. To me, it's a purely psychological thing.
With each bite I take, I think about the process of making the meat patty or nugget or tube I'm consuming. And then I think about what the chicken I'm eating may have been injected with or the plastic particles the fish I'm enjoying may have ingested. The thoughts aren't pretty...and I hope they don't start to give you the same complex as I have developed...
My biggest concern with becoming a straight-up vegetarian has been missing out on some forms of meat - like on-the-bone meat that is organic/grass-fed/not laced with some form of chemical substance.
BUT - I may have found a solution to this concern! Much to my delight, I ran across a new diet classification that fits my current mindset completely. I can become a FLEXITARIAN!
You can read more about being a flexitarian here. But to summarize the article for you - you can still eat meat, you just eat a lot less of it. According to the article, "This part-time vegetarian diet has broader appeal because it helps us balance food cravings with health and global sustainability."
Love it! That's me! I want to be healthy and help the Earth.
And check this: "A recent study predicted that a flexitarian diet could reduce global mortality by up to 10 percent and food-related greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent. "
Whoa. I can have a positive impact on both my body and the environment by just cutting back on the amount of meat I eat? That's awesome. That's something I can get behind. If you're into this - you should, too. Let's be flexitarians together!!
It was Meow-velous!
If you've read some of my earlier blog posts, it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of my husband. Last weekend he and his band, TWINS, performed at the 80/35 music festival in Des Moines. ON THE MAIN STAGE! Although I only stayed for TWINS, I must say it was a very well-organized event with a great variety of musical talent. The weather was perfect and this year their theme was cats...um...ADORABLE! They used phrases such as "Right Meow" and "In a Meow-r." Genius. (I'm easily amused!)
I enjoyed spending time with my sister who came along and is as big of a TWINS fan as I am. I also got to see friends old and new (briefly, because everyone was on their way somewhere!).
Joel and the boys did a wonderful job. It's been such an adventure watching them grow as individuals and as a band. Their talent is admirable, no question about it. But you know what my favorite thing is? Their attitudes. They are the sweetest boys you'll ever meet. You can tell they love what they do. And although they continue to increasingly get showered with accolades, they're still the same friendly guys they always were. Approachable. Kind. Joyful. I love them!
But I, of course, have a personal favorite band member - the frontman. My powerhouse of a husband is both a force to be reckoned with and the first guy who'd wrap you up in a hug upon meeting. His musical depth and creativity always astound me. He's a special one, that guy!
If you're interested in hearing my husband's band, visit their new website! You can also see the boys I love so dearly in the gallery below. Enjoy!
I can't help but join my fellow Americans in mourning the current state of affairs in our country. I don't want to get political. I don't want to pitch one side against the other. I just want to talk about it.
The complexity of what has been happening, and continues to happen daily, is mind-boggling. Authority figures killing innocent people. Frustrated and frightened civilians killing authority figures. Power has been abused. Anger has manifested into terrible acts of revenge inspired violence.
In both instances, a small group of people have tainted our perception of the larger pool of those out there doing actual good. Authority figures protecting people and doing what is right. Civilians protesting peacefully in hopes of raising awareness and pushing for change. They're out there. But it's hard to see through the fog of what is happening right now. Who can you trust?
My comments above reflect only on recent happenings, they don't include the gun violence, the rapes, the government corruption, the ignored mental health care needs of so many, the pollution we're inflicting on Earth, the list goes on and on and on...
The thing that breaks my heart the most is that I feel utterly helpless among all of it. My social media post isn't going to make something change. My talking to loved ones about the injustice isn't going to fix anything. I'm tired of hearing about these things happening and not being able to do anything about it. I refuse to turn a blind eye to what is going on.
Let's do something. I have no idea how to get started, who to talk to, what to do, but doing something has to be better than doing nothing right now. We live in a free country (that I feel so lucky to live in everyday, despite the oppression) where I believe "the people" can make a change, but unification, not retaliation, is what needs to happen right now.
I'll be reaching out to our politicians and legislators on the topics dearest to my heart. I encourage you to do the same. And if you know of local opportunities to congregate as "a people" to implement positive change - please reach out to me! Let's be part of the solution. Let's channel these feelings of uncertainty, frustration, fear, and anger into something GOOD. Let the bad in the world fuel our fire to DO MORE GOOD.
God Bless America.
It is 07/14/16 and this topic is still on my mind. I ran across an absolutely fantastic science-based article about violence that I really encourage you to read: "Is Violence 'Senseless'? Not According to Science: Let's Make Sense of It and Treat It Like a Disease"
EXCERPT: "Science has shown that understanding violent behavior as contagious, indeed, as an actual epidemic, and treating the epidemic using a public health approach, has significant impact and saves lives. To truly care for people and communities, society must move beyond the antiquated notion that violence is committed by "bad people" to recognize that violence is committed by people who have been exposed to violence."