THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH                      January 13, 2012            6:45 AM

66 F indoors                 16 F outdoors

The wind speed is 25 mph – it’s frigid


 ImageChores with my supervisor CadeauImage Persa kissed by a goddess

The wind is howling but the house is cozy and warm.  That’s exactly how I want to live my life…no matter what is happening outside of  I want things to be calm and even so I can savor the moments.

Yesterday was a calm dreary day.  It drizzled off and on, but the house was full of interesting people.  Persa finished her practice survey with us so she can begin to put together her plan for the new privy.  Jay and I bickered back and forth about how many tires to put into the building, and how many straw bales.  Persa got the idea that even though people want to create a building they aren’t going to agree on all of the aspects, and we got the idea that Persa’s in charge.  She’s going to be great to work with as our first “fellow” in the BRS Fellowship Program.

The afternoon visitors from Hawaii were full of wonder at the house.  We discussed how to ferment coconut juice, and the bottling process.  I can’t imagine living in Hawaii.  When we lived in Florida I loved life during March and April.  The rest of the year I was yearning for Ohio.  The tropics were never home – no good soil, fierce wind when it was cold, lots of bugs, and it was too hot in the summer.  Although we had 19 great years of financial success in the south, and great friends, we never felt attached.

It’s great fun to spend so much time with younger generations.  I don’t recall a time with them that I wished I were younger.  For me, I’m interested in the things they know – their views on the world, and learning things from them that I don’t know.  Younger folks bring energy and inspiration.  They have passion and wonder. 

Before Jay left for his teaching gig he looked at the electric meter up at the barn.  It turns out that by not running electricity, except for our business (during daylight hours), we are using one third of what we normally use in a month.  That’s amazing to me.  In fact, I don’t believe it’s true just yet.  I’ll need more proof later in the month.

After everybody left I checked my emails and someone had written to say they are worried that I don’t eat enough (based on the menu) and that’s the reason I’m so svelte.  That brought a big smile to my face since I’ve never considered myself to be a small eater or svelte (oh, if it were only true).  What made me laugh right out loud was the writer’s inquiry about Jay – I surely am not feeding him enough.  I assured the person that if we had anymore to eat we wouldn’t know what to do.  Miss America might not agree since there are no potato chips or McDonald’s take away.

At the end of chores I checked on Ernest, the Holstein bull.  He’s enjoying the field, and toying with the dogs when the little juvenile delinquents go racing over to the fence to check on him – they love to give him a hearty bark.  I hate that they do this, but the minute I call them back they come running with the same eagerness they used to get over to Ernest.  The minute I’m distracted they race back to Ernest, and then I yell, then they race back.  They know how to savor life.

When Miss America came home she opened a box that someone had sent to her through  Jay and I had guessed correctly that it was from Paulo DaSilva, one half of Miss America’s guardian angle team (Lucilia Silva is the other half).  We had a great laugh when we saw it was 150 tea candles.  Those Brazilians have a razor sharp sense of humor. 

After Jay arrived I was relieved that everyone made it home safely before the ice formed and the snow started to fall.  These are the things that make life grand – the little things like good conversation, new stories, hugs, kisses, a good laugh, and a warm house.  The Happiness Factor was 10 as I went to bed last night.  Not because I was literally “happy” but because everything in life was calm and even for those moments.  I am truly rich.





Cottage Cheese



Kati and friends (my first away excursion since December)


Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sautéed Vegetables