Monday, June 22, 2009

A Fork in the Road.

Tomatoes are coming on, no red ones yet. The heat is continuing. It is making me wonder if this is it and we are full blown into summer. I am praying for rain. A thunder shower would be so welcome. We are so blessed to have hoses that are hooked up to water. What was it like to depend on rain? Farmers must have prayed a LOT.

Look at what I found while I was watering? Hello fellas, make some toadie babies to eat these skeeters up. I am being eaten alive while I am watering this yard in the sweltering heat at 9:30am. I'm wearing my nightie. Jimmy says I am shameless walking around outside in my night gown. I'm in the BACK yard. I can't see the point of taking a shower and getting dressed to come out here and soak my clothes in sweat, and then need another shower. Sweat first then shower. The toads think my logic is impressive and they don't give a flip about the nightie.

Tons of squash blossoms or gourds, there are tons of them. No cucumbers yet nary a one.

Do you see it? Isn't it cute? A little baby watermelon...

The husband went blue berry picking.

I'm making biscuits/scones and I can't take pictures of this. It's very hard to photograph white stuff. Beside the flash goes off and messes everything up.

This is the dough and it's going to go onto the floured board and then gently be folded and folded and then patted. Keeping it soft is the key.

Cutting out. This part is fun. I never thought of adding blueberries or anything else to biscuits but why not? I also put some dried orange peel bits in.

They are finished and delicious. Even with nothing on them, but I put some blueberry peach preserves on top. Lip smacking good.

While watering with both the hose, and the sweat I was thinking. I was thinking about how long it will be until fall when we will begin to cool off again. We have just really begun to peel away all the unnecessary layers of life. We are on a fast track to financial freedom right now. The only thing left to pay is the house. No car payments no bills, not one. If we continue to live like little farmers and put the bulk of our income onto the mortgage which is pretty small at this point we have 2 more years to go of me working in the hospital. I'm not ruling out some other source of income. We have other things we do, but everything else is in addition to the steady income. Everything is going toward paying off the house debt. Everything.

I was thinking about Brin over at "My Messy Thrilling Life," I was wondering what it was about her story that is so compelling. If you go back to the beginning of her adventure she is not the same woman now. She has been through the refiners fire. All the junk, the dross, the trappings of this world have been burned off. The only thing remaining now is who she is, purely. She is not pure, no one is, but who she is shines through and brightly. By uncluttering her life, and ordering her priorities she has stripped away all the junk that clouds ones person. Her thoughts can be clearly expressed in a simple world; her God, her dog, her home, the garden, the feelings of creativity, the appreciation of each day. Each part integrated into a calm expression of who she is one who is living life. She jumped off the hamster wheel of consumerism and became a producer.

Sometimes we find books that change our lives. A book "Choices," by Mary Farrar examines how we got to where we are now. She starts with the little house on the prairie, that small family unit that our forefathers lived in, and traces all the changes that occurred. For example the impact the industrial revolution made on the family. What happened to the family when the father left the home? She tracks each step in our history and discusses the impact the changes made on the family. It is an amazing thought provoking book. She is the one who put this thought into my mind, " we went from being producers of everything in our lives, to consumers. "

So what is wrong with that?

There is no soul satisfaction in consuming. We feed this bottomless pit of wants and desires. In the process of getting drunk on our wants and desires we also get sloppy and wasteful. We don't appreciate what we have. We don't even realize how rich we are. To a person in a third world country the poorest welfare person here, is rich. They have a place to live with appliances in it. They have toilets and sinks, running water. We just don't get it. I think about my African friend who said to me once, "you have pockets."

Eliminating clutter, and consumerism, is one more step to the journey we are on. It's getting easier and easier to let things go. No TV, no diet cokes, no fast food, no renting movies, no eating out, no ....whatever. I don't miss it. I did at first. But where those things once stood and are no more there are now, other things.

There is home made tea to drink and water with fresh squeezed lime or a sprig of orange mint picked fresh from the window box under the kitchen window. There are home made biscuits and fresh vegetables. We have accumulated a small mountain of movies, so now we are watching them. Eating out? Why not invite someone over and have a little get together, my meals are just as good, sometimes better.

There is an endless supply of real life stories on the internet. People sharing their real lives, without commercials or interruptions. I guess you could consider having to put the computer down to go pee an interruption, but it's not like getting stressed out when just at the most intriguing moment of a movie the gazillion commercials start. I don't want to pay for HBO. I am happy keeping the $50 I was spending for cable TV. As soon as we get hooked up to vonage our bill for the internet and phone will be $60. We were spending almost $300 for phones, TV, and internet. That is CRAZY.

Watering the garden gets my thoughts going and I apologize for rambling on. I'm just thinking about a lot of things this morning. I'm thinking about where we are headed and this fork in the road. There can only be one path. We can only go one way. So do we continue on this path the one that includes this blistering heat and the short amount of time to financial freedom? Or do we go back to the land of beauty and saddle ourselves with $400,000 of debt? Did you know that the word mortgage is a Latin based word and it means "a pledge of death?" It's not without temptation. It is really not as easy as it sounds. Our families are there. We have little grand babies there. We could do this. We could rent out the downstairs and do a lot of things to make money. We have the software which would help us get the mortgage paid off faster. We don't just sell it, we own it. We know what it could do. The pull to return is very strong. It almost feels like a riptide. But the cost.

Hmm, continue to simplify or?

I wonder if it was a test. Having my house come across my path, like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. If it is a test I passed. I am waving goodbye. At least right now. I am not saying that it won't cross my mind a million times until it is sold. But for now we'll stay the course, going down this road.


WudWerkr said...

obviously there are many factors to consider , and since i cant even begain to know them all since i dont know you that well , the following is "for what its worth" I think u are being smart , let it go , simplifying is the best thing to do at this point in life . me and candle lady are doing EXACTLY same thing

Mocha Dad said...

My kids went blueberry picking and we made the best blueberry muffins with them. We would have made more things, but I ate most of the blueberries right out of the bowl.

Becky said...

I admire you so much. I can't wait to be at a point in my life where financial freedom is in our grasp. Right now, though, we have cut back where we can. I like the idea of having a garden... someday when I'm no longer changing diapers ;-) Chickens... maybe a goat. Quail could be fun.

I agree with you about the nighty. The toads really don't seem to mind. lol.

Heidi said...

Karen farmers still pray hard for rain!! LOL I have calluses on my knees right now, cuz we are in need. :) BUT - God provides and He is always in control. We dont have cell phones...well, thats not true - I have one for when I go to town because it never fails the Milk Man needs somthing else that he forgot to put on the list... Its sad when people at Fleet Farm say "Hey Heidi - you were paged for a phone call, better call home before you leave." sshhheeshh.

As for consumerism....that is what made our economy collapse as far as I am concerned.. to much spending, not enough conserving.... you are on the right track my friend. You continue to amaze me with the heart that you are like no other I think that is why you are one of my most favorite people!! :)
My prayers are with you and your loved ones to be able to hear Gods voice loud and clear.
LOVE YOU KAREN ever so much!!


Linda said...

I'm confused. So, are you selling the house? Or are you in it for the next two years until it's paid for?

Linda said...

Never mind...I just read the post before and realized that you were talking about the CA house.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

It sounds like you are heading down a healty...and happy path. More of a journey. Keep looking forward...looking forward. And watering.

farmlady said...

I questioned your wanting to return to California when everyone here wants to leave. I must say that I'm glad to read this post and see that you have overcome the pull of memories and a beautiful house. That "beautiful house" would probably have cost you as much as you would pay for it to bring it up to code and comply with the county regulations. It's crazy here...., and the government can't balance a budget, and everyone is losing their jobs. THE PLACE IS FALLING APART. I'm glad you are staying where you are. It's the right choice. I've been a Californian my whole life but my husband and I are almost ready to leave.If it wasn't for family, we would.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Very thought provoking.
Thank you!

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

Hey I think there is wisdom in the comment about what is happening CA...I think they are on the verge of collapse and the dream house is probably something that should be just a wonderful memory for you.

You cannot look past the "coincidence" of it coming on the market just as you are pushing towards financial freedom, letting go of consumerism, straining towards the things of God.

You must really be on the right track girlie!! Keep it up!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Pick up that fork in the road and dine with gusto on what life has placed on that plate in front of you (but don't forget to enjoy dessert/dreams).

Kayla shows real wisdom. ; )

Chris H said...

FAR OUT! YOu wrote a book with this update! I think wearing your nightie is a good idea. The toad is ikky!
The scones look devine, made my mouth water!

Saleslady371 said...

What an interesting blog you have! I enjoyed your thoughts today and wish you the best as you seek to do the right thing for you. Your garden is divine. Those blueberry scones look delicious and made my mouth water!

Thanks for visiting me. I am Saleslady because I am in a sales job with my husband!

God bless & keep you!

Karen said...

I've got no answers, but I can pray. Truly, it's the most that I can offer.

Big Hair Envy said...

I like your new outlook on life...I'm de-cluttering every chance I get!!

Did you save me a biscuit?? :)

Kitter said...

Thank-you for sharing Brin's Blog. Her story has also touched my heart deeply. I can't seem to get her off my mind...
Since you wnat to go back to Santa cruz for a visit...go see your old house. I'll bet that since it has been a rental property for so long you'll find that it hasn't been cared for like you took care of it. I can just see the $$ it will take to spruce her up so to speak. Like a previous is never the same when you go back. You can put the whole issue to a final rest. Kitter

noble pig said...

I love it when you go off like this. You've made the right free of indenturing debt!

Rosie_Kate said...

There is something to be said for being content where the Lord has put you. It's true that we are always longing, wanting, craving. The fact is, deep down we are wanting heaven. Paradise. The garden of Eden. It's what we were created for. "Our hearts ain't built to stay." Where ever we're put here doesn't matter if we're gonna bust outta this place someday!

Twisted Fencepost said...

I go out in my night clothes all the time. And not once have I had a frog, or anything else for that matter, stand up and say they are offended.
Interesting post. Really got me thinking.
It is the simple things in life that make us happy. We need to stay as close to them as possible.