Love is the Key

This season of my life has been hard. I lost my best pup the beginning of November and then came to the close of semester as I wrapped up caring for our youngest grand daughter.

I was grieving. Big time. I had cared for our granddaughters for the most of the last five years of my life. I knew I wouldn’t do it forever but I had no idea how it would impact me.

I am relieved in many ways since I am a Grandma and not of childbearing age. But the loss was great to me. I actually fell onto a bit of depression and anxiety.

It would come and go and I would cry out to my God to take this from me.

Well, after a few days of intense cold and ice outside that caused us to stay indoors for the most part, I was a mess. Crying and sadness were overcoming me. I cried out to God again and the very day – yesterday – the sun (or shall I say Son ) shined bright in my heart.

We adopted a puppy. Whoever thinks animal therapy is nonsense is very wrong. It may not be for everyone but it is for me!

A friend of mine had an unexpected guest show up at her house in the fall. A pregnant dog who appeared to have had some abuse. Naturally she took her in and cared for her. The sweetest terrier mix with a great personality. She birthed the pups of many colors and I considered taking one when they were of the proper age.

Well, the sweet momma went and got ran over. So sad. She left about six or so pups orphaned but fortunately, they were eating puppy mash at that time.

Because of their orphan state I decided we would take one in a few weeks. I picked the one I wanted. I was still apprehensive until I received a text yesterday saying that there was concern about them being left alone all day in their ever energetic state of puppyhood. Can I take him now?

Of course! I jumped into action. Cleaned the crate and mopped the floors and sent the hubby to the store for puppy chow and replacement milk.

Funny thing is……… all my anxiety symptoms vanished. I came home yesterday evening with a sweet bundle of fur and puppy breath. He needed me.

But more than him needing me….. I needed him. My prayers were answered. Never underestimate the power of prayer. The answers come in many shapes and sizes. Mine came in a bundle of furry mutt that looks like he rolled in a few colors of paint.

I am so thankful. And now, without further adieu…… meet Teddy Roosevelt, the new brother of George Bailey……. Enjoy!

Cate B

The Simple Things – Around The Burg

I have always loved nature. The wildlife especially. I love to look at images from around the world and feast my eyes on creatures I’ve never see. I love the diversity in this beautiful world.

I watched a series on Netflix that took place in Scotland. It wasn’t a nature series but a drama with comedy interlaced within. In one of the episodes there were cattle. Beautiful, hairy cattle that were vastly different from your typical American cattle. I learned they were Highland Cattle.

Always loving most anything Scottish, I had to google to see if by some chance a rancher in the state of Missouri was raising these fine specimens. I found some not very close by and even in some surrounding states. I mentally put it on my list of road trips in the future.

image from a google search - Highland Cattle
image from a google search – Highland Cattle
image from a google search - Highland Cattle
image from a google search – Highland Cattle
image from a google search - Highland Cattle
image from a google search – Highland Cattle

One day, a couple of weeks ago when the weather was warmer and no ice or snow in sight, my husband and I took off on a local country drive. We ended up on a highway that took us back toward our main highway. Nothing but farmland. It was brown and beautiful.

All of a sudden we saw some cattle lying in their pasture just chilling’ and enjoying the winter sun. I remember seeing their hairdo between some hefty horns and remarked that they were not your common beef seen in these here parts.

We turned around. Missouri is fond of no shoulders on these country roads and only ditches. Fortunately, there were no other vehicles on the road so we stopped. I expressed to my husband that they could possible be Highland Cattle from the bonnie banks of Scotland. I quickly shot some images from my husbands iPhone.

I couldn’t stop thinking about those cattle. I just love Highland Cattle and wanted to see them in person! It just makes me happy beyond words to feast my eyes on creation. Could they be? I asked a friend who happens to be a cattle person…..and he knew immediately that they were the ones I was looking for! As a matter of fact, he told me that his neighbor has a few Highland Cattle and I could come take pics of them.

Well, as soon as the cold weather that is now full of ice passes I will be out there!

Am I the only one who gets excited over things like this? The little things in life that come at the right moment. I call them gifts. Little gifts from above that make my heart glad. The simple gifts in life that let me know there is someone who knows me more than I know me. That someone who watches over me and cares enough to lead us down a country road so I can see cattle!

Such love.

Missouri Highland Cattle
Missouri Highland Cattle

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Enjoy!

Cate B

Baking Time!

When the weather was still warm a dear friend dropped off several large and perfect peaches! I set aside a couple for immediate eating pleasure and then peeled and sliced the rest for the freezer and future smoothies and a pie.

Pie day came. I made a single crust and mixed chopped peaches and a few red raspberries with sugar and cinnamon and touch of cardamom. I’ll let the images tell the rest…….

Enjoy! CATE B

Life is Beautiful

We moved to this lovely mid-west town, affectionately known as The Burg, two and a half years ago. Little did we know that we would fall in love with this town and it’s people.

Sure, it has it’s frustrations like all relationships, but the people here and the countryside puts you right back into perspective.

Shortly before we moved here we met a great couple that were part of us feeling at home. We became fast friends.

Early in our relationship we found that the wife, Shirley, had been battling cancer. We became fast warriors in prayers of complete recovery.

Complete recovery can have perspectives just like a painting. We never seem to see all the outcome or the image at once. Some see victory on earth, some see the battle and the hard work associated with it, and some see the victory being the dance and the songs in the courts of Heaven.

As humans we would like the earthly answer. It’s where we are now. So many have overcome the ravages of cancer and some the overcoming came too early and continues in eternity with no more pain.

That was our Shirley. I had plans with our friendship. We were going to tramp through woods and see wildlife. She was going to feed them as I took pictures. I chuckle as I write this. Not to mention her husband and her children and grand children had plans of a future together.

We just don’t know. As a Christian I believe in healing. I’ve seen healing. I believe we can, scripture says, raise the dead. But sometimes that terrible, yet beautiful, mystery of our God takes us to where we  humans do not want to go. Death.

If we could just step back and see our life here, on this earth, is a part of the picture. Our lives continue into eternity. It hurts to lose. I know this.

As painful as it is I get to still be a part of the earthly tribe. The parts of Shirley that still live one. The heart of her husband that beats with joy, though pained, and a giving heart so big. Her daughter carries her mother’s heart for her own children and husband that shines with faith and love so deep for so many. Her son carries her creativity in levels that go so deep I am sure Shirley is rejoicing over them! And those grand children! An amazing legacy!

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That brings me to the images I want to share. There is a property in Russellville, MO that has been in Shirley’s family for quite a while. It is beautiful! If you go there and sit on the front porch with her son and his wife you feel completely at home.

There is a peace there and a piece there of Shirley’s inheritance that I cannot find words for. There is hope there. There is vision for the future there.

A vision to help those who have struggled to come and farm and learn and use their talents to make their life better. A vision of hope for the hopeless.

As this project develops I will write more about it. But right now I honor Shirley and her inheritance. It is so wonderful to see that it never ends when our pained and broken bodies fail and leave this earth. Life does go on. History teaches us that. Memories are like gold and seeing someone living on in the hearts and talents and actions of those still here is priceless.

In the old barns they found the original tools for farming – made of wood!

Enjoy!

Cate B

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I Had a Hankerin’

I have recently changed my eating habits – to the better. It was and still is a major feat. But the results are awesome.

Today I was craving a taste of sweet. Sweetness that was more than an apple. More than jelly on toast. More than, well, you get the idea.

Since I have no laws in my new eating habit, other than to think before I eat and keep the carbs at a minimum, I have a cheat day now and then. Or a cheat moment.

I wanted a donut. So I grabbed the donut pan I use for baked donuts and whipped up a cinnamon batter with raw, organic sugar and a bit of rice flour in place of regular flour (I do love me some gluten). Popped those pups in the oven.

In the meantime, I melted a little butter on the stove so I could gently dip said donuts in the butter so the sugar-cinnamon mixture would stick nicely.

Little did I know that the butter stayed on the flame slightly more than I intended. BUT when I popped a donut hole in my mouth my tastebuds stood up and cheered. I had, unknowingly, browned the butter. The flavor had that hint of caramel goodness.

It’s a keeper!

Baked Donuts:

2 C Flour…. 3/4 C Sugar (I used raw)……. 2 tsp. BP…….some cinnamon

3/4 C buttermilk……. 2 eggs, beaten lightly……. 2 T melted butter

Sift dry ingredients, combine liquids and pour into dry until just combined.

Bake @ 400 degrees F for about 7-9′

cool 4′ and remove from pans. Cool and dip in butter and sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Eat!

Enjoy! Cate B

Baked Donuts

 

 

 

Out With The Old…….

 

Here we are already five days into the New Year. I decided to take down the Christmas tree and all the decorations that go with that wonderful time of the year.

Sigh. I hesitated. If you read my post O Christmas Tree then you know that we cut down a fresh tree. A VERY fresh tree. I hadn’t watered it but once since we first got it (the day after Thanksgiving). Very few needles had dropped and it was still fresh with sap.

Sadly, I decided to strip it of it’s magical lights and simple, nostalgic ornaments and send it on it’s way. We decided to stick it in the backyard where the birds can enjoy it and who knows, maybe saplings will pop up. Maybe not, since I have no idea how they come about.

But as I sat there, thinking about taking it down, all the ornaments piled on the coffee table before me, I got to thinking (a dangerous past time I know ; ). I got to thinking about the other reason I was hesitating. You see, I have a lot of thinking and hoping stock in this New Year. The last two and a half years have been a somewhat temporary situation. Mostly with our housing. It’s been alright for the most part, but having a landlord who just loves to save money any way he can has proven to be quite uncomfortable in many ways.

We are ready. We are so ready to find a better dwelling place. I don’t need large, I just need slighter bigger. I don’t need a dishwasher, but I do need central air. Just to name a couple. As a matter of fact, I want simple.

So back to the hesitation of taking down the decorations. That whole act speaks to me about moving forward. And I’ll be honest here, I hate moving forward IF there will be no change. That sounds silly to some, even to me a little, because the very act of moving forward implies there will be change.

Here enters that awful player called irrational fear. I hate him. He’s a bad actor and a liar. I cannot let him convince me he is good in any way. So there! The fear of things not changing is daunting. BUT, I am intentionally choosing to ignore that limelight stealer!  I am moving forward! Tally-Ho! and all that goes with it!

And I know I am not alone in this. So many of my friends are anticipating change, for the good. Good changes in health, life, jobs, homes. The list can go on and on! My prayers are that we all get there. And that we surrender our fears and stress to the One who can take us all the way through, no matter what the path is like.

Enjoy!

Cate B

Wordsmith

I love the word wordsmith.  There are some words in the english language that I just enjoy saying and wordsmith is one of them.

I never thought I was one until I read the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition:

Definition of wordsmith

  1. :  a person who works with wordsespecially  :  a skillful writer

wordsmithery

play \-ˌsmi-thə-rē\noun

This word was first used in 1873 – a little word trivia for you.
A person who works with words…… I do that.
A skillful writer…….well, I like to think so.
Now that I’ve had a major transformation of my schedule and what I do in life I hope to become a better and more frequent…….. wait for it……… Wordsmith.
That just rolled off my tongue and through my fingers to you.
Have a great and wonder New Year Dear Readers!
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Enjoy!
Cate B