faith

Why I’m hitting the “pause” button on my involvement in Christianity

This post is hard for me to write, but it’s a long time coming.

I’ve spent the last several years on a spiritual journey, and I’ve ended up in a lot of dark corners, dead ends, and places that feel suspiciously like Knockturn Alley (from the Harry Potter universe.) I always enter a new part of my journey hoping with a sincere heart that, this time, I might find the answers I seek. So far, though, I only end up with more questions or, as I’m facing now, total disgust in the journey itself.

I’ve made many posts about my spiritual journey (here, here, here, and here just to select a few) so I’m not going to rehash all of it. To boil where I’ve been so far down to a single sentence, let me just say that I’ve been from one end of Christianity to another and, through all of it, I have continued to try to be a good Christian because that’s what’s expected of me. I’m from the Midwest, where conversations about Jesus flow as frequently as discussions on corn prices and the state of the summer crops. Being a Christian is expected. Asking someone where they go to church is as normal as asking about the weather. However, the reality is that I’ve reached the end of the line now and it’s time to make some changes. To put it simply: I’m out.

Continue reading “Why I’m hitting the “pause” button on my involvement in Christianity”

herbalism, The farmgirl life

DIY: Processing my herbal apothecary

Back in early September, not long after we moved out here, I ordered a bunch of dried herbs, including Dandelion Root, Devil’s Claw Root, Feverfew, Peppermint, Oatstraw, and several others from Mountain Rose Herbs so that I could try out different herbal tinctures. Well, it’s been about 8 weeks so it was time for me to process those batches.  Read on for more information on how to do it and what these herbs are used to treat.

Ready to process!

Continue reading “DIY: Processing my herbal apothecary”

faith, Family, Holidays

An unexpectedly blessed Christmas

I approached the Christmas season with a healthy amount of dread, as I have previously wrote about in this post.  I planned on avoiding all family gatherings and had a great excuse because of the hours I was working the fact that I would need any time off to rest.  But, as it often happens, things change.   Continue reading “An unexpectedly blessed Christmas”

About me, Home

An all-girls weekend

When their husbands are away, some women let their hair down, go out with friends, and get a little wild.

Me?

I stay in my pajamas all day and make dishes where the main ingredient is cabbage.

I’m a rebel.

Roxie and I have spent our Saturday sleeping on various surfaces – the bed (both of us), the couch (her), the recliner (me).  I’m on call, meaning I’ve had to check my email a dozen times and do some work from home, but other than that, this day has been all mine.  Tim is visiting his family and he may be stuck there for an extra day because we’re supposed to get upwards of 9 inches of snow starting tomorrow morning.

So what shall I do with the rest of my weekend?  Well, I have a new recipe to try and post on The Homefront Kitchen.  I’ll probably do that in a little while.  I’m also in the middle of a rather titillating book, and I’ve been working on my own novel lately (praise God!  Finally!)

I’d like to pretend that I have something exciting to blog about, but I don’t.  I’m just a woman, hanging out with her dog, and about to eat a bowl of cabbage casserole. In other words, I’m livin’ on the edge!  😛

About me, Home

A short tour –

So now that my dining room is complete, I thought I’d give a little tour since I have modern mixed with vintage and I really love the way it’s come together.

First, here is the complete dining room from the view of the hallway.  The table is brand new and the oil lamp is only a year old, but the doily it’s sitting on is vintage!

Dining Room

 

Along the back wall are my antiques and book shelves.  In the corner is a 1941 Air Chief Music Master radio, the Merry Game of Fibber McGee and the Wistful Vista Mystery from 1940, and a small Longaberger basket.

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In the middle is my bookshelf of cookbooks and recipe binders.  The pitcher is an antique (unsure of the year), as is the doily.  The trivet was handmade by a friend, and the jar candle only looks old.  I have more Longabergers, one of which is filled with antique cookie cutters.

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The final shelf is topped with an RCA Victor radio that is, from what I can tell, from the late 1930s, a 1950s Starline train case that belonged to my great-grandmother (and the inside still smells like the powder she always used), and an antique candle holder.  Underneath all that is a small yo-yo quilt made by me using both modern and vintage fabrics.  And on the shelves is my 1938 Syracuse China in the Millbrook pattern.

IMG_0528So there you have it.  It’s not much, but it’s a growing collection of pieces that have personal meaning, which I cherish!

 

 

About me, Holidays, Home, Reflection

What happened to the magic?

A few weeks ago, I was excited about the upcoming holiday season.  With a new job in a company that is heavily focused on the holidays, I thought this year would be different.  The last few years, I have preferred for December to just skip by and leave me be.  Due to family issues, Christmas wasn’t joyous or even fun; it was simply uncomfortable.  This year, though, I decried my negativity of Christmas pasts and decided to jump in feet first.  I remembered the magic of the holiday season and I wanted it back.  I burned a CD of Bing Crosby Christmas music (because hello?  He OWNS Christmas) and happily tossed it into the player of my car.  I was greatly looking forward to the grand displays of lights that I would easily see since I drive home from work in the dark now.

About five days after my exuberant start to the Christmas season, it started to wane.  I realized that my heart wasn’t in it like I thought it would be.  I wasn’t listening to the Christmas music and paying attention to anything on my drive home besides watching out for drunk drivers.  Tonight, we watched A Christmas Story  (favorite holiday movie ever) and took Roxie for a walk at 2am and I noticed that there weren’t any Christmas lights twinkling in windows or lit trees glowing against the backdrop of gossamer curtains.  And then it made me wonder – where is Christmas this year?

I remember Christmases as a child. From the time I was 8 until age 13, the majority of my holiday seasons were spent inside my parents’ jewelry store.  I remember the Santa’s village that my dad built out of wood and decorated to put in the window.  I remember Mom playing Bing Crosby on the stereo and going to stand out in the street so that I could hear “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” blaring through the outside speakers as I watched the residents of the town bustle by on the sidewalk.  Mom’s big, gorgeous Christmas tree that stood in one corner of the store, beautifully decorated.  The scent of cinnamon candles.  The sound of the polisher as Dad finished sizing a ring that would end up on some lucky woman’s finger on Christmas morning. The sound of crisp wrapping paper being torn from the roll.  My brother and I watching the little mouse that peeked out of the pockets of the advent calendar that hung in our mom’s office, our eyes heavily focused on the number “24” because we knew that was when the magic really happened.

During that same time, we lived in the country outside a tiny town with nothing but a Revco and a grocery store for shopping.  Anytime we needed anything, we had to head to New Albany or Jeffersonville or even Louisville.  I distinctly remember bundling up in my winter coat and climbing into the backseat our Chevy Celebrity for a trip to Service Merchandise or Target or, if we were really lucky, a trip to the mall to go Christmas shopping.  Afterwards, we would wind our way up Floyds Knobs to look at all the Christmas lights and stare out over the twinkling lights of the Louisville metro area. My teeth would chatter with excitement.

And then, Christmas Eve would come and the jewelry store would close in time for us to pile into the car and head to Corydon, where we would gather with my Dad’s family.  “Santa” would always visit, wearing the same threadbare suit my father had originally purchased in the 1960s.  Every year, it was toted out by an uncle or a cousin and we all got a present from his bag.  Every year, the suit looked a little worse.  The material was starting to unravel, the beard nothing but a few spindly threads of white fuzz.  Then, once we’d had our fill of holiday cheer in the form of my dad’s odd family, we’d climb back into the car and make the hour drive home.  By then, it was late.  My brother and I usually slept on the way and went to bed as soon as we got home, but we rarely slept on Christmas Eve.  We always camped out in my bedroom and would force ourselves to get two or three hours of sleep at most, then wake up at 5am and stare at the clock until 6, which was the designated time that we were allowed to wake up Mom and Dad and then dive into the living room to see what Santa brought us.  There was always evidence of Santa, too.  Half-eaten cookies.  A sooty boot print left in front of the fireplace.

So many memories.  So much magic.  

I started this post wanting to know what happened to all that magic but I think, over the course of writing this, that I found it.  It’s not gone.  I haven’t lost it at all.  It’s simply not the same as it used to be, but it’s there.  And in my memories, I find that the magic is still as strong as ever.