Around here that means we might be getting some "winter" pretty soon. I have some cord wood to split and bring inside...after I wade thru the mud to get to it, LOL. The cookstove could stand some cleaning and "prettying up" as well. We haven't used it much this season so far, just a few fires to knock a chill down every so often.
Coming with the new year I am also putting up more stock in the pantry, as well as in the herbal cabinet here. I have some orders still pending for the arthritis balm and the muscle rub we make, and there are some new blends I'd like to give a try...specifically one for helping calm and relax for a restful nights sleep. I bought an herbal mix from Bulk Herb to try and we'll see if I tweak it later. And a big batch of thieves vinegar steeping away in the pantry. The fire cider has been given away and is being used with good results, as are multiple batches of elderberry tincture. It's been a lot of fun making these herbal concoctions for my own family and several friends. I have really enjoyed learning more about herbs and their many uses, and steering us farther away from chemical everything for better health.
To start off the new year, here are some pondering words from Laura Ingalls Wilder...
Growing Older, January 1923
With the coming of another year we are all...a year older. Just what does it mean to us, this growing older? Are we coming to a cheerful, beautiful old age, or are we being beaten and cowed by the years as they pass?
Bruised we must be now and then, but beaten, never, unless we lack courage.
Not long since a friend said to me, "Growing old is the saddest thing in the world." Since then I have been thinking about growing old, trying to decide if I thought her right. But I cannot agree with her. True, we lose some things that we prize as time passes and acquire a few that we would prefer to be without. But we may gain infinitely more with the years than we lose in wisdom, character, and the sweetness of life.
As to the ills of old age, it may be that those of the past were as bad but are dimmed by the distance. Though age has gray hair and twinges of rheumatism, remember that childhood has freckles, tonsils, and measles.
The stream of passing years is like a river with people being carried along in the current. Some are swept along, protesting, fighting all the way, trying to swim back up the stream, longing for the shores that they have passed, clutching at anything to retard their progress, frightened by the onward rush of the strong current and in danger of being overwhelmed by the waters.
Others go with the current freely, trusting themselves to buoyancy of the waters, knowing they will bear them up. And so with little effort, they go floating safely along, gaining more courage and strength from their experience with the waves.
As New Year after New Year comes, these waves upon the river of life bear us farther along toward the ocen of Eternity, either protesting the inevitable and looking longingly back toward the years that are gone, or with calmness and faith facing the future serene in the knowledge that the power behind life's currents is strong and good.
And thinking of these things, I have concluded that whether it is sad to grow old depends on how we face it, whether we are looking forward with confidence or backward with regret. Still, in any case, it takes courage to live long successfully, and they are brave who grow old with smiling faces.
I could (and should) ponder long on those words myself. Lately my growing older has been more hassle and annoyance than comfort and contentment. It isn't so much the growing older part as simply the direction life seems to be taking and my feeling helpless to steer it another direction. Some days life seems to take on a path all it's own, despite my own planning to the contrary. Perhaps therein lies the problem altogether.
Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done. That can be a hard concept to keep in the forefront of your mind at times, amen? Some days, not totally through any fault of my own, I am simply surrounded by shades of dark blue. As Laura said in another writing, "While blue is without a doubt a heavenly color, it is better in skies than in one's mind."
This coming year I need to keep more attention on WHO should be directing my path and much less on the variables I want to toss in there to guide it along I suppose.
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
Blogs I Love to Visit...
- 5 Acres & A Drean
- A Pondering Heart
- Ask Jackie @ Backwoods Home
- Bateman Homestead
- Bible Version Comparison Chart
- Busy B Homemaker
- Caffeinated Homestead
- Choosing Voluntary Simplicity
- Down To Earth Blog
- Fruit of Her Hands blog
- Granny Miller blog
- Growing up Herbal
- Half a Hundred Acre Wood blog
- He Sows, She Sews
- He Sows, She Sews
- Herbal Academy of New England Blog
- Homestead Honey blog
- It All Matters Mom blog
- Just Plain Marie
- My Journey to Separation
- Nourishing Days blog
- One and a Half Acre Homestead
- Outside the Box Homeschool blog
- Ozark Mountain Family Homestead
- Reflections from Drywood Creek
- Sabbath Mood Homeschool
- Small Farm Girl
- Simple Green Frugal Coop
- Snowfall Academy blog
- Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth
- Sufficient Graze Farm blog
- The Caffeinated Homestead
- The Crunchy Chicken
- The Nerdy Farmwife
- The Prudent Homemaker
- The Unplugged Family
- The Wild Garden
- This Life I live
- Vaccination Information website
- Vintage Remedies DIY & Articles
- Wellness Mama
- Wood Cookstove Cooking blog