Picket Fence Blogs

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jumping into July!

Halfway through 2015!! Think on that a moment. Where does the time go? As I hear of the restrictions on fireworks because of the heat, it has been a great time to reflect on our independence as a Nation. I can only imagine the number of people who will get in trouble because common sense and legality will not prevail over their personal sense of 'freedom'. Freedom does not mean we get to do our own thing regardless of the health of a society. That would be counter productive. Freedom DOES mean having a choice. I hope most choose to be responsible for the good of our communities. As I reflected on the Independence Day values that most of us hold very dear it struck me that there is definitely a lack of understanding and appreciation of how much this FREEDOM has cost us. Even myself, in awe of our military and our wars over the years to gain a land and freedom and help others out of oppression lack an actual experience of fighting for freedom. We have it easy, maybe we've had it too easy these last 60 - 70 years. Basically a lifetime of being able to freely make our own choices. Some abuse this privilege and claim free speech to abuse and slander others without regard. Some are sheep and feel we have to tolerate everyone and every choice they make if it is true for them. TRUTH isn't wavering, doesn't change- or it cannot be TRUTH. So this giving 'to each his own' mentality a platform is saying 'anything goes' . Do we really want our nation to be a FREE FOR ALL playground for any person to choose what feels good to him/her? I think that is far from a TRUE freedom where our nation cares for one another and respects natural boundaries which have to be in place for a society to survive. Most natural boundaries show themselves by our innate ability to see wrong for what it is. It just fits if it is the natural right. A man and woman fit together in a complimentary way, mentally, physically, spiritually. Man and beast cannot. And we all know that stealing, killing, harming, fighting, lying are actual wrongs by something bigger than ourselves- even if not professed believers in God- it is obvious to the majority what is evil. As you celebrate our Nation's Independence Day be aware that freedom isn't gained without sacrifice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Glowing May Thunderstorms!!

I love the sound of thunderstorms. Unplug the extra electronics and be aware that the air is CHARGED! What are you charged up to do? The birds were incredibly noisy at 5:30 a.m. and it was bright shining sun! Now, just four hours later it has clouded over to a beautiful rainstorm with some thundering noise as the clouds open up. It is a refreshing break from how hot the house was yesterday and this morning. A muggy humid wait for the moisture to drop! I can see this same waiting mode in our lives and in our home. Waiting to express emotions, each of my children has their own storm point. Too interesting to watch them bottle and hold their tongue like mom, or stew for a lecture as dad does! The best of two different lives brought together. Isn't this the goal when we raise children? TO be on the same page and watch them be like us but their own personality. Like us, but better in so many ways, the dream we always encourage them towards. "Please think before you do. Today, make GOOD choices." So many very poignant things all parents must say at some time. "Be safe. Be kind. Be courageous." And the one my 16 year old thinks is lame, "Because I'm the parent and I said so. That's my job!" I don't get near what I'd like to done in my days. There are too many committments, dreams, moments to enjoy, and just simply my priorities surround my life with cute footsteps and demanding voices. In the waiting for a new season I try to enjoy the precious moments we will never have back with our toddlers and teens. Be blessed by your life! We have control over our behavior and our grateful demeanor when our connections and choices give us grief. In gratitude we find that there is always an incredibly glowing silver lining!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Showers bring May flowers

WOW! I don't know if you are in this winter weather 'Last Hoorah!' but we sure are! I am ready for May sunshine and my tulips think at 7 inches tall it's time already. We don't get too much moisture here in this dry corner and most of the time winter snow blows away into drifts but THIS time we have at least FIVE wet snowy slushy inches after beautiful t-shirt weather all last week. By this weekend we will be in sunshine and 70 degrees at track meets! Crazy Montana weather! I actually do appreciate how changing and on our toes it keeps us. Real life lessons can be learned from exposure to the elements. When the elements change fast it can be scary dangerous. Just like life and it's changing currents for the choices we have to make everyday. As adults we have to choose our lifestyle and be aware how our choices affect the family life or our co-workers. Some have aging parents or grandparents that you are now caring for in different ways, this adds a whole new dimension to how you choose to live. I have an eighteen year old who I often think isn't ready for all that real life. Just as the weather here can go from a 70 degree day to a 0 degree night with scary wind chill factor that could be fatal if not prepared, so does life sometimes take our sails out from under us. We try to equip our children and teach them to be ready but so much of what we learn is by experience. One of the hardest things for me to take is that I can't give my children my age experience. Even telling them what you know to be true sometimes backfires as they have to make their own decisions and bang their head against the walls they encounter or even cause themselves. THIS is SO hard to watch and let happen as they live their own lives. I often think that I can use the weather example when my kids leave unprepared and standing on a sideline freezing, or when the car has a flat and they left the phone, the jack and the tool box at home because it was just a short road trip... Or when the teenage girls scantily dressed for the sake of fashion on a crisp cold fall evening are miserable instead of chatty and fun like the girls who dressed to be warm and naturally pretty instead of show stopping! Amazes me what lessons in life we can learn and results we can have if we are open to learning and humbly looking to learn always! May you be blessed with a beautiful sunny Easter Tuesday and continue enjoying the spring season with al its bumps and trials!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

15 Minutes to Freedom! In the ER

15 Minute increments seem to be the way I have to live my day lately! And today I have just that window before heading into the home office to do some much needed business work. SO for free write I decided to set that timer and share a medical note with you all! MY DAUGHTER is 16! You know, that age where everything is so much bigger, badder and better all at once. (Do not repeat that I used 'badder' as a word, please?!) She had a few day sore a couple inches above her belly button and it got so painful that Saturday night after the day's busy events I ended up in the Emergency Room for what I hoped was simple infection but knew had to be looked at. AARGH! at ABOUT MIDNIGHT there I was with an abscess needing cut open, drained and dressed. Bless them , they were quick and the ER Dr. was great which made my evening. Part of this is a teenager's timing. 'I can ignore the pain and horror of this 3 day owie until I leave my friends' group and decide to pay attention to the pain exploding in my midsection...' Part of this is knowing that we can probably treat and heal this at home if someone would treat it properly.... oh the joys of parenting!!! Our incredibly high quality Melaleuca Oil has eradicated Staph in this girl before, so I have no doubt that in the beginning this was preventable. AGAIN, the joy of not making our children's choices as they get older. It was a lesson for me that she is still my baby no matter how independent she wants to be, and I think it was a lesson for her, I can only hope, as far as abscess treatments and medicine in the ER is concerned. Now she is treating an open wound with a big lump behind it and they will check for MRSA, staph and the healing tomorrow. Some bacterias you do not mess with when they get that angry... it scares me that she messes with and may not keep it super clean through this adventure, but, again, those are supposed to be real life lessons to give her real experiences for when I am not here to hold her hand!! May you always find a silver lining and a reason to smile and laugh through the midnight ER tromps with your littles!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Life Paralyzing You?

I'm in a challenge to free write for 15 minutes everyday. EVERYDAY!!! It is a Big challenge. I am busy. Just as you all are. When I get the chance to eat out, the choices paralyze me. When I have a quiet moment to fit something in...often it is do dishes or feel paralyzed. TOO many choices of things to do, to fix , to eat , to wear, to attend have surrounded our busy lives until some of us (the majority in studies) are actually stymied by the hundreds of options. I found it incredible to find out that given many options for Insurance plans many would choose none, even the benefits offered were hard to visualize through the pain of CHOICE. What if I choose wrong? WHAT IF I don't like their Reuben Sandwich? What if the French Dip looks better once it arrives? How silly! But true for some of us. And depressing if we can't decide quickly. Hampering really. Should I go to #2's or #3's basketball or #1's wrestling? Feel guilty the whole time because you were stretched 3 ways and missed the great play or the injury? Learn to not give in to guilt over a choice. Pray and go with it. I set a timer lately to make choices to begin and end a chore. Just as a helpful way to not get STUCK or centered on one thing for too long. If I hesitate and worry about making the perfect decision I WASTE A LOT OF TIME. I want to make a quick decision from a smart list of choices and be done with it! So I have to discipline myself to decide. AND NOT WORRY! You might be amazed to learn that the inability to make choices when faced with so many choices everyday is a serious cause of clinical depression! DOES NOT surprise me!! As one who has struggled in the past with Seasonal Depression and has to keep my chin up deliberately and BE GRATEFUL this was a very nice discovery. I am not alone. You are not alone if the busy lifestyle we all share these days because so many choices are available overwhelms you!! Embrace gratitude once a day! Make a decision to make a 15 minute spot to simply breathe. CHOOSE a simple salad or soup meal. DONE! Choose to set that phone with work down when your work hours are over. Be OK with not having to make the perfect choice, list just a few options that have what you need and DECIDE quickly. LESS IS MORE! Having less, doing with less, being ok with less CAN GIVE YOU SO MUCH MORE quality of life! Be happy, be well, be blessed- from our family to yours.

Monday, February 9, 2015

TASTY Gluten Free EASY Healthy PIZZA!

OH MY GOODNESS! I made successful cauliflower pizza crusts the other day and FINALLY (after 2 years) enjoyed this awesome treat! I liked it better than traditional crust and was so impressed (after reviewing many versions) with www.sandyskitchenadventures.com blog recipes on Cauliflower crust, Cauliflower breadsticks and all things healthier. Just thought I'd add a shout out for that great blog and hopefully she doesn't mind my unsolicited shout out! ;) (I did use regular eggs not egg beaters.) DO NOT be overwhelmed, this was easier than making bread or pizza dough. Simple, simple, simple! You just need a little time to bake them (35 TO 45 MINUTES) as it is a little longer baking, but they do freeze well, so you can make ahead of time. I added jalapenos to my topping and the leftover pizza the next day was amazing!! Cheesy fried cauliflower was what I tasted in the next day leftover pizza, although I must say the pizza crust wasn't even noticeably cauliflower at first serving. My family of ten had no idea what they were eating and polished off 5 dinner plate size pizzas! I added turkey pepperoni on their toppings. They did like it!! YAY! My only issue with this dish would be the ability to stick to a healthy portion! Share your favorite healthy dish? Maybe a dish you'd like to try but haven't yet? It took me so long to just DO this and I am so thankful to have a new favorite. Go for a newbie! Just Do It!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Halfway through 2014! Have you accomplished a lot in 2014 yet? Would you like to accomplish more financially, spiritually, physically and improve your outlook before 2015? I'm positive that most of us answer YES to that question. There don't seem to be enough hours in the day or days in the week to get it all done. Our busy lifestyles take over and we forget what it is like to feel organized, peaceful and secure. My 2014 has turned into one of those 'A-HA' years. I am growing up. I have maybe arrived at a secure personal achievement of mature growth. I feel settled. Maybe because I now know how to be comfortable in my own skin no matter what others may think. Maybe it is that I am successful. Ending the month of June for me means I am ready for the second half of 2014! YAY! It wasn't always so. I would love to hear what you have accomplished or what you are struggling to accomplish. I have dealt with grief, being broke, being depressed, failing- again and again... Do you need an ear or a shoulder? Sometimes it helps to have a sounding board. CARPE DIEM!!! Sieze the day. It is yours, nobody else can do so for you. ;)