The Inexhaustible Richness of Sameness


To be in the same place daily, watching the dawn, hearing the birds wake each morning, makes one realize the inexhaustible richness of ‘sameness.’

Thomas Merton

I enjoy sameness. Routines. Predictability. Plans. Not Knowing makes me slightly anxious. I think my dogs enjoy sameness too. They watch me and know what’s coming next, even if I try to be sneaking and do things nonchalantly. If I am getting dressed AND putting on my shoes, they know that the next step is going out to the doggie room and THAT MEANS TREATS. Oh, the excitement! This happens three or four times a week.

And then I started this routine to give equal time to the girls. So for my afternoon coffee break, Bess and Zoey get to sleep on my lap. I started this because Bess doesn’t demand much, and I felt like she was getting a little neglected. Now, when I just START making my afternoon coffee, Bess goes and positions herself by my chair, ready to take her rightful position! I can’t believe how excited she gets about this. It is the only time she asks to get on my lap! Sophie and Chloe get my lap after dinner. Since they are a little bigger, Chloe gets on the chair next to me, and Sophie lays on top of her. Chloe doesn’t seem to mind. (sorry, no pictures of this. Believe me, it would not be a flattering selfie.)

I enjoy waking up early, without an alarm clock, so most nights I start to bed fairly early. I like it when I can get into the studio before 9am to start my quilting, sewing, and creating.

I like going to the gym three days a week, and working out hard (but not too hard ūüôā )

I enjoy going to church every Sunday. I enjoy worshipping with others, and this is where I can hear from God (if I am listening) and it grounds me for the week ahead.

I like the predictability of the seasons. I love seeing everything pop up in the garden when spring starts. I like working out there in the summer, getting new plants, moving others to new locations, and making little plans. I like the fall, when I can look forward to the changing colors. I like it when winter comes, and I get to take a break from the garden.

Sometimes liking sameness can cause a little difficulty. I like certain foods, and I like them at certain times of the day. If I identify that that might not be the best, most healthy way of eating, it is difficult for me to change those habits. Right now that includes a protein bar every day with my coffee break, and Skinny Pop¬†popcorn every night! I’m working on that.

When I first moved to the country, my city family would ask me, “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?!” Well, I was going to stay home and enjoy myself. They did not understand this. Its a verse in the Bible, but its also just plain wisdom “I have learned, in whatever state I am in, to be content.”¬†

Contentment. Its a good thing.

I wish for you a contented Happy New Year!


Happy New Year

Ouch. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. I’ve been dealing with an abscessed tooth for the last week. Pretty sure none of you want to read the sordid details, and I have no wish to review them in writing. Just to say, if you know someone whose tooth hurts, be kind to them. I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse pain in my life. Add on nausea (from the pain meds,) and there you’ve got a recipe for misery.

Oh, LOL, speaking of recipes ūüôā One thing that’s pretty good–a lot of my favorite foods and recipes are nice and soft! Smoothies, yogurt, cottage cheese with SOFT fruit, cottage cheese with baked potato (because making mashed potatoes seemed like too much work,) pumpkin custard, and SF chocolate pudding. All came in very handy this past week.


Green smoothie made with frozen pineapple, banana cube, almond milk, romaine lettuce, and a little splenda and coconut extract!

I wrote about my quilting year in review over on the other blog. And today, to start the new year out right, J. the contractor is coming back to work on a couple of small house projects!

Anyway, Happy New Year to all! I hope to be back soon with some new recipes and garden doings and doggie adventures.

Zoey is looking forward to the new year too!

Zoey is looking forward to the new year too!



New Year’s Thoughts from a Plane

Since I was flying home on New Year’s Eve, I started thinking about what I wanted this new year to be. ¬†Or what *I* wanted to be in this new year. ¬†Last year was a pretty dramatic year for me. ¬†Not really how I would choose to live. ¬†I like things to be on a more even keel. And when I look at the notes I jotted on the plane, I see that they are just the small things that comprise daily life and make it enjoyable.

Here’s the things I wrote down. ¬†Not too exciting, I guess. ¬†But they please me.

  • Back to losing mode. ¬†(I got out the Bobay plan and am back to following it. ¬†With a tweak or two–want to eat a little more dairy, so am including my homemade yogurt.)
  • Cook new stuff. ¬†Minimize wheat and sugar.
  • Eat fruit plain and enjoy it. ¬†(I got in the habit of having fruit with cottage cheese or yogurt or something extra.)
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Continue to exercise 5-6 days/week, 1 hour per day. ¬†This is the exercise regime that most previously overweight people maintain.
  • Back to quilting 4 hours/day.
  • ORGANIZE HAITI. ¬†Our sponsorship program for the children of Carrfourpoy, Haiti has been more successful than we imagined. ¬†So at each juncture, we have to figure out what to do next. ¬†My latest challenge is basically to learn how to navigate Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excell. ¬†These programs seem to have conspired against me. ¬†But I am excited by the prospect of being able to help these darling children.
  • Call Lisa–volunteer. ¬†Lisa works with a mission for the inner city kids in Stockton, and I would like to try and help out down there.
  • Train Noah to come. ¬†Oh, my. ¬†This is the one I am most excited about. ¬†Noah knows exactly what come means. ¬†He comes perfectly off leash IN THE YARD. ¬†But twice in the last month or so I have left the back door open, and he is GONE. ¬†And he acts like he never heard the word Come before. ¬†And then I get panicky (the opposite of calm-assertive) and that doesn’t help. ¬†I asked his trainer about this when I picked him up, and she was well-aware of his habits. ¬†So we will be having her make a house call in the next month or so.
  • Read my Bible more (I have the New Living Translation on my Kindle Fire, and I am finally learning how to navigate it. ¬†Fun!) ¬†And memorize a new chapter in the Bible. ¬†I was doing pretty good on this for a while. ¬†And then I stopped. ¬†So I am looking forward to picking out a chapter that I find particularly meaningful.
  • Live within my budget. ¬†Give more.
  • Read more classic books. ¬†My friend was telling me that a lot of classic books are free to download on the Kindle! ¬†Score!

So today was a very nice start to the new year. ¬†Oh, I have to tell you about a new product I found!! ¬†Its an instant oatmeal, only its not that ground up instant stuff. ¬†Its multi-grain, and includes guinoa, flax, barley, oats and some other stuff. ¬†You make it in the microwave, and it is so good! ¬†I cannot tell you how wonderful I think it is. ¬†And you know I am quite the connoisseur of oatmeal, right? ¬†Anyway, the brand is Good Oats, and the multigrain stuff is called Abundance. ¬†You must try it. ¬†Plus, two minutes in the microwave with no pan to clean afterwards? ¬†So this morning I started the day with this oatmeal. ¬†I got in a little blog reading and emailing, and Bible reading, and got dressed and headed out the door with all three doggies. ¬†And when we got back, I did quite a few stomach crunches and stretches. ¬†I didn’t list those things above, but those are two exercise components that have been lacking lately, and I want to make sure I add them back into the rotation. ¬†On to the post-travel laundry, and I actually had some time to do some serious quilting–I made a cover for my Kindle Fire!