~~~ Keeping it Simple ~~~
Welcome to the North!
Here in God's country most of us live down a back road. If we don't live down a back road, it doesn't take long to get to one. One of the roads near our house is a hilly path through the woods shaded by a canopy of old trees. I could never trade the peace and quiet of my country road for the traffic and congestion of the big city. Not for anything. And, it's so nice and peaceful down our back roads, we can tell it's the weekend, just by the noise of the city slickers who bring all their toys to enjoy all the great outdoors, because they forgot that the way to really enjoy a back road, is to take a walk!
Enjoying a cup of lemonade on the deck, my new to the north neighbor asked, "What are some tips you would have for someone who has never lived down a back road before?" We came up with quite a list we can all relate to in some shape or fashion.
Neighbors: Get to know `em. Out here on the back roads we all stick together. They will plow you out if your 4x4 is broke down, you'll give each other a hand with all kinds of projects, they are only a quick phone call away, and on warm summer evenings you will grill burgers together listening to the fire pop as the sun sinks below the horizon and the fireflies begin to twinkle.
Budget: We don't spend the money `big city' people do. We have fire pits instead of grills, venison instead of $9.00 a pound steaks, and pesticide free produce in home-canned jars instead of cans. We knew "organic" before organic was cool. We eat homemade pies from whatever fruit is in season. Most of our flowers that come up year after year were free from someone's back yard and they told us not to even say `thanks' or they might not grow! How's that for an ol' wives tale? We heat for next to nothing with trees that provided deer blinds, shade or just good ol' climbing trees.
Cars: We drive older cars because they will always be either dusty or muddy. That's one small price to pay for living on a back road but we save so much money we don't give it a thought. We also are too smart to drive a new car off the lot and lose one quarter of its value. If we did have a new car Chuck would have another deer accident to repair.
Shopping Malls: When we visit a mall we laugh at all the things we happily do without. We go for the exercise and I don't mean exercising our wallets.
Garden: We never have to actually plant zucchini because it magically appears on our back porch summer through fall. We also don't have to plant raspberries, because nature grows them for us along the trails by everyone's house.
Laundry: We don't need a dryer because we love hanging the clothes out on the line and every country home has one. We don't need one in the winter because with a fire in the woodstove our clothes dry overnight anyway and help humidify the house naturally. Luckily, we learned not to place our birdhouses near our clotheslines!
Church: Going to church is just what we do here. It takes our mind off all our silly problems and puts it back where it belongs. "What would Jesus do?" really is what we try to do all week, in between services, and that's why neighbors are so helpful around here.
Friends: Everyone needs `em. If you don't have enough, the place to find `em is in one of our many local churches. Country folk go to church. And, they will be your best friends for life. They will be there through thick and through thin and always have a coffee pot brewing if you need someone to talk to. They will throw you a baby shower when you're expecting and help your kids throw your 50th anniversary party and stay to help clean up. You'll do the same for them.
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1 t honey, 1/2 c frozen strawberries or any fruit in season, 1/2 c fat-free plain yogurt, 1/2 frozen banana, peeled and chopped, 2 T powdered protein supplement, 1 1/2 T flax seed. Add any fruit desired. Blend with an ice cube or two for a really cool and healthy snack! Experiment with flavors and ingredients.
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A woman went to live in a nursing home. But each week her friends noticed she was getting more and more depressed. Her friend who had noticed she loved to feed the birds, realized she didn't have a bird feeder outside her window. She asked the woman, and the woman said, "I was feeding the birds outside my window, but I was told I couldn't.
After lunch the friend went to the office and asked about it. The next time she visited, the first thing she saw was her friend filling the bird feeders near the garden. There was even a bench for all the residents who enjoyed bird watching.
We all need to feel needed, even if its our bird friends who need us. The director of this retirement home knew this and found a way to help this woman feel needed, and happier at the same time. Just one small act of kindness did the trick.
Keeping it simple,