A place for Peace
- The Simple Life -
Summer solstice has past and we watch summer evaporate before
our very eyes. The foxglove is in full bloom, right now. I have so
been looking forward to my lupines blooming, and they are almost
done. The sweet scent of dame's rocket that has sweetly scented our
deck area is fading. I will chop them all back in hopes of a second
bloom. The dames rocket never disappoints me. So I look forward to
a fall bloom. But I know summer is passing with each moment. Before
we know it, it will be fall. I have found that the quieter my life
is, the slower it passes, so I try to erase the clutter and
There is a woods near here that I think of as my secret place.
It is an old forest with huge trees that you cannot wrap your arms
around and have them touch. There is nothing but soft meadow grass
underneath the large trees. It's like being in another world.
Except for the tree trunks, everything is a shade of green.
Surrounded by young growth, the wind does not blow here. There is a
hush as you enter; a penetrating stillness that makes you feel as if
you are entering a holy place. On a hot summer day, it is cool
here. To sit here in the shady quiet, to just relax or to reflect
is simple peace. Birds and squirrels forget you are here after a
few minutes and go back to their noisy routines, chattering about.
Everyone needs a place like this, next to a stream - maybe with a
fishing pole, or on a beach - a peaceful place to sit and just be.
* * *
Have a family or friends meeting and ask everyone what their
favorite idea for summer is. Plan a day a week, for something
simple such as a picnic to a nearby park, a hike, a trip to the
beach. If you can't plan it that often, plan a couple days a month,
or a day a month. Have a potluck. Plan a canoe trip, camping trip,
or another special trip to be a high point of your summer.
* * *
"Nature is a good name for an effect whose cause is God."--William
Cowper, 17th century hymn-writer
"Take God for your...friend and walk with him continually, and you
will not sin and will learn to love, and the things you must do will
work out prosperously for you." St. John of the Cross
The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the
The second is freedom of everyone to worship God in his own way,
everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . .
everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear . . .anywhere in the world.
--President Franklin D. Roosevelt
* * *
Money saving ideas for summer:
- stay away from the malls and stores. Don't take the kids,
especially! If they don't know it's there they will be much more
satisfied to take the old inner tubes to the beach and just be
kids. Build sandcastles and take peanut butter and jelly. If you
must shop, visit second hand stores or yard sales. You will be
surprised at the bargains! Just don't haul it home if its broken or
you don't really need it. Someone else's last year toys can
be 'new' for your kids this year! Or, if you have to take the kids
to the grocery store, ask them what kind of fruit is their favorite
(maybe strawberries) and plan ahead that that will be the treat you
bring home - something healthy!
- On a cool day bake a batch of cookies and put some in the freezer
for hot days. Don't go out for ice cream. Buy a pail when it's on
sale and make cones at home, or use those frozen cookies to make ice
cream sandwiches. Homemade Hot fudge or peanut butter sauce tastes
great on ice cream and keep the $3. in your pocket!
- Soda can get really expensive. Buy some instant tea or make sun
tea. Its cool, refreshing and costs just a penny or two per glass
rather than $1 or so a bottle at the convenience store. If you put
the dollars you save into a jar it really adds up and then you can
all decide on a nice treat! Make a game of it and its an economic
lesson for the kids as well as a good lesson about not getting
everything we want when we want it. The effort of thought we put
into some creative ways to save money can be an investment!
Grilled Veggies - This is a great recipe I love, by itself or on top
of a burger or brat. Delicious, and so good for you! You can also
add potatoes at the last minutes, or experiment with your favorite
vegetable. The best part - it's so easy!
2 Zucchini -- thick sliced
1 Yellow Squash -- thick sliced
1 Onion -- cut into wedges
12 large Mushrooms, whole -- cut into wedges
1 Red Bell Pepper -- cut into chunks
1 Green Bell Pepper -- cut into chunks
1 cup Italian Salad Dressing -- (prepared)
2 cloves Garlic -- minced
In a 1 gallon size zip baggie or covered bowl, combine all
ingredients and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes or
overnight. Thread veggies onto skewers or place vegetables in grill
basket to grill until tender. (This may be cooked in a skillet
until browned and tender, or may be broiled or oven roast at 450
degrees F until tender).
Keeping Summer Simple,