Self-Reliance – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I keep coming back to this paragraph…

“Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay “Self-Reliance”

I’m not sure it could be said better. It is hard to be in the moment, to not “stand on tiptoes to foresee the future”. From the time we are small our parents, teachers, and relatives are asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. In high school we are asked, what our future plans are. After we have finished school and become what we have grown up to be, we then need to think about investing, buying a house, building a retirement. We are always being pointed to the future, always being encouraged to think beyond today. As adults we complain that teenagers live in the moment and aren’t thinking about the future. But maybe that isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe we should each learn to spend time in this moment. Even if it doesn’t seem important or “big”, spend time embracing just this moment.

I know I’m just as guilty as the next person of worrying what tomorrow might bring, worrying about bills that will come, worrying about the future of my family.

I’m 37, but I always feel like I’m running out of time, like my best days are gone. I spend time regretting how much I wasted my youth, which is now time wasted in regret.

It is also ok, not to fill every moment. There doesn’t always need to be something going on, it is ok just to exist in silence. Enjoy the moment of just being.

Posted in Everyday, Faith, Simple Living | Leave a comment

Blog boo-boos, Christmas card list, and planning

As some of you know, I moved my blog to a new host site. While that saved me money, it has not saved me any time at all. Today it has come to my attention that any files I had uploaded to share on the blog are now gone. Including my PDF for keeping track of Christmas cards.

It is really hard to believe it is December already! We were on the ball with getting a Christmas card picture done, but that is as far as I have gotten this year. Today I’m working on my Christmas card list and realized that I needed more copies of my printable, because for two years it has worked out great! Thankfully I still had a copy saved and uploaded it to the site today.

Every year I have great goals to plan early and get it all done on time and every year I fall short. Thankfully God forgives me :)

How are your Christmas cards coming along?

Posted in Christmas | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Hubby and great personal gift idea!

Today is my Hubby’s 37th birthday. Our daughters spent last night and this morning cutting out hearts for their homemade gift for their Dad. My older daughter had a glass Pepsi bottle that she washed out to use for this project. She and her sister cut out hearts from colored paper and put them in the bottle with a note. The note was very sweet, a section written by each of them. They give it to him as a gift today. They came up with this project on their own, which made it all the more special.

I see this as a great idea for any holiday… Valentine’s day, Birthday, Anniversary, anything.

Posted in Crafts, Simple Living | Leave a comment

Leftover Turkey and Meat Pie recipe

Yesterday I spent 10 hours making and baking meat pies. The official count is 41 individual pies (1-cup size), 10 2-person pies (2-cup size), and 6 4-person pies (4-cup size). I started making these two years ago after seeing a recipe on the Price Edward Island Tourist site. Last year I tried to locate the recipe again and had no luck. Thankfully I knew the basic idea and had written down the “pie” crust recipe. This has become our after Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition. Any leftover turkey becomes a meat pie.

These pies are not healthy, except for the turkey, but they are perfect for cold, snowy days, when we want something simple to reheat and eat. They keep in the freezer very well! I usually take them out the night before I want to reheat them and keep them in the fridge. I usually make some baked potatoes and green beans to serve with them. They make a great hearty, filling, down-home meal.

This year we were blessed with two turkeys, both were surprises, we originally just planned the hike and weren’t going to have any turkey this year, but kind-hearted people gave us this awesome gift. We cooked one on Friday and the other was a surprise on Saturday, but it was ready to cook, so we cooked it as well. Sunday we went looking at some housing options (it was a rough, sad day for us), so I couldn’t make the meat pies. Yesterday the house was full of children and we had a great time singing, while I cooked the pies. It was exhausted, but well worth it!

Today I clean up :) It’s my Hubby’s 37th birthday, so we will do some celebrating too.

My Simple Walk's version of a Meat Pie

My version of an Arcadian Meat Pie

I’m really “big” into using what I have on hand, so you can make this with a pie plate, glass oven-safe containers, whatever you have on hand. I use pyrex and anchor containers that I have collected over the years. My husband used these all the time to take lunch to work.

I take all my leftover turkey (minus some that my husband would like to eat as simply turkey) and put it in the food processor to cut it up into small pieces. I use this recipe as many times as I need to, to use up the turkey in meat pies.

3 GENEROUS cups chopped up cooked turkey (by generous, I mean I use the measuring cup to scoop up the turkey and leave it over flowing with turkey)
Sweet onion (as much as you like to taste, I used 2 large onions for all 57 containers I made yesterday. I love onions, but my family doesn’t, so this was a nice balance) – I mince the onions in the food processor
Salt and pepper to taste (I don’t use any and just allow each family member to sprinkle some on before eating)

Cream sauce

There are many ways to make this sauce and you could even just use leftover turkey gravy, but this is our favorite.
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
4 tablespoons of flour
1 packet of chicken bouillon
1.5 cups of water

Melt margarine in saucepan, once melted, remove from heat and add flour and bouillon. Add water and mix well, return to heat until it becomes a nice thick sauce. It will also thicken some more after being removed from heat. You have to watch and stir this sauce often and cook over a low heat to keep it from burning.

Combine sauce, turkey, onion, and seasonings in bowl and mix well. Put aside while making crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have containers ready to go. I don’t grease them.

In electric mixer with dough blade mix
6 oz Lard
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
while adding 3/4 cup of water, slowly

Mix until a soft dough forms.

Depending on what type of container you are baking the pies in, roll out the dough to make a bottom and top crust, filling the middle with the turkey mixture. I usually bake them for about 40 mins, but that can be adjusted if making larger pies. The top will be a light brown color when finished.

Eat some now, freeze some for later. Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

The Perfect Thanksgiving

There was no turkey or stuffing or traditional family meal, but it was the most perfect Thanksgiving. We all slept in a little later than we planned, but we were up, dressed, and on the road around 9:30am. “We” included myself, my hubby of over 16 years, our older daughter (turned 19 in October), our younger daughter (14), and our beautiful grandson, who turned 5 months old yesterday.

Our destination was Adams Falls, which is in Ricketts Glen State Park. Mapquest told us the drive would take about 2 hours and 20 minutes. We didn’t really keep track. God had created the most beautiful trip for us. Trees covered in snow made the trip seem magical. The further north we went the prettier the trip became.

Our older daughter’s smart phone died before we left the house, so there were no phones, no internet, no video games, nothing except us, music from the radio, and the beautiful snow covered views going by. It really was perfect. We sang songs, the girls played rock, paper, scissors, and we laughed and laughed. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

The trip home was a little quieter because my husband’s energy was completely gone after the 1/2 mile hike to the fall and he was sleeping, but it was no less perfect. There wasn’t a single complaint, except maybe when my older daughter made a face at me in the rear view mirror for stopping the radio’s scan feature on a Christmas song. She was ok with the Mr. Grinch song, but otherwise she preferred I stick with less holiday oriented tunes.

Don’t worry, we did have the traditional meal, but we had it on Black Friday instead. But for me our Thanksgiving trip will always be our perfect Thanksgiving. The turkey on Friday was just a bonus.

Hope everyone had a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!

Some pictures from our trip…

Posted in Faith, Thankful | 2 Comments

Henry David Thoreau quote

Posted in Simple Living | Leave a comment

I choose….

Posted in Everyday, Simple Living, Thankful | Leave a comment

Pardon the mess

A few months ago I entertained the idea of moving my blog to another hosting service, then I went ahead and did it….not the greatest idea I ever had, but the website is now moved and I’m doing my best to “clean” it up again so it will look similar to the site that was originally in place. During this process I also lost email… all of it. Every email I have received since 2010 until a couple of days ago is gone. If you emailed me and I didn’t respond, please send the email again… the original is probably lost forever.

I’m working on new videos, new recipes, and most hiking adventures to share. Please continue to visit!

Posted in Everyday | 1 Comment

What would you give up to have what you want?

I know, that sounds like such an odd question, but what would you give up to have what you really really want? Often we think what we want is an object, but when we really think about it, long and hard, it is rarely an object that we want. We want time, family, friends, adventures, life experiences… things that can’t be purchased or put on a shelf. What is keeping us from what we really want? Most often, it is our stuff or trying to get stuff! I spend way too much time thinking. Right now it is 2:23 in the morning and I have to be up to watch my 10 week old grandson and go to an appointment and here I am… thinking.

Today my family and I went to a local environmental library. It is really neat! It is small, but it only contains books about nature, wildlife, gardening, Native Americans, health, wilderness survival and similar topics. I borrowed several books, including Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things. I haven’t gotten far in the book, but it already has me thinking. This thinking, lead to more thinking, and lead down a different road of thinking and now I sit here… thinking.

I want time, time with my family, time to do things that aren’t medically related, time to spend doing things together, time to just sit outside and look at the stars, time to read a book on a blanket by a creek, time to appreciate every breath, every moment. And what will I give up to get it? Everything material! This blog started years ago as my journey towards simplicity. That goal has always been there, but sometimes I get off track and distracted. Lately things have been pushing me back in that direction. I’m back to selling almost everything I own and working towards that goal of a simpler life. Stuff steals my time and I want my time to be with my family.

What would YOU give up to have what you really want?

Posted in 100 Items, Simple Living | Leave a comment

Dinosaur Rock – Lebanon County PA

Today was beautiful. The morning air started out cool and crisp and the sun peeked out occasionally from behind rain-free clouds. After some yard sales, we went off to visit Dinosaur Rock. There is a gravel parking lot across the main road from the trail entrance. The road tends to have cars flying up and down, please use caution when crossing. There are no bathrooms.

The trail from the road to the dinosaur rocks isn’t long at all and could be a quick stop on your travels for the day. It is very sad that the rocks have been defaced with graffiti, but looking past that, it truly is amazing to see.

Since we enjoy the hiking part, we ventured beyond the rocks and onto a trail. I’m not sure the trail is intentional, but it seemed as though it had been traveled before, so we gave it a try. It hasn’t been recently traveled, as apparent by the number of spiders I walked into. After a while, I used my walking stick to clear the path of webs for me.

Under the canopy of trees, we didn’t require sunglasses and were able to take in the view. It is easy to get lost gazing among the trees, but the constant heartbeat of the neighboring turnpike kept us grounded in reality.

The trail became quite narrow in some places and very muddy in areas that once appeared to be streams. One such area, did have a tiny flow of water. There were many downed trees, some more recently fallen than others. We climbed over and under until we ran into a nest of trees that wouldn’t have been easy to navigate. At that point we turned around.

Posted in Hiking | Leave a comment