Growing Old with Beauty & Grace

It seems that as I get older, time passes more quickly – almost so quickly it’s hard to believe.

There are days when we talk about something that happened and we’ll think it happened last week or a couple of weeks ago, and when we get to checking, it’s been several months . . . or longer. Likewise, the future turns into history way too quickly!

We’re all getting older, and the older I get, the more I realize how precious each day is and the more I want to be sure I’m doing everything I can to make sure that I grow old “well”.

So what inspires me to want to grow old well? It’s my love of life. I enjoy every minute of every day and I want to continue to do so. Not only do I want to have a lot of years left, but I want to have a lot of good years left!

There are so many things I have left that I want to do . . . not only quilting and knitting but with a new grandchild on the way, I want her to have some of the same fond memories I have of my grandparents. I want her to remember seeing me growing my own garden and canning vegetables and getting down on the floor and playing with her and better yet . . . getting up when we’re done!

My parents are an example of folks who have grown old with beauty and grace.

My mom is a retired school teacher and she reads a lot! She recently bought a longarm quilting machine. She’s active in the local quilt guild.

My dad still has a huge garden, loves the computer and technology. Here he is playing with his new iPod Nano.

I’m counting on having good “grow old gracefully genes”. But, I want to do everything I can do to have the best old age I can have — healthy, happy and fun years!

The things that we’re personally doing around here to ensure that will happen are:

  • Eating healthy – I’m trying to grow a lot of our food and buy healthy foods – more fresh and less processed foods.
  • Exercise – Not only am I more aware of the need for an exercise program, I’m trying to stay more active and stay busy, both physically and mentally.
  • Being Careful – As I get older, I notice I can’t do some of the things the same way I once could. We needed steps for one of the side doors of the shop and at one time, we would have moved a big rock over there and used that but decided to put real steps with a hand rail. One fall could be a real setback as I get older.
  • Be Aware and Pro-Active – As I watch my parents grow older, I’m more aware of the changes I face now and in the future. By using my smart phone, I keep a list of things I want to discuss with my doctor so hopefully, any potential “old age” issues can be dealt with before becoming serious issues.

Therefore I’m excited about the new “Get Old” platform by Pfizer. We’re all getting older and it’s nice to have all the help we can get.

At “Get Old.” we can find inspiration and information to encourage people at any stage of the aging process to discuss, celebrate, and empower themselves about the aging process. Armed with camaraderie and information, we can improve the quality of our aging process, currently a major issue in our society.

How it Works

Get Old is about forming a community, asking people how they feel about growing older, and inviting people to share an emotion that expresses their feelings either through a story, a photo, or a video.

Connecting with people of all ages coming to terms with aging in a way that feels authentic and exciting will provide a support system and allow people to find pertinent tips and tools about how to face aging physically, emotionally, and mentally in a positive and proactive manner.

Pfizer knows we’re living longer, and they want to be sure we have the tools to live better, too. Living longer means more opportunities to have adventures or to rest, to encounter successes or failures, to live. And embracing all of those facets of aging allows us to live life to the fullest.

How about you answer these questions: What do you do to get old well? For your body? For your mind?

There are 13 bloggers participating in this Get Old program sponsored by Pfizer. Three winners will be chosen from the combined comments from all 13 blogs. Each of the three winners will receive a $500 SpaFinder Gift Card.

For your convenience, here are highlights from the Official Rules for the Sweepstakes. Please note by submitting an entry you are agreeing to the full Official Rules, available here.

No duplicate comments.

Please do not mention or imply any pharmaceutical products in your posts. Posts that mention or imply a pharmaceutical product will be subject to removal.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt at the bottom of this post.*
b) Read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
*Note: if you want to comment but either (i) are not eligible or (ii) do not want to enter the giveaway, please include something similar to the following statement in your comment: “I do not wish to enter the sweepstakes.”

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Medical professionals who are licensed (or are otherwise authorized) to prescribe medications are not eligible to enter. While BlogHer encourages you to share your thoughts and experiences about getting older, comments discussing medical conditions and/or medical products are not permitted, may be deleted, and are invalid entries. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

This sweepstakes runs from 6/18 to 8/31.

Be sure to check out the BlogHer.com Get Old page to find out more about the Get Old platform and read how other bloggers feel about aging!

Design Wall Monday – June 18, 2012

On my design wall is a little stripey baby quilt. I will add borders and this will be my June Color Palette top too.  The printed fabric has cute little flying pigs!



Sarah’s Story

Sarah and I have corresponded back and forth for a while now.  They ran into zoning issues with their chickens about the same time I was thinking I’d go nuts if we didn’t get out of the city limits and away from the red tags.  They had their house for sale when we had our house for sale. I think our frustration with trying to find a house about caused Sarah to take her house off the market but then . . well, I’ll let Sarah tell you her story!  It has a happy ending!  Smile

Here are some pictures that Sarah shared of their new home and land.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your story!

We finally realized a dream we started 4 years ago!  About a month ago we finally moved onto our 6.77 acre homestead.  It’s been a long hard road so let me share some of the highlights so you understand why we are so happy with our land of poison ivy and deer flies!

My husband and I are complete opposites; he was born and raised in the country and I was born and raised in the inner-city.  We met thru our Church, married and assembled a family of 8 within 6 months.  Little did we know our whole lives would become a series of wait-wait-wait-GO FAST! but that’s exactly what it’s become.  When we married I moved 20 minutes out of town to a suburb which I thought was the furthest away from town I would ever want to go.  I remember the first year we were married I missed city life so much that I drove into town to visit family and friends every day but Sunday!  My husband was very patient with me and waited for me to acclimate.  It took two years and then we took a role reversal.  I couldn’t stand the politics of the small town and I wanted to start a hobby farm to support us instead of the grocery store!

Our plan was to finish remodeling the house we had, put it on the market and begin looking for 5+ acres with a house big enough for our blended family… there is a joke that is common in the Church: If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!  And, indeed, this is exactly what happened.  We sunk every penny, blood, sweat and tears into finishing the house as soon as possible because we totally believed that as soon as we put it on the market someone would snatch up our lovely 4 bedroom, 3 bath ranch on a 1/2 acre lot in a “pretty” suburban town.  Ummmm, yes, we did take into account the housing market but it really was a cute house and we did price it lower than the appraisal we had.  But instead we waited…. and waited…. and kept tweaking the house…. and kept second guessing what God’s plan was for us… and waited.

Three years after we started “preparing” for the move we finally got an offer on the house.  Looking back I wonder if all that time waiting was really just us preparing for the new lifestyle.  We got chickens (and then lost them to the zoning board… and then got them back when we successfully changed the zoning laws!  Yeah!), we got bunnies, I learned to can, freeze and dry excess food, we learned to garden on a slightly bigger scale, I learned to make do with less and make our own things instead of going out to buy everything from Wal-mart.  I guess that was enough to convince God that it was time, and He didn’t waste any time!  From the time we got the offer it was 1 month till closing and we didn’t have a clue where we were moving… out back-up plan was to live in a friend’s basement for a couple weeks between houses.  Not the best of ideas with 6 kids but it’s all we had.  However, God had plans we didn’t know about and two weeks before closing we found a house on 6.77 acres.  It’s far from ideal; the house is smaller, the lot is covered with poison ivy (I am not exaggerating, you can’t step on the property without stepping in poison ivy), it has an infestation of deer flies (the ones that bite, so it hurts like crazy and then itches like crazy), and ticks (lets not forget the ticks!!!!)  However, it was paradise to us!  It’s over 5 acres with meadow and woods and a creek.  We put in a bid and found out a week later it was accepted; we closed within two weeks of finding it and did it the same day as we closed on our old house…. When we got home to the new house the first thing we did was spray for poison ivy!  Second thing we did was start renovations.  Third thing we did?  Planted a garden!

Sarah1We’ve been here for a month now and things are still moving along.  It hasn’t been easy; poison ivy is still a huge problem with seven kids running around.  The wild animals are something I hadn’t dealt with before and it’s a little intimidating at times.  We lost three chickens right off the bat to the raccoons and ‘possums.  The flies drive us crazy at times.  BUT it really is worth it!!  The house, while still ugly, has a two level deck for sitting in the mornings and drinking coffee with a book.  Someday the inside of the house will be all finished and be just as lovely as our old house.  My husband and I take time several days a week to stroll the land and we LOVE it… the kids spend all day outside playing.  We have fresh eggs!  The soil here is magnificent and our garden is taking off.  In addition to the garden we started grapes (both table and wine), an apple orchard, pears, peaches, blueberries, asparagus and rhubarb.  The land already had wild black raspberries!  We also have plans…. lots and lots of plans.  For the first time in my adult life I feel like we can make things permanent…

It’s been a long time coming with a lot of time spend in tears and prayers asking God why things aren’t happening.  It will also be a long time of hard work to make our home everything we imagine it to be but it’s done, we’re here and we love it!

Finding One Item at a Time

There are still tons of boxes in the shop and upstairs above the sewing room.  We mostly have everything unpacked that we need to carry on our routine so, in theory, everything still in boxes, 10 months after the move, should be donated or tossed.  That’s the theory.  In reality, there’s still lots of good stuff in those boxes.

It’s so hot inside the shop and especially upstairs so any digging through boxes has to be done very early in the mornings.

Over the past few weeks, every now and then I wondered where my La Cloche might be.  I asked Vince if he had seen it.  Nope . . had not!  In MO, I kept it in the drawer under the stove and I was wondering if maybe it had been left there. I’m wanting to make more and better bread and I needed that pan.  Last night, I even went so far as to put another one in the shopping cart and then I decided to diligently search for my old one before ordering another one.  Good choice, huh?   That’s one of the reasons we have so much stuff . . it’s easier to buy new than find the old.

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It rained last night so I didn’t have to water the garden this morning.  After getting a batch of bread stirred up, I went right out to start digging through boxes before it got too hot.  The very first box I opened had some of the black iron skillets that had been in the drawer under the stove so I was feeling pretty darned lucky.  Also in that box was the bottom to my La Cloche.  I couldn’t believe that with the hundreds of boxes, I found it in the very first box.  But, the box was completely unpacked and no lid was found.  For over an hour, I searched through boxes.  I tried to match up numbers . . you know how all those boxes have United Movers’ numbers on them.  You would think if the bottom was in box #079, the top might be in either #078 or #080.  Not so!  It was getting too hot to stay upstairs so I decided to quit for the day but then figured I’d open some of the boxes that were downstairs and see if anything looked like it might have been close to where the La Cloche was stored.  Finally, another hour later I found the top!

I’m amazed that I found it and further amazed that the two pieces weren’t packed in the same box but . . it’s found and that’s what matters.

While searching through boxes, I found a few other goodies and I’m going to try to spend at least one hour every morning unpacking some of those boxes!