September 10, 2015

Thursday Thought

When I got home from work yesterday, I was feeling very creative. All of these thoughts and ideas were just swirling around in my mind. There is so much I want to do, write, and accomplish but I just seem to run out of time. A lot of my time lately has been taken up with canning-- that should be coming to an end soon. I have almost run out of space on my shelves. How is that even possible?

This year I have canned pickled beets, dill pickles, blackberry jam, strawberry jam, mild salsa, tomatillo salsa, pears, tomatoes, and applesauce.

I dehydrated apples-- Andy says they are the best and has to stop himself from eating them all. I tried eating a bunch of dehydrated apples once, they tasted great but I didn't feel so great later. I ended up throwing up at Andy's feet-- he stills laughs about this.

I shredded and froze zucchini and squash.

We also picked a ton of berries. By a ton, I'm talking 44 pounds of strawberries and 46 pounds of blueberries. We also picked blackberries and raspberries. What does one do with that many berries? We freeze them to enjoy during the rest of the year. We also froze about 20 pounds of peaches. I think it's safe to say it has been more than a little crazy around here. I hope to put up some of my recipes once things slow down a little bit.

Aside from canning life is good. Life is far from perfect and it isn't always easy but life is so good. I feel incredibly blessed and I am so grateful to be alive and that I am able to experience this thing called life-- even when things aren't going my way.

We have had our fair share of struggles lately. It seems like every time I take a step forward I end up taking two step backwards in some other area of my life. I guess it's true what they say, "When it rains it pours." Sometimes I wish I could just catch a break, you know?

Back to yesterday-- I had all these thoughts and great ideas swirling around in my mind and for some reason I was reminded of a mirror that hung on my wall as a teenager. I honestly don't know where this mirror came from, I think Mom may have picked it up at the fair. The mirror was painted blue and it had quotes in yellow paint on it's borders. One of the quotes on it was from Helen Keller and until yesterday, I didn't know what it meant.

Helen said, "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do."

As this quote ran though my mind and I contemplated some of my struggles, something clicked and I realized that what Helen was really saying was, "Focus on the positives and not on the negatives". By focusing on the positives it will cloud out the negatives in your life. Be like the sunflowers, who follow the sun.

I don't know what challenges you are facing and I'm not sure if I will share mine on the blog, but I do know this. Challenges and struggles are part of the human experience. Challenges help us grow and become better people. Are challenges fun? No way! It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel sad, hurt, scared or disappointed sometimes. But it's not good or healthy to be unhappy on a regular basis. The storm you face will eventually pass. If you can think positive thoughts it will help. Think about all of the good things in your life, write them down. Give service to someone else. Exercise. Do something you enjoy. Be one with nature. And don't forget to smile. Life really is beautiful!

Carpe Diem!

P.S. Helen Keller was an amazing woman! She is one to be admired.