A Quiet Peace

How are you all today?

I know a lot of people are very scared. I understand and I empathize. To quote Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” It’s easy to get anxious when there is uncertainty and a constant barrage of bad news. No need to be immersed in it 24/7, so I’ve been cutting back on my exposure to it. I’ve also been chatting with friends and spending time doing things that I enjoy. I’d like to share a bit of the peaceful day I had today in our Enchanted Forest.

I was going to take a photo showing how the warm days we’ve had melted most of our snow. However, I woke up this morning to snow. With Hannah Joy fast asleep on my lap, I sat in my chair, sipping coffee and watching the snowfall as I listened to The Shire, A Peaceful Night in Bag End – Relaxing Evening Rain on Youtube today. When I want peaceful music, I listen to Shire music. It makes me think of peaceful gardens, gentle Hobbits, and beautiful homes with round doors.

The Piano Guys posted an interesting and fun article about the power of music called Darth Maul, Coronavirus and the Power of Music. They wrote:

So what do you feed your soul? Whatever you feed it connects to your body’s health, your state of mind, and your general well being. Your stress level affects your immune system which affects your health. Your mood affects your mind which affects your resilience. It’s all connected. And one of the EASIEST ways to improve your general well being is listening to the right music at the right time.

Because we try to live frugally, we always buy items when they are on sale. Meijers often has “10 items for $10” sales on a variety of items. We also buy canned goods each autumn when our little grocery store around the corner has sales on cases of canned goods. And when there is meat on sale at the stores, we buy several packages, divide them into meal-sized portions, and freeze them until we need them. So we are doing pretty well at the moment. There are a few items that we still need, such as flour, sugar, milk, fresh vegetables, but we aren’t panic-buying. We take one or two now and then and leave the rest for others.

EJ works ten-hour days Monday through Thursday. His Thursday ends at 3 am on Friday morning and he gets the rest of the weekend off. He had planned to just sleep a couple hours this morning so we could get to Meijers early to do some shopping but I knew he was really tired so I just let him sleep in. When he woke up, we decided to forget Meijers. EVERYBODY shops at Meijers and there was no guarantee that the items we wanted to get would be there. We went instead to our little grocery store, which is only a couple miles away. There were a few empty spots, but most of the shelves were full, and we got everything we wanted except the yeast for EJ’s bread. I had ordered yeast on-line a few days ago, but the company emailed that there would be a delay because of high demand. However, when we got home, I found an email that the yeast had been shipped so…Yay! It will be here in a few days.

After we got the groceries put away, I began preparing lunch, but EJ had to finish it. We have a flock of 20 chickens–3 roosters and 17 hens–which is enough to keep us supplied with eggs and enables us to sell what we cannot use. I have two regular customers. One of them came this morning to pick up some eggs. I asked how he was doing, and he said he was doing well. He feels as we do–that all we really can do is take precautions but then we just need to hunker down and wait out the virus.

Blueberry Kefir Smoothie.

One of EJ’s co-workers gave him some Kefir grains. Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of culture of living micro-organisms. EJ calls them “mitochondria” which in Star Wars were linked to potential in the Force. Kefir is believed to be a more powerful probiotic than yogurt and to have many health benefits. When it ferments, we strain it to separate the culture from the liquid. We put the culture in new milk to start a new batch and drink the Kefir liquid or use it in recipes. Today I made blueberry smoothies with our Kefir liquid. It was quite yummy. My friend told me that she has made a delicious bread with Kefir. I would like to try it, but I might wait until flour is more plentiful so I don’t waste it if our bread doesn’t turn out.

I hadn’t stopped filling the bird feeders a week or so ago because the warmer weather was waking up the bears. Someone who lived only a couple miles from us had posted on FB that there had been a bear in her driveway. Hungry bears like eating from birdfeeders. However, because of the snow, I decided to put feed out for the birds today. It wasn’t long before the deer came trotting in. We had seven deer eating the seed! They didn’t leave any for bears.

I took a video today when I went out to gather the eggs from the chickens. As always, Theo and Millie ran to greet me when I opened the garage door. The chickens also usually run up to greet me too when they are outside, but they don’t like snow so they stayed in their coop today. I really enjoy interacting with my flock of chickens and cats. They all live quite peacefully together in the coop and garden.

Finally, but not least, I am comforted by sharing my anxieties with God. I’ve been focusing on Bible verses such as these:

…So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For…your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6)

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:5-7)

These things all help me regain a sense of perspective and peace in these uncertain times.

 

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