Day 28: What is your love language?

So for those who are unfamiliar with the term, a love language is the way in which we express and feel loved. There are five: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Gary Champan, who wrote the Five Love Languages, wrote that we should use the love language that our loved ones can receive. So if your husband or wife speaks a different love language than you, you have to learn to speak that language to them.

Fortunately my husband and i both have the same love language: quality time. I’d rather spend time just being with him than anything else. Everything else is nice, gifts, affirmation, acts of service but they don’t speak to me like quality time does. It’s the most precious gift anyone can give…their time. It also happens to be what I like to give most as well to friends and family. Time is something that no matter how rich or poor we are…it still is invaluable and no one can ever buy anymore.

On a completely different topic, one of the bloggers that I follow, Vicki Archer, is doing a giveaway for the fifth anniversary of her blog ‘French Essence.’ She has refurbished a home, Le Petit Bijou, in Provence, France and is giving away a weeks stay at the home. The drawing is October 8th. You can head over to her French Essence to enter. Good luck!!!

Cheers,
Rachael

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Day 27: Five Things They Should Teach About Life in School

This is incredibly easy. Only the trick is listing the top five.

1. Filing taxes. Or anything at all to do with taxes at all. I fail to understand why this is not a part of every high school’s curriculum.

2. Buying a car or house. How to get good deals, where to look, how much you should expect to pay. Mr. Wonderful and I felt so out of our element buying our first house, some background information would have been great.

3. Job hunting and interview prep. How about teaching us actually how to land that job that we are paying tens of thousands of dollars to have the degree for. Shocker. Let’s see, where to look, what’s available, what questions to ask in an interview…this class would be incredible.

4. Household maintenance. Little things like how to patch holes in the wall and big things like hooking up a swamp cooler or installing cabinets. If you had a Dad like mine he wasn’t super gifted with the “handyman” gene so you didn’t learn these things.

5. My big one is self defence. This is especially important for women. How to get out of the plastic handcuffs a kidnapper would use, how to protect yourself from rape, how to be safe in large crowds, home defence. This should be required on every college campus in the nation where girls are at a much larger risk for rape. 1 in 4 on a college campus. That is beyond awful.

So there you go! What else would you add?

Day 26: Five Favorite Treats

List your five favorite treats…oh boy this could be fun.

1. Starbucks: a nice caramel maachiato or pumpkin spice latte…mmm delicious.

2. A full afternoon tea at my favorite tea place, The House of Commons in Denver, CO.  A pot of tea with a little tower of sandwiches, scones, and mini deserts.  It’s heavenly.

3. Cornbread: its obviously not considered by most people to be a treat…but made from a lovely box of Marie Callenders…I could eat it morning, noon, and night.

4. Carrot Cake:  Little Miss Owl and I have this tradition that when Mr. Wonderful is out of town or gone for the day that we go to the grocery store and pick up one of their carrot cake cupcakes to share.  I’m not really sure if carrot cake is her favorite…but she eats it anyways.

5. Oh geez…I’m running out of ideas here.  I’m not a huge desert/sweets person…oh but a glass of mulled wine in the winter.  Now that’s perfection.  The trick is to not boil it for too long or all the alcohol burns off.  Just a nice simmer.

Now I really want Mr. Wonderful to take me out to tea now…

Cheers,

     Rachael

Day 25: If you could have dinner with anyone from history who would it be?

This is actually a question I have contemplated before…so it’s quite easy…

Queen Elizabeth II. She’s not technically a historical figure although she has seen so much of our recent history firsthand that she can be classified as such. In two years she will be the longest serving monarch in British history.

Tea with the Queen would be amazing…just a chance to sit down with her and talk about her life would be incredible. She’s met every US President her assertion in 1952 for a grand total of 12.

Day 24: A Changing Family Dynamic

If I could sum up life in one word it would be: unexpected.  When I was young our family dynamic was normal, siblings argued, parents argued at times, we laughed, we cried, we worked (a lot).  At that time life and our family was ordered…simple…and there was nothing unexpected.  Basically we were hobbits.  You know…”Nothing unexpected ever happened.”

Then my older sister was diagnosed with cancer.  Cue flashback to the most awful “family room” a hospital ever furnished and enter the two most awful, life changing words.  Cancer.  Malignant.  Things changed…and quickly.  We shifted into survival mode.  All the family resources were pooled just to function, to survive.  We became a little ring around my sister and sometimes the rest of us faded into the background.  At the time, being so young, it hurt, because I was a teenager and incredibly short sighted at times.

Then miraculously she was in remission and slowly…slowly our lives began the slow march back down to “normalcy.”  Then after a few years we began to forget a little…thinking that nothing unexpected would happen again.  Then Mr. Wonderful came into the picture and threw everyone for a loop.  With a married daughter the family changed again…and kept on changing.  My parents adopted a little boy, my oldest sister married, and now my two little baby sisters are finishing up college with Little Miss Owl dancing around for everyone to fawn over.

These days life is a lot different.  We’ve started to accept that life is unexpected and that change is normal…although hard.  I am not looking forward to the next two college graduations at all.  We split our sense of family three ways, our little pack, my family, and Mr. Wonderful’s.  And at times it gets hectic…Christmas and Thanksgiving come to mind.  But family has also come to include my best friend who is more like a sister and becoming a mother myself…having my ‘own’ family.

Day 23: Top Three Hobbies

Oh hobbies…

1. Being active. One of the most important things to me is being able to maintain my health. This means we go on a lot of walks and hikes. We’ve made it such a habit with Little Miss Owl since she was young so she loves being outdoors.

2. Reading/writing: from a young age I have been fascinated with books…my parents used to say I had a disease that meant every book that came under my nose I would read. This obviously meant that I also started writing with great enthusiasm.

3. Creative outlets: I love being able to be creative…letting my mind wander to doing things a new way. Creating Miss Owls dollhouse has been amazing. Scrap booking, sewing, restoring chandeliers…I guess it’s a way for me, as a stay at home mom, to express myself.

Day 22: What do you miss?

What I miss most is both a time and people.  All throughout my childhood I was incredibly blessed to live wonderfully close to my grandparents.  They were an ever constant part of my sisters and I’s life…being around them was always part education and part play.

From the earliest age I can remember my oldest sister and I would spend occasional Saturday’s at their house sleeping over.  Those weekends were delightfully full of picking walnuts and apricots from their trees, my Grandpa’s world class milk shakes, oatmeal with every kind of fruit imaginable, war stories, Bible stories, and my absolute favorite…one small handful of red hots.  Almost without fail we had Sunday dinner either at our house or ours…Mr. Wonderful and I were reminiscing about our grandparents a few days ago and came to the conclusion that as soon as we were able to appreciate and understand the importance of grandparents…the times were gone.  And in some cases so were the people as well.

It is their love, their calm presence, that I miss the most.  I would give anything to have one last Sunday Dinner with them.  I am truly grateful that Little Miss Owl has the chance to be around her grandparents as I did.

Day 21: The Superpower to Have

There’s one thing I’ve always wanted…something that I’ve always dreamed of being able to do since I was a little girl.

To fly.

Flying in an airplane is not even close.  It’s really no different from sitting in a chair in a car.

The very first thing I would do is travel the world.  The possibilities of how much you could see…of what you could do are endless.

To be able to fly would mean to be free.  I don’t think any other superpower would come close.  I don’t want to control anything or to be crazy strong…just to fly.

Cheers,

     Rachael

Day 20: Childhood Memories

Childhood is such a magical time…mostly because as a child your imagination runs free and unencumbered by any adult realities.  I grew up on a ranch where imagination was even more encouraged and its possibilities endless.

1. One of my most favorite memories is not a single one.  As children my sisters and I made one of our old outbuildings into our own little hideaway.  We swept the concrete floor and mopped it countless times and then filled it with pictures of horses and old foldable lounging chairs.  We played for hours on end in our little converted barn.  It was a palace as far as we were concerned.  Our days were filled with little picnics and dressing up and hours upon end of pretending we were orphans (nothing against our parents but we loved the Boxcar Children-and you know it sounds really romantic). 🙂

2. Another one of my absolute favorite memories took place while repairing fences on the property.  My grandfather was helping and we were taking a short break and having some water.  My grandpa launched into this reminisce of the days when my Dad’s adopted grandparents owned the ranch and Mrs. Winter would bring out a lovely apple pie and coffee for “break time” and then have a huge lunch ready afterwards.  My eyes lit up at the thought of having my mother bring us out a pie…what a way to get through the work!  At lunch when we went inside I asked Mom if she could make us an apple pie and bring it out for our little break.  She just laughed at me.  The funny thing is…if Little Miss Owl was working out in the fields with her Papa….she would definitely bring out a pie if asked. 🙂

3. I found my first real love in books at age 12.  I walked up to my Dad and complained bitterly that I had read all my books and I needed a real challenge.  My Dad looked at me for a moment and then said to go out to our storage room and look for a boxed set of books called Lord of the Rings.  He said they might be a little hard for me at first but to give them a chance.  This was about 3:00pm.  I went out to our storage room and sighed a little at all of the boxes piled in there but within about a half hour of looking I found them…a little boxed set of white books.  Four of them.  I followed Dad’s advice and pulled out The Hobbit and settled myself on a clear spot on the floor.  I was halfway through when I heard my mother shouting for me to come inside for dinner.  I gathered up the books and ran out of the room trying to avert her.  I ran up to my Dad inside and smiled at him showing how far I had gotten.  He simply patted me on the back and said I could read more after dinner.  I learned later that the set of LOTR was my Dad’s from when he was in his teens.  It was a second edition.  He told me that when he was in high school kids used to go around with “Frodo Lives” pins on their shirts and no one knew what it meant. I desperately wanted one of my own…but the Fellowship came out in 2001 and then everyone knew what “Frodo Lives” meant.

Cheers,

     Rachael

Day 19: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

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Aird, Ardvasar, Isle of Skye (click for the listing)

-A Converted schoolhouse with spectacular views.

So for those of you that don’t know, the Isle of Skye is an island off the west coast of the Scottish Highlands.

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It’s remote though still on a large enough island to have contact with the outside world. 🙂

Isn’t it perfect…

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Can’t you just imagine sitting having a cup of tea overlooking the bay…

Cheers,

     Rachael