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I really love this time of year.  My weeks are long and filled with exhausting work, and when the weekend arrives I can rest.  I haven’t had this feeling in a while.  Throughout the school year my weeks are filled with classes and homework (and a little work), but when the weekend arrives I don’t feel as though I am really resting from anything.  Perhaps that’s because I still have home work and projects to work on, but I think it’s largely due to the fact that my body isn’t engaged in physical labor like it is now.  Winter itself is a form of rest from all the work done throughout the rest of the season, but over time I get antsy to stretch and tare muscles that generally are underused.  When winter slowly turns to spring and then summer and carries into fall my body and spirit rejoices in the work that’s needed to be done.

I’m not very good at resting, though.  For such a simple sounding thing, it can be quite elusive at times.  I feel the need to do something.  To check something off of a list.  To accomplish something.  But that is not rest.  So I force myself to sit and be still.  To listen to the sounds of the world around me and to the voice of GOD speaking in a gentle breeze.  Last weekend I felt very restless in my attempt to rest.  I decided to go for a bike ride.  I grabbed an apple, some water, and a book and took off with no purpose in mind.  I rode in the direction that the road guided me, and in spite of the 25 miles I rode I felt rest.  At times I had to remind myself that I didn’t need to push myself.  I needed to slow down and enjoy what I was doing.  The bike ride wasn’t a means of transportation; it was the purpose.

I still find myself waking up early on weekend mornings.  I might be able to sleep in until 7, but that’s usually it.  I don’t mind, though.  The mornings are peaceful and generally quite.  Songs of crickets and birds slowly crescendo as the morning moves on.  During the business of the week I stockpile articles and blog posts that show up on my Google Reader account or through recommendations given by my Twitter friends.  Saturdays are days for me to sit with a cup of coffee and read through things I didn’t have time for during the week.  I really like that.  Waiting until Saturday also allows for a type of “time filter.”  On a Tuesday I might save an article thinking that I will really want to spend time with it, but by the time I get to it over the weekend it seems much less important.

I spent a little time this morning reading an article on The Jesus Manifesto blog.  Their blog is one of a handful of Christian blogs I still follow because their voice cries out against much of the marriage between the Kingdom of GOD and the Kingdom of man.  So many “Christian” blogs seem to be trying to evangelize Christianity though the American Dream.  That doesn’t sit too well with me, and The Jesus Manifesto people live in a way that challenges that.  Here’s some links to a 3 part series:
Part 1: “Come to me, all ye who labor for a living.”
Part 2: “Freely you have received, freely give.”
Part 3: “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Another exciting thing for my upcoming weekends will be cheese making.  Are you really surprise?  L and I are now participating in a form of food activism by drinking raw milk.  Raw milk you ask?  I’m working on a post to explain all of this a bit clearer but here’s the gist.  Milk that is bought in a grocery stores has all been pasteurized, which means that the milk is cooked for a period of time at about 160 F.  Like cooking any foods, nutrients are lost in the process.  A benefit to the pasteurization process is that it lasts longer because there is less living bacteria in the milk itself.  (Bacteria is not a bad word, here.  There are good bacteria and bad bacteria.  The goal is to have enough good bacteria to kill the bad.)  Food scientists have used Ultra-High Pasteurization to allow milk to last for months…on the counter.  That really creeps me out.  Because raw milk is not pasteurized it has a shelf-life of about a week.  Our lovely USDA has decided that raw milk is unsafe and therefore cant be sold.  Every state has a different law on raw milk ranging from straight-up illegal to acceptable to sell if the dairy has a permit.  In Colorado the law says that you can drink raw milk from a cow that you own.  So we now own part of a cow and are legally allowed to drink raw milk.  Now that we have a source of good, fresh milk I can start making cheeses.  A while back, when a few dear friends were up for a visit we made some ricotta cheese and then made homemade ravioli.  It was a lot of fun.  I’ll be stocking up on rennet and cheese cloths and molds so if you want to come over and make some cheese with me let me know.

It’s 8am now.  Time to make some pancakes.  But I’ll leave you with a question.  Is resting an easy thing for you?
peace.

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This afternoon a big storm came through and along with it pea sized hail.  We weren’t home when it it came through, but from the looks of it it hailed for some time.  I lost my entire garden.  Tomatoes, eggplants, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, beans, bak choi, red cabbage, broccoli, broc rabb, orach, peas, spinach, and arugula.  Not to mention daises, lavender, verbena, lobelia, and a few other flowers.  Here’s some pictures of the damage:

hail damaged beanshail damaged dasieshail damaged tomatoeshail damaged red cabbagehail damaged pak choi

I’m really sad that all the work and effort I put into starting all the plants from see was destroyed in a few minutes of hail.  Some plants I wont be able to put back in the garden.  Peas, for instance wont grow fast enough to get a harvest from before it gets too hot for the plants to set fruit.  I don’t think I’ll be able to grow tomatoes from seed starting this late in the season.  I think I’ll be able to put everything else back in, but it was frustrating because I was really close to being able to harvest some things.  It’s sad I lost my garden, but I’m worried for some of my fellow farmers whose farms are right in the path of the storm.  I hope that they didn’t see this kind of damage.  It’s sickening to think that a 30 minutes storm could wipe out months of work.

Oh well, I guess tomorrow I’ll start cleaning things up and planting again.

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