Saturday, January 14, 2012

I am not a pastor....

So, I have had a few questions about the name of my blog. It would seem that people think I am claiming to be a pastor and don't understand why I keep talking about agricultural stuff on a religious blog. 

So, first off, I am not a pastor. I have never been a pastor. I would not dream of pretending to be a pastor. This is not a religious blog. 

I am a spiritual person and I do have beliefs but I would not presume to spout them off to complete strangers. Religion is just not a subject to peruse if you want the conversation to stay civil, which I do. 

So why pastoral? Well, I took the liberty of looking up the definition in the dictionary in hopes that it would clear up the question a bit. 


having the simplicity, charm, serenity, or other characteristics generally attributed to rural areas: pastoral scenery; the pastoral life.
pertaining to the country or to life in the country; rural; rustic.
portraying or suggesting idyllically the life of shepherds or of the country, as a work of literature, artor music: pastoral poetry; a pastoral symphony.
of, pertaining to, or consisting of shepherds.
of or pertaining to a pastor or the duties of a pastor:pastoral visits to a hospital.
a poem, play, or the like, dealing with the life of shepherds,commonly in a conventional or artificial manner, or with simple rural life generally; a bucolic.
a picture or work of art representing the shepherds' life.
Music . pastorale
a treatise on the duties of a pastor.
a letter to the people from their spiritual pastor.

So, since we have established that I am not a pastor and this is not a religious blog I think that we can eliminate a few of the definitions right away. #'s 5, 9, 10, and 11 are out. Of the rest of the definitions, I think #3 is probably the closest to what this blog is. Pastoral Dreams refers to my ideal of a life I wish to lead someday. Simplicity and serenity are words that I aspire to. Country is where I wish to be someday. Right now I am just learning what I will need to know someday. I read inspirational and instructional books, work on my physical fitness, and learn traditional handmade crafting skills in preparation for the day that I will finally realize my dream. 

When that day comes, I will be ready to get started. I am sure that there will be more to learn but I will have the foundation in place for the life that I hope for. 

Love and encourage each other,

Book 2: Pioneer Woman Black Heels to Tractor Wheels Review

I finished reading my second challenge book last night. Stayed up kinda late to do it but I just could not put it down!

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels is a love story, a life story, a real story. One of my favorite things about it was that it was about real people. No perfect heroins here! She was every bit a fallible human being. Through everything she keeps her gracious manner and her humor intact. It is one of the reasons that I love reading her blog. She does not try to be perfect, she is just trying to be her.

So, I am not going to do a big review of this book beyond telling you that it was one of the best stories I have read in a long time. What I am going to do is direct you to her website and let you decide for yourself.

In other news:

  • I will have a challenge update post tomorrow. I have not been as good as I could be. However, I am working on that.  
  • The Lineman's schedule has changed and he is about to have 7 whole days off of work! I'm kinda excited about  it. :D I just need to find a video game that I can kick his butt at. (yes, I am a little competitive. Why do you ask?)
  • It is finally snowing here in Western Iowa. It makes my heart sing! Wish it was going to last. 
Love and encourage each other. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review of Challenge Book 1. Food Rules by Michael Pollan

Food Rules by Michael Pollan
I adored this book. It was a quick, easy, common sense book. I have been on so many diets that made eating so complicated but this book makes way more sense!
It starts off with a very simple rule: Eat Food.
I know, this sounds obvious right? However, most of the stuff at the typical grocery store is not, in fact, food! Mr. Pollan calls it edible foodlike substances. I love that description. If it comes in a bag or a box or a jar, chances are it is an edible foodlike substance. Not Food.
The rest of the book gives you more rules and guidelines to help you choose between real food and edible foodlike substances.
Here are a few of my favorites.
#7 Avoid Food Products Containing Ingredients That a Third-Grader Cannot Pronounce.
#15 Eat Foods Made from Ingredients That You Can Picture in Their Raw State or Growing in Nature.
     -This one had me giggling as I tried to picture the raw and natural state of a Twinkie!
#21 If It Came from a Plant, Eat It; If It Was Made in a Plant, Don't. 
#22 It's Not Food if It Arrived Through the Window of Your Car.
     - I love this rule! How many of you thought that stuff in the paper bag was food? You have been fooled!
#45 Eat All the Junk Food You Want as Long as You Cook It Yourself
     -This is one rule that I will be following! I do not have the gumption to make cookies and cakes and pies and whathaveyou every dadgum day!
#65 Give Some Thought to Where Your Food Comes From.
     - I love the idea of consciously appreciating where the food you consumed has come from. Mr. Pollan quotes a Zen blessing that I think I will be adopting myself. "This meal is the labor of countless beings, let us remember their toil." Simple yet profound wisdom. 
Which brings us to the final rule in the book:
#83 Break The Rules Once in a While.
     -I think that may be one of the most important rules in there. "Everything in moderation, including moderation." 

This book is not only rules about what to eat but also how to eat. The rules are easy and make a lot of sense. No complicated meal plans here. Just eat food.

I have had a soft spot for Michael Pollan books for years and this book did not disappoint! I highly recommend it as a light, informative read for anyone interested in a healthier way of life.

Love and encourage each other,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thank yous

I always have the best intentions of getting thank you cards before the holidays start and writing them up and sending them out before the new year dawns. I think there is a rather frank expression regarding best of intentions.

I still plan on getting the thank you cards and getting them out but for now I will have to resort to the all time worst thank you format in my opinion. Email.

I should restate that.

I personally prefer to not send thank yous via email. In my opinion it is impersonal at best. This is not a judgement on others and please don't take it that way. It is a recent change of opinion for me. The more time I spend learning about homesteading and handmade lifestyle choices the more I want to simplify and do more by hand without the use of electronic helpers. It's not all bad, don't get me wrong. There are many great things that come from the interwebs and I have enjoyed and partaken of many of them. I just feel like I want to pull away a bit and regain a little personal communication.

So today I will finish emailing the thank yous, and when I go to the big city this week I will pick up Thank you cards to be sent to everyone that thought of me this year. It will give me a good excuse to practice my handwriting (which has become atrocious in the last few years).

Love and encourage each other,