the roots of marriage

Advice to the young brides Sadie *Chet and Emma *Drew

When I was asked to put together a short devotional for this shower, I immediately thought “Really, there is another more capable than I.” Aren’t we all just a little like Moses in these things. Surely another has better speaking ability than one who stutters in speech. Or in my case one who cannot read anymore in public. Nevertheless, this is only meant to to be a short message of hope to the young bride from one Auntie who has had more experience? Correct.

So here it is.

My first gift to you is a book that has meant much to me. And because I do not want to spoil the surprise, just let me tell you that in my 32 years of marriage I have learned the Love is not a noun. It is a verb. An action verb. I know that you are both early elementary teachers so maybe you know the difference between a person, place or thing and an action verb like loving, hugging, cooking, cleaning, etc. You will find that through the years love will become something you do easily or something you must choose to do. I hope when the seasons are tough you will choose love. And I pray that your choice will be rewarded by seasons of plenty, full of love and laughter.

Now for the little object lesson from God’s good book. I will have Emma read one verse and Sadie read the other. Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 2, & 8, “For evertyhing there is a season, and a time for every thing under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant seeds, and a time to harvest what is planted;… A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” And from Ephesians 3:17-19 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

This little plant is one of the easiest to please houseplants there is. It is called the “mother-in-law’s-tongue” plant. Of course there are many not so nice things that could be said, but simply put, it is actually quite easy to to please your fiancee’s mom. Just remember that he came from her, and and that your love for him is what matters. We all know that what the plants teach is is that it’s the roots that matter. Water the plant just enough and what is above the ground, all that everyone sees will be a healthy plant. This plant is one of the most forgiving houseplants you can have. Forget to water it for awhile and it will actually begin to send up new shoots. Be grateful to your family that gave you healthy roots and taught you and your spouse what matters most in this life.

The verses from Ecclesiastes tell us that there is a “time for everything.” Both of your spouses are in the “planting” season. And indeed there are four seasons to the plant world. Spring, summer, fall and winter are familiar to all of us. Seeding, growing, harvesting, and planning are very much a part of your lives also. This is the season of spring and summer for the both of you. School schedules and farming all have so very much more in common that you think. Your marriage will have many seasons and don’t be surprised when they come within just a short week sometimes. But now is the planting and rooting season, The season to plant love is always on!

And no you do not want to hear about war and hate. But let me tell that when tough times come and you find yourselves in the battle of life’s ups and downs it is always in season to hate what causes you to war against each other. In the battles, choose love and fight for your marriage. You are both worth that.

The passage in Ephesians talks about being rooted in the love of Christ. The verses that we did not read just before talk about being on your knees in prayer. The first two words of what was read are SO THAT. So that means something came before that tells us how to experience the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love. Right now in your lives, love is strong and easy. There does not seem like there should ever be any difficulty. But this life teaches us that suffering is part of living. There is only ONE way to have the strength to choose love during all of the seasons of life. This passage in Ephesians tells us that is through Christ and His power that we make that choice.

Now onto the fun stuff. May you both experience the riches of God’s gift of grace as you go through life with you spouse. May you be the one to show His love to your spouse when he goofs up. May you be the first to offer forgiveness and be the love of Christ to your husbands.

May the breadth of your love for each other be as wide as your reach. May the length of your love be for all of the days God grants you togetherness. May the height of you love be to the moon and back! And may the depth of you love be as big as the ocean of love that God showed each of you in Christ His beloved Son!

So, About Yesterday…

Honey came home sporting a kerchief. She is the Chief sporting, recreation, toy, and herding dog on the place now. Her sport is frisbee. Her recreation is napping sandwiched between the coffee table and sofa. Her toy nature is to greet everyone exuberantly when she is pleased with the situation (like saying goodbye to everyone at the grooming salon). And her favorite herding function is getting the cats up fro morning kibbles. Now lets see how long I can keep her clean.

The Royal Regal Pelagorium is showing it’s beauty these days. I was so happy to get a few of the cuttings to take root. They are a tricky little lot. I think doing them in the humidity dome in the house would work better. Maybe next fall. Nevertheless there are enough for sharing!

Well, I know I promised not to USE my family in my blog, but this event was so special to me. On the occasion of my 55th birthday, my daughter happened to be playing in the symphony. So about that yesterday… I insisted that it would be a great time to introduce the grandchildren to the symphony! And it was a Disney film “Aladdin” on top of it all. So we ALL went to the live symphony film production. The cutest was when said cellist asked little Isaac if he was ready for the move. His reply was “NO! I’m going to the symphony.” Then after the concert, all he could do was talk about the MOVIE! Out of the mouths of babes…. It was just darling. Thanks be to cellist’s hubby for paying for all the treats. He insisted and we would have no wrestling matches or fights on my birthday. So, yeah. What fun!

I finished the Salsa ‘n’ Chips gingham afghan that I started in less that ten days. It is very adorable actually. Even though I don’t really care for the color combination. Lots of other folks like it. All done.

So, about yesterday… usually means some sort of confession is about to take place. And perhaps one is in order. But other than telling you I through a whole lot geranium cuttings away during the last month of cleanup and tidy in the greenhouse, there is not much to say. I already said how old I am which is something no woman ever does. I admitted that someone else paid for my celebration. I am not real sorry for using a picture of my family, so there’s that. Ummm… Maybe I should just quit before the real truth gets told!

Sifting Saturday’s sorrow

Psalm 121: 1b, “Where does my hope come from?” Or rather what help have I when there are no hills to look for? Does the Maker of Heaven and earth lend His Hand to my aid? Yet I have stumbled and even fallen. Here it seems that my toe has caught upon every stick and stone in my path. All this week in my weakened state, I have not slumbered, I have not slept. Sickness knocked at my door, yet here I am.

Psalm 42:5, “Why so downcast? Oh my soul? And why are you in such turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Indeed, I have come through this week with a new thought for the Holy week. What about Saturday?

Friday’s dark hour of death and my Lord’s shadow upon the day of Passover’s Memorandum. The Kingdom of the the Son of man and the Son of God had come to this: Death on a cross. We cannot grasp the gravity of the whole. We cannot fathom the depth of despair. We cannot grasp the gift of grace so freely given. Yet here it is every year. The grief of the women at the foot of the cross. The awe of soldiers as the “King of the Jews” gave up His majesty for a criminal conviction. Good Friday is the day of darkness with an earth shattering rending, wrenching display of the ugliness of sin. Amidst the pain and confusion God spread out his Love on full display and gave His only Son as the Ransom for us. Once and for all, a redemptive act of everlasting kindness. The bridge over the gulf of separation, guilt and shame.

Saturday’s sorrows must have been bitter and gripping. The sadness that threatened to steal away every hope. How can one go on in the midst of such deep loss? How could the women have rested on that Sabbath day and made plans for the morrow? How could the disciples have found each other in the turmoil of emotions and confusion? What had gone so wrong?

But God is Sovereign in Saturday also. Is He not? There is no mention of the day in the scriptures. There is no mention of the gatherings, or lack of get togethers. There is no mention of the attempt to mend the cloth of the Holy of holies. There is no talk of this unrestful day between the sacrifice and the Son’s rising.

How did their hope carry them through the day? How did their fear shut them in? How did their sorrow grieve them? Were they sifting through the memories? Were they searching for a string of help? Did they have belief in Christ’s return?

What do I want to see? What am I seeking when I rise early in the morning and tend to my garden tombs? What hopes, dreams, sorrows, dispair have I buried and not returned to embalm? What love carries me to the grave side?

Sifting through sorrows sounds impossible. Even considering the way that loved ones are layed to rest has some unfeeling character to it. Considering one’s sorrow more tragic a loss than another’s is like take apathy to a new level of morbidity. There must be a cinder box of empathy when handling the emotions of grief. Defining one’s own loss as more or less would be like sifting Saturday’s sorrows while panning for gold. Is one person’s loss worse than another’s?

Saturday’s sadness from the Holy week is not considered in the whole of the story. Unless of course you consider the life of the betrayer, Judas. And the hopeless estate of his pieces of silver in relation to the whole event seems to be a touch out of the hand of providence. Or was it true that just as this had been prophesied, God was sovereign even in this case also? How do we find hope in the depths of the mire?

The Psalms repeated tell us to “Look Up!” And so it is truth, when we look at ourselves, when we look at others, when we look down, we feel the inevitable pull of the gravity even upon our very souls.When we look at the cross we see love. Love deeper than any ocean, wider than expansive sky, farther than from here to there.

Sabbath rest is the promise that toil is not eternal. Sabbath rest is the Creator’s promise of sovereignty of God. Sabbath rest is the hope that carries us through the ashes. Sabbath rest is my Lord and Savior offering me a love unlike any other. We shall have rest from our labors. “Come to Me, “ said my Lord Jesus, “all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Uncommon escape room

To escape reality many people choose a route that takes them down the illegal path. Some people just read books or do movie marathons. For the rest of us their is fishing or gardening. My husband hates bugs so fishing is never going to be our choice. I do like books and right now I dove back into my Sherlock Holmes collection. I am planning to find some Mark Twain next.

Escape rooms are the newest fashion for game time. Spending time as a work group, family group or just a date night at the local escape room is quite the entertainment. But I have an uncommon escape room.

My little geodesic dome garden dome is just the thing to get away from the monotony of winter and the doldrum of empty nest.

Struggle against boredom can be one of the stay at home prizes.

Commonplace greenhouses do not allow winter growing. Unless of course there is some sort of climate battery.

Three happy little flowers greeted me the other day. The first is a newly rooted cutting from a geranium that I bought on clearance last summer. there are a number rooted out but this is the first to bloom. The double pink blossom is a beauty. the next bloom is from the Gerbera Daisy that is now third season from rooting shares. I have six little plants but this is the first to send up a bloom. And the third bloom comes from a cutting rooted out from a geranium that has given me quite the challenge. I have had the plant for five years but this is the first time success came from the cuttings. Yay! I finally got some of the red violet to take root.

Outside after the drifts of snow have begun to disappear, we find treasures or trash. The little bamboo cat dish caught me real surprised. I have never seen this before in my life. An internet search proved it is a recent dish and it is an excellent specimen. My guess is that our little bulldozer Eva brought it from somewheres. Where did she go visiting is the question. It is a full mystery never to be solved. It makes a very nice saucer for the latest Gerber Daisy “pale pink” that I have added to my collection.

Yes, I finally succeeded at the crochet thing once again. Found this little pattern on YouTube but I fail to find the author. The description led me on a goose hunt. Bummer. I do look forward to another attempt though.

Today I am giving the world my silent treatment. My voice suffered a harsh blow with a recent virus attack. The first symptoms were sore throat and a constant tickle. Then unfortunately I failed to sleep one night from the annoying cough and then it happened: I choked on a vitamin meant to aid in healing. I was not aided in health but the illness continued it’s downward spiral. Being this is such a common occurrence for me, I do not take much alarm but attempt to occupy myself with the same remedies.steroid treatment from the doctor and constant snacking on soft foods and sipping water around the clock. I am no stranger to the health remedies of this throat ailment. I use to get this in the fall with the onset of rainy, moldy leaves. Now it seems getting it in the spring with the snowmelt and the return of spring rains is a new normal.

Enough about poor little old me. There are so many people that I know suffering some ailment or another. The prayer list is long these days. And meanwhile there are many celebrations coming up in the next few months. Birthdays, weddings, bridal showers, open house for the greenhouse and more seedlings to plant. I better get back to work.

Where Did She Go?

“It’s not what I asked for
Sometimes life just slips in through a back door
And carves out a person
And makes you believe it’s all true
And now I’ve got you
And you’re not what I asked for
If I’m honest I know I would give it all back
For a chance to start over
And rewrite an ending or two
For the girl that I knew” —Sara Baralles

In this song by Sara Baralles “She Used to be Mine” we see the mirror telling the truth that hurts. Looking into the mirror and seeing ourselves as we really are is hard sometimes. This week as we said goodbye to our old rescue Eva lots of emotions took root and many were a surprise bubbling up from the deep.

Eva was one of those bulldozer type doggies. She was a trash compactor that never understood her time for puppy-hood had long passed her by. As a breeder’s mama she was the leader of her pack many times over. We never knew her as a mama puppy. Her favorite come call was “Come Puppy Come!” But as a retired breeding mother we saw the puppy that she never got to be.

“Good girl” is not the most common thing we said the first year of her retirement here. She was such a thief. Gloves, buckets, mittens, Tupperware’s, dishes, and any thing else misplaced would be found in her stash in the window well of the old house. Tennis balls were the fastest to disappear in her presence. I do not know how quickly she could take what was not hers. So yeah, she tested out her welcome something terrible.

Eva tested her welcome for the first year or so. She came to us at nine or ten years old. No longer cycling, she was of no USE to her owner any more. It was sad to see that this old mama had bonded with so many puppies and kids through the years. All that left her. She learned not to give her affection to readily to people because everyone always left her. Her puppies all left her. All the little kids that came to pick up her puppies all left her. We left her home frequently, too. And sometimes I get sad just thinking how her little tail barely ever wagged with great delight.

Eva would grow so attached to our “company” that for several days after someone’s visit she would refuse food. It was always a challenge to convince her with some good vitals that we were still here for her. Bone broth, chew bones, or a good stair step visit would help some. She did try to keep up with Honey in a game of fetch and was the best retriever I’ve ever known. Old mama Eva was so happy whenever our daughter’s “puppy” came to visit. But He grew up too fast.

There is a new song by Courtney Hadwin called “Breakable” (Now you know my guilty pleasure music listening list.). Knowing that each person is easily hurt or broken hearted is key to understanding relationships. We are all so vulnerable. Seeing each dog that I have owned as a personality that is easily hurt and sometimes lonely for companionship is key to diving into what makes him or her tick. Eva simply did not have those strong bonding cues. Yes, she loved food. Yes she was good at fetch. One of the best in fact. She just never had that soul piercing eye contact. Until the last few days.

When she decided to refuse good food and start barking at the door so frequently. I knew she was either getting done with her solitude outdoor living or something was wrong. We had a number of wild critter move through the acreage this spring. Eva did not even try to chase anything away this winter. She spent her time circling the house rather than chewing on the bones we offered to her. How much longer could she keep up this incessant circling? Was she looking for me to fix something?

How to bring back the fire in her eyes? That lady in the mirror does not look like me. Where has she gone? The person that I use to be is still in there, right? That woman that I see now is lonely most of the time. It was not until Eva hit the last week that she began to look into my eyes with that soul searching gaze.

Old dogs can seem like such a bag of bones. We have lost several dogs from old age. The first was our little black lab lady. She also was much of a bulldozer personality and had the “mothering” instinct in her. Lady never had any puppies. She was our dog when the girls were little kids and she became the protector of us all. She hunted on her own the bad ones and left the smelly ones alone. Lady took out coyote puppies, woodchucks, squirrels and raccoons. And blessing be, she taught our collie Dolly how to do the same. Dolly is the one we had in mine during Eva’s last days.

Dolly bonded with our second daughter most. She learned her lessons well from Lady and could sound like a pack of hounds when she took off after a stray coyote. They did not try to venture by our property very often. Even if they were far north in the property line a quarter mile distant, Dolly would let them know she was fierce and bold. In reality she had such a timid nature with us it has hard to get her to listen to our commands. Diabetes was her old age enemy. We saw so much of Dolly in Eva the last month or so. We just could not let the disease take Eva the same way.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There were a lot of people that Eva quite ugly. She did not look so bad when she first arrived. Honey took her ear in a doorstep scrap right off the beginning of her stay here. And the vet refused to do surgery because Eva was so old. So the pigskin ear did not help her short little stature to be satisfying to the eyes. Being bathed in the beutiful past, left her mammary membrane quite the saggy baggy. Some children simple could not handle the visual effect.

Eva did have an unlikely buddy for her last winter. She never grew up with cats and was kin to like them until she came here. One of the old cats let her know who was boss the first day she arrived. She had a way of completely ignoring their existence. However, Tabitha was an orange tabby that is now on life number five or six and understood Eva needed a Buddy. Though Company the calico had the right to eat with Eva, Tabitha was the one that slept with her in the hut.

Short, stout Eva never liked the stairs. Perhaps it was her stature. She was so short. Poor thing. She would look at the top step and try to leap all of the steps at once. Because she rarely took the stairs, I knew something was not right when she began to come to the front door and give one loud demand. Letting go of what seemed to never really be mine was not as hard as I thought it would be.

Good friends are hard to come by. Watching Tabitha “care” about Eva not feeling very good was sweet. Eva also succumbed to deafness this last winter and missed much of the calls to come. The last week she had her eyes glued on the house and never missed my comings or goings. So this winter I took her with me to the greenhouse every time I went down there. Most of the time Tabitha came with also for the warming session.

Knowing better next time will help me make the future dog choices. Eva was such a pack animal leaving her outside alone for hours on end was bound to end badly. She had never been in the house her whole life, so I knew having her in the house was not an option. I really had not expectHoney and Eva to become besties. Our hope was that an old dog would perhaps settle our kangaroo doodle down to a smaller hop. That has yet to be seen.

If Honey is thought of as sticky and messy, than Eva should be though of as the opposite of a bonding glue. We often called Eva a bulldozer. But maybe she was more like a wrecking ball. We just did not know where it would swing and what item would next disappear. I think I do her an injustice by saying that though. She simply did not have that sticky bonding nature that some dogs have. But then neither does Honey.

Though Honey does her job well (sometimes) she will not stick with me on the sofa. This last month while I have tried to get Honey to stay by me in the house, Eva proved she was almost my tail! There were days I had to look between my legs to see her. She got so good at reading my moves that I never knew if she was heeling. She would turn when I turned my head one way of the other and I never saw her behind me. She was the best ever at the game of “Shadow!”

Yellow ribbon of memory and gold threads of character do not make up the story of Eva. We did not get her good years. Our short little Eva has much too short of a tale to tell. We got the tail end. I knew how the story would finish when we brought her home. It just never comes when you expect it.

We told Eva she was a good girl. We told her we forgave her for all the things she stole. We told her we were sorry for the way things end. We wished that the story could be written differently. We enjoyed every thump of her tail that we got. We told her that she would be missed. We told her it was okay to go. We would not keep her for our own selfish reasons. Eva was sure to get the best pot of gold a little yellow Labrador retriever could get in the rainbow beyond. And if ever I see a golden thread in a rainbow I will think of her.

Lessons in jealousy

Jealousy 101: learning about how to look at what someone else has and want it. The art of covetous behavior is learned. How to teach one pet to get another pet to do something. Desired and undesired desires in pets.

Cat and dog napping in the same vicinity is sometimes hard to accomplish. As anyone who has one species of pet before the other comes indoors knows… there is often disagreeable behavior for years on end. Getting the new puppy not to chase the cat is hard work. Getting the new kitten to not claw the dog is also hard work. Teaching two opposite species to become friends takes time. Introducing Tabitha and Honey to lap napping has been a month in the making.

Snuggle classes for my five going on six year old doodle have mostly failed. Trying to get her gangly long legs to make room for me on the sofa was a disaster. Honey has very boney features and has refused to cuddle or snuggle. Her idea of togetherness is doing what she wants to do. Most of the time her attachment to me is about a six foot lead line. And when we go outdoors it is necessary to keep her from running off in discovery of her own amazing nose.

Lap -Ghans are a crochet description of an afghan that did not get big enough. One of the mohair / wool / alpaca blend blankets that I made ended up getting shrunk by accident a few years back. So it is classified as a very warm winter lapghan. On occasion I will put it on my shoulders, but the weight of the “horse” saddle blanket keeps it mostly on my legs. Honey has been working her way up to an hour lap rest. I started by making her stay for 20 minutes and gradually tacked on time. Today I got an hour this morning and another hour this afternoon.

My mother makes these little upholstered two pound bag of beans for warming one’s toes up in the bitter cold winter. Lots of people take the hot sock to bed with them. She has even had people order a particular size for their best comfort. Ours are kept handy by hanging the loop handle over a convenient door knob. We warm them up in the microwave for two to three minutes. I can’t imagine life without my bag of beans! But you know today’s nap with a cat on one leg and a dog’s head on the other leg was a much more consistant warm than any bean bag would ever do.

How to stay warm without an electric blanket? One option is the warm bean bag, but it still requires the microwave. Another option is the old hot water bag, also requiring a heat source for boiling water. A third option is the layered clothing. One can wear the bear skins and leather furs of days gone before. A final possibility of course is to use a warm critter. The famous Iditarod race has many stories of the pack keeping their owner warm and alive after an illness or an accident that threatens their owner’s life. Dogs and cats both have body temperatures warmer than average human body and are very effective in keeping their human warm.

Being a blind pet owner has it’s challenges. So I prefer not to have a litter box in the house with all of it’s mess is one of the clean up chores. However, having a sneaky cat in the house means that she needs to come when called. But naturally she comes just out of my reach and then tries to squeeze by me without getting touched. Funny there has never been a seeing-eye cat! So though Honey is my eyes sometimes, when it comes to finding the cat, she just stares at me with incredulous disbelief if I ask where the cat is at.

When to get up is the final question? Sometimes if I forget to use the restroom first I have to get up before the nap even starts. Today, I got a good hour of snuggles in. It took nearly a month of training to get there though. And then, my husband confesses that he sees Tabitha trying to look through the front window to get to me. He did not tell me though when she did this. Only after the fact by nearly a whole day did he finally tell me. The nap sessions have been helpful for me but now the little yellow monster wants to come in all the time. Oh, well. I was missing my sneaky Autumn something fierce. Tabitha will do just fine as a nap partner.

Back At It

But what is “it?” well, I am attempting a new mosaic crochet. Also watching the seedlings daily rise up from their little catacombs. And cleaning up in the greenhouse when I almost start cleaning in the house.

Found a few mosaic patterns to try to I grabbed some real ugly color set and making an attempt at a prayer shawl/perhaps it will be an afghan crochet project.

Trying to get Honey back into the working mindset has not been easy. It made her very unruly the day that Eva walked with unleashed, and misbehaving off in the rearview mirror of our walking. I was so frustrated I took the harness off and marched away from her thirty paces. Then, called her back to the job, which went better the last half of return walk home.

There is no such thing as a cakewalk in life. I know this time of year many of my friends or relatives are thinking of their vows for lent etcetera, but fasting does not include “easy” options. There is a new fad diet of fasting for longer than twelve hours a day. I think if I ever tried that someone would surely find me on the floor in a heap.

Here they come! The blooms on the Mother’s day geraniums are popping one by one very day. It is so fun to watch things grow! And watch them bloom. I have been busy organizing in the greenhouse. The starts/cuttings season is over. And the growing season is on. So I am putting all of the color selections together. It’s not very easy as their are so many sizes. The first thing is just getting the beds freed up so that I can plant some greens for our own consumption.

With the spring comes the snow melt and the MUD! So when the view out the window is so messy, it is time for a windowsill update. We went to the lumberyard last weekend and found some items we needed. And of course I found a plant or tow! The little aloe variety and the cactus were just the thing that this little pot needed. The bunny ear cactus did have some roots so into the arrangement it went. Arrangements are always better in odd numbers. Decorating is not really my thing. But cleaning up the view was in order.

Honey had her groom date yesterday. That is the first time that I have ever been with for grooming drop off. she was not sure she should leave me. I found that funny. The instructions were followed and I did not have to have a skinny twig returned to me. It was mostly a hygiene day. Getting a full haircut is not necessary every time. It only cut the price by one President Jackson.

Crochet brain freeze has been accompanied by the book “My patients and other animals: a veterinary’s stories of love, loss, and hope” by Suzy Finchan-Gray. Much of the book was very sad. And why does the bond that we share with pets have to be so “inexplicable?” I think that was her favorite word. Doctors do like to use big words you know.

Finishing a couple more books. One is the Tabernacle book that my mother gave me. The explanations of the Veil in the Jerusalem temple are very poetic and almost terrifying. The idea that one of the high priests could die if entering the Holy of holies improperly is such a description of true reverence. It makes me almost ashamed to hear anyone call a Pastor today “Reverend so-and-so”. The more recent book that I started is the tale of a veterinary of internal medicine. The book is interesting in some respects, but the stories of end of life decisions are so sad. I just wanted to skip through all that stuff. Until she gave her opinion on euthanasia. Not a topic I agree with her on. Animals do not carry the same value of soul as a human being. We are made in the image of the Almighty (Genesis 1:27). And though God decided it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18) it is not the dog or cat that He elevated to be the man’s helpmate. So glad that I can see the bigger picture of creation and God’s design for human companionship both in marriage and within the world of animals. Manny people might not agree with my opinion of pets in our lives.

So I may be “Back At It” whatever it is. Keeping myself occupied is the main thing. Today, is actually a whole week after starting this entry. And my mind started reeling with activity after the children’s sermon at church. I use to say, I go to church for the children’s message. Well, I still do. And maybe it’s because we have to become like a child to understand things of the faith. We have to approach faith with the trust of a child. We have to come to Jesus with full childlike belief and hope that God is who He says He is.


In the mind’s eye, a memoir on the road to blind spots. This is an entry in the going blind journal. If hopelessness ails you, join me in learning to laugh at yourself. “Looking in the mirror never had such a good view until I was blind.” —quote from my father after RP took his eyesight. Sometimes the mind’s eye gives a better vision.

Eyesight loss brings with it a new sort of anxiety. Fears of poking the baby in the eye, accidentally hitting a moving toddler, stepping on the preschoolers toes, colliding on the stairwell with a toddler, running into a half open door…. All these things have a sense of the “boogie” man in them. And a week or two ago it seemed every thing should happen all in the same week. Thank goodness everything passed with apologies and not much damage was done to any one person or any one thing. But surprises have never been a favorite thing in my life. It seems around every corner is a little tiny fairy-demon ready to shout “Oma-BOO!”

Electrical fence sensation syndrome is something that I never thought I would be experiencing. Some people with PTSD experience this quite frequently. A couple of years ago, my daughter and I both had to get through the unexpected shocks after our car accident. She and I both had the unexpected tremors for nearly six months. I had it more so than she, simply because my eyesight did not let me see all the upcoming traffic possibilities. But eventually, riding in the car did not produce such anxiety.

Then one day when my husband was home for the weekend, it happened again. I came around hte corner in the kitchen and his sudden presence sent the shock wave through my body. I became aware that my body was playing tricks on me. The ability to move freely about the house in the presence of another person was changing. And one day while at my daughter’s house my anxiety reached a peak that while putting my coffee cup under the Keurig spout, the sudden presence of her hand prepping the coffee receptacle made me jump. And the accompanying electrical shock that ran through my nervous system told me it was just time to sit down for a spell.

Things that go boo in the dark use to be a fun game that children played. Now, not so much. However, it’s the middle of the day half open doorway that provides the most excitement. Thank goodness the closet pantry door at my daughter’s house found my left wrist instead of my face!

The coral Kalanchoe in the library has surprised me with a hefty dose of blooms this winter. I was happy to see the flowers agains the snow outside. Though the snow is melting a little bit each day, the winter is still hanging on to the cold. I am thankful that I live where we are supposed to have winter weather. Those poor people in California with foot upon foot of snow do not know what to do with it all.

When the darkness closes in on me, still I will say “Blessed Be the Name of My Lord.” And it’s odd how the darkness is more of a foggy visual that should have more it the view finder that what I can actually see. The mind wants to fill in the blank places, but after awhile I realize the blanks are simply empty. Though I know there are people off to the right or the left, the void is still there. It makes one feel very ALONE in the crowd. Greeting time at church is one of those moments that makes me feel like a really old birch tree with sagging bark. I feel so rooted and decadent. While everyone else seems to move freely about laughing and sharing morning greetings, I am firmly planted. Another verse phrase that goes through my head is “I shall not be moved… though my eyesight fails me and the visions around me fade away… I shall not be moved.”

I finished my hat and mitten set from the lumpy homespun wool that I have had around for a few years. I kept trying different projects with it and finally decided to do a mosaic set. I am quite happy with the paring of acrylic yarn and wool also with the color pair. And it does fit and feel ever so warm. I really ought to stick to this idea.

Welders burn is not something I have ever had. And though I know nothing about welded the description of it’s effect suits me perfectly. Light sensitivity on some days requires me to wear sunglasses. The blurry vision hampers my hopes for a good day. The feeling that my eyes are dry or there is something in there making them itchy is both annoying and distracting.

I have been trying to make my good girl do more for me. But getting her to sit with me when I am cold is not one of her “loves.” Honey is much of what I wanted in a dog. She does well on the guide harness and will lead me in the dark even with just a collar grab. Honey also knows my asthma cues and will nudge me to the inhaler or rouse me when sleeping to get the oxygen flow back to normal with a puff on the rescue tube. Honey also is easily exercised with frisbee or a good game of “hide and seek.” She is content to eat in her own space and sleep on her own bed. The one thing she will not do is CUDDLE.

Day after day we head to the sofa for my morning coffee and devotional time. She almost always puts her back to me. Rarely she will put her head im my lap. And even the day care says that Honey will not take a good picture so she has never been the day care star!. We say that the phone, or the box is something she thinks that will “steal her soul>”. Now yes, I know an animal does not have a soul. But her spirit, maybe? Even when we go outside, she does not go out to be WITH us. Her first pick up is the frisbee. Out side to her means frisbee. Any thing else is just a disappointment.

In conclusion, I am not changing my call sign. the little three letter word is simply to easy to say for the grandees. I”ll try to keep a more steady actitvity rate and not run into things this week. And I also decided to switch up the shoes and get back to the healthier cross walk. I am simpy tired of winter, tired of snow, tired of cold, and am going to push the spring along a little bit by changing up the shoe choice. I’ll probably get cold. Oh, well.

Greenhouse Februrary Update

The temperatures are so cold I had to walk backwards from the barn to the house this morning. And I just looked up my weather and found out that was the warm hour. It is only going to get colder. Thank goodness it is only for a day or two. The winter week of windy blast did happen in December-January. The roller coaster weather continues.

Along with the cold came some snow and with the interstates closed down, my hubby is at the desk in the library. So I am back tot he little secretary in the kitchen. A bit of a “catch-all” the desk always has to be cleaned off just to do anything.

My little fig tree in its first year is so adorable. I moved the most ardent growing one into a square planter. I have to find one more for the other one. It is a little slower in its growth. The tree on the right is older by another year. Last year it tried to fruit. So I am hopeful for some fleshy figs this year.

Shared some greenhouse updates on social media and enjoyed the interactions. Geodesic dome gardening is a class of it’s own for sure. And learning how to balance the plant life is a challenge. I sure hope I get some edible greens going in there soon. I miss them. The little fig trees are fun to watch grow. Keeping the roots capped seems to be the key to a smaller “bush.”

My greenhouse has many little turtles or tortoises in it. I is because I think of the story of the hare and the turtle when it comes to things green. The hare thinks of everything as a race to the finish, rushing about and such. Whereas the tortoise knows that slow and steady wins the race. So last fall I buried these little grape hyacinth in the soil hear in the grow bed just in front of the little turtles nose. To my delight the little bulbs put forth their green sprouts this last week during the last bitter cold of the winter!

Above are two of the sweetest geranium blooms I could find the other day. The one on the left is a new cutting rooted from one of the host plants that I received from a neighbor. The little plant is such a vision of hope! And the one on the right is another cutting rooted form a friend who is my longest plant host. The plant just blooms and blooms and never seems to tire of putting forth the beautiful peaches and cream blossoms.

My experiment with the Tabasco pepper plant is working well. And I did survive planting them. I would like to try growing one in the greenhouse since I have so many. The night time temperatures are still hovering at 45 degrees so It will be another month before it can be re-homed there. The house will just have to find another shelf for the temporary garden growing.

My mental road block continues on the crochet thing. The mittens are a disaster so even though I keep ripping them out to try again, “Michael Finnagin” seems to be winning. I made a little basket in between the attempted mittens. But I am determined to try again. Success in one area is often off set with failure in another area. But just like Edison I’ll get that light bulb one of these days!