Naming Kittens

Boomerang sits guard as Boston, Java, Zorro, and Latte eat their kitten food. These four kittens are the offspring of Lela, the daughter of Autumn. Two summers ago, the result of kittens mostly black drove me to the neighbors to pick up a new color combination. Boomerang and Tabitha are the only survivors of the migrants. We already renamed the little grey one from this litter. She is happily homed at our daughter’s in laws and named Freya. Rightly named as they picked her up on a rainy day from the greenhouse. I worked in there all morning most days and it was an easier place to keep them boxed and on guard.

Latte and Boston are the friendliest of the four kittens. Latte will sit right in the walking path, which is not real wise with a blind lady running about. So I just pick her up and walk around a while doing my chores with a single hand. Java and Zorro are very jolted and playful. They are much harder to catch. At the food bowl is the best place to nab their little fur bodies and get them use to being handled.

This is my last phot op. These six little kitties belong to Stitch. She had them in the bucket and I moved them to this box. It must be roomy as they are still there. Even through all the stormy weather last week, she kept them put! I get a kick out of the markings. Five of them are all yellow and orange. And then this one… “One of these things is not like the other ones…”. We find ourselves attracted to the unusual markings in kittens. And I was already told that we have to give some of these little things away. Of course…. Our acreage is not going to hold more than six to nine cats. I thing these is enough out buildings, but its the feed bill that gets speedy!

Back to the garden…. The butterfly patch received a new sprinkler stand. My husband welded up a horse shoe and ready rod tripod for the sprinkler. It will still be on the sensor. Any animal attendance will set of the motion. It might not be the best option, but I do not want this flower bed to be the litter box! Then there is the “Bridge Island” that we completed the other day. We dug out the soil and put down weed barrier and rocks. This should keep the bridge from rotting in the moisture and soil. For now I sill use flower pots to dress up the “Island.” The storm did some hail damage to our front window frame, siding, skirting and plants. The wind may have done more damage but we hope all remains minimal in nature. This little pansy survived the hail and is looking quite lonesome!

May showers, dusty gusty wind, and unpredictable temperatures are delaying the garden a bit. However, the greenhouse is doing well and those tomato plants will be rather large by the time we get them outdoors.

I spend an entire day planning the garden row by row. One row of flowers, one row of veggies will be the sequence this year. We are slimming down our garden zones and hopefully my husband will be able to help with the drip line system to watering. I wanted to start building growing boxes for the garden but everything is in short supply and a little too expensive. Priorities will have to be elsewhere.

Bad hair day

Monday was a bad hair day for me. While today’s hair is definitely bed head, the picture fits. Waking up in a shadow mood set me up for an emotionally dead day. The battle to avoid saying the wrong thing ended with a journal entry worthy of trash.

So after fighting the head ache with all the normal things, the decision to simply go back to bed was made. Other people might not have that option. Since no one is here to stop me, back to bed it was.

Dreams about log picking or stacking are common themes in my nightmare migraine mode. Either being chased and having the paths clogged with fallen trees, or stumbling over large surface roots fill my sleep attempts. This day being chased by others with torches and forced to carry my cross beam did not make for much rest. Burned at stake, and waking up feeling tied down was common.

Just when my emotional state is most empty and the longing for some cuddly little snuggly critter overcomes me, Honey rises to the alert service dog that she is and saves my life once again. Sleeping nearly eighteen hours with a few moments of awake to eat, drink or relieve myself was a bit of a shock. More so was Honey hitting and bumping my hand with persistence to wake me up. She would not stop nosing my hand until I actually took both puffs on my inhaler. Then she would lick my hand as if to say “good” and go lay back down. She did this job three times Monday into Tuesday morning.

Dark, depression days are something like a shadow life for me. My memory of these thoughts goes all the way back to my teenage years. The battle to emerge out of these dark valleys is lifelong. The last ten years of solitude days have counted more shadow days than sunshine. Some times my emotional being is a dragonfly skimming across the surface of a ditch full of dirty water. And I wonder when the rain storm will come, causing my wings to loose their strength and I will be sucked into the swirling drain pipe and drown. I know that is not a pretty picture.

Where is my faith in all of this? Scripture and the the Bible has always been there to lift me out of the darkness. The pit of self pity and mental vomit must be cleansed by God’s word. Rising up out of myself means letting Jesus blow the healing breeze that will let my spirit soar once again. Is life to be full of these roller coasters all of my earthly journey? Must this life in which I dive and plummet nearly to destruction and then be lifted up once again be so constant? David writes in the Psalms about the downcast soul. And then he writes again “Bless the Lord, o my soul!” Oh, that my heart, soul, mind, and strength could be in the same place of worship all of the time! Faith is no magic wand. Prayer is not some magic words.

Here is the latest mosaic crochet that I have completed during this past week or two of physical, emotional, and spiritual battles. There have been a few books in the pile next to me as a crochet. And no, Honey does not sit next to me. She usually falls asleep on the othe rside of the room.

It’s “wind”-s-day again. The whistling , howling ambient sound is not pleasant and peaceful. The thoughts of others in the path of the storm does not help. My prayer list has been updated for the others list this week. Taking my mind off of myself and thinking about others helps. The refugees, the cancer survivor, the brain surgery recovery, the waiting for a kidney transplant, the sniffly nose, the coughing, the allergy sufferers, the war torn lands and people. ALL remind me that my life is relatively easy. Get out of the mire and the mud and get on with the day. Call Honey in for a hug even if she growls while I administer my own healing potion.

Isaiah 12:3. (ESV). “Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.” This is the promise from God’s word that I am clinging to this week. While there is no Joy is seems and I am not even sure which wells God would have me dig up, I will ONE day find joy again. He will provide for my salvation and He will be glorified in it.

And so it goes…

And so it goes.. you never expect your dog to bring back the collar that she lost over six months ago. And so, when doing the spring yard clean up, it was a pleasant surprise to find the collar that I paid 25 dollars to have her name and my phone number embroidered on. The return of the tag for vaccine info was nice also. We found a few other things that went through the roto rooter. That dog has an iron gut. I don’t thing the average dog would live after some of the things that she has ingested. We call it the typical Labrador genetics. Lab genes brings a garbage disposal to your fount yard. And most of the time it looks more like an explosion of some sort. She is such a little trash compactor and bulldozer. Thank goodness she has overcome her initial fear of the cats. when the refrigerator leftovers come out she is growling and snarling with her head in the bowl just like the other heads! EVA!!!!

And so on… Finding space in the greenhouse for all of the babies has been the latest project. I begged my hubby for some help on Sunday. And we came up with the one legged shelves to put the trays of pansies on. There are 120 clear dixie cups of pansy plants. Hoping to sell them at the local farmer’s market. And I am considering doing a donation to a local charity with the proceeds. And so on go the enjoyable tasks of watching things in the greenhouse grow.

And so forth… It took me five or six attempts to replicate a basket that I already made last year. This one did turn out swell. It was a challenge to get the beginning the same. And the handles are a little useless. Just for looks. I had an old ice cream tub to shape it on. To dry it stiff, it must be on a similar form. I love making the little baskets out of crochet. It is rather rewarding. And so from now on, I’ll just do an exact count before I try to copycat!!

And from now on…. I packed up my piano books the other day. It was bittersweet. Left out only the hymn books and a few other favorites. I have not been able to read the music because the RP has become so pinpointed. The tunnel is closing on so many of my activities. I have to study the music note by note and them memorize it for performance. My in-ability to read music makes me sad. But I have always been able to “ad lib” better on the third and fourth go around anyways. Memorizing it means the quality is there from the get go! Such slang we use in all of this gibber-gabber. And so from now on I will have to practice before the actual rehearsal. I am so thankful that my training through the years has lead me from reading, to chording to playing jazz improvisation to playing by “ear!” While I would readily admit that I can’t actually play by ear, one’s fingers must be used in response to the thought process in the mind. There still has to be some knowledge of the musicianship of piano to complete the task. So very thankful that I can still tickle the ebony and ivories!

Therefore…. While the family is all about their happenings and my life trudges on in absolute monotony, our Pastor’s sermon series on Isaiah has me buoyed up with many memories of my own studies on the great book. Here’s one of my favorite verses from the prophet found in chapter 26:4 “ Trust in the Lord forever. For in YAH the Lord is everlasting strength.” My own study notes have been misplaced, but nevertheless, the mind does recall much through the days and the nights. One night I began my own midnight worship session just considering the name of Yahweh, and the Hebrew whispering of the “Breath of God.” The Yah is spoken as an inhale something like a yawn and the Weh is whispered on the exhale. This name of the Lord is true to the Genesis account of creation in which the Lord breathes into the nostrils of man the breath of life. Our modern day common place use of the Lord’s name does not hold this intense reverence and awe in whispering the name of the Lord because it is too holy for unfit human lips to speak. If only we could hold such awe and fear of the power of our God to give life and to take life. Therefore, I will trust in the Lord forever. For indeed Yahweh (as a whisper of breath0 is indeed my strength and my song. Isaiah 12:2-3. HE alone has become my salvation.

Still trying to find myself

This is an RP update. I did not know that when I first started writing this one. Sometimes the journal of going blind one day at a time gets an entry. I could call it the Chronicles of Yvonne Annette. Not sure anyone would even read such a book.

Seven years into blogging and I am still trying to find myself. Just the other day I decided to look up some of the history. It is really pretty embarrassing to discover that my writing has taken so many twist and turns. Perhaps that is normal.

For one thing, I find it hard to be completely frank and honest. Someone might actually read my blog that knows me and ask me a question that I do not want to answer. Here are a few potential nightmare questions… “How can you say that you are blind and still crochet?” “Why don’t you just get a job and have something to do that way?” “Where is your focus and purpose for this blog?” “When are you ever going to write something that earns money?” “What do you really want to do with your life?” “Who reads this stuff anyways?”

Here’s the thing, for the most part of my fifty years I did not know those answers and I am not even going to attempt to try! Writing for me is a release. Just an exercise, kind of like taking a walk that has no purpose. Every once in a while we take a walk that actually leaves us filling fulfilled and happy. Every day I send my dog out to do her business or on the days I actually go with, there seems no other purpose than just doing the routine.

Routinely writing for me is relaxing and a way to release often unintelligible thoughts. Once in a great while, the thoughts find a path and I find a gorgeous waterfall. Other times all I notice is the barren ground and large cracks in the winter earth that are screaming out for some snowfall moisture.

Today is one of those awful after-insomnia days. The ruminating thoughts that keep me awake at night are nothing worth repeating. Yet on they go. Sometimes, my mind is so hyper-alert it feels as though I did not get a wink of sleep. The sheep counting “God Bless You”-s did not work. The Bible mindful listening did not work. The warm milk and hot tea did not work. The pre-slumber routines did nothing to aid in the sleep process.

Last evening I went to church to do a recording with a friend. The song was quite repetitive and the count patterns got stuck on repeat for my mind. Also, when I used the facilities to release my full bladder, I walked right into the wall afterwards. How could my tunnel vision keep pulling so many tricks on me? I am constantly finding myself “lost” these days. Often right in the bedroom while turning in circles to put away my clothing. I ran right into the table the other day in the kitchen while doing the dishes. Had I forgotten the table was there? I was not paying attention to my other senses and did not even realize that the rug under my feet was actually NOT there. Ugh. This blind think sometimes catches me by surprise.

In just one half hour the brand new song was embedded in my memory and I had to play it by little signs like # * > 1 2 X and letters for chord names. My focus on how many times of certain chord patterns kept me from reading the words all together. Besides, unless they are size 50 type, I would not be able to read them anyway. Same girl?

On another note…. The ability to learn a new piece of music is getting to be shorter and shorter time expense. The song was mentioned to me one day. I listened to it a few times the next day. We ran through the piece with some “guitar chord lead” sheets that same evening. And by the third go round I actually did not loose my place in the sheets and words. This is the same girl that failed her first few recitals in early years of piano lessons. This is the same girl that could not memorize pages of classical piano for the jury sessions in college. This is the same girl that could not play a single note by ear training in the early years as church pianist. This is the same mother that made her little string playing children switch positions to play a song in the key that it was written so that mommy could accompany them at the nursing home church services. This is the same woman that bombed reading the music for her daughter’s senior recital and ruined the whole event (in my mind.). This is the same woman that one church rejected as pianist because she could not play the praise and worship “style” that they wanted. (Which by the way is the same “style” that she now plays completely by ear with just a guitar chord lead sheet!)

Not hardly. I feel like a completely different person than I was at twelve years old. I feel like a different person than I was even at 40! How do I make peace with this new me?

Shading the Night Black

It’s been a mont or two…

Yep, it was a whole month of silence on the blogging end. But ever so busy. Harvest is a topsy turvy kind of life on the acreage. From the garden produce to the preparations for fall’s colder nights, I sometimes cannot quite decide what takes priority.

This moth, it was my sanity and my health.

The moth started off with beefing up the back side of the greenhouse. My lovely capable husband took the week off and we buttoned up the latches. The previous finishing cement board was weakened by the snow loads and soon began to leak. The rubber surfacing on the new materials should seal it up much better.

Then I decided to start harvest the lovely flower seeds that I wanted to have “more” of in the garden next year and perhaps even “share” with others. That’s when my whole month took a turn for the sudden self care needs. Apparently, I am VERY allergic to the black night shade weed. I was on Benadryl every four hours for nearly three or four days to help control the itch. Thank goodness after several salt bathes, they finally disappeared. But now suddenly, the garden was off limits to me. Controlling the gigantic weed infestation was not going to be an option for me.

Nevertheless, the harvest canning took a nose-dive also. My desire to avoid hives from head to toe just sort of turned of any desire to do amy more canning. And my energy level began to plummet as I would even think about doing another batch of tomatoes for something. Besides the thoughts of not having a cellar to store the beautiful goodies in, my mind just could not wrap around another processing day.

My focus went back to the greenhouse. We just completed a re-make to the pond. Previously the depth of the pond was at about five feet and the combine tire containment plain never let the water actually “warm” up. So we built a whale ribbing and put the pond liner back in. Our gallon amount might be a bit less (accoring top all the excess tarp material) but the four foot depth should do nicely with the sun’s power.

Meanwhile, I began putting away all of the canning supplies and getting my house back. OHHH! I almost forgot! The moth started off with a new kitchen sink.

My little trailer house variety will find a new home in the barn or somewhere as awash tub outside. The new farmhouse apron sink was quite the “back-ache” for my plumber/carpenter hubby. But I LOVE it. And for the most part I don’t let the dishes pile up like I use to. It is such a pleasure to fill the sink and actually wash dishes in soapy bubbles with water that covers the objects in need of scrubbing.

So while there were much improvements about, I feel my work ethic has not improved much. Many days I find myself just scratching the surface on all that appears to need to be done. My eyesight makes reading recipes such a chore that cooking has lost it’s pleasure for me. And much of the time I miss items becuase I missed the whole line in the recipe.

I wonder if sanity is slipping away. Especially when I make something that does not require a recipe, and like the apple crisp where I forget to sprinkle sugar on the apples…. Well, it will still be edible at least.

The two days that I suffered asthma aftershock from eating my allergy enemy stick in my mind pretty strongly. This past year I found out that white potato and barley are two of my worst foes. Learning to avoid them has made life much better. But the two days I suffered aftershock relapse were not much fun at all. The asthma drove me to the nebulizer machine and the albuterol infusion. The one thing that has become quite the blessing is the attentivemess of my girl Honey.

A service dog that loves to work and finds a purpose in helping is a special thing. If I am having a bad asthma day, she gets really sticky. Her namesake finally arrives on the bad asthma days. She will even nudge me a little if she thinks it’s time for me to stop and take care of my breathing need.

Some of us need a full time companion. Knowing that Honey is sticky and messy has not deterred me from my hope that she will be what I need her to be when the time comes. There are days though, we should have named her ‘Tigger’ or ‘Roo’ instead of Winnie the Pooh’s favorite snack.

Writing has really been the last thing on my list the past two months. So today, I though maybe I would try to catch up a bit. There have been some things on my mind that need to be sorted out. I spent the last two months working in the garden, painint a few rooms (at my daughters house and mine) and generally fall maintenance.

Today it is damp and chilly outside and my boots were in desperate need of waterproofing. So I am inside finishing the fall house cleaning chores. Garden and greenhouse can be such a strong pull that the house literally becomes a pig’s sty. So after some much needed cleaning there are only a few surfaces left to uncover. Because my desk in the library was turned to accommodate my grandson’s sleep-box, I am not too happy with the “writing zone.” But this is my attempt.

I Hope that you are all keeping life well balanced better that I am. Being scheduled use to be one of my strong suits. But now that it’s just me here most days, schedule is lost in the diving into projects. Swimming is not something that I do well, Will the aid of a life preserver I think I have found the other side of the lake!

Reason to Live (the final installment)

Finishing the CD review or renew or remembering

The last four years has been one of much change in our lives. The last three more so. Empty nesters is not a term that I like to use in my description of ourselves in the most recent past. After the girls off and left me, okay, really, they just got married and added numbers tot he family, right? Well, still redefining motherhood is nothing like descovering sainthood, that’s for sure.

So once the nest is empty, we soon find ways to fill the void. And for us it was a little 22 foot growing dome. Learning how to make things grow is a little different than watching kids grow and and become adults. But really much is the same. There are plant babies. Then little plants that leave the “next” and find new homes. And some get so stay and become tomorrows foddor.

Five years ago? It really does not seem real. Five years ago, I saw a video of this little geodesic dome greenhouse and wanted one so much that I cried. Now, plant babies leave very frequently and the empty nest never stays empty very long.

Having a “reason to live” means purpose and planning for one’s tomorrows. whether as in the song, the morrow is eternal or as in the greenhouse these seems to be forever a spring, purpose keeps life moving forward. I am so grateful for something TO DO!

Relatives of relatives and friends of friends are our connections throughout the circle of life. People help the world go-around. Looking at these connections through the “triangle” is easy for me. I know you. You know another person, and soon that other person then knows me. And just like that we are connected in a triangle of friendship.

This triangle of connecting one to another is key through our lives. It helps us to get where we are going, or perhaps we help another person get to the path in life that they lead. I am always fascinated by the connections that we have with a random person. My daughter once sat by someone on an airplane that was a shirt-tail relation. But they were only four people removed from knowing each other!

We used my daughter’s family connection to get the logo set up for Greenfield Greenhouse. It was so good to put a bit of “finality” or maybe a seed of beginning to this five year incubation phase. It’s time to let the nest be a home to more plant babies. I hope the business side of this building does not get so overwhelming. But I am so excited to do some plant seed harvesting. More geranium baby production and to see how the overwintering building will do this next year.

And I am also glad to do the final installment of this CD remembering. 1998 seems like such a very long time ago when the music was all created. I hope that the family that inspired this song has done well since then. I think of them often.

Go away dark night

Teaching spiritual warfare at the elemental level. How do we help children make sense of their bad feelings, and what to do with anger, mistakes, and dealing with forgiveness. Teaching the sin nature to pre-schoolers is not a choice. I believe it is a necessity. Children displahy the fall of mankind naturally. It is all about how we name it, how we call it out, and the gentle, graceful, loving explanations that we give. We can break a child’s heart, or mold and make a child’s heart to be after God’s own heart.

The song on the CD titled “Go Away Dark Night” was written in the pre-school years of my two little girls. Sisters have a way of finding the right buttons to push. But maybe it’s that way with any sibling combinations. It’s up to the parent to be the “adult” and react in approriate manner to the situations at hand.

Words to the song Go Away Dark Night , the tenth song from the CD Are You Ready by myself go like this: (Chorus) “Say, Go away dark night, go away! Come again, Jesus Light! Fill me up with Your love, give me strength from above. Say, Go away, dark night, go away! (verse one) The evil forces of this world will lie and cheat and steal God’s word. They’ll tell you what you want to know even if it is not so. But here is something that you can say do get them running the other way. (Repeat chorus) (verse two) When a tongue turns to enemy, their tongue says things that should not be They tell you what you don’t want to hear, Even perhaps that God is not here. But here is something that you can say, to get them running the other way. (Chorus)

What was happening then before we lived here? We had purchased a fixer-upper for a house. I hear that song on the Frozen sound track and just cringe. There is nothing really romantic about a fixer-upper. And Romance that is based on the scheme is doomed to fail, If I dare say so. The trash in the house had been removed by someone, the repo people maybe. But they only piled it all in the falling down shed/garage. We were fortunate to believe it was just a great snow sculpture upon our moving in.

A nice scarey fire took care of that problem. The propane tank was just feet from the fire and the fire just yards from the house. The spiritual warfare that followed out move in was not so easy to remove.

What is spiritual warfare at a physical manifestation? My husband suffered from debilitating depression. My ITP and platelet levels dropped to record lows. Our children suffered from nightmares that were incredibly vivid. During the most difficult month or so, we also found ill-tempered church going problems. Finally we found a church in another town that understood the battle we faced was spiritual.

Prayer walks in the Battle of Jericho became our game plan. We had several conversations with the head Pastor and he invited his elders to come over to our place for a prayer walk. Each room, including the basement would get prayed over. And then we would walk around the house and pray at each corner of the propertay also. Bringing a hedge of protection back over our family, our home and our property.

Multiplying the power of prayer, not praying in multiples or chanting. The prayer walk was so successful. Where two or three are gathered in Christ’s name, the Father answers! I cannot recommend enough the power of prayer in one’s life and the power of asking others to take up our needs to the throne.

My children still squabbled. My husband still had a thyroid crash a few years after we moved away from that house. My ITP still required surgery to remove my spleen druing those formative years. The important thing, is that we knew God was sovereign over every decision that we made. We knew His omnipresence through all of life’s challenges following that difficult dark hour.

How I choose to apply this today. The night’s still come with darkness. I struggle with sleep at times. There are things that happen whether of our making or of other’s doing that cause change, difficulty, and trial in our lives. Finding the peace that passes all understanding during the hours of darkness, is all about knowing the LIGHT. Knowing Jesus makes all the difference in how we react to these happenings.

Some days with my asthma, I long for the Sweet By and By. Other days, I look forward to watching my grandchildren grow. And being the voice of reason, logic, calm and assurance is often my best job with my grown daughters, or with my husband, or with another family member, or friend. Prayer is my first response to almost everything these days.

I still have my little jar with the “lay at the feet of Jesus” prayer requests. I know that while physically I may be growing weaker with age, my soul is growing stronger. Where I am weak, Christ is strong.

I John 1:5-7. “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we way that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowhsip with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”(ESV)

An Eremite’s Journal

“Wilderness Journey”

This past year was a challenge of epic social proportions. The mandates to stay home, the office dispersions, the canceled events. All of the changes in behavior that some people found unbearable. For me staying at home was a choice I made nearly 28 years ago. However, not getting out and about on the weekends or spending time with extended family was a new part of life during this quarantine season.

An eremite is someone who chooses the hermit life in response to seeking a more peaceful and focused spiritual life. Many of these people choose the social distancing as a way to find complete harmony within their soul, spirit, body, and mind. I do not believe in this hands off approach to the Christian’s life. There are too many scripture passages about loving others and Christ’s work through us for the perpetuation of the gospel. Being a recluse during a worldwide pandemic was dictated by health reasons. I am not claiming to be an eremite in the full sense of the word.

Being an eremite is sometimes in response to the character flaws that drive one to sin when living with others. The belief that Christ empower’s us to become better people should drive us towards others not away from them. How can we really show God that we love Him unless we love one another?

However, this barren landscape, involves very few people for me this past year. While I tried to reach out to some in hopes of rekindling friendship, being snubbed a few times in a row, convinced me move on to the next person on the list.

Writing for me is in direct defiance of solitude. The act of putting words into sentences and thought process into journal entries concludes that there will one day be a reader. Being alone while writing is reaching out to another and defies the very act of separation from others. Writing is a forward motion. The pen is hope for the future.

Wasted wanderings would be putting these paper scraps with their ink blots in the trash. While the paper itself is tossed away, the thoughts continue to collect. Like the person in my corner of the world that did not want to “waste his cancer,” I do not want to waste these jottings.

In search of that which lies in plain sight, I find myself studying the great desert wanderings of the faith. There was Moses on the mountain receiving the ten commandments. My favorite because there was an active writer of the event. Of course, Jesus in the wilderness ministered to by angels is another favorite. And don’t forget the Israelites in the Sinai for forty years. The Sinai church or Saint Catherine’s Monastery is the oldest community of “eremite” lifestyle. Separating from the world yet still being in the world, this kind of life often attracts travelers and guests. The ministry to the world thus is done on the terms of the monastic community rather than the expectations of the world. The solitary confinement within the walls of these abbeys is meant to be a “40” hour, day, or week spiritual journey.

Returning to the Cd to listen to the song, brought back many emotions this past week or two. We all really truly experience our own life alone. The life that we live is ours alone to make conclusions and decisions upon. Our burdens are ours alone to carry heavily or to lay down at Jesus feet. We either choose to carry life’s weight alone or to share it. thus in the sharing to lighten our burden and find relief from the load that we bear. This is the basic theory behind grief counseling and support groups.

Finding encouragement alone is nearly impossible. Finding a support group for your particular burden is easier than you think. It’s the actual going. The reality of attendance that makes support groups difficult. One actually must GO somewhere to be ministered to by the group. To receive the support one needs involves being needy. This is the hurdle many do not cross.

This blanket poncho is not as wide as the others that I have made. I actually had to add some border design to make it cozy properly. The yarn was also a nightmare spool bobbin that did not come off the cardboard bobbin without tangling into a hundred knots. This was definitely a colossal alone time accomplishment. And it is one of my favorite warm buddies when there is nobody to give me a hug.

Affirming feelings is not something I remember through my childhood. And I don’t think I was very good at it as a parent either. Watching my grandchildren have their feelings named and affirmed at such young ages makes me think of the cliche psychological counseling statement, “How does that make you feel?” I found that most of the time I have to tell myself, “Feelings lie.” A fact sheet is helpful in those instances.

Out of the darkness and into the night is more of my life wilderness experience that I might care to share. Especially when I talk about my eyesight problems. But that makes me a needy person and others don’t want to be around “needy” people.

When the night light goes out in the bedroom it actually gives me a momentary panic. Then I remember that there are rugs, and walls to search for. My feet and my hands do the “seeing” and I can find my way around okay. The light switch is on the other side of the room for me, and I do not want to wake my sleeping spouse. Though my thrashing limbs usually makes the door hit the furniture and the noise wakes him up anyways.

Yesterday felt a bit like the alarm from a tsunami or hurricane happenings. My emotional state felt like perhaps there was a “coming deluge.” This flood of thought process and the avalanche of words left me shaking. Literally, I was having the day after soy sauce asthma response. The headache, the lack of oxygen, and the allergic reaction made me just want to stay in bed. Thank goodness thereis a dog to keep me going. The pets still needed attention, so I forged ahead. One step in front of the other.

Today, I am doing better mentally. Taking the time to sort out all of the jottings. Some of the ink blotches are indecipherable. Some I just scrapped because they don’t fit with this entry.

I am pretty much done with the eremite living. No, I don’t really live alone. I have had both vaccines and am ready to go back to church social life. Being a self-possessed Christian recluse in persuit of religious piety is not for me. Spending time with my little grand babies will continue to be a “well” opportunity. That’s hard but less disparaging than rare. I will continue to journal during my alone quiet times. At one point I wrote a whole study on forty day silences. Forty days, or forty wees, I don’t think that this quarantine year has transformed me into something that was not. This is not the time for an eremite’s journal.

“Walking through the wilderness When all around is emptiness, I forget the One who fills my cup. Seeing all this barrenness Where once was abundant fruitfulness I turn away and do not look back up. AND God says, ‘You must go through the dark to see the light. You must remember day follows the night. You must run the race to win the prize. For when you’ve passed the test of this life, you will receive the gift, The Crown of Life.’

“Searching for the peacefulness Found in His great faithfulness I forget the One right by my side. Striving to cope with thankfulness When the only hope is His promise I turn back to Him Who Will Provide. AND God says, “You must go through the dark to see thelight. You must remember day follows the night. You must run the race to win the prize. For when you have passed the test of this life, You will receive the gift, The Crown of Life.'”

from the ninth song on the Album “Are You Ready” Wilderness Journey by Yvonne Annette age 29.

Belief Without Question

This time and thus far

“Many have said that they do not believe,

“Many have said that they do.”

The eighth song on the CD is titled, “Why Lord?” While the words have been floating through my head for the past two weeks, the struggle to reach some conclusion has eluded me. Until today, I struggled with the conclusion for the previous entry. Letting go of the post began an emotional reeling within me akin to considering the death of my favorite pet. No I was not thinking of one of the dogs, rather, the age and difficulties of our family pony.

A few weeks back,he began a hobbling that seemed unnatural to his usually jolly old self. When the family gathered for our Easter celebrations, the call to come was denied. Cocoa simply remained planted in his stationary position as if he turned into a statue. Not use to the steely attitude, we searched for a reason for his lack of response.

Twenty years old for a horse did not seem good enough for me. A visit with the vet, and some physical investigation proved that his back leg with the previously split hoof was showing signs of arthritis and pain. We ill keep his hooves trimmed at a shortened time frame (down to six weeks) and are giving him some anti-inflammatory relief for the rest of the week.

Considering the death of the longest living family pet was much to depressing. Cocoa has out-lived all of the family dogs and cats.

I wanted to make a little backpack bag for a while now. the continuous in the round crochet makes for some real fun juggling the tails. Somewhat of a dog and pony show, keeping the two untangled is half of the project! Never the less, the project was successful and I learned a thing or two about sizing and attaching the straps. Using the familiar patter was helpful. I could watch movies and listen to books without many mistakes.

These three little sedum’s are some of the easiest succulents to keep alive. Once weekly moisture spritz and once monthly watering of the soil should do the trick. The exciting part is the log-planter that my husband’s dad turned on the wood lathe for me. The project was a bit big for his porch projects. My hubby actually had to hold the lathe down one day so his dad could finish the project. I put a bread sack inside the container so the log will not rot.

One day while dreaming of log houses, I though, perhaps this is as close as I will ever get. So perhaps, my little plants can have a log house. Dreams are a silly sort at times.

These beautiful geraniums went back to their summer home. Over wintering in the greenhouse the pretty blooms were constant. I was blessed to have four or five other hanging baskets from these two originals. And there are nearly a dozen offspring. I am so grateful to the ladies who donated to my “forever spring” collection. Many days I do not think life would be very enjoyable without my greenhouse.

I look back at the time that this song was written and wonder what was I really questioning? What was going on in the question of “Why?” For me? One day recently my dad and I got on the topic of name changing. I told him that I have never wanted to change my name. I have always liked Yvonne Annette. Many people have commented what a pretty name I have.

The move I watched on the life of Lincoln by Stephen Spielberg, sparked many thoughts for me. One was the chose of birth. Free will is something that some consider self-evident truth. Yet free will does not involve birth, color of skin, or sexual identity at birth. Today some people choose to fight every identity given to them at birth. As if in so choosing they can change the course of nature be anything that they are not.

Again, I state that we cannot choose birth for ourselves. Even a mother if she lets the natural order of things resolve, cannot choose the moment of her child’s birth. Some of us have been more influenced by the meddling of man’s ways than others.

I would not be here if a doctor with a scalpel had not plucked me from my mother’s womb. I was placenta Previn. Until the recent past, these children died at birth, and often the mother with them. My mother and I did not choose the date of my birth. Nature did. The gravity of this day has not lost it’s seriousness upon me or her. We are alive.

One generation later, and I also could not choose my children’s sex, nor their birthdates. Had I known the incompetent cervix was the result of my many bicycle accidents and trick jumping, perhaps the bike would have stayed in the garage more frequently. Needless to say, my daughters are both alive and so am I thanks to modern medicine.

How can I question my Lord’s hand in my existence and consider this momentary difficulties to be afflictions unbearable? How do we let the oppressions of mankind defeat our spirits and demote our souls? How do we choose to deny our identities ride the waves of windless tides? How do we stoop the questions?

But in the end it’s not just what you say…

“but what you do, That proves the truth.”

Every time that I plant a seed, in my life at least, I prove that God exists. Every day that I crochet, I confirm my family identity. I am my grandmother’s granddaughter. Every day that I listen to a book or learn something new, I prove that my mother and father once made me. They were both avid readers, and to this day love learning. Every day that I communicate with a sibling is proof that God intervened in my mother’s life the day that I was born, and let her live.

Every day that look in the mirror, I choose to be me.

Mark 9:23-24, “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately, crying out with tears, the father of the child replied ‘Lord I believe; help my unbelief.'”