Carpeting day

In the greenhouse it was carpeting day recently. The geraniums were beginning to shed their petals all over the place, so to beat them at their game, I helped. Usually carpeting day is done monthly, but this time six weeks had passed. Winter is like that though. The cloudy days of this cold time don’t produce as many flowers. So by the time the “beheading” occurred more flowers were poking through. The little I-think-I-can blooms are so fun to see after the floor is all swept up and I make my rounds checking soil moisture et cetera.

In the cat huts the felines take up naps at sentimal watching. It never ceases to amaze me how many kittens can be in one hut. One day their were four in one hut and the last one had to keep poking a head in to see if there was room yet for him. It is funny to watch. This boxed foam cooler makes a “pur-fect” watching spot for Tabitha. She has become my new petted pet after Autumn left us.

In the barn, or shall I say “mouse house” we are busy watching out for the rodents now. They recently ate a hole in the horse feed bucket. Might have to get a metal can with a lid to keep them out.

In the starting tent installing lights was not cheap. I am considering letting them go much longer on. I think tomorrow is one week and nothing has popped through the soil yet. Patience is difficult when it seems like time is wasting away while I wait. There are so many more seedlings to start in the next month. I have an empty shelf at the moment and may find something to begin there.

In the people house the blanket is just about complete. Of course deciding how big to make it is the question. I am still doing a google reader on the tabernacle book that my mom gave me. But I also began L.M. Montgomery’s “The Story Girl.” It keeps my mind occupied when my hands are twiddling.

Allergic reactions are part of my new normal, I guess. And I had another one last night that required a Benadryl for relief. So I am missing out on my usual weekly visit with the grand children. It’s making me feel a little bummed. But the allergic reaction about had me in tears. So much for planning my days and weeks.

This entry took me a few days. The blanket is finished. And there are seedlings popping out of their tomb’s in the growing tent. The rose bush in the greenhouse nearly died of over watering-oops! And we are are now on season 2 of the Chosen. Now what? I ask myself this often these days. Now really following a daily list of any sort. I hear my hubby’s work calendar and my head spins. Simple life for me please.

A Glimpse of God’s Grace

This week we started out with our first biatch of English muffins on the new stove griddle. And a might bit of smoke and some discoveries of old mistakes. First of all, my Husband got brave and made the bread dough all by himself! Scary, right. It took 24 hours to let the dough rise and make them into the circles and then finally fry/bake them on the griddle. They are so good! My brother gave me his recipe to try.

The third biscuit later, I was suffering my yeast sensitivity. Wow. That is painful. So I haven’t had any more for a few days. Yogurt, carrots and smoothies for me to knock out the yeast overload. Ugh. I don’t like my body somedays.

Then we left the smelly house and went on a road trip to see my mother. It is not that far, but with the winter being a snowy record year, it was the first opportunity we had for the drive. She gave me this book for the “gifting” holiday. And I am glad for it, and it’s rich back story.

My mother claims to have come to the Lord Jesus Christ as a result of the way that I came into the world. Knowing that we both nearly died is quite a tale in itself, but this book tells another one. She was directed after her brush with death, to begin listening to a radio program called “Back to the Bible>”. You know the radio is what people listened to before there were podcasts! The main teacher on the broadcast at the time was Dr. Epp.

This is one of the first books that she purchased after coming to the Savior’s call in her life. It is rich with Bible facts and explanations of the Old Testament covenant. The idea that Christianity has it’s roots in Judaism is not often discussed today. I think the church today is missing out on all of this rich history. So after using ‘ms. Google’ to help me read the first two chapters, I remembered my blog promise.

The Portraits of Christ in the Tabernacle are full of symbolic tradition and hope ofr the believer. While at the same time we are trying to do the Chosen challenge and watch the series, my mind is full of scripture and my heart is being saturated in the depths of God’s great love for the world that He created.

Meanwhile, I am reminded that we all bear His image and His creativity is visible in each and every human being. This blanket does not have a name. The pattern is borrowed from one that I say in another blanket. So I decided to reverse and flip the maze and watch the affect as it takes shape in my lap.

And what better way to stay warm than to crochet an afghan? I just had to remember the “three little kittens!” This image is on the park bench in frount of our house. Kittens: Company, Lava, and Latte are happy to have the snow removed so that they could watch the happenings. I was out with the dogs playing frisbee when I spied them keeping watch on us. And I am also documenting the snow piles out by the greenhouse. It won’t be long and the pile will be as big as the geodesic dome garden room.

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” has been on my listening pleasuire this week. I don’t know whay I can never remember which on eis playing. So thin I have to repeat one of them to remember the differences. Perhaps it is because though the girls played them in chamber groups, I never did play the music. Just listen. It is always good to remember winter will not last forever. There are truly four seasons in the year even if it seems like one of them gets replaced by WIND. Last year we did not get spring, we got wind. And some of it over 30 mph sustained for days on end.

Glimpses of God’s grace are everywhere for me. I am so undeserving of all the blessings in my life. Yet He gives and gives His creation for me to look at daily. He opens my eyes to be amazed at how everything points to Christ if we just look for Him. I am thankful that while I can look back at history and see The fulfilled Messisah and can also look forward to the Hope of His return.

A dogs tail never lies

Bites of truth

Most people do not understand dog language. Thump, thump, thump, thump…. The other morning when Honey had to stay with me at my daughter’s for the day, the sound was rather loud and annoying. Can’t she just be quiet? The children are sleeping, aren’t they?

Then the pitter patter of little toddler toes told the truth. She heard then talking in the bedroom before I hear their toddling feet. Honey’s tail did not lie. The little bambinos were up for the day.

“A dog’s tail never lies.“. Understanding the teeth, barred, hackles, raised and stiff tail is the sign of territorial challenge in dogs is important. But always look beyond the head to the tail if confusion exists. A wagging tail is a friendly tail, so “they” say.. Unfortunately some people are blind to dog talk.

It is with this is mind that I began this new leftovers mosaic lap-ghan. Some dog tails go side to side, some go thump thump, and some go in a circle. Some just trail behind and pick up all of the weed seeds, sticks and leaves in the path. At this point in our lives we have the thumper, Eva, and the swish-swish, Honey.

I finally decided it was best to pick the rose in the greenhouse and bring it in for our enjoyment. My daughter’s birthday was over the weekend and we chose to make a road trip the other day, so I would not be going to the indoor garden to smell the rose. Best let it be in house and we could smell it each time we pass by the table. It is so beautiful. The yellow is such a pale color and the smell is outrageous.

My husband bough me the last “Christmas wish” gift last week. The new starter station is put together but the plants will be started this week. My seeds in the library are all collected and put in order today, so maybe tonight the little seeds will meet the soil.

The two for one book that I got from the state library is finished. The second title was “Lost in Yellowstone Nat’l Forest for 38 days”. A tale of survivor Truman Everetts. Not something I would want to do. I don’t even handle being alone for 12 to 14 hours some days. That’s one of the strong reasons that I have a dog. So that I am not alone…

Today, I received a “shallow cup of care” in the form of a text message from a relative. I did not answer it. I find I am rather “short” of patience or kindness towards others in my responses. So I simply cannot respond. Went to my audible app and found the book “How to hug a porcupine.” Very fitting for my time in life. Last night we had a possom eating the cat food bits that were left. Hubby tried to shoot the fat thing but had to poke it with a stick to get it where nothing else could be damaged. This morning I found a rat in the bottom of the horse feed bucket. Needless to say the only cat tthat barn hunts was Oliver and he was too late.

So I am on to my blanket some more. Another book. Another week. More seed starts to begin. And Honey took ALL the toys out of her toy basket to entice me to play with her as the weekend was a little short on our play time. It’s Monday and it’s raining in January.

So did I forget to mention that I made it through a whole day of out and about with my girls? The morning was not too bad with the swimming hole outing with the little kids. I did feel rather helpless during the dressing and leaving stage. My poor daughter had to shower and dress all three of her little kiddies and help with me. She is such a good mom and has quite a plate full with her little ones all under five years old. And then lunch was slow going, and we went shopping the rest of the afternoon while my son-in-law did the “best daddy ever” chore of keeping the kiddos at home. It was lovely to have some time with my girls as our Christmas got so mixed up. They really have no clue as to how much I miss them throughout the year. I used my guide cane while shopping to keep me grounded. It is really is hard to miss all ov the facial expressions etc when being with people.

The chicken cooking in the oven is calling me to pull it apart. So I guess this is it for my Monday mumblings.

New year, new journal plan

A couple years ago, I decided to keep the yarn wrappers fro the whole year. 2022 gave me forty five wrappers from finished projects. We won’t count the unfinished symphonies in my repertoire. Haha! It is rather enjoyable to look at the wrappers and know that there is more yarn where they came from.

This year I plan to do more of the read/project/ yarn/ weather journaling than I have in the past. So while the hook size and yarn might not mean much to others putting them all into the journal together makes for an adequate memory bank.

The first of the year took me back to the Ellas Gems Legend pattern that I purchased last year. I have wanted to do a table runner and we liked the yearn that I picked out for it. The Peaches ‘n’ Cream cotton was the choice for a table top because it washed up so nice and can handle being a hot pad of sorts. So off white and summerfield ombre was the choice with a comfortable G size hook. It took me three tries the week end of the New Years Blizzard to get the first row of stitches correct for the pattern. I had no idea I could get it done in just a few days.

Having a book to listen to really helps me pass the time in complete ignorance. The book this time was “Paul A Biography” by N.T. Wright. It is a rather long book with lots of notes into the Biblical narratives. I actually sped it up a bit on my Talking Book reader because much of the content is not new to me. I did recollect however that for my high school senior essay paper I wrote about Paul. I never could have collected near as much information about the era as Wright did. My paper was pretty shallow I suppose. The book is good taking all of the epistles into context of the account in Acts. We also started watching the Chosen series and will have to include some review on that in the month to come.

Weather or not, the project was fun! And there was weather. The snow event gave us about a foot of snow total in one weeks time. My back got plenty of work out scooping all the white stuff off the decks and steps. I am glad we have a little skidster to clean the driveway off. I tried to scoop some of that one day and uff dah!

Meanwhile, I am cleaning up after our daughter’s doggy stayed while they vacationed. We are planning to have our little grand-kiddos over this weekend and the floors and surfaces all need a real good “once – over!” It will probably be more like a seventy times seven over. And hopefully Honey does not get into the presents AGAIN!

Christmas was really drug out this time. We started with a new appliances set for our selves beginning around Thanksgiving time. The television came first. The next new thing was the stove/ oven range. And then we installed the microwave with a miniature kitchen remodel. We just moved the cupboard up a whole foot to make room for the microwave above the range top. I love it! And I am getting used to all the newness.

January is almost to the middle. Our daughter’s birthday is this week and I sure hope I get to see her sometime. Not too long ago someone suggested that we have to lower our expectations so that disappointment is not so readily obtained. My whole mindset as a parent was to set the bar high or your kids would not have anywhere to aim. “You know if you try to jump to the moon, you might get over the barn. If you aim only to jump over the fence, you will land in the manure pile.” Well, I decided rather than expect so much of others to be their best, I would just raise the goals for myself! So here is to aiming for the stars this new year. I hope others will see I am expecting better from myself in my relations to others. I will treat the rest of the world like they need all the help that I can give them. May my attitude change be wholistic!

This year I am using I Corinthians 8:6 as my focus verse. “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” I learned in the book on Paul that this is the new “Shamma.” The word Shamma itself is about “brain training” or teaching the mind to focus on eternal truth. The prayer itself from the book of Deuteronomy is the centerpiece of the Israelites prayers and this verse should be the centerpiece of the Christian’s prayer.

Training our mind to focus on God’s purpose for our lives is not new. Though it might be new for an individual to do this. For me this verse has taken on new meaning. Time will tell how high I have aimed.

Autumn meets winter

October 2018 until January 2023 might not seem like a very long time. Sometimes life passes by us in blinks and dashes. Sometimes it seems like the days crawl by. Lately, the winter has roared it’s ugly windy howl and it seems as though old man winter has come to snatch away much of the pleasure that arrives with the winter wonderland. Today was one of those days when another dash happened.

While much of the last year the wind was in a bit of a hurry, tthis monring was not one of those days. The lull before the storm made 30 degrees feel very mild. Until I walked out the door and found this poor kitty in desperate health.

No Mr. Flurry here, the snow was not to arrive for another five hours. But Autumn knew that she was not in good health. She came to the house with such trust that we would know what to do.

October 2018 was when this little purr mobile arrived at our doorstep. she took a ride in the bottom or the vehicle some how not getting smashed like any other cat who has tried to do the same. Of course, I could not let her get picked on by all the large cats at the time, So i took her into the house for about four months to grow up.

The first month or so was quite the learning curve. But she was nevertheless way too messy with the litter box. So outside she went when my husband began to have sinus challenges.

Warm thoughts might be my memory of her, but hubby was a bit of a love/hate memory. Of course, Autumn was also the “cat walker” in the family. She never could resist going along to toe the line when we went to the corner and back home again. The first few years she was pretty good at stopping traffic. The local farmers thought it was real funny to call me the “cat walker lady!” Everyone enjoys watching the catwalk apparently.

Autumn was pretty attached to my happenings. She followed me around everywhere outside. Always keeping a close watch on what I was doing and joining me if she could. The picture on the right is her in the greenhouse on the bench. She was a rare greenhouse cat, not bothering any plants or growbeds. She usually hopped right up on the bench if I had a coat layed down on it.

Missing a shadow cat will be my new normal. And the other thing that was her nowmal was sneaking back into the house for a nice nap. The sofa was her favorite nap zone. And it did not take her many seasons to learn not to meow in the house or she would be put back out. And yes, I cried for a few hours.

We will miss Autumn. She will be a good memory and yes, I will miss her. “We’re sorry winter had to take you away. Goodbye girl. Thanks for being my shadow cat for the past four years.”

My yarn year in review 22

My yarn year in review is just a peak at the projects that my hooks have created this year. Mosaic crochet takes the win with nine of the eleven projects having some mosaic stitches in them. Of course this is only the skimming the top of all the time I spent crocheting. And remembering that most of the time is also spent listening… well, I could maybe pick up the book with the project. This next year I hope to keep a better journal of the books and the projects. Journaling the books that make me “me” is also important.

January began the year with a prayer wrap. Making the mobias twist prayer shawl made me think of pretzels and the story behind the pretzel. Starting the year out with a prayer focus is something that our faith journey remembers well. We were involved in a church for about ten years that began the new year off with meetings in warm homes during the coldest first week of the year. Then February I finished my favorite project of the whole year. This “table runner” has graced my coffee table most of the year. The pattern is the first mosaic that I purchased. I really have to do another runner with this pattern.

My favorite patterns turned into not so good results in the next couple of months. March and April turned out struggles rather than fair prize winners. Oh well. Sometimes I actually don’t rip the results out and leave the bad vibes. There were a couple other hats and mittens but these were just ugly to me. And the wrap/poncho was not the best either with the angle in the middle of the pattern. That part is on the back side. It was hard work and so I left it in.

Favorite patterns returned me to another project that I have wanted to do for a while. The C2C is an old stand-by for me and this blanket is one of my favorites even though the colors turned out a bit wonky. It’s still warm and the “Linus” blanket is an real winner.

The hand bag or back-pack is a new fun one for me. Not really sure on the count ofr how many I made this year. Around six or seven. I forgot to take pictures of some that I gave away. There is an ugly browns one that I am using right now as my own what-nots bag.

Half the year would not be complete without another virus shawl completed. This yarn came from a thirty year old stash in someone’s attic. That was rather fun to sue such old yarn. The smell was a bit much for my nose. I ended up keeping some essential lavender oil nearby to rub on my hands so that I did not have to smell the old mildew.

And of course the year would not be complete without some hats for the grandees. These three hats were made by choice and request. It was fun to go shopping and let them pick out their own yearn and come back with hats that sort of match, but fit just so!

Making the C2C Linus blanket for my newest niece was really enjoyable also. This time I decided to make the color choices very random. I loved the outcome so much. And hope that as Texas baby in winter, she gets to use the blanket a little bit!

Fall came and went so fast it was hard to believe that already time for Christmas decorations and goodies had come without much of a plan for projects with purpose. Oh, well. Maybe next year I will plan ahead a little more with my crochet year. Meanwhile what better way to sandwich the year with another prayer shawl. This one had the right color choice for the season, but the goof up on the number scheme has me wondering if it might turn into a rip-and-redo.

Yep, my twelve months in review ended with only eleven pictures of projects. I probably could have found another picture, but I have just not been on my game lately. This past year the garden veggies were a bit of a flop, some of my attempts to seedlings were a white fly disaster, and I also added to my health restrictions. Though my health is not awful, taking away coffee and tea the last month or so has been tough. Coffee it seems is what gave me all that energy to do all those things. So I feel a little like an old stubborn mule with a halter that is too loose. Pull with all your might, but my days will still be a bit on the low production list.

I am so thankful that I have my hooks to keep me occupied. Life without crochet would be really dull. Life without coffee and tea might be boring, but there are still books. And if I can’t find a new read to keep me going I can always go back to the favorites.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” In deed I am thankful to find some pleasure yet in my year past and looking forward to the new year with renewed hope.

Wonderland

Not that life is extremely busy or anything, but writing has been a little bit “last” on my list lately. Not sure why. I did not even complete the story board that I put together on the dolls in the library. I did take the time to make my garden planning list. But write on the blog…. Just a little preoccupied, I guess.

White Christmas anyone? December is nearly at a close, and Christmas only two days away. We had some really beautiful snows the last couple of weeks. Some of it came with ice and misery. This last week the snow proceeded a deep freeze for the whole country. My heart goes out to all of the people that have to work out in the weather. My nephew is a line man. Electricity is always essential. My brother is a trucker and rancher. I just don’t know how cows and horses can handle those bitter winds. We had to coax our own hobby horse into the barn with some extra oatmeal and such. He was standing on the back side of the chicken coup through all of the weather.

Santa only goes to town… not the country. Not sure how that song ever got so popular. All those little farm kids and country dwellers have never seen a sleigh running across the roof tops. At least the fact that Santa Claus is coming to town has left us with a peaceful and quiet celebration out here in the barn lands. Honey would never let us rest if the man in red ever came to interrupt our slumber.

These two were not caroling this morning when I got the best picture of the year. Eva now 13 years old was not too happy about trudging through the snow behind me. Her poor little legs are so short, she was following directly in my footsteps. Honey who is five years old now was running around in the crazy eights like the inner puppy that she is always. Thank goodness that the cookie training that I have done all year worked well and it only took four photo takes to get the two in their prime.

The frigid temperatures the last few days are hard on everyone. The best way to keep Eva content is something to chew on, so she gets a rawhide chew to keep her in the heated huts. The cats keep her company. This morning only four or five came out to eat. There are eight regulars…. Autumn, Tabitha, Crush, Latte, Lela, Lava, Oliver, and Company left from all the mishaps of the year. It is hilarious that Eva likes to eat with a partner and Company is the one that she often shares her bowl with.

“Cuddly as a cactus?” Perhaps I might actually know what that means now that my house was gifted with a number of the succulents from a neighbor this last fall. The bunny’s ear is going crazy. The Jacobs ladder is nearly tipping over with height. The ugliest one is the alligator or mother of thousands. I put it in the most unpleasant spot for a plant in the house, directly over head of the dog’s cot. And yet it continues to live true to it’s name and there are hundreds of little babies in the soil at it’s base. Some of the family has been about as cuddly this past year also. Still wish I had bought the book when I saw it- “How to Hug a Porcupine.”

What really makes this the most wonderful time of the year? Friends don’t call, the happy family meetings get canceled, loved ones are only seen on face time, kisses under the mistletoe are few and far between. How do we make this Christmas merry when we miss so many traditional things? This year I decided to call some of the people on my phone contact list that I have not talked to in a year of two. That has been the highlight of my days and evenings.

The toys and goodies that make the holidays special for me this year is the new stove that I have waited a number of years for. And we did it up good with a new tv, and a new microwave to go above the stove. So tonight we will have another meal from our store house. We will use our new stove to five a delicious meal and I can be so thankful that we have our needs met once again.

“Way up north where the air is cold”… has been our life this week. But I do not live in a war town country, I have now run to find refuge in another land, I am not searching for a place to sleep tonight, and I have a family who is all well and sound. God has been good to us. Life might feel like a merry-go-round but each year when the holidays come around I can find much to be grateful for.

What does Christmas mean to me? A time to reflect on the past year’s blessings, a time to tell loved ones how much we love them, and a time to give God glory for all the peace that He has brought into our hearts because of His gift to us. So I promise not to get all wrapped up in the trappings, the boxes, and the traditions and miss the Greatest Gift that God has ever givin…

“And the angel said to them, Fear not! For I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” —Luke 2:10-12

How to grow a “worry wart”

Satire on growth of an ulcer. The best advice I heard from a blind man was “If you can’t look in the mirror and laugh at yourself, then you have a problem.” Even then, looking at yourself might be more of a challenge. Introspection is the key.

One: Have a family that gives advice instead of encouragement. And then I thought, How much do I give a good word? So I got on the phone and found someone that might actually encourage me. It wasn’t family, sad to say. Years ago, we made decisions based on our “family.” We moved closer to extended family so that our daughters would know their grand parents. We left many close friends behind, but distance has not lessened the ties. Thank goodness many of these friends are still “close” at heart. Many of you, I am sure have families that have developed divisions and “rifts” that the past few years have seemed to accentuate. Mine has also. And unfortunately while many of us are trying to move on, the old battles still get brought up time and again. Then I look to those who have lost siblings these last few years. They would do anything to have one more “row” about some stupid divisive thing.

Two: Live in the country when you are blind. Yep, we still live with move than a mile to the closest neighbor. I’m not sure why that seems to be such a problem. But out here in the country, there are some that simply won’t “go the extra mile.” So, here I sit… Last year I tried to create a reason to get into town and spend time with people. The drought kept the garden on lock down, and we did not make it to the market more than twice. Also, there were times when I wanted to get out of dodge on the farm, and I knew that my husband had spend all week gone, simply wanted to stay home. Our unity of need has gone polar express. So while I desperately want to get off the farm, he simply wants to stay home and avoid the “kind of people that he spend all week working” with. Well, aren’t we a find kettle of fish? He’s the garlic and onions, and I’m the tilapia (in case you wanted to know).

Three: Have children and grandchildren along with aging parents. While any one of the three might make one’s hair go silver, Having all three at the moment in time certainly adds to the stress. Our Parents that are turning into toddlers and keys, and stoves need to be removed from grasp. Toddlers that jump off the backs of sofas and then slide across wooden tables, only to take out the sibling, or the lamp in flight really turn up the heat on the anxiety. Then there are adult children that seem to be returning to the rebellious teenage years though they are married and somewhat responsible career holders. What’s next? Could we just not have another life event “Derecho” and everything on the house and out buildings need to be replaced.

Four: Grow a garden in a drought. Yes, it’s true, our corner of the state set record level drought recordings. And rural water can’t make up for the rain that never fell. Nothing really grew well at all. We do have a plan for keeping the water in the soil better next year. More mulch-tastic ideas coming right up. From leaves, to straw to whatever else we can pile on there. And the size of the garden will be just about as reduced in volume as last year. The cipboards are not bare, so don’t worry. We have enough to eat here.

Five: Have an auto immune disorder that reverberates through your life even though there are “known” cures and helps. So yes, I had ITP for about twelve years. Took prednisone ans such until the spleen was yanked out. Then through the years my immune system has been over taxed many times so more steroids. Finally, a recent discovery that some new allergies had developed made my life change much. At least knowing what allergies I have, makes it a much better guess when choosing off the menu. Allergies can be very serious and life threatening. Scary. Not fun. At least most of my Outdoor allergies are much more manageable.

Six: develop food anxiety because of food allergies. I carry an EPI pen now. And it has been used this past fall. So when I eat food that other people fix, there is a “nag” in the back of my mind for at least fifteen to twenty minutes after the meal. Will I be okay, or do I need to keep the pen handy? However, even just recently I made something for myself and found out that the tin containing the whole wheat flour had been tainted with flour containing barley. That was a rough couple of days. So I have to admit that my diet has not been very good or consistent that last few months.

Seven: Have insomnia for five years or more. Lack of sleep is the best cultivator for an ulcer. Because I do not sleep well, (it’s kind of this hyper awake incredibly aware listening mode) it has made me rather tired. Brain fog is not even a strong enough name for the feeling you get that you are sleep walking all day. LOTS of coffee does not even help. I tried the… well….Those pills did not do me any favors. Summer time busy is a better plan. But winter? I need a gym within walking distance. Haha. So, yeah, coffeee and strong coffee is really bad for the stomach.

Eight: Live in a wold where social media is a prime communication tool. We have all experienced some bad thing on social media if we admit it. Finding out about engagements, babies, family deaths, you name it. When is the world going to go back to good old kitchen table gossip? If you don’t actually talk to the relatives yourself, there is nothing to care about. It feels like the populace has all gone into the “grey rock” mode of relationships. We can talk about the weather, the sky, the new car, but don’t ever tell anyone that we have food anxiety because of allergies. No, no, no….

Nine: Drink coffee by the potful to help stay awake. Maybe I mentioned that one already? Well, you know. When you love coffee and you drink a pot full before breakfast, that’s a problem. Just saying. Try starting the day with water. If you get heartburn so bad that you can’t eat your oatmeal? It’s an ulcer.

Ten: Get heartburn that dictates your meals or lack thereof. I did not know that my bird picking appetite was really the sign of a rooted and growing ulcer. Yes, bird picking. I ate every two hours, just a little bit. Because I am too close to the fridge and the cookie jar, picking at my meals was pretty easy to do. Now, I am force feeding myself the recommended foods on the “heal my stomach-starve the ulcer” diet. As if my food list was limited before, the next two weeks will really be limited. And with the holidays coming up, there might be some cans of chicken noodle soup in the back pack ready to substitute. It’s a good thing I like chicken noodle soup. Hey and those books are pretty good too! Except most of the stories are tear jerkers.

How to grow a worry wart? Plan the seed with insomnia, food allergies, and going blind anxiety. That’s some pretty fertile soil there. Water the ulcer with coffee, black tea, and frequent snacks. Feed the worry wart with more food anxieties, relationship struggles, friendship failures, and family bickering. Don’t forget to shed some light on the little wart with some enlightened political debates, social media discouragement, and silent cell phones. And finally, the best thing of all for the worry wart? Don’t let sleep get in your way.

On the outside (Annyta & Emma)

Looking around the butterfly patch the other day, I found this little flower it it’s escape mode. The seeds are exceptionally viable when there has been a little more moisture. And apparently the little bits of rain and the extra water sessions aided in it’s growth. This made me think of the the year of miscarriages three and four.

On the outside, I was very occupied by writing music, Bible school curricula and home schooling my two little preschool girls. My ITP was sinking to a new low and the doctors that I saw at the time told me that this was normal, and that some people just live with the low numbers for life. While I did not think was acceptable, several rounds of six weeks of steroids would only last so long. My body was in fight mode and my immune system was taxed to the “nth.” Of course during all that season of busy, I also suffered from migraines.

Debilitating migraines. Unfortunately the doctors thought that Zoloft would be the answer. That was one of the worst three months of my life. The head aches knocked me out for half the month, and the zoloft knocked me out the next month for half the month. And the third month a 38 day cycle ended up in horrible cramps like a miscarriage. What more was to happen?

The music I heard in my mind was constant during that time. God the Father was putting His creative tunes into my heart and soul. I almost could not keep up with the whole flow of events. I began to put together my CD “Are You Ready?” During that time of blessed presence, I knew that God was carrying me every step of the way inspite of all the challenges.

Multiplying Gerber daisies in my greenhouse today made me think of the days that I hoped to have another Gerber like baby. My first daughter had such a doll-ful expression I though she should have been the new picture on the little jars. Surely, God did not mean for me to have only two little “sugars and spice.” Yet, now looking back I wish I would have soaked up those years with my girls a little bit more. The challenging time for me of their early years is such a blur.

Annyta and Emma were the dolls that I found next. Though Emma is one who falls asleep while reading, Annyta is a constant mama’s girl. My imagination is strong enough to give them personalities and voices. But that is all I will ever have- a strong imagination.

The Geranium nursery this summer in the tire made me think of the years as a child I had a sand box in a tire. This was my early elementary years. Now i sill love to play in the “dirt.” but growing geraniums is my new love. I think some day people will call me “that crazy geranium lady!” That’s okay, it’s better than being crazy because I had secondary infertility.

Canning tomatoes thus fall has been far and few between batches. The drought really hit the garden hard. No beans. The zucchini’s took on worms and died. The onions were only twice as big as when they went into the ground. The only happy stuff is the cucumbers and the beets. And I am not much of a fan of either. I know that God’s thoughts are not my thoughts. Living through a barren season of “infertility” is not easy. On the outside it looked like my life was productive and happy. But on the inside I was crying for the hope of more children that I would not have. I found only a couple of other women during that season that I could visit about this. That part is hard also. So many just want to push it all aside and say “be grateful what you have.” Finding contentment took some time.

One more year of this ITP thing and two more possible miscarriages were yet to come. If only I knew then what I know now…

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain…” (I Timothy 6:6). This verse would echo through my mind so much. After this season, we left our house in the country for town dwelling. That did not last very long. The inability to see the seasons and the crops in the field brought on a whole set of emotions that I did not know existed. I was a “farm” girl stuck in town. We also had a dig Lady that simply was not happy as a city dweller. She had so much energy. So… we made a decision that would alter the course of life dramatically…