For bitter or for sweet

The long and short of it all…

This blog was suppose to be published in June, as we celebrated 29 years of marriage.I should not be so bold to say celebrate. Actually we spent the week waiting for the arrival of our second grand baby. At the time we were still guessing wether he would be a boy or a girl. Boy, some of us were wrong!

Twenty nine years is significant in some ways. Many people don’t make it through the adulting of their children. Either by illness or divorce. This year the month concluded with news that indeed was the case for some people we knew. Divorce. Our hearts were broken for the friend. And especially because the news took two years to reach us.

“For better or for worse, for bitter or for sweet, in sickness and in health, until death do we part…”. Does anyone even make this kind of a vow anymore? It seems the whole of world thinks the rose bushes no longer have thorns. I am glad that my daughter has such a bush right out her kitchen entrance. Every time they leave and come back to the house, it is visible and during the summer on full display.

Marriage is work. And it takes two. So many are disillusioned by the pursuit of happiness they forget the true purpose of marriage. Here is the jist of what we believe: marriage is a reflection of Christ and the Church. Marriage is so that the onlookers will know that the Lord is God. Marriage is so that each partner has an opportunity to learn the value of unconditional love.

Unconditional.

For bitter or sweet, I love and serve the needs of another. It’s up to me to make the bitter sweet. Like making chokecherry jelly. Those little berries have got to be the most bitter things (buffalo berries are pretty bad too). When we are handed a pail of these cherries, it might take the whole bag of sugar to make them sweet. Roll up you shirt sleeves, gather up your best character values and make some jelly. Be the sugar if the other partner is the berries.

Does anyone know how to become better or is the whole world just becoming more and more bitter every time things get a little difficult. Learning to do things that are hard becuase of the value of doing it. Like a marathon, life can be hard sometimes.

Marriage in the evening years.

Maybe I should not classify us in the twilight of life. But some grandparents really do see this time of life as a sunset

Last week, I made a phone call. Perhaps it was a bad decision. But we adopted a ten year old retired breeding labrador retriever. Young families with children in the house don’t want to watch a puppy grow old. Let alone, an old dog get older.

The twilight of life for a breeding dog is the pleasant years. No more working for this sweet little girl. She can laze away her days on the porch swing if she chooses to. But don’t be deceived, Eva has a lot of energy yet. The first twenty four hours her little feet did not stop once! I think she tried to smell the whole acreage.

Adopting an elderly dog has both it’s sweet parts and its bitter parts. Of course learning all of her quirks will take at least a year. The sweet part is that she is already trained to heel, follow, retrieve, and does not nip or step on your toes. She really is a good oe’ girl.

Why in the world would we get another chore? Well, doing for another is not so bad when the another is so sweet. Serving the person with an applesauce attitude is much better than serving a person with the attitude of a rotten banna. You know what I am talking about don’t you? Please don’t make me spell it all out.

Honey was absolutely sure there was no room for another dog. She has tried to be the boss of everyone since we’ve known her. She snarls at nearly every dog she meets. Even with socialization, she is not real friendly towards other dogs. To other people she is on the top of the friendliness chart. She would go home with anyone. That’s why her collar has her name and phone number on it.

Eva… our evening doggie is so subservient, it makes Honey look like shoe leather. How one dog can be soft an another like shoe leather is pretty visible quite quickly. Of course this little bulldozer does know how to crash through the thicket that has been a stand alone for over twenty years. The only think I have ever seen come out of the thicket was a cat we had once that would eat the baby bunnies. Eva went right through like a bulldozer. she is pretty thick skinned actually. And so now the lily garden has a fence around it. And she gets tied up when I am in the garden. Or there won’t be any lettuce to eat.

So when things get a little too rough for this grandma, it’s time for an iced coffee and a lazy cat on the bench. This cat is Tabitha, or Tabby for short. She is last years kitten from a neighbor. Only two of the five stayed off the road. Our house is less than 100 feet from the pavement. Some of the cats are truly suicidal. I have to feed them before taking Honey fo a run or bike ride. But now the old mama cat had six kittens this spring and four of them are orange. Might have to come up with some new names that mean orange or maybe just the names of the oranges, like tangelos, nectarines, cuties, and mandarins? Do we have the right lifestyle to adopt another dog? We had all of the accommodations. Our kennel outside sat empty and there were plenty of leashes around here to hook up another walker. Right lifestyle or not, there are some things that change. For instance who is feeding who when? And perhaps we could use another walk at the state park nearby.
Affording the change? Well, she’s pretty small and there’s not much hopefully to anticipate for her needs. But just a week or so ago, at my annual physical, my doctor told me that I could afford a lifestyle change.

Really she said just that. Okay, maybe it was “your cholesterol ranks a little high and you could get those numbers down with diet and exercise.” I heard, “you are getting a little fat, this weight gan cna be reversed by taking up rowing,m running, weightlifting and it would be best to remove all the seet tasty treats in your life and eat just rabbit food. You know at your age you could afford to make a lifestyle change!”

Doctors never make those calls. It is always the nurse. She was mean. I knew all that just by lookin in the mirror. That’s wjy I avoid looking!

Twisting the facts a bit is not really telling a fib now is it? i just turned her bitteersweet news into a more audible warning. Twisting my nose would have been just as effective.

Eva and I have a lot in common actually. I’m pretty set in my ways at this point in life also. I can relate to the few extra pounds that one puts on after going into menopause. I know what it’s like to have habits that drive me to do things a certain way. But I refuse to a be a bulldozer into other peoples thoughts or lives. Hopefully, we can be sweet enough that the chokecherry jelly will turn out to be great syrup for pancakes. Just have to use more sugar I guess.

Place

Purple blanket in the grove

From this place in my grove, I can see a linear view of beautiful purple flowers. The wind did not ravage them much. They have dressed our grove in a blanket of lilac that can not be captured adequately.

Today the breeze demands a cup of iced latte under the deck umbrella. From this place on the deck, the world seems fair and beautiful. The wind is my friend on such a heated summer day.

The flowers are here. How do the June bugs know that it is June? How do those purple flowers in the grove know when to bloom? I wish I could share the families funeral flowers with you. My husband’s great grandma (I think) picked them from a cemetery or got them from a funeral. When they finally wilted from their viewing, she threw them out into the trees to compost naturally. She did not know that we would enjoy them for generations to come. While the lilac bushes and trees grow old of root, the beautiful funeral flowers bloom year after year. From this place on the forested floor, they gain nutrients and are regenerated constantly.

June flowers may not be the calendar normal, but because I was a June bride, I don’t seem to mind looking for a flower or two. In fact, the search for the latest bloosom drives me to keep my camera handy. The other evening on our anniversary we took a stroll around the yard to find all of the flowers that were in full array. No need to bring home some from the flower shop.

Anniversary presents come in so many different fashions. We received two very wonderful cards from some wonderful people. The excessive heat for early summer was a bit much. But the funeral flowers blanketing the grove were the best. From this place, it felt like a special greeting card from the relatives no longer with us. His grandmother’s blessing upon our special day.

The bird song is continuoys even in the high heat of late spring sunshine. My husband has become quite the bird watcher during these pandemic days. Being home more, means he gets to put out song bird grains and find a finch block to put their orange on. This morning while I listen to the symphony I am thankful that someone can see the birds for me. No need to see the dove. She is loud enough for me to invision with grand imagination!

The cat wanders under my chair every few minutes to tell me she is here. Her tail tickles my leg then out of the corner of my eye I see she and the dog are nuzzling noses. I am okay with having my two kittens outdoors. At least in the summer days I can pet a soft fur buddy when I want to. These two are such entertainers. And they have stayed away from the cars and the road.

The crunch of gravel under tires tells me that the engine whirl is the post lady pulling into the driveway. We share greetings while the I remind the dog that she does not have time for frisbee. We laugh and comment on the heat of the day. Though the wind whips hair strains into my face, I am grateful for the peaceful exchange.

The climate of our nations gatherings seems less peaceful than ever. I am asking our Lord for His intervention every time that I think of it. My life has really taught me that protest has no response. It’s best just to make cookies or do something nice for a nighbor. From this place it looks as if the whole world has gone mad.

Beauty of beholding…

These flowers above are growing under the trees that once held the fort. The fort that my kids and their puppies spend a lot of hours looking… Looking at what I do not know. If it is a clear day, they could see their cousins place just three miles as the crow flies to the northeast. The platform up in the trees was not much to look at, but it was a great place to lie on your back and behold the skyline. From this place, the boards ridges felt hard, the shadow of the waving trees seemed to massage away stress. They say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Sometimes we say that in reference to a child, or family member. But lately I think God is saying that of his image bearers. Watching the news and the behavior of persons letting rage and anger be their dictator makes me want to cry. Surely such ugly feelings should not be allowed to have reign over us. Does anyone know what self control is anymore?

Behold the beauty of the heavens, the splendor of the oceans. Consider the depths of the human spirit and find beauty in another’s eyes. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Take some time to behold the beauty around you today. Look into another person’s life and find hope the bursts forth into a smile!

Little Shadows

Strength and energy

The energy and exuberance of little ones is sometimes overwhelming, sometimes joy filling, and sometimes simply beautiful. This morning as I reflect back on the past week, my Lord brought me to a passage in I Chronicles 16. Here Kind David is celebrating the return of the ark of the Lord to Israel. In the chapter there are several noteworthy considerations.

“To each was given a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins,” verse 3. In celebrations with large crowds, it’s usually just one person who is the center of all the attention receiving the gifts. Here in the return of the ark, it is the entire assembly who receives the celebratory brat in the bun, and fruit cake. This week our nation found ways to celebrate the high school graduates in this unprecedented times. Gone were the backyard barbecues of previous siblings. Gone were the crowds cheering the flying hats.

But my little grand daughter celebrated two years old in her own fashion. A few balloons and the grandeur of up and down action, soon had her hollering “Weehoo!” Each and every time the balloon flew up into the air at the hoist of her little arms, she cheered the flight of the pink balls filled with air. Until just a few days later she learned how to volley the balloons and keep them from touching the floor. Her simple joy and energy to play the whole day with four little balloons delighted my soul. This is true joy!

“To invoke, to thank and to praise the Lord,” verse 4 the appointment of the ministers. This verse tells the purpose of ministerial calling. In these uncertain times and the canceling of all gatherings and large group socials, our pastoral caretakers have taken a very differing approach to the viral disorder in the world. Some proclaiming the end of times, some changing all of their focus to the moment, others grieving the loss of community and the attempt to gather through social media platforms. Church has become a completely different body. As a church musician and through the years as a teacher, and now as a “time abundant” prayer warrior, I find it my call also to pray for others, to thank God for his provisions, and to praise the Lord for all that He is doing. Opening our eyes to the new reality of families, singles,, widows and orphans is just as important today as it was before Corona virus 19. We still have people who need each other, and people who need Jesus more than ever.

“First appointed that thanksgiving be sung,” verse 7 tells of David’s appointment to Asaph and the musicians. Even in times such as these, there are those who find ways to get their song sung. Listening to the music of pandemic expressions, I find both those who continue in the sinful, selfish ways, and those who use their talents to help others. The goal is not just to fill the silence that being isolated creates. Rather we are to sing thanksgiving to the Lord. Finding Christian musicians who are doing just that is not always easy. I am so thankful for the technology we have today. I can listen to the music of the past through so many means. Today’s musicians have no excuses in giving glory to the God of all these abilities.

David’s song of thanksgiving contains one of my favorite verses. Verse 11, “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually!’ We have been working very hard at keeping our doodle dog home. We hired a runner to come once a week, we bought bacon flavored toothbrushes bones, we play frisbee even while doing yard work. So far we managed to keep her from running away for nearly eleven days straight. As a person going bling, having the presence of my dog continually nearby is very beneficial. I never really know when her alert nature will be of service to me. But being able to just call out her name and have her immediately by my side is pretty amazing. Out little grand daughter is also learning the value of “Come.” But alas, for her it is not a simple command to the the receivers ears. It is a request. As her mamma’s second expectancy nears completion, the request for momma “Come” does not always recive the expected “coming” that her little ears want to hear.

Praise the Lord that His presence is always continually near. In fact the Bible often uses the words, close at hand to describe the Lord. This verse is one that I have shared with several this week. Praying that my loved ones will know the presence of a God so close at hand, so always, and continually present in their lives. Being alone much these last two months has led to some very sad endings for so many people during this present health crisis. Oh, how I pray that you will seek the Lord and His strenght and His presence continually in your life these days and always.

Verse 36, “Then all of the people said, AMEN! And praised the Lord.” These days our church and another have teamed up to do drive in service for church. The praise above “And all of the people said Amen” does not ring through my head without the constant beeping of many car horns. Before this virus hit the land, the sound of a car horn ususally meant an angry person at a stop light, or rather green arrow. People used the horn to express impatience and frustration. Today, we use it to express gratitude to our healthcare workers. It is used to shout solidarity with graduates, and birthday well wishes. The car horn is now the sound of an AMEN at our drive in church services.

Just this week, my son in law leaned a rough lesson on the parroting power of little tongues. Thank goodness I was not party to the expression. But a little two year old can be a shadow of parents whether we know it or not. Praise God that with some mild coaching she will forget the phrase of word nearly as quickly as she learned it. I will never forget my own lesson in such shadowing behavior by my young daughter. Little shadows though not identical to the larger figure still do a pretty good rendition. It all teaches us that others are always watching. But more importantly, our Father in heaven looks down upon the children of men, seeking for those who bring him pleasure. May we be the one to whom the Lord says, “Well done!”

And all the people said. “BEEP! BEEP!”

At new crossroads

Stop doing, start being

One month passed so quickly. For a whole month now the world is in park. The trains, planes, boats, buses, automobiles and even the stock market skidded to a halt. The busy business of human doings is at a cross roads. And so how are you fairing? Not everyone has a country dwelling to go hide from the pandemic. How am I doing at BE-ing?

The first week of quarantine began with the weekend of our little visitor. She tried so hard to be “boss” of our three year old doodle. She stayed for a couple of nights. We had a family supper in conclusion. I spent a day or two cleaning up the house and child proofing for a toddler. It was the beginning of such cleaning habits. My husband went from meetings between manufacturing plants canceled to packing his desk up and bringing work home. Still much doing in our lives. I cleaned up the kitchen and made room for him. We had no idea how much of our activities were shared with the whole world. I learned how to BE quiet during those endless conference calls.

The second week, we made the decision to limit our get togethers. We will only see our grand-daughter and parents every two weeks. We have only outdoor meetings with neighbors or other relatives. This keeps distancing appropriate. It also limits house cleaning to just our own traffic. We are so thankful for the video calling options available to us. We had our first family “conference” call on zoom. Some of the family has escalated anxiety. I began counseling myself to deal with my own losses. BEing more sedentary has led to some weight gains. We added lettuce and spinach to our shopping lists.

we rested more with the stillness of life. The weather was rather nice. We were able to take walks together and watch spring trying to awaken the grass, the trees, and the birds come back. We took a few drives to see the fields and the rivers. Taking in the local views helped us mentally process the global effect of this world pandemic. How do we process all of this new information. My counsel session was riddled with new homework to help me sleep at night. So far the best help is the melatonin. It takes such a minimal amount for me to sleep through the night. I am down to a quarter pill. It seems almost silly when it is such a small amount. But sleep improves my mood more than counseling. We had a short visit with our daughter one evening on the sidewalk. And ate lunch with the other daughter and family the day before Easter. BEing apart from family for so long is hard. But we say a prayer for those who have lost loved ones in recent days without the proper fair-wells.

Week four of this corona virus 19 unleashed, and we are now paying close attention to people in the plant or community spread possibilities. Through this past month, I am cleaning more frequently. Especially when new items come into the house, either by shopping or by shipment. My hands are getting use to being dry all day and rejuvenated with lotion at bed time. Allergy season is upon us here. Every sniffle or sneeze sends us running to the medicine chest to stop the symptoms. BEing overly cautious about everything that we do.

Holy Week 2020 will never be forgotten. We celebrated Maunday Thursday at our own supper table with our Pastor serving the elements of communion via video. It was all so surreal. The weather was nice up until Easter Sunday. With five inches of snow that is still lingering, the cold is not very welcomed. My mind raced through the Narnia scenes of winter and a cold hearts. The Lord’s command to BE HOLY because our God is holy has been echoing through my mind. All this hand washing reminds me that my heart will never be clean enough for a righteous and holy God.

Easter Sunday services, dinners, and get togethers all canceled was also surreal. Not going to church seemed easier with the snow blowing around outside. Our own lunch turned into just a fish sandwich which was rather disappointing. My emotions were all over the place that day. At times I was happy and content, and at other times I was jealous and angry. It was a battle all day to keep myself in check and know that everyone was dealing with the same things. I am so thankful that my parents are still here to remind me of life’s important lessons. My mother sent a text Easter Sunday reading “though my sins be as scarlet, He shall wash me white as snow.” Amen! I am BEing sanctified for God’s purpose daily.

Just like that four weeks have past in quarantine. Here in the midwest social distancing is a little easier because there are so many miles between all of us. We fight fear each time we shop for necessities or it’s my husband’s day to be in the plant. We grip tightly to our faith and attend every meeting that our Pastor sets up for us all. Praise God that we live for another to day to give Him glory. And we seek His grace in showing us how to extend mercy to those in our lives who do not know His love.

These uncertain times have turned us all into anxious beings. Finding peace in Christ and the promises of God keep us sane. This is so difficult to explain. When we don’t understand all that is happening around us. The world offers us so many empty promises, but God offers us His Son Jesus and promises based on an empty tomb. What hope!

I hope that I am BEing a better Human Being. I am learning that doing does not have to be just a “busy” bustling about to make the days pass. I am thinking more about how I am BEing with others rather than DOing all the time. BEing loving, merciful, kind, gentle, hopeful, and happy is definately not based on circumstances now!

A new decade

Not for me…

A new decade brings to the speakers and columnists a challenge of the millennia. One that I did not necessarily like to hear. These will be the first words of the new year, the new decade. Once published they will be out there for everyone to read. Like the feathers of the proverbial puppy pillow. Just try to get them all collected. Just try.

Well, for me half the month passed and the holiday season long ago, I still cannot find the feathers that would best stuff this pillow. If it were only to be a pillow, I think that an easier task. Many days come and go with yet no words, and the day is gone to me. I wonder if perhaps some saying that I heard as a child is actually true.

“Choose your words wisely

for there are only so many words alotted to your tongue

and when those words are all used up,

there will be none.”

Of course, I don’t really believe that exactly any more than I only have so many steps in this life. Do I believe my days are numbered…? Well, let’s not go too deeply into the hairs upon my head, and that also God has just so many for me. Yes, but perhaps going back to the words is safer. It is all just too confusing. And deep.

This year at the dawn of the new decade, we once again neglected to make solid resolutions that would soon be broken. Instead, I chose to focus once again on my prayer life and the purpose of praying scripture into people’s lives.

The Christmas giving came and went with some disappointment but mostly counting the blessings of each giver. Having little people to share gifts with is more fun than the practical gifts given to the adult peoples. Their joy and pleasure is so contagious. (As was the seasonal flu for some relatives.)

Now marches in the cold wintery new year with it’s constant drifts of white snow. The deck sweeping and snow shoveling is consistent or the postal mail server leaves large print notes in the mailboxes that say SHOVEL. Out here in the country we are trying hard not to curse the snow plow driver for his deliberate hit on our mailbox. The thing is our mailbox is quite well constructed, so there is no fix until warmer weather arrives. The welding joints will have to wait for spring. For now, an industrial magnet holds unto the mail inside.

We sat down just before the new year to praise God for all of His answered prayers from the previous year. I will continue my “prayers in the bottle” process this new year. It sure reminds us of God’s ever present comfort and guidance when we look back over the requests.

And now on to the next year.

Plillipians 4:6 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. And the following verse I prayer for all my readers. That in so doing verse six, the “peace of God which passes all understanding” would be the guardian of your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus of whom we name our year. This the year of your Lordtwo thousand and twenty.

Stocking shelves

Finding the larder lacking…

Now thar’s an ol’ saying ye don’ hear tell much anymawr!

I just finished listening to a “Dandy Gilbert Mystery” and the English and Scotch brogue has stuck to me better then the clear tape I was using on the gift wrap. That thick and lazy tongue of language had me listening at top volume just to get the jist of it all. Uffdah. And there’s the Viking tongue to visit me this time of year.

Why do all the best mysteries have to have a flare of Sherlock and Holmes to them? Even the characters here are two detectives in the books. Ah, well, it ne’er make sense to anyone if they ha’n’t read the book also. On with the days

Today I am suppose to get my shelf stocking list made. The Menu for the meals written, and the last of the shopping items on a piece of paper. Yet, it feels like what I really need to do is keep cleaning the corners of my nest up. How come if we are empty nesters, do the corners of my nest keep getting filled with so much something?

Around about fourteen months ago, I decided to clean the tea cupboard and ended up breaking my foot. It’s amazing how little attention we all get for any little thing that happens. In that whole time, I only remember one person ever asking me how it was healing up. Getting a crooked back from the boot was the next most miserable thing to the break itself. Nevertheless, my foot did heal and I was able to wear the shoes that I bought for my daughter’s wedding. I am not mentioning this simply for the lack of attention, it’s just that whether we want to or not, we all take stock in the niceties that others lend us. And if other’s aren’t lending much thought… well, take stock in how much thought we ourselves offer.

Enough of the soap boxes…

Stocking shelves with whatever it is that we have this time of year is different than it use to be. I remember as a child going to the Prairie Market and getting enough boxed goods to last us four to six weeks. My dad still does the same thing. My mom does that quite a bit also. And we here can get by nearly a month sometimes with no more to purchase but milk and cheese or a bag of apples. Storing up the goods for the winter has become a lost art with the grocer just on the next convenient block over. Gas for the car, milk for the kid.

It seems the dog and cats run out of food more frequently that we do.

Back to the season at hand…

The most enjoyable stocking of shelves that I witnessed this shopping experience was a great wall of puzzles and games at the newest shopping center. It was actually very pleasant to me to see such a stock of items that required interaction amongst the purchaser or the recipient. While my eyes don’t allow me much joy for a game or even the ability to puzzle out 500 pieces, I remember the fun that we use to have and purchasing some of the stock for our own gift giving was a blast. Well, hope the kids don’t read this. Now they know what’s under the wrapping.

The shelf already stocked…

Back to the tea cabinet, I went this morning and decided the green tea that was purchased last year had finally aged enough to use. I had a cup of peach green tea, and then later a cup of ginger green tea. I do like my ginger root. It’s still my favorite. I also pulled out past Christmas tea cups and hot mugs to use this time of year. I don’t know why, but we become such creatures of habit that I use my D handled mugs the most and forget about those old gifts from such thoughtful others.

The presents are not all wrapped. The three lists have been avoided long enough. My cup of tea is nearly empty. And Christmas is less than a week away. It will be a busy week and half and then the new year upon us. I started some writing plans for the new year. Why we do this kind of planning is sometimes a mystery to me. But I still do it nonetheless.

So this years work has been established, next years plans about to be made. And the delivery man just placed four boxes on the front deck for me to take care of. The larder in this situation is “things to write about.” The lacking at this moment is “thoughts of any substantial benefit to others.” And the shelves are all stacked in someone elses’ favor, i am sure. Oh, well.

There is actual work to be be had. Writing will keep until the next free time I have to sit in this chair.

Merry Christmas to all! And thanks for the noticing, Haha!

Stuff in the Stocking

Whimsy elf stocking hat

Waiting for another round of snow to blast away any holiday plans, I decided to crochet a whimsy elf stocking cap. So I looked up a few patterns, then did it my own way. The stuff in this stocking hat is a little different than the stuff under another’s hat. Here are the boring crochet details…

This has to be may favorite hat yet! The Elf hat crocheted in a totally new fashion. All the other patterns that I found had such large stitch designs. This one is done from brim to tip. The single crochet ribbing on the brim is down by working each row on the back loop. For this hat I did eight stitches per row. Then sewing the brim together at the desired head circumference, the hat body is begun with continuous rounds. The moss stitch is what I chose for the elf hat’s body. It is my favorite”warm” hat stitch lately. After doing thirteen rounds with no decrease stitches, the rest of the hat was done with a decrease every 25, 50, and 75 stitches. No real consistency, just gradually making the point appear. I finished the tip with more decreases at just eight stitches on the round. And added a tassle with the remaining twenty inches of yarn. Not a lot of guess work. And now this elf is ready to think about Christmas after Thanksgiving has been completed.

Now that I got all that our of my system. I am happy to see my “old” yarns stash dwindling. Until we went shopping the other evening and bought some cake yarns. Oh, well. I am trying to be diligent at cleaning up my unfinished projects.

Givng thanks for the ability that I have to whittle away the time by helping my fingers dance with a crochet hook.

We have learned that this energetic doodle could care less for creature comforts. We got a goot sale on the bed that she won’t stay upon all night. It still often wakes me to hear her flopping from one surface onto another. Of course the bed that she chose was rather large and we still have not found a good resting place for it. We have to move it to get into the closet because the door swings into the room. I think moving the hinges to the other side is an easy fix, but apparently I know nothing about carpentry. Sliding doors would be helpful in our small hallway house, but that hasn’t happened yet either.

Giving thanks for a warm roof overhead and a house that suits our purposes. Even if the dog won’t live up to our expectations of a “working” class mutt.

My husband put up our Christmas tree early this year. With my eyesight reduced to looking down points of a cone shape (never mind the reference to the hat shape above) it gets more and more difficult to get the decorations on the whole of the tree. Too many times they would end up all in the same area. I think he did a marvelous job with my tutelage. I was a good teacher wasn’t I? Everyone is having a fit about the trees up before the Thanksgiving holiday is complete. But this year it is so late that one month from today is actually Christmas Eve. I nee all the help I can get to get in the mood for the holiday shopping. (Everyone knows how much I love shopping.)

Gving thanks for my dear hubby who does ALL of the shopping in our lives now. He even takes instruction of yarn type and color. Now, if I can just get the list texted to him before the end of the work days that he wants to eat gas station pizza for supper. Haha.

This year I don’t think the Christmas letters will get the attention I use to give them. The news except for the news about my kids, is rather doldrum. Funny how life gets a bit that way in the “empty nest” phase. Pictures tell more than words at this stage of the game. So perhaps a picture card will have to suffice.

Giving thanks for my lovely daughters, their loving husbands, and my granddaughter. We are so blessed to have celebrated my dad’s eightieth birthday, an aunt’s 75th birthday, my in laws 60th wedding anniversary, and to hear my baby sister has entered motherhood and is expecting a wee one next spring.

My month of November was taken up with a study of the book of Psalms with one of my favoite radio preachers. Many of the Psalms that he focused on were one of my favorite passages also. My cousin and I have had some blessed spiritual conversations the last month and I am so thankful for my answered prayers in her life and having someone to talk to about my Lord’s presence in my life.

Giving thanks for sisters in Christ and the challenge to be more like Him. We all need that reminder that others are watching us to see how our faith holds up. Just remember that even when we fail, God’s faithfulness to us is not dependent on our faith in Him. God is always faithful.

Psalm 108:3-4 “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”

P>S> The snow arrived in the night. All 4 inches of fluffy white stuff.

What next?

The crochet hook moves on…

Perhaps switching to a different thread number for crochet was not such a good idea. Especially since now the newest doily that I finished did not fit on the blocking wheel that I have. The thought never occurred to me that the doily once complete would be too large for the board. Now what?

Maybe I need a bigger blocking board.

Maybe I should quit doing doilies for a time.

Perhaps, it’s better off not mentioned that I made so many mistakes in the pattern. I am not exactly pleased with my failure on this project. Not sure why counting has becoem such a difficult thing. Distraction seems to lurk around every bend.

So this past week I comforted myself under the lightweight log cabin afghan. It’s super easy design and double crochet stitch let me watch another movie or two. I also began a very riveting English murder mystery in my Talking Book Listening. I am fascinated that all the best murder mysteries happen in London or such. It must be the language difficulty, I mean the difficulty of listening to that broken tongue that keeps us so befuddled. The Lap-Ghan turned out very warm and cozy. And now it’s time to get some other loose yarn projects cleaned up around here. The next log cabin lap-ghan will be of a much better color scheme.

These two little hats, well, actually they are too large for my head, did not take more than a few hours. Making a warm stoking hat at the onset of winter wonderland weather is always fun. They turned out quite charming. The lefties of yarn can really make an adorable project if I can plan it properly. The prime colors hat has a new rib stitch that I learned one day while crocheting away on the lap-ghan.

The move that I watched this week of some report was found on Amazon primes kid friendly and family genre. “33 Postcards” turned out to be quite the tear jerker. Needless to say I watched it the one day the moisture was up to 89% and the drizzle made my nose drop incessantly inspite of the sad/happy film. The idea that just having sponsored a child in an orphanage could change the heart of a prison inmate was quite distracting to my stitch counting.

Perhaps there are more yarn projects buried away in the cabinets and baskets than I imagined. The ideas keep coming. The season marches on towards the holiday run. With family gatherings, food preparations, and decorating, who knows what crochet hooks will be kept occupied at this house. The days the phone rings and I am called away from the monotony of endless hook movements is perfectly alright by me. Somedays I make the calls myself and put them on speaker phone so that my fingers can stay busy. Other days I force myself out of the easy chair and clean up the house after the dog just to get some exercise.

Can’t wait for the warmer sunny day to use one of those hats and take a walk!

Coming of age

And suddenly the next

She sits in her easy chair after an early morning run. Next to her rests the softest doodle dog she has ever known. The furry being warms her chilled legs as she sips her second creamed coffee.

Another sits in her rolling kitchen chair and scraps up the recent calamity from the floor. Almost doing a head stand she remembers the days when summersaults and touching toes was fun. Now the imagination takes her to a more difficult position. What if she were to sprawl on the floor and not beable to reach the phone? Perhaps she should just slide the mess into the dustpan and leave the rest for the sweeper.

And yet another rides in the back of the old wagon. She grips the sides with her miniature hands. The bumpy ride makes her blink and whence. Until she realizes that her feet can help hold her in the seat also. Eventually her lips smirk in pleasure. Her eyes twinkle with the thrill of each rough jolt. Gradually the joy of her freedom to sit unstrapped allows her to babble and blurt “bumpity, bumpity, bump, bump!” What joy as she comes of age.

Coming of age is a reflective statement. It tells the listener that someone has realized her own existence. It is a “now” experience. The one who comes has discovered what it means to be in the moment. In the now.

In today’s climate so many people are living such a virtual existence that every waking moment is interjected with the “projected” lives of people on social media. People who unleash from those inputs can find a real peace and serenity. There are few such holy moments in life. Weddings, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, and once in a while a celebration of sorts are great moments to unplug and experience life’s reality.

When we do finally take time to just listen, or go fishing, or breath the roses life is special.

Yet another woman comes of age as she holds a fish in mid air. Just the fact that she removed the hook from the fishes mouth makes her hand on to the moment a little while longer. She is brave. The smell of the water as the sun’s beams bounce off the surface has been burned into her memory. The way the water sprays into the air as the fish dives down into the murky water. There is life down there. There is life up here. On the dock, she feels that loose board squeak under foot. This is life. She has come of age.

And yet another offers up a knowing wink to her grandfather as they wait in the patient holding area. They have arrived at the appointment for her grandma nearly an hour early. The “silver hair gets in early” card may not work today. The doctor they are to see had an early surgery day and will be a few minutes late. He is working them into his schedule. But the young lady waits with her family patiently. She pulls out a game on her cellphone that does not require much though. That way she can listen to everyone’s conversation and interject her own comments as needed. She is glad to be of help. To be here to drive or just sit and wait with them. She, too, has come of age.

Coming of age…

Knowing the moment that is lived right now cannot be re-done. There is no going back. Only forward movement is possible. Life moves day by day, moment by moment. As suddenly the next year has come… Suddenly the next age is here. Like the little five year old going on six, forward motion continues.

The other day while riding through the local nature park, we watched a turkey hen try to dash into the underbrush. The forward drive of her head acted like a pendulum to get the rest of the body into motion. The turkey has such a regal pose, it was comical to watch the jerky motion of her strut. Understanding the pendulum motion of her forward strut, brought us to consider the forward motion of life. Like the pendulum that swings the hands of the clock ever around the face of time, coming of age propels each one towards the next.