Blooming where they are planted

A number of years ago, I saw a saying that I adopted as my motto: “Bloom where you are planted”. Sometimes I may feel like an uprooted marigold struggling to rediscover my water source. For the past four years, I stretched my green thumb to the limit. There were times I felt like giving up on the whole garden thing. When we finally discovered the power of blue dawn dish soap to keep many pests at bay, I am no longer afraid to use it liberally. So while this blog could be titled “Flowers Galore”. I chose to remind myself that “Blooming where God has planted me” is in the best interest of my soul, spirit, mind, and body.

The past week was full with special need prayer requests. I think I filled a prayer slip out every day to put in my little jar of prayers. I do this so that at the end of the year we can look back and see how God answered our every need. This week the supplications were all outside of our immediate family. From wee babies to adults with numerous grand children, we laid our requests upon the Lord, thanking Him in advance for each response.

We tackled a couple small projects, but mostly spend the evenings weeding the garden. I really do have to sprinkle some more weed-be-gone on the walkways. A few places that I used it, there was no difference. Gavin says the seed or root was already germinated. I’ll try to keep up. Maybe.

The Butterfly Shape garden displayed it’s first bloom yesterday! Yay! According to the package, it is a giant dinner plate dahlia. So far the only thing giant about it is the height. We raised the automatic “cat sensor” sprinkler in the air on a tomato cage wire because of this plant. The bold burgundy color is a bright spot for sure. The bottom wings did not produce any of the bulbs that I planted. So I seeded in some more variety. After the water system has been set up, now I can plant some personals again. First, I am going to lay out some chicken wire to keep out my furry diggers. Bugger.

My little grand son is learning to blow kisses. How sweet! But not so sweet when his hand is full of sand at the park’s volleyball court. Aww, mommy, that was mean…. I was impressed with his ability to walk just as he expected. He had to show me all his fancy moves this last week’s visit. His sister is learning how “not” to run past him and knock him off balance with her speed.

We mortared the fire pit blocks together in the original spacing this week. Don’t ask us to lay a brick house or chimney. We are pretty sloppy brick layers. I can’t imagine how those people do this for a living. Our “cookie dough” worked. And the result’s have not been tested again. Maybe tonight. This Independence Day Weekend might give us a chance to sit around the fire some evening. I also have plans to do some yummy snacks and foods on the coals. My husband made me a little snowman to add to my collection. I told him to make Olaf, but it’s just three little cement cookie dough’s stacked up!

The spill over flower bed is full of poppies and the other day there were a dozen early morning blooms to greet me. That day of course, I did not have my camera. This morning a put the left over bricks from the fire pit on the outer edge to remind hubby not to mow them off. I keep pulling the weeds out, and the poppies just multiply better than weeds. There are a couple other wild flowers in there also.

The flowers in the greenhouse are still gorgeous. These little black eye Susan’s are from the “viability” sowing way back in February. At least we knew what the ones in the Butterfly Shape should look like then! The potatoes in the compost bin will have to come out this weekend. I might even begin later today. The plants are starting to die back. They bloomed a few weeks ago. Oh, well. The Black eye Susan’s are blooming! Along with the geraniums galore, the pansies that did not get a home, and the wintered over petunia’s that hit me in the face as I enter. Soon the figs will be ready. We are checking daily.

The Butterfly tire finally recovered from the drought last year. I ended up watering twice daily for awhile to get some more plants to rise up. It does not need reseeding as all the wildflowers are perennials. I should have put some chicken wire in it before things sprouted as the cat dug a few bare spots. With the growth and blooms soon there will be no evidence of any holes though. It gets pretty crowded. Thus the “spill over flower bed” on the ground to the southwest of the tire. Big fat smiley face insert!

I achieved the patriotic look that I was aiming for. The flag is new as our old one sprung a moth hole. The red geranium was quite weak the first month with all the wind and lost a few longer stems. But it has toughened up and looks amazing. Happy Independence Day to all of our USA friends and relatives. To my other world readers, we think of you all often during the pandemic health scare. I took my vaccine as soon as I could. Go get one yourself!

Once upon a summer

Writing on a blank slate is not something that today’s children even understand. Recently I watched a cheaply done movie about a young aritist and a young musician. They had many discussions about working with a purpose in mind. Purpose to them meant selling a message, or telling a message. Most of the movie was meant for a pre-teen audience with it’s focus on moral right and relationship building. The movies had a decent enough platform and did get the point across to question what we do on a daily basis as part of a larger purpose. A couple of time’s I though about the generation predecessor of the great war causes (like WWI and WWII).

Once upon a summer, I buried a pail of cherry pits in a hole, covered it with the dirt and this little tree emerged. I cannot recall whether this summer of ago was the pits but I do remember putting the pits in the hole. In fact, there were three others that produced a little tree. The cherry pits came from Great-Grandpa’s tree just outside our bedroom window.

How is it the summers become blurry in our memory? Summers with children and family are busy times. Summers are for vacations and going places. When the kids have gone and the spouse has a job we find our own ways to make summer busy. Even people who work, and garden, find summer crowded with activity

As a child the emptiness of summer was no problem. The fact that the daus go by ever too quickly and soon the vacation days are over made me long for afternoons. After school book diving became my pleasure. Today, I still find it easy to bury myself in the sands of a really good book. Days speed righ by when a good book is taking us out to another world.

Cherry picking and pitting time is a very busy time and a bit messy. This summer I’m hoping the cherries are right before we want to go on vacation. It seems that the two-day window for picking time lands on the wrong weekend every year. Last summer we got back to them too late. The red juiciness were drying on the tree already

With the windbreak all prepared for growing, we can focus on other things now. Like the garden’s weeds that went out of control. And there is a blank slate spot in the “east of the barn” area that needs to be planted yet. I have some flower packets, and more carrots to plant.

Imagination is the ability to create something out of nothing. I had fun playing pretend “drinking” with my grand daughter one afternoon. She ran to fetch me a drink of water from her play kitchen, only to have me declare that it was “juice” or “vinegar” or some other incredulous liquid besides water. The play went on for nearly a half an hour until she insisted that “apple juice” was better than water. I was finally satisfied with my drink and said “Oh, thank you!”d

The enjoyment of imagination can turn the wrong direction quickly. Like this morning when I was up on in the dark barn to take this picture, and something was hissing at me. Pretty sure it was a possum. I don’t any cats that hiss at me. Well, I managed to take my picture, and then skedaddled back down the stairs.

So, how does your imagination work for you? Do you take a skein of yarn and make something band new? Do you enjoy gardening and watching thins grow? How about those dark places where things make noises at you? Why don’t you take a blank slate and create something enjoyable today!

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)

Another update

Okay now I really don’t like my word press blog site. They updated it again! AND I really hate change. The whole look and the way I want to write has been changed. So, yep I once again am completely hampered by the change.

This block editing is totally not my style. Not sure that I have a style, but this is definitely not it. I think of myself as a semi-professional writer. Maybe I am an amuteur at web paging, but writing is something I am suppose to enjoy. Insert emoji loudly screaming baby face!!!

So along with this unwelcome change, life moves on. April showers were non-existent but May flowers are still blooming. There has been some rain in the last week enough to chase the drought away. But if you dig down six inches in our garden, the soil is dry. Somehow the corn is up about 10 miles to the south of us.

We are in the middle of “Birthday Month.” And so that is keeping us busy with celebrations. It seems that in our family the spring really sprung! From March through June there are equal birthday numbers to the Octoberfest that slides into November.

Meanwhile, I hope that at some point I can get my blog set up back to what it was. (The change is permanent, so I have read.) I can’t even find how to add photos to the blog. My husband had to poke around for me and show me what to do. Nobody quite comprehends what screen changes do to someone with Retinitis Pigmentosia. Once that little curser runs away, there’s no hope of finding it again. The icon changes, and the like… well, I ought to quit my belly-aching and just write.

I am pretty excited about my upcoming logo design. I made a few contacts but so far no one has answered me. So I am patiently or not so patiently waiting. In a lot of ways, I feel like these three ladies in waiting. Haha.

Next time you see these two images, I hope to have the logo on the creamers at the greenhouse. They will sit in the rocks of the landscaping. The dairy cans are waiting for another coat of colored paint, but the weather has not been cooperating. I have the flowers for the top of them already also. Keeping them growing in the greenhouse has been enjoyable. I am aslo trying to figure out how to make the cans a bit more self-watering. They are so tall the bottom half does not even get used as a potting soil source. I will be filling them with riverrock.

Meanwhile… The garden has been all mapped out with the seedling plants in the greenhouse included in the key. There will be treasures galore as the summer comes on! I was also blessed to supply the Mother’s day plants to our church. The baby geraniums did very well. Of course those statrted in november did better than the February shoots. And I have some for myself that are taking their own sweet time at rooting out.

Well, there is my update. I am also putting together a song that I wrote based on Psalm 36. The melody is so catchy. I am always humming it.

The latest greenhouse project was the dinner-plate arrangements. Parsley, oregano, cilantro, chives, and basil work just as well in the planter as they do in the pantry. It’s crazy how seeds planted at the same time grow at different paces. It feels much like walking completely different dogs!

These pretty little geranium babies all found new homes on Mother’s Day. It was such a blessing to give them away. I only had a few left overs. Those are finding new homes this week as the days roll by. Soon the rest of the plant babies will all head out to the garden. The greenhouse will have to get it’s shade cloth on for the summer, so that everything does not get scorched from the heat. Judging the water needs is hard to do when there are so many different size planters and pots.

Yesterday’s tether

An asthma journal entry

When pain follows better than my shadow, the ibuprofen bottle takes a hit. I use to take one naproxime sodium every day. Then I decided to reduce all of my medications and find out what I was truly allergic to. That cost about $3,000. Thankfully we have insurance. But I am not allergic to money. If that grew on trees, it would be much better than whatever is budding right now. Between that and grass season, I may have to make some changes around here. Another week and the sneeze and wheeze will be history for a time again!

My asthma is doing much better after I found out malted milk shakes and white potato french fries were on my “no-no” list. Eating out is somewhat easier. Chocolate syrup will just have to be on it’s own in the milk from now on. Until the trees broke out in “bloom” song, my astham was at bay. Until… And to top it off, we had a bit of that badly needed moisture move through.

It just moved through. I’m not sure there was much rain in the clapping clouds. Enough to get my asthma going in the night though. Not enough for the dry land in our neck of the woods.

Yesterday has a tether on my tomorrow.

Today I am feeling the pain from too much yesterday. Anyone else get what that means? No, I do not mean that life is long. It is this “muchness” that often pulls us down. Gravity has a very downward effect. It’s that binge exercise plan that gets me every time.

How do we take the day after slower than the day before? Slowing down is just simply what comes of age, right? Yet it is not really age that makes us slow, it’s what happened the day before. Yesterday’s tether has a very long lead line into my tomorrow. Some people have arthritis. Some people have old injuries. Some people have disease. Some of us just did more than we should have. It’s that extra step that was the do-zie! Thus the slowing is much like a tether on the tomorrow.

Tethering tomorrow.

I found a leash that was still good and tied a loop in the middle. That way dog walking involves a tether. Eva is not so sure about being on the outside. But Honey gets to be the lead dog and take us both for a walk. Sometimes shopping for me is much like a tethering process. Going out and about these days with a mask on adds to the hampering of eyesights. My husband said that a few people at work had accidents the first month or so while mask wearing. With my tunnel vision, putting another barrier in the visual field makes things worse. I simply prefer not to shop. Never really liked it anyways.

Going shopping with little kids, a blind mother, and studying a phone app sounds like a recipe for disaster. Try giving a toddler a tiny basketball to hold on too. This photo opportunity was taken while I enjoyed the little gripping hands and plump little fingers holding on tight.It just seemed like the ball should have a tether on it. But it made for an interesting spectacle to see my daughter chasing after the the little round object, when shopping was the real object . This is one of my favorite pictures from the past month. I could not resist sharing it.

How does asthma feel? Asked the doctor who did not have such. And another doctor said that’s not asthma, you don’t have pain with asthma. How does he know? Once upon a time there was a television commercial that gave a little kids description of the feeling. “Like a fish out of water.” Asthma literally is oxygen deprivation. That doctor has never ran right after lunch with all of his might and then thrown up. I think that would hurt.

The first thing that tells me that I have asthma is the feeling that I just want to sleep. So I go to bed early. My heart begins to skip beats. These palpitations are not calves skipping in happiness through the spring grass. It usually catches me off guard, and then I feel nauseous or angry. (Ask anyone married to a person with a bad heart, and they will tell you their spouse gets angry without reason.). Because I want to control my fits of rage, I also want to just got to bed and leave people where they are. (If you wear strong perfume and I choose not to visit and act like I am trying to escape- it is the perfume, not you.)

Now that I have gone to bed and not taken care of the oxygen loss, the sleep hallucinations begin. Maybe they are dreams? Or maybe they are night mares. Many times the dreams are about people I have not seen in ages. So it is kind of like dreaming about the banquet hall in Heaven. Last night I saw Stene and Gladys from our home church in Minnesota. Wow! Do I ever miss their wit and wisdom. It was so exciting to see them.

Then this massive migraine hit me in the back of the head. I woke up from the feeling that my head was being used as a slam dunk object. Yeah, it hurts. I was hot or flushed much of the night, Using my inhaler there by the bed did not seem to help. I rose several times in the feeling of panic, sucking in air, and then downing cold water. That did not help much either.

Hiding under the covers all day is not really an adult option. Though I know some adults who do that. Getting up means the day has arrived. Yesterday is officially over. I am not tethered to the post at the head of the bed. Sometimes we have to do that to the dog. She does not have much “stick-to-it” with her bed at night. The wandering and the loud thump is just too distubing for a decent night’s slepp.

Never the less, the oxygen depraved migraine did not work to remind me that asthma was calling my name. There was no “lazarus come forth” moment for me. It was a phone call. The sound of my husband’s ring tone barking at me drove me out of my banqueting hall visit with all of the special people of faith that I long to see.

So today, I long for glory-land. It might be a “Gaither” kind of listening day. The Statler Brothers are another old hymn sing favorite. No death is not romantic. Death during sleep is not a wish most people receive. I am not making light of this past year when I talk about this. Falling asleep and rising up on the other side of “Joran” is not just a beautiful song that people sing about. But the asthma does bring on a lot more though about the sweet by and by than my husband wants to hear.

Asthma kind of takes the fight out of life. Asthma takes the fun out of life. Asthma takes good nights rest with it too. Asthma steals my joy for spring. Asthma takes me back to the house right after I go for a walk. Asthma sucks the air out of me bit by little bit.

Asthma is only one part of my life. It is not all of my life. Asthma is not really the enemy. Some days it sure seems that way.

And if you are a doctor that never ran until you collapsed and lost you stomach’s contents on the beach like Jonah’s whale… Well, I have news for you. Asthma hurts. And sometimes it is that little nagging nausea that tells me I better get some help or dizziness and darkness might win the race.

James 4:14 “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow, For what is you life/. It is just a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

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.

Unless the Seed Dies

Song number seven

Good Friday traditions in our area involve much about gardening. The one that sticks the most is planting the seed potatoes, onions, and asparagus. Of course many others plant radishes, lettuce varieties, and peas also. Any kind of bulb plant can be buried on Good Friday here in growing zone five with a lot of success. But most tulips, crocus, and daffodils are planted in the fall.

Why do we plant the seeda potatoes on Good Friday? The holiday follows the lunar calendar and means that the chance from hard frost before the plants peek out of the soil is not likely. But there are some very strong spiritual reasons for planting the seed potatoes on Good Friday.

Being a Christian and following the Jewish back drop to the Easter weekend holds much sway on my belief system to life and gardening. Tradition has it that the Messiah would be the final passover lamb to abolish the old system and fulfill all prophecies. The sacrificial Lamb would die and be raised on the third day, much like the story of Jonah being spit up from the belly of the great fish on the third day. The Old Testament stories and prophecies all point to Christ Jesus. I believe all of that to be true.

But why potatoes? Remembering my Irish heritage and my maternal lineage means that the potatoes were the “bread” of the land and the reason for my being on this continent. The potatoe famine sent many starving people to the New England to find new fortune. When the people settled in America that came both for the freedom of land and the freedom of religion.

Having their own gardens to plant their own potatoes was just as important as being able to go to the church of their own choosing. Planting potatoes on Good Friday symbolizes all of the family heritage that I can remember. But it also symbolizes that Christ was buried on that day for a freedom of consciousness that no one can ever make any rules against. Because of Christ I know that I will go on to eternal life with my Heavenly Father. And Praise God that for me, many of my earthly father’s will be their also.

Looking forward to Sunday, to Someday is what it is all about. We know that the cross was not the end of the story. We know that this earth is not the end of the story. Just like our hope that the potatoes will send forth a shoot out of the ground, Christ came out of the tomb. He is not there in the ground. While we may wait longer that three days to harvest the potatoes, our hope for the spuds to feed us through the winter months will be rewarded in the fall harvest time.

The title of the song lends to a sad reprise. Good Friday was a sad day for the disciples and friends of Jesus. All funerals are sad. Saying goodbye is never easy. It’s the hope of reunion that keeps us looking forward. The song uses the words of Jesus, “unless the seed dies, it will never multiply.” The passage is found in John chapter twelve.

(Here I find that in the sleeve of the CD, the passage is written as Luke chapter twelve. It is little errors like this that I feel aided the failure of the music to thrive on. Proper editing even at this insignificant level provides the dismissal of relevancy for the reader. I am sad that these errors were not noticed.)

What makes a funeral procession remembered as Good? Has anyone ever commented on the goodness of a funeral? Yet we remark on the Friday of our Lord’s crucifixion and burial as Good! Sunday. Easter Sunday! The answer is the resurrection.

Potatoes, onions and asparagus are now in the ground on our acreage. Once again we are growing food that we do not eat that much of, but the kids will take the potatoes. The onions will go in the salsa, and the asparagus will go in the freezer. We do eat that.

New hats, new shoes, and new dresses might not only be for the children at Easter. All those potatoes make little bodies grow up taller, so the new dress-ware is welcome for the little boy whose pants are far above the ankles by spring time. At some point I will have to go into the storage containers to find all of the hats from Easter past. I am rather sad that Easter hats are not “welcome” anymore. They are my favorite spring thing. Now-a-days I just wear a baseball hat all the sunshine season. Maybe I’ll find myself a new “garden” hat this year, Complete with a tie to keep it away from the wind! Haha.

Sunrise services for Easter Sunday have gone out of style. Today the breakfast, baptisms and singing is all rolled up into one service. People don’t sit still as long anymore. Half the service is done standing. Yet Easter Sunday is still my favorite Sunday at church of the whole year.

Remember the leavening? Okay some people don’t even know what I am talking about because they have never made bread. But the idea behind yeast and bread rising goes right along with the story of Easter. Without the leavening, the bread is flat. It you bake the bread before it has a chance to raise. (In a hurry, like the passover celebration was done because they were packing up to leave Egypt the next day).you will have flat-bread.

Some people make flat bread on purpose. My husband’s family has a traditional Christmas flat-bread. My daughter taught us how to make pita bread for gyros. But back to the lesson at hand. We made “Resurrection Rolls” this year for our family gathering. The baking powder biscuit bread is not allowed to rise, but rolled out in sheets like the cloth that was used to roll up the dead. (Jesus was wrapped with linen cloths by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arymithea). Then we take a pure white marshmallow,baptize it in water, roll it up with spices, and wrap it up with the dough. All the symbolisms of Christ life, baptism, death and burial. The quick bread is put into the oven (tomb) and baked for 12 minutes. The delicious roll is devoured after a short stroll outdoors. Symbolizing the run to the tomb on Sunday morning by the disciples. Of course one person is left to guard the tomb and take the rolls out when the timer rings.

The empty roll is a favorite of every one in the family. The sweet cinnamon treat is such a good reminder of all that life with Jesus as Savior has to offer us.

Baking these resurrection rolls as a family is going to be one of our family traditions. This year our little two going on three grand-daughter got to help with the making of the rolls. I am so glad that I insisted we make the rolls as a family and read the Bible story from the book of John.

When I wrote this song, miscarriages had become a fact in my life. The dream to have more children and raise children of faith was a hope that I coveted. The thought that because I had ITP, my body would begin to turn against me and my dreams of more children was so devastating. Not very many people even knew that having more children was one of my strongest hopes and dreams. Letting that dream die was the hardest thing that I thought I would have to go through. And moments when conversation turned to babies and expectations was painful and difficult to swallow. I did not know that my own husband would soon get his “two is enough” reality and even after my spleen was gone and the hope for more children would again have to dies, as his thyroid took a crash.

So there’s our ‘two is enough” story and more discussion bout the marital chambers than I ever thought I would share.

Needless to say, that was my dream and the heartfelt cry of wanting more family that I was letting go of while I penned that song. Other dreams would have to find life. God would have to give me different desires.

Some dreams, wishes, and wants are not as secret as this. But my heart aches for those for whom the womb lies barren. For those families with multiple children, God bless you! May He grant you grace as you raise children of faith. Our two girls are such a blessing to us, and now that we have grandkids my arms are blessed to hold the little ones while they still can be held. They grow up so fast. Putting them down is the hardest thing sometimes.

Now, my hands stay busy with crochet. My fingers play in the dirt with seedlings and plants that have multiplied beyond reason sometimes. The process of plant reproduction is such a joy to me. I can hardly believe how many geranium babies I have from the 15 or 20 plants that I had last fall. I think there are well over 50 plants. I have learned that it is okay to prune the fig tree so that the fruit will come on.

The Lord was busy pruning me all of those years ago when I wrote that song. Multiplication is still my favorite math lesson. Don’t get me going on the teaching years. That will come later.

I have sat on this entry long enough. The conclusion seems to painful to attend. Something akin to a funeral or a memorial service. I am in the depths of despair today for some very unknown emotional reason. This day, April 15th, I chose to watch Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” For some reason it just seemed appropriate to commemorate his death that way.

We do not chose birth. Death also by God’s design should not be an act of the will. Life however, holds many decisions of our making. In choosing, choose life.

10,950 days

And What of the Nights, my Love?

Every day, Every hour, How do we count the ways?

Only one love for me, but all 12 months, all 52 weeks and all 365 days for the past 31 years, I have been his, and he has been mine.

All twelve month squares are done for my temperature blanket. I started putting them together, and then we went to the eye doctor. I left my readers to get new lens, and unfortunately the lab broke my frames. I am kind of grumpy about the whole thing. I had that gut feeling that I should just buy new frames since mine were three years old. But my mother has had the same frames for the past 10 years. Surely, mine were not very old. Ugly thoughts. But I will keep my writing sane.

How do I count the days, my Dear? And what of the nights, my Love? We will never tell, my Sweetheart. We will never tell.

Am I to consult the stars? Or the sand? Could I count the raindrops? How can I tell others how much I love thee? Shall the hours apart take you from my heart?

Oh, my love, my one and only ever love

The fifth song on the CD is dedicated to my Only Love. Written during the poetic year of engagement, it is the melodic theme of our romance. How do I talk about the one who holds such sway on my being?

Ten thousand nine hundred and fifty days of wedded bliss will soon be ours. I though 25 was a special year. Maybe for the significance of our children going off into the sanctimony themselves, but thirty? How do you some up thirty years with no less words than the days we have spent together? It seems so impossible.

Think of holding hands for nearly 31 years. The first date ended in the hours of darkness. The advantage of blindness meant holding hands on the very first date. It’s like we never let go.

Once upon a time, my first daughter was in conversation with one of her elder professors at college. He attested to the fact that her parents were so cute always holding hands. She stated in matter of factness, “Well, it’s because my mom is blind.” The gentleman protested her bluntness. She continued in factual manner. “No it’s true. She can’t see in the peripheral, so he holds her hand., That saves her from getting lost.” Honestly, my husband would rather she replied, “Oh, but he rather likes holding her hand.”

Nah, kids will be kids. They never look at the romance involved with their parents. Until their time comes, romance is disgusting. Holding hands does keep me from tripping, or otherwise loosing my way!

This is why we don’t marry our brothers. One time I went to a hospital visit with my brother to see my uncle. At one point in the maze of hospital halls there was a split. I went one way and my brother went the other. He was not into holding my hand I guess. He did come back to get me though. At a later date, I was with my youngest brother to the zoo with his family. He had no problem holding my hand. I was very grateful for the face saving gesture. And there have been a couple of times at night that my son-in-law has had to grab my hand to keep me from finding a pole in the dark of the night. Thanks! But all the same, I rather like having my husband help me.

How can you remove the cream from the coffee? Especially after the beverage has already been processed? Once the black turns cafe latte, it is not going back. Creamed soda could never return to its seltzer water and syrup. Once the two have blended they are unchangeable, completely integrated and the fizz though it return to air, cannot take with it the taste. Thoughts of the worst soda ever that I tasted remains in my memory. One of the children’s medicine bottle, the bitterness of illness and happiness of recovery exist altogether as one.

Here are the first three months of the year in a quilt strip. January, February and March are put together with a mosaic triangle pattern. I decided to use a more contrasting color scheme because the ones close in ….. are hard to see. Making it easy on the eyes makes the project fun rather than a chore.

March is nearly half past. Like an hour at thirty minutes, it seems the time goes by too quickly. The herbs are up. And some are ready to go into the next size pot. Some were a fail and needed to be resown. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It seems a good time of year to sow something green! So I will probably spread some more grass seed out in the dry patches from last fall.

Recently, my second daughter purposely misquoted a familiar statement.

“Spice is the variety of life!”

I decided that it is probably a better motto than the real quote. Sometimes it feels like life is so full, you can hardly stand up. Other times, life feels incomplete and missing much. While considering this song on the CD I decided that one other little story ought to be told.

When we were still in our honeymoon phase, our kitchen spice cabinet had five spices. Salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and cinnamon. I really had not had my own kitchen up until that point, so spice variety was not something that I knew. My mother-in-law laughed at me to see such a simple palette of spices. Now, years later, I have more spices that she does. And much of what I cook with regularly, I grow. I cannot imagine cooking without parsley, oregano, cilantro, or marjoram. And the benefits of cumin, turmeric, and ginger are not lost on my cooking. And who would have though that nutmeg goes in meats?

Anyways, spice is the variety of life! And Spice must surely add variety into our lives. Even though we do not cook meals as often as we use to, spices are still a big part of our kitchen experience. It is pretty difficult to remove too much pepper out of the meatballs also. That day was a migraine day for me and who would expect a six year old to read the recipe properly. My husband was the lifesaver once again and took us to the drive inn for hotdogs that night. The many experiences that we learned from in life keep us together.

I am so glad that the rough patches were just a little sandpaper to smooth the surfaces. The many woodworking projects that we have done through the years have taught me that also. Not only have we done life together, we enjoy it. You can’t compress 30 years into one blog any more that one tree with all of its memories can be just a wooden table. That project is still waiting to be completed.

So now you know. We enjoy being married. We recommend it. And 10,950 days went by so fast that it seems like only just yesterday we were posing out behind the church for our pictures! We smiled so much that day that our cheeks muscles hurt. Haha!

Hobbling the Hobby Horse

The vocational calling is a magnetic pull towards a specific course of action that is believed to be be of Divine design. Most people consider calling in relation to the ministry or medical field. Few consider what they do everyday to be a “calling.”

The fourth song on my CD Are You Ready is titled “Dear Lord, You Have Called Me.” This calling was in the nature of being. Called to BE and called to DO are entirely different callings. Yet who we are and what we do could not be more intertwined than when someone is a believer.

The first twenty years began with bustling pitter patter of feet through the house. whether the noise of children or pets, life alternated between hectic and peace. The last nine years were rather still. Being still and Doing still nothing is entirely different also. It is during the stillness that we find out most what we are made of… And quite often I find myself lacking.

Searching for a new vocation found me unsuccessful. My wanderings of late led me to a new author. She put it this way, “Novels are written out of the shortcomings of history” -Penelope Fitzgerald. The fact that she came to her career as a writer later in life is not lost on me. I find it very hopeful.

Fitzgerald’s life is full of mishap, adventure, and difficult life circumstances. Her belief in the underlying strength of women buoy’s me up. These days of the “fool’s spring” have me in quite the state of perpetual allergy induced asthma. When I should be out finally enjoying the balmy weather, I find myself indoors sucking on the nebulizer pipe. And taking up smoking is the last thing I have on my mind. Penelope Fitzgerald also suffered from asthma and COPD later in life. The fact that she pushed forward with her writing is very inspiring.

During my youth I was quite the bookworm in the family. The calling from my mother to come and help with the supper preparations often found me buried in pages. One time in particular, my mother called me from the bottom of the stairs to fetch the potatoes in the cellar. Yes, we had one of those. With a pine box full of sand, carrots, and potatoes and shelves lined with jars of preserves, we braved the damp, dark hole in search of the daily sustenance. This day in particular involved a hasty response, a slip of the hand across the banister pole, and a crash through the window at the landing. The stairs make an about face which I neglected. My mother’s voice still ringing in my ears, was now clouded with the sound of broken glass. She returned to her post at the bottom of the stairs to find that I was unharmed. The window, however, would need to be replaced.

This hasty response whilst in the midst of my reading was probably delayed by the “finishing of the paragraph.” Who would stop mid-sentence? My feet could not make up the time lost in the book. Sometimes, I feel like my whole spiritual journey can be summed up in that instance.

Indoor gardening began in middle January. This little lavender sprout is now one month above ground. I was successful at nine seeds. Not really sure how many I put in the soil. Touching them is the best aroma therapy. The greenhouse is is ready for spring planting. and the greanium planters number over 50! Flowers are abundant year round in my life.

For nine years now, life seems a tug of war between doing and being. The parenting years come and go so quickly. For just a brief moment in time we are gifted with little souls to teach being and doing as Christ ought. Then the birds leave the nest and mothering seems completed. Is it ever really complete? Now as a distant cheerleading section, the sidelines are ever so quiet. The calling to motherhood is such a blessing.

What am I to do now?

I face that question frequently. From my place in the library surrounded by the books that made us, I wonder what am I to do now? Being a wife, a mother of grown children, an Oma to my grandchildren, why does my heart yearn for something more? I want to do and be more than a pet parent, a gardener, a crocheter, or a prayer warrior. Why am I so unsatisfied with my life now?

Is this discontentment at it’s ugliest outcropping? Have the weeds of this world taken over the garden of my mind?

Crochet. Here are the first six suqres for my temperature quilt afghan. I am getting so excited about the project. Doing all of the strips in season will be next. Then the strips in between the seasons. I will be doing the months in intervals of three. So these are Jan-Feb-Mar and Apr-May-Jun. I still have my “crojo” on the plan so that is good.

Writing…

Writing my thoughts is part of my self preservation. If thoughts are not written they will blow away in the breeze. If self-analysis does not involve writing, then how can conclusions be made? Am I stuck being me and doing written self-analytical jottings just for me?

The fourth song on the CD is more about being than doing. It is in my doing that I discover my lowly ME will never measure up to God’s calling. “Be Holy” is impossible without Christ living through me. Some people love to sign off their writing with “In His Grip” but do they really understand what being in the mighty hand of God means? Sometimes it means that we are last years zinnia blossoms and He is crushing the dried blossom so that He can bury the resulting seeds under some soil and have new bushes.

I Peter 5:7. “Therefore humble yourselves under the might hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.”

“Dear Lord, You have called me. Called me to be, to be holy. You have called me, called me to be, to be yours only. You must know what You are doing, to have made me so lowly. You have called me so I ask that You would make me Yours only.” -Yvonne Annette 1998

Here I have added July-August-September. And while taking a break from this blog, I completed October. Only two left. Stay tuned for the finished project. Mosaic crochet is my newest hobby.

My avocational hobbies have turned into my full time contemplations. Hobbies are often hobbled like a little pony in need of discipline. Much of my hobbled hobbies comes from the fact that my visual capacities are failing. Dwelling on the past hobbled hobbies could bring me much grief. And for nine years, trying to discover what I can still do is often lassoed by my failing eyesight. These moments will probably continue to cause me pain and humble me to a lowly state. Learning from my disability requires being humble as well as doing with aids and help. Tools are not always as readily useful and letting go of doing is never easy. Physical ailment and the gradual decline of the body is part of living. Every day we die a little bit.