We “paws” to reflect

From gratitude to warm fuzzy feelings

This is the time of year that many people take a moment to reflect on the happenings of the past year. Some people that I know are skipping their “usual” in light of this very unusual year. Guilt over their abundance seems to make them pause their reflections and feel overwhelmed by the lack in others lives. That is not the case for me. I just decided to not stress out about writing a holiday letter this year.

Somehow, the common boasting about all that we have done, everywhere that we went, and all of the other things that find a way into the holiday news… well, what is wrong with saying “All is well” during a pandemic? Perhaps, that very statement should be our focus, and praise to the Maker of all things for our blessings.

Our lives are so full this year, it seems to overcome the emptiness of social distancing and quantified gatherings.

My favorite thing about this mild winter so far, is the abundance of geranium blooms in my greenhouse. The new baby plants get their blooms plucked before they have a chance to sneeze their fragrance. But the older plants are allowed to do their thing. The red, white and green keep me feeling so very blessed with new growth. But the “Pink Blush” geranium is my favorite. And of course it is taking it’s own sweet time in multiplying. I have only been able to take one slip from the mother plant so far. The construction hub and the bloom sum up the large majority of my time this year.

We “paws” to reflect on how our lives changed during this year of world wide health crisis and the conflict that spilled over. Anger was just something that I do not choose to live in. The constant upheaval of other’s inappropriate actions will not be my guide to how I live my days.

My consistent browsing on the internet at puppies, found me an old doggie to ad to our farm yard collection. Eva is an old breeding retiree. Her yellow Labrador retriever attitude has brought some upheaval. Otherwise, we just buy more food. She simply does not want to leave anything alone that does not belong to her. I think her years in the kennel have left her wanting. She will spend most of her retirement plainly being a dog.

Honey does not know how to behave with such a mild momma. We discovered that she was snapping at Eva a bit excessively. At one point Honey even caused a blood vessel to rupture in Eva’s left ear. We had to put Eva on steroids. Our little yellow “Ewok” has nearly recovered. She looks like a little Gremlin greeting us in the morning because that ear sticks out some.

Most days the two of them get along okay. They have their own ideas about companionship to me, so we get along okay also.

Christmas would just not be the same without some woodworking project to keep us preoccupied during the preparations. This year our stress level could not handle any large project like tables or desks. So we chose to make a new piggy bank for the newest member of the family. Of course if I say too much, someone will not be surprised. So, you will just have to wait for a full view! Nevertheless, i was rather pleased that making the poly-shade green was easily done with a little tempra paint I found in the back of the closet.

So far, so good! These two unlikely pet-sisters managed to sort of stay for a photo moment. It took over a dozen pictures to find one that is just right for the Christmas card.

However, because we have a new grandson this year, he and his sister will get first pick. Sorry puppies! Christmas at our house will be about the little grand babies!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers.

Thank you all so much ofr the feed back. It is much appreciated.

It’s working

Rather maybe I am

It’s working! The pattern is working. Or rather maybe I am working. Counting in sequence is fun. At least I think so. I can hardly wait to see this little table runner with the Christmas Poinsettia finished.

This past year has been a real challenge for many people.

With the healthcare crisis and the changes on the horizon, some of these challenges have entered my life. Others have not.

In my circle of friends and family, the pandemic has not changed the way that we live a whole lot. There are only a handful of healthcare workers in the family so I have to search the friends list to find those most impacted in that manner. But the rest of us have felt the ripple effect.

My husband has been searching for answers to his back pain most of the fall, and will barely get into the doctor before the holidays. Some healthcare systems are indeed taxed. It is frustrating to wait but that seems to the word for the year, and this season.

Wait

Was not the whole story of Christ’s coming the idea that a nation was waiting for the Messiah to come? Waiting for the Deliverer is not something people spend much time thinking of anymore. However, these days, there are a lot of people waiting for the vaccine for this nasty virus. Of course those in the initial receiving line, are not expecting mothers. And the vaccine is not a blanket of salvation to all those who wait.

Yet, wait we must.

Christmas time seems to be the appropriate time for this “gift of salvation” to begin it’s work. However, the correlation to the young virgin Mary in her expectant phase traveling to the little village of Bethlehem to attend the census seems so very fitting to me. She waiting for the child to come. The people of that time waiting for the Messiah to come. And the many people now hoping for some end to this world pandemic thing.

Wait

So while I spend the year waiting, I have not been idle. In the book of Esther, the young queen takes it upon herself to invite the king and his closest confidants to a meal. She does not sit idly by, but involves herself in the fast while preparing a feast. It all turns out well in the long run, and it is one of my favorite stories.

For such a time as this, it is no time to be idle. So I learned something new this year. Mosaic crochet was not on my radar as a new pastime. But it has indeed become my waiting activity. I never though that I could learn to read the charts with all of their little circles and dots and such. Give me a simple picture, and maybe I can copy it.

So here we go. As much as I loved the “sow in tear” prayer shawl, I now have many other patterns to choose. From my Prayer Chamber Shawl, to the Hope square, to the Mulberry Bush Shawl, and a pillow, now I have a Christmas Poinsettia to learn.

Having the worldwide web at my fingertips to find pictures and patterns has been amazing. I wish I could do the more complicated pictographs, but they are not usually simple mosaic crochet. So I will continue on through the designs that I find.

Perhaps all this waiting does have a purpose.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage. And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord.” (ESv)

Is Hindsight Really 20\20?

When we remember things with a skewed sense of reality…

Here is the thought that got me considering hindsight, and I’m not talking about the butt end of a roast or anything else of that sort. This year is in fact 2020, so why not think upon all of it’s various connotations.

Recently my mother started the whole sibling group on a “remember when” game and the focus was the earliest snow in our state. The consideration was in September, but now we are already into October. Snow is expected for our area within the week. The northern part of the state had snow and ice this week.

What each one remembers is truly based on the strength of that persons memory. I do not remeber any snow earlier than October 31st within the first year of our marriage. Then just a few years ago we had snow that landed the bean crop in disarray. That snow was earlier than Halloween, but the exact date just does not stick in my head. Lots of people lost cattle during that snow.

When considering the whole vision thing (20\20) is really about how well one can see on things put in front of the eyes. This has nothing to do with the foresight of whether to plant corn or beans for the best harvest value. If one sees best at close up or and distance we have names for that kind of vision. Well, in life experiences, some people are truly better at foresight, while others are good and hindsight. I will try to explain later.

Even more skewed in my mind is the memories that I have of our families first home in the northern part of the state. I vaguely remember running under the old metal table from the late sixties. I was so short and so young, it was a great spot to hide from my sisters. Funny how I do not remember the moment that stopped my under the table “cross country” home runs!

And answers that we were seeking are no longer questions to be asked. We can see clearly now. Hindsight brings us clear vision and the view is nearly 20\20. Is this the thought that we will have some years down the road? A few years from now we will look back. Right now we simply try to look forward and all that we see is the moment. The difficulties of the day seem insurmountable.

Foresight tells me that this is the plague that is taking away our history. So many elderly people are being lost to this virus. This disease seems to be taking the people that gave us our history. They are the ones of our past. The gray haired populous is considered at risk in this pandemic world that we live in. But hindsight is telling me they are not the only ones at risk of this disease. Some younger people suffer and just this week the world news exploded with the news of a 38 year old dieing in flight because of the virus.

We all have so many opionions about everything, and yet there is still only one breath between all of us and the future. The next breath could be our last. We never know.

But here’s a look at the past few weeks here in my neighborhood.

Our outdoor living space is complete. We made a 2×4 slat bench to add to the collection. The recitation bench along the east wall of the house came from our old grain shed in Iowa. The place that we lived had three delapitating buildings: the grain shed, a small animal barn and a garage. The garage was the first thing to go. After the spring snow melted and we discovered it was full of the trash from the previous occupants, we lit a match to the whole lot. Of course the fact that the propane tank was less than ten feet from the building was quite a frightful thought. The grain shed and the basement held a number of pieces of furniture that still grace my home today.

The swing is an old crib remodel. Haha. The crib was the one that Gavin’s dad and siblings all slept in when pre-toddlers. Today it would not fit the safety regulations as the bars are too distant in measurement. It makes an amazing back porch nap zone.

The focus of all the pets attention is the deck box. It contains their food. We have had to discard of a few wild critters in the past as raccoons can figure out how to lift the lid and help themselves. Thank goodness for the new addition to the family. Eva has kept them away since her arrival.

The slat bench has wood that came from the top of the barn. All the pieces were well over fifty years old and rough cut lumber. We spent quite some time getting each piece to the correct measurement. The staining of the top pieces made the construction of the slat bench really pop. It is a pretty good nap zone also. However, these cooler temps are not the best for such things. The finish is an old oil based recipe from Aussie Timber care. It has kept my benches and other outdoor pieces in tip top shape.

This mosaic crochet afghan is now complete. It does not have a new home yet. Because I was born in the spring, I prefer bright and bold colors more than fall. I have a perpetual spring in my greenhouse and could bore you with my pictures of flowers.

The pattern on the blanket is “What comes around, goes around.” The square spirals were really quite fun to crochet. The border and the separation lines are a simple steppe pattern. I think they kind of look like “z’s” and that makes it a good sleeper’s warmer! While I thoroughly enjoyed the process of crocheting the afghan, the colors just did not thrill me. So if there’s a friend of mine in love with it, they better holler quick. Otherwise my sister will find a home for the burnt orange delight.

Lately, I found the cold a bit too nippy on my fingers. So I decided to remake a couple of my hat and mitten pairs. I started with my everyday set that keeps me from the frost while doing the morning rounds. Honey and I go out to greet Eva. She sleeps in the heated hut outdoors. We scoop a bowl of kibbles for the cats then head out back to do the business. Next we run to the greenhouse to check the temperature. I give Cocoa a can of oats. Then we run like mad to the house because the north wind is so bitey.

This little whimsical hat was part of my creations from last spring. It is a scrappy hat. In other words, I used some scrap chunks of yarn and made a hat that was one of a kind. So the other day after perfecting my mitten pattern on a different set, I sat down and pulled up some yarn chunks to make my “whimsy set.” Something of the Oma in me enjoys wearing such a silly little dunce hat. The ball always gets a lot of attention either from little kids (while shopping) or even from other peoples pets (they can’t take their eyes off of the ball dangling from my head). Well, with a Grandmother name like Oma, why wouldn’t I enjoy a little whimsy in my life? My favorite books were the Dr Suess and I still can’t resist buying one even if I can’t read them anymore.

People with foresight always seem to get things right. They dream forward. They plan ahead. They look to the future with hope and ideals. People with hindsight are always talking about the past, looking into history with new perspectives. Trying to discover the truth about how things really happened. Maybe even considering the latest conspiracy theory. Ahhh, now I don’t believe that’s all a blanket approach to the whole of living.

My vision into the distance has always been a little poor. Having someone else to explain exactly where the moon is has made it much easier to find. Even if I can’t see the “man on the moon” I can still imagine it. And now my closeup vision has gotten a little more challenged also. Losing the peripheral view of the world, does not mean that I don’t see what’s going on in the world around me. It just means that I run into things far more frequently than I would like. It also means that my husband has to sort my little yarn chunks into the right color coordinations. White and yellow seem to be so close in color these days.

Whether you like to look ahead and dream of the future or whether you are an avid history book reader, one thing is the same. We all breath the same air. We are all fighting for another day another breathe. Today I want to aknowledge that I believe that breathe of air comes from my Soveriegn, Invisible Source. God the Creator who breathed into that first man Adam the breathe of air,

Psalm 144:4 “Man is but a breathe of air, His days are like a passing shadow.”

These days I do not visit my grandchildren as frequently as I would like. The fear of covid probable keeps me away more than I would like to admit. Being high risk in the health area is not something that I want to frequent in this blog. So I will just say that looking to the Author of this vapor does give me meaning and purpose to make each and every visit of high value and very enjoyable. They bring me so much joy, even if it is just during a phone call with childish squeals in the back ground. Looking at each day, week, or month as a passing shadow is one thing, considering my life to be but the passing shadow is another thing entirely. For now seeing these little faces as a small token of my shadow cast into the future is almost too deep a thought for consideration.

Thanking my Creator for every breath of air. Looking to a brighter Future tomorrow.

Before dash cam-Dash Lamb

A monitor of a different sort

Once upon a time, there was a shepherd girl whose husband bought her a truck. That truck was actually a Ford Edge to replace the awful eight seater cargo van that she did not like very well.

We got the car the summer of 2010, and then took a family vacation to the east coast. Nothing like putting on thousands of miles right after a vehicle purchase. Other than the serpentine belt going bad this side of Chicago, it was an uneventful trip. The main event was the music camp that the girls attended.

The best McDonald’s toy ever

What is the purpose of those ridiculous Happy Meal toys anyway? Most kids don’t seem too happy after the thing breaks. This little Dash Lamb came at just the right time though. The girls were old enough to drive when we brought this car home. So not long after the first payment was due, they were driving the family truck to get dog food, sheep feed, groceries, and even driving to all of those music lessons.

Once and a while with the food runs, they let me get a Happy Meal. So instead of getting the meals for little kiddos, they were trying to keep their mother happy in the back seat. That was actually one of my requirements for the new car, the back seat had to be comfortable.

When this little lamb came in a meal, it found it’s home on the dash right in a pasture of sage vinyl (PVC). It was the perfect home for this little bobble head creature.

Who put the lamb on the floor?

This was always the first thing said when my first glance at the dash did not find the little lamb in it’s stead. Anytime the dash monitor lost it’s footing, we knew someone was overdriving the conditions. A lamb on the floor meant that the corner had been taken a little fast. A lamb in the defroster vent meant that the breaks had been applied with force.

Before there was ever a dash camera monitor system, we had Dash Lamb. So, it was a little sad when the new vehicle did not have a spot on the vinly for such items. Now there is some little drawer cover to hide the unsightly items.

No spilled coffee here in this family. Dash Lamb never lied. She always told us who was not driving with their eyes on the road or hands on the wheel. She always told mom who was driving with out taking care of her little bobble head. Over driving the conditions could mean a little lamb shaking her head to declare, “no,no, no!”

Poor little thing didn’t even have a name. All of our little special ones got names. There was Lucy, Who-Do, Spot, Moose, Triple-Wide, Smokey, Blackie, and Buck-buck to name a few. The girls had the first fifty or so all named. After that it was just the bottle lambs that received such special treatment. One after the other came and went, season after season the lams came and went. But Dash-Lamb was with us until the day the car died.

Oh, yeah, there was Bam, Bam-the twins that use to come and lift there poor mother ewe right off of the ground. They were the first season lambs that were on the mamas much too long. We learned not to let them be so harsh after those two kept that picture stuck in our minds. Poor mother.

Aside from the fact that the lamb was always rolling her eyes at the driver, or the passengers in their distracting fashion. God is always watching us when we drive, walk, talk, or sit. This little lamb was really a reminder that someone is always watching no matter what we do. But God is the all knowing, all seeing being who really watches me.

Good bye little dash lamb. Tahnks for giving our family car a lot of story time worthy history. We loved having you as part of our lives for ten years. Some things just can’t be replaced. We can get another car. We can get new tires. But a little lamb from a Happy meal? She is really shaking her head now, “No, No, No!”

Patina

I Chronicles 16:11 “Seek Lord and His strength; Seek His presence continually.”

Weathering artfully is something that copper does naturally. by attracting the elements to its surface, the patina of copper has colors that change almost imperceptively year by year. When I look in the mirror, I wonder if my aging process contains as much beauty to the beholder. The verse from 1 Chronicles chapter sixteen also has the ending option of “seek His face evermore.”

During our recent drive-inn church service, our sister church’s Pastor gave a message about the likeness of Fathers and Sons. She shared how some father and son duos look so much alike, that in the year by year comparison it was hard to tell them apart. Through the week following, I thought about my family and who was like whom… I am not going to implicate anyone.

When we look at our face in the mirror, whom do we see? So much of the world is a comparison of images that we forget whose image we are really suppose to reflect. Genesis chapter one verse twenty-six says that God made people in His image. The message of the sermon was that we are to look for God in His Son, Jesus. We are to look for little rays of the Father in the images of His children.

Lately, with all that has happened in our country and around the world, we have to look a little harder it seems. Seeking the face of God the Father in the images of people as they flash past on the social media scroll is not easy. We are ever more scrolling through the latest news and we by pass the glimpses of an eternal God over and over.

While I am not trying to make my face into the most angelic figure ever seen, what do I spend my time “facing?” What do I seek? Once or twice a week, I am blessed to visit the little faces of my grandchildren. The rest of the hours I spend facing the task of filling the time wisely.

My newest age defiance is putting together the old and new yarn into a mix of stitches. The old and the new together unlike any other . Being creative is one of the joys of life for me. And I believe in a creative God. If you don’t, I am sorry for you. There is so much joy if searching our His creativeness in life and in others.

The wonder of how something will lokk drives me to work at a pace my back and neck don’t like. My breaks from the project at hand usually means house hold chores. So I wont talk about the constant clean up after our goings out and cojmings in.

Just finding this pattern was fun. There were so many plaid variations on the mosaiac crochet, but this one really caught my eye. Somehow it looks like the plug of the outlet, the buckle of the overalls, the continues flow of energy of a two year old grandchild. I love the mis of the old and new yarns. The Seafoam spray of the gray and the bold undertones of copper turning old… Fun.

The dogs and I are enjoying the cooler temperatures out of doors. I have kicked Honey outside more than usual and the two don’t seem to scrap nearly so often. Eva still won’t sit on command, but at ten years old, she probably won’t learn a new trick. She is so short it does not much matter.

The endless hours alone can be almost exhausting. Hubby spent more of his days on site for work rather than at home. It is understandable, with the majority of what he really does being an on sight requirement. But this morning after rising and seeking His familiar face in his temporary office and then not finding hime there… i was sad.

Pandemic isolation was not something that I saw in my life’s plan. I would not choose to give in the Alaskan wilderness. Watching television shows about the hermit life seems ridiculous. Yet some people seem to be making a living doing just such a thing. Selling their life choices on YouTube via video footage of the alone time.

While I do watch a number of “how to’s” on the channel, I just don’t see how sorting through hours of my go-pro footage would be interesting for anyone. My crochet story would have to be put into high speed to make it even remotely entertaining.

For now I will continue on in my endless hooking of yarn. Days will turn into nights. And weeks, and months end in project after project. This one more than likely will take about two to three weeks to be complete. However, while it occupies for its hours, there are other things to do also. The garden will soon demand harvest time. I completed two or three other little items in the last two weeks . And there is the library book time project that is nearing completion. That one is another blog.

The rest of the world seems to continue on it’s path to nowhere, anywhere, or somewhere. I’ll just stay here making my crochet hook march through time. Not having a spleen makes the virus epidemic seem really scary. So this distancing thing gets old, buts it is the answer for the moment on letting me age artfully. Haha.

Keep seeking strength from the One who gives it. And keep seeking for little glimpses of the Heavenly Father’s Image in the faces of those around you.

Not feeling it

The lucky penny poncho pattern that I found in April is one of my favorites. The crocheted design was a follow up to the driftwood poncho. I made two of the driftwood in late winter. One with a white base and hooded, the other shades of red and cowl necked. What I like about this one is the incredible sweater border all around the edge. And the border is made while making the garment. The only finishing touch is the cowl neckline, in the ribbed sweater stitch.

The first poncho that I made was for my great niece in April. While she may outgrow it before it gets cool enough for her, I find mine quite comfy on the cool mornings. Or in the shock of the air conditioning after being outside. I like the fact that you can mix lefties or two different ombres to get a variety of looks.

Pattern sizing is quite simple also. Circumference of the head times two equals the width, and the length is foot to neck with a few added inches on the back side. Such an easy , cozy moss stitch fills the interior of the garment that it can be used as a lapghan on chilly mornings!

This time of year the heat can take the wanna right out of us. They use to call it the “dog days of summer.” When the heat in the shade reaches 101 degrees Fahrenheit, I feel like a long afternoon nap, too. But the shade of the old apple tree is not quite cool enough for me. We take up the Library floor, chairs and cushions. Ceiling fan on high, and away the crochet hook flies.

So while I sit in my air conditioned house with the air feeling like the fridge door got left ajar, the dogs snore. When I come back inside after a mailbox run, and giving the flowers a drink, this poncho or another shawl sits ready to provide it’s shelter from the breezey air.

Here is the photo I took of my first attempt at the “lucky penny poncho.” For this project I used a wool blend that is washable. Lion Brand mandala yarn makes lots of different cakes to choice from and this peachy flavor was one that I could not resists. I think the child’s size poncho turned out perfectly.

Someone suggest going shopping and I am simply not feeling it. No feeling the hectic panic of having to wear a mask. No feeling the endless search for what I might have on my list. Not feeling the hours on the internet looking for the best price.

“Not feeling it” is how I think of the riotous civl unrest that has followed the protest movement. Of all the busy no good actors that have nothing better to do with themselves, I am sorry, but I am not feeling it.

My compassion is better spent on the local gentleman whose mother just passed away after a life filled with prayer and faith. My compassion is better spent on the family of a local boy whose body was recovered from a nearby pond. My compassion? What compassion have I, but that the Lord first lent to me?

Laminations chapter three is one of my favorite compassion passages. The idea that the Lord gives His mercy new every morning and but for His compassion towards us, He would consume mankind in an instant. Wow! If only people could see, that God’s wrath is just beyond the next wrong thing they chose to do… Then my anger is dosed like the embers of the evening fire. I think about the flood and how God was sorry that He had made man… Genesis six.

Not feeling it? God’s mercies are new, His compassion tender. I feel His banner over me like love. This lovely blanket shawl warms my cool skin. Now, perhaps maybe I am feeling it and I pray that the violence ends. That people who need Jesus will find Him. That God in His tender mercies will protect my family. That our garden will bless more than just our own family.

Compassion and empathy does not mean that I jump off the bridge when someone else does. It does not mean that I won’t call the foolishness of others out as idiocracy. And that’s how I feel about the lack of common sense these days.

I live a peaceful, quiet, country life. We are blessed that my husband has a job that he has kept through this whole pandemic time. We know that giving of our abundance is what God sees as a generous heart.

Why am I here and those there are there in the city and in difficult circumstances? I do not know why the choices we have made have not covered us over with a flood of riot gear. But I am thankful for every little act of kindness that our Lord lends to me while here on this earth.

I am not feeling lucky at all.

I have never felt lucky.

Not feeling it, nope.

Blessed beyond my own comprehension. Yep. Blessed by God and filled with His compassion for those who think that lighting someone else’s things on fire or lashing out at any person in their path is the answer. Not the answer. The people who go at life with their arms flailing, their eyes darting, and their fist and tongues blasting everyone in their path will eventually be brought down. For those in the way, the others that they pull down with them, I am also filled with sorrow.

Life is too short to spend at war with God, others or yourself.

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.

Summer wind’s days

The under current in the air

Ecclesiastes is the book of vanities. The study of all that is whether, doing or being was the goal of Solomon’s wisdom. He wanted to, above all, be wise and able to lead the people of His Lord and his father’s kingdom inheritance. David’s legacy was not to end in the simple wisdom’s of one of his sons. No, while the biblical heritage that Solomon left to us is vast and deep, the physical lineage of the Christ child was the true source of all wisdom.

I enjoy reading the book of Ecclesiates. When I was younger, I thought the book very depressing. To be told that “all is vanity” when young and still in the pursuit of the stuffings of life… well, I did not want to hear that. Now that I am constantly trying to downsize, including my shapely figure, most pursuits do seem pretty vain to me.

Chasing after the wind…

So.omon likened the pursuit of earthly things to the chasing after wind. Wow? Watching a kitten try to catch a tall blade of grass the other day made me think of this goal. Runners trying to catch their breath after a long jog. Honey panting beside me while I pedal the bicycle. The birds in the evening diving after the cloud of gnats that are driven across the plain. A kite?…

Whoever decided a toyshould have the same name as it’s objective adjective? The word hyper describes my doodle girl to a “T.” Perhaps that is being a bit offensive for the cat or the dog or the fish. Who would name thier dog Hyper. Maybe they really meant hyperbole.

Saying that my dog is an obvious and intentional exaggeration as a pet is actually more accurate that saying she is not just hyper. Her exuberance while playing fetch with this particual toy would probably get her killed if was too close to oncoming traffic. Playing in the safety of our large meadow in the middle of the acreage is best.

This morning her aggression with the frisbee was like an eagle with a salmon. Her grip on the fabric disc was a locked vice. The visitors could not wrestle the toy from her clinch. Yep. Hyperbole city is on…

The video below was taken on a nice day. As opposed to wind’s days. The heat was just rising to the point of uncomfortable. Honey still went after the flyer at least twenty times. Some days it seems there is no stop in her. My hubby-dear can usually get the speed whipped up on the wind to take a sail out of her notch though. After a few of his tosses, she will lay down right where she caught it and ignore all calls to “Come.” This day it was just me and the birds. She came and went without a word or command for many a retieve.

It is a rare day lately that the undercurrent does not pick up the plate and grip it upward just before touching Honey’s teeth. This under current seems to have caught the whole of humanity. While some desperately fight for a cure to the Covid-19, others simply ignore the breeze and paddle on as if nothing has changed. Everyone has made up their mind on how they want to deal with the pandemic health crisis. But once a bug has come into existence, it is not going away on it’s own. Kind of like my greenhouse and the recurrence of the aphids. How do we get the pests out unless we use an insect fogger? Tear gas, pepper spray, mace, smoke screens, or firehose has not worked to stop the violent anarchists.

There is an old proverb about the wind and the sun arguiiung over who could get the man to remove his heavy woolen coat. The wind blue from every direction, but the man held on tighter with every gust. Finally, the sun asked if the wind had given up its war on the poor man. Yes, the wind would quit the battle. Out came the sun, in it’s full heat and brightest rays. Soon the man was dripping with sweat and gave up his grip on the heavy jacket. He removed the coat and glanced up aty the beautiful sky. His happiness at the wind’s absence radiated injoy as he whistled and continued on his way.

The objective of course is to find thte toys best suited to the use of your particular need. So if a dog is an over zealous tug of war fighter, don’t buy tug of war items they won’t easily relinquish. For instance, why would I buy a bone for an aggressive chewer? Really maybe the type of bone actually demans aggression and my dog just gets more upset while chewing on the bone than if perhaps I should.give her a soft bone instead. Sometimes I do not really understand the packaging concepts to sell dog toys and treats.

Yeah, well. I never gave this dog a balloon to care around for a week either. So it is probably my fault that I missed so many training opportunities.

She is hyper. Honey is a zealous greeter. Anticipation only gets her more wound up. I am still trying to get her to stay in some circumstances rather than “door dashing.” Does she have self control? Probably. Do I have control over her? Only in non-distractive moments. Do I still have to curb her temperament with a harness? You bet your ceiling fan, I do. She is a much bigger hand full than we bargained for.

Trying to get the dog that I wanted, is like chasing after the wind. We have had enough pets that I want to take the best memories of each and have that dog. We all have faults. All dogs have faults. There is no perfect pet. But why do I have to buy the “Hyper Pet” toys just to keep her exercised? Uff day.

(Meanwhile, the horse had is hooves trimmed today. The garden go a bit of a wind break as we put up the snow fence to block some of it. We still need to get more wood chips or moisture block on the whole garden to keep the plants from drying up. Hubby has been back on site for work more lately. The family is trying to have more gatherings, but we all get a bit nervous about the social distancing thing. Church is still a drive inn service that I have been memorizing music to play with the praise team. I still get to visit my grand children weekly. Our whole family has been spared from the corona virus to this date.)

Ecclesiastes 1:14 “I have seen all he worKs that are done under the sun, and indeed, all is vanity and a grasping for the wind.” NKJV

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!