Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday morning..

in my aunt's backyard...

10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.

Isaiah 61:10-11

The book of Isaiah in the Old Testament is one of my very favorite books in the bible. And chapter 61 is one of my favorites within the book of Isaiah. If you look in my bible I wouldn't be surprised if the book of Isaiah was one of the most marked up and highlighted books out of all of them. Well, it might be a toss up between Isaiah and the Psalms.

What's that? Do I write in my bible? Oh yes...absolutely. I mark important dates, I record specific prayers in the margins, I highlight the scriptures that leap off the page and into my heart.

Yes, I definitely write in my bible. It's a great way to look back and see God's hand at work in my life, and in the lives of others I've prayed for. I can see prayers answered. And I can see progress in my spiritual life and my walk with God.

I can also see the lessons that are not getting through my (incredibly) thick skull because God brings me back to some of the same scriptures...over and over and over again.

And, as of late especially, I can probably note the times that I've slipped into the pit...not a whole lot of marking up or date writing going on. (Which is probably the reason I've ended up in the pit. Ya think?)

The good news is that God never gives up on us. The good news is that His Word is alive and true and has power to penetrate our hearts and minds. The good news is that a walk with God is never-ending.

We just have to keep on walking, even if with a limp, until we finally reach the goal.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

I never knew bees could glow.

Last weekend Chris noticed there were tons of bees in our Japanese maple. So...I ran and got my camera, of course!

I must have taken 40 pictures. And of those I kept a handful. This is one of my favorites...I love how she's glowing. (Or is it a "he"? I dunno.)

Someday I would love to have bees. Not now as we are still living within city limits and I'm not sure what the protocol is on keeping bees in town. Not to mention, Chris isn't in agreement on the whole beekeeping thing.

So until we are in a position to actually have a hive of our own I will be content to read about beekeeping, learning all that I can so when the time does come...I'm ready.

In the meantime, in an effort to bring more bees into our yard to pollinate our garden we planted six lavender plants. And I have to say...mission accomplished! There have been more bees in our yard ever since! Not to mention their attraction to our lemon blossoms...can you blame them?

Friday, April 27, 2012


I'm really glad it's Friday. This has been a pretty long week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


In our Japanese maple a week or so ago...she was one of about a hundred.
I have been attending a bible study again. Last night was our second meeting...I can feel it penetrating my heart and my mind, and softening the rough edges that have accumulated over the past couple of years.

On my way home last night, driving in the rain on a dark country road, I began to pray and thank God for the opportunity to learn more about Him and for the gift of being in a community of women who are after His heart, too.

As I drove home in that beautiful rain I prayed for my husband, and my sons...asking God to direct their paths and to protect them, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

And then I thanked God for never giving up on me.

It's time for me to find a balance.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you
will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Slowly but surely this scripture is becoming more and more true in my life. In our lives. We got chickens. The garden has gotten bigger each year. We are planting fruit. I am continuing to learn about preserving and storing food. I am even dabbling in homeopathic remedies for minor injuries and illnesses. There is so much we can do at home, there's no need to run to a doctor for every little thing. It's liberating to know that I can handle a lot more in taking care of my family than I realized.

Slowly but surely, this scripture that I was certain God had given to the wrong girl, is becoming real and evident in my life.

This scripture is evidence to me that God DOES know what's best for us. He DOES know what we need and when we need it. He DOES know the plans He has for us. And He DOES have our best interest at heart.

And, He knows it long before we do. All we need to do is listen. And trust. And follow His lead.

Yes. This is easier said than done at times. But with God all things are possible and we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. Amen? Amen.

Be blessed Him, He will direct your path.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

it's all good.

Another dogwood photo...
  • The garden is in...and happy. Everything is perky and happy and thriving. It makes me happy.
  • I think I need to plant a Dogwood tree...isn't it amazing? Look how the blossoms are folded up like little packages. I can't get over it...
  • Jennifer was talking about her lilac tree the other day. I love lilacs. Noni had one on the side of her smelled so incredibly good. I think I need to plant a lilac tree, too.
  • Next up on the backyard fix-up list...shade plants along the back fence and in the shady corner of the garden. Not sure what exactly...I know I've got hosta bulbs in the garage. And I've got wood violets in the front yard that divide easily. Then maybe a flat of Baby Tears planted here and there.
  • I'm back to my original hours at work...the extra hours were nice, I have to admit.
  • Speaking of's time to get ready to go.
Have a great day...

Monday, April 23, 2012

a poem: 10th Summer

I've been taking a lot of photos lately.

This poem was inspired by time spent with Noni.
I'd spend a week or two with her and Papa during summertime
when I was a little girl. This poem tells of one particular
day that will remain in my memory forever.

* * * *

10th Summer
Remember that day –
early in the morning
 just the two of us
you sipping tea and reading
 the news – me standing close
breathing in the scent of face
cream, fresh new morning
full of promise, time spent with you.
Remember that day –
stopping by the garden center,
petunias and azaleas for you,
five little house plants
in four inch pots for me.
They made me feel big –
and so began my love affair
with a garden.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a beautiful Sunday afternoon...

Aunt Lisa's dogwood a few weeks ago.
God is the perfect poet. -Robert Browning.

We slept in a little bit this morning. Probably because we stayed up way too late watching a movie.

As planned we got cleaned up and headed out to the garden center for a few more things for the backyard. We ended up with 6 blueberry plants, 6 lavender plants, another tomato, 2 more zucchini plants, 4 more pepper plants and a few more herbs...they were on sale you know.
We got home and immediately got to work feels good to get that accomplished. Our backyard is a work in progress. We did a few things last summer...fenced off the chickens and the garden and put in some sod. This year we're filling things in. I can't wait until it's established and lush and thriving. Patience, right? Not my strongest virtue.While we were out planting I kept getting a whiff of our lemon tree blossoms...that's got to be one of the best smells in the world.

So now we're in the nice, cool house. Chris nodded off for a did I if I'm honest. The boys are taking it easy today...napping and doing homework and hanging out in their rooms.

It's quiet here...the perfect way to end a nice weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2012

what's going on?

the last rain...
I'm so glad the weekend is's been a bit of a long week.

Today after work I headed to Seth's baseball game with Ian and my nephew in tow. Mom and Dad and my brother and his wife met up with us there. It was a pretty good game...we won 5-0. Afterwards as we're walking to the car my brother says, "Wanna grab something to eat?" So we all went and got a burger. It was a nice afternoon...

I'll be doing some more gardening this weekend. It'll be a good way to get my mind off the fact that it's almost 90 degrees outside. Bleh. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if it weren't for fresh, homegrown, delicious tomatoes needing heat to ripen, I would be a sad, sad girl right about now. Every time I think about summer and its stifling heat I change my thoughts to fresh, homegrown, vine ripened tomatoes from my very own backyard and it helps ease the dread I have for summer. I shouldn't say I dread summer. I don't. I dread the heat that comes with summer. When I live somewhere with a milder summer I will look forward to it, I'm sure.

Tomorrow morning while it's still cool outside I'm going to plant lettuce, a few herbs and nasturtiums from seed. On Sunday morning, Chris and I are going to get three more pepper plants, another zucchini plant and a few more herbs. We're also going to get some lavender plants and some blueberry bushes for the planter boxes on either side of the deck. 

So far everything we've planted looks great. Some of the tomatoes even have flowers already. None of my beans or peas have popped their cute little selves out of the ground yet...but I imagine any day they will.

Until then we'll water regularly...and wait patiently. If nothing else, a garden will certainly teach us patience, won't it? You can't hurry a garden...

Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Romans 10:9-10

Sunday, April 15, 2012


11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.

Isaiah 61:11

This is the last day of Spring Break. It's beautiful out...the sun is shining, bees are humming and I am about to get back out in the garden and plant some seeds.

Yesterday we got the garden tilled and cleaned up, we planted tomatoes, zucchinin and peppers...oh, and a few herbs. At the last minute Chris cut out some cherry plum branches and it was unbelievable how much sun it let into the garden. Better than nothing since the pecan tree isn't gonna go anywhere for a while.

It's been a nice week...but tomorrow it's back to the grind. And I'm grateful...I am. But I gotta admit...I sure am looking forward to having the summer off. 

OK...the seeds are calling my name. Have a blessed day....xo

Saturday, April 14, 2012

the sun is out and the ground is soft.

Garden April 2012...the "before" shot. "After" shots to come!

If you need me...I'll be out in the garden.

Friday, April 13, 2012

F-f-f-friday...I l-l-love you....

It's favorite day of the week. Friday's always hold such promise, don't they?

Chris is home today...right now he's hanging some matchstick blinds in Seth's room. I've had the blinds for...well, let's just say I've had them for a good while. And now, today is the day. I got a set for him and a set for Ian (his were hung a while back) at Lowe's. I was walking down the aisle and saw a rack full of different styles and different sizes. They had what I needed and they were on clearance! I think I paid around $20 for both sets, including tax. Nice...

Speaking of the boys, they each spent the night at friend's houses last night. Seth just popped in to grab some (of his own) money and is off to meet friends for lunch. I think he was here for 30 seconds. And Ian...he and his buddy could very well still be sleeping. They are night owls, those two.

I woke up in the middle of the night and could hear the rain pouring down on the roof. One of the best sounds in the world, in my opinion. I turned over, snuggled down a little deeper into my covers and eased back into sleep. Moments like that let you know that life isn't so bad...

Other than making a quick store run, I am housebound today. I plan on making a big pot of pinto beans using Noni's recipe. I was sent home with a ham bone on Easter...perfect for a big pot of beans! Add a little cornbread on the side and we are eating like kings.

Pinto beans were one of Papa's favorites...he said it was one of the few things that he was able to taste a bit. One day he called me and asked when I thought I might be making a pot of beans? I told him I could make a pot that coming week. He said he'd like some of them if I did.

So I made a pot of beans the next day and took some for him to eat right away and a bit to store in the freezer for later.

Good memories...I miss Papa.

On that note...I'm going to enjoy the rest of my Friday. I'm going to make a pot of beans in Papa's memory...and probably serve them with french bread rather than cornbread. That's how he liked to eat them...


Thursday, April 12, 2012

a list.

I was just reading a friend's blog this morning. She mentioned having to write lists of things she needs to get done...and if it's not written on a list, it's probably not getting done. I can so relate...

I love lists. I have them everywhere. Maybe that's why I have a sticky note fetish? And why I'm always in search of the perfect pen? I found the perfect pen years ago and as with ALL things I love, they stopped making it. I'm not even being dramatic about all things I love being discontinued. Pens, fragrances, underwear, soaps...if I love it and want to use it forever, whoever is making it, stops.'s cloudy out, rain is expected and I am still in my pj's. (I'm off this week, remember?) Seems like as good a time as any to make a list, don't you think?

  • I wanted to get the garden tidied this week...but with all of the rain, it's going to have to wait, again.
  • I had "clean out closets and cabinets" on the to-do list for this week off. So far I cleaned out my armoire. And that's it. The good news about that is that I filled two bags to donate...and took them to the donation station that very same day. That pretty much almost never happens.
  • I have a list of links that I want to share with you...still deciding if I want to do it all in one post? Or dedicate a post to each one? Hmm....maybe a combination of the two.
  • I made a long list for my Costco run today...suddenly I'm out of the staples: bread, butter, peanut butter, tortillas...and more.
  • Yesterday was my and my mom's birthday. Yes, I was born on her birthday...45 years ago. And like all moms, she remembers it like it was last week. I remember talking to Noni about when she birthed her babies. She remembered it like it was last week, too. And she was in her 90's. Isn't that so interesting? We never forget birthing our babies...and they're always our "babies". Even when we're 90 and our kids are full grown adults with full grown adult children of their own! I love that...
  • I really need to clean out the chicken coop. Doing it is bad enough. But doing it in rainy mucky mud?'ll have to wait.
  • I've been taking a lot of photos lately...and it feels good. And I'm regularly uploading new ones to makes me feel accomplished. And creative.
  • it just me? Or is it hard to find shoes these days? (Great. I sound old.) I have been trying to find shoes for a while now. I just want a nice pair of a loafer type shoe...with a bit of a heel would be fine. But all I can find are shoes with an 8 inch heel (or higher) or a shoe that is so flat it folds up on itself. Hello? Is there anything in between?
Well my peeps...I've procrastinated long enough. Gotta run errands...but maybe a shower first would be good. Just sayin'....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

birthday wishes...

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to the best mom in the world.
I love you Mom...xo

Monday, April 9, 2012

good morning.

Wait. It is still morning isn't it? (Yes. Phew. I would have been embarrassed if it wasn't and I had to admit I was still in my jammies.)

As you see, I am not at work today. One of the perks of working for school district...weeks off at a time. I'm telling you...I enjoy working with kids. And I enjoy working at a school. But really, these weeks off are needed!

Yesterday was Easter...and it was very nice. We went to Chris' dad's house. All in all there was a house full of about 20 people or so. One of them being Uncle Gerald, Kelly's (my father in law's wife...and my friend) 91 year old uncle who traveled from Tennessee to be with family. His wife Bernice came, too, of course. (How cute is that? Gerald and Bernice.) They are wonderful people. Uncle Gerald is so full of love...the love of the Lord I suspect. He shines. He's the type of person you just love right now. I get teary-eyed thinking about him. I hope to see them again...

We ate like there was no goodness, the food. Two hams, fresh green beans with pecans and bacon (yum!), baked beans, two huge salads, rolls and I made Country Potatoes...a huge dish of them...and there was a scoop left. Yes...we ate...a lot.

And then there was pie, for crying loud. I had cherry...and a smidge of berry. How could I choose?

It was a great day...

This morning has been slow...Chris and Ian left a bit ago to go to the dump. Seth just got up a bit ago and edged the lawn and is now eating an egg and sausage sandwich on an onion bagel with a side of strawberries and a glass of milk. (I'm such a nice mom.)

As for me, I'm about to get in the shower and get ready to go for a Girl's Evening in San Francisco with my mom, my aunt and my cousin! How fun is that going to be? We're going to ride BART in and where we're going from there I have NO idea. But since my cousin used to live there, I trust she and my aunt will take us somewhere amazing. Can't wait!

In the meantime I should probably clean least do some dishes and start a load of wash. I'm sure I'll tidy the living room and wipe down the kitchen. And then off I will go for a fun afternoon.

And yes, I will be taking my camera. For a minute I thought I wouldn't...but I just know that once I got to the city and did not have my camera I would be so mad at myself. Seriously? No camera in San Francisco? I think not. So...with me it shall go. I need to get in the habit of grabbing it as naturally as I do my purse.

With that...have a great day...take some photos...cherish the moments...breathe in, breathe only live once.

Friday, April 6, 2012

a poem: Quiet Bird

Quiet Bird

Time passed quickly,
warm water on white plates
rinsed the morning away.
Present became past -just like that.

Outside my window she
gathers twigs, moss, bits of string –
I watch, quietly stirring
hot tea with cream.

Painted perfect
shades of brown and
black, white and gray,
she sings her song.
I sit quietly, reading
cummings, Oliver, Jong.

Dusk falls, the autumn
garden tucks itself in.
I pluck a sprig of woody
thyme and two tiny onions,
perfect for soup supper.

Muddy shoes crush dead
 leaves, the ruddy scent fills the air.
I close the gate behind me
the only sound a far off crow  -

Won’t you sing to me quiet bird?

But there you are
clothed in brown and gray
at rest in the leaves,  soft feathers 
still warm to the touch,
content  that the end has come.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I've got a lot of things floating around in this head o' usual. (I think I think too much.) And there are some things that I've been thinking about sharing here lately...

My own poetry, for one thing. I had to put together a portfolio for my final in Creative Writing last semester, which was a bit intimidating. But I ended up with about 10 poems or so by the time all was said and done. Who knew I was going to enjoy poetry so much? Not me, that's for sure. I always thought I didn't really care for poetry. I mean, there were a few poets that I could grasp, but for the most part I always found poetry to be sort of weird and cryptic. But during that class it all changed.

I also want to share my view on anti-depressants. I know it will be a sensitive I'm approaching it carefully. I've been formulating it in my head for weeks...and I have some pretty strong opinions about it...which I'm sure is no surprise to those of you who've been coming here for any length of time. Or to those of you who know me "in real life". (What does that mean, anyway? In real life. Like me sitting here typing an entry in my blog and then you reading it is NOT real? I dunno... Anyway...)

And there's more..but I can't pinpoint much of it. I feel like my head is so full. And it is...with thoughts of family and grandparents and life...and of course that ever elusive subject of time. (Yes. Still.)

It was I was talking to a coworker and out of the blue she said, "It's so weird, I've really been ruminating on death and dying a lot lately." We ended up getting into a quick discussion...about God and heaven and what that's all about and how I believe it all works. It was good...

Today was our Friday. We have tomorrow off and then of course we're off all of next week for spring break. Remember when it was called Easter Vacation? too.

Since I'm off for the next week and a half or so...I plan on cleaning and organizing the linen closet, my spice cabinet, my armoire and the laundry area. I also need to clean the chicken coop and get the garden ready for some veggie planting soon. In the middle of it all is a birthday celebration for my mom and I, a meeting with a friend, a meeting with the neighbor to get us started on college planning for Seth and, of course, some rest.

Anyway...that's about it. I think I'll share a poem tomorrow. I'm kind of nervous about it...something about putting it out there can make you feel very vulnerable. But that won't stop me. I've put it off long enough. Tomorrow I will be brave.

Monday, April 2, 2012

getting a handle on things...

I picked up some extra hours over the next couple of weeks. That's a really good thing...they're very much welcome and the extra money will really help. I really love the school I work at...I know I keep saying it, but I really do. Many, many really good makes for a good day at work.

More hours at work means less hours at home. I'm adjusting. And so are the laundry piles.

See that stack of measuring cups and such in that photo? They were all Noni's... I love to think that she used them...held them...ran them under warm water when she was done.

And now I have them...treasures, for sure.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

...and then the sun came out.

What a beautiful day... The sun is shining...the windows are open...the air is cool. I tidied a bit...I meant to yesterday but by the time I got home from helping my aunt I just wasn't in the mood to clean...or cook!

Soo...everyone fended for themselves. Leftovers, frozen waffles, fast food...whatever works sometimes, right?

I've been taking more pictures lately. It feels good. Digital photography is such an easy form of creativity, isn't it? No supplies, no mess, no sticky fingers from glue and paint, no little threads and snips of fabric sticking to the butt of your sweats that you don't realize are there until you get back from the store.

Yeah, digital photography is pretty much an ideal creative outlet. For me at least seeing as how I don't have much space to make a proper creative mess. Not to mention, if the photo isn't good...delete it. Done. Gone. No muss. No fuss.

I have become a bit of a purist as far as digital photography is concerned. I don't edit my photos. I don't lighten or brighten or adjust colors. I don't add any of the effects that are available for photo editing. I mess with the settings...which I am still not really versed in at all. I could not tell you what ISO is or aperture or anything else. But I do know how to adjust them accordingly in my camera (by trial and error, not because I know what I'm doing, because I don't!) to find the light and mood that I want in the photos. Not all the time. Sometimes a photo has more of a cool tone than I'd like. Or is a bit brighter than I imagine. Or the angle just isn't.quite.right. But every now and then I can get pretty close to how I see it in my head.'s Sunday. It's almost 1pm. And I haven't even showered yet. But that's about to change...I have to get ready to go to the Relay for Life fund raiser with my mom and my aunt this afternoon. It's being held at a historic home here in town that I've always wanted to visit. I wonder if they'll let me take photos? I'm gonna take my camera...just in case!