Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Fall Changes

Goodness!  September is already long over and October is well on its way.  Fall is in the air everywhere we look. No more orange moons caused by the smoke lingering in the air from the wildfires.  At last the rains have returned to make the sky fresh and clean again.





The Virginia Creeper has turned red and is covered with little berries.





A few tendrils have escaped to begin climbing up the shade tree.  I will have to coax them back to where they belong.


I love looking out over the bench and watching the seasons change.  This is one of my favorite spots in the yard.  Two weeks ago the Flame Maple was just beginning to turn.


Even though the Dogwood tree is still green, soon it will be too wet and cold to sit outside on the bench.


The last of the summer flowers are still hanging on, bravely awaiting the first kiss of frost.



Meanwhile, over the last couple of weeks, the maple has, oh, so quickly, begun the gentle dropping of its leaves, its full glory will be gone much too soon.













Oh! How I love Autumn!  Thankful for eyes that see.

~~~~~~~

"Every Leaf speaks bliss
to me, fluttering from
the autumn tree."
Emily Bronte






Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thoughts and Prayers for Our Country






After spending a full week pretty much flat on my back in bed with a strained back, I really wanted to spend some time in front of  the computer talking about happy things, sharing about the end of summer and beginning of fall, but I find that it doesn't feel right not to address all that has been happening in the past few weeks and certainly these last couple of days.  

After watching and listening to the stories of the countless loss of life and homes from massive hurricanes and wild fires, we then had to share our horror as news of the terrible massacre in Las Vegas unfolded before us.  And our hearts are broken by the magnitude of evil in it, and the pain and suffering it has brought.  I share the fears of others that we have been here before and probably will be again someday. 

I have no theological answers to the questions of suffering.  I only know of the times I have suffered and I pray for those who are suffering now. I do know that God is everywhere present.  So, I choose to remember that God is not just on his throne way up there somewhere, impassively watching, but he is here right beside us right now.  So let us take our refuge in him.

Father, I pray for all those who are suffering pain and loss this day around our country and around the world.  Thank you for all those people who have stepped forward to help others in need and may they and we reflect your love.  Give wisdom to those in command.  And as we already see the dark clouds of anger and dissent and accusation begin to form may we as your children bring light and peace to our conversations.  May we take the time to listen to one another even if we don't agree. Help us to share your love in our daily interactions and not just pass over those who are different from us.  May we remember this unity that we feel in the midst of tragedy and strive to find those areas where we can find common ground that honors each other and you, remembering to keep our eyes fixed on the things above.  Thank you for being our refuge and our strength. 




Whoever and wherever you are, may you know God's peace and may His blessings be with you this day.






Saturday, September 16, 2017

Garden Surprise

I'm not exactly known for my garden expertise.  I'm happy to say that I don't have a black thumb when it comes to planting, more like gray, with maybe a hit of green from time to time if I'm lucky.  You all saw how my green beans grew here  I caught the culprit in my back yard a few days later.



Doesn't he look comfortable and not a bit contrite?  He moved from the beans to the apple tree and laid down for a rest while I went to get my camera. He and his partner in crime had managed to eat what few apples there were on the gravenstein tree this year. 



Fortunately, the other tree has still produced a nice crop, which I must pick this afternoon before the rains begin tomorrow, our first real rain in over 2 1/2 months.

 I tried growing some sunflowers this year too.  I was inspired by my cousin's lovely sunflower post earlier in the summer.  You can see how that has turned out.



Not exactly standing proudly straight and tall.  I planted them in the place we cut down the evergreen trees last year.  Perhaps they didn't like the soil.  Yet, in spite of that, they still bloomed.  I am amazed by this tiny little sunflower.  I wonder if it will make a seed.

Seems like the only thing I have grown successfully this year is weeds.  I have pulled whole mountains of weeds all summer, even without the rain.


So imagine my complete surprise and delight when I discovered a tomato plant and an unknown vine had popped up in the middle of my geraniums a few weeks ago.  I think the seeds must have been in the mulch from my compost pile.  I decided to just leave them there to see what would happen and....  I actually have some tomatoes! 

 

 
  
But this was the biggest surprise.



 




 Cantaloupe!  Something we don't see on the west side of the mountains. 

Of course with September already almost half gone and rain on the way, I doubt that there will be time for a harvest, but what a fun and unexpected gift.  God always brings joy in such unexpected and special ways. We just need to keep our eyes open. I would call this Eucharisteo.




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A World of Color - Summer in Red

"The World is a carousel of color, wonderful, wonderful color."  That's what Disney used to say. The Bible says "Blessed are your eyes because they see."  (Matthew 13:16) To see the world in color is such a gift.  Everyone has a favorite color, right?    I can never make up my mind which color is mine, but I do like the color red.  It seemed like I noticed it everywhere this summer.


Greeting me by my front door. 

 

In ripe raspberries from a garden pot.


Or fresh homemade strawberry pie.




 I still see  bright red geraniums in pots everywhere.







My favorite summer hat is red.


 



And look at this cheerful red front porch I came across while walking with my cousin. It made me want to knock on the door and ask if I could sit and stay a while.

 
 



We also saw this big red house peeking through the trees. 

 

When we went around the corner we discovered it was much bigger than we thought.




Love this old red door beckoning us to walk through and the explore the garden path beyond.


And who can resist eating lunch under a bright red umbrella on a warm summer day?





Or sitting in a red chair by the side of the lake?


And here are the first red leaves on the maple tree reminding us that the days of summer are coming to a close.

 

So often we don't take the time to notice or enjoy all the beautiful colors that surround us every day.  What if we each took the time to focus on just one color each day?  What color would you choose?





Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Blog Woes

Somehow during a search for something on my page, I managed to convert a bunch of my posts back into draft all at once.  I am still not sure how I did it or what happened, but I was so frustrated by the whole thing that I almost gave up the entire idea of blogging altogether, as this is the second time something like this has happened to me! It's not like I am going to disappoint thousands of eager readers or anything if I do.

 However, after pretty much ignoring this site for most of the summer, I am going to try to put things back together and give it another try.  So if you see some posts that look familiar, that's because they are. Meanwhile, I think I am going to start another practice blog where I can experiment to my heart's content and hopefully make my mistakes over there.  Meanwhile I will take comfort from this quote I read this morning.

 
Never regret a day in your life.
Good days give you happiness
Bad days give you experiences;
Both are essential to life.
Keep going…
Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you humble,
Success keeps You Glowing,
But Only God keeps You Going!
— Copyright © 2010 Lebitso TR Mtshali

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A lesson from the Garden

These are the green beans I planted in the early days of summer.  Aren't they just the saddest little things?  Something has been chewing on them, either deer or rabbits.  The long heat wave hasn't helped either.


And yet, if you look closely you can see some little beans are starting to appear.


 A lesson and reminder that even in adversity we can still bloom and  produce fruit in our lives, especially if we keep our eyes on the Lord.



Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to 
God a sacrifice of praise.
the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Hebrews 13:15


Monday, July 31, 2017

Misadventures of a Pack Rat - Day 5 Surprises in the Attic

While digging through the attic this spring, my children decided it was time for them to go through their things and figure out what they wanted to keep.  So when we returned from our winter adventures we came home to a garage full of  so many boxes and trunks for us to all sort through, there was no room left for the cars (sigh).  Not exactly how I wanted to start my first week home after being gone for 3 months, but it did keep me from procrastinating for too long. 

As I was purging, I came across a box filled with what's left of my old doll collection.  I played with all my dolls (that's what they are for right?) so they are not exactly in "collectable" condition, but I sure remember having a lot of fun with them at the time.

When I was about 7 years old my grandmother signed me up for a "Dolls Around the World" club.  Every month or so I received a doll dressed to represent a different country.  I must have had thirty or so of them.  These are the ones that are left.  From left to right they represent Greece, Spain, Scotland, Sweden, China and Ireland.



I also had about twenty or so that were actually made in their country of origin.  These three came from Italy, Israel and Korea.  (Please excuse some of my photos.  It seems my lens needed cleaning)
  
 

 This little Japanese doll with different wigs was a gift my dad brought home to me from Okinawa in 1962.  She was much used and loved.
 


One of the most interesting dolls I had was this one, probably made in the 30's or 40's as it belonged to my mother.  It comes from the redwood country of Northern California. I saw one in a museum when we were visiting the area a few years ago but no one could tell me anything about it. With the exception of the plaster face, it is made completely from strips of redwood bark woven together. I couldn't really play with her but she hung on my bedroom wall until I was a teenager.




In addition to my dolls, I also discovered this pretty glass perfume bottle which belonged to my grandmother.   I remember it sitting on the dresser in her bedroom when I was a little girl.  My mother must have saved this plaster print of my hand, probably from kindergarten or first grade. Truthfully, I am not sure what I want to do with these things.  So for the time being, they have been carefully wrapped back up and packed away. 

 






However,  There has been one thing I found which I am keeping out...this little tea set.  I remember it, but I don't remember where or when I got it.




The lid to the teapot seems to be missing but that doesn't mean that my little granddaughter and I can't still enjoy some future tea parties together. I will look forward to that. That's my little trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it.

Adieu!