Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Those are echinacea flowers, or straw flowers. Yes you consume this plant to ward off colds, and yes it is growing in one of my front flower beds. The vegetable gardens, like my children, have gone absolutely wild and seem to be all the better for it. My Three Sisters Garden of corn, beans and squash is just as delighted to be here as if an old Indian squaw had planted them instead of this old white squaw.

What I try to do is to make the soil as rich as possible, snuggle the plants and seeds in there all nice and cozily, and then let them grow as they will, creating their own barrier against weeds as they spread shade and crowd them out. And since I share the yard with a beagle and two of the cats, I have various little plots spread about, and fenced in. So here is a tour of my somewhat mixed up but (I think) lovely, growing things...

This is a side view of the three sisters, along with their friends, the heirloom tomatoes (Juliet, Ox Heart, Abe Lincoln and one or two others whose names escape me right now), basil, Italian parsley, and green peppers.

Granny Smith Apple Tree:

The pic above is another little garden, full to overflowing with two tomato plants (also heirlooms from last year) that volunteered to grow from seed this year, pickling cucumbers, tabasco peppers and chili peppers. The cucumbers will not be restrained and are overtaking their boundaries, reaching out to a volunteer pumpkin (or maybe its some other squash) growing just outside the plot, and threatening to mix it up with another pumpkin and some cantaloupes, fenced in a few feet away. I will show it to you now, and I think you can click on these.

And now, for some of the flowers....

And me, finally taking a bit of Sunday rest. To be continued....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

 Disappointment surely comes to all the living, sometimes quite often, indeed.  But I find it helpful to acknowledge the feeling, allow myself to experience a bit of grief, and then with God's help to get the heck out of there. Either I give some thought to various ways I might redeem the situation, or if its something that cannot be fixed, I start looking ahead in different directions and seek out new opportunities.

Sometimes something we thought was coming to us does not come after all. Plans get canceled, opportunities are lost through a misunderstanding, people do not do or simply cannot be what we want them to do or be.
Hope is such a tenuous, fragile thing, and so easily dashed, isn't it?

And if we're not careful to guard against it, we might be embarrassed and take ourselves to task for being so foolish as to believe in something that didn't materialize for us. I would urge that we do not berate ourselves this way, lest we become cynical, bitter or despairing.  To live in those attitudes is to live less and less.

That is why we must pass through each denizen of disappointment in a brisk walk and not loiter. It is the seedy part of town and though we cannot avoid passing through it from time to time, yet we must never stop long enough to get stuck there. Wallowing in the hurt will eventually bind us into a type of mental and emotional slavery.  Better to keep our eyes fixed on what lies ahead, just beyond our disappointment, and walk steadily on.

Besides, sometimes when things don't go our way, there are cosmic though perhaps, presently hidden reasons why things fell through. Things happened this way for our benefit. If you love the Lord, or are at least open to the possibility of relationship with Him, you can be sure that He has a perfect plan for you, "for I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord, "plans for a future and a hope". And lastly, remember that "all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose".

Sometimes God withholds the good from you, in order that He may give you the best. I wish you the best tonight and I pray that you will wake up tomorrow, ready once again to say yes to all the possibilities.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Nap in the Afternoon

Lullaby, by Trisha Romance

Babies aren't the only ones who need them. Being home and having the opportunity to rest for a bit during the hottest part of the day is one of the true joys of life - in fact it makes life civilized. I am very proud and grateful to be an American but am I the only one of us who is not ashamed of saying that I sometimes indulge myself in a bit of rest? I am not a lazy person, but after a respectable amount of work, I sometimes need to recharge. But that is considered shameful, isn't it?

What is up with our incessant drive to do more, produce more, take on more and more volunteer work, (and make sure we brag about it) and push ourselves on and on until somebody ends up with a stress-induced autoimmune disease, or carpel tunnel syndrome, or gets involved in an accident?

I attended a day of discernment at our church on Saturday, in which we candidates for pastoral council were to meet with each other, discuss many issues and then vote for who we thought the Lord would have us pick for the council. Needless to say, I was not elected, and for that I am both slightly disappointed, but also massively relieved, since its good to know oneself well enough to know one is not a leader.

But as usual, two of the people elected were mothers of young children, one with a high stakes third shift job in another city and who has a military husband who is often away on deployment. I do not know the other one's employment status, but I do know she has very young children, and she is involved in other ministries in the church. So I guess this would be the perfect time for the Lord to remind me that His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways, because if the Lord's top choice for young mothers is for them to be away from their children as much as possible, or distracted with a whole lot going on outside the home, then I have misunderstood much of what I have read in His Word.

Personally, I voted for the men. Contrary to the wisdom of the "Goddess", I think men are absolutely wonderful creatures who make really good leaders, since they are able to make hard decisions without sentimentality and since they tend to see the forest in spite of all the sappy trees.  Really. Since this is my blog I will venture out here and say that, to me, younger women have much more important and noble things to do than to get involved with the rat race of the world, and older women who get themselves into positions of power tend to get kind of psycho. Even their physical appearance becomes an unsettling reflection of the weirdness within.....
And their opinion of themselves can become a bit unhinged. Do you remember when Nancy Pelosi decided that what the Muslim world needed was a visit from her, whereupon this grandmother took herself to see the heads of Islamic states (can we say socially conservative?) with her skirt hiked up like this.....

I have no doubt that they were very impressed. What was she thinking? Was she trying to seduce them? To be fair, I am no fan of Sarah Palin, either. She sacrificed a lot to get onto the national stage, including her family's privacy and dignity.

I am confused about a lot of this so-called progress. It must be that there is nothing wrong with this brave new world for women, and the constant emasculation and bashing of males, the power wielding old ladies wearing extreme facelifts and tight miniskirts, kids raised by hirelings or else raising themselves, and maniacal busyness.

I know what to do. After lunch I will take a wee nap, then make myself a cup of tea. Perhaps that will help me to make better sense of things then.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In the beginning...

Here is a shot of some of the things I have growing in the backyard. I am going to put in some more corn in that nearest row, where the first batch didn't come up so well. I need to take that straw from last year and break it up to mulch around the plants.

Hoping to get some more pics of the roses and flower beds, and also the vegetables as they, Lord willing, grow and progress their way to the table. I am using my basil, oregano, parsley and mint right now, and expect I might harvest some zucchini and cukes in the near future.

Sometimes the plants that show so much promise, that seem to do so well at first, meet with (natural) disaster, or else, as used to be the case quite often, my husband mows them down (on accident, I'm told). Hence, the fencing around everything. There to keep the dog and cats out (I tell him).

People are like plants. The flash and dazzle type are often the ones that disappoint us sooner or later (and usually sooner). And the ones that don't seem too impressive at first are often those who bear the most fruit. Never write someone off. I learned that a long time ago as a child, when I used to be singled out as the one who wasn't allowed to be in the company of others' children, considered as some sort of bad seed, I guess.

I've learned that in the growing season, it is often the seed that sprouts by itself, without being planted but rather just comes up from some remnant of the previous season, that proves to be the hardiest and most fruitful of all. It is usually found in some odd location where you don't particularly want it, but it deserves its berth because it is after all, a volunteer. It says, "This place perfectly suits me and I am thriving here. Stand back and watch me prove myself to you!" If you can keep others from mowing it down, you'll most likely get a lot of pleasant fruit from it. I have had pumpkins, cantaloupes and tomatoes galore from such volunteers. Something worth thinking about when one summarily dismisses another soul whom God has loved into existence.

Some more pics of the place....