Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Still Smoky

August is rapidly coming to a close. (Yay!) Fall is on the calendar. Which means I have almost made it through the hottest year on record. Depending on the weather man and statistics. For winter though, I do hope the Farmers Almanac is right rather than Mostly Accu Weather. There I go talking about the weather for a whole paragraph.

Ready for a sidewalk picture? Oh good. My life seems so boring right now. I have a story coming really soon in this post.

Sidewalk first.

 Its not clean or anything yet. As long as you can see--- one giant sidewalk with a curbs. I can't wait to go on a walk.

Sorry, but I had to insert a fall picture since fall is now 29 days away.

Now my story.

Just to break up the monotony.
When they started the road work they told us that at some point they would be pouring a driveway. When they did that we would not be able to get into our driveway for 4 days or so. We would have to park on the street. In the above picture, you have seen my front yard. Its a hike from the road to the house. Saturday night the man I call Mr. Red Truck, told Ron that they would pour our driveway on Tuesday morning.

That was fine. School started on Monday and I knew I could do my errands on Monday and not have to worry about anything. The first day of school started like they always have. Hectic. When we got up Monday morning though, the milk I had in the fridge was sour. I had just bought it on Friday. I really did try to drink my coffee with sour milk too. It didn't work.

I got Ron off to work. I ran from the garage to the shower, I got in my car at 7:09. I wanted the boys to have milk on the first day of school. Just so you know how my mind works. I ran again through the grocery store. Praying I didn't see anyone I knew. I got back in my car to go home at 7:24. Driving home I was going through my day in my mind. Doing my mental check list. I pulled into the driveway and there was a man walking away from the front door. I stopped my car, and asked, " Can I help you?" He said that they were going to be pouring the driveway and we needed all of the cars out on the street.

To make a long story short. Wires had got crossed and Monday was the day. We moved cars and it was no big deal. I got my groceries in the house. When I finally stopped, and thought about it I had to tell you my little insignificant miracle. At least for me. The spoiled milk that was a gift in disguise. If not for that milk, I might have not made it to the grocery store and back in time. As it was every thing worked out like clock work. So I ended up feeling so thankful for that turn of events.

I think I am badly telling this story. Earlier this summer I think I have written about this before. But a verse I have heard and known for years changed my life. Its this. " But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

All means All. Not sort of or maybe or when I get my act together. All! So this summer, every time something would come up that would cause my insides to quiver and panic set in, I would consciously bring my mind back to this verse. I would in my mind remember all my needs. I have lived for so long in a state of quiet desperation, waiting to live through the next crises or the next ax to fall, I am never calm and quiet. I feel stressed and anxious. I was so tired of it that when that verse came, I decided every single time when I feel that panic feeling beginning to creep in again. I would transform my mind by renewing it. I have known this for years and years, but somewhere along the road I forgot. 

Now back to my story. Now you see why that the sour milk was a sweet little blessing in disguise? All summer there's been these little things that in the past would have discombobulated me and caused me to be filled with fear and doubt. But just that little verse has helped me to remind me of things out of my control. (Which we know we are never in control.)  as gifts rather than hindrances.

 This week is a new week, a new kind of normal. Schedules changing and lots of juggling. I hope you have had a nice week so far. Its been a bit cooler and that is always welcome. 

I hope you have just a wonderful rest of the week. 


" Summer is almost over, but I prefer to think so in the midst of sunlight and the brimming garden, not in the night. Nobody should ever say good-bye to summer in the wakeful hours of the night. Better to take the blow while the zinnias make a flare of color and the cosmos are beautiful in the sun, promising that there will be another summer." ---The Book of Stillmeadow, August. Gladys Taber


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Days

My first summer sunflower. Finally. I have waited all summer to get some blooms. These little guys would look great lining a border. Or in a small pot. We are in the midst of our fifth heat wave. I have lost count of the fires. This morning the air is thick with smoke and it smells like burning trees and houses. The sky each morning is so red. Soon though, the rains will return.

This morning as I was opening blinds, the first thing to see was a line of men across the street. Staring at my house. That is the way it looked from my vantage point. They were going to get the ground all ready for cement. We will have sidewalks. Just like town.
When I was a girl, I wanted to skate. So bad. Everyone was skating. We lived out in the country and the only place to skate was the sort of road we had. Which didn't work that well. My Aunt and Uncle lived in town and they had miles and miles of sidewalks to skate on. I would sometimes get to go over and skate.
I loved living out here and having my horses and the lovely freedom I had, but having a sidewalk life would have been perfect. Now I think by the end of the day, real sidewalks!!! I think I still have my rollerblades.
I just don't know about trying them out. It hurts a lot more now when I fall down. Which I still do with regularity.

This summer Ron and I have been learning to make Kombucha Tea. We made our Scoby which took a few weeks. Once we had that then we brewed more tea and now here is our latest batch.

Its growing another Scoby. We are going to be getting it put into bottles just as soon as it has the flavor we want. In the meantime we have a lovely health/food/grocery store called Lassens in town. I make my weekly trek over there to buy bottles Kombucha Tea. It just so happens to be in the same shopping center as Hobby Lobby. I have been watching for this rooster who I named Wallace to go on sale. He did and now he is gracing my dining room table.

I love his polka dots!
Do you know it is hard work trying to make a house look all comfy and cute? I find I have got really rusty at that skill. Most of my walls are still bare.

I have been AWOL from my blog because my pictures have become all scattered and I end up being at my wits end trying to find where they have gone. I take them and then they disappear from the place they used to go and do you know that on my computer right now I have a war going on between Google, Microsoft and my Norton virus scan. All are fighting for control. I am the one who ends up being the one who can't use my computer. Writing a blog takes me so much longer right now. I need to tell my webmaster but he is so busy working right now, I just hate him to have to come home and look at my computer. I make him do other things like watch Bigfoot videos.

I hope you have a lovely Thursday. Time to go outside in the smoke and ash and take care of my hens.
Poor girls. Summer has been hard on them. Fall is around the corner. School started back yesterday and Elliot and Peter return to school on Monday. I have my new planner and my new Bible Study. I am ready for September!
Have  wonderful day,

"To start with there was Shora. Shora was a fishing village in Holland. It lay on the shore of the North Sea in Friesland, tight against the dike. Maybe that was why it was called Shora. It had some houses and a church and tower. In five of those houses lived the six school children of Shora, so that is important. There were a few more houses, but in those houses lived no children— just old people. They were, well, just old people, so they weren't too important. There were more children, too, but young children, toddlers, not school children— so that is not so important either".---Meindert DeJong The Wheel on The School.

Best book ever!! Anything written by Meindert Dejong is a feast of wonderful thoughts about life. They are children's fiction but I think you must be an adult to appreciate them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Odds and Ends

Flowers have been pretty sparse this year.  I have a few but not like in years past. My days are spent in trying to ignore the front yard. Yesterday I no longer could pretend it wasn't there and started weeding my Amazon like flowerbeds. Its nice to see that buried deep within the grass and weeds are my Black Eyed Susans making a come back. We took all of them out last fall because they were just so over grown.

The road work continues. Tractors, water trucks, asphalt and cement trucks. Road graders and all things construction.  That is a reason I try and ignore the front yard. This is how our sunrises look right now. Can you see the smoke? There are so many fires burning now in California that this is how it is pretty much every day. One evening as I looked out at the sunset, the ash was raining down like some nuclear winter.

I manage to keep myself busy. I didn't grow any beets this year, I thought why don't I just start buying beets at the grocery store every week and make a jar or two each week. So this is my first week of beets. It is nicer than doing a whole field of them like I did last year at once. I also made these pickled carrots. When William and Makenzie got married in January, the caterers brought  marinated carrots as a side dish. I just loved them and found them in the Mexican food section at the grocery store. I decided that this summer I was going to make them myself. So yesterday was my first attempt. I will tell you if these are good in a week or so.  Not to mention I told Emilie yesterday that I was just going to can beets for her Christmas present and she said that would be the best present ever. So starting Christmas planning now. *wink*wink*

This is my current rug. I put it on my floor frame because its just too hot this summer for having the wool and burlap on my lap. I am almost finished. I need to get it done, because my thoughts keep turning to fall and pumpkins and all of that stuff.

Pattern by Brenda Gervais
Its so nice to work on a counted cross stitch that I can finish in a few days. Working on something that it so big like His Eye is on the Sparrow is hard because sometimes I feel like I can't get any place very fast.

Time to get out in those flowerbeds. We are supposed to be back to record temps by the weekend. Above 110 on Monday, so I would like to get my front flowerbeds finished before the weeds are as high at the railings.
Have a lovely day,

“ The summer,' Randy explained. 'I'm going to appreciate it. I'm going to walk in the woods noticing everything, and ride my bike on all the roads I never explored. I'm going to fill a pillow with ladies' tobacco so I can smell it in January and remember about August. I'm going to dry a big bunch of pennyroyal so I can break pieces off all winter and think of summer. I'm going to look at everything, and smell everything, and listen to everything so I'll never forget -- ”
Elisabeth Enright---Four Story Mistake.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

For My Friend

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the "God of all comfort" was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

 As the earth needs the clouds and the sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

When he leads thro' some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning.
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows. 

Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
"Hereafter Thou'll know what I do." 

As we travel thro' life's shadow'd valley 
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.

So we'll follow wherever he leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.
---From Streams in the Desert for August 9th.