27 July 2009

Quite a "day off"!

It's a great day to be outside, and that's a good thing, because we needed to spend a LOT of time outside this morning.

Bob and I spent about 3-4 hours this morning putting up and reinforcing fences. Our smarty pants horses have been getting out a lot lately. Our yearling colt thinks it's worth getting a little shock if he can get on the other side of the fence. So, after chasing them around a few times we decided to create a small 2 acre pasture with a double electrified barbed wire. We disconnected all the rest of the fencing on our property so electricity is only going around that small pasture. Now it really zaps and I just dare him to try it again! LOL! It's nice to relax and not wonder where the horses are. We have to feed hay anyway, so there's no reason they need to have 15 acres to wander around on.

After that I helped Bob keep watch o'er our flock of goats so they could graze in the woods and back pasture. They're kind of fun to watch and I tease him about getting a harp or flute to practice while he's out there. (One of my tinwhistles, maybe?)

My next chore was to pick all of the zucchini. Some of it I will puree to use in zucchini bread. I like to have the freezer full so we have plenty over the winter. What I don't use for zucchini bread or boil up to eat tonight will probably go to the chickens or goats, since most of what is left will be kind of overgrown.

Right now I have two loaves of zucchini bread in the oven and some honey wheat bread rising next to the stove. I also made jello with mandarin oranges and am making my version of swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes for supper.

Bob is off picking up a load of hay, so maybe I'll get in some practice on my instruments.

Au revoir!

25 July 2009

We need to get back to the way the first century Christians "did church"...

or do we?

I've been known to make the above observation. It just seems like church is something we came up with so we could get brownie points with God for perfect attendance and so we could have one more thing to check off our list of "good things" we do each week. Sometimes I wonder what "they" did back in the first century, because they must have had the perfect church back then, right?

Well, I was listening to the radio this morning and got a new perspective on this. One of the fellows talking brought up the church in Corinth. He pointed out that when Paul first started traveling around preaching he was pretty much kicked out of every town he visited. Corinth was the first place he stayed for a long period of time. Things went well while he was there, but after he left the church sort of fell apart, hence the need for his letter to the Corinthians. And then his second letter. This was when he told the church to appoint bishops and other leaders to keep order and to keep people accountable.

I guess they were just humans like us. Not particularly immune to the things we face. Maybe we aren't supposed to follow the example of a church just because it existed in a time not far removed from Jesus' earthly ministry. After all, it doesn't take any of us long to run our wagons into the ditch if we aren't keeping our eyes on Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us every step of the way.

So...no recipe for a perfect church here. Church (as in the building where we meet) is a place to fellowship, and just learning to get along with all of our imperfect brethren (of which we are one) is a huge learning and growing experience.

You know, going to a perfect church might be kind of like having tons of money in your bank account. It would be too easy to just put up your feet and forget that you need God. What would you need to pray about? I think history will show that when things are too easy we tend to drift away from God and become lazy and self-indulgent. We need some adversity to wake us up and keep us depending on the only One we should ever be depending on.

C.S. Lewis (Jack, to his friends) belonged to the Anglican Church. He didn't think it was perfect. In fact, I think it just happened to be the closest church to his home. But he seemed to feel that we need to get into a church and STAY PUT. If things aren't going well, PRAY. Learn to stick it out and stand by your fellow members. If they're preaching heresy you could leave, but that was about the only excuse, because no matter where you go "something" will come up that will make you want to leave. Hey, life is hard. But that's what makes us grow in our dependence on God. So he (Lewis) stuck it out and faithfully attended his church with its many flaws and fellowshipped with its imperfect flock. Way to go, Jack!

We who ARE the church can only expect perfection from Jesus Himself. If we each concentrate on growing closer to, and becoming more like Him, the fellowship will get better and better.


24 July 2009

Is this why we blog?

I came across this piece on the website where I'm learning guitar. I thought it was kind of interesting:

so you want to be a writer? by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn't come bursting out of you in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-love.

the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.

unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

22 July 2009

Getting dirty in the garden...

Got home early (4:00) and Bob and I ate a snack and decided to do some work outside. He's constructing a small building and I needed to do some hand weeding.

It's a nice day, in the 70's with partly cloudy skies.

I spent a lot of time pulling up clumps of weeds and throwing them over the fence to the waiting horses who picked through them looking for their favorite tidbits.

After weeding and hoeing a bit (there's still more to do) I got a laundry basket to gather in the harvest. My garden isn't very big, but after several years of not having one, I'm glad I at least got around to doing it this year!

I harvested spinach to freeze and turnips which I will boil and mash with butter, salt and pepper (I love it; Bob not so much.) I also got a pile of zucchini, which I'll puree and put in freezer bags in 2 cup portions for future zucchini bread. There was also an abundance of lettuce. I planted a mesclun mix and I have to admit, I'm not crazy about the spicy taste. But I eat it because "it's good for me"!

The sunflowers are blooming and the peas are almost big enough to pick. I only planted a few for Bob to eat raw right off the plant.

I've blanched and frozen the spinach and the lettuce is soaking in the sink. The rest I'll do tomorrow since it's my day off.

Oh yeah; a friend from work gave me a bag of rhubarb (I asked around) which I'll freeze to make my favorite coffeecake when we have company next week. (Son Trev and family are driving over from Baltimore.)

Better be off to practice my guitar while Bob's outside pounding nails. That way he doesn't have to witness my mistakes. (Sometimes I just force him to listen. Hee, hee!)

19 July 2009

Been slacking on this blog...

Mostly because I've been trying to keep up on my exercise and music practice blogs!

Nature note: I saw a Gold Finch flitting among the thistle plants. We have an abundance of thistles and their only redeeming value is that they attract Gold Finches who use the down for nesting.

We've had a lot of cold, cloudy weather this week, but today was sunny and beautiful.

Bob has gone to Ottertail to the Firestarters worship service. I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning, so I thought it smarter to stay home tonight.

I did some baking yesterday. Two loaves of Honey Multigrain Bread and a Rhubarb Crisp. The bread turned out great; the crisp was more crisp and not enough rhubarb, so maybe next year when the rhubarb returns I'll remember to go a little heavier on the fruit. The bread contains cornmeal, rye flour, whole wheat flour and white flour. It's fairly dense, but nice and moist. Haven't baked bread in a long time, so it was a lot of fun. I just need to collect more types of flour and collect some likely recipes.

I ran a 5K yesterday. It was a lot of fun, but since I didn't train for it I'm very sore. Better go stretch and do some reading before retiring for the night!

11 July 2009

Fair Time

Our daughter, Micah, came to spend a few days with us while she competed in the county fair. She lives and goes to school in a town about 90 miles away, but she wanted to show her horses in the 4-H shows. We were glad to have her. She rode our old grey mare, Jesse (age 18) and her quarter horse mare Dachessa (age 4) in the games and did pretty well today, placing in the ribbons in everything. Jesse got a first in poles against about 50 horses that were competing. She loves it!

Here's a pic of Micah and Jesse sliding in to home.

Here's Dachessa:

05 July 2009

Happy Fourth...yesterday...

Sorry if that last blog was a little heavy-hitting. You just have days like that sometimes. Not that I'm taking it down. Shoot, it took me too long to write it! =0)

I've been strumming on my guitar after a 29 year hiatus. I found a free online guitar course at justinguitar.com and I'm beginning at the beginning, refreshing my memory of basic chords and letting him teach me a little at a time. I'd like, eventually, to be able to write some worship songs rather than being caught in the old accompaniment tape rut. I'd like to actually allow the Holy Spirit to give me songs. Wouldn't that be cool?

We had a great time watching fireworks with our 2 sons and daughter-in-law last night. We had good seats with cookies, popcorn and juice. This morning we went to church together and then went to Josh and Jess's apartment. They're moving back to Dallas and needed us to cart off some furniture they won't be taking with them. We hugged them good-bye and now we will be praying almost without ceasing for them as they begin this new part of their journey.

Keep on following Jesus and you can't go wrong. As my wise cousin, David, once said, "The road leads home." Yes it does. And we'll all be together when we get there. No worries!