29 August 2009

Wow man, this is like, so '70's....

I came across this video from the '70's while looking for Celtic tinwhistle stuff. I couldn't help listening! I have no idea what they're singing about. It could even be something for mature audiences, but being a child of the '60's and '70's I just had to post it here! =0) Apparently, this is an Irish band that has been popular since the 70's. They are all relatives and are still recording and performing. They must be OLD! (About my age.)

24 August 2009

How's THIS for a sunflower?

I planted a variety of sunflower seeds this spring. Now that most of them are waning this little guy decided to burst forth!

Less blogging, more reading?

Probably not (in answer to the question in the title), but I keep finding new treasures to read, so I'll have to try a little harder to find the time for them!

Beautiful little books! Oh, joy!

22 August 2009

Sir James Galway plays "Lord of the Rings". Lovely...

Free dough!

The Lord provides in creative ways!

The deli I work in is in a 24-hour grocery store. The bakery is right next to us, so we mingle a lot. This afternoon one of the bakery girls came over with a 5 gallon bucket of bread dough (oatmeal bread, to be exact) and said it had been in the proofing room for a long time and wasn't rising. So, she left it sitting in the deli dish room (I'm not sure why) and after a short time it started to rise like crazy and crawl right out of the bucket!

Since they planned to throw it out (the bakery staff had left for the day so it wouldn't get baked anyway) a couple of us filled small buckets with dough to take home. I've got four pans rising next to the stove and I hope it will work! If I get it all baked I'll have to give some away or freeze it.

Oh, and besides the dough, one of the deli gals gave me a ham bone with lots of ham on it. Bean soup coming up soon!

Having some baking fun!

21 August 2009

Fitting in the blog...

Wow! It's so hard to actually live life and then have enough time to blog about it! =0)

Today I worked from 7-3:30, then, since I was carpooling with someone who needed to do some grocery shopping, it was almost 5:00 before I actually got home!

Then, I realized we were low on bread, so I began baking bread. Well, mixing, kneading, letting it rise. SO now, at 8:48 I just put it in the oven!

We're pinching pennies, so I'm trying to bake our bread instead of paying almost $4 a loaf at the store, and it's usually kind of dry and stale. I love to bake bread, but it's a lot to do after work.

I also had laundry to do so I have a clean uniform shirt for tomorrow. I had planned to go for a walk, but no way! My poor legs and feet need a rest!

I did get in some guitar practice, so that was good. And I put my feet up while I ate supper in front of the TV. This is when my husband and I get to visit.

So, time for a shower, getting ready for bed and then socializing with hubby while watching a football game, until the bread is ready.

I had planned to blog about what I'm reading in Luke, but I will wait until I have time to really concentrate on it.


16 August 2009

Jesus Is Your Home...

I homeschooled my kids for about 19 years. I loved being home. Boredom was never a problem for me. I really don't understand people who ask, "How can you stand to be home with your kids all day! That would drive me nuts!" Sure, every day wasn't wonderful, but I genuinely loved being around my kids, who are some of the most interesting and engaging people I know. Now that they're grown and just recently left home (all three of them in a 2 month period of time!) I have no regrets. They've grown into really great people. I'm really proud of them. I, on the other hand, didn't turn out so well.

When my daughter was about 13 it became financially imperative for me to go to work. We had to have a second income in the family. It was fine with my daughter, and my sons were already in college and working. My husband was retired and would be home with my daughter. So, I got a job. In a deli. Really stressful.

If you've ever scrolled AAAALLLL the way down to the bottom of my blog page you would see the results of a personality test I took a while back. According to that test I am 100% introverted. I think that means I live in a closet. =0) Their analysis is pretty right on. They describe me as a:

Confidant-Yes, people do seem to like to tell me their troubles. I'm good at listening without interrupting and nodding while making symapthetic noises.

Visionary-If that means I daydream a lot...you bet!

Intrapersonal-A nice way to say I think about myself too much.

Naturalist-Does that mean I like to go on nature walks? I do!

But, even without the test I would have known most of these things. After all, I'm "intrapersonal". I've been thinking about what I think about for many years. *smirk* Anyway, back to the serious stuff...

You know, oftentimes we don't know just how far we've sunk until a big change takes place in our lives and we're forced to see the truth. Like the proverbial frog in the frying pan, things heat up so slowly we don't notice we're being cooked until it's too late.

Without giving you a blow-by-blow description of my entire life, let me suffice it to say, my life has been a lot like many of yours. A happy childhood, my parents divorced, got remarried, I graduated from high school, married and became a step-mom, had three children, homeschooled them, etc. Nobody did anything terrible to me. Everyone tried their best. But despite all of that, some of us oversensitive types find we've developed the habit of insulating ourselves from the world. With all of the uncertainty in life, we're looking for a place where we feel safe. For some of us this leads to extreme introversion. But the Lord is good. He put us here to be interpersonal. To interact and develop relationships so we can effect those around us for His glory. So...

How to do that with someone who is well entrenched at home; happily hiding from the world? In my case, He pulled me kicking and screaming out into public life. It was emotionally excruciating. I didn't want to join the real world. I wanted to stay in my cocoon where nothing could hurt me! But Jesus knows that our safe cocoon is only an illusion. Just like the butterfly, we're meant to crawl out of that cocoon and fly away. To be a blessing to the world; a lamp shining on a stand. It's the enemy who wants to keep us under wraps.

My extraction from hermithood probably felt similar to the experience of a snail being pulled from its shell, with all the sucking and ripping noises that operation would entail. I spent a long period of time feeling as if my heart had been ripped out every time I had to go to work. I cried. I complained. When I came home I would practically curl up in a fetal position in my favorite chair and suck my thumb. Practically. All I could think about was that I was home at last and I never wanted to leave again. I had such tunnel vision that I couldn't see that there was anything else in the world besides the way I felt inside. (Any psychologists out there? Pulling out the white jackets yet?)

Very slowly, over a period of almost six years now, the Lord has led me through to healing in this area. What I thought was torture was actually God rescuing me from the lies of the enemy that had bound me up in fear. Fear of people.

To flash back a bit, when my kids were small and I had just begun homeschooling (which I think was definitely God's leading, and I have no regrets for it) we lived just ten miles from the North Dakota border. This was in the '80's and we heard stories of children being taken from homeschooling parents in North Dakota. Talk about fear inducing! I was so scared of school authorities and what "they" might do to "us". Even when we moved to a school district where the school was very supportive of us (where we've been most of our homeschooling lives) this fear continued. I developed an "us" and "them" mentality which sort of took in every non-homeschooler. Fear. It's not of God, and the enemy can cripple us completely if we let this deadly cancer of fear eat away at us without fighting back. Satan is the enemy, not other people.

Well, that's the lesson Jesus has been teaching me during my whole pilgrimage into the outside world. Not only is the fear of man subsiding; He's teaching me to see my coworkers and those I serve each day as people who need encouragement and who are valuable to Him. They aren't the enemy at all. They're the ones He loves and who He died for. He's endeavoring to overcome a lifetime of self-centeredness. It's not an easy task. And He's not finished yet!

Now I come home, put my feet up and have a cup of tea. After a rest break (which I need after standing up all day) I get up and get about the business of doing something to participate in the life of my home. Doing dishes and laundry, cooking and baking are things I enjoy because now they are a treat. I still feel a slight wisp of ennui at the thought of going to work, but it's worlds away from what I used to experience. Besides, going to work just makes me appreciate home all the more.

What it all boils down to is this: Jesus is my Home. And He is always with me. As this is revealed to me more and more, I become more open to what Jesus has for me to do and where He asks me to go. Not there yet, but that's the goal.

15 August 2009

Answering a pom-pom question...

Well, I'm going to TRY to answer it.

Pom-pom , who is nice enough to visit and leave comments, asked what songs I'm learning on my guitar.

The short answer to this is, not very many! So far I'm doing a lot of practice drills to get my speed and accuracy on playing chords. I'm also doing some finger stretching exercises, practicing some folkstyle picking and some blues strumming, but I'm not actually playing songs. The reason for this is that the songs he suggests to use for practice are songs I don't know, for the most part, or songs I'm not really interested in learning because he likes blues, jazz, rock stuff that isn't interesting to me.

So, how to solve this conundrum? I really just need to take the time to find some other songs. I have a stack of songs, many are Christian songs from the '70's, which I could play if I looked up a few chords I haven't learned yet, or use a capo to get them into my range (because, for me, playing the guitar is all about accompanying myself to sing). These are just things I need to get around to.

I have CD's full of songs I recorded for my mom WAY BACK in the '70's and I could sit and figure out the chords from those so I could play them again, using the new fingerpicking and strumming techniques I'm learning now.

I love music by people like Keith Green, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Selah, Honeytree, Love Song etc. I'm having trouble finding lyrics and chords for some songs I like, but I'm working on it. This is a journey which will take a while. Eventually, I want to be able to pick up a guitar and figure out songs on the spur of the moment, but I know that's a long way down the road.

My son, Jordan, is an excellent guitarist and has sung with a worship band, which has disbanded recently. I'm sure he could teach me a lot, too. But since he lives 12 miles away, I'm using this website to learn what I can. I know Jordan also has DVD's I could borrow.

I hope you'll try the guitar, Pom-Pom, if you're really interested! Life is short. We may as well try some of those things we've been putting off "'til the kids grow up"!

I'm going to put a picture of my son Jordan in the left column of this blog and I'll try to link it to a place where you can listen to him sing. (Don't worry, I won't grill you about whether or not you listened to it! LOL!)

13 August 2009

Full day...

I didn't go to work until 2 p.m. today, so I fit in a one mile walk and some other exercises in the morning. I also puttered in the garden and brought in some zucchini, tomatoes and green beans.

After a hot and hectic day in the deli I came home to an empty house at 9:30 p.m. Bob had run to Detroit Lakes to do an errand. So I took the opportunity to practice my guitar and tinwhistle.

Now I'm going to do one last check of email and Jody's messageboard.


10 August 2009

Learning patience via guitar...

You know, when I was about 16 years old I prayed for patience. I knew I really had a problem in this area and also knew that God would surely deliver this request quickly. After all, patience is a good thing, right?

Well, I'm still working on it 36 years later. Does it seem strange that it would require patience to learn patience? Hmmm...

So here I am...relearning the guitar. I originally began playing the guitar at the same age I prayed for patience. I played, in a mediocre, self-taught fashion for about 7 years, using it as accompaniment when I sang at church. Then I got married, became an instant mom of four kids at the age of 23, and for some odd reason, the guitar playing went by the wayside. Now that those four kids, plus three more that I gave birth to, are all grown and have flown the nest, I'm ready to try again.

At the age of 52 I look at this learning experience differently than I've looked at learning in the past. I've always had the feeling that I should just pick things up in no time flat or I would give up and try something else. I think this came from watching too many musicals. You know, the type where a bunch of people start singing and dancing spontaneously and they all know the words and the steps without ever having to learn them.

Over the years I've watched other people learn things and I've realized that one of my problems is that I over-analyze everything. I have to know the "why" behind everything before trying to do it. There comes a time for rote learning; blind faith in the teacher. That's what I'm trying to do now with the guitar. I'm just practicing all of the little pieces and believing that eventually it will all come together into a whole, at which time I'll be able to accompany myself in a better way than I did years ago. So, I'm learning patience once again. One guitar practice session at at time.

If you were looking for a deep spiritual lesson here...maybe next time...I'm just rambling...=0)

3 Mile Nature Walk...

Went for a 3 mile walk. The first 1-1/2 miles I kept to the asphalt biking trail, then at the halfway point I decided to walk back on the horse trail. More shade and more flowers to pick for a bouquet!

About half a mile from home there is an old cemetery which I mentioned in another post recently. I've never walked into it because I wasn't sure if it was private or not. I decided since the gates are always open and it's not posted, it might be okay. As it turns out, it's the old Catholic cemetery.

As you can see from the picture, there is a large open lawn area with a cross and a large headstone toward the back of the property. You can see it better if you click on the photo to enlarge it. To the right of the cross you can see a small white object. That's a deer's tail! It's running away from me with it's large white flag up.

I walked to where the cross and headstone are and saw that there was a small roped off area just beyond them. It contained 20-30 very old graves marked by little stones which were flush with the grass and almost covered over. The exception was one large stone next to the border fence. It looked like it had been carved using very primitive tools and the letters carved in it were very crude. It looked like something you would see in an old Irish churchyard. Very interesting. The large new headstone you can see from the trail was apparently placed there fairly recently and lists the names of all of the people buried in the little plot. It also bore the name of Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church, which is the local Catholic church which has two larger plots, one adjacent to our land and the other across the road from us, next to the lake.

Most of the graves in the little cemetery were from the 1920's and 30's. I thought it was really interesting. I wonder if it's okay for me to go into the roped off area and take a closer look at the headstones? I'll have to check into that. There is an open space in the rope and I'm sure they go in there with a lawnmower so maybe it would be okay. I'd like to get a photo of that big stone. I never knew I was so interested in cemeteries!

08 August 2009

Ghost plant...ooo....

I found a cool little plant which I think I've only seen in my field guide before this. It's called an Indian pipe or Ghost plant. Well, I'll let you read the description below:

The Indian Pipe plant or Ghost plant is a forest floor dwelling plant that feeds upon a parasitic fungus which in turn feeds off the roots of a spruce tree. This interrelationship gives the Ghost Plant some interesting qualities. It contains no chlorophyll and appears translucent in sunlight. Once plucked the plant immediately starts to wither or melt in your hand and necrosis occurs in minutes. The prepared roots of the plant are rumored to have an opiate quality and have been used in the suppression of pain during surgery.

Here are a couple of pictures:

I picked mine a good hour ago and they haven't "melted" yet! We must make a hardier version here in the northwoods! I found it while doing my 2 mile walk on the trail. This was the only spot I saw them, and it fits the description above as far as being in a woodland setting with lots of spruce trees to feed off of.

It's one of those little discoveries that makes you feel like, "God put that there just for me to find and wonder over." One of those "suprised by joy" moments C.S. Lewis talks about.

Life is a treasure hunt!

07 August 2009

Nature walk...yesterday.

Went for a brisk two-mile nature walk down the horse trail. Up and down; down and back. I took quite a few pictures. I'll post some of them here.

There was quite a variety of speeds on this walk. I had to stop and take pictures a LOT. Then my memory card was full, so I had to stand there and delete a few so I could take more.

At the half-mile mark there is a small private cemetary plot with a large white cross. Two fawns, which had been laying in the brush to the right of the trail, heard me coming and jumped up. They went bounding across the cemetery lawn and stopped to the right of the cross where they turned and watched me curiously. You probably can't see them in the photo, but I thought I'd try. (You can see them if you click on the photo to enlarge it.) On the return trip they were still there, browsing around the edges of the lawn. They raced away with their tall white tails waving an alarm when I lifted my camera to take a shot. (Hey, that must be where the expression to "high-tail it out of here" came from!)

It's a very pretty place to walk.

06 August 2009

Oh, my aching legs!

Yeah, overdoing in the kitchen on my day off, as usual!

Today I:

peeled, diced, boiled and mashed 4 large turnips

pureed zucchini and made two loaves of zucchini bread

browned hamburger and made chili

made two loaves of honey whole wheat bread

made chocolate chip cookies

I tried to be a smart cook and wear shoes so my legs and feet wouldn't get so tired, but only stuck to that resolve for part of my kitchen time. I did take frequent breaks to put my feet up and watch Home and Garden TV. Unfortunately, I ate during all those breaks. =0)

I know. They're a little too brown.

Bob's outside working on a new chicken coop. I will go out and help him relocate the chickens when it's all ready. Hey, I'm doing my part in the kitchen, remember?

Now I'm off to practice my guitar for a while. Check my "Practice Time" blog to see if I actually got a round tuit!

Vaya con dios!

03 August 2009

Harvesting again...

Got home from work about 4:00 and after a bite to eat I helped my husband catch one of our young goats. He is giving it to a 4-H gal who has been dreaming (literally, she had a dream) of getting a goat and her parents finally said it was okay. We're cutting back on our goats, so we're glad she'll have a good home! I'm the hoof trimmer for the goats, so I gave her a quick pedicure. Then we put her in the back of the pickup, locked the topper and off she went.

After that, I grubbed around in the garden, pulling a lot of weeds. I fed a large armful to the goats, but most just got dumped over the pasture fence.

My garden doesn't have a lot of variety, but I'm getting a lot out of it for the little effort I'm putting in. With all the cool weather the lettuce is still producing like crazy. I've also gotten lots of turnips and spinach and picked some peas today, as well. Of course, there is more zucchini, but I think it's finally slowing down!

Well, I'm off to do some dishes and wash up my produce. I'll give the lettuce a soaking to plump it up and probably cook the spinach and turnips. On Wednesday maybe I'll make more zucchini bread. Some of it will go to son Jordan. Gotta fatten him up a little!


02 August 2009

Nature walk...

I haven't been walking for a few days. Okay, closer to a week. I've been trying to get over a cold and I've finally outrun it!

Today I went for a brisk two-mile walk down the Heartland Trail, which runs adjacent to our land. I walked down the horse trail for a mile. It's lush, green, hilly, bumpy and lined with woods. In short, it makes for a pretty walk.

I kept a running tab of the plants and animals I encountered, just to see how many I could name by sight.

I did the return mile on the asphalt bike trail that runs parallel to the horse trail. Then I walked a short distance back on the horse trail to pick a small bouquet of flowers which I hope to use for drawing practice. Don't tell the Dept. of Natural Resources!

Flora and fauna I saw:
black-eyed susan
bee balm (purple)
wild mint
poison ivy
red and white clover
white pine
norway pine
wild rose
hoary allysum
catpaws (?)
2 white-tail deer

And a partridge in a pear treeeeee....

Our grand-babies visit!

Our older kids, ranging in age from 38 to 47, live all over the country. Maryland, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Colorado. This week we were blessed to have our son, Trev, daughter-in-law Rhonda and grandchildren Cody (7), Kristen (5), Chloe (1-1/2) and Katie (6 months).

They were in the area for Trev's 20 year school reunion! (Boy, are we old!)

They had lots of fun riding horses, feeding goats and jumping on the trampoline.

Our grandchildren are very smart (of course) and very silly. LOL! Lots of fun!

Hope we can see them again soon.





My son Josh. Twenty-five today!

Happy Birthday hi5 Graphics
Happy Birthday Graphics