29 October 2009

Surprised by Mushrooms...

I'm reading Karen Mains' book called "With My Whole Heart". In it, she has a chapter where she describes taking a class on identifying mushrooms. She took the class hoping to learn how to identify edible mushrooms in the woods, but was told right off the bat that wasn't the goal of the class. She discovered she had a child-like fascination with these fungi. After reading a bit of the chapter and her references to the many interesting names of the mushrooms I just had to go online and look for some pictures. I couldn't believe what a huge variety of mushrooms exist in the world! I came across a website of Taylor Lockwood's Mushroom Fungi Photos and was mesmerized.

She describes how mushrooms are like the flowers on a bush. The main vegetative part of the plant is subterranean, made of a mat of threadlike growths out of which the tiny "buttons" grow and emerge through the soil to become mushrooms. They have a fascinating life! =0)

God's creation is indeed incredible and, it seems, there is no end to the surprises you find when you open your eyes!


24 October 2009

Some words from "The Pastor's Wife" by Sabina Wurmbrand...

Sabina Wurmbrand is the wife of Richard Wurmbrand who wrote and lived "Tortured for Christ". They both spent years in Rumanian prisons because they were Jews and because they were Christians. She wrote about how the other female prisoners would come to the religious prisoners and ask to hear what they knew from the Bible. She wrote-

"We had no Bible. We ourselves hungered for it more than bread. How I wished I'd learnt more of it by heart! But we repeated daily those passages we knew. And at night also, when we held vigils for prayer. Other Christians, like me, had deliberately committed long passages to memory, knowing that soon their turn would come for arrest. They brought riches to prison. While others quarrelled and fought, we lay on our mattresses and used the Bible for prayer and meditation, and repeated its verses to ourselves through the long nights. We learnt what newcomers brought and taught them what we knew. So an unwritten Bible circulated through all Rumania's prisons."


I have a stew simmering in the crockpot and I made a delicious German chocolate cake so there will be something good for supper when Bob and Jordan get back from the taekwondo tournament in Grand Rapids.

I stayed home from the tournament because at my age I know longer enjoy watching people kick my first-born in the head. That actually seldom happens and he is usually the one kicking some other mother's son in the head, but I just don't have the stomach for it these days. He is awesome at taekwondo and usually wins the forms competition, unless he's competing against his brother, Josh, in which case they take turns winning. =0) He is also great at sparring and brings home a lot of wins in that as well. SO, I wait at home and fix supper!

I think I'll turn the crockpot down to "warm", then dish up some stew for myself, because I have no idea when the guys will be here. Of course, I'll have some cake, too! My easy chair awaits, along with some favorite books, and I'd better not forget to throw another log on the fire. It's chilly and drizzly here tonight.

Micah and Adam are coming to visit tonight and staying til tomorrow, so it'll be good to see them!


19 October 2009

I LOVE days off!

My TO DO list for the day:
Make chili and spaghetti.
Bake bread and chocolate chip cookies.

I started right after breakfast (homemade honey whole wheat toast with homemade tomato preserves and peanut butter with a cup of tea) making the spaghetti. Bob likes spaghetti and I like chili, so I make a small batch of each. After the spaghetti, I made the chili and started mixing the bread dough at the same time. The bread dough is about ready to split into loaves for the second rising and the chili is finished. I also just put in a load of laundry. (There usually are only two loads with just Bob and myself here.)

While waiting for the bread dough to rise and while the chili simmered I had an early lunch (burrito hotdish and iced tea) while putting my feet up and watching the news with Bob. I also went up to the loft and looked through some of my piles of photo album paraphernalia looking for the Richards genealogy that Bob's mom (Alma) gave us years ago. I didn't find it yet, but Bob went up while I was back in the kitchen and had a great time going through some old family pictures.

I also got in some reading time. I read a chapter out of "The Pastor's Wife" which is about Richard Wurmbrand's wife, Sabina. (He wrote "Tortured for Christ"). I realized that I have no decent bookmarks. I have about 5 books which I'm reading a bit at a time and using index cards as bookmarks is just tacky, right? So I went to Jan Brett's website to copy some of her bookmarks. She's one of my favorite children's book illustrators!

I also wrote some notes for a novel I'm cogitating about writing for the 10-12 year old female set. Every so often this young heroine of mine knocks on my inner-door and I have to jot down some thoughts, character traits, plot, etc. Someday I'll do something with it, when I'm not talking myself out of it by wondering what the world needs with one more book! =0)

I've been reading "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith. It's a fun, light book set in about the 1950's. The time isn't specified, so I'm guessing. (Ah, she reveals on p. 141 that it's the '30's!) It's about a young girl who is 17 and lives with her slightly quirky family in an old castle in England. The father is a has-been author and the step-mom an ex-painting model, and the book is written like a journal. Cassandra (the narrator) is an interesting person and their lives are fun to read about. It's good reading for the breakroom where more serious material doesn't work well, with all the interruptions.

Later today Bob and I will gather some firewood that he's cut up in the woods and then my "TO DO" list will be complete. I'd better go and take care of the bread. I look forward to more reading and organizing of the family photos and maybe a little guitar practice if all works out.

Have a great day!

P.S. Didn't get to the firewood or the photo albums, but I'm going to read some more and then get to bed. Work early in the morning!

15 October 2009

Blue jays in the snow...

Bob and I get an inordinate amount of pleasure watching the blue jays outside of our log cabin in the woods.

At one corner of the house grows an oak tree and an evergreen. I can see the oak tree from my computer out of a south window and Bob can see the evergreen when he sits in my favorite chair by the west window. SO this morning we watched the blue jays eating acorns. There are several of them and they perch in one of the trees, cocking their heads from side to side looking for acorns on the ground. They seem to prefer picking them up from the ground. I guess those are the ripe ones? After swooping down and picking one up they somehow perch on a branch and, holding it between their feet, they hammer away at it with their sharp beak. Are they just removing the cap or are they actually breaking it into pieces? It looks like they swallow it whole. They must have quite a gizzard to grind up those babies!

Anyway, this is entertainment in the backwoods of Minnesota. This is one more scrap of my crazy quilt! =0)

10 October 2009

Visiting online...

I find myself spending more and more time catching up on online friends!

Today I've visited Paperback Swap and found a "sticky post" (a post that stays at the top of the list all the time) on the messageboard called "Lester: Our Mark Twain". This was posted a year ago, but I didn't see it because I don't usually visit this particular forum because it contains lots of heated discussions about spirituality and politics that I really don't want to get embroiled in. But Lester apparently passed away from a stroke (he was in his early 80's) shortly after the post was made and one PBS member had copied all of his forum posts so everyone could read them. I personally just loved this man. He was very wise and gentle and was indeed "our Mark Twain". He, like all PBSers, was passionate about reading and loved to visit on the forums. After copying the post to my Word Pad I hit print preview and saw that there were 57 pages!! I haven't begun to read them yet, but I certainly will and I will print it out to keep. Lots of wisdom contained in those pages.

I also visit with my girl pals at Jody's Home-Made Living. Jody is a homeschooling mom from Montana who lives on a working ranch with her family. I've been a member of this messageboard for about nine years, taking a little time off now and then, but I've really enjoyed talking with these ladies over the years.

Then gotta go to Facebook and catch up on what all my kids are chatting about. Never thought I'd join Facebook, but I found out it's a great place to hear news from the family that I might miss out on otherwise. I also found an old high school girlfriend and we're getting reacquainted, which is lots of fun!

If that isn't enough yacking for me I can always come here and talk to myself as long as I want to! LOL!

I also have a You Tube channel where I collect favorite music videos and guitar tutorial videos. I don't visit there except for the occasional comment to someone whose video I appreciate, but it's a great resource for finding worship music, celtic music and lots of other stuff! EVERYTHING is on YouTube! Lisa's You Tube Channel

Bob's gone to Fargo for the day. I'm here keeping the woodstove hot and making a beef stew in the crockpot. Maybe some biscuits would be good with that. Hmmm...

It's snowy outside and I'm off to tend the stew, finish creating a quiz for Facebook and maybe read a good book.


05 October 2009

Book Review-Kabul 24 by Henry O. Arnold

As a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson I recently read Kabul 24 by Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson. As one who only faintly recollected stories of the Taliban kidnapping of 24 humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan in 2001, I wanted to learn more of their experiences at the hands of the Taliban.

Here in the West it is hard to conceive of what life in a country under seige by the Taliban would be like. It is beyond our ability to even imagine. In this book we are taken on a journey that will open our eyes and educate many of us. We see the differences between various factions active in Afghanistan and how they impact each other. We learn much about the antiquated prisons and the squalid conditions which many innocents have lived in for years without hope of a fair hearing or freedom. A sad picture of what one group of humans can do to another.

Through the eyes of eight Shelter Now International workers we see what it is like to be kidnapped by the Taliban, not knowing why, and knowing that they could be killed by the Taliban or some other group looking for a way to get the world's attention.

These eight people are not portrayed as heroes, but frail and human like us all. We're shown the horrible conditions in which they lived and the fears they were tormented with. We also see how they grow in their dependency on God. How they turn prison cells into prayer closets and write songs of praise in spite of the nightmare surrounding them.

My heart was warmed toward the Afghani people as the story was told of the 16 Afghan SNI workers, who were not Christians, but who were willing to endure extreme torture to protect their Christian friends. The Afghan tradition of hospitality and protection toward their friends was an inspiration.

This book is truly an education.

03 October 2009

Goin' through the motions...

Jordan flew off to Dallas this morning about 10:00, so he should be visiting with Josh, Jess and family by now. I know my mom checks in here to get the latest news of our family. I haven't been writing as regularly lately because I've been spending some time working on songs and such and haven't had as much blogging time left.

Anyway, as my kids wander farther and farther from "home" I've spent some time thinking about the meaning of their lives. I feel honored to have been given the gift of being their mom. As a mom there is still that instinct to keep them safe and to want to have them nearby to see them and visit in person, but most of all I want them to follow the path God has laid out for them. My mothering days are behind me and my days of prayer support will go on until we're all safely in our real home. Heaven.

Life may hurt and it may not be safe, but there's no safer place for them to be than in the will of God. So, I pray that they will desire to follow Him all their days and I'm excited for them as they all go off on their "grand adventures", as Jordan described this trip he's taking.

I don't want my children to spend their lives just "going through the motions" as this song says so well:

01 October 2009

From one scarred hand to the other...

It's actually called "East to West", but that's my favorite part...