Sunday, July 20, 2014

The God of second chances...

Even for silly people like me, who use Deep Woods Off to repel deer from baby box elder trees, there is a second chance. ;)

Oh yeah, I tried that! I figured it would taste or smell bad enough to keep them away. It also killed all the leaves. I was super bummed out. I had so looked forward to those nice, round, full trees filling up that area of the lawn, giving more privacy from the walkers on the trail. So, what do I see yesterday while mowing the lawn? Well, just look!



New growth! Signs of life! Yay! So, I will let God handle the deer situation. I'll just leave well enough alone. If I happen to still be here 5 years down the road, these will be nice sized shade trees. If I'm not, someone else can enjoy them...or curse the person who would purposely plant the dreaded box elders. You just can't satisfy some folks.

Speaking of new growth. Remember those sunflowers that got nipped off? I almost uprooted all of those sticks, but then I saw THIS today. Go little guy! You have some catching up to do! Peter Rabbit was sitting next to my car when I went outside, so these plants will need all the prayers they can get.

The tiny orange morning glories are still twining. So tell me; where are my blue morning glories? All foliage, no flowers. Do they show up in the fall?
 Squash blossoms and signs of a predatory rabbit...
 A pea blossom and LOTS of neighborly weeds...
 To the left of the large blossom you will see the beginnings of a squash!
 Mullein thrives here on my sandy hilltop...
 Hubby and I planted these three trees three years ago. They sure are slow growers!
 The tomatoes would like some staking... I'm sure you've guessed I'm not much of a gardener. I was many years ago, but really don't want all that work now on top of my job. So, I'm not really that worried about the rabbits and deer. If I get a few good salads out of this deal I'm happy.
 I love to just enjoy an impromptu project like this bookmark now and then. I was reading "Rembrandt" and realized I needed a bookmark for it. Still trying to use my quilt scraps, I cut out a piece of cardstock and started Mod Podging.
 This is how it looks so far. I may add some embellishments later, but...
 ...it does the job just fine!
 Do you like my weed bouquet?
 Daisies, mullein, wormwood (?), grass and a thistle for good measure.
 This is last night's sunset...
 ...and yesterday's harvest of lettuce.
 And this is a moon from several nights ago. I was amazed that my little camera got it!
I'm not real great with electronic gadgets, but I sure am thankful for my little camera and computer. Don't we have fun with them? It's so nice to share our lives in some small way. (I'm also glad for my Kindle, though I once thought they were only for traitors. ;) I still read mostly real books, but my store of e-books is there when I need it.)

I think I'll go eat one of those salads I mentioned then hit the hay. Up early for work. (Try to have a good attitude, Lisa!) It's supposed to hit 103 degrees tomorrow. I'm thankful I'll be in an air conditioned building. Praying that dear daughter's AC works well!

Shalom, all!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book sale and other life topics...

Library book sale!
I'm in the process of culling and downsizing my library, but I couldn't resist going to the sale for an hour to see if anyone had overlooked  a real treasure. Things were pretty well picked over by the time I got off work, but I did find several biographies. I started reading this one last night.

The author, Gladys Schmitt, has a very dense writing style. It is slow, but very interesting, reading, with lots of historical detail woven in. It's about 650 pages long, so I think I'll be reading it for a LONG time if it holds my interest. I managed to escape the sale with only a handful of books compared to my usual 5 or 6 bags full. Good for me!

Has anyone seen this version of Pride and Prejudice?

 
I think the Colin Firth version will always be my favorite, but I'm going to keep an open mind. I just recently watched the one with Keiren Knightley (sp?), and though some of the "atmospherics" were probably superior to the previously mentioned version, the acting left something to be desired. And the shortened length gave them very little time to develop characters. Very surfacey, in my opinion. (Update: Never mind, never mind! This version, in my humble opinion...is awful! Yikes! I only watched the first 10 minutes or so.)
 
My USDA loan fell through. They suddenly realized that I live in a manufactured home and they don't refinance those! So, for the moment things are iffy. I'll be looking at the housing options in the area, but some miracle may yet intervene. My kids are going to help with the mortgage payment, perhaps as long as next spring. We'll put the house on the market with the hope of selling at a profit to give me a little nest egg. But it's in God's hands. I wouldn't die from moving, but I think the younger three kids who grew up here, and myself, would like to keep the place if at all possible. So, we're not going to give up too quickly.
 
Prayers for little Hazel Jane (granddaughter-see sidebar pics) who got poked in the eye this morning. The doctor gave her mommy some drops to prevent infection, but it will be quite a trick to get them into her eye!
 
Y'all stay cool and be at peace with God. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A few favorite people...

I mentioned, a couple of posts ago, reading Letters of C.S. Lewis.
I highly recommend it to those of you who love this man's writings. He is such a kindred spirit! My particular copy was given to me by my mom some years ago, and is all the more precious because of her margin  notes. I've just begun re-reading it and he is only 18 years old when he writes the first letters. Here's an example showing his thoughts on religion at that age, along with two short comments from my mom.

And this one, on the next page, I thought was adorable. Can you imagine an 18 year old boy having the courage to admit these kinds of feelings? That's one of the things I find so appealing about him.
In another passage he talks about the joy of finding a parcel on the hall table and unwrapping it to find a long anticipated book. There are many discussions about good books, walks in the country, the importance of tea time, spiritual things, and humorous exchanges between Lewis and his brother and friends. It's the sort of book you can read in short bits here and there.
Here's one more passage, skipping five years down the road, to whet your appetite for more. You'll probably need to click on the photo to get the larger version so you can read it.

I think he loved many of the same things that I, and many of my blogging buddies, love.
He led a fascinating life, and I think this is one of the most interesting ways to learn more about him. Thanks, Mom!

Two more of my favorite people, Audrey and Hazel, are always doing fun and fascinating things. The other day while visiting, I referred to A & H as "you guys". Audrey looked at me quizzically and said, "Grandma, we're not GUYS; we're GIRLS! We're GIRLS; we're not BOYS!" I considered trying to explain myself, but then I could only smile. She was right, after all.

That very evening Audrey and Hazel's dad and grandpa went blueberry picking in Grandpa Doug's woods. Daddy Adam came home after everyone was in bed for the night, so he left the bowl of blueberries on the kitchen counter with a note, "Be sure to inspect and wash before eating." Well, Miss Audrey was the first one up in the morning and when Mommy Micah found her she was standing by Hazel's crib sharing the almost empty bowl of blueberries with her little sister. Hazel had both fists full of blueberries and they were really enjoying themselves. Who needs television with this kind of entertainment?

I'm off to eat breakfast and then to work. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Shalom to you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

An action packed day off!

What I imagine will be a restful day off sometimes has a way of getting out of hand!

I knew I would have to make the 12 mile trip into town to copy some documents and put them in the mail. House loan stuff that can't be avoided. So, I decided to take advantage of the trip and do some other errands.

My To-Do List:

*Drop off a box of donations at the thrift store. (They support a good cause.)
*Go to the dump. (A politically incorrect term, but much easier to remember than...whatever.)
*Stop at a grocery store with a cheap printer.
*Go to Post Office and mail documents.
*Stop at McDonald's for a Sausage-Egg McMuffin. (Fortifying myself.)
*Drive to Walmart. Eat McMuffin in car.
*Buy birthday gifts for Audrey and Hazel. (Well, you can't expect Hazel to just watch Audrey open gifts!)
*Buy items for Project Christmas Child boxes. (So much fun!)
*Buy a blouse and some capri slacks. (I rarely buy clothes and everything is getting ratty.)
*Stop at the flea market on the way home and buy lots of books and children's toys.
*Get home and put stuff away.
*Mow some lawn and hoe some garden.
*Pick lettuce.
*Shower.
*Eat salad. Yay!

Which brings us up to date. :) NOW I'm relaxing.

And now, photos of what I brought home.

A couple of pretty dishes for my tea and crumpets...

 I don't know. I couldn't resist. I like rooster things.
 Lots of cute children's books.
 Something for my son-in-law and his dad. They do this sort of thing.
 I'm not sure if I've read this Miss Read book. The names are all so similar! The other two looked interesting. I like Jim Arnosky's art work and the Neil Postman book I had wanted to read.
 I snapped up this Tasha Tudor book in an instant! I love to study her paintings. I think I'll try copying some of her flower borders. I'm not really a romance novel reader, so if I don't finish Wild Mountain Thyme I won't be surprised. It does take place in Scotland, which is what piqued my interest!
 I found several brightly colored plastic toys for the grandgirl corner of my living room. Do any of these bring back memories?
 And here are the remains of my homegrown salad. Note the two pieces of grass at the top of my plate. Lol!
 I recently dug out two of my C.S. Lewis books to skim through. I love his letters to people. What would he think of us all snooping through them? I'm going to hug him when I get to heaven. :)
 
I didn't take pics of the birthday gifts or Christmas box gifts. Sorry.
So, now it's about 6:30. I'm off to do some reading and enjoying of my evening.

God bless you, every one!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A glorious 5th of July...oh, deer!

Ahhhh....a beautiful day for rest and relaxation. Recuperation from a long work week!

I've been sitting in my favorite chair for a bit, drinking my coffee and reading a little of Psalm 22, which is where I left off last time I read. As David prophetically describes the crucifixion of the Lord, I am enjoying a beautiful sunny view out of my window.

The beauty of scripture and of God's handiwork in my backyard join and make me very thankful and content.

It's a sunny, humid summer day. I have all of the windows and the sliding patio doors open so that the breeze can waft through along with the sounds of bird song and the whispering sound of the wind in the trees. I've seen gold finches, blue jays, crows and a brown thrush this morning. All are busily flitting hither and yon. I see Mama Cat stalking through the long meadow grasses looking for voles.

Millie and I have begun mowing the back yard. I think I'll take it in short spurts. It promises to be hot and humid today and I'm supposed to be recuperating from work, right? But we'll get it done a little at a time. I really enjoy mowing, but this lawn is all up and down hill, so it takes some effort, on the uphill part anyway. :)
This is another favorite sitting spot right outside my "front" door, even though the way our house is situated, it's really the back door. To get a really unobstructed view I need to carry my chair out into the yard, but this is a good place for watching the sunset.

The "Oh, deer" part of my blog title? Well, I suppose deer must like sunflowers, because I came home last night and the first thing I noticed was these odd looking sticks in my garden. Wah! I have some more seeds, so I'll toss them in the ground and see if they can make sunflowers before the first freeze! Why not try? :)

Everyone else is growing, though I'm thinking I won't have much for produce this year. I'm overdue for a feeding of Miracle Gro, so I may do that this evening.
 
 

 I love the way willow leaves look when it's windy. The silvery undersides shimmer in the sun.
I'm going to try not to just sit all day. Besides mowing, I'm hoping to putter around the house during the hotter hours of the day. I have many small projects such as putting some photos of children and grandchildren in a large frame to put on the wall. I also have some painting on ATC's, and of course, lots of books to choose from.

The population in our area swells during the summer. On my way home from work last night I was so thankful to be headed home while hundreds (thousands?) headed into town for fireworks. I'm not a crowd person, so I was glad to escape the noise and confusion. There were lots of private fireworks shows going on all around me at home, though I could only see a few because of the trees. That was enough for me! (The trees are much more interesting than fireworks, in my way of thinking.)

I hope you all have a splendid weekend!

Shalom. :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

The 4th at my house...

I hope you're all enjoying your Fourth of July weekend. I will be heading to work later at the deli. I'm so glad I at least  have the weekend off. I am totally worn out from work. This is my eighth day in a row and yesterday was insane. Please folks, if you travel to a small, quaint town to enjoy your 4th, remember that the little staff of people in the local grocery store/deli isn't equipped to feed and wait on the entire population of a large city. I'm sorry, but we get worked to death trying to keep up. Just keep that in mind and be kind. :) (One lady asked if we were really busy! When I said yes, she said, "Oh good. You NEED that!" I wanted to smack her and say, "No, WE don't need it. The store owners do. And they don't have a clue what it's like to do this job!") Anyway, I'm tired, so please forgive this rant.

Thank the Lord for the serenity of home and little delights like finding this in my mailbox!
I will add it to my reading pile while I finish The Big House. I'm assembling quite a library of good books. I will have many pleasant hours this winter!

Gretchen posted a beautiful poem about grass, in honor of myself and Jody because we "appreciate grass". I hope you'll stop by her blog and read it!

I've been visited by a brown thrasher the last couple of days. I heard a loud "chit, chit" noise outside my window and when I went to investigate I saw "him" hopping about finding food in the long grass. I think he's a very impressive bird. I believe he lives in the woods at the edge of my pasture. I see him fly out of the trees now and then.



This article says that thrashers are exuberant singers and have a large repertoire. I heard a complicated song coming from these trees last evening. Could it be my thrasher?

I borrowed this image from the world wide web.
This link will give you some idea of how complex their song is!

My last two houseplants have been released to the wild! I am not a houseplant person, and I don't like having to repot plants as they get larger and larger. I had about nine plants from my husband's funeral last fall and one by one I got rid of them. These two will spend the summer on my deck and then will go the way of all their wild friends this winter. Sorry...is that hard hearted of me?  At least they had a great summer!

 
And now it's time to prepare for work. Lord, please help me with my attitude today and don't let my boss even think of asking me to help this weekend. Amen! :)
 
Have a sunshiney day filled with shalom!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Yup, this is what I'm doin'...

Let me tell you what led up to this moment. This last weekend (the weekend I work) two ladies quit. Actually, one has been gone for a week and a half, so we were already short staffed before the second one walked out on Saturday. So, we've been scrambling trying to do their work in addition to our own. So, then, I was asked to come in today (My day off; I'm still exhausted after what we call "the weekend from heck"; this is the tourist season and the tourists expect SERVICE NOW!) to help catch things up. I went in for three hours, put the salad bar together (a two hour job) and made about 20 lettuce salads to sell on the shelf. Three hours in all. Then I told the boss I was going home. (She hadn't specified how long she needed me.) SO, by the time next weekend rolls around (my weekend off) I will have worked 8 days in a row (counting the short day today). Sorry, folks, but I'm not going to work my entire day off because the store can't keep enough people hired. I'm exhausted and this is physically draining work and very stressful. I tend to work as fast and hard as I can and I don't seem to have another speed, so at my age I have to crash and burn at some point. Hence, a two hour nap on the couch. Now, my whining is over. :)  On to a more pleasant topic...

A fellow gave me two tomato plants. He claimed they were Rutgers...
Hmmm...I'm thinking maybe Romas? In that case I'll have to find someone who makes tomato sauce! :)

The lettuce is growing a bit.

A morning glory is enjoying the support of this old wagon wheel. The weeds are healthy, as usual.
Another morning glory sporting tiny orange trumpets...and more weeds. I'm allowing the little shamrocks to grow because they're so cute. The other weeds I pull a little at a time. This is a very simple, no stress garden. All I can handle. :)
It's been SO windy the last few days. I keep reattaching the whirlybird's tail and it keeps blowing off! See how my mowed lawn ends in a prettyish kind of little wilderness? I do mow along the driveway and then widen out into lawn. So it doesn't look quite so wild. But I'm officially in the country, so I can get by with living in the middle of a big, grassy meadow. :)
I look forward to my sunflowers brightening up the garden! Wish I had planted two rows side-by-side so the grands could make a sunflower house out of them. Maybe next summer I'll remember to do that! :)
The weather's been so weird this year. A cold spring. Now some rain and warm days. The garden starts and stops. I'm not sure how much will actually produce, but I figure the garden and lawn mowing are just excuses for me to get outside for some fresh air. That is their raison d'etre and that's enough, right?

Now, I'm off to visit some of you and perhaps brew a cup of tea. Happy birthday to my oldest birth child, Jordan, who is 32 today! (He doesn't know where my blog is. I'm just bragging on him!) He has always loved God and wanted to serve him. Now he's the worship leader at the Open Door Church in Burleson, TX. I think he's very happy, and that makes ME happy!
 
So glad he was born. What a blessing and a joy!
Y'all have a shalom filled day, ya hear?