From Fog to Frost

When I finally crawled out of bed this morning, I found the trees full of frost. If I know my old wives’ tales then we will have snow or rain in the next few days or weeks. I realize the pictures would have been better if I had taken them at 6 a.m. or even when James left shortly after 7, but the best I could do was after 9. It is hard to wake any earlier when you are up watching several episodes of Jeopardy at 3 a.m. I am almost up to the August recordings. Since we have been recording several of the new fall series, it is important to clear out some of the old items.

So here are some of the pictures of today.

Sun through the apple tree.

Sun through the apple tree.

It is October 31, 2014, Halloween and when I woke all I could think of was the poem, Snowbound, by John Greenlief Whittier. “The sun that brief December day/Rose cheerless over hills of gray.” The sunshine above is for sure not cheerless, but looking at the trees and the ground and feeling the cold, I still thought of the poem. Here are a few more shots of what the yard looked like. I dug a few carrots yesterday when I heard of the temperatures we were expecting. I just don’t have the energy to do this alone, hopefully we can get to a few more this afternoon when Paulina and James are home.

IMG_1497 IMG_1502The two shots above are both the garden, but from different angles. The top one shows the frost on the fence just a bit better. The grass was so crisp, and even the dead mouse on the new back steps was crystalized. Uck. I sent Sophia outside and told her to remove it, but it won’t go anyplace until I load it up and carry it away. I also noticed several in the grass around the house. I wonder what the Old Wives’  tale is regarding an intense mouse year.

Back door view. The Russian Olive trees still have their leaves and so really held the frost.

Back door view. The Russian Olive trees still have their leaves and so really held the frost.

Looking west at the evergreen trees.

Looking west at the evergreen trees.

Looking east at the little chokecherry trees.

Looking east at the little chokecherry trees.

Ash trees in the front yard.

Ash trees in the front yard.

Even the yard toys are full of frost.

Even the yard toys are full of frost.

So I checked the temperature, and though I do not have a thermometer outside, I found one site that said the low here today was 14 degrees F. I think that is the coldest we had so far this fall. So enough. I want to get this posted and move on with the day. Have a Happy Halloween!!

Granddaughter baptized with message: A New Way

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of baptizing my granddaughter, Ana. It was a truly special day for me, and “apparently” for some in the congregation. I haven’t been able to look back to find how long it has been since we had a baptism, but I know it has been sometime. See, we are an “Empty Nesters” Church, and though it may seem very sad, I am thinking that we will find our purpose other than doing really nice funerals. I hope we can find more meaningful things to do as we continue on. In the meantime here are some pictures and the message from that day.

The baptismal group all lined up.

The baptismal group all lined up.

Jaxon asking Paulina to take the picture.

Jaxon asking Paulina to take the picture.

Ana seems to be yawning, or maybe she was singing.

Ana seems to be yawning, or maybe she was singing.

Sponsors, Jessica and Tony. We don't have a picture with her and the parents. Good grief!

Sponsors, Jessica and Tony with Ana. We don’t have a picture with her and the parents. Good grief!

The family at the baptism.

The family at the baptism.

She just wanted to sleep. Maybe she was nice and warm.

She just wanted to sleep. Maybe she was nice and warm.

The cake at the reception. This was not cut correctly, and so wasn't eaten. Blame the grandmother.

The cake at the reception. This was not cut correctly, and so wasn’t eaten. Blame the grandmother.

Any with cousin Luke and Great Aunt Alvina.

Ana with cousin Luke and Great Aunt Alvina.

As listed above the title was: “A New Way.” The scriptures used were: Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Matthew 22:34-46 and I Thessalonians 2:1-8.

This is what was said, well without the ad libbing.

It seems that I come here every Sunday and tell you how busy I have been in the past week. In truth I am not so sure this week was all that busy. I might want to think that I was busy with grandchildren at our house, but in reality there was quite a bit of sitting around time. Jaxon and I sat to eat, sat to play some games, and sat to watch some Bubble Guppies, or as I was starting to say it Gubble Buppies. Now Ana and I sat even more. We sat for feedings, for rockings and just to sit.

Of course there were a few moments of craziness, especially when the phone rang about three times at once. See I don’t know what happens at your place, but at our place there must be some sort of technological aura. We can go for a whole day without any sort of calls, and then all phones go off at once or in tandem. And the best part is if someone doesn’t answer their cell phones then you call the house phone. Usually when I didn’t answer the cell phone it was because I was already talking on it to someone else, and I could hear the beep coming through, but depending on who was calling and my ability to call back, I would just ignore it.

See I am not that tech savvy with my phone. I have only had the thing for about five years, so really haven’t had time to figure it out. I have tried, but really haven’t got a clue about putting one call on hold to answer the other, and so on and so on. Well that means when the house phone rings while I am already on the cell phone, it just makes life even crazier. And some days I wonder what it would be like to go back to simple and quiet and sitting around playing board games or just visiting with no technology driving us all up the wall.

Perhaps that is why it seems so relaxing to stop and read stories like the one about Moses of this week. Though when you think about Moses and all he went through with the Israelites, he might just as well have had a cell phone or two. Maybe if Aaron would have texted him about the people going crazy wondering when he was going to return from the mountain with the 10 Commandments, maybe there wouldn’t have been a golden calf and all such things, but then again maybe it would have all been worse.

Today we read about the final trip Moses makes to the top of a mountain to hear from God. Today we find ourselves in the wilderness with Moses for the last time. As I got to looking at this story, I realized it is a good passage to use to think of an ending, perhaps a passage to use at a funeral. Well truthfully this is about the passing away and the burial of Moses. God leads him to the top of the mountain; he looks out at all of the land that the Israelites will possess and he dies. No one knows where he is buried because he was buried by God and not any of the Israelites. We are at an ending.

We could look at it that way, but we are not going to. We are going to look at this story with a different, a new idea in mind. This story isn’t just about the end of the trip that the Israelites take out of Egypt. This is the beginning of the story of how the Israelites take over the land of Canaan. This passage is also the story of how Moses passes on and passes the reigns, the role of leadership of the Israelites over to Joshua. It is a bit of a passing of the torch sort of story. It is a handing down of the ways. Moses gives Joshua the people to lead and the faith to follow.

Today in the act of baptism we have passed the faith to another generation. Ana is not the first of her family to be baptized, and she is not the first of her age group, but she is among many children in families around the world who believe in the importance of passing on their faith. Ana’s parents and sponsors and family members and you as a congregation have promised to guide and support her as she grows in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and an appreciation of what God has in store for her life.

And even though Ana will not be an every Sunday member of our congregation attending Sunday services and Sunday School, we have a mutual bond through her baptism in our midst, and we will continue to care about her well-being as she grows in her faith. Baptism is an important sacrament in all Christian Churches. It is a bond we share as Christians. We are baptized into Christ’s family to become joint heirs of God’s kingdom when it is our turn to pass on as Moses did on the top of Pisgah on Mt. Nebo

This chapter in Deuteronomy was used in a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. in his final speech in Memphis the night before he was assassinated. He compared himself to Moses in that he had seen the Promised Land. He knew that Civil Rights was on the verge of becoming the law and a reality, and he said it didn’t matter if he lived to see it because he knew it would happen. We see now that this story is several things. It is certainly the looking into the future of what is to come. Each people, each generation has a Promised Land that we look forward to, but it is also the story of handing over of the leadership, and mostly the faith to the next generation. Just as Moses handed over the leadership of the Israelites to Joshua, so we hand over the stories, the workings, the followings of our faith to the next generation through the act of baptism.

In considering the lesson we looked at from the book of Matthew, I am curious why none of the Jewish leaders ever questioned Jesus about the sacrament of baptism. Boy babies were brought to the temple when they were only a few days old for the act of circumcision, but baptism was not a Jewish ritual, and Jesus was baptized as an adult, yet they never questioned the need or truth of that. No instead they tried everything to trap Jesus in terms of the law, and this passage was no exception.

The section immediately before the one we read today was about how the Sadducees who do not believe in the resurrection, tried to trap Jesus on a question about what happens in terms of marriage in the afterlife. When he silences them, the Pharisees have their turn. The passage we read in Matthew earlier is another trap where they try to get Jesus to choose one commandment as being greater than any of the others. And again they fail. Jesus is always ahead of their plots and plans even to the time when they arrest him. Jesus is always on to their schemes no matter which set of leaders is after him. So too it should be for us when we face the issues in the world around us.

Yes, because we know Christ and all that he did for us days like today are not a linear/straight down handing over of the faith like you pass on a set of rules. Instead, ours is a perpetual circle of faith and life and resurrection. We bring future generations with us into the realm of Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus we become the children of God and when this earthly life ends for us, we are given a new life through the grace of Jesus.

And, today there is no but, it is an AND. And when we believe when we give ourselves over to Christ, he asks us to follow the greatest of all commandments: To love the Lord our God with all of our heart and soul and mind, and when we do that we will also love our neighbor as our self without a question. By the way, our neighbors include everyone. It isn’t just the person who lives beside us, or sits beside us in the pew on Sundays, but everyone, even those of us who are not so loveable. Jesus asks us to do that, and hard as it may seem, when we give ourselves over to his grace and his love, it becomes possible. So let’s remember today as we leave, that just as Moses handed the staff of leadership to Joshua at the end of his days, and just as we pass on our faith in the act of baptism, it is also so very important that we live our faith each and every day by following the greatest commandment that Jesus gave us, to love one another. Amen!!

All gone

For all the writing on the calendar, for all the planning and plotting and sweating and a little cleaning, it is all over. The grandchildren have come, stayed the week and now are back at home. I have very few pictures to share of our time together. We spent our time just being together. We played, we ate, we slept, we played more, we slept and on and on and on. We even disagreed a time or two, but mostly it was just so much fun to be together and to be able to hold those two precious little people. We may hold them and rock them, but they carry our hearts with them. Here are a couple of shots that I got on, I think it was Tuesday.

Jaxon setting puzzles. He was so particular about them that he did the pieces in order.

Jaxon setting puzzles. He was so particular about them that he did the pieces in order.

While he was setting puzzle, Ana and I did a selfie.

What a happy little girl. She even started to like watching soaps with her grandma.

What a happy little girl. She even started to like watching soaps with her grandma.

Last of the pictures was a shot of Ana as we were getting ready to head outside to watch the brother. This hat and blanket tells you why I called her Little Miss Sunshine. I believe we lost her socks on this trip outside. Jaxon back tracked for us and found them.

Ana snoozing before the trip outside.

Ana snoozing before the trip outside.

Hope you aren’t walking and Jaxon in middle school before we spend time together like this again.

Priorities

I should be picking out songs for Sunday, I should be finishing the apples and zucchini. I could even be digging the carrots, but there are priorities today that don’t even allow much time for blogging. Jaxon and Ana are here. Oh by the way Miss Fussy Ana has something sharp along her top gum. I suspect she is getting a tooth and so that is why she isn’t real happy currently. Grandpa James is stopping at the drugstore for a teething ring on the way home, hopefully that makes her week easier to bear.

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I found it!

I am so excited to say that I have finally found it. I have been looking for my church necklace for about two weeks. I knew that it was in the house, but with the clutter and such, I had no idea where it was. I have been wanting to clean out my jewelry box and line things up just so, but I imagine most of you know about how much fun that would be. I love the feeling of accomplishment when a task like that is finished, but starting or doing, well…. I also have not been able to think past the apples and zucchini and the peppers which seem to be calling my name from the fridge and the table and wherever they happen to be rotting at the time. Tomorrow some of the zucchini and the onions are going to church and will be waiting in the basement for people to take them home and eat them. I will be the happiest of all if they are gone when I leave.

Now, it wasn’t just the necklace that was found this evening. And of all things, I remembered while brushing my teeth and taking off my earing as to where that necklace was. I usually stash it in the spot where rings go. Ok, so it has a very long chain and is pretty large so it doesn’t fit where the other necklaces hang, but that is where I put it. To top it off, I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t remember putting it there. Yikes.

Next item was my grandmothers wig head. Yes her wig head was something that I received a long, long time ago. My grandmother Lizzie had two dark short-haired wigs. Cannot tell you where those are right now, but I have the box and was seriously thinking about tossing the box and the head. About that time I was supposed to put it in the garbage, I realized that a whole lot of yarn would fit in that box. So I was going to toss the head. Just as the head was going to drop into the garbage, I realized the head would be a great holder for knitted hats. Well, it has been found and won’t be heading for the garbage anytime soon. Said head and box will be on a shelf holding yarn and hats. Ya!! All in honor of grandma.

My latest hat. I got carried away with the color pattern so decided to make it extra long.

My latest hat. I got carried away with the color pattern so decided to make it extra long.

I think that next time, I will move the pattern down a bit so it isn’t a slouch type beanie. Oh well, I just hope that someone decides to love it. This will go in the bag of hats available for the track team in the spring, unless of course someone wants it sooner.

Now, I have a few other things that need to find homes, and hopefully I get time this week to do the dividing. Victoria has called for new aloe vera, snake and spider plants since hers were left out in the cold. Here is just one sample of the little ones waiting to be divided.

Aloe Vera plant with new ones coming in.

Aloe Vera plant with new ones coming in.

Well, it is 8:47 on a Saturday, and I have some writing to do before I can go to bed and get up for church. Hopefully there are not too many more days in the old bed. We bought a new mattress and box spring this morning, and I cannot wait for  it to be delivered. If that doesn’t help my back, not sure what plan B is.

Day off haha

James and Paulina had the day off today. North Dakota has their big teacher convention today and tomorrow. We used to go, but doesn’t happen anymore. Anyway, we spent the day inside working on the produce. I had hoped we could do a few things outside, but the weather wasn’t exactly cooperative.

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The clouds looked more like something you see when ok I can’t even say it, but there were two others who thought the same as me. I won’t say that ” s” word, but it looked like it.
We stayed inside and made orange zucchini jelly seven jars, four pints and three half pints.

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We also made applesauce. I counted out the apples, and it took 90 apples to make six quarts. At least the table is starting to get a little room on it. We shredded up about eight of the yellow zucchini. One of them had such a hard rind that we should have used a chainsaw on it. We were able to put the card table away so that has helped with the room issue.

Tomorrow some of the craziness of hunting season starts. James and I will clean at my mom’s house then head to Mobridge. I have had enough of a bed that makes my back hurt. By the time we come home I am hoping to rearrange to make another bedroom downstairs. Hurrah!

IMG_0843.JPGlast issue, I finished the booties for Paulina. Hope she likes them!

Supper out

I didn’t have to cook today, not at all. I was invited out to lunch at the senior center by one of the ladies at our church. I got to sit and visit with her and a couple of others too. Later James called and we went to Mission Fest in Hull, ND. Paulina was along because she doesn’t have any class tomorrow. It seems her lab hardly ever meets. The weather today was beautiful. Here are some pictures from tonight.

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On the way home, I made James pull over so I could get these shots.

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