This Saturday is the big City Wide rummage sale in Herreid. I have put myself into it, and as always, I am wondering why I think that I should. I have a few things already to go such as the box of plants that I have been showing on a past post. I will also put a few items of produce out there such as onions and dill and maybe a zucchini or two.

Paulina cleaned out her closet of clothes that she doesn’t wear anymore. In fact I am thinking a couple of those shirts have never been on her body. Sort of like her mother in that department. I guess that is why I wrote rule four on those new rules that I posted on the fridge a couple of weeks ago. #4. “If you buy it, use it.” So the pictures below are the clothes that she and I have picked to put on the sale. I may have a few others here or there, but really I didn’t want this to be clothes.

Clothes for sale!!

Clothes for sale!!

I also have some misc. items including a few old Avon bottles, which I would like to unload even if someone walks away with a treasure. Around here those used to be collectors’ items, but I am not collecting, and all they do is collect dust around here and I am hoping to rid my place of some of that. There is also a “free” box of books and such. They are really old romance books so I am hoping someone grabs them. I may be giving them to the garbage if they don’t find a home.

I will do a bit more digging tomorrow, but not sure how much. I received a call from one of the funeral homes in Eureka. I will be meeting with the director and a family tomorrow to make arrangements for one of our former parishioners. It will be my first funeral. On Monday, I stopped to visit him and he kept saying that he was calling his wife and she wouldn’t answer. I believe she has been gone for a time. I could only think of my mother and how she kept dreaming of walking in a beautiful garden holding the hand of her mother. Within a week she was. So, except for the pictures, that is all for now.

Smidgen of the misc. items.

Smidgen of the misc. items.

Free stuff

Free stuff

Hanging lamp

Hanging lamp

Cats in the garden

Hollyhocks are finally getting some height and blooming.

Hollyhocks are finally getting some height and blooming.

Cosmos are growing well, without the planters in front of them, they can finally be seen.

Cosmos are growing well, without the planters in front of them, they can finally be seen.

Two nights ago, it looked like it might storm, so we drug everything in to a sheltered area. This is almost more work than it is worth, and it isn’t worth the time if the storm passes over like it did the other night. But… if the storm would hit and we did not take the breakables in to an area of shelter, well, I hate to think of trying to replace all of it. I know some would say why even do it if you are afraid of something happening? It is like anything that is worth doing or having, take care of what is yours whether it is a silly lawn ornament or a child in your care. Anything worth having is worth taking care of. Come to think of it, this could turn into a mini sermon. God said the same thing about us, and that is why Christ came to earth, but most of you know the rest of that story, so off to the garden issues, and you can write your own ending.

We have lots of little light up toys, so those all have to be taken in and corralled so to speak. I am starting to wonder if I should continue to do it without an accurate notation of where they belong. I nearly broke one tonight trying to put it on the wrong bottom. And speaking of the bottoms. I have lost some of them into the dirt, and now it is hard to stand them up anymore. I found that a number 2 pencil does work well for a post holder, so at least I have that idea. Here is what I am meaning.

The toys in a five gallon bucket.

The toys in a five gallon bucket.

Plants potted for sale at the rummage extravaganza this Saturday.

Plants potted for sale at the rummage extravaganza this Saturday.

So I sort of misrepresented that. The only ones up for sale are the little ones in the box. The others were drug under the breezeway for shelter from the storm. The green pot on the bottom right with the pink geranium is for my sister Melissa, and I keep forgetting to send it her way. I may have to drive to Wishek just to give it to her. Maybe on a drive through to Jamestown the weekend of the 9th and 10th if I can get that Sunday off. I am still waiting to hear about it.

There are a few other pictures of the flowers to share. This morning I caught the morning glories in bloom. You sort of have to be up early to see them.

Morning glories are climbing the posts.

Morning glories are climbing the posts.

Close up. Now where are the humming birds?

Close up. Now where are the humming birds?

I have a few things to share from the vegetable garden, too. I will start with Tigee. She keeps disappearing and at first we would panic, now we know she is in the garden waiting for the gopher to appear. I think that gopher is either stupid or oblivious to what a cat can do. Every now and then we see him sitting outside the garden fence nowhere near the escape hatch. There are like three different holes in or around the garden. Not even the spring or fall tilling has filled them in. I even tried putting the hose down one and turning it on, no luck. I guess one day we will see a cat having a great feast.

Tigee waiting for the gopher. See the hole in the weeds to the bottom right?

Tigee waiting for the gopher. See the hole in the weeds to the right just below the zucchini leaf?

Tigee in the onions watching the gopher hole.

Tigee in the onions watching the gopher hole.

Sophia on the prowl looking for anything that moves.

Sophia on the prowl looking for anything that moves.

Here is what the garden is producing at this time.

Zinnias may bloom after all.

Zinnias (on the middle left) may bloom after all. There are radishes (second crop) growing beside the “corn” stake. Good grief does this picture show the weeds. Time to get to work out there.

I don't know what to do about these carrots. I tried again tonight to get some of the weeds out

I don’t know what to do about these carrots. I tried again tonight to get some of the weeds out

A yellow zucchini is well on the way to being picked.

A yellow zucchini is well on the way to being picked.

I will leave you with two more pictures of Sophia and Tigee. Roger was not posing tonight. In fact, Sophia nearly spoiled her picture completely. She smells it when I pick up the camera. She is the hardest cat to photograph.

Sophia waking up.

Sophia waking up.

Oh one more. I stole this shot from Paulina. We have both been trying to get pictures of the yellow finches in the yard, and she finally got a few. This is just one. They aren’t real close, but sure have personality.

Tigee by the old pond.

Tigee by the old pond.

Yellow finch

Yellow finch

Trip away for a day

Today James and I went with Paulina on a trip for college. she had to set up a plan with her vocational tracker for the rest of her three years. Doing it now gets her in line for some financial assistance down the road and some help with planning and when it is time to take the praxis exit exam. After she was finished, we did a bit of shopping.

I happened to have on some shoes that were really hurting, so I suggested a shoe store in the area. We got in on a buy one get one half off sale. I bought new athletic shoes and some dress shoes. James got new athletic shoes and Paulina got some really cute shoes.

The picture above shows my shoes.
The rest of the day was spent getting various household needs and food. We ate out and were home by 9:30. Rah, rah another day!

First garden meal

After I got home from Eureka today, I was there to attend our secretary’s mother’s funeral, I went to check on the garden. I picked a few snow peas and then decided they needed some beets and a zucchini to go with. Wish I had snapped a photo before I cut everything. Oh well, they were great sliced with butter and a bit of olive oil. I threw in a grilled steak and some chocolate milk, and it was a great first meal from the garden for this summer. How has your garden been producing??

Frying vegetables

Frying vegetables

A plate of yum!

A plate of yum!

The Gate of Heaven…or dreams of a stairway

The following message was used on Sunday, July 20, at St. Paul’s UCC in Eureka, SD. The scripture was Genesis 28:10-19a and

Matthew 13:24-30. The title in the bulletin was The Gate of Heaven.

This past week James and I took some time to get into the garden to do some weeding. We had three things to clean: the corn, the cabbage and the carrots. James took the first two; well the two rows of corn was just a weed here or there, so it was more like he had one and a half. We have two types of carrots, so technically we each had two long rows to go through. Believe me I understand the story in Matthew about not pulling out the weeds until harvest time because you end up pulling the plants with the weeds most of the time.

In my case, I decided to pull just the tallest and easiest of the weeds. I was after a couple of broadleaf things that I have no idea what they are, but one kind we call pig weed. As I was going along, I kept thinking that I could also pull all of the grass, or as we say crab or quack grass. That worked for a few inches, and then I realized that carrots were also coming out, so I had to drop that plan. For now they are just getting bigger and bigger together, and we are adding water to keep them both going. Hopefully when the carrots are stronger, I can get some of that grass out, but I won’t be holding my breath.

On Friday morning, I spent a few hours selling produce at the local Farmers Market. It wasn’t much, I pulled a few onions, picked a little dill and had some lettuce cleaned up and in bags. I tell myself that it isn’t about the money, and if you saw my prices it isn’t. I keep thinking that I do it because I have the time, and if I get rid of anything, well that is better than having it spoil at home because we don’t use it all.

James tells me not to plant certain items, or at least not so much, but I won’t listen. I love to plant and I love to watch it grow. We don’t eat onions in our house. They make me sick, but this year, I just couldn’t resist buying onion sets. I love how they come up so fast and they are easy to weed and they just look so nice growing in the garden. Well this year, I didn’t buy just one set of onions. I bought one white, one yellow, and one red. We have 300 onions growing in our garden, but we don’t eat them. I took 10 to the sale, and got rid of all of them; we now have 290 to go. Believe me come fall, I will be sharing.

Anyway, there are normally three of us out selling, but on this Friday there were only two. The one missing used to be an extension agent and is pretty savvy on all things of the garden. I and most of the people in town that garden enjoy asking him questions about why this or that happens. In fact on Friday morning, one of my neighbors stopped to see him to ask about why her beets keep having this particular weed problem. She brought some sample with her. It seems that for two years she has not been able to get beets to grow. She plants them, but when they come up, another plant comes with them and wraps around her beets and chokes them. She has rotated her garden and it doesn’t help. She has watched carefully and this weed doesn’t bother any other plant. It was a mystery to those of us there, but made me think that if it is only bothering the beets; somehow it might be in the seed. Hopefully next week the ex-extension agent will be back with some answers.

As this conversation about the beets was playing out, the scripture for today was going through my head. I began to think about the words of Jesus to the disciples. When he explains the parable of the wheat and the weeds, he suggested that someone had planted the weeds in with the wheat. It was a deliberate act. The evil was not random, but on purpose. When you look at the scripture in terms of human believers instead of as a simple garden, you see that it was an act of vandalism in the worst sense of the word. It is an intentional infestation of a group of believers by the powers of evil in order to pull them astray. We could talk all day about the various things, events, concerns of the world that pull us away from the love of God, but the bottom line is that we need to be constant in our walk with God in order to gain the strength we need to withstand the pull of those weeds on our spiritual lives.

Even before the days of the New Testament and the life of Jesus who taught us with parables, Isaac understood the business of weeds and wheat. Isaac understood what pull a non-God fearing wife would have on his sons. And some of that understanding probably came from him knowing the Hittite women that Esau had already married. Although if we read the passage carefully, it is Rebekah who tells Isaac she can’t handle it if another of her sons marries a woman like the ones Esau married. We know that Isaac like his father must have realized what would happen to this people, this great nation that God has promised Abraham and Isaac and now Jacob to be the Fathers of if there is a female who does not believe in the one true God.

We read so many times in the Old Testament where God or one of the Patriarchal fathers tells his sons not to marry one of the idol worshiping women of the area. It wasn’t just a rule for the sake of having a rule; it was a protection to keep them from being led astray. It is a rule like not planting weeds in your field of wheat.

So with all of this in mind and Rebekah’s push behind them both, Isaac gives Jacob his final blessing and tells Jacob he must return to the place where his mother grew up to find himself a wife. Isaac, unlike his father Abraham, did not send a servant to find the woman, Isaac sends Jacob on his own journey to find his own wife. And this is probably for his own protection and related to the part about Esau being really upset, which we did not read between last week and this week.

It is the story about the deception that Jacob and Rebekah pulled, that good, obedient Rebekah, who we talked about two weeks ago. Well she grew up, and she helped Jacob deceive his father Isaac into giving Jacob the blessings of the birthright that belonged to oldest brother Esau, but was sold to Jacob in the passage we read last week. If we had only read the part that was skipped, we might want to judge Jacob and Rebekah, but since we only read the selling of the birthright and today’s passage, I guess, we might have to use my youngest sister’s favorite saying and just go with, “It is what it is.”

And now our story in Genesis finds Jacob all alone on a journey to the country where his mother grew up. To her brother’s family to find himself a wife. It doesn’t mention anything about him being accompanied by servants or a group of travelers like the servant that was sent by Abraham to find a wife for Isaac. No, just the opposite, it tells us that Jacob is all alone basically in the middle of nowhere without any form of shelter or bedding or anything, and he finds a rock and lays down to sleep.

Biblical scholars have researched and found this was the same place where Abraham built an alter to God years earlier.  Jacob after the dream he has, calls it “an awesome” place. It is where God came to Jacob and stood beside him and spoke to him about his future, and the future of generations to come, and not just the people that would be his descendants, but us, too. Yet if we would look at the spot geographically in the times of Jacob, we would realize it is in the middle of nowhere. It is a spot out in the open. It is a place that is really no place. And Jacob except for the blessing received from his father is sort of a no one. He has cheated his brother and is essentially running away from home. He is in a place between here and there, but God comes to him. God lets Jacob know that he is important and necessary and that there is a place for him, an important place for him in the grand scheme of things.

God came to Jacob in an unexpected place, in an unexpected time. Jacob was at the gate of heaven, asleep, dreaming of the angels going up and down a ladder or stairway as it were, but God was talking to him, calling to him about what his future would be. God didn’t come because Jacob had been perfect; God came in spite of the fact that he wasn’t perfect. God came because he had a task for Jacob. And that is how God also comes to us. God needs us to do his work in the place where we are. He doesn’t ask us to be perfect in order to fulfill his duties, he just asks us to do them. He knows that the garden isn’t weed free, but he still is looking for the good harvest.

May we allow ourselves to be that harvest and to assist with that harvest in whatever way we can. Amen!

Last of the planting, I hope

Today I decided to do an over haul on the potted plants that were hanging around the porch. Well, not hanging exactly. They stand on the rail and sometimes the wind knocks them off and sometimes I forget to water them and sometimes we have to set them down so the storm doesn’t get them, and they are all a mismatch of pots, and I had enough. I also wanted to put a geranium into one of my mother’s old pots to give to my sister Melissa.

Work in progress. I trimmed up some kalanchoes, and transplanted others that were ready to go on their own.

Work in progress. I trimmed up some kalanchoes, and transplanted others that were ready to go on their own.

I put a peper plant into the old tea pot, and the green pot is the geranium for Melissa.

I put a pepper plant into the old tea-pot, and the green pot is the geranium for Melissa.

Kathy took a pot earlier, and I keep forgetting to ask Adrienne if she would like one. They were stored in the shop and in her laundry room, and I was tired of having them just take up space when they could be used for something worthwhile. Oh yes, I have used several for myself, so if anyone wants what is left, they are more than welcome to grab them. Here is some of what I have done today. I am thinking it makes the whole yard look a bit better, and except for the fact that I will be cleaning my fingernails for the rest of the day, it was worth the effort.

The big issue in cleaning the area is that all of the little containers that I have been gathering now have a plant in them. They are boxed and ready for the big sale next Saturday. I am thinking that whatever I can’t sell will go along to Farmers’ Market or be given away at Bible Study in September. I did a few other plantings just to clean things up. James used up the bags of dirt that we bought filling in that ridge left when we pulled out the bricks around the old daisy garden. All those bags are now empty and in the garbage, so that is great. I dumped and put away or filled all the containers that had nothing growing in them. It feels good to have things a bit tidier for a change. Pictures to explain and show off below.

All little plants ready to go on the rummage sale next Saturday.

All little plants ready to go on the rummage sale next Saturday.

I put my red calla lily into two parts and into some glass jars. Hope it doesn't kill it/them.

I put my red calla lily into two parts and into some glass jars. Hope it doesn’t kill it/them.

Long planters where I stuck three geraniums and three begonias to clear out the mismatched pots.

Long planters where I stuck three geraniums and three begonias to clear out the mismatched pots.

The herbs are growing nicely.

The herbs are growing nicely.

Paulina planted these and didn’t really understand that I wanted her to put a different herb into each pot. She sees it now, but still likes how the round container looks. It has parsley and sage and one other herb, but we are not sure if it is rosemary or thyme. We were going for the song effect, but didn’t quite get it. I believe next year, we will find a way to split them, I have so many of those terra-cotta pots with geraniums that will switch to herbs. The basil is really nice, and we are thinking that Sunday night might be a homemade pizza night with fresh basil on it. Yuuummm. I am thinking that some of the sage might find its way into one of the fire pits.

The container of garbage from trimming and throwing.

The container of garbage from trimming and throwing.

I really used to have a hard time trimming and throwing away anything. If a leaf fell off, I would let it root. Not so much anymore. I finally realized that is how I ended up with so many plants. Time to down size. They are nice and all, but the watering is getting crazy, and trying to keep them over the winter is nearly too much. We trip all over them.

I took the pictures below a couple of days ago, but never got them onto the post I did then. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, James held a throwing camp for his athletes. He invited other schools in the area, but it ended up just being our own, which worked out really well. A coaching friend of his came from Grand Forks. Larry used to like in Killdeer, and did this camp when Paulina was going into her junior year, and it really helped her. Anyway, on Wednesday I went along and grilled and got lunch ready for all of the campers. On Thursday, Kathy went and did lunch while I stayed home and worked on supper. It was fun, but I forgot to take pictures as I went. I was planning this great food post. Well, it made me realize that at least once a week, I will share something like that because we all had a great time, and figured perhaps it wouldn’t hurt for us to upscale our meals a bit just for ourselves. I even baked bread, which used to be an everyday thing in Linton, and now it is once in a while. Anyway, just wanted to share. Hope you are enjoying the middle of the season whether it is summer or winter for you.

Slowly, but surely the zinnias are coming.

Slowly, but surely the zinnias are coming.

The strawberries are also doing pretty well. I may need to get some paint on those tires.

The strawberries are also doing pretty well. I may need to get some paint and decorations on those tires.

Oh my, look what I found!

I can’t believe it. James and I have been going back and forth about this crazy plant in the northeast flower bed. We have pulled it out one year, or so we thought, and nearly killed it the second year before we finally decided to just let it go to see what it was. This year when it came again in the exact same place, we decided to just let it grow until we could figure out what it is. Well last week it bloomed. James looked at it and said, hey you are growing cockle burrs. I just ignored him and the plant. Today, I went out the east door to hang clothes on the line. When I came in I noticed that the flowers had turned into….check it out below.

Raspberry plant.

Raspberry plant.

Ready to pick and the plant is loaded. I am so excited.

Ready to pick and the plant is loaded. I am so excited.

So, I bought three plants when we lived in Linton, a raspberry, a blueberry and a blackberry. I had them in pots in the house and they were doing fine. Then they started to die back. Victoria said to get them in the ground, but I much have planted this one and forgotten about it. What a ditz. How could I forget? I guess I was so upset about it dying. We bought another one this year, and it died too. I did stick it in the ground, but James mowed it off. I wonder if it will grow next year. We will have to see. At least I know where that one it. At least I wasn’t so out to lunch when we planted the pear trees, and they have life to them, check it out below.

North pear tree is growing from the bottom.

North pear tree is growing from the bottom.

South pear has some life to it.

South pear has some life to it.

Catch you for the rest tomorrow!!

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