Hunkering down & some memories

This past week we have had to pull things inside or at least under cover a few time because of threatening weather. Monday night after we had things like solar lights and flower pots under cover, I went outside to pick a few odds and ends from the garden. I am so enamored with my zinnias that I just had to take a few inside incase of very bad weather. Fortunately the weather turned out to be wet with lots of lightning and a little wind. Of course cutting some of the zinnias doesn’t hurt. I keep reading that cutting flowers makes them produce more. Hopefully that is the case. Oh yes, and today I noticed another bud on the rose bush. Perhaps cutting those was a good thing.



It seems that lately every post is either a Sunday morning message or news about bad weather. Really it has been hot and dry mostly except the past few days we have had some rain. This is a strange time of year in our part of the country. We are at the beginning of small grain (wheat, oats, barley) harvest, but the row crops (corn, sunflowers, soybeans and such) need the moisture. Back in the golden olden days when I was growing up, the farmers in this area stuck pretty tightly to only small grains and hay. The corn that was planted was used for silage and feeding animals. There was no such thing as combining the corn and sunflowers were something that grew in a distant area. Of course my father was not one to branch out into something different. He stayed with the tried and true. One year he had a stand of flax that was so beautiful it seemed like you were looking out over the ocean. My uncle said that the price of flax was through the roof that year and if he would have combined it, he could have made quite a good amount of money. I guess there was also a risk with combining it, so he cut it and used it for something else. I am not sure what, but it seems to me that he was never interested in taking those types of chances, yet he took silly chances with other things.

I shouldn’t say silly, I should say dangerous. He was one to grab a piece of equipment before it stopped. On day he came running into the house with his middle finger dangling by what looked to me by the outer skin. When all was said and done the local Dr. stitched him up and the finger stayed on. He also had his hand in the chopper one autumn and the hired hand, who didn’t turn off the tractor, let go of the clutch at the wrong time, and it nearly cut the palm of his right hand off. Again the same Dr. stitched him up, and it worked fine. Well, I shouldn’t say fine, the hand worked, but it was always cold faster, and he could tell when a storm was coming. I guess sort of like my ankle that was broken. One last story. It was the lawn mower that finally took off his ring finger. Words of wisdom: Do not try to unplug the grass from the bottom of the mower until the blade is fully stopped.

Treating others right

Following is the message from Sunday, July 26, 2015. The scriptures used were II Samuel 11:1-15 and John 6:1-21. The title was “Unexpected Actions/Unexpected Responses”

This past week, I met a woman at the food disbursement in Herreid, who said her mother always said you should treat people they way you want to be treated. Think about that for a minute. If everyone in the whole world treated people the way they want to be treated themselves, we would have far fewer problems, and likely no wars. I think it sure would be nice to live conflict free.

I have sort of a thing about no conflicts. As a teacher and more so as a coach, I used to just hate those dreaded confrontations, those times when some parent wasn’t happy with the way things were going for their child academically, or more often on the court. And even worse was when I had to be the one to make the call to find out what could be done about a student’s behavior or lack of effort or any number of things. Usually I would get a stomach ache five hours before I even started look for a phone number. I hated those confrontations and I still dislike conflicts. [In fact, it is getting to the point that we often agree not to post things to social media when we gather as a family so that no one can get upset about where we were without them.]

Ironically as an English language arts teacher I fell into that category of teachers that professors expected would want to become novelists. In fact in a couple of the summer classes that I took, the professor questioned us about how many in the room wanted to write, The Great American Novel. I can honestly say that after I realized that all good works of fiction/all novels have to have a conflict, I was not too excited about doing anything like that. My stories would be too boring, too dull. I enjoy reading, and now more watching cheesy mystery stories, but I sure wouldn’t want to have to write them. I am thinking that just existing in life and getting through the everyday stuff is enough for me at the time.

Our Old Testament story today is one with a conflict that I am pretty sure none of us would ever want to live through no matter which angle it was from. In fact the conflict in this story is so out there that it makes the plots of some of the current soaps look mild. This story was picked up by Hollywood in 1951. I looked it up to see who was in it, and the stars were Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward. I am thinking I might have to pull it up on Netflix or some other internet movie streaming application one of these days. I did find it on Utube, but I was thinking that I would see just a little blurb, and soon realize with the way the music and the credits were rolling that I could have watched the entire 2 hours right there. I turned it off because I didn’t have time or popcorn ready, but it looks to be an interesting version. But why not, what a story this is.

Here we have King David, great king, who has everything he wants. He owns a palace, rules a country, sure there is a war going on, but he has soldiers who take care of everything, he doesn’t even have to go to battle, although some commentaries, as I mentioned last week, suggest maybe he should have gone to the battle grounds to keep himself busy. This might be why it is said that idle hands do the devil’s biding. King David has many wives; his life is stable, secure, established. And then he sees a woman, a married woman from his roof top, and he decides that he must have her. She does not refuse him. I wonder why? Is it because he is the king? This might be the sort of thing we, well maybe not expect, but might not be surprised by it if it were one of our modern-day celebrities, but this sort of action is hardly what we would anticipate in terms of actions from a King of God’s chosen people.

And if those actions aren’t enough, you heard the reading of how David called the husband back from the fighting to cover up what he had done and when the husband didn’t spend time with his wife during his leave, the King had him killed and in so doing others died on the battle field with him. Can you imagine what today’s society would do with a story like that? If the criminal justice system didn’t convict King David, the press and social media would have a hey-day with it. Unexpected Actions.

But the story doesn’t end with this conflict. There is much more, but most of it is in the Old Testament lesson for next week. Let us suffice to say it involves repentance and forgiveness that goes far beyond human imagination. What we would consider justice/ what we would consider to be fair and right isn’t exactly what happens, God forgives David, and that kind of forgiveness is hard for us as humans to understand, Unexpected Responses. Sometimes that is what we see when we study God’s word. Not something we think we could do, but God shows us how.

Our gospel lesson today seems to be way on the other end of the spectrum of actions. This is John’s version of the feeding of the 5,000. It is another version of a great miracle that Jesus performed in that he took 5 loaves of barley and 2 fish and feed a multitude of people. Yet we all know that this is so much more than that. It is a story of compassion and caring in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine. Scholars try to explain away the miracle part of this story by saying that each of the people there pooled what they had and shared their food, and they were happy just to get a little something to eat. Some say the loaves and the fishes were just an example of what was available.

Others try to come up with any number of ways that this could be explained, but the Unexpected Action is that Jesus took the bread and the fish and as he blessed them, they multiplied. In fact John writes that when all had been satisfied (not fed) there were 12 baskets of left-overs. It wasn’t like when we go out to eat at any number of restaurants and the plates are too big for the table and when you are stuffed beyond breathing, you ask for a container and take the rest home, and in a day or two throw it out to the dogs or the cats because we were taught not to waste food. Jesus disciples recognized at the beginning of this passage that the crowd was overwhelmingly large (6 months wages—Philip). Nothing is impossible for God, not forgiving David, not feeding 5,000 who would sit on the hill during the season of Passover to listen to Jesus.

Again, the story doesn’t end there. The final verses have the disciples in a boat heading for another shore. This almost sounds like we should hear a guitar in the background, “heading for another shore.” Jesus isn’t with them. He had escaped to the mountain alone so the people weren’t able to force him to become a human king. No the disciples were in a boat alone and the wind started blowing, just about the time they are getting nervous about the weather, Jesus is beside the boat. This time instead of getting in the boat and telling the winds to calm; he touches the boat, and they are at the shore. Unexpected Actions, the disciples never quite know what will happen next when they are with Jesus.

As amazing as it might have been to live in the days when Jesus walked the earth, to see him to know him in the flesh, we have so much more because we have the whole story. We have the story of the words and the deeds. We don’t have to wonder what the conflicts were or what they mean; we have the word to study. We can look at the Unexpected Actions and the Responses from the comfort of the ages. We have had the experiences of the early church and later scholars, and yet, we know that there are still new things we learn about the word each time we pick it up and read it, and think about what it means to us today.

What if we treated everyone we meet the way we would like to be treated? I could have used a little of that yesterday. I realized as I went to bed, that maybe it is time to start following my own words a little closer. We were together on a family outing, and without telling too many tales, let’s just say it was a women gang up on the men sort of treatment day. Perhaps it is time for me to have some Unexpected Actions in a positive way. Perhaps I can start with the little things, like giving others my attention when they should have it. I know that I need to be more aware of those little things. Perhaps the saying shouldn’t be that the devil is in the details, but that God is aware of our details. Let’s be about the little things this week, and let’s be about treating others as we would like to be treated. Amen!!

Storm hit

Last night we had quite a storm in the area. The weather service interrupted the television to warn us that high winds and quarter sized hail was on the way. We could already figure something was up by the way the clouds looked. In fact, James interrupted my phone call from the church secretary to let me know we needed to move all of the flower pots and garden toys (mostly the solar lights)undercover. This is always a big deal and thankfully something we haven’t done for quite a few weeks. Anything that could be ruined by hail comes under the short porch, and if it is really delicate it comes into the garage.

The storm turned out to be pretty high winds and lots of places in town had trees break off. Mostly though they were trees that should have been cut or trimmed up long ago. Our Ash trees lining the west of the yard did a very nice job protecting us from the brunt of it.

I snapped a few pictures with my phone and I will try to upload them into the post, but I won’t hold my breath. One of them shows the lettuce bed after it was over, so you can get an idea of the amount of water we had.

Lettuce bed

Lettuce bed

Peas on the fence after the rain.

Peas on the fence after the rain.

the last two pictures are a little blurry, but it gives you some idea of the wind.

General view

General view

Tomato plant has a broken branch

Tomato plant has a broken branch

Recent failures

It appears that I have a few things to improve upon as of late. It wouldn’t be so bad if all of the failures I have been experiencing would be isolated to one part of life around here, but it is not. My failures have been in the garden, with one of my cats and even in my blogging world. I am starting to think that I should crawl into bed and stay there until fall and winter pass then come back out next spring to start over.

First off my garden is in a world of hurt this year because I decided to plant sunflowers. In so doing I have attracted a horrible bug, and now I am losing more than just those worthless sunflowers. Actually the sunflowers and the corn that is not edible make the garden look glorious from a distance. See below.

Sunflowers in the distance.

Sunflowers in the distance.

The picture I am sharing is about a week old. They are now over a foot taller than me and still going. James said the last time he was mowing, and I was watering, he couldn’t even see me inside of the sunflowers and the corn. I first noticed the disaster at the south end and the row closest to the tomato plants. The leaves were being eaten off, and there was no sign of a large animal having been in the garden. We have fence around three sides, so they have to come fairly close to the house to get into it, and there would be other plants stepped on if something like a deer or raccoon entered. James’ farmer brother assured us it is a little sunflower beetle that is so small you can’t even see it. Rah! Rah! I wouldn’t care if the sunflowers were its only food source, but the big problem is now I am noticing the beans are getting attacked. I am not sure if it is the same bug or a different one, but the results are pretty similar. We have sprayed the sunflowers with Sevin, but I am afraid to put that on the beans because they are just starting to grow actual beans on them. Today as I walked through the garden to check things out, I was looking at some of the bean plants to see if there was indeed anything on, and they broke off right in my hand because something is eating the stalk. GRRR!!! More on this at lucindagardens



Next our Sophia, the oldest of our cats not counting my mother’s, and best hunter, is fighting fleas or something like it. Recently she has been tearing out chunks of hair to fit the pests. Paulina noticed that something was crawling on her about a week ago, and James quickly picked up something that you apply to the back of their head and neck. We aren’t sure if it was applied incorrectly or if it just takes time to work, but she has been really cleaning herself lately. It is really bothering me because we had another cat when we first moved here who ended up with some skin thing and we tried every vet in the area, and no one knew what it was. I keep thinking that she didn’t have this trouble until she started bringing home dead gophers. Come to think of it Peaches’ problems started when he took to hunting the voles in my mother’s yard.

The final failure that I am ranting about today is the results of me trying to branch out on the blog. Of all the things that have gone wrong this summer this one is an epic failure along with another minor failure that needs a jump-start not to mention what it has done to the current blog I am on. Mostly the problems have resulted from dividing my time, which was the opposite of my hopes of  multiplying my results. It all started when I decided that I should have a separate place to just write about gardening and canning and making food from what we grow. I came up with this clever idea that if my current site is lucindalines then my gardening site should be lucindagardens. Of course never one to stop with what seems to be a good idea, I just had to push the limit, so next I figured I would create a site for the knitting and crocheting and sewing that I do. The only problem is that I haven’t sewed or crocheted for well six months at the least. I have been knitting some beanies off and on, but not really anything exciting or new. There is no way to get a site going with no production. Heck I have a Ravelry site called lucindadesigns, and I can’t remember the last time I even opened that let alone posted to it.

The worst part of the whole blogging failure is that I had this great idea to add the two new sites to my iPad app. Well any of you with those devices know exactly what happened. The whole app crashed out on my and it did it because it doesn’t want to hold more than one site at a time, and now since I am so computer literate, I can’t use it at all. In fact, I ended up deleting the app. I have tried to reload it, but it keeps telling me that I already have it. So because of it, I wasn’t reading some of the posts of the blogs I follow. I have been signing in without the app on the iPad to read them, but for certain blogs I can’t scroll past what shows on the screen. So frustrating.

So, tonight I plan to coerce Paulina to get that app back on my iPad, and I will be able to do my reading there again. I have also abandoned my lucindacrafts site, not that anyone had found it anyway. I was going to reblog what was on it, but didn’t really find it worth while. There is one post about Ana in a tutu, but I may redo that after we go to her place in August. The pictures we took of her wearing it were not the best, and now that she is walking, I am hoping for a few better shots of her in it. I will keep working on the gardening site, and hopefully that will take off in time. In the meantime, I will just renew the site I have and carry on. Happy blogging to all of you, and thanks for listening to my rant!

Trellis on a post


Hi just wanted to share my other site.

Originally posted on lucindacrafts:

Here is a trellis idea for those with limited area or space or access to a place to grow your climbing plants. I have a wonderful porch and patio area, but my house faces west with south spot to grow vines that like to climb. I realized that I have wonderful posts for something to climb, but no way to plant or for the vines to attach. Here is my solution.

Morning Glories climbing lattice. Morning Glories climbing lattice.

I will give you a step by step on how I did this, so you have an idea. Mostly I used what I could find. First off, the plant is in a large pot. I have four posts, which turn into three walk through areas. I placed four pots, two in each of the outside walk through and left the middle area to actually walk through. See picture below.

IMG_5474The posts are load bearing to hold the walk…

View original 376 more words

Lists, lists and more lists

Last Friday, July 17, I posted some information about how James put together a stand we had purchased and together we stocked it with the canned goods left over from last season. It was good for us to go through everything together and figure out what we had, and mainly it just feels good to have everything all neat and clean. As we accomplished this task it occurred to me that we need to do several more tasks in the house this summer, and there is not much time left. So being the woman of lists, I sat down yesterday (Monday was the first day I was able to get to it) to start putting some ideas on paper, besides that I counted out the number of days we have left to do anything together. I came up with 12 days. My list could go into infinity, but that is another story. As I was waiting for James to come home from summer school, I took one minor thing off the list and watered most of the garden and fertilized the tomatoes. I want to put some Epsom salts on the peppers, but can’t find it so will have to get more.

When he finally came home and after we had some lunch but before I could mention the list, he said he would be re-staining the east deck today and could I help move the grill off it. Not a problem, but I had forgotten to put that task on the list. I used to have a rule, and still do when we are shopping, “if it isn’t on the list, we don’t buy it.” New rule might be “if it isn’t on the list we don’t do it.” Anyway, the deck really needs the stain to be finished so the polyurethane can be put on to protect the wood. I added the project to the list.

While he was doing the staining, I decided that I will get something accomplished that needs doing, and so I grabbed the four bags of compost manure that we purchased last week and added them to the flower garden around the concrete. I have been wanting to get the dirt level with the concrete since we had it put in, but so far not much luck. At least after this deposit, we are a little closer. Here is what it looks like after I finished.

Dirt in the cosmos

Dirt in the cosmos

Another view

Frogee is covering his eyes so the dirt stays out.

I took the pictures of the north side of the concrete flower garden. This is near the corner where most of the cosmos are growing.

I am hoping that the new dirt with add some nutrients to the plants and that will help push them to flower a little better. I made it around the corner and almost to the end with the four bags that we had. I am thinking another four or six would be just about right to get the level where I want it. At least this project was on the list. I felt good to cross it off, and it felt even better to have the bags out-of-the-way. I also filled in the holes around the area where the tulips used to grow. We took out a landscaping timber last fall, and I nearly twisted my ankle in the depression that is there. Hopefully that is fixed. Doesn’t it feel good to get things accomplished? What is on your “to-do” list??

Monday’s Thought Of The Day


This is so funny that James asked what was all the noise as I was laughing up stairs and he was down. The only thing I ask is which # was your favorite, please share.

Originally posted on Town & Country Gardening:

An Old Man’s Perspective: Ten things to consider.

1. I’m not saying let’s go kill all the stupid people. I’m just
saying let’s remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out.

2. I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds. People move out of the way much faster now.

3. You can tell a lot about a woman’s mood just by her hands. If
they are holding a gun, she’s probably mad.

4. Gone are the days when girls cooked like their mothers. Now
they drink like their fathers.

5. You know that tingly little feeling you get when you really like
someone you’ve just met? That’s common sense leaving your body.

6. I don’t like making plans for the day. Because then the word
“premeditated” gets thrown around in the courtroom.

7. I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes 1,500 days in…

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