Moving Day: Something new

Lily

Lily

I don’t have any pictures of the event, but Paulina packed up yesterday and headed back to college. I was sad when she left even though we were starting to get on each other’s nerves a bit. In fact, I am sad any time any of the girls leave the yard. I don’t know why I am like that. I know they are not that far away and I can call them anytime, but that is how it is. After she left as I was standing on the upper deck, I noticed something new in the garden. This is the second year we have had an Easter lily re-bloom in the late summer. Pretty amazing that I found it the same day she left. I will take it as a sign of something new coming for all of us.

God’s Healing

The message for today was not exactly as the text is printed. I went off script a few times. My ear microphone piece went dead and I just grabbed the regular mic and went with that. It sort of threw me a bit, but after I took the mic in my hand and held it I was fine. It seems that speaking into a mic and getting it close enough to pick up without shouting makes it hard for me to follow my script. At any rate, you are getting the original intent of the message if not the part with all the little extras in it.

The scriptures used today were: mainly Luke 13:10-17 with Hebrews 12:18-29 and Jeremiah 1:4-10 in the background. The title or focus was supposed to be “God’s Healing.”

Here is what the original script was:

IMG_8415Tonight marks the closing of the 31st Modern Olympics. I am actually ready to say hurrah because I will be free to do things other than sit glued to the television. I understand that no one was forcing me to watch, but it is one of those things that I enjoy doing and since they are only once every four years, it has been a real treat to take them in this year. Being a women’s advocate since I was young and someone who started high school about the same time title IX was passed in 1972. And since it (title IX) began being seriously implemented in our area when I was in college I really enjoyed this year’s Olympics. It seems, and one of the commentators even brought it up, that this was the year of the US woman at the Olympics. And, OK, I will confess that one of my, well not nick names, but a term I was given in college by some of the guys in my college graduating class was a female chauvinist. Now that we have that established I can get to my point.

So as much as you can get things on the internet, I wasn’t able to find an exact update, for this morning, but I dug this out in a story on Saturday afternoon. As of 4 p.m. on Saturday, according to an article I found, the US had 107 medals. Just a bit over half of them by the woman, not such a big deal, really, but in the gold the total was well over 50 percent by the women. I guess the proportion becomes far more obvious when you look back to the 1900s, and you read that in the 30’s if a female competitor was caught tipping a bubbly in celebration, she was removed from the team. In light of the debacle by a few of the male swimmers, that might need to be a general rule in the future.

I start with these facts to show what sort of world we live in. We have or at least are beginning to move past the idea of gender inequality issues, or the idea that one gender is necessarily above or below the other. We live in a time where our daughters are not hindered in terms of what field they are encouraged or even allowed to enter. They can do or be almost anything they desire, but that was not the case in the time of Jesus, and sometimes even though we know this to be a fact, we need to be reminded of it when we study certain of the stories. We need to look at our lesson, like we are taught in college education classes, from the known to the unknown in order to grasp what we are studying. In order to get the full measure of this lesson, we need today, to be reminded of the status of women in the past. We remember that when Jesus saw in the temple was it was in the outer area, and not in the more inner part of the building in which only men were allowed to go.

In fact, before I get totally off the Olympic thing, I should mention that though the young women in our country have these freedoms not every country does, and some not for as long. One case in point was the story of the young man from South Africa who won the 400 meters. His mother was an outstanding athlete, but was never allowed to participate in the Olympics because women were not allowed to compete outside of their country.

And when you think about it, we have not always had these advantages here. As we go back to when track and field first began in the high schools in our area, boys’ meets and girls’ meets were held on separate days in separate places. I only remember one meet, and that was the Aberdeen Relays in which the girls and the boys competed at the same place on the same day. Even in college we were mostly separate. Of course I am showing my age. My freshman year was the first year girls were allowed to run the 800, and it took a couple of years more before we had the mile, and hurdling was another story in itself. I remember studying women’s sports in college and learning that there were some people who felt women should never be allowed to hurdle because doing it would damage a woman’s insides to the point that she would never be able to have children. I guess we have come pretty far.

Ok, so all of that aside, the point of our scripture lesson is that when Jesus healed the woman who Luke mentions in this chapter, it wasn’t just about healing someone who was infirmed, it wasn’t just about healing someone on the Sabbath, though that was a pretty big deal in this story, it was really about healing someone on the fringes of society, someone who really didn’t matter, someone who a true religious leader might not have bothered with. And so there we are again, at the very basis of the ministry of Jesus, to come to those who are left out, over looked and considered nobodies by the world around them. Jesus died for all of us.

Let’s stop here, take a time out. Look up, look around. How much of the sanctuary are you able to see from your seat? As you twist and turn, you can pretty much see the whole building if you desire to turn that much. If you were to get up, and we will at the end of this conversation, you could/can/will walk out in any direction you wish and see any number of corners of the church building or even of the world outside. Let’s pause for a minute to look at the woman who receives the healing from Jesus in the story in Luke 13. (Demonstrate a bent over statue)

She is bent over and sees, likely nothing more than the 4×4 or 6×6 areas in front of her. I won’t try to compare myself to her too much, but after a half hour of bending over looking for cucumbers or trying to get between the rows of beans that I planted way to close together again, I can feel my back wanting to stay in this position for longer than I would prefer. How miserable that is, and how awful this woman must have felt every day, not to say what she was missing in life by not being able to stand up and see the world.

Because of her situation, this woman is not just infirmed, she is not just sick, she is not just lame or ill, she is marginalized. Just like many of the others that Jesus took the time to heal: the blind, the lame, the lepers, the demon possessed, the woman with the continuous hemorrhage, they were all marginalized, meaning they were ostracized to the edge of society. They were outcasts because of something that had happened to them, which for the most part was out of their control. Yet Jesus took the time to heal them, to comfort them, to care about them.

Last week we discussed how Jesus taught his disciples that following him would cause rifts within families and with those closest to them. We heard that loving our neighbors, as Jesus teaches us to, and in the way that he does can cause us rifts with those around us who think we should only love those who are like us. In this lesson today, it is clear that the Jewish religious leaders didn’t approve of that sort of love. This woman that Jesus healed didn’t even ask to be healed, but because he noticed her and had compassion on her, he reached out and made her whole. How easy it would have been for him to keep walking. How easy it would have been for him to ignore what he saw and think that since it was the Sabbath and it was not quite time for him to be finish his work on earth, he could have moved on, but he couldn’t ignore this woman who needed him, this woman who was a no body to any one and who certainly was not of any importance to the leaders so why bother. He did it because he loved her, just as he loves each of us.

And then when he healed her and the leader of the synagogue started throwing a fit, he has the most wonderful answer for them. He asks them if they ever untie one of their animals from eating at the manger on the Sabbath and take to drink. Of course they had to say yes because it would be considered cruel not to feed or water their animals, yet that could be considered work. I have to tell you a story on James’ family. Keeping the Sabbath is still followed fairly strictly in their area. You won’t see them in the field or the shop on their farms, and apparently in the early years a few of the families were so strict that they did not milk on Sundays. James’ dad said there was a limit to what was right and what was not, and he felt that not milking your animals on Sunday no matter how religious you were was just plain cruel. This is the point that Jesus was making.

Again going from known to unknown, Jesus then asked the temple leaders (after he called them hypocrites) how it was ok to feed or water an animal while allowing a child of God to remain imprisoned by the bondage of Satan. And in a little side note: with that question, he lets us know that all the evil and sin and harshness of the world comes through the Power of evil and not from God. And then Jesus lets them know that of all days that people should be freed from the bondage of evil, it should be on the Sabbath. In other words it isn’t so much that we should be at rest, but we should be allowed to rest, we should be free of all evil and ills and things that drag us down. Now wouldn’t that be nice?

In our reading from Jeremiah we learned how God chose and sent Jeremiah to be a prophet, even when he thought he wouldn’t be able to speak, God gave him the words and the abilities to do as he was asked, and so God is able to work through us to do and we are needed to go where ever we are needed. In the lesson in Hebrews, we read of a change from the old laws and rules to the new covenant in Christ and then in the final verses we hear: “Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed God is a consuming fire.”

Our time of worship, our day of worship, if we are to really hear Jesus is not singularly and simply about following the laws of Sabbath or any other laws, but it is about freedom from evils, freedom from being marginalized, as in freedom from being pushed away. Being with Christ, being in Christ and having Christ in us is what Jesus wants for us, that is the healing Jesus brought to this earth and that is what he wants us to share with all those around us. Standing up, being able to stand up and see all those around us who need God’s love and compassion, that is what Jesus was telling the temple leaders is the real meaning of Sabbath. May we go with that idea on our minds today and everyday and not just that we think about it, but that we also act on it. Go this week being ready to share God’s healing love when the opportunity arises. Amen.

Canning salsa and finding the lost

Salsa in the pot.

Salsa in the pot.

Today was the day, the tomatoes were taken off the table and dropped into the pot, and tonight we have salsa. Paulina had another day off from the pool because of the cool weather and the rain, so we opted to get some canning done. We have all been a bit down and out lately because of the missing wallet, but wonder of wonders it appeared today, and as we all figured, I was the one who had made it disappear. I should have been a magician. Apparently in the frenzy of cleaning for the arrival of Vic and Nate and the grandchildren, I grabbed a few items off the table and put them into a box. Today when Paulina began putting away her little electric diffuser, she lifted the box that holds it and wondered why it felt so heavy. Lo and behold as she opened it, there was her wallet and the shorts that have been missing all month. Leave it to me to stash things where no one can find them. I once lost pajamas that I bought for the daughters to give them at Christmas and did not find them until Easter. We had given up on locating them even thinking that we never bought them, but when we found the receipt, we knew it was time to do more searching.

Finished jars of salsa and juice

Finished jars of salsa and juice

Anyway, when all the tomatoes were blanched and mashed, and the onions (2 cups) were diced and the peppers were chopped (2 cups bell and 1/2 jalapeño), we had canned (20 minutes of boiling in the canner kettle) 5 quarts of salsa and 2 quarts of tomato juice. I have learned that in order to get thicker salsa, you drain away some of the juice at the beginning of the process and use that to make juice. Each time I do up salsa or spaghetti sauce, I usually get about 2 to 3 quarts of juice, almost as a by-product. And a wonderful by-product it is. We also added 3 dried and crushed chili peppers, 3 tablespoons of canning salt, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of cumin to the salsa. After it simmered for about 20 minutes I took out a cup of liquid and whisked in 1 teaspoon of corn starch as a thickening agent. I did this twice. It calls for 3 tablespoons to be done, but because we had pulled out some of the liquid, we really didn’t need to thicken it that much. I also don’t like to do it much because it tends to bland out the flavor a bit. This is not a perfect recipe, and as I told Paulina, much of what you do needs to suit your taste and the flavor of the tomatoes. I really advise putting in about half of each of the flavoring ingredients and then doing a taste test before adding the full amount.

Paulina with the missing items.

Paulina with the missing items.

This particular batch turned out pretty well, and Paulina will have a nice batch of salsa to take along with her when she heads back to college next week, happily with her wallet in her purse!!

Produce of the day

Cucumbers picked today

Cucumbers picked today

So yesterday between watching Track and Field, women’s volleyball, diving and other events including the unfolding drama of the four crazy swimmers in Rio, I was able to clean the fridge and pick a little produce in the garden. I almost skipped over the cucumbers because the last time I looked there really didn’t seem to be any worth checking on. Apparently this set of plants is much better at hiding the produce than what we have had in the past. I don’t understand it since we only ever plant the “straight 8” variety. What you see here is inside my sink as they are drying out from a good washing. The largest one is slightly larger than 8 inches, to say the least. It must be around 18 inches. I am thinking of slicing it down the middle, scooping out the seeds, filling it with a layer of ranch dressing then dropping in cherry tomatoes. It could turn out to be an interesting salad. I will share if I get it completed tomorrow. Some of the others shown here will make great cucumber salad, but there is probably only one or two that are small enough to have been included in a horticulture display for 4-H. Almost all of them are way too large. I will have to be more diligent in picking the rest of the week. In my defense the garden has been pretty muddy, and I am tired of washing my shoes. Today, I stepped into a couple of plastic shopping bags and tied them around my ankles. Sort of dangerous because I kept stepping on the right foot’s bag with my left foot, and twice I nearly landed between the beans and the zinnias. That would not have been a pretty sight.

Beans ready to be blanched

Beans ready to be blanched

As for the beans, I picked about six to eight plants worth and ended up with over 6 quarts, as you see here cleaned it made a very large baking bowl full. I have them in the fridge overnight to be blanched in the morning along with two other batches from Saturday. I hate cleaning beans, but when we had them fried in butter for supper, it is all worth the effort. And for anyone looking for healthier eating, this is as good as it gets at my house. We had watermelon for dessert so it should be all good. HA!

I am pleased with how the tomatoes are ripening. Each day we are able to bring more and more into the house, (Today I had the basket so full I couldn’t carry it by the handle, but had to hold the bottom.) which means all the less I will be picking on the night before the first horrible frost. It seems every year, we are scrambling to get all the tomatoes off the plants in one evening before the major frost comes in. Perhaps that is the major reason not to put in 50 plants. I need to pick up some lids in order to get serious about doing any preserving.

I see the clock has gone past midnight, so the report is no longer of today, but of yesterday. Hard to sleep when there is so much to watch. I do need to get so sleep tonight. I have to take Sophia to the vet tomorrow for a recheck. She is no on medication for hyperthyroidism and they found something in her last blood work that may need addressing. I don’t know what it is, but hopefully we will all know after the check tomorrow. Well, this is it for now. I have more garden stories over on lucindagardens if you care to check it out. Take care and enjoy the end of the games, if you are so inclined.

Sunrise/moonrise

 

Sunrise this morning

Sunrise this morning

Not much to discuss today. When I peaked out the window this morning this is what I saw! I tried like crazy to get it from the top of the porch, but even though I crawled up to the upper part, I couldn’t get this version, so I actually took this photo to the left through the screen.

 

 

Here is a small shot of what I did get. _MG_8591Note Spring Creek in the background to the left of the shop.

 

Today was a hot day, and the sunset was bright red. I did not have a camera when I saw it. James and I had to run over to the campsite to check on when a camper is planning to leave.

Moonrise

Moonrise

On the way home, I noticed the full moon just coming over the horizon. By the time I got the camera and took a shot, it looked dark. I think it was the setting, but that is how it goes. Anyway, this was the sunrise and the moonrise over Herreid on August 17, 2016.

 

Last night as I saw the full moon, I wondered if it looked the same in Rio from the beach volleyball venue. What a match!! Can’t wait to watch tonight.

 

Old House

Our old house

Our old house

Another post I have forgotten to put out for a few weeks is the old house one. The day of James’ birthday when we went to Jamestown, we hit town a bit early and since we came in from the south, we decided to drive past the home we used to own. It is a little south of town and surprising of all, currently up for sale. We planted seven evergreens at each side of the driveway a few years before we left, and we are always curious about how they look. These trees are much thicker than the ones we are growing around here, and rather interesting about how full they are. The people who bought the house have re-shingled and sided it and boy has that changed the looks. When we bought it the house was white with red trim and really wide siding. We painted it white, but James changed the trim color to brown. The porch in the front is completely enclosed and that is one big difference from the house we currently have. As we slowly drove past it, we saw that the deck to the east is still in place, but the steps on the west are different than what we had. I loved that house, especially the third story. The upstairs windows you see here was our master bedroom, and the window above it was the attic from which you could see everything to the south.

The driveway to the car shed.

The driveway to the car shed.

The parts that I did not especially like about that house, and I am not sure how it could be changed were no central air-conditioning because the furnace was a water boiler, though that was actually better than forced air. The other part was no attached garage, and with the cold of the winters in that area, it was yuck to have to go out into the cold to get into the vehicle. We also had only one full bathroom, but I still think there would have been a way to correct that issue. The kitchen was fantastic, and I still believe this would be a great house to turn into a specialty restaurant or venue of sorts. Well, not for now that is for sure. The picture to the right shows that the lilac tree James’ brother Tom mowed off recovered fairly well. HA HA!! To the left you can see a bit of a building. The current owners raise rabbits, and they built that barn over what we used as our garden. Oh well to each their own. So, what has changed about your life??? Would love to hear from you.

Story Book Land past and present!

Ana and Jaxon on the ponies

Ana and Jaxon on the ponies

I mentioned that I have a few more pictures from the trip to Story Book Land. One of the differences that we noticed was where the little ponies are located. They used to be along the path to the right very near Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater’s pumpkin. Now they are located just outside Old MacDonald’s barn. The barn was always a favorite because it always includes a few live animals usually sheep or goats and sometimes even some pigs. I think I saw sheep this year, and a calf, but there was nothing else that I noticed. Keeping animals is probably much harder for the park because it means the need for the caregivers always watching over the animals. I just can’t imagine how many people are employed just keeping up the grounds with the lawns and the flowers.

Paulina and Jess way back when likely about 1997 or 1998

Paulina and Jess way back when likely about 1997 or 1998

We have an old picture of Jessica and Paulina on the ponies, and Paulina wanted to do it again, but Jess was not in the area when we were ready for the camera, so Victoria filled in. Notice the difference from then to now. HA!! They have grown up, I guess.

Paulina and Vic in 2016

Paulina and Vic in 2016

We also have some before and after pictures of the houses of the Three Little Pigs. They have not moved, but they have been upgraded a bit, at least the straw house seems different, but I do not have any pictures to prove my memory. Well, actually I have lots of pictures someplace, but where is another story. Someone will have a great job down the road in putting all of them together. I don’t know that I will be the one to do it. In the meantime. We have some pictures of the past and present to share of this area too. The big change is this is the area where the whole Wizard of Oz site was added.

Jessica organizing Ana and Jaxon beside the pig as Nate watches.

Jessica organizing Ana and Jaxon beside the pig as Nate watches.

The train tracks were initially put in around the park area then the Wizard of Oz site was added to the north. There is a hill that was added behind the brick house, and it is also a tunnel for the train to go through. You can also cross the train tracks by walking and when you go from the little playground area near the Three Little Pigs site across the tracks, you end up beside the Merry-go-round and a concession stand. By the time you make that walk the concession stand the tables with the large umbrellas become your favorite part of the park.

Jess, Vic and Paulina at the twig house.

Jess, Vic and Paulina at the twig house.

The picture to the right is not high quality because I took a picture of a picture, but here you get the idea of what they looked like. Also note the trees and flat area behind the house.

Twig house seems to be on a different slab.

Twig house seems to be on a different slab.

The little thumbnail beside here shows what this house looks like in 2016. A bit of a difference in the background for sure. Behind it is the Kansas corn field of the Wizard of Oz part of the park. I can also see some difference in the slab it is on and the placing of the plaques. I actually sort of wonder if the entire house might be different. Now I wish I had paid better attention. Interesting, we used to visit once a year, now it has been since Jaxon was in a stroller that we were there, so I am not surprised it has changed. What fun the place is to visit, that is all I can say for sure. What has been your big summer fun? Sure would love to hear about it.

 

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