Spring is here!!

Flowers on campus

I didn’t take any pictures of spring today, but a couple of weeks ago, I had to write the ministerial contribution to the local paper. It was the week after we returned from the trip to Nationals to watch Paulina. In Tennessee the flowers were blooming and I took some pictures of them, so I will share both the pictures and the story here.

Recently my youngest sister, my husband and I took a trip to Tennessee. We went to Eastern Tennessee State University in Johnson City to the National NAIA Indoor Track and Field Competition to watch our daughter participate in the weight throw. I was expecting sunshine and plenty of warm weather and so packed cropped pants and t-shirts and light jackets, we were going south, after all. Much to my surprise and chagrin, we woke the first day to snow and ice on the tarp over the outdoor pool. Of course I had not done a good job of checking out the geography of the area, and I ended up slightly chilly as a result.

We could see the Great Smoky Mountains through most of the trip. We saw them as we drove from the airport in Knoxville to Johnson City and again when we left in the airplane to return home. Sadly we never actually had the time to enter the park associated with them or do any serious touring. At least I was able to snap lots of pictures of the countryside as we drove along. Some highways were lined with trees others were walls of rock and some were ditches similar to ours with the difference being that they were filled with daffodils in bloom. Not many of the trees were sprouting leaves, but the flowers were blooming and the grass was green. It was a sure sign that spring was closer than the cool air was indicating.

This morning when I opened up my devotional booklet it instructed me to read from Isaiah 55: 10-11. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (NRSV) The words in this passage are another reminder of spring and all that God does for us in terms of providing the seasons and the conditions that allow for growth of plants and grains to give us food for the body and growth of God’s word to give us food for the soul.

As spring approaches our area, take some time to experience the wonder of God’ creation as the grass turns green, the trees show their leaves and the flowers break out in bloom, and as you do be sure to give thanks for all the blessings you have been given.

Jan. 6. Third item revealed and dividing an aloe vera

Scooby doo burp rags!!

Scooby doo burp rags!!

So yesterday I wrote about making three items, then stopped short of telling you the third one. Today I am able to tell you what the third item is because it has been delivered. Item three is a set of 4 burp cloths. They don’t really look like a set, and I did a horrible job of setting them up to take a picture of them, but they are off to the left. The picture shows two with print side up and two with the burp puke on me side up. I used some material left over from making a shirt I made for Victoria when she was a CNA. Little did I know that the neck line wasn’t right for her, and I ended up donating it to a thrift store. I sure had fun sewing up that top. My big thing was doing the pockets. They were matched up so well you couldn’t tell they were there. Anyway, I did some research on what material is the best at absorbing liquid and I came up with a flour sack dish towel. I had James pick up a couple of new ones at the drug store before he came home from school. I used less than half of one on this project.

Samples of notches

Samples of notches

As I mentioned yesterday, this is a simple matter of having two pieces of material that are the same size with the right sides facing and sew around three sides and part of the fourth. Trim the corners with a V notch, turn and press or press and turn then top stitch the edge that was open in order to turn it. This is basic common sense and beginning to end it took me less than an hour. The hardest part was squaring up the scraps of print material.

The plant I took apart was the one in the background.

The plant I took apart was the one in the background.

Gift for Marva

Gift for Marva. I tied it up to brace it for a bit.

One other item that I want to show off is the aloe vera plant that I repotted and took off the new little ones and repotted them. I was after a gift for my church secretary. She had picked up one of the little aloe plants that I took to church a couple of years ago, but it ended up dying. I always give away plants with the idea that they have a life-time guarantee. So here is her replacement plant. I took the main plant and put it in a rather large pot, but because these aloe vera plants are so large and top heavy, I realized that it needed to be braced up.

The large plant repotted and baby plants given a new home.

The large plant repotted and baby plants given a new home.

I had just been in the cupboard filled with old flower pots and ribbons and such, and had seem a bag of small dowels. I used them around the plant to hold it in place. I also took one of the long plastic sticks that holds the card in a bouquet, and used it to brace up the plant for Marva. I also found a cute decoration that is a silver wire that curves around the plant perfectly. I also tied them up loosely to give the plant some support until it gets settled in the pot and takes root. As much as I want to get rid of the clutter, I just can’t toss things when I can find a use for them as I did in this project. I think more than tossing, I need to do some sorting and reorganizing so that I am better able to find things when I am looking for them. Well, hope you have enjoyed these little projects. I love to give things I have made myself or something that I have. Making all three of the projects that I wrote of yesterday and today, were really fun to put together and to sew. I also am very happy when I have a plant that is good enough to share. If anyone knows me they understand that when I give you one of my plants it is like giving a part of me, so you know it is special.

Leaving Linton

Leaving Linton

Well that is all for today, catch us tomorrow and hopefully there will be something exciting, though I am not sure that I will really have anything. We are currently in Jamestown. We drove here today to help Paulina move onto campus at University of Jamestown. We are one day too early to get in on a couple of basketball games. Rats!!! We will try to get home in the light tomorrow. The roads coming on US 83 were not the best, though I 94 was just fine getting into Jamestown. OK. enough!

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.

Peaceful Pond

Pond through the flowers

Pond through the flowers

A couple of days ago on my lucindagardens site, I posted a picture of the morning glories reaching the top of the strings that I had put in place for them this year. I had meant to include this picture of the pond and the view from those morning glories to the rest of the front yard, but it never happened. I was so busy telling the story of the invasive squirrel that I didn’t bother. I think there may have been something about a golf cart and some young children too, not sure. It was the same day, I noticed an older looking pickup drive past with two youngsters sitting on the back. Someone was stopped for that recently. I am guessing if the deputy would have seen this vehicle and the youngsters not just sitting in the box on the back, but standing on the back bumper holding on to the tail gate, there might have been a citation issues. I don’t understand some people, and fortunately, I have no idea who it was so I can’t open my mouth any wider than it is at this time.

I come from that generation who berates the young parents for being over protective. We have passed around the funny paper/email about how we climbed on monkey-bars and fell off without getting concussions. It includes lots more of those sort of things, but of course I can’t find the paper or remember any of them now.

What I do remember is that there were lots of goofy accidents while I was a child. Ones that people didn’t necessarily survive, or come out of without a few scars. Case in point the little girl who somehow got pulled into the power take off of the tractor on the hay-field and her mother walked the field and picked up her limbs, or the little girl who was run over by her father with a tractor. The last one lived long enough to get to the hospital, but not to be saved. Another child, a boy, was run over by a tractor in a plowed field and fortunately because the ground was soft he survived. And somehow I have a memory of people riding in the back of a pick up while out gopher hunting and someone sitting on the back was shot when they hit a bump. I don’t remember the outcome of that. Or the father whose pelvis was shattered when riding inside the pickup and the gun went off during hunting season. Then there was the hunter who was shot when exiting the car because the hunter exiting the other side was over zealous about getting the bird first and shot across the car roof. And there was the little girl who died from an appendicitis because her parents thought it was a bad case of the flu and in those days you didn’t run to the doctor for everything. It sure changed after that for mine.

I don’t know why I am bringing up all this gloom and doom tonight except that I just can’t stand the idea of adults being this foolish with their children, with the children of our community. I know they think nothing like that can happen to them. I know they think nothing like that has ever happened here. This is a classic case of “if you don’t know your history, you are destined to repeat it,” or something like that. Common sense tells you that you need to be more careful. I taught with a young man a few years back, who would shake his head when he heard about someone doing something that was beyond the edge of risk taking. He always told us that if he ever did something that crazy and ended up dying, we were not to attend his funeral. He said not to mourn him if he was that (using his words) stupid. He called his concept Natural Selection. Yikes, those are harsh words. What I tell myself and my family is that children are precious, and mostly that you cannot make them again.

I guess perhaps tonight I am missing my grandchildren, and maybe even the early years with my own children. And I just want to put a shout out to all of you who don’t always stop to think about the consequences of your actions, stay safe, some body might miss you if something would happen. There are enough crazy weird things that happen in life, don’t borrow trouble. I wish for everyone to be as safe and peaceful as those swans sitting on the edge of my pond. Happy End of July!!

New garden toy

IMG_8138Yesterday we took a day away from the area and did a bit of shopping. I needed a cleaner from the Dollar Store and while we were there we noticed some garden toys on special. We actually had the idea of looking for them since we noticed some advertised in a flyer. Our garden toys are getting older and apparently are not made anymore. We have been trying to add to the group or at least replace some that were broken earlier this year, but no such luck. What we have seen recently is either clear glass or really cheap looking. I may need to start looking online to replace what we have. At any rate when Paulina saw the Flamingo’s she immediately thought of my aunt Glenda, so we grabbed one for her and because of the half price sale and because we wanted something new anyway, we got one for ourselves. I only wish I had bought one for everyone in the family, but I don’t think there were enough. So last night after dark, James and Paulina snuck over to Glenda’s house to put hers in the planter and surprise her in the morning. Joke was on them, though. She was not at home and found it when she came home and went into the house. I wonder who she guessed brought it over? She should know by now that all flamingos are Paulina generated. It actually came about because my grandma used to have two plastic flamingos in her yard many years ago. I wonder what ever became of them?? Oh well, what do you remember from your grandma’s yard??? I would love to hear about it.

Thirsty Squirrel

Mr. Squirrel seems to be asking, "May I have a drink please?"

Mr. Squirrel seems to be asking, “May I have a drink please?”

This afternoon as I was sitting on the porch working on an update of the vegetable garden post for my lucindagardens site, I noticed something watching me from the yard. I soon realized it was a squirrel and so very carefully picked up the camera and took a few shots at it before he decided to move on. (And I don’t particularly like squirrels.) I didn’t have the big camera with the zoom, but did the best I could with the little Canon. When I finally was able to pull the pictures up on the computer and do a close up, I was amazed at how his eyes were watching me.

"Oh what wonderfully cool and clean water!"

“Oh what wonderfully cool and clean water!”

He did eventually get a few drinks out of the pond and after the sound of firecrackers filtered through the alley he was off, but not before bushing up his tale and checking where the danger was.

"Now who made that gun shot sound? I hope it is not !"

“Now who made that gun shot sound? I hope it is not aimed at me!”

The whole time I was standing as still as I could on the porch so not to spook him away. I guess that will have to be my secret to seeing more of the wildlife in our backyard and front yard for that matter. I often wonder if we have any idea how fortunate we are to live in such a small town, and especially here on the edge. There is an entire ecosystem in this area, and we so much take it for granted. Well, enough for now, enjoy!

Ana out in the cold

Ana feeling the wind in her face.

Ana feeling the wind in her face.

Ana dressed for outside.

Ana dressed for outside with her boots on the wrong feet.

Ana heading through the flower garden to the east door.

Ana heading through the flower garden to the east door.

This morning Ana insisted on putting on her snow boots, cap and coat and heading outside. It was cold and windy and to top it off, it had been raining since before James got up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school.

We had thunder and lightning and rain in the early part of the morning, then wind and rain after the sun came up, later around noon there was sleet and even some snow. At the moment it is still wet and windy.

It was around 10 a.m. when she decided we needed to take a tour outside. She was still wearing pajamas, but was bundled up pretty well until her pants slipped up above the boots. I tried to convince her we would go out to the porch then when she realized it was cold we would be able to come in. Not a chance. She wanted to go out the east door rather than the west door to the porch. She must like the look of the steps to the east, I think it reminds her of home. When she realized which direction those steps were, she took off and never looked back even when I called her. When she came inside, it was just a few snacks and a little wrap in the blanket, and she was ready for a nap. What a hoot she is. Until you say the wrong thing. I need to catch a picture of her hitting the table or the floor when she is unhappy with what we say. Actually, I would prefer not to have any more of those moments, but I am sure we will hit a few of them as the weeks continues. For now we will just enjoy every minute we have with her.

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