Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holy Gingerbread, Batman!

Is it December already?  Where does the time go?  And speaking of flying time, Biscuit (our oldest.  The nickname is a story for another day.) turned NINE today. 

Nine.

n. i. n. e…..

*sigh*

We did have a fun day, despite my resistance to the idea of him being NINE.

(did I mention that he turned NINE?!)

We went to a gingerbread competition that was sponsored by the school, which turned out to be more of a craft/game/gingerbread fest.  My big concern was getting the houses there intact, which we did manage to do!  Their big concern was winning, which we didn’t manage to do.  We did, however, manage to have fun and make some new friends!

I really loved looking at all the houses and seeing how differently the kids interpreted the idea of a gingerbread “house”.  Here are ours.

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One with grass, swimming pool complete with diving board and marshmallow gingerbread swimmer, and campfire.  One with a moat and people climbing the outer walls of the house.  I’ll let those of you who know my kids guess whose is whose! ;)

One of my favorites was sort of a diamond in the rough.  From the front it looked sort of lumpy and gray.  Then I looked at the other side and it made total sense.

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It was the bat cave, y’all!  I didn’t meet the boy who made it, but his creation was a big hit with my boys.  Kudos to you, mystery gingerbread artist!  Love the creativity.

By the way, people, if your kid is in a contest like this, don’t do it for them.  It’s way more fun to see what they come up with!

Happy December, everybody.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Do you need a better reason…

to take care of your mother?  I read today that we lose an area of rainforest the size of Atlanta every 25 minutes.  EVERY 25 MINUTES, Y’ALL.  That’s messed up.

These pics aren’t of rainforest, but they are in some places that sure are amazing!  Did you know that the water from the Rocky Mountain snow, ends up in 80% of the water supply of the United States?  What other things are connected that we never think about?

Tomorrow, let’s all say a little prayer of thanks for this awesome planet we’ve been given. 

Enjoy the pictures! 

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Hope you all have a wonderful, joyous Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I know I've missed a few Thursdays lately, but I'm thankful that you'll forgive me for that!

There are so many things I'm thankful for this week...

*for gatherings that support and encourage - it has been a great week, and I'm so grateful for the chance to be here and for these people.  I've also been fortunate to spend some time with my brother and his family, who I see far too rarely.

*for the beauty of the Rocky Mountains - I love Georgia, but the scenery here is stunning.  We went back to Rocky Mountain National Park this morning and it took our breath away.  I'm also tickled that we got to see some elk up close, a coyote, and various and sundry other wildlife.  The camp guy and I also had a chance to spend some time with a friend we don't see very often.  Thanks for joining in on our adventure, K.

*I'm thankful for cameras - I've been acting like a crazy tourist all week snapping a multitude of pictures.  Sometimes I take them for granted, but I love that I'll have photos to show the boys when we get home.


What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Travelling

We haven't really done a whole lot of travelling the last few years, so it seems strange to tell you we're on another trip this week, when we just had a trip last month, but here we are!  We're in Colorado this week for a conference, staying in the mountains, which are GORGEOUS!  I'll post some pics later, but just know that you ARE going to be jealous.... at least until I tell you we've been out walking around from building to building in the snow and lots of WIND. 

Even though this is a working conference (yea, camp!), the people here are folks who get together once a year to laugh with and learn from and support each other. The camp guy comes every year, but this is the first time I've been able to join in the fun. It's a really great bunch and I am so thankful for them, for the ministries they do, for the faith with which they move through their lives and ours.

Bless one another, folks.  Be real and honest.  Live with grace and love and humor.   And if you know anyone who works at a camp or retreat center - let them know how much you appreciate what they do.  That encouragement means so much!

Jean

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I think i like violet flavored candy about as much as i like lavender cookies. *blech*

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday….errrr, Friday!

Ok, so my latest installment of Thankful Thursday is happening today instead of yesterday, but better late than never, right?

We spent yesterday on the road, and I am thankful, once more, for safe travel.  We had to replace the radiator in the van while we were gone, and I’m thankful that we found out while we were there and NOT while we were on the road!

I’m also so, so thankful for moment like these.  Grab them while you can, my friends.  They are SO precious.

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What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Aaaaaaand - here is is, our first installment of Thankful Thursdays.  I'd really love for you to help me think of a better name, too.  Glimpses of Gratitude? Grateful and Glad? Thankful and ....Therrific?  .... Yeah, that's why I need your help.  Send me some ideas - please, if not for me, for your own sake - so you limit your exposure to my cheezy ideas!

All jokes aside, the things I am truly thankful for this week are...

  • Safe Travel - We drove to St. Simon's today.  Every time we get on the road as a family for a trip like this I am keenly aware of how blessed we are to make it to our destination safely. (and how glad I am that our old van made another trip without something needing repair!)
  • Family vacations.  We don't get these often enough (does anyone?), but I so enjoy them when we do.  The camp guy is actually working for part of this trip (it's work trip that we've extended to make into a vacation), and of course, the boys and I will be doing school work, but Mimi and P-pop are joining us the day after tomorrow and we're going to make lots of time to just have fun together.
  • My family.  All of them.  They drive me crazy sometimes, but when it comes right down to it my family rocks.  I'm so, so lucky to have them.
What are you thankful for today?

Love Y'all!
Jean

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gratitude

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I got a few more apples processed today.  Still have lots left, but I’m whittling them down a little at a time.  It’s harder to do a large batch in the middle of the week when we’re doing school and, well, you know – life!

While I had a moment today, I read an article in the latest Mary Jane’s Farm magazine, about a couple who have built a whole business around the idea of gratitude.  It struck me, because of the content of the article, but also because I had just read another article about changing your attitude from one of questioning to one of recognizing things to be thankful for. I love this idea, by the way – the notion that we, ALL of us, have things to be thankful for, if only we take the time to recognize and identify them.  Not that everyone’s life is just peachy every moment of every day, of course.  It’s just that, in the midst of even the worst tragedy or the most difficult times, there are small comforts, or people who care for us, or even just beautiful sunsets that we can appreciate and for which we can give thanks.

That’s why I thought I’d start a new weekly feature!  From now until the end of December, we’ll be celebrating Thankful Thursdays.  Every Thursday, I’ll list the things I’m most thankful for that week. I’d love for you to join me, and list what you’re most appreciative of that week as well.

Even though is isn’t Thursday yet, I’ll go head and tell you that I’m ALWAYS thankful for you!  I don’t know why you listen to all my ramblings, but I’m so glad you keep coming by.  Thanks for supporting this hectic eclectic girl.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Applesauce Prom

It’s apple season, y’all!  This week we went on a field trip to an orchard, and Mom and I came back with  apples.  The lady that we spoke to was kind enough to show us the “2nd grade” apples that she uses when she’s making sauce.  For $12/bushel (vs. $26 for the ones with no blemishes), we decided on three bushels of Mutsu, Golden Delicious and Winesap for applesauce and canning. 

When we got started on our project today, my Nana said, “You know… there’s this company called Motts…” which of course the Camp Guy thought was terribly funny!  I have to tell you, though, with no ill will to Motts, they never had so much entertainment in the kitchen as we do!

104_0073 Here are some of the Mutsu and Golden Delicious in Mom’s sink.  You can see some of them have a few have spots, but even though we were not shy about cutting them out, we lost very few apples.  I will definitely go this route again next year!

104_0078  This is my apple peeler, corer, slicer.  I don’t know how to tell you how much I love this thing.  Many, many thanks to Aunt Jane for spending so much time working on it today.

104_0085Here is small portion of the apples we did, soaking in a lemon juice solution, waiting for their turn in the pot.

104_0081 After cooking and a trip through the food mill, here is… TA-DA – Applesauce!  At one point, as I was stopping again to take another picture for you we started joking about posing, to which I replied, “It’s not prom!”  Aunt Jane immediately declared that yes, it was indeed – Applesauce prom!  I have no idea what that means, but being a bit giddy from hours in the kitchen makes many things funny, thus Applesauce Prom was born.

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We ended up the day with 22 quarts and 7 pints of applesauce, plus a gallon size bag of apples that went in Mom’s freezer.  PLUS, I still have just under half of the apples left!  Guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow…

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A little visitor

showed up in the yard the other day.  The camp guy obliged the two VERY curious boys and caught our lucky (unlucky?) visitor, so that they could get a good look at him.  He’s now back in the woodpile so he can keep hunting. Quite a fine specimen of a garter snake if you ask me – very handsome in his yellow stripes and checks.  104_0005 104_0006 104_0007

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn's Spell

The moon tonight is a somber, orange sliver of itself.

There's a wisp of a cloud in front of it,
making it look as if the man in the moon is speaking.

I imagine he's speaking to me -
some ancient wisdom of fall, of leaves and harvest
and crisp, cool weather.

His voice soothes and enchants me. 

It mingles with the music of the coyotes, singing in the distance.

Once again,
 I am under Autumn's spell.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My other new adventure

I’ve also started another project, since I’m no longer working.  I’m now an Avon lady!  I think the camp guy is happy, too, since I’ve actually been wearing makeup lately.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I’m learning about the company - not that I thought they were bad, but they’re making a real effort to be a socially conscious company.  They are huge supporters of the fights against breast cancer and domestic violence.  AND more pertinently to this blog, they have a new line of products that are made with FAIR TRADE ingredients!
You can check out my Avon site at HERE.  Right now, all my new customers get FREE shipping!  You know you want to buy something…
Jean

edited to add - I fixed the link, so you can now actually get to my Avon site.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Hectic Eclectic Family’s New Adventure

We have embarked on a new adventure, and I wasn’t sure if I should tell you about it or not.  It’s not a secret, it’s just that this is not really that sort of blog.  Since I tell you all about my antics, though, and since this is such a big part of our lives now, I’m not going to be able to NOT talk about it so here goes….

We’re homeschooling!  Well, err… sort of.  The program that we’re in is actually public school, at home.  Think of it like a hybrid – the support and resources of public school with the flexibility of homeschooling.  We have a designated curriculum, but I get to supplement as I see fit.  We’re assigned to a certified teacher for support and guidance, but I’m their learning coach.  The lesson plans are done for us, but we decide the schedule.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but we’re starting week three and we’re starting to settle in.  I’m excited about the possibilities that this holds for us – and still a little terrified about implementing it all, but that gets a little less each day.

I’ll keep you posted!

Jean

ps.  if you want more information about the program we’re in, check out Georgia Cyber Academy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The squash bugs are mocking me…

They have now eaten every bit of squash and squash plant out there, and while I’m not really mourning the loss of the squash plants at this point, they have turned their attention to the other plants in the garden.

I would like to be able to do a second planting of some things without them being overrun, so I finally broke down and pulled out the sevin dust (seven dust?).  I marched resolutely to the garden, not proud that I was breaking my no pesticides rule, but determined to solve the squash bug problem one way or another.

I found several large groupings of bugs and murderously poured large amounts of the dust on their little buggy heads.  They, instead of following the script and politely keeling over, frolicked in the “snow” and laughed at me.

Then, it rained, and I thought any remaining chance I had at the dust actually doing its job was gone.  Two days later I went down there and I can still SMELL the stuff, but the squash bug population is thriving.

They’re down there mocking me right now.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

O Squash, how I loath thee…

I’ve baked, fried, grilled, grated, chopped, peeled, dried, frozen squash until I don’t even wan to see squash anymore!

It’s seriously become like an episode of Iron Chef around here, with squash as the surprise ingredient.  I have squash in the fridge, squash on the counter, squash on the floor in a basket.  I can’t give it away because everyone I know is as sick of squash as we are.  I’ve hidden in chili, tossed it with pasta and put it on pizza.

We had a cookout with some friends and I made mixed veggies to put on the grill (with squash, of course).  Our friends brought pasta salad with chopped squash.  Then the camp guy requested a patty pan dressed for the grill.  WE HAD SQUASH ALL OVER THE PLACE!

So now, the beautiful lush green squash plants that I’ve been so in love with all summer, are looking bad.  You know something?

I couldn’t be happier.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Today’s Lunch and Yesterday’s Harvest

 

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mmmmm…. BLT with organic baby spring mix, lemon boy tomatoes from the garden, thick cut bacon and homemade bread with just a hint of ranch dressing.  It was so good, I barely had time to take this picture before I ate it all!

The garden is looking pretty sad and wilty, and I’m need to get in there and start pulling things out to make room for  a second planting, but it’s so stinkin’ HOT.  Some things are still producing, though – this is what I got yesterday.  There are still more red tomatoes out there that I need to get, but my basket was full! 

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How’s your garden?  Is it surviving the heat? 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Eating Locally

Check out this article from Eat Local Challenge on Five Steps to Local Eating. The Eat Local Challenge blog is written by a group of folks who are committed to the idea of eating local, sustainably grown food. You can find TONS of info on farmer's markets, how to eat locally, sustainable agriculture, and cooking what you find.

If you want to learn more about eating locally, you can also check out the 100 Mile Diet blog here.

I can't quite commit to eating ONLY locally grown foods, but I pay much more attention to where our food is coming from, and have made a commitment to step up my local choices and cut back on the non-locals. And I know that every time I make the choice to purchase locally grown food, I help my local farmers, and our environment. And that's a choice I can live with!

love y'all!
Jean

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My July Mini-Sabbatical

Sorry I’ve been absent so long, but here’s my proof that I haven’t been completely lazy!  I’ve been canning like a crazy lady… if crazy people canned… which since I have been, I guess they do!

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As you can see, the pantry is full, and my counters are overflowing, but all that summer goodness, squirreled away for the winter….  It’s so beautiful! 

How has your summer been?

Love,

Jean

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Have I mentioned lately…

that these kids make me all goofy feeling?  I really love them.  Especially when they make funny faces in the pool.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sometimes God sends us people...

when we don't even know we need them.

The Camp Guy and I took the boys on a day trip the other day. The boys were delighted to go, but they were not SO delighted with each other. After listening to them argue and argue and argue and argue and... well, you get the picture,

the Camp Guy. had. had. enough.

"I am going to stop this car every time you two start arguing, and it is NOT going to move again until you stop." comes his frustrated but ever-so-patient pronouncement.

And so we do stop. and go.

and stop. and go.

and stop. and go.

AND stop. by the side of the interstate. And not 30 seconds later, here come the flashing lights. The Camp Guy just sighs and rolls down the window.

This young policeman walks up, peers into the back at the boys and then up at us in the front. "Is there a problem?" "We have two boys in the back who will not stop arguing with one another," I reply. "Hmmm," he says.

He then repositions himself towards the back of the car, "Boys, You done got the PO-lice involved now. That's serious. You best stop arguing, and let your daddy drive."

Their eyes as big as saucers, they reply politely, "Yes, sir!"

He quietly grins at us, tells us to have a nice day and a safe trip, and walks back to his car.

The Camp Guy and I grin at each other, and I say a private "THANK YOU" to God for sending us that particular policeman, at just the right moment.

And we go...

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Old Commode. No, not that one!

We have an old piece of furniture that used to belong to the camp guy’s grandparents.  It is, according to my Nana, a commode – the shelf that the wash pitcher and bowl sat on, complete with towel bar.  I’ve always wanted to paint it, but never wanted to mess up the antiqueyness of it. (Yeah, I did just make that word up.  Brand spankin’ new word – just for you.  You’re welcome.) 

ANYWAY – the camp guy and I talked about it again recently, since neither of us like the color. Some parts were obviously old (the drawer), but parts looked like they had been replaced (the doors and back are made of rough plywood), so we decided to paint it guilt free. 

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The paint job isn’t really the greatest, but I think it looks pretty good, and I LOVE the color!  And now, instead of hiding in the bedroom, it’s flaunting it’s beauty in the kitchen. 

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What do you think?  Did I mention that red makes me happy?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh, Hail!

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We had a pretty decent storm here about a week ago, with a good bit of hail.  My beautiful squash leaves have been really beat up.  Look at all those holes in the leaves – all from being pelted by the hail!

We had some praying mantis babies hatch somewhere nearby, and several of them have taken up residence in the garden.  They’re finally big enough to really be tackling some of the regular garden pests, and I found this one today busy eating a cucumber beetle. Go, baby, go!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lemon Balm

The lemon balm has taken over, so I’ve been cutting it back like crazy and it’s hanging all over my kitchen drying.  Makes the kitchen smell nice…

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In case you’re wondering what it’s hanging on in this photo – it’s a wine rack that I got at a yard sale that holds my rolling pins.  The one in the middle isn’t much to look at, but the one on the top and the one on the bottom were made by hand by my great uncle, who is a wonder at that sort of thing, and they’re just to beautiful to be left in a drawer – hence their place of honor on the wall (well, when they aren’t covered up by drying herbs!).

Jean

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yo-yo mania!

I’ve set a completely random goal for myself this summer to make 1,000 yo-yos.  Not the walkin’-the-dog, around the world type yo-yos, but the little quilty variety.  I have no rhyme or reason to size or fabric choices, just a need to use up a lot of scraps, and a hope that at the end of the summer, when faced with this pile of yo-yos, I’ll be inspired to do something with them, and well on my way to having enough to do it! 

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I’ll keep you updated with a little sidebar here on the blog.

If you have any brilliant ideas for what to do with them once they’re finished, I’d love to hear them!

Jean

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

mmmm… summer bliss

Ok, so I’m sorry for my pity party the other day.  Little bit is better, big’ un is home, the camp guy is feeling better, and I am slowly becoming less gimpy!  The dishwasher, alas, did NOT make it.

But, my mom and cousin went down to the garden yesterday and picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes, and  I managed to pick a handful of basil leaves today and chopped them both up with some fresh mozzarella and a liberal sprinkling of kosher salt.

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The smell and the taste of this, delicious!  And how pretty is it?  And despite how easily distracted this will make me sound – it makes me happy!

What’s your favorite fresh from the garden recipe?

Jean

Friday, June 11, 2010

the week in review...

Big stuff went to camp. I had big plans to get things done around the house while he was away. Then...

Little bit went to day camp for two days until he got sick. He is STILL running a fever.

The Camp Guy has been having another bout of his intestinal stuff so he's been sick most of the week.

I've developed a bulging disc in my neck, so can hardly move my arm, back and neck, so I am out of commission for a little while, and on a lot of drugs that make me giggle.

My dishwasher is now officially out of commission, too.

Guess what I've gotten done?

Hope y'all had a good week!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Today's collection...

4 patty pan squash
5 yellow squash
2 handfuls of beans (most of which the campers ate while we were still in the garden!)
several cherry tomatoes (most of which were also eaten)
a few strawberries (all eaten)
a bunch of red leaf lettuce and romaine lettuce
one small onion

They really enjoyed being out there today. It was fun walking them through and seeing their fascination with the growing things. I even got them to pick a few slugs for me!

How's your garden coming?

Some stuff from the garden

Just wanted to share a few things I collected from the garden this weekend.  The big purple bowl is a salad I collected for the high school campers.

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I also got at assortment of beans, strawberries and green tomatoes (and one little red cherry tomato!).  I fried up the green tomatoes and they were delish!  We also had the first patty pan squash, which I sautéed with onion, olive oil, salt and pepper – yummy!

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I love summer!


Jean

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Plant Markers

I've been trying to figure out how to clearly mark all of the plants in the garden, so that the counselors and campers can see them above the edge of the raised beds, but so we weren't spending a fortune.  This is what I came up with...

markers

You can sort of tell if you take your magnifying glass and check out the bottom corners of this photo, that I glued the popsicle sticks to small dowels, so that they will stand up and out of the plants a bit more.  And best of all, they were cheap-o! 

I’ll get some more pictures of the garden for you this week, once I’ve put these out so you can see how big things are getting.

How’s your garden comin’?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Friday, y'all!

It was the last day of school today! We are all pretty excited about it here at our house. The boys, for obvious reasons, and the camp guy and I because we are now officially relieved of our PTA/classroom volunteering responsibilities! Whee! Why does it take summer to give us the excuse we need to slow down and be less harried? For the camp guy summer is especially a busy time, but it's busy in a different way than the rest of the year.

I hope that you get a chance to slow down at least a little this summer. Write back and let me know what you do to take things just a bit easier this season. Or if you don't get to take the summer off, how do you make the most of your weekend relaxation?

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Blog Hopping Again!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caterpillars and chiggers and slugs, oh my!

The last few weeks, the camp garden has become overrun with pests! And by overrun, I mean, I couldn't even walk down there without having chiggers all OVER me, the cabbage is covered with little green caterpillars, and there were more slugs down there than... well, there were a LOT of slugs. You're just gonna have to trust me on this.

So I bought some diatomaceous earth, ordered some beneficial nematodes, and did some extra companion planting to discourage the bugs. Two bags of food grade diatomaceous earth later, the chiggers were under control (I can't tell you how happy I am about this!). Today, the summer staff came up to the garden to get oriented, and I put them to work doing a few small projects, including picking slugs and tossing them into soapy water. AND, while they were working, the UPS man delivered the nematodes - hooray!

So this evening, I watered them in and whispered sweet nothings to them, in the hopes that they will put their voracious little appetites to work REALLY SOON!

I know, I know, they just moved and I'm not giving them ample time to get settled in, but they'll get paid in a large bonus of bug food, so don't feel too sorry for them... I'm counting on them, and their millions of microscopic children, to be my main line of pest defense!

I'm hoping that between them, the D.E., and herbs planted strategically around the garden (ie. dill next to the patty pan squash to keep squash borers away) that we will be covered totally organically in the pest department.

In other news, the dandelion wine is progressing nicely. Remember when I told you that it was AWFUL smelling? It's been sitting in the fridge "settling", and once a week I take it out, filter it again, and put it back, and it actually smells like... ta da, WINE! It's still pretty murky looking, but getting a bit better. I'll keep you posted.

Have a lovely week!

Jean

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blog hop!

Have a blog, website, or etsy shop you want to promote? Join the blog hop! Thanks to Trendy Treehouse who started this blog hop, and to Santa's Gift Shop where I found it...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

to the jerk in the big truck...

I WAS actually trying to rescue the turtle from the middle of the road today, and not just point him out for you, so that you could swerve into the middle of the road to hit him on purpose. You'll be happy to know, I suppose, that you accomplished your plan. Not many things can survive that sort of damage. That's all I can say. There's a lot more I'd like to say, but, unlike you, I have some restraint.

'kaythanksbye


*edited to say that I have no problem with trucks, just with jerks*

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moth

The camp guy found this great moth yesterday, and I had to share a few pictures with you.  These pictures really don’t do him justice – he was really striking.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

old journal entries, part 3b - bonus!

whoops! I lied - there were 4!


O God, you know the events of our lives before they unfold. You understand things that our perspective simply can't or won't. Things like children with serious medical problems.

I understand, God, that because of our disobedience and faithlessness we messed up this perfect world you gave us - we embraced imperfection. I confess, though, that I will never understand babies with terrible illness. I know you don't cause such situations - and I do NOT believe that moments like that are part of some grand design of yours. My understanding of your providence makes such a belief impossible.

It's devastating. And it's not even my child. But you tell us to love one another - to be in community with one another - and so we ache when another part of our community is hurting.

Yet we know that even in these moments - perhaps especially in these moments - you are with us. Comforting us through the community that surrounds us, and through the presence of your Holy Spirit.

Surround them. Comfort them. And whatever happens, give them a measure of your peace.

Amen.

old journal entries, part 3

thanks for being patient with the ramblings...

O God, you created us with a desire for connection with one another. But it's more than just a desire isn't it? It's a need - an innate longing that will be satisfied by nothing less than community. Was this intentional? I think it must have been. You knew, even as we were being developed how much we would need to be accountable to one another - and how much better our lives would be if we would seek each other out. And you didn't stop there, either.

You made that need for connection even deeper. Not only do we need connection with others, we also must have connection with you. In the absence of that relationship, we fill the void with other, varied things, that may make us happy briefly, but never ease the ache of that absence. You can provide us comfort from our anguish - both in our connection to you and with our community.

Why then, are some, when they need that community most, separated? Not even intentionally, but through circumstance. How do we provide community support to them? How can we provide support to those who don't wish for separation or isolation, but are so broken, that they see no other way?

Help me, God, to honor and uphold my own connections that I am so thankful for. And help me most of all to be a loving presence to those who need one most - whoever they may be.

Amen.

old journal entries, part 2

Old journal entry #2...

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? I guess I'm somewhere in between the God as puppet master in the sky and everything is random. I understand the attraction to the notion that everything is part of a larger plan - that all things have purpose. It makes hard things make more sense than if they were just things that happened for no apparent reason. But the trick to that is, that then you must believe in a God that does bad things to people for some unidentifiable and mysterious purpose. And even if it is supposedly for "our own good", that's really hard for me to swallow. I might buy the God as parent rationale for that except that that's pretty limited. There are some things parents just don't do - even for teaching or disciplinary purposes. And I don't think God does them either. I think that God can work through bad things for our good, and that she does - but not that she causes bad things to happen. And I do believe that there are things that God does, in working in and through our lives that we aren't meant to understand.

Mystery befuddles us doesn't it? Oh, we like it well enough - but only in the context of trying to solve it. We're fascinated with the unsolved, because of our innate desire to solve it... but maybe there are some things we're not meant to really understand - at least not yet.

And so, I guess, faith in God's providence and an acceptance of God's presence - even in the most difficult times - will have to serve me for today. And while it won't make me stop asking questions that can't be answered, I'm ok with it.

some old journal entries

In an effort to clear some clutter in my house, I'm going through old papers and I found an old journal with exactly three entries.... SO.... I'm going to post them here and throw out the journal. Thank you for your support of my wierdness about throwing things away, and your patience in reading my old ramblings!


The sand on my feet is therapy. I love going to the beach anyway, but it's always especially nice when I'm stressed. It's a sort of sensual experience - when I go, what I love is the sand between my toes, the ocean breeze in my hair, the smell of salt and water all around me and the constant noise of the waves. And, of course, the view -

Today we went and the boys played and I enjoyed just listening and watching - like a sponge, trying to absorb as much as I could.

I'm so worried and compressed by what's happening around me, but I go to the beach and for one moment I am free...
the breeze blowing where it will
the gull on the wing
the water relentless and untethered...

I look at the sock lines around my ankles and think they are a metaphor for this moment at the beach.

My socks, like the world, can restrict and contain me.

Thanks be to God that I have these moments to lose them both and I can be loosed from the constraints of worry, doubt, fear...

and yes, even socks!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Garden Pictures and Wine Update

Here are some pics of the camp garden that I took the other day during a break in the rain.  It’s really coming along!  I picked some lettuce and spinach and a few chives for a salad to go with dinner the other night.  It’s SO satisfying to be able to go pick something and take it right to the table!

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Strawberries, Spinach and Onions

 

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Cherry and Roma Tomatoes and Lettuce

 

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Bell Peppers, Lettuces, Onions, Herbs and Cherokee Yellow Bush Beans

 

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This is the same bed as the previous one, just a bit closer.

 

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Patty Pan Squash and Variegated Oregano

 

This picture is the dandelion wine, now strained, but still murky…  I am unsure about it’s color, but am pleased to report that it at least has begun to smell like wine!  I think I’ll strain it a few more times with some coffee filters to see if I can refine it bit more.  I have not been brave enough to taste it yet!  Maybe tomorrow…?

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