Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday in the Word....a day late.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;

Psalm 25:1-2

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Just popping in to say "hi".

Lots going on around here...lots going on in my brain.

But that's where it all my brain. Nothing is formulating into words. Or at least important words.

I pop in here every day, check on you...then realize I haven't posted in 3 days...4 days...5 days...6, 7, over a week...and still the words don't come.

So instead I just say hello...I'm still here...waiting for some words to come.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Good Monday morning...

Bay Bridge, San Francisco
No, I'm not in San Francisco. This is a photo from a few weeks ago because I haven't uploaded any new photos lately. I better get on that! I probably have a hundred or so photos on my camera, patiently waiting to be looked at.

There are only 3 weeks left of school. That is so crazy to me! The year seems so long and then all of a sudden it's drawing to a close. It's good because I work for the school district and that means I have the summer off. (Nice. I know.) But it's also sad as it means my boys are another year older...another year closer to high school and graduation

But we've got some good things in store for summer...some hikes and backpacking trips, maybe a camp out or two, camps for wrestling and student council, college campus tours, and of course sleeping in. Before we know it summer will be but a memory.

Life is so strange if I think about it too much. Maybe it's best to just live it...and not think about it too much.

Have a good Monday...I plan to.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I went to San Francisco a few weeks ago (or maybe a month ago? or more?!) with my mom, my aunt and my two cousins. It was a girl's day...and it was fun. We walked and talked and ate and laughed. Pretty much the usual for when we're all together...

I love my family.

You know what else I love? Yep. My digital camera. Love it. Years ago, maybe around 10 or so, a gal from church gave me (yes, GAVE ME) a Canon Rebel film camera. I was so excited. I had been wanting a good camera for a while. So to have this gifted to me was incredible. And to be honest, I didn't really know just how amazing of a gift it was. I wasn't knowledgeable about cameras...brands, styles, etc. I just knew that it was 35mm...and that was all that mattered to me. I was grateful.

I used that much as I could afford to. But film can be expensive...and developing it even more. So while I loved to take photos, I was always calculating costs in the back of my head and not allowing myself to just have fun and be creative with film.

Not to mention, sharing photos online using film was quite a process. Take the photo, finish a roll of film, have it developed (usually weeks and weeks later because I procrastinate), scan the photo, re size the photo, upload the photo...and then share it online. Not really worth it I gotta say.

Well, 5 years ago my husband decided to buy me a digital camera for my 40th birthday. I could hardly contain myself...I was so excited! I chose the same camera that I'd been using, only digital. I made that choice because it would fit a zoom lens I already had. It made sense. And it was a good choice. Yes, there are cameras out that do a lot more than mine does. But for the way I use it, and the knowledge I (don't really) have about cameras and photography, it's a great fit for me. make a long story even longer...what I really love about digital photography is that there is no limit! I can take as many photos as my battery will allow. One of my favorite things to do is to just hold the camera up and snap a photo. Or hold it down low to the ground...and snap.

The photo above was taken while walking back to the car after eating dinner with the girls. They were quite a bit ahead of me...because I was dilly-dallying with my camera. (But I'm pretty sure they're all used to that by now...) It wasn't a well thought out photo...I didn't frame it carefully...I just pointed and snapped. No. It's not perfect. It wouldn't win any photo contests. But to me it tells a story.

Some of my favorite photos are the ones I've taken without looking through the view finder at all. It's a fun surprise to see what's going to happen. It's a different process. If I am taking photos while looking through the view finder I have a really good idea of how the photo is going to turn out. (When I can get it right, that is...and that is not as often as I'd like....ahem.)

But when I just hold the camera low to the ground to snap a shot of mushrooms under an old tree stump I have no idea what the camera is going to reveal. That is exciting to me. And without digital I wouldn't be able to play this way. With digital I can just snap away. I can play with angles and settings and lighting and not have to worry about how much it's going to cost to see how the pictures turned out. Digital is great for those of us who have a bit of a challenge when it comes to patience.

What? You didn't know this about me? Ha...some of you did!

I love my digital camera. It was probably one of the best gifts ever. It opened up a whole new world for me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

Instead of their shame
my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.

Isaiah 61:7

I've shared Isaiah 61 before. And I know I will share it again. Isaiah 61 is one of those life that speaks to you over and over and over again...saying something new and just a little bit different each time.

The first time I jotted down a date in Isaiah 61 was in 2004. I highlighted verse four, "...they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations." and then I wrote something next to it. It says, "For Noni."

Then again in November of 2005 after someone prayed for me.

In 2007 I attended a women's conference and verse 3 leaped off the page at me, " bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes...".

Then in 2009 I marked it three times. Once while doing a bible study, once when praying about going to Belgium on the ministry trip and once after having a dream.

I dreamt about a little sheep that crawled into my bed and laid down next to me. I was mortified. It was dirty...full of hay and stickers. I didn't want it near me but the more I tried to move away the closer it snuggled in. Eventually I realized that it just needed a safe place to rest. So I let it stay. And once I stopped trying to get away from it all the dirt and grime disappeared.

In 2010 a friend prayed for me at the altar at our old church and while she prayed I saw a a little movie running in my head. (Stick with me here...I know it sounds like crazy talk.'s not. Trust me.) It was a beating heart bound in chains. The chains were the type you'd use to lock up a chain link gate. The heart kept beating and beating and beating and eventually it broke free of those chains. It was amazing. A message from God that we don't have to stay bound forever.

And now here it is, 2012 and Isaiah 61 is being brought to my attention again. It's this week's focus scripture for the bible study I'm doing. Joyce Meyer focused on it on her show yesterday morning. When I woke up this morning I was thinking about it.

I love Isaiah 61. It's one of my very favorite scriptures. And since it seems to be something God really wants me to get a hold of, I think I am going to focus on it for a while. During my quiet time I will read Isaiah 61...slowly. I will read verse by verse...maybe even line by line. I will soak it in...drink it up. And store it in my heart and mind.

As I type this I am finding myself getting more and more excited about this new idea. I feel like I finally have a direction. For quite some time now when I sit down to read the bible I just don't know where to turn. But now I do. That feels good.

Anyone want to join me?

Monday, May 14, 2012

the latest...

  • Mother's Day was nice...very relaxing. The boys gave me the sweetest, most thoughtful cards (that made me misty) and a dwarf mandarin tree. The Owari Satsuma variety, to be exact. Some friends of ours have one and they are de-li-cious. Would you believe the little tree they got me already has some teeny tiny mandarins beginning to form? Can't wait!
  • On Saturday I spent the day with my mom for an early Mother's Day celebration. We headed off to Napa for some lunch at The Rutherford Grill. One of mom's best friends from high school joined us, too. It was a really nice day...lunch, conversation, a little shopping, some peach and berry was a good day.
  • While we were in Napa there was a wine tasting room that had a rosemary hedge in their front courtyard. It was so fragrant and really pretty. So now I've decided that someday I would like to have a rosemary hedge.
  • I gave our room a good cleaning from top to bottom yesterday. It was overdue for a thorough dusting. Way overdue. I also gathered one bag of trash (old receipts, kids school papers that I don't really need to save, etc.) and two bags of books and such to donate to the thrift shop.
  • The garden is coming along nicely. The tomatoes have tons of blossoms, the beans are sending out tendrils, the zucchini are finally starting to grow (I was worried about them for a while), the peppers are full of blossoms. However, the peas aren't doing so great, and none of my cucumber seeds sprouted. Or they may have sprouted but the earwigs got to them before I did. I think what I'll do is start some seeds in a tray on the patio table and then set them out into the garden once they're established. We'll see how that works. Oh...and we bought a few strawberry plants the other night. Chris has been wanting to try growing we'll give that a shot, too. I've never had good luck growing them, but as it turns out his thumb is greener than mine!
So that's that...the latest. The weather is supposed to be in the mid 80's all week...I can handle that. How about you? What's the lastest in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day.


Thursday, May 10, 2012


Be blessed today...think on good things...and thank God for all of it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

Come and listen, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.

Psalm 66:16

Let me tell you what God has done for me.

He called to me in 2001. And I answered. He invited me to walk with Him. I invited Him into my heart. I haven't been the same since.

He delivered me from the habit of smoking. I started smoking cigarettes at a young age. And I smoked for many, many years. I never thought I would quit. I never thought I could quit. I was hooked. Then one night at a women's retreat God took my habit from me...literally removing it from my body. It was a miracle...a true miracle. I had never experienced anything like it.

He has walked me through the darkness of depression and into His light without medication. He has been my antidepressant. And still is. I recommend His prescription any day. (More on this soon...)

He has walked me through the fear and dread of anxiety. We continue to walk this walk together every single day. Overcoming something that has plagued you...quite possibly since you were a little girl...takes time.

God is good. And He wants to do good things for you, too. xo

Monday, May 7, 2012

the garden connection

Our garden...a few weeks ago. It already looks a lot different.

I was wandering around out in our garden the other day and had a bit of an epiphany. Nothing extraordinary...really rather ordinary...but it made such an impact on me.

My love of gardening began when I was about 9 or 10...Noni bought me five little houseplants in 4 inch pots and the rest is history. I've been a "gardener" ever since. As I got older I got into flower gardening, dreaming about the perfect cottage garden. But one summer when we visited Chris' grandparents in Ohio I asked Grandpa if he ever planted flowers and his reply was, "Why waste the dirt on something I can't eat?"  (Or something to that effect...:)

Hmmm...good point. Since then I began to view gardening differently.

That following summer Chris built me two raised beds. And I attempted a little garden. We got a few tomatoes and a few zucchini but it wasn't a huge success. It wasn't until several years later when Chris moved those raised beds next to the deck that I attempted to plant vegetables again...zucchini, cucumber and beans. It was a success. Everything did really well and boosted my garden ego.

Since then we've enlarged our garden area a bit every year. It now takes up about a quarter of our backyard. And in the past couple of years Chris has joined me in tilling and planting and tending our garden. Last summer he honed his skills at making homemade salsa...and it is really good. He also planted two grape vines last summer that are growing like crazy. It seems he is a natural...

Each year as we plant our garden we think about, and remember, Grandpa Fred, Chris' grandpa. Grandpa Fred gardened his whole life. He grew just about everything in his younger days. But then as he got older and MS made gardening more of a challenge he pared the garden down to tomatoes, garlic and horseradish. Then he and Grandma would can jars and jars of spaghetti sauce and horseradish to share with family and friends.

Then as I was planting the beans this year I thought of my Papa Chuck. When he and Noni moved to our town to be closer to all of us my uncle built him a raised bed. He liked to grow fresh green beans. My mom told me that he'd say something about "planting a mess o' beans." It was enough to feed him and Noni and to get him out in the sunshine and digging in the dirt.

Gardening is so much more than just digging a hole and planting a tomato. Gardening is a connection. It's a connection with the earth and with the miracle of planting a tiny little seed that grows into a thriving, productive plant that provides food. Knowing that we can grow our own food and are not completely dependent on others to provide it for us really is satisfying.

Gardening is a connection with family...who more than likely gardened for survival and not just because it was popular. Grandpa Fred and Papa Chuck both shared fond memories of helping their large families tend their gardens. Admittedly, it was hard work. But it seems the pay off was more than worth it. (I loved when Papa shared stories of when he was a kid. I'll share them sometime.)

Gardening has become a connection with my husband. We really enjoy spending time in our backyard planting things and figuring out what to put where. We enjoy going to the garden center's like a date! We've gotten on the same page as far as what our goal is, too. Let's just say Grandpa Fred definitely got in our head...for the most part we're doing our best to make sure whatever we plant is edible (or at least useful).

I'll admit there are a few plants that I will always enjoy just because they're beautiful...but it's because they're a connection, too. They conjure up memories of both of my grandmothers. Grandma Dottie, my dad's mother, always had beautiful fuchsia plants hanging in her covered entry way. I always thought they looked like little ballerinas. Noni loved her flowers, too...azaleas and petunias are what I remember most. She also liked to grow fruit trees, often from a seed out of a piece of fruit she'd eaten! She grew a cherry, an apricot and an apple tree that way. (She'd be so proud of Chris...he just planted a seed from a mandarin he ate this morning. ha!)

Planting a garden is so much more than digging in the dirt and growing some food. It's a connection with loved ones...both past and present. And it's a connection with God, the creator of it all.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday morning.

Blackberries...they can grow in shade.

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet. 
- Thomas Merton

Friday, May 4, 2012

the end of the week.

It's Friday. And the end of another long week. Not sure why the week's are seeming so long lately. And why the weekends breeze by so quickly. Maybe the weather? Maybe...

There are no plans for this weekend...just the way I like it. Open. Free. Relaxed.

There are a few "have-to's" for me...two quizzes for my online class and a few things to plant out in the garden. I have some alyssum and some parsley that need a permanent home and then I want to plant more bean seeds in the spots where none came up. I planted 20 something peas and only four sprouted. So I will fill in the blanks with more beans since that is what we like to eat. I also planted 30 something bush bean seeds but only a handful have made it. So I will fill in those blanks as well. Maybe I will have enough beans to freeze for the winter. Maybe even a small batch to pickle!

Then of course there's always that shade border along the back fence. I was doing some reading about edible landscape ideas and found out that currants, blackberries and alpine strawberries do well in shade. I think that sounds fabulous. I would love to be able to plant more edibles...and even in the shady areas! Now...I just need to make sure we even like to eat currants! I know we like we're good there. But not sure about currants....what's your opinion about them?

Oh! And guess what? Last night as Chris and I were walking around the garden checking things out and seeing how things were doing we noticed a cluster of teeny tiny grapes on our Thompson seedless grape vine!! Amazing how something so small can make you so happy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


If you go take a look at this photo on
Flickr you can see what's what.
  • Our backyard is coming along. Each weekend we do just a little something to make it better. We are making our plant choices based on usefulness and/or edibleness. We still have a few things just because they're pretty...Japanese maples, hydrangeas, some succulents...but for the most part we want to be able to eat or use what we grow. Now when looking at plants Chris will ask me, "Can ya eat it?"
  • This is a wonderful post on the importance of learning to garden. Kendra says it perfectly in my opinion. The whole time I read her post I kept agreeing with her out loud. "Yes...uh huh...yep...absolutely...YES...I think the very same thing!!" It's good to know I'm not alone.
  • Have you seen the video My Friend Maia? (It's also on YouTube if this link doesn't work.) She's been doing yoga for over 40 years. She is a true inspiration. And even though she's been doing yoga for a long time, I still feel like part of her message is "it's never too late".
  • Next on the list is more citrus trees. And maybe a fruit tree or two. I spent a nice afternoon at a friend's house on Monday. She and her husband recently moved onto 5 beautiful acres. They've got a whole orchard...dang near one of each tree. Not to mention goats and chickens and a big garden. What an inspiration. As I walked around and saw the bounty I kept thinking about "a land flowing with milk and honey..." And then I told her she needed to keep bees! Visiting her gave me hope...that our dream property is out there waiting for us, too. Someday...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according
to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—
we know that we have what we asked of him.”

1 John 5:14-15

Isn't this a beautiful scripture? Approach God...ask anything...know that He hears us. And if what we ask is in His will...then we will have what we have asked of Him.


But what if what we are asking is not in His will? What if what we are asking for is not in our best interest? And it seems as if that prayer goes unanswered, or is answered with a "no", because God knows what we need better than we do? What about that?

I'm learning that is where trust comes in. We have to trust God, even when it hurts. Even when it doesn't make sense. Even when it's hard. Even when we don't get our own way.

We have to trust God and then wait it out. And guaranteed, after a while we will see that the answer "no" was really a blessing in disguise.

Wanna read more but don't have a bible handy? Well can read the bible online!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. 
~Helen Hayes