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Life on "The Farm" is . . .

Orderly, Delightful,      Colorful,                               Abundant, Whimsical, Lovely,...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Seasons . . . and Changes

             The Play Room is becoming more
                    of a multipurpose room.

The "Grands" are growing up . . . 

A few at a time, the "little kids'" toys 
are going to new homes . . . 

It's okay . . . 

Really, it is.

The chunky Lego's are making room for the miniscule ones; the kind that lurk in unexpected places, waiting for vulnerable bare feet. (Oops, I honestly did not intend 
to vacuum up that piece.)

We knew when we created and gifted this space that it would morph into other uses in the years to come. Still . . . 

Change is never a neutral thing. 
Sometimes it's easy, sometimes hard; 
it can be exciting, or terrifying, or . . . devastating. 

The changing of the seasons is comforting, at least to me; security in predictability. No matter how hot and dry the summer is, fall is coming and with it rain (hopefully) and that brisk chill I love so much. Then, just when it seems we cannot bear another dreary wintery day, the wind shifts to out of the south and we rejoice that spring is here! 

So, when it's time for change, "in acceptance, lieth peace" (as Elisabeth Elliot http://www.elisabethelliot.org often quoted Amy Carmichael as saying) seems to be a wise choice. Not just a fatalistic acceptance, but an embracing 
of new chapters in the story of our lives and 
the certainty that there will be delightful 
gifts waiting, just around the corner, 
from the Father of lights.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Life A B

"So, what's on your A B calendar this week?" 

What? I'm sorry but I'm feeling a little addle-brained and have no idea what you're talking about.

Oh . . . After Beach! 

It dawned on me, five days after coming home, that I always crash and burn after a trip; it's just been so long since our east-west traveling days that I had forgotten. 

What's on my AB calendar is kids, kids, and more kids. That's my job, while everybody else goes off to theirs. I'm the "keeper of the flame," I guess. Today that meant staying in my jammies all day, going back and forth between houses, playing a brutal game of Star Wars Monopoly with ruthless, greedy mini tycoons (you know who you are!), popping corn the absolute best, old-fashioned way in an electric popper with perfectly healthy coconut oil, and torturing the children with a $5.99 western DVD that will now be passed along to some other unsuspecting soul. 

Besides all of the above, I scrambled eggs. Two separate times. (We were one short the last batch so I sent a kid to check the coop and bring back what he found, which was an incredulous idea to another one; you would have thought I had told him to go pull eggs out of a hat.) 

As far as being productive, I don't think I even made it on the chart today but somehow I feel that what was accomplished was exactly what was supposed to be. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


It's not until the grass begins to crunch under my feet and I have to drag the water hose all over the yard just to keep my botanical treasures from teetering at the brink of death that I remember, oh yeah, this is my least favorite time of year. When I go out to visit my beautiful garden, all I can see is an overgrown mess and it's easy to forget how glorious it will be, LORD willing, come late spring.

Don't tell the butterflies how dismal things are, though; they're completely oblivious, not caring the least bit that the garden is once again my "wild child" -- unruly and rebelling against every boundary I've set. They're too busy flitting from zinnia to cosmos, hungrily drinking in every ounce of nectar, dancing through the air like tipsy ballerinas.  As I sat on the garden bench, determining to see past the disarray and appreciate the beauty that was truly there, it occurred to me that I could be getting pictures of these 'painted ladies' so I dashed in the house to grab my camera.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

First Love

July 12, 2016
What does it mean to "leave your first love"?

Maybe, when we first become Christians everything is new and exciting. So much to learn, so much to know, and we are so eager to please this Savior-- the One who has done so much, so very much for us. " We will do anything for You, LORD!"

After a while, we begin to settle into this routine of doing. We don't ask anymore, "What would You have me do?" because we already know. We get up in the morning and start our doing, our living for God. We go through the motions, set ourselves on autopilot. Maybe, without even realizing it, our service becomes . . . self-service. It feels good, after all, to be doing all the right things and pleasing God, to boot! 
Except, we're not.

We may have fooled ourselves into believing we are following His agenda but He knows the truth. All dressed up in our Sunday-best, we are once again calling the shots, setting our own schedules; taking the skeleton pieces of His will and fleshing it out to make it our own. Something we can feel more comfortable with; a better fit.

Well then, if the love He wants from us is a love that obeys and serves, but not on our own terms, what does that look like?

Is it opening our eyes in the morning and our first thought being, "There is nothing on my agenda today that is set in stone. Your will, not mine, be done"?

Making sure there is time for Him, with Him before anything or anyone else?

Choosing to be still and quiet when every fiber of our being strains to be up and going?

Decreasing, as He increases, even when we desperately desire to be acknowledged, affirmed?

" Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works."


Friday, July 22, 2016

Bless Her Sweet, Motherly Heart

"Did you get the eggs today," he asked, after shutting the girls safely in their sleeping coop for the night.

"No. Why?"
"Well, Giblet's in the little coop and I just left her in there. Do you think she's sitting on them? She must be broody again."

For the second time this year, poor Giblet, the most motherly hen in the flock, seemed determined to hatch a little family of her own. Without a resident rooster, however, Giblet's most sincere efforts would be sadly futile. 

So, I went out to see for myself and, sure enough, there she was-- not on the roost to sleep, trying to enjoy a night to herself, away from the other girls--  but sitting in the nest box with that far away look in her eyes.

The last time this happened with the old girl, my first thought was that she was egg-bound so I brought her in the house, ran a Dale I go bath, and submerged her bottom in it. It must have felt wonderfully relaxing because she soon expressed an enormous   . . . poop. Absolutely not what I had anticipated would come out! (Caleigh had been observing this "Operation Rescue" and, horrified, announced that she would never take another bath in that tub! I assured her, as I let out the water, sprayed the messiness down the drain, and ran clean water, that I would be scrubbing the bathtub with bleach before anyone needed it.) It was only after I had wrapped Giblet in a towel to dry her, wondering what the next step would be, that the Preacher suggested that she might be broody. Aha! 

For the next few days, Giblet persisted in staying on the eggs the other girls laid so I would remove them and put a few ice cubes in their place. She never gave me a fit when I would pick her up and take "her" eggs and it wasn't long until the instinct to hatch chicks seemed to pass and she was back out with the other girls, scratching and digging craters in the yard.

This last attempt by Giblet to brood was much easier to thwart and ended quickly. Maybe the urge wasn't as strong as before or maybe, just maybe, it was just not worth all the trouble it caused her.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Happy Flowers

Elissa and I agree that zinnias are the happiest flowers 
in the garden and that you can never have too many of them.

So, when seedlings from last year's flowers started coming up everywhere, 
we pulled up the brave little plants and tucked them safely into beds, 
far from the path of the lawnmower.

We can't be certain, of course, but we imagine that each of them 
sighed a great sigh of relief and are most grateful for the rescue.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Lovely Garden

"If you would have a mind at peace,

A heart that would not harden,

Go find a door that opens wide

Upon a lovely garden."

~ author unknown 

Monday, May 2, 2016


Elissa be-bopped over this afternoon as soon as she finished her homework and found me where she knew I would be--in the garden. I was so glad to see her sweet, cheerful face, especially since our time together yesterday didn't end on the happiest note. She's become my gardening partner, this grandgirl of mine, and is old enough now to be a lot of help. 

I was about halfway through digging the second post hole for my magnificent soon-to-be-revealed project and it was a welcome break to have her assist me in transplanting stray zinnia seedlings from the yard into the garden. After finishing the zinnias, we began to gather cosmos seedlings and that's when I spotted a caterpillar and we forgot all about our transplants as we excitedly began to search the Internet to determine what kind of caterpillar we had and what kind of butterfly it would become. With a light rain falling, we huddled over my phone under the canopy of the swing and scrolled through what seemed like hundreds of caterpillars, some of them strange beyond imagination, until finally we found one that looked just like ours.

This caterpillar was destined to become an American Lady butterfly! Elissa immediately wanted to create a habitat for it so we could watch the metamorphosis and off we went in search of just the right container for its home. What did this caterpillar eat, we wondered, and so we did another search and discovered that it likes rudebeckia (Black-Eyed Susan) plants. We located plenty of those in the garden and found some suitable twigs for pupation. Elissa and I agreed that this had been a grand adventure. A grand adventure indeed! 
            One just never knows what fun surprises are hiding 
       in the garden, simply waiting to be discovered!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Emerald Green Sugar Crystals

We had the best time today! She almost apologetically asked if she could use my kitchen for a project. Why, of course! How fun! So she took out the bread dough, floured the counter and rolled out a 12" x 18" (or there-abouts) rectangle; spread on some cream cheese and powdered sugar, all blended and smooth and yummy, and we set it in the warm oven to rise. The real fun came after baking when we drizzled icing and sprinkled colored sugar crystals on top, just like in the picture on the recipe. Smiling, we stepped back to appraise our work and nodded our approval.
After I pushed her out the door to get to her next responsibility with her protesting about leaving a mess, or something to that effect, I began to tidy up the kitchen. "I'll save these sugar crystals we colored to use another time," I said to myself. Then He said, "Throw them away." What? Would He say that?
What about that venerable old saying, "waste not, want not"? Surely He would want me to leave those wet, sticky, emerald-green sugar crystals laying out on foil on the counter for days until they were dry enough to store to use in some unknown-but-certain-to-come project. Surely! Like the spices that are ten years out of date or the spaghetti that's growing mold in the fridge, I can hardly bring myself to even think about tossing those green sugar crystals.

Do you want to know what my friend had to say about our day?
"There is no other friend who would allow me to come in and do what we did today. How I love you my dear!!!"

         By the way, I threw away the green crystals.