Spring rambling

Springtime mental ramblings today include that

1.Cats  are, in the pet category, the equivalent of slow food in the cooking category. I looked at my cats lounging in the sunshine this morning and laughed.

2. I like slow food. My idea of fast food is jars of venison you shot, butchered and canned last fall. Now supper is quick because you did all the work earlier. Another of my fav fast foods is a boiled dinner. You get a pot going and dump in potatoes, carrot slices, onion, meat, and let it all simmer while you do something else.

3.Picked my first bouquet of wildflowers for this spring last night, and a couple of mushrooms and brought them home. Cooked the mushrooms along with some leeks, potatoes and bacon into a soup supper and the wildflowers are on the ledge in the kitchen reminding me of that fun tromp in the woods.

4.Rearranged and refreshed the Easter bouquet which was starting to look a bit bedraggled at my shut in friend’s home. When I took the bouquet apart I discovered that the roses were droopy and dried but the sticks below them were starting to grow!

5. I brought the rose sprouts home and I’m wondering if they’ll turn into small rose buses.

6. My baby chicks are sprouting feathers and starting to be crowded in their box on top of the woods stove.

7. Our kitten is sprouting teeth and her mom doesn’t want to nurse her anymore.

8. Stood  in the henhouse yesterday and waiting for a chicken to lay an egg so I could watch but the three who were threatening to lay were too bashful and skittish so I gave up.

9. My peas are still not planted. This is late for me to still not have them in the ground but the garden was semi flooded until the last couple of days.

10. I neeeed to get the maple syruping equipment all cleaned, organized and put away.

11. Financial aid paperwork and bills are beckoning me from the table. Did I ever mention how much I dislike paperwork?!!!

12. I finally wrote back to my little grandson who shared some of his dinnosaur stickers with me and Grandpapa by sending a page of them stuck all over it .

13. I need to send mother’s day cards and my daughter’s birthday card. Why do I procrastinate about these things? I think it’s out of a sense of perfectionism gone crazy. Where did that even come from?

14. Thawed cherries are sitting in the kitchen waiting for their turn. They will become either a pie, cake or something for dessert tonight!!

15.Sunshine!!!!! on my floor and walls makes me happy!! I love sitting and walking in the sunshine!


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We dislike change or do we?

The door slams on one thing and opens on something else.  Or when a door shuts a window opens.  You’ve got to open your hand and let go of what you are holding on to so that God can fill it with something else. Those old sayings all deal with change.

And I have one recurring thought nagging me. It’s been said and I have heard it, that “you people dislike change!” That got may attention because I’m not too sure about that. The person who said it, a speaker, asserted that people naturally dislike change.  But do they?

Change of seasons

Is not always disliked. Lots of folks, me included, like the change of seasons. I talked to a couple this fall who moved north year round to embrace the change in seasons.

Change in aging

. We hurry our children so that shows that in that way at least many like the changes they see as they children progress from newborn to baby,toddler, preschooler, elementary, teens and then twenties. People are anxious for the next thing so often! In themselves too you hear people talking about the next thing. Teens want to get out of school, get a job, get a car, get a gal or guy, get married, have kids, get a promotion, get a house, get married kids, get grand kids, get a retirement and on and on.

Planning ahead is taking up a lot of time and energy. People anticipate and plan for the changes! So to say they dislike change is not hitting it on the button.

What people dislike

It  is certain kinds of changes.

What kinds? Abrupt. Unexpected. Downward or downsizing or out of control kinds of changes. Rapid changes with no real warning and those which take life in a different direction. The changes that erupt like a volcano or tonado or hurricane.


What do you think? Do you dislike change or relish it? What kind of changes appeal to you? Have you ever thought of why?

I’m a thorough addict of the why. I’m so addicted that I encourage others to ask why and look at why and tell me why. My college friends teased me about it but I never grew out of it.

So lately I’m mulling it over. Why change? Why not? Some is good and some is bad and since it’s winter and life is a bit slower than it is in the summer (see seasonal changes can be helpful) I’m doing a bit more pondering. Although I’m busy enough that it seems difficult to drum up the time to write these thoughts down and share them with you.

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New me writing my way to

The thirst to rip into the new calendar year with gusto abounds! Everybody is talking about it. And whether they admit or not most are thinking about it. Some with a degree of guilt and some with excitement. Mine is a mix.

I started the month with the thought in my mind from reading a new book I was given by one of my center offspring. She came home for a long break between semesters teaching youthful outdoorsy stuff on a barrier island and toted this fav book with her. “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years” with a subtitle of editing your life was a good read for this frustrated head scratching writer.

One of the premises Donald Miller explores is the tension between writing about life and living it. I’ve been wrestling that one for …….. years.One of the authors I really admired and enjoyed as a great read “The Old Fashioned CookBook and Encyclopedia of Country Living” seemed to get so involved in writing and marketing her writing that her life fell apart. Then Carla Emery was no longer doing what she was writing so brilliantly about. Living a self sufficient lifestyle in the country with God as the center! She was traveling around,divorced and speaking about writing.

Another I admired seemed to get caught up in side issues and confused about the core beliefs she professed, Karen Mains along with hubby David seemed to drop off the map in recent years.Although their radio program and early books including their “Tales of the Kingdom” etc trilogy are definite #1 writings, and “Making Sunday Special” is tops too. I found meaty transformation in their 40 days adventure before Easter and use their Advent writings to this day.

Then more disconcerting was one who was incredibley inspiring and was revealed as a charletin who was lying his way to fame and fortune, Mike Warenke a fake ex Satanist who never the less influenced me positively as I struggled my way through my early years as an exSpiritualist and exUnitarian and into Christianity.

Troubling role models for this aspiring Christian writer who was and is pondering what a woman should do with her pen or computer and time?Evidence that God can use anyone for good whether it benefits them or not? “All things work together for good for those who believe and are called according to His purposes” which may not be me. My things I do could benefit someone else who is answering His calling,”Yes Lord,Did you call?” While I am not answering His calling anymore or not often answering or not totally answering or not often answering. I am busily being a sidetracked child of God’s involved in other things although the writing He inspired me to complete continues to influence for good.

This is not my goal!!

Then another is the struggle with how to choose what to do and write as a Christian. That’s another big one to chew off. I don’t have the answer yet and I actually think the answer keeps changing. So it’s a pleasure  to see he also doesn’t have a pat answer and saw that the answer for him also was in process.

My New Year’s is beginning with a ponder on what to do and not do,think and not think, say and not say, goal or not aim at as I have a quiet home and some hours to myself. I cherish the quiet which I’m told qualifes me as an introvert. I need companionship

Great catch by my son in law at Christmas as I fill up with music and people!

which I’m told qualifies me as an extrovert. So I enter the new year as a mix and as a mongrelly type I enjoy it!

How about you?

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Pondering Mary and Joseph

"Mary & Joseph alias Song and Son"

Do you think they were ready?

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Checking this off the Christmas list

xBought some gifts

xMade some cookies.

xGave some cookies away.

xAte some cookies.

xSang some Christmas songs

xGave a Christmas card (sorry only two so far :()

xGave a couple of Christmas gifts

xMade snowflakes and hung up

xPrayed for loved ones and unloved ones

xPracticed a new song

xGot tears in my eyes a few times

xEnjoyed the fresh snowfall

xRead the Christmas story

xWore Chrismasy clothes

xPlayed with preschoolers and told them the story of Jesus’s birth and helped them make Christmas decorations with pipe cleaners and jingle bells. One for each of them and one to give away. Took them out to give them to the AWANA commander’s wife. They giggled and skipped there and back.

xTold the story to elementary school kids and played some guessing games about the story of Jesus’ birth. Helped them make a stab at making the world’s longest paper chain. I don’t think it was the world’s longest but it was pretty long. Then gave it to our minister. He grinned and wore it around after the church service!

xCheered on two little boys dressing up as shepherds for the Sunday school play as they waited nervously for their part of the play.

xPut the candles in the star shaped candle holder on the table on a platter, added some sticks of cinnamon to be our Advent wreath.

xSang more Christmas carols with my shut in friend

xMade two paper chains with her and snowflakes.

xStood in the henhouse and repeated to myself slowly,”But Mary wasn’t ready for Christmas either. Jesus was born in a place like this.” Stood there a little while longer and tried to let that sink in a bit more.

xSang more Christmas carols with my shut in friend and threw in a few other familiar hymns.

xWatched Chicadees dance on the bird feeder and on icicles.

xGot excited, and a little nervous, about a Christmas party hubby and I are invited to. Got a little excited and a little nervous about a song we are supposed to sing as a family on Christmas eve. Got a little sad that not all of the family will be able to sing it.  Oh I’m to the part of Christmas when I get tears in my eyes sometimes and a lump in my throat sometimes as it comes barreling at us. It’s a fun,sad, busy, happy, gallop and it’s a bit nerve wracking especially when I come home and think about all that could be done and all that is done and all that is not done. But it’s a lot of fun when I’m with kids and it’s sad too when I hear them asking not knowing much about about the real meaning. Jesus is the heart of Christmas 🙂 And it’s happy and sad when my shut in friend can sing almost all the words of Away In the Manger today and knows that Jesus loves her and that she loves Jesus. Maybe, sometimes ,maybe I feel like the time I spend with her, slowly slowly, slowly trying to find the link to what is possible with her is the best part of my Christmas this year. But then when I’m with those fast little preschoolers scrambling madly around the room giggling about hitting a ball with a noodle and grinning when they manage to twist a pipe cleaner around a jingle bell then I think that’s the best time. But when I’m home and my hubby and offspring are excited about a new Christmas song or joking with me about the lack of a Christmas tree. They were joking about trying to stack up folding chairs in the living room to decorate today!! I think that’s the best part of Christmas.

I guess the truth is there are lots of best parts, aren’t there?

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The end approaches ta da ta da ta da

Seems like the end of Advent which is Christmas Day is coming faster now than a happy toddler in a toy section of your local department store. I’m just amazed how the time has slipped past and it’s a bit scary in some ways because,”NO I’m not ready!!” but I’m never ready really. I think I actually make it a habit not to be all the way ready for any holiday or any special event for that matter. I like to leave a few loose ends dangling.

And for another thing, I like to procrastinate. Well maybe I don’t like to . But I habitually do it. You know the old joke about why they don’t have a club for procrastinators? They don’t ever get around to organinizing one. Ha ha.

Well, and I have too many interests and many of them involve things like people I want to talk to and listen too at the expense of things like making  gifts or wrapping them or decorating the house and sending out cards. I’m very very bad at sending out cards. I thank God for the internet, where I can send E-cards and little notes to people. (I just heard from a college friend who live in India by way of the net today!!) and for the fact that there are 365 days in the year so I don’t have to do it all during Christmas time. I go back to that fact often during the season. So let me repeat that for all of you who are starting to panic. “I Don’t have to Do It All during the Christmas season!!!” There are 364 other days to do nice things for people, to send cards and letters, sing songs, make special food, send and receive gifts, virtual or real and so there really is no need to panic or feel tremendous amounts of guilt.

Another tidbit I go back to and back to and back to is the fact that when I ask people who are grown up what they remember as very special from their childhoods, teen years or adult years which happened at Christmas.

Homemade paper snowflakes

It’s usually something small or something vague or something unintentional which meant a lot. I get answers like, the general happiness and smiles of my friends and family. Getting a suprise. Being able to make someone else smile. Not being alone. Having a special cookie I really like. Going for a ride to see the Christmas lights in town. The answers vary but it rarely is any kind of answer that involves getting it all perfect every year on Christmas.

Then the other fact I go back to is the fact of the tremendous gift of Jesus Christ coming to earth as a baby to live a perfect life, die a death he didn’t deserve to provide for us eternal life by not staying dead but rising from the grave to go to heaven and prepare a place for us. Whew!! That’s a mouthful. But that’s what the celebration is all about for me. Not just Jesus was born. Because it didn’t stop there. It’s the whole package of what God gave which started with his birth.

I love the story. The personal God who loves me enough to give his son. I love the fact that my gifts are never going to be that great!! I can only give a small token to point to the idea of what God was doing. And that’s enough.

This year I’m spending a few hours a week with a friend who is shut in and living with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s been a precious experience in some ways. One of those is seeing how excited she is to receive a Christmas card. Pulling it out of the envelope is a big deal to her. Reading the words on the front and studying the picture is another big deal and then opening the card to look at the next picture and read the words is another huge thing for her. I loved watching it and being a small part of the happiness this brings to her.  Watching Christmas lights twinkle on top of her piano is a tremendous source of excitement to her. She enjoys each of these  little things so much because she is so surprised by them. She is surprised and filled with happiness every time in a new way. She forgets that the lights are there and discovers them again excitedly like a baby dancing excitedly in glee at Christmas lights and songs and mirroring the happiness around her. What a tremendous example to me!

This is the way I want to experience Christmas too!

Merry Advent from the frozen north!

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Advent begins in a whirl


Journey to Bethlehem market
Began here and ended here the first week of December.
Mom in law helped a lot with set up and tear down


Advent means getting ready and I got ready in a whoosh this year. As soon as the dishes were cleared from the table, the leftovers stashed away we packed up my mom in law and dashed back up north, with a brief stop to hold grandkids and hug kids on the way. Then right away I began digging out the props from hither and yon to fill the market scene with interesting items.

It’s a market in the time of the birth of Christ which is the setting for the announcement of the census which sent Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to be counted. Which is, of course, the reason Jesus was born there and not in Nazareth. It’s a fun project to begin the season with and I enjoy looking into what would have been present. No potatoes, or corn they were from this continent. surprisingly there were melons,cucumbers,green and all sort of other kinds of beans. There were also root veggies, but I didn’t locate any info on what specifically they would have been. Grains, barley, rye, wheat and rice and nuts such as pistachios and almonds.

There were also other merchants selling meat,cheese, eggs, deer hides, clothe, pottery, wooden bowls and fuel.  Most of the merchants were left to the imagination in this scene. There is only one actor portraying the part of a meat, cheese and egg seller.

Well now that the reenactment is over and the cleanup has been done. It’s time for the next things, as soon as all the props which we brought home and placed in piles around our downstairs are stashed away again.

On with Advent!! The getting ready for Christmas season. A fitting time, you know, if you have ever been in the position of anticipating a birth! There is much much excitement over the getting ready in advance of the birth. And any mother can tell you that in the years after she remembers that anticipation as much as she remembers the birth itself! Then again there is always some getting ready every year before a birthday celebration itself. The child may not notice that but any mother can tell you that she does lots of prep leading up to each and every birthday. They don’t just get celebrated effortlessly. So Advent, the season of preparation to celebrate the birth of Christ is a very realistic celebration. Much like Spring is to Summer. And I definitely love Spring!!!


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