Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday's Farmers Market

            Saturday morning---Farmer's Market at our small town restored train depot. 
                                    The pavilion is to the   right of the depot.

                                                            I buy cherry red tomatoes
just right for my salad
from the lady
in sleeveless top

From the woman in blue top
holding a bag of goods
I buy
mouth-smacking jams
black raspberry
Her fudge is awesome too
as are her pies
I bought a baby one
just for me
living solo
this weekend

Her husband
gives me
green beans
some other kind of bean--
hey--I'm open to try
most any food
never cooked it before
feeling adventurous

From this corner
baked goods
all types
I settled for
chocolate chip cookies
for the grandkids-
playing grandma
this afternoon

Another place
a fat juicy
2 baby squash.

You can see
I'm going
this weekend
I'm supposed to
every day

I picked up
a tiny homemade
that a house
is not a home
Gee--wonder why
I bought that!
The reasons
George and Scruffy

A Successful Morning.
Now I'm headed to the lake.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Weekend Psalm

After praying, waiting, and listening, I felt God telling me to do two regular weekly blogs:
          one to begin the week and
         one to end the week and begin the weekend. 
The one in the middle still varies.

To begin the week, I'm told to post a photo and a prayer.  I use several books--my favorite so far is one by Stormie Omartian: A Book of Prayer -- 365 Prayers for Victorious Living.

 As best as I can discern, the prayer on Monday is because Monday is when many of us begin our work week.  For me during the school year, Monday is particularly tough---a lot of students and some staff don't want to be back  Crankiness abounds.

The Lord lead me into the book of Psalms as an addition to my daily devotional book.  This summer has been a time of resting and being in the presence of the Lord.  I was battered by the end of this school year and I felt lead into spending time with God, learning, and replenishing my spirit. 

Except for my husband and for babysitting grandkids, I've not socialized much so far this summer.

I already know next year is going to be particularly challenging and I had two choices:

1) Wing it
 2) Spend time with God preparing for it. 

I chose #2 which shows my maturity level in the Spirit particularly in this past year.

 For many years, I chose #1 except I asked my Dad to pray for me. Oh I prayed too, some, but  Dad was my best line to God.  You can perhaps imagine how this preacher's kid floundered when 4 years ago her preacher/father/buddy/intercessor went to be with my mother and God!

Friday can be tough at school also, especially in the afternoon.  My toughest (worse) classes have been 7th and 8th periods. I literally collapse in my chair after the last student has left at the end of Friday's 8th and last class period.   This has been the case for 3 years.

 So the Psalms is a praise for getting through the week and heading into a weekend of rest/catch-up on house chores/family and friends time/preparation for the next week.

Friday also means I've gotten through another week on this side of the state with my husband on the other side.  This is something we have done for 6 years.  That ends Aug. 20th.  Praise God!

      Each week I choose one or parts of one chapter of Psalm that I have read that week. I also choose a photo for it.  It doesn't necessarily match. It's just the one or two that 'jump out at me'.

I hope this week's choice blesses you. It especially goes out to Caryjo and her family. Please lift them in prayer.

From in back of our place at
Seneca Lake

                                                                     Psalm 23

         The LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

2. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender]green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

3. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake.

4. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.

6. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.
                                          Psalm 28: 7

                   The Everyday Life Bible containing the Amplified Old and New Testaments.

Out back of our place at the lake:
a woods and a stream

Blessings to you all as you finish up the week
begin the weekend.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back door greeter

We had to doze
her flower bed
that first fall
I was here;
water was getting
 the basement.

Major work was done
 around the outside
of the house
 inside the basement;
it doesn't flood.

it's taken four years
to find
a colorful plant
that would grow
by my back door.

I used pots of various blooms
 wanted a plant
in the ground

This one isn't meant
to last the winter,
now I know
what to plant
next year
if I'm here.

If not,
then I  pass on
 the responsibility
just as she did.

my greeter
takes her job

She stands
next to the angel
given when mom died,
 the welcome flag
with colorful birds,
the antique crock
with my husband's
family name.

they perform 
 quite well
Glad so see you!"
to everyone
who comes in
my back door. 

The others did their job
without her,
they have perked up
she arrived.

Her colors
add cheer
to all
around her
to everyone
who comes in
my back door.

Even if
that person
is just

Now the God of hope
fill you
all joy and peace
in believing
that you may abound
in hope,
through the power
of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

For more Imperfect Verse on Thursdays click here

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two little girls and their concepts of what is possible

In Tony Morrison's The Bluest Eye, a  young black(that's the word used in the book) girl, Picola Breedlove,is growing up in a house (not a home)  full of resentment and strife. Her mother is resentful of the white family for whom she works as a housekeeper, and she takes that resentment out on her family with cruelty.  The father is an alcoholic who is unreliable in every way. The time period is the 1940s.

Picola  escapes her reality by dreaming of having the blue eyes of America's little beauty at the time, Shirley Temple.  If you've read even snippets of S.T.'s biography, you know her world was not ideal. However, Piccola is sure her world will change into the wonderful life she longs for, if she just had blue eyes.

The book is disturbing.  Picola's father rapes her.  She is conned by a "spiritualist' into thinking he's changed her eyes to blue. She believes that since she now has the bluest eyes in the world, everyone will love her. Of course, that doesn't happen--neither her eyes turning blue or everyone loving her. Eventually she descends into insanity.

 The book was part of a course called Women's Lit  that I took in college.  I took as many literature classes as I could, and I particularly liked Dr. Michelle.  Her curriculum consisted of books of which I had never heard.  She wanted to expose us to the real world---that world outside the safe small college campus set in a small town in rural Ohio.  Perhaps she didn't realize that no place is exempt from the reality of cruelty or she wanted to make sure we realized it.  I don't know--I never asked.

I was married with two children.  I was trying my best to be happy.   I understood how someone's world could look ideal to someone else.  I have said in describing  that time in my life, and particularly my marriage, that "an ivory tower may be beautiful, but it's still a prison."

 My first husband came from a wealthy family.  My life was viewed by many as perfect.  I helped maintain that lie because of my children and quite frankly, my fear of being on my own without a college degree or any marketable skills.  We did an outstanding job at pretense because the "community"--even some close friends---were shocked when the marriage dissolved.

Ego   Some folks assumed I was a snob because of my married name.  But if they permitted themselves to get to know me, they discovered I was just an ordinary person who didn't think I was  better than anyone else and who actually had a lot of insecurities.  I wasn't egotistical---I was shy and wary and just trying to "keep it together."

I had and still have zero patience with egotistical people who think a name or some other ridiculous characteristic or aspect of their lives make them above others.   As a preacher's kid, I especially struggle with the 'holier than thou' folks who conveniently forget God's Word about judging others.

As a teacher, each year I have at least one Picola and one Shirley Temple ( and sometimes a 'holier than thou'). Sometimes the Shirley Temple is maintaining a facade, but sometimes her actions clearly point to a belief that she is truly better.  I'm using the female gender, but both types are found in male students also.

 I had a group this year that oozed entitlement.  There was one boy in particular.  He was a  freshmen and already a star athlete.  He was good-looking, charismatic, and fairly smart. He dressed well and had a circle of friends who doted on him and even covered for him.  From that vantage point he stepped on many kids.  He also challenged teachers when he didn't get his way. He looked a teacher in the eyes and insisted he hadn't cheated even though she had watched him do it.

By late winter/early spring, he and I were on a collision course because of his treatment of others and me.  Then one day he said some cruel words to a girl with  very low self-esteem who several of us teachers were daily working on keeping in school (she was a senior and wanting to drop out). Her mother was fighting cancer and the home life situation wasn't good. He hit her with the cruel words when she was already on the ground.  I had worked with this girl for four years.  I "saw red" as the expression goes. 

This isn't the time to give the details except to say I followed the rules of our district.  I had been documenting other incidents and had spoken to the boy as had another teacher.  I went further---I called both his parents and spoke to them  not only as a teacher but as one parent to another.   I did care about the boy and I didn't want his ego to eventually destroy him any more than I wanted it to destroy another student. There is a lot of good in this kid, but his ego and sense of entitlement is mind-boggling.  The Picolas in this world are to him  just balls meant to be kicked.

Ego-- it can destroy us and others.

Now, let me introduce you to another little girl-- my wee Irish lass.  She's three and the youngest of my son's four children.  She loves everything having to do with princesses.  She dresses up in the princess dresses and the plastic heels.  She picked out a Princess plate, bowl, and a fork and spoon set at Walmart.  She ate all her meals and snacks with those.  I had her for four days.  I learned a lot in that short time.  I mentioned one of those 'facts' in my previous blog.

That fact? Cinderella has bright purplish pink hair. The markers in the Princess coloring book packet did not have a true red.  There was yellow, and in another set there were brown and black markers, but Addy was adamant that none of these be used on Cinderella's hair.  The purplish pink marker was the closest to red.  The Irish lass has red hair.  So Cinderella has red hair.  It's as simple as that.  Addy doesn't see why the girl in the story has to have blonde hair.  The girl could have any color, but in Addy's world, it's red.

 I'm not surmising that Addy thinks a prince will come along on a white horse and 'save' her.  She's only three--she has no concept of that yet, and considering the strong women who have a hand in raising her, I doubt that she will buy into that fairy tale.  No Addy just sees that she can be whoever she wants to be --even Cinderella.  And if any boy tries to tell her differently in the future with cruel words meant to cripple her, I pray she will stand her ground and set him straight.

He who is greatest among you shall be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be raised to honor.     Matthew 23: 11, 12

The following is a prayer from a book I use every night before turning off the light.  It's called A Book of Prayer by Stormie Martian.

Lord, help me be a person who speaks words that build up and not tear down. Help me to speak life into the situations and people around me, and not death.  Fill my heart afresh each day with Your Holy Spirit so that Your love and goodness overflow from my heart and my mouth.  Holy Spirit of truth, guide me in all truth.   Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).  May every word I speak reflect Your purity and love.

For more on ego, drop in at Bridget Chumbley's blog carnival-one word at a time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Begin the Week Prayer

             This picture and the next ones are a continuation of the Cliffs of the Moor.  See previous post.

This prayer comes from the section titled "Testing, One, Two, Three" in the book A Book of Payer by Stormie Omartian.

First the accompanying scripture:
     Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.  For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.
                                  Psalm 66:8-10 NIV

Lord, I don't want to wander around in the wilderness of life, going over and over the same territory because I haven't learned the lesson.  I  pray that I will always have a teachable heart that recognizes Your hand in my life and soaks up Your instruction.  Help me to trust Your timing.  Establish in me an unwavering faith so I will know that when I walk with You, even the refining fire provides the perfect light for the step I'm on. 

                                                       Castle Lookout on the Cliffs of the Moor


                                                         One of the views from inside the lookout.

Just a brief line about my weekend with the Irish lass; I will tell more later. The house is quiet  --a little too quiet.  Even though the cats are happier and my nerves aren't on edge from me making sure she doesn't get into something she shouldn't and possibly hurt herself, I miss her.  She lit up my life for those four days and showed me the world through new eyes. 

Did you know that Cinderella's hair isn't blonde---that it's a bright purplish pink that the lass calls red?  Yep, every one of her Cinderella pictures had that hair.  One time I got the yellow marker out and colored the hair 'blonde'---she told me, "No, grandma!" and preceded to color over it with that precious marker.

No pictures of our time together yet--- hopefully later on this week.

                            Blessings to you as you begin this week.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekend Psalm

                                  The Walkway of the Cliffs of the Moor in soutern Ireland

Psalm 19
vs 1: The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
vs7: The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure,
 making wise the simple.
vs.8: The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
vs9: The fear of the  LORD is clean, enduring for ever:
the judgments of the LORD  are true and righteous altogether.
vs14: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

More of the walkway of the Cliffs of the Moor

I'm spending the weekend babysitting the wee Irish Lass.

Blessings to you.  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"The occupation of gardening. . ."

There can be no other occupation
like gardening
in which
if you were to creep
up behind
someone at their work,
you would find

Mirabel Osler

My lupines (I think that's their name) are no longer blooming, but my roses are still spilling out beauty.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Bowl of Hyacinths--well really hydrangeas

                      I treated myself to a simple bowl of hydrangeas. [I originally called them hyacinths. I couldn't remember the name even though at the time I bought them  I specifically wanted this particular flower!  When writing this blog, I looked the flowers up online and one picture looked somewhat like mine.  The others were spiky and I knew those weren't mine.  My good blogger friend S. Etole recognized them for what they really were--hydrangeas---thank you Susan.:) ]

 I was leaving that night to come back up 'home'.  I still had some clearing out to do in the kitchen in case the house goes up for sale before I visit it again.  So I went through all the cupboards and threw a lot away.  I found things dating to the last time I had lived there which was four years ago.  Obviously my husband and I have different tastes and priorities when it comes to food and the essentials in preparing it.

My goal was to have a  clutterless counter.  He was a bit nonplussed that morning because he couldn't find his bread.  It wasn't spilling out of the large oblong basket that claimed too much space, when space is at a premium.  I assured him that it was close by and he could simply turn, open  the long cupboard door, and grab his bread.

 I just wanted to make certain there was a place for everything, so he could scoop items up and tuck them away at a moment's notice.  He didn't argue, but I figured he'd retrieve the bread and perhaps even the basket, when he returned to Cinci without me. That's okay---at least he knows where to stuff them when the house is being shown.

I almost didn't cut the hydrangeas. I thought I'll be gone soon and why waste them.  Waste them?  No one regularly ventures into our back yard when we're gone.  Anyone who did would be on the way to the shed to borrow a tool and would not notice the flowers peeking out among the bush's leaves. 

This bush was blooming when I planted it, but then it didn't bloom the first summer after wintering in that spot.  The next year it produced two blooms.   The third year brought four.  Now this summer I counted approximately a dozen.  I decided to pick four of the blooms and admire their beauty as I worked in the kitchen.  They were excellent company, bringing a smile to my face each time I glanced at them.

Then before I went to pack up my clothes and other stuff, I played with the camera.  I do want another camera--I get frustrated with the limitations of this one.  That and my inexperience make a poor couple.

Here are some pictures:

  Now I go to pick flowers to distribute in 'posy' vases throughout my home here in "Smalltown USA." 
I'll leave some for the neighbors to enjoy, but will bring some in to tantalize my cats and perk up my spirits.

"Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth."
I Chronicles 16:31

 "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people,
ad the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise;:
be thankful unto Him, and bless His name."
Psalm 100: 1-4

Monday, July 19, 2010

Prayer to begin the week

This little guy is barely a week old in these pictures. If you want to see him now at 15 months, look here.
The first week of August I'm flying to Texas to spend time with him and his mommy and daddy. I'm looking forward to it so much!

The prayer for this week is from a book I've had since my  young mother days.  It's Plum Jelly and Stained Glass & Other Prayers by Jo Carr & Imogene Sorley.

  • Lord,
  • The words were on a poster-----
  • and I can't get them out of my mind:
  • YOU CAN FLY . . .
And I don't think it was talking about butterflies.

But the risk----oh, the risk of leaving the swaddling warmth of a cocoon.
My cocoon.  My status quo.
My . . . deadening security.
To leave the known,
no matter how confining it may be-----for an unknown, a totally new life-style----
oh, the risk!

Lord, my cocoon chafes, sometimes. But I know its restrictions.
And it's scary to consider the awful implications of flight.
I'm leery of heights. (Even your heights.)_
But, Lord, I could see so much wider, clearer from heights.
And there's an exhilaration about flight that I have always longed for.

I want to fly  . . .
if I could just have the cocoon to come back to.
Butterflies can't.
I can't.
Probably butterflies don't even want to----
once they've tasted flight.

It's the risk that makes me hesitate.
The knowing I can't come back to the warm, undemanding status quo.

Lord . . . about butterflies . . .
the cocoon has only two choices------
or die.
What about me?
If I refuse to risk,
do I too, die inside, still wrapped in the swaddling web?


Hope you have a wonderful week as you as well as I learn more about 'flying' with the Lord.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Psalm for the weekend and an Irish Castle

The Psalm to begin this weekend is Psalm 12.  There is a commentary in my Bible on this Psalm titled "the importance of faithfulness."  The commenter talks about how David asked the Lord for help because people were not being godly or faithful. . . that people were speaking worthless, untrue words with deceitful, double hearts.

It goes on to say that "Being faithful is as important today as it was then.  It is hard to find people who will be really faithful---people who will stick with you when they find out you are not perfect.. . . a true friend  is a person born to stick with you in your hard and not-so-nice times. . .Single-minded men and women are also needed today--ones who can set their hearts on something and stick with it without being double-minded and speaking empty words."

The commentary is quite long, but it ends with "The Bible tells us that God remains faithful even when we are faithless (see Timothy 2:13).  That is the way God wants us to be.  If everybody else is faithless, then we remain faithful.  If you feel as though you are the only one who is being nice, the only one who apologizes or tries to do the right thing, keep on doing it.  Determine in your heart to stay loyal to God and to keep bearing the fruit of faithfulness."

                                                    Psalm 12
            To the Chief Musician; set [possibly] an octave below.  A Psalm of David.

1. Help, LORD! For principled and godly people are here no more; faithfulness and the faithful vanish from among the sons of men.

2. To his neighbor each one speaks words without use or worth or truth; with flattering lips and double heart they speak.

3. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and the tongues that speak proud boasting.

4. Those who say, With our tongues we prevail; our lips are our own---who is lord and master over us?

5. Now will I arise, says the Lord, because the poor are oppressed; because of the groans of the needy; I will set him in safety and in the salvation for which he pants.

6. The words and promises of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times over.

7. You will keep them and preserve them, O lord; You will guard and keep us from this generation forever.

8. The wicked walk or prowl about on every side, as vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

The pictures are of The Abbey Castle in Ireland.  It was built by a rich man for his family, but was turned into an abbey.  If you look closely in these last three pictures, you'll see the Christ statue that stands high on the hillside behind the Abbey. 

                                   BLESSINGS to you all as you begin the weekend!

"Run to God, not Away from Him"

For by the death He died, He died to sin once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God.  Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
                                                         Romans 6:10 - 11

Joyce Meyers states in her devotional book  New Day, New You that "meditating on all of our faults and failures weakens us, but meditating on God's grace and willingness to forgive strengthens us."

She asks, "How much do you fellowship with your sins, failures, mistakes, and weaknesses?"

She goes on to say, "Whatever time it is, it is wasted.  When you sin, admit it, ask for forgiveness, and then continue  your fellowship with God. Don't let your sins come between you and the Lord. because even when you sin, He still wants to spend time with you, hear and answer your prayers, and help you with all of your needs.  He wants you to run to Him, not away from Him!"

I don't know about you, but I tend to beat myself up over my failures and mistakes.

 I have a  lengthy 'to do' list every summer, but every summer at least half of it doesn't get done.  Time management and monitoring my sleep time are not my strong points. 

Then there is my mouth. I've been doing better in one area in my life concerning my mouth, but tonight I blew it. Big time.  I know that part of it is that I'm tired and frustrated with trying to reorganize this house, but that's no excuse.

 Yes, I apologized.  Yes, I went to God.  But it's tough to move on ---to quit hitting myself over the head--to forgive myself and draw closer to God.

                Here's a prayer I found in A Book of Prayer by Stormie Omartian:

"Lord, teach me from Your Word so that I will know Your ways and walk in them.  Help me to live in obedience to Your commands.  Thank You that my sin doesn't have to separate me from You because by repenting of it and confessing it to You, I can be cleansed of my sins and set free."

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
                                                             I John 1:9

       Pictures were taken along the river walk in San Antonio, Texas several years ago.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer to me

As long as I can remember there has been a lake in my life.  At first it was Lake Erie.  I was there my second summer.  My grandfather held me in the back of Hoover Auditorium in Lakeside, Ohio during an important ceremony for my 'new minister' father.  It was during East Ohio United Methodist Conference.

We spent the third week of June of every summer there.  I loved that place--Lakeside--and still do. 
 I later introduced my children to it and they fell in love with it too.  If given a vote, they would choose that tiny town over Myrtle Beach.  I would choose Myrtle because I got more of a vacation.  There was one restaurant  in Lakeside, and the nearest McDonald's was a half-hour away. We had to take our own sheets, towels, etc. to any cottage that we rented.  It was not nearly the restful time for me, but I still loved the freedom we got there as a family.  It's a gated community, so our two kids could go off together on their bikes. Also, when on a tight budget, Lakeside was always affordable.

 There is a wonderful swimming and fishing pier there.  I learned to swim at that pier, and later in life watched my own children jump into the swirling water of Lake Erie.

Lots of good memories there. 

I didn't learn to water ski until my first date with my first husband.  It was on Salt Fork Lake on his parents' boat.  Later after we had been married awhile and our second child was on the way, we bought a used cabin cruiser 'on faith that it would run' (it was the middle of winter) and would spend weekends on it.  A rough ride one evening brought my son one week earlier than the doctor had predicted.

Eventually we moved on to Seneca Lake.  That's the lake in the pictures.  My first husband and I sold the cabin cruiser, bought a used ski boat and a tiny cabin that had started as a cement block garage and our summers were spent there.  We moved out there in the summer, and the kids and I would enjoy the summer days while their dad drove the 30 minutes to work and back each day.

My son and his family have a cabin not far from the one at which he grew into a teen-ager.   My second husband and I have a place at a nearby campground.

The tradition started when I was a child. Then it continued with my children. Today it continues with my grandchildren.  Family time.  The kids and their friends, extended family enjoying the sun, the water, the laughter, and sometimes a nap. At night we can sit out on the porch or around the fire pit roasting marshmallows and talk and laugh some more. 

Games are sometimes played. 
Monopoly and Garbage ( a card game) used to be favorites for a rainy day at our cabin (there was no TV). 

 Then usually a very restful sleep awaits.

We knew where our children were as does my son and his wife now.  They were/are in view, usually with a friend or two. 
That's summer to me.
I am thankful.
More on summer at  blog carnival---check it out.