Thursday, July 28, 2011

A winged visitor

I had a visitor yesterday
as I watered and tended my flowers.
I much prefer this one to the one that stung me!

"You learn from talking
also from being quiet."

from The Gift of Peace by Ben Stein

Blessings to you!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Corner View:Early (cooking accomplishment)

No Bake cookies made today 7/26/11

My earliest cooking/baking recollection
is making no-bake cookies.

I know that mother taught me all kinds of cookie recipes,
how to bake bread,
make a great  pie complete with home-made rolled-out pie crust
and even 'from scratch' cakes.

I am thankful she taught me my way around a kitchen!
I learned to cook all kinds of casseroles,
as well as how to make a delicious roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots,
and all sorts of other recipes.
(She and I passed a lot on to my daughter.
I should have done more with my son.)

But one of my early cooking accomplishments has to be no bakes.
They are cheap, easy and quick to make, easy to clean up,
and everyone in our family likes them.

As you can see from the photos below,
I've had this recipe for a long time.

I use butter and quick, not old-fashioned oats.
I also only use 1/2 tsp vanilla.
I also prefer crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy.

You have to scoop them out and onto wax paper quickly,
because they start to harden in the pot other wise
and then they can be a bit dry.

Corner View's theme 'early' is complements of Cole.
Check out Francesca's Fuoriborgo for more views on early.

Also, Susanne Redecker of Susiart has joined a map contest.
She has entered two delightful maps.  Check them out here
Click on "Look up Maps"
and write in Netherlands by Susanne Redecker.
That will bring up both maps.
 Please leave a comment on either or both
to help her win.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Barn Charm

Another barn photo captured on my Sunday drive back in June.
This is on a country road leading to Temperanceville, Ohio.

In this photo you can see a hint of what was calling this barn home.

Their first reaction was to run away from me.

Then they halted and formed this line,
checking me out as I clicked my camera.

These got braver and  came closer,
I think hoping that I had some sort of food for them.
I had to disappoint them.

Click on badge below to see more barns.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Art of Relaxing


Momentarily awake, checking out what's flashing in her face.

Back to sleep.

                                           "Cats can work out mathematically the exact place
to sit that will cause the most inconvenience."
Pam Brown

"You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people,
because cats find humans useful domestic animals."
George Mikes

"Of all God's creatures,
there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash.
That one is the cat.
If man could be crossed with the cat
it would improve the man,
but it would deteriorate the cat."
Mark Twain

"A cat doesn't really need to know that everybody loves him."
William Kunstier

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Stung" (and a short Psalm of the Week)

At the very end of this is a short version of
 "Psalm of the Week."

Some time ago:

The grapevine leaves had started to take over.  I decided to trim them back.
Innocent, productive task, right?
Actually this photo is after I trimmed some.

                         Straight down is a hornet's nest.
Right below the t of the word hornet's in the top line.
I didn't see the hornet's nest because when I first went out,
 the vines and  leaves were so thick, 
my full attention was on them.
So there I was, minding my own business cutting and pulling,
 when my right hand felt like it'd been bitten.
I yelped and dropped the vine and checked out my hand.
Yep, a tell-tale little, red bump.

I went in the house and treated it.
Then out I went again.  I just figured my hand had gotten in the way
of a sting critter checking out the grapes.

It wasn't until several hornets swooped past my head
that I thought to look up.

Ooops! and Duh! rolled into one!
There wasn't any more trimming that day
and for the next few days until Mike sprayed the nest
and got it down.

However. . . I did get my camera!

I have a point beside telling you about
a hornet's nest.
Look at the photo to the left.
A serene scene.
I went outside to do a job,
not expecting to get 'hurt'.

Yet when I least expected it,
I got stung.

Why wasn't I wearing gloves?

Because I couldn't clip and grasp
as well with them on.
So I bared my hands.

The previous week I had been stung
But it was by a person.

The same scenario: I was good-heartily performing a task,
in a great mood, all expectant
for a good outcome.
I opened wide the door to my heart.
Then when I least expected it,
my heart got stung.  Really stung
I had my eye on the luscious fruit of my toil.  But someone else had other ideas.   I was stunned.   In pain, I retreated into a bit of a shell.  That's often what I do when emotionally hurt.                                                                                                            I wasn't going to talk about it, but in an unexpected turn of events, I did.  Mike and I had stopped to visit friends going through a rough time.  At some point, I just blurted it out.   The friend then loosened up on some stuff she was dealing with.                                    We ended up laughing and when I left, we both felt better. I didn't speak about it with anyone else, especially
the person who hurt me.  I didn't trust myself to handle that scenario well.
I did pray about it and asked God to help me forgive,
 to understand why or at least accept what the person did,
and move on. 

God answered my prayer.  Eventually the person told me of the frustration
 she/he was experiencing at the time.  I never talked of my frustration.
I just listened and I did get a touch of understanding--not fully,
but that's okay.
I accepted the situation and the person, and I forgave and moved on.
I'm not even certain that the person knew I was hurt.
I do know the hurt was not intentional.

 I'm glad I didn't make a big issue out of it.
There was a time when I would have
 "shouted it from the rooftop!"
(not really, but I think you get the point.)
I've learned not to do that.

I really work on going to God first and only.
Sometimes, I end up telling someone,
usually my husband.
This time I hurt too much to put words to the pain.

I did accidentally 'spill the beans'.
 God used that spill to minister to me and my friend.
Isn't He good?! Even when we aren't.

Life is like that. 
We get up and go about our lives with good intentions.
We're happy and content.
Life is wonderful.
Then the 'hornet' stings.

We have several ways we can handle that sting.
I've found a better way at age 57 than I knew to do in my 30s.
If only I'd gone to God more then.
But the "if onlys" are useless.
What's done is done.
The best action is to learn from that mistake(s)
and move on with life.

I'm endeavoring to do that.

Sometimes less is more.
I'm hoping that is the case with my short version
"Psalm of the Week:"
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:
and in the hidden part
thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51: 6, 10

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Corner View:Through the Eyes of a Child

 My latest grandchild
and my last (so I've been told)
was two days short of five months
when I kept her and her brother
for about seven hours.
Since she and her family live in Texas
I don't often get the opportunity
to see life through her eyes.
Abigail Elizabeth

This toy made sounds
but Abby simply wanted one of the rings in her mouth.

"Ahhh, this looks interesting!"

"Let's get a closer look."

"Closer, closer---yep, it can go in the mouth too.  Yeah!"

But the best item in her view
was a crinkly farm animal book.
(I accidentally didn't pack this
and will be sending it to you, daughter.

Here she has spotted it
and is working her way toward it.

"Oh goody!  Grandma helped me get it."
                                                (Abby is scooting a little and trying to crawl,
but as we were away from mama,
I didn't think it wise for her to get frustrated and cranky.)

Notice, she isn't checking out the pictures.
Through her eyes,
 this book's purpose is to ease her teething gums. 

"Much better!"

As we waited for big brother to wake up from his nap,
her gums seemed to be bothering her more and more.
Now we adults would not think of putting our toes in our mouth,
would we?!
But Abby eyed them and thought, "Hmmm, let's give them a try."

They worked great---even better than the book! :)

Join Francesca at Fuoriborgo for more Corner Views.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Barn Charm:Family Farm

On the Sunday drive back in June,
we came upon the farm that had once been
in my husband's mother's family.
The above photo is us coming up on it
and me snapping a pic from the car.

This is the front view.
You can see a hint of silo.

Now more silo and the side shed,
still taken from inside the car
as the upper rt. hand corner shows.

Back view.
We felt more comfortable stopping here
for me to get out of the car.

Close-up of the back.

This is my favorite shot
taken right before I got back in the car.

His mother came from a family of 12 kids.
They lived on a farm outside of Temperanceville, Ohio.
Across from the barn is the home she grew up in,
sharing a bedroom with several sisters.
(I don't have that photo.)

Grandma died in a car crash.
Grandpa remained on the farm.
There was still a son growing up there.

When Grandpa died, Johnny was 18.
Part of the siblings wanted to let Johnny have the farm.
The other part wanted to sell and pocket the money.

The sell group won.
They sold the family farm.
Each of them walked away with their share of the money. 
That was back in the 1960's.
Approximately 215 acres.
Who knows what it's worth today in dollars and cents?

The sell part have admitted they were wrong--
that keeping it in the family
was worth more than any dollar amount.

At some point
the two sides began talking to each other
and the split was eventually healed.
I don't know the details;
I just know that for some years they didn't talk.

Now six of the sons and daughters have died,
including my husband's mother.
There are great-great-great grandkids.
The family reunion every summer
is huge.
Great food and camaraderie are there,
as folks catch up with those who live away.

But someone else owns the family farm.

I'm early, but soon Trish will have her weekly Barn Charm
up and running here

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Psalm 119 and a little boy learns

I have a two-year-old grandson
who says a prayer before he eats.
He prays it audibly, although at times very quickly,
so it's over before some have realized it has begun.
(But that's okay.)

The words are:
"Dear God, Thank you for our food.  Amen."

Aaron can answer questions about Jonah and the whale,
Noah and the ark (boat), and other Bible stories.
He knows Jesus loves him and how to say a resounding "Amen!"
(He also knows O stands for Obey---that's when he is misbehaving
and his parents are dealing with him.)
There's more, but you get the idea, I hope.

The point is that this little boy is being brought up on God's Word.
He shames me by praying before he eats when I don't.
I know better.
How do I though?
And how does he?
My parents raised me and  his are raising him in a Christian home
with respect for God and the Bible
and everything that goes with both.

Can you overdo it?
Yes. Both my brothers would agree with my answer.
But do I believe it's still worth it?
I can only answer for me and that's yes.

I don't believe totally like my parents did,
but I was given a foundation and then a choice.
Aaron is being given that foundation.
When he's an adult, he will have a choice.
The important part is that he will have a foundation from which to choose.
Some don't.
I'm thankful he does and so will his little sister.

This leads me into more of Psalm 119. 
I gave some verses last week.
I did eventually read all 176 verses
and found that David
asserts the same truth over and over:
Know God's Word, commandments, law, and so on.
Say them. Live them. Believe them. Stand on them.

I know the Old Testament Law was shaken up a bit with Jesus.
He gave us a new commandment:
to love one another as we would have them love us.
I believe that with prayer, scripture reading of both Old and New,
alone time with God---keeping in touch with all of God--
a valuable and positive difference is made in my life.

This week's Psalm of the Week:
27) Make me understand the way of Your precepts;
so shall I meditate on and talk of Your wondrous works.

29) Remove from me the way of falsehood and unfaithfulness [to You],
and graciously impart Your law to me.

32) I will [not merely walk, but] run
the way of Your commandments,
when You give me a heart that is willing.

33) Teach me, O Lord,
the way of Your statutes,
and I will keep it to the end [steadfastly].

34) Give me understanding,
that I may keep Your law;
yes, I will observe it with my whole heart.

38) Establish Your word and confirm Your promise
to Your servant,
which is for those who reverently fear
 and devotedly worship You.

40) Behold, I long for Your precepts;
in Your righteousness give me renewed life.

41) Let Your mercy and loving-kindness
come also to me, O Lord,
even Your salvation according to Your promise

42) Then shall I have an answer for those
 who taunt and reproach me,
for I lean on, rely on,
and trust in Your word.

The following photos are of Aaron with his Grandpa Mike.
Sara came back up with both children.
She worked at the family company
while grandparents got special time
with Aaron and Abigail.

I like this series because it shows
how attentive Aaron is to instructions
and how he follows through.
(And his parents haven't gotten to see these pics,
so this is for them also).

How to spray this particular hose
and then plant grass seed:
Aaron is tall for his age.
Sometimes folks who don't know his age
will expect him to act like a four-year-old
 and not the two that he is.

I asked him to look at me, but he really didn't want to take his eyes
off the spot of ground he was watering.

Blessings to you all as you go through the rest of this weekend.