Monday, September 28, 2009

the Last Of The Flowers

These are the last holdouts before the frost hits. It will be in the 40's this week, so no fear of their demise yet. My last rose bud bloomed last week. The flower stayed out one day... They will be a welcome site next spring. The bud above is a "moon flower" vine. you can see what the open flower looks like below. When I purchased it I was thinking of the moon flowers my grandmother had in her garden. This is NOT the one I remember, but it's very pretty. When I planted it I did not think it would make the vine it did. If it comes back next year, I'm going to make sure it has a trellis or some string to climb on. It only blooms in the late afternoon. The bloom has a very pungent sweet perfume smell. You can smell it long before you get to it. The bloom is very delicate. It will be shriveled and dead in the morning.. all that work to bloom in the evening and then die in the dawn of the day.. kind of sad.

Below is another photo of the mum plant we put in last week. it is blooming like mad. I bet there were 200 buds on the plant. It's a Belgian Mum, Padre Yellow... after checking the Internet I find that this mum is unique in that you don't have to pinch the tops off in the spring.. it will come up and will flower just like it is now next September... The only preparation I have to do is to cover it with mulch before the winter hits.. Then in the spring scrape off the mulch.

The last photo is of my Little blue plant.. not sure what it is. Husband calls it a "wild Jew plant". I love it and wanted to put it out in the flower bed.. I was informed by hubby that this is a prolific weed and is to be stomped out at the first opportunity.. I'm leaving it.
It's in a part of the old gymnasium here. it's contained and grows up the wall.. We use to throw out our dish water in this area.. maybe that has helped it take hold.. Husband says it can stay there.. but is watching to make sure I don't get a shovel.
This week we'll move the peonies. There are two.. a pink one and a red one. both are in places where they no longer have the sun they need. I'm hoping we can move them without much trouble. I'd like to put the red one in the new flower bed with the mums. Unfortunately husband gave me the old "don't ask me to plant another thing in that bed. And don't want another one up in the "root" forest" lecture already. He was serious.. 5 hours to plant two mum plants. It was Root city there for sure... I would like the red peony in the bed, but will be happy to put it out in a row of peonies I have out toward the barn. I hope you are enjoying your last flowers of the season...

Posted by Picasa

The last days of Summer...

As you can see the summer sun is setting.. The air has a slight chill. The squirrels are making off with the acorns and black walnuts.
The last of the butterflies are preparing to travel. The migratory birds have left. Pumpkins, gourds, and corn stalks are decorating the neighbors porches. It's the last days of summer. I am feeling melancholy.. I think melancholy is the right word.. kind of sad and contemplating what has past... if that's melancholy that's me today... In the photo above you see our chairs out under the hickory tree.. we sit out there in the evening.. our front porch faces the west and has full sun until the sun sets.. to hot even in the waning days of summer to sit there.. so head out to the hickory tree and the shade it provides.

I walked around outside today... and took some photos.. the last of the summer.. as you can see below these Hybrid poplar trees have lost most of their leaves.. We plan on taking them down this fall. They are not good trees to have by the driveway. A few weeks ago during a storm, the top came out of one. I had just moved my car. whew, that was way to close... when we planted them I needed shade.. quick shade.. they worked for a while.. now they are nothing but a pain.. We have lots of trees now and lots of good shade.. so they're out here..

Below is the photo of the New birdhouse we put up this spring. As you can see the lilacs, and rose of Sharon bushes fared well. The bluebirds are gone for this year. I'm not really sure if they leave or not. I know I've seen them in Feb. watching the birds at the winter feeder... They don't do seeds.. I have a feeling they may head farther south where the bugs still roam around.

We'll be moving the peonies this week. Today it's off to the health dept. to get our flu shot. Husband wants to go look at riding mowers. Our old one blew up last year. He got one running but today after driving 30 miles to get a pin for the deck, he returned to find that after finishing what he'd started mowing yesterday something gave up the ghost. Mind you the mower hasn't been run for a good 10 years.. but he is irritated and I think we'll be checking out the end of year sale on riding mowers. I told him he can get one if it's cheap.. really cheap.. so it's the end of summer.. Fall has begun. Leaves will need mulching soon.. little gremlins will find their way to our front porch for treats.. hopefully no tricks... I am looking forward to my first glass of apple cider and my first Carmel apple.. our first fall bon-fire, and our trip to the orchard for some apples and cider donuts.. still warm.. yummm... A little melancholy today.. but so glad we got so spend the last of our summer days looking out from our little cabin on the place we love best..

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Whose Loading Your Camel ?

I have come to realize this week that I have a Camel. I like Camels. They are kind of cute.. in a homely, only your mom could love that face, way.
I think a lot of us have camels. I think my Camel's name is Clyde.. LOL I just remembered a Ray Stevens song from years ago.. the Camel's name was Clyde.. a good name for a Camel, I think..

Well to continue.. Our Church is going through some changes. It has been going through the changes for a year or so now.. New Pastor, New people, New ideas for ministry.. As with all change, it's difficult. Some people have more difficulty then others with change. I don't do well with it at all.. 

It kind of reminds me of the Israelites and the Wilderness.. Moses takes them out of slavery.. God has delivered them through some Mighty Miracles.. They are God's own chosen children.. and after just a bit, they are whining and crying and wishing they were back in Egypt with their slave masters.. They didn't like the change.. it was scary, it was unknown, at least slavery was a known thing.. 

Some of them would have gone back. That just amazes me. Then I look at my life and see that there are times when I would choose the familiar even when God is clearly calling me to change, to a new thing, a new way, something unknown.. He gently reminds me that He is with me.. so I will follow.. sometimes kicking and screaming.. and throwing a fit.. kind of like the Israelites.. but I go..

Apparently when I left Egypt.. the place of sin and slavery.. I took a Camel.. Clyde.. maybe God thought I needed him for the journey.. anyway.. Clyde and I travel this road together.. 

As part of the change at Church God has led some folks to other Churches and other places of Service. It is painful and joyful to me. Painful in that I have seen the burden of the decision to move to another place of service. Painful because there are hurt feelings, feelings of fear and even anger. Painful because I love my Church family and I know for some this was not an easy decision. Painful because I will miss serving with them, but Joyful too as I see how God is using their gifts and talents in new and exciting ways in their new places of service..

I was sharing with one of my mentors in the Faith. Glenn is one who speaks God word to me. I always check with God, to make sure the interpretation is correct. Glenn has been a fellow Christian that I can pour my heart out to and He will pray with me, and give me a word.. As I was sharing my burden for my Church family, our Church, Our direction.. with Glenn this week.. I told him how painful some of the recent events have been to me.. and how I am so burdened with some situations..

Glenn asked me a question.. Who's loading your camel? Of course I had to shut-up and think about that for a minute. "Well, I am," was my reply.. Glenn then asked.. who was responsible for the folks that I'm so burdened for.. well, God is of course.. they are His kids.. (hand slapping head "big duh" moment) God is.. not me.. I'm loading all this stuff, peoples problems, concerns, squabbles, unrest, uneasiness, all their stuff on my camel.. just like it's mine to deal with and mine to fix.. I load up my camel and then try to continue on my journey.. I've loaded up all the stuff that will not benefit me.. and all the stuff I can't do a thing about.

I unloaded my camel Clyde this week.. I'm making room for the stuff that God has given me to carry.. and it's not much.. Jesus already said to cast all my cares, burdens, concerns, on Him.. Jesus also reminded me that His load is easy, His burden is light..

I'm so glad that God is the one who has to keep it all straight..

Glenn also reminded me that God has called me to be a prayer warrior.. I am to pray about the situations and concerns of my Brothers and Sisters in Christ.. that's it.. God will deal with them, He will fix them.. 

God is leading us in some new directions. It's kind of scary.. we haven't been this way, We haven't followed this leader, what if we make a wrong turn, what if our leader is a nut, what if we run out of food or water, What if we are asked to make a commitment of our time, or our money, what if we have to give up something we love, What if we can't have our way or be in charge, 

what if People are saved, what if we are on the path that God has been waiting to put us on, what if we repent and follow, what if we become the people of God that we are meant to be? Lots of what ifs and lots of unknowns.. But you know what .. It's all in God's hands. It's His business, we are His kids, He knows what He's doing.. I don't have to worry about it..

Clyde and I are happy again.. free again.. free to follow the road, the path, the way that God is leading us.. I will be praying with passion, and heart, with love and concern for all my brothers and sisters in Christ.. 

I am also praying with the same love and compassion for those who Do Not Know the Love of God or the Forgiveness of sins. I'm praying that God will use Us, That He will use Me.. To touch hearts so He can Change lives..

So my question to you today is this.. are you burdened, worried, overwhelmed?
Whose loading your Camel????

Happy Fall Ya'll

I can't believe it's fall already. wow, did the summer fly by or what.. I don't know about you, but I almost missed the whole thing. I think part of the problem was the lack of Summer type weather. It was only hot and summer like for a week in June and about a week in August.. Now it's time to dig out the sweats. Don't get me wrong, I like fall. I like the crispness that begins to fill the air. My papa would say it was fresh. I really like to head out to the orchard and buy some apple cider donuts. I especially like the warm ones, And I L-O-V-E... hot apple cider. I always buy a couple of gallons so I can make cinnamon apple cider jelly. I add it to the Thanksgiving boxes I pack for my special "adopted" Soldiers. It's a little taste of fall that is good when you're far from home.

I love the smell of burning leaves. It's been a while since I've smelled leaves burning cause they just don't let you do that in the city anymore. I don't know if folks out in the country still burn them or not.. I know kids still love jumping in a huge pile of leaves.. And then there are the scarecrows. I love them.. all fat and full of straw with a favorite flannel shirt and an old pair of overalls. I saw some really cute ones at the super mega store in town. 

Apples, lots of crisp juicy apples, and at our house apples mean pie.. and baked pork chops with apples. fried apples, and if he is lucky, husband will get a few fried apple pies.

Another thing that means fall to me, is a trip "up North".. to a small town with friends. We walk the woods, and hit the quilt shops. I love quilts. they remind me of good stuff like grandmas, feather beds, fall, warmth, and love. I took a quilting class a few years ago. I have some material set aside to make another quilt. Every fall I consider getting the stuff out and working on it.. especially during the long cold days of winter. but with computers, activities at Church and the VFW, I never seem to find time to work on that quilt. I think I'll try again this year. Maybe things will be less hectic..

that's another thing.. Fall quickly leads to Halloween, then there is a rush of only a few weeks and it's Thanksgiving and then all races toward Christmas.. Whew.. But we were talking about fall.. so let's not head out toward Christmas just yet..

Fall means the days will get shorter. the nights will get chilly, frost will leave it's imprint on my lawn and my windshield. It's time to dig out the sweats, the sweaters, the long sleeve stuff, all the winter clothes. It's time to start packing away the summer stuff. The lawn chairs can stay out for the bon-fire, but will be put away soon after. The BBQ grill will be used for another week or two, then out to the barn for the winter.. Beach towels, flip-flops, and sandals will be gathered up and packed away till next spring.

Fall means big pots of homemade soup, homemade bread, stews, and chili. It means apple and pumpkin pies, and loaves of pumpkin and banana bread. The oven will be used on a regular basis again. Fall, means pumpkins and squash, gourds and indian corn, and corn stalks for decorations.
I wish ya'll a very happy fall...

Friday, September 11, 2009

What I Learned At The SuperStore This Week...

I was just doing my usual shopping this week at one of our area SuperStores. I was amazed to find that there are some Hard Truths That can be learned there...

Truth #1.... Spandex, no matter how beautiful on the hanger, does NOT look good on fat people. It just makes you look fatter.. every fat roll, even ones you didn't know existed.. Are shown in all their glory... Frankly.. I scared myself.. so BIG Note to self... NO SPANDEX...

Truth #2... Unless you are going to shop at a high-end store, the ones that you have to take out a second mortgage to buy a dress, FAT People's clothes are U-G-L-Y... I don't know why.. I've shown my girlfriends this several times.. next time your out shopping look at the Women's section.. or plus size section.. whatever the name.. now really Look.. would you be caught dead in any of the clothes.. the paisley, bright orange midriff top.. come on.. They look like clown clothes.. No offense to any clowns.. but truthfully, I've seen some clown outfits I'd rather wear.. No wonder Fat folks are teased unmercifully.. Look at the clothes we are expected to wear..

Truth #3... If it's on sale and you have a good coupon, they will be out. or it's not for the variety you like.. By the way.. don't worry.. when you go to find someone who can write a rain check.. they'll tell you there are no rain checks for that item... ya, right.. 2064 gazillion items in the store and you managed to find the only one that they can't write a rain check for..

Truth #4... If you are looking for a cute little nail file.. you saw tons of them at the drugstore on the corner and they were so cute you decided to buy 85 for Christmas gifts.. instead of heading to the corner you figure.. hey, I'm here in super mega store.. they probably have a bigger selection.. SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME.. you won't find any.. well maybe one. and it will be $2.99 cause it restores the finish on your nails or some such nonsense.. Nope, hit the drugstore on your way home.

I hope these truths can help you in some way.. if nothing else try to get a mental picture of me in an UGLY orange striped midriff top made of spandex, with a coupon for $1.00 off on a sale item, running down a store manager, with a broken blue nail file that costs $3.97...
Have a great day.. :-)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer Festivals... What fun :-)

Summer Festivals and Fairs... What fun :-)

LOL This was a first for me.. This was my first Festival that offered Donkey rides for the kids.. How they lined up.. it was great.. Look at that face.. "the donkey face" that cute and adorable donkey face.. makes you just want to kiss that ole nose doesn't it.. LOL I love Donkey faces... they have character. I think it's because they are characters.. If you are wondering.. the owner of this little Donkey was very good about only letting a few kids take turns riding. Then "donkey" I didn't get his name.. was put up in the shade for rest and relaxing.. No donkey was harmed in the taking of this photo or in the riding.. Donkey rather looked like he was enjoying the whole thing.

This was just one of the "fun" things that could be done at the "annual festival". It takes place in a small town.. a really small town.. It was my first time at the festival.. The Lion's club puts it on every year... They have vendors set up.. I bought my "festival" T-shirt from one of them.. there were games set up for the kids, raffles.. you could win a TV or a lawnmower.. there were silent auctions, and raffles for stuff like Santa's and dinner for two at the "coon dog inn".. There was a pet show.. where kids showed off their pets.. a guinea pig was declared the winner.. there were tractor/train rides for the kids too.. I love those.. someone puts together a train that pulls cars that look like tractors.. There were softball tournaments in the early am.. and there was "gospel singing" in the evening.. There was even a booth set up where you could get information on "how to" submit your family history for a new book that will soon be printed .. This area was a very vital part of the region when the state was new... The local animal shelter was on hand with various ways you could donate to the shelter.

In case you wondered, there was festival food too.. yep, good ole' festival food.. there were funnel cakes.. they were yummy.. and ice cream.. But the hit of the festival.. what everyone in the area waits for.. was the BBQ.. there was BBQ chicken, ribs, and pork loin, pulled pork, and hot or mild sauce.. a plate lunch that included potato salad, bread, and a drink.. or just the sandwich.. Husband and I got the pork loin sandwich.. oh my goodness.. I now know why this festival is over 100 yrs. old.. it's the BBQ.. finger licking good doesn't even describe it.. you can watch the men back by the BBQ grill.. they smile and nod as you pass by.. you can ask, but you will never get the secret of their sauce or the special rub that has been used.. you can guess at what kind of wood they used to "smoke" the meat.. you may even get one of them to tell you how long the meat was on the "pit".. but that's all you'll know.. they will smile and nod.. that's all you'll get.. that and a Thank you mamm come on back ...

As I looked around that afternoon.. we only stayed a couple of hours, we were heading over to a big town.. for a festival and BBQ.. As I looked around, I noticed some other things.. things I liked.. Signs for all those running for public office.. hung around the grounds .. mostly by the food.. there were tents.. big tents.. donated by businesses that had their names on them.. one of the largest was from the local funeral home.. Everyone asked where we were from.. I guess it's cause if I open my mouth to speak well, it's obvious I'm not from around here.. very obvious.. We always find someone who is from our area of the mid-west.. it's kind of funny how many of us northerners have found our way to remote towns in the south.. Another observation.. Farmers.. lots of farmers.. young and old.. it's an agricultural area.. farms dot the landscape.. some small, some big.. but farms.. it wasn't like the city festivals I've attended.. no suits and ties, oh there was the occasional dress slacks and shirt.. I think it was someone running for office.. no, most were just "plain" folks.. jeans and work boots.. kids in tow.. excited for the fun.. excited to play ball, ride on the tractor train.. to eat a funnel cake.. play a game.. and ride a donkey.. plain folk, home folks.. folks who are neighbors.. and make even strangers in their midst feel like they belong... like they are Home...

My Favorite Summer flowers...

Our New found treasure... Naked Ladies: a relative of Amaryllis

Our Mimosa Tree...

Some of my Favorite Summer flowers ...

In truth, I love flowers, I love the ones that pop their little heads up out of the snow in the early spring, like the snow crocus.. I love the ones that are all bright and happy in the spring when the grass and the trees are still looking dead and blah.. my daffodils, and paper whites, the tulips, and phlox, also the forsythia, ya, I know they aren't flowers per say, but flowering bushes.. and who could leave out the red buds, and dog wood (trees) I love the flowering quince bushes too.. I love the ones that pop open when the weather has warmed up, like the wild rose bushes, peonies, and the heavy scents of the magnolia... The lilacs, petunias, sweet pea, phlox, bridals wreath, gladiolas, iris, oh and the Lilly's who could forget the Lilly's the wild orange ones that decorate my ditch banks, and the beautiful hybrid colors of pink, maroon, yellow, red, and well just let your imagination run wild..

the photo above is of my Mimosa tree.. I love the soft white/pink/yellow puffie-ness of those flowers.. the humming birds love them too.. :-)
You will also see the newest addition to our flower beds, Naked Ladies... I can't remember the official name.. oh yes, Belladonna Lillys, part of the Amaryllis family.. We had never seem them before. Husband planted them about 4 years ago at the urging of a friend. We just saw the big bulbs then and planted them. In the early spring, they are all green foliage. But we never knew if they ever bloomed. This spring, in my frantic 'chop it out cause it's taking over" daze, I ripped the stuff out by the handfuls. It never bloomed, just filled up the bed.. Well to my absolute horror, I discovered the pink Lilly looking plant you see in the first photo.. absolutely breathtaking.. I'm so glad they are bulbs and I was to lazy to walk to the barn and get my shovel. Apparently the greenery grows up and is all full.. then dies all the way down to the ground.. my flowers are in the flower beds so it's harder to see the flowers and what they do, but in town I saw these planted in the middle of the yard.. the green foliage dies away.. and up comes a single stalk.. on that stalk is the flower you see above.. seemingly to appear from nowhere. absolutely breath taking.. I have begged their forgiveness and plan on trying to set some out where they will do better.. they need full sun..
The other flowers I love are my Rose of Sharon, yes, they are bushes.. sorry, I have lots of flowering bushes.. there are lots of them.. white with pale purple innards, bright pinks that are double, yellow, lavender and the like.. I have about 15 bushes of them. The Ice storm this past January really wreeked havoc on them. The largest one.. about 20+ feet tall and at least 15 feet wide.. was bent with ice so severely that the branches never were able to straighten themselves. So the look was a huge gaping hole where the middle of the upright bush should have been and then the branches going out from each side.. The Crepe Myrtle also suffered from the ice along with the trees.. I did get a few photos of the Myrtles.. they were not a lovely as they have been in the past.. I did find an article on how to prune them properly, so will have husband do so this spring.. it will give them optimal blooming help.. We haven't pruned them for the last few years and it shows.. I love their flowers.. they are like big tufts of cotton candy..
Yep, I love to look at the summer flowers blooming.. they fill the air at night with a heavy scent of summer.. along with the night bug sounds.. it's perfect..
I'm looking forward to our fall flowers, I don't think I have many, maybe none.. it's been a while since I've been down to enjoy them.. I can't wait to see my new tree and it's fall color.. I'm hoping it will be vibrant.. Fall will be upon us before we know it.. cooler days, crisp air, the smell of apple cider, pumpkins and Indian corn along with gourds and pine cones adorning our porches and railings. There will be leaves to rake.. so we can jump in them.. and the smell of burning leaves. soon the bon-fires will warm us.. I'm already planning on pulling my chair a little closer to the fire.. I've found the hot cocoa and the marshmallows.. I think I'll need them soon.. I also saw the first gallons of apple cider in the grocery store..
yummm hot cider and cinnamon sticks..

Doing the Happy Dance... Happy Happy Happy :-)

Oh My, has it really been 6 + weeks since I last blogged something..
gracious.. How time flies when you're having fun..

To update you, We went to our little cabin in Ky. the first time in 12 yrs. we had been down in the summer.. I had forgotten how wonderful it is..

to bring you all up to speed.. we had a break-in, after a few days there was an arrest made, It turned out to be an alleged burglary ring (my words) where stolen items going back as far as a year ago, were recovered in two homes. As of this date 5 arrests have been made.. other charges are pending including Meth making, receiving stolen property and a felon in possession of a firearm
 All the items were taken.. (truck loads, all the items in the houses and on the property were stolen) to an old warehouse where they were available for anyone, with a police report and a list of stolen items, to look through. I had sent on a list of our items, along with photos and descriptions to the local police dept. and to the State Police, who were investigating our robbery.

 When we got to the warehouse to look for our items, most had been found and put on a cart for us. Here is where I sing the praises of the Local Police dept.. They went above and beyond the call of duty. Including the Police Chief, who brought out a couple of items we did not find at the warehouse.. they came into his possession after another arrest..

back to the warehouse.. we looked and found ALL our stuff.. well all except for the "get away vehicle" aka: our garbage can on wheels, some pillows and clothes that the robbers used to protect the items shoved in the garbage can, a couple of granite pie plates (later recovered) and a clear chicken candy dish from the 1940's.. The rest, including items we did NOT realize were taken.. were there.. Thank you Jesus... I'm still praising God for this one.. All of the officers remarked that " this never happens" you never find all your stuff.. Well, I did..

I'm not ashamed to tell you that I was just a "little miffed" at God for allowing those creeps to take my stuff.. I pray over the whole place whenever we leave.. asking God to guard and keep it safe along with all those we love till we return.. Well, after the call I got saying our place was broken into and our stuff was gone.. a lot of stuff.. not all of it, as some people experienced.. I met a couple of them later on.. but a lot. I immediately prayed and believed that EVERYTHING I have, God gave it to me.. If He gave it to me.. then If He wanted me to have it, He would bring it back.. I kept telling Dear Husband, that God Loves me.. and If I am suppose to have my stuff back, and some of it was very precious to me, I would get it back.. 

 I went to Ky. believing I would get some of it back.. Husband went knowing we would never see any of it again.. I am still amazed that God gave it all back except for my garbage can, and a chicken.. all of it.. unharmed and just as we had left it.. Amazing.. 

We spent a few days getting our stuff back and put in place.. I purposefully did not put anything in the place of the missing things.. I knew it was going to come back.. I don't know how I knew it.. I just did.. 

 We did beef up our security.. The State trooper reminded me that we could make our cabin Ft. Knox, but if someone wanted in bad enough.. we can't keep them out..

I also reminded God that He was in charge of all we have, and I would trust that His angels know just how and what to guard.. Then we spent another week relaxing and running with friends.. we did just what we wanted to ... and had a blast.. we went to festivals.. I have some stories.. and a BBQ.. and spent alot of time just sitting on our front porch. We ate fresh tomatoes from a friends garden EVERY Day.. LOL and had fresh corn, peaches, green beans, new potatoes, and cucumbers.. we drank gallons of iced tea and lemonade.. it was grand.. And I danced.. I danced the "God Loves me" dance, and the " I got my stuff back" dance.. I danced over my peaches.. I am a peach fanatic.. thanks Uncle Romie, and I danced the "friend" dance.. I even got to eat at Cracker barrel and picked up some Christmas gifts.. It was wonderful and fun..

So today I'm dancing again.. as I remember how much God loves me.. His goodness and His mercy.. I'm thanking Him for knowing how special some of the items were.. and for reminding me that all I have, He has given to me.. Cause He loves me..