Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It’s the time of year when the seed catalogs are piling up!  This morning I was looking through them and getting all excited about the garden for this year.  I always get caught up in all the wonderful descriptions and am especially attracted to the cultural vegetables that sound so unique.  Particularly the Chinese vegetables like Bok Choy and Chinese Cabbage.   I always come up with so many things I’d like to try, and then I have to get in touch with reality and pare it down to a reasonable list.   Last year I grew different hot peppers and hardly used them – but they were so pretty!

(A picture from last year’s garden. 
Makes me ready for summer right now!)

My favorite catalog is from Pinetree Garden Seeds, a small company in Maine.  They are very friendly and helpful and their prices are amazing!  I like the pleasant small business feel they have. 

Another catalog that I am very attracted to is the R. H. Shumway’s catalog.  The old look of their artwork and descriptions just makes you feel so self-sufficient, like an old-time gardener, who knew every detail of what to grow and just when to do it.  I want to buy their stuff just because of the pictures!   And there prices are excellent too.  They have a lot of old heirloom things you can’t buy anywhere else. 
So now I need to call my mamma and talk about what we would like to order.  We always order together to save on shipping.  And we like to talk about what was wonderful last year and what didn’t work so well.  Although, in her garden, nothing seems to do poorly.  Maybe because they have cows, and cows equal fertilizer? 
Happy Thinking-of-Spring to all you fellow gardeners!
"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and
 winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
   Genesis 1:14

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I was deeply touched when my cousin, Katie, gave me this orchid.  Let me explain…  I had given Katie this very plant about two years ago.  She gave it back to me last month.  It has a story and a message of hope and God’s goodness. 
   If you find Katie’s name on my little “prayer list” you’ll see a checkmark beside her name.  When I took this orchid to her she had just turned 21 years old, and was lying in bed or on the couch pretty much all the time.  She slept the days away.  Light hurt her eyes, noises were too much to take and her head hurt.   She was wasting away and no one knew why.  After trying to find out what was wrong for about four months, a doctor decided to go ahead and treat her for Malaria.  It turned out she had a different type of Malaria (Vivax) that she got from spending time in Central America.    After the treatments started Katie began to get better.  It was a miraculous turnaround! Two days after going on her meds she was talking and obviously improving.  God is good!      

   Katie kept the orchid I gave her and it rebloomed.  Now she’s given it back to me.  It speaks to me of God’s goodness and his faithfulness.  When I don’t understand I know He does.  And He doesn’t waste our pain.

   Here’s what I take in one day.  Except I forgot to put the green tea on the picture.  Looks like enough that I wouldn’t have to even eat, huh?J  I’m on four prescription meds (the four piles of powder are one of them) and the rest are herbs and nutritional supplements.  Nathan (bless his heart!) made me a chart of what to take when, because some things can’t be taken together.  It’s the only way I can keep track of what’s going on!    The sauerkraut is my probiotic.  Doc says the probiotic you buy has billions in each capsule, but homemade sauerkraut has trillions!  So I’ve tried my hand at making sauerkraut – it’s pretty good actually.
   I haven’t written a whole lot here about my Lyme disease.  But I am getting better!  There have been ups and downs in the last two months since I’ve found a “Lyme Doctor”, but gradually I’m getting there.  I hope with a few more months of treatment to be completely well again.  It will have been almost a year.  And I don’t ever want to experience this again.  But I wouldn’t trade that year if I could.  God’s blessings are often disguised.   
This song has touched me:
           By Laura Story
We pray for blessings,
We pray for peace,
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, for prosperity,
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering,
All the while, You hear each spoken need,
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops,
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear,
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near,
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough.
All the while, You hear each desperate plea,
And long that we have faith to believe.

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops,
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us,
When darkness seems to win,
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home.
It's not our home!

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops,
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?
What if my greatest disappointments,
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?
And what if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights,
Are Your mercies in disguise?

  "I will sing of the LORD's great love
 forever; with my mouth I will make your
 faithfulness known through all generations."
Psalm 89:1


Friday, January 18, 2013

Laying Down Your Life

  Be Warned.  This is Random.  Today people are sick at our house.  The bathroom counter is covered with a wide assortment of bottles that have stuff in them to help with the coughs, fevers, and aches.

“Greater love has no man than this,  that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  ~ Jesus  (John 15:13)
 I think Jesus was most likely talking about actually dying for someone else.  After all, He’s the one who loved us so much that He gave up His own life.  But what about laying your life down for others in less dramatic ways?  There are an abundance of opportunities to do this every day!

  Anyone who’s a mother knows what it’s like to get up in the night with a sick child when you don’t feel so good yourself.  We do it because we have to.  Do I think about laying down my life and do it with joy?

 “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (or, “This is your spiritual act of worship.” NIV)  (Romans 12:1)
  For years I had underlined in my Bible the first part of this next verse.  I was learning to know God, and it was exciting!  A few years back I actually realized that the end of the verse about suffering and death was just as real.  How is it that I can read something over and over and then finally one day see it?

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”  (Philippians 3:10)

  For some, these sufferings are intense, real, physical persecutions and even death.  For some, they are small daily choices to be made.  Will I give up myself for others or will I cling to my selfishness?  I’ve got a long way to go…
  This cross made of palm leaves was given to me by a beautiful woman from Pakistan who calls me her daughter.  She visited the U.S. last summer and had it in her songbook and gave it to me.  At Easter someone makes these little crosses and hands them to everyone who comes to church.  Outside the church there are guards with machine guns to protect the Christians inside from radicals who hate them.  In this country the suffering is real.  You will suffer if you serve Christ.


  “Greater Love”-- my dear husband has been a wonderful example of this.  Ever since last May and that Fateful Tick Bite, he’s been amazing (he was before that too, don’t get me wrongJ).  First of all he believed me every time when I said I don’t feel well.  I mean, I looked fine.  It would have been easy to think I was just being lazy or unmotivated when I was just exhausted for no apparent reason!  He covered for me with the girls and helping with meals.  And we joke that he even lost weight – no gourmet meals going on in this house!  He gave up his own life for his family.  God has blessed me.  So much!

I was in the grocery store parking lot last week when two ladies came walking up to me with this rose.  They asked if I knew the love of Jesus and if there was anything they could pray for me about.  I’d just been to my Lyme Doctor and they prayed for my healing.  I’m sure those two ladies could have found plenty of other things to be doing that afternoon.  Instead, they sacrificed their time, their lives really, to reach out to random strangers.  Challenging!

A side note:  Last summer I had found a site with printable paper dolls from the 50’s McCall Magazine.  They are absolutely adorable!  (Little girl’s dolls and toys used to be so innocent.)  So this morning we kept the tissues handy and worked on cutting them out for the girls to play with.  It was a pleasant distraction!  Go here to look at them yourself - they're free!

The Little Sicklings.

Like I said, this was Random. And posted later in the week than what I’d planned. Love to all of you!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Heart Faces Challenge - Best face of 2012


This beautiful girl is like a little sister to me.   For a long time I’ve wanted to take a photo that captures her lovely eyes.  Her eyes change colors.  A lot.  I wanted to capture them at their Most Emerald Greenness (green is my favorite color, in case I’ve never mentioned that) which comes when she wears the right colors.  But after snapping a bunch of different pictures, this is my favorite even thought it's not showing the green much.  I love the coldness of winter, but the life in her eyes. 
 Sheralyn, I love you!
Click this button to see lots of great faces from 2012 at I Heart Faces!!!
Photo Challenge Submission 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I have some Amaryllis bulbs that I plant every year.  I never seem to get them started early enough to enjoy at Christmas, but by February they’re usually showing their glorious blooms.  It’s a welcome cheeriness in the cold of winter.  I found my original bulbs after Christmas in the clearance Christmas gift stuff quite a few years ago, so keep a lookout if you’d enjoy some!  They’ve reproduced quite a bit since then and I’ve even given some away.  Here’s a link for Amaryllis growing instructions.  I usually plant mine in the vegetable garden over the summer and they thrive.


Last year in January I decided to try planting the bulbs in a different way than the traditional one bulb per pot.  My girls and I took a trek (well actually we drove the trails most of the way with the Jeep) down into the woods in the bottom land by the creek where moss and ferns grow the most plentifully.  We searched for pretty bits of wood and rocks and chipped away at the frozen clumps of moss to bring home.  I was amazed at how many different kinds of moss and tiny ferns were holding their own in the winter, just waiting for some warmth to start growing again.

I covered a Rubbermaid container with burlap, attaching it with hot glue.  (It peels off when you’re done and the container can go back to its original use.)  We put a thick layer of small gravel in the bottom to hold any extra water since there were no drainage holes, then added potting soil and the bulbs.  We tucked the moss and ferns around the bulbs and added accents with sprigs of boxwood, rocks, and mossy bark.  Then it was time to wait!

     I tucked the extra moss and things into a set of apothecary jars, and we’ve enjoyed these mini terrariums all year. In fact, I just emptied them before Christmas so I could fill them with holiday things! The snippets of boxwood had rooted, but I’d had to remove some of the other stems of plants I’d stuck in when they died out.

It’s January again and I should be potting up those
bulbs once again.  But it’s so cold and dreary outside. 
 I think I’ll wait for a sunnier day!

For the Lord is good and his love
 endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through
all generations.
Psalm 100:5
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