Sunday, October 13, 2013

Musings on Ephesians 1:7,8

  Let's Get Social Sunday    Secret Obsession

I had an epiphany of sorts this week, on the day it became easier to remember all of the verses together.  Each verse so far in Ephesians 1 talks about some facet of God's relationship to His children (us) and vice versa.  Must be important then. :O) 

7.  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
The emphasis on Jesus' blood has always made me a little squeamish, but it's one of those things that have to happen the way they do.  I mean, I would have liked to avoid some of the bad experiences in my life, but if it meant not having my family today ... I'd go through it all again.

It reminds me of a story I read about a man who worked in a big train yard, who had to choose between saving his son or saving a trainload of people.  It was an allegory to the relationship between God, Jesus and us.  How important must we be to God that He would sacrifice His Son for us?  It makes one thing.
8.  Wherein he hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence;
God wants to pour out blessings on us.  But He doesn't want to throw us in the deep end of the pool when we're just learning to walk.  It is not wise to get all the good things we will ever have in our lives all at once.  We would not be able to handle it.  Like the lottery jackpot winners who are broke a year or two later.  We learn, we grow day by day, just like plants in a garden.  Our abilities to handle both good and bad grow the same way.


The October Daily prompt for today, Sunday, October 13, 2013 is:

Comment on the following:  If you cannot find a way out, look up.

That is like a story I heard at church:  we spend so much time looking around at our neighbors and comparing ourselves to them.  We need to be looking up ... to God.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dewey's Read-a-Thon My Post-a-thon


Well, I finished one more, a collection of short stories entitled "Leaping Out on Faith" by Rochelle Campbell.  There are four stories about women of different ages, coming to terms with difficult situations.  The final 3 stories were particularly resonant with me:  Chambray Curtains Blowing in the Wind, Knocking at the Door, and All God's Men.

Unfortunately, my body has decided it is time to shut down for a while.  And seeing as I have already outlived my father by 5 years (he passed at the age of 47 from heart disease), I have learned that I really need to listen to my body.

But I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Dewey's Read-a-Thon and will sign up early enough next time that I can help spread the word.

Some things I have learned:
1.  I can read an entire novel (even one of significant size) in a 24 hour period.
2.  I need to have a training program for the next read-a-thon.  Not sure exactly what that means yet, but I'm mulling over some ideas.
3.  Read-a-thon cheerleaders ROCK HARDER than regular cheerleaders.  Take an extra pom-pom out of petty cash  :O)
4.  Find out about the next read-a-thon more than 8 to 12 hours before the start time.

As soon as I can think clearly again, I'm sure there will be more.

If it is in your heart and your abilities, keep readin' on for 2-3 more hours!  ROCK ON, READERS AND CHEERLEADERS AND ORGANIZERS!!!

(See, I told ya - see hr 17 - that I ramble when I get overtired.)  Peace out.


Two hours ago I did not know how I could go on.  Maybe it was the self-pep talk I gave myself outside.  Maybe it was the attack of the month old puppies who have just had their first semi-solid meal,  Maybe it was actually finishing a 2nd book (Designer Dirty Laundry by Diane Vallere - there is a link below ... somewhere).  

At least I don't feel like I'm going to explode anymore.  Always a plus, right?  But I should probably take a break and dispose of the collection of drink cans and bottles, snack wrappers, empty cappucino cup that held orange chicken and rice, and a small plate that was home to two insanely buttered toasted English muffins earlier.  

Yes, I'm rambling.  I do that at the best of times.  I'm just not the kind of gal who will say something in ten words that I can say in 50. *lol*  And then top that off with being, oh, a tad fatigued?

K.  Now I'm going to try and find where I left the Power of a Praying Woman, the other book I've been reading, and finish that.  Unfortunately I put it down somewhere and I don't quite remember where.  That strikes me as being funny at the moment.


Damn my blood pressure.  To hot and fiery places.  Really.  Hubby even cooked supper tonight.  And he and our oldest took on the task of feeding 8 of our 13 (or so) puppies their first non-mama meal.  Oh, BTW, anyone need a puppy? :O)

Up to page 85 of Designer Dirty Laundry, which is almost 1/3 of the way through the book.  It's quite interesting so far ... lots of intrigue.  But with $100,000 at stake, in a design contest ... it's almost like a reality tv shows with all the double-dealing going on behind the scenes.

Conquered several more chapters in The Power of a Praying Woman.  Lots of good quotes and Bible verses to add to my "memorize this" collection.

To answer the questions from the readathon home post:

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
Well, I kind of had a little rest, thanks to my health. *blah*

2) What have you finished reading?
Just the one short short book:  To Capture a Highlander's Heart: The Beginning (see HOUR THREE)

3) What is your favorite read so far?
Umm...all of them?

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Special K Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I've tried to subscribe to as many new blogs as I've found, but it was taking away time from reading, so that's going to be a project for me for next week ... to go back and get ALL the ones I missed this weekend ... and it's a long, long list.


I've been trying to do some solid reading for the last couple of hours and it has worked, more or less.  Why is it, when you get into a challenge like this one, that the crazy parts of your life come out to deter you?

An extended family member (like the wife of my FIL's 2nd cousin or something like that) is having heart issues (BP approx 50/80).  We are the closest and most able (due to age/health issues) relatives, so our day has taken a left turn into the "there go our plans for the day" department.

Also, hubby did the madlib/hour seven challenge for me and now wants his monitor back, which was hooked up to my laptap.  

Mad-Lib Challenge
Original Paragraph from "Designer Dirty Laundry" by Diane Vallere)

"When you wear fishnet stockings to the grocery store, pleople tend to stare.  Women look at you like you're affiliated with the sex trade.  Men pretend they're not staring, doing so all the while.  It's probably because they're thinking the same thing."  

I asked hubby to come up with an item of clothing, a location, 2 groups of people, a profession and two verbs.  Here is the result:

"When you wear clothing optional to the city, people tend to stare.  Women look at you like you're affiliated with the gynecologist.  Men pretend they're not often, doing so all the while.  It's probably because they're fasting the same thing."

Doesn't sound like his mind is on a reading/writing exercise, does it? :p

I'm on page 34 of the Kindle version of the above book.  


Challenge - Spine Poetry

My 5th book, "Power of a Praying Woman" has a picture and link down below.  Crap.  I can't get a picture of the spines in the time allotted.  How 'bout if I type the titles in a list.  Can y'all use a little imagination and 'create' the spines around that? :O)

OOOOO[The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery]OOOOO
OOOOO[Crossing Troublesome]OOOOO
OOOOO[Basic Math and Pre-Algebra for Dummies]OOOOO
OOOOO[The Power of a Praying Woman]OOOOO
OOOOO[One Thousand Gifts]OOOOO


Why am I posting a new read-a-thon button each time?  Because there are so many dang cute ones!

I went looking for something short (Capture certainly fits that bill) and that involved Scotland in some way, shape or form.  This is still free on Amazon as of the time of this update.  

Reading this short story/book made me want to read more about the characters Grace and Gabriel.  Grace is a 21 year old ladies' maid, who has become interested in Gabriel, a widower some years older than herself.  She wants to marry him, but there's just one problem; he doesn't know she exists.  By the end of the story, he knows she exists, and he'd like the two of them to exist in closer proximity.  

Did not do so well with this hour's challenge.  I only got two of them.  I'm going to go back in the coming days and figure them all out (without peeking), but for now, I want to concentrate on reading, blogging and tweeting, self-appointed cheerleading, eating, snacking, and #hashtagging (get it? *lol*) with those other people who are hanging around the room where my computer is.


Well, I started out reading "The Power of a Praying Woman" by Stormie Omartian.  It's been sitting on my desk for quite a while.  I go back and forth with myself on whether to read straight through this type of book or to work through it chapter by chapter for a day or a week or whatever.  THANKS SO MUCH to Dewey's Read-a-thon for giving me an excuse to go cover to cover and not feel guilty!

I'm only on page 27 so far, and not making an excuse, but the rural mail carrier ran out of gas in front of our house and our dogs were going bat crazy, so we filled up her car with what was left in our 5-gallon can that we use for the lawnmower.  A few minutes later, she returned the can, so the dogs went off again.  They're not mean, just curious, but we don't want them that close to the road.

I got TweetDeck set up on my computer and made a column for #readathon  posts.  It's going almost as fast as my "activity" column.  Also saw Sharlene's comments, so responded to those, and played TweetTag with some #readathon buddies.

Now that I'm apparently parked at my computer for a little bit, I'm going to switch gears to an e-reader and find me something short to read. :O)

I have been trying to beef up my prayer life of late, so this seemed like a good book to dive into.  My song to go with it?  Patsy Cline singing Amazing Grace:

And a capella!  *shivers*  I'm going to need a truckload of grace to stay up for 24 hours!

(Someone cue the music from 2001:  A Space Odyssey)

I'm figuring on putting all my updates here so I don't spam my subscribers with lots and lots and lots of emails.

Hour One Intro Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I am reading from the rural area between Crab Orchard and Dog Walk, Kentucky, USA.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Well, most of my books will be from my Kindle app.  There are only 4 physical books in any sort of stack on my desk, and they were there before I even knew of the challenge's existence.  Two are Appalachian cook books and two of them are devotionals.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

The Read-a-thon came on my radar late last night when I was poking around Faith, Hope and CherryTea.  So I haven't really had time to think about snacks.  Thank goodness hubby loaded me up on Coke Zero yesterday at the store.  And he got this bag of little salted and spiced bread bits in varying sizes and shapes that I think he meant to use for his clam chowder to which I could do some serious damage.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I turned 52 a week ago Wednesday.  We homeschool our children.  I recently returned to college to work on a 2nd degree to lead me to the grad school program of my choice - writing!  (Go figure, right?) :O)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Well, thanks to various web-based reading challenges, I have read more "for pleasure" this year than I have in many years past combined.  I'm also having a private challenge with myself to see if I can maintain my usually sweet, angelic nature throughout the entire 24 hours without my family wanting to spike my sweet tea with something to make me sleep.

Sending serious good reading karma out to sister and brother challengers, serious good karma brownie points to the cheerleading squad, and serious thumbs up to the hourly challenge captains.

Read on!

#31Days - Herbs & Spices

  Secret Obsession

Most of the information out there on companion planting of herbs and spices is geared toward what other plants (fruits, veg) would be benefitted by the specific herbs, etc.

Working list of herbs for 2014 garden:  Basil, Bay leaves, Coriander, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme;

Working list of spices for 2014 garden: Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin, Curry Powder, Turmeric

Basil works well with:  tomatoes, peppers, oregano, asparagus; not so with rue or sage.

Bay leaves, in companion planting, seem to work best as a pest repellent.

Coriander comes from the cilantro plant, after it has gone to seed, and works well with:  anise, beans, caraway, dill, peas, potato, spinach.

Oregano works with just about anything, but especially with broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and grapes.

Rosemary works well with:  beans, cabbage, carrots and sage

Thyme works well with:  cabbage, eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Spices don't appear to figure into companion planting scenarios.  (The above pictures of herbs were obtain from Wikimedia Commons and available under the Creative Commons License.)


The October Daily Challenge prompt for Saturday, October 11, 2013 is:

"Your day in photos."

I don't think I have enough photos of a typical day to really do this one justice. :/

But I did find a picture of me first thing in the morning:

Shadow photo Shadow.jpg
(This shot has been in my photobucket for y-e-a-r-s.  I no longer remember where I got it.  If it is yours, or you know the source, please let me know?)

Friday, October 11, 2013

#31Days - Plants Need Companions Too

Secret Obsession   

Having covered a lot of the tools and supplies necessary for gardening most any plant yesterday, I decided to branch out into some other considerations.  One idea that I came across was particularly intriguing to me:  the idea of companion plants - which are plants you can plant by or amongst your 'target plant' that will help increase yield, repel pests and generally be a good plant friend. ;)

Bell Peppers - geraniums and marigolds deter pests, as do onions, garlic and chives; tomatoes, other peppers, marjoram, basil and oregano provide humidity that is good for peppers.

Canteloupe - corn, pumpkin, squash, collards, borage, oregano, radishes, marigolds, petunias and beans.

Jalapeno Peppers - Sweet peppers, basil, onions, carrots, tomatoes, eggplants, okra, marjoram, parsley and oregano

Pumpkins - corn, melon, squash, marigold, nasturtium, oregano, dill

Strawberries - beans, borage, lettuce, onion, spinach, thyme

Tomatoes  - asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pea, pepper, marigold, pot marigold and sow thistle

Watermelon - corn, nasturtium, peas, sunflowers, squash, pumpkin, cucumbers, radishes

It should be noted that there are combinations that have the opposite effect, so there are some plants you should avoid planting in proximity to your 'target plants' (my term)

More information on this topic can be found at:  Golden Harvest Organics, How To Garden Advice, eHow, and Yahoo Voices


The October Daily Challenge prompt for October 11th is:

"What are the things you love doing on rainy days?"

When it rains outside, I love to stand on the side porch (former carport) and watch the dogs run around playing.  During the last rainstorm I was careful not to venture off the porch under the black walnut tree, because about 50% of the walnuts got pelted to the ground by the storm.  It was plain dangerous!

I also enjoy curling up in my UK ('round these parts that means University of Kentucky) snuggie and reading a good book.

Lastly, a nice siesta by an open window is a great rainy-day activity!

Check out what some other bloggers like to do by using the ODC button above and going to the current day's post.


Five Fabulous Things that happened to me this last week?

1.  The Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge at the Lady Behind the Curtain blog.  Lots of wonderful pumpkin and cream cheese and one of my highest comment counts in recent memory!

2.  The two newest verses of the Hiding Ephesians 1 in My Heart group memorization effort at Do Not Depart.  This is going really well.  I haven't done a concerted memorization effort of anything since I did my last play, some 20 years ago ... it must be one of those 'back on the bicycle things'.  Lots of participants, plenty of opportunity to encourage and celebrate; wonderful!

3.  Sneakers' puppies are starting to come out from under the storage shed on their own.  We've been worried about them because mama is spending more and more time inside and it's getting cool at night.  But they are healthy, happy and cute as the dickens!

4.  Well, if I stretch the concept of a week by a day or maybe two, I can include my 52th birthday as a fabulous thing that happened!  We went to Gondolier's restaurant in London (Kentucky), and they had a baklava cheesecake.  Dessert nirvana.  I also asked for (and got) some woodworking tools as I've wanted to make and carve a dining room table for us for a long time ... and it seemed appropriate now that we have our own house.

5.  We have two pickup-loads of chopped wood for our heating stove in a big pile in the backyard, enough to keep us toasty through the winter, especially if we have an ice storm like we did a couple of years back that knocked out some people's power for a couple of weeks.


What is a blessing you have received in your life this week?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

#31 Days - Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Candy

 Secret Obsession 
 Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge  Thursday Favorite Things               

This month's challenge recipe is also an adaptation of something that is one of my husband's favorites, "Potato Candy".

There's a funny story about that.  When my husband and I first met, I was talking to his mother on the phone one day and she gave me a recipe for potato candy, saying that it was one of the few sweet things he enjoyed, and that he would love me forever.  She told me "1/2 c of mashed potato and 1/2 c butter, followed by about 4 c of powdered sugar.

So, I dutifully mixed it up and took it, still in the bowl, to 'present' it.  I made Chris close his eyes and spoon fed him a little bit.  He smiled, opened his eyes, looked up at me and asked, "What is it?"  I replied that I had gotten the recipe for his favorite, Potato Candy, from his mother.  He asked me what happened to the peanut butter.  What peanut butter?  Apparently she left that part out.

When thinking of something different to do for this challenge, that could use something from the garden, I came up with the idea of substituting pumpkin for the potato, and cream cheese for the peanut butter.

The ingredients I used were:

1/2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. butter at room temperature
cinnamon to taste
ground cloves to taste
4+ c. powdered sugar

Cream together the pumpkin, butter and spices.  Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.  The end result should be of a soft, dry-ish fondant consistency, pliable but not sticky.

Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap.  Spread and press out the mixture onto the plastic wrap into a large rectangle.  (I used plastic wrap wrapped around the fingers of one hand.)

8 oz. soft or room-temperature plain cream cheese
nutmeg to taste
1 T. milk (if you use a bar of cream cheese)

Mix together well, and spread over the pumpkin mixture, leaving a little bare pumpkin on the two long sides of the cookie sheet for sealing.  

Lift up the plastic wrap on one side, wrapping the pumpkin mix over the cream cheese, into a jelly roll.  Refrigerate until firm.  Cut into slices.  Enjoy.

The Pumpkin Candy tastes great but is very, very sweet.

My pictures are not the greatest this month.  I think I should have used even more powdered sugar than I did to take away some of the moisture in the pumpkin mix.  And next time I will use the cream cheese that comes in a tub rather than what comes in the bar.  The roll should have held its shape a little better than it did.


The October Daily Challenge prompt for today (Thursday, 10 October, 2013) is:

Pick 3 random blogs (from the challenge link-up), describe their blog, and tell us what you think of it!  Share a snippet/screen capture of their blog too.

Gypsy Shar (Daily Ramblings from a Free Spirit) - Shar is a lovely young woman with both outer and inner beauty.  She offers great advice to help other people in many facets of life and is refreshingly straight-forward about her beliefs, while honoring the beliefs of others.  (All pictures are copywrighted and there was not enough time to secure her permission to use one of them, but I'd be more than happy to edit this post at a later date and add one.)

Maddie Rose is relatively new to blogging.  She is participating in several blogging challenges at this time and has posted some yummy-looking recipes.  The fact that she would try to go without sugar for a day for the sake of her blog shows a great deal of strength; I don't think I could do it. :O)  (The graphic above is a link to her blog.

The Glamourous Guide - Erica, has a quote on her Facebook page from Audrey Hepburn - "Happy girls are the prettiest," which I absolutely ADORE.  Her blog has a very clean design and she covers a variety of topics.  Quite a bit is fashion related, as she is a Glambassador for Glamour Magazine.  How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#31Days - Singin' on the Farm

 Secret Obsession  

The October Daily Challenge prompt for today is:

"What are 5 songs that elevate your mood?"

1.  Amazing Grace, especially on the bagpipes

2.  Keeper of the Stars by Tracy Byrd

3.  Boondocks by Little Big Town

4.  Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves

5.  What Do You Think About That by Montgomery Gentry


What are some songs that make you feel good?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#31 Days - Diggin Into the Veggies

  Secret Obsession

While knowing what vegetables to plant (from last week's post), is an important first step, much, MUCH more needs to be done.  First, I will reiterate my revised list of vegetables I would like to have in the garden:

sugar beets

So, what does one need for a garden:
1.  A place to plant:  CHECK.
2.  Seeds.
     a.  harvest from veggies we consume this year.
     b.  a source of seeds would need to be found.
          1.  local stores, gardens, farmers' markets, etc.
          2.  online sources

Eden Brothers - Only place in over a day of searching that had sugar beet seeds.
Territorial Seed Company - found through a search for heirloom seeds
My Patriot Supply - found through a search for non-GMO seeds.

(I have no connection business or otherwise to, nor agreement with, any of the above businesses/sites.)

Now, we've planted seeds bought from local store which have grown and produced fruits and vegetables.  But there is a lot of literature out there about why heirloom and/or non-GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds are better for us and for the earth.  One such article is posted at Care2, a website dedicated to making the world a better place.

3.  Tools

(This photo is in the public domain, but I just wanted to say I found it on Wikimedia Commons.)

Basically, you need something with which to dig, something with which to rake and/or hoe, some clippers wouldn't go astray, some kind of tool to weed as needed.  If your garden is going to be larger than your average plot, looking into machinery is the next step.  

You need to decide where you fall on the granola scale.  On the one end, there are folks who want to use herloom seeds, organic fertilizer and only human or animal power.  On the other end is the type that I have been up till now.  I bought seeds at the dollar store, because it was too late in the season for Walmart to have seeds left on the shelves.  I used tools that had been laying around for decades until they broke, and Chris went to the nearby hardware/garden store.  We used some kind of fertilizer from a bag.  

See, hubby's family has farmed for generations.  Up until this year, I helped out in my mother's garden and I've grown a few things in pots.  So I have a LOT to learn.

This is where knowing what your values are can help you make decisions.  For 2014,  I'm going to see if my husband's great-uncle (a FT farmer) will do the initial plowing for us in exchange for getting hay for his animals from our field.  He has done it before when his sister (our Mamaw) was living.  I would like to transition to a method that uses more human and animal power as opposed to gas-powered machinery.  But that takes more time and physical activity.  That's not a bad thing ... I will have to balance the benefits of such activity with my abilities (and those of the family) as I get older.

This post is part of my 31 Days Challenge series.  For an overview of the posts, and links to each day's post, visit my introductory post here.


The October Daily challenge prompt for today is:

"Share a blogging/photography tip or tutorial."

Are you ready?

Respond to your comments and blog for the benefit of others.

Go here for links to more tips and/or tutorials.


Monday, October 7, 2013

#31 Days - Farm Animals all Atwitter

 Secret Obsession  

Since we are not vegetarian, in order to produce at least half the food we consume, we will have to have some animals on the farm.

Probably the easiest first animal to get would be the chicken.  (OK, ok, with my family - including two teenage boys - we're talking at least 6-12 chickens.  There is already a building on the property that used to be a chicken coop, but it's been used mainly for storage for, oh, 4-5 decades.  It's about six of one, half dozen of another whether it would be better to renovate the one we have or just make an entirely new one.

And if you see the date, this picture of over 7 years old.  The yard suffered some neglect in the ensuing years and things look a little...wilder now.  And there is a little less paint on the coop.  There is also a smokehouse (no picture available)  and a sizeable tobacco barn.

Chickens may be the only animal we begin to raise next year.  Although my father-in-law has expressed interest in possibly running some cattle between his place and ours.  I'd love to add cows (for milk), and sheep (for wool) and then reassess how things are going, homestead-wise.

One of the things we got with the house is a chest-style deep freeze.  It stands on the floor and comes up to my waist, and the freezer is long enough most people could make a bed on top of it and not have their toes hang over the edge.  

We are extremely blessed that we were able to buy this property and have the kind of land needed for a (someday) full-fledged homestead.  After the October challenge is over, I will have a series on how families and people living in cities and 'burbs can use some of the techniques we will employ to raise some of their own food, if they so wish.


The October Daily challenge prompt for today, October 7th, 2013 is:

"Go without something (e.g. - phone, Twitter) for a day and tell us what it feels like."

That's a tough one for me.  I very seldom talk on the phone and really don't use Twitter all that much to begin with.  People who follow me on Twitter today, though, may disagree.  I was giving folks +K on Klout and had the option to post it to Twitter, which I did in each case.  That's 5 or so tweets today, which is what I've posted in some weeks before.

I can only say that going without something that is a usual practice would probably be like those first three days of quitting smoking cold turkey.  I'd be grouchy and my family would probably want to send me to a cave until I became human again.


Have you noticed the "NaNoFundMo" button I made in the right sidebar?  I am going to be participating in "NaNoWriMo" (National Novel Writing Month) in November.  The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel (the first draft) in November.  People from all over the world participate.  You can too!

Anyway, the same people run a writing program for schools so that children and young adults who have already been bitten by the writing bug can have an outlet for their creativity.  If you feel so inspired, and are able, I would be honored if you would consider contributing to the money I am trying to raise for this program.  If it's not a possibility at this time, I more than  understand.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

#31Days - Memory Garden Daily

  Let's Get Social Sunday    Secret Obsession

There is a lot to cover today, so let's get started! :O)

5.  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
This verse gives me a lot of hope.  God loves everybody.  Even sinners.  Even people we don't particularly like.  Even us, in our 'less shining' moments.  He wanted and wants everyone on Earth to return to him when their life here is over.  But He doesn't control our actions.  He gives us the opportunity, like any loving parent, to make their own choices and mistakes.
6.  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 
And then, like a caring parent, gives their children grace, mercy and forgiveness when we make choices that are not in our best interests for growth.  When we sin, we must repent; that is, to show remorse and to redouble our efforts to not make the same bad choice in the future.  And we are so blessed to have His grace, that when we atone for our sin, we are welcomed back with open arms.


#31 Days

As I go through making my plans for next year's garden, I wanted to 'bring more God' into every phase than I have done previously.  To begin, I found the following Bible verse:

Jeremiah 29:5 - Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

I want God to be in the planning, the planting, the tending, and the harvesting of the garden; He should also be on our minds when we prepare meals to nourish ourselves from the 'fruit of the Earth'.  Sure, that's easy to say, but how to do I do it?


The October Daily prompt for October 6th is:

"Dig out a childhood photo and share something you remembering happening during that the photo was taken.   You can post as many photos and describe as many events as you like." 

Well, all of the photos of my own childhood are in storage with the rest of the things from my mother's house out in Utah.  But I think I can 'dig up' some pictures of my kids as young'uns.

This is my oldest at 7 months of age.  He was a rock star at the photographers.  And as the first grandchild on either side of our family, everybody wanted pictures.  He was born in December of 1996 in a big snowstorm in Utah.  My mother-in-law flew in from San Francisco and rented a car to get to the hospital the day he was born.  No 'little snowstorm' was going to keep her away.  She actually got to see (and hold) 'Sir B' before I did, which made me wistful for years.  My own mother came to the hospital Sunday afternoon after church.  

Close to the time this picture was taken, he was crawling in our apartment living room, and crawled over the phone, which had a long cord so we could carry the phone into any room.  (Remember those days, before cell phones or even cordless phones?)  We hung it up and were playing on the floor with him, when we got a call.  It was Emergency Services asking if there was a problem.  I kid you not.  When our son had crawled over the phone, somehow he dialed "911".  (He's talented that way.  When he was a few months older, he deleted Windows from our computer.)

Here is DS2, also at about 7 months.  He's 15 now.  The late spring and summer of 1998 in Texas was STIFLING.  More 100-degree days of any year there since 1980.  I remember looking at an outdoor thermometer at our duplex at midnight one night and it was 98 degrees.  Thank goodness 'Squire B' decided to show up two weeks early (May)!  He was the only one of my children I got to hold right after he was born.  For most of his life, people have said he is the spitting image of his paternal grandfather at the same age.  His first year was really uneventful.  Again, his paternal grandmother flew in from San Francisco, arriving the day he was born.  

When he was born, his little ankle ID matched my wrist ID, and they both had some kind of chip in them so if either one of us crossed the electronic barrier of the maternity wing, and alarm would go off.  I don't remember anything like that the first time around.  I remember a nurse at the hospital going over hearing tests with me and said his hearing was very sharp, so if it seemed in the future that he had not heard something we said, he was really just ignoring us!  Mamaw used to say, "That boy don't care which way the wind blows!"  He is very laid back.

Here is my miracle baby (at 4 months); today she is 10.  I was 41 when she was born, and had had blood pressure and gestational diabetes with all three pregnancies.  She was born at 32 weeks, weighing 3 lbs .4 oz and was 13.5" long (or is that tall).  I got to see her 1-2 days after she was born.  At 2-3 days old, some elders from my church came in and gave her a blessing.  She was able to come home at 22 days (still 5 weeks from her original due date), and she did not even weigh 4 lbs yet.  But the doctors said she was healthy enough and they needed the space!  

She's the first daughter in several generations in my husband's family.  My mother and brother came down to visit about the time this picture was taken.  Mom was almost 81 and when we brought Tea out to show her off, my mother started crying so much, we had to help her to a chair and bring her a glass of water.  I was working graveyards at the FWPD at the time and my department threw her a wonderful baby shower, which is where the bunny hoodie towel came from.  Her brothers (4 and 6 at the time) adored her.  Both normally very active, they would sit stock still and 'coo' at their sister when it was their turn to hold her.


So what is your best gardening tip?  This ole novice farmer-wannabe needs all the help she can get!