It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Last Day

Today is the last day of a tough month. And weather is one of the reasons. June is thought of as summer but in reality is is the last month of spring and it often shows. Not as bad as it did this year, the first week of June was the coldest on record, but it is always fairly rainy and slightly chilly. I think June in Western Washington is why twin set sweaters were invented. We'd like to think it is summer and wear a lovely sleeveless number but in reality we will never get the long sleeve off.

Then there is yesterday, 90*, but really its isn't so far off of the days in May where it can get nearly that hot or that hot, this year it did. Or days in February where it hits a lovely 58 to 60 for a nearly a week, which for a month when we ice skate or play in the snow that is like a 90* day in June.

So when we talk of June do we remember this last week and then next year we are disappointed with the typical June gloom or do we remember the cold first week and then are surprised when the week of hot hits in the first or second week?

And remember when weather used to be a light non-threatening conversation?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hey, It's In

The hay is in thanks to friends who were willing to sweat to death. The sky filled with clouds as we sat to dinner, a lovely dinner prepared by a good friend. The barn is full and the field is empty. The weeds are still high so the girls and I will get after them this week, but I feel confident.

Bet picked cherries yesterday and made a great first-for-the-year cherry pie. She made the crust with butter and it was superb. Can't wait for the next one.

The honeysuckle busted out and with the heat is has purfumed the whole yard. Bet said that she could smell it last night in her second story bedroom.

Summer is here!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I believe it was Wednesday when I said I would work on my new blog site at tea time. Well I got it going today and with all that is going on, haying, watering, it is by no means finished. So please go to if you like to watch things in progress.

June Special

Watering duties were interupted so that I could bring you this scene. The old fashioned pink bower rose blooms like this only during June. This would usually be the Father's Day weekend photo of the arbor save for the chilly begining this month which delayed the blooms. Today's heat will soon bring their decline but the fragrance under the arbor is intoxicating and the hay is waiting in the field for repairs to the baler so the heat is lovely.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Am Safe and Living Abundantly

Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy; I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Psalm 65
Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion;
to you our vows will be fulfilled.
O you who hear prayer,
to you all men will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
Those living far away fear your wonders;
where morning dawns and evening fades
you call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

You crown the year with your bounty
and your carts overflow with abundance.

The grasslands of the desert overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.

The God whom I love and adore and sing praises to is not a God that is out to get me. He does not delight in pulling the rug out from underneath me. He does not set me up for failure but instead brings riches into my life beyond my wildest imagination. My life is far more blessed than what I could have even asked for in prayer, and light years from the life I would have had at my own conjuring.

When He leads me in a particular direction I need not fear my destruction or the destruction of those I love. He is not the thief, he does not steal away my years or my delights, he only increases them. He enriches my soul and fills me with the good things of His house, I have no stones on my dinner table only the life giving Bread. My prayers He gently and deeply answers and the Holy Spirit holds and comforts me while I wait on the Lord. He will crown the year with His bounty and his carts will overflow with abundance and we who love Him and trust Him and are called by his name will be amazed even in our trust.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Farm Girls

On the way home from Mike and Rebecca's (Romantic Influenza) tonight Phil slowed down to look at a four wheeler. Our daughter Anna would really like it if she could get her own and not have to wait for our landlord to go on vacation and leave her with his to do his chores.

The reason this four wheeler caught Dirt's eye is because it was pink. And even though our Anna loves to drive four wheelers, eat animals she raises and names, and swim in a farm pond that turns your skin a lovely brown, she is still very pink. Like Phil says she gets in the real pool and doesn't want to be splashed or get to wet to fast, when people start to talk about gross things she covers her ears and begs them to not talk about it.

So these pictures today may surprise you, even for a farm girl this has got to be a stretch, but here she is, the one in the green hoody, done first with this job the two girls decided to do, the one most interested in "showing" me funny things about all this, but in the last picture I am sure you will agree with Dirt and I that the stance shows her girly side.

If you're squeamish do not scroll any further!!!
"Hey, how nice that you came out to see what we are doing. I'm all done but I will be glad to show you some tricks"
Come on that's gotta be gross
My sister is such a slow poke.
Notice the gloves, Dad insists on them and Mom insists that they be doubled or tripled.
And that's what happens to you when you are caught trying to kill more of Bet turkeys.
I have no idea what the girls plan on doing with the skins, but for now they are sitting salted on the board waiting to be rolled up and then tanned later this summer. The turkeys hopefully are safe for another day. And no we won't be eating these things - come on! We are Washington natives after all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One Week Left

Glad to see that there is nearly one week left, okay 5 days, but five days is way better than one cause we have a lot to accomplish if our Farm Projects for June list is to be laid to rest decently.
Take Bet and Anna to the Roy rodeo - did that, had fun.
Plant beans and corn - quickly did that, hope they mature.
Sell puppies - sold two from the sign out front, no calls from ad, learning to not worry.
Get the lawn border in tip top shape - I've stared at it and started it several times but it is far from tip or even top let alone tip top shape
Water and fertilize pumpkin patch - oddly enough it hasn't needed water. Perhaps this weekend it will get both whether it needs it or not.
Celebrate Flag Day - did that, had fun, even watched Rambo movie with son Mike, broke the flag cable, fix later, doesn't reflect on flag day.
Build duck pens - nope.
Sell kittens - one, didn't try very hard, no sign, zillion excuses. Really this ought to be purple.
Visit our new friends, the Coulters - did that! Had fun, relaxed, revived, it was great!
Keep things weeded - some yes, some barely, some not at all, out of control!
Go to another rodeo - Won't happen this month because the hay has to be picked up out of the back field this weekend.

So out of eleven things on the to do list three are in red and done well, red hot; one is in green, its getting there, doing what needs to be done in time with nature; four are blue meaning not so great, rather cool but something was done; three are purple, purple is the color for flakes.

The Next Morning: A Continuation Of The Last Post

Hmmm, first I would just like to say that I am still savoring last nights dinner, it is one of my favorites and very hard not to over eat. My good friend Sheila prepared Salmon, her rice blend, a nice tossed salad, topped off with strawberry short cake and whipped cream, may her Tuesdays always be so busy! What a great meal.

So where did I leave you dear reader? Are you wondering how bad I have it? Am I going to be sipping the Kool-Aid, forbidding my family to go to the doctor and just sitting in my dinning room waiting for God to fix things? Well I hope that isn't what you came away from the last post with. But just in case you were wondering allow me to clarify and please if you continue to question the soundness of my mind please feel free to shoot me off a comment.

The problem I was having was that the "diets" seem to conflict with one another while they all appear to be based on good R & D and don't especially have a lot of post introduction product to sell. Yet there is certainly a bent each one brings to the table, a certain ailment group that the "diet" had success with and is now addressing except that the authors seem to think that everyone is going to either have or come down with some form of said ailment and therefore This Diet is the diet to end all diets.

What the Holy Spirit was and is telling me is that He can guide me through the duty of feeding my family. Not in just a general sort of "God, make sure all my choices are good ones today" but in a very specific manner. The Holy Spirit brought to my mind a picture of a group of people that are gathered around a meal table, you've dinned with them often I'm sure, and someone in the group prays a typical meal time prayer "over the food" and it ends something like, "Father, bless this food to our bodies." Other than what the heck does that really mean, I was struck by the picture that the Holy Spirit showed me that usually happens next, nearly everyone at the table eats what they choose to eat and eat plenty of it, or freak out over something at the meal and completely avoid that particular food. How often do we ask and then ignore.

A picture came to mind of how God wishes for us to eat, Act 10:9-16
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching
the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted
something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.
He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by
its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

Yes, he uses this illustration to get Peter to speak to the Gentiles, however he did use this illustration and the illustration is not false. Not unlike the issue we run across in Ephesians 5, is Paul talking only about marriage or only about the relationship of the Church to Christ or is he talking about both? God has given us plenty. Plenty to eat and nourish our bodies, to heal an ailment, to celebrate and feast with and to fast from.

Along with that God loves to talk with us, sometimes he gets through to us in a trance, sometimes in a meditative moment, sometimes in the middle of a seeming ordinary conversation about something that might be totally unrelated or appearing to be. Sometimes he talks to us through others, dietitians, doctors, scientists, nutritionists, moms, dads, sons, daughters... But we need to hear His words through them and not get caught up in their words or their spin or their philosophy once it departs from the message God is expressing to you.

So no, I am not throwing off information from the scientific or even anecdotal field of nutrition and fitness because I believe that the Holy Spirit can speak to me through those things as well as a bath tub but I hope to earnestly pray so that I may clearly hear.

Call it a sheet diet or a 1 Corinthians diet (1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23-27) or any number of passages that we can find on or using the subject of food and its beauty, simplicity and detriment. But I am not interested in Old Testament legalities that Christ has freed me from, unless he clearly invites me to partake in them for an illustration or ailment. I invite you dear reader, if you are interested, to come along with me on my journey. From here on out my journey with God specifically in the arena of food, fitness (lack of laziness) and the spiritual disciplines associated with them will be on another blog site, which I intend to set up later today during tea time. But for now I must say see you later because I have an appointment to exercise with my good friend Terry and share with her my eureka.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Some people take longer to get what God is trying to say and I would put myself squarely in the category of very dense, pound cake dense. Which is why I am happy to announce that God rang through the clutter today. I may actually have heard Him finally because of the clutter.

I have been really disappointed in my excess weight for the last 15 years, well actually that may be more like 13 years as my youngest is nearly 14, up until then I was my appropriate size. I never had a weight issue until I became a mom. And it wasn't until after the last child that I felt defeated, the excessive weight gained during each of my other pregnancies came off soon enough but not that last one.

So began my struggle with my weight.

I have had some very good successes. I have studied nutrition and physiology and understand a fair amount of some basics. I have managed to avoid extreme fad diets although I have participated with friends in ones less than what were best but they were okay.

But faced with some recent health developments and turning 50 I have once again been on the look out for getting the pounds off that have been hanging around for the last 6 years and stave off the problems that are rearing their ugly heads.

What I have found instead is confusion.

I rarely ever, on any subject, hit information overload. I love information. I love to thoroughly study a subject, but these last few days trying to figure out what I should be doing have hit a wall that I just couldn't seem to climb over. So much contradictory information out there. I know there are some blatant lies in many "diet" books. Not all of them but a good deal. I think it is funny that you could open any book on "diet", or "nutrition" or "eating styles" and for the most part the introduction is the same, the other guys are all wrong, your problem is from having listened to all those other people, now your ready to listen to the truth and this book or program will fix you for life.

I've been up against this before. This is nothing new. But my feeling of overwhelmedness in the face of it all is new.

I didn't know it but I was set up for a eureka. I was in the tub late this afternoon after working in the garden. My mind was fairly clear, meditating on the subject of fasting, this week's chapter in Celebration of Discipline. The Holy Spirit was reminding me of times when He controlled every aspect of my fasting, how deep and lasting those fasts were. I was so thankful at that moment that I had those wonderful experiences. I know that sometimes God can show how much He cares about the details of our lives by speaking direction to us, loud and clear. Especially when we decide to hear Him. We have, in this family, too many examples of God's clear and direct leading for me to think even for a moment He doesn't do that.

I must have been walking around with my fingers in my spiritual ears for quite sometime. Because as soon I realized what the Holy Spirit was leading me to see and understand I heard Him say that He has always been ready to lead me in my choices for food, nutrition and fitness. Duh, why wouldn't He? If He cares and desires to lead our family in so many other areas that the majority thinks is out of His circle of concern, then why not something as vital as our health, directly impacted by nutrition and fitness. Rapidly he brought to mind different scripture but mostly Colossians 2:6-10, 18-19, 20-23 (emphasis are mine):
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and

Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

I'll let those things sit and foment for now, Dirt and his motorsickle await.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend Away, Just What We Needed

Sorry about the lack of posts over the weekend but we were having a great time up north with new friends. The only pictures we took are on my film camera so only words today.

They are great people. Incredibly easy. They took a whole weekend and cared for us well. They let us yak our brains out with a million zillion stories, shared their stories with us, fed us very well, shared with us where they work and some places that they enjoy. We returned home new people, refreshed, restored, inspired to get to some things and be better for the friends we see often.

We look forward to getting together with them again. Soon. Until then we will savor the memory and relish the restoration.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Happy Customer

Hi Vicktory Farm~

Just wanted to let you know how happy we have been with the new puppy! She's so much like our older rat terrier, so I pulled some information and background on the breed, and apparently they are all very happy energetic dogs........and I thought it was only Turtle! We are very happy, and I am forwarding just a couple pictures of many that Jodi took over the weekend. The camping picture only shows 2 of the big dogs, but there is one under the table that we couldn't coax out!

Thank you again,


We are very excited for Snickerdoodle, it appears that she has a terrific

But then we knew that she would when Marie and Jerry first stopped in to see
our dogs.

And check it out, clearly you can not have too many Rat Terriers or dogs for
that matter, all these dogs are theirs!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vick Chick Entertainment Inc.

We can dance for you if you would like.

A little Polish cheek to cheek. Or is that chick to chick?
A little solo freestyle.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Friday Gathering

Dear reader last Friday gathering was great, we only wish all of you could be with us at all times!

Phil and I shared our concerns on what corporate prayer looks like in modern church settings, whether it be brick and mortar or in the homes of believers, as opposed to the examples and exhortations to such prayer we see in scripture.

Both Phil and I have concerns about "prayer request" time, what perhaps may be a modern concept. We certainly do see that in past times, whether in the Bible or historical accounts of the lives of true believers, believers ask each other to pray for one another in particular circumstance. However, we think it might taste and smell just a bit different from its current cultural compliment.

Phil especially sees that current practices allow for prayer requests that appear to be manipulation of the individual or group rather than an honest straight forward request and that to be prayed about. Often we can be more preyed upon than prayed upon. Not that we ought not to come to a brother's aid at the mere mention of a trial but let it come as an honest request not dressed up as something else.

My concern is that some of the prayer request I have heard seem to fly in the face of scriptural truth or scriptural guidance for our lives. When it is asked that a group pray about such things there is no avenue for asking if the group really can pray for that request. Or at least I have not witnessed it practiced.

Not only are we accustomed to taking our personal prayers to God when we have not taken into consideration if they might be those asked with wrong motives, that they might be spent on our pleasures (James 4:3 (and more things than just money can be "spent")), but it would appear that in our corporate prayers we greatly avoid this important step. Where is the agreement mentioned in Mathew 18:19?

When Phil and I began to talk about this he strongly wondered what the incident would look like when some one's prayer request was scrutinized. He wondered how many would get up and storm out. Oh, I agree it could look mighty nasty especially if a group that has been being manipulated or subverted for years suddenly decides they have had enough nonsense and tries to do things differently. Scripturally.

Whether a prayer request is deemed manipulation, not in keeping with God's will or perfectly legit, doesn't the idea that we can all be in agreement mean more than maintaining our pride or assuaging our feelings? I would much rather have my pray suggestion or request scrutinized than everyone bow their heads and feign agreement. Leaving me to expect an answer, when in spiritual reality two or three have not gathered in His name and asked about anything.

Oughtn't we be learning, being edified, when we come together? Does that only apply to times of discussion or sharing of scripture or testimonies, all other things, like singing or meal time fellowship, being off limits? Couldn't we learn a great deal about God and ourselves from taking an objective look at what we think we want, what we think God would grant if we only prayed about it in a big group of believers?

Friday's group discussed all these things Phil and I brought. We all concurred in our own words that correction or guidance never seems to go down easy, especially at first, but later on "it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11) We also agree in the awesome, amazing power of prayers to God.

There were many questions and concerns along with some agreement. We most certainly did not come to any conclusions for our group on how this would look but discussion is opened and let the Holy Spirit work, either in his lighting speed or his glacial speed. The conversation about prayer won't die and this small freakish group of folks who gather on Friday nights will continue to let the Holy Spirit teach, change and mold them.

James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Matthew 18:19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them"

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Question Of The Week

I need help on something I think might be a problem but then it might not be a problem and I can just go on as usual.

Holy Cow!

So is that a bad thing to be said by a person who believes in the Holy Lord God Almighty?

I'm not looking for another rule to follow but I'm not sure I want to hear "if you're feeling convicted..."

I do not desire to be a follower of what other people do but I want to know what others think about this saying.

And not just holy cow but holy moley and a host of other holys that aren't so stinking holy. Only our Father in heaven is truly Holy. He asks us to be holy because He is Holy but are the phrases: holy cow, holy moley, holy toledo (spellings are questionable) a trivialization of the concept of Holy?

Isn't that what taking our Lord's name in vain actually means anyway, that we trivialize Him into a declaration of pain or disappointment or even pseudo delight?

And then when we realize that we can't do that then we make up stuff like holy moley or pinkandstink or oh my gosh. What is the purpose in these declarations anyway?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Flag Day

Last year we put in a permanent flag pole (we didn't need a T.V. antenna any more) we used to put up an alder pole every year on Flag Day commencing our "summer camp" season. It is true that after the girls got a little older we stopped replacing them so often. So we solved the problem with a permanent pole. For flag day this year I thought I would share the pictures.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Anna And Her Projects

It started out like this.

And now it is this.

So now Anna is feeding her little squab every two hours like a momma dove. Doves regurgitate food that has been in their crop grinding up and is called crop milk. Anna doesn't chew up grain and then, uh ya, anyway the feed store sells replacement formula for birds as well as puppies and kittens so we ran up there as soon as it was obvious that yesterday afternoon's rescue was going to hatch.

The mom, the real mom, incubated the egg up until the last day then she left, and wouldn't stay when Anna would replace her. The father (yes, the father sits on the eggs too) didn't care to stay either. So last night the girls and I stayed up until 2 am waiting for the incubator to settle in at the right temperature and move the egg into the incubator from the tissue box under the reading lamp.

Now tonight the girls get to sleep in the living room, near the incubator, and get up every few hours to feed their little squab and wait for the next one to hatch out. The one still in the egg is making good progress and has almost circumvented the egg with its pecking.

Anna is being brave and is more willing to risk trying to raise these squabs herself than to try the parents again. She says she won't be too sad if they don't make it and I am hoping that I don't have to put my momminess in high gear. I prefer working in my typical economy model mode.


Yesterday, commenting on the post with the quote from Spurgeon, Kathy asked "based on Mark 11:22-26 Will we be given that which we have prayed for and truly expect ?" The passage she cites is as follows: And Jesus answered saying to them, "Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."

I shout a solid, "Yes indeed!" to Kathy's question.

Her question brings two things to my mind. Number one, many people want to focus just on what the pray-er is getting out of prayer and not what the pray-er is putting into it. God requests many things from us in various passages much like the request here that asks us to be people that forgive. Kathy included it in her citation and I would say that it is definitely a precursor to praying effectively. One of the other request he makes of us, not only here but other places, is that of being a believing people.

Which brings me to the second thing, that over the years I've met many people that pray very cautiously. Not in the "be careful what you pray for" sense of caution but more along the lines of not wanting to look like God's little fool. I think Spugeon's point is that in spite of how we may worry about looking like a fool, God asks us over and over again to ask. There are many more passages that flesh out exactly what that asking is to look like, but essentially I believe that passages like this one tell us that God desires that we come to him boldly and trustfully. A friend said to me today that it appears as if the emphasis in the Church of Today is all on believing in God but not believing God. Not only are we to trust God for and in everything, we really must trust that he means what he says and that he truly has our best interest.

There are Spiritual laws. Not in the prescriptive sense like speeding laws or other moral laws but descriptive laws, like the law of gravity, or thermodynamics, laws that can't be broken even if you wanted to. The Spiritual world is the true reality, it is more concrete than the one which all but the mystic and the insane commonly refer to as reality, the one that will go on for eternity after this physical realm is long gone, there are descriptive laws in that world as much as this shadow of reality. I wonder if some of the promises that Christ speaks of are not promises as in "if you do this for me, I promise I will do that for you", but instead the promise of reality like, if you step off of the roof of a building, you will fall to the ground.

So I also answer a humble and quiet, "I sure as heck hope so." I sure as heck hope that I am strong enough to be weak enough to ask God to create in me a forgiving heart, a pure heart, to accept the changes He works in me so that my prayers may be effective.

Thank you Kathy for a challenging question and verse, much like an apple a day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom."
C.H Spurgeon

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


A blustery day yesterday and the eagle sits and waits for some silly lamb or duckling to make a foolish mistake.
It reminds me of: "beware, for your enemy the devil prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
If you could see the damage our lovely National bird can do at our farm, you too would think him a roaring lion and an enemy.
Sometimes a beautiful sunny day is the lambs undoing as they frolic in the beautiful sunny day with out a care in the world, oblivious to their careless ways. Then a storm comes and the wind blows and "crack" down comes a poplar branch and "swoosh" off they run in a panic, forgetting that their safety is where they are foolishly running from.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Appologies, Again?!

Please read Verbiage in May's postings, in case you have forgotten that I claim to be crippled in the area of writing. But then accept my appology for yesterday's worse than normal (for me anyway) grammer. Hopefully I have corrected them all. Sometimes I don't write well at all, sometimes I'm lucky if I can spell my own name right and remember what a comma is. My brain has felt extremely foggy and muddled for the last few days. Like I'm car sick. So no big post today.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

In Spite Of The Cold Rain

In spite of the cold and the rain we got quite a bit done this weekend. Phil and Anna played the woodcutter and his daughter out in the back forty. Bet and I did lots of work on perennial beds, revamped most of the containers, weeded several beds including the garlic bed (potatoes keep coming up in it) and worked in the house.

Planted out my Jack Sheehan Fuchsia on the little hillside in my "mountain garden" not really a mountain or a native plant but the hardy fuchsias require sun unlike when they are planted in hanging pots. The girls and I were inspired last year when we discovered the hardy fuchsia garden at Point Defiance Park. The Northwest Fuchsia Society has a great page listing all the hardy fuchsias for this area (see List o Links). I was under the mistaken impression that all hardy fuchsias had small flowers, the ones I see for sale are never very appealing to me.

But the best thing this weekend was revamping my containers. I love container planting which could seem a little strange considering that I live on a hundred acres and probably cultivate about an acre in flowers and veggies. I grew up just blocks from Wapato Park in Tacoma. I spent a great deal of time in the park, back in the day when children were free to go just about any where. I loved that park and one of my favorite things to do was to hang around the huge planting areas just inside the front entrance when they were replanted. There was a big circle in the middle of the road, I suppose it was a round a bout, and two big beds on either side of the entrance road. Several times in the year the workers would come with new blooming plants, take out the spent blooming plants and replace them with the new. In the late spring out would go the spent tulips and daffs and in would come petunias and marigolds, then in late summer out would go those and in would come zinnias and asters, then those were out and in would go the bulbs for next spring with winter pansies on top of them. It was a magical transformation. I was always delighted when I came to the park and the beds had been renewed seemingly overnight but my favorite was watching it all happen. And that dear reader is why I love my few little container plants. I do not have the planting budget, not yet anyway, to change out beds of that size so instead I swap out containers.

I love the big pulp pots from McConkey Co. (see List o Links) they cost a tad over a buck a piece, are pretty durable and at that price I can get the whole pot potted up and ready and raring to go before I bring them out. In some applications I kind of even like the look of the pulp pot itself, but on the front rocks they really stick out because of the color difference so I just slip the pulp pot into a plastic pot I bought from Wal-Mart (no link needed) they fit like a glove. Then when they're done, like the tulips yesterday, I pull the pulp pot out and if it is still holding together it lives out the rest of the season tucked out of sight in one of my nursery areas. I left the tulips out longer than usual this year because the pansies were still going strong and the geraniums have been rather slow to get going, but I needed something to do (instead of planting seeds that will rot) and so I stole the pansies and tucked them in the window boxes and the geranium pots for a little color while we wait for the geraniums to get going. Then at the end of summer when I get out the blooming mums and the geraniums and other summer pots go into retirement I can easily tuck them in somewhere to winter over and hopefully spring to life the next spring.

This year I had one terrific success! The pics in this post show my crowning achievement, my holding over five Gerbera Daisy. Last year was the first year I had success bring them even to the end of summer and then for five (almost half) to survive the winter hold over I figured was pretty stinking good. Check my profile it says I am not an expert. I found out early enough to save some lives last summer that the Gerbera Daisy hates dirt and mud on its crown. So I went out and lifted them up above the soil, unlike how they were when I purchased them. I can't wait for the other three to bloom out. I have confidence that they will in spite of two of them having become a kitty napping ground recently.

Well the work doesn't get itself done, till next time dear reader, have a good day.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Just Heard It On The Radio

Mclendon Hardware guy, "Word of the day, Junuary."

What next Julibruary?

Okay, Then How About Some Warm Rain?

I can't plant my corn. I could have the week I was in California and it was what, ninety degrees here. But I refuse to go back and trade in that wonderful trip and time deepening a good friendship with Sheila, Carol and my own girls just for some corn. But come on! It is June! I came home and planted the squash and did some other things that I needed to do but I had no idea that the soil would return to April temperatures. I'm not so sure that the pumpkin/squash is going to germinate. Beans perhaps would survive this chilly soil but not corn.

So lets talk rain. I'll take the usually rain that we always get, and everyone seems to forget, in June but lets just have the temperature of it go up a few degrees (like 10). Then you all can wear your lovely walking shorts and summer sweaters instead of your corduroys, heavy fall sweaters and parkas that you have on now and I can plant my "warm weather" vegetables, and then later meet you at the tanning salon for some light rays and vitamin D.

Friday, June 6, 2008

More Richard Foster

Ah another bit of Richard Foster, this time though the book is Life With God. So far (I'm to chapter 3) it is an excellent expansion of Celebration of Discipline. In the first chapter he begins to explain the interweaving of Spiritual Disciplines and Scriptures. On one hand the four distinct ways and the manner in which we read and approach the Bible is in itself an exercise of certain Spiritual Disciplines and then on the other hand through reading and taking in the Scriptures we come to understand and practice Spiritual Disciplines.

But such a (with-God) life does not simply fall into our hands. Frankly, it is no more automatic for us than it was for those luminaries who walked across our Bible. There is a God-ordained means to becoming the kind of persons and the kind of communities that can fully and joyfully enter into such abundant living. And these "means" involve us in a process of intentionally "training. . . in godliness" (1Tim. 4:7). This is the purpose of the Disciplines of the spiritual life. Indeed, Scripture itself is the primary means for the discovery, instruction, and practice of the Spiritual
Disciplines, which brings us all the more fully into the with God life.

He is eloquent and easy to take in, you soon forget the seeming formidability of the subject of both His books, Celebration of Discipline and Life With God: Reading the Bible For Spiritual Transformation. How can disciplines or the fact that one could celebrate them be this smooth and easy? As for the second title, reading the Bible (several times over), Spiritual transformation and spending your life with God, these are all seemingly daunting accomplishments meant for spiritual giants not for the common, especially the way he begins to lay it out, but then his words flow and it becomes clear that what he is talking about is ultimately simple. Simply and purely it is a willingness to place yourself before God who furnishes everything else. Simple and pure? yes, by God grace? absolutely! something that will just fall from the sky? not so much. We claim ours is not a "religion" but a personal relationship with God. I wonder how many of us would continue in the type of relationship we offer to God. Ah yes, we've got him over a barrel with the whole "He can't let us go" thing. How much different is that from the poor woman married and unwilling to divorce the fellow who thinks he has a great relationship with her when he comes home, slams down a couple beers and has sex.

Just wondering

More soon, if you would like dear reader.

I Give Up

Okay, that's it, I can not get this whole picture and writing at the same time. I'm going to go cry now, while I get ready for Friday night Gathering. Dirt's nose is in the Bible so I think I'm going to get in trouble for having taken pre-gathering time to be silly.

See you tomorrow reader!

Just For You, Dear Reader

Evelyn and Kathy came to visit the farm. Evelyn came to get a ewe sheared and Kathy was bringing a wether for Evelyn to take home.

It is a wet cold winter day... No, wait this was yesterday, June fifth! To wet to shear outside so a place in the Tractor garage is cleared out and a chunk of old carpet is put out to keep the fleece as clean as possible.

Dirt started shearing sheep over 15 years ago, he started just shearing our sheep and for a few springs we had some purple polka dotted sheep in our pasture. Gentian violet wound spray is really bright against a large white sheep.

He also takes time to trim hooves while he has her on her rear. In this position the sheep wiggles much less, almost not at all, but there is always that one time!

He continues right on around the ewe after he has taken off the belly wool. If it was going to be processed the belly wool would have been taken away before he continued on around the sheep. Saving the fleece for textile use requires different steps.

Janey likes to think she is

Ace Sheep Dog to the rescue.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Something From A Few Nights Ago

Remembering. Remembering at 4:00 in the morning when sadness sparks a memory.

It was Christmas time, a Saturday night a year and a half ago, the folks that gather on Saturday night had begun a study on Genesis Wednesday nights. The study of Creation and Fall always seem to have a bizarre effect on people, silly jokes about women surface and then equally silly jokes about men surface in retaliation and then back again and so it goes.

Oh, nothing too terrible is ever said, but unnecessary, a lot of polite defensiveness swarming around. Sometime soon I'll write about defending ourselves as opposed to letting God defend or justify us. Remind me if I forget to, it was a wonderful, freeing insight. But this defensiveness and posturing, it has a tendency to get me down, it reminds me that there was a time in my life that I sorely wished I was not a girl. Then that passed into if I had to be a girl it was not going to impede me.

But then I met my husband and married him.

And nothing changed really except my last name. That, and I saw that someone could love and not use me no matter what, even if I was a girl.

And then slowly, imperceptibly, I began to understand more and more about the God I loved and how He loves.

And now, for a longer time than not, I am glad to be a woman in the world God created. I do not feel short changed or struggling against anything or anyone including God because of my womanhood. I read the words of God and I know he thinks highly of women not lowly. I do not feel that I need to take on anyone else's job to be fulfilled, my rightful place in God's creation is fulfillment enough.

So at this particular Saturday night gathering in late December a year and a half ago I shared. The following is built on what I shared:

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said:
"My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

God is God. He could have brought his Son into the world for our salvation any stinking way he wanted to, he did not need to use a woman. He chose to use a woman, yes, a particular woman but a woman none the less and he blessed her by the privilege he gave her. He loved her. He loved her greatly. I have her as my example. He loves me greatly, not because I am a woman but not in spite of my womanhood either.

(then I read) Matthew 1

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.

David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.

When I look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ some things strike me, there are women mentioned. And not just any women. Mind that once again I would like to mention that God is God. He did not need these particular women but he took them into Him and wrote them into our hearts for us to understand clearly how much He loves. The first woman mentioned is Tamar. You must be kidding?! You do know her story right and yet God chose her to be part of bring the Messiah into the world? You may want to read it again in Genesis 38, and Judah's admission. God did not abandon Tamar to the disgrace the men in her life served up for her, and note that both her children are mentioned. God redeems what the locusts have eaten, even to women and their children.

The next women to be mentioned in Jesus Christ's genealogy appear back to back. Foreign women. One woman, not of good moral reputation, not once but twice blessed by God when he used her to be the part of the salvation of God's people. Those spies could have crawled in any window. God could have used only the very moral and strictly Jewish women to be Jesus' grandmothers. But He redeems those who love Him and He loves to use them in His story whether the story is widely known or locally known. Then He calls another woman, Ruth, out of her native land to not only be a blessing to her mother-in-law (that's a whole other topic) but to the world as well.

All these women including Mary were poor and what we now days would call disenfranchised, but God gave them a voice, a voice heard forever. God blessed them perhaps not in the manner most modern women look to be blessed or fulfilled in this day and age. And these women with Mary as their spokeswoman generations later recognized their blessedness, they felt it deeply.

The Word and living out the word in my husband's care has brought me to this wonderful place. I am glad to be a woman, I now no longer wish, as I did as a young girl, to be a boy. Not that I feel greater or more blessed than a man, just that I am glad for what God has called me to be. If there is a woman out there who feels like a second class citizen when she reads the Bible perhaps it is how others have encouraged her to read it. I would ask her to read it again unburdened with the presuppositions of others. Both man and woman were made in his image. God is all good, no part of him is not good, so no part of the image of God is less than the other, both parts experienced the fall and both parts are reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Wendell Berry writes about how you can not really love an individual if you do not love the general. You can not love a particular piece of apple pie if you dislike apple pie. I cannot love my husband, a man, if I do not love men in general. If I say I love him but distain most men, finding them to be smelly and dirty, or cheaters and connivers, or lazy and stupid then I really do not love my husband. I just don't want to be lonely and have people wonder why I'm not married. I don't need to eat every pie I can get my hands on to prove my love for the one piece of pie. I just have to quit believing and saying that apple pie is gross. And if you are trying to love a piece of pie, all the while irritated most of the time by pie then you may need to see the beauty in all pie.

Puppies Are Ready To Go

My daughters have four great puppies for sale. All females, well socialized and tons of fun.

They have been wormed, vaccinated, tails docked, and dewclaws removed, and they are papered.

Their parents both live here on the farm. They are very classic Rat terriers. Dad weighs 20# and is 16" at the shoulder, mom is 13# and 13".

They are ready to go to good homes. So call 360-458-7342, e-mail vicktory@fairpoint , or post a comment to this blog if you would like to be one of those good homes.

We are asking $400.00

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Scents of the Garden

Just pictures today,

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Don't Mind Being In The Crowd

I'm glad other people like the things I like.

It isn't even bad when lots and lots of people like the things that I like because then stores (Costco) carry what I like.

I'm glad that there are enough people who liked the Muppets so that I could buy season one on DVD. If they didn't, I wouldn't be able to sit here and have a great evening with my two girls.

And now they know why their dad sings "Lydia, oh Lydia"

My girls often quote Muppet's Treasure Island and Muppet's Christmas Carol. Can't wait to watch more to give them new quotes.

Unfinished Thoughts

The cliché of two little beings, one on each shoulder, one dressed in red with horns and a tail, the other dressed in white with wings, are we so sure that this is the correct interpretation of what is going on when we hear two voices battling for our decision ?

When we entertain nonsense that we know is entirely ungodly do we really think that God the Holy Spirit is going to sit there and engage in an argument for our sake to choose what is right?

While I was weeding today, ripping out buttercup with my scissors handy to snip slugs, it dawned on me that we assume that evil spirits work in tandem or in unity for our destruction. But is that really true? Unity is a good thing isn't it? How then can something with no goodness in it participate in something good even for the result of evil? It seems to me that evil spirits are evil and don't even care for one another.

As I was cutting through the disgusting bodies of the slugs intent on destroying my garden, I first thought about how they are always all over the buttercup, also intent on destroying my garden, and how they must be working in cahoots with each other to take me down. The slugs never seem to wipe out the tender little baby buttercups like they can wipe out something that I purpose to grow.

But then I realized that those stinking slugs would not stop at the complete destruction of the buttercups if it was the plant they preferred to eat, as it does with my lilies when it mows them to the ground so that the poor lilly may never be seen from again. Clearly evil things are out for their own reward and no one else's.

So what then do I make of the apparently conflicting voices, one in each ear, that I have encountered many times? Can't they be two wrong voices in competition with one another? Why do we assume that as we contemplate or entertain junk that we know does not fall under the heading of "think on these things" that the Holy Spirit will always swoop in to give us His side? If a man discovered that his bride was entertaining another man, would he come to her side and give his story hoping to woo her away from the destruction she is entertaining? Would he lie in the bed with them and give her his side? Wouldn't the more likely scenario be that two scoundrels would be there vying for the ruination of her soul?

Just thinking…..

Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline

I was excited to hear Steve say last week that he enjoyed the first chapter of Celebration of Discipline and did not think Richard Foster a crack pot, or something to that effect. Our Tuesday night Gathering is reading the book per Phil's and my suggestion, and I always like it when someone enjoys a book we have suggested.

I have had Foster among my most read books for quite sometime. Last June Phil and I read through the whole book while spending a week at the ocean. Everyone at Friday night Gathering has read through or read portions of it since and we keep coming back to it occasionally as a group as individuals keep mulling over the words and concepts.

Saturday I was thinking of the whole "put it in the dirt thing" as we finally planted pumpkin seeds. Steve said that this was his favorite part of the first chapter not for sentimental farming reasons but because of the picture it paints and we all agreed that it is good stuff. In the first chapter Foster explains:
The apostle Paul says, "he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Gal. 6:8)Paul's analogy is instructive. A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of the grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain. This is the way with the Spiritual Disciplines - they are a way of sowing to the Spirit. The Disciplines are God's way of getting us into the
ground; they put us where he can work within us and transform us. By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done. They are God's means of grace. The inner righteousness we seek is not something that is poured on our heads. God has ordained the Disciplines of the spiritual life as the means by which we place ourselves where he can bless us.
Nothing but time to think about this whole concept that Foster explains as we slowly and methodically went about planting approximately 450 pumpkin/squash seeds by hand and marked each one. I may have made the wrong decision about the way we organized each variety, interspersing them amongst each other instead of dedicating a row to each variety. But we planted them in wide beds of well tilled and fertilized soil, two seeds per spot, one-half inch deep. Fairly standard, practices I have used continually over my thirty some odd years of growing things, based on practices others have also employed to get good results. I know that even if I am unhappy in the Fall with the placement of the varieties I will still have a decent crop of pumpkins, provided that I continue to do the things I know I can to ensure that outcome.

For sure I have planted and will cultivate my pumpkins so that I have a harvest of pumpkins;
yet I do not "make" the pumpkins. But just as sure as there will be a pumpkin harvest in the fall, baring any disasters, there would not be a pumpkin patch if I had done nothing and just hoped wished or prayed that God would make some pumpkins for me out in the front of my pasture so I would have pumpkins to please and feed family and friends. If I had just wished for a pumpkin patch, there may have been a few pumpkin plants come up where some of last year's pumpkins were allowed to rot and thereby leave their seeds for a volunteer plant, but in the Fall I would not have a pumpkin patch to go out to and harvest a good number of true to type pumpkins.

Sometimes I think our lives look the way they do because we expect pumpkin patches when we have done nothing to get there. We expect God to just work his thing over time and wah-lah there we have a lovely Christ-like person when we have done little more than wish it true as we sit numbly in our seats on Sunday, or Saturday or…and call it Christianity.
I have let some volunteer squash plants continue to grow in my garden, they are never where I really would care for a squash plant to grow and the "squash" they produce are often very silly looking and not very appetizing when we try to eat them. Their randomness results because squash flowers will pollinate each other no matter the variety and they are pollinated by our hard working friend the bee who really gets around in his efforts to gather lots of pollen for his favorite gal.

My volunteer tomatoes are the same, rather random, mostly looking like a cherry tomato but not very true to form on these either. Maybe if I only planted one variety, a non-hybrid variety, of tomato or squash, then my volunteers would all be very uniform, of course my neighbor would also have to plant that same variety. That's still quite a bit of placing certain things in order along with a lot of hoping which is really more like idle wishing, but even so, if I expected to get something substantial out of said volunteer, I would still need to do some tending of it during the growing season. We may as well wish for a garden to fall from the sky for our lazy stomachs.
Have I run this analogy into the "ground"? Well, I did say 450 seeds, didn't I?