No time to sit around. Which is probably a good thing considering the state of the weeds around and under this bench.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
For Sheila and Carol it was gazillion times harder but like Sheila said she has to go home sometime. So off we go. Driving through LA was interesting as traffic was slow but steady, lots of time to talk and look at the atlas to see where we were passing through. The cameras didn't come out until we were passing though the windmill area just east of the Bay area.
Spent the night in a little town called Pleasanton. What an incredibly clean neat pleasant town. Had dinner at a Chinese Restaurant down the street from the Motel 6. Chinese Szechuan Restaurant, 3059 Hopyard Rd Ste G Pleasanton, CA 94588-5258 (925) 846-5251 .
The next day we head north onto 101 with an elevensies stop in Santa Rosa at the Luther Burbank Gardens. I always get very excited to see where famous people did their stuff.
Just down the street from the Luther Burbank Gardens is a church made from one, that's right one, log of California Redwood. Its not small.
It was plan to see that they were doing renovations so I hope that when the girls and I return it will be open for tours.
On the way back to the car we take sometime to take pictures of two homes that struck our fancy.
Up the coast we head through the red woods but we will come back because - well just ask Bet, "we have to go back because I didn't take enough pictures. " From here on to home no pictures were taken. We just soaked it in. Stopped in Grants Pass but we should have been into town hours sooner. Sunday night and not much open. The desk clerk at the Motel 6 even called a favorite eatery to see when they closed. We had all of four minutes to make it to the restaurant. So 24 hour Denny's it is.
Next morning we had coffee in Sutherlin at a Dutch Bros coffee shop. Nice cup of coffee, nice young man at the window.
Just south of Portland we stop at Heirloom Roses and have a lovely shopping afternoon. See the link list. Burgers just north of Vancouver and then all the way home.
As we stepped out of the van the smell of my own lilacs sweep over us. Ahh home.
No pictures of Suessian purple trees, that I came to learn from my tree friend back at home are Jacaranda, no pictures of so many interesting things and plants and "what-the-heck-are-they-growing-theres" that we went by.
And then wa-la there we were, at Carol's home on base at Camp Pendleton. What pretty country and right outside her front door.
Of course we went down to the beach when we finished cleaning six months of settled dust off all the surfaces in her home. Now I really, personally, know why sheets are put over furniture when people shut up their homes for months.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Early in my journey of raising my girls many in my circle focused on Proverbs 31 as our training manual for our little girls. It was a good thing to raise our girls with their future in mind. More women than not are destined to be wives and mothers and even if they are not, the training is not wasted, as even single women have households to run or assist in their running.
But I don't believe that the only way to look at Proverbs 31 is for women to shoot for the mark or men to go out and look for a girl that mirrors this woman. I believe that you can look at this passage in another way, complimentary not contrary to the ways we have looked at it and the use to which we have already put it.
Remember Proverbs 31 are the words of King Lemuel as he recalled the teachings of his mother.
The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:
What, my son?And what, son of my womb?And what, son of my vows?
The words in the first passage in my mind show that these things she told him were for him to remember for all times not just for the beginning of his career.
Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more. Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.
Then he launches into those verses that seem to indicate that men should go look for a particular woman to marry.
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax...But look carefully. He says "who can find?" And then proceeds to describe a mature woman. So unless a young man is being taught to go find a widow, this woman being describe is no future bride. She is the type of wife a woman becomes. And yes, I think that when you start to sew a dress it is always a good idea to start with the type of fabric that lends itself to a beautiful dress an not a sturdy rug. But I don't think that the only thing this verse is teaching is how to pick a preperfected woman. Perhaps King Lemuel's mother was teaching him how to be the husband that has a wife of such virtue, much like the passage prior taught him how to be and remain a good king.? Fast forward shall we to two important verses in the New Testament:
1 Timothy 3:1-7 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)
Ephesians 5:25-32 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also love the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are member of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Christ forms his church. Can a man not form his own wife? I do not mean to let the wives off the hook, or mothers of young girls to be careless with their job. We women can be obnoxious and make a man's job far more difficult that it ought to be. We are response-able. And we can be ridiculously stubborn and hold to our own destruction in the face of true beauty and transformation.
For sure there can be no transformation without first a turning to Christ. But the word is for a man to be the leader. To lead others to the place God wants us all. I am sorry that the job is huge that lays before men. To be sure, I am so very glad I am not a man and especially one who has been given a hard job. I wish that all men could take on as difficult a job as my husband has and do it with as much patience, kindness, forgiveness, love and understanding as he has. I am thankful that he has allowed God to mold him so that he can mold me. I am also very sorry that I have been such a hard case at times and not turned out as well a wife as he deserves. I think that I will cover him with kisses tonight when he comes home. Or better yet, what he'd really like; no talking, have a beer and ......
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
So how many times in a day do we wonder what it is we could be doing to follow Christ, be doers not just hearers, to have the recognizable fruit of repentance? This verse is most certainly saying that bearing one another's burdens is, at the very least, one way to do so.
I know that often we, as children of God, are given the gift of being able to quickly and without question bear someone's burden as if it were our own; to feel the weight of it it, somehow gain insight into the burden, see its insidiousness and extent of injury it causes. We are blessed with the supernatural ability to pray like a cloistered for the person who's burden we bear, to cry their tears of frustration with or for them. But what about those other times, times that we are not "gifted" with the ability to bear another's burdens? Are we not still called by this word of God to stand ready and willing to bear one another's burdens when we see others loaded down by worldly ways?
Is it really enough to say, "I will pray for you,"? Or drag out a well worn scripture that the sufferer can resite to us before we even begin it? Or cook a meal? All these things being wonderful for sure but is that what this verse is trying to draw from us? Is that our living sacrifice that we give up to God? I have no idea if people who I have born burdens for really even noticed a difference in the weight they were bearing. I do not really understand why we are called by God to do this thing. I do know that my heart has been broken, I have sat in confusion, I have felt beaten and I have felt defeated, I have choked under overwhelming oppression. For someone else.
There have been times when in a moment I desire to be released from the burden of others when either it appeared that I would not survive the pain or the ordeal appeared to do no good for the one whom I was concerned with. But thankfully God has never answered my pitiful self-centered pleading. Instead he has gently reminded me of what he has done for me or he has quietly whispered that "you can do all things through Him who gives you strength" or both. He has always sustained me and has never abandoned me to the brokenness and oppression. I must admit that there were times that I wondered in my weakness where He was. But then knowing what it feels like to be under a burden of my own doing I am only too glad to bear it for another whom I love through Christ.
But these times, these precious times that have taught me and brought me much, they always seem to be ones that I have to be asked by the Holy Spirit to come to. I do not remember ever running to God to ask God if I might have the privilege of bearing someone's burdens. Is it enough for a servant to just do the work that is brought to her to do? Shouldn't a good servant go and ask for work? Shouldn't a servant who knows what benefit the work brings look for the work? I feel so lazy, so a person of "just good enough" Isn't it rather evasive of me to be so grossly general to only ask God, "what can I do for you today? What would please you?" Doesn't the verse at the beginning of this tell me exactly what pleases Him? Aren't there other verses that tell me quite specifically what it is that pleases God, what it is to be a follower of Christ, what the fruit in keeping with true repentance looks and smells and tastes like? Shouldn't I not only ask God moment by moment to guide me into what He desires but can't I get a little more specific and direct with Him? Can't I go ask for an actual job. Ask permission to do something I see needs to be done according to His direction in Scripture? Right now with my lame "what should I do?" question I feel I am buying myself some time. Not that God can't just speak right up and holler in my deaf little ear what he wants done, but if I ask a general question I can spend a whole lot of time deciphering what it is He is "really telling me." And wasting time getting to a job is a great way to not have to do so much without appearing too lazy.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Happy Birthday Marion Morrison - John Wayne!
And a memorable Memorial Day to all!
Considering Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary definition of verbiage it would be a combination of the two definitions that I operate under.
1 : a profusion of words usually of little or obscure content
Lets just say that my definition for verbiage is "manner of expressing oneself in words, a profusion of words most likely of little or obscure content." And verbiage is exactly what you my dear friend subject yourself to when you attempt a read at this thing called "It's The Dirt."
My mother was an English teacher, the epitome of English teachers, so let us just call what I pen, or keyboard if you will, a form of "offspring rebellion". When I left her notes on the kitchen table to let her know where I was, she would correct them, only and always with her red pen no less. There would be circled words with "sp" written above them, underlinings with arrows to where the phrase should appear, new punctuation would appear in red along with margin notes on correct word usage, always something about dangling participles and of course red lines straight through several words, no explanation necessary, I am and obviously was born verbose. This all on a note left to tell her that I was up at Yvette's, that I left at 4:25 and would return home at about 7:00.
I think she was always highly disappointed that I didn't hand in corrected versions of my notes. I am sure she chalked it up to why I was not improving in my note leaving let alone my school compositions that I eventually learned, by the time I left for college, not to leave lying around within twelve hours of their due date especially if eight of those twelve hours were those most people slept through. I am the youngest of six. I say that to say that my oldest brother is an English teacher in Oak Harbor. My oldest sister a Speech Pathologist (or something like that) in Portland. Ahh those rule following eldests, how do they do that. I seem to be completely incapable of following rules, even rules I come up with. Like laundry room rules, or rules for leaving the living room for the night, or any number of the gazillion rules I have made and usually broke before my children did.
I think that the whole rule thing is why I personally am so drawn to Christ, the rule fulfiller, the rule completer and the heart-maker. I love that. I love how he takes, tries to take, those Pharisees on past the rules and into the heart.
So lets consider what language is really for. Communication. Do we communicate better when our random grunts come under rules? You bet. I have a hard time communicating with someone who even though they are playing by rules are not playing by the same rules, like a Frenchman or a Swedish second cousin by marriage thrice removed. So rules are great. But rules often stifle what they intend to support i.e. communication. I do not communicate as much as I should. I am sure that global warming has been caused by the tons of paper trash I have personally made by throwing out cards and letters that I wrote but which did not live up to what I knew was acceptable communication by the rules and therefore un-sendable and horribly incriminating as to my lack of ability to participate in intelligent society.
A blogger from Molalla, OR, a young twenty-something budding journalist and I am sure a college graduate from WSU, captured my attention with a post which included an observation about the random interchange of "doesn't" with "don't." It is the one rule that stuck in my brain and is like fingers down the chalkboard of my spine when I hear it's use, or misuse shall we say. I commented to her that I whole heartily agreed with her noun-verb agreement issue. But on other posts she shares with her reader more of her frustrations with the less literate section of society, of who, or is it "of whom", no, "who" it is, wait maybe I should just say it differently... a section I identify strongly with. For who am I (did I do that right?) to call someone out for misspelling "strikes" on a cardboard sign at a baseball game as "stricks" when I spell the thing with four burners on top of the kitchen oven as "stolve." She had another picture of a note written on a pole in Seattle, an invitation to go to somewhere. Yes, I got that one of the two mistakes was that the person used the wrong "too" and should have used the "to" that doesn't mean an over abundance. However, I could not come up with the other mistake. I am not even sure with English handbook in hand I could have. But the note communicated to me. I knew that I would not be going to where this person was asking the reader to join him or her, but all in all I was communicated with whether intended or not. And isn't that what language is for?
I hope that I communicate with those who read my ramblings. Communication isn't agreement or even acceptance. I only hope to let you know what I am thinking. If you get it or even think you get it great, that is my intent. If you don't understand what I am saying or think you don't, please let me know and I will in earnest try to clear up the miscommunication. If you get it but don't like it or don't agree with me, let me know that too, I might change my mind. But please if you can at all get by without it, leave your red pen in your pocket. You may think that it is ink that comes out of that pen but really it is the blood of stymied communicators who used to love to write but write no more because they could not follow the rules that were made so that we could all get what the other was thinking.
You are welcome to apply this nutty concept to other things in life. Is strict adherence to the "rules" helping to obtain the outcome that the "rules" intend? Or is it time to go beyond the rules and instead dive into the heart of the matter? Jesus, in the Gospel accounts of the Sermon on the Mount, calls us to consistently look beyond the rules, the account of the pealing off of the wheat berries and eating them on the Sabbath or the healing of the man with the twisted hand on the Sabbath are more pleadings, leadings, for us to go beyond the rules and to the heart that the rules point us to. Was the sight of our Lord and Savior munching down on wheat berries that he just stripped off a stalk on the Sabbath like fingers down the chalk-board to the Pharisee? Perhaps. Should I let go of my irritation over improper noun-verb agreement? MMMM. Most likely yes, for it is the one grammatical mistake my dear Dirt owns, but better than I, he gets his meaning across. I have so many more words to use than he does and all those many more words are just many more opportunities for mistaken communication.
Hope I haven't today.
But I press on. Determined to be a better blogger. This of course reminds me all to well of the large stacks of nearly empty journals I own. If I cared to look at any of them, not today, I am trying not to be sidetracked for at least a day, I am sure I would find no more than 10 or so entries in the"fullest" of them. But then there are far more yellow note pads scattered lovingly about the house in a non-incriminating manner full of random writings amid grocery lists and sketches of garden plans or redecorating ideas. So although I understand that blogging is akin to "journaling" I need to view this whole thing as nothing more than a yellow note pad. I am going to ignore the fact that every blog post is dated, very few in my stack of journals are ones with dates pre-stamped, I learned early on that those were the ones that were only going to have four or five entries total. Interesting that some people are encouraged, built up, matured by the very things that kill... alright, hyperbole caught... cripple or stunt others.
I have a matching set of check registries to go with my journals. When I kept a check registry I had the most beautifully handwritten, truly complete registry. For ten days worth of check writing. Which for me usually equaled ten calendar days. Dirt also does not keep a check registry and really never has. The key difference is that he knows within a few dollars how much is in our checking account at any given moment (as long as he sees the size of my shopping bags or the amount of green leafy things in the back of my Exploder). It is bizarre and mind-boggling to me how he can do that. I couldn't even manage a decent guess and if I try I am hundreds off. Which is why he never asks me how much I spent for the day and just looks instead because I always think it is far less than reality. I would like to believe it because I am an optimist and not because I am a knucklehead. But in reality knucklehead (okay, twice now I have spelled knucklehead, knicklehead) is the origin of such nonsense and nothing like a noble attempt at optimism.
Here though is to my blogging endeavors (see me raise my coffee cup slightly to the left of my keyboard) and to you my dear friend who desires to read this silly stuff I think of. May they, my blogs, always be as consistent as we both can stand.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
These all smelled delicious. I wanted to bury my face in them and not leave.
The images that the perfume of lilacs spring back to me are precious scenes of walking with armloads of lilacs to my school to place around the statue of Mary. Very fond memories, very inspiring times.
I know for most people icons are a bugger to get around in their brain, but I am a very visual person they propelled me to contemplate those in the great cloud of witness. I didn't have a problem with confusing the statue as anything more that a reminder of those we should remember daily.
I did not revere the statue, the statue brought clearly to mind those I do revere. Much as the cross or the crucifix brought clearly to mind to whom I owed my salvation and the God I was to worship all the days of my life
Not too much different in my book than family photos of grandpa and grandma and all the greats in the family that have gone before.
Monday, May 12, 2008
On one hand it was very exciting to be heading off to see the sites. On the other hand it was very hard to leave the farm. The apple trees had just busted out over the weekend.
The dogs were not particularly impressed with the idea of their girls leaving either. First they pressed the girls to fess up to where they were going and to take them along where ever that might be.
But then it was clear, the girls were resolved to not disclose the location should anyone try to hop a Greyhound and try to follow. "No, neither dog can tag along on the trip. We are going with others, it would be long, uncomfortable and some people are needed to stay home to tend to the babies and keep the cats in line or in trees."
"I guess they really mean it Janie. I can't believe that they are doing this to us."
"After all we do for them it is just inconceivable"
"Wait, you mean we don't get to go either! We are the stars of the show, how do they think they can go on the road without us!"
It was hard but we left it all behind dogs, cats, puppies, blooming trees, almost blooming lilacs, and lovely weather in the forecast. On the road by nine a.m..
We stopped at Hulda Klager's Lilac Gardens in Woodland, WA for a runaround the lilac bush for our little buddy Matthew. The gardens were lovely as usual and being just enough south of me most of their lilacs were in full force while mine are barely opening.
Then we buzzed past Portland and stopped at the lovely town of Brownsville to tea at Pioneer Park. What a nice homey park, we didn't have time to take much of a look around town but their park was worth the barely two miles from the freeway. Reluctantly were got back in the car, headed back south and determinedly stuck to our seats and made a mad dash for dinner.
In Medford at Rosario's Restaurant By six-thirtish. What a great place that is. They have a covered patio out back complete with a grassy yard, tulips and an artichoke bush I would love to come back and see in bloom. Just perfect for little one-year olds to jaunt about in. The service was phenomenal and the food was great. Carol had the Pesto Chicken Fettuccine, Sheila, the Scampi Alfredo, and the Girls and I split a plate of Beef Ravioli with Marinara sauce and a plate of Beef Ravioli with Creamy Pesto. It was Carol's introduction to pesto sauce and she loved it and everyone else had rave reviews of the food, service and setting! It was reasonably priced, the five of us got a great meal for just over $60 total. And it was plenty as we took a stack of take-home-boxes to the Motel 6 in Weed.
Where we are till morning and then back on the road. The girls are asleep, like I should be, so I will get their pics of Rosario's yard in the morning.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
The frustrating thing is that my husband always does, at the branch by his work, what I was asking the teller at the branch I was at to do. She couldn't. Clearly you get better service at a bank if your a man. That is what I said to her as I folded up the checks made out to my two minor daughters by our landlord and headed for the door, instead of allowing her to deposit only one of them and not the other because the fourteen year old daughter doesn't happen to have ID. You must be kidding. We have banked at this bank for nearly 28 years at the very least 25. I go to this branch several times a year over the last 10 at the very least and probably 15. I recognized the teller immediately as one who has been at that branch since it was just a mobile home up the street. If I could recognize her, can't she recognize me?
Drove to my husband's branch. Walked up to the first teller, she smiled and was engaging, and quickly went to work depositing the checks, not even bothering with the ID my older daughter had out in her hand. We chuckled about a few thing about my husband had a lovely exchange and got our business done. I have been in that branch maybe four times in the last six or seven years with my husband and maybe three times without him. I did not remember her but she remembered me and the husband I belonged to. She was lovely. I'm pretty sure her name is Annette. Annette, I will be back and I will not go back to the other branch where I thought they knew me.
But I am sorry that I got snarky with the other teller. I usually do not do that. I gotta not ever do that again cause it so did not feel good at any point. By the time I hit the car I felt horrible.
Did I mention I don't like going into town?
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The ducklings arrived at 8am finally! They must have taken the scenic tour, an extra twenty-four hours to get their little ducky daddles up here.
They should have flown.
They are all fuzzy and warm in their brooder box tonight. I'm sorta tired from getting ready to leave to take Carol down to California. We will miss her. We, the girls and I have become very fond of her. And Dirt will miss his little buddy Matt. This collection of pictures taken by Anna goes out to all those who need a warm fuzzy tonight.