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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

God Wants Us?

First off, doesn't that crack you up, God wants us? God? The God that can do anything, is everywhere, knows everything? That God wants us? Why?

Do you really, all on your own, desire to be friends with the doof down the street? Let's say he already goes to church and is saved so there is no advantage to us there, he has enough to take care of his family, has actually a little more stuff than you (although how, 'cause he is so doofy you can't imagine him in the work place?) so he doesn't need you, he doesn't have a lack of friends but he isn't fun to be around at all. Are you getting my picture? There is nothing attractive about this fellow, you can't really help him, he is obnoxious and can't really help you or entertain you, so do you really want to befriend him?

And you question my question about God wanting us? We are worse than the doof down the street, at least the doof down the street would welcome us with open arms if we went down to one of his barbecues.

But that's all I wanted to say about that, that was actually a digression, what I really was pondering this a.m. is, are we the rich young man? Well, except for the buckets of money, gold bling all through the palace, cared for by the army of servants, are we the rich young man? Do we have his attitude? No, I don't mean before we "became Christians," I mean right now. Are we playing the rich young man?

God is calling us to give it all up. This is the season of giving it up, being last. If we gave up all our worldly stuff would we turn around and expect God to put us at the head of the class? "Ooohhh look everyone, Herbert just gave everything up for me, he just wants to serve, so here he goes up on the pedestal, up on the altar to be admired and praised by all of you." This is what we want God to say. If we are honest.

We read the rich young man, and we think, "heck ya I can give it all up if that is what he is asking of me."

We read the rich young man, and we think, "heck ya, I can give it up, after all Job lost everything and he got it all back in the end." Oh ya, right, we don't think that one out loud even to our own brain.

God is asking us to give it all up. More than just the stuff that we really wouldn't mind too much to give up because in the long run it will be good for us. Ah, what am I willing to give up? Stuff, that if I give it up, I'll be skinny (maybe) or less burdened with taking care of stuff.

Books on self denial end up telling us, with a huge list of "but this is the greater benefit to you" items, that whole self denial thing is so pretty, so advantageous in the long run. Ya, we get God, but really this is what we will get also and the also is very very good.

The implication that we all see, is that if the rich young man gave up all his stuff like Jesus asked and picked up his cross, he would have been hanging out with Jesus every day all day, How cool would that be, hanging with Jesus! Wearing sandals, carrying crosses, eating bread from big crusty loaves, getting skinny, growing a beard (for some), learning cool stuff to say to everybody. How cool is that?!!

But what if God called you and you didn't get to hang out with Him all day? What if God called you to something and you become nothing from it, absolutely nothing, no martyrdom, no mission to dreaded Africa, no prayer warrior status, no prophetic mantle. What if you got nothing like that, not to mention, you didn't get skinny, you didn't get a cute Christian family, you didn't get a place to live, you didn't get a cool church to go to worship with a great choir or worship team, with a famous or an obscure pastor, you didn't get a nice job among a bunch of heathens that you get to bring to the Lord? What if you get nothing?

Do you still count it joy to give it all to Him? Does our joy come from Him or all His byproducts?

To be continued....

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Good Time

So many moments of "meeting together" this week. I am blessed to have a huge helping of the Body available to lean on, glean knowledge from, laugh with, share burdens. I am fortunate to be able to get together physically with many but we also have the telephone wires for those times we need to share but cannot get together.

Spurring one another on to love and good deeds. For this time in my life I am focusing on the "good deed" of really pouring love into my home through meal times and pleasant scenes, so that Dirt can come home, gain perspective and rest, that he might better fight the battles that he faces, that right now I cannot because they are not my place.

I am also focusing on the deeds of prayer and burden bearing. If that is all I could do, I could spend the greater part of the day praising God on the behalf of others and petitioning for His will to be done in our lives all around us and far away, petitioning that we may, as individuals and collectively, hear His wisdom, hear His will not ours.

The one deed that I feel especially called to for at this time but that I am really having a hard time with is the oft forgotten second half of James' telling of what is pure undefiled religion namely, keeping myself unstained from the world. Not only myself but the children that I am still responsible for. And helping Dirt accomplish this also. He, however, is better at letting go of the things of the world that soil us.

I, on the other hand Dear Reader, as you know, love to rationalize that just a little of this or that or one more hour of this or that really won't make much difference.

I have stopped listening to the news. My head was swimming with all the evil in the world. I am well acquainted with how evil man can get, right now I am in a spot that the knowledge of individual instances of evil is not helpful to me and makes it hard for me to get about my daily work.

The hard part is the "fiction" on the box. I rationalize that it isn't really real and has so very little to do with my life, that a little frivolous entertainment certainly cannot be all that harmful. I am not so sure about that for me right now. I don't mean to wag a finger at anyone but myself. The line is "to keep yourself unstained, or unspotted, and if you can do that Dear Reader and still watch or read much of the fare that is out there then I am no one to tell you different.

I certainly am not about to think that by watching "fictional" tv that I will abandon my marriage, throw off how I see people, or allow my daughters to play with fire. However, I have been wondering greatly at something way more insidious. Attitude. Snotty, self-indulgent, impatient, spoiled attitude.

Certainly not the attitude that my side board says it is time for, time for being last. I come away from being "entertained" with an altered mind set. I let whininess come in like a flood. "I deserve this that and the other thing." I am not necessarily looking for the materialistic things in my life to increase, but the admiration, respect or tolerance from others. I can be short tempered with others but they dare not be short tempered with me.

Ugh. I am not for a minute blaming tv, I am arrogant, critical and demanding all on my own. I'm just wondering if I should let my brain soak in the type of entertainment that green lights and even builds up those wrong attitudes and thoughts.

So I am thankful for my godly friends who are so willing to call dung, dung and to tell me to get off my high horse for my sake and to look for God's way not mine. I am thankful for activities that strip me down and take me to Camp Humble. I need to be there, not at Camp Self Indulgent or Self Preservation Conference, or Me-Time Seminars.

Right now, more than other times, I need to be at places, physically and mentally where I am nearly forced to dwell only on things are true, noble or respected, just, pure, lovely or beautiful, of good report, searching out virtues and anything that is praiseworthy and wholly meditate on exactly these things.

If my mind is awash in only these things, awash in the character of God, then the things that I intentionally or accidentally produce could not but help being a better fresher lovelier fruit. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, would come with less struggle and self condemnation.

It is easy, really very easy, to do with out entertainment of the sort I am talking about, for me it is not just the tv, but radio, certain music, books... I needed none of that tonight, I am not an out of control junkie who must get a fix. Its when I am being lazy, when is it so easy to click on or open up and allow my mind to being sullied. I would rather spend an evening in the manner that we spend each Friday night and other random lovely nights than how I spend some of the rest.

Gotta hit the pillow Dear Reader, just thought I'd let you know what I was pondering. I am joyfilled that God has me in His hand and that He is willing to fill me with His wisdom when I am ready to want it more than anything.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Mildred, the blogosphere friend who causes me more work than I can shake a stick at, posted about MINIATURE BEGONIAS/TERRARIUMS a while back.

Well sometimes I do get weary of my yap yap yap about all the things I'ma gonna do, so I done one of them things I keep yapping about. Today I am going to show that I can get down to business and do at least one of the things I yap about, I am not just a yapster!

So here is the start of my project, ooohhh the light is just a little bright in here isn't it.

If you look closely out the window of that picture you can see why the light tends to rip your eyes out in this room, it has snowed. It snowed yesterday while I was finishing up my shopping trip with Rebecca and our girls. My voice sounds cranky doesn't it? And Dear Reader you are wondering why aren't you? You are saying, "but Lanny, aren't you the 'let it snow' freak? Aren't you always saying you are envious of those of us who struggle under the weight of winter-long snow?"

Why yes, Dear Reader, you are very correct on that. I do indeed envy, I admit to that sin, I envy you who actually have winters. Because I wait, and I wait, and I wait for either a good ice-skating freeze or a dump of snow. And then low and behold it is time to do something like, get on with spring, plant peas. Usually I plant peas on Lincoln's birthday, but I missed it, then I said I was going to plant them on Presidents' day and missed that, then I said I was going to plant them on Washington's birthday and yes, I missed that. There you go Dear Reader, you've got the pattern. So yesterday, when my plans changed up, I sorta had a melt down 'cause I just haven't been true to the good start I gave myself in the garden last fall. And instead of just continuing to melt and turning into the Schmo that changes her mind on what we are going to do, I quickly put my peas to soak in jars of water with labels and on a tray, planning that today I could plant my peas. Ahhhh there is the rub. There is snow on my garden. I do not want to do the scrape the snow thing. It will all be gone tomorrow, tonight I will drain the seeds and put wet nappies on them to keep them moist and all will be well. But it would have been better if it hadn't decided to finally snow on the day I soaked my peas. Ooohhh oohhh I digress, back to terrarium building.

Glass container, activated charcoal, store bought pebbles and store bought moss

Now that I shut my curtains you can see my container. A five gallon beverage server.

I bought this quite a while back, bought two in fact, I used them at my daughter Michelle's wedding here at the farm and for many other events. But every time we used them there were always problems, so I vowed to never use them again, ever, as a beverage container.

One actually cracked because someone turned the whole spigot not just the knob. The slightly cracked one had given me the idea of using it as a terrarium. Unfortunately, in keeping with tradition, I took it up to my "whatever" room to be dealt with later. Well later came at the behest of a foot that went through the glass, (no one was hurt) and it had to be thrown away.

The layers start with pebbles, then activated charcoal, then moss

The pebbles of course allow for drainage in case of over watering. The charcoal keeps everything a little sweeter and the moss keeps the soil from sinking into the charcoal and the pebbles. I know it seems silly to buy pebbles but the ones outside are not sorted to size, cleaned, polished and similarly colored, so I splurged. The charcoal was in the pet fish department of that store that people either hate (because they are union) or love (because they have a job finally and are employed by them) or appreciate (because, like me, they are the wife of a poor school teacher/sheep shearer/mechanic/farmer).

The soil

I'm not planning on eating anything out of my terrarium, so I don't need to "go organic" and it isn't that expensive, only a couple of bucks. I have, in the past, sterilized my own indoor potting mix. The smell of cooking dirt (soil) is not all that pleasant, not to mention the time to spend stirring the dirt, it is enough to make me not mind cutting corners and spending a few bucks.

Some of the plants going in; asparagus fern, African violet and an unknown.

I purchase the fern but the violet I have had for a while and can't seem to get it to bloom so I thought maybe if it went to a foreign exotic land it might get happy and bloom. The other plant, that looks like a large misshapen African violet, is a plant I bought for my mom when my father died. My mom kept it alive for thirteen years (a major feat for her, the only plant known to survive Bethel-captivity for more than five or six years) and I in turn have kept it, and it's offspring, alive for another fourteen. (Not a major feat but a darn good one because I have croaked my fair share of plants over the years).

However, I do not know what it is. I managed to come home without a tag as I had wandered into the "not for sale" area of a little nursery I stopped in at somewhere up by Buckley when I went on a sentimental journey to see the Carbon river area, one of my dad's favorites within an afternoon's driving distance up and back.

So if you can name it, I will give you a big smooch blog style and send you a little sumpin sumpin. It blooms with small clusters of small pretty purple blooms, when one of them blooms I'll post them.

The plants go in

The hard part is not being able to get both hands and elbows into the works, or even the hand and the plant through the hole at the same time. So the plants are sort of plopped in. But hey, I have seen plants go through much worse and survive, so in they go. Not being a professional terrarium builder, I do not have fancy schmancy put-the-plant-in-gently tools.

A plant that didn't make the grade

I bought this plant to go in and be a "tree" in my terrarium scene. I have these cute little lights that I put in, I'll show you in a minute, and I wanted them on a plant that was tree like. But....

Too big

I neglected to measure my container and just went on memories. Which in this case was definitely not a good idea. Oh well, live and learn, and learn and learn....

The light entrance

This is the spigot. It has now turned into the light cord hole.


The lights were amazingly small enough not only to be a good scale inside the terrarium, but to also fit through the spigot. I just had to bend them over and guide them through. As friends who have been to my house can attest too, I am a twinky light person. I use them every where. in every room.

A good sized strand, a hundred lights, equals about a seventy watt light so, I figure that it is not a terrible thing to have a few strands in each room. I appreciate ambiance lighting. Ah, I just like them, and after Christmas, when the commercial grade ones are two bucks a strand, what the heck, cheaper than the light bulb even. ooooh oooh another digress...

Ta da

So there it is the finished product. Wait, I'll turn on the little lights inside.

Ta da da da

And there you have it, ready for display, except that the display area isn't ready for it. Well, I'll put it there, I just won't take its picture until the area is properly dealt with. Yikes, Kathy, from Spot on Cedar Pond fame, is coming over for a spot of tea at three,

The mess

So I better get this mess cleaned up. The good thing about company for me is that it makes me clean up a mess I might otherwise leave. You know it wouldn't be that hard to rationalize it, I could repot some of my other house plants but I would do it tomorrow so I would have to leave the mess today. But then tomorrow would have something else up its sleeve so then the mess would stay there 'till who knows when. Isn't it good that I am trying to give up lame-o rationalizations for Lent?

So by three my house didn't look too bad for company, Kathy is always so gracious, she has an always spotless house, if not spot-less, pretty stinking close, yet she continues to befriend those of us who struggle in that department. And she never says a word.

She had picked up her mail before she arrived and in her mail there was an item from Amazon. Guess what it was, come on guess... no, guess again... Mildred can you guess? It was a book. .... It was a book on terrariums that Mildred had on her post. Kathy saw it and decided to get it and it arrived on the same day that I made my terrarium and had Kathy over for tea, is that weird or what. But then we specialize in weird at Dirt's place!

Dear Reader, I hope that if you chose to practice a spiritual discipline for Lent, that it is going well for you, not easy, but well. Because I'm not so sure we learn much about anything when things go easy. That's why I'm not fasting. Fasting is easy, for me. Eating at the appropriate times is hard, for me. Eating off of a plan is hard. Going to bed on time and sticking with a schedule is hard. I did well on the eating, but not so hot on the schedule tonight. With God's help tomorrow will be better. Now I am going to go lay my silly little head down and praise His Holy Name. I am terribly sorry that I ran out of time to visit over at your place today, tomorrow ought to be better for me. See you then. Goodnight and God bless.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Easter Cake

Mildred gifted me a post. I told her about my mom and I sharing a favorite candy and she posted about a cake using the very same candy. Thank you again for thinking of me Mildred.

I thought I was going to make it to enjoy it tonight for Fat Tuesday, but when I got to looking at it, I realized it looked like a fruitcake recipe. I noticed in the comments for Mildred's post that some had this as a Christmas cake and one person said that they liked it better than fruitcake.

Now I don't know about that better than part, maybe the same as, because I am a fruitcake girl. Ya, I know what you're saying Dear Reader, something like, "fruitcake for the fruitcake," but it is what it is, me and about ten other people in the world like fruitcake.

My mom and I shared that taste for fruitcakes as well as our candy preferences. We really felt that we had scored when we found Collin's Street Bakery out of Texas. I have not had one of their fruitcakes since she died, I'm not sure I could get past the first bite. We also scored when I found Truman Capote's, A Christmas Memory. I was surprised my mother did not know the story, Truman Capote was an author who's work she appreciated. As an English (the apple rolled far on that one, didn't it) and a drama teacher she had a wide appreciation for literature.

Oh, back to the cake, so I have decided that the cake is getting baked tonight and then wrapped in an orange liqueur until Easter. I think it will make an excellent Easter cake. The bright orange candies will lend itself well to the season. I usually only make pies for Easter, all sorts of spring pies, banana cream, lemon, coconut, key lime, not necessarily all of them all at once but those are the ones I choose from. But now the "cake" will join the line up!

But what about tonight? Well this works out just perfectly. Winter is coming to an end, Dirt has already had what I consider a spring pie, his first banana cream of the season, on Saturday. It is time to make the seasonal switch over.

There was just one more of Bet's scrumptious apple pies in the freezer.

She did up quite a few of them this fall but we were unsure how they would turn out or hold up. She froze them without baking them first, and then we saw a Martha S. show that claimed that when you freeze and then bake they are soupy. Well Marth, ya lied.

Bet's pies are still great almost six months later, not a sog in the bunch. Having pies ready to go in the freezer has really been a blessing. They take a while to bake but no muss, no fuss, in the oven and out in about an hour.

So a beautiful roasted salmon dinner and a pie, yum.

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to tomorrow. I have a post in the works, it goes with my "Feelings" post and was spurred by Alan's post, Knowing About or Experiencing which asked a couple of good questions today.

So Dear Reader, "We've had fun and played our games, won't you come again." (A little ditty from my childhood Wanda Wanda watching. ) Come again tomorrow and perhaps we will also talk discipline. Don't worry I'm no expert in that department, as most of you are well aware of, but sometimes I gotta go beyond myself you know. Anna and I are doing menus, due to the encouragement of Rebecca and LindaSue. The whole stewardship thing.

My Dogs Have Tissues

I know, I am famous for my misspellings.

I freely admit that I spell like a frog on acid, the hippy-drug acid not the etch-your-glass acid. But the title is not a typo or misspelling. I know Dear Reader, you think that I mean to say that my dogs have issues. And as well you know, I have rat terriers, blind border collies and a orphan drug dog rescued from a dysfunctional family, so it is easy to jump to the conclusion that I mean to tell you today that my dogs have issues. And for sure they may, but today they have tissues.

A whole box to be exact! They did this on my bed. You're right Dear Reader, when you say, "most likely because they have issues." It appeared from the evidence that they were after the glue in the cardboard box that once contained the tissues. Next time I just leave them some glue in their dish. Or maybe they would like glue in its raw form and I'll have Dirt trim feet on the livestock for them.

Hey, today is Fat Tuesday, a celebration I've never really gotten into.

One time, some friends took me up to the Seattle celebration of it back in '78. Uh, I'll grant you that I was very rebellious at that time in my life, but the "whole wander city alley ways drunk out of your mind in the middle of winter" thing?, not my ideer of fun.

And then in 2001 the Pioneer Square business sponsored Fat Tuesday "celebration" turned violent and a young man was murdered, kicked and stomped to death in a crowd of people, businesses were looted, a woman was hit by a car, there were many injuries, hospital emergency rooms were packed and seemily every cop in Seattle was all over the situation but not making much of a dent in the violence. Then the next morning the region had an earthquake, the epi center was sixty miles away from Seattle's Pioneer Square, yet it was in the Square where the most damage occured. There were many business that had to close down because the front of their buildings were in a heap on the sidewalks, they were connected to those buildings or their building had incurred such structural damage as to close them until they could be repaired. Connect the dots?

Come on, you're really going to tell me that all those people in the most famous of all Fat Tuesday celebrating regions are really ready to settle down to a good bout of self abnegation for the next forty days when they get up tomorrow morning? I didn't think so.

There is a huge difference between eating up all the eggs and meat before the fast starts and running around naked in a crowd of rebellious sin-filled drunks.

So we will have a bit of indulgence today, a little feast perhaps before the fast, in the form of cake (already had a bit of chocolate with my coffee), but no nakedness, no debauchary, no reveling in sin.

Hey, you might say, "You need to eat a box of tissues to assuage your issues today," eh?

Dear Reader, perhaps you and I should take time today to listen to God, is He calling us to a deeper discipline? Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in accord with the calendar, maybe next week, maybe in the middle of tonight on Saturday. Sometimes He taps us when we least expect it. Sometimes we least expect it when it is blatantly obvious and written on someone else's calendar.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday George Washington

A little montage of George Washington.

Born February 22, 1732 to Augustine and Mary (Ball) Washington at Wakefield Farm, Westmoreland County, Virginia.

1748 (age sixteen) begins his career as a surveyor.

January 6, 1759 marries Martha Dandridge Custis, widow of Daniel Parke Custis. Washington assumes parental care of her children, Martha ("Patsy") and John Parke ("Jacky").
An impressive military career that began at age twenty-two when in April-May 1754, he lead Virginia forces against French at Fort Duquesne in the upper Ohio River Valley and built Fort Necessity at Great Meadows, Pennsylvania.

What a grand appropriate ceremony that first inauguration must have been, here was a man that could easily have taken up the position of king, took weeks to travel to the place of his inauguration and met with many celebrations along his trip, yet he remained humble, refused to be a king. His influence, if not his political party, remained with many presidents to come and a young nation.

"Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." - From the Proclamation of National Thanksgiving

And now, as promised, a few selections from George Washington's book Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior.
Listen up professional baseball players and hip hop singers.
When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body not usually discovered.
Madonna, Janet...junior high girl down the street.
Put not off your clothes in the presence of others, nor go out of your chamber half dressed.
When you sit down keep your feet firm and even; without putting one on the other or crossing them.
Back off close talkers and stop jiggling.
Shake not the head, feet or legs; roll not the eyes,; lift not one eyebrow higher than the other, wry not the mouth, and bedew no man's face with your spittle by approaching to near to him when you speak.
Okay, everyone turn your heads.
Kill no vermin, fleas. lice, ticks, etc. in the site of others.
Oh wait you can't.
Turn not you back to others, especially in speaking.

I'm Up, I'm Out

Hey check it out, I'm up, dressed (that alone is a miracle because I can do a lot of things in my jamies, except go to the store, even out door chores
'cause I have a rain suit sitting right over my boots, fireman style)

Dirt took the girls with him today to the areoplane fest, so I was greeted with a blast site in my kitchen, dining room and living room. (We didn't have a living room when I was growing up, instead we called the room with the couch and easy chairs the front room.) The mess was caused by the fact that while we were at our friends house last night their children were here. The girls are like me, when you have company who wants to clean, you can do that when you have been abandoned to yourself.

But in a matter of minutes, minutes I tell you, I consolidated the entire mess into the sink and dirty dish counter,

And the garbage.

So my peninsula counter is clean now,

And so is this counter, (isn't the towel ucky looking, but this is my seed sprouting station and the seeds drip brown water. I'll change it today when I start a new batch of sprouts.)

And this counter is clean, trust me they had every counter completely trashed. Ahhh and you can see I have even pressed my morning coffee and a cup or two is already missing. That's because I had a cup while making my bed, and tidying up and the second cup is

for my banana cream pie breakfast. Dear Reader are you really going to force my hand at rationalization... What do you have for breakfast? A couple of eggs, some sort of grain product, maybe with a little butter on it, a glass of milk and some fruit? What do you suppose is in my banana cream pie? So there you go, a fine breakfast food and because it is homemade, from scratch mind you, there are no hideous chemical stabilizers to destabilize my brain and stabilize the chub on my middle parts.

While I dined in relative solitude, the ratters are here with me today, I took time to go through the seed drawer for today's gardening endeavors,

and to sit with a book that I need to consult for my menu plan, thanks to the reverse psychology of LindaSue, (I secretly think Dirt contacted her to phony up that whole thing about menu and budget so that I would open my big encouragement mouth and then feel the shame of pinballness myself).

Oh and I'll take a few minutes this morning before I head out to weed and prune, and read a little smack down from the ultimate in smack downers. A.W. Tozer. Ow ow ow, is all I gotta say.

After reading Tozer and dealing with me wee personal life, I definitely need to make sure I am feeding my brain an anti depression diet. You know, if family members and near family members would quite making it a habit of dying in the fall and winter and if other people who's souls I care for deeply would quit being burdened in the fall and winter, maybe, just maybe, I could have an early spring that isn't spent pulling myself out of depression.

But what the heck, you know it is George Washington's birthday today. Man he is old. I was reading up on him last night and how he escaped death constantly, bullet holes in his jacket, hat shot off his head, two horses shot out from under him, and that was just one day. Not just on the battlefield did he defy death, he also had many bouts of sickness, any one of which was known to be deadly. Clearly one might say that he was destined to be our first leader.

There were many very interesting bits of information that I read last night and hopefully later today I will find a little book that he wrote on civility to share with you Dear Reader, but of interesting note to me last night in my middle of the night research, was something I did not know. George Washington suffered depression. Thomas Jefferson essentially called him Gloomy Gus, his exact words: “in all aspects of his life, [Washington] was inclined to gloomy apprehensions.” I knew that he was often thought of as a little sour but the historians that I have read in the past chalked it up to his ill fitting teeth.

Ran across a book of psychiatry last night that actually questions our use of antidepressant medicines, some of the writer's thinking was based on all the hugely important thinkers and leaders who suffered depression before the advent of brain chemistry altering drugs. Which on the average I agree with, I don't think we should all be so extremely "normal" but when you start staring at sharp objects and large trucks I think it is time to maybe change up the old brain chemistry a little so that you can think about things that are important. After all, God gave us food and drink to help us over come our ailments so we can get on with things.

Ahh, what the hay would I do with my time other wise? Gotta stay occupied with something eh? Why not occupy myself with the intricacies of brain chemistry? (I ate the pie, and drank my coffee before I started reading. I'm not dumb enough to think that I won't succumb to guilt, duhuh!) The brain chemistry reading is for a menu to start on Wednesday, I'm an ol' Catholic girl and the Church calendar says that the season of self-denial doesn't start 'till Wednesday. So until then it is Random Rhonda, Sugar Sally, and Budgetless Bambi all rolled into one Lazy Lanny at your service, what can I rationalize for you Dear Reader? Better think of something quick because fun and frivolity come to a screeching halt on Ash Wednesday!

Things have thawed out and the sun is still shining, (liar liar pants on fire little mister weatherman) so I can go grab myself some vitamin D and mood boosting sunlight, and so that Dirt will be happier with me when he gets home, the dear man worries about my brain chemistry more than I do, so I oughta honor that eh?

And I am sure Dear Reader, that you have had enough of my run on sentence structure (is that structure if it is run on?) and liberal sprinkling of commas, so you are off the hook for a while. But I will be back, with some wit not wisdom, as usual, later today. Kiss, kiss, hug, hug (for my girl readers) and a "get out there and absorb the weather God gave you today!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good News, Bad News and News, Even Borderline TMI News

There will be clam digging in March (providing that there are no little microbes in the tide that cause death to shellfish eaters (there is always something that kills selfish eaters)) and woohoo it is during Dirt's semester break.

Bad news, absolutely not one opening at Grayland State Park for our traveling tavern.

That means drive down and drive back and that means, rationally, only one day at the ocean. So as long as I can persuade Dirt, we can fit at least one clam tide in, providing of course that the microbes tend to themselves where ever it is that they tend to themselves at.

Dirt is down at the fairgrounds today for the Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show and I have been horrifyingly disobedient and did not get outside. I did more that I had planned yesterday so today was like a free day in my head. I can and often do rationalize absolutely anything. I was thinking of making that my cottage industry, I will rationalize for you for a fee!

But that is really lame thinking because I am a million "did more than I planned" days behind where I'd like to be and certainly even a thousand days in the eyes of mercifully kind friends, even you Dear Reader cannot deny that I have a lot to do and a lot I ought to be doing! So I hang my head with the fact that making my bed is my big accomplishment here today.

No wait, the big accomplishment was getting out of the bed in order to make it! Curses on the lap top. I can write and do research from any where, and one of my favorite "any where's" is my comfy cushy bed. I tried making up a rule that the lap top was not "allowed" in the bedroom and each time I make that "rule" I get sick. Hmmm. I see that as a clear sign that the "no lap top in the bedroom" rule is a down right violation of some sort of natural law.

There is no tv in our bedrooms, my bedroom is far from the kitchen, a good room for me to be far from, I face a blue wall, Dirt says that is the color of creativity certainly that was permission from him to write from my bed doncha think?

I have one hour to do fifty zillion things. Oh, that is just not reasonable so I will do one thing, wash my hair so I can go to our friends house for dinner and fellowship. Crumb, I forgot to wash my jeans, aaargh what to wear?

Dear Reader, I hope someone has made you a lovely dinner and that you find yourself in some stimulating conversations about God and His glory and being citizens of His Kingdom. I know Dirt and I are blessed with that this evening.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Updates and Reprieves...For Some.

More bottles were purchased today when Anna went to town. Why, why should she need more bottles?

Because she wishes for bottle lambs each year and each year she gets one maybe two, a few years back she didn't have any, but this year she has six!
Bottle lambs are called bummer lambs, it is where the sixties' dope smokin' flower children got their saying of, "Oh, man, that's a bummer."

But Anna doesn't consider it a bummer. Anna loves babies so much she is willing to take them in animal form. Last year one of her two bottle lambs was in such bad shape that Dr. Dale (a real Dr.) gave her an IV bag and showed her how to get her a little dextrose sub q. Nurse Anna had the IV bag hanging from a nail by the woodstove it looked like a make shift MASH unit for a while. But she got that pathetic thing up and around in no time and now she is one of this year's largest yearlings.

This morning's orphans are quite small, little itty bitty things, (which is one reason that the prolapse clearly was a hereditary thing, not a giant baby won't come out thing). Which by the way was our first post partum prolapse, the pregnancy prolapses are so much easier to deal with because it is just a little bit of tissue you have to shove in and take a little stitch to hold it.
Another by the way, by the way, my goats never prolapsed. I miss my goats.
Now for the reprieves.

Purr Bobb, the tile hockey player, put on his mean eyes, got down to business and was seen catching two mice.
The first one we are not sure was dispatched to mice heaven, or hell as the case may be, because he was only seen playing with it.
But the second one he definitely polished off because....

Songbreeze Swifteye was trying her best to assist him in his catch so when he did finally have a good grasp on it he kilt it straight away so that Swift could not get it and take credit for the bounty.
Alright the two of you may have a few kibbles but don't go getting all crazy with thinking you're the greatest. That was only two.
Oh, by the way for those inquiring minds.... Dirt sets lots of traps indoors for the little vermin (luckily we do not have rats yet). He actually ties the meat to the little trigger and sometimes when the population is on the rise he will just get sat down when we hear, "snap." That will go on for about four times and then they start spacing themselves farther apart. We notice that they, the mice clan, send the little guys up first and it isn't until they are just about at an hour interval that they are big and sleek.
You know Kathy, if I moved to that high rise condo I think that the bears and cougars would just follow and the vermin would be there to greet me into my new home! So I might as well stay.
Hey have a great weekend Dear Reader and remember that yes, things do happen for a reason, mostly because we live in a fallen world at the moment. But God is good and gracious and we have hope for eternity that others do not and A Way for handling the here and now as well. We ought to be urgently living in His will for His glory and for the souls that are perishing.

Remember What Cliff Said?

Something about farming not being for sissies. This is one of those mornings.
Warning, this is a self-indulgent post today.

Dirt woke me, although he didn't have to try very hard as I had just fallen back to sleep, with a, "hey, two lambs in the barn, I told the girls, but make sure they are up soon."

Moments later he was back inside and I said, "I thought you left?"

Come to find out the grace period of getting up, getting dressed, and getting outside just collapsed into get outside the ewe has prolapsed.

Oh what a mess. And what troopers my girls are and what a chicken I am. I knew to immediately get ice cold water washing down the organ hanging completely out of the animal. And I wanted desperately to say that I knew that sugar helped shrink it so that it would go back in (with lots of manipulation). But I second guessed myself and had to come here and look it up, sure enough my memory was right.

I have no idea if getting the sugar going right away would have helped or if it was a lost cause to begin with, not knowing how long she had been like this makes it hard to know if it was salvageable, and ultimately she would have only been allowed to stick around long enough to nurse her lambs to weaning stage and her lambs will be locker lambs.

Once a prolapser the chances are she'd do it again next year, and there is some who say that it is hereditary so there are better choices of lambs for replacement. I can be rational about all of this. This particular ewe was not a "special" ewe, no one used her for 4-H, she wasn't a bottle lamb, no one had given her a name, so I can do this, I've done this for years.

But crups, when Dirt got back home (I called him when it was obvious Bet and I were failing at the task) and he could not get it back in either because she was already closing back up, and so came and got the rifle, I couldn't stop the tears that had been welling up since I had called with defeat.

I know it is because I am tired, up most of the night in prayer and reading, barely slept at all even though I wanted to, I just feel spent, worn down, completely fatigued and vulnerable. I doubt if I could fight my way out of a wet paper sack today. Sure couldn't from the fetal position that I would like to assume. But I won't, I've got gardening to do and the girls are being taken into town by big sister Michelle (a much needed break for them) and so animal sitting falls upon me for the afternoon.

The Bald Eagles are back in town, well not really town, here at the farm actually, perched in their favorite "lunch counter" tree, unbudgeable. I think it is funny that a few years ago if you were doing something noisy, like building a house, and a bald eagle came and sat in a tree by your noisiness you would have to stop until the bird moved on, "because they won't dwell where it is noisy". Hog wash. We have seen them nest next to freeways, our own resident eagles cannot be scared away with banging pots and pans right under them.

So I guess I am going to head out, the eagles picked off one of our silver appleyard ducks the other day and if it happens today, if the eagle should get anything, I won't recover for several days, my sissy factor is at dangerous levels today. Anybody got a high rise condo in the city they want to sell me? I'm buying today.

But ultimately Dear Reader, I know that I will recover, God knew what my night was like, it was Holy Spirit's prompting that kept me awake most of the night in prayer and searching wisdom, God knew what I was going to be faced with this morning. God knew the fatigue that was going to make my bones hurt today. He knows and He is next to me, I have my ear toward Him today. I will be better soon.

May God teach me to listen closer and to understand what it is I hear.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mice, I Hate Them!

Ya I get it, hate is a strong word, and do I really hate a defenseless little creature of God's such as a mouse? Yep, yes I do. Two, uh actually now three years ago Rebecca and I went up to Raintree to take some more classes on how to graft fruit trees. As this was my, what, third "class" it was less of a class and more of a "hey grow a pair and just try doing it already" experience. For Rebecca it actually was a class.

I purchased a few root stocks for apples and I went home armed with yet another day of explanation, the little rubber strips and the green goop I needed. I already had the groovy grafting knife sharp enough to cut off your entire arm so quickly and cleanly that you wouldn't know it until you went to bed that night and could sleep peacefully on your side without wondering what to do with your irritating arm stuck under you because unbeknownst to yourself you cut it off earlier that day with your wonder knife you got for grafting trees.

I took some terrific clean and willing scion wood off of our favorite tree in the orchard right outside of our house, one of the many surviving trees from when our place was homesteaded by Sam Sorenson over one hundred years ago. I carefully performed four grafts, one didn't take, one was knocked off by the stinking dogs and two took and have been growing in little pots ever since waiting for me to decide if they are staying here or coming with me when God says "move."

When we were about to experience twenty degree and lower temperatures back a few months, I gathered up my little nursery, shoved them all in close to one another, surrounded them with old hay that Dirt allowed me to "waste" on my plants even wrapped all that with an enormous sheet of plastic all around the base so that the hay would not be blown away. Some of the hay I put over some of the smaller less self insulated pots so that they wouldn't freeze out from the top down as well as from the sides and bottom.

Everyone was nice and cozy.

Yesterday I decided that I was done waiting for the second big freeze so that we could ice skate one more time before spring hit. And since things are beginning to pop up in my garden (see my new banner picture?) I decided that maybe some of my nursery stock would like to take their winter covers off and get on with the business of breathing once again.

So moldy hay be darned, I began pulling the huddle apart and setting the various plants in their little groupings. I was excited as I moved the last of my many potted lilacs and reached for my grafted apple trees that looked pretty good (excitement building, building) up top, nice bud set good branching beginning...

And girdled by those ballasted little rodent buggers! Okay, not my exact words and yes one of them is rather made up, but those would be the words I perhaps should have used if I was worried that the neighbors could hear. Fortunately, unfortunately however the case may be, I do not have neighbors within ear shot. Hey, don't come over and canvas the neighborhood for consensus just take my word on it.

But there you have it folks. a ruined little apple tree. Not to mention they did some more damage, not as heart breaking, but damage none the less...

can you see the hole there that they made into the roots of a special mint?

Here, now can you see it?

I didn't have my camera with me when I picked up a huge pot of hibiscus that they burrowed under so greatly that I was able to put my hand and arm under one side and come out the other! And I am no slip of a girl either, my arms are the size of linebacker thighs! So I am not sure that the mice operated alone in this mission of take down the resident gardening idiot.

Crumb, crumb, crumb, crumb. Cut Rate Auto Parts!

Oh well. Better luck next year.
Oh and my bazillion onion starts? Yah, they didn't survive my fever so I am starting some new ones that I won't have room for and are rather late and maybe just ordering some plants from Dixondale. But I refuse, refuse mind you, to let the garden defeat demons get to me this year. I will plug along as if none of this has happened. Lessons. Lessons, it is all counted as lessons.

I am a week late (in my mind) on my peas but they will be going in tomorrow after a good soak tonight and finding something to plant under them so as not to loose them to the burrowing vermin.

You know with all the killing that these Terriers and Tabbies do it is a wonder that I have any vermin left to do this type of damage. How many more cats can a person have before they finally reach verminless paradise?

That's it! No body is getting fed from the bag.

If your hungry find something to murder and eat! And the next person caught gratuitously feeding these freeloaders, well lets just say you'll be in big fat ugly trouble! Welfare is over around here! Now get to work!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sinking, Sinking

Clam digging opportunities are dwindling for this year and we have not gone once! Sad, sad, sad. Depression is setting in.

Sure hope they have a March dig. Sure hope we aren't neck deep in something here at the farm then.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oh Bother

I had to learn new things so that I could do this for Sparky. Sheesh. Sorry about the technical difficulties and the big fat gaps that's what happens when Lanny has to load a new pic.

Sparky tag me with a "what if" and the what if in question this week was, what if you had a zillion dollars what kind of car would you have? Well Sparky dear, if I had a zillion dollars I would not have just one car. I would do my part to stimulate the economy, I would not hog my money. And besides, like Cinderella who coined the phrase, "you can never have too many shoes," if I had a zillion dollars (or what ever that amount was) then certainly you could never have too many motorized vehicles.

Oh and I would not want people to think that I was miserly, you can come right on over and borrow any of my motorized vehicles. Just don't do anything illegal on them, including speeding little Missy Mildred, Barney Fife might not flash you around here.

I've made my choices based on a few things:

Well made for one thing.
Not an antique that will absorb Dirt's time, I would prefer him to be in the passenger seat (okay, driver) not under the vehicle. Although I do like olden days feel to somethings.
Not an areoplane or a boat, I'll pitch poo into the poo wagon and occasionally I'll pitch horseshoes with Dirt but that's all I'm pitching, I like my cookies to stay right where they are thanks. Although, the sky bike on Joel Barker's blog looks pretty keen.
So for my first motorized vehicle choice, my work vehicle.

Yes boys and girls, it is a F450. I'd change the grill up a bit and it would be the Ranch King version with a long box with a liner and all the bells and whistles and little dial gauge thingies Dirt could ever want.
It would of course have the ultimate tow package because if you called me and needed some livestock hauled from here to there or there to here, I'd do it in a heart beat. I'd be more than happy to stamp a big fat carbon foot print for ya. Which of course reminds me that there would have to be a new garage built for this truck and its different trailers. Why Ford? Well I gotta say, 'cause of this right here:

“As we told Congress, Ford is in a different position. We do not face a near-term liquidity issue, and we are not seeking short-term financial assistance from the government,” Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said. December 19, 2008. Nuff said?

Now for my touring, when not picking up livestock, vehicle:

Ummm this dashboard would not be like this it would be the red burl walnut one. And the leather would be brown,

the exterior, Connemara Green Metallic, because a red sports car is entirely to cliche and blue too, uh blue. This loovely little number is a Panoz Esperante GT and my price tag is $116,465.00 or maybe a little more cuz if I had all the money perhaps I could have them do a few more custom changes.

These little puppies are made right here in the US, I am by no means an isolationist, I like foreign products as much as the next person but I like that someone started a new company and started it here at a time when we are told by EVERYONE on both sides that America is not the place to have a new business. Bull pucky. We may not look like the country you want us to look like right now but we still look pretty good when you take a spin around the globe. And one sure way to tank and flush is to give up and say that the "other side" has won. Okay, I'm done, let's do some more shopping.

(Maybe this pic will stay put.)

This model, without a doubt, is appealing to the senses and emotions, which, as we know from previous writings, Lanny does not fear. Fully dressed this puppy will cost me in the $34,000 range. Throw in the trip to go get it in my F450 and trailer and yeah kinda spendy but this is my fantasy and my fantasies are not cheap. Well not all of them anyway.

Dirt and I and our friends Mike and Rebecca went for an impromptu bike camping ride one weekend. Unfortunately we had no idea that on that weekend everyone was camping. So home we headed in the dark.

We were coming up from Chehalis where we had eaten dinner and tried to get a room at the hotel only to find out that even the hotels in the area were full because of some horse show. We came up the back roads and part of the back road runs parallel to the train track.

Hugging Dirt's back in the dark with the train running next to us, my DOT helmet melted off of my head and soon I was sporting a little leather cap and sweet little goggles. My jeans transformed into knickers and argyle knee socks grew up out of my newly acquired lace up brown leather boots. As we raced the train to the intersection miles ahead my life raced back through decades to a decade I have only heard about but longed for. The idea of this bike takes me there just as easy as that night did.

I was going to say that the motersickle was my grocery getting vehicle but I might need groceries on one of the days other than the sixty it doesn't rain here. So lets shop Lanny's brain one more time for a family car. The truck really is just to big to zip to town in.
So here it is the end of my economic stimulus package, ya, I know I said earlier, no antiques, but I couldn't help myself. My fantasy changed up a little and I hired myself a full time mechanic. I think if you hire one they actually work on your vehicles as opposed to the ones you marry.

But just in case Dear Reader you are just getting to know me, and think that I am a materialistic beast, I thought I would show you my vehicular reality.

My grocery fetching vehicle.

Dirt's commuter vehicle.

No one but Dirt will ride in it because unlike other cars that are this old and nicknamed "the rust bucket" this one is "the mold machine." Yes, Dear Reader, mold holds this puppy together. Bet got in it last summer and rode a couple miles, by the time the ride was over her throat had swollen shut, her eyes were red and dripping and she needed emergency oxygen when she arrived home.

Spark, hope this lived up to your expectations of me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


"Feelings, nothing more than feelings, trying to forget my feelings…"

The concept of feelings has been a topic as of late in my circles. It is one of those subjects that keep coming up off and on. Christians are constantly instructed by each other that it, this God thing we do, is not about feelings. Feelings cannot be relied upon. Feelings cannot be trusted. We must stick to the facts, stick to the concrete, what we know, what the Bible tells us, stick to tradition, stick to routine. We are to avoid feelings and emotion. Feelings and emotions are seen as fickle, always fickle, cute and fun when you’re in love, but fickle.

We do ourselves a grave disservice when we think like this. First, it is not God recommended that we ignore our feelings or disconnect from our emotions. Yes, Scripture calls our heart deceitful, if the heart be the source of feeling and emotion, but God, in Isaiah, also says our thoughts are not His thoughts, His thoughts will always be higher. Yet, in scripture we are called upon to take thoughts captive and bring them to obedience as we also have David’s lead in scripture to call upon God to create in us a clean and pure heart.

God himself has feelings, he loves, grieves, he has joy. We are called to emotion by scripture, rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. To live an emotionless, stoney life is not God’s intent.

How is it that feelings are inferior to thoughts and ought to be ignored? Christians tend to believe that feelings are faulty and cannot be trusted but that thoughts when properly thought are the basis of knowledge, they are less faulty once trained. Yes, like the trained scientific thought that for years held to the belief of spontaneous generation. Christians think it enough to hold on to provable thoughts of God. But I ask where exactly is the proof that allows you to have such faith? Does your faith spring from absolute proof?

Christians become excited when it appears that there will be scientific proof of God’s existence, scientific proof that a biblical event has indeed occurred, the e-mails fly, magazine articles are passed around. But is that what our faith hangs on?

If someone were to come to my house waving my daughter's birth certificate, holding out family photos and video clips of other people speaking of my daughter it would not impress me as to her existence. I know she exists because I have experienced her, I was there at her birth, I smelled her little self, I fed her and bandaged wounds and scrapes as she grew. That is how I know my daughter exists.

That is how I know my God exists, I have experienced Him and now I know He is real, more real than my daughter or my-self. Since I have experienced Him, felt Him, smelled Him, heard Him, I no longer wonder and have doubt. Myself I doubt, whether I am a child of His I have since doubted, recently, I wonder if the me I know is me, who I believe myself to be may be a lie, but of God I no longer doubt. But the telling of how it is I know would not prompt world wide acceptance of God. The telling would prompt the following response; very few would nod their heads in understanding, a few would be puzzled but encouraged to continue to seek Him for themselves, many would say “how interesting” but would not be encourage to look for Him any further than the pages of scripture and worry about my stability, many more would write it off as the babbling of a whack-o and a few would wonder if I need to be committed. For the vast majority my version of reality would be no more real than events on Star Trek.

The popular understanding of my proof would be that it rests originally on feeling and emotion and not rational concrete trainable thought. That it is feeling and emotion that indeed has corrupted thought. And indeed I would agree. All except the division between thought as trainable and feeling and emotion as inherently wily and capricious.

We have a tendency to think of thought like a dog and feeling like a cat. Cats come and go where they please, they use the litter box because they want to but cats are beyond being trained. Dogs however are trainable, given the time and consistency dogs will do as their master says, sit, stay, heal. Thoughts are dogs, feelings and emotions are cats.

I have been in proximity lately of a reoccurring dialog between men, discussing Jesus’ words on lust. Good learned men are convinced that Jesus was not calling out those men who, while looking at a woman nonchalantly, were overtaken by man-ness and all of a sudden found themselves lusting. That would be madness they declare, impossible, like asking them to no longer be human. Instead they claim that Jesus was speaking of first having lust in their hearts and then looking at a woman with that in mind. Granted, this argument is plausible, it certainly seems fair and it surely is far more merciful.

That is if you consider it merciful to ignore that we can and ought to take all thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. It is merciful if you think it good to leave it wide open to letting a large part of our lives out from under submission to our Lord Jesus Christ and an enormous foothold for Satan.

For emotion and feeling is just that, thought. And God calls us to think His thoughts, to bring all thoughts under submission to Christ and leave nothing of ourselves out there capriciously blowing in the wind. We are made in the image of God, we will have emotion, we will feel, to leave a majority of ourselves outside of God, outside of submission to Christ is to commit the worst of compartmentalism.

The enemy is not that we feel or that we have emotion. The enemy is that just like thoughts, feelings and emotions are put up against God. That we allow ourselves to continue in self-indulgent, self-agrandizing, self-preserving emotions and feelings, that is the enemy. That enemy is increased when we recognize the faultiness of our present emotions and feelings and instead of bringing those forms of thoughts into submission we ignore them, we dismiss all those forms as faulty and not to be trusted. Enjoy them for what they are, a momentary fuzzy wuzzy but do not look to them as anything more than a hormone rush and for heaven’s sake do not indulge them or give them a serious thought.

Through this type of ignoring they become like a two-year old left on its own to figure out how to behave. It would be fine, I suppose if the two-year old stayed a two-year old, unfortunately that is not the case and when we attempt to raise two-year olds in such a manner we end up with thirteen year olds that we know even less what to do with and they in turn become thirty-year olds that appear to never have grasped the meaning of adulthood, hopefully mommy and daddy and the zoo-keepers of their lives don’t ever die.

But we need not deal with feelings and emotions in this manner, they needn’t grow up to be an incredibly crippling albatross around our necks or shoved into the closet to never be seen again. God meant for us to take all thought, not just lofty concrete rational verifiable factual thought, under control. We can and we will if we desire, through the strength we have in Jesus Christ, take emotions and feelings under control. By the leading and teaching and counsel of the Holy Spirit we can and we will if we desire to, begin to have God’s emotion, God’s feelings, God’s thoughts.

We can give with His compassion, we can laugh with His delight, we can dance with His joy, we can smile with His pleasure, we can weep with His sadness, we can comfort with His grief, we can wake with His love. But we must desire His not ours.