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

Monday, August 31, 2009


God is good all the time,

no matter our opine.

Thinking about grace this week and I'll be thinkin' in the mountains.

Mercy: when we don't get the punishment we so richly deserve.

Grace: when we receive the beautiful blessings of God that we absolutely do not deserve.

Meditating on that for a week as I stare down the deep purple eyeballs of the huckleberry bush.

Because I desire to be graceful.

No, I'm not taking up dance lessons, I desire to move gracefully through my life and I desperately need to know what that looks like in a human. Well this human any way, 'cuz I've seen it in some others, but I wonder how to translate it to my life.

I desire to be a purveyor of grace, not fake and sappy grace, not fair weather grace, but God styled grace and a little mercy tossed in might be a good thing to eh?

I'm thinkin' Luke 14: 12-13 fits here in my meditation, but not really my invitation list for my next party. More along the lines of my daily life. Do I only invite in those who are pleasant and have something to offer me. Trust me I'm not going to not invite those into my life, I'm not there yet, I need my dear friends who extend grace to me, but who am I extending my small grace to?

I leave with a sore throat and itchy tickly ears, so I'm packing the vitamin c, calcium, vitamin A and D. Along with warm and rain proof gear. But I'm glad for this break. Thanks to everyone who is making this happen for me.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to Farm and Garden Issues

This summer didn't turn out like I was hoping it would back in February when all I wanted to do was to concentrate on doing my best with what I have. I've done an absolute crappy job. I have been diligently working hard and doing most things that I was supposed to do but some key elements were passed over for ever so many reasons and have rendered many things a rather big fat flop.

Remember, I have said that September is really my January, I am coming up in a few days on my New Year. (no it isn't my birthday, that was back in August.)

Oh not all was a loss and even the stuff that didn't come to fruition, or at least not abundant fruition, it all has been a tremendous lesson, either those things that didn't quite turn out came together to teach some of us here at Vicktory Farm and Gardens new things, or made some of us hear concepts that others have been stating all along, a few cemented, permanently, concepts and principles that we know now we cannot monkey with from here on out. And some have helped up renew some lost or put away ideas and visions for our little enterprises here.

So, there you have it. My, our, evaluation of this last year, in lovely vague terms. Resolutions will be thoroughly flushed out in the weeks to come. The nice thing about having an unconventional New Year is I am not under pressure to have it all ready on a particular morning, along with a crushing headache and a fuzzy tongue.

The other nice thing is that I ring in my New Year up in my favorite part of the mountains, doing my absolute favorite things: huckleberry picking in Alpine meadows, poking the campfires my husband builds and getting scolded for it, being free to be silly with my girls, and my boys, walking the river, making a pathetic attempt at fishing, identifying mountain flora, fauna and birds... . I always throw several books into the trailer but they rarely get read and I often take paper and pens but I'm not sure I've ever written up there.

So I suppose it isn't entirely true that I am going to be doing my absolute favorite things least ways not all of them eh? But it is a grand time for me to break camp down here, leave what didn't get done to rest and head up to the hill for a time of change not-change.

What this means for you Dear Reader is that I will continue to be absent from my little corner of the blog world. And now even more so.

I am sorry that for the last week or so it seems like I have entirely abandoned coming out to walk around the neighborhood to chit chat, but some crazy exciting and a couple incredibly sad heart wrenching things have been going on in our lives here and though I read everyone that I can incognito off of my Google Reader, I felt I didn't trust myself behind the wheel very well to do some serious driving. There are a boat load of entries for my journal hanging out in the draft section. I have been oozing words lately, just not sure they are for public consumption. Not sure the ones I have shared are necessarily for public consumption, but there you have it. The confusion of the Web and Journal and their child, Blogs.

Maybe things will look different when we get back home or shortly after, the Queen of Lets-Change! certainly hopes so. And so I leave off here. Our favorite farm hand on call, Miss A., will be here and her sister will be here at night with her. So we are always at ease that most likely with those two here instead of us, fewer things will die or wander off.

We will return after the National Holiday. I'll try to take pics. Oooh that reminds me, I need to pack the camera charger into Dirt's truck. Toodles Dear Reader.

Praise God, we just sold our last puppy! Were you worried Dear Reader that we wouldn't or that we would send him to live with you? I wasn't, in fact yesterday after a failed looky lou left I declared he would be sold before we left for camping.

The couple was sweet and sort of new to dogs but I am confident that he is exactly where he is supposed to be. Why God would be interested in our puppies? I don't know, but now I am convinced (again) He is, truly!

Got a call this morning, a woman was asking about our sign out by the highway, (thanks Anna for changing it up and putting our number on it).

"I'm calling for my friend," she says. "Did you have Rat Terrier pups?"

"Yes, we do."

"Do you have a male?"

"That's all we have left, and just one."

"How much?"

"Three hundred."

"That's exactly what she has." (Maybe you shouldn't have disclosed that but okay).

"I'll call her and let her know."

"Oh, one other thing. He is not a puppy puppy, he is five months old. He has had all his shots, is potty trained (well except for the excitment dribbles) does basic obedience (thanks Bet and Anna) sit, stay, come.

Some people like that, a puppy but without all the early puppy stage mess."

"Okay, well I will let her know."

Less than a half-hour later I get a call from a soft spoken man, asking for our address to put into his GPS, direction giving lately is way to easy.

They get here and I'm wondering if someone else will have to call because Mister Howel seems a little worried and stand offish and the gal is clearly nervous around dogs and the fella is not a thousand percent better himself.

But then we hand them dog treats and everyone, including the lady and ginormous Fluffy, are fast friends.

"I'll take him," she says.

"Okay," I say and then to Bet, "Go get the papers for her."

Out of the corner of my ear I here the very pretty gal call him Mister.

"Oh, you can change his name if you want, you don't have to keep it."

"What do you call him?"

Now I am confused because I thought she was calling him Mister as in Mister Howel, I thought Anna who had greated them first with the puppy, had told them his name.

"Mister Howel," I say.

"Oh that is funny because I named him on our way here. I suppose I shouldn't have but I did. I already named him and I named him Mister."

Woah! Thank you God for that enourmously huge confirmation that this is you working.

Mister Howel, now just Mister, rode off down the driveway in a very fancy ride. A shiny black SUV with those cool wheels that go 'round and 'round after you stop.

A lot fancier than what he would have iffin' he stayed here that is for sure!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ding, Ding, Ding, Right Answer!

Yes, my Dear LindaSue, it is as you say, "sorta like Mr. Roger's Neighborhood saying 'can you say fish?'" (referring to a comment she made on my latest entry into my journal, Can You Say... .)

At the same time you have exposed me as a ginormous Mr. Rogers fan.

I would run home from high school, as fast as I could in wood platform shoes, sizzler dress, and panty hose to sit and watch Mr. Rogers. It was an hour of wonderfulness, calm, fuzzy, personal, warm, innocence, that I no longer had.

All this could be very confusing Dear Reader, but when are my entries in my journal not so?

The memory that Linda Sue brings up actually goes with why I pronounced someone, declared the presence of, a Jack Rump.

I personally, aside from my husband, was no stranger to the need for purity in our lives and to instill it in our children. Our job, not only as parents, but merely as a member of the Body of Christ, is to remember and attend to Christ's very own words: Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves."

This call by Jesus Christ to attend to not allowing sin to slip by you and grab hold of the "little" ones in your life applies to all those in our lives especially those he has entrusted to us.

So no one need come here and give me pseudo help, which was mostly an attempt to promote his own web site that spews anti-whatever could be good and reinforces selfish pleasure and rebellion against God.

Help Help with what? Did anti-man, boy whatever, bother to read enough to gather that I have two daughters, well adjusted, that are married and having children and leading very good godly lives? Did he miss here A Little More... , that this was history and did he think our searching was a present situation? Gee, thanks for reading my blog. I know my journal entries can oft be long, rambly, and tedious to work through, and I don't expect my Dear Readers to read and absorb every word. But then I would expect them to breeze through get the gist of why I mentioned a particular author and a particular book, recommend his site that refutes it and then say hope that helps.

Not saying that Dirt and I have it all figured out at this point. And we certainly did not stop at the first book (I am not mentioning the book as it seems to trigger his anti antenna) we read on the subject, besides the Bible (except that it really took this particular book to open us up to see that while the Bible doesn't talk much about dating it sure as heck has a lot to say about purity, sexual and other wise.)

But this Jack Rump has no interest in my girls or your girls or your young men for that matter or what I am actually saying. He has issues, he would like to live his life unhindered by guilt while taking advantage of situations and people for the purpose of gaining personal pleasure and not giving account for his actions.

Don't worry Sparky, I didn't delete him or if I put comment moderation back on, is it because some one was mean to me. Mean I can handle. Its stupid that I have a harder time with. That and assuming I am so gullible that I don't see what he was really doing.

I have smart Dear Readers, smarter that me for sure, my spell check and grammar filter is constantly on, I never leave home or the bathroom without it (the one room I don't write in, arencha glad to know that). And if my Dear Readers wonder about something I say or something I cite from a book, they can search the web and find and read for themselves articles on said book or author. They don't need Jack Rump and his magic search tool helping them find his enlightened writings on why the author was so off base.

Especially for the particular book in question, there are scads of rebuttal books and articles. It was at one time, when my now twenty-seven year old daughter was thirteen, a very popular book, you don't rise to that much popularity without collecting some crabby folks on the way.

Quite frankly as I myself begin to write more on this subject of purity and God and marriage, I will in fact write a review of some books and philosophies, held by Christians and some major Christian movements, that I take exception to. But I will be sure to tell you what it is exactly that Dirt and I and our close brothers and sisters find to be in error in the writings and philosophies. With a boat load of scripture. It won't be a mealy mouthful of self centered desire to indulge in physical pleasure that we all know feels good (that is the draw after all and the temptation) and the whole pleasure thing, which we also know sets up a big fat ugly entry for sin or is itself sin.

So, Dear Reader, by all means if I mention a concept or a book or a notable author, look em up. Look up the obscure authors too, you might not find anything but try away. But mostly Dear Reader, if Dirt and I say anything in our writings and tellings, I beg you not to swallow it whole, but to put it under the lamp of the word, see if it is right.

And please do not fret, if you disagree with me in your comments I won't erase them if I see that your motives are pure, his were not. But if you disagree with Dirt and I we may feel the need to counter your disagreement. And we may also largely ignore it and let the other Dear Readers figure it out. Or if your words point out an error, then we will certainly concede.

But if you say I said or implied something make sure I did, because I do not like my words being whipped around and read with prejudice. I will most likely restate what it was exactly that Dirt or I said. And we will be friends during the discussion and afterward.

That's all I got tonight for you Dear Reader. Our little gathering was added to by someone that we don't get to see much of lately and that was sweet. The food was awesome! The smoked salmon and pasta, wow, thanks Patty MorMor and Rick. The fresh green beans and cherry pie was delish, thanks my little Bettikins. And Anne, way to go on your first herb yeast bread (I knew you could do it, it is in your genes and the graft). The rest of you slackers (that would include me tonight) step it up next time.

After the wonderful meal and some light hearted-ness at the table, we meandered into the living room and mused about what first century gatherings of the body might have looked like from meeting to meeting, the different types and the different reasons, all of course for the one reason of giving glory to God.

And when we were all talked out, we came together in unity to pray for marriages, the ones we see in grave danger all around us, the ones that are in despair and the ripples it causes. We prayed for the church that she begin to regain her understanding of such a mighty relationship that God uses it many times to bring us to understand our relationship to Him and He to us.

I suppose we forgot to pray for the marriages that seem to be okay. Perhaps I'll go do that now. See you in a little while, with some garden news or silly farm story or maybe I'll tell you more of that young lady who ran home to watch Mr. Rogers when she was in high school, and were she came to in the care and feeding of her own children's souls, with the patient and understanding guide of her husband but most of all her Lord and Saviour.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can You Say...

Can you say Jack Rump? I can and I did.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Little More...

Ready for another freak fest? If A Final Lesson In Faith was just whetting your appetites for knowing exactly how weird we all are, the Vicks and the Bowermans, and all that the bond includes, then I sure as heck have more where that comes from. I think these are turning out to be the story build up for what this blog was really all about: Dirt and Lanny's personal journey with God, 'Building a Future of Purity for Generations'.

What Happened on the Way to a Book of Sorts

Instead I got all caught up in telling you more of the Farming and Funny Stories aspect of our lives with a few of God's lessons for Dirt and I, mostly me (you know those slow students), thrown in. Then I had a great idea to have an extra blog to put my long stuff on. Yeah, I know, you are wondering how long the long stuff is if what is written here isn't long stuff. But its for long, consistent stuff. Mostly I had abandoned it when spring rolled around and I was having difficulty getting my work done. And some people who were encouraging my writing were now wonder where their dinner was and who was going to move the tractor out of the middle of the field cause a thought had struck the person using it.

Well I'm back in the saddle, again, I think this time I know where the stirrups are located so that I can confidently take off. This and the post I wrote on Monday will go there, the
Stories_From_Dirt_&_Lanny blog along with my feeble attempts at some rather lame non-fiction (they get to stay there and maybe I'll add more) and it will begin my long awaited start on my book, well long awaited by about four people in my life that is. Maybe you'll enjoy it, maybe you won't, it will quickly take a strong turn that quite a few folks don't have the time for.

Building a Future of Purity For Generations to Come was originally a "class" Dirt and I put together for a few people who often asked us how we got to where we got. There were just a couple of folks who wondered how we managed to have sweet, non-mouthy, non-hussified, hard working girls, that didn't date and didn't hang out, but still managed to get married. We would always answer with, "it isn't us, it is God, we just try to listen and do."

People wanted to know what we had been listening to, what rules we had come up with. That was the hard part. There weren't very many "rules", hardly one really. Mostly it was understanding what the end result of direct parenting really is and what God means for us to be doing with our lives and our gifts. And really, it is more than how we got to where we got 'cause we're still gettin'. And it may appear to some folks that the title and what the main theme of most of Dirt's and my yapping is all about sexual purity. But purity is about way more that what the bathing suit covers. Way more. And our purity in God continues to develop, hopefully not degrade, the further we run the path with Him.

But as far as rules for it, so you can just follow a set of check off-able rules, it doesn't really work like that. It's kinda like a blob, hard to hold onto from the outside, but if you could just crawl into "it" you would be surrounded by it all the time.

Where to Start
It is hard to really pin down when this journey started for Dirt and I. We could start at our own marriage, but then when we came together we were bringing two stories together that really weren't even identifiable at that time and we really didn't know at that time what we were doing and how much our very lives were setting up.

So we'll just go with Anne's birth to the Bowerman family and the bonding and increased family building that scenario all began for us and we'll work backward and forward from there and see how it goes.

A Helpful Tool
This is a telling of a people's history and how God moves in their lives, and it is told from one of the more random, seemingly disjointed people in the group. You know full well Dear Reader that you almost need a road map once I get started talking. Okay, yes, you need a road map. That's a great idea. But you'll have to draw it out yourself as we go along. So get out a big sheet of paper and write "God" in the center.

Actually lets make sure we are all on the same paper, write, "Triune God." As you write it you could hum the hymn lines "God in three persons, blessed Trinity." I did just now, so maybe you can too.

Now, anywhere you want to, you can write Dirt and Lanny or if you want to be all formal like, you could put Phil and LeeAnn Vick. Then after you read
A Final Lesson In Faith you can put down Mike and Rebecca Bowerman. None of our entries will be in chronological order, if they were you might not need this road map. So don't put them in a nice straight line vertically or horizontally. Come on you left-brained engineer students, you can do it, just close your eyes and stab at the paper, now open your eyes and just start writing.

You can draw a line from the center, God, to Dirt and Lanny. And you can draw a line from the center, God, to Mike and Rebecca.

Now that you read
A Final Lesson In Faith you can draw a line between Dirt and Lanny, and Mike and Rebecca. You could even illustrate this line. Lets see... you could draw a horse, or a cider press, or a microphone, a hospital, an ultrasound, well heck you know what your capable of drawing and you read the story, no skipping stories, they are all important, so you know what you can draw there for now. I might say, don't fill in the whole line because there might be more things you want to draw there.

Now lets see what do I want to tell you next.....

Oh yeah. Lets have a little humor and some launching points for concepts. Lets talk dating.

Not, I repeat, not one of my favorite subjects. It's true, I have major issues with dating, and all of them will unfold soon enough, but one of the foundations to having problems with it was that in high school I sort of wasn't allowed to get my own dates just in case one of my brother's friends might be short a date and they would need me to fill in. He was a senior and I was a sophomore and he ran my life. Oh, by the way this is actually the one brother that doesn't have huge issues with me now, it pays to have at least one other black sheep with you in a relationship circle.

I don't know how dating went for Dirt, he was at a high school out in the booneys well not as booney as he could have been, but definitely in a different school district and different sports league, no reasons for our paths to cross at the time and besides he would have been my brothers age and in order to date him they would have had to be friends. So I really have no idea how dating went for Dirt. Beings that he was the oldest I'm thinking no one told him who he had to go out with on Friday night no matter what plans he had made Wednesday afternoon.

I know very little dating incidences of his, and I'm betting you won't get much out of him either Dear Reader if you asked directly. He has one or two stories he repeats. So I'll tell you the one he tells most.

Dirt had a restored 1954 Ford Victoria that he drove around. And he had a girlfriend with long blond hair (who didn't in 1974 in America?). He was driving down I-5 one afternoon when he glanced over to his "girl" as she was finishing up brushing her hair, (probably for the fiftieth time in the hour) and caught her pulling the hair out of her brush and tucking it under the seat.

I'll just let you absorb that scene a moment.

Dirt's brain lit on fire. (It doesn't do that very often) and he immediately pulled over to the side of the road and demanded she get out, remove the hair ball and dispose of it properly. We don't need to mention her name, she doesn't belong on our road map. This is just one of two of the only dating stories heard from Dirt. Not much to go on.

I'm thinking that this isn't the incident that made him go all crazy, mad scientist crazy, when he noticed his first little girl getting a little older, not so little girlish any more, starting to look like the little girls he found himself hanging around for no apparent reason. I'm thinking his crazy was based on thoughts that look a lot more like my dating stories, the ones where someone in the car needs to be taken to the hospital for door handle and window crank extractions and it wasn't the boy. I'm just thinking that maybe just maybe he had scenes like that in his head when he started to go crazy. He hasn't shared any. But I'm thinkin'.

Dirt, the Mad Inventor

I'm thinking that that is what he was reflecting on as his first baby girl was rolling through the years of eleven, twelve, thirteen... He could see a trend and he wasn't liking it. He knew what was down the road and like he always said to me when I thought adult guy friends for me were harmless, "I (Phillip Vick) know how guys' minds work!"

He began to invent all sorts of surveillance and protective devices for his daughter. Polishing up a rifle on the porch swing was not enough for him. Sure he thought that whole, "so you want to date my daughter" contract was funny and so right, but he knew no piece of stupid paper was going to protect his daughter. That was his job. Only he thought he had to do his job and insist that she date. "Normal people date, I want my daughter to be normal, therefore she must date".

Not right away mind you. Dating could and should be held off for as long as possible, most likely sixteen, 'cuz after all what was the sense in dating if you couldn't go in a car. Yeah, you'd miss those fun door knob extraction moments, that's worth waiting for.

So he began to invent, well in his mind anyway, nothing went into actual prototype development. Mind you this was early nineties, no GPS, cell phones were barely on the scene, PCs were slooooooooow. But yet Dirt figured he could put a device on the guy's car and go inside and watch the little red dot on the map and see when it stopped and if it was a preapproved stopping spot and if it wasn't he would run out to the helicopter pad and take off, I would stay in radio contact and let him know what was going on.

Realizing of course that there would be some delay in his arrival at the scene he knew he needed some back up technology. That is when he began to actually hope for the need for expensive orthodonture work. He would supply the orthodontist with his very special braces. These braces would have sensors that could detect external pressure. On receiving that impulse, a magnetic pulse would be activated slamming shut the top and bottom braces and locking them in a closed position. He was also working on some sort of clothing connection.

But before he could work up the clothing concept and get it all off to the workshop for prototype development a friend of ours handed me a book one day.

A Book and Author Come to Us From a Friend

I sat there at her house reading it and almost finished it on the scene. If I'm interested I can usually eat a book in one sitting and this one was relatively small and I was very very interested in it. The title was, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

Now I grant you, it was written by a youth for youth, not necessarily for parents. It was a young man's perspective on why dating is essentially stupid, unnecessary and potentially very harmful.

His, Joshua Harris', thoughts on the subject blew the doors off of my brain. Most of what he said struck very familiar cords and the new thoughts were pretty fascinating.

I handed the book to my then approaching thirteen year old daughter. She too nearly read it in one sitting. And when she was done she said, "the rhinoceros that was in the middle of my road is gone. I will not be dating."

Holy Cow Patties that was way too easy.

But we, Dirt and I didn't question it, Dirt was just happy to put away the graph paper, resin mold, and electrical conduit. I was just glad.

And we rested, got on with the other parts of life, continued to talk openly about what we thought marriage was all about, in God's eyes, and how a young person might prepare for it. But mostly we were free to focus on sewing, sheep raising, gardening, chicken management and stitching up ducks torn up by dogs. God was good. We often thanked him for sending a book like Josh Harris' into our world just in time for the sake of our daughters.

Sometimes late at night I would lie awake crying to myself, wishing I had had that book. My life would have been so different. So much black and stormy, soul crushing stuff could have been avoided.

But then I started thinking, and I think some thoughts were stirring in Dirt's mind too. What if a teen (hate that word) couldn't get passed the rejection of the concept by their peers? What if they weren't brave enough to risk doing something different even though convention (just since the beginning of this century any way) was proving not to be such a hot way to start life? What if they were willing to risk a baggage car load of baggage that they would carry into their marriage just so they wouldn't look weird? Every day having to chalk it up to growing up?

There's More to the Path

Those thoughts got Dirt and I thinking and searching for some answers from God. And sure enough He was faithful to bring us some more information. More information came in concrete form from the same friend who handed me the first book, my dear friend Terry. And some stuff was coming out in Dirt's and my thoughts that were stirred by Scripture and biblical principles.

But that will be another day's story. I guess today's story isn't all that freaky for some folks but not everything that goes into the pot roast pan looks like meat.

Have a great day Dear Reader!


Again? Always oopsy! I was dorking around and thought I would go back to moderating my comments before they showed up. Beats me if I remember why I thought to do that. But then it appeared as if I was not getting any comments, so I asked Anna to comment, when hers didn't show up in my e-mail like the comments use to I switched back to no moderation.

I found the lost comments. They are now published and my sincere apologies if anyone felt slighted or whatevered by that boo boo.

Please, never feel slighted by anything I do or say. My synapses constantly misfire. I have incredible brain damage. I was born with it. Some people who are prejudice against certain hair color would claim that that was my issue. But even after I started having children and my hair went dark the problem remained. Now that it is a lovely mature grey, the problem is really no better and no worse.

I say stuff that no reasonable person would dare to say. I lock keys in cars. I not only ask my girls to put the milk that I am clearing from the dinner table into the bathroom, I find that I put the frozen peas in the cupboard. I walk into walls that are clearly visible. I forget who I am. But I do still drive on the right hand side of the road, I think.

This is not an old age thing because even if you don't go by chronological age and go by grey hairs and wrinkles, this stuff was occurring long before any of that arrived. I am looking forward though to the day when I can just cut loose and not worry about what the latest goof I have just managed to do, and instead just go with the whole doddering mindless old woman thing. Or heaven, which ever comes first.

Do those of you who are married ever wonder which one of the two of you will go first? I go back and forth on that one, but if I could be in charge of that and could pick, I think I am settled that I would like to go first. I know, it would be sad for Dirt, he wouldn't have nearly half the things to laugh at once I am gone. But... my needs way out weigh his.

Yep, I'm going selfish here folks. (It isn't that big of a stretch for me to do that you know, if I just schooch a little one way or another I would be sitting right in the center of self center.) I look at it several ways. As it is already Dirt doesn't want to always talk to, converse with, me, okay, rarely does he, (it isn't so much the listening to me, he does that just fine and doesn't tell me to buzz off to often, the problem is that I sort of expect a cognizant sentient being to at least insert a "um-hum" every once in a while when I take a breath) but when he is here at least I can pretend he is engaged in the conversation we are, uh I am, having. When he isn't here physically, I cannot pretend that well, I start to get all paranoid, I'm sure someone has a camera hidden and is watching me talk to myself. So if he "goes" first then there will be a lot of folks getting phone calls once I can no longer drive, and you'll get personal visits until then. All day, and even into the night.

You know Dear Reader, I have told you about Dirt's unrhythmic snoring, well I can actually make myself think that he is listening and responding to what I am talking about at three am because of it. So there is definitely a plus side to the whacky snoring he does as long as I am not actually trying to sleep. So if he wasn't there at all, no offbeat snoring, no gurgling that I can make believe is him saying, "I guess so sweety," then you could be getting phone calls at three am. Oh, I'll find your number, even if you change numbers and don't publish, I'll find you and I'll talk.

I think out loud. I have to hear the problem before I can even recognize it is a problem. I have to hear all the solutions before I can recognize that they are just illogical nut job ramblings, and most likely illegal to boot.

I have to say at least four of my big words a day or I just sure I might succumb to having a hundred word vocabulary. But I really need someone to look at me funny when I use the word so that I have to explain my word choice, thereby assuring myself that I still understand it myself. There are not too many people in this world willing to perform that service for me like Dirt. He never ever pretends he knows the big esoteric words. (Just then he asked what is esoteric, well not really, he just left for work but I can hear it, but if he "goes" first I will soon have a very hard time hearing him and seeing him screw up his face like I am making up words again and say, "what exactly does that mean?" Which he has every right to, because I probably am more famous (uh, infamous) for my made up words or using the wrong word on purpose or a name like it is a word, poor Sacajawea comes to mind (my "replacement" for expletive deleted) , than even my big word usage.

Do you young Dear Readers ever use that phrase, "expletive deleted"? Did you know that the Nixon era made that term popular, "expletive deleted"? Remember why? If you're not old enough to remember you might want to check it out, just a little history tidbit.

Where was I? Oh ya, answering my own question; which would you pick if you could pick? The other reason, Dirt grounds me. Funny eh? No really, he does. Ya I keep him out of the wheelchair and active and that would be unfortunate for the girls to have to start wheeling their dad around shortly after I pop off because I tried some whacky dangerous maneuver up in the apple trees. But it would be much easier on them than being stuck with me.

My girls have never rolled their eyes at me, well, we won't count that time the oldest tried it once when she was about fourteen, (sorry to out you Steph but I gotta be honest), but I definitely have a vision of them rolling their eyes at me when I no longer have Dirt to keep me grounded and somewhat level, okay at least at a thirty degree slope. I'm not sure I could handle it, I'm not saying that they wouldn't have a right to but I still couldn't handle it.

And poor Bet, the other girls would certainly stick her with me. Oh if I pop off first I can well imagine that they will come out to the farm to pick up Daddy and take him to their house for a visit. But I'm thinking they would be ditching me at every chance they got. Oh trust me Dear Reader, my girls would ditch me 'cause I would single handily drive them crazy. They would have to daily rationalize why they "would never be like mom."

Ever see the movie Forget Paris, the old dad that they end up taking care of reads all the road signs they pass and goes around repeating the, "you want it, we got it, Toy-o-ta" jingle? Yeah, that'd be Dirt for sure but his girls will just giggle and say, "Oh, dad." Not so sure about their husbands, they'll be sitting their wondering if that will happen to them. But I'm not so sure my old age shenanigans will be so tolerated.

They don't have complete dump and run options. Just prior to their births they were contracted to keep Dirt and I out of the old folks' home. So they have to now. I birthed 'em, Dirt payed for them, they take care of us. I'm just hoping I'm not the last one left. And I sure as shoot better not be left in Carrot Manor state, drooling and on a feeding tube, cuz I'll hear all their jokes and they won't be funny!

A side note, the boys better be practicing "Oh Danny Boy" 'cause it is my one funeral request, well that and a boat load of food and beer and a good time. Any body caught crying will be put in time out staring at the side of a fridge. I know where I'll be by then and I will be groovin. (Unless of course Mike's theology on that is correct but then, I'll just be waiting without knowing I'm waiting, either way I see it as a win win, major win win, ultimate "who cares about anything else" win win).

Okay, I gotta go pick beans, I'm thinking that all this is really a moot point for today, heck probably the whole next week or year, and the beans will die and rot before me. But I say it doesn't hurt to talk about this stuff every once in a while.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Final Lesson In Faith

It's story time. Only this story is absolutely and completely true, no fake letters, no fictional characters.
It is a story that is at once my final lesson in faith and a story about grafting on to a tree. I know, its weird 'cuz the pictures that go with this story are our haying pictures from this summer. We didn't have enough from our farm so we needed to get hay from the Schactlers this year, (extra horses, but a dad's gotta do, what a dad's gotta do).
Haying is hot, dry, dusty, scratchy, heavy work. It is never ever done when it is rainy, and good hay that last until next April, or May in the case of this year, has to be accompanied by sure warm weather, not cool damp weather. There you have it in a nutshell what haying season is all about. So now you can look at the pictures for the other story they tell. Tree grafting. But the back story of tree grafting is my final exam in faith.
Nearly eleven years ago, eleven year ago this October, I invited the youth group my husband and I were getting involved in out to the Farm for some cider pressing and fall fun. The only youth in site were my own kids. The interim leader, a nice hard working fellow, and a young married gal who worked with the girls had also come out to help with the youth, that didn't show up.
I was disappointed but that was how it was supposed to be. We stood around for a while staring at the driveway, wondering what other activity had pulled the kids away that said they would be there, oh don't get me sidetracked, you know what I mean, we'll just leave it at that shall we.
After we were certain that no more youth were coming, the fellow stood and talked a little longer to Dirt but then left because he had his own family to tend to if nothing was pressing him out here. But the young gal was easily swayed to stay and go for a horse back ride. I was all of a sudden extremely happy that not one youth had showed up. My girls were busy pressing apples with Dad and now I was going to get an afternoon to spend with this intriguing younger woman.
She was the singer on the worship team at the church we attended. The Sundays that we pulled into the parking lot and heard the worship team practicing and warming up and I heard her voice, I knew it was going to be a good day. Her husband was a big guy and she was just a little thing. Her age was hard to pin down, I'm bad at remembering such things so even if she had told me a zillion times I would not have remembered. They kinda looked like they could be fresh out of college or darn near our age, just no kids.
Well in actuality I was turning forty and she was fast approaching thirty. I get confused on ages. Addition and subtraction of years is like square footage in buildings, my mind draws a blank and then heads in the wrong direction. Convention would have put us in different friendship groups for several reasons. I'm ever so glad I also have a hard time with convention too. 'Cause I wanted to get to know her. I wanted her for a friend. I wanted to crawl inside her life and her in mine.
We saddled up the horses and rode off for most of the day. We weren't to far into our ride when she began to tell me about her troubles with having children, her and her husband had already been pregnant many times but none of the pregnancies went very far. My heart broke. Funny the things you can assume when you just look at the outside of a situation.
She began to tell why it was particularly hard for her right now. Her new sister in law was setting out to become pregnant or was already, I couldn't hold on to the story my head was already reeling at that point. All I was feeling was bizarre sense of joy because I knew we were going to be fast friends and extreme sadness for her all at once. I hardly remember where all we rode. There were parts of her telling and parts of the landscape that for me are inseparable but the whole of it is gone. I'm not so sure they registered at all that day.
For a few days I stewed over my new friends plight. Then one night I began to pray and I couldn't stop. I began in my bed like I always do, thinking I would pray myself to sleep as normal. But I felt the Holy Spirit asking more of me. I was covering a lot of territory in my prayers, way more than I ever did before. I kept coming around to her and her husband. Praying several approaches.
I wonder what the sleep cam pointed at my bed would have shown that night. On the bed flat. On my knees like the children in pictures, hands folded elbows on the bed. On the floor, face buried in discarded clothes and lint, not caring a wit. Praying hard. Praying for many things. Surely I must be done.
Back up on the bed, lying flat, just a few more prayers to lull me to sleep. A couple of hours and a half dozen prayer positions later I have covered every topic imaginable, they bubble from my heart, flow out of my brain and drip from my lips to God's ear.
Then I pray that God give me strength to allow my children to do what he needs them to do. Not what I want them to do. Oh that was hard. I had a lot to prove with my children. Mostly I had years of proving things to my family my mom and my siblings, but now my mom was gone, nothing to prove to her any longer, I got the feeling that nothing would prove that I was a grown up to my siblings, so what the heck. I knew that my children were ultimately God's not mine. I knew that, was I ready to pray that?
Totally. No more me. Tell me God what you want and I will do my best to raise them so that they are the tool you will use. Over and over for each girl, all four. Lord what do you need them to be? I prayed in general and I prayed specifically. I prayed to know how to help my girls overcome some character hurdles, you know the ones, same sort of trait, a little this direction and it's a tool for destruction, a little this direction and it is a tool for righteous living.
"Lord God take them and use them. They are yours not mine." I heard footsteps just then in the hallway. Heavy, uncertain from where, I don't remember, but familiar footsteps. Dirt was sleeping in bed next to me, I was staring out our door into the hall. The commanding hard heavy footsteps ended at my door.
"He'll take them now you know. You know they'll die now don't you. They always do when you say stuff like that."
"Absolutely not!" I yell. "I know who you are! You are a fraud! Go away from here!" The footsteps retreat but now they are weak and sad.
I listen for a few minutes. I don't hear anything but I can't help myself. I throw back the afghan I had over my shoulders and dash up the stairs to the girls and begin touching them making sure that they are peaceful. I stay for a few hours to pray at their bedsides. As the light from the window begins to move from grey to a glow, I retreat down stairs.
"Where you been," is the muffled question that comes from under the covers as I lift mine and crawl in. Exhausted but rested all at the same time.
The next day I don't see any miraculous changes in my girls. In fact, are things actually worse? Walking through the beginning of that week, excited and looking, no answers. Now it is Wednesday and I am still excited. I get to see my new friend the one I prayed for a few days ago on that weird night. I wonder how she is.
When I get to the hall where we hold our youth group she grabs me by the arm. She says she has to go back to her house to get some stuff she forgot for tonight. Okay. I leave Dirt and the girls to continue to set up. In the car she spills it faster than I can.
She is pregnant!
Everything is going to be okay. Everything I prayed for is what I was suppose to pray for. Everything is going to work out. She was already pregnant the night I prayed, obviously, but everything I prayed for is going to be okay.
I'm so stinking excited I don't even remember what I told her or if I even did. Cloud nine. So when she starts getting sick, I'm smiling. Oh I can commiserate with her, I was sick from the moment I conceived to the moment their shoulders came out. I was no stranger to morning, afternoon and evening sickness. But I was happy.
Then the bad news came, my friend miscarried. I'm really confused. I go to pray. I don't understand. I try not to be selfish but I hurt as if it were me. I can't stand it. Now I am just crying and I hear my Lord say to me, "pray for the pregnancy to go well."
What? What are you saying Lord? Didn't you hear? Don't you know? There is no more pregnancy.
But the Lord's voice insists. "Pray for the pregnancy."
Now I am confused. Am I not hearing well? Am I misunderstanding? Is it okay for a woman to get pregnant right away? My nurses training kicks in, I don't think so, the body needs a rest.
"Pray for the pregnancy."
I do, I find words that work. I pray for the pregnancy.
I keep hearing the voice, "Pray for the pregnancy." Every day it hounds me. I am. I am praying. Poor Rebecca. She looks awful. She is still sick. Says that this has happened every time she miscarries until she goes and gets the remaining tissue cleaned out. Oh my poor friend, my heart aches, I cannot take it. I cannot think, I can hardly drive or take care of my own children. I feel so drained. Its the holidays and I don't care.
I keep hearing His voice. "Pray for the pregnancy."
I come into my bedroom, The bed that betrayed me. I thought everything was going to be okay. How much longer, how many more times, this is killing me, what about her! I can't take it. I fall on my knees at the end of the bed. Back to the door. Not where I usually pray but I don't care. I am spent.
"Pray for the pregnancy."
I'm done I don't have anymore words. I'm tapped. I don't know what in the world to say. All that is coming out now are moans. Pathetic helpless moans. Deep from my gut. Wounded, dying animal sounds. My arms are limp but there all that holds me up, upper body sprawled on the bed, lower body crumpled on the floor. I can't do any better than this? I can't lift my head, put my hands together in a proper prayer position. I don't think I'll be able to move again. What if someone comes to the front door? They'll see me. I don't care.
I don't care if anyone even my girls see me. I can't move. I can't talk I can't form a thought. Moans just keep spilling out. I am farther and farther from myself, my dignity. I have none anymore. I don't care. The pain is too great. It has me pinned to the bed and floor. Nothing matters but the pain. My heart is a wreck but from somewhere it just continues to cry out with these unlady like moans. No birth moans sound like these, no death sounded like this, no pain I every heard in the hospital ever sounded like this. Yet it is coming from me and I don't care, I just yield to it.
It stops.
I remain on the floor and the bed. Sleeping but awake. I feel a nudge and I rise. I am not tired or exhausted. Am I sure? Nope, I feel fine.
I go about my days. I hear His voice ask for prayer for the pregnancy and I attend to it. No more questions, no more made up words that fit my world and sort of cover the request. I just open up my heart and let the non-words pour out. Where ever I may be. Grabbing something out of a cupboard. Tending to a child's needs. Vacuuming a floor. Ignoring the crumbs under the chair. It all becomes so much easier, no struggle.
When I'm not praying I have a zillion questions, but no one to ask. I don't know her people. She is drained and so is her big husband. He looks so small lately. She looks so sick and pale. And tired. And he looks so small. But I continue to pray the words that don't make sense, the words that ask that the pregnancy goes well, I continue to not ask questions and just pray.
I look around at church and I don't see her any where. He isn't there either. We church in a school, there are rooms everywhere that we use. I look everywhere. Dirt has gone home, we do stuff for the church and now we have two services, with the farm stuff we can't both be there the whole time, so we drive separate cars and he has already left, the sound equipment has all been put away. But there are still various children's church people putting away their things.
I'm ripping open door after door trying to find a particular woman, she would know, sister of the pastor, kind of in charge of a lot, interum youth leader's wife, she'll be the one that knows. I find her. She is squating picking the days work up off the floor. I blurt out my question, "Where's Rebecca, is she okay?" before she even has a chance to turn around.
When she turns around there is a smile there that I know only means great stuff. And sure enough what spills from her mouth is phenonminal news.
She, Rebecca, my dear little friend, had gone in finally to have a DNC to clean out the remaining tissue. The doctor as always first took and ultrasound to check on what was still in there. And there was a baby.
This hay bucking baby to be exact (this is where the pictures actually do sorta go with the story). She was in there, making her momma sick but she was growing, determined to put her mark on the world.
The gal I had found that had the news for me continued to talk, something about a twin, that was what was miscarried, I sort of heard. But then I was in my car with my girls driving home. I think. I do remember passing the RV repair place right about the time I became aware of the pain in my chest. Like it was going to burst with joy.
I miraculously made it home. Dirt was there, sitting on the end of the bed facing the door. Like he had been waiting for me. Right in that spot.
My excited words began to tumble out as I grabbed his shirt and pulled my face in close to his. I was saying I couldn't believe it and he wouldn't either. I told him all I knew but the most I knew was that she indeed was still pregnant.
He looked up at me and said, "What did you expect, are you really surprised?" Oh he was Phil Dirt alright, that would come out of Dirt's mouth. But it wasn't just him in there telling me that. It wasn't mean. It wasn't a "I told you so." said in a critical spirit meant to put me down. It was a check. It was a, "people have told you you have a gift. You have a gift of faith, now buck up and use it."
Okay, step off of cloud forty-six and back down to a normal cloud nine. No biggy just normal kingdom stuff. Things look bad from a world perspective and it really isn't and He proves it over and over and over through us.
That is just the begining of the odyssy that has built this family, these two families, that keep making more families between them but in reality are just becoming one giant confusing family.
This is Anna and Abbey, Anna is the designated driver for haying season. She loves to drive her daddy's truck. Abbey was the next little miracle baby to come to Mike and Rebecca, in much the same way Anne did. Anne did have a little more drama just before she was born. Rebecca ended up in the hospital on bed rest at twenty-three weeks with a tear in the amniotic sack. I of course stopped by the autoparts store and picked up a bottle of Stop-a-Leak for her. Just the thing a good friend does.
Yeah, the doctors saved the day and helped Anne be born eventually on Father's day but we all knew the girl had an appointment. Rebecca and I continued to bond and continue our bonding still. Still learning how to carry someone so dear right in your hip pocket even though oft times you're quite poked in the behind with the friendship. Sometimes it is a gentle nudge and sometimes it is a rather unexpected stab, ones that could send most friends down the highway.
"Ow. Oh it's you," we say. And then we rub our bruised hiney and listen closer to the words that we know are meant for our wellbeing.
It isn't just Rebecca and I, it is Mike and Dirt It's even Pop and Patty MorMor, and Eric and Steph with Kai and Aksel, it is even Mike and Michelle when they can handle the confusion.
I have other friends that I would die for, whose children are constantly on my prayer list, who I am pained for, whose trouble I grieve. But this is different. Anne and Abbey are as good as mine, as my very own.

Sisters from different mothers.

Okay, so it isn't the rhyming phase the "brother" one is, but these ain't no boys. These are two of Dirt's and my six girls.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just Cuz and Some Gold Irises For Sale

Dirt and I are makin' like babies and heading out this weekend. And after my yesterday and the day before I need it! Suffice it to say that Tuesday I didn't think things could get worse, then yesterday they did, forty four fold times a thousand. Looking forward to just hanging on to the back of the bike and that is all.

The girls will be tending the Farm while we are gone. Don't tell them, but I don't want them to have to work too hard. I'm going to work my little buns off today and tomorrow for them and get a lot done so their to-do list is minimal. Hopefully I won't break everything in sight, that isn't already broken or dead from the last two days.

So all those hourly posts you're used to from me, sorry but I'm not going to be able to think of clever or irritating things to say and no time to type them out even if I could think 'em up.

The girls will have to do the pickle thing while I'm gone so take it easy on them Tipper.

We'll be site seeing our way up to the north section of our wonderful state of Washington. Yes, I will take a lot of pictures, I hope to have a chance to really look at some farming activities up there, we'll see. But I will refrain from taking pseudo bike cam pics. Well maybe I will, just shorter ones! Then you can see them!

We will be meeting up with good friends who are going to put up with us for a couple of days, oops, I think I meant to say 'put us up' but ultimately it is the same isn't it? Well me at least anyways, everyone adores Dirt. And I'll be stopping in at a sibling family gathering, not alone though, I'll be going with Dirt and some shirt-tail relatives and maybe I'll talk our friends into coming along too. I say, always travel with your own party. Either that or be a hermit. Me, a person of extremes? Nah.

Basically it is a slight new twist to our fifth annual pre-vacation bike trip. The slight twist? We know where we are going to be sleeping, heck we know where we are actually going, and we know we will actually be able to sleep! This is such a new type adventure for us its hard not to be light headed and giddy over the new twist! Oh and I won't be traveling with a black plastic bag covered sleeping bag under each leg and leaning back on a stack of camp wood tied to the sissy bar.

Oh yes I did!

That time we ended up sleeping in our own front yard in the middle of a dark and bizarre night. The year before that we... oh never mind, I'll need four or five hours for all those stories, suffice it to say, this trip promises to be better. Slightly less adventurous, but better.

This is my, woohoo, second trip of the year, not counting riding along once to sheep shear and once to pick up a part. Dirt has been pretty stingy with his trips this year, well that and I have been pretending to work hard here at the Farm. Therefore I am thankful for friends that insist on annual events and drag Dirt, chippy hacky cough and all, out for our end o' August trip. And I am glad for good weather!

So like I said, the girls will be here tending the Farm so if you need a bouquet of sweet peas (there are still a few left), a basket of blackberries or our last Rat Terrier pup (potty trained, comes and sits, cute as a button), call em' up. You could maybe even talk 'em into making you a pie with those blackberries.

Right now, immediately, I am going out to finally kill the yellow jackets since all my Dirt directed "humane" methods of moving them have not worked and I need my irises out of the stinking ground yesterday. Little late to take them to the local community market but hopefully we can get them sold from the highway.

Till Monday, or Tuesday or.... Have a glorious weekend and weekstart Dear Reader keep yourself entertained with the wide wide blog world. Stay the heck outa trouble and if in doubt about how you should go about things read the Word.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Change Up

I was going to have a great post with a seven minute video at the end. I tried to put it up yesterday. In case you didn't know: Seven minute videos don't load even after you leave the little blue thing spinning for a whole day!

So this morning all you are getting is me saying I have a whopping headache, worse than the one I went to sleep with, drugs are not touching it. Made worse I am sure by video recording my ride on the back of Dirt's bike on Sunday. And it wouldn't be so bad if I had not had one of my stupid "the world is ending tonight, you're separated from your children and all is chaos" dreams.

I have not had one of those in a long long long time, stupid world-ending dreams. I started them in junior high when everyone was convinced we were all going to be vaporized by our nuclear weapons, except for the fourteen people who had the perfect bunker with couple dozen years to wait out the radioactivity. Something akin to Blast from the Past.

When I was in elementary school I just had plan old war dreams. I attribute those to all the war movies I watched with my dad, the stories he would tell, or my mom's stories of life on the home front or the history behind it all, and playing WWII in the rhododendrons with my brother, Chris (you know the one with the clam in his teeth
A Flag On the Ceiling and a Promise Kept).

It wasn't until the teachers drummed it into our heads that we would most likely be the last generation on earth because man was going to foolishly destroy himself, that I began to have dreams of complete annihilation. The nuns just had us practice hiding under our desks every so often, it was the lovely Public School teachers, the highly educated teachers (the nuns went to their own school not a university you know) that felt it necessary to drum it into people who could barely think a straight line that we had no tomorrow, not really. Well, if you did have a tomorrow you should spend it perpetually in school of course, that was the way to get ahead in a future none of us had.

By the time I hit high school doom and gloom was in full throttle for me. There was no point of anything. Why try to think very hard about what you were going to do in the future, there wasn't going to be one. Even though my parents tried to counter act this, this sentiment continued, decisions were made on short term basis in my head. "What if we have a year or two." Yes, for the most part those same people were yapping about planning for a future but the furture talk was not any where near the level of the hand-wringing-fatalistic talk.

Even getting married, I was convinced by the doom and gloomers that Dirt and I would never see old age, it wasn't just a matter of not being able to picture myself as old, I actually had moments of seeing myself as an ecentric old woman, but those were blotted quickly out by visions of nuclear winters.

Then I went back to college.

And though I was there to focus on science, I got caught up in history classes. I loved history already but on a very surfacy level. Now I was digging deep and seeing that for most of our modern times man's way of politically motivating each other was through dire doom and gloom scenarios. It truly appeared before me that those in power had more to gain by keeping everyone slightly off footing by hyperbolizing all that could happen. Making it sound as if it was going to happen any day now.

I thought it couldn't get any worse than what I lived through from junior high to about the fifth year of marriage. But boy howdy, this era has sure topped that one in doom and gloom scenarios from all sides. Fortunately I don't live in doom and gloom land anymore. But every once in a while through the Nightly News cast, or well meaning hyped up friends, or lovely talk radio, my subconscious tries to click in with some version of panic and fear. So then I wake with a headache and the job of calming my poor defiled brain down.

My dad had a story of when he was young and sold an item called the Baby-Tenda when his family needed extra income. He and my mom both talked about it and would describe the "book" he made up and took door to door, it had pictures and news articles of highchair accidents. My dad would tell me that it is a salesman's job to impress upon someone their need for the salesman's product; safety was always a big draw. What better way of showing the safety of your product than by showing the danger and irresponsibility of other products out there.

When you are a politician your product is essentially you, and to some extent your causes, some politicians are more closely associated with particular causes and some only care about themselves. Applying the safety/hazzard concept it is easy to see why politicians act the way they act. It doesn't just occur during election cycles, politics is always selling, they require repeat customers. As do those who turn a commercial buck off of political climates, no pun intended but I will leave it. Even if someone only buys your product, politics, every two years you really must be applying sales techniques constantly, lest the other side draw them away.

Even as ordinary citizens we want others to think like we do, we like company even when we are recluses, the company just needs to stay on their side of the hedge. This is another reason we are constantly baraged with "believe this brand of doom and gloom," we ourselves, once we have succumbed to the sales pitch, desire that others join us. We have all seen how the hype, the hyperbole of danger, works and we certainly do not care to be standing alone on any particular decision. Even if it really is a non-decision, something that we actually cannot change or effect and will not actually change or effect us personally. If we have made a decision on a subject, we want company. So we employ the same tactics as those the salesman and the politician used on us.

There really are few people that are totally objective on any given subject. Yep, I am that cynical. I do it myself. I can get as zanged up as the next person. Convinced, of course, that if a person disagrees with my view point they are a fool and deserve the demise they are headed for, however the splatter will most likely hit me, hang it all.

I try not to. Well, when I slow down and think of being a Baby-Tenda salesman, and how repulsive that seems to my inner being, then I try not to. When you are scooped up in a thought pattern, when you whole heartedly believe in something, you might want to take a few moments to reflect on how you got there. Slow down and emotionally detach yourself and look at the facts, research both sides, attempt to be as objective as you can be. Avoid obvious hyperbole. Look at the paycheck. What investment, commercial or personal, in the concept does the packager of the information hold?

I'm not saying that everyone who has something to sell is lying. Everyone has something to sell and hopefully not every one is a liar. But truth can get distorted, information can be withheld, we can have a blind spot because of our history. We are all influenced by someone, we are all someone's student. Who are you a student of? Who influences your life? What things do we just naturally assume without investigating and weighing the options.

What? Am I going back on previous posts about feelings being valid? Not at all. I am convinced that "facts" and "logic" can be as distorted as emotions and our emotions can be as obedient to Christ as our "logic" without ceasing to be an emotion or feeling.

Our "logic" is alway based on premises and if those premises are allowed to be cripplingly narrow, our logic that flows from them will be likewise. If our premises are allowed to be of the type that have undergone the likes of this verse: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corithians 10:5) then we are headed on the right path.

We ought to be careful of what we leap to believe because it "sounds" similar to what we already believe, we need to be careful, not fearful, careful, of who we put our trust in when it comes to influences for our very lives. We are told this in Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (emphasis mine)

And I know it seems weird for some subjects to be run through the Holy Spirit mill, but you know I cannot think of one area of my life that God would care to be excluded from. Everything, everything, belongs to Him. After all He created all that is made. So therefore everything in my life, in Dirt's and my life, gets run throught the Holy Spirit mill, well we aim for everything to go through it, not unlike Apostle Paul,yet even more so, we are hardly there but we certainly keep running on the right track.

The Holy Spirit mill? What the heck am I talking about? It is testing things, mostly our own hearts and minds and what others say, to see where it comes from. Run the word test into your concordance tool, check out the New Testament references and you'll see where I am coming from. You may not agree and that's okay, today I am cool with disagreement. Disagree away. It really is okay. I'm not zanged up anymore and I don't need company, (well I do, I just won't twist your arm or subvert myself to get it.)

But now I really have to run the girls to the feed store to get poultry leg bands and drop off books at the library and pick up ones on soil etc. This was a lot to say with a headache, and yes, it will be better, and no, it doesn't have me on the couch with ice. I will be okay; and you...? have a great day Dear Reader.