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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Too Much? Balance?

Please be patient with me today Dear Reader, I know I've written about my pet peeve before but some things have been stacking up towards needing to write about it again, then my good friend wrote a little something and it got me all charged up. Read this and then come back here for my tirade of agreement!

My friend, her family and mine and a few other friends have heard a lot about how we are being overly protective. We are Christians: Christ followers, God listeners, we do have a big tendency to listen to what God says, in His written word and in personal answer to prayer, over what the world or even well meaning friends have to say. But that doesn't mean that what others say and confront us with doesn't eventually wear on us to the point where we feel we need to speak up.

In the past those speak-up times rarely change the mind of those who have confronted us directly or indirectly through others, mostly because those folks are not you my Dear Reader. But they do have a way of encouraging others and encouraging those of us in our circle of influence. I hope that this is one of those times, for her post was for me, I hope this is for her and our other friends.

Overprotective, and balance, two words that drive me nuts and ones I feel that Christians, Christfollowers, should avoid using. Yes, shout out "balance" to the girl hoicking herself up to walk on the top of the stone wall. Yes, inquire, "Is that balanced?" to the person using a scale to measure an important item. But balance in things of soul building or soul destroying nature? No way. Feed on food in moderation but feed on the things of God 'til you think you'll pop and then some more.

Does God call us to a balance between deceit and honesty? Between thievery and earning your wage? Between preserving life and destroying it? Does He ask for a certain behaviour and then settle on the realization that you just can't make it there?

Over? Can you over do it on prayer? How about kindness? Charity? Peace? Not in your self-preserving vision on life, but with Christ's vision. Did he warn us that we could indeed go too far beyond what the Good Samaritan did? Did he tell us that yes, indeed we could do too good of a job taking care of our elderly parents?

So then Paul was lying when he suggested that we pray unceasingly? To imagine that every word out of our mouth, every thought in our head could become captive to Christ, become a prayer to Him, that would be crazy? Paul was just excited and talking about something no one can do?

I do not believe that a life lived in Christ is a call to a life lived in mediocrity. There was, and is still, nothing mediocre about Christ. Simple yes, mediocre never. There is simply doing what is right and avoiding, so as to not do, what is wrong.

When things seem as if they have gone too far, take a second look. Is it really that a virtue has been taken too far or is it actually a sin dressed up to appear as a virtue.

So when folks say, "oh dear, he is over protective," when they hear about or see a father who locks his children up in the basement, beats them when they go outside without his permission, are they actually seeing protectiveness that has gone too far or are they instead seeing a bully, tyrant, hate filled man? A man who is not attending to the words of Christ? What is really being seen is a self-centered person not a protective person. Over protection is an oxymoron, you can not over protect. If you are actually harming something or someone you can not be said to be protecting that thing. Satan dresses up the road he would rather have us travel with all sorts of baubles and tresses so that we are lured into his life of perpetual lies. Look at what something really is not what he says it is.

When you look at a cold hearted frigid woman and the deprived man she is married to, do you pity him because she is too pure? Too Victorian? You ought to pity him because she is not pure enough, if she were actually pure, and not just self-absorbed and drug away by Satan's lies, she would know that God gave her and her husband an amazing gift to be enjoyed and celebrated, to be honored. But when we constantly tell our unmarried children, "don't do that (sex or anything sexual) because it is naughty or nasty" we are indeed lying to them. Sex is not nasty. Sex outside of marriage is a sin. There is a huge difference. So the poor woman who can't bring herself to have sex with her husband because it is naughty is not being pure, not in any way shape or form.

We call women who behave in this way, who do not care for coming together with their husband, who cringe at the idea of sex, a prude. And while that is correct in the vernacular of the word, what we commonly think of the word meaning, it is actually incorrect. Prude comes from prudefemme, "a worthy or respectable woman". We, through our being drug away from goodness by Satan often begin to use terms in the pejorative when they were never meant to indicate something negative or wrong. We, in our sinfulness, do not like worthy and respectable women, we would rather they take it down a notch and be human like us. So we call them a prude, and soon the word and concept becomes distorted and people use it to describe a person who does not have the proper vision of sex and purity.

You actually cannot be too pure. We can speak of gold as being ninety percent pure because it has impurities, because things that are not gold are in it, but it can never be a hundred and four percent pure. Purity can not be over the top.

And so while it may be advantageous for a ring to not be pure gold, to have a certain level of impurity in it so that it can hold up to daily wearing, we stop our analogy at this point because we are speaking of the Christ-like nature that we are to take on. "Follow me as I follow Christ," Paul says. He does not equivocate on this, he does not hold out a here or there where you might not want to follow Christ as he does or where he himself ain't going because it is too Christ-like.

Come on. Can you really take a virtue, a character of God, too far, be too kind, too forgiving, too loving. too faith-filled? Really, is that your answer? Because if you answered "yes, you can be too much of these things" and cite times when perhaps you were taken advantage of, over looked because you were too humble, then I gotta ask, in whose estimation are you looking at that with? Christ's or man's self-preservation?

Can you take something He, God, asks you to do too far? Can you be too repentant for your sins and evil thoughts? Can you listen to the Holy Spirit too much? Or would he just have too much to say to you, ask too many things of you, ask you to do something he knows you cannot do even though you lean on the strength of Christ to do it?

God calls me as a parent, well he calls all parents actually, but yes, I can really actually only speak for myself and demand a certain level of obedience from myself, He calls me to protect my children. That is my job as a parent. That is my only job actually, all else falls under love and then protect. Education protects from abuse and exploitation, training in skill and attitude for work protects from poverty and freeloading.

But shielding from the world, protecting from sin, it keeps my children's hearts for God's work, it lessens the footholds for Satan in their lives, it bends them more God's way and less Self's way, self absorption.

What is my scripture for that? I immediately want to say, there are so many scriptures, from the beginning to the end of the whole of the Bible, that build my understanding of what my job as a parent is that I am at a loss as to which one to cite. Then there is this good one here that speaks of this and this one here that speaks of that, really we could go on forever. But now I have gotten a tap on the shoulder and I know that there is a verse I can cite that goes to the heart of our call, Dirt's and mine, as parents. It is one verse really but it is in three of the gospels and it is Christ's very own words, often found in red:

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" Matthew 18:6-7

"And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. " Mark 9:42

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." Luke 17:1-2

Some version say be careful. Can you be too careful? Read those verses again, can you be too careful? Really? Care to drown?

I protect ultimately because I love, not because I fear. To acknowledge that Satan is outside our doors, prowling, waiting for his chance to devour and destroy us, is not the same as being in fear, paralysing, poor reaction causing, fear.

Fear and panic are not emotions that bring about care or careful ways. They are in fact ungodly. But often we go to fear and panic after something has happened. Satan has gotten inside our lives perhaps because we have not been previously careful. We have not been filled with care and attentiveness, something has now gone a wry and we panic out of fear of more things going a wry. This is not how we are to behave, we are to at first be care-filled, that when things go wrong around us we do not compound them with our panic and fear.

Misery loves company the old adage goes, the Biblical concept of that would be a little leavening ferments the whole. Do you tell me I am too over-protective because it is too much trouble for you too be likewise with your child and therefore you want me to parent like you do? Is it really my best interest you have at heart or do you just want your whining child off your back? You want to give in, but you want company in your misery and so you ask, beg and then criticize when my child doesn't get to accompany yours to the mall to hang out, or on a road trip with friends, or to a nice little college to find themselves? Or maybe you would just like my child to date a little so that you don't have to wonder if your kid could have actually found a spouse without having to get pregnant first?

We as a society, including Christians, spend the majority of our children's early years, and a boat load of our money on a career for them that may or may not last about thirty years (and in some cases never get off the ground) yet we spend little time or resources preparing, preserving them for a daily relationship that is to last "until death us do part" not to mention the relationship that will last an eternity.

Bible verse? How 'bout a whole chapter, Genesis 34, a great illustration of where neglectful parenting can lead. This chapter spoke loudly to Dirt and I as we began to take seriously the great honor it was to raise four daughters for God. Not only does it show what can happen to a good girl when she is allowed to hang out with just the women folk in the market place, but it shows that neglectful parenting not only can have consequences for your very own family but many people can be greatly effected. A great many people can be affected by the nonchalant cultural choices we often make with no regard to what God's word may actually say on the topic or where the Holy Spirit could lead you to if you were to only listen first then act, instead of acting first and then listening to the correction through ill consequences.

We are not saying we have done everything right, that we have been as protective as we should have been. We are not saying that we are not the cause of some of our children's sin. We indeed are and for that we ask them and God for forgiveness, and we pray that we are able to find the right road again. But please, do not then ask us to be less careful with their lives, their very souls. Stop telling us not to parent as God has called us to.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clearing the Air

Come hither little tree!
Dirt has decided that I need a hot house sooner than later, later would be the case if we were to wait on doing an attached one to the house.

So he has cleared the trees that block the perfect location for a hothouse, market shed combo building. Cleared the southern sky actually. Well clearing would be the better term because as this post will show, the big trees are down but the stumps, branches and logs remain to be taken care of.

It took a couple of days for all four trees to go down, Dirt still has his day job, but slow and steady and we'll get it done.

The first two he took down were relatively easy. They fell exactly where he needed them to fall, out into the pasture, sacrifice area actually, and not on the powerlines or buildings to the southeast of them.

The last two were a bit more tricky, the majority of their weight was on the wrong side, the side towards buildings, powerlines and big fat ugly trouble. He was advised to use a professional tree faller as doing it himself could be dangerous. Usually Dirt is a safety first sort of guy. Unless safety means money, then penny pinchin' wins out.

But well placed cuts, a firmly and accurately placed wedge,

and a chain attached to Orange Tractor (see the shinny new wheels?!) up to

the tree and the persuasion to fall in the direction Dirt wants them to is all but assured. So confident was Dirt that he left his truck parked in the direction the tree is not going to go!

One of the toughies down, one to go.

The last one isn't as bad as the one just before it, this one at least has some branches on the west side (right side of the picture). It has a nest in it that we have been terribly curious about for a long long time. You can see a glob out on the right side of the tree about a third of the way down.
We think it is an old raccoon nest as this was their favorite hang out, especially when the chickens were housed in the coop and runs that were directly under these trees. After way too many chickens had been pulled through run fencing we decided to get them out in a more open space and move the dogs over here from next to the house.
That was another accidental great timing move for the Vicks as about a month after the switcheroo the silver maple tree landed right across where the dog pens and dog houses had just been (not because we cut it down, an ice storm brought it down). But that's a story from six years ago, we'll tell all of it another time

So here goes the tree with the nest in it. Dirt has made his big slice on the side of the tree in the direction he wants it to drop. He is gauging where he wants to place the cut for the steel wedge to go.
The steel wedge in place, see it there with the red wagon behind it? It is above the directional slice on the opposite side of the tree. The cut it sits in is just a cut not a slice and it starts at the spot opposite the apex of the directional slice and angles downward. All of this is stratically done to get the tree to fall just where Dirt wants it to.

Once the wedge is set the cut is continued down to the inside corners of the wedge. Dirt works both sides, one at a time until contact between the cut and the back side of the slice is barely made.

Then he hops on Orange tractor (off to the right of the picture) and with a firm tug on the chain, the tree begins to go.

And there you have it, an accurate tree falling. Well sort of accurate, Dirt did say he missed his target spot by one foot, the tree grazed the fence post but no damage was done.

Bet, who was told by her father to keep an eye on the nest as the tree fell, immediately went over to check out what it looked like, well we all did but leaping like a gazelle in the forest got her there before her aged and trudging parents. And this is what the nest looked like. Hmmm very interesting.
Okay back to work.

As you can see, prior to cutting down the trees the fence had to be laid down and the animals fed out in the back of the pasture, now that all the loud cutting and falling is done and some yummy treats (in animal thinking anyway) is lying on the ground the trees must quickly be cut and moved off of the fencing and fence line. And the grazed post needs to be tapped back into its proper spot, thank goodness for wet mushy ground.

Ranch Hand thinks that was great fun and would like more trees cut down,

Well, that's it for big tree cutting, now we just have stumps and a few saplings to rip out and then the ground can be prepped for my hot house. Yippeee! And now my North Garden will have some more sun too! The irises are clapping for joy and the daisies are dancing and singing, can't you hear them?
I love trees, I'm a tree hugger from way back, but I love sunshine on my garden spots even more than that, sort of like Dirt is safety first, until it costs him money, and looky there, he did it, saved himself some bucks and successfully cut down trees, the only deaths were the intended ones and no one, not tree or fence or body was mangled.
Off to town, just wanted to give you a peak at all the work we have been up to.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Remember the eyelash yarn I was knitting up into an earflap hat?

Yeah, that's right this one. Boy was it hard to work with. I did discover that doing it with real light coming in behind it made it easier. But the usual way of finishing the top of my ear flap hat, is to get down to about eight or so stitches and then pull the yarn, with a crochet hook, through the remaining loops. Works great with other yarns, not so much with this stuff. I lost several rows of the top of the hat when I couldn't bring the yarn through, argh.

I finished it in spite of my inabilities. Then the lucky recipient opened their belated Christmas gift a few weeks ago and proudly wore their new hat ...

No, not Dirt, it isn't his hat! Although it could come in handy under his motersickle helmet or I'm thinking or it could have been handy while cutting down the trees our neighbor advised that Dirt get a professional to take down. You know that fluffy hat could keep a fir tree from tuning a person into a ground stake.

But really, if you want to see the real person who got the hat of the year go here and you will see the little cuties who received a couple of my hat adventures.

Dear Reader, I gotta go to bed, it's after midnight and I gotta get outa vacation hours and back to regular hours - like Dirt says, "five o'clock comes awful early," he says that when he wears pink hats and when he doesn't! So its gotta be true.

Okay, so now it is toot-a-loo time.


Funny, That's What People Use to Say...

Well in reverse.

Watching T.V. and the news pops on and there is a story about a low sentence that some animal abusers received. Some lady they interviewed said the sentencing was "bad, you wouldn't treat your kids that way, why would you treat your animals that way. "

Uhhh, didn't we, as a society, use to say the reverse? Just sayin'.

It just goes to prove my theory, that no matter what, if you do an interview on T.V. news, you're going to look bad, even if what you say is what the "news" folks are looking for.

Tomorrow I'll tell you what we've been up to at the Farm. Toot ta loo.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dirt Has a New Group of Students

Each quarter Dirt gets a new batch of students that are working their way through two years of instruction on areo-planes. Dirt is the Power Plant guy, that'd be mechanics for those who don't speak areo-plane.

But Dirt has found that making a person a top knotch mechanic and in some cases inspector, takes more than teaching them how to turn a wrench and where. So Dirt starts off teaching them a little about themselves that hopefully will help them be alert and aware as they put together planes or look over some one's job to make sure the plane will stay up in the sky. Always a good thing even if your not up in the plane yourself.

The first thing Dirt, Mr. Vick to his students and sometimes me, teaches them is that there are a few fairly predictable things about people and those predictable things can get in the way of doing the best job or can get folks into down right trouble. He has this paragraph that he has them read. Then he asks them to count up all the f's that they can find in the paragraph. They usually only find about half. Why? Half of the f's are in the word "of", and unless a person is a proof reader or an editor, their brain usually sees those f's as v's instead. Even when the students are told that they have missed half of the f's and are given a second chance to find them, there are still about half that miss them, and it is not an indicator of smart verses dumb students.

Somewhere in the Human Factors class Dirt brings up marriage, I think he manages to slip it in in that marital relationships often have an effect on work performance, I suppose that your work performance could be affected by just about all of your important relationships but Dirt loves to talk specifically about marriage, marriage is a big thing to Dirt, as his wife I'm kinda glad it is.

Some of the marriage stuff he covers is how guys don't like to talk much, lets say eight words a day worth of talking, and girls love to talk, uh I mean need to talk, something like sixty-five thousand gazillion words worth, and writing doesn't count. Any way, that propensity to few words in men is coupled with the need to solve problems. Problem solving, something men love to do and love to do quickly and with as few words as possible. It is true that not necessarily all men are short on words, we know a few men who seem to have a bit of chick in them when it comes to long windedness, so their problem solving ideas just come wrapped up in a few more words than other guys, but Dirt contends he has yet to meet a normal guy who doesn't immediately go into problem solving mode, but then we don't have lazy friends for too long.

Any way, Dirt tells his students, mostly men, that when they go home they need to be willing to listen to their wife, to hear all about her frustrations and irritations attentively and actively, but, and this is an important but he tells them, do not tell them what they should do about the problem. Actively listen (this means put down the remote or the newspaper or the lap top, and really listen, ask questions, then when she is nearly done, ask her what SHE thinks is a way out of the problem or situation.

He has some students that shine on his information or think that they don't need to apply it, he has the rest of the quarter to "get" to them, but every once in a while one of his students actually takes it in right away. This quarter one did and came back to tell Mr. Vick about it.

This student, we will call him Orlando, came to school the next day beaming. He told Mr. Vick that he felt great, more relaxed than he has felt in the morning in a long time. Then he told Mr. Vick that he used what Mr. Vick told him the day before.

It just so happened that his wife came home in a rather foul mood. Things had not gone well at her work. Orlando said that normally he would listen for a minute, get the gist and then start telling her what she should do, just like what Mr. Vick says most men do, so he stopped himself abruptly and decided to try out what Dirt, uh Mr. Vick, told him to do. He actively listened. He asked her attentive but sensitive questions. He said he really let her talk and talk through all manner of side issues and "stuff."

But because Orlando was attentive and actively listening she got through her need to talk fairly quickly and began the wind down. He asked her what SHE thought she ought to do, and she worked her way through a couple of possibilities, just like Mr. Vick said would happen. At the end of the conversation Orlando said she earnestly looked at him and sincerely thanked him for listening.

After Orlando told Mr. Vick about how it really worked and how thankful he was for Mr. Vick's information he repeated how his day was already going better than his usual days and how he felt so much more relaxed. Dirt and I are pretty sure that Orlando's wife took him down the hallway, as we say around here, that night. Always a win win situation Mr. Vick says.

Mr. Vick is thankful that he learned the things about marriage that he has over the years, his only regret is that he didn't learn them earlier, but he says, better late than later. And he is so grateful that he learned them that he really likes passing the information along to others. The information is good, Mr. Vick isn't living in a fantasy where he just thinks those things are working, they are. I am a far far better wife than I was when we were first married, I could be better but the poor guy doesn't have very good basic material to work with. But ultimately, and I've said it before but it bears repeating, that it is the man who makes a good wife.

Those of us in Christian circles have all heard of the Proverbs Thirty-one Woman and some of us raised our daughters to be just such a gal. But after being Mr. Vick's wife and having the fortunate pleasantry of growing and maturing under his gentle wing of protection and love, I say that Momma Lemuel wasn't telling her son to find the perfect girl so much as she was telling him to be the husband who would have such a wife.

Those active traits and abilities the Proverbs Thirty-one Woman has are not seen in a young bride, the potential is there, that is for sure, but potentials are either developed or lost. His character, as the leader of his family, is reflected in his family, not the other way around. I'm glad I'm not a man, they have a tough job for sure.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Communication Skills

We went with Dad!!!!!!

(Bet Anna Anne Abby)

I came home one day to find this note on my computer screen in my "new post" box.

This is how Lanny's children leave her notes. They write on the blank screen that I leave up in hopes of words that go with my constant flow of inspiration.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kai's Birthday Bash

Today is Kai's eighth birthday, that means Eric and Steph are about to celebrate their ninth anniversary! Wow how time does fly. Isn't this the absolute best winter birthday cake you ever did see? I would want one even in August! Patty Mor Mor, Kai's other grandmother, makes the absolute best cakes ever! Not only are they a work of art but they are simply the best tasting cakes, hands down, bar none!

All of these pictures are taken by my oldest daughter, Stephanie, Kai's mom, Aksel's mom too, but it is Kai's birthday. I had left my camera at home but oddly enough my computer was only four doors down from Steph's house, at Mike and Rebecca's all weekend, so I downloaded from her card before we headed back out to the farm.

The afternoon festivities began with a little bowling for everyone! We were running a little late but that was okay because we ended up with more folks than two lanes can handle. But sweetly Pattikins and Pop feigned soreness so that Earl Dirt Anthony and I could bowl the second round.

Does this man look like he can only bowl one game? I didn't think so. He probably could have gone all day if given half a chance. Concentrate, Rick, concentrate. The Pattikins, Rick's darling bride and cake baker extraordinaire, was the high score-er of the day. Way to go Pat!

Bettispaghetti wasn't too bad, she sure as heck wasn't last.

And Earl Dirt Anthony, after a twenty-eight year hiatus, comes back with vigor, even though he tried his best to first feign sore shoulder before arriving at the lanes, then his shoes were sticky and his wrist wouldn't do what it used to, oh brother just fling the ball already.
Here is Rick and Dirt's little protegee, what a stance eh? Watch out guys he is hot on your heels, he only threw it into the other lane once.

And if you're wondering, yes, Twinkle Toes Lanny bowled, not well, (she held the worst score of all even the children in the other lane) but I look at the bright side, the floor at the alley is still intact, no light fixtures are missing, no ones teeth had to be replaced nor was any one knocked unconscious by a ball that left my hand. A red letter day for sure.

Hey Missy, we know where that ball is headed, yes we do. Auntra Beccah played up her gutter balls but she scored pretty stinking well in spite of them.

Why is it that two year olds get to do the things we all wish we were brave enough to do? Dontcha just wish you could get up close and personal to the Brunswick and see how it does that ball spitting back thing it does?

The ball is coming, yes it is!

It wouldn't be normal to do a post about the Manley family and not have more pictures of Aksel than anyone, say for instance even the birthday boy. Remember, these are the pictures his mommy took and there were still more of him than anyone else.

Thanks for joining us at fashion central today Dear Reader.
Now that we have had our fun (until we go to get out of bed in the morning and realize parts don't move anymore) and all insist that we are going to do it again, beware, the lane monster has been unleashed in the Lanny. I will not remain on the bottom for long! I will not be the asbestos tile beneath your feet forever!
God has blessed us with life again today Dear Reader, He is good. He has gotten me peacefully through another winter day with a smile on my face.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting Around to Stuff, Some, Twenty Years in the Making

Check it out, I finally changed up my banner picture, made it a little more seasonal. I usually get that changed more regularly but I haven't been doing much "regularly", I still have tulips on my lap top screen.

I like change, I feed on change, but this last year was so chalk a block full of change that I am thoroughly drenched in change and so my lap top and blog suffer. There you have it excuse five-forty-four from Procrastination Alley. - Oh wait, not changing it seasonally is change. There, that's better, I like rational better than excuses. Which one gets your forgiveness juices flowing Dear Reader? Or better yet, bag mere forgiveness, I'd like to know what trips your sympathy trigger, a good cry in the beer excuse or a straight forward justification that shows really deep down that a person is eternally a mess?

Sorry for that little pause in my writing but I started chuckling to myself and then ended up guffawing. My blatant search for sympathy reminded me of what my father used to say when, as an older child, I or someone else appeared to be looking to pull the sympathy card. He would tell us that we could find sympathy in the dictionary, located between two distinct words, not very nice words and we would get the definite idea that he was not pleased with whiners.

So never mind, don't give me any sympathy, I don't want it, not looking for it, because I'm afraid someone might direct me to the dictionary.

Well I'm still workin' at keeping to the whole moon and star signs thingy and I think today is a root day. Why? What makes it a root day? Days that follow the full moon and up to the new moon, the waning or decreasing of the moon, are days more root oriented. Why? I have no idea, it is just what the almanac says. Today is a definite root oriented day because of the zodiac sign. Did you freak out 'cause I said zodiac?

Zodiac - Astronomy A band of the celestial sphere extending about 8° to either side of the ecliptic that represents the path of the principal planets, the moon, and the sun.

Genesis 1:4 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,

"We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." The magi at Jesus' birth.

So any who, I was thinking that I head out to the beach to dig clams because the tide is low, but I know the tide will be low according to the phase of the moon and a bunch of other factors I am sure because the tide isn't always the same lowness (word?). So the whole planetary, star, moon thing, while I would never go by a horoscope to figure out who I was going to marry or how I should dress (there are other signs in the sky for that) I do get that maybe just maybe the whole moon and stuff has an effect on my beet seeds.

But if you think I've gone whack a doo and need a visit from the church authorities, you got their number, ring 'em up. but what I know so far is that it has actually kept me on a schedule of sorts since Christmas, when I received the evil almanac.

That was morning and now it is night

So I know I started writing this this morning and then decided I really needed to get the heck outa bed, and now I am getting ready to go back to same said bed, might as well stare at that dark ceiling awhile, and so I can tell you what I did today. Oh, rats, I have pics but they're in the cam still and if I load them, edit them and put them here not only will it mess with my paragraphing but it will keep me from at least appearing like I am trying to get a good night sleep. So maybe I'll do the picture thing later.

Any ways, I decided that it must be a good transplant day because it is a similar sign and all that, from the day they say it is, and I can't really plant root stuff 'cause it doesn't transplant well and I needed to be outside.

Sooooo...... I dug up the two lavendar plants that I had mounded soil around to cause them to root on the branches making a bunch of little lavendars. One, I needed them out of the bed they were in because I want to throw a poly hoop over it and get some spinach going but I didn't want to freak the lavendar out. Two, I needed something to do besides weed, I did end up doing some weeding today, merely incidental and not intentional so I don't think it counts.

We, Bet and I, ended up with a lot of new lavendar plants, that is if they survive the indignancy of being dug up, cut up, trimmed and slammed back down in the dirt. Most of them had put on a good clump of roots and that is what I have pic of. So I will stop talking about that now and wait until I have pics for you to see.

So these are the things I am in the market for Dear Reader, besides a little spiritual cpr:

1. a souwester hat, preferably a good color to go with my new Carhart raingear, so I'm thinking green 'cause my Carhart raingear is... you guessed it baby doo tan. 'Cause today was clear but I am hearing the rain dripping off the roof right now, and hoods are confining, like a straight jacket, which I should be in, but that is beside the point.

2. bulb crates, plastic totes approx 23"x15"x10" or there abouts, ventilated on all sides and bottom with built in slots for handles. No color preferred but basic black is so functional. Can't find a distributor, only a couple of manufacturers and I don't really need five hundred at the moment, not sure I ever would, I only desire about fifty.

3. a digital sportsman 1502 incubator with chicken, duck and quail racks. Within driving distance, 'cause shipping on these pups is right near a hundred. So if you live in the state and Crazy Uncle Mac bought one to populate the earth with quail so he could spend a weekend and shoot all of them, but Naggy Aunt Nancy shut him down after the first egg exploded in her living room and the incubator is sitting in your basement 'cause Crazy Uncle Mac begged you to take it, give me a call, I'll buy it off of Crazy Uncle Mac so Naggy Aunt Nancy can buy a new rug.

4. help for Dirt with his idea to take down a couple of trees that have shaded my north garden for years (not intended for being a shade garden) that would free up a spot for a green house and market shed not to mention dirt making station...

5. number four reminded me that I need some of those big huge concrete blocks, they're called ecology blocks and I want... opps, need some to form my soil, manure, shavings bins. Oh then I'll need...

6. a front loader for a tractor so I can toss my compost, scoop my dirt and shavings.

7. more help for Dirt, 7a. for him to catch and hold on to a vision of a solar green house, yes Dear Reader, most all greenhouses are solar but a solar green house does not need artificial heat. Well for the most part it doesn't, it can be primarily a passive system, hence less monetary input on a regular basis. (Which should make the vision getting and holding a sure bet for the Dirt-penny-pinch-man, but he keeps wandering back to those money sucking conventional types.) 7b. more help for Dirt to construct said green house.

Oh and I'd like to get this list cleared up by oh say... yesterday. But tomorrow will do. Okay, March.

All that talk of work and remembering the work I did and I think I could possibly be tired enough to sleep. Which would be a good thing 'cause the girls are dragging me into town tomorrow. But they still haven't found the missing cell phone, oh dear, driving around ala pre ninties, what will I do if I break down? Oh wait, we have feet, I forgot. Shhh don't tell the girls, the "find the phone first" gig has kept me from town all week! And we do have an emergency back up but they seem to have forgotten that. Keep weeden, just keep weeden. (sung to the tune of Dora singing "keep swimming, just keep swimming.")

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The last day of Christmas
and the beginning of Epiphany.

Oh and Vicktory Farm & Gardens
is now an official business in the state of Washington!

Dirt is taking his home girls out to dinner to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Parkland - you know "We three kings from Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar..."

We usually stay home and try our hand at various delights with Eastern flavor but we decided to take it easier this year because the girls and I have been laboring outdoors (and a little upstairs) and not in the kitchen.

Toot-a-loo Dear Reader and we will visit soon. Honest.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Up In The Middle of the Night

This use to be typical of me but not for a long while now. So I don't really know what to do with myself. I could do all my Ol' Befana baking but since my girls aren't little any more no need to do that in the middle of the night. It would require me putting my contacts back in and committing to staying up. Not sure I want to do either. I'm really hoping that not unlike reading my Horticulture magazine at ten-thirty and then eleven-thirty that I will just get tired again and go back to sleep, but as you can see I'm not doing so hot on staying asleep.

Tomorrow the girls and I tackle the upstairs, my sewing room/office and contemplative perch and their room. It is crazy messy up there. Because I no longer use the dinosaur computer up there and haven't had a huge urge to sew it has become the dump and run room. Come on, you know what I am talking about, either you personally or because you know someone like me intimately you know we have rooms or some folks contain it to a closet where things that you do not desire to deal with at the moment they find themselves in your hand go until you are ready to deal with them. In this case stuff has been being exiled up there since July when I did a grand cleaning, sort of, and before that we could date some stash I hadn't gotten to in July back to oh just shy of a year ago. I am positive there are no lost children, dead pets or rotting fruit up there but beyond that don't push it.

But the whole Farm and Garden by the moon phases and the zodiac thing has today, oops that'd be yesterday(Monday) , and the real today (Tuesday) and Wednesday as great days for weeding, barren signs in the sky, and so I extrapolate to the household, a great few days to weed indoors too. Which I think is a good use of a weeding day as today, oops, Monday, it was impossible to go outside even in rain gear I fear. One of those visibility zero because of the precip streaming down your face and in your eyes sort of day. Can't imagine that tomorrow is going to prove any better.

My cheery, isn't the whole world wonderful and dreamy, daughter, stood at the window several times today saying how she just loved the rain like this. Her sister and I would have contemplated the dismemberment of her body if we were those type of people, which give us a few more days of this and we might be. The down spouts, every single one of them, look like someone is up at the top of them with a hose on full blast. The barn roof, no gutters on it, was delivering a solid sheet of water for the majority of the day. Consequently what doesn't know how to swim on the Farm right now is getting a quick lesson and even the ducks have gotten out their umbrellas and hip waders.

I toyed with the idea of weeding a few beds, this being the first day of the best days for that sort of thing according to the zodiac and moon, but I decided the signs pouring out of the sky this morning, as we all looked out my huge new window, certainly held other prospects as being more profitable. But I really wasn't up for much so nothing but a lot of general tidying got done. Which considering that my toss and go room has become a teetering wall of what-not it is a good thing that I dealt with all those random things on the main level of the house that found their way into my hand today. But man, that takes a long time.

By the way, I'm not feeling very tired yet. I take that back tired yes, very, sleepy on the other hand, not so much and not the type that I am certain will keep me asleep for more than an hour before my eyes fly open and I find myself twiddling my thumbs, at least I think they are my thumbs in the dark.

I'd like to swear. But I won't, it doesn't look pretty on the screen, not that my regular words do, it is just that random or purposeful even, swearing doesn't look very pretty, sures heck isn't very uplifting, okay again, not that this is but lets not have the Lanny P. in the gutter completely shall we. But I do feel a swearing hanging just below the surface, a big one, a flippant one followed by a truly cranky one. Unfortunately I have no idea who I would aim it at.

Well sort of I don't know who and sort of I do. Dumb pusillanimous people in this world who don't ascribe to my way of thinking, that would be a starting target. Then mean people, stupid mean people, next target. Then careless people, ridiculously careless, "do you know you have feet even" people, I could have a good go at them I suppose. And then the foolish people, destroy their own lives and souls while destroying and hurting others in the process, foolish, foolish people.

But if I start swearing at them, I think that wouldn't be good enough, I would have to start throwing things at them. And I don't have a lot of nice breakable things that I could just run out and replace tomorrow.

So they (all those crummy people I mentioned) would win this battle, they would have control of my mouth and they would have destroyed my few little pretties in my house and they would not really have suffered a whit. Most of them are in bed and wouldn't even hear it all. And those that aren't in bed and are still out at the bars wouldn't hear because the music is too loud anyway.

So I won't swear at them. What I ought to do is pray for them. But me and zillions others like me for thousands of years have been praying for those yo-yos and they still just keep a coming, some one still keeps reproducing them. And they still continue to mess with good folks.

Folks that just want to live a decent life and take care of others. Folks that don't need to morn their father at the ripe age of sixteen. Folks that just want to drive the car from work to the store to home, safely and quietly and non-excitedly. Folks that just want to produce something that someone else might need. Folks that want to teach others how to do something useful.

Ya know, a big part of me hopes that the 2012 folks are right, because no amount of any earthy goodies and fun stuff compares with being in the constant up close and personal eternal presence of my God, and sure as shoot it would be nice to be done with the stuff I sorta wanna swear at.

Tomorrow, well Tuesday really and my computer calendar says that that is today, will be a more productive day for Vicktory Farm & Gardens, not necessarily brighter, as this area will be holding another memorial, but hopefully more productive.

Not much more to say Dear Reader, finding it hard to do my usual uplifting God focused adieus, so maybe just a reminder that God is everywhere and holds everything including our bodies together, He is the glue whether we acknowledge Him or not. He is, no matter what we think of Him. But it certainly would behoove us, for our sake, not His or anyone else, if we began to give Him more credence in our lives. In the whole of our lives not just in our desperate panic prayers when things seem to be going terribly a wry, or on Sunday when we get up, get dressed and toddle off to church so we can mark it off our good for you to-do list. He is the glue and the glue is there all the time.

I'm going to take another whack at sleeping. Hope I didn't leave to many errors for you to slog through, but a sleep cycle hit while I started to go through and correct and I am going to take advantage of it. Good night - or really good morning - Dear Reader.