Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going Up North

Tomorrow's lift off is 0600. I'm on my way to this cozy, comfy, cabin. My sister and sister-in-law and I plan to relax for a week. A little canoeing, a little swimming, a little fishing, perhaps some boating, crafting, and leisure reading. Hope you're all enjoying July.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What's Going On Here?

We harvested our first radish... pretty puny, huh? We just began gardening in earnest this year. The lesson of building up the soil has hit hard and firm. So we decided not to be discouraged about what is or isn't growing and concentrate on future growing seasons.

Don't get me wrong we are harvesting a few things. Here's a picture of our first whole meal which includes new potatoes, fresh onions, home-churned butter, strawberry jam from local strawberries, red raspberries from our own patch, and whole wheat bread from home ground wheat. Delicious. Tastes better when you produce it yourself.

Dave sharpened up the Stihl to open up more sky for the tomatoes. Right now our raised bed only gets about three hours of sun a day. So while we are just getting a few baby green tomatoes, others are harvesting. When I get my techno-act together, I'll post a slide show of this year's first delimbing when Dave's son removed the large limb hanging over the house.

Life grows in other areas too. This is one day old Nicholas with Grampa. He's a real beauty. Pretty sure he has the making of a News Anchor already. There have been a series of birthdays too. Birthdays are important to celebrate especially in a large family. Every year each member of the group has a day to be the center of attention. We all just celebrated our eighteen year old granddaughter's birthday and she leaves home for an out-of-state college in two weeks. Recently Grace turned five. Yesterday Violet Elizabeth turned three. She thrilled to blow out all three candles by herself. What fun is this!

HAPPY 58th BIRTHDAY BARB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Time for a little catchup. We're back in town, back to work, back to thinking change in life style. Although we didn't fully celebrate Crunchy's Golden Showers Garden Party, we have a new addition to our bathroom appliances. Apottopeein. This handy little "appliance" has a screw on lid and can hold up to a half gallon of liquid human fertilizer concentrate -- urine. When diluted with water ten parts water to one part urine, it offers nitrogen to garden soil. Already plants around my yard and garden are smiling with the green glow of new nitrogen. It's so easy, always available and doesn't cost a thing. (My particular pot, a former storage container, was nabbed and recycled into its new prominent position as Apottopeein.) I recommend this simple and natural way to fertilize your outside plants and shrubs. You may however prefer the upscale glass version of Apottopeein available wherever you find one.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


"...I tell you not to worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lillies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?"

"So don't worry about these things saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."

Matthew 6:25-34

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

With Grace

My five year old granddaughter drew me a picture of the inside of her brain today. Believe it or not this is the second picture I have of the inside of a brain. The first one is an oil painting that my oldest daughter created while in rehab after a car accident which left her brain injured. Today she doesn't remember painting the picture, but I do...

The second one was a four color crayon drawing done in a restaurant on the back of a kid's coloring page. Earlier today while I was pushing her on a swing in her back yard, she asked me, "Nana, why does my body feel funny when I'm afraid?" We had a short discussion on how your brain thinks but because your brain is part of your body, it effects the rest of your body too. After a couple hours through all her activity, she was still mulling. Then she said, "Nana, don't look I'm making you a surprise." Oddly enough the shape and size of the drawing was similiar to a real brain. I asked her, "Which place is the fear?" She pointed to the black area about the size of the hypothalamus. "What are the other areas?" The little thalamus-sized green area was for "what I'm going to do". There were two larger hemispheric-sized areas. The red one was "where ideas come from" and the purple one (her favorite color) was "where I decide what to draw".
Meet Grace....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What makes you care?

What makes you care about those around you? Your family, your friends, your community. What makes me mourn my father's death? What makes me burst with joy at the birth of a grandchild? Love you say. OK.
What is love then?

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

This definition comes from a Biblical letter written by Paul to the first century Corinthians in an effort to encourage them to live a life based on love.

For numerous decades we have chosen to narrow the range of this love to ourselves and those whose lives contribute directly to our own. Here we are today living the result of this selfish choice. More and more talks, blogs, interviews, articles, books, conferences, international summits, and innovative thinkers are addressing global crisis issues. Energy. Climate Change. Water. Food. Disease. How can we fix it? If we can't fix it, how can we make the transition? What will the transition look like?

What if in the beginning we were created as a perfect match? The Earth created for mankind to prosper and live on. Mankind created to live together as they managed and maintained the Earth. What if mankind decided to divorce this matchup and do his own thing? Eventually what made them a perfect match would disappear. The unmanaged Earth would lose its ability to prosper mankind. The self-absorbed mankind would lose his ability to manage the Earth. All this because mankind chose to deny their Creator and His purpose for them.

What makes you care today about the lifestyle transition that lies ahead of us? Love. If you didn't love, you would not ask, "How can we all transition together?" You would ask, "How much can I get for myself?" Let's choose to love.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's A Boy

And the cycle goes on...

Number fourteen arrived today, this afternoon, five hours ago! The little bundle (7lbs.13oz.) will most likely be our last grandchild. That's eleven girls and three boys "...where the women are strong, the men are good-looking and all the kids are above average".

Can you feel my large smile?