Outside time…

Today is Sabbath. I have no schedules to keep. No grandchildren to pick up at certain times. No chores to get done. No place to be, no one to see. It is a day of leisure, and I savor every moment.

Since the morning was cool, I decided to take the cats out for some fun. I let them out, then brought out my bowl of oatmeal with blueberries I picked yesterday with a grandson, and a few craisins. As they did their customary rolling around on the cement to begin the time, I positioned a chair in the sun and put two navy blue cushions on it. They went sniffing around the patio and patio furniture, frequently turning to check if I was still in my chair.

I decided to put my phone and daily paper planner down and really enjoy the moment. It wasn’t long before the big boy Waldo caught the scent of something and headed out uncharacteristically slow to the middle of the yard. It was interesting to see him in hunting mode, since he is usually the big, oafish playboy. His smaller brother galloped out to join him. I enjoyed watching them both stick their faces into the old vole holes in the lawn, and doing the super slow hunting movements. It was particularly beautiful to watch as a cloud would begin to cover the sun, and I could watch a wave of darkness move across the yard, followed by a wave of sunshine as the sun reappeared from behind the cloud. It made the scene somewhat… ethereal? It was like watching a beautiful slow dance.

That lasted for about ten minutes. Waldo got some ants in his pants, turned towards the house and came galloping back at full speed. I could hear his paws as they thudded into the lawn and could almost feel the ground shake. He is a big boy at 20 pounds. Twice the weight of most of the casts I have ever owned. Soon his brother did the same, but at a more relaxed pace.

As they were hunting, I wondered if there was anything I could learn from them that would apply to my spiritual life. I don’t want to be a hunter. Hunting is for preservation, or sport. Nope, nothing there. After they returned to the porch, they began to wander out of sight around the corner of the house. The rule is stay in sight, or you go in the house. They get one reminder. I will go pick them up, tell them they need to stay close, and put them down in front of my chair. The second time, if there is one, I pick them up and tell them, if you don’t stay close, you go inside, and I put them inside. Waldo did it first, then Statler. As I watched them graze on the grass I thought to myself, and prayed at the same time, that God would come after me to bring me into his protective sight should I ever wander out of his sight, and that he would be willing to shut me up in his house if I keep at it. I know his word talks about giving the disobedient over to follow their own lusts https://biblehub.com/bsb/psalms/81.htm. I don’t want him to wash his hands of me. Ever. I want to make my heavenly Father happy. I want to learn obedience, even if that means receiving some discipline.

By this time, the clouds weren’t little anymore, but it was mostly cloudy. With the sun hiding, the breeze was getting too cool for my jammies. I called the cats to come in, to no avail. I went after Waldo first. He did his little run away a few feet from me and flop into the lawn. His way of saying “aw mom, do I have to?” I carried him in without a struggle. His brother did the same.

I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that I can’t learn. I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that God washes his hands of me. I want his blessings. I want to know the joy of him being happy with the life I have led. I pray that you can find joy in knowing YHWH/the LORD, the creator of all things, and see his blessing upon your life when you chose to live according to his instructions for life. Oh taste and see that the LORD is good! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+34&version=KJV


Rough week…

It seems that things always seem to go wrong just before we celebrate God’s set apart special occasions. The fall feasts are upon us: The Day of Trumpets, a day to watch and wait for the return of Yahushua/Jesus. The Day of Atonement, a day to examine our hearts for sin, and thank Yahushua/Jesus for the work of forgiveness done by his death. And finally, The Feast of Tabernacles, a week to celebrate with other believers and look forward to spending eternity with him. These are joyous times, or supposed to be. Seems that this year, the enemy of my soul would like to steal my joy.

In the past two weeks so much has happened. Multiple people I know with Covid, one hospitalized. The Afghanistan withdraw and the suffering plastered all over the news. Very emotionally draining. My 18 year old van apparently had an alignment issue which damaged one of four tires. I had to drive to a neighboring city to find the same tires, so I could buy only two, instead of a whole new set. And, my battery went defective at the same time. Having to rearrange things based on the van not being available. Finding out that a ductless hear pump head had been leaking in our wall since installation a year ago. The drywall was cut into, wet insulation removed, wet floor planks removed in our main living space and six huge fans and one heavy duty heater running non stop for a week. It was deafening and hard to focus. Then, to really amp up the emotions and stress, one of my husbands best friends from college suddenly passed away while battling cancer two weeks before their daughter’s wedding.

We agonized for a day about whether to rearrange everything in life to try to rush out to where the funeral would be (a two day drive). We finally decided to ask if it would be ok to plan a trip out to see the wife and kids in a month, when she has to start adjusting to a new normal without her husband. So, we are getting that planned.

And so, the process of cleaning up begins. The drywall patch has a first coat of mud on it. The subfloor remains uncovered u til the flooring guy can fit the repair into his busy schedule. Spare flooring has been ordered. A new battery was installed and an appointment for an alignment made for next week. I also began work on transferring our friend’s Caring Bridge journal into book format for his family. He journaled extensively. His writing was humorous, eloquent and inspiring. I am not sure if his family actually got to read the journal while they were living through the trial.

Tomorrow I rev up the freeze dryer again, and plant a patch of flower garden on one side of a new pergola. Hopefully I can get the other side prepped and planted in time to give the new plants a chance to really take root before winter hits. We hope that maybe someday, our grandchildren might choose to get married on our property. And we would like to have it available to bless anyone in our fellowship of believers to use for special occasions.

Monday, we will watch the live stream of the funeral with another college Buddy and his wife, and our son and his family over brunch. We will toast our lost friend/brother and reminisce.

New life…

There’s nothing like the miracle of birth and a new life to give you perspective on what is truly important. While my husband and I and about 100 friends were celebrating the Day of Trumpets in our shop, our son and daughter in law were at the hospital delivering our fifth grandchild, their third child. People asked why we weren’t at the hospital. I reminded them that COVID has emptied hospital waiting rooms. We waited at home. Thankfully, mother and our new grand daughter were both happy and healthy after a c-section.

When I look at a new baby, I feel hope for the future. I feel joyous and excited. All thoughts of current world events disappear, and there is a new life. A tiny girl to pray for, and to eventually take to ice cream and listen to her chat about friends, and other things. a beautiful being to share about the love of Yahuah God for her with, to celebrate his goodness with.

This child is my father’s seventh great grandchild. His eighth was born three days later, and number nine will be born sometime in November. He has crocheted baby blankets for all seven of his grandchildren and all nine of his great grands. I wish that I could carry on that tradition for him when he is gone someday. The traditions I have started for my grands are I order baby announcements for each one, and try to create a photo book for each ones first year of life. Most of them also get double sided flannel blankets from me too. For my kids, I used to make them matching flannel jammies for New Years. Our ten year old grandson was wearing a nightshirt I had made for his dad at the same age. That brought back lots of memories.

My day is ending. By the time you read this, I will either be snoozing soundly or waking up for some Sabbath pie. As each day ends, and your head hits the pillow, I hope you can identify something that brings hope and joy to your heart, that helps to erase the events of the world, if even for just a moment.

Day one…

The kittens are still alive and so am I! On Tuesday evening, a friend of ours texted over a picture of four kittens on a blanket, with a caption “Look at the black one!” She then proceeded to let me know that her granddaughter or her granddaughter’s roommate had found and trapped these stray kittens at the warehouse that she worked at and they needed homes. Not sure if my honey was ready to bring another cat into our hearts, I forwarded it to him asking if he wanted to meet them. It was a resounding yes.

My honey has an uncanny knack for being able to gauge an animal’s personality. we went expecting to fall in love with the black one, but that’s not exactly how it happened. The black one was pretty scared and the gal handed it to me first. My honey was handed the grey one with white paws. Boots, as he is now known as. He knew how to reel my honey’s heart in and began purring and nuzzling his head under my honey’s arm. That was it. But we were both torn. The black one, now Pook, had been buddies with Boots in play and sleep. The third one was pretty independent. We just couldn’t split them up. Thus, Pook AND Boots.

I have never raised a cat from kitten stage. Our Spanky was probably 6 months old when she came to us. A big difference from what I am guessing are eight week olds. The first day was very quiet. No meows at all. Lots of tails between the legs for Pook. They ate well, drank well, pooped and peed well and slept well. Unlike me, who had my mother’s ears on while wearing earplugs. And silly me, I thought I would let them out of the cage for a little bit to let them begin to acclimate to the room. Not real smart. I left the room for a moment to get cat food and they were gone when I returned. I thought a moment, then checked in the underbed bin for my garden work clothes. That was one of Spanky favorite hiding spots. There they were! Four ears sticking out of it.

But, it gets better. I let them stay there a bit. When I next returned with my honey, they were no longer in the box. After some diligent searching, I finally located a warm bulge in the lining of the recliner chair in the corner. Sigh. I finally had to cut the lining to get them out and re-cage them. Needless to say, the recliner is no longer in the bedroom.

A trip to the local pet store later in the day, and a hundred dollars later and I was armed with plenty of kitten food in various forms. Fortunately we had kept some cute little dishes for food, some not so cute, but extremely practical dry food dispensers, a litter box and enough plastic newspaper sleeves to gather the litter clumps in.

The day ended with the cats romping and wrestling each other and playing with some leftover toys. When I decided it was time for bed, I picked Boots up like a baby and he started to purr and relax. Ahh! I think I stumbled on the Mom factor. Roll them over into the submissive posture to calm them. After a few minutes of cuddling, I placed him back in the cage and did the same with Pook. Mom time was shorter with Pook, but still effective. The closed cage was greeted with a couple complaint mews, but they settled down as soon as the light went off. I think. Again, I slept with earplugs. Mom ears hear everything.

So. Here I am with new mom foggy brain due to lack of sleep. but enjoying the adventure. Day two was a little easier. I learned they are both climbers, thus the early morning order for a cat climbing tower from Chewy.com. I am trying to let them out of the cage, yet keep them confined to the one bedroom until they are too large to fit inside anymore furniture, or don’t want to.

Hope my kitten stories bring a smile to your face and and a bit of joy to your heart!

Country living…

In October last year we lost our beloved Spanky cat. About a month ago we lost my father’s cat PK. For the first time in 22 years of marriage we are without an animal in the house. So it comes as no surprise that we were delighted when the neighbor barn cats came to visit while we were sitting on our porch watching the sunset. It has become an almost nightly ritual now. My honey gets home from work, we go for a quick walk, as we pass the neighbor’s home the cats come out and join us for the second half of the walk then follow us home to our porch. My honey hangs out with them while I get his dinner and then we sit and pet the cats and chat while watching the sunset. When we begin to get cold, or I start to yawn too much we say good night to the cats, and turn off the lights. We go inside, and they go home. And we wait for another day and another visit.

Needless to say our hearts have been captured by these two unnamed felines. They are unnamed because they just showed up at the neighbors house a few years ago. Since they weren’t sure they would stick around, they just called them grey cat and black cat. We have nicknamed them Notch and Spunky. Notch is the gray tabby who has a notch out of his ear from a recent fight. Spunky is a slim black female who is extremely skittish yet very loving. The title of my post was inspired by a phone call the other day. The neighbor whom these cats “belong” two called around 11 in the morning. She politely asked if I had seen the black cat at all that day. I had said no and asked why. She explained that she was concerned that she may have gotten eaten by coyotes that night. Apparently we had a visit from a pack of coyotes and they were making such a ruckus she was sure they had eaten her cat since she hadn’t seen her. I expressed my sympathy and my hope that maybe the cat had just been so spooked that she was very slow in coming out of a hiding spot. We both said we hope so. I spent the next half hour or so consoling myself and explaining to myself that that is the way country living is. Animals come and go, there was a food chain and I had better get used to it. My eyes teared up anyway and I felt myself being sad that we would no longer get to have Spunky to warm our laps and hearts while we enjoyed the sunset. I am pleased to say an hour later, the owner sent me a picture of spunky and said guess who just came out of hiding! We were both thrilled to pieces!

I relayed the story to my honey when he came home from work. He too was glad she was alive. We discussed the possibility of getting our self some barn cats when our shop is done. But there is a part of me that doesn’t want to face the possibility of losing a creature that I love dearly. I know we probably will anyway I just hate that part.

So here I sit on my big cushy chair out on the front porch. The sun has just set each night the sunset is a little different sometimes it’s very calm and sedate sometimes it’s bold and vibrant and exciting. Sometimes it lasts a few moments and sometimes it just seems to go on forever. There are hills close by that are silhouetted in the light, and The lights of a small town sparkle at the base of them in the dark. Sometimes we hear the coyotes far away, always listening to the Killdeer sounds and sometimes being honored by a visit from the local owl.

We have loved every minute of living in the country and wish everyone could have this opportunity. It is peaceful and de-stressing, except for the coyote part. Something much-needed in the environment of the world that we live in today. I do know though, that living in the country is not the only thing that helps us de-stress. Sometimes just taking a walk in the cool evening in the summer can be helpful. Sometimes just sitting and reading a book. Or gardening, or playing a game with a child. I hope that you have been able to find the thing that brings peace to your soul during these trying times. Shalom


It’s 9 AM, the temperature is about 17° Fahrenheit, the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue, with not a cloud to be seen. Already this morning I spent some time reading my Bible, got my exercises and stretches done, and finished up with my morning chores. After loading up my car with my essential oil display stuff, I headed over to Costco to stand in line and wait my turn to have my winter tires put on. I am bundled up with long John’s, four layers of shirts and heavy winter boots, even though there is not a lick of snow on the ground at the moment. I have learned from past years, how to stay warm while waiting in line here. But I know if I don’t get there an hour early, the line will be long, and it will take hours for the task to be done. This way, I wait in the sun for one hour, but I will be finished after 40 minutes inside. Just enough time to get some groceries I need and maybe fill out my monthly meal calendar while sitting at one of their lively red food court tables.

From Costco I will head over to the bank where I am blessed to be able to set up a display for my essential oil business. Each month they allow a different customer to feature their business on a wall of shelves. I don’t get any business from it, but at least I get exposure, and who knows what that is worth. It also makes me feel good to have the tellers comment each time I come in that my displays very nice.

Once I am done setting that up, who knows where I will go. I have much to accomplish today, including finishing a shopping list for the needs we have for the electrical system for our new house, finding flooring for the house, dropping off information to get an estimate from our local hardware store on what type of discount they can supply me on a package for toilets, sinks, faucets, appliances, doors, etc., and so much more. There’s also some laundry to finish up from yesterday, and foods to get ready for my Sabbath tomorrow, so I don’t have to cook. If the weather and my time hold out, I may try to get our plum tree pruned before the snow coats it. So far I have been able to prune back both of our apple trees, and I was able to dig up and pot our dozen blueberry bushes. I have transported those over to our new property and buried them in compost, since I cannot dig into the ground at this time. That should keep them warm and happy until spring when I can plant.

My life is busy. But I am trying to learn to appreciate the busyness, because there will be days when there is no busyness and I can enjoy scrapbooking or quilting once again. The sun always brings joy and hope to my soul. And I am so grateful to the Creator of this beautiful world we live in for each day, for each breath, for each moment. I pray that our children, and our grandchildren, will choose to live lives of thankfulness and contentment. For with contentment comes great joy.

May you find something to be joyful and thankful about in the midst of your busyness today.

We have walls!

I arrived at the work site yesterday to find the gas company laying lines, the well company starting to drill and walls up on the shop.

An exciting day! Especially since the gas company had not communicated with me about coming a date or time they would be there. Fortunately we were ready for them. I Knew the well guys would be there, but it was still a thrill to see them there with their big trucks. I probably spent half an hour spent just watching the well drill. That was fascinating to watch the process. Insert a drill bit into a pipe, crane it to the top of the rig, attach it to the top thingy, weld the new pipe to the one already mostly in the ground, pound that one on, and repeat. I had to ask what the fluffy white stuff was that periodically flew out of a pipe. It looked like dryer fluff. Turns out it is what white granite rock looks like after it has been pulverized and had a framing agent added to it so it can be removed.

The first set of walls on the garage section of our shop were up too. Now the drawings are coming to life, and it looks exactly like we’d hoped it would. Window openings, door openings, stair areas. So excited, and grateful for an amazing foreman and great crew. So many folks in our area are struggling to keep subs on the job, and thus far we feel blessed. It is a small crew, so it may take a bit longer than the mass produced developments, but that is OK. They hope to have the shop dried in and weather proofed by September, then we will move over to the house and try to get it also weatherproofed before wet weather hits. Then we can finish the inside work during the winter, and hopefully have it ready to move into early next summer.

Today, may something thrill you and bring you joy!

Mothers and daughters…

It was an early morning for me. Well, actually no earlier than normal, I just had a “date” with my almost nine year old grandson planned. His elementary school is great at putting together various, usually, before school activities. Muffins with Mom’s, Donuts eight Dad’s, Time with Grandparents. His older sister would have joined us, but she has early morning orchestra practice.

I rushed to get my morning chores done and eat some breakfast. A bowl of quick oatmeal with freeze dried blueberries and pecans should hold me over til ten or eleven. I actually got on the road with what I thought was plenty of time to get there, forgetting that over the past few months, the commute has gotten a bit longer. Thirty minutes from door to door used to be perfect. Now I am looking at closer to forty. I hate being late, and could feel the stress rising in me, so I plugged in my earbuds and turned on my Brian Crain music. Shooting piano and orchestra would keep me calm for the remainder of the drive.

This morning, I deliberately put on the ring I inherited from my mother, and the one from my grandmother. My grandmother died when my kids were young, they didn’t really know her. My mother passed going on ten years ago now. She met her first great grandchild and died a year later. On the trip to the school this morning I reminisced about this. The tears flowed as I thought of all she missed out on, she would have had four great grands to date. My father lives with us and so often gets to see the greats. As I thought about it, I thought I would tell my grandson about three rings. I would tell him that my mom would have been there with us if she was still alive. My grandmother, not so much. The tears flowed again, as I realized that that was one good thing I learned from my mother. Attending the little hints is important, even if she was always late.

He was just getting shoes and socks on when I arrived. We drove the quick five minutes to school in the rain, and arrived in time. After signing in, we were handed a pack of papers and we were able to choose muffins and milk. The muffins were the humongous Costco muffins. My grand chose chocolate chocolate chip with chocolate milk, I went with blueberry. We sat and talked and ate. We talked about the rings, we went over one paper that was titled “Twelve things for grandchildren and grandparents to do together”. We marked off the ones we had, and circled the ones we hadn’t. Turns out we have never bird watched together or been to the movie theater together. We’ve done plenty of walks, cooking, gardening and meals out. But, no bird watching. Go figure. I will just have to get out my mini binoculars and my Birds of the Region book and we will have to do some. As we left for recess, they were offering spare muffins to all. My grand suggested that we get one for his sister. He chose the poppy seed for her, and I wrote a note on it, with love from Grammi. In the halls, he saw her teacher and asked if she would give it to her when she arrived back from band.

My grand asked me to stay after muffins and come to his classroom with him for indoor recess. I was blessed to meet a couple of his friends/classmates and his teacher, and watch him play his favorite motorcycle game on the computer. When other kids started to arrive, I offered to leave if he wanted me to, and he patted the chair next to him and said that he wanted me to stay. My heart was full.

I still have half the muffin in the van. I am sitting in a friend’s house hoping the cat will come out to say hello, but I am pretty sure that isn’t going to happen at this point. They are out of town and asked me to look in on her. From here it is off to WallyWorld (our nickname for WalMart) to grab a shirt to complete an outfit I want to send to my out of town grandson. His birthday is next week. Of course I will send the customary snack boxes of Goldfish crackers in rainbow colors. He lives in a different country where they can’t buy those. Then home to prepare for the last night of company during the Feast, and Sabbath. If I have any time left after that, and it stops raining, I have some all natural fertilizer that needs to get out of my dining room and onto our lawns. I’m not holding my breath on that though.

So far, it’s been a good day. I hope you find beauty in raindrops, and joy in the sound of them hitting the roof.