Sunday, September 30, 2012

Light Seeds

"Light is sown like seed
for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Be glad in the Lord,
you righteous ones,
and give thanks to His holy name."

Psalm 97: 11-12

joining Deidra with the quiet Sunday community

Friday, September 28, 2012


Five Minute Friday, is about writing a topic supplied by the gypsy mama. We write, the timer set or an eye on the clock, winging it, streaming the words on to the keyboard. Five minutes of discovery. This week,


Grasp. First impression.
I don't like this word.
Sounds greedy.

My desire is to go through life with an open palm, accepting.
Not a tight fist, fighting.

Yet there are things we want to grasp.
When working with my son on his math, I want him to grasp the lesson.

A good handshake takes a firm grasp. A  connection between two people as they look each other in the eye, welcoming, meeting, connecting, not just the physical touch, but the heart and soul and mind.

Sometimes, when someone is struggling, I want to say, "Get a grip." I say that to myself sometimes, too.

So it is not a bad word. It has meaning on many levels. To understand, to grasp the truth, and hold it firmly. That is a good thing. Connecting with others around us, grasping their hand and making the connection with them, deeply, that is a good thing.

Time is up.

Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just for Today

My mom has had this poem on her kitchen wall forever - or as long as I can remember, anyway.

One day, standing there waiting for the toast to pop, I actually read the poem. They were beautiful words. Words that had hung there on the wall, that I had looked at every day for years, but had never taken the time to read.

How many things in life are like that? We see them, but we don't really see them. We hear, we look, we touch as we race by, but without a true connection. Without a deep understanding.

There are many versions of poems with this theme, with this title. That day, years ago now, I copied these words down in one of my notebooks.

This version, on a ceramic plaque in a wrought iron decorative frame, has a message for me, today.

                JUST FOR TODAY

Lord for tomorrow and its needs

             I do not pray;

Keep me, my God, from stain of sin,

             Just for today.

Now set a seal upon my lips,

             For this I pray;

Keep me from wrong or idle words,

             Just for today.

Let me be slow

             To do my will,

Prompt to obey,

             And keep me, guide me,

Use me Lord,

             Just for today.

The Lord will guide you continually.

                  Isaiah 58:11

Just for today, I can:

go for a walk
eat reasonably
read aloud to N
take the time to talk with, and listen to, these guys here at home
drink 64 ounces of water
pray, trust, love, say grace
pay attention to the beauty around me
smile and laugh (at myself, too)

Take the time, today, to connect with something - or someone - you would normally overlook. Just for today.

Monday, September 24, 2012



"Am I drifting? Am I focused?
Either answer is fine, just so long as I'm aware."
-Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic

This cute little plate hangs on her wall, a reminder to focus. Or not to focus.

Not to drift, unless the drifting is intentional. And, sometimes, we do drift. Time off. Time to back away and take a long look at where we are headed. Time to think. Retreat. Time to wonder. Time to enjoy.

Or, time to focus and dip in the oars and steer a straight path, the goal in clear view.

Intentional. A choice.

I copied this from one of Rachel's books, years ago - don't remember which one - and had it for a long time on my bulletin board, a reminder to me, to be intentional with my choices.

Some days are good for time with the kids, time to putter, time to relax and think. Other days are good for a full schedule of productivity, the lists checked off in my planner. As long as the choice is made with intent.

The key word, I think, is aware. Awake to the myriad of choices we can make in any given day. Conscious. Mindful of the actions we choose, or do not choose. Aware. And to make those choices with a heart of gratefulness.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


"Be ye all of one mind." 1 Peter 3:8 KJV
"To sum it up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit." 1 Peter 3:8 NAS

"But this is not unison; it is harmony. When an orchestra produces some great musical masterpiece, the instruments are all of one mind, but each makes its own individual contribution. There is variety with concordance: each one serves every other, and the result is glorious harmony."

                                                          -John Henry Jowett, My Daily Meditation

Joining the quiet Sunday community with Deidra

Friday, September 21, 2012


Friday Five, a post I look forward to writing each week. The topic, by the gypsy mama, this week, is Wide. Write, for five minutes, wide open and willing.


An old hymn sings through my head, "There's a wideness in God's mercy, like the wideness of the sea..." Standing on the beach, my back to the land, my face to the wide open sea. A horizon uninterrupted, unedited, unending - at least as far as I can see. That wide, is God's mercy. To me. Oh, how much I need that.

One of the houses we lived in, in the mountains, was surrounded by trees. I love mountains and trees. But at that house, there was no view. Only a funnel, straight overhead. The only stars were straight up. The only direct sunshine was mid-day. Too narrow for me.

Here, we have the Colorado Rockies to the west, the Great Plains to the east. I stand, the solid mountains at my back, thousands of miles of open plain ahead of me. Wide open space, miles of blue sky and a horizon far, far away. I remember Laura Ingalls Wilder writing of the time her family moved from the woods to the plains. She walked out into the grass, covered by an enormous dome of blue sky, flung her arms wide open and felt like she could fly. She wanted to run forever.

I want to open my view, my life, my hopes and dreams, to the wide, uninterrupted horizon. Not to live in a narrow perspective, enclosed in my own little shell. Wide. Open. Alive.

Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Clean Pan

It happens. I burn the food in the pan. Probably because I was distracted doing something else. Even with soaking, this will take a lot of scrubbing. I would much rather do something else. Most anything else.

One of my projects, a gradual process, is to get rid of all the cleaning products that use harsh chemicals and switch to natural cleaning products, using baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and borax. I haven't made the complete switch yet, but making progress.

Okay. The burned, black encrusted pan. I sprinkled baking soda, a generous layer. Then, I sprinkled drops of water, just enough to barely dampen the soda. And left it overnight. Time to go do something else: read aloud, write, go for a walk, play a game with the kids, read...

In the morning, the hard layer of black crust peeled right off the pan. I rinsed it out, swished it with dish soap and voila, clean and shiny, with hardly any labor.

Nice. I can go for that type of cleaning! Less work, simpler, with fewer cleaning supplies cluttering the shelves.

Another way to travel lighter.
And have shiny pots and pans.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Join Me in October

A moment of deep change may come unobserved, disguised by the quiet passing of time.

The biggest difference may come in the little things, subtle changes of the heart.

Morgan wonders, as she looks out her window on October first, as the season melds, how she can change.

What would it take to be different by October thirty-first?

For the month of October, I will be posting Morgan’s story each day, short chapters of fiction, showing her transition as she navigates her days and opens her heart to life around her.

Will you join me? I would love to have you come along on the journey.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

He Changes the Seasons

"Blessed be the name of God,
Forever and ever,
He knows all, does all;
He changes the seasons and guides history,
He raises up kings and also brings them down,
He provides both intelligence and discernment,
He opens up the depths, tells secrets,
Sees in the dark - light spills out of Him!"

Daniel 2: 20-21 MSG

Joining the quiet Sunday Community with Deidra.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


This week's Friday Five word was Focus. I had trouble focusing this week. As evidenced by the miscellaneous piles mounded on my desk. Too many projects going at once. Starting too many new projects. Scrambling to finish old projects so I can move on to the new projects. A mountain of library books to read. I realized something, they are all non-fiction: gardening, dog training, cookbooks, writing skills, motivational, home decorating, local hikes. No wonder I am having trouble reading them all. When I read that word, "focus," my first thought was the eye of a fly. You've seen them, I'm sure, magnified pictures of the eyeball of a fly with its thousands of mini-eyes looking everywhere. Which is why it is so hard to smash them with a fly swatter. See, even my writing is all over the place this week, attempting to look everywhere at once.

What to do about it? How to focus in on what I should be doing?

Start with the basics. These people, this house, this home. Cooking, cleaning, home teaching. Time with each individual. That pretty much fills my days.

I wrote before about the Pomodoro Technique. A method of short, timed, concentrated efforts. These are great, especially for those nagging jobs I just don't ever seem to get around to doing. Set the timer, focus for twenty-five minutes, get it done. Easy. Simple. But it takes the effort to set the timer and focus. It helps, knowing it is a short time. Okay, I'll give this twenty-five minutes. That's all. Makes if feel less overwhelming. More possible. There is a website, free information, lots of terrific ideas for help with priorities.

Last weekend, I filled a raised bed, planted seeds, moved two tomato plants and a nasturtium from pots. Here is the latest, today, my tiny lettuce seeds sprouting up. Still may be too late in the season to get away with producing anything from my small garden, but I am having fun - a race with the season.

My three favorite gardening books are:
Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew
Passionate Gardening, Good Advice For Challenging Climates, by Lauren Springer and Rob Proctor
and a new favorite (one of my many current library books) Gardening on a Shoestring, by Rob Proctor.
Do you have favorite gardening books?

Focus. An art. A skill. Like any art or skill, it takes practice, technique, learning, failure, attempts again. Over and over. Re-focus.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Everything is Extraordinary

The October Country Living magazine has this quote:

"In the right light, at the right time,
everything is extraordinary."
                                                                           -Aaron Rose, film director

I love these thoughts.

Everything: a slice of bread
                  a smile
                  drifting leaves, yellow and gold
                  a roaring wind
                  a gourd (I thought) that turned into a cantaloupe
                  a tiny gold finch in the sunflowers
                  the 1,000 gifts list, on-going, heart and soul of gratefulness
                                  (click on the tab above for my list)

Extraordinary: beyond mundane
                       everyday beauty in simple things
                       the ordinary, seen in an extra light, extraordinary.

I heard a speaker say, "If everyone is special, then no one is special."

                                   True, yet this is different. This quote is about the ability,
                                    the skill to shed extra light on the ordinary.

What is our source of light? How we look at something:
                                           with bitter eyes?
                                           with discontent?
                                           with dissatisfied greed?
                                            or, with grace
                                                  with love
                                                   with trust?

What is our time? Now.
                           Not tomorrow's worries
                                  or yesterday's regrets.

May you have an extraordinary week, full of everything in the right time, in the right light.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Reaches to the Skies

"Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies."

Psalms 36: 5

Joining the Sunday Community for quiet worship

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Saturday Morning Workout

This morning, I moved

to this

using this.

Three quarter cubic yard  of planter mix. Our soil here is heavy clay, and some of the yard seems to have a layer of something like asphalt underneath four inches of clay. Not good for a garden. My husband built this raised bed using some stray wood, and we found a gravel company nearby that had this planter mix for a great price.

Now that the raised bed is filled, I am ready to water and plant seeds: spinach, lettuce, beets, chard, cabbage, onion and garlic.

I realize it is late to be putting in fall vegies, but I am going to try. See what I can get away with before the frosts settle in. Should have at least six weeks here. Challenge the seasons. And if it doesn't work, the raised bed will be ready to go in the spring.

Do any of you plant a fall garden?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Full of Grace

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday, the topic, by LisaJo, the gypsy mama, and we write, watching the clock, the minutes speeding by. This week, Graceful.


Full of grace.

I took ballet lessons for awhile. After high school. The old lady of the class.

When we got to pointe - the toe shoes - the dance instructor (an old lady herself) wanted me to carry my weight up. "Up, up!" she would say. But my body wanted to go down, down.

I never quite mastered the turns, either. Spinning my head around, my eyes zeroed in on a focus point as I spiraled across the room.

Focus. Perhaps that is what I lacked. The ability to focus, think of myself, see myself soaring, lifted up, rather than glued to tierra firma. The ability to look intensely at one point while the rest of me circled gracefully, a fluid, untangled motion.

Focus. Are my sights, my energies stuck to what I perceive as solid reality? Or, can I soar, spin, glide, my sights set above, focused on higher things, gloriously looking, "Up, up!"

Dancing my way through life, full of grace.

image source, Google

Sunday, September 2, 2012

In a Wild Flower

"To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower;
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour."

                                                            -William Blake

Joining Deidra with the Sunday Community for a quiet Sunday moment

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Turn the Page

September First.
 Turn the page.
 Move toward fall.


Fall and Winter:

Received the fall Eddie Bauer catalog. Listen to this list of colors:

meridian blue (my favorite)

Delicious and cozy and warm and snug and scented of bread baking in the oven. MMMM!