If you didn’t know by now, we are an Urban Homesteading kinda family. We have turned our front yard space into an edible garden. My husband had to sell me on this and my only criteria was … it had to look beautiful from the street. I had imagined multiple straight rows of vegetables planted directly in the ground. It was NOT appealing to me in the least.
I love spring. Our garden is coming to life and it’s so exciting to see what each new day brings. The weather has been erratic to say the least. One day is Summer like weather and then the very next day Winter winds sweep in and we’re covering young plants at 10pm before a freeze sets in.
So, together, my husband and I came up with a plan that included no straight rows, flowers mixed with vegetables, garden art and modern idustrial-like material for fencing. I’ve posted once before when we first put the beds in so this is an update for Spring 2014. I hope you enjoy a short walk through. If you have any questions please ask away. I’ll try to answer them as best as I can.
In my humble opinion, gardening cannot be mastered. It is a continual learning process. What works one season might not work next. What flourishes one season flops miserably the next season. Quite frustrating (Yeah, I’m talking to you Mr. Green Beans 2013!). We have been successful with cucumbers but yellow squash … BIG FAT F. Just a side note – We’ve been organic gardening for at least fourteen years.
Here’s a list of what’s growing: Tomatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, Brussels Sprouts, cucumbers, red cabbage, white cabbage, white onions, red onions, flying saucer squash, watermelons, bell peppers, patty pan squash, Kale,… Just finished with spinach and broccoli. Going to plant green beans and more cucumbers.
I blame the white butterfly birthday cake my Mom made me for my ninth birthday. It was decorated with colored orange coconut and bright candies. That was the cake that inspired me to learn how to decorate cakes and inspired me to throw parties my boys would remember when they got older.
My youngest son, Carsen, recently turned seven. (sigh) He’s getting taller. His legs are longer, his torso stretching… I judge their growth by the laundry going in the wash. Surely my boys don’t wear these jeans, the same jeans that inch their way higher.
Carsen, my Carsen, is bright and creative and sees his world through drawings and colors on paper. He is different than his brother in his own glorious way. My what a task it is to be entrusted with these boys!
This year CJ wanted a Minecraft Birthday. Yes, that god-forsaken game just about EVERY child is playing. I had refused to learn the lingo — to remain detached from this one fad but alas our conversations inevitably turned to the game and the exciting adventures of Steve. I knew I was done for when I started asking them for explanations and it only seemed fitting to do so because I was in charge of creating a Minecraft party.
Planning their birthday parties is my favorite thing to do. Enter Pinterest! BEFORE I wrote down a Guest List you can bet I scoured and pinned everything I could find on Minecraft parties and menus and decoration. My “Party Ideas,” board was brimming with eye candy. Continue reading
Job 33:11-17 – “He puts my feet in the stocks and watches all my paths.’ “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man. Why do you contend against him, saying, ‘He will answer none of man’s words’? For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds,”
I don’t put a lot of stock in my dreams, only the ones that seem odd or stand out or there is symbolism. When I do have those kinds of dreams I always pray and ask God for understanding.
I’ve been having apocalyptic dreams lately, which strangely I don’t find alarming. Maybe it’s because of the shows I watch or the state of our Union *sigh* or maybe it’s because I don’t belong to this World and I just want to go home.
My apocalyptic dreams are usually dark and I don’t mean in an evil sort of way. No, I mean in a Batman movie kind of way where everything is washed in midnight blue. There is no moon or sun or stars to light the sky.
I’m not sure of the source of my dream. I watched the Oscars last night, which is a whole other observation.
In my dream I was on the run. Why I didn’t have a car I have no idea. I need to fix that. It’s very cumbersome. Anyway, I’m stumbling across the landscape and a very dreary one at that and I come upon a car accident.
The car is smashed into a fence or something and there is a huge pole skewering the car. I notice a woman’s body behind the wheel and the pole is resting on her thigh. I’m not sure I want to approach the car to see if the woman is alive or dead but somehow I know that she is alive.
I happen to be a few yards away from my house. It feels like my grandmother’s pink house in Ft. Collins and I know my sister is there somewhere. I bring this woman there get her washed up and find clothes for her. I mention if there is someone she would like to call she can use our phone (and it works), so she does.
I overhear that she doesn’t want to stay, that she feels weird being here at the house… I just saved her life and she thinks I’m weird. I’m offended and my caring goes out the window. I no longer want to be hospitable. I no longer want to go out of my way to make her feel comfortable.
That’s my take away from my dream.
I feel like this should mean something to me. Hospitality is my gift, I took a test so it must be true. I can’t decide if I’m miffed that my hospitality was rejected or that my hospitality was conditional.
1Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling
What about casting your pearls before swine? I suppose I must check to see if they are real pearls to begin with…
I needed her gone. She needed to leave and I needed to wash my hands of her. I was waiting to exhale and didn’t know I had been waiting for two and a half years to do it. She sucked the marrow of my life right out of my bones and I was a shell of a person who could no longer care to help.
She was the horse I led to the water and try as I might I could not get her to drink. Instead I ended up looking longingly into the crystal pool of life-giving water wanting to fling myself into it and drown choking on well-intentioned good deeds.
To say that I was frustrated and beyond exhaustion would be an understatement. I was a party balloon who had served its purpose depleted of air discarded on the floor among the trampled streamers and faded confetti.
I. Was. Done.
Even though I watched her drive away with a semblance of her life packed up haphazardly, in hurriedly taped up boxes, I worried for her. I prayed for her safety. I’m not entirely a monster, and let me tell you, many times I had felt as though I was one.
I gave her a hug, an honest, earnest, hug and told her to be safe and keep in touch and please, please, let us know how you’re doing. I meant it. And even though I did that I still could not look her in the eye for fear that the truth of my jaded, fed up soul would some how leak out and I couldn’t have that.
I cautiously exhale with much trepidation. I tell myself it’s ok to breath agains so I take another cautious breath and let that settle somewhere deep in my chest.
Oh, peace come near to me once again. Replenish my soul O, Lord. Give me your shelter. Cover me with Your wings and give me rest if but for a moment until I can catch my breath.
So, I wanted to come up with something fresh, a recap of 2013 for this post but I’ve got nothing. Maybe if I keep writing something will come. I won’t make a laundry list of resolutions I have no intention of keeping. I’m the kind of girl who says, “Don’t fence me in,” even to myself.
It’s usually this time of year that I start thinking about organization, cleaning out the junk and downsizing things. I think about budgets and lists and meal planning and school planning. I think about Spring gardening, painting walls and exercising. I have medical goals (not resolutions) to see a dentist and keep 6 months appointments, find a GP and develop a relationship with him or her… maybe a her since I’m gracing the threshold of menopause.
I’m teetering on weight issues and menopause and trying to find a reasonable balance of what’s acceptable and not an excuse. Continue reading
Ah, Christmas carols! I love them. Many of us can sing these songs from memory, memories that go as far back as kindergarten or first grade! I sang them for years and they always make me feel happy. I remember going caroling and singing in kids choir up in the loft of St. Joseph’s Catholic church. Great memories.
“O Holy Night,” is my favorite Christmas song and this is the most beautiful rendition (above) I have ever heard. I am in awe of God’s love for mankind and His desire to be with us once again, as it was before the Fall, most arduously, that He should suffer and bear the sins of this world even unto death. He loves you THAT much.
It’s easy to lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas with hectic schedules, parties and shopping. As I grow older and crave time to slow down I have been paying more and more attention to the Christmas songs I have sung for years. A year or two ago the words of “Little Drummer Boy” spoke to my heart, stopped me in my tracks. It was not one of my top ten songs but it was one that I sang along with belting out the “rup pa pum pums” with the best of them. This year, when I hear it, I pause to listen to it… really listen.
Often times I have wondered what I could possible give God. Sure there’s the Sunday school answers, “my heart,” “my devotion” but come on I can’t put a bow on it. It’s the age old question, “What do you give a man that has everything?” literally. The words of the Little Drummer Boy suddenly opened my eyes. It really was a revelation and it seemed like an “aha!” moment for me.
All the little boy had to give was his drum and his talent to play it. He was like the poor woman with only a penny to give, and she gave it. He was like one of the saints before the throne casting their crowns at God’s feet. The boy gave the baby Jesus everything he had, his talent and it pleased Jesus. Perhaps it didn’t seem much to the boy, maybe even insignificant, but to Jesus… that was everything He wanted. Continue reading
A mother and her young son sit alone in a near empty sanctuary in the midst of a sea of country blue pews. I notice that both of them are sobbing almost uncontrollably. Faces are red and splotchy and washed with rivers of tears.
I don’t remember talking to them but I think I did because I found out why they were crying. The mother was just told by the departing Youth Minister that her youngest son was not ready for baptism. They were crushed. Her oldest son had just made the decision to be baptized and as expected her youngest wanted to be baptized as well.
It’s an image as fresh on my mind as it was almost eighteen or nineteen years ago when I came upon it. Now, here I was facing the same crossroads. My oldest son just announced his decision to be baptized and my youngest wanted to follow suit.
In my gut I knew why Carsen wanted to be baptized. What six year old would want to miss out on possibly the last chance to be in a pool of water? Summer was at an end and school was about to start the very next day?
Carsen heard the jubilant phone calls being made to grandparents and invitations for coffee and cake after the event. He wanted to be a part of the excitement. He wanted the party to be for him too.
We questioned Carsen and tried to finagle the true reason for his decision. I was careful not to lead him in his answer but he couldn’t say why he wanted to be baptized or why we are baptized. We had just sat in the baptism class to explain our church’s belief. The kid forgot to take notes.
There’s only so much you can explain in the car while talking over your shoulder. I felt this conversation needed undivided attention so it would have to wait until we got home. Continue reading
The LORD roars from Zion And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.
Is it strange that I find God in the thunder and the crack of lightning? I am in the midst of a storm and my first thought is to gather the black clouds around me like a wild blanket. I want nothing but to hear the deep groaning’s and explosive thunder in my ears. I find comfort in that. I find God in that. Come near to me oh Lord.
I searched for scriptures that referenced thunder and found seventy, perhaps there is more, I don’t know. A lot of verses liken the sound of thunder to God’s anger and wrath. It is a display of His terrible might. People tremble, some even flee. Heaven and earth tremble. Thunder, to most, is to be feared and at times it causes me to flee under the nearest blanket.
When I was nursing my youngest son in wee hours of the night (although often my clock said it was 2AM) I would be the only one awake. Even Carsen was sleeping while he nursed. It was the loneliest time for me. The house was utterly silent. Nothing stirred. Then one night while I was nursing a distant thunder rolled. It was a lazy lingering roll. My ears latched on to it and in my desolation I asked, I prayed for it to come closer to keep me company. Continue reading
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
August 25th, 2013, on our way home from church, my oldest son decided he wanted to be baptized.
He had expressed interest in the past, asking about why we get baptized, why is it important and how long do you have to stay under water.
So, when our church announced they would be baptizing anyone who wanted to follow in the steps of Christ they could do so at our church picnic that afternoon. They were offering a short class on what our church believed about baptism and they would be available to ask any questions.
As a family we decided to go. It was great to learn our church’s mission statement on such a monumental decision in a Christian’s life. We are baptized because Jesus was. We are baptized because God commanded us. We are baptized because we want the world to know that we identify ourselves with Christ and that we are His followers. I. Am. A. Christian. Continue reading