The Garden Bug

As a child my family had a garden.  And by garden I mean at least an acre that had to be worked every week.  I remember kneeling in the hot garden, sweat rolling down my brow, sweat bees stinging me behind my knees every move I made, and swearing that I would never do that again.  I knew that once I grew up and could make those decisions, I would never garden again.  That’s it, no more, I’m done with it.

Fast forward a few years and I am a young mother who for some strange reason decides I need a little garden.  Well I do know the reason, fresh tomatoes.  There is nothing better than a fresh tomato sandwich.  So the garden bug bit me a little and I made a “small” garden.  And I would have been happy at that if only the calves didn’t escape their pens and destroy it all in one night.

So with calves a frolicking, babies crying, and all those childhood garden memories swarming in my head, I decided that the garden just wasn’t worth it.  So for a few years I resisted the garden bug and did a good job at it I must say.

Fast forward a few more years.  Not a single calf in sight, the boys are growing, and I had the great fortune to marry a wonderful lady who…. wanted a garden.

ZAP!!!!!!!  The garden bug really got me this time.  All last fall and winter we poured through garden plans and talked about what we wanted to plant.  I signed up for every seed catalog I could find and spent last Winter reading and re-reading them.  And let me tell you, with 3 feet of snow and no electricity, those catalogs really saved my sanity.

So I have officially re-entered the world of gardening and I have to admit that I love it.  I love planting the tiny little seeds and watching for them to sprout.  I really enjoy the hours spent on my knees pulling weeds and feeling the warm sun on my shoulders.  But most of all, I am enjoying the fresh tomatoes and the salads and sharing all of this with my family.

And now the garden bug has bitten my boys.  They want to plant a garden of their own next year and I can’t wait to help them.  I can’t wait to see if this bite will last just a year or two or if they will become life long gardeners.  I hope their garden experience will be a lot more pleasant than mine at that age.  I hope they feel the warm dirt and find that connection that goes deeper than just food for the table.  It is a connection of all living and breathing things.  And it is a gift I think all children should have.

July 23, 2010 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

Hello again

Wow, It has really been a long time since I have written anything here.  I have been here a few times, thinking about what to say and how to say it.  So many things have changed and so many goodbyes and new beginnings.

I had considered giving up blogging permanently, I had considered going back and changing posts to reflect my new life, and I have even considered chucking this site and just creating a new one.

But in the end, this is my blog home and everything in it is a part of where I am at today.  Brushing it all aside would just cheapen everything that was, is and will be.

Life has changed, I am no longer in a relationship with JB.  The sad reality of life is that we loved each other but we wanted and needed different things.  I would like to say that we are still friends, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  We have both tried to keep that line open but it seems that things keep getting in the way.  Maybe someday we may find our way to the place of friendship.

The boys are doing great, no major accidents or surgeries in the time that has passed.  My family is still here loving me and accepting me.  I have said goodbye to a brother who died way too young.  But I have also reconnected with siblings and nieces and they have enriched my life.

But of all the changes in my life, the best and most exciting change is that I have found my best friend, my soul mate, my partner, my confidant, my wife.  A friendship deepened into a wonderful relationship, a sharing of everything.  I am married (no not LEGALLY married, but wholly married in our eyes and the eyes of God) to a wonderful lady with whom I am blessed to share my life with.  We have the awesome gift of spending each and everyday together learning from and teaching each other. Thank you Dot for saying yes and for being here with me and for me.

Maybe that explains a little about my absence.   I am thinking about life less and living it more so  I am not promising a new blog everyday but I am going to try to be here more.  Well that is the last 18 -20 months in a nutshell.  See you soon.

July 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

Bunny Ball

I have to admit that I really don’t get into sports, shocking I know. I have learned to appreciate football in the sense that I can watch a game and know what is going on and why. (thanks to my son’s flag football coach) But to watch a game and get all excited or emotionally involved just isn’t me. So it came as a bit of a surprise when I found myself watching a sporting event almost every night and morning. Not only watching but enjoying every second. No it isn’t professional football or baseball or any other recognized sport, it is a little game I like to call Bunny Ball.

I am new to the joys of having a house bunny. I have had rabbits as pets off and on since I was a little kid, but I have never shared my living space with one on a full time basis. I have to say that I was missing out on a lot. Bunny ball usually starts just as the lights are turned off. We can hear the rustling begin and it isn’t long till the jumps and running fits start. Sometimes I swear he is going to tip his bunny house over. But he is just warming up for a rousing game of bunny ball.

Honey has apple sticks and pine cones in his house to give him plenty to chew on and chew he does, but he also enjoys tossing and pushing them around. How much noise can one little bunny make? Surprisingly, a lot of noise. You can hear the toss, the run to catch, and the thud when he misses. All the while his bedding is being tossed and thrown about. One would think that sticks and pine cones should suffice in the bunny entertainment department, but alas they do not.

Honey also learned how to detach his water bottle from the side of his cage and now bunny ball has the added excitement of a water feature. Toss, run, thump, and then splash. Total fun and excitement. Oh and the food bowl, such fun! The food bowl has such a satisfying thump I can almost imagine Honey doing the touchdown dance every time it hits the ground.

Not that I am complaining mind you, there is nothing sweeter than watching him run around and play and then take a well deserved break to wash his little face with his cute little paws. I love watching as he licks his paws and then glides each ear through his hands, cleaning and styling at the same time. Such a tight ball of energy and fun and then off to sleep till morning.

As the sun dawns on each new day, the game begins again. If I am awake, I enjoy the game and if sleep still claims me, I have learned to pull the covers up over my ears and mute the rustling bustling game till a more decent hour. But even when I am tired and grumpy, I still have to admit to enjoying his game. God bless the little creatures and the joy they bring into our lives.

August 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm 1 comment

Ignorance is bliss

Have you ever heard the expression, “Ignorance is bliss” ?  Well I guess it may be true if you are the one in blissful ignorance, but for the rest of us, it is just plain annoying.   Let me explain, a while back I had the pleasure of buying tires for the front end of my car.  It seemed like a good idea at the time,  especially since I would soon be driving to Florida and back and the cute little wires were protruding near the inner rim.  So the tires were one stop I could hardly avoid.

Not that I have some strange aversion to the tire store, in all actuality the tire store is a nice place to visit.  A nice air conditioned waiting area complete with old magazines and a television set that seems to always be stuck on one soap opera or another.  No my complaint isn’t with the tire store.  It was a particular customer that irritated me.

She was sitting in the waiting area when we walked in.  I noticed her as one of two other people who were sitting there waiting to reclaim their cars with their shinny new wheels.  I noticed the disgusted look as we entered into the room to sit on the ugly old couch, but I really didn’t think anything of it.  I figured she was tired and cranky and just wanting to get out of there.  I did take note of her leaving the area but assumed her car was done or she needed to stretch.

We finished our lunch and took a walk outside for the customary after meal smoke and I noticed the lady again.  Sitting there looking disgusted on the only bench available.  She was so obvious it was almost funny.  With one disgusted look  up she jumped and away she went.  In our defense, we didn’t stink, we weren’t dressed inappropriately, nor did we talk loudly or be obnoxious in any way.  I guess she took offense when I didn’t think and called Dot “Honey”.  Maybe she didn’t like the gay thing, ya think?

Actually she was very obvious and there was little question about it, but I did get some amusement from her obvious ignorance.  But that got me to thinking.  I want to be blissfully ignorant too.  I want to blindly hate someone for something that is just a part of who they are.  Hmmm let me think, I could hate all people with freckles….. nope that won’t work, my son has cute freckles and I love him very much, I can’t hate him.  I could hate all blonds…..oops I can’t say that, my wonderful wife is a blond and so is one of my sisters.  Maybe I could hate all short people, dang that won’t work, I am short and I don’t want to hate myself.  This is a lot harder than I thought.  Why am I having such a hard time finding a group of people to hate?

Maybe it is because I know and love people who fit into those groups.  I no longer have the option to blindly hate anyone.  Because I was blessed to have had the opportunity to meet “those people” as people first.  And that is the funny thing.  Any group of people is made up of…yes people!  I wish that lady could have looked past the “gay” thing and seen us as people.  Neither one of us are axe murderers, we don’t torment little children or abuse the elderly, and we rarely growl or bite.  We are fairly normal people.  I would have to say that we are good people.  Of course I am biased on that little fact, but it is true none the less.

Wow I just had a great idea!  What if it was a requirement that in order to blindly hate any group of people, we have to meet a few individuals first.  We have to spend 2 days meeting and getting to know the individuals that make up that group.  Maybe then ignorance would go the way of the dinosaur.  Maybe ignorance wouldn’t be bliss, but become something to be avoided at all cost!  My prayer for the future.

June 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm 2 comments

Night musing

3:54 A.M. and the world is asleep. Well at least most of it is. The house is quiet, the boys are at their dad’s, the cats are finally done rumbling through the house playing tag, and Sydney, my dog, is out for the night. And except for the deep contented sighs from my Sydney and ice falling into the ice maker on the fridge, silence greets my straining ears.

Well at least I think it is silence. Have you ever noticed that if you listen hard enough there is always a sound of some sort? Ah there goes the ice maker refilling the trays so more ice can tumble down in due time. I hear the copper tubing bounce with the pressure of the water starting to flow and stopping, just in time to keep from overflowing and making a mess in the freezer. More of what I would call silence but then again, what is that small tiny whish whish sound I am hearing? Could it be the blood rushing through my ears as they work and strain to find a connection in these dark wee hours of dawn?

I go out on the porch to look for the moon and realized that the night outside is never totally quiet. I can hear the wind rushing through the weeds in the woods and I can hear the barren trees crack and sway in the dark. From far away I hear a dog bark, what wonderful night creature has gained his attention? Maybe a raccoon or even a skunk, proof of that should be swelling in the breeze any second. The distant hint of a scent proves to me that I am not alone in this night. I catch a quick smile dart across my face, thankful it isn’t my dog learning that valuable lesson concerning skunks and giving them wide berth.

I finally find the moon, or at least the half of it that showed up for work tonight. Even the moon is feeling the draw of sleep as it lays quietly on its back, slowing sinking to the horizon. Soon I know the sun will be fighting its way up into the dark sky, but for now, it is just me and the night. A comfortable silence follows as I watch and wait to see what new connection I find next.

I guess one could say quite truthfully that I am alone because of the lack of another human awake and watching my small part of the world. But in no way am I lonely. I find I have many thoughts to keep my company this night. Or is it day? It is still dark but I know the farmers and shift workers are waking up from a night’s sleep and getting ready to face another day. There is something to be said for watching this time of day from the night before and not having to face it after too short a night’s sleep. Watching the night end and day begin gives one pleasant thoughts, not grumbles and groans, but the realization that a new day is dawning.

A new day to dream and plan and visit with loved ones. A day full of promise and excitement. A new gift from God to be thoroughly enjoyed and savored. Maybe later when my wonder wears off, I’ll be tired and cranky. But for now, I am truly blessed. Blessed with the thoughts and prayers that cross my mind. And blessed to have been a quiet but thoughtful witness to the night and to the silence of my world well in order and peace. Ah, that is it. Peace.

April 4, 2009 at 4:26 am 2 comments

Magazines in the mail

I have a dirty little secret that I feel compelled to share.  I know, I know, I should resist, but every year at this time I start feeling drawn to the mail box in anticipation of those  wonderful magazines that come each year at this time.  Oh and I like them all.  Each and everyone of them.  But I do have to admit that I have a favorite, my heart beats faster and my palms get sweaty every year when it finally arrives, it is …. The Burpee’s plant and seed catalog.

What?  What were you thinking?  Well I can’t be held responsible for the direction your thoughts took, I was only talking about the Spring seed catalogs that grace my mailbox every late Winter.  And oh, how I do look forward to them every time.

Oh the joy that comes from looking at page after page of seeds and plants all ready to be ordered, paid for,  and shipped.  Oh the dreams that slowly form and take shape in my mind.  Yes this will be the year that I grow a garden again and yes I want that neat  tomato guaranteed to grow as big as my hand, and yes I want the hill cucumbers and the beans that don’t need to be staked.  Oh and look, I can grow my own Kiwi and where could I put those strawberries that look so divine?

And as much as I hate it,  I do have to admit that the last few years dreaming was all I did.  When I lived on the farm the calves would always get out of their nice little fences and jump into my garden and wipe it out in a single afternoon.   And last year, I was new to living here and didn’t know where the phone lines were buried or even where the electric wires were, so I was reluctant to start digging around too much.

Ahh, but this year?  This year I am going to cash in some of those dreams.  I am going to start a small garden and grow just a few things.  I really do miss the Spring time ritual of digging up a patch of ground and tilling the soil and planting the tiny little seeds that seem to take forever to sprout and grow.

I miss the long quiet times of kneeling pulling out the weeds.  I miss the warm sunshine on my back, but most of all, I miss the satisfaction of watching the tiny seedlings pick and fight their way into the bright new world.   And I miss the harvest, the fresh salad at dinner that was growing just 20 minutes ago.  I miss the beans canned and the peas frozen and the watermelon on a hot summer night.  But of all the things I miss, the one thing I miss the most is that connection with God and his wonderful planet.

There is a part of God that can only be truly understood when in communion with his Earth.  It is the stopping of the fast paced, run everywhere, forget to see what is around you.  It is a soft whisper to my heart calling me to stop, to listen, to see every blade of grass, every new sprouting seed, to really connect and quiet my mind.  It is a promise to me, yes a promise from God to me, every time I plant a seed.

You see I was once like that hard dried out seed.   I was hardened by life and there were little signs that I could ever be brought back.  I felt brittle and dead inside.   I was thrown into a deep dark place that held no light.  I felt like God and everyone abandoned me.  It was a cold, lonely time fill with questions and fear.

But ever so slowly, I felt myself growing and one beautiful day I burst forth into the light.  The light of knowing God and knowing myself.  Oh it wasn’t easy, there were a lot of weeds that threatened to choke me out and threathened to steal away my light, but I did survive and continued to grow.

I was that small, hardened, brittle seed.  But now I too am growing and coming closer to my harvest.  So maybe that is why those Spring catalogs always excite me.  Maybe I understand the pain of new growth but also the bounty.  Maybe those catalogs represent the dreams I have and the tools to make them a reality.  Or maybe I just like playing in the dirt.  But the what and why doesn’t matter.  What matters is that it draws me closer and closer to God.  Thank God for Spring and those neat little catalogs.

February 23, 2009 at 10:59 am 5 comments

What to write?

What to write about? What to write about? Help! I made myself a promise that I would get back into the habit of blogging at least a few times a week and I am sitting here looking at this screen quietly mocking me at every turn. I can hear it’s snide little comments about all the words that should be written, and how big and blank that screen looks right now. I can ever hear maniacal laughter in the background. And all I can think is……”I hate this blank screen.”

Okay, I need to confess, I’m not really hearing voices or laughter but it is frustrating that I am having so much trouble getting my thoughts out of my brain and onto this page. It isn’t that my brain is empty, although I have been accused of that from time to time, but is what I am thinking about worthy or safe enough to write about? No there are no deep dark secrets I am hiding, no big skeletons hiding in my closet (my closet is pretty empty now that I left it), and there is no intrigue or secrets of national security. It is just a lot of what has been going on is not mine to write about.

There has been health issues surrounding the people I love and I can’t really touch on those because although I decided to blog and let the world see my thoughts, they didn’t agree to be part of it. So all I can say that there is some worry there and that has taken up a lot of my brain space. The winter has set in and part of my brain is busy crying out for more light and warmth. And part of my brain is busy trying to figure out the future that is mine and what to do now to get to where I want to go. So this tiny little part of my brain that isn’t already occupied is trying to think of something to say.

And it seems to be failing badly. So I guess that tonight all I am going to say is, sorry this isn’t much of a post. It will get better…I hope.

February 20, 2009 at 11:57 pm 1 comment

Getting older?

First an apology, my thoughts are scrambled and I will go off on tangents.  If you can keep up with me, I will  see you at the end.

February 10, 1972…. The day the world became a better place.  The skies opened up and the birds sang….

Well okay, that never really happened, but it was the day I was born.  Actually it was cold and wintry day, but I like to pretend otherwise.

Well as you can see, I haven’t been writing much lately.  I could lie and say that I have been extremely busy, or say that since I am so much older now I can’t physically do it, but it is all a lie.  The truth is, I have just been lazy.

I could blame it on my blood pressure being up and then adjusting to the new meds., and that would be truth in part, but really I just have been having trouble finding the words.

My mom is having fun at my expense since I am now on “Old People’s Medicines” and I am younger than she was when she had to go on them.  Oh well I guess everyone has to get old sometime.

Not that I think I am old now, it is just funny to realize that I am now my mother’s age when I thought she was old.  And now I realize that my mom isn’t old at all.  When did that happen?  When did mid thirties cease to be old?  And when did 60 turn into being young?

Not that I am complaining.  I rather enjoy looking at my life like it is just begining.  It just strikes me as funny to see it that way now.  You know I remeber thinking of certain people  as old when I was a kid and now they don’t seem all that old.  How did they stay the same age while I grew up?  Who is in charge of this conspiracy?  How can I be getting older but no one else is?

Well okay, I get it.  You are only as old as you feel right?  So why do I feel 3 some days and 103 other days?  Maybe the creaks in the morning and the getting up at night are just a part of older and wiser, maybe it is just a sign of the changing times.  But whatever it is, I refuse to grow up.  I will get older because it beats the alternative….but I will not grow up.  Grown ups are boring and I have to much living to do!

P.S.  Jones I got your point and this one is for you.   😉

February 17, 2009 at 2:34 am 9 comments

Mix together and chill

Things have been a bit up in the air around here lately. Two people that I care deeply about are facing some serious health issues and my head and heart are in a constant battle. My head tells me that they will be fine but my heart is reserving its right to worry till it knows for sure. So some moments I am very optimistic and other moments I am chewing my nails down to nubbins. I get frustrated when life doesn’t follow my plans in the timely manner that I want. But I learned a great lesson while cooking with my son the other day.

I was mixing and measuring and he was reading the recipe to me as we went along. He got to the end and said, “Mix together and relax.” Well since I have never run across that particular instruction while cooking before, I looked over his shoulder and read, “Mix together and chill.” Of course I had a good laugh at that. But he got me thinking. Life is like a recipe in some ways. We have directions given to us by our Heavenly father and our earthly parents. We get instructions from school, work, and even when we play. We decide where we want to go in life and follow the directions to get there.

And life is full of ingredients. My family, my friends, my worries, my fears, my faith, my sisterfriends who are my prayer warriors, my God, my Love, and heck, even my enemies. But as much as it irritates me at times…I am not the chef. Yes, my life is full of ingredients but that does not make me the chef, because I am an ingredient in other lives too. I could never make so many sweet dishes without messing it up and thank God I don’t have. God is the great chef, he weaves all of the ingredients together and in the process makes a beautiful banquet for all of his children. I just have to remind myself that it is God who is doing the mixing together. All I need to do is chill.

January 17, 2009 at 6:25 pm 2 comments

A winter weekend

A snowy weekend with no where to go and no one to see.  One would think it would be a quiet and restful day.  Yes, one would think.  Actually, my house is a bit of a zoo today.  My oldest had a friend stay over last night and my niece and nephew are here playing, so my house is full with five kids.  People have said that kids today can’t entertain themselves anymore, but let me tell you the scene I saw when I walked out of my bedroom.

My youngest had the beagle pup and miss jade, the cat, together in the pup’s kennel.  They get along great so it wasn’t a problem, but it was a strange sight to behold.  At this point I hear the giggles from the other four kids coming from the bathroom.  Needless to say, but the bathroom isn’t usually the social point of the house so I thought I had better go investigate.  I walked in the door and saw two kids in my dog’s kennel, two kids tying it shut with leashes, and my dog looking at the group with a confused look on her face.

Everyone was laughing and having a good time, so I just turned and walked out the door.  My only rules were that if someone wanted out of the kennel the other kids had to let them out and no one cut the leashes.  I walked out into the kitchen and laughed.  Nope, kids today can’t entertain themselves anymore.  I don’t know who they are talking about, because my kids had fun for over an hour with dog kennels.  My only concern about this weekend is the kids going back to school.

My oldest son has an old song by Tom T Hall on his mp3 and he is now going around singing, “I like beer.  It makes me a jolly good fellow.”  Add that to the tales told of being tied in dog kennels, and I wonder what the teachers may think.  Honest everyone… is just a song and it was THEIR idea to get in the kennels.

But I admire their sense of imagination.  I have watched as empty pop containers have been magically transformed into rockets and cars.  I have seen hours spent playing in an old box.   My table is covered with delightful water color renderings of animals and people (and a few things I’m not sure what they are).  My oldest is starting to learn wood burning and my youngest is helping me cook and plan menus.  Yes we have the proverbial PS2 and all the games, but the time they spend in creative play far outranks the time spent glued to the tube.  They entertain themselves with what ever is on hand.

Yes I do get the proverbial, “Mom I’m bored.” but rarely do I ever have to find them something to do.  They have discovered that what I find for them is never as fun as what they find themselves.  I’m not sure why, but cleaning their room or doing the dishes is never as much fun as finding two boxes and gluing them together to make a train.  Being surrounded by all this creativity has got my own going again.  I got a little burned out by the bears so now I think I shall go out and find something to work on.  Maybe another wood burning project, or maybe I’ll cook up the deer jerky that has been marinating in my fridge overnight.  So see you all later and go be creative.  It is good for the soul.

January 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

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