Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Groundhog Wranglin'

Seems we have a bit of a groundhog (aka woodchuck) problem. Every year, one or two set up residence on our property. Which I don't care about too much, except if they try to burrow somewhere they shouldn't, like our barn. Or when the dog corners one and refuses to leave it be. Today, the dog cornered this baby on the tire of my car.
A couple of years ago, she chased one up in a tree. Groundhogs make a funny clicking noise when threatened, and have some pretty wicked claws and teeth. But they are very shy and not dangerous unless they are cornered (which, as I mentioned, my dog likes to do.)
When we can, we use a rake to push the cornered creature into a trashcan, and then we enter him in our "relocation" program (which means we drive him to a field down the street and release him, then he is someone else's problem). This sport is referred to as Groundhog Wranglin'. What? You've never heard of it? Well, that there's the way we do it here in the deep South of Jersey.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The 40 Day Fast

On July 16, it will be my turn to fast for The 40 Day Fast, a movement that started last year. For 40 days, a bunch of bloggers will fast for a particular cause, and write about it. Please consider joining us in prayer, taking a few moments each day to think and pray on the world's needs that will be focused on for that day, and to be grateful for all of the blessings bestowed on us. The photo that started it all was on Kat's blog, and it was entitled "Please don't look away." I want to look away, really, I do. I want to pretend that these horrors don't exist, but they do, and I don't know why my children are safe and well fed and well educated, and millions are starving to death or suffering from easily prevented diseases. I don't know why I got to be born in the U.S., and some are born in the poorest regions of Africa or South America or Asia. I can only think, There but for the grace of God go I. It could have been me, it could have been my child in that photo. But it's not, and so I have to ask myself, what does God want me to do with this, with this life and these resources He has given me. Obviously, He wants me to share of my time time and financial resources, and my influence as a wealthy Westerner. How do I do this, when the needs in the world seem overwhelming? I do what I can- sometimes that means giving money, often it means praying, fasting, and just being grateful for what I have. And it means stop whining. For if God loves a cheerful giver, I think He is really annoyed with us whiners.

So for the next 40 days, in addition to checking in with my fellow bloggers and offering them and their causes my support and prayers, I will try to live by that important 11th commandment (too bad Moses ran out of space on the tablet)- Thou shalt not whine.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
P.S.: Oh, God, You are soooooooo funny.... For just as I was getting ready to hit the "publish post" button, I heard a crash from the kitchen. Seems someone left a beer in the freezer, which exploded all over the freezer and then came crashing out when my daughter opened the door (I really hate beer...) As I grumbled complained and yes WHINED as I started to clean it up, I was reminded of what I had written not 3 minutes earlier. So here goes.....
I am grateful that I have a freezer.
I am grateful that I have a pretty wonderful husband, even though he can occasionally be kind of a knuckle-head (as can I)
I am grateful that I have 10 fingers, even though 1 is bleeding right now from cleaning up shattered glass.
I guess if I were really grateful, I wouldn't have had to mention any of this at all, but I'm just not that far along yet......

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Celebration Day

A few photos from my daughter's high school graduation party. A wonderful day.

My daughter and her friends played an old-fashioned game of "Telephone". Of course, hilarity ensued.

I tried my brother's bike on for size.

Can't have a party without cake.
Hubby was intent on winning this game of horseshoes (and he did).

They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Painting for Anna

I just received an email written completely in French. I don't remember much of my French from high school, but I am pretty sure that if I had it translated it would say something like, "Send us your bank account and password and we will transfer $1million to your account." Yeah, I'll get right on that, I mean, I could use the extra money, what with the current price of gas and all...Anyhoo, this is a painting that I did a little while back for a fellow vendor at a quilt show, it's for her grand daughter due to arrive this month. I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. I hear it looks very nice in the new nursery.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ladybug Gathering

For some reason, a ton of ladybugs decided to gather in my cilantro yesterday. I suppose they were munching on some aphids or something, or maybe they were just having a little party.

"Ladybug, Ladybug! Fly Away Home!

It is a crimson Ladybug;
I wonder why the pet has come?
Perhaps it wants a little food
To carry with it to its home?

Oh! It spreads its tiny wings!
Mother, see? It flies away!
Ladybug, you're going home
But come again another day!"

London, England 1897

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mercy me, it's hot out there!

So those beautiful days that I wrote of just a week ago are now GONE and it has been in the upper 90s for the past 3 days here. Seems we got just 1 week of spring and summer is here- sweaty, sweltering summer... I'm wilting here.... This is NOT my favorite weather. The first week of June feels like August, blech.

Saturday it was around 97 or 98 degrees and my family was at Six Flags Great Adventure with a youth group trip. Hot and sticky, the lines were long and many of the rides were broken (we stood in 1 line for over an hour and then the ride broke- not fun). But we did get to see one of our favorite bands, Mercy Me, in concert, so all was not lost.

Here is the video for their most popular song- I dare you to not get goose bumps or teary eyed when you listen to the lyrics. When things are really really bad, this seems to put it everything in perspective for me- that this world is not my home, and Someone is waiting for me...

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him..."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer Sweetness

My daughter and I picked strawberries today- another reason why this is favorite time of year.

Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Father's Day (a little early)

This Hallmark commercial came out last year, and just cracked me up. They're breaking it out again this year, and I'm glad. It still makes me laugh- I really wish I could move like that! That little dude totally rocks (and I can't believe those clothes were ever cool!)

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Latest Obsession(s)

Lately I've been watching a lot of Jane Austen movies (well, more than usual). And I've been working on this quilt project that I started a few days ago. Usually I do machine applique because it's just so much faster. And I already have a couple of punch needle and embroidery projects started. But I decided to hand applique all of the blocks for this, even though it's time consuming, because I think the outcome will be well worth it. At first, I figured I'd just work on it in the evenings, and get it done in about a year! But it is so pretty, I have become a little obsessed with getting it done. Here are a couple of sneak peek photos of 2 of the blocks I have finished- maybe you can tell from the shapes and colors what the theme of the quilt is. Now I just can't wait to get it done and applique has kind of taken over my life- I'm working on it every moment I can find- housework and cooking be darned!

So back to Jane Austen. Today I found myself sitting out on the porch with the laptop, watching Emma on DVD, doing my applique and basking in the incredibly sublime weather. Heaven! I mean, what could be better than that!!! I feel just a tiny bit guilty about it (really, just a teeny tiny bit). You know, there is that saying, The day most wasted is that in which we have not laughed. But I say, the day most wasted is that in which we have not created and indulged in a little Jane!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This is my very favorite time of year- the weather is perfect, all of the plants in the garden are happy and not suffering from heat yet, and the scent of wild honeysuckle and roses in the air is absolutely intoxicating. On my morning walks, I just smell and sniff and deeply inhale it, trying to capture and savor those scents, knowing that they will be gone in a couple of short weeks and I'll have to wait an entire year to experience them again.

Here is a glimpse of what's going on in the garden today (thanks to hubby for the photos, I think I've mentioned before, he's a much better photographer than me, and I take help where I can get it!)

The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.


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