"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Your Choice!

Choosing Tranquility
" Can you even begin to think of the time, energy, and emotions you've wasted on the uncontrollable things in your life? I've certainly done my share of wishing, fretting, complaining, and trying to manipulate uncontrollable things and people. When I do that , I use up immense quantities of emotional energy for nothing when it could have been expended in a productive way. Remember this: when the uncontrollable things or people in our lives are making us miserable, it is because we allow them to do that to us. They can't keep us on that roller coaster if we decide to get off. How do you get off? By choice,by a decision of your will, by much prayer, and by the power of God's Spirit within you. It takes determination on your part, but if you don't let God supply the power, you're not likely to be able to do it." Mary Whelchel -JOY FOR THE JOURNEY (I bold-faced certain words)
This is so true! Often I have found myself obsessing over a particular issue or 'problem person' in my life and realized I have lost sleep and energy, my thought life is consumed by the issue, to what gain? By giving this much time to the problem shows I have allowed IT to determine my days, my actions, my paths. Essentially, I have given power over my life to the very thing or person that has caused so much misery...now how sensible and sane is that? And here I cannot blame the offending party, I have made and acted on the CHOICE to hand myself over to it. And this also means I can choose to put the problem in proper perspective by handing it over to God for Him to do this , through prayer and contemplation of His ways , and then... act on it! "Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. " Philippians 4:8

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Last Days of Summer ....

Summer days with cousins..... frog chasing, tree climbing,running and playing... popsicles,root beer, bicycles, tag...hide n' seek. Swimming,learning to paddle dinghys together, exploring, laughing,
...and the inevitable picture taking Grandmas and Aunties inflict.
My sister Karen's' oldest grandchild with my daughters' 4 children enjoying the last days of summer together, here on Cedar Pond.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Ram Barnaby & Etiquette?

This is my new ram Swallow Lane Barnaby! I love him already. He is a perfect gentleman, for a ram. He is nice to the ladies, great with his new pal Black Bart, and follows me around like a puppy dog. I hope he is able to live here for a very long time! Barnaby came from Swallow Lane Jacob Sheep , and Mark and Cathie from Swallow Lane took Cedar Pond's Vandal home with them. Most of my best sheep trace their lineage back to Swallow Lane and I am privileged to have some new bloodlines from them again. My ram Goth is the son of Swallow Lane Torque, who I bought from Mark and Cathie a few years ago. I have been very happy with the lambs and sheep from Torque's line! Thank-you Mark and Cathie! Being the gentleman he is, I am thinking Barnaby could use a few etiquette lessons and who better to learn proper etiquette from than Emily Post? If you are "in the throes of etiquette" ( as The Stick Horse Cowgirls say), then you too should consider checking out their blog. Click here * for a chance to win an original , genuine, 1945 book of 'Etiquette' by Emily Post. You could glean all sorts of information that should come in handy. Like, the difference between balls and dances. And what color suit YOUR butler should wear. Useful stuff like that. I know I put my name in the hat , because I for one do not want to be considered a "vulgarian" by the likes of Miss Emily and her friends!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In This Moment, Take Joy !

This is my spot on the porch. This is where I will sip my mid-morning coffee, read my Bible, and still be in my p.j.'s and robe , because there are no close neighbors to see me and I am so comfortable in my p.j.'s and robe. ( I have been known to gather eggs in the pockets of my robe) And besides, once I am dressed for the day, my day begins...non-stop. So as long as I stay in my robe I will SIT. And I will think and read, and pray, and enjoy the moment. The moment God has given me in this very time. While I was reading a little book I bought for 50 cents at the library book sale entitled 'Joy For The Journey' I was struck by these words ; "To experience happiness we must train ourselves to live in this moment, to savor it for what it is, not running ahead in anticipation of some future date nor lagging behind in the paralysis of the past. With wholeness and sensitivity we must live in the here and now. "But what if I don't like the here and now ?" you ask. "What if my present moment is one of heartache ? How then do I savor the moment?" Good questions. And the answers reside in the first and most profound principle for the art of savoring life; Pleasure lies in the heart, not in the happenstance. Our circumstances may be dreadful and riddled with reasons for discouragement or sorrow , but that doesn't mean those moments are utterly devoid of happiness...Those special savored moments of fun, reflection, happiness, and pleasure give us a tiny taste of what eternity with Christ will one day be like." Luci Swindoll ( You Bring The Confetti )
My geraniums are blooming ! These are the geraniums I over winter in my sun room. They are so covered in blooms I have to support them lest they break. I have been savoring their beauty, and the sunshine , and oh so many more blessings. " Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Tisket , A Tasket...A Woolly Filled Basket

A tisket a tasket, a woolly filled basket of balls made of my felted Jacob Sheep wool. Miss Marple loves to catch and kill these little balls. Some of them have jingles inside which makes them all the more desirable prey.
And she catches a woolly ball!
And she kills the woolly ball!
Meow! Nap time with the woolly ball!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Renewed Joy

You know how you feel when you have the dread of bad news hanging over you? Maybe you're waiting for a doctor's call, or the sight of the mailbox reminds you of the bills you cannot pay, or legal proceedings loom like doom and gloom, or anything darkening the periphery of our lives? Feelings we all have had at least a time or two or more. These feelings shadow everything in our lives and drain the joy out of every day pleasures. Why bother pulling weeds out of the gardens once loved, or baking something special...or indulging in a good book and taking time to enjoy the blessings we DO have right here and now?That is how I have been feeling for awhile and God has been merciful in lifting the burden of my deepest concerns and I am reminded He has NEVER failed me, or my family even if He has not answered our prayers and cries the way we would wish. "I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke and the Lord sustained me." Psalm 3:4-5 Our son is on his way home with the daughters he told me he would fight for and protect and he knows God has graciously answered the cries and anguish of his heart and soul. Thank-you all so very much for your prayers and encouragement. To see a little perspective from a dear friend who was in the court room with David check out GOOSESHOOTER.blog. Thank-you Gooseshooter and son!
He has restored my joy, praise Him, praise Him!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Family Friday, A Tribute of Love

Left to right; youngest son Daniel, oldest son David, daughter A.Joy
Our three children, now grown. They love each other very much, they love us very much, and they are there for each other. Our daughters' husband and children, and our youngest son and his wife have been very active in prayer and the practical outworking of their love for each other in helping their brother, our oldest son do what is best for his 4 daughters and for himself. This is our beloved daughter-in-law, Breezy. She is holding their 2 Jack Russells, Shotgun and Ruger. Can you see the sadness in her eyes? This picture was taken the day she and our son David came back from court in California with the bad news that the little girls had to be returned to their mother for the summer and the little girls whole future was up in the air and in the hands of the courts we had no faith in. This picture breaks my heart and still brings tears to my eyes. Our oldest son and his daughters live with our youngest son and his wife. They all have their own rooms because Daniel, David, Breezy and friend Josua helped make new rooms and special bunk beds for the girls. Breezy is there for the girls when their father has to work. Breezy is there to do laundry, prepare meals, and cuddle, love, teach and correct when necessary. Breezy was accused of terrible things by the little girls' mother , and slandered falsely in court documents. This last spring and summer have been a nightmare of filing court documents and proofs rebutting one ridiculous false accusation after another. They were easy to disprove, but boy...legal proceedings , even if the accusations are false, consume major amounts of energy and money and can sure sap the joy out of a person. ( the goal of them in the first place) Breezy, we love you and thank God for you! This is Daniel and Breezy posing for me, the perpetual photographer around here. They look pretty happy here, this was taken when we did not know how awful our summer was going to be.You might note in many of the rest of the pictures , most of the adults have a sad or strained look around the eyes, the set of the mouth, or carriage, because we knew things little girls do not. And in spite of our trust in God we could not completely cease our concerns for them, after all, we only had to hear about each nightly phone call from the girls mother and how the girls would be in tears and fearful...purt near EVERY night. This is my sister Joni holding our granddaughter MN. Cheerleader and prayer warrior for our son and his daughters. Joni has a soft spot for our men and women in the military and she , her husband, their extended family and church family have had David ( and many others in the military ) on their prayer list since his first deployment to Iraq. As they and others watched the tragedy of David's return home to , well, disaster, one after another- with the courts seeming blind to massive amounts of legal proofs of the need for the girls to be given to their father for their own safety and well being, and the people praying for them would be amazed at the depth of callousness and avarice on display in the court system. Why didn't anyone who could change things legally seem to care? My other sisters, Karen and Tricia, cheerleaders and prayer warriors too. They keep in touch, offer encouragement and love the little girls. Their families have been praying for us, and by the way, all the family has chipped in to help out with the massive legal bills we have acquired, believe me, none of us are rich. Whenever David's girls are in town my sister Karen comes over loaded with fun gifts and plays with them. They call her the 'Fairy Godmother'. Everyone needs aunties like that! My husbands' father has been in bad health and this crisis in his oldest grandson and namesakes' life has not helped. He has worried and prayed, prayed and worried. He himself raised his 6 children pretty much singlehandedly due to my husbands' mothers' illness much of their childhood. My father-in-law gives God ALL the credit for his 6 children growing up to be Godly men and women...and he has a legacy of many, many grandchildren who love and serve God and we are praying the great-grandchildren are drawn to God too....Thank-you Dad B. My husbands' mother,some siblings, cousin and nephew and niece....all have prayed for our son and his daughters and each other too. You know, many of the people I have pictured have gone through some pretty hair-raising experiences themselves, and trust God all the more. Thank-you God for these loved ones. More of the family, I am wearing red. This is just before a wonderful family camp fire where we sang hymns to guitar music, laughed and talked and ended in prayer for David who could not help show the strain of worrying about his daughters in California and the distressing phone calls he would get, not knowing where his daughters were except they were far away and legally he could do nothing about this but pray. He also hurt deeply because he had lost his dream of a happy marriage and family, and he could see his sister, brother, cousins , aunts and uncles enjoying happy families. This is a hurt that will probably always be there. Isn't divorce just yucky? Thank-you all for upholding us and him, and for giving Godly counsel of encouragement and wisdom. Thank-you to my husband, who has been hit hard in the heart to see such tragedy dumped on our son, and sometimes the sadness for this alone seems able to cripple, and like our son,he is also concerned for 4 precious little girls, but we KNOW God has protected them thus far and He has plans for them and us, and He is in control whether we feel like it or not. The judge gave our son primary custody of these four little girls, his daughters, our granddaughters. They will be turned over to their father tomorrow evening, and David and Breezy will bring them back home, where they will have to heal from the summer they have had, yes, HEAL.They will start back up in the school they thrived in last year, they will tend Snickers the pony and their cats, resume riding lessons from their Uncle and be free to read the Bible and sing songs of praise to God. "I will praise You , O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works; I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name O Most High. Psalm 9:1,2 note: there are many, many dear friends and family I have not mentioned that mean so much to all of us and who have upheld us in prayer. Thank-you all. And to my blogging friends, you caused me to weep with joy at your e-mails expressing the prayers of your hearts. Thank-you! Our son was humbled when I read him the many expressions of love and prayer from you all. And also, thank-you God for giving us a judge who read the documents and ruled justly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

'Enslaved By Ducks?' Moi?

As I was eating my dinner down by the pond I glanced over towards the water to see this! The blurry gray is the edge of the glass table, so you can see how close this curious duck was. He seemed very intrigued by me.
Not fearful at all. Maybe he was hungry and wanted some dinner too. The rest of the flock was swimming around chasing flies and each other. This Runner Duck was just interested in me.
He was VERY interested in me.
And then he must have spotted something more interesting under the water , there he goes, bottoms up!
I am reading a book some friends loaned me, a book they thought perfect for my Hubby. I can't understand why they would think that. The book is entitled 'ENSLAVED BY DUCKS' , by Bob Tarte. The jacket description says " When Bob Tarte bought a house in rural Michigan , he was counting on a tranquil haven. Then Bob married Linda. She wanted a rabbit, which seemed innocuous at the time. But that was just the beginning. Wouldn't a parrot be cute ? Linda said. Bob suddenly found himself constructing pens, buying feed, clearing duck waste, spoon feeding at mealtime. One day he realized he'd become a servant to a relentlessly demanding family, and a motley crew it was. " "Writing as someone who's been ambushed by the way in which animals , even cranky ones, can wend their way into the heart, Bob Tarte reveals the truth about animal ownership- and who really owns whom."
Now why did our friends think this was appropriate for my Hubby, hmmmm?

Monday, August 17, 2009

No Lounging Around & Eating Bon Bons, Thankfully!

Except for the basil, this harvest is but a little bit of what we are harvesting from the garden and orchard my husband has planted and tended. Now I need to be busy about preserving it. Fresh plums, apples, beans, tomatoes ,cucumbers, pea pods...they don't keep for long in the summer. The basil is from our daughters' family garden. Tonight my husband put the basil, garlic and olive oil through a food processor and then froze the concoction in an ice cube tray , to then put in a Zip-lock bag for future use in spaghetti sauce. Saturday was the local 'Saturday Market' our Community Club, and in particular, Robin Griffin , is trying to get going in our community. Here is my booth , with our dog Beatrix as my companion . People in our community are welcome to come and sell what they produce from their gardens, flocks, and crafts. I sold some almost grown Frizzle Bantam chicks. The Frizzle chicks have been very popular, and I do not have enough chicks to meet the demand for them. Good thing the bantam hens love to hatch out and rear the little feathered cuties.
I sold 2 wethered ( castrated ) ram lambs this weekend also!
My husbands' vegetable garden is producing lettuces enough to give us salads galore and share with a lot of people . These lettuces , when combined with our cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs , are more tasty than the usual salad and it is probably because my husband planted a big variety of them and they are prepared fresh from the garden.
I sold all our extra eggs at the Saturday Market.
And for this Saturday gathering in our home, yes, after spending all day at the Saturday Market, we had a big pot of our fresh from the garden green beans with bacon to add to the potluck. A very busy weekend for us. Harvest season is upon us, not much time for resting, but we did get a nap in anyway. Now I need to make sure I do get the beans canned, the plums jammed, the lettuces cleaned and prepared for salads, the remaining chickens and sheep readied for the fall and winter. So much to do , and the abundance so richly provided by God is not to be wasted and squandered. No lounging around whilst eating bon bons for me these coming weeks. Thankfully!

Friday, August 14, 2009


It has been raining off and on for two days now and this makes me so happy! Rainy days invigorate me, energize me , and inspire creativity! I also love to fall asleep and awake to the sound of rainfall outside my window.
"He covers the sky with clouds, He supplies the earth with rain and maketh the grass grow in the hills." Psalm 147:8 "

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spot on My Toile

Toile, pronounced "twall", y'all. I really, really like toile fabric, a lot.Especially the toile showing farm and country scenes in blue and white.
See. Here are toile boxes that were gifts from family, a toile covered sewing box from my husband, a few yards of toile from my fabric stash , and a book entitled Toiles Of Joy, by Judith Straeten, that was a gift from my friend Lanny and her family. "Toiles have a fascinating history, originally from Jouy-en-Josas, a little town near Versailles, southwest of Paris, in the seventtenth through nineteenth centuries. Each design had a name, and many represented stories from mythology or told of village life." From 'Toiles Of Jouy'
I have collected toile fabric for years, and here are some pillows and a quilt I have made from toile . The quilt is backed with toile. I wonder how my friends and family know I like toile so much?
Candy Cat likes it too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Honestly, Where's The Honesty?

Ducks on Cedar Pond "It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief , if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime." Thomas Paine, THE AGE OF REASON
Duck taking flight in Cedar Pond. "A half truth is a whole lie." Yiddish Proverb "Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind." Austin O'Malley "The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted." G.C. Lichtenberg
Bird Bath Fountain With Goldfinch "Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence." Lemuel Washburn "Beware of the half-truth, you may have gotten hold of the wrong half."AU "The cruelest lies are often told in silence." Adlai Stevenson
"Slander cannot destroy an honest man ; when the flood recedes the rock is still there." Chinese Proverb "The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful." Proverbs 12:22
We have been busy lately dealing with issues that require truth, and have been saddened and even disturbed to discover sometimes men who hold positions of respect among Christians in their community and churches are quite willing to lie. I am not talking about differences in interpretation, or different views or opinions. I am talking about just plain, old fashioned,( as old as the snake in the Garden of Eden ) lies. One man is someone we see often in our community, another holds a position of respect and authority in a mega church in another state. Now I know it is all too common to hear this , and unfortunately this is exactly the kind of example many people use to mock church-goers.The even more disturbing thing is that one of the men is a well-known joke in the secular job he holds because we are finding out many people in the community know what he is...a snake in the grass!What we do not understand is why his own church is so unaware of this that the issue is not dealt with...for this man has made a mockery of what most in that church hold dear...the TRUTH! The non-church going world has every reason to believe the truth is relative, and I think Christians have been very good at allowing this opinion to reign. Why, if we, as Christians, can justify lying, half-truths, and tolerance of these in the men we have allowed to instruct and exhort us in the Word,and in fact, each other, why should truth be important? The motto seems to be"just don't get caught", and "if you do be sure to justify it as the better means to an end." And if there are some sticklers who really, really want truth in their spiritual leaders...then accuse them of intolerance! For goodness sake, do not practice Biblical confrontation, or hold anyone accountable, or even uphold the standards we are trying to help others learn about. Dishonesty is as old as mankind, but not right. We have all lied, but forgiveness is there for the asking. However, just because we have all been guilty of dishonesty, there is no justification for giving it a pass in ourselves...and we have every right to expect it from each other. If we could expect honesty from our policemen, our courts, news and media, our neighbors.....wow, unfortunately I don't see this happening. But surely we should be able to expect it from people calling themselves Christian....which means "Christ follower,manifesting the spirit of Christ,or of His teachings". Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Little Campaigner

She is a clever one, she is! She begins her campaign before she arrives. She makes sure she has her favorite blanket and scopes out the desired laps to occupy during our home fellowship time. We are gathering in our home this month to worship, break bread , encourage and exhort one another in His word. Above is a picture of some of our fellowship around the table. While we are eating our meal together, the little granddaughter, the little campaigner, is eating her meal as she snuggles up to her Poppa or myself, and of course she has her favorite blanket with her. This is Audrey, she writes The Homesteaders' Daughter Blog. Audrey fellowships with us too. The little campaigner is quite fond of Audrey and Audrey's sister and brother-in-law who are here tonight also. Now let me tell you about THE CAMPAIGN....after the meal, as we begin to share with one another from God's Word, the little campaigner settles herself in my lap. Then slowly,she drifts off to sleep, with a purpose! She knows her Poppa and I love to spend time with our grandchildren and we just might suggest she stay here since she is already sleeping. And this works! We just tuck her into bed in the spare bedroom, the room with bunks for the children. She is happy, very happy. Sunday morning. My husband is an early riser, he usually brings me coffee to help me wake up, but he does not know I am awake quite awhile before he and the Little Campaigner bring my coffee up. I have been listening to the cheery voice of our granddaughter and her Poppa as they talk, giggle and laugh. She keeps running upstairs to jump on our bed and say " wake up Granny!" She is pretty happy. She also has another plan. As I sip my coffee and get into motion , from the open bedroom window I hear noise at the pond. Looking out the window I see my Hubby and our little granddaughter paddling the little boat around the pond.( I have to clean and paint that boat) She and I share a taste for similar breakfast foods....don't you think Ramen noodles and a glass of milk are the perfect way to start the day? I prefer left over Chinese food, but this works too. To make it seem more like a breakfast meal one could drop an egg into the boiling water and noodles. As she eats breakfast she mentions that we are going shopping later on today. "We are?" I ask."Yes, we are going to Walmart" she replies, "So you can buy me something." I reply " I had not planned on going shopping today". She smiles. She is a happy girl, and she does have a plan. The Little Campaigner helps me water the plants and fill water buckets for the animals. She happily chatters on about many things, and mentions again that after we are finished with chores we can go shopping. "Really?" I ask. She smiles. ( As an aside, if I had told her we were not going shopping, and not buying anything, she would have been just as pleasant, she is a happy girl) Our little Candy Cat laps water off the sidewalk while The Little Campaigner finishes up with watering the plants and I remember I do need cat food and more milk, so I mention that , by the way, we DO need to go shopping. Of course she knew this all along. I suggest she kiss her Poppa goodbye because I will drop her off at her home on the way back to my home. I also suggest she thank Poppa for what he will be buying her. He asks " What am I buying you?" and she tells him" A Barbie bathroom". See, I told you she had a plan. One happy granddaughter, one very successful campaigner. I told her I was going to call her The Little Campaigner and she seemed very pleased with the name after I told her what it meant. I think she has a very rosy future with her ability to smile and laugh her way to achieving her hearts' desire, and I am very thankful she has parents to guide her toward making wise and kind decisions. And you know, she was the most excited to get home and share her new prize with her big sister, which she promptly did , after giving me a big hug and kiss.
"Campaigner: A person engaged in a campaign"