Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wildlife Cam

In the 17 years we have lived here, this is the fourth squirrel we've seen.
Wild boar? Nope, just our potbelly pigs.
I was tickled to get a good shot of the fox.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crooked Lives

If you come by our house next spring, you will see long and slightly crooked rows of alternating tulips and daffodils.

Because I am still having issues with the shoulder injury, I needed help digging the trenches for the flowers. Caleb, my ten year old son, eagerly volunteered. He worked tirelessly to give me a hand and was so proud of his work. One trench is twenty feet long. All in all, he's probably dug 50 feet of trenches. He goofed on one trench though. Not only did he put it about 6" away from where I needed it, he had a definite and drunken curve at the end from where he grew tired.

I could have asked Caleb or someone else to fix those trenches. I thought about it. I like things to be done correctly, but I decided I'd rather have them crooked so I remember how hard he worked, even when he was tired, just to help me. I will remember taping up the eight blisters he didn't tell me about until the work was finished. I'll think about how he wanted to be with me doing hard work rather than playing with his siblings. Yeah, when I see those crooked flowers I'll smile and think about how very much I love that little boy.

There is beauty in the imperfection.

I wonder if God ever sees our efforts to please Him in the same light. Not perfect lives, but made more beautiful because we tried.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Every time my children get seeds, they ask me "Can we plant it?" I've had a standard answer for several years for seeds that don't go in the vegetable garden, "Sure, go plant it in the flowerbed." They usually don't come up!

This year, Caleb planted ONE gourd seed in the flowerbed in the front. That vine not only overtook that flowerbed, but another one beside it and grew onto the deck furniture as well! It was something else to see! These are the gourds produced from that single seed. There are at least one hundred seeds in each gourd. Can you imagine how much fruit we could have if we planted each of these seeds?

Galations 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

(If you want a gourd or some seeds, come by the house this weekend and I will be happy to give you one. The mere thought of what havoc the children can cause with this many gourd seeds scares me! :-)

Caution: Children At Play

You can buy the sign here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Courageous: Honor Begins At Home

Clint and I saw Courageous: Honor Begins At Home last night with our son, Brandon. It was much better than I expected!

We had heard the movie's overall theme was aimed at men so we wanted to take Brandon with us. While the movie does deal with a lot of serious issues facing men and their families, there are also messages for women. There's also a lot to laugh at as humor is interjected throughout to help the audience deal with the heavier issues. Someone carefully crafted this film, and it shows.

Being a girl who enjoys action, the movie grabbed my attention from the first breath stealing scene. I was hanging on Clint's arm as one man fought to hold onto the side of his truck as a thug tried to steal it. When the audience and I realized why the man was fighting so hard to stay with the truck, there was an audible gasp in the theatre. Javier had the entire theatre laughing out loud with his "...y lemonaaaaaadaaaaaa!" It's been a long time since I've seen an audience as engaged in a movie as they were this one.

I've read a lot of reviews on this movie. Many of them knock the film because it contains a Christian message. I have watched Hindu movies with Hindu messages throughout. I don't believe that way, so I ignored it and still enjoyed the movie's storyline. I didn't come out of the movie hating Hindus for trying to share their beliefs with me. It was still a good story. It's up to me to decide how much to take and how much to leave behind when I walk away from a movie.

When I consider a movie's worth, I consider: Is the movie interesting? Does it capture and hold your attention? Are the scenes well scripted and easy to understand? Does the story flow well? Do the actors do a believable job portraying their character? I really do not enjoy "over-done" action scenes, so an important question for me is: Are the action scenes reasonable? Does the movie evoke a response in the audience? Do the camera angles make the scenes interesting? Courageous is a yes to every single one of those questions.

When the movie ended in the theatre, the audience sat in their seats for a long time. Quiet. Still. Then they clapped. How often does that happen?

I encourage you to go see the movie.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

On Wildlife Cam

It's not a coon...

but a fox!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

How Do You Slay Your Goliaths?

My experience tells me that the small stones of God . . . humility, patience, gentleness, truth, prayer, etc . . . are far more powerful than the Saul's armor of defensive anger, control, pride, etc. (Check out 1 Samuel 17 - David and Goliath). So . . . it isn't just about slaying your Goliath but how you slay him. God's way? Or in the flesh? Spirit? Or unsubmitted soul? Am thinking . . . the meek shall inherit the earth. ~Nate Atwood

Thanks to Theresa A. for sharing this!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Tough Thing

Today, I had to do something I never thought I'd be able to do. I kind of figured it would happen one day, but I had hoped Clint could always do it when it needed doing. How come the right thing to do is often also the hard thing to do?

Amanda found a tiny kitten writhing in pain and brought it to me. I knew immediately the kitten was dying. I prayed for wisdom to help it, but knew what had to be done because there are certain signs the body gives. When this has happened before, I have been able to call Clint, and he was able to come home to "take care of it." This time, Clint couldn't take care of it. I was faced with two choices: wait until Clint could get here or do it myself. One way extended the suffering, possibly by hours, and the other was not somewhere I wanted to go.

I grew up in a very rural area and have always been practical about the need to put animals down...when it was the men doing it. I can clearly remember many instances when I was a child where it had to be done. Never once did I witness a single man take this aspect of animal stewardship callously. I have seen big, strong men cry when they had to end something's life though. When an animal is suffering and is beyond help, you end the suffering as an act of compassion for the dying creature. It's one of the many creeds of country living and is part of owning livestock. A man who ignores the suffering of his animal is considered to be lowly in character and "not worth his salt."

I battled inwardly. I have never taken one of our animals lives. In fact, when I reconnected with a friend from high school, I apologized AGAIN for hitting his dog with my car 20+ years ago. (I haven't dared speak to his younger brother since that day because I still haven't recovered from the "good cussin'" he gave me. :-) As a herbal healer, my instinct is to increase health and preserve life. Putting an animal down is a long ways from that.

My reasons for NOT doing it were many. I didn't want to take the baby animal's life. I didn't want to cause more suffering if I messed up. I didn't want to see things that would stick with me as I still have very visual, but infrequent, nightmares from a fatal car accident I was at years ago. I didn't want to hurt my children by ending their pet's life or have them think badly of me for doing it. I didn't want to listen to a friend of mine tell me how she could "never do that." I wrestled with these and many other thoughts.

Then I heard that tiny still whisper of the Holy Spirit. "You're selfish."

It dawned on me that I WAS being incredibly selfish. A big clue to that fact was that all of my reasons started with "I." The fact was the kitten needed a quick end to its suffering. If you've ever been in real pain, you know time slows down while you are in the throes of it. Those few minutes while I thought it out probably seemed like hours to the kitten.

So, I did it. I ended the kitten's agony by taking its life with a .22. I thought I'd be a wreck afterwards, but I'm OK. It was a quick and peaceful end to its struggle. I am not happy, but am at peace knowing I didn't force the little cat to wait until Clint could get home hours from now. I couldn't fix the issue, but it is no longer struggling.

I thought Amanda, 16 and already so mature, would look at me differently, but she locked eyes with me for a long, precious moment and said...

"It needed to be done. I am glad you did it. I'll take care of the rest for you."

More Beach Scenery

part of Wash Woods

Hurricane Irene made more of the stumps visible along the shoreline at low tide.
One night, we came across a truck that was speeding on the sand and hit one of the stumps. His front tire had damage.
dunes at night
Corolla horses
The light was low which is why this is grainy.
This young stallion was showing a bit of an attitude through body language.

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Saturday, October 01, 2011