Wednesday, April 29, 2009



Think you're doing great avoiding MSG in foods?

Well, think again.

Here's an article by Dr. Mercola which exposes how MSG--under different names-- is added to foods. The names are listed at the end of the article.

It's always something, I know.

But more and more these kinds of things are convincing me to just buy basic foods. You know, the oft-mentioned fruits and vegetables, and then things like peanut butter where only peanuts are listed on the jar (seeing 'organic peanuts' listed is even better). And canned tomatoes or beans where just tomatoes or beans are the only ingredients. Or frozen blueberries which have only frozen blueberries in the bag.

But have you noticed how difficult it's become to find such simple foods?

In other news... Remember how Tom and I were going to race to see who could lose 5 pounds first? Well, that lasted 3 whole days. But alas! I began writing, "Tom bought snacks" on the calendar each day he brought them home and suddenly he stopped lugging in the sherbet and chips and chocolate. Having his sins up there on the refrigerator for all to see bothered him, I think. As it should. :)

So that helped--and one more thing. This winter Tom's noticed me hobble off the couch (often) all stiff in my joints. I told him I believe it's partly because of our icy/wet/annoying weather and partly because sugar and fats are two of the worst inflammatory ingredients known to man. I told him we would both feel better (Tom is always stiff and sore due to his polio issues) if we cut wayyyy back on processed sugary foods, fatty ones and even dairy and nightshade vegetables. All stiffness-inducing culprits.

And you know what we've found? When we eat better, Tom and I feel better. Can you fathom such a revolutionary thing?

So today I'm feeling grateful for our stiff joints. No, really. They just might be the final wake-up call we've needed to plain ol' grow-up in our eating habits and to treat these bodies God gave us the way He asks.

And it only took us a half-a-century to get here.




******************

To read more about inflammatory foods go here.

******************

James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin."



Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Rain, rain, rain. Sigh.

But yesterday was gorgeous! And you know what? I dragged the lawn mower from the barn and mowed the front yard, the orchard and the side yard. Felt great to get outside and work like that. I broke it up into 20-minute segments which made it easy, coming inside between times to rest.

So Tom arrived home last night around 7:00 and before he came into the house he spoke with our neighbor. Rob said, "Debra got out and did all that mowing today."

Tom said, "Yeah, Debra's a hard worker."

I smiled when he told me that because, no, I'm not a hard worker. Not really. Mostly? Mostly I take 3 or 4 days off a week, doing only the tiny things which must be done lest the house fall down. The rest of the time I do a special project or two, things usually I've been procrastinating for ages.

Yet why does Tom think that I work hard? It's because of Grace. Grace makes me look good.

Grace stops me from spending all my energy doing ten things which don't (currently) matter, and instead, she directs me to the one or two things which, if I do them, will accomplish the most. And make the biggest impact. And keep me from falling behind.

Grace is amazing that way. When I follow Grace, rooms get painted and rearranged and cleaned. Lawns get mowed and garden beds get dug and stone patios get created. And thousands of blog posts get written, emails get answered and bills get paid on time--fun work, much of it becomes, therefore making it not feel like work.

Oh, a tiny part of that is me--the use of my hands and feet and head count for a part. But always I'll give Grace and God the biggest amount of credit. Not just because I'm 'supposed to', but rather, just because that's the way it really is.



*********************************

2 Corinthians 12:10
"...for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Monday, April 27, 2009




At my house this morning the sun is shining and we are due for 82 warm degrees by this afternoon. I've washed the dishes and straightened all rooms but one (the one I never straighten, the one I avoid because it's out of control. Do you have one of those?).

I'm playing the crooner music station and I washed a load of clothes and am feeling like every crisp, pretty housewife I ever saw on old tv shows (though I'm not looking crisp and pretty, myself, since I'm wearing gardening clothes). But I feel Like June Cleaver and her ilk, what with all the crooners and jotting down my list for the milkman and the sunshine and our warm gold dining room and our sunny front porch where Lennon The Cat and I sat for awhile drinking pretend coffee (well, Lennon didn't drink any, but both of us smiled like Cheshires).

And at my house this morning I'm planning to step outside into the country air and country scents where I'll weed the orchard trees and the flower beds beside the house and dig and fertilize and look around me a lot. And fill the birdfeeders (goldfinches are gold again!) and then take some extra Bison baseball tickets for Sunday afternoon (which Tom got from work) to our neighbors. And eat cold birthday pizza for lunch and not worry about the swine flu, even though tv people are suggesting hard that we should all worry.

Instead, I'll appreciate and celebrate and thank the One from whom all blessings flow and flow and flow.



*************************

On Saturday I finally painted the above corner post in our dining room. I like it.

*************************

Tom really appreciated your birthday wishes. He thanks you.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A lovely Sunday afternoon.

Tom's birthday afternoon. Fifty-two! Weren't we just married the other day when he was 21 and I was 19? Time slips away and that's why I try to doubly appreciate any afternoon, especially beautiful Springtime ones like this one.

Happy birthday to the best husband on Earth (sorry, Ladies, that you missed out on the best...heh). :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009



So nice to wake up to! More photos like these will come later.

It's a lovely Saturday morning here, the blowy, bright kind which sails you through blue skies back to your childhood.

Here on the farm there are flower beds to fertilize and my stone patio to finish (ever so slowly) and garden beds to create and weeds to pull and --

Ain't Life--and Spring-- grand?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Major This and That

Here's a book I ordered--can't wait until it arrives! I think it'll be exactly what I've wanted to find. Here's a tiny blurb about it:


"Chapters are devoted to useful, transferable skills, including:
Preserving garden food
Saving freezer food during a power outage
Managing through an earthquake
Preparing quick herbal medicinals
Foraging for wild food
A humorous treatment of a sometimes threatening topic, this book will appeal to both long-time food security advocates and newcomers to the topic who are wary of it all and would prefer to avoid it."


Read more about it here.



In other news.... Here are the flowers Tom gave me on Easter morning:


I love the red with the gold of our walls. I'll be planting them alongside the house tomorrow, for we are due for days and days of over 70 degrees. I awoke this morning at 4:00 a.m., finally getting up at 4:30, because the thought of sunny 70 degree days--and the death of winter-- made too many happy songs play inside my head.

And lastly, here is another of our $1 yard sale chairs:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So yesterday I walked out to our newspaper box and found no newspaper. Sigh. I came inside and complained to Tom, then he called the newspaper office to tell them our paper hadn't arrived (9:00 a.m. by now). The guy told him he wasn't sure if we would get one that day, and if we didn't, we'd receive a credit.

So we pretty much wrote it off for the day. And complained to each other, once again, about the incompetence of Today's Society and how you can't count on anyone to do the job right anymore, yada, yada. You know. You've probably heard that refrain at your house a time or two, as well.

Alas. Just before noon I went to check the mail and saw the newspaper had arrived! So I carried it inside, but as I reached the door, I thought, "Hmm... that headline looks familiar."

Turns out, it was a copy of last Wednesday's newspaper. Good grief.

So Tom and I sang that "Is The Whole World Incompetent?" song yet again.

And then I began to laugh. And laugh. Suddenly I got this picture in my mind of some hardened newspaper guy with a visor on his head speaking into the phone. "Hey Kid. You forgot to deliver the paper to the L_____'s. So get over there."

Then the kid says, "But I ran out of today's issue."

"Aww, just take 'em any old issue. They'll never know the difference."

Heh. I told that to Tom and he laughed too. (Yet he still wanted to call and complain.)

But you know? This is a prime example that Life is just too darn short to stay mad.

It's not worth the churning stomach and frayed nerves to stay angry at our friends. Or strangers. It's not worth the internal poison to stay mad at our spouse or our kids or our neighbor. Or the FDA or Simon Cowell or the weather.

It's just not worth the negative energy eating away at your emotions and making us sick. Sooner or later all that stuff catches up to us on the inside and the outside--anger shows up on ones face, you know. Most likely we've all met someone with anger crevices dug deep into their face.

And may you never see that person staring back at you from a mirror.


**********************

Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you..."


"The joy of the Lord is your strength."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just For Fun

Wow. This is scary! Well, scary in a fun, how-does-she-do-that? sort of way. She guessed my re-gift every single time! (Turn up your speakers or you won't know quite what's going on.) :)

(Insert Twilight Zone theme music here..............) Really, this is weird.

Let me know if you outsmart her (or if she makes you crazy, too)!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Uh-oh. I'm going to share another of my major pet peeves. (Be ye forewarned.)

This week we'll see another "Earth Day."

Is Earth Day my pet peeve? Uh, no.

Rather, this is: Long ago while teaching Sunday School in Nevada, one of my six-year-old little guys told me that his mom said Earth Day is bad because that's when people worship the Earth and we should worship only God. So we should ignore that day.

Oh. My. Goodness. That's exactly the kind of thinking inside a tiny, tiny box which makes us Christians appear like narrow-minded idiots. Where, for goodness sake, is the balance?

I know, I know... calm down, right? But it's just that I've heard that same thing from other Christians over the years and I keep hearing them scoff at the whole global warming thing, as well. Now, do I believe in all the global warming hype? No, but I do believe parts are valid concerns. And I certainly believe we've done a lousy job of caring for this planet God gave us.

And I continue to ask, doesn't the Bible say , "The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof?" Didn't God tell Adam and Eve to manage and care for the land He'd given them? Hasn't God shown an enormous amount of creativity and splendor in all the amazing species of animals and plants He's given us, as well as all the breath-taking, varied terrain? Didn't He give us all things to enjoy?

Yes and yes and yes and yes.

So for me, may all my days be Earth Days. I hope I'll continue to learn how to leave this Earth a better place than I found it. I want to discover more efficient ways of living here and I hope to learn how to create less garbage, use fewer toxins and leave the soil around me richer (not poorer). May I plant more trees and flowers to help clean the air, may I grow some of my own food and may I teach others by example.

And most of all, may I treat this planet with the respect and gut-level appreciation which should accompany any gift from God, the One who cared so much for us that He spoke this incredible place into existence so very long ago.


************************

"The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein."

href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=1&verse=28&version=9&context=verse">Genesis 1:28
"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Okay. Three days later I am still analyzing the Susan Boyle miracle. Man, I've watched that YouTube video at least 20 times (that's all I'll admit to, anyway) and I'm not the only crazed re-watcher, either. After reading at least a hundred comments below the video, and various articles about Susan's big night, I find I'm just one of many Susan-aholics.

Her fans are many and varied! The men delight me the most, the ones who describe their tallness and burliness in their comment, saying they never cry--yet they've cried with every viewing, they say. I especially enjoyed the comment from a man who said he'd taped the program on his tv, watched the part with Susan 15 times, then his wife hid the remote from him, hence that's why he was now at YouTube watching. :) Yet, when recalling Eldridge's, Wild At Heart, I get why men are watching this and feeling what they are. God created men to be great conquerors and along came Susan, up on that stage, conquering us all and prejudice and everything which ever kept her fabulous talent hidden and unappreciated.

The huge amount of attention Susan's audition is receiving and all those nearly 30 million hits at YouTube has me asking why? Why has this performance touched us this way? Why has it affected millions of us all across the board, many of us who have so very little in common? And in no special order, here are some of my guesses:

Some of us love to see fellow underdogs rise up and blow apart all the chains put upon us by people who convinced us to stop dreaming, people who wanted to save us either from disappointment or from topping their own accomplishments. We never tire of underdog-makes-good movies and here, with Susan, was a genuine "and you were there" moment, not in a movie, but in a live situation which surprised everyone.

Others of us saw ourselves in Susan--over-40, and with a huge, unfulfilled dream which appeared as though it would remain a dream forever. And when Susan's dream burst into fruition, our own packed-away dreams ignited into flames and burned brightly again with whooshing breaths of hope. It was almost as if because Susan's dream came true, all of the rest of us glimpsed our own dream happening, at least in a small way, with her.

And her song choice was perfect. As one fan stated, "Susan’s rendition of this song, made it so real, as if she had lived it." Always it's a powerful thing to hear from those who've crossed over the rough terrain of that of which they speak--or sing. (If we could remember that, perhaps we'd not so bitterly resent our own trials.)

We all crave appreciation. And we each crave that which is real. After being bombarded daily by plastic and phoniness and fake 'reality shows,' along came Susan, a woman who is probably as real as they come. We think, "She is real, I am real, perhaps God can use me, too."

For God has used Susan--many, many commenters recognized that and spoke of it. God can use anyone He wishes, however He wishes, to remind us world-weary and sleep-walking, hypnotized folks of lessons we've forgotten. In this case, the lesson being--stop making your life all about the outside, but rather, concentrate on what's going on inside.

The real stuff happens on the inside. It's on the inside where we are touched and changed and moved by the very fingers of God (He who is more real than anyone). It's from the inside where Love resides, walks with us, then finds His way outward to touch others. And the inside is everlasting -- it is the only thing we'll bring with us to the next world, a place where, I've a feeling, the inside will matter the most, as well.

******************************

Want to hear another Susan Boyle song which will blow you away? She sings Cry Me a River here. Wow. Tom and I turned-up the music yesterday and suddenly! We were transported to a 1950's elegant old-fashioned nightclub, seated at a round little table, drinking Shirley Temples, and looking up at Susan upon the stage. Cool.


******************************

Just have to share one more comment I came across at a Catholic blog:

"What has touched me the most as her story has been revealed, is how willingly she sacrificed her dream of being a singer for the sake of putting her family, especially her mother, first. It's a lesson on selflessness and patience. And can anyone question God rewarding her now for that?"

*****************************
1 Peter 3:4 "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."


2 Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

Friday, April 17, 2009


Yesterday Tom and I drove back to our old hometown and had lunch at the home of our friends, John and Donna, and also, my friend, Laura was there. Such a lovely afternoon of fellowship and fondue-ing! Then we drove a different route home through the countryside, perhaps only four trees showed a faint, faint green, but I could feel an impending burst of Springtime within me. Could practically hear that soon-coming explosion.

Tom was due back at work today, but alas, he is home with an upset stomach. I feel fine, so his discomfort is not due to yesterday's lunch. :) I had no great plans for inside the house so his being here will not stall any projects, so I've been a sweet and patient nurse (when my plans are being spoiled, sometimes I can be cranky. I am, after all, human).

No, my projects are all outdoors today. Oh, the sunshine! And I've nearly finished my first garden bed in my Secret Garden, a small one, probably 4 1/2 feet by 4 1/2 feet, but how amazing to have begun the work back there behind our barn. And yesterday after we returned I began my 'patio', too... I am sinking flat stones into the ground then placing gravel in between them.

You would laugh to see my small beginnings, so I'll show no photos yet. But that's how beginnings usually are--fragile, undefined and laughable to others who've not glimpsed the finished vision within their minds as you, their creator, have (so it behooves us to stop expecting others to understand). I gaze at what I've completed back there and I see the tiny start of the dream--and it's amazing. Already. I see the work I've put into it-- the digging-up of the sod, the framing of the garden bed, the pushing around of the wheelbarrow and the overall feeling of being allowed, as a horse, 'out of the gate' where I'd stood all the snowy winter, just yearning to break free.

I see all that and my tiny beginnings look pretty darn nice already.



********************

Enjoy reading murder mysteries? As a rule, I don't, but I could not put these down! I discovered them through DearReader.com, which I told you about here, and gobbled them up as soon as they arrived. They're written by a Christian author and you can read about them at amazon.com or similar places.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Okay. Probably, you are already one of the five million who have watched the latest Britain's Got Talent sensation, Susan Boyle, on YouTube. Or perhaps you saw her performance today on various early morning tv news shows. But I wanted to make certain you didn't miss her.

Oh the lesson she teaches, the one we scarily forget over and over! If we'd stop judging books by covers and people by their appearance, well, we might just find ourselves with more friends, more bliss and more enjoyment from this Life which God has gifted us.

And more inspiration, too. I watch this little Scottish lady who lives alone with her cat and probably has a proper afternoon tea each day and I feel inspired to be more excellent. To always live prepared, willing, to step out in boldness with the gifts God gave me, to share whatever He wishes through me, however He chooses to do so. And maybe He, through me, can change a tiny corner of this planet, as well.

If only I could remember that He knows exactly what He's doing! And that's something else Susan Boyle reminded me, I believe. As the one judge said, "... we were all being very cynical. That was the biggest wake-up call, ever." I so knew what she meant-- I so saw God's design, His lesson, in this moment.

Watch this--even for the second or third time-- and be blessed.


****************

Be sure to notice everybody's cynical looks before Susan's song. Sad, sad, sad......


****************

Proverbs 18:16
"A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men."

1 Samuel 16:7"... for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

Monday, April 13, 2009


Life on the farm is amazing. But then, I always, for 40 or so years, knew it would be. It just required mega doses of patience for me to get out here.

There's another tiny town near ours, seven miles away, and technically our property is listed as being inside that town. Well, I'd not been to their cute little supermarket in at least 6 years, or so, and yesterday their newspaper ad listed lots of great $1 sales there. So on this bright sunny morning after finding the back road directions on Mapquest (it's simple to get lost out here in the boonies, at least for me...) I drove past fields and 1800's farmhouses galore. Honestly, I need to take my camera with me someday to show those old homesteads to you--they will zap you back 100 years.

I can't describe how marvelous it is to always start any trip in the middle of the countryside. All rides begin like a dream, what with all these old farms and barns on these long country roads with so little traffic. On my 14 mile trek this quiet Monday morning, I believe I saw only three cars on the road. Truly that's Heaven for a freeway-hater like me.

The workers at the country market were so friendly, four of them looked right into my eyes and spoke hello with a welcoming smile. Busily they rolled carts down the aisles, but none were too preoccupied to be friendly. People in the country are different that way. The atmosphere of the store was like others within these country towns--more 1930's than 2009. I thought of so many of you while I wheeled my cart down over that old-fashioned floor and wished I could whisk you backward in Time with me.

Then back over these country roads to home, listening to classical music, rather like a movie soundtrack for my morning adventure. Early Spring in the country! We missed it last year, but we are so here for this one. And already I've promised not to miss one detail... not one greening tree or croaking toad or flowering daffodil. Last winter Tom and I promised each other we'd squeeze every precious moment from every clear, sunny day. And we mean to keep that promise.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's a lovely morning here at Healing Acres and I'm appreciating our 'new' golden dining room. Our friends, John and Donna, came to lunch last week and Donna even wore a gold turtleneck sweater and brought me a gold gift inside a gold gift bag in honor of our gold dining room. Was that sweet or what? Donna is clever like that.
See this chair? Tom and I found it yesterday at a yard sale for only $1. I love $1 chairs. Slowly we are replacing the wrought-iron patio chairs around our old (yard-sale-found) pine table (we sold our Craftsman table and chairs to the new owner of our last house). We could go out and buy a whole new lovely and expensive-ish set of table and chairs, but why?

Probably this post should reflect something holy since it's Easter weekend, but you know? I don't do Christian holiday posts well. I mean, my online friends are saying they're looking forward to Sunday... kind-of like they're looking forward to when Jesus will rise again.

But, uhm, He already arose! Thank-goodness. And now? Now every single day of my life is a celebration of that fact and I find it hard to super-celebrate it on one weekend in April. Probably that's just me, but well, it is what it is. Jesus' being alive is such a minute-by-minute, 24/7 piece of me.

And I realized with all this "looking forward to Sunday" I've been hearing about that I seldom look forward to certain special days anymore. No, I look forward to every day. Even Mondays, it doesn't matter. Every single day is the same to me--they are all, each one, special and to be anticipated. All because of Him.



***************

So happy day of Easter number 101 of this year to you!


***************

Maybe you've noticed lately that my rebellious side has been showing. But considering my style of rebellion, well, it could all be much worse. :)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

So did you see the Good Morning America story this morning which told how Spokane County, WA has banned dish washing detergents which contain phosphates? They no longer sell them because (according to the online article) "cleaning chemicals lead to algae growth and oxygen depletion in rivers. In Spokane County phosphate levels in rivers and lakes are so high that they are putting fish at risk." So they've asked that people refrain from using them.

Of course, you can guess what some Spokane County folks are doing, can't you? They're complaining that phosphate-free detergents do a poor job on their dishes so now they're taking grocery runs over into Idaho so to smuggle dishwashing detergents into their homes.

So typical of us, isn't it? We disobey authority like it's nothing if we disagree with it. If the government is making too many little laws, we just chuck the ones we believe to be silly. I've done it and I know you most likely have, too, at least once. (Can we be honest here?)

Sigh.

But getting back to phosphates..... Only about a month ago did Tom and I realize something. Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) is one of the best-known cleaners on the market. It's terrific for cleaning walls (paneled ones, especially) before painting them and the list goes on of its cleaning wonders. Well, guess what? Phosphate is in tons of breakfast cereals and packaged foods like macaroni and cheese.

Good grief.

So now Tom and I are trying to avoid any foods with phosphates listed in their ingredients. Why sicken these bodies God gave us by eating ingredients you'd find in toxic cleaners?

********************

And if anyone is tempted to send me articles or blogs which preach against 'junk science' and tell how all food is peachy-keen-safe and the FDA is made up of big-eyed, innocent, outstanding citizens, well, save your time. I'm beyond falling for that. I've read too much and I've watched too many people become sick.

.....Crawling down off my (phosphate-free) soap box now......

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


So last December I joined Facebook. I filled out the form, set up my account, sent a few invites to friends, then sat here looking at my blank page and thought, "This is it? This is what everybody is so excited about? Hmm."


Ha.


After a few weeks I got it. I got the fun of Facebook and understood the hype. And now I like to view my Facebook homepage as a sort of newspaper front page where I can watch what my friends are doing. All in one spot I can read what relatives or my friends from junior high or high school or from my early married years in California and Nevada or later ones in New York and online are doing and thinking. Friends from all different states, ones which don't even know each other, are all talking and playing on one compact page.


I love it.


The other thing? As with anything in this life, I get out of Facebook only what I put into it. The more I contribute, the more I receive. The more fun and kindness I share with others, the more fun and kindness I get back.


I think it's called growing-up when we stop waiting for good things to drop upon us, especially after sitting and doing nothing, first. Instead, it's exciting when we start sowing the things we'd like people to do for us. You know, rather like 'do unto others as you'd have them do unto you' and 'to have friends, a man must show himself friendly.' That sort of thing.


It's silly the way we sometimes wilt and whine because friends aren't being the amazing companions we'd hoped they would. But I've found when certain friends aren't 'showing themselves friendly' toward me, it's usually because I've been neglecting them. Or I'm expecting them to reciprocate in the same, exact way when maybe that's not their thing. Or maybe I'm trying to resuscitate a friendship which died years ago. Or maybe even God is wanting me to back-off of the whole friendship thing for a little while so I can become better friends with Him and so He, in His own mysterious way, is keeping my friends from responding to my wild choke-holds upon our relationships.


Well, that's all going deeper than I wanted to go with this.


Mainly? Mainly this was just meant to be a reminder that even in 2009 we do still generally reap what we sow. And when we sow kindness and friendship--even at Facebook--we'll discover Life is more fun than we, perhaps, remembered it could be.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I forgot to tell you what happened a couple weeks ago. One morning I got up around 4:30 and I heard what sounded like a sick/confused/loony bird outside our kitchen window. Man, he kept making a weird noise and kept making a weird noise and kept--

Then awhile later after Tom arrived home from working night shift he asked, "Did you hear that strange bird out there?" I said, "I know... he's been at it for two whole hours. What's up with that?"

Alas...... we are such suburbanites...

So that evening after Tom left for work I opened our kitchen window to air things out since I'd painted our dining room earlier and wow! A whole loud Hallelujah Chorus of sick/confused/loony birds filled the air. But immediately I realized--and said aloud--"Peepers! Those are Spring Peepers!"

So I opened the window wider and stood there looking into the darkening meadow and smiled. My very first peepers! I'd only read about them in books and perhaps heard some at times in movies. But there they were in my very own backyard.

They are cool. They sound rather like tiny policemen blowing whistles to two or three beats. They are different than crickets--and they are loud!

This afternoon I pruned the plants on the 'lake side' of our house and I could hear no peepers (they only perform in the evenings), but I did hear our resident marsh frogs as they click-clicked rhythmically. What an odd sound... From a distance I glimpsed slowly moving forms and bubbling in all the water and with their noises, well, they sounded rather like something from a sci-fi flick. Eerie, even in the sunny silence.

I know... too much Stargate Atlantis.

Anyway, first we had such early, early robins and now we have peepers. Life is blissful in the country.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Before Tom drives to work in the dark mornings, we usually watch the local news together, that is, when The Patty Duke Show doesn't come on at 5:30 instead of 6:00. :)

So there we were this morning watching a story about the big boss in the road department (or something... I can never recall those specific details) who'd been skimming money off the top, but paying it back (he said). All except for the latest $2,800 he 'borrowed.' Two FBI agents showed up at his house yesterday and after talking awhile, the guy got physical with them and at one point they were all wrestling together on the carpet of his living room.

Tom and I were, like, "What a dweeb. Didn't he know better than to wrestle with FBI guys? Sheesh." And we said even more stuff like that after a document was shown where the road department guy was quoted as saying, "I could have taken both of you."

"Yeah, right," Tom and I said. And I was thinking, "Man, this guy must really be scared because he's really guilty. Boy, is he in trouble."

Then at the very end of the story--the final sentence--the announcer said that he (road department guy) had recently lost his wife who'd passed away.

Oh.

Tom and I got really quiet. Then we both said things like, "Hmm... Wow. That throws something altogether different into the mix. I feel sorry for him. It's easier to understand why he pushed around the FBI guys like that."

Always, there are two sides to every story. I remind myself of that often. And the Holy Spirit reminds me, too--many times I start forming an opinion about somebody's actions and zap! This little ping goes off in my head and right away I've learned to say, "Nope! I have no opinion about that. I'm thinking nothin' about nothin'."

And you know? I'm glad for those zaps because many is the time I've been plain ol' wrong and harsh in my opinions. Over and over I've been glad that I did not express my thoughts aloud because they ended up being incorrect and downright critical.

But what I like better are the times when I thought only good about someone... the times I did not judge, but had true mercy, instead, because I recalled how I felt when I went through similar times, myself.

And may I more often look 'behind the scenes' of peoples' lives and extend more mercy after discovering what lies back there. I've found that to be a more marvelous way to live.


********************
Mercy helps you understand why a person did something--and have compassion for him-- without approving of what he did.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Micah 7:18 "Who is a God like you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retains not his anger forever, because he delights in mercy."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Well, I lasted until 10:30 this morning. That is, that's only how long I could wait before turning our computer back on, risking the Conficker Worm thing.

I reasoned that we'd have to turn it back on someday, anyway. And you know? I kept hearing in my head that I was leaving our computer turned off because of fear. And if there's one thing I try never to base my decisions upon, it's fear. So I plugged-in the computer, switched on everything and then immediately went to the McAfee site since I heard yesterday if you could get there, your computer was still ok.

Alas, our computer is still ok.

And I am still learning the difference between fear and wisdom. Sometimes they appear the same, yet as the Bible says, fear brings torment and I was feeling pretty tormented about not being able to go online. Heh.

There is oodles to learn every day! And if I ever feel otherwise, it's usually because, somewhere along Life's way, I got stuck. As in, I began thinking I already knew everything, or I'd moved on from learning something when God certainly wasn't ready for me to move on, rather like graduating from a grade before even reading the material or taking the tests. And so He's holding me back a grade.

In other words, it's pride which blinds me from learning all there is to learn in this Life.

Like, last night Tom and I chatted about people who are our own personal thorns in our flesh. Man, those thorns may be small, but can they tear a big hole into you and expose the garbage which is still inside! Yet God uses it all--He uses those thorny people to show us that, yes! Just when you thought you'd become so humble, ol' Thorny says something which offends you over the next hour. Or two weeks.

Don't you hate that? Me, too, except that I know I should love it, instead. I should love being shown those areas which are holding me back from walking daily in peace and becoming more like Jesus. And well, maybe I haven't yet come to where I love being shown those areas, but some days I can--now--appreciate them. At least a little. :)

***********************************

Most mornings at 6:00 a.m., I watch the old Patty Duke Show on the This Network. Memories galore! Yesterday Patty sang a song which I really, really enjoyed so I looked it up on YouTube so I could share it with you. There's a verse missing, but here it is. Enjoy.