Thursday, July 28, 2016

Good Vs. Evil, Fantasy Meets Reality

     Hillary Ibarra recently wrote an inspirational post on her blog, No Pens, Pencils, Knives or Scissors. In our world where terror and evil run rampant, we and our children can be encouraged in so many ways, one of which includes reading classic fantasy literature. Hillary writes, "I happen to feel that our imaginations are an incredible gift imparted to our race, and that they help us see truths about our universe that our common, impaired senses and faulty brains cannot examine or elucidate fully. Some of these truths, I feel passionately, are best communicated through the epic works of fantasy such as The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and contemporary series like Kelven's Riddle by Daniel Hylton, my dad. I argue that these tales are meant to be told; they must be told for our good. And what a great and humbling thing it is to have such a story choose you as its storyteller!"

To read the full article, click the link highlighted on her blog name above.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Singing

We sing a large repertoire of songs on Sundays of which many repeat throughout the weeks. They become well loved and familiar songs.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Respectfully, I Don't Care How You Vote

     Sadly, I had to "unfollow" a few friends on Facebook this week. Daughter #3 and I agreed that the political posts were beginning to feel like bullying. I thought if I threw good karma out there and posted a video of a deer and bunny playing together it would equalize the hateful political posts lining up my news feed. It didn't work. That's when I decided to unfollow people. Maybe after November I can re-follow them.
     Back in the day, my parents never discussed who they voted for. If we asked them outright they would shake their heads and put us off. It was a private affair. This was more true when we were young children and I suppose it was because they didn't want us kids blabbing their political leanings to everyone. My parents took their voting privilege seriously. They voted in all elections, not just the presidential years and mom continued to vote into her nineties, until she died. I recall my older sister and my father having heated arguments at the dinner table during the Vietnam War era. Sister was in college at the time and thinking back on it, she and my dad probably had differing views on the war, which would have led to differing political views. Their conversations would inevitably escalate into raised voices and sister would stomp away to her room. I still had no idea who my dad voted for. He didn't really say much during those arguments other than shake his head and wave his hand at my sister and say something like, "Ahh, go on."
     In later years, I figured it out on my own, where my parents' political leanings were. Just knowing what kind of job my dad had, which public figures they venerated, etc. gave it away. Still, they would never tell me outright. And you know, aside from the tiffs with my sister, our family and friends had peace among themselves when it came to politics. Family and friends gave each other the respect to vote according to their own choosing. No one was bullied or belittled because of their politics. It was simply a matter of differing opinion. You didn't have to argue about it because you got to make your voice heard at the voting booth. You took your stand privately, behind a curtain. We had enough respect for people to honor that right. It's what made and makes America great.
     Perhaps this is the problem nowadays, people don't show respect for one another. The candidates lie and bully and so what, everyone follows suit? I care deeply about our government and our freedoms. For this reason, under the name of Freedom, I don't care who you vote for. Vote for whichever candidate you've studied upon and who fits with your understanding of how you would like our government to be led. It's your business and yours alone. It's your freedom. I can respect that. It's mine, too and I would like to be shown the same respect.
     In the meantime, show me some kittens and rainbows on Facebook. Show me your kids and grandkids and where you went on vacation. I'll show you Bambi and Thumper and my vacation and we'll remain friends forever because I have so much respect for you and your opinions that I won't be in your face with my politics.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Chicory and the Queen

     Henri and I still walk our circuitous route around the fields. It seems like overnight the field burst into new blooms. Suddenly the hill is awash in Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace. The photo doesn't accurately capture the beauty of the purple chicory mixed in with the white lacy Queen Anne's floating above the green grasses. Far back in the photo, at the left you will see a clump of white flowers standing alone at the tree line. This is a majestic clump of Queen Anne's Lace. It stands apart from the rest of the field. She looks like the royal queen presiding over her kingdom.

     I think this little guy was learning how to fly. At first I thought he was diving at us and defending his territory but, after watching him a while, it looks like we crossed his learning-to-fly zone. He kept going back and forth between fence and bush, chirping and wobbling with every crossing and rough landing.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Singing

Throughout the week, the songs we sang at church on Sunday will weave in and out of my thoughts. Just as it should be.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Creative Saturday, Mine and His


     Woolysheep Farm Rug Hookers is a local group that gathers once each month for inspiration, discussion, and socializing. Everyone brings their current project and whatever else they would like to show and tell and spends a Saturday morning and afternoon together. It's a large group of I don't know how many, but everyone is amazingly good at their craft. Today, one generous member provided a taco salad lunch for the group. When everyone got up to go to the kitchen, I noticed all the abandoned rugs left behind in various stages of completion.

That's my striped rug on the left. I call it, "A Study in Patience" because the design is SO boring to hook. But, it is helping me learn.

     It happened that Steve's beer brewing guild also met today, but in the evening. The Star City Brewers Guild's monthly meet up took place at one member's pretty 1890's farmhouse located just on the outskirts of Roanoke. It was a little patch of secluded country right in the city! Surrounded by woods and shaded by many large, old trees, you'd never guess the city was right out there. This was another shared meal event and it included entire families. SCBG is another large and growing group of home brewers, Steve included. They meet every month to taste what everyone has been brewing and plan fun events for the year. I learned that two of the men will be opening two different craft breweries in Roanoke. Craft breweries are popping up all over the place and some are good and some not so good. This is one craft where the members are honest in critiquing each others beer in order to refine their craft. They have judging forms they fill out and much discussion. All I can say is that I'm glad no one is critiquing my rugs like this!
     I haven't attended the brewers guild with Steve a whole lot, but I was glad I went this time. I met several nice people and got to know some of the other wives. Of course everyone got jollier and friendlier as the hours of  'tasting' wore on. As a result, it now sounds like Steve and I are going to Floyd Fest for a day. Haha!! I hope it really happens.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Going With the Flow, Sunday Singing

     I went up the back hill at sunrise on Sunday morning. It was peaceful up there and I'm glad the sunrise took its time.
     It was a beautiful weekend, weather wise. Low humidity and gentle breezes brought to mind sips of lemonade while lazing in a hammock under a shady tree. There would be no time for such a thing this weekend. We had the shady tree, but it was horizontal rather than vertical. It was the tree that was downed by the storm on Friday and it fell on the fence. Steve said it was best to deal with removing the tree right away, so our weekend plans for putting the master bathroom back together would have to be postponed. At least the weather was comfortable for working outdoors. On the first day, Steve cut branches and I loaded them in the pickup and hauled them to the burning pile. On the second day, Neighbor W. helped Steve. They got a lot more done than when I was helping. I fully recognize that manpower is different than womanpower. After two days of work, the large limbs, trunk and remaining half of the tree that didn't fall are still there. It's a lot of tree. We'll have to revisit this job as time allows. In the meantime, we have quite the bonfire waiting!

     In everything, we try and keep our focus as we, our country, and our world struggle with the effects of sin, past, present, and future.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Since We've Been Home...

      We really hit the ground running when we returned from vacation. Doctor and vet visits, groceries and cooking, catching up with friends, plus a trip to the jail for fingerprints, haha! None of these are bad things, but I desperately long to escape again. Sigh. Claire, Daniel and the grandchildren came for the Fourth of July weekend. It solidly rained two of the three days. Nevertheless, we had fun and the only disappointment was that we couldn't have our bonfire. Mari was really looking forward to that.
     Did I mention that the school where I worked before my mom came to live with us asked me if I would like to come back to work? Of course I said, "Yes!" I was absent from the job for an entire year so I had to reapply, be re-approved by the school board, and have a background check all over again, hence the fingerprints at the jail. School begins in four weeks. I simply can't process that right now.
     I went to Sam's Club this morning and opted to pass on my regular weekly shopping because, again, I  couldn't face the routine. Of course, everything in Sam's Club is BIG. I needed a cucumber for our Greek Salad but they only came in four-packs, which was too many for us, so I passed them by. It was so stinking hot outside that I was trying to figure out where to get one cucumber without having to make an extra stop at another store. I decided to just head for home with a quick stop at the library to drop off videos. Believe it or not, a lady was walking into the library as I was leaving and she was carrying a cardboard box full of cucumbers. She stopped and asked me if I wanted a cucumber. Crazy! Yes, I want a cucumber!! She gave me two. I still can't believe that happened.
     We had a doozy of a storm yesterday evening. The winds were violent. Steve, Henri and I took a walk after it cleared, sometime around 8:30pm. We had a beautiful tree along our fence line broken in half. I also heard a chainsaw off in the distance so other people must have lost trees, too. I walked alone for a bit and stopped to chat with our elderly neighbor, Mrs. C. I asked if she was okay and was her power on. She replied in her gentle, southern accent that all was well and she asked after my family. Standing there in the dusk, talking with her while she stood on her front porch and hearing her fine accent brought to mind the movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird". I don't know why, but I think it was something about Mrs. C's voice. As we parted I said, very southern-like, "You have a nice evening now." It sounded like I was in the movie too.

The clouds were so beautiful after the storm

Mari models her prairie dress that I sewed. The ribbon gathers the neck and the waist so it will allow the dress to grow with Mari. I also made three pin tucks at the hem which can be let down as she grows taller.