Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Stealing from the Hodge Podge

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

Oh gracious, yes, I have been waffling over a decision that had to be  made and I can't talk about it. Suffice it to say, it was one where my waffling hurt people and where my not waffling will hurt people, yet it must be done. It is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't situations. 

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons?  Yes

If so, does that bother you? 

No, to each her own. Our perspectives are all different. If I lived in some truly hot place, I'd be eager for fall myself. 

I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 

A last minute summer getaway to the ocean sounds great!

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

I saw geese swimming on a still like glass pond yesterday and it was such a pretty scene that I pointed it out to my traveling companion... a simple moment in time.

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 

Sure. I can be too easy on myself and too hard with others. I try to judge myself as God sees me. Life is easier when I do.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 

No. My emotions run off with me. I doubt that anyone would want me around in a crisis, though my sister has sometimes told me that I do better than I feel that I am doing.

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

A bowl of Cheerios. I am just now starting to think about "real" meals.

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?



I was given The Word in Color this summer and I have done some coloring. It is a pleasant pastime that allows the mind to rest.






I don't color as well as I did when I was six. ☺


 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

No Random thoughts today other than The Ponderosa, my summer's work. (And autumn's too.)




You can find Joyce and participants right *here.* I wish that I had time to join in the fun, but since I don't, I won't party up. 

A good day to you and thank you for stopping by... 


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Monday, August 22, 2016

Baby Steps

Surprise! I know what I said, but you know that it is always a woman's prerogative to change her mind. I change mine often; I changed mine today because this here blog has not been looking its best lately and I couldn't take it anymore.



This is the basil with a few marigolds that live in a railing box on the side deck facing the driveway. You last saw the basil growing in a can on my kitchen window sill in spring. Until the last few days, it has remained more or less under control. Now I must harvest it often. I am making Basil Bombs and freezing them for future use in soups, sauces, marinades, salad dressings or rubs for chicken, etc. I grind up the basil in a baby food grinder and add it to some small container (not my ice cube trays, though) and pour olive oil over to cover the basil, and then freeze it. Then I chop in into TBS size bits and save it in a freezer bag. Just yesterday afternoon, I used a couple in spaghetti sauce...yummy. Think I'll try some on pizza next.





It's been such a long, hot summer that the garden has not done well. The spider lilies were prolific, but much smaller than usual. I didn't even bother with photos until this nearly last one was blooming.




Haven't spent much time on the Haven lately. As you can see, until yesterday, I still had the things out that I put there in April. My mood has not been such that I cared about making things attractive or seasonal or anything. Then I remembered how much John liked seeing the decor change around here and how often he complimented me on things looking nice. I figure that, since it was starting to register, the time might have come to make some changes.





Want to see what's in the bag? Abby made this bag for me and I really love it...the perfect size for



books! So many of you have been blessing me with books...sort of take-me-away books:

Our Love is Here to Stay from Focus on the Family





A Season for Simplicity from Harvest House Publishers





The Apron Book by EllynAnne Geisel




(Kim, I had not noticed that the cover of this book looks like an apron pocket until I uploaded this picture...so cute!)


If Teacups Could Talk by Emilie Barnes




Collecting teacups in Southern California is really an act of faith. Made me laugh! This book has been my bedtime reading for about a week. I learned a lot of new things. One of them is why we might want to consider using a teacup, instead of a mug, for taking our tea. It made perfect sense when I read it. (Yes, I confess to taking my tea in a mug. I might have to change that up from time to time, most especially, if having tea with a friend.)






By the way, if my teacups could talk, they'd say thank you for washing us up and getting us out of the limelight.




In the meantime, I am waiting to see what to do next...perhaps the almost empty space up there will inspire me to do something in a few weeks.


Step by step...often baby steps...it's the way to get anything accomplished.


Thank you for popping by and have a great week!

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Reporting from The Ponderosa

When one day is very like the next, it does not make journal keeping terribly interesting for the writer and certainly not for the reader. Every day, I don my uniform: a pair of capris, a t-shirt, socks and shoes, an apron, a bandana, and work gloves. (I was supposed to take a selfie of this get-up for a friend, but for the life of me, I can not figure out how to best do it. I am certain that this is just as well. ☺) I fill my insulated cup with lemonade and head off for The Ponderosa. Once there, I open the large bay doors and begin the day.


 ~behind the barn~


This usually consists of sorting tools, identifying tools, finding a home for said tools, nail sorting, and general clean-up. John saved every piece of paper, books, tools, containers, all manner of things. John has all the accouterments for landscaping, carpentry, automotive, electrical, plumbing, machinist work, masonry, and probably something I am forgetting. He was a hoarder collector. He was also an incredibly talented person who needed a lot of junk.


While I am often there alone, some days John's sister joins me. She has been a godsend helping to haul trash to the transfer station and doing what I cannot do, even though I am younger. Mary can climb like a mountain goat. Look at her up there in the loft! (I can NOT do that.)

~Mary in the Loft~

She found a lot of things up there that I had no idea of. She'd say, "I'm handing this down," and I'd say, "Let's leave it up there!"  I know that that's no way to clear a barn pretending that things don't exist by having them out of sight and mind. Mary also likes nothing better than finding me lots of stuff to take to the transfer station on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.


In the evening, I am so tired that I usually fall asleep sitting in my chair. Life was better when John would gently wake me and ask if it might be time for bed. 


Because of the challenges of this time, I have been using my blog as a way to determine what was going on as proof of this or that. Sounds interesting and vague, right? Anyway, I have been wandering around in my archives for the first year of our marriage in 2008. That has been fun and a wonderful reminder of all those things we did together that first year before the responsibilities of life descended.


Thought I'd share a photo from that first autumn together when I took a selfie of us before I even knew the term. 


~2008 selfie~


The postscript on the race track behind The Ponderosa is that a town officer visited the new owner who repeated some of the same lies stories that he told me. The bottom line is that I now know that others have also been complaining, but there is nothing that we other property owners can do because he is allowed to do anything with his property, including having a race track. The new owner did say that he would limit his racing to a half hour a day and that he would put new quieter mufflers on his ATVs. 


Over and out for another week or so. You just can't take all this excitement from my corner! Thank you for visiting me today...


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lost in Middle Maine

As Christians, we are never on a more troubled path than when we are following our own lead.
~ Pastor Bill



When I was a younger woman, okay, much younger woman, I liked nothing better than to take a drive (usually with my sister) turning down a road that we had never traveled before just to see where it took us. It was an adventure. Fun. Exciting. And long before the days of GPS and gas prices over $2 a gallon.




Last week, I had the joy of meeting with Pastor Bill and his darling wife Abby. That I would have to take an hour's journey on my own was going to be just the adventure I could handle. I don't go far these days. I have, over time, become a Nervous Nellie among other constraints of mind and body.


Before I had been on the road half an hour, I had two disasters adventures. One was an open driver's side door whilst going through the car wash and the second was a flat tire that needed replacing. Oh joy unspeakable!  *I would later be very grateful for that flat tire as you will see. 

~new tire time~

We all arrived at our destination on schedule and had lunch and fellowship together. I received some much-needed, wise counsel. We ended our time together with prayer in the parking lot and then we parted ways. Bill and Abby would be traveling southeast and I would be should have been traveling southwest. 

And that's where my adventure really began for, in an effort to avoid traveling on I-95 for just a few miles, I struck off not knowing where I was going believing that I could take a turn at any point in time and find my way to the correct highway.

The short story is that I wound up arriving home well over three hours later when I should have been there within an hour. I was lost in middle Maine. Instead of going southwest, I was going northwest and actually went much farther from home than I had been at our meeting place. 

~Vienna, Maine? Where is that?! (GPS thinks Vienna, Austria)~

There was anxiety, there was fear, there were tears, frustration, and even panic. I remember pulling over to the side of the road and screaming where am I? I didn't trust the GPS because I was laboring under my own wrong ideas of where I was when I had not one clue. Talk about Stupid. Okay, if you don't mind, let's not. 

~where am I?!~

The point of this little story is to say that one never really knows where he/she is on this journey called Life. We get lost, take a wrong road, think we know best, and on and on. 



The good news is that Christians who have trusted Jesus Christ and all He did for us on the cross know that He knows exactly where we are. If we lean on Him, He will see us safely through and ultimately safely home...all the way home. Ahhhh... What a glorious thought! 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...

Proverbs 3: 5 and 6


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*So grateful that I was not lost in the boonies with a flat tire.

Apologies for major formatting issues.

As always, Sunday's comments are closed so that you can read and scoot...