Don’t bother washing the hat

garden last

This spring I put in a new garden.  I’ve already blogged somewhere about it, so I’ll spare the details, but to say it’s back-breaking work (fine, I’ll admit it—especially for this aging back) is without question.  I’ve done it, however, with the hopeful expectation of an improved harvest. 

If I’ve learned one thing living in America’s Heartland, it’s that farmers are possibly some of THE hardest working individuals on kevinthe planet.  Their hands are not soft, and the ball caps on their heads are not nice and clean.  During harvest, they work dawn to dusk (sometimes beyond that), and it takes not only Continue reading “Don’t bother washing the hat”

Somebody pass the dill

newgarden
Things are growing in the new garden!

Once again, I was outside conducting my annual experiments that I presumptuously refer to as “gardening”.  This spring I put in a new plot, and dumped in a bunch of store bought dirt, sorta/kinda had a ever-expanding design of what to plant where.  

I love fresh herbs.  Even just watering them releases a beautifully refreshing scent into the air.  One thing that I was wanting to add to my stash, but have had difficulty with in the past, was dill.  So this year I thought I would just sow a short row of seeds (rather than already half-grown plants from the store) right into the fresh dirt, and “see what happens”.  (Such is my typical gardening strategy…)

What happened is this: Continue reading “Somebody pass the dill”

Just Mow

quill

Pastor Anthony Baker at The Recovering Legalist, (and I so totally love that for a blog name!), has his moments of frustration and is not ashamed to let others know that he does not, in fact, walk on water.  On the other hand, he is likewise not ashamed to introduce you to Someone Who does….walk on water, that is.

So here is one of his productive solutions to the stresses of the clergy, or of life for that matter!

 Just Mow

I have so much to write

But it was too long a night.

The stress of it all, all the phone calls

I slept till I saw the light.

Yeah, I “saw the light”

I don’t have to write!

This is my blog, I’m not on the clock

There’s nowhere a paycheck to write.

So, it’s a beautiful day

The weather is great

I’ll crank the John Deere, put buds in my ear

And just mow all my stresses away.

So for a good dose of “so-what’s-your-problem-anyway!?!” theology, check out The Recovering Legalist, and enjoy the journey with Pastor Baker.

I love my dirt

garden lastMy birthday is smack-dab (great vocabulary word, BTW) in the middle of Spring.  This past year, I asked for one thing.  Just one. 

Dirt. 

And lots of it.  I have been working on putting a new garden in, and since we live within the city limits, it’s not like on one of the nearby farms where you have dirt to spare (as well as other biologicals that enhance the soil, if you get my drift…) And to boot, the dirt in my yard is not particularly conducive to growing vegetables and such, which calls for a little more intentionality and strategy when putting in a garden, at least if I have high hopes of producing nutritious edibles. 

I let my desire be known to my husband and progeny.  I even held off buying dirt, hoping that the truck from one of our local home and garden stores was going to show up with bags and bags, but alas, it was not to be.  Bob did not consider “dirt” to be an appropriate birthday gift for his wife since, to him, it smacked of “work”….(sigh).

So I bought myself a gift—dirt.  Yes, I did.  Twenty 2-cubic-foot bags, in fact.  (That’ll teach ‘im, right?? Nah, probably not.)  And when it’s delivered, either from the store or

dirt
Happy birthday to me!!

in my old suburban, I hadn’t decided which yet, I would empty most or all of it into the new garden plot and “start to begin to commence” planting.

At least, that was the plan.

Of course, there are lots of other things that can be done with dirt.  Like playing in it, building mud pies and such.  It’s a bit messier than a sandbox, but quite do-able.  Naturally, cats and dogs find dirt most helpful also (as with sandboxes).  Worms also appreciate the dirt, which in turn makes the robins appreciate it also.

But that’s not why I’m spending a pretty penny (several thousand pennies, truth be known), on good soil.  The purpose of this birthday gift to myself is to grow things!

So why do we do we tend to have a similarly skewed attitude with the gifts that God gives us?

So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.”

Just a thought: whether it’s a bags of dirt, a new trowel or shovel, or fresh gloves, you don’t buy them to admire them, but to USE them for their intended purpose—to grow and produce, not to play around making a mess to simply get dirty. 

Although I certainly do enough of that in the process….

The wonderful gifts God gives us—relationships, talents, time, health, experiences, forgiveness, supernatural or natural—all are for the building and nourishing of His church.  Or as Bob likes to say, they’re tools, not toys.

So just a thought: what kind of steward are you with God’s gifts?  Best not to get your hands dirty unless you plan on getting some work done.

1 Corinthians 14:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)  Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

A quick gardening project–HA!

garden lastOkay, I did it again.  Bit off more than I can chew, that is.  For years I’ve wanted some raised gardens in the one full sun spot of my little yard.  I’ve dreamed and planned…and waited. 

Until now. 

At this writing, it’s my school’s Spring Break (March), and since the city won’t allow burning off my leftover leaves due to overly dry conditions, I decided the time is right for this new plot.  (Does that mean Bob can blame the city for my over-zealous project?)

Did you know that railroad ties generally weigh around 200 pounds? Each? I have the aching muscles and bruises to prove it.  Of course, I’ve used railroad ties before, just not this many, and a little more “terra-forming” (as my husband puts it) was Continue reading “A quick gardening project–HA!”

Zinnias, and other gifts

garden lastHere’s another status report on the new garden.  Writing this in June, during a hot/dry spell here in southern MO, but with my watering (and Bob’s sweet patience with the water bill…at least so far), color is exploding round about. 

Now, my sister-in-law, Bu, is quite the avid landscaper.  She advised that I start cutting these beauties so that more would continue to pop up throughout the season.  She’s usually right about this sort of thing, so I have trustingly clipped a few of my prizes to enjoy indoors and await a new crop as they come.

zenniacut

Pretty cool, huh?

It’s actually quite good for me, since I have more of a tendency to hoard things, you know, “make them last”.  Like books that set on the shelf, not imparting any knowledge, just collecting dust.  Or unused hanging planters, nurturing spiders’ nests in the garage instead of flowers on my patio.  Things you save “for a rainy day.”

I’m thinking we tend to do that with other gifts also.  Like health, and money, and talent, and those things we think we might make use of when retired, or on vacation, or….just later. 

Jesus said something about “burying it in the ground” rather than investing it wisely for a future return.

Not that timing isn’t important; clearly providing food on the table for the family is a more imminent need than being in a rock band (unless that’s what puts food on the table.)  Relationships take precedence over personal pursuits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are mutually exclusive 100% of the time. 

Here’s the point: 

“Send your grain across the seas,
    and in time, profits will flow back to you.”

And just for kicks, here’s the footnote for this particular translation:

Give generously, / for your gifts will return to you later. Hebrew reads Throw your bread on the waters, / for after many days you will find it again.”

Generosity is one of those hallmarks of Christianity, and it’s not merely money. Believe it or not, sometimes greenbacks can be the easiest thing to give!  Time and talent, gifts—both spiritual and otherwise—(and even making the effort to inventory what I have in my own storehouse), is incredibly important, because it’s not about “just me and mine”.  It’s about what the Creator, my Creator, has put inside of me to cast out there to bless and benefit others.

Right.  So some neighbors might wake up to find bouquets of zinnia blossoms on their front doorsteps in a few days….

Ecclesiastes 11:1 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Glam-nails vs. Garden-nails

garden lastI have friends and co-workers who are into the glamorous nails thing.  Even many of my middle school girls are now sporting the artisan versions that are glued on, and more than once I’ve been asked if I have any “super glue” to fix a wayward piece.  (School nurses get asked for all sorts of random things…) 

As nice as they look, I’ve never been good at fingernail etiquette—the paint chips, it looks terrible, and I’m too lazy to fix it!  So I’m resigned to be content with what I have.  By contrast, one sure way you can tell I’m happy is if I have dirt under my fingernails.  A little gross maybe, but true.  It means I’m outside in my garden making a mess, or as Bob calls it, “tearing up the pea-patch.”

I’ve done plenty of tearing up, but have yet to grow any peas.    

What I have grown, with limited success, ranges from begonias to zinnias, (I could say from A to Z, but the astilbe died…)  However, here in the land of Herefords and harvestores, it’s also a noteworthy Continue reading “Glam-nails vs. Garden-nails”

Where’d THAT come from?

garden lastStatus report: my garden is semi-surviving despite this June’s horrid hot/dry spell.  Here in Missouri it appears the wheat is getting in okay, but I’m concerned for the corn if we don’t get some rain soon.  If y’all have a few spare thunderclouds, you might send them our way.  Just keep the twisters. 

Is that too much to ask?

Even though my garden is surviving the shock, I’m not sure my husband will when he gets the city water bill…it should come any day now.  Actually, he knows the score and is more than supportive with my gardening habit hobby.  With all the musical instruments and classic comic books and thin, round pieces of plastic “art” (he prefers the more expensive blu-ray to the less esteemed DVD…), I suppose we’re even-steven.  At least he can eat my time-well-spent.

So look what I found this morning on my Continue reading “Where’d THAT come from?”

Cwaazzy Wabbit!

garden last

In the early days of my gardening dreams, I went for what they say is one of the most popular and probably easiest-to-grow vegetables—tomatoes.  Who “they” are is irrelevant, but “they” clearly didn’t know my skill level. 

With typical enthusiasm, I plucked up a little plot and plopped in a few plants, I’d say about six inches tall.  I don’t remember what variety—red, I think–because with a least a few of them, I’m not sure I ever got to find out.  I would come to admire my work, and the fragile new limbs were being wantonly cut off!  Chewed off is a better description.   

It could be none other than that dastardly demon, that maleficent monster, that gorging gargoyle of gardens— Continue reading “Cwaazzy Wabbit!”

Lazy, lazy, lazy

garden last

No likes a good nap as much as I do.  Some may contest that, but I’m certainly in the running for the platform.  Particularly on a cold, overcast day, right after lunch around 1PM.  Open the windows for the fresh air, and let me wrap up in a blanket to keep warm with my dog on the floor beside the bed, and the faint sound of Bob’s football in the other room.  And I’m gone.

Is anyone yawning yet?

No one’s going to contest much about the restorative properties of a midday nap.  It’s certainly better than caffeine (okay, some would contest that), and can give us that needed boost in our energy if used correctly. 

HOWEVER, there is another kind of napping that is not so productive.  Like falling asleep at Continue reading “Lazy, lazy, lazy”