Thursday, May 25, 2006

Today is not about a title - - it's just about life. And how it just is. And how lovely that can be.
There's been so much uncertainty in our family life lately - - nothing too traumatic or anything, just that feeling of "will things ever just be?" Why do we work so hard at finding that "next thing" . . . that thing we think will make us happier, richer, more appealing, more interesting, or more important? The crazy thing with DH and me is that we're constantly doing this to ourselves. Should we sell the acreage and move to town? Should I quit my job and start a business? Should we, could we, would we...? It drives us crazy, but we can't blame anyone but ourselves. Why are we so concerned about these kinds of things that are so truly irrelevant in the scope of God's awesome plan for our lives? And why should we even bother planning our future when our most important task is to glorify God and enjoy the immense blessings he has given us. Oh, the irony!

Snowball (the cat) decided to move one kitten. She put this white ball of fluff inside an empty ice cream pail in the garage. I moved the kitten back to the "cat house" twice. As I was cleaning my Jeep, I had the doors open. When I came out of the house to clean everything up and put the Jeep away, there she was again with the one kitten making a new home inside the Jeep!DD decided that the front porch needed some fixin' up . . . so she donned her kiddie-size tool belt and got to work:

A big bee also got to work yesterday in the herb garden: My good friend let me practice my photog skills on her DD - - oh what fun!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Who knew that a little blog like mine could be taken hostage by ne'er-do-wells like blog spammers . . . those degenerate !@#$%! I'm trying to find my way back to the light and out of the murky underworld of blog stealers. Here goes...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Birthday Girl

Grace's party was a success. Beautiful weather, good food (strawberry cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate covered strawberries, & pink lemonade), fun craft (foam door hangers), and lots of little-girl-giggles.

The "cake":

Making a wish:

The craft:

The girls enjoying the beautiful weather:

Yesterday after church, Brett grilled hot dogs, we piddled around the farm and I fell asleep in the hammock (yes, a bit sunburned today).

Neighbor Laurie and I finally got together to get some photos of her family. Here are my favorites:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy Birthday DD!

Today is DD's 5th birthday. I'm still amazed by how this little girl has changed my life. She's so funny (like her dad), smart, compassionate, sensible, inquisitive, and selfless. She recently blew out the toes of her tennis shoes and DH keeps telling her that he'll try to "build" her a new pair with some scraps of wood, fabric and string. She says, "oh, that okay, dad, they'll be fine for a little longer." Then DH asks her, "what if we couldn't afford to buy you a present for your birthday?" DD replies, "that's alright, Dad, Mom's giving me a party - - don't worry about it." Bless my soul!

Don't worry, DD did receive three new pairs of shoes for her birthday (that girl's feet are growing so fast!). Her daddy also snuck in some gummy worms, magnetic letters for the fridge, a ducky watch, and a couple other things. I got some donut holes for her b'day breakfast. She took Little Debbie strawberry shortcakes to school for treats. It's so sad that daycare and school won't allow you to bring homemade treats anymore!

DD is having eight little girls over for a party tomorrow afternoon. Strawberry Shortcake is the theme . . .

I just discovered that my blog is being "publicly traded" on here. This is too weird...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Resurrection Betsy

As of late last night, the title of today's entry was going to be "The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away." It was my rationale for the events of the past 12 hours.

When we arrived home from work last night, we discovered that Snowball the cat had 5 pure white kittens. (DD called G'ma K and told her that Snowball "laid" 5 kittens). Momma & babies seemed healthy and happy. Great . . . 5 more cats . . .

When I pulled in the driveway after choir, I noticed two strange dogs in the yard and lots and lots of gray feathers . . . I freaked out, chased the dogs off, and ran in the house to find the biggest gun. I also freaked out my DD and DH as I ran through the house screaming about dead chickens, wild dogs, and a few curse words thrown in for color.

Couldn't find the dogs. Nor, could I find the corpse of Betsy (previously known as "Bleep"). DD, DH, and the dog were all home at the time of "the mauling" and no one heard a thing! Swept up the feathers that were strewn across the garage floor, all the while thinking, "there is NO way that a chicken could live through this kind of treatment." I resigned myself to the fact that the dogs had carried her off into the night and she would never return again. I even called the neighbors and felt like a mobster putting out a contract hit on the traitorous wild dogs.

Betsy before:

Betsy after:

Up early this morning and worked in the garden planting the rest of the peas, lettuce, turnips & radish. DH had to be at work early, and I didn't, so I let DD sleep in. It was a nice, quiet time in the garden to reflect on God's will and the complexity of Mother Nature. The cardinals were trying to console me with cheerful spring songs but the mourning doves' song was a more accurate representation of how I was feeling.

As I was finishing up in the garden, something caught my eye . . . it was Betsy wandering out of the garage. I burst into tears and said a little prayer of thanksgiving.

She no longer has any tail feathers and it looks like the dogs got a pretty good grip on her behind, but she seems okay, considering the trauma she had been through. I let her in with the other chickens and she settled herself into her nesting box. Another day in the life...

As I drove to work, all I could think of was this.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Break in the Clouds

Finally a sunny day -- a respite from the four days of rain. The wet weather was great for the new crops and trees in the ground, but bad for my own personal disposition. "Rainy days & Mondays always get me down," as Karen Carpenter sang. But to have rain on a Monday was just too much!

Lots to report from the last week:
Planted 10 white oaks, 10 hackberry, 5 apple, and 2 cherry trees planted.

The Mission Garden at church is half planted; we'll wait until the second week of May to plant the beans, cukes, etc. This is the second year for the 30' x 60' garden project - - we give the produce to local and needy families as part of our church's evangelism mission. We learned a LOT last year (don't grow gourds in a food garden, you can only give away so many eggplant, brussel sprouts are not a local favorite, etc) and hope to incorporate new and better ideas this year.

As evidenced by the following photos, natural light is the best for capturing DD's innocence:

We have some new "wildlife" at Gracious Acres.
A red-headed woodpecker (what other kind, is there, right?):
And Iowa's state bird, the goldfinch:

Oh, and I chopped my hair off in the bathroom this morning . . . was having another bad hair day and the whole "grow it out and it might look like Julia Louis Dreyfus" thing was NOT working for me, so add "bathroom hairdresser" to my long list of titles. It's a nice length for the summer, too. It's just hair, right, it'll grow back!