3 Day Quote Challenge – Day #3

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This is my last day for the 3 day Quote Challenge. I was nominated by the gal who writes the blog – In The Autumn Of My Life. This has been a lot of fun hunting for some of my favorite quotes!

The rules are as follows:
Post 1 quote each day for 3 days.
A theme for each day would be nice (though not necessary)
Nominate 3 blogs to pick up the challenge and pass it on….
Don’t forget to let your nominees know that you have chosen them.

For this third day I nominate:

  1. Alheri
  2. Floating Speck
  3. kindergartenknowledge

Explaining why you chose a certain quote is not part of the rules but  I do like to let you know why I chose the ones I did.

Today our kids came to visit and brought our two grandchildren with them. These two little bits of heaven are 2 and 5. After their evening baths I offered to sit with them till they fell asleep. It did take a looooong time. Small children are definitely perpetual motion machines.

I have a feeling that they are worried that life is short and they need to fit every bit of living into one day. Their enthusiasm for life and the living of life is catchy. They use up every bit of energy on everything they do. By the time their heads hit the pillow at night they have nothing left and are exhausted.

Every minute they give 100% of their efforts.  I hope I can say the same when I am at the end of my days. That I did not waste what I was given, that I used the time I had been given that I loved and lived to the full and that I served where and when I was called.

“The Master was full of praise.
‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.'”
Matthew 25:21a

 

 

 

3 Day Quote Challenge Day #2

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I am now in day 2 of the 3 Day Quote Challenge which was given to me by the writer of the very interesting blog In The Autumn Of My Life.  Go and take a visit over her way!

Rules for the challenge are as follows:

  • Post 1 quote each day for 3 days.
  • A theme for each day would be nice (although not necessary)
  • Nominate 3 blogs to pick up the challenge and pass on…
  • Let your nominees know they have been chosen.

The three blogs I nominate today are:

  1. Paperpuff
  2. Heartclosetblog
  3. Nene’s Life

 

 Again, explaining why I chose a particular quote is not a part of the challenge but I always kind of like background on things!

When I was in high school I thought I was going to go to college and study to be a teacher. Due to the cost of college I decided I would work for a year and earn some of the tuition expense. Somewhere in that year the paycheck started to look better than the education. By the time I looked back and wondered where the time went I was married and had 3 sons.

In looking back, I do not regret missing college. I do think I would have enjoyed being a teacher but I did get to do that every day that I had my boys at home with me. There are so many life lessons to be taught when your kids are young. Those days are so important, not only for kids but for parents also and I am so grateful I got to have those days.

I really do believe I am exactly where God intended me to be at this time in my life.

“For I know the plans
I
have for you…..”
Jeremiah 29:11

 

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day #1

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Hello!!! A big thank you to  Autumn x for nominating me for this 3 Day Quote Challenge. You can check out her wonderful blog “in The Autumn of My Life” by clicking right here

According to the rules I now need to nominate 3 other blogs to participate and for today I choose:

  1. helbergfarmstories
  2.  the Journey of a Million Miles
  3. Bee Organized With Pamela

The rules for this challenge are as follows:

Rules:

  • Post one quote each day for 3 days.
  • A theme for each day would be nice (although not necessary)
  • Nominate 3 blogs to pick up the challenge and pass on…
  • Don’t forget to let your nominees know on their blog…

 

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This is not part of the rules but I wanted you to know why I chose the quote I did. First……because I love it.  I look at my family and my husbands family and realize what a blessing they all are to me.

They are not perfect (but neither am I) but they are all perfect for me. I know there are families who are not blessed in this way and my heart goes out to those people. I pray someday they may know the blessing of loving family.

My family, immediate and extended, love me not because of what I can do for them but for who I am. They hold me accountable to be a better person than I could ever be on my own.  And when I fail they are there to pick me up, dust me off, and give me a shove to try again.

My family is indeed a gift,
rare and priceless,
and I am blessed.
Faye K.

Beneath the Beans

 

Under the Beans

While walking beans this morning my shoe came undone; I bent over to retie the lace and discovered an amazing place.

I told my husband that he should really take a look- he did not take me up on that. On the surface all you could see was green waving leaves and some little grasshoppers (which I have learned bite viciously). The sun beats down on you when you stand above those leaves and you hope to catch a cool breeze.

Once you get down under the canopy of leaves it is a rather sun-dappled world. A light breeze ruffles the yellowing leaves underneath. Small bugs walk around totally oblivious to the world above and the smell of dirt and leaves is rich.

Sparkling Sunlight Through The Leaves

You also see the pods that have formed and the little purple blooms drying up to become the pods that will fill with soybeans. It is ripe with the promise of abundance that will take care of us for the coming year.

I cannot say I love walking beans as it is usually hot; but I will say that there is a sense of season and continuity that comes with doing certain tasks during the different seasons. It is also a time that my husband and I spend hashing out the problems of the world and life in general.

When walking beans, it is better to focus on the harvest to come and to focus on the rows already cleaned than to focus on what rows are yet left to do. I think much of life is like that…..looking behind to see how far you have actually come. It makes going through the hard places so much easier to see how many you have already made it through.There is also a sense of fulfillment when looking over a bean field that has been totally cleaned.

My husband made the comment that bean fields are a lot like life.  We all want the biggest, cleanest, most productive “field” that we can have.  You start out, you plant the field with great hopes and wait for the spring rains.  Once they are growing you wait for the rains to stop so you can get in there and get rid of the weeds. When you have done everything you can for that field you just have to wait and remember that God is in control and all you can do is, once again, wait and pray.

As farmers and people who live our lives we sometimes have a tough time being patient for the harvest.  We cringe when the weather turns ugly with hail, storms, high winds and generally things that seem hurtful.

I have told people that we may not always have had the biggest crop, we may not always have it “easy” but we have never been hungry or had to walk out of our home naked.  I think that makes us fortunate. (I will not say blessed because I have a tough time tying blessing to wealth.)

I am indeed grateful for this life that lets me find lessons in the small things. I love the lessons I can find (with my husband’s help) under the beans.

If you so choose,
even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities.
If you so choose,
you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance.
Ralph Marston

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Swisms

Beans

I will tell you right up front do not go looking in any dictionary for the word swism. It should be in there as it is the perfect word for what happens on a hot summer day.

When I was out picking my beans in the garden the other night I was experiencing issues with swism. For those of you who wear glasses this will make sense. Swism is that drop of sweat that rolls off your forehead when you are bending over and it then lands on your glasses to create a swism.

When you try looking through this swism you get the same effect as looking through the swism’s better known relative- the prism. It might be a little fuzzier than that.

I have also heard it said that women don’t sweat……I will tell you this is a falsehood.  When the weather is as hot as it has been (108º heat index) women no longer glisten; it really is sweat.

As I write this my husband reminded me of my enthusiasm when those seed catalogs arrived in the mailbox back in January and February. As he was throwing wood into the woodstove back then, to keep us warm, I was dreaming of produce and a beautiful organized garden.

Nowhere is those glossy photos of clean abundant produce did I see a drop of sweat on the people holding those gorgeous pumpkins, beans and carrots. (Who are those people and where do they get them from??)  Nowhere did I see earwigs munching on the leaves or rabbits chewing those peas to nubs.  Maybe I should have bought the packages of repellant that were advertised?  You would think I would learn after this many years of gardening!!

I do have to say that once you get the beans picked the next part is actually pretty relaxing as you can sit on the porch and listen to the birds and watch the chickens as you snip beans. You can even enjoy a great cup of tea. Yes I still enjoy a cup of tea even when it is hot. You just have some chocolate mint tea that has a hint of cool to it.

Green Beans

After years of using the hot water bath method for canning my beans I finally purchased my first pressure canner  a few years ago.( My mom still cannot believe that I use a pressure canner and I often hear the story of how Grandma had chicken soup all over the kitchen because the pressure canner blew.) After using the pressure canner these last couple years I would not go back, especially when it comes to beans. I must admit I reread the instruction book every year and do not leave my kitchen while it is in operation.

I also need to admit that when those jars come out of the canner it is very satisfying. Hearing that pinging sound of lids sealing is one of the best sounds around.

It is a great feeling to begin to fill the empty jars from the pantry shelves with produce. I know that by the time that last jar gets filled and on the shelves I will have forgotten the effort it took to get them all there.

My husband just grins when I stand in my pantry and admire all the filled shelves in the fall. My youngest son usually takes a look and comments, “Yup, mom is ready for the apocalypse.”

 

 A sensible person gathers the crops when they are ready;
it is a disgrace to sleep through the time of harvest.
Proverbs 10:5  (GNT)

 

Memories of Bean Walking

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A Hazy Humid Morning in the Bean Field

 

I am starting to believe that my sister and I brought the hot, humid weather back to Iowa from D.C. It is humid and stifling. It is great corn growing weather; but not so much for people comfort weather.

Once again, I am back in the swing of gardening, caring for chickens, walking the soybean field and all the other summer tasks that need to be done. Though I think I will wait for cooler weather for mowing the back yard. It is just too hot and there is zero breeze back there.

While I was gone my husband had started walking beans. For those of you who have no idea what that is…..I will tell you what it isn’t.  It is not putting a teeny tiny leash on a bean and taking it for a walk around the block or section. What it is… usually hot work that involves the oldest tennis shoes you have, a hoe or corn knife, volunteer corn and weeds in the soybean field and muggy Iowa weather.

The sprays of today do help with most of the weeds but my husband hesitates to “over spray” so we end up walking to chop out the ones that escape the spray boom.  We also chop out the volunteer corn that always seems to crop up from last season. I am not sure what these corns are volunteering to do but I wish they would quit!

Walking beans was the foundation of my employment back when I was in high school. Back then we worked for $2.65 an hour. We started at 6:00 in the morning and worked all morning to avoid the heat of the afternoon. We would start down the rows of the soybean fields wearing shorts and t-shirts and by noon be down to our swimsuits. With the dew on the beans running down your legs and pooling in your shoes; you could accumulate a couple inches of mud on the bottom of your tennies. By noon, in the heat, it had dried and fallen off.

Once the morning of hoeing and chopping was done our crew headed back home to peel off dirty clothes, hose off shoes and hang them on the line, sharpen hoes, pack lunches for the next day and head for the local sandpit to swim and cool off.

During my bean walking career I worked for many different farmers. Some of them were real “characters”. I will never forget the one who instructed us to only chop weeds to the top of the hill and not to worry about the weeds beyond the hill.  He figured his neighbors could not see those; so it was not a problem.  This same farmer gave us blank signed checks when we turned in our hours for payment!  We told him the amount he should put on them but he told us to just write it in ourselves. I found out later that he did this to many kids, my husband included. From what I know, the kids who received these checks were always honest and put the correct amount. We would shake our heads, grin and imagine what we could do with all that income had we been dishonest…..

For some reason, walking beans seemed a lot easier back then.  The weather seemed cooler (in my memory only perhaps?).  Maybe it was because of unexpected things that seemed to happen…..things like goats jumping all over the car of a friend who drove that day? Maybe it was the Hostess cream filled cupcakes and susy-q’s?  Maybe it was the incentive of the paycheck at the end? I am not really sure….I just know it seemed easier back then.

I am starting to suspect that age may have something to do with my level of enthusiasm when it comes to walking beans. I know that, now, when my husband and I take a water break our  5 minutes of sitting usually turns into 10 minutes. (I cannot get him convinced that we really need to recuperate longer than that.) I know that we do not start at 6:00 in the morning as we prefer the leaves of the beans to be dry so we can avoid the inch of mud on our shoes and pants dragging and heavy from the dew that has run down them. I know that we quit sooner than noon time and that is okay. Maybe if I purchased some Hostess treats the magic would return?  Nope……pretty sure not.

The rhythm of the hours of our days has definitely changed from when we were younger. The need to get “it” all done in a hurry so we can move on to the next thing has all but disappeared. There is a contentment in seeing progress in the bean field but unless we hear that rain is coming, the urgency to finish in a couple days is gone.

I am kind of loving this phase of our lives…..where time is not hurried but rather used, lived and enjoyed.  Yes, even walking beans in the heat and humidity is looked back on with a smile.  It might be that we are smiling because we are done for the day!  But we are smiling.

 

I don’t know too many kids who ask to weed the garden.
Tom Douglas

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Sightseeing in D.C.

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For some reason I am having extreme difficulty gathering my thoughts and energy after this last road trip. I am not sure if sleep deprivation, age, or the heat is to blame. Perhaps it is a mish mash of all of those things put together.

I have a feeling some of the problem comes from seeing so much in such a short space of time. During our time in our nation’s capitol we logged many miles on foot (12 on Thursday according to the Fitbit) and saw so many things that my brain may be slightly on overload.  I spoke with my sister and she was commenting on the same phenomenon.

The Thursday we were there, we were given the opportunity to go sight seeing.  We started out with a bus ride to Arlington National Cemetery. Once there we were able to find the marker of our relative, Julian. We also saw, from afar, families laying their loved ones to rest.

As we walked past the endless white gravestones and memorials we knew that we were indeed on hallowed ground. The sacrifices made by our soldiers and their families were very evident all around us. The sound of the 21 gun salutes and bagpipes drifted over the acres of headstones. It was beautiful in a quiet, sad, haunting way.

Once our bus left Arlington, we were dropped off near the National Mall to do some sight-seeing on our own. My sister and I headed towards the White House as our first stop.  Fortunately another gal on our bus gave us a map so we could find our way around. (We are slightly directionally challenged and I am sure our husbands were amazed that we did not get lost that week! I will admit that our map was kind of in shreds by the end of our trip.)

It was interesting to see all the different people that come to visit this city and also those who make their living here. We encountered tourist, like ourselves, street dancers, water peddlers, food stand vendors and more. It was so neat to be able to talk with them.

The buildings in D.C. are truly amazing.  It always makes me wonder how they did that with the equipment they had at the time.

Once we made it around the White House area we headed for the memorials along the Tidal Basin. We were able to visit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, see the statue “The Brotherhood”, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Martin Luther King  Jr. Memorial,  Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. We were very fortunate to get in on the tail end of some tour groups so we learned a lot of new things about the history of the memorials.

By the time we made it to see Mr. Jefferson I was pooped, hot and my feet hurt.  I sat in the shade and told my sister to go on up and hang out with him awhile and I would be with her shortly.

We strolled our way back to the Smithsonian as that was the assigned meeting place for the bus. Once there, we decided to go in and cool off in the air-conditioned museum. It felt wonderful!

We were able to see a small tidbit of American History. We looked through the pictures and memorabilia of the protests of the 60s that began paving the way for equal rights and desegregation. It was good to see how far we have come but also to acknowledge how far we still need to go.

It would be interesting to ask the founding fathers what they think of this country that they fought so hard for. I wonder if they would be proud, sad, disturbed, happy or a blend of every emotion out there. I also wonder what we will look like in the years to come.

History is a relentless master.
It has no present,
only the past rushing into the future.
To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.
John F. Kennedy

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History,
despite its wrenching pain,
cannot be unlived,
but if faced with courage,
need not be lived again.
Maya Angelou

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