Security Under a Corn Tunnel

Tenacious Rhubarb.JPG

I was really surprised today when I looked out my patio door. I could see rhubarb growing underneath it’s “cages”. I had not expected those plants to be that large already. It did not seem that long ago that my husband suggested I put some corn tunnels over them as they were just starting to break through the soil.

Rhubarb is a tenacious perennial; but I think the “girls” out-tenacious the rhubarb.  Before we put the protective corn tunnels over them the girls would spend hours just scratching and digging for whatever they could find in the dirt around those plants. It was getting to the point that the poor plants were losing the battle against the chickens.

I have found that if I want to have any rhubarb to freeze for muffins or use to make jam I had best protect them till the leaves are really big. A few years ago my husband brought me some corn tunnels to use to protect them.

I should probably explain what a corn tunnel is for those of you who have never dealt with storing ear corn in a corn crib. When you put ear corn (field corn that is picked and not combined) in a crib you put these wire tunnels along the bottom of the crib to help with aerating the crib so the corn will dry on the cob and not rot and turn to compost.

We have found these corn tunnels work great for a lot of garden plants and flowers that you want to protect from rabbits and chickens and who knows what else. Once your plants are mature enough you can remove the protective tunnels and let them thrive on their own.

I think there are times in our lives when we are like those new shoots coming out of the ground in the early spring time. We need “corn tunnels” to help protect, shield, and give us security from the things that would scratch and dig at us before we are ready to handle that kind of treatment.

In these last few weeks of recuperating I have felt like those rhubarb plants with their corn tunnel protection. I have been shielded, nurtured and protected by so many friends and family. It is truly a humbling experience; but oh so very appreciated!

I have observed others during their times of needing that same kind of help and it is wonderful to see people close in around them to take care and nurture. I have also found that it is such a blessing to part of the nurturing crowd.  It does take a conscious effort to do that and I find you cannot blindly ignore those hurting around you.

In this week before Easter I would encourage you to be the security……. be the corn tunnel for those put in your path. Be the one to step up and nurture them, give a word of encouragement, and be the blessing to someone else.  I have a feeling you will be greatly blessed in return.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verse-about-helping-others-21-top-scriptures/#ixzz4dtpppWYn

 

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully,
everyone is blessed.”

Maya Angelou

 

 

 

Oh NO!!!!

This is a “help!” post.

For some reason the comments I am leaving on some of your blog posts are not showing up. I found out from a fellow blogger that my comments on her blog had started going to her spam.  If you see that I have liked your post and I typically comment you may want to check spam as wordpress has decided to re route my comments to your spam folder.

This was the only way I could figure out to let you all know of this issue. Thank you to Cobs for letting me know that is what was happening. It happened with my comments on her post.

The Chicken Grandma

Two Blogging Awards

Blogger Recognition Award

It has come to my attention that I have been nominated for a couple blogging awards.  I know that in the past I have been nominated also. I had them all written down on a paper so I could deal with them in a timely manner……..and then the paper disappeared!

I have decided I should probably do these two awards quickly and not put them on a piece of paper, because I now know my track record on that!  I cannot even blame the downtime that I took to heal ; for losing that paper…..it was gone long before I had surgery.  (It has been really useful to blame anesthesia for forgetting things!)

For a long time I was in denial about losing that paper….but no longer.  It is gone for good.  So……if you nominated me in the past and I never responded….please do not be offended. I never know quite how to respond to awards as there are so many great sites out there and I hate to choose just certain ones for awards.

Anyway back to the current awards…..

I was nominated by Tricia over at Kindergartenknowledge for the Blogger Recognition Award. You really need to get over to her blog. She blogs about so many things and is such a good read. You will not regret it and I am confident you will find a new blog to follow.

Award Rules:

*Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
*Write a post to show your blog award.
*Give a brief story about how your blog started.
*Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
*Select 15 bloggers you want to give this award to.
*Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide a link to the post you created.

Brief Blogging Story: I started blogging a little over a year ago. My kids had been after me to blog but I was not really sure what I would have to write that anyone would want to read!

One Sunday afternoon my daughter-in-law (known as my web guru) was on her computer. I asked her what she was working on (she designs websites for a living and has a business called Skwintz). She informed me she was setting up my blog. That day I wrote my first blog post and have been at it ever since.

Two pieces of advice on blogging….hmmmmmm.  That is hard because I still cannot quite wrap my head around the fact I DO blog.  Someone called me writer awhile back and it startled me because it feels more like I am just having a conversation with all of you out there. Kind of like a pen pal relationship!

Anyway….back to advice. (Pretty sure the anesthesia is still messing with my focus LOL). I would first tell you to have fun with it. Write about whatever you love, are passionate about and write about what you know.

When I started my family had a big blog naming session. My oldest thought I should call it Confessions of a Chicken Grandma. I thought that sounded a bit racy. He laughed and said “Yep, draw them in and then tell them about Jesus!” (Our family is slightly off-center!) I shortened it to The Chicken Grandma.

My second bit of advice is to not stress if you don’t meet your self-inflicted blogging deadline. People are gracious and just happy when you show up again. Life is much to short to sweat the small stuff.

I am going to pass on the 15 blogger nominations. I know so many blogs who should be recognized. At some point if I could figure out how to put the blogs I follow on a sidebar I would encourage you to check those out. I would also encourage anyone to go ahead and take this as an invitation to do this award!

Now for the second Award.  The Blue Sky Award.

I was nominated for this one by AAALYolly. Her blog is full of energy and optimism and she writes about whatever interests her at that time. You will not be disappointed if you make your way over to her blog and check it out. Thank you for nominating me!

THE RULES:

  1. Thank the person(people) who nominated you.
  2. Answer their 11 questions.
  3. Tag 11 people.
  4. Give them 11 questions to answer.

These are the questions I was given to answer:

  1. Who is your favorite author?
  2. What is your greatest achievement in your life so far?
  3. Do you believe that the word for-ever is still existing nowadays? If yes, why? If no, why?
  4. Who has been the most important person in your life?
  5. Did you ever cheated on your partner?
  6. What are your two (2) favorite quotations from any of your favorite authors?
  7. Do you believe in God?
  8. What is your favorite color?
  9. What was your childhood like?
  10. When did you first fall in love?
  11. What is your best memory of childhood? Worst?

Okay…here are the answers:

My favorite author…..that is a tough one as I love to read a variety of things. I am going to name a few as I really cannot narrow it down!  I love books by Ted Dekker…he makes me think.  Louis L’Amour is another favorite. Mary Higgens Clark is good. I also like anything that is written by Max Lucado.

Greatest Achievement So Far:  Being a wife to my husband of almost 37 years, mom to our three sons and grandma to 2.5 grandkids. Family is huge to me.

The Word For-Ever: Yep it is still true today….at least for me. Family is forever. God is forever and never changes. His love never ever fails and is forever.

Most Important Person: More than one……family, friends….they helped make me who I am in this life.

Ever Cheat on Partner: Never.

Favorite Quotes: “Not all who wander are lost.”  Tolkein (I know I did not list him as a favorite author, but I like his stuff)  “Lower your expectations of earth. This isn’t heaven , so don’t expect it to be.” Max Lucado.

Belief in God: Absolutely! Else what is this world all about? Just being good or existing is not a good enough reason to be sucking in my next breath.

Favorite Color: Green…..new life.

Childhood:  Typical small town Midwest childhood. Played hard, worked hard, two-parent family, went to church on Sunday and was taught faith was something I needed to claim for myself.

Fell In Love: First for real love….my husband. Started dating him when I was 19.  First not for real love…..probably my cat named Sam.

Best Childhood Memory: Lazy, muggy summer nights spent laying on a blanket in the back yard with my folks looking at the stars and visiting with neighbors.  Worst: Chopping my index finger with a hatchet while working for an older lady known as the Goose Lady. (she had geese and I am seeing a blog post coming on this one!)

Now on to the nominations for both of these awards:

https://beaconsoflife.live/
https://atimetoshare.me/
https://carentaylor.wordpress.com/
https://rhythminlife.net/about/
https://kindergartenknowledge.com/about/
https://aaalyolly.wordpress.com/about-her/
https://onetahayes.com/about/
https://onceuponahotflash.com/about/
https://threepsandq.wordpress.com/about/
https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/about/
https://invisibleillnessesblog.wordpress.com/about-me/
https://aquietandpeaceablelifeblog.wordpress.com/about/
https://craftandothercrazyplans.com/
https://rabbitpatchdiary.com/
Merhling Muse

Okay, I know I said I was going to pass on nominations……I am also a born rule follower so I did the nominations. I still would like to invite anyone to participate in these awards. Please pick both or either awards.  I know I also renominated the people who nominated me because I figured maybe they had not done the “other” award. Please don’t feel pressured to participate if you do not wish to. Keep it fun. And if you are a blog-free site just ignore this nomination.

Also I had better come up with 11 questions for the Blue Sky Award.

  1. Best Childhood Memory
  2. First pet you ever had.
  3. Funniest family memory.
  4. Best blog post you have done so far.
  5. Favorite book and why
  6. Something you hate to do.
  7. Favorite food
  8. One item on your “bucket list”
  9. Most beautiful thing you have ever seen.
  10. Favorite crafting thing to do or do you hate crafts?
  11. What is the first question you ask someone you just met?

All right have fun with this people!  Oh I should tell you the blogs I posted are a random grouping of blogs that I like. They range from poetry, faith, crafts and everything in between. I hope you enjoy checking them out. And if you have already done these nominations just ignore them this time around if you choose!

Awards can give you a tremendous amount of encouragement
to keep getting better,
no matter how young or old you are.
Alan Alda

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alanalda597637.html?src=t_awards

The Journey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVlV1fKYk2o

Today has been a really busy day and my brain is a little too frazzled to come up with a post!  I apologize for that.  Today I am going to champion the cause of just enjoying life’s  journey and not getting worked up about getting everything done! I should probably also let you know that I am not sure if I got this YouTube video on here correctly or not!  (Oh the joys of being computer and techie illiterate!)

I am finding out there are more of you out there with extremely busy lives also. So for you (and for me) I am going to share a song that I really love.  You can just listen and enjoy without having to read a lot!

It is by Colton Dixon and titled, “Through All Of It.”  I absolutely love the lyrics.

Through all of It

There are days I’ve taken more than I can give
And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn’t make again
I’ve had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This is has been the story of my life

I have won
and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

You were there when it all came down on me
When I was blinded by my fear
And I struggled to believe
But in those unclear moments
You were the one keeping me strong
This is how my story’s always gone

I have won
and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Through all of it

And this is who You are
More constant than the stars up in the sky
All these years of our lives, I
I look back and I see You
Right now I still do
And I’m always going to

I have won
and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy
I’ve seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

Songwriters: BEN GLOVER, MOLLY E. REED
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CAPITOL CHRISTIAN MUSIC GROUP

I wonder if I love this song so much because it speaks of life’s journey without glossing over the hard parts. It acknowledges that life is not always easy and it is not always joyful…..sometimes it is just plain hard, too busy, and we feel like we are being torn in too many ways. I hear this from more people, friends, family and fellow bloggers.

It seems to be a common ailment in today’s world…..too much something and not enough of what we really need.  And so, today, you get a short read and a song to listen to. Crank up the sound and enjoy it while you take the time to live life.

May you be blessed, where ever you are on this journey called life. May you take the time to just breathe and give yourself permission to let some stuff go and not worry what those around you will think. It is okay.

And let’s try to remember…..sometimes we get it right….and sometimes we do not. God is still God and He is faithful so take a deep breath in, breathe out and enjoy the journey, wherever it leads.

 

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new  every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/21-bible-verses-on-gods-faithfulness/#ixzz4dQ63p27S

Wallowing or Marinating?

Grace on a Gray Day

Grace and Gray Days

 

There is a haze hanging over everything today. It is gray, somewhat foggy, and the air holds a hint of moisture that puts a fine mist on your skin when you venture outdoors.

I took my walk up the road this morning, as I wasn’t sure if that gray sky would turn to full-fledged rain later in the day. I could have listened to the weather man, but so many times he doesn’t hit it quite right and I would hate to miss out on my walk.

You would think, with the air so dense and heavy and the sky so gray that it would be somewhat depressing out there. I found it really wasn’t, because in that dense, gray, moisture laden air there was also the faint smell of Spring on the breeze. You know that smell that smells of dirt, rain and things ready to grow…..that smell….and it was good.

As I walked I could hear sounds from a couple miles away; where a farm machinery consignment auction is going on today. You could not make out the words but you could hear the sing-song chant of the auctioneer on the distant breeze.

You could also hear a variety of birds calling, singing, and just going about their business. It was really rather peaceful in the grayish world this morning.

It made me pause and started me thinking that there can be a peace and a wonderful stillness (Psalm 46:10) in the gray, heavy times. It can be a time to reflect. It also got me thinking about the mission trip my sister took a few years back to Guatemala.

A few weeks after their church group came back they held a Guatemala Sunday. We went and listened to the stories the group told about the time that was spent there. One of the things that hit me most, was when one of the group told of their experience standing on a hill, high above a huge landfill. Down below they could see people digging through the refuse, looking for anything usable or salable.

This gal related, that as tears rolled down their faces at the poverty they saw, their guide told them not to cry. He told them “Grace is like a river that runs down and pools in the lowest places. Those that are in those places marinate in it.”  That quote has stuck with me ever since.

On those days when life seems too hard, too gray, too heavy, too dense to carry on; we can either choose to wallow in our misery or we can choose to marinate in His grace. I am thinking it is our choice to make.

I must admit there are times I choose to wallow. I suspect more of you do too. I must also admit wallowing can be enjoyable but that enjoyment does not last long and then just feeling lousy sets in. Fortunately, I have a husband who does not allow me to wallow too long! (That is a blessing.)

I do find that when I choose to marinate in Grace, life is much more bearable. There is a peace and that wonderful stillness of being who you are supposed to be and where you are supposed to be.

If you are presently in a gray time…..what will you do? Will you see only the grayness or will you see the blessing of stillness. Will you see only what is visible or will you see the promise of life around you? What is your choice…..what is my choice?   Will we wallow or will we marinate?

Like any other gift,
the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it.
Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.

Unknown

For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith
–and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God
–Ephesians 2:8
New International Version

You Can Go Anywhere From Here……

The Road South

My thoughts seemed a little scattered today so I decided I should take a short walk, up the road, to the blacktop that runs past our farm. Once you reach the black top it rather feels like being  atop of the world…..at least for Iowa. You can see for miles in all directions except one.

As I stood there this morning, in the warm sunshine, I kind of felt like Tom Hanks at the end of the movie “Castaway”. You know ….. the scene at the end where he stands in the middle of the road and wonders which one to take.

I stood in the middle of the blacktop road…..I even stood on the yellow line. For those of you who worry about traffic flattening me out…..not to worry….this is a rural blacktop and you can see a vehicle come quite a ways off.  You can also hear them coming a ways off as this is fairly quiet country…..so it was quite safe.

 

As I stood there, soaking up the sun like a cat, that is sitting in an open barn door, I realized what a beautiful view I had in every direction.  I thought about all the places you could get to from this one starting point and decided you could pretty much go anywhere from here.

Even if you don’t physically go those places it is fun to dream about going to those places. No passport is needed to dream about going somewhere……a fortune is not necessary to just close your eyes and picture far off places…..all you need is a little imagination and a desire to roll with that thought.

For me those roads signify the places I have on my bucket list to go and see. They signify the people I love, who live at the end of those roads. Those roads speak of dreams.

Then, I turn to face the road that brings me back home…..

The Road Home

I realize that though my road home has a few muddy spots, is filled with small rocks…..it is still my path to the place I call home……and it brings a huge smile to my face. It is my safe haven, it is the home where my husband is, it is the place my kids come home to visit, it is the place my “girls” peck about the yard, it is the place where I can sit on my porch on a sunny Spring type day and I can dream of taking all those roads someday.

It is good to realize that home is a great place to be. It is good to be content with where you have been placed. It is also a good thing to be able to dream and dream about wandering to all the places you would someday like to see.

When I was a kid in grade school my report cards used to have comments that told my folks that I did to much daydreaming. I think I still do a lot of daydreaming and I don’t think it is a problem at all. In fact……I think it might be a gift.

May you have the time to travel new roads this weekend. May you have the time to daydream about those places that are on your bucket list. And may you find contentment in the place you that you call home.

 

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you
the strength, the patience, and the passion
to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/harriettub310306.html?src=t_dreams

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Rainy Days…..

Thank You Card.JPG

The last couple days we have been enjoying some really nice weather that gave us a taste for summer…..at least it gave me a taste for those warm summer days.  This morning our territory was once again sent back to a rainy, gray day. I have to admit it really wasn’t so bad once my husband got the woodstove going…….in fact it was downright cozy sitting in my living room today.

It seemed like the perfect type of day to do a little more card making. I think I was rather inspired by the day I spent card making with my sister last week. This time around I only made one type.

After sorting through my stash of stuff I discovered a bag of cards and envelopes I had purchased at a second hand store. One grouping of ten looked promising to be re-purposed into Thank You cards.  The only thing I needed to cover was a small square on the front that originally had featured a pair of wine glasses .

I made some small blue squares for that space and stamped the Thank You stamp from the set, Lotus Blossom.  I then used Stampin Up sets; Gorgeous Grunge, Four Feathers, and the Feather Framelits Die Set to cut the feathers out. I used a brad to attach them to the card stock……and I was good to go.

I was pretty pleased how they turned out……especially using repurposed note cards.  Now I need to spend some time writing in them. I have people I need to thank for the graciousness I have been shown in the last couple weeks. My husband and I are amazed at the visits, food, and well wishes sent our way since my surgery.

All those actions have filled my heart.  It seemed fitting to make these cards on a rainy day that is sustaining the earth with moisture.  Just as the rain waters the ground….. so many of you have watered my soul with your caring and love.

Life truly is about relationship and I have witnessed true relationship so often these last weeks while I have been recuperating and it is beautiful.  I am so grateful for all of you.   You truly set the standard for caring. It has challenged me to pass that caring on to the next person in need of it. You have paved the way and have been an inspiration……I am blessed and I thank you.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you…”
John 15:12

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verse-about-helping-others-21-top-scriptures/#ixzz4cll6o200