Not So Lazy Days of Summer

IMG_3921 Soybeans and Fireflies

I am quickly discovering that summer is a hard time to keep current with a blog. For some reason the days are spent outdoors trying to maintain the lawn, garden, soybean fields and a bunch of other important things.  So I will apologize, up front, for not keeping up with your blogs!

It makes me wonder about that saying….the lazy days of summer.  I keep waiting for those to show up. I have discovered things during these not so lazy days. I discovered it is really hard to try photograph lightening bugs over the bean field….so all you really are getting with this post’s photo is soybeans!  Those little flying lights are there…you just can’t see them! Though I do think all those little white dots are actually the bugs…..

I am also discovering that heat and humidity will sap any creative writing thoughts that one might have. (I would hate to admit it might be age and just being really tired at the end of the day!) I headed over to the daily prompt site for some words that might generate an idea for a riveting post……(I am still wondering and searching for a marvelous idea.)

My husband and I were sitting in the house after another morning spent walking the beans. (See prior post for what that is …. in case you are wondering.) He made the comment that it is “hotter than a banshee outside”.

Once he made that comment, we both wondered what that really meant! How hot is a banshee? And what is a banshee? Perhaps my friends from over the pond have that answer?

It also caused me to wonder about other “hotter than” statements……”hotter than Dutch love.” (Hmmmm, I am mainly dutch ancestry and think I will just let that one totally alone!)  “hotter than a pistol” (?????)…….. “hotter than a cat on a hot tin roof”(why is that cat on a tin roof anyway?) ……”hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk” (pretty sure I will stick to using my fry pan.)…..  Any other “hotter than” comments out there?

It is one of those “hotter than” days where there will be no scampering about.  It would get entirely too hot and sweaty. It is hard enough to kind of slog through a day like this; without trying to look perky and alert! One weatherman said it exactly right…..”the next few days will have air you can wear.”

The only thing that seems to be full of life is the bugs.  The monarchs float effortlessly on the breeze. I always wonder if they are drawn by the delightful scent the milkweed blooms send out. Bumble bees and honey bees are busy gathering pollen from my flowers and typically leave us alone….as long as we leave them alone. The fireflies are like twinkling little stars stretched out over the bean field at night.

It is good to see that this type of weather is at least good for all of them. It has been so droughty here that we don’t seem to have nearly the mosquito population that we usually do….that is one upside to our lack or rain.

Maybe this weather is really given to us so that we can truly appreciate when a cool front comes through? Maybe it teaches us perseverance? Maybe, just maybe, we can be grateful it is this humid in our area. If it wasn’t so muggy, our corn fields would begin to shrivel and burn up, rather than flourish as well as they do, even without rainfall.

I guess this is when I must learn to be “content in all things” (Philippians 4:12-13)  and not just when life is exactly as I would like it to be. Maybe it is time to be happy to just enjoy the butterflies and lightening bugs.

It is good to acknowledge that God is God and I am not. He knows what I need, when I need it. His timing for my life and for the world I live in; is perfect. And for that…..I am indeed grateful!

I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times,
what is still to come.
I say,
‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’
Isaiah 46:10
New International Version

 

Walnut Whip Wednesday

Walnut Whips & Handmade Card.JPG

I have been watching my mailbox ever since my friend, Mrs. Cobs, told me she was sending me a package, containing walnut whips, all the way from England. I felt like a kid at Christmas every time I went to the mailbox to see if they had come.  Today they arrived!

At noon I saw the mail man come, saw him put items in the box and then turn around on the yard and drive away. I hoofed it out to the mailbox, full of anticipation, and there it was…….a well-wrapped brown package with my name on it.

I give credit to Mrs. Cobs in the wrapping department. If there were a package wrapping Olympics I am quite sure she would win gold, hands down. Her wrapping skills rival those of my youngest son, who is a firm believer in the use (or over use) of strapping tape and duct tape for his Christmas packaging needs.

I must confess I also love strapping tape….maybe it is just the way it makes the package shine when it has been encased in this wonderful stuff.  Or it could be the fun of watching the recipient struggle to open said package and finally have to resort to the use of a scissors, knife, box-cutter, or some other sharp object.

Anyway, I have strayed from the topic.  I hurried back to the house, package in hand….and some other mail that was not near as exciting as my package. Once opened I found, not only, the walnut whips but an absolutely beautiful handmade card as well!  I have another friend who also makes cards.  I call her “the glitter queen”….for obvious reasons.  I believe she may have to share that title with Mrs. Cobs.

I opened the box of walnut whips and then just had to open one of the individually wrapped whips that were inside the box.  It looked just like a little beehive with a walnut on top!  I had planned to take a photo of the walnut whip once I had taken a bite out of it so that you could see and appreciate the wonderful marshmallow crème inside. After that first bite the thought of stopping to take a picture flew right out of my head!

These little bits of deliciousness are really, really good. Marshmallow crème covered in the smoothest of chocolate and topped with a walnut.  I found it to be a great sweet treat to eat while drinking my tea. If there were ever a candy that looked like it had taken the time to primp, a walnut whip would be that candy. It is a fancy bit of goodness with it’s little walnut topper.

Maybe we will have to convince our local grocery stores to stock walnut whips.  I have a feeling this might not be a USA thing and that is really sad. Locally we have a candy distributor that specializes in candy from all over the world.  I may have to try persuade them that these would be a worthy addition to their line of candies.

My husband was amazed that someone I have never met in person; took the time to purchase walnut whips, make a beautiful card and then send it all the way from England!  I am finding that this world holds many, many wonderful people.

I am also finding that blogging has put me in touch with many of these amazing people. I would encourage you to go on over and have a visit with Mrs. Cobs. (⇐click on her name and it should take you right there. You will be glad you did.)

I would be poorer, indeed, if I had never “met” these fellow bloggers! You are all a blessing to me and my prayer is that you are blessed in return.

And to quote Mrs. Cobs, “Love and squidges to you!”

A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg
even though he knows that you are slightly cracked

~Bernard Meltzer quotes

The Black Cat Blue Sea Award

Thank you so much to Patricia Davis from the kindergartenknowledge blog for nominating me for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award!  She must have known that I needed some easy way to ease myself back into writing a blog post!  I have had a week long forced vacation from my blog writing, due to computer difficulties.

I have had so much fun getting to know Patricia through her blog and her wonderful comments.  Make sure to click the link above so you, too, can enjoy a great reading experience!

Back to the award…..this is an award given and received by fellow bloggers and is meant to be fun. If any nominees are not interested in The Black Cat Blue Sea Award, participation is not required.

The rules are as follows:

black cat blue sea award..png

The  questions I was asked to answer:

1. What personal rewards do you receive from blogging?
I would have to say the biggest personal reward I receive from blogging are the friendships I am making with people from all over the world.  Blogging is an invitation to explore not only my own joy of writing and love of words but the words and ideas of others. There are so many wonderful, funny, sincere people out there that it restores my faith in the goodness of people on a regular basis. So many people have huge issues in life but they deal with them with grace, dignity and humor. These same people are quick to encourage everyone around them. I am grateful to the blogging community. I am also finding out that a great number of people from my church read my blog.  That has also been a fun way to connect.

2. What place in the world would you like to visit? Why?
This is a really hard question for me.  I love to travel and see things.  If I had unlimited resources and a husband who shared the love of being gone I would probably never be home. My bucket list includes places like the Grand Canyon because it is such an amazing creation that God has gifted us. The list also includes Mexico because I think a week by the ocean and on the beach would be so relaxing. I also love any place historic because I have always loved history. I have been to Europe waaaaay back in 1977 and would love to go back and see how things have changed since then. Actually anywhere my family is, is also a great place to be! It would also be fun to stop in and actually see my fellow bloggers in person, sit down for a cup of tea and have a visit.

3. What are your four most favorite books?
Another hard question!  I love to read…..I still read labels on the catsup bottle!  Anyway, I digress…..four favorite books: Blink by Ted Dekker (I love the possibilities it presents), The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I have never seen the movie but I love the characters in this book), Grace For the Moment by Max Lucado (one of my favorite devotionals), the Bible (I would be so lost without this book!), and I am adding a fifth book – the Reference Guide for Essential Oils  (It is so full of good information.)

My seven nominees are:

1.PaperPuff
2.BeeOrganizedWithPamela
3.OnceUponAHotFlash
4.UnmeasuredJourneys
5.CobwebEmporium
6.RabbitPatchDiary
7.Alheri

These seven bloggers have made me think, they have made me laugh out loud, they have inspired me but most of all they have made me wish I could meet them in person

The three questions I have for these bloggers are:

1. How do you find your inspiration for a blog post?

2. What do you enjoy most about where you call home? Why?

3. What is your favorite thing to do and with who (or is it whom)?

“Every time you post something online, you have a choice.
You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.”
Zoe Sugg

 

 

 

 

A Beautiful Day & Changing Seasons

Barn Swallows with Verse

Yesterday afternoon my in-laws stopped in to visit. As we sat on the porch sipping our iced tea on a hot muggy day we noticed there were flocks and flocks of swallows swooping and soaring over the yard. The sky was full of them……everywhere.

Every fall, like clockwork,  we have cliff swallows migrate through as the weather starts to change. Living by a small river we get to see a lot of different birds on their migration paths in the spring and in the fall. It is one of the most rewarding things about living where we do.

I went out this afternoon hoping to snap a picture of a line full of swallows. They were nowhere to be seen. All that was left sitting on those lines were four of our resident barn swallows. I was grateful they were at least still there, ready to be photographed. I do think I should have taken the camera out yesterday.

I mentioned to my husband that it seemed some of our other summer birds were starting to disappear. I was not even sure when I had last seen a robin. I am guessing a few might show up again this fall but for now they seem to be pretty scarce around here.

It does not seem that long ago that those first swallows and robins showed up to signal the start to summer. I never used to believe my grandparents and later my parents; when they would tell me that the older you get the faster time seems to go. I used to laugh and suggest that maybe the older they got, the slower they moved, so time seemed to go faster. I am going to have to remember to NOT mention the swifter passing of time to my kids. I have no need of being reminded that I am getting older.

There is a comfort in the constancy of the changing seasons. The birds show up in the spring, nest, raise families and then leave in the fall. They don’t worry about what is happening in this world. They just do what birds do. And they seem to do that with great joy.

Perhaps there is a lesson in that constancy for us.( I know there is something I can learn from it.)  Perhaps we are not to worry about what the weather will do. Perhaps we are not to worry about who the next president will be. Perhaps we are not to worry about what direction our job is taking. Maybe we are not called to worry if our kids are making good choices.  And the list goes on you fill in the blank with your favorite worry.

Maybe, instead, we are supposed to tend our fields and let God take care of the weather, Maybe we are supposed to get out and vote and let God take care of the character of the next president and the decisions they will be called to make. Maybe we are to do the best we can at our job and let God handle how the boss or our co- workers react. Maybe we are called to be the best parents we can be, raise our kids and pray for them and let God take care of the rest as those kids make their life choices. Maybe, just maybe, we are supposed to let God be God.

There is a comfort in that. The comfort of not always having to have it all under control. That can be exhausting. Maybe that is why the birds can sing so joyously in the morning…..they are not burdened with trying to be something they are not, or trying to control something that is not theirs to control.

There is a comfort in knowing that life is like the seasons. The season might change from spring to summer to fall to winter …. but spring will come again and those summer birds will arrive on time.

For some reason this post did not take the path I thought it would when I started it. I have that more often when blogging. Sometimes thoughts I didn’t even know I had  seem to come out of my fingertips and end up as the words of my posts.(My husband is always a great help with prying those thoughts loose.)

I am learning to go with the thoughts and just type the words that are swirling in my head…..maybe I am learning to have some bird-like qualities!

Faith is the bird
that feels the light
when the dawn is still dark.
Rabindranath Tagore

Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/bird.html