Monday, March 8, 2021 Multiple Musings

1. My grandma used to decline to eat certain foods because they didn’t agree with her. It was all very mysterious to me when I was young and had an iron stomach. It is no longer a mystery.

2. Woke up to a beautiful misty morning recently and the first utterance out of my mouth that day was “Ooh!!” I ran down to get the camera and went out the back door. Can you ever get tired of seeing things like this? I think not.

3. Went for a long-ish hike yesterday since it was such a beautiful, balmy day. We are both looking forward to the hiking season this year, chipping away at our goal of going to every Minnesota State Park to do their Hiking Club trails. Yesterday was a bit of a warm-up and sure enough, my legs ache a little today. It’s good for me, right?

4. I watched a Dog Whisperer episode today that featured an Animal Communicator. It was hard to take her seriously. She kept saying things like “Zeus was communicating to me while he was running with Cesar and he was telling me that it was awesome!” Am I the only one who finds that kind of weird and laughable? Meanwhile, I challenge you to figure out what Luna is telling me:

On that note, I’m going to take my leave to go make pizza for supper. You can stay as long as you’d like, though. Feel free to tell me what you’ve been musing about lately. Or just tell me what you’re making for supper. That’ll do in a pinch.

I’ll probably delete this, but maybe I should ask my cat first.

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Friday, March 5, 2021 Thorns

The alarm went off at 7:00 a.m. as usual. Beatrice opened her eyes a crack, turned off the alarm and yawned lazily. She was about to get up when she remembered that her parents had left after supper last night for a short getaway, leaving her and her (slightly) older sister by themselves for a couple days. School was out for the summer, but there was a long list of chores for Beatrice and Anna to do in the house and out in the garden before they’d have some free time. Beatrice luxuriated in the thought that no one was there to make her get up, rolled over and went back to sleep.

“Bea – get up!” Anna, of course. Bea kept her eyes closed to retain the illusion of sleep and mumbled “I’m going to sleep in – just leave me alone.” Amazingly, this seemed to work. Anna closed the door and left Bea in bed. But now she was awake. Oh well, she still didn’t need to get up. She reached for her phone and started out with Instagram before moving on to Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok. A couple hours later, she realized she might as well get out of bed and at least eat breakfast. She put her feet on the floor and stepped on something sharp. “Ouch!” She checked the floor, but didn’t see anything. Another step, more pain, like she was stepping on broken glass. There were no cuts on the soles of her feet, though. “Odd,” she thought, and made her way slowly to the bathroom, trying to step carefully, but still feeling like she was walking on thorns. Progress was slow. She found her sandals out in the hallway and put them on, but it made no difference.

She worked her way slowly and painfully out into the kitchen and saw that Anna had already eaten, cleaned up and was nowhere to be seen. She was probably outside watering and weeding in the huge garden that their parents set such store by. Bea felt a slight pang of guilt, but this was quickly overshadowed by irritation at Anna. The worst thing to happen when one is giving in to a splurge of self-indulgence is to see someone else doing the Right Things. Bea knew she was being unreasonable and she didn’t care. She reached for the refrigerator door. “Ouch!” The door handle felt like it was covered with prickles. Bea fumed. Her one day off and everything was becoming so difficult. Why?!!

She inched toward the back door and couldn’t even touch walls for support – sharp, everything was so sharp. When she got to the door it was ajar, so she nudged it with her knee to open it more (ouch!) and gasped when she looked out over the back porch and the yard. An entire sea of thorny overgrowth had sprung up. You could barely even see a pathway out to the garden. Bea could hear the hose running and heard Anna humming, so she knew Anna was out there working.

“Anna!” she shouted, hoping Anna was close enough to hear her.

“Oh, you finally decided to get up, eh?” Anna answered from somewhere, hidden by the prickly jungle that had overtaken their yard, “I could use some help out here. When are you going to come and do your section of the garden?”

“What? How did you make it out there through that hedge of thorns? I’m not sure I can even get past the door!”

The hose turned off. Anna suddenly appeared through the thicket of overgrowth, walked easily to the door and asked, “What on earth on you talking about?”

**********************************************

The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns,
But the way of the upright is a highway.

Proverbs 15:19

**********************************************

From the Squiggly Collection on my Paper App

Fiction Friday was inspired by my reading in the book of Proverbs today.

Have a blessed weekend!

I’ll probably delete this in the morning, hopefully not having to work through a hedge of thorns to do so.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 Art Motivation

My daughter and I realized that we were both having trouble getting motivated to work on our watercolor painting projects, so we agreed to hold each other accountable to a plan. I haven’t completed yet what I said I’d work on, but got a good start.

The Italy Watercolor workbook – I started Lesson 2 back in January and was so discouraged with the first “draft” that I set it down. I worked on the second one today and am not any happier with it, but have accepted the fact that skills are not magically transmitted, but are learned over time.

The far left is, of course, the artist’s rendition. The middle one is my first try. I think I regressed, if possible. By the time I finished the second one, I had an unreasonable hatred of that shadow under the flower pot – everything I did made it look worse. As long as I’m confessing unreasonable hatreds, I’m not terribly fond of how the brick area on the right turned out, either – which wasn’t in the original photograph, by the way. The artist decided to put it in for interest. Sigh. Maybe the next lesson will be better.

I also started some watercolors from photos that I had taken out of my mom’s daily planners from years ago.

I’ve been working more on the ladybug, but it’s also harder than I thought. I have an ever escalating admiration for those who can do this and make it seem so effortless.

So the adventure continues!

The font has changed again and I don’t know why. I was hoping that my problems with the font and the formatting from yesterday were gone, but here they have reared their ugly heads again. It’s hard to be so un-savvy in the tech world sometimes. Still, this might publish just fine and you’ll wonder what I was talking about. One can always hope.

I’ll probably delete this in the morning.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 Reading Roundup/Quotes

Let’s start off with a little whimsy:

Beneath this slab
John Brown is stowed.
He watched the ads,
And not the road.”
Ogden Nash

And here’s an even shorter one by Nash that tickled my funny bone:

The Bronx?
No thonx!

The last time I shared an Ogden Nash poem I got a perfectly delightful email from my friend Teresa with her story about the time she recited one of his poems in high school. If I can get her permission, I’ll share that story on this blog sometime soon.

From the latest Lord Peter Wimsey book that I’m reading called The Nine Tailors, we have this quote from the Rector, Mr. Venables:

“What can’t be cured must be endured.”

That’s a nice one to keep tucked away for the right time.

And a selection out of The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis:

An open mind, in questions that are not ultimate, is useful. But an open mind about the ultimate foundations either of Theoretical or of Practical Reason is idiocy. If a man’s mind is open on these things, let his mouth at least be shut.”

I’m pretty sure that if I were in the same room as C.S. Lewis I’d keep my mouth shut no matter what. 🙂

More from Sackett by Louis L’Amour:

“I thought you were a good man.” “Glad to hear you say so. It’s an appearance I favor. Not that I’ve ever been sure what it was made a good man. Mostly I’d say a good man is one you can rely on, one who does his job and stands by what he believes.”

The ideas I have are principles that men have had for many a year. I’ve been reading about that When a man enters into society–that’s living with other folks–he agrees to abide by the rules of that society, and when he crosses those rules he becomes liable to judgment, and if he continues to cross them, then he becomes an outlaw.

There was a Texas Ranger one time who said that there’s no stopping a man who knows he’s in the right and keeps a-coming. Well, I’ve often been wrong, but this time I was right and they had to pay mind to me or bury me, and mine is a breed that dies hard.

“No, Angie, if the folks who believe in law, justice, and a decent life for folks are to be shot down by those who believe in violence, nothing makes much sense. I believe in justice, I believe in being tolerating of other folks, but I pack a big pistol, ma’am, and will use it when needed.”

Doesn’t it seem like we need more straightforward and uncomplicated thinking like that of Sackett these days?

Lastly, one of Elisabeth Elliott’s gems from Keep A Quiet Heart:

Prayer is a powerful weapon. It is an indispensable weapon. It takes practice to wield it. It takes courage and time and spiritual energy.

Drawing on the Paper App by son Isaac back in the day.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Reading Roundup. It’s fun for me to hunt and gather these things to share.

I’ll probably be too busy wielding the weapon of prayer in the morning to have time to delete this.

P.S. There’s something weird going on with how this is publishing – sorry. I don’t seem to be able to fix it.

Monday, March 1, 2021 Procrastination, Catness, Minnesota Mountains

Time for some Monday Musings.

1. Am I the only one who dreads making phone calls? I procrastinate about that all the time, especially if it’s business or doctor appointment related. Procrastination is not very smart and I’d like to think that I do less of it now than when I was younger. When I was in college the first paper I wrote for my English Comp class was entitled “The Art of Procrastination.” It was quite meta, considering I wrote it at the last minute and fluffed it up with plenty of useless drivel. A last comment on procrastination before I move on:

2. I found out recently that when I leave a glass of water out in the living room, the cat puts her face in it to try to drink it (my husband observed this phenomenon). I was surprisingly horrified. But maybe that reaction is justified: let’s not forget that cats are the kind of animal that licks its hind end. I am now much more cautious about giving her access to my water glass. Crisis averted. Good old Luna.

3. I went out today to get some photos of the mountains across the street from us before they melt away (which is likely to happen in the next week). Here’s what I got:

And then I slipped on ice and fell. Game over. I retreated home to clean my camera lens and lens cover. To be honest, those mountains were less impressive up close than they were from across the street. I don’t think I’ll be sorry to see them go.

That’s probably enough musing for today. Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking with me.

I’ll probably muse about deleting this in the morning.

Thursday, February 25, 2021 Random Thoughts

It’s not so hard to find beauty around you if you set your mind to it. Just to the right of this picturesque field is a busy intersection overlooking a major freeway. I suppose there’s something beautiful about that, too, but my eyes were drawn to the tranquility and order of this field with the morning sun lighting up the clouds overhead.

In the morning, O Lord,
Thou wilt hear my voice.
In the morning I will order my prayer to you
And eagerly watch.

Psalm 5:3

Everybody ought to know what to do when you see ice formations like this in the street. All together now: “You stomp on it to break the ice bubble!” I love coming across these as much now as I did when I was a child. This one is a little small, but still stomp-worthy.

And lastly, I wanted to show you the Breakfast Ninja who showed up every morning while we were in Idaho to make our breakfast for us. I miss that nice Ninja and his family very much…

This has been Thursday Thoughts with Lynniebee.

I’ll probably delete this tomorrow morning unless the Ninja shows up and distracts me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 The Tilda Doll

I appreciate the phrase “travel stained.” It really describes quite well how you feel when you’ve spent any amount of time traveling, whether it’s in a car or in an airplane (or some other mode of transportation). You get home and feel like there are miles of food crumbs, sweat and weariness on you that need to be washed away.

Now that we are back home after being away to celebrate our granddaughter’s first birthday, I can reveal the project that kept me busy for that last couple of weeks: the Tilda Sweetheart Doll with a matching outfit for the darling girl.

I know what you’re thinking and it’s true: a one-year-old is not old enough to appreciate playing with dolls. But it was so fun to work on, even though I made lots of mistakes and had to use the seam ripper so many times I almost despaired I’d get ever get it all done in time. It’s the kind of thing I would have enjoyed doing for my own daughter if I’d had the time.

Worth it! I hope she learns to love playing with dolls as much as I did when I was little. And as she gets bigger I can make another set of matching outfits when she’s old enough to be delighted by it. At this point, the delight was entirely for the adults. 🙂

Time to put away the sewing machine for awhile. Maybe there will be actual watercolors to share on the next Watercolor (Crafty) Wednesday.

I will probably (not) delete this in the morning.

Monday, February 22, 2021 Horse Sense

If you went for a walk and saw a horse, how close would you get for a photo? I tend to assume that a large animal like this could look so sweet but then open its mouth and chomp. So I didn’t get very close, but I wished I could have rubbed its neck. When I was a little girl I thought having my own horse would be fabulous – I assumed that I would ride a horse naturally well like the boy in The Black Stallion. When I actually had a chance to ride a horse it was a lot of uncomfortable bouncing in the saddle. It wasn’t as much fun as I’d imagined.

I also used to think that living on a farm would be the perfect kind of existence. Yes, that’s the life for me: cows, horses, chickens and their eggs, a few barn cats, living out in the country breathing all that fresh country air. When I was in third grade, our class went on a field trip to a farm, which cured me of my romantic notions. Farms are stinky places. And then one of my classmates threw up in the bus. That field trip is seared into my memory in all the worst ways.

Played peek-a-boo with this black cat today, too. We didn’t get close enough to worry about claws and teeth, though. The general rule of thumb about cats is if they are hiding under a car, they do not want to be fetched out by friend or stranger. You may quote me on this.

Monday Musings has been brought to you by me, but has been read by you. It’s a group effort!

I’ll probably delete this in the morning.

Friday, February 19, 2021 Interesting Ideas

We have established that a man named Martin is writing emails to his older brother, Bucky, who has a wife named Suzanne and a manly little tyke named Bucky Junior. Martin works at a secretive organization that he refers to jokingly as Hotel California (or HC) for short. Let’s see what happens next:

Dear Bucky,
Sorry to have alarmed you with all the cloak and dagger stuff from the last email. No, I don’t think you’ll have to start dredging the river for me if you don’t hear from me for awhile (but it’s nice to think that you would – that’s what family is for, right?).

But I do have an update on the situation at HC. You’ll never believe this, but I have now been “contacted.” I got an untraceable email from a sender named “Bureau of II” with the subject line “Interesting Ideas.” I’m going to copy it to you below so you can read it for yourself and tell me what you think:

Martin,
We have established two things about you:
1. That you knowingly and willingly disobeyed company policy by opening up a file that was not germane to your assigned work here.
2. That you have an interest in Interesting Ideas.

Please submit an Interesting Idea in the aforementioned file and we will consider it.

Thank you.
Bureau of II

I’m telling you, Bucky, I think someone at HC is finally pulling a prank on me. I have no objections to that – I applaud the effort. With a work atmosphere as oppressive as it can be there sometimes, this lightens things up a bit. I’m a little surprised that I haven’t been directed to delete the email, but maybe that would be laying it on too thick. I’m going to hide it on my computer anyway to protect the guilty. And me. At least my emails to you are on my personal computer – shouldn’t have to cover my tracks here. Listen to me – I’m already talking like this is a covert operation requiring the highest security clearance possible. Looks like you made the cut.

To answer the question that I know you’re thinking: yes, I am planning to submit an “Interesting Idea.” I’ve got plenty of those – shouldn’t be too hard to extract one from the prodigious gray matter that will satisfy the BOII. Here’s a few that come to mind with little effort:

1. Society took a downturn when we stopped requiring men to learn proper swordplay.
2. What would the state of political governance be like if vegetarians were not allowed to vote?
3. All things considered, “water closet” is a term that we ought to bring back.

What do you think? Too random? It does betray a certain longing for the past – might mark me as a “Luddite” or something worse. I’ll keep working on it; effort will be expended after all. I’ll let you know what happens next.

Martin
P.S. I hope to visit soon – I want to make sure somebody is teaching BJ how to say my name.

Artwork by …well, I’m not sure. Sam?

I’ll probably delete
I might delete,
I should delete…
I’m undecided

Thursday, February 18, 2021 Sea Shanty Love

At the end of a busy day yesterday, I lay in bed drifting off to sleep and realized I hadn’t done my blog post o’ day. And then these two words came to mind: “Oh well.”

I didn’t have anything to share for Watercolor/Crafty Wednesday, anyway. I was going to look through some of my art work of yore and post that, but I didn’t even get that far. Again, oh, well. Next week, perhaps!

I took my mom to see her eye doctor again today. As we waited in the office, I thought she might enjoy listening to an old favorite album: “Songs of the Sea” by the Norman Luboff Choir; it only took a moment to find it on Spotify. She had been sitting somewhat listlessly, but as I played the opening song, she perked up considerably.

Oh Shenandoah…I long to hear you
Away, you rolling river
Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Away, we’re bound away, ‘cross the wide Missouri

She told me once that she always remembered the first time she heard the Norman Luboff choir singing something on the radio. She had been coming downstairs and was so moved by it, she sat down on the stairs and listened, completely mesmerized. She’s always loved men’s choirs and after hearing this, she bought a couple of their albums and I grew up listening to them: “Songs of the West” and “Songs of the Sea.”

Oh, have you heard the news, my Johnny
One more day
We’re homeward bound tomorrow
One more day
Only one more day, my Johnny, one more day
Oh, rock and roll me over
One more day.

When the appointment was over, we got in the car and the album was still playing. She finds it very hard to remember anything these days, but as we sang those songs together on the way home, she sang the words with confidence. We harmonized at times and hardly spoke a word.

Rolling home, rolling home
Rolling home across the sea
Rolling home to dear old England
Rolling home dear land to thee.

The album goes back and forth between slow, contemplative songs and energetic, foot-tapping songs. Pretty soon, she was slapping her knee and I was slapping the steering wheel to the beat.

O say was you ever in Rio Grande?
Way, you Rio
It’s there that the river runs down golden sand
For we’re bound for the Rio Grande.

And then we’d slow down and croon during songs like this one:

The ship goes sailing down the bay
Goodbye, my lover, goodbye.
We may not meet for many a day
Goodbye my lover, goodbye.

I realized I was driving quite slowly so it would take longer to get back to where I’d be dropping her off. Time for another fast one.

I’ll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid.
A roving, a roving, since roving’s been my ru-i-in,
I’ll go no more a roving with you, fair maid!

As we were pulling into the parking lot, “Lowlands” was playing. I told her we were not going to leave the car until that song was over, so we just sat in the car and finished it out.

I dreamed a dream the other night
Lowlands, lowlands away, my John
My love she came, all dressed in white
Lowlands, lowlands, away.

Time to go. I’ll never be able to listen to those songs now without thinking of our sweet little concert in the car. And the memory itself will be sweet. I gave her a big hug and said goodbye.

Goodbye, my mother, goodbye.

I’ll probably delete this after one more day, my Johnny, one more day…

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Reading Roundup

Time’s a wasting, so let’s get right down to it:

Proverbs 12:1
Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.

Every time I read that verse, I remember what happened when our kids were young and we eventually forbade them to use the word “stupid,” because they were using it to insult each other. My mother was visiting once and used the word in a perfectly reasonable context and little Ruthie (about 3 years old at the time) told her solemnly “You can’t say that word, Grandma – it’s a bad word.” Uh oh. Context is everything, I guess. We had a good laugh over that.

Proverbs 12:24
The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.

As I used to tell my children, “Govern yourself or you will be governed!”

And now for some words of wisdom and inspiration from a magazine we get called “WORLD.” It’s a news magazine which strives to present “Biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.” I don’t usually underline things in a magazine, but appreciated and wanted to share a few things from the February 13, 2021 issue.

Benny Tai is a Christian legal scholar in Hong Kong and has been involved in various protests there, such as Occupy Central. He has been sentenced to serve time in prison for his efforts. He said in his closing argument at the trial in 2018:

“If we are truly guilty, then our crime is daring to sow hope even in this difficult time in Hong Kong. I’m not afraid or ashamed to go to prison. If this cup of suffering cannot be taken away, I will drink it without regret.”

Speaking of the gospel, Andree Sue Peterson wrote:

God is always looking to enfold more people into the secret. A secret that, once a man has buried it in his heart, sets him free from envy of those who seem to be luckier (Psalm 73). It renders him able to forgive; to love; to be honest; to be uncontrolled by his issues, by other people’s issues, by fear of death, fear of man, fear of rejection, past wounds, bad memories… Winter comes, and its chill is felt throughout our land.But keep the secret in your heart, and I will too. And we will make it through.”

And in reference to fleeing ideological addictions, Marvin Olasky wrote:

Remember that our deeper problems are theological, not political. Elephant-riding Republicans eventually get stomped. Democrats who worship worldly wise-men are betting on the wrong donkey. Biblical objectivity exists. God is sovereign. Praise His plan, not mine or yours.”

Hope you found something of interest or at least through-provoking in the Reading Roundup this week!

I’ll probably delete this in the morning. Maybe?