Monday, February 28, 2005

Spring break
It didn't rain today for the first time since last Monday, the air felt gentle, the hyacinths and tulips are almost up, and Mike is taking leave for most of the rest of the week so we can get some major work done on this house. We'll most likely be putting it on the market by the end of spring and there's so much to do between now and then. I wonder if Valerie will accept the Thankful Thursday baton until I come back?

Sunday, February 27, 2005

This is why you're supposed to keep a garden journal
Last September we set aside a week for intensive fall gardening, bought all the needed supplies, and Mike took a few days of leave. We began the work, setting out spring-blooming bulbs, perenniels, fall-blooming annuals, but before we were done the monsoon season set in.

It happened again last week. We bought several things to add to the garden - summer blooming bulbs, shrubs, etc. - and it rained almost the whole week. Saturday afternoon, as I stood looking out the front door on the fifth consecutive day of rain (out here in west Texas we do everything big; we either have drought or monsoon - nothing in between), I remembered that it was right about this time last February that this happened. Now see, if I'd kept a journal I'd've known to wait until the end of the month to buy anything.

Household hints - Lavender
We've added four more lavender plants to this patch to keep company with the one lonely one you see there on the left side of the picture. One was a fern-leaf lavender we planted last fall that died as soon as it got below freezing, even though the tag said it was supposed to be cold hardy down to fifteen degrees. (Note to self: This bit of information really ought to go into a garden journal.) (Note to readers: I think I shall henceforth use this blog as a garden journal since I seem to blog more faithfully than I ever journalled.) (I hope this isn't objectionable.)

When we lived in Virginia, my lavender did very well, so I had plenty of dried bunches for the linen closet. In the old days, dried lavender was used as an insect repellent, and it also makes your linens smell wonderful.

On occasion I put a drop or two of lavender essential oil in the water I add to my iron. It makes the clothes smell very fresh and it's not a flowery smell, so the menfolk don't object to it.

I have no idea how to make essential oils - I buy them from the health food store in town, and lavender is one of my favorites. A few drops added to an unscented lotion, like Aveeno's baby lotion, makes a good bedtime massage for tired feet and legs. This is a nice treatment whenever one of the little ones is having trouble settling down at night or is having "growing pains" in the legs.

Two drops of lavender e.o. plus five drops of rosemary e.o. added to a tablespoon of jojoba oil makes a nourishing treatment for dry hair. I started growing my hair out almost three years ago, but had to keep trimming off dry split ends until I started doing this oil treatment several months ago. I try to remember to do it twice a week and when I'm doing it regularly for several weeks I don't have split ends. Plus it smells really nice. :-)
A real treat
Those of you who haven't been listening to Doug Wilson's sermons on marriage just don't know what you're missing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Thankful Thursday
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)"

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thankful Thursday
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (I Peter 1:3)

Today I'm thankful for hot porridge to eat on a damp, chilly morning; for a loving husband, cheerful children, and a snuggly two-year-old; and for the fun of anticipating dancing with my family in the dining room tonight.

What are y'all thankful for? As Donna says, "Encourage one another."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I've been duped
Here I've been buying sorghum to put on our porridge for the last couple of months, and this weekend I noticed that the new bottle we'd just opened up said "SORGHUM FLAVOR SYRUP," with ingredients listed as "Cane Molasses, Sorghum Flavor, Citric Acid." I assumed that I'd accidentally picked up the wrong jar last time, but yesterday I was at the store. That's all they have. Sorghum flavor syrup.

Oh well. I suppose it happens to the best of us. Even Ladies Against Feminism admits to having been hoodwinked.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Saturday, February 12, 2005

God, be merciful to me,
On Thy grace I rest my plea;
Plenteous in compassion Thou,
Blot out my transgressions now;
Wash me, make me pure within,
Cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.

My transgressions I confess,
Grief and guilt my soul oppress;
I have sinned against Thy grace
And provoked Thee to Thy face;
I confess Thy judgment just,
Speechless, I Thy mercy trust.

I am evil, born in sin;
Thou desirest truth within.
Thou alone my Savior art,
Teach Thy wisdom to my heart;
Make me pure, Thy grace bestow,
Wash me whiter than the snow.

Broken, humbled to the dust
By Thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice
And in gladness hear Thy voice;
From my sins O hide Thy face,
Blot them out in boundless grace.

Gracious God, my heart renew,
Make my spirit right and true;
Cast me not away from Thee,
Let Thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation’s joy impart,
Steadfast make my willing heart.

Sinners then shall learn from me
And return, O God, to Thee;
Savior, all my guilt remove,
And my tongue shall sing Thy love;
Touch my silent lips, O Lord,
And my mouth shall praise accord.

Words: The Psalter, 1912
Music: “Redhead,” Richard Red­head, 1853

Friday, February 11, 2005

Behinder and behinder
or, What I meant to do for Lent!

Last year for Lent, Sora read through the whole Bible and I considered following that ambitious reading plan this year, but knowing that I'd never be able to get it all done, I decided to read my prayer book's Daily Office readings. I do use this during my supposed-to-be-regular prayer times, but normally it's kind of hit and miss, so I thought during Lent I'd make sure I read all the passages for each day, and do it instead of lunch if I need to.

Well, I forgot. I remembered it just now when I was visiting Sora's blog and saw that she's reading the whole Bible again this year. She's also doing semi-regular meditations on the tongue, What comes out of the mouth - be sure and read those if you didn't last year. Sora is very wise.

For anyone who's interested in what I'm reading, the Lenten readings begin on page 34 at this link. Ash Wednesday is about 3/4 of the way down. You'll notice that there are two columns per page - the left hand is Year One and the right is Year Two. This year is Year One, so those are the passages I'll be reading.

If this is your first time to look at the lectionary page, it can be a bit confusing so I'll try to explain it. Every day has at least two Psalms, an OT, Epistle, and Gospel reading. Today's readings, Friday after Ash Wednesday, are listed like this:
Friday 95* & 31 + 35
Deut. 7:12-16 Titus 2:1-15 John 1:35-42

The first numbers listed are the Psalms for the day. The cross dividing them is to let you know which to read in the morning and which in the evening, if you're going to divide them up. You could either read all of the passages at one time, or you could read Psalms 95 and 31, and the Deuteronomy passage in the morning, and then in the evening read Psalm 35 and the Titus and Gospel readings. Hope that makes sense!

Here are today's passages, courtesy of Bible Gateway.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Psalm 95
1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Psalm 31
1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8 And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14 But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Psalm 35
1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22 This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Deuteronomy 7
12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:
13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
16 And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.

Titus 2
1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

John 1
35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Margaret's comment about cooking on a woodstove reminded me of my daddy's descriptions of his grandmother's cookstove. My grandfather was killed in a railroad construction accident a few months before my daddy was born, so Grandmother moved back home with her parents and lived there until she remarried several years later. My daddy used to tell such interesting stories of growing up in his grandparents' house, but the ones I loved the most were his descriptions of his grandmother's kitchen.

She had a wood burning cookstove that was a lot like this one:

It wasn't that fancy with all that nickel trim, but the basic layout is very similar to the pictures Daddy drew of it. There's the firebox on one side with the water reservoir under it so you always have hot running water in the kitchen. My great-grandmother's cookstove had two ovens in it, and it had two warming closets above, so the cooktop must have been pretty large.

Daddy said that the best thing about cooking on this stove was that it was so easy to regulate the temperature when you were cooking on the surface. Since the firebox was off to one side, that side of the cooktop was the hottest, so if you needed to boil a large pot of water you'd put it directly over the firebox. If you needed less heat, you just slid the pot farther away from that side until it was at the right temperature.

My dream kitchen has a place for a cookstove like that. Of course, I'd only use it during the cold months - but wouldn't that be neat?
Thankful Thursday
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. (Psalm 34:8-9)

Yesterday there was a high school meme over a Nicholas's forum that dredged up a lot of memories, so first of all, I'm am so thankful I'll never have to go back to high school!

Also, I'm greatly blessed with a husband who will hold me and let me cry when my hormotions have gotten control of me.

And most importantly, I'm so thankful that our Heavenly Father pities us - that he knows our frame and remembers that we are dust.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Don't you hate it when you're cooking brown rice for lunch and you go into the kitchen after an hour to check on it, and the pot is only warm and the fire is out and the room smells like gas? Yeah, me too.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Maybe we should start a League of Kelly Bloggers
Two of my two dear friends are blogging now - Kelly G, who's actually been at it for awhile but in my addlepated state I lost her link, and Kelly M, who has many interesting things to say about books. Good stuff from these lovely Muffin Mixes.
I am so behind
We're just not getting around to watching "Miracle on 34th Street" this year.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Thankful Thursday
You know, this thinking up three particular things every week without repeating myself is becoming increasingly difficult. Thankfully, my prayer book has a list of thanksgiving prayers in it, and this General Thanksgiving is very helpful.
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

I especially like this line: "We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us." That is so true, only I need to be reminded that the difficult tasks in my day are something I need to be joyfully thankful for, not in the begrudging way that says, "God has given me this cross to bear... *sigh* ... and it's for my own good," followed by the deep sigh that is meant to cause the family to know what a martyr I am.

Lord, I thank you that you are conforming me to the image of your own dear son, who delighted to do your will.