17 April 2009

A Moment in His Presence

A beautiful evening here--from my window I see some flowers and trees. So nice to look at and always a reminder of the goodness of God!

The Japanese-style garden is moving closer to being finished---well 'finished' being a relative term. LOL! Nevertheless, we are closer to being done then we were last week...

Today I was listening to my usual Christian reflective music and heard a song that made me cry. It wasn't a cry from sorrow or pain, but one emanating from a feeling of total humility and awe when faced with the perfect love, grace and mercy that God shows His imperfect children. And although I was sitting on the sofa at the time, my spirit was on the floor bowing before the only King---God. Truly He is an amazing God and Father to us!!

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God..."
I John 3:1 KJV

Some of my favorite songs/artists which remind me of God's mercy, grace & love--
"Ocean of Mercy", John Michael Poirier
"Kyrie/I Call to You ", Jeff Johnson/Janet Chvatal.
(and more....:)

Blessings always,

Photo: Pacific Ocean (Oregon) No, this was not the scene I was looking at this day but it reminded me of the song "Ocean of Mercy".

15 April 2009

The Encounter

It was a quiet day in our gardens and
a perfect day to get some things done outdoors.
My best friend had been out there working for 2 hours;
she arrived while I was still resting.
I decided it was time to help her.
She suggested several tasks;
I chose to clear the mess which has been under my son's window
for the last year or so.
You know boy things--like greasy clothes and other stuff.
I don't want to go into further details here--anyone who has had boys will understand and maybe even empathize with me.
I hope.
At first it was relaxing (while being strenuous at the same time)
pulling weeds, moving the rocks which border the path and bed there,
and picking up the garbage.
The day was on the cool side, but not cold--
perfect for this type of physical labor.
Recent rains had made the soil soft and weeds weren't too hard to pull.
I was making good headway;
my hubby man would be pleased!
One lawn bag full;
by this time I was sitting down to pull the weeds out, being of the lazy gardener sort.
I was pretty comfortable--maybe too much so.
Thinking back that was a mistake--a grievous error even.
I should have known not to relax and sit down on the job;
should have known that wasn't a safe thing to do in the garden
at this time of the year.
I moved on to the next rock,
not too much more left to do.
But first a recap here:
The first thing I had asked my best friend when I came out to help was if she had seen any visitors today; she said no.
You see we'd been having a lot of trouble with uninvited, unauthorized visitors on our property lately.
I moved the rock, just as I had done all the others.
There was this thing under the rock.
A thing with a stripe--an orange one, I think--and it was curled up,
kind of like a brooch jewelry sort of thing.
Strange. It wasn't moving.
Could it be some kind of weird overgrown snail or maybe a shed skin thingee.
I thought about poking it; maybe I did.
I don't recall now.
Was it dead?
Things seemed to move really fast after that...in fact
I lost track of the exact sequence of the events around this time.
I sort of went into a state of shock...
but I do remember asking my best friend,
a much braver and more knowledgeable person then I,
to come and take a look at this
odd discovery of mine.
it was somewhere during this time (or before she got there) that she said it was
and I realized it was
You've never seen an antique granny of five move so fast while making such loud noises.
If you were in our area today at about 1 PM I'm sure you heard it;
there was NO way you couldn't have.
I must remember to apologize for the noise pollution to everyone in a 10
or maybe 20 mile radius of our property someday.
I know they'll understand;
after all I'm the type of person who screams when I see a snake on the ground as I whiz by safely on our lawn tractor--so it's not the first time they've heard it.
Moral of the story:
  1. Always be prepared for unexpected visitors; you never know where, how or when they'll show up.
  2. Never, ever--under any circumstances--move a rock in the garden without being prepared for a possible surprise under it; most likely it won't be a hidden treasure you will find there.
  3. Hip boots and full body armour are a good and proper uniform for a granny weeding on a spring day in the NW. And the most important moral....
  4. A creature that looks like a coiled up, totally immobile, snake-skin-brooch-orange striped, hiding under a rock thingee is most likely (meaning absolutely) a VERY live snake.

The End--I sincerely hope (of this story)

Photo: a rock and weeds
And you thought I was going to post a photo of him???
Obviously you haven't read my snake posting policy here;
please understand that I'm a stickler for important policies like this.
I actually take personal pride in upholding firm standards and you really have to be when you are posting publicly -- I mean this is the Internet and this post is accessible by almost everyone.
. Besides if we had to recreate the event for a photograph my friend would have been calling 911 for me;.
an antique heart like mine can only take so many encounters of this kind in a day.
May your day be blessed with only flowers.
Blessings, aimee

Note to readers

I know change can be a bad thing;
in fact it can be a very bad thing.
sometimes it can be a good thing
this change is good--actually very good,
well at least for me it is.
You see this wife of almost 20 years, mom of three children and grandmother of five
has eyes older then an antique.
You doubt me??
Well it's true--at least most likely it is.
And since my eyes are THAT old and since I don't want to wear reading glasses to do this blog (because I LOVE my contacts a whole bunch)...
it's time for a change here--at least to the font color.
I thank you for your understanding about my granny eyes and the change :)
You will be blessed for it I'm sure.
As per usual please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and questions.
I can even handle legitimate complaints too should you feel the need.
Just be nice as I am a granny.
Remember this is your blog too and one of you may have a better idea!
In other business, a special welcome to any gardening friends from that particular forum.
Hope your flowers are blooming and your days of snow gone:)
Blessings, aimee
Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

13 April 2009

A Walk in His Gardens--NW Parks in Spring

This was to be a walk in the parks of the NW--truly it was. But apparently the upload is tired this evening so I will have to ask you to use your imagination as we walk through the beautiful landscapes of God's gardens.

Update: we have pictures; the upload must be rested now :)
You can still use your imagination though to 'smell' the fresh air of the park, and to hear the sound of birds as they fly over your head and sing from the many trees surrounding the trails.
Do you feel the warmth of the sun? Nice, huh?
Makes me want to return there--soon, maybe tomorrow.
Here, in the parks, there is green everywhere one looks.
But when you're there it doesn't feel like it's overdone in any way, for along the trails you'll also find flowers in yellow, light purple and other colors. Brown too. And the green--well its not just one shade of green; nope - there are several shades and different textures which make up the forests here . And all the green on the forest floor looks so soft--like one could sleep on it. I wouldn't do that though because it might be a bit wet as we have a lot of rain here; it's why everything is so green in the parks.

Speaking of wet ...usually there is some type of water in the parks here -- waterfalls, a river, a bay, the ocean or a lake. In fact, I can't think of a park without water of some kind.
We have a lot of parks in the mountains too--and it's especially nice there!
I am a mountain girl you know
(well maybe more like a mountain woman--now that I am a grandmother 5 times over)
Speaking of parks in mountains... a lot (maybe all??) of these seem to have old growth trees--lots of tall, closely spaced, really old beautiful trees, like the type my pioneer forefathers saw when they came here before Oregon and Washington were states.
At times I imagine what it would have been like then--those many years ago--when there were no big cities or freeways and everywhere you looked there were tall trees covering the mountains, hills and valleys.
Makes me happy to think about that type of world and a simpler way of life.
Simple but hard too.
I wonder if my ancestors liked the tall, beautiful evergreens as much as I do. They probably got tired of them because they had to cut so many to be able to grow food to feed their families and make a living. And to keep warm in their cabins and later in their homes (my ancestor's home is still standing by the way)
Since we have supermarkets and Farmer's Markets today,
and since we're not dependent on our land to survive,
and since our family doesn't have to clear the land we live on now,
I can just enjoy the trees and wish there were more--a lot more.
And I do.
But back to the parks....
In some places the trees there grow so close together and are so huge that the path below their canopy is dark and shadowy (Hum. Is shadowy a word?) , like parts of the Trail of Shadows near Longmire in Mt Rainer National Park
(a magical place; a place where the world feels ancient)
*Sorry but I haven't scanned in my photos of that particular trail, but the first link will take you to an awesome site with a lot of information on the whole Park and great, better then mine, photos!
I also like parks where the light filters through the forest, lighting up the bark of the trees and the vegetation below them. This is beautiful too, especially when the light hits the green moss on trees.

It's a peaceful place there in the forests within the parks.
It's a world where it's easy to be 'green' and even easier to be filled with joy and peace!
Thank you Lord for the beautiful forests of the Pacific NW.
They make my heart sing and remind me of You, the Master Gardener.

Blessings, aimee
"Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness...The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace."
Psalms 29:2, 11 KJV

"Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself."
Isaiah 44:24 KJV
Parks in the NW part of Oregon.

12 April 2009

Composing Compost

Disclaimer: I'm not a garden expert---(I know you are all saying 'duh' right now!!) -- but I am a definite wannabe one and I do have a bit of experience in our little bit of country for these many years. I've also learned a lot from my best friend who has more gardening experience then I, from garden books I've collected over the years and from state extension/other gardening websites. That being said -- I am still in the process of learning about the following topic--composting.

One thing all gardeners have to deal with is the yard debris that we seem to collect large quantities of -- that and kitchen scraps (the latter being true for all people not just gardeners--LOL!). Now in the urban areas people often have collection bins for this kind of thing; here in the country we don't have that option--but even if we did I'd still prefer to have some sort of compost pile - but

(warning! confession ahead)...
until this year we didn't have much of a system to deal with all of the grass clippings, weeds and such that we produce here. At one time we had an unofficial sheet compost 'pile' --and it did produce real compost. It's also true that we have used grass clippings before, in an unofficial way, to mulch one of our landscaped garden beds (I was less fond of this as it tended to mound up the way we did it in a very unbecoming way; not the right way I'm sure!).

We also have had a burn pile/garden dump area for a long time---but what I dreamed of having was a regular, semi-enclosed "as seen in" gardening magazines or websites compost pile AND a separate burn pile, and that was that (I can be a very determined woman...). So despite some dissension on this subject in our family, I took the task on.
I did not want to spend any money on this new little addition to our land and I wanted to be a good steward too; that meant trying to use what we had available. What I had my eye on was the fence/pen enclosure that our now grown dogs had stayed in as puppies. Of course, it was still where it had been then--um, those many years ago. But as I have said---I can be a very determined (some would say unkindly---stubborn) woman. I set to work...
after much tugging from me and my son, use of tools, giving up, going back, yelling, tugging with prayer with use of tools and tugging the fence was free at last and it was moved to the main garden area where it was set up awhile later.
And then the fun began...by that I mean countless loads of weeds, grasses, small twigs, dried leaves and grass, sod and more of the same. All went the same direction--to their new little home which made this gardener very, very happy!

Still to come will be the kitchen scraps (egg shells, fruit, veggies, etc--no meat), maybe manure and some other things. In time we shall see what comes of this compost and if the composition turns out to be a masterpiece or not.

Blessings, aimee
Do any of you compost and what has been your experience with it?
Note: I might have to add stakes for support to the fencing--it is meant to stand on its own but with the wind we get at times this may still be necessary.


A blessed Easter from our home to yours.

"He is not here, but is risen..."
Luke 24:6 KJV
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