Saturday, August 30

our corn

"Abundance is a cornfield ripe for picking." ~ from my gardening flip calender

Okay, it's only two rows in my garden so I don't know if I can officially call it a *cornfield*....BUT....we picked our first meal of corn for supper and it was deliciously sweet and tender. We're looking forward to another meal or two yet this summer and then the corn stalks will come down and be used as fall decorations around the house.

May you enjoy the good eatings from your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, August 29

six happy things

Yesterday Donna over at Quiet Life did a happy meme, so I'm grabbing onto it and doing it here today. Feel free to do it at your blog, too!

Six things that make you happy

1. When all of my children, their spouses, and the grands are gathered around our big kitchen table for a meal and all are jibber jabbering at the exact same time!

2. Every time I step my foot into my garden.

3. Watching a new baby come into the world.

4. Singing during worship at church.

5. Working on a quilt from start to finish

6. Those little special dark chocolate bars in the freezer for my mother emergencies.

How about you? What makes YOU happy?

Have a happy day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, August 28

only the beginning

"The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." ~ Ivy Baker Priest

Last evening my husband and I were blessed to be part of a surprise party for our church secretary who is retiring at the end of this month. The church staff, elders, and spouses met at a local restaurant hiding away in an upstairs banquet room until she arrived. What fun to surprise her! And what fun to enjoy the fellowship around the table as we ate together!

After the meal, she opened her retirement gifts which were all so thoughtfully chosen by the giver and which caused a tear or two by many of us. This sweet woman had been in this job position during some difficult times in our church, yet was always a steadfast support for the staff she worked with through the years. She talked about the different jobs she had during her lifetime and how each one prepared her for the next job the Lord had lined up for her. Although her church secretary position was now ending, she knew it was the beginning of something else the Lord had for her in the days ahead. And we're all glad she'll still be part of our church even though retired and traveling a bit more in the future.

Endings can mean new beginnings. "In the beginning, God created....." Is God creating a new beginning in an area in your life?

Each day can be a new beginning!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, August 27

a quiet heart

Whatever my mind was considering writing about last night is now gone this morning. Completely. In fact, I had a couple other things to be working on writing for a deadline and those ideas are gone, too.

For while I slept, a tragedy was playing out in another family's life. And reading about it this morning in a series of emails has given me a dose of reality. Life is short and God is the keeper of our days. We may *think* we have control, however it is He who numbers our days and orders our steps.

Living Well sometimes means quieting our hearts and lifting them up in prayer knowing He can touch hearts and comfort others who live far away. Living Well may mean taking a deeper look into your own heart and getting it right before Him as you search your own priorities in life. Living Well does mean we are only guaranteed the breath we have at this moment so let's use it well!

And please pray for Marsha and her family now and in the days ahead as they grieve their loss of a sweet little boy who now sits upon the knee of his Heavenly Father. A tribute to Christian can be found here

To follow the journey of other Living Well women, please go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a sad note

This morning I woke up to an inbox full of emails regarding one of the sons of a Heart of the Matter writer. I read through them one by one hoping for a happy conclusion, but in the end this sweet little boy had safely arrived into the arms of Jesus. A special tribute to three year old Christian can be read HERE Please be in prayer for Marsha and her family in the days ahead!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, August 26

a new theory

A couple of years ago at one of my female kind of appointments, my doctor and I were talking about this season of life as hormone levels begin to drop and the noticeable areas to be affected by those decreases. She mentioned that we commonly think of estrogen and progesterone as the culprits, but that women also have testosterone which is part of the hormone dance and whose levels drop, too. With that particular hormone decreasing, there's often a decrease in drive, motivation, and energy in women.

Lack of drive, motivation, and energy. BINGO! I'm livin' it!

BUT.....I have found the cure! I know where to get some additional testosterone into my system.

SLOPPY KISSES!

Picking up my husband's Sunday newspaper yesterday, I was browsing through sections as I was stacking the paper into the recycle pile. An article by Brian Truitt in this Sunday's USA Weekend caught my eye. It was about how kissing relieves stress - such as the whole "kiss and make up" after a fight - by releasing particular hormones and chemicals into our systems. The particular statement that caught my eye was made by Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist from Rutgers University, who said that "when a man kisses a woman he injects testosterone through his saliva."

Did you hear that? I found an easy source of testosterone! Woo hoo!

Lots of sloppy kissing is going to get my house deep cleaned as well as my project list crossed off in no time! Woo hoo!

I'll let you know how well this theory works! *wink*

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, August 25

yawning over change

Through the years there's always been certain kids in our family who didn't handle change well. Knowing this, if there was a change of plans in the works, I'd tell those particular kids first so they would have time to process what was about to happen before it actually happened. And then the transition would go smoothly.

In recent years I've realized that I don't really like sudden change much either. Ohhh, I'm very flexible when things come up, but deep down I like to know enough in advance so that I have time to transition smoothly to whatever is about to change instead of feeling a tad bit frenzied.

What is fascinating knowing that about myself is that lately there have been several things that have changed suddenly. One minute things are solid one way and the next minute they are very different. And my heart has barely skipped a beat. Instead I issue a ho hum ::::yawn::::

Take last night. One of the kids was dropped off by his friend's dad who casually mentioned that we had a frost advisory issued for the night. WHAT?! FROST IN AUGUST?! And I ::::yawned:::: and said that there was no way I was going to be able to cover all my flowers and my entire garden in the dark that late at night....instead of rushing around like a madwoman trying to get it all done because the sudden change meant sudden action. (And what was cool was waking up this morning to a heavy fog covering the landscape which was protecting all my plants)

What happened to me? I dunno. Maybe I'm just plain old too tired to be frenzied anymore, eh? I mean, being frenzied when changes happen takes a lot of energy and I'm running real low on energy these days. OR maybe it's just a different phase of maturing in my faith. Knowing that God is in control even in the midst of many sudden changes and I really don't have to be concerned about those things. I just need to keep moving along doing what is before me to do. Because the bottom line in all changes is knowing that God is never changing.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." ~ Hebrews 13:8

Truly, keeping that uppermost in my mind gives me a stability and peace that the changing world around me cannot provide.

Okay, off to get busy with a list a mile long as we go through the last week of August :::yawn::: :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, August 23

a summer saturday

After having a day of heavy clouds and wind yesterday which unfortunately didn't give us hardly a drop of rain, we woke up to a perfect summer day this morning. Sunny, clear, and the highs to be in the upper 70's. Summer is in its final days of glory as signs of fall approaching are visible in the trees, the animals, and my children's restlessness.

Enjoy this day that the Lord has blessed you with as you take another breath of the waning summer breeze!

Off to soccer!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, August 22

just beetiful

Having had beets in my garden forever, it was hard the last couple of years to have something just nip them at ground level not even bothering to eat the leaves. I never found the culprits that had done the damage which resulted in NO crop. It was odd, too, that I had planted the beets in different areas of the garden and the culprit found them. So, I planted fewer beet seeds this year in case there was a repeat. Ahhh, but no problems at all and here's a picture of part of the beet patch.
Yesterday I pulled them all out and cut the tops in preparation for cooking them for canning. Here's a sampling....

Once cooked, they were skinned and cut for the jars as I filled them with the pickling recipe handed down from my grandmother to my mother to me. Nothing fancy. Just a vinegar/sugar mix with a bit of salt. And I had enough to perfectly fill a canner of eleven pints. And here they are happily cooling on my kitchen countertop :-)

Since I only had one canner of beets to do and all the canning supplies were out, I rounded up the kids to help me with beans. The beans just keep coming this summer and we ended up with 14 quarts before having to leave for soccer practice.

Of course the best news is that the farmers market should be getting in canning tomatoes sometime in the next couple of weeks so I can start those next. Which reminds me....six of my fourteen mystery tomato plants have turned out to be little cherry tomatoes. It looks like we are going to have LOTS of those! YIKES! I wish my family enjoyed fresh tomatoes more!

Okay, I'm running behind on my household work after taking the day canning, so off to work for me!

Enjoy this Friday in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, August 21

finding contentment

Okay, this is not important in the scheme of things, but I've had an interesting revelation this week about my coffee drinking.

For many years I only drank coffee off and on when I wasn't pregnant or nursing a baby...in other words, I hardly drank coffee. But over the last ten years or so, there's been more opportunity to enjoy this caffeine habit as my babies spread out. And one of my favorite parts of coffee drinking was adding some flavored creamers to the cup. Mmmmmmm! Then one day I read the label on the creamer container and instantly went "blech!" Too long of a list and whenever "artificial flavors" is part of an ingredient list in any product I always wonder exactly what THAT is since it can't be real stuff. So, alas, I decided to give up my creamers and instead go with a little spoonful of sugar and a dash of good old milk. A good choice which also saved me money. And my only indulgence with creamers came on rare Sunday mornings after church when there was occasionally a good creamer on the table with the coffee.

Ahhhh, but then when my college son left for school, he also left behind a creamer that he had bought recently and told me I could use it. YAY! So, this week I gleefully poured some into my cup of coffee and was, well, I was disappointed. Can you believe it? All this time I've been thinking I was missing something only to find out that I really prefer the real thing. Simply a little spoonful of sugar with a dash of milk.

Truly this is a perfect example of the grass is always greener on the other side. How often do our hearts long for something which when we FINALLY get it we realize it wasn't all we thought it would be and it doesn't even come close to our high expectations. In fact, what we did have was already perfect for us!

Longing longing hearts :::sigh:::: How I desire to be content with exactly what the Lord already has for me!

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." ~ Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)

May you find contentment in your garden today!

Off to can some beets!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, August 20

find the smile

Although there is no rain in the forecast today, I woke up late to gloomy heavy gray skies. Weird dreams had kept me dozing way too long and groggily I thought over my day. I almost vetoed going to Curves, but instead dragged myself out of bed and headed out the door. It was rather quiet there as all my usual fellow exercisers had already been there and left since I was so late this morning. Then an older woman whom I hadn't seen for a long time came in with her usual smile which lights up her entire face. And my immediate thought was...."I wanna be JUST LIKE HER when I grow up!"

Wait a minute! I think I AM all grown up!

:::sigh::::

Just one of those blah days. Sometimes I think the world just gets me down. Before bed last night I browsed the news online. What are the headlines in the media right now? Wedding pictures from Hollywood of two women who just married. Or how about the multi-million dollar pictures of twins born into a family with four children to an unmarried couple. Sin glamorized. Or what about war breaking out on foreign soil. A former presidential candidate having an affair exposed. An older woman badly beaten by a mugger. More sin. Blech.

Wait a minute! I think I have something in my life that can turn the blech into a smile. God's Word :-)

When I got home from Curves, I opened up my husband's one year Bible for today's passages and read Psalm 36:1-12. Even David got worn down by the sin and evil found in the world as you read through verses one through four. But suddenly in verse five (and the verses following), his attitude changes as he focuses on the Lord's unfailing love.

Want a smile that lights up your face? It's found through the Lord's unfailing love which shines through in a world which headlines sin. His love will give you the joy joy joy joy down in your heart! And isn't that what Living Well is all about?

To follow the journey of other Living Well women, please go HERE

And smile!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, August 19

ahhhhhh!

Aren't grands GRAND!

I think I spent all of yesterday wandering around unable to concentrate on much of anything while missing this little one. It's amazing how fully grandbabies grab your heart! And in a couple of weeks I'll get to spend time with all THREE of my grands! :-)

Life is good :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a fool's meddling

My main morning devotional book this year has been going through the book of Proverbs. Since the main theme of the book is wisdom, there's quite a bit of talk about the contrary.....fools.

Okay, everyone who considers themselves a fool.....raise your hand! HA! No one thinks they are a fool, do they? That is until they read through the book of Proverbs and have a handy devotional that applies the verses to specific situations. Suddenly you have to say "OUCH! That's me!"

Today's topic was meddling. And here was the line that caught my eye: "There is absolutely nothing we can do better than God, except mess up a situation." (from Daily Wisdom from the Bible) Learning that meddling is NOT in a mother's job description has been perhaps one of the harder lessons I've had to acquire through the years. It's not always noticeable when our children are younger - it's called "guidance" then *wink* - but definitely comes out more fully when children are growing into young adults.

It is so hard at times to keep your hands out of situations where you know best and want to "assist" God in His work. But you know what? He DOES know best and ultimately HE is the one in control. It takes the painful suffering of consequences from meddling to make that truth reality. After many hard lessons - which still make me cringe when I look back at them - you learn that the BEST way is to let go and fully trust God. As soon as you do that, God acts in mighty ways in those specific situations and you realize HIS ways are much much better than what you had in mind. It truly is a walk in faith. Moment by moment.

Stay away from foolish meddling on your garden path today and instead enjoy the peace found in trusting in God!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, August 18

hush

There's a kind of hush this morning....

We had a major departure yesterday. My oldest daughter and new baby had been visiting for over a week while her husband was busy getting things painted and trimmed and fixed up in their new place. Their time here flew by and we all had lots of baby snuggling throughout the week and enjoyed a relaxing laid back visit. She had timed her visit so that her return would include dropping off a brother along the way to start his second year of college. So after church we were busy gathering last minute things for him as he packed everything into the back - as well as into every nook and cranny - of her jeep. And off they drove into the hot afternoon sun.

We resumed playing for the rest of the day with a church baptism and picnic in the afternoon and an evening dinner and fellowship with new friends. When we got home after 10 PM last night, everyone was worn out and hit the sack.

So here it is the first morning of a new week. And here I sit. My routine has been off for a week and my house is quiet. The children are still sleeping. Hush. If only I could get my mind to hush. It's whirling with all that I need to do this week. Whirling so fast I don't know where to begin! Whirling while the rest of me says just sit and be quiet. Hush.....

"Be still and know that I am God....." ~ Psalm 46:10a

To hush or not....is that the question in your garden, too?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, August 16

just a swimmer?

Anyone else getting drawn into watching the Olympics on a regular basis? I confess that we often find ourselves watching in the mornings and definitely in the evenings with thankfulness that the main Olympic events are carried on NBC since that is the only channel we get in clearly on our television.

There's always a lot of rooting for the home team going on and we are always amazed by the feats of the athletes. And last night was a great example of that as we watched Dara Torres, a 41 year old woman who swims like a 20 year old, compete in the 50 meter freestyle race. Oh yes, she won her heat. But that wasn't what impressed me about her. It was prior to the competition beginning when a swimmer from Sweden was having problems with her swimsuit. Dara first tried to help her and then as the swimmers were preparing to get in their lane positions, she walked over to the judge to quickly explain the problem. The commentators were talking about her "good sportsmanship" which was indeed true. But I saw it more as a display of maturity that comes with being older AND being a mom. We see someone in trouble and we want to help. We put others before ourselves. Natural instinct. And I thought it was cool :-)

And no, my commentary about Dara Torres won't be picked up by national news media. Hopefully it will be an encouragement to other moms to practice "good sportsmanship" and to live out the "golden rule" in public.

Off to a soccer morning!

Enjoy your day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, August 15

and on the third day....

.....I walked into the kitchen after returning from Curves and noticed that my computer on the counter was SLEEPING! It can only sleep if it's been woken up! I touched a key on the keyboard and there was my log in page :::thud:::

I have absolutely no idea what has happened. Perhaps one of the boys fiddled with it late last night or before work this morning? I dunno.

It was dead. It is alive. And I'll be afraid to ever turn the crazy thing off again! As soon as I get a moment, I'm going to jot down some email addresses and bookmark links because those were the things I most missed not having at my fingertips.

Off to do beans...again.

Enjoy this mid-August summer day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, August 14

what are you busy about?

From a recent devotional about pride:

"If we will use our time doing the things that God has asked of us, we will no have time to brag about our accomplishments. God has given us plenty to keep us busy all the days of our lives." ~ Daily Wisdom from the Bible

We can certainly stay busy all the days of our lives, but how often are we doing what God wants us to do or what we want to do? Are we following our plan for the day or seeking God's Will for the day? Are we serving Him right where He's placed us doing what He's put before us or are we spending our days figuring out how to serve ourselves? Are we content doing what He's asked us or restlessly seeking other directions for our life?

Busy.

Take some time to ponder your days. Serving others contentedly? Or craving the days for yourself?

Perhaps it's not too hard to figure out what I'm wrestling with this as I enter the last days of summer.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, August 13

a premonition of sorts

Yesterday when I first sat down in the dentist chair, I was amazed to see they've jumped into the technology age and have a computer right there with all my records. The dental hygienist took the x-rays off my teeth and then they popped up on the screen for us to look at while she cleaned my teeth. Sweet!

She and I chatted about this new computer development and how thankful she was that they not only had it at their fingertips but also had a paper record for each patient as well. Previously she had worked at a dental office which had everything on computer and when the computer system went down, everything was gone. They had no information available on the patients. Nothing.

When I got home from the dentist and had a moment available, I went to turn on my laptop computer. Nothing. Several attempts proved fruitless. I asked one of my older sons who works with computers a bit to take a look at it when he got home. Nothing worked. Then I called my oldest whose job is in a technology department. We tried several things. Nothing.

And then I thought of my earlier conversation at the dentist. All relevant information in one area. If something happens, it's all gone. Yup, that would be my laptop.

:::::sigh:::::

I am hopeful that a solution will be found to resurrect it from its current dead computer state. If not, well, I'll think about the next step when it comes. Until then we do have our ancient of days slower than molasses computer that the kids use which likes to freeze up BUT I can somewhat access the internet. And I am counting it a blessing that my college aged son is home until the end of the week and he's graciously letting mom use his computer a bit.

Time to pull out a notebook to do my writing by hand, eh? Perhaps in the meantime I'll work on some other projects. And I'll certainly have more time to put the whole computer realm into proper perspective....

Enjoy your summer day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a trip to the dentist

LIVING WELL WEDNESDAY

Yesterday was my annual visit to the dentist. Clean and check.

Dentist. The word strikes fear into many. Honestly, my childhood memories of going to the dentist are NOT pleasant. The loud sounds of the drill, the odors of things they used in the office, the very old man who drilled in my teeth (okay, he probably wasn't real old, but you have to consider my perspective from that time). And back then I don't recall getting prizes if I sat well through my appointments. I did not like going. Period.

Dentist. The dentist I go to now I've known for over thirty years. Yikes, is it really that long? I've known him longer than my husband and he's actually around the same age as my husband. Plus he and his family have been our friends through the years. My husband has even taken hunting trips with him. All of my children have gone to him as their dentist through the years and it's always been a pleasant experience. The dentist appointments are short compared to how long it take for my kids to look through the prize basket when they are done!

Taking good care of your teeth is a part of Living Well. There is a daily responsibility of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to have a healthy mouth. Eating well and drinking plenty of water is also part of dental health. If you are someone who avoids going to the dentist because of past experiences, let me encourage you. Dentistry has come a long way through the years. A long good way.

Live well and have a healthy smile! :-D

To follow the journey of other Living Well women, go to www.christianwomenonline.net/live_well_wednesdays.html

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, August 12

lots of peas

Here's a picture of some of my pea plants. They are nice, bushy, and full of pea pods right now as they grow along the fence I added into the garden. There hasn't been such a good crop of peas in a long time and I think it's perhaps because our summer has been much cooler than normal.Early this spring, I received a box in the mail from my daughter-in-law's grandpa who lives way down south. The box was filled with pea seeds! And it just so happened that my daughter-in-law was here when it was garden planting time, so she actually planted her grandpa's pea seeds. I had her plant them on the other side of the pea fence as I anticipated them needing to climb since that was what I was used to my pea plants doing. She did that, but also put them in hills as her grandpa instructed. My pea plants were up and growing and I kept waiting for hers to poke through the ground. And finally they did!
Those poor seeds probably thought they were in the tundra as they had shivered in my northern ground and the success rate was low as only four plants survived. As they've grown they've bushed out and are now vining which is very different than what I'm used to seeing. No blossoms yet either. I'm anxious to see if we'll end up with any peas. Oh, and I can't remember the type of peas? Perhaps black-eyed?
In the meantime we'll be busy munching peas out in the garden as they are at the perfect eating stage :-)

Enjoy the fresh vegetables of the summer season!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, August 11

ohhh, to be five

How wonderful it is to be five years old and spend a summer day at the state fair! The food, the animals, and the merry-go-round!Such a sweet age with so much excitement about life! She's so excited about officially starting school especially since she's browsed through her books as they've arrived this summer. This girl wants to READ! And she wants to do it NOW!

Today over at Heart of the Matter I've written about the journey of reading. If you're in need of a bit of encouragement with a new reader or have a tip to share that you've learned from teaching a child to read, please stop over HERE for a visit! Plus there's a giveaway for new readers over there!

Off to water my garden and see how much it's grown over the weekend while we were off playing! Enjoy this summer day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, August 9

sundays off

A Garden Glimpses Blog Announcement

After a long time of tossing it back and forth, I've made the decision to take Sundays off from blogging. It has always been a challenge to get something written that morning and just as impossible to prepare it the day ahead to try to make it easier for that morning. Because of those difficulties, it has been impressed upon my heart to take the Lord's Day off. By doing so I can fully prepare my heart for worship and fellowship on Sunday morning and relaxation the rest of the day.

May you enjoy this day that the Lord has made!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the official start!

Ah, yes! It seems like only yesterday that I was forced persuaded to sign up as a soccer coach for a U-10 team since they were so short on people willing to volunteer as coaches. I signed my name on the dotted line. Yup, that was back in April. See MY ball?! Isn't it pretty?! :-) Since that day in April I've gone through training and coaches meetings and two practice with nine kids who are eight and nine years old - six boys and three girls. Okay, I exercise at Curves three times a week and love to walk - although I've been negligent on that for a bit this summer:::sigh::: - but I've hardly broken a sweat doing either one of those two activities. Wanna get good and sweaty?! Be a soccer coach! Run up and down the field with those kids. Get the drills set up from one side to the next. Chase balls that go out of bounds. Play some defense. Or offense. You'll find yourself one soakin' mama, or grandma in my case, at the end of the practice! AND.....I love it!

I also came up with a theory. They give the really good kids to the volunteers who have never coached before. Really, I have an awesome bunch of kids on my team who are enthusiastic, know the game, and enjoy the game. I'll let you know how that theory holds up when I get to the end of the season! LOL!

So, here's to a good season of soccer in the weeks ahead!

Enjoy your summer day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, August 8

a sweet surprise

"In nature's infinite book of secrecy a little I can read." ~ William Shakespeare

Recently my husband came into the house and surprised me with a fresh bouquet of flowers in all different shades of pink! They were beautiful! I asked where he had gotten them thinking they were from a job site or something and he smiled as he said, "The back yard!" That surprised me even more and added some mystery about these pink flowers since I knew there weren't any growing in the back yard.

So off we went outdoors so he could show me where these beauties were growing. "The back yard" wasn't really what I think of as the back yard, but rather the FAR back area of some additional property we own where I seldom wander because it's an area that my husband has many things for his work stored. In a sunny shady woodsy area on the edge of where he had some topsoil piled were several patches of varied colors of dianthus growing. They were randomly scattered over the area and were healthy thriving plants. Neither one of us have any idea how they got there, but what a wonderful surprise to find them stuck back in the woods mixed in with the ferns.

I've considered transplanting them into my yard where I can see them, but honestly, I don't have the heart to do it. They look way too happy where they are now! I'll see how well they re-seed and perhaps do it next spring if it looks like there are abundantly more.

Until then, perhaps I'll haul my lawn chair, my devotional book, and my Bible out there as it's a perfect spot for a quiet time :-)

Hope you have some delightful surprises in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, August 7

a bunny trail

This morning as I was walking over to my desk, I did my traditional look out at the garden. Ahhhh! We had finally gotten an ever so brief rain shower last night which had watered the garden much better than my efforts after supper. And then my eye caught a movement. A bunny. Right outside my garden fence. ARGH! I don't know if the bunny had just come from inside my garden or was contemplating going into my garden. All I knew was that I didn't want it anywhere NEAR my garden as bunnies do way too much damage to my veggies.

So I sprinted through the house to find a dog. One was sound asleep on the floor by a child's bed. The other one was on the porch. Perfect! I slipped something on my feet as I went out the door and onto the porch. "Bunny, bunny", I kept whispering as I walked with the dog around the house. Then he spotted the twitching ears by the garden and took off faster than I've EVER seen him run in my life! Through the yard, across the driveway and into the woods, down the hill and into the low lying area with his snoot to the ground!

And I instantly felt sick to my stomach. Naw, not about the bunny. They are cute and all, but they aren't a gardener's friend. A deja vu moment many years ago. Walking down a snowy driveway with a wonderful golden retriever who suddenly got a scent of something. She leaped over the snowbank as quick as could be to chase something in the woods. And when she came back home she was dragging a leg :::sigh::: The vet report wasn't good as she had pulled some ligament which would never heal without surgery....a surgery that might was well have cost a zillion dollars because the amount he quoted was way over anything we'd ever be able to afford at that time. We had to put her to sleep. It was devastating.

And I instantly felt foolish. Naw, not about the bunny. But rather about impulsively acting without thinking was more like it. I could have easily walked down to the garden myself and chased that bunny off and far into the woods. The dogs would have no doubt later picked up the bunny's scent and followed the path with a gentle jog like they regularly do. Instead I just reacted without thinking and could have put the dog into a bad situation by his sudden racing erratic run through the woods.

How many times is the foolish man spoken of in Proverbs? A ton. Go through Proverbs and read all the comparisons between the wise man and the foolish man. It ain't pretty! It is wisdom God wants us to seek for our lives....

"Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom." ~ Proverbs 4:7a

And if you learn the lessons well, you won't be suddenly racing erratically down a bunny trail in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, August 6

a week of challenges for you

It's almost here! The summer Olympics! There's a lot of excitement as athletes from around the world gather to compete as this big event kicks off on Friday. As spectators I'm guessing we are rather clueless about the depth of time, energy, finances, and commitment it takes for each individual athlete to train and compete in such events. We tend to enjoy just sitting on our couches and cheering on our country! Goooooo, USA!.....and someone pass me the potato chips!

YIKES!

It probably isn't the best thing to park ourselves in front of the TV for over a week of watching others compete athletically while we sit and watch.

Time for the Living Well women to challenge themselves a bit over the next week, don't you think?

*Challenge yourself to doing a bit more exercising than normal. Instead of walking around the block once, go twice. Instead of riding your bike for five miles, do ten. Instead of going to Curves three times a week, go five times. You know what your exercise routine is....challenge it a bit during the Olympics!

*Challenge yourself to eat better during this week. Summer is the perfect time of the year to eat lots of fresh produce. The women's health book I'm reading right now suggests going beyond the government recommendation of "five-a-day" and eating TEN servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The brighter the colored, the better! Can you do it?!

*Challenge yourself to keep your water bottle filled! Take your body weight and divide the number in half. You've come to the recommended amount of ounces of water you should intake during a day. How many of us even come close? Challenge yourself to be sipping throughout the day!

*Challenge yourself to get your beauty sleep for a week. Too many of us have daily schedules which are too busy. Get to bed early for a change as research keeps saying that the best quality sleep is before midnight. Recharge your batteries and get rid of those tired eyes!

*Challenge yourself to spend more concentrated time with the Lord this week. Focus on reading through a particular book of the Bible this week and engage yourself in a little more meditation time. Enlarge your prayer time by perhaps praying for these athletes who don't know the Lord. Think of the impact on the world if athletes left the Olympics as new believers in Jesus Christ and then went back to their home countries to share the Good News! It gives me :::Godbumps::: thinking about it, yet I trust the power of prayer to do exactly that!

Pick one challenge....pick more....pick all five!

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." ~ I Corinthians 9:24

To follow the journey of other Living Well women, please go HERE

Have a great week of challenges!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, August 5

a beanful day

As the weather began to clear a bit yesterday morning, the decision was made by mom to get going on beans. The thing with gardening is that you have to do it when it's ready! Although we have been eating meals of fresh beans - I LOVE them that way! - the bulk of the rows was ready to be picked. I only planted a small area with yellow beans, so here's the bowl full of those.
And here's the first bowl of green beans I picked. Since I was too late to send off my seed order this year, I picked up packages of bean seeds from the local hardware store and tried two varieties. Now I'm hoping that the name of them is still legible on the popscicle sticks that I wrote them on at the end of the rows because there's definitely one variety I like better than the other.

After bringing the beans into the kitchen, I called the kids to duty. They all have their favorite knives and cutting boards to use and set up an assembly line of bean processing while I got the canning supplies ready to go. And when they began grumbling a bit later in the day about the job they were doing, I reminded them that their older siblings never complained about doing beans when they were little. HA! As soon as a call came in from one of those older siblings while the bean cutting was going on, that claim was refuted as the older sibling confessed to not liking that job back then either AND said that mom just doesn't remember how much they complained! HA! Those older siblings need to learn to bathe in the glory of mom's forgetfulness which puts them on the pedestal of good examples to follow, don't you think? *wink*
The last canner got turned off shortly before 9 PM last night and here's a sampling of the finished product......ahhhhhh! I LOVE listening to the lids pop as the jars seal :-) The first canning of the season is over!

There's still a lot of small green beans on the plants, so we'll have to check them out later in the week and maybe do another canning on Friday.

Now to spend some time this morning looking through the drawers to find my momentum to get on another project today......

Enjoy this August day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, August 4

which drawer?

It seems that every time I go away for a few days, it takes me several days after I get back home to get my momentum going again. It's like I put it in a drawer when I leave and when I get home I can't remember which drawer I put it in to start it back in motion :::sigh:::

This time before I left I was making major progress in my bedroom. It's been a sore spot for a LONG time with piles of things everywhere and I FINALLY got the momentum to sort and organize it all. I was merrily zipping along. Then I left. Then I came back. And yesterday I stood and looked it all over and had no idea where I had left off, what I had been sorting through, what my plan was, NOTHING.

Fuzzy brain.

My only saving grace today is that *IF* the weather clears in the next hour or two and the garden dries a bit, we may can beans. Then I won't have to worry about my bedroom project. At least until Tuesday. And maybe by then I'll find the drawer I put my momentum in before I left.

Have a good day in your garden whether canning beans or working on a summer project! :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, August 3

for today

"The heart in which the Holy Spirit dwells will always be characterized by gentleness, lowliness, quietness, meekness, and forbearance. The rude sarcastic spirit, the brusque manner, the sharp retort, the unkind cut--all of these belong to the flesh, but they have nothing in common with the gentle teaching of the Comforter.
..............
Lord, make me gentle. Hush my spirit. Refine my manner. Let me have Christ in my bearing and in my very tones, as well as in my heart." ~ A.B. Simpson

A worthy prayer as we go to worship on this day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, August 2

simply a tree

When I visited my oldest daughter back in May, she had taken me to the townhouse they were hoping to purchase. I immediately loved the yard they would have and especially the big climbing tree. This past week while there again, we were busy completing their move into their now purchased townhouse. There hadn't been much time to really enjoy the outdoors - and it was too hot for this woodsy mama - but one evening I opened up the patio door to throw beach towels on the railing. It was then that I looked up and my eye caught the view of the big climbing tree. The lowering sunshine hit what appeared to be an open part of the tree not typically noticeable. And I had one of those deja vu moments. A tree in my grandma's back yard! It was the exact same kind of tree! Immediately memories came to mind of climbing that tree as a young girl whenever we visited my grandma. Often climbing it with a cousin or two. Often playing a multitude of games in that tree. And then watching my older children play in that tree in the years before my grandma passed away. What a sweet memory!

What was interesting, too, was the tale of the squirrels while there. One day there was a big thud on the front door and a big fat squirrel was discovered to be there. In fact, my daughter had seen that big fat squirrel before deciding that he probably lived in the privacy wall area. But her husband was certain that his glimpses were of a little squirrel that lived in that yard. The mystery was solved one day when we noticed the big fat squirrel on one of the lower branches of the climbing tree. Suddenly there was a little squirrel there, too. And after observing them for a few moments, we saw the big squirrel kind of relax on the branch while the little squirrel climbed up onto it to nurse! I just thought it was cool that we were watching the activity in the big climbing tree while sitting on the couch next to my daughter who was nursing her baby at the same time :-) No doubt new memories were being formed of a new big climbing tree.

It does make me wonder though....someday when they are all grown up, what things will trigger memories in my own children? It does make me smile to think about it :-)

Make some memories in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, August 1

wonderful sleep

Last night I slept like a baby..........wait a minute! No, I didn't! They get up every hour or two all night! Nope, I slept soundly all night long waking up refreshed when my eyes opened up. It's been a long time since I did that. Trust me when I say LONG. And sleeping in the same bedroom with three daughters the last few nights probably didn't help between their sleep talking, back kicking, nose sniffling, and my own wake-up calls to go to the bathroom. But last night I was in my very own bed with my very own pillow (does anyone else have kids who sniff their mother's pillow because they love the smell?) and slept wonderfully.

Must have been tired. A week of traveling will do it, especially traveling with four children in a car. A day sitting at a seminar about high risk obstetrics will do it, especially when you are trying to jot down so much awesome information. A multitude of moments of snuggling a grandbaby will do it, especially when you know she's gonna grow up and not want to be held for long periods of time allowing you gazing time. A spell of cleaning will do it, especially when you are doing it at someone else's house and don't know if those spots have been there forever or you just need to scrub harder. A heat wave will do it, especially if you are spoiled by living in the cool woods and aren't used to the hot city. An evening of your first experience of soccer coaching will do it, especially since eight and nine year olds have a whole LOT more energy than you'll ever muster again. Yup, I was completely tired out at the end of the day.

Then I awoke to a revelation.....the calendar needed to be flipped. To AUGUST! :::::THUD::::: Good thing I got a wonderful night of sleep because seeing August first on the calendar is like pushing the panic button! Sooooo much to do and soooooo little time! My desktop list is SHOUTING at me! LOL!

Off to get busy and catch up in my little garden! May you enjoy this fleeting summer day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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