Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Comes a Calling

Wrapped in a blanket and armed with an umbrella, I thought I would take a peak outside this morning to see what the yard looked like...it tends to flood in heavy rain and it has been raining since yesterday. Those in the know are saying the winds and rain will be worse today and it will be Tuesday before Sandy's rains are done in our area

Pretty much everything is closed up around here, so husband home. Officials encouraging people to stay off the roads....don't have to convince me...streets here flood with any kind of heavy rain...so I wouldn't even take the chance. It's a great day for soup and baking, as long as we keep power...and a good book. Praying for all those in the path of this storm that you will be safe. 

 Photo courtesy of husband who thought it was odd that wife would be out in the rain wrapped in a blanket

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Calm Before The Storm

With the storm headed our way, husband and I decided to head out to the beach to get some photos. Weather not too bad yet, husband made the usual preps today. Took the umbrellas down and stored them for the winter, took all hanging plants down, and he cleaned leaves out of the gutters in anticipation of the heavy rain we are supposed to get.

                               As you can see the surf was getting a bit rough and the
                              wind was picking up, but there wasn't too much rain yet

                                                      Boardwalk pretty deserted

                              This photo was just for fun, loved the way the lights looked on the statue

 They are saying "Sandy" should make landfall sometime on Monday night but we will begin to feel the effects by tomorrow because this is a massive, slow moving storm. Because of it's size it's going to effect a lot of people on the east coast. We have done what we can do, now we just wait.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Growth

About six weeks ago many of the plants in my yard and containers were all looking pretty dismal, they had stems that were lanky and bare, foliage that was brown and crispy and no flowers.  I decided to prune them, figured I had nothing to lose, they already looked pretty dead.  I was quite aggressive with my pruning, by the time I was done, some plants only had a little bits of green showing and roots, I was sure I had killed a couple of them, but like I said they had already looked dead before I started. All I could do now was to wait and see what would happen.

The results have been encouraging The Clementius which I had cut down to the ground is blooming  again, with new vigor...I knew it would come back next spring but was surprised it came back this fall

                                           The geraniums, sending out new blooms

                            These petunias had just little green stems showing after I pruned them

                                                                   More blooms

These plants had to be pruned to get new growth, the old dead stuff had to be cut away for the flowers to return. I thought about what God, the master gardener does in our own lives, pruning the dead stuff away so new growth can occur. I think we are all in some phase of the pruning process. Sometimes we are being pruned, sometimes we are in the recovery growth phase, sometimes in the blooming stage. Gardeners know this is a continuous cycle, the garden always changing always needing some pruning Where in the pruning process are you?

I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,  he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful  John 1:1-2

Monday, October 22, 2012

Grandma Days

We have started "Grandma Days" again, this time with my three year old granddaughter.  Grandma days are days you spend with grandma. There is no particular agenda, you just follow grandma around, doing or helping grandma do what grandma does.

This routine started with my oldest granddaughter years ago. Fridays was our day. Her mom would drop her off early in the morning, we would do a little housekeeping...she loved to dust, (I think it was more about the furniture spray than anything else) then she and I would do our errands. We would go to the thrift store, grocery shopping then lunch with Pop Pop, after all that running around we would go home take a nap...yes me too! The rest of the afternoon might be spent baking or gardening or playing. Sometimes it was just watching her run around the deck with her super hero cape flapping in the wind.

        This photo is of my oldest granddaughter helping make Christmas cookies when she was three

This granddaughter is now eleven and remembers those days, in fact it was her talking about it with her siblings that prompted the restarting of Grandma Days with the three year old.

I remember times spent with my own grandmother when I was small. I remember her flower gardens, the sweet rolls she tried to teach me how to make....I never did master them.  The mulberry tree she had in her yard, we picked the mulberries and she would make a pie. I used to look forward to our visits. I was eight when we moved away, visits were then limited to holidays after that...but we kept in touch  with letters and phone calls.

My own sons were able to see their grandparents more but, because my husband was military we were never able to live closer that four hours away, but we made the best of it, we were able to do vacations together, and made road trips for family events and traveled to see them on holidays. This is a photo of my mom and sons, from years ago, mom had come down for a special event my son had.

Technology can help the distance problem these days. There are things like Skype and Face Time where you can "see" your grandchildren everyday if you want. I have a friend who reads to her grandchildren most nights via Skype. I know it's not perfect, but I am thankful for the technology...helps me keep in touch with my out of town family.

Now we found out "Grandma Days" are a little more complicated now that there are four children. Hard to single one out for a "special" day and not include the others, so we came up with a solution. Little Miss spends the day, then we go back and pick up the two oldest after they get off from school and all three get to spend the night and the next day...Little Red still a little young, so she stays with mom.

We tried it this weekend....success. This photo taken at the local Gardens, we decided on a spur of the moment to go on a picnic because the day was so nice. Making the most of every opportunity.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Finding My Way

It was one month ago that we got the news that my job was going to be eliminated. We were given five weeks notice but I decided to pack up my things the next day and call it done. I had a flex position, so I was not obligated to work till the job ended.

It has been an adjustment but I 'm not sure I would call it difficult. The angst I used to feel Sunday nights is gone....that's a good thing.  I have had time to take care of tasks that I used to try to fit into my schedule and we are going to start "Grandma Days" with my Little Miss this week.

I still am a little lost though, still trying to figure out what normal looks like. How does someone who has worked in some capacity outside the home for the last thirty one years change gears? The temptation is to fill up my "white space" with outside activities, there are things I would like to do but I also feel like I need to go slowly, that I need to learn that it is okay to be quiet...of course that's not how our world operates....the pull is there to be busy...all the time

So far my days have been spent taking care of some much needed projects at home. Closets, and drawers, and cupboards...oh my! Amazing the stuff we have pigeonholed over the years. There are enough of those to go through that I could be kept busy for years...no kidding. But then I have also enjoyed the quiet times... more time to work on a bible study that I am attending at church and I have actually been able to finish a book I started reading the beginning of summer...yikes!

On other news, most of my coworkers found other employment, we are all nurses, so there are jobs, some ended back in the field as visiting nurses, some physicians offices, others in compliance positions elsewhere. We had a farewell luncheon last week...said our last goodbyes.

 I believe the Lord orchestrated this entire event, prepared me along the way. I have peace about being home but to be honest I am still trying to find my rhythm

Lord you have assigned my portion and my cup, you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance  Psalm 16:5-6

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Blessings

Our church celebrated it's 25th Anniversary today. The celebration included a video that was a collection of photos that journaled the last 25 years of the church. There were also candid photos of most members displayed in the lobby. I enjoyed the photos and the video but I think the thing that impacted me the most was when they had people stand. They asked those that had been saved in the church to stand. Then they asked those who had been baptized since going to the church to stand. My son had been baptized in this church...I had forgotten.  You were asked to stand if you were married  in the church. Children were asked to stand if they were dedicated in the church. It was such a visual reminder of God's many mercies and how blessed I really was. My son...married in this church, all four grandchildren....dedicated in this church.

Sometimes my focus is all wrong, how easily I forget where we have been, I forget what God has done...his many mercies in our lives, but... I remembered today. When they had all those people stand... I remembered... I remembered what God did...and I have much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spiced Pecans

Want something to add a little interest to your salad, give it a little kick, well these pecans will do the trick, they will take an ordinary salad and elevate it to extraordinary. I am not sure where this recipe originated from but a dear friend gave it to me years ago and we have been making them ever since.

                                                 Spiced Pecans
                                                             2 large egg whites
                                                             1 1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                             3/4 cup sugar
                                                             2 teaspoons worcheshire
                                                             2 tablespoons paprika
                                                             1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                                                             4 1/2 cups pecans or 1 large bag
                                                             6 tablespoons butter, melted

Beat eggs whites till frothy, then add the next 5 ingredients, fold in pecans and melted butter. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. After done take off cookie sheet and store. Do not let get too cool or they will be difficult to remove (I use parchment paper on the cookie sheet and find that works well) Can store in freezer for several weeks.

                        These nuts also make great snacks but be forewarned, they are quite addicting

Monday, October 8, 2012

Impaired Vision

I have had my share of contact lens mishaps in the past, mostly minor stuff, things that make my husband shake his head (I would say in amusement but I think it's more in bewilderment) Things I have done... I have put the wrong lens in the wrong eye. You would think I would notice right away but I don't. I have gone an entire day with the len's reversed more than once. I have also managed to put two len's in the same eye....don't even ask how I did that and occasionally I may have trouble getting a lens out...then it's hubby to the rescue.

Had one such event the other night, I had a terrible time getting one of the contacts out. I messed with it until I irritated my eye so much that I needed to take a contact break for a couple of days. That means it's glasses for me because not only can't I see anything close without some correction, I now also need correction for distance.  Not being able to wear contacts makes putting on makeup a real challenge in the morning...but I made the attempts. I would look into the mirror and see a blurred image of myself, more than a little frustrating, but as soon as I put on my glasses things were clear.

You have to know where I am going with this, it's something that the Lord has been reminding me of for the last several weeks and I was reminded once again as I looked into that blurred image in the mirror. I don't always see things clearly, I don't always understand, I don't know what God is doing behind the scenes. My vision is impaired.

But here are some of the things I do know....I know that God is sovereign and that he is faithful and that I can trust him in all things....no matter what my "eyes" are seeing