* Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)
* Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)
Among Southeastern Washington State’s many attributes I adore its variety. We have variety in variety. Routine quickly becomes tedium in my apartment, so this climate suits me.
The photos from the same week suggest spring, summer, fall and winter – and it’s barely mid fall.
7 days into my fall garden box:
Sweet Alyssum popping up between the fallen leaves:
Ducks ducking out on the Columbia River:
The Blue Bridge over the Columbia River from Columbia Park Trail ( Columbia River images (c) courtesy Julie Wetherby used by permission):
Late morning sunlight glaring from the frozen tarps on the wood bins …
…before the rain returned…
Happy Walking, Bloggers!
“As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Genesis 8:22 (NLT)
As the Astros and the Yankees duke it out for the championship, the term Safe at Home takes on a whole new meaning for me. (The Cubs will come back again next year.)
Here at the ranch this past week Cole and I unloaded and stacked about three cords of the wood we cut and hauled last weekend.
What impresses me most is how people turn out and team up to help one another. Cole and I alone would have needed another whole day to saw and load – at the very least. On top of that, both of us would have hurt all week. But Cole’s dad, a cousin’s able bodies and some very cool tools did much more work in far better time. What’s more, Cole’s mom had hot, delicious, mostly home grown meals awaiting us after a luxurious, spa-like shower.
During my first year the ranch went through many changes. Sure, last year I said that it’s good to be home right away. But seriously, the first ten months actually were hard. I was so road weary from the three previous years I barely noticed exactly how tough it was until fall started to appear this year and the pace began to slow a bit.
Through it all, God led me, soothed me, counseled me and sent help when I couldn’t manage alone anymore.
I’m a little sad that Cole sold the Gray Mare. Still, she’ll winter in a warm barn now. Cole also sold the cows and the three-year-old calf. New Roommate now tends the pastures and the chickens so I only fill in when both she and Cole are away. With the chicken house almost completely refurbished, requiring half the time to care for the flock, I’m now free to focus upon my work.
Today more than ever before it’s good to be home.
“For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4 (NIV)
“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”
“My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver!” Proverbs 8:19 (NLT)
“Winds from the east. Mist comin’ in.
Like somthin’ was brewin’; about to begin.
Can’t put me finger on what lies in store.
But I feel what’s to ‘appen, all ‘appened before!”
– Bert, from Mary Poppins, by P. L. Travers
Cocony joined Captain, Scout and me for our noontime walk today. We breathed deeply, taking in signs of new life springing from last year’s thawing remains; the fresh, 42 degree air feeling like 62 degrees after such extreme cold for so long here. Still mostly gray and brown in the pastures, we all felt exhilarated there too!
Enjoy glimpses of our piece of the world today:
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)
I have always taken planning and preparing for whatever could happen to a whole other level of crazy making. For the past few years I’ve methodically, painstakingly pursued the practice of simply being. Try as I do, that being a work in progress is seriously understating it.
“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” *
But then I noticed something: While doing chores out in the ice and snow, I must forget my writing, the laundry, what might be on the stove and everything else. I must consider every move – or swing, lest I hurt myself (again) – or I could generate more work for someone else. For those happy minutes life here forces all my attention to exactly what I’m doing and nothing else.
Dude, living in the moment is amazing.
During this first season home, I better appreciate the intricacies of this lifestyle. My priorities shifted remarkably to gathering wood, helping to care for the animals and myself daily.
I like a sparkly-clean home. But I loathe breaking stuff and the down-time and extra expenses after I hurt myself. Water spots on the dishes, soot or dust dropped way down my priority list; alone in my cottage only my fingers disturb the fine, light covering. And I’m far more flexible with my time and more relaxed. This has all been a learning experience I won’t soon forget.
“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence
Mostly I appreciate my bright, new direction in over-thinking just about everything. I enjoy simple things more than ever before. Sure, I’d like more income, and my name on some real estate – or a motor vehicle title. But my story is far from over.
I also noticed the good stories keep till I get to them.
God. Controls. Everything.
“For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being.” Job 12:10 (NLT)
*Luke 10:41, 42 (NLT)
Images courtesy Pixabay
I get eggs from an obliging neighbor’s chicken coop whenever I can. We’re huge fans of hard-boiled eggs (yolks are rarely on for me), so eggs are a mainstay for fast, easy protein.
Knowing which are fresh can sometimes be tricky, especially with free eggs. We faithfully place eggs in water before cooking. Fresh eggs roll right to their sides. Good, but older eggs stand up or roll around. These are best for hard-boiling. If an egg rises to the top of the water or floats it goes away, preferably unbroken.
Yesterday I realized a carton had been in the ‘fridge for longer than I could remember. None lifted, so all were edible, but some moved faster than I like. Remembering Cole loves deviled eggs (okay, and inspired by the marvelous Victo’s post), as I went about other tasks, I boiled them and then deviled them.
Sprinkling them with paprika and finely minced parsley for a festive touch, they were so pretty at my kitchen coffee station, I thought to take a picture and went into the bedroom for my phone. Tickled because I rarely think to shoot a photo, I wanted to share the joy. First I texted Cole that they were there, to please eat them. I didn’t realize the time and the shop has been unusually busy so I didn’t think anyone would respond right away.
I’d already seen Cole earlier, and still hadn’t changed from my lounging flannels, when I heard the door open I delayed long enough to make the bed – I even set the pillows that usually stay on the arm chair in the corner unless I expect visitors. When I heard the door again…
I returned to the kitchen. Instead of a plateful of eggs all dressed up for the photo, four halves remained. The guys were hungry and the eggs didn’t suck.
Sometimes my plans go better than I expect. But hey, there’s still lunch, a snack and maybe even breakfast tomorrow.
Oh, and I still haven’t changed from my lounging flannels. Jus’ Sayin’.
To perfectly cook hard-boiled eggs that peel easily every time:
Cover room temp eggs under 2″ of water and bring to a full, rolling boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Let the pot stand (don’t lift the lid) for 10 – 20 minutes. Altitudes (or whatever) vary so you’ll have to figure out the best timing for perfect, yellow yolks. After ten minutes rinse one till it’s cool enough to peel and split. If the yolk’s done to your liking pour out most of the water, fill the pot with ice or ice water and let the eggs cool enough to handle – about 7 minutes.
Once cooled, crack the eggs and then roll them between flattened hands enough for air to get between the membrane and loosen the shell all around, then peel the shells off. Voila!
Quinn’s Deviled Eggs:
For 6 hard boiled eggs, 12 deviled eggs
Slice eggs in half placing yolks in bowl and arrange whites on a serving plate. Into yolks mix 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, with a splash of mustard. We like dijon, but brown or plain yellow prepared mustard is good. You may also like a little more mayonnaise. Be brave and experiment. Add salt and white pepper and mix thoroughly.
We like to grate a tablespoon of onion into the yolks, 1/2 teaspoon of sifted Coleman’s mustard, and a tiny splash of white balsamic vinegar or drops of lime juice. Be bold – find what you like best! Quinn also likes to add a hint of ground, prepared horseradish. Personally I think the horseradish is too many flavors for the pallet, but to each his own.
Pipe mixture into the whites (a zipper sandwich baggie with one corner cut off works) and sprinkle with paprika. I also add a tiny pinch of finely minced parsley during the holidays or chopped, fresh dill is delightful any time.
Advisory: Our family throws caution to the wind and typically prepares at least 3 dozen eggs for family gatherings – and they’re gone before we sit down to the table together.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
Eggs Freshness Test, Water video courtesy YouTube and HappyEggDelivery.com
Chicken image courtesy Pixabay
While I await the moist heat to relieve the aching muscles I’d forgotten I have, with a good connection back at home again in Washington, I’ll share a couple of my favorite moments from Thanksgiving weekend in Idaho with the extended family.
“May He grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4 (NLT)
My nominees for the Three Day Quote Challenge are:
Third only to God and family I love my country. Volumes of quotes come to mind with the thought. Hours later the most prevalent quotes may not be the most well-known today:
“…In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.” John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
I was a child at the time, but I clearly recall the following months, the mounting atmosphere of trepidation, air raid drills in school, and then the global sigh of relief.
I simply must also add:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I was warned to be out of here in plenty of time to permit those who are going to the Green Bay Packers game to leave. I don’t mind running against Mr. Nixon, but I have the good sense not to run against the Green Bay Packers.” JFK quote
My personal favorite, which also grieves me most on many levels today:
“We in this country, in this generation, are, by destiny rather than choice, the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, goodwill toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as it was written long ago, ‘except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’” John F. Kennedy, Undelivered luncheon speech, Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963
For a magical moment on the balcony this afternoon, Roan read aloud. Remarkably, of all the stuff on Facebook, the following spoke to her loudest. I researched a good part of the afternoon and found the credits as follows. I hope you enjoy the piece of Americana.
Advice from An Old Farmer
“Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.”
Best I could ascertain the above is from “Rural Wit and Wisdom” by Jerry Apps. A compilation of sayings and advice from farmers in the heartland. This collection of Old-Timer wisdom tells the story of heartland people who work their farms, give back to their communities and appreciate the little things in the same way they have for generations.
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