Category Archives: 4 Home & Garden/Food & Seasons

I love to garden. I love to eat. I love to enjoy the seasons. And home is where my heart is!

Under Siege in the Garden


Aphids. Hundreds, thousands…maybe millions (naturally I would not exaggerate about something as important as this).

So aggravating.

I went out to harvest a large bunch of the greenest kale leaves for stir-frying with garlic. Sounded like a great breakfast. But, what is this? Some powdery weirdness that…what? Is it moving?

Yes. the underside of the kale – the whole big plant, covered in aphids and their eggy-spawn.

aphid infestation

This is a stock image. My infestation was worse, of course! ;)

I had to destroy that plant and some of the spinach, too.

But not worry.

Little does the poor, unsuspecting state legislator sitting near Dave at the downtown government building cafeteria know that just inches away, in a little brown bag, are 1000 Ninja-Ladybugs. They are on their way to my garden to feast on aphids.  From Paulino’s.

ladybug eats aphid oh yes!

Let the games begin!

Thought-Collage-Thursday // Here’s What’s Up!

How great is this video?

Summer is like

…sweet red radishes, bright orange gardening flip-flops and the greenest grass that grows by the minute. Summer is vibrant color.

…the sound of my grandbebes splashing in the pool, the deep conversations they have while drying out and warming up on the trampoline, then back into the pool, splashing, giggling, threatening to “tell”  for being splashed more than they might have just done the splashing…and laughing some more. Summer is for kids.

…the first tomato sighting, the square foot garden neatly planted with each square full of tiny veggies, in ones, 2s, 4s, 9s or 16s – before it suddenly erupts into wild fruitfulness and a bounty that is hard to contain but oh-so-delicious! Summer finds me happily puttering about the garden whenever I can get there!

…the Coppertone-SPF 30 scent of youth and a sun that lingers long in the sky, which I love. And the sting in my eyes as tanning lotion melts down my face while I work outside, which I do not at all care for. But summer smells like Coppertone and Johnson’s Baby Oil, as it should. And maybe a spritz of Love Spell.

…Hot, sunny days, thunderous rainstorms to cool the evenings. The world gets soaked good and proper, then the sun comes out and “dries up all the rain.”

Magic Radio Online (365) Playing your favorite Soft Rock Hits, Groovy Mellow Oldies, Lite Pop Favorites, Timeless Love Songs and Classic Motown Hits!” The most sing-able set list since these songs came out the first time, and yes, folks – I was there.  ;)

…corn on the cob, potato salad, firing up the grill, playing corn hole, and lemonade. Summer is so tasty.

Summer is like 100 days worth of Saturdays and Sundays all in a row – if we do it right.


I did finish the book and it was better than I even thought it was going to be

rob s book

And I wholeheartedly recommend it for some fantastic reading (because otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it at all, which you know). And I am going to be reading more Rob Sheffield. Because he can write about music like nobody’s business. I love that.

rob sheffield set it free

 All-beef hot dogs, please


That is what Guini requested when she could have chosen any meal on a visit here. “All beef hot dogs, and please pass the jalapeños.” She is my own little spice girl.

Oh just hanging with the wildlife

me in estes

It is, after all, Colorado!

#tbt Throw-back Thursday

June 2011: Gavin’s 8th birthday. We made him a Donut Volcano Cake. It was fun. The boys were so little. The wall was so red.


So, here is what’s up

Family party this weekend. Pool is up. Maybe an after dark movie outside on the big screen. Company from Las Vegas and Estes and all nine grandbebes within my reach. How blessed am I?

No matter what – you’ve got my love to lean on, darlin’

That’s what’s up!

Hope your week is going really well!thursday



God Created June

Spring, being a tough act to follow, God created June.” ~Al Bernstein

yard flowers peonies, scented geranium, and russian sage

Happiness in the house::Just some yard trimmings: Peonies, Scented Geraniums, and Russian Sage. Even the fading blossoms are magical in June…   

Rascal Flatts even sang about June: Words I Couldn’t Say

In a book in a box in the closet / In a line in a song I once heard / In a moment on a front porch late one June / In a breath inside a whisper beneath the moon…”

June makes me romantic and hopeful. June is for falling in love. The Blue Hour holds tight to the June sky for all it’s worth, the sun regretting the end of such a perfect day. Dogs bark in the distance, neighbors scuffle by, safe under soft-blue June skies. Flowers tease then bloom in wild profusion, scented and heady, and oh-so-glorious. Every June I feel a little intoxicated by the power of the garden renewed, the soil, the sun, the heat, the long days that twinkle into sweet nights where you drive with the windows down and sing the love songs of youth. I do love me some June.

And how about my newest garden-girl?

eva garden girl

She loves grass and I love her!



That Summer

by Sam Hogin, Phil Barnhart, Sunny Russ (performed by Lisa Brokop)

Love was alive on the telephone line
Honeysuckle hangin’ in the hot sunshine
Dust piled up on my daddy’s combine
That boy, that girl, that summer
Thirsty for somethin’, they didn’t know what
Tried to control it but they couldn’t stop
She was his rose, and he was her rock
That moon, that kiss, that summer
June and July and an August to remember
Ninety miles an hour straight into September
Memory still warms me in the dead of winter
Of love so true that summer
Two kids from Kansas on a yellow brick road
Watchin’ the world through a magic window
There wasn’t anyplace they couldn’t go
That hope, that dream, that summer
June and July and an August to remember
Ninety miles an hour straight into September
Memory still warms me in the dead of winter
Of love so true that summer
June and July and an August to remember
Ninety miles an hour straight into September
Memory still warms me in the dead of winter
Of love so true that summer, that summer
Love was alive on the telephone line, that summer

I hope everyone had one of these.  ;)

June. That is all.

The Snap-Dragons and the Chamomile

A weed is just a plant that is growing where it isn’t valued. Or growing in the super-healthy-I’m-so-glad-to-be-alive way that it infringes on another plant that is actually desired.

It’s gardening time!

I went to  prepare the rock garden for some squash and pumpkin seedlings. It’s a spacious area where they may curl and swoop and tendril freely while my grandbebes may happily traipse through on pretty stones they fashioned to watch the fruit grow.

You’ll note from previous garden posts in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, etc… that I spend a great deal of my first gardening days each year attacking and battling hollyhocks, garlic chives and Russian Sage. The Cold War is not over in my yard!

le potager chamomile

So, that is where I started again this year…trying to remove what shouldn’t be there and is growing like a weed, so I can place other plants I do value and will almost certainly have to coax to grow.

The point of the tale

I went in with a vengeance, hacking away at those irrepressible hollyhocks, so deeply tap-rooted, so strong and very prolific. I was digging out the garlic chives who believe themselves to be welcome anywhere and everywhere and I was beating back the Russian Sage, reminding it of the boundaries I had insisted upon less than a year ago.

Then I spotted them, hundreds and I mean hundreds of short, sturdy seedlings, snapdragons, all, at my feet. Somehow, last year’s snapdragons had left their prodigy in the rock garden in literal droves all the way around each grandbebe-designed and crafted stepping stone.


A few feet away, I saw a huge patch of happy white chamomile, yellow-dotted daisies on bushy, strong plants totally filling one of my 4 foot by 4 foot square gardens, as if I were going to live off chamomile tea forever.

I cannot leave these plants. The chamomile isn’t useful to me in the spaces where I’ll get so many wonderful fresh vegetables for the summer. And the snapdragons, though one of my favorite annuals, can’t grow around the stepping stones or they’ll be no place for tiny feet to walk safely through to enjoy the irises and pumpkins and day lilies and moss roses and butternut squash and yes, even the Russian Sage and hollyhocks.


Snapdragons are wonderful, Chamomile is glorious. But when they are where they shouldn’t be, well, then Houston, we have a problem.

The Chamomile is fully flourishing, flowering with divine joy. The snapdragon, if given just a few weeks would provide an amazing and colorful show. I couldn’t just rip them out and throw them away.

Just because you can’t grow here, little seedlings, doesn’t mean you can’t be a star somewhere else.” That is what I told my little plants.

You’ve heard the old saying “Bloom where you are planted?” But sometimes there is an uprooting, for whatever reason. Sometimes you may have put down roots and thought you were at your forever place. But you couldn’t stay.  Your value couldn’t be realized there. It’s just part of living.

Just because you couldn’t bloom where you were planted doesn’t mean you will never get to be everything He created you to be and do everything He has equipped you to do. It doesn’t mean you can’t be saved. Grace saves.

Don’t worry,” I told the flowering plants, “you can’t stay here, but we’ll find you a spot.”

I felt like God re-affirmed that to me, even as I said it.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.”  1 Peter 5.10 Amp.

Our God, the God of all gardens and life and living and roots and growth, our God, who makes all things new, is able to establish us, heal us, ground us securely and strengthen us and actually cause us to flourish!

“The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]. Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment]. [They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”  Psalm 92.12- 15 Amp.

Just because you couldn’t stay in this garden here, don’t give up hope that you can be the upright, strong, fruitful star of that one over there. Bloom where you are transplanted!

Thought-Collage Thursday // Riddles

Where on earth does the time go? It’s the middle of May!

5 minutes ago, it was May Day, and suddenly the month is halfway gone, school is about to be let out, graduation parties are happening in earnest and spring seems awfully late this year (a little snowstorm on Sunday and Monday???).

snow on mothers day

What do 30 kale seedlings, 14 tomato plants, a couple dozen pepper plants, zinnias, daisies, cauliflower and cabbage, 4 cubic feet of vermiculite, 9 cubic feet of peat moss and a bunch of bags of compost have in common?

mothers day snow message on picnic table

They are not in my garden, as they SHOULD be on Mother’s Day weekend because they are waiting for some sunny warm days to happen, you know, in a row! Do I seem bitter about the spring snow? Because I obviously am.

Where in the world are DP and Tara?

heading to paris

Paris. In France. Or maybe London, in England today? Not sure which. But they are somewhere 8 hours ahead of us.

the eiffel tower in paris

I am watching Kai while they are gone. He is a little bruiser and quite independent.  He is 16 months of power and speed. But when he runs to me with his little arms up, I scoop him close as fast as I can, before the moment passes.

Yesterday, I was cuddling him for his nap and I swear a blanket of deja vu swept over me and I felt like I was in my 20s again – a young, energetic mommy. It was a heady moment, so sweet.  And Dave and I still have our co-parenting rhythm, I have found – the gentle give and take and ins and outs of baby-chores: diapering, bathing, feeding, diapering again, playing cars on the floor. We were once top experts in our field, with so many babies in the 1980s!


But at about 1 am I woke up with aching back, neck and shoulders and realized, uh no. I’m not in my 20s anymore. I am a Nonna in my 50s. Ha! But Malakai’s darling squeals and trails of cheese crackers and Hot Wheels do take me back. Memories…

How is it possible to just so deeply love this many people I have known for 11 years or less?

It’s like – I couldn’t have imagined them and then, *poof,* here they are and I cannot fathom anything without them. I could ramble on about them all, I actually could. But suffice to say, Steph gave me these shots for Mother’s Day. And I just want to give them all a *kiss-kiss* from Nonna. grandkids 2014-May Mother's Day aa Tonight is Gavin’s last band concert of the year. It’s scheduled to be outside. Hope the rain holds back. He’ll be 11 soon, and officially a middle-schooler.

Here is the low down, left to right (above): Hunter (9 1/2); he is holding Eva (5 months tomorrow), she lives to smile with her whole heart and face; Then there is Averi (6); Gunivere (8 1/2) is holding Bailey (who is 1 and wants to run); Gemma May  (7 next week) got glasses recently; Amelie Belle (4); Malakai (16 months) making a getaway; and finally the one who started it all, Gavin (turning 11 in June).

grandkids 2014-2

The lovely and fair Guinivere, as soft and sweet, thoughtful and gentle as she looks (but also sharp and wry, with a sense of humor that comes out of nowhere) just became an official business woman. She has been sewing decorator pillows (by machine, then stuffing, then finishing by hand) for $3 each to raise money for a camping trip at the zoo.

Guini pillow

She worked really hard and sold lots more than she even needed to reach her goal and her mommy said she felt the pressure of deadline order filling. But she did it. And she did it well. I am so proud of her.

Which is worse: failing at something, or not even trying?

I think almost everyone would say that not trying would be so much worse than trying something and then failing at it. But maybe the question is really this, Which is worse: failing at something you had the courage to try, or feeling ashamed by others’ reactions when you fail at something?

Forget Hunger Games, the shame game is the most deadly in the world. Though we understand that failure is just experience in the making, a stepping stone to something really great, the heaviness of having shame heaped on when it happens keeps us from trying the things we were born to try. Shame says:

  • You did it wrong. You shouldn’t have tried.
  • You have now ruined it for everyone else in the universe.
  • I hope you’ve learned your lesson.

Shame is a liar.

Don’t you just wish we would call its’ bluff more often? I want to master the art of “the shrug,” the oh-well, I tried. I did my best. I love people who can take flying leaps, outrageously stumble, then tumble, skid on their knees into brick walls, get up, hobble away with a smile and say, “Ok – next time, I think I will..” Yes! Those kind of people amaze me.

Keep trying!

BTW-what the heck with the vermiculite?

I used to be able to buy course grade vermiculite for about $3 per cubic foot at a garden center in Westminster. They closed and I need a new supplier. Now I am paying more than $10 per cubic foot.

Vermiculite is magic, though. It makes up 1/3 of Mel’s suggested Square Foot Gardening soil mixture, which, when made to spec never has to be replaced in your garden. Various composts + peat moss + vermiculite = amazing garden!

mel bartholomew all new square foot gardening

As I understand it, vermiculite is made from mica and other minerals being heated to the point of “explosion,” puffing up like popcorn! It’s like tiny, rock-looking, little sponges that soak up moisture and keep it in the soil near the plants’ roots where it is needed. It also keeps the soil from getting hard and compacted.

I am creating more tomato space in the garden this year (of. course!) and I just had to pay more than $50 for 5 cubic feet of this stuff. I am willing to raid a vermiculite stash in the night, trash bags in hand, if anyone knows where I might find such a place?

#tbt Throw-back Thursday time again!

Since I am having memories of when our kids were little so strongly this week, well, I’ll share from that era. You know I always tells you the 1980s were a blur, as we added to the family in rapid-fire succession. Oh, they were sweet days. Big hair. Silly children. Songs, church, gerbils, bikes, face paint, kids clubs, walking to school and oh, so many hugs and kisses and love among us!

rocky and dessa august 1987

At the beginning of the movie, “While You Were Sleeping,” the Sandra Bullock character is recalling her childhood and they were depicting scenes from her hazy, muted memories and she says something like, “I just don’t remember it being so…orange.” haha. I feel somewhat the same!

Daddy & Baby napping

Baby Dessa napping with her handsome daddy. Summer 1983.

Jordan, Rocky and Stormie

Does it go without saying that I, like my mother before, would not be caught without lots of sailor-inspired outfits for my children. We even brought one to their little cousin, Jordan one year!

stormie 1

Stormie’s first birthday.

Stephanie on her dedication day

Getting Stephie ready for her dedication at church, summer 1982.

tara turning two

Tara’s 2nd birthday.

Rocky on his dedication day

Rocky’s dedication day. Fall 1984.

fall 1982 church directory

One of those church directory photos. They are always the worst! But still, October or November 1982. My little family in Kokomo.

Jeanie 1987

I was the picture of a pastor’s wife, I think. Pantyhose and dresses at almost all times! Fall 1987, when the kiddos were 1 1/2 – 8 years old.

Well, this was quite the mish-mash of memories and thoughts and garden frustrations. But that is what Thought-Collage Thursdays are all about.

Please let me know if you have the answers to the riddles of life that swirl in my head, and plague my existence…especially if your know where I can get that vermiculite! :)


Thought-Collage Thursday // Thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes, oh my!

So, hello there, May (the month), oh, yoo-hoo???

Been planning some excitement for us, I guess?

Crazy weather here. Saw a bunch of tornadoes pass through yesterday, had to pray for our eastern-plains of Colorado peeps who were banished to the basement for two hours in the height of it.

Got lots of hail. Lots! It was so loud on the roof of Chili’s last night!

More crazy today. Cold, brrrrr….rainy. And it looks like my Mother’s Day trail riding by horse in Estes Park will have to be postponed due to the 70% chance of snow they have going up there, plus a high of 37-degrees. *sigh.

Throwback Thursday #tbt dedicated to my mom because Mother’s Day is coming up.

My mom was in her mid-fifties before I actually knew her as a person. Before then she was my mom, my mom. Then, I realized she was a woman with hopes and dreams and passions and interests and that all of it had been on hold until then – because of family and church and ministry and life and obligations. Which she did fully willingly! And then…

I like her so much. I mean, yes, I love her deeply. I still hope I’ll be more like her before the end. But I also just like her as a person.  Her beginnings were kind of rough. But this baby (pictured below) turned the frowns upside down, trusted God and has made so many people smile.

baby norma jean 1938

Here she is, all madly in love with my dad. He has been the lucky recipient of her deep devotion and zealous love for 57-58 years now.

mom and dad dating

My mom loves all creatures great and small. She really loves her horses. She became a professional horse photographer in her mid-fifties!

mom and her horses
She was once given the nickname “Abnormal Norma.” And I guess if by “abnormal” you mean uncommon, exceptional and unexpected – then yes. She is abnormal. She is abnormally sweet and longsuffering, she is abnormally forgiving and understanding. She is abnormally optimistic and energetic for a woman of 76, or any age, really.

When we get together, we laugh. It is what we do. We laugh and until we are weak. And we do ridiculous things like this:

mom and me indiana

I consider it my mission to make sure she gets all the laughter that was allotted to her in life, even though the first 10-12 years had some really hard, laughter-stealing things.

Mother’s Day = warm weather (final frost date) gardening!

Tara planted her first boxes this year and Ryan is going to garden, too! Gavin is the old-pro by now. It’s going to be exciting as we all not only grow our own, pesticide-free goodies, but exchange recipes when we have certain crops coming out our ears!

Dave is supposed to be building me some brand new tomato boxes today, *ahem! I do not hear the hammer going.

mel bartholomew all new square foot gardening

Square Foot Gardening, people! Mel knows EVERYTHING! If you want to grow any edibles at all, please buy the book (or check it out from the library): All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I was a total city girl who thought I would never want to garden, but this book, written with concise explanations by an engineer, explains all you need to know!

Colorado is one of only 4 states with no felony penalty for repeat DUI offenders.

While it seemed widely favored on both sides of the political aisle, I am disheartened that the Senate Appropriations committee voted 4-3 to kill House Bill 1036 Felony DUI for Repeat Offenders.

Fran Lanzer from MADD talked to us about it at the fashion show last week. Our fingers were crossed, but then this:

“For two fundamental reasons, I cast a ‘no’ vote,” said Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “First, I think more emphasis needs to be put on addressing the disease of alcoholism and not us locking people up. Second, the bill was changed to take effect next year. Because of that, I think next year’s appropriations committee should address it.”* from The Denver Post

I am perturbed by this, so I shouldn’t say much. To me, it sounds lazy and weak – a failure in the courage it takes to address a complex issue. By saying, “I think the emphasis needs to be put on addressing the disease of alcoholism and not us locking people up,” Mary Hodge has simply passed the buck instead of the bill.  Because “addressing the disease of alcoholism” is going to finally, fully happen – when? Right. Sometime in the future.

*Read more: Measure to create felony DUI in Colorado rejected by Senate Democrats – The Denver Post

Tomorrow is my first born’s birthday!

When she was in pre-school, her fav song was “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!and I came across this Pomplamoose version the other day. Much pretty-colored hair and reminded me of the girl who made me a mommy.

Be sure to come back tomorrow and read my love-letter and blessing to my darling daughter, whom I have loved beyond my ability to express for 35 years.

I saw this on Pinterest and I like it.

over my dead body

He finished it. He did what needed done!

Happy Thursday, aka day before we actually know we’ll make it to the weekend!

The Earth is the Lord’s and Everything in it!

Earth Day 2014

I believe that! This sphere, in all its amazing splendor, beauty and creativity – ALL a gift of the creative imagination and infinite ability of the Maker of heaven and earth.

Oh how I wish we were taking better care of it, being better stewards, enjoying His creation like we should, and really – could.

Earth Day and Christians: 7 Ways to Observe it

I just read this blog early this morning and LOVED it!  The writer referenced Isaiah 11.9, which is a favorite-favorite-hope-filled scripture!

For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.

The sun is shining here in Denver today. The grass is brilliant spring-green and the skies are blue with puffy white clouds. The shrubs are flowering.  And the dandelions have once again blanketed the nearby fields, not to mention how they are traipsing boldly right down the block in this HOA-protected neighborhood, with great glee as if they weren’t sternly chased out last year. *sigh  Must be Earth Day! Happiness.

Hard to believe, but true – in my lifetime, I have known Christians  who have resisted things like “Earth Day,” allowing it to be spoiled by supposed political associations or some fear of earth-worship.

Psshhhht, people. The earth is His. “Bless the beasts and the children” and get on board today by thanking the Creator and Maker of all the incredible, life-sustaining beauty in the earth! He has surrounded us with His very glory, this Great God of ours!

Note to my children about your children:

Please get them outside often, out-of-the-city on purpose when you can (read the aforementioned blog post to see why – I know you’ll want to, then). Teach them to lie in green grass and watch clouds and to run barefoot, plunge their hands in to black soil for planting, get muddy, splash in puddles, go where there is no cell signal and listen to birds chirp, throw rocks into creeks and rivers, and yell really loudly where no one can hear. Give them Psalm 23 experiences for their body and soul’s health.

And you, too, my sweets. You get out of the city and go where you can see a million stars in the night sky and hear nothing but the beating of your own hearts – just long enough to regain your bearings.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”  Psalm 23

drive me wild
Happy-blessed-joy-filled Earth Day, everybody!

Thought-Collage Thursday // I gave up perfection{ism} for Lent

If you happen to see me and I look dazed and confused

It’s probably because I have been collecting songs for the fashion show. And high-energy club music makes — me — craaaaaaaaaazzzzeeeey!

I may or may not have a throbbing pain behind my left eye, while my right eye is twitching. I won’t say. But I am enjoying these three songs, only the first of these made the show cut. But the other two are fun, too!

Sometimes a small phrase turns a very nicely written article into something quite fanciful~

Dessa Wedding

Nibbles, Tredessa’s wedding 2011

That happened with a Laura Gaskill piece at Houzz on Sunday. She was advising us all to “Cultivate Everyday Joie de Vivre.” Upon her fourth suggestion, “Entertain with Abandon,” in which I felt fully encouraged to have guests over often without worrying over perfection, she wrote,

“Offer aperitifs and nibbles as soon as guests arrive to put everyone at ease.”

“Offer aperitifs and nibbles.” Doesn’t it just sound divine?

Well, it does, but of course, I don’t do alcohol {teetotaler, here}, so I won’t be – serving aperitifs. I’ll serve lemonade or green-sherbet punch,  and root beer floats a-plenty, instead. Sorry.

But there will be nibbles. I could not and would not have guests without nibbles. Of this you may rest assured.

I LOVED this blog post today:

How to Fail and Still Win, a Guide to not losing your cool. Donald Miller. Big fan of his writing and life’s work.

Because yesterday, I was feeling completely ill-prepared for an important meeting with people whose time is very valuable. I really wanted to cancel, even though I knew I would be enriched by them.

Then this simple Donald Miller post, just spotlighted my rather exuberant tendency to treat any bump in the road like a major wreck , to beat myself to smithereens when I have not achieved perfection. How did he know what I was thinking this morning? The conclusion:

“The next morning I got up, made my to-do list and pushed on. It’s a long season, after all. You’re going to drop a couple games on the way to the Superbowl.” -Donald Miller

Thank-you, Donald Miller.  And so I am pushing on.

They just don’t make TV like they used to

My silly little secret is that I loved music so much, any kind of music and song, I used to watch Lawrence Welk on TV every Saturday at 5 pm – when I was 14! I knew his bubbly brand of American standards and Martini music weren’t “cool,” but if there were going to be singers with bouffant hair in fancy dresses and fabulous, colorful sets and antics, I was going to watch!

Last Saturday evening, PBS was airing a Lawrence Welk “special.” They sometimes take a theme and air the best of his many years on television. This particular theme was the month of April, all bright and spring-y and hopeful and romantic.

I totally got sucked in to the special. Of course, it still isn’t “cool” for some one of my generation to be watching Lawrence Welk, but I was thinking – these people, these singers and dancers and the orchestra – they worked so hard to entertain. They are certainly considered quaint by any of today’s standards, but I found the show beyond enchanting.

lw collage

Check out the “rain” in this video. So low-tech, So perfectly charming.

Effort. Lights, Pretty clothes. Color. Sentimental songs. I loved.

Lawrence Welk would absolutely have served aperitifs with his nibbles!

Lumosity Brain Train

I love those silly Lumosity things. It’s my brand of gaming. Sometimes I do the daily suggestions then try them several times to beat myself. :)

I assumed my weakest area would be “flexibility.” But it is my highest scoring area, with speed and problem solving right behind.

Attention (What? Where were we?) and memory are tied for my weakest areas.  I used to have this amazing memory, like – AMAZING (In 1974 April 17th was a Wednesday – that type of memory)…but I can’t quite recall when that was…before the flood or something.

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do.

Or what to say. Or what to think. Or which way is up or right or the best. I feel surprised at this age and stage to not know as much as I once thought I did, to not know what is expected of me or how to make hard things work.  Sometimes I just don’t know…which is tough on a striver like myself.

And this is really the bravest thing I will admit today. Or maybe over the course of many days.

I did try to give up perfection for Lent. But…

I was remembering my younger self – back when I thought I knew an awful lot about a great many things. And even if I didn’t know, I still had a strong opinion. I really miss those days, sometimes. I really thought I was going to conquer everything before the end.

Now I know much better, which is to say I know very little. In my life, there is so much I will absolutely never know, ever learn, never experience. And while it wreaks havoc on my pride to know less than ever, to be less certain and able to tout my absolutely correct and utterly right viewpoints and finely tuned belief system, I’m wondering if that isn’t the point, anyway?

But it boils down to this, I really want to know {need to know} and never forget this thing: Jesus loves me. I am in my 50s and I have yet to comprehend the depth and breadth and width and height of it – this lavish love.  “Jesus loves me, this I know,” and that knowing  is still where I often find myself stuck. I am glad the Ephesians needed understanding for this, too. :)

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3

Anne Ortlund, in Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, said she jotted in her Bible margin next to that passage, “How do you put the ocean in a teacup?” That is the question!

His love

Amelie was practicing her cutting and gluing skills in pre-school with Nonna today. I masked off the shape of the cross and we talked about all the things for which we thanked Jesus – besides dying on the cross for our sins and then beating the devil by being raised from the dead.

amelie and her cross

I may or may not have misspelled “Easter.” Proving my point. Ha!

But as she cut and glued and looked through the newspaper and found more images, she just kept saying, “I know Jesus would love this – let’s give Him this!” Instead of thinking about what He has done for her, her love response was to give Him something in return!

“We love Him because He first loved us.”  1 John 4.19 NIV

This, is turns out – is pretty perfect!

Viva la Spring!

I want to be poetic about spring, but she is so fickle.  Nonetheless, a little Monday morning e.e.cummings ~

“sweet spring is your

time is my time is our

time for springtime is lovetime

and viva sweet love

I glanced out my office window mid-morning to see tiny, beautiful buds on the burning bush.  To make sure I wasn’t just seeing things, I moved closer and darn if I didn’t also see the tiniest snowflakes lightly swirling about the buds.  Good grief, already.

(all the merry little birds are

flying in the floating in the

very spirits singing in

are winging in the blossoming)

It’s so true – the early morning was filled with bird song and singing.  Now-snow? Snow!?

lovers go and lovers come

awandering awondering

but any two are perfectly

alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun

i never knew and neither did you

and everybody never breathed

quite so many kinds of yes)

“quite so many kinds of yes”  How cute is that?

not a tree can count his leaves

each herself by opening

but shining who by thousands mean

only one amazing thing

Ah, but wait…no more snow.  The sun bursts from behind the clouds.

(secretly adoring shyly

tiny winging darting floating

merry in the blossoming

always joyful selves are singing)

Mostly blue skies with a few clouds and the birds have resumed their chorus.  Must be March on the Front Range.

sweet spring is your

time is my time is our

time for springtime is lovetime

and viva sweet love”


Viva sweet love, indeed!

Stormie – don’t kill me.  I like this.  ;)  From 2012, spring, of course.