Thursday, May 17, 2012

Raindrops on Narcissus

The rain was falling so gently in the evening when I pulled the oilskin hat down from the peg, stuck my hair up underneath and put on a light leather coat. Sturm launches himself into the air when anyone puts a jacket or shoes on, therefore he was hopping about excitedly while I tried to set the hook through his little haulter. I say, "sit" and Ruger obeys instantly. When I say, "good boy, Ruger", Sturm sits right down. Happens like that every time.

We walked to the top of Darling Hill first, noticing the Golden Alexanders just coming into bloom beside the road (the dogs actually did not seem to notice). On the return trip I turned into Dennis' cabin and walked down his little stone walkway. It is decorated almost solidly with bluets. They have just spread everywhere! As we neared the house I wanted to prolong the damp walk, so we set out for the little cabin that Syd and I used to live in, two doors down from us. I like to take a few trips throughout the Spring and Summer to see what's blooming in my old gardens. There were the lovely narcissus in bloom. I have "blanket permission" to pick from the gardens at leisure. Brian is gone during the Summer and isn't there to enjoy any of the blooms. I picked a small bouquet of these and their fragrance was SO pungent! I do not know if it was simply due to the dampness of the evening or what, but this bouquet was just very sweet. As we headed back up to the house, there were the foam flower just starting to blossom in the ditches. They appear as lily of the valley but look more "fringey". These also had an unusual amount of fragrance on this rainy night. The little bundle that I gathered were almost as sweet as any lily of the valley that I've ever picked.

Right now I am sipping on more spruce tip tea. The "fruit" of the spruce trees are absolutely everywhere and I hope that I can get out there with a bucket before they get too far along, as I understand that one can freeze these and they will be as fresh in winter as they are right now. The mild tea has the very slightest hint of spruce, but almost fruity. Combined with a drizzle of maple syrup it is as relaxing as any tea I've ever had. I would imagine that on a cold, snowy winter night, next to the woodstove, it would be just what the doctor ordered! Today I was re-reading in "Aunt Jan's Wild Corner" that these are especially good baked into shortbread, and they take on a fruity flavor then also. See it, to the left. It was taken from the alaska (med cooking) blog that is sited at the end.

I'll leave you with a photo I took on a walk with Mom's the other day. This mossy rock looks like a perfect place to take a rest, with its soft, cushiony surface. In the past I have taken pieces from this moss blanket (when potting a single fern I used the moss to make a "cover" over the soil so that it would not dry out too quickly). The moss on this rock replenished itself so quickly.

Being delayed in posting this, it's now Thursday  morning and the sky looks quite clear as I peek through the leaves. It's amazing how, all of a sudden, there are LEAVES obstructing the view from the window. Everything is so green since the rain. What a great place to live and I'm thankful that, no matter the conditions outside, God's Word says, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

His Life, Manifest

The sweet essence of our Lord Jesus Christ; the most desirous perfume ever! This thought came to me after reading passages from 2 Corinthians chapter 4.

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake...But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us...always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." verses 5, 7 and 10

The early apostles and christians endured such trials and persecutions. Praise God that He recorded it and has preserved His Word for us! The Lord brought them through, and His Word has it there for us to read and learn from; He will do the same for us!  It brought these words to my heart and mind, finding their way to the keyboard:

Faith, Through the Shrouded Day

Though yesterday flowers and sunrays
   filtered and filled the day,
Today dark, hanging clouds
   shroud and shadow my narrow way;

With face to the sky, turned in faith, no debate,
   "gladly I will obey"
Then see the slight parting, a sliver of white
   --a hint of His 'new day'.

One step at a time;
    rocks still strew the way
Slow, upward the climb
   --hear His Word say,

"The power be of God, and not of us"
   till His life be manifest; till His is perfect sway!

Ours is a perfect Father! He knows the way that we ought to go. Ours is simply to hold His hand and follow. No matter whether sunshine or shadow we turn our faces to Him in faith. I read a quote today:
"It is not a matter of being saved from hell, but of being saved in order to manifest the life of the Son of God in our mortal flesh".

Whether your way is strewn with flowers or shrouded in clouds today, I hope that (if you have that Father-child relationship with the Creator through the Son, Jesus Christ) you can turn your face up toward Him and say, "Lord-I am delighted to obey thee in this matter".  It is a life-long and day to day decision on our part.

Of Mothers and Mothering

"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." Proverbs 31:27-29

Though I failed to post anything on the blog, we had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend, with both of the dear mothers nearby. On Saturday we spent some time with my Mom on the hill, though these pictures were taken at an earlier time.

On Saturday, Mom went with me for a while in the afternoon when we took our friend, Evelyn, over to pick up a "Precious" little kitten that she can now 'mother' and keep company with.

"I'm Precious"
Of course, Sunday was the Lord's Day and after church in the afternoon we went down to visit Syd's mother. What a nice time we had with she and Bob.

Mother's are such a gift from God. Syd and I are so thankful for ours. We have other special ladies whom the Lord has put into our lives also. We lost Syd's dear Aunt Euleta this year. She was such a wonderful 'mother-figure' to Syd and his brothers through the many years, as well as to me, as I was only eighteen when she first started 'mothering' me!

One of my very favorite pictures of Euleta. Here she is with Syd's brother, Keith.
Aunts can be wonderful 'mothers' in our lives. Here is Aunt Olie (a great-aunt to Syd), who has just 'been there' through the years and now takes us in, every holiday, to make the time of year special and keep us all together. We love her so very much.

I have special aunts too. My aunt Janet (and uncle Norm) have always been some of my favorites and we still have close contact on a weekly basis. Aunt Jean is a huge part of my life. Especially in the early years, spending time at their home, and in these recent years, she and uncle Bernard spending so much time with my parents. We are glad that she still lives nearby.

So many families drift far apart through the years. What a blessing when some of those special people stay close and are just, 'there'!

I leave you with a cute picture of two wonderful mothers. MANY years ago I bought these dresses in a bag sale. Of course as you can see, it was in the early eighties (though the dresses looked to be late seventies style!). You know that your mothers must love you VERY MUCH, to allow their photo to be taken in these. Here we are at a mother-daughter banquet with our church ladies.  It was taken in front of the house I grew up in. Just LOVE these ladies!

Syd's and my mother in their lovely polyester dresses. 
a few pictures to end with...
Evelyn is thrilled with her  new kitty. And I know they'll give each other much company.

"You can see how I got my name!"

Monday, May 14, 2012

Morning Tea

While walking the dogs yesterday I came upon the bright green ends of a nearby spruce tree. Several years ago I had enjoyed a cup of Spruce-tip tea but had not even thought of it again until I ran upon these! I picked a good handful and have them steeping in my mug as I type.

The water turns a beautiful golden color, mixing with the tiny bit of maple syrup - very inviting. These spruce tips are packed with vitamin C and very safe. As always, start with only a little to be sure you have no allergic reaction in any way. It is funny, we eat processed foods with abandon, without caution of allergies, but when experiencing with wild foods we shy away. I have come to the conclusion that we should only try really new things a little at a time, just to be sure. Before posting this I did refresh my understanding of the spruce tip tea by going to several websites. All of them agree that there are huge benefits of Vitamin C and it is one of the simplest forms of tea out there. It is funny how much money we spend on some of the vitamin bottles we buy - all put through bleaching processes and who-knows-what! you can see, I decided to run it through a coffee filter. Last time I tried it, I had several tiny needles that I had to strain through my lips! I guess you'd have to do that out in the wild, but since I'm in my livingroom, thought I'd avail myself of the luxury of straining.
I must say, this is as mild and tasty a cup of tea that I have ever had! No, there is no hint of that "christmas tree candle" taste. The mild spruce and maple flavor are truly delightful.
I posted a few quotes from one of the websites:  in Aunt Jan's wild corner. I plan on emailing her today to see if she's had her cup of Vitamin C this season.

It is raining on the hill today. Such a gentle rain. Take care and thanks for stopping by for tea.