Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Individual vs Corporate, A Declaration of Independence Right in My Backyard

In search of today's topic I happened upon a book of quotes (Quotations for All Occasions, editor Catherine Frank). Inside I read:

Photo by Mary Vee
 I know of nothing that makes one feel more complacent, in these July days, than to have his vegetables from his own garden. What an effect it has on the market-man and the butcher is a kind of Declaration of Independence. Charles Dudley Warner 1829-1900

I am very happy to announce my first, big crop of raspberries grown in my back yard. I filled a quart container with raspberries this morning. Yep, a whole quart. I've been working on this raspberry patch for three years reaping token berries. This year--this year I have a quart of raspberries, next year I am expecting a heap, this of course is a clearly defined amount. 

Photo by Mary Vee

In celebration, I watched the prices at my local store...a soaring, disappointing price, then, just like Charles Dudley Warner's quote said, I didn't buy any. Instead, my family and I feasted on our own bumper crop.

Photo by Mary Vee

I've strung up the tomatoes to keep the ones changing from green to orange and soon red from weighing the plants down to the ground.

Photo by Mary Vee

This crop will be another first. I'm hoping to can 10 quarts more than last years, a time when I canned 0 home grown tomatoes. Ooo, yummy spaghetti sauce for this winter.

7/17 Photo by Mary Vee

The butternut squash is crowding the tomatoes. This is my first time growing these delectable vegetables. I have plans to make butternut squash soup. I will cook them, turn them into soup then can them for winter. For now, I'm gonna have to do something about those squash plants crowding the tomatoes.

7/17 Photo by Mary Vee
One of This Year's apples

I'm really enjoying my farmer Mary experience. I've kept it simple. Started small. Hoping for big success and look forward to enjoy eating home grown. This is my declaration...even in its smallest measure...of independence.

7/17 Photo by Mary Vee
One of this year's Pears
7/17 Photo by Mary Vee
Blackberries still thinking
about being this year's crop.

While corporations provide much of what is on my table, there is nothing better tasting than fruits and vegetables home grown. God has been so good. His blessing are new every morning and their fruit is tasty.

This post has been brought to you by the one word-HomeGrown  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fishing Blind

Photo by Mary Vee
I was surprised to see a fisherman out this morning. 

Thick fog hung over us and the lake. I looked out my window and barely saw the water. A small object came into view....this fisherman.

I wondered how he saw the narrow steep dirt path used by boaters to launch rowboats and canoes onto the lake. And how he chose this spot to settle.

He must feel chilled. The moist fog gives a sticky, cold feel to the skin. And he is out there alone.

At least an hour or more would have to go by before the sun warmed the air and dissipated the cloud.

Threading the worm on the hook had to be a challenge. Tracking the bobber after casting would be nearly impossible. He'd have to go by feel.

Not by sight.

Then again, a good fisherman doesn't need to see with physical eyes. Knowing when the fish bite, where they are likely to be, the temperature of the water, etc, is far more important. Based on knowledge and desire to do what is needed, the fisherman uses an inner sense to bring in a good catch. 

Oddly enough, when the mosquitoes are biting and the sun is low in the sky, that is a good time to fish. That is when there are row boats and canoes on our lake.


The Apostle Peter was a great fisherman. His catches brought in enough money to support his family and mother-in-law. One night, he and his fishing buddies sailed to all the right places, dropped their lines like always, and caught absolutely nothing. Not one fish. They rowed back to shore the next morning a bit bothered.

They didn't have hardly any work since the boat was empty. No lines to mend. No fish to sell. 

Off to the side a small crowd stood listening to a man speak. Peter had nothing else to do so, he walked closer and saw the man was Jesus. Jesus eyed Peter and asked him to push his boat into the water.

Peter waited for Jesus to climb in then shoved off a short ways. The water amplified Jesus' voice helping him to speak to more people. At the end of the talk, Jesus asked Peter to row out to deep waters and drop his nets.

As a professional fisherman, Peter knew the conditions weren't right for catching fish. He knew the idea was crazy, BUT "because You have told me to, I will." 

Within seconds of dropping the nets in the deep water, they weighed heavy, pulling on the side of the boat. Peter called his friends, "Come close. Help us! We're going to tip over!" The friends came. Amazingly, the catch filled both boats to capacity.

Sometimes things happen in our day that don't make any sense. We can't see the reasons, but as long as we follow God's instructions, the end result will be good.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: NotBySight

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

So...No GPS

Photo by Mary Vee
Somewhere out west.

Summertime is a great time for road trips. Maybe it's time to slip in a visit to those far away family members just to say hey and 'sup? 

Those of you who have read my past posts know I am one who is easily distracted by a-mazing views. In my defense the distractions aren't always mountains and flowers, sometimes unique city buildings yank my attention. 

The time I visited my sister in, O, say, six or seven states west of my home depending on the route Google set up, I arrived in a huge city that sprouted out of the desert sands. Toll roads. Expressways giving birth to more expressways. 

One-way streets leapt out of dark corners with masked signs. I knew they'd steal every drop of gas in my car before setting me free on a road heading the direction I needed.

You might say, "Funny story. Where was your GPS?"

Well, yes, I have a smart phone with a great camera feature that I use for many photos. Our family is on a strict budget, which means a tiny data plan for emergencies only. So no GPS.

I wasn't foolish. I asked Google my route before I left home, printed out pages, and had screen shots. Theoretically, I was set. 

Until I hit construction.

And the detour.

And some crazy road that indicated west when it really went south. Who writes these things?

The point of surrender came. I got off the west road heading south and landed on some random road that pleased my car's compass. Good grief, I only wanted a western suburb of this mega city. It couldn't be that hard to find.

The hour was late.

Thinking my far-away family member might wonder if I changed my mind about visiting, I called. I chose the husband because he was a former truck driver, which meant he could figure out where I was based on my obscure description of the surroundings and help me find my way.

"You're where?" His country laughter turned into snorting. "How did you do that?" 

Good grief.

The repair to my wrong turn took another forty-five minutes before reaching their neighborhood.   

Dotting the scraggly grass along the winding driveway were nieces, nephews, a pet or two, the latest tractor,  my sister and her husband. Little did I know, the whole gang, several extended family members included, had planned to spend the evening with me. Supper had miraculously kept warm on the stove all that time. The kids looked hungry.

They opened my car door and swarmed me with hugs and smiles. Without missing a beat, we flowed into their home and straight to the dining room table, talking and laughing as we stepped on creaky floorboards and over pets.

Rewind a few minutes. As the car maneuvered the last turn onto their dirt road, I thought maybe they would be upset with me for getting lost. I wasn't sure how I would be received. I thought about all my mistakes that caused the problem in the first place...that put me in the pickle of being late a good two hours later than planned. Sigh. If I had received the silent or cold treatment, I would have felt deserving.

But they didn't. 

The reception was as far opposite as could be.

And you know what? 

This true event is so much like our journey here on earth...and our reception in heaven. God knows we are taking crazy life turns. He has a great map system call the Bible. Life, though throws ridiculous detours at us and make us feel stupid or disappointed in ourselves, etc.  

But guess what? 

God loves us so much. He is always ready to greet us with a warm smile, a hug, a sweet song, and acceptance. He loves to see us.

If you've been snagged by a detour, feeling lost, maybe scared and unsure, talk to God. He WILL listen. He WILL show you the way.

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: LostAndHugged

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Most Unique Fireworks

We stumbled upon these unique fireworks.

In my book, yah couldn't get closer to the intent of this holiday than this show.

To the south of us is a lake. It's a long lake with cottages and houses on nearly every inch of shore. Behind postage stamp-sized properties, are more houses. Roads leading to each residence are twined like a mouse trap. Be careful or you may not find the way out!

Anyway, my family heard the boom booms from our house. We hopped in the car in search for what we hoped was a fantastic show. AND IT WAS!!

In route to a little park, big enough for four cars, fireworks burst overhead. Boom. Boom. One after another exploding brilliant blues, reds, yellows, and more. Popping as fast as pop corn. Then the sound stopped. The air filled with smoke. Car horns blared. People cheered. Toy horns honked. 

We looked for a place to turn around, thinking the show was over. But it wasn't.

A series of new fireworks burst overhead then cheers, horns, and sparklers. What was this? 

We drove through the narrow streets to a tiny park, stepped out of our car and nestled on the rocky shore ready to see a spectacular show. 

To our left fireworks burst into the sky and reflected on the lake. Cheers rang. Fireworks burst from the right. Cheers. Fireworks from behind us, up the hill. Cheers rang. 

The best I could figure, any cottage owner who wanted to purchase an arsenal of fireworks did. When one show stopped, another started. In-between the mini productions, those who only had a few to display, set off one or two fireworks. 

It was a concert. Orchestrated by none. 

Unified by all. Cooperation. 

Cheering as loud as the fireworks. The lake echoing she sound like an amphitheater. 

Hundreds of lawn chairs lined the shore. Wet towels on clothes line. Kids with wet hair huddled in sweatshirts and lit sparklers in their hands. 

Oh, my. 

What a difference from the show where people passively gather in large masses and watch one show put on by one company. Yes these professional shows are very impressive. They really are. Coordinated music, announcers, huge displays.

But this all community participating show...the one where everyone joins in with whatever they can, (and some did big time) ...this was exhilarating. Inspirational. Moving.

I like the idea that everyone gave what they could and participated. This is what the pilgrims did to form our country. No one expecting. Everyone giving.

This post has been brought to you by the one word-