Thursday, February 26, 2015

A New Workspace




 Or a peace offering. Without telling away private things unnecessarily. We had things to talk over and work on. But we had to wait. While things piled up.

I have collections: old portraits to frame, tools and projects, knitting and crocheting, writing stuff, crafts, and brainstorms. Scattered hither and thither in stashes throughout this old house. Computer under the couch. Speakers flung on the coffee table. Scrapbooking stuffed into an upstairs closet which means it wasn't happening.
And I have other collections, too. Things I need to talk about. Questions to get asked for once. Demands. And generally feeling ornery and dissatisfied. You know how it is.

We finally carved out a space of time in our crazy lives to communicate. I tried to "edit" out most of what I thought I would love to say. Shorter, single idea sentences from me say so much more to him than the convoluted verbiage spilling around and around in my head. And sometimes the waiting for the right time to talk is hard, too. You know what I mean. You keep seeing and thinking of more things you really do want to get off your chest! I managed to tell myself to keep it simple.

I discovered in our talk that Elv is afraid to build things for me. Because he hasn't the resources or time or skills to build it to the specs he believes me to deserve. Now THAT was a revelation to me, entirely. So think about that, girls, when you get in the mood to finally throw your baby fit to get him to do something around the house. Saying, Let's talk about this first, can shorten up or eliminate the frustration altogether. Perhaps your trucker or farmer or logger or carpenter man is worried that he can't deliver on what he believes you deserve. I know, this shouldn't have been news to me. But hey, I was so frustrated with "his lack of interest" in this new brainstorm that I almost missed the real reason. Fortunately,  I finally heard him. Then, he made a discovery, too. I told him, "I probably wouldn't even like what you think I deserve."  Sigh of relief on both our parts.

So he made the desk/work space I've been talking about, longing for, praying over, and setting my heart on for weeks. What with some paint and shelving and the addition of a few of my happy things like lamps and framed collages of grandbabies, and tools and paraphernalia, I'm absolutely delighted.

Through this simple communication we solved other questions between us, too. It was more about actually hearing the other person. What I think is true, is only partly so when I don't have a clue what he thinks and vise versa, of course. It is OUR story and the two halves of it should be melded so that our lives make sense again to both of us.

You would think after 30 years of marriage, we would know how to communicate without all the hoopla. I am happy for you if you do. Maybe my openness and honesty will give some one else the courage to pursue that much needed conversation.
Now if I can get this down to two or three short sentences.





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Siskin Outside Your Window

A Cornell Lab of Ornithology picture


It is so very cold this morning. Even the fires didn't keep up well last night so we woke to a chilly house. But it is a still morning and the sunshine is brilliant. The pine siskin have been flocking to our feeder and emptying it every day. Brad interrupted their chirping and scrounging to fill the feeder for them this morning. I am fascinated with the beauty and individual personality of birds. So I stand at the window and watch. We have nuthatches, chickadee, purple finch and the siskins.
   What Jesus had to say about His heavenly Father noticing each sparrow, comes to mind. In that case, He must be able to track and care for each of us, too. How silly of us to worry.
    And I wonder, watching these birds just a few inches from my window, how it is that He bothered about all that lovely coloration on such a fragile and not oft noticed piece of fluff? Not many folks that I know have time or patience to watch birds. I'm sorry about that; because they're missing out on a part of God's goodness to us. He cares about seemingly frivolous details like tiny birds and flowers. Such details should shout God's love into your heart, I think. "So that they are without excuse."
    When are you going to stop your headlong rush to live life and get it all done to notice the yellows in the wings of the siskin? I promise, if you will try it just once... in the middle of your crazy day, you'll understand worship in one of the better ways. You'll be richer for it, way down inside your soul.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crazy February Days

You asked for a blog update of pictures and news. Here it is, Lisl. It will be scattered and disorganized. I have pictures from three different cameras. Here's a slice of our rich and varied life. First, I will give you our list of accomplishments.

                                            List Of Accomplishment

~ Elv got new phones for the two of us. What really happened was that he was having no end of frustration with his phone. Insurance, replacement that still didn't work, bad label for sending phone number two back, phone number three in bad shape on the face, etc.
Besides, the day that Rosie and I reset the store I dropped a lamp on my ancient, beloved and well-known phone. Smashed it to smithereens! Very sad day.
So Elv threw up his hands and we got new phones. Up to date, unknown, NOT beloved, hard to understand, but brand spanking new phones. Mine anyway. He tried to talk me into an I-phone. I'm too old for that many new tricks. Hate new stuff. They promised me this new android would be much like my last phone which being interpreted is supposed to mean that I won't have to learn any new tricks. Wrong!  But Elv really was trying to do me a favor and provide well, so! I'm getting used to a new Galaxy 5. Folks there will be no cell phones in heaven and I'm grateful for that.
~ Went on a date with Amos and Carol in Rice Lake the other Friday evening. Elv and I said to ourselves that we were going to sit in a restaurant with no TV's with our two dear friends, uncle and auntie, and not talk about troubles or burdens or cares. Just relax and visit about the daffodils.  Oh well, it was a nice time but they had burdens and cares to spill about and so we laughed and cried together: daffodils AND difficulties. It was wonderful.
~ Drove Amos and Carol over to Detroit to visit another uncle, Dave, in the Henry Ford hospital. The Henry Ford is located in the middle of miles of rows of apparently repossessed has been upscale homes. I don't know how to describe what I saw. We were grateful that our cousin Bob Ford offered to drive us back and forth to the hospital from his home in Plymouth where we stayed. What will happen to all those communities of abandoned homes? A nurse told us to be sure to stay on campus at the hospital. "It's safe here, but don't go walking anywhere off campus around here." Anybody up for a new mission field experience? Detroit needs you.
~ Very much enjoyed a cousin visit with Janette and Wayne while we were there. Thanks so much.
This mural made of stone pieces stretches along the hall at the west entrance of the Henry Ford hospital. Nicest eagle I've seen in awhile. It stays right there and doesn't eat road kill.

~ We have Clarks house almost ready for them. We've painted and scrubbed and laid new flooring and fixed up washer and dryer hook ups and everything.


     






~ We had the Valentines banquet at Norske Nook. Sixteen couples came from various local churches. Interesting visit time and good food.  And Saturday evening when I walked in from working at Clark's house I found this on the table from my own Valentine. He is the best.
~ Elv and Lance traded machines and are trying an all new plan for working their logging jobs and hoping to make incomes work for both of them. We'll see. I know, most of you didn't need to know that. So forget it. Lisl will be interested though.

~Lance has found a girlfriend at last. The lovely Kristine from Northwoods from Pennsylvania. They seem happy together.  
  



 These two are always together. Everybody is saying, "That sure isn't going to take long, is it?" What are we supposed to say?  They're both old enough to know what they're doing, right? So all you folks out there oohing and aahing or tsk-tsking whichever, go ahead. We are saying, God Bless 'em!

                                       List Of What's Left To Do

~ Take Brad to Driver's Ed for the next 15 school days in Hayward. One hour every day. It'll be a zoo, but we are ready for him to be a driver!
~ Get Clark's moved in to their house this week. And Charlotte hopes the baby stays "in" till they're all moved.
~ Amy says and I agree, we've got messy corners in the stonehouse to get cleaned up. Lotsa trash! Again! What's with that? Spring cleaning coming right up.
~ The children's ministry youth are headed out to Pennsylvania to get all charged up again about their own kid's club here.
~ And pray for our young people and old parents. Love up the babies. Make meals and wash dishes. Listen well, laugh often, and cry with the hurting. And to stop fretting that I didn't have a clue what I was signing up for.








Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February Winter Days



 The chickadees seem to be happier on the coldest mornings. They appear to be fluffier and sassier. Unlike us two-legged early birds who wrap cold hands around mugs of hot coffee and huddle by the stove where a new fire crackles.
    The sun comes up earlier now though. And it is the warmth kind of sunshine at midday.

Those aren't really fattening buds yet, though. We have six weeks of winter left, and six weeks of spring, and then we might be ready for the poor sledding part of our year. I'm not complaining, by the way, just sayin'.
    In the meantime, there are houses with walls to paint and floors to change for two couples with dreams coming true this winter and spring. More on this later.
    Gurney's seed catalog is lying open here beside me. The picture of arm loads of broccoli heads is astounding. In the real world, we know better. But it's fun to look at.  We don't need anything more than green beans and tomatoes in our garden. And flowers, of course.
 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Our Own Canvas


I asked for a rolling pin rack. Brad crafted this one.
 It is the time of year when I am suddenly seriously discontent with the house. That unfinished basement is daily being remodeled in my mind. I walk by the pantry and see a million things that belong in the dumpster. Why do we keep all those empty jars. It is high time to move on. We never fill them anymore. Out they go. If you want them let me know in a comment.
 Last year's brainstorm event produced a clean, revamped kitchen. I am still thanking God for this. Still liking it. So I'm taking courage. Dreams are free. And when I shared this dream with the logger man, he saw what I envisioned. Amazing results come of getting the man involved. So I'm thanking him, too.
 Over Christmas the guys here built the shelf curtain rod holder over the dining room windows. The rods are simply iron wood poles. I plan to varnish these. I don't want a mish-mash of knick-knacks on them. Just something clean and simple up there. Right now it's trees and birds. But we're still dreaming. I think I spent 35 dollars on the lumber and varnish. The labor was a gift. God made the rods.

I looked up slip covers for this couch. I could spend anywhere from 100 to 2000 dollars. I'm dreaming of finding yardage at the local thrift store and sewing them myself.
    All this to remind me that dreaming is a good first step to accomplishment. Maybe next year I'll post pictures of a finished master bedroom and bath in the basement.
    We're also dreaming of a new work area complete with shelving, cabinets and counter-space for scrapbooking, letter writing, school, gift wrapping, and sewing.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Morning Quiet Time


    Sitting by the fire for quiet time this Sunday morning is nice. Being sick is not nice, but the fresh flowers, a lit candle and sunshine pouring in the windows are nice. There are some compensations for being sick on Sunday. Waking up later than usual to the sounds of Lance cleaning and tidying the living room. He and Amy did all the Sunday morning routine with out me and when I came up there were fresh flowers and lit candles in the dining and living rooms. Ah! I love my grown up children. They know exactly what hits the spot on a flu-y Sunday morning.
   Elv went to Wal-mart on his way home from work last night and bought out the juice department for me, sparkling grape juices and plenty of other cooling, hydrating liquids. And tissues. Wow, Klenex is going to notice a leap in sales for the first quarter of 2015, or I miss my guess.  He fetched and carried and kept the home fires burning late and early. Brad had swept and fired up two steamers yesterday for us, too.
    I have been reading in Galatians this week. Here is a gem for us: Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:5

Thursday, January 22, 2015


 Boys in our lives. So much more than the game is here. They sat here for hours that day plodding through this game. Never mind whether they enjoyed it...they started it, so they finished it. That was the impression I got from walking by and eavesdropping. But a lot can be learned about a stranger cousin by playing a board game, you know, especially by playing Catan's Rails and Trails game.
The great arm wrestling. Brad pretends to look all bored and Benny is about to nail 'im good.  Arther's smile is priceless.
     Guys!
Thanks for sharing them with us for a couple of days. We enjoyed it.