Saturday, October 31, 2015

Leaves and Other Things

 Fall turned quickly from dry and sunny to cold and rainy this week. These pictures are already outdated, but since they document our  few lovely fall days; I shall post them here.
   I hoped to create a memory for our grandchildren. So we headed out to make a leaf pile to play in. Benny will remember, for sure.
   They ordered up videos of themselves running and jumping in the leaves so we have a few clips, too.
  It isn't necessary to explain to a child what there is to do with a pile of leaves. I caught more than one picture of only feet showing at the top of the pile, for instance. I didn't go under there myself to prove this, but it seemed like they weren't at all claustrophobic about being able to breathe under there. Imagine the smell of dry, oak leaves on damp grass, mice and moles, and lawn mower leavings.

                     A List

~ After this busy weekend, Lisl and Rennie are flying back to Thailand.
~ Amy is going with them to stay for a few weeks.
~ We had four new grandchildren born in the last year. They are all here, along with their families right now, getting acquainted with each other and us.
~ Babies come in all sizes and temperaments.
~ Babies are not only cute and precious; they're smart.
~ Fall work goes away whether it is completed or not, because winter takes over. I'm glad for that.
~ The Graber family has accumulated a bunch of coffee snobs. So this weekend we have flavored and sweetened lattes, or not if you like them without flavors and sweeteners, and espresso or just plain coffee, all options for our individual desires and tastes. Fresh, home roasted, Thai, or Kwik Trip beans for fresh ground, as well. It is ridiculous and fun!
~ Windows 10 is a pain, but can be coerced into looking enough like Windows 7 to be useful to the likes of me. Thanks to Clark and Dru for your encouragements and Gabe for setting it up for me. Liking a new computer, finally.
~ We have three different Thanksgiving invitations to choose from this year. We'll see what that turns up.
~ Northwood Outdoor is opening a new store in Village Square on Miller Hill today. That seems unrelated to this list. It isn't.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A New Coffee Station

Here it is. First we had a pile of white oak timbers sort of sanded off, measured, and cut to length. Brad is the builder. He has been so kind and patient with our brainstorms and gets enthused with us. I wanted a little coffee buffet and he seemed happy to help. So from our stash came these boards. We tried running them through a planer, but they have lots of rustic personality part of which makes them uneven and stubborn about getting forced through a planer. Elv says the planer needs to have new blades, but I think it's worse than that. These boards are what they are, so be it.
I wanted barn wood, right? And rustic. So these are perfect.
When I came home from work last night he had it standing by the wall ready for finishing. I put two coats of water based sealer/topcoat stuff that I often use for my projects. Next week, I ought to add two more coats, sanding between coats to make it shine even more. He put the screws straight in through the timbers with a rather rustic result of being able to see each and very one of them.  In this case it is just fine with me. I showed him afterward how it would work to put them in at a slant underneath to have them all hiding. He put quite a few hours of careful work into this project.

   Dena, the tea boxes turned out to be these white canisters that were sitting just for pretty in our kitchen. We found them at the used shop awhile back and couldn't leave them behind; but frankly, I hadn't really put them to use.

Elv wants to get an electric receptacle installed here for us. Who knew that the old thermostat box I have been hiding behind a calendar for so many years would "land" in the perfect place to have electricity here now.
Liz, Rosie, and Ruthie will recognize some of this collection, of course. Still have to get a couple of braided runners to complete it. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Day At Home

   I get to stay at home today. I can sit here and read a book or scribble a blog post.  I can clean this messy house or not, as I wish. While I revel in such a day, I will most likely work on laundry and regular house work.
   What richness: a whole day before me to home-make.  Brad resuscitated the fire in the living room stove when he got up.  Now the morning chill is being taken over by a warmth to match the yellows and reds of the leaves on the other side of all our windows.
   There are coffee mugs and cereal bowls left on the coffee table and end tables. Elv and I had coffee here first thing this morning, as usual. He had emails: church schedules, editing of a document, plans and problems. I exercised my "help meet" role and talked him into suggesting they put off the "men's meeting" till after Lisl's visit. Two other families' plans have already changed that schedule, twice; why not one more to suit us, as well? (There was a day back there where I would have quietly "supported" and not made suggestions in favor of family events. We sacrificed Elv's means of being really and truly with us in body AND mind, too, by being so "supportive".)
Happy changes, these.
  Amy joined us, coffee in hand. Elv soon left for work with cold pizza for his lunch. Unfortunately, he was obliged to boost the pickup battery, before he left. The cell phone booster has been draining the batteries, again. Please don't feel sorry for his lack of hot breakfast. I cook breakfast for him when he wishes. We prioritize coffee time and talk sometimes when we must choose for lack of time. Life is much better this way...for both of us. Amy and I had our cereal here by the fire and now she's off to work till two this afternoon. Brad is sitting at his desk in school already. I have another cup of coffee. The sun is streaming in with golden splashes all over the room. I am remembering that today is the day to pull out the next batch of dried flowers and to set a new batch to dry.
   The beauty of fall is inspiring me. I want to haul and work up fire wood. We need to, of course, but first the old Jeep must have a new gas tank installed. It's been leaking all over the place and having a nasty, gaseous aura about it. Not only is it dangerous; it is embarrassing. But back to getting fire wood. This is another of my favorite fall enjoyments. I still haven't convinced the children by means of "twice warmed" sermon-ettes. The girls especially, see no beauty or satisfaction in a nicely ricked stash of firewood.
   This year we will not be raking the leaves. No danger of mom breaking her leg raking leaves because she fell out of the tree. The boys have conspired against me and will be using a tractor and bagger to pick them up. I would fuss, but even I can see the practical wisdom of getting it done quickly, safely, and easily.
   We have four new flies buzzing around us every morning once the house warms up. Did yesterday's allotment of swatted flies come back to life? Where are they getting in?. I keep a rolled up farm show magazine nearby.
   Ok, next I will get a clean house. Onward. Live in and love your home today. Create one more pretty spot on a table or in a closet. It's fall and cozy winter fires just ahead.
   I want a coffee buffet made of pallet boards, sanded and varnished. Tea boxes in rows. Coffee beans. A stack of mugs. There's a word box or two at work about coffee or hot chocolate that would fit in perfectly. Burlap runner. Collection of old coffee pots. Now there's an idea.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Portrait of Poise

Two girls of ours who are fantastic, smart women. I am not bragging. I am stating a fact. God gets the glory.
First of all,I will hasten to say that any Christian daughter of yours could be listed here as well. I picked these two photos because they are of my current and beloved...And what I had available.
Raising godly daughters has stretched me. Stretched me far beyond the neat and tidy ideal I used to believe was It.
Elv has been teaching from the story of Esther lately. Esther has finally reached my understanding. I am so excited about this. Finally, with the help of my daughters and Esther's story, I am going to learn how to handle fear and how to combat the Enemy. By God's grace.
Often lately, the girls have comforted me with strength and common sense gained through their own struggle/battle/victory when I face raw fear now for the first time in my life.
The pretty, put-together, Queen Esther finding out that she and her family were to be put to death did not succumb to fear and fainting. Nor moods and moanings. Not even panic or hand wringing. She didn't get on the phone to Mordecai and instruct him in screeches and tears to DO SOMETHING! I would have.
I would have so messed things up!
Esther handled stress by prayer and fasting with her maids, and having time to be pretty and plan banquets, and staying thoughtful and kind to everyone. She was even kind to that odious Haman, the perpetrator!
Besides, God was doing stuff in the background that was perfectly timed.
Esther was perfect because she had strength and poise to draw on in her hour of need. As a result, her appeal was successful.
I suppose none of us girls are ever going to be an Esther. But we have little excuse not to pray, we and our maids like-wise, constantly. We ought to take care of our wardrobes and our nails so that we present ourselves appropriately for any given situation. We should stay connected to our Source of strength and holiness. We must learn to use time as our friend. God works in the process of events that take time. Three days of fasting and praying. Then we shall manage to stand in the court and wait quietly, maintaining poise over our pounding hearts in the heat of the moment or the panic of rising fear.
To all of you daughters, being daughters, raising daughters, Esther knew what she was doing. She had resources to draw on. So do we.

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