Monday, May 28, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2979-3000)

I was reading an old entry about David at his 75th birthday, and I halted at his words, "I wish you lived closer." Some years ago, moving wasn't on his radar or ours. And now, we are both moved ... hardly ten minutes apart ... country neighbors, sharing the same zip code. God, you are so good. 

for more visits in 9 months than we'd had in the past handful of years
the hugs, and kisses, and pouring love for us from a couple who love us as their own family

the fun of catching frogs in the pool
a dance with my daughter to "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
how she climbs into our bed at dawn
yellow lilies in the gardens
occasions in which You rise us up

Reggie's thankful note in the mail
panda cupcakes at a 5 year old's party
Pappas and Anna, the kitties that entertained my kids
impromptu hospitality of hosts as a dish pick up turned kitten play
hearing him hum the song I was humming

Lanie swimming under water
Michael and Adva's family
hugs at church
meeting the mulch lady in the lobby
how You show up at pool parties

and how You were always there
how he smiles when I ask, "Can you believe we're here?"
Joel on the phone
Pete and his awesome house-warming gift
new friends

Jesus at the pool party

At a friend's pool, enjoying the day. Lots of guests and lots of kids. Delicious food. Tender hands to hold, young and old. I felt so lucky and loved.

We grown-ups were sitting on the deck on the comfiest chairs, surrounded by foods and the dearest, familiar faces. Then Jesus showed up. I told Shane about it when we got home.

Someone was questioning the origin of the name Nicodemus. Where did it come from ... and my ears perked because I knew of a Nicodemus in the bible. 

"It's a religious name," someone offered. 

"Yes," I said. "From the New Testament. He was a religious leader who went to see Jesus." 

But the conversation quickly changed to odd names of cities, and I found myself wondering if I said Jesus too loudly. 

I walked over to two people bent over an iPhone, googling the name and one read of Nicodemus' night visit to Jesus. He read it out loud, the other puzzling at the odd name of Pharisees, then quiet.

"How cool Jesus showed up," I said to Shane, because it was joy at the surprise of it.

"He was always there, Mom," Lanie said. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In the cupboard

Fajitas for dinner tonight. Only I didn't have the fajita seasoning kit in the cabinet like I thought I did. And because of that, it's official, I love the internet.

Where I can instantly get growing, pruning, and weed identification tips. Or a song lyric. Or the recipe for fajita seasoning, like this:

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Monday, May 21, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2959-2978)

every drop of sweat and achy body part

the organic smell of mulch
strawberry cakes (two!)
Home Defense bug spray
green velvet boxwoods
Mom card exchanged with business card

a new blog project
that You equip those You call
a cold bottle of water from a thoughtful husband
recognition in the small things
her name and mine on the back of a Valentine, two heads together and smiles

a glider bench in the garden
sky and leafy views
how You give back what the locusts ate--that destroying army sent against
and that I found that verse in Joel
hearts in the garden

all the plans in my heart (from breakfast meetings to barbecues to book clubs)
her great love and sweet tears
a sunny weekend

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My weekend in pictures, by Lanie

Ok, this cracks me up. Lanie drew pictures of what I did this weekend: dug up plantings and planted new plantings; cut the grass with the tractor; spread mulch; spray bugs on trees. Oh, and remind the kids half a million times that my name is not Hey Mama. It is Mom, Mommy, Mama or Mrs. But not Hey.

I love her detail: orange ear plugs, sunglasses, headscarf.

For the record: I did other things too. But it was mostly yard work. When Reggie popped by on Friday to see how the mulching was coming along, I told her: it is worth every ache and drop of sweat.

When we first moved here, I lived with blinders on, focused on one thing at a time. Unpack a box. Make a bed. Paint a room. Weed a spot. I couldn't take in the list of projects that surrounded us. Task by task has pushed me to good limits, and lately, as everything blooms, I feel awakened to beauty I never imagined. So happy to be home.

Monday, May 14, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2947-2958)

rhododendrons in bloom
buttercups everywhere
a wheelbarrow
strawberries, dipped and special delivered

a good sunny day
lunch out with in-laws
David and Anita's call
a visit from my dad and Linda
a Sunday afternoon nap in the reading chair

cereal for dinner
friends in the parking lot
gifts in the morning

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Lanie dressed in sparkly purple--a fancy dress from Christmas that morphed into recital attire. The four of us loaded up into the car to drive to a local college for The Piano Recital. Lanie opened the show with two pieces. She stood afterwards in front of the grand piano and took a bow before the audience. At the very end of the recital, her teacher handed out awards to a few students. Lanie's was the first name she called. It was a surprise to me, and certainly one for Lanie as she cast a look in my direction--her eyes a storm of emotion. She stood to accept the award and we applauded and I beamed. She has always wanted a trophy. Outside, away from the audience, she stood in sunshine and proudly showed her trophy to me. Then, there, the smile breaking wide across her face. Sweet joy pouring out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In the garden

We got a mulch delivery yesterday: 15 yards. In the truck, it looked like quite a load. On the ground beside the garden, well, I was wondering if I should have doubled it.

Lanie was my runner for cold water drinks. Erin wore her red taffeta Christmas dress all day yesterday, with her own version of "snake stompers" (Hello Kitty rain boots). She walked along the rock boarder when the sky darkened and first drops fell. But we didn't feel the wet. The tree canopy is filling out like an enormous umbrella, and I kept working at the garden until Shane came home from work.

An early start today (I <3 66 Books), and a mountain of mulch dappled by sunrise. Snow shovels are good tools year-round: for scoop-cleaning demolition debris and for shoveling mulch in the garden. I'm excited for the sunny forecast, a field of buttercups, the feathery fern explosion in the back woods, and the jug of Round-up for the poison ivy Reggie identified when she came by yesterday. (Thanks, Reggie!)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Poetry in blue and purple

A fun writing exercise at the end of grammar chapter 16. Write a poem using the five senses and a color as title and theme.


Looks like a painted canvas sky
Smells like a fragrant floral meadow dancing under the sun
Tastes like cotton candy melting in my mouth
Splashes like kids in the pool on a summer day
Bursts against my fingers like plump, ripe blueberries


Looks like beautiful lilacs in the garden
Smells like pretty lavender in the meadow
Tastes like fresh, delicious plums
Feels like sticky lollipops on my finger

Monday, May 7, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2936-2946)

buttercups in a field
a blue-sky backdrop to a walnut tree
a new muck rake
ice cream for dinner
Erin and Sage, their little dresses, holding hands after church

light bulbs changed
the thoughtful insight of others
a hearty hello from a passing neighbor
a sidewalk edger
crusty bread toasted on the grill

a good night's sleep