Monday, February 25, 2008

Monster test this weekend

Okay, prayer troops, gather around. I'm taking the state board exam this weekend to become a certified real estate appraiser in Oregon. Discipline to keep my nose in the books - that's what I need. And what I am obviously not doing right now. Hey - it's a break, that's all!

Priscilla got the craziest call from Hal and Elmer Grindle - they were sitting in front of the little store in WILBUR!!! We buzzed down there with Tyler and had a grand half hour chatting with them. Elmer is still as crazy as ever, and she and Tyler hit it off right away! What a treat. There's nothing like great old friends. Then off they zipped in their white Cadillac towards the south!

Okay, so that was another break. And now here I go, putting the nose back into the book.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Poetry Thursday

Once again, my poem is prose.

Inscription on a church in Sussex, England, 1730:

"A vision without a task is but a dream; a task without a vision is drudgery; a vision with a task is the hope of the world."

Every leader is the better leader for understanding this principle: give your people a task to do and an over-riding reason to do it. Either without the other equals frustration and mediocrity. That's my opinion!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Green, as requested

Admittedly, this grass was uninvited to my front yard, and I won't be pleased it's there in about a month, but the green-ness is great now,
Baby miniature daffodils! I'm very excited!
Green vistas and old barns.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Time to plant peas

And the first seeds to raise their sturdy little heads are... Swiss Chard! I believe a lavender or two have ventured out, along with maybe a poppy. Lots more to come.

Nice little setup, yes?
Start them in the house, pot them up in the greenhouse, let them thrive up there!

And I just realized that it's time to plant peas and sweet peas! deer like to eat either? Answer - probably. The rotten little - (deep breath here)... So we will find a way to protect them. Can't let the deer keep us from planting, or we are stymied. I'm thinking the same deer netting that protects the trees will work.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Think I can, I Think I Can...

I'm posting a poem and it's Thursday! (It's Laura's fault. ;-P)

This is a portion of the poem "The Spell of the Yukon" by Robert Service. It's too long a poem to type the whole thing out, but here are a few verses that epitomize why Alaska makes you sit, and sit, and gaze with your eyes open and your mouth shut. This poem is meant to be lingered over...

"I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow
That's plumb full of hush to the brim;
I've watched the big, husky sun wallow
In crimson and gold and grow dim,
Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming,
And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;
And I've thought that I surely was dreaming,
With the peace o' the world piled on top."

"The summer-no sweeter was ever;
The sunshiny hills all athrill;
The grayling aleap in the river,
The bighorn asleep on the hill.
The strong life that never knows harness;
The wilds where the caribou call;
The freshness, the freedom, the farness-
O God! how I'm stuck on it all."

"The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
The white land locked tight as a drum,
The cold fear that follows and finds you,
The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
The snows that are older than history,
The woods where the weird shadows slant;
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,
I've bade them good-by - but I can't."

"There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting;
It's luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,
It's the forests where silence has lease;
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It's the stillness that fills me with peace."

Every time I leave I say I won't go back, but darned if I haven't just made reservations to go to Rachel's wedding in Anchorage in May. And I'm looking forward to it. Weird.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Disclaimer - Not for the Queasy!

That's how good these mouse traps are - we caught three mice at once in two traps under the kitchen sink! That's got to be a record or something.
Understand, I think mice are adorable creatures in theory. And in cages. Not running around and in and WITHin my kitchen. Can you say EEEEEWWWWW!!!!! So, since they will not be persuaded to go away, they must be dispatched. I like to believe that these remarkable little traps, so user-friendly, also kill so quickly that the sweet little creepy creatures - don't feel a thing.

And (for Karyn and any others who share my rebellion for The Sharing Time song), that's my theory of why these two got nailed together. Their good manners did not pay off in a happy time!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Oh, Let's Just Call it Poetry Friday!

At least Laura and me. Priscilla can still call hers Thursday, I guess! I don't know why I can't seem to do Thursday...

FYI, Ryan is doing much, much better. Thanks for asking, Meg. Indeed, he recovered much faster than he was told would happen, by at least a week. He's very thankful for the prayers and lots of advice from Dad and Mom to treat the vile virus. You know, sometimes I like alliteration. But not as sermon helps. Ever.

So here is my poem for the week. I first read it (probably in the early 1970's) in a small Scholastic Book Services book that was compiled in 1966 called A Gift of Watermelon Pickle... And Other Modern Verse. This one was always my favorite, long before I began living here in Oregon.

Oregon Winter
by Jeanne McGahey
The rain begins. This is no summer rain,
Dropping the blotches of wet on the dusty road:
This rain is slow, without thunder or hurry:
There is plenty of time-there will be months of rain.
Lost in the hills, the old gray farmhouses
Hump their backs against it, and smoke from their chimneys
Struggles through weighted air. The sky is sodden with water,
It sags against the hills, and the wild geese,
Wedge-flying, brush the heaviest cloud with their wings.
The farmers move unhurried. The wood is in,
The hay has long been in, the barn lofts piled
Up to the high windows, dripping yellow straws.
There will be plenty of time now, time that will smell of fires,
And drying leather, and catalogues, and apple cores.
The farmers clean their boots, and whittle, and drowse.
Now, why, as a child of the 60's and 70's, that description called to me, I don't know. I think it may somehow be genetic, since my ancestors apparently felt the same calling to the Northwest.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Personality Profile

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Ryan is very sick

Please join me in praying for Ryan. He has a high fever, dry cough, chills for hours, vomiting up the little he can drink, cracked and bleeding lips, feels awful. It doesn't get easier to endure your children's pain and trouble, even when they're 23. And the base hospital is "closed" today. I'm anxious.

Poetry Thursday (on Friday...again)

by Christina Rossetti
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro'.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.