Monthly Archives: April 2007

Certain Man has been a Certainly Busy Man today.
He fixed my clothesline:

April Day 6
(I’ve always had a wonderful clothesline, no matter where we lived!)

And then he worked entirely too hard weeding and mulching the fence row:

April Day 2

I had a profitable day, as well.

I am so pleased with these tulips:

April Day 3

These were the tulips that I had planted in my barrel last summer,
then transplanted to the front of our barbecue pit.
They are just so pretty!

I must confess that the ones that I planted in the grape row are not doing quite so well!

April Day 5

But I think they will do better next year, once they are better established.

And then, Eldest Son’s “App-crabble” Tree has burst into color:

April Day 7


April Day 9


The bees were busy as  —  well, BEES, I guess! 

April Day 8

I was so pleased when I caught this picture of  this little guy as he hummed busily about his business.

What a gorgeous day in Delaware.

Thank you, Lord Jesus!

This week has been so full of sadness.
And the wind and the rain and the gray
Were mixed with the tears of our country
As we tried to understand
How things could go so wrong
In someone’s heart
That blood could run so cold.

There are no easy answers
And I listened to the rain
And thought about a family
That loved a son and brother.
He died, too.
And they cannot even mourn
Their loss —
Because of their shame.

What are they thinking on this day
So washed with sun and beauty?
Do they believe that spring
Will come again?
Do they remember anything good?
And when they say their last good-byes
Will anyone mourn for him
Instead of what he’s done?

My heart breaks for all whose loss comes at his hands.
My heart breaks most of all for his mother.
What an unfathomable sorrow.


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It has been a wet, wet, rainy day in Delaware.  Last night, anticipating the rain and cold, I decided to fill my bird feeders. I went to my big aluminum trash can where Certain Man had put the new 50 lb. bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seed.  I opened the can, and spread open the paper sack.  We had only filled the feeders two or three times and the bag was nearly full. 

Spring bird seed 1

I was disappointed to realize that the scoop was not there.  Then I remembered that Little Boy C and Little Boy N had helped me to fill bird feeders the day before, and we had placed the scoops on the steps of the deck so we could go and pick some tulips and daffodils for their Pretty Mama.

So I went to find the scoop.  But I got sidetracked on my way.  It might have been the rugs for the entry way and kitchen that were still hanging over the deck rail.  It might have been that a precious friend was stopping in before Small Group for a sweet, sweet time together over her Bible Study Lessons.  It might have just been that I was trotting around checking on my tulips.

Spring Tulips

In any case, I got distracted, and completely forgot about my need to fill the bird feeders.

In the middle of the night, it started to rain.  It rained hard and it rained long.  I got up and came downstairs and heard the wind blowing the rain against the big picture window where I sat by Certain Man’s toasty fire, reading my Bible.  I love rainy days, with the gray all washed together across the land, and I especially appreciated the fact that it was raining in Delaware and not snowing.

Along about eight o’clock, we had a deluge.  I was meandering around my kitchen, watching the eaves overflow profusely when I heard the clanging of a metal lid, hitting the deck.  “Hm-m-m-m-m-m!”  I thought.  “That is really strange.  I can’t figure that the wind would have blown off the trash can lid!”  I came around the table in the dining room to look out, and sure enough!  There was a big lid lying on the deck.  I investigated further, and found that the lid to the trash can was firmly in place.  Then my heart suddenly stopped.  The first can is used for trash.  The second is my bird seed storage container.  And the lid to that can was off.  My heart sank as I opened the door to get a better look.  It was sitting directly below the overflowing eaves.  The brown bag was open, and the water was pouring into it like someone was dumping a huge pitcher from somewhere on the roof.

I didn’t even think about getting wet.  I slithered my way out of the sliding glass door, and hugged the side of the house till I could reach the trash can.  It was so heavy with water, I could barely move it.  I drug it over to the door, away from the place where the eaves were overflowing and assessed the situation.  There was water all around the bag, halfway up the inside of the can.  The seeds were soaking as well.  I tried to hold the bag in place and dump out the extra water, but wasn’t too successful.  It was so HEAVY!  And I was afraid the bag, so soggy from the exposure, would tear, and then I would have all that wet bird seed on my equally wet deck.

So I did what I always do when I don’t know what to do.  I called Certain Man.  He wasn’t much help.  “Might just as well throw it away,” he said.  “When bird seed gets wet, there’s not much you can do. It gets moldy and they won’t eat it.”

“Couldn’t I spread it out somewhere and put a fan on it and dry it?”  I asked hopefully.

“Where in the world are you going to find enough space to spread out 50 pounds of bird seed?”   He asked back, not hopefully at all.

“I don’t know.”   I said, rather uncomfortably.  “I just thought, maybe I could put up a table in the garage or something. . . ” 

“You’d need alot of tables to handle all that bird seed,” he said, kindly.  “I think I might just as well stop at ACE Hardware tonight and pick up another bag.”

“Maybe we could use this to plant our patch of sunflower seeds that I want to grow this summer!”  I said with a sudden inspiration. 

That suggestion was not even graced with a reply.  Certain Man doesn’t really think it is a wise idea to plant sunflower seeds and I guess 50 pounds would plant quite a patch.  So, I guess I won’t mention that again.  I know they would grow plants, though, because I always have little sunflowers growing in my yard and in my deck containers and anywhere they happen to land.

This afternoon, the rain cleared out, and there was a soft, beautiful sunshine.  I decided that the weather forecaster had been wrong.  It wasn’t going to keep raining until Tuesday morning (as had been predicted.)  But then tonight, the storms moved in again.  For a while, the rain and the sunshine fought for pre-eminence, but eventually, the sunshine won.  I looked out my windows to the east and south and there was the most gorgeous rainbow.  By the time I got my camera and found batteries and got a card into it, it had faded somewhat, but not enough to stop me.

  Spring Rainbow 3



Spring Rainbow 4

 Remember The Promise of Our Majestic God!

Genesis 9:13-16

And God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations.  I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.  And it shall come to pass when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:  And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creautre of all flesh;  and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.  And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”  And God said unto Noah, “This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”

God looks at the rainbow and REMEMBERS!
So, also, should we!!!



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Certain Man and his pickup Keys

Last week the household of Certain Man and Certain Man’s Wife had a most challenging thing happen. CM came crashing home for lunch barely stopping to eat. The alarm was going off in the chicken house and he needed to get out there as fast as possible. He decided to change clothes before going to the chickens so he wouldn’t get all stinky. (Four week old chickens are not especially known for smelling sweet!) He got into his “chicken house clothes” then headed out. He took care of the alarm problem, did a few other things, then changed back into his dress clothes and went back to work. Around 2:45 he called CMW.

“Hon. What are you doing right now?”

“Well, uh, nothing unusual. Waiting for Nettie Girl to come home. Waiting for Cecilia to do the same. Why?”

“Ah, Hon. I can’t believe I did this, but look out there on the key holder. Are my pickup keys out there?” He had been driving the state truck, of course, but he always carries his personal truck keys with him during the day. He keeps various important keys on that ring, and it is not really safe to just let them back at the office while he does plumbing inspections.

CMW trudged out there and sure enough, there hung his pickup keys. “How in the world did this happen?” She asked. She picked them off the peg and carried them around with her while talking to him (thinking that looking at them hard enough just might produce a bright idea of how to get them to him).

“When I came home and was going to change clothes, I must have just hung up the keys out of habit. I put the rest of my pocket stuff on a pile so I would get it before I left and never even thought of the keys. Could you possibly bring them up to me? I can’t get home without them.

CMW pondered her options. There was a fellow employee who lives just about five miles away.

“You couldn’t just catch a ride home with Lawson, could you? And then we’ll run up tonight and get it?”

“No, I don’t like leaving my pickup here in this area after hours. Who knows what might happen to it?”  The State Service Center is rather strategically located on the edge of some rather unsavory housing developments. There are always questionable activities going on just across the ally from the office parking lot.

“I don’t know when Deborah is coming home, Sweetheart, and I don’t know when Cecilia will get here so I can leave.”

“Well, what about Oldest Daughter? Could she maybe bring them to me?”

“Tell you what. We will work something out. I’ll call Oldest Daughter. If she doesn’t want to, maybe I can load up Cecilia the minute she gets home and bring her and Nettie Girl and the keys. I’ll see what happens.” So CMW got off the phone with Certain Man and called that Oldest Daughter.

“Chris. Do you want to go to Dover?”

“Not par-tick-ah-ler. Why?”

“Well. It’s a long story, but Dad left his keys here when he was home for lunch and he needs someone to run them up there to him so he can get home again.”

“Well, I suppose I could, but I would rather not. See if Beebs or someone can do it and if they can’t, then I will”

Middle Daughter was supposed to have been out of school at 2:30 that day, but she was not answering her cell phone. CMW kept trying to get through to her, but there was no answer. “Hello, this is Deborah. I can’t come to the phone right now . . . “ (Maddening, to say the least!)

At about 3:10, Certain Man’s Wife heard the driveway monitor, and the familiar black bug pulled into the garage. Middle Daughter was home! CMW’s delight at seeing her was suddenly struck cold by the realization that in the “carrying around of the keys” they had disappeared. CMW began to frantically search the areas she had been in, and Oh, joy! Before Youngest Daughter had actually gotten too far into the house (granted, she does take her sweet time coming in) the keys were found by the sink on the cupboard. Whew! What a relief.

CMW pounced the minute Middle Daughter walked through the kitchen door. “Deborah! Am I glad to see you! Daddy left his keys here at lunch time. Do you want to take them up to him, or do you want to stay here and watch ladies and I will take them?”

Middle Daughter considered a minute and then said, “I’ll take them. What time does Rachel get home? If I wait on her, she can drive, and that will actually give her another hour on her time.” (Youngest Daughter has been trying desperately to get 50 hours of driving time into the first six months of her learner’s permit. And Middle Daughter, being over 25, and an immediate family member, is allowed to ride shotgun for her.) She reached for the keys that CMW was still holding in her hand and started to walk across the kitchen with her “dreamy” look, like she was thinking about something far away.

“Oh, no, you don’t, Deborah girl!” Said CMW quite emphatically. “Do not walk off with those keys! I’ve already lost them once and had to look for them.” CMW retrieved them from her surprised hand and said, “We are going to hang them right out here on the peg. That way we will know where they are when you are ready to go.” (Middle Daughter really is the master at losing things, right next to her scatterbrained mother!) Middle Daughter saw the wisdom in that decision, and went about getting ready to leave “as soon as Rachel got off the bus.” Youngest Daughter was called and informed of the proposed plan, and of course she was all for it.

So Middle Daughter dilly-dallied around, changing clothes, getting something to eat, and getting stuff into the van, ready to take off for Dover. It seemed like Youngest Daughter’s bus was later than usual that day, so CMW suggested that Middle Daughter get into the van and be ready to pull out of the lane at the very minute Youngest Daughter got off the bus. It takes a half an hour to get up to the office, it was now nearly 3:30, and Certain Man gets off at four o’clock. When the big yellow bus drove up, Middle Daughter went out the door, and the two of them got into the van, and away they went.

Half an hour later, almost exactly at four o’clock, the phone rang.

“Uh, Mom.” It was Middle Daughter. “Uh, Mom. Would you look out there on the key rack and —”

“No, no, no, no!!!!. You didn’t! You COULDN’T!!!”

“I’m afraid we did — ”

“Oh, no, Deborah!” Certain Man’s Wife sighed, scurried out to the utility room and regarded the pickup keys sorrowfully. “Yep, they are here. Oh, dear. Whatever will your father say?”

“Well, I guess we are about to find out because we are pulling into the parking lot right now, and I see him standing over there waiting for us.”

CMW babbled on, trying to find the best solution, when suddenly, she realized that she was talking to a dead phone. Middle Daughter had ended the call.  The phone went back to its cradle and CMW looked at it with great anxiety. “What in the world was Certain Man saying to his two female offspringin’s?” He is usually a pretty kind and understanding father, but there are limits to every man’s endurance. However, it was fairly clear that her hands were pretty much tied in this situation.

“You know, there really is nothing I can do about this,” she thought. “I do not have a vehicle. They are just going to need to figure this out.” (This logic was when she was trying to be rational.) To be honest, at least some of the time, she was saying, “WHY didn’t I just let her take those keys and put them wherever she wanted to? WHY did I think I had to boss this 27 year old daughter? If she had laid them down and left them behind, it would have been her business, not mine! Why didn’t he/she/they/I THINK???” CMW kept wondering what they were going to decide, what Certain Man would ever say etc., etc., etc. when the thought suddenly struck her. “Certain Man can’t really say anything! He’s the one who started this mess!

About then, the utility room door open and in breezed Oldest Daughter, She snatched the keys off the key rack and started back out the door.

“I thought that you said you weren’t going to go to Dover today!”

“I wasn’t! But you gotta’ do what you gotta do!”

“So, what are you going to do???”

“I’m gonna’ start out towards Dover. Dad called, and they’re gonna’ head towards Milford, and we are gonna’ meet somewhere.”

And she turned and hurried back to her car and the next thing Certain Man’s Wife knew, the driveway monitor went, and she was gone. CMW busied herself with what needed doing around the kitchen for the next hour, and then (finally) Certain Man, Middle Daughter and Youngest Daughter all came breezing in. They had met Oldest Daughter at Medding and Sons Seafood, (a business some distance north of town) and the keys had changed hands. Oldest Daughter came back to her house, the three participants in disaster had returned to the state parking lot, and retrieved the pickup. Certain Man drove it home, and Middle Daughter and Youngest Daughter came home in the mini-van. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits. Youngest Daughter was pleased because she got almost two hours of driving in that day! Middle Daughter was happy because no one was cross with her, and it was a good diversion in the middle of a difficult week of clinicals. Even Certain Man was in surprising good humor. CMW heard him chuckle over the episode when relating it to someone. He must have figured that he couldn’t fuss too much if he had forgotten the keys in the first place.

And Certain Man’s Wife? Well, once again, she maintains that all is well that ends well. And she isn’t going to take this episode apart too much to try to determine just how this applies to all the extra miles driven on this particular April day.


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New post;  The Old, Old Story


Here it is again! Tonight our family will make these cookies and remember . . .

Easter Story Cookies

To be made evening before Easter

You need:

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch Salt
1 cup sugar
Heavy duty baggie
Wooden spoon
Masking tape

Preheat oven to 300 (this is important — don’t wait ’til you’re half done with the recipe).

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. 
         Read John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. 
         Read John 19: 28-30

Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. 
         Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. 
         Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.  Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him. 
         Read Ps. 34:8  and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  
         Read Isa.1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. 
         Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. 
          Read Matt. 27:65-66.

GO TO BED!!!  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. 
         Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. 
         Read Matt. 28:1-9.


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He took her very heart
Into his young care.
And without really planning
Or knowing he was doing it
He rewrote the rules and notes
For the music found there.
He encouraged a beautiful Melody
Then added the Tenor.
Their life together was a beautiful song.
And so the years passed.
They added verses and voices
And more harmonies
All carried by the sweet, strong Melody
And the rich, full Tenor.
Somehow they made the rest
Of the world sound good.
Then one April day
The Melody faltered
And there were days and days
Without a song.
And the Tenor could not soar
Without the Melody.
Somewhere in our hearts
We still heard the song
So we stood around her bed
And sang it to her
And prayed the song would
Give her hope.
Then there came a day when
The eyes recovered the sparkle.
The spirit recovered the spunk.
And the song
Though so far gone
from the damaged throat
Went bravely on in the hearts
Of the two we called
Daddy and Mama.
And the harmony was
So beautiful, so pure, so sweet.
Like nothing we had ever heard before.
Haunting in its tenderness.
Tenative in its joy.
Careful in its hope
But tenacious in that thread of Faith
That defined the rest of life.
And then there came the day
When we stood around his bed
And tried to sing the song to a heart
That was already listening
For the Music of Heaven
He may have heard us.
But the other Music was more compelling
And he took his full, rich tenor
And went Home.
What’s to become of the song?
The Melody is still sweet.  Still strong.
But I often see the far away look
Like she’s listening for something, Someone.
And when we sing the Songs of Heaven,
The tears slide down.
Sometimes it seems that if
She listened hard enough,
She could hear that familiar voice.
But no.  It’s long gone.
But the song — The Song!
It goes on and on and on and on.
I hear it in the sounds of the voices.
Of my brothers and sisters.
Our children.  The great-grandchildren.
And I hear it in that
Sweet Strong Melody.
My Mama.
Every day she sings a song
To my heart.
A Song of Faith; of Hope; of Courage; of Love.
Of Heaven.
And I’ve heard it
So often and so long
That the music sings itself to me.
I hear it on sunshiny days
When the paths seem clear.
I hear it when the rain comes down
And speaks life to the winter earth.
I hear it when the night is dark
And I cannot find my way.

And the harmony is
So beautiful, so pure, so sweet.
Like something I have heard before.
Haunting in its tenderness.
Tenative in its joy.
Careful in its hope
But tenacious in that thread of Faith
That defines the rest of life.

And how I love The Song!



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Last week, I decided that I really needed to do some “deep cleaning”  (hence the”purging” that is still going on in my computer room  It looks a sight!!!).  But on Friday, a dear friend from church was able to come and help me do some cleaning, and I decided that we would dive into cleaning out all the kitchen cabinets.  Poor, poor, misguided friend.

Oh, dear.  I didn’t know what a big job this was.  And as the hours slipped away, it became time for my friend to go and pick her four sons up from school away up in Kenton.  By that time, the cupboards were pretty much washed out and the food stuff gone through.  (She is absolutely incredible!)  But the general outlook was dismal, indeed, and I was getting company for supper and overnight on Saturday.  If this was your kitchen, and your good, good help had gone on down the road, what would you do???

Kitchen Messy  4

Kitchen Messy 3

Kitchen Messy 1

Kitchen Messy 2

I suspect that you would do what I did — PRAY!

And then work and work and work and work.  But I never did get quite finished until today.  And now, with great thanksgiving, I report that the kitchen is back in order.

Kitchen Clean 1

Kitchen Clean 2

Kitchen Clean 3

Kitchen Clean 4

What an incredible relief!  I really think I will sleep better tonight.



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