Monday, May 30, 2016

Those Who Died for Me

I had a brief conversation with a Canadian friend recently about how unusual Memorial Day is. Barbecue? Holiday? Fireworks? Picnics? Why do we do all this happy stuff because there are hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers in our national history? Shouldn't this be a day of mourning instead?
Those thoughts rumbled around in my head for a few days until they congealed into this question:

Is it normal that we celebrate because somebody died to give us freedom?

Immediately I realized I'd been doing that every day for most of my life. I've been celebrating a man who died to give me, not just freedom as an American, but freedom as a human forever. I've been celebrating the death of Jesus.

What if all the dead American soldiers of our past should rise up out of their scattered graves as one man, new and indestructible, and go marching throughout the world to defeat any evil person that endangers us. What a zombie army! What if their single goal of existence were to make us feel safe? How would you feel with such an army as your defender?

If you think Christians are crazy (and we often seem to be), just remember this -- we have a friend who died to secure us freedom and safety, and then He came back to life so we knew He could conquer anything -- absolutely anything -- for us. That kind of belief makes you a little crazy.

Thank you, dead soldiers. You have a mighty example.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ready for Some Relaxation

Yesterday I sat for a quiet few minutes here with Beau under my chair. Quite peaceful.
My shade bed with hostas, lambs' ears, and astilbe is looking very nice, even after the yard flooding of a couple weeks ago.
My gardenia is blooming its heart out. See how it leans right? It's stretching for the sunrise.
I have English ivy leaves bigger than my hand.
This morning early, before heading for a day at the hospital with a parishioner facing a second surgery in two days, Adam expanded our herb bed.
He's doubling the size and leaving space for a walk up the middle between the two halves.
 He's now used up all his compost for the year.
Into that new space I put some lemon verbena and lemon balm. I also bought a bleeding heart plant and a tiny bay tree! I've wanted a bay tree for many years, ever since hearing Tasha Tudor talk about hers.
 Sage is blooming.
So is the borage.
I have two rosemary bushes. The larger one is doing well, stuck into a hole near the herb bed. The other one was quite unhappy in the rich soil of the herb bed and was looking quite peaky. So Adam dug her up and moved her to a hole on the back of the property. It's drier there. I've always heard that rosemary doesn't like rich soil but thrives in poor soil -- as long as it's well-drained. Think of rocky, dry Mediterranean soil. We're not very Mediterranean around here but here's hoping she will recover and perk up in her new home.

I think I drifted into a farm post over here on ye olde blogge :) This time next week I'll be done with work for the school year (yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I see a nice, long, quiet summer stretching ahead of me.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hannah's Wedding

We are in our fifties now, and our children are marrying. Our siblings' children are marrying.
Hannah is the oldest child of my oldest brother. That first wedding in a family is quite emotional! Beautiful West Virginia landscapes mixed with the youthful vitality of a couple dozen teens/twenty-somethings made for a great wedding. Changing the venue from the farm to the church sanctuary because of rain was a bit tricky, but all was well in the end.
Max and Anne, parents of the bride
Hannah and Michael, the new couple
 So much beauty in this family!

Cake, flowers, music, children:




So many, many emotions are stirring at a family wedding. Everyone's thoughts and feelings seem poured into a big pot, set on simmer, and allowed to bubble for the weekend. So many memories -- family memories both precious and sad, tumbling around in my mind. Weddings seem to stir them all.
The reception at the Lewisburg Medical School Alumni Building was just delightful. The dance floor was the central event! So much fun dancing -- I loved watching, and I succeeded in luring Adam onto the dance floor several times. We danced more Saturday evening that we have all together in the entirety of our marriage life :)
And now for some fun, random photos:
Marshall and DeVona, my brother and sister-in-law
coloring table for the littles
Julia, forced to hug
cousins Peter and Katie

brothers Nathan and Ben
cousins and best buddies Patience and Julia

Mihok and Robinson families

bridesmaids by the barn

slipping in a photo of the recent graduate!

bridesmaids in the kitchen - the peonies came from the farm
 All weekend I found myself remembering the wedding this time last year. Philip and Kara enjoyed watching somebody else do it, I think! It was delightful to see them again.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

What I'm Weaving

I haven't forgotten the loom.
This first scarf remains unfinished. The weaving is done, but I have a bit of hand work to do, adding all the "effects" I want on there -- trees, clouds, rain, flowers, etc.
I suppose I'd call it a tapestry scarf.

It has a bold sunset.

The blue parts are supposed to be water, and the green parts are land. 
The gray are buildings -- high rises, with the gleam of the sunset on one side.
 The clouds turned out okay, and I'm working on the rain and/or silver linings.
To the green hills I plan to add trees and wildflowers. Some of the weaving was rather tricky. I can't say it's very realistic-looking, but I like the whimsical nature of it. It is a very labor-intensive project.
On to scarf #2 -- some of the same green/purple/teal yarn, which was a rather fine, pricey yarn from Weaver's Webb, the swanky yarn store in New Bern.
The warp is nearly invisible; this scarf is all about the weft. And the yarn is so light-weight it's like air on your neck.
The beading took almost as long to do as the weaving.
And scarf #3, made with thrift store yarn, but very nice -- mostly alpaca. It's soft and silky feeling.
The yarn is brown, not gray.
 A little edging detail and a neat diamond-pattern fringe.
What'll be next? I'm not sure. Not many scarves are selling as summer heats up, so I may be simply building up my inventory for fall/winter. I do think I'll sell quite a few woven scarves then.