Saturday, August 02, 2008

"100" -- Yellow

29. I didn't take the picture. Most of the ST JOHN'S-WORT was done blooming shortly before I started this ID-ing venture. St John's-wort grows about knee-high along roads and in country ditches (aka, "disturbed soil") and usually begins blooming at the end of June ... in other words, about the time we celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist. The sap is red, and if you crush or boil the yellow flowers they will become red/purple. This reminds us of the blood of the martyr. This pretty plant is the same St John's-wort used for treating depression.

30. SWEET CLOVER is commonly seen along the highways and country roads, or unmowed locations in town (such as at the corner of highway off-ramps). I always thought "sweet clover" was an adjective describing the lovely smell of regular white clover that grows in your lawn. Nope. Sweet clover doesn't have a ball of flower. Rather, it looks almost feathery, usually growing at a height of about 3' and in airy-looking bunches. There's white sweet clover and yellow sweet clover, identical except for the color of the flowers. Most of the time, the sweet clover will wave above the surrounding grasses, but in this picture it's short enough to be partially obscured by the grass.

31. When you're zooming down the road at 60 mph, WILD PARSNIP appears to be the yellow version of Queen Anne's Lace.

32. MULLEIN is a biennial. The first picture here, with the rosette of soft soft fuzzy leaves is first-year growth. The second picture is the stalk that grows and flowers the following year.

33. BIRD'S-FOOT TREFOIL is another legume (like peas or soybeans) with gorgeous flowers. You often see bird's-foot trefoil climbing out from a lawn, creeping over a concrete sidewalk. It frequently spills out from a lawn over the edge of the curb into the street. It's a bright bright yellow, and will "mound" a bit (like impatiens). If it gets into pasture-land, it supposedly makes good feed, like alfalfa. But I see it more often in town, dressing up lawns and sidewalks.

34. Before blooming, YELLOW WOOD SORREL looks a lot like low hop clover. At least, they look a lot alike to an amateur like me. But the hop clovers and the sorrels aren't even in the same family, nor even in the same order. Hop clover flowers remain looking like little buds, whereas sorrels have the kind of flower that all first-graders like to draw -- a properly-petaled flower.

Oatmeal Muffins

This is from Barb Wieting, and Jane asked for the recipe today. Since I'm not sure if Rachel and Katie have it (and I know they'll need it), I figured I'd post it here.

One dozen.
Greased muffin tins.
400° for about 12 minutes.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup sour milk
Soaks oats in sour milk 10-15 minutes. (Shorter is okay if you're substituting quick oats.)

Stir in
1 egg
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine in small bowl:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Mix dry ingredients into wet. Stir just a bit, till all is moistened. Scoop batter into muffin tin, and bake.

Reasonably healthy as muffins go. Not overly sweet, but have that caramelly taste that comes from brown sugar. Quick and easy. And uses up some of that sour milk that sometimes ends up taking space in the fridge.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Summer Gradual

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out. For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things. To Him be the glory forever. (Romans 11)

Of Him. The Father is the source of all things.

Rejoice, my heart, be glad and sing,
a cheerful trust maintain;
for God, the source of everything,
thy Portion shall remain.

Through Him. We are united to the Son. We are in Him. All of God's blessings come to us through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Who is this that comes in glory
with the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies --
He has gained the victory.
He who on the cross didst suffer,
He who from the grave arose,
He hath vanquished sin and Satan;
He by death hath spoiled His foes.
Thou hast raised our human nature
on the clouds to God's right hand;
there we sit in heavenly places,
there with Thee in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels;
Man with God is on the throne.
Mighty Lord, in Thine ascension
we by faith behold our own.

To Him. Because of the Holy Spirit's work when and where He pleases in those who hear the Gospel, we are brought to our Savior. And the words He gives us to pray go back to Him.

O Holy Spirit, grant us grace
that we our Lord and Savior
in faith and fervant love embrace
and truly serve Him ever,
so that when death is drawing nigh,
we to His open wounds my fly
and find in them salvation.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
Isn't that just so trinitarian?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bender Binder

Look -- no longer a binder!
The second edition -- which has been edited to go with LSB -- is now available.

Cleaning for Company

I don't like to clean for company.
I don't want to clean for company.
I want to live in our house at the cleanliness level we can endure enjoy, and joyfully accept the company as it comes ... without stressing myself by thinking that we need to "clean for them."

So Jane and the guys are coming. And Andrew harasses me because

we're cleaning.

For the company. (So HE says.)

I say, however, that we are cleaning because there's cleaning to be done that didn't get tackled yesterday or the day before or the day before that. If we are going to take a good 24 hours to play instead of do any work, then it's time to work now. It's not for impressing company. It's "work before play." Well, actually, there will be work after play too, because we sure ain't gonna finish the house-cleaning before they come. So we'll have plenty to do after they leave. Not because they're messy, but because I've been doing silly things like cooking and laundry instead of dusting. And the dust is getting to where it bothers ME.

Sorry, but dust (no matter how big those dust elephants bunnies are) ain't big enough to sully my reputation. I've done that on my own quite well enough without the aid of mere dust!

the hostess (term used quite loosely)
who welcomes you by showing you how to
make yourself at home and where the
glasses and towels are ... because I'm
so pitiful at serving the guests

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"100" -- Fields

These may be obvious species to many of us, but I need my youngest to learn them too. So here's #25, CORN. And this corn is going to feed chickens and cows, and will not be going into anyone's fuel tank.

26 & 27. The crop on the left is WINTER WHEAT nearly ready to harvest. The crop on the right is HAY.

28. A bean field. When I was growing up, and my parents talked about the "bean fields," I always thought it meant green beans. Nope. In the midwest, virtually all the field-crops are corn, hay, wheat, and SOYBEANS. Other crops are seen occasionally. I took the picture of the bean field just as the soybeans were flowering. Aren't the soybean flowers pretty?

1 John 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Okay, don't laugh at me. I don't know what I used to think this verse meant, but it wasn't anything normal. "It has not yet been revealed what we shall be." Will we have three arms? Two heads? Will we look like creatures out of a Sponge Bob episode?

No, that's not what I thought. But I thought "not yet been revealed" meant that there'd be some kind of surprise when it finally is revealed. Y'know how kids in Sunday School (or grown-ups, for that matter) will ask questions about what our "glorified bodies" will be like after the resurrection? I've heard it asked SO many times whether we'll be able to walk through walls like Jesus. Or [poof] appear and disappear. (Actually, the Bible never says Jesus could "walk through walls." It just says in John 20 that Jesus "appeared in their midst.") So there is lots of wondering about what WILL be revealed someday that hasn't been revealed yet -- and it's not just me.

So when we got to this in Bible class a couple of weeks ago, I asked. And Pastor gave one of those DOH! answers, where you think, "Of course! Why didn't I see that before? It's so obvious!"

He said that it "hasn't been revealed" because we don't know what it's like to be sin-free. We don't know what it's like to have pure motives. We don't know what it's like to have no pain, no sorrow, no selfishness. We don't know what it's like to live in a world that has been freed from the curse of the fall. So, yes, we have been told what's coming, and in that sense, it has been revealed. And yet, it hasn't been revealed because we haven't seen what is coming, and we can't even begin to imagine what it will be like.

Two Kingdoms

Today's selection from Day by Day We Magnify Thee includes this:
Secular authority is an image, symbol, and likeness of the authority of Christ. The ministry of the Word brings eternal justification, eternal peace, and eternal life. The secular authority maintains temporal peace, justice, and life, yet it is a glorious divine ordinance and a wonderful gift of God, who has instituted and appointed it.

Pastor has been talking about how the Kingdom of the Left is still under God's control, and it is how He rules in the world. I guess I used to think that there was the Church and there was the world, and that God ruled in His Church. So I was beginning to get a grasp on the stuff Pastor was saying about God ruling in the world, overseeing governments and nations and police and armies and politicians. But this Luther quote seemed to help clarify things a bit. What God gives eternally through the Church, He gives temporally through the left-hand kingdom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I left this morning with the car, to get the emissions test done prior to renewing the license plate. But I left without the paper work and had to run back home to fetch it when I was part-way there. Then I discovered that my memory of where the test-station was was better than what google-maps told me. Not trusting my memory recently, I figured I should check the map, and it took me 20 minutes out of my way because of showing me the wrong location.

Then we were headed off to the beach. Got nearly halfway there and realized I didn't have the beach pass. Turned around to go home and fetch that, frustration levels increasing.

The ugly and foul mouths of the kids at the beach was astounding. Andrew was as offended as I was. I could not believe how brazenly they talked about evil evil things, with potty-mouths. Andrew says that Matrix is the foulest-mouthed movie he's ever seen, and these teenagers made it seem like a clean movie. It's scary to think that these are "nice normal kids."

We had to pick up a few groceries while we were out. But while shopping, we checked a couple of stores for those large, blue, blow-up pools. We really need to check out a different beach or buy something for the backyard. The upper for the day was when I was tooling through the grocery store and saw one of the men from church. I don't even know his name, but he's a sweet man who usually attends on Wednesday nights. And it was just so pleasant to see him there, chat for a minute, and go on. It was, like, look!, there are other Christians wandering around this world full of cranky and/or potty-mouthed folks, and it's not just me and my kids surrounded by bad guys. It was inordinately cheering to see him!


Because Glenda asked, this is what I threw together in the blender:

Grind up
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
a little salt

then add about 3 cups basil leaves
and chop.

Drizzle into blender while running
1/2 cup olive oil
then add
1/4 cup parmesan,
until you have pastey mush.

You're supposed to use pine nuts, not sunflower seeds. But the sunflower seeds worked fine. Online references also suggested substituting cashews for the sunflower seeds. Erin tells me that you can use spinach instead of basil. I tried it a couple of weeks ago with parsley instead of basil, and that was good too.

You can use it as a sandwich spread, instead of mayo, or with mayo. We put some on the pizza last night, under the tomato sauce. Erin said she's made pizza with pesto instead of tomato sauce. It goes lovely-like on pasta!

Monday, July 28, 2008

General News

Philip started a job today!! Not anything exciting; it's a lot like what he was doing at Borg. He says he'll be building headlights. But it pays. It gives him something to do. And he's done working at 2:45, so that still allows him time to make appointments for interviews for other jobs or for taking classes to gain skills for other jobs.

Dad started chemo last week.

We spent a long and restful Sunday with our goddaughter's family. Ahhh.

I have access to a car today and tomorrow, as Gary's got a ride to work with somebody else. Having a vehicle available makes me feel a little more settled about getting things done that need doing. Still wondering if we should be looking for a car for Paul to take to college. Does it make sense to pray for him to be able to find a good church, but not leave him with wheels and a key?

We went to the beach this morning for sunshine and exercise for Miss Scoliosis. (Hey, that's what you can do when you have a car. LOL.) Less than five minutes after we arrived, she sliced her heel open quite badly. Now it's got one of those "advanced healing" band-aids on it. I hope we can try the beach again tomorrow.

I did a lot of hunting for an in-network osteopath who does manipulations. Can't find one. I guess we're going to have to try out a couple of in-network chiropractors. If I'm not happy with them, I guess we'll just end up paying out-of-network medical costs for little Miss Scoliosis.

Rosie (the cat) continues to improve. She's still sneezing, but doesn't look like she's at death's door anymore. She did, however, get reattached to running water. We were tempting her to drink with any scheme we could; she just needed hydration. So now she's once again begging for the bathroom sink faucets to be turned on to suit her fancy.

Finished off the lettuce from our garden. The cucumbers are coming along. They're itty-bitty, but we are looking forward to cucumber salad soon! Cantaloupe doesn't seem to be setting fruit yet, although I've seen plenty of blooms.

The plum tree has edible fruit, not just ornamental. Mmmmm. Gonna have to find some time to haul out the ladder, pick plums, and make jelly. I botched it with the cherries, so I better not botch it with the plums.

Started a compost pile. Finally. Now I don't have to throw all that perfectly decent garbage into the garbage can.

Last week I visited the doctor recommended by Erin, Cathy, and Becky. I like him. It's such a relief to find a primary-care physician on the first try! I'm so grateful to those who recommended him. I have another appointment scheduled for next week.

I made pesto with the big bag of basil from the CSA. Oh man, that is good stuff! Now, what am I going to do once I get used to these fresh herbs, and then don't have them in November? Hmmm? That's gonna be sad.

Looks like I have a lot of play-time coming up. Jane later this week. Tammy on the weekend. And possibly Barb early in the week. Then if I could squeeze in another trip to my folks while I have Dorothy's car on loan next week ... my goodness, I am just not going to get ANY work done at all. But I'll have lots of happy time for chatting!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Romans 8:23-24

A quote from last Sunday's Bible class, regarding the burden of living with the sinful flesh, and the problem of trying to overcome sin:

We ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
If you're longing for a time in this life in which you will not have a struggle with sin, you have your longing misplaced. And if you believe that, that's where the devil tries to rob you of your salvation. He wants you to try to find that place where you can say, "I am now finally no longer having any struggle." Oh no. That's dangerous.

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees?
So if you feel your sin, and you struggle against it, and you long to be free of it, God be praised. That's what it is to be a Christian in this life. "But I don't want to struggle!" you say; "I don't want to keep sinning." I know you don't. So confess your sin, believe the Gospel, and don't get too attached to the things of this world -- look up for your redemption draws near. "But I want the freedom from sin now!" you say. I know you want it now. But remember that the present sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in you. And just as the suffering of Jesus was necessary on the way to His resurrection, so we who are baptized into Christ Jesus' death and resurrection must suffer until the glorious day of our resurrection. Do not be afraid: His proclamation is steadfast and unmovable.

Weekend Projects

We've lived here nearly five months. Friday I finally got bathroom curtains hung. It wasn't so bad in the first few months; the glass has a frost coating so that it's not see-through. But it's warm now. We want the windows open. At the old house, there were two times a year when there was ANYbody around who could see in the bathroom window: when the farmer planted and when he harvested. Otherwise, who'd be in a position to see into the bathroom? But here? There are neighbors. So if you took a shower during the day, you'd just be careful with where you undressed and how you slipped into the shower, out of sight. But at night, with the lights on, NO WAY. The window had to be closed, or you had to shower in the dark, or something. (Believe me, it was loads easier to shower during daylight hours.) And we could always use the toilet in the little bathroom, where you can't see in the window. But now I have the curtains done! Finally! They aren't fancy. But the blue-daisy fabric goes well with the linoleum and the bright yellow walls. Best of all, though, it's so much easier to take a shower without having to finagle some privacy.

And here we see part of Gary's project. The guys all put a lot of manual labor into this!! The boards on the deck have been removed, turned over, sanded, and sealed. But along with that, a whole lot of dirt had to be dug out and carted away because the joists were sitting in the soil. And what happens to wood boards sitting in dirt? They turn to compost. And when they start rotting, they aren't the best at holding up weight. So the guys have a nice airy place under that part of the deck, with the soil graded away from the house now, and a porous ground-cover that won't hold moisture next to the joists. The guys also had to build a small retaining wall. The only thing that had been holding the dirt back at all was a few 4x4s next to the shed. It wasn't enough. But the men here dug, and carried those heavy stones, and got them all placed properly, and put the shed back into its spot. Isn't it pretty? And now we even have part of the garage back because the mower and edger and wheelbarrows can live in the shed instead of by the bikes. Yippee!

I just think what Gary's done with this deck is SO impressive!! There's still quite a ways to go, but I think he's at least halfway done now. And hopefully it will help to be getting into the drier part of the summer -- more days to work without being bogged down by mud mud mud.