Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fields of Dreams

Just returned from a fast trip to a sloooow place. In Ohio no one seems to be in a hurry to do much of anything, ever. It seems even the second hand on the clock moves slower there. For us it was a welcome change of pace. The most excitement we had the entire time was when I was driving in the middle of the night on our way there & almost (key word here - whew!) hit a deer that suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

Uncle Steve & Aunt Nicki's backyard - aka Strike's "Field of Dreams".
If this were our backyard, no doubt Strike would have a ballfield set up here :)

Playmaker performed a private concert for Grandma & Grampa at our hotel.

Sudden thunderstorms do add an element of surprise every now & then.
Another field of the girls' dreams - one for horses & hay - lies here,
just down the road from Uncle Steve & Aunt Nicki's house.

Meet the Neeeeeiiigh-bors :)

Happy 90th Birthday Grampa!!!
- & where else would you find 'Buckeye Blitz" flavored icecream?! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm convinced...

If anyone is a skeptic, it's me. Let's just say I'm not easily convinced - but I just read an article in Creation Illustrated , Spring 2010 - "Soil Preparation" - By Steve Day) that appeared to be very well documented - & I listed below some claims/stats I gleaned from it that I found really interesting &/or ... disturbing:

- in the last 70 yrs the nutritional value of our food as declined significantly for various soil related reasons.

-Recent studies indicate that US agricultural soils have been depleted of 85% of their minerals as compared to soils of 100 yrs ago.

- "In less than 20 yrs the ppm of content of iron in tomatoes has gone from 1938 to under 5;..." other specific/similar examples were also listed.

- Generally, the sweeter produce are, the greater mineral content they contain bc sugars are bound to phosphates in the plant & when the phosphate came into the plant it brought along other minerals w/ it. (Note: this may mean that many who crave sweets, actually crave minerals....not sugar - bc the body knows that naturally sweet things have lots of minerals).

- Roughly 80% of diseases have their roots in nutritional deficiencies.

- Soil definitely needs calcium bc calcium acts as the base to which all other minerals react & give off energy - directly affecting plant growth/quality.

The good news ... soil can be tested for deficiencies & "restored/rebuilt" by adding vital minerals (calcium, phosphorhous, magnesium, potassium - & by balancing trace minerals (boron, iron, copper, zinc) - & adding carbon via compost, manure or other humic matter - & by activating it w/ biologicals thru microbial & mycorrhizal inoculants.

I've never been one to take multi-vitamins faithfully (key word here) - but I think that's about to change for me & my family.

....the earth will wear out like a garment...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Baby's got Striking Blue Eyes

Looks like Strike's been havin' some fun w/ photbucket. I just tho't this pic that she edited was really cool :)

Let me introduce you to someone I'd like to meet

Strike recently started playing softball w/ a new local team & we're slowly getting to know the girls & parents better. One family I've seen in softball circles before but never really knew them. They have a little girl, Nicki, (probably 9 or 10 years old) who has Downs Syndrome. I remember a few years back I saw Nicki picking dandilions under the bleachers while others were watching the game. Precious. I also remember tears stinging as I watched her interacting w/ her family. Just sweet. Whenever I see anyone who has Downs Syndrome it reminds me of my little brother, Byron, who had it too. Long story short, Strike now plays on the same team as Nicki's older sister - so we're seeing a lot more of them. Nicki loves to sit on the bench w/ the team & she'll cheer for anyone who is up to bat (it doesn't matter what team they're on :) She does SO MANY things that remind me of Byron. She has many of the same little quirks & mannerisms. I gather she can be very stubborn & rather clumsy & she is absolutely adorable! This weekend she had two little purses that she carries "treasures" in. Byron had a backpack that he used for the same purpose. She swears (used the "d***" word on the bench when Strike did something that annoyed her) & Byron did that too. Not sure where he picked that up - but he did. She mumbles. Byron did too. He would mumble a whole sentence & only pronounce the last word/words well enough to understand. She peed her pants on the bench - & my brother would do that too! That was tough to deal with ... embarrassing/frustrating - but seeing her do it, just brought memories flooding back (pun intended :) .

It's strange ... feeling like I know someone I've never met, so well. I haven't mustered up the courage to actually talk to her parents yet bc I'm quite certain that the dam will break & tears will come flooding out & it will just be really awkward - but I want to!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Fun in Sand & Sun

Just some pics here from our weekend in Maine. Strike played in softball tourney - & we had some time to savor some fun in the sand & sun :)

Playmaker Playing Peek-a-boo Under the Pier

"Scratch That Tat" ...
off the summer to-do list.
Playmaker got her wish come true - a henna tattoo

& Strike got one too.
If you've ever seen them done, you know that the black "ink" dries & falls off, leaving a brownish/orange temporary tatoo that lasts a few weeks.

Dinner at the Diner

The only things missing here are poodle skirts & saddle shoes :)

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ever tho't to reuse this?

I've been hearing that it's really not necessary to do laundry in hot/warm water --- that cold water is good enough & much better for the environment bc when washing w/ hot water, up to 90% of the energy goes to heating the water. I've still not come to a verdict on that & honestly, for me, it depends on what my bigger concern is on any given day .... germs - or the environment - or my energy bill! :) I am enjoying hanging out my laundry on these warm summer days again tho' & that is definitely a help on the energy bill.

Anyhow - as I was looking into that, I accidentally happened upon these potential uses for dryer lint ... compost, worm food, fire starter, bird nesting material ... :) Whooda thunk it? I'm gonna give it a try in my worm farm. By the way, I split a mail order of worms w/ friends & so far so good....except for the ones that crawled out of the box & into my car before I moved them to their new home! Ugh!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

24 years & counting (backwards)

24 - yrs ago today I married my best friend

22 - Age of my husband when we tied the knot & the age of Spokes (our oldest) now

20 - My husband's age when we met.

19 - How old I was when Spokes (our oldest) was born

18 - How old I was when we got married

16 - How old Playmaker is now

15 - How old I was when we met (tho' I was almost 16)

13 - How old Strike is now

10 - Number of cars we've owned

9 - Longest number of yrs we've ever lived in the same home

6 - Number of jobs my husband has had since we've been married

5 - Number of homes we've lived in .... owned 4 /rented 1

4 - Number of children we've had & number of states we've lived in

1 - Number of people I will ever love as I have loved the man I married 24 years ago.... today.

What I can't see is.... I'm ever gonna love you more
But I've said that before

 Happy 24th Anniversary, Honey!

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Friday :)

The girls & I rarely all go shopping together so yesterday I celebrated the second day of summer by taking them shopping for some new make-up & summer clothes, etc. They're growing up so fast but I still LOVE to shop for clothes for them & do their hair, etc.

It's Friday! Hoo-rah:) Srike is goin' to the beach w/ a friend. Playmaker & I are goin' shopping again - as she could still use a couple pairs of shorts for the summer.

My deep cleaning frenzy is history. - WHEW! I went thru' closets, drawers, the laundry room, shelves - & gave away SO MUCH STUFF (books/videos/games, etc.) Here's a secret for clearing things out quickly.....The word "FREE" when placed in front of STUFF has magical (magnetic?) properties & things just disappear :) Anyhow, I'm pleased to report that my laundry room is respectable again & my house is in much better order overall - & it feels SO good. I do have a BIG load to take to the Salvation Army still -- mb I'll get to that today. And there's a ton of ironing to do. I'll probably pop in a DVD to watch while I work on that.

I'm looking forward to a weekend full of softball, sun & sand - & hopefully some seafood(!) ... as Strike has a softball tourney near the beach & it looks like the weather will be ideal for all of the above :)

I haven't posted a "Funny Friday" in a while but Bunny has the perfect fit for that over at her place so I'll give you the option to have some fun before you leave here by clicking over THERE. The choice is yours :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer's off to a berry good start

Playmaker's last day of school was yesterday - sooo summer officially started at our house today! Hoooooraaay! :) I celebrated by sleeping in late &amp staying in my PJ's longer than usual before taking the girls to a local farm to pick strawberries & stopping for ice cream on the way home.

Dear Miss Emily Dickinson,

My friends are my estate.

Dear Miss Dickinson,

Strike & I visited your home/museum last week. Tho' poetry has never really been "my thing", your words intrigued me & I managed to identify some things we share in common. Among them...

- a keen interest in Botany

- It seems finding just the right words to wrap around your thoughts was important to you - but rather difficult to do at times.

- You broke well established grammar rules (to the chagrin of editors/critics) - & frequently used dashes as opposed to more proper punctuation. Not sure when/how I started doing that, but I do it too.

- Your simple white dress reminds me of my more contemporary style - as jeans & a white shirt are among my favorite things to wear.

- Major themes of your writings include flowers/gardening & the Gospel & I sense that by closely examining & carefully considering nature, you gained a better understanding of the nature of The Creator too.

- I also relate to your enjoyment of solitude. If I don't enjoy some of it for myself each day (preferably in the morning), I feel rather cheated.

During our tour of your home, we went out on the lawn & stood near the giant old oak tree where we were given excerpts of your writings to share with the group by reading aloud. I was given...

A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown,
Who ponders this tremendous scene--
This whole experiment in green,
As if it were his own!

Strike read this one...

"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see -
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency

Despite having written hundreds of poems during your lifetime, at some point you concluded that
Saying nothing... sometimes says the most.

...and I agree! Tho' I'd be remiss if I didn't pause here, before closing, to say thank you for inspiring Strike to want to be (key words here) a better writer!! Hearing her tell me that herself after visiting your place was music to my ears(!) - bc by teaching, I've learned enough to know that...

Creating desire within a student
to want to learn what's being taught
means half the battle of teaching them
has already been fought :)

Hey - this poetry stuff IS kinda fun!

It was my pleasure getting to know you after ALL these years. Had I been given the opportunity to do the same when you were living on this side of eternity - I imagine .... we might have been friends :)

Many thanks & Sincerely,

A (modern) "Contemporary"

P.S. I've enclosed some pics that Strike took while wandering thru' your lovely gardens.

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,--
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty....

Forever is composed of nows.

A word is dead when it is said, Some say. I say it just Begins to live That day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thyme began in a garden

Just recently I learned that Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed. Tho' I hadn't considered it before, it makes perfect sense given that plant phases also mark time in step with the four seasons and that...

Imagine how intriguing & beautiful (inspiring!) an interactive clock garden would be if it were laid out & planted using this human sundial concept...

8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Craving (ReaLLy!) Clean - & Crunch

I'm definitely a project oriented person (not so much a multi-tasker) - perhaps to a fault. Once I start something all I want to do is work on THAT until it's done. I'm just driven that way & at the moment I'm in cleaning mode - BIG TIME! - Actually, more like "cleaning out" mode. Getting rid of a lot of STUFF & organizing what's left. I'm on a roll & I don't want to stop! :)

Given the craving I have to make/find a place for everything & to have EvERyTHinG in it's place - & the fact that these (scroll down when you get there - & thanks for sharing, Lupine!) look really tasty already this morning & it's only minutes past 8AM(!), my husband is going to start getting rather concerned if he reads this. No worries, honey - I am so not pregnant :)

On another note...Strike slept downstairs on the futon last night. When I went to wake her this morning, I found this....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hand-dipped Home Runs should be a big hit!

Hoooray! Strawberry pickin' season begins today!!! - which ironically coincides w/ the first time I've ever seen Hand-dipped Home Runs! They're sure to be a big hit at Strike's playoff game on Thursday ... assuming (hoping!) I'm able to make them look as nice as the ones of those who inspired me to try this morning :) Tho' I'm going to attempt to make them look more like the yellow-green balls w/ red lacing that her league uses.

I thought these were tastefully done & full of fun too:

Bride & Groom
Wedding Berries :)

Let me tell you a secret about a father's love...

We celebrated Father's Day this past Sunday since it looks like we'll be out of state on the real day. Spokes joined us after a bike race for "surf & turf" ... grilled steak tips & tuna steak - bacon wrapped grilled asparagus - & fruit salad. Dairy Queen was dessert & we ended our celebration of this incredible man by watching none other than... The Incredibles :) ... & it's in his honor that I share this secret (yet another country song!) about a father's love w/ you here:

Monday, June 7, 2010

This parting lesson packed a powerful punch

Friday (Graduation Day) the graduates (& all the other students!) at Playmaker's high school were presented with a most difficult parting lesson. I pray they will learn this one well from the mistakes others made - as opposed to having to learn it the even harder way. Long story short... there was a physical fight at the school between a boyfriend/girlfriend. One of two teachers that tried to break it up collapsed afterwards ... and died!

I doubt any commencement speeches that evening packed a more powerful punch than the fight earlier in the day that prompted pupils to ponder the potential packed within each & every "personal" choice to impact so many other people...perhaps permanently.

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
Proverbs 29:11

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Birthday BIG Mak!

Happy Birthday to you!

Haaaappy Birthday to yooooooou!

Happy (6th!) Birthday, Dear Malakai!!!!

Haaaaaaaapy Biiiiiiirthday toooooooo yoooouuuuuuuuuuu!!!

We love all 198lbs of you Big Mak!!!

Playmaker's Works of He'ART'

We've moved around quite a bit and each time we prepare our house to "show & sell" it feels more like a museum & less like home. Stressful! But recently (tho' we don't plan on moving anytime soon) our home has begun to feel more like an art gallery ... & I love it!

Playmaker made this close up canvas painting of a butterfly wing in art class. It found a home above her piano in our family room. Seems appropriate given how at times she struggles w/ her music lessons & yet right before my very eyes (& ears!) an amazing & beautiful transformation is taking place.

She also painted & gave me this sunflower for my birthday.
I found the perfect spot for it too - a place that needed EvErYtHiNg it has to offer.


Remember this (Time Flies) ?

As it turned out, it's the perfect piece to place above the simple time machine
we installed a while back...

One glance & this thing hurls us to memorable moments back it time until we focus on the more recent pic in the center - which then brings us right back to here & now so we don't miss anything we wouldn't want to forget. Sometimes it can be quite a ride ... on a rather emotional roller coaster.

Deep Tweet

Not sure who said it first but when I first saw this quote it struck & stuck - so I decided to stick it here...& on my tack bar above the kitchen sink.

To be different is easy. To make a difference ... now that's the challenge.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I heard this song for the first time yesterday & it sailed right up to top eschalon of my all time favorites (where several other country songs reside). I've been listening to it over & over (yah - I can be a little obsessive that way sometimes). Kinda wonder if the guy that this song is about was my husband's mentor :) ... the two sure seem to march to the beat of the same drum.

Lee Brice - Love Like Crazy

Art Walk in the Woods

No doubt a lot of time, energy & money went into making the unusual & rather bazaar things we saw on our walk & yet the following are among the most creative (by far!) displays we visited. I love the Artist & I find His works to be most inspiring, beautiful, practical & relatively easy to interpret.

5 How great are your works, O LORD,
how profound your thoughts!