Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pretty! & More Pickles :)

Just a few snapshots from my garden.

I didn't realize this about Morning Glories....

...that they make their debut from this unusual cone shaped spiral blossom
but never take that same lovely form again.
Instead they open & close differently as the lower blossom shows.

My first sunflower of the season

This fine fella is destined to become a jar of bread & butter zucchini pickles.

and speaking of pickles - I made more yesterday.
These are spicy dills made w/ jalepenos & red hot pepper flakes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Project Pickles

Playmaker & I made Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles today. It was easy to do by loosely following Lupine's  link to the recipe we decided to use. The ones w/ bright green lids we spiked w/ some jalepeno peppers in an attempt to kick 'em up a notch.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Played hookie from church to visit Purgatory (Chasm :)

Yesterday we played hookie from church in the morning - and instead we crept & crawled & slipped, slid, pulled & squeeeeezed (by the skin of our knees!) thru' Purgatory instead. Purgatory Chasm that is.

Considering how much fun we had,
I can only hope heaven has a playground of this nature! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

He was a prisoner who became ... a president

If you ask me, Invictus is an epic illustration of what true forgiveness really is ... and the power that is inherent in it.

Click the pic to learn more by watching the trailer - or don't ... & let the powerFULL story unfold before you in its entirety for the first time on screen.

I've mentioned before how I love movies where I can relate to the characters to some degree. Well, it just so happens that I also love movies with characters who I wish I could claim to be more like. If only for his example in leading a nation by being the example of the change he wanted to see, Nelson Mandela is no doubt one of those people & Invictus is undeniably one of those movies.

When we were in Senegal recently, we visited a former slave house on Goree Island. At one point we were shown to a chamber where "misbehavin'" slaves were sentenced to for at time as punishment for their misdeeds. The chamber was more like a tiny cave... too small to even stand up in. Dark. Dank. Often several slaves were crammed into it at one time. We learned that Nelson Mandela had visited there too & when he did, he insisted on entering the chamber himself . Alone. When he emerged, he did so with tears in his eyes. No doubt after being imprisoned for 27 years (Tho' orginally sentenced for life) & forced to do hard labor in a lime quarry, this antiapartheid activist could relate better than most to the sufferings endured there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Interesting thoughts re: Strengths & Weaknesses

Just sharing here a post I've been thinking about off & on ever since I read it for the first time over at heart to heart with holley.

In support of your strengths (and weaknesses)...

I love words.

Always have.

I don't like numbers.

Always have.

Are you nodding your head with me?

Shaking it back and forth in disagreement?

Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, authors of Now, Discover Your Strengths, would say there's a reason for your particular response.

They explain our brains are actually wired to response in certain ways.

"By the age of three each of your hundred billion neurons have formed fifteen thousand synaptic connections with other neurons....Your pattern of threads, extensive, intricate and unique, is woven."

Pretty amazing, huh?

Marcus and Donald go on to say that by age sixteen half of these connections are lost. "Oh, no!" I thought.

But it's actually a great big, "Oh, yes!" to who God created you to be.

The connections dropped allow you to focus intensely on the remaining ones, your strengths. As Marcus and Donald say,

"Your smartness and your effectiveness depend on how well you capitalize on your strongest connections. Nature forces you to shurt down billions of connections precisely so that you can be freed up to exploit the ones remaining. Losing connections isn't something to be concerned about. Losing connections is the point."

In essence, the most vibrant connections become our strengths and those that fade away become our weaknesses.

I loved this because there are parts of me I wish I could change. I'm sure no one else feels that way.

I don't have many decorating, details, or dinner-making connections in my brain. No, ma'am.

But it turns out that God has physically wired me with strengths that let me fulfill His purpose for my life. And He helps me do so by strategically creating certain weaknesses too. It gives "strength made perfect in weakness" a whole new meaning.

Our divinely created strengths are actually supported by our weaknesses because if we were good at everything we wouldn't focus on much of anything.

Maybe no one else struggles with this but for me, this was some of the best news I've heard in a long time. Sigh of relief.

For my husband's sake, I'm still going to try to keep those weaknesses a little in check (who made coffee without a filter last week because she's not so good at details? ahem).

But I'm also going to celebrate who I am and who you are...fearfully and wonderfully made, strengths and weaknesses both, woven together just right.

Care to join me?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Storms

Dancing in the rain the other night

Racing leaves in the gutter

After the storm an odd & eerie (but really VERY cool!)

yellow glow was cast over our area.

Then last night we had back to back storms
- the first of which included tornado warnings...

& for a time our road morphed into a rushing river.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Swimmin' Hole

We visited Spokes the other day & enjoyed some good ol fashioned fun at a nearby swimmin' hole.

silly summer fun w/ the sprinkler


Found this beauty at a roadside farmstand when I stopped to pick up some fresh veggies & have been enjoying it ever since. My own sunflowers should be blooming soon!

& from my garden.....

Finally(!) I'm having some success w/ morning glories :)

Isn't she lovely?!

As my hydrangeas gradually come into their own,
the light green, creamy white &
lavender color combination is just so pretty.
Soon they'll be an unusual shade of blue
that's almost
- but not quite - purple