Wednesday, April 30, 2014

things are happening way too fast

 Seedlings started mid-April started out great, then grew too fast,  got emptied from their trays by the wind, repotted, transplanted into an experimental planter (of which photo didn't load), and 2/3 of them didn't survive.
 So I bought three tomato plants to transplant...

 And Sunday afternoon the goslings and biddies were mixed together for the first time in the small pen, enjoying the sunshine, until dark when a big goose discovered the goslings and would NOT let me take them out. I had to wait until after dark when the other geese herded (is that even a word?) to the pond before I could return them to the heat lamp. (We've turned them over to the "momma geese" in past year both goslings drowned in the storm...the next summer turtles got one and we never found out what happened to the no, I am not letting them have the goslings until they're well-feathered.)

Meanwhile, two more eggs in the incubator have piped and are starting to hatch.
And our neighbors on the hill are officially moved in, while the neighbor across from us is making great progress. I don't know about you, but to me this seems like an awfully huge house. (I can hear my grandmother now saying "That's a lot of house to clean.")

 And last, but not least, is Buster. In the last three weeks he's "blessed" us with one live mole, one wild mallard, and a small raccoon.
And as April gracefully closes (How can that be?), I wish you a very happy May.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


These pics are all from last week, and have all changed radically since then, but they'll just have to do for now.
House going up across the street.

PawPaw tree is coming back to life after the main shoot died last fall! :)

The two Rhode Island Reds and an Ameraucauna. The Welsummer is bottom left.

Two goslings...three more eggs to go.
(All thanks to Buster, who keeps raiding the nests and
bringing us the eggs...the ones he doesn't eat, that is.)

And my small camera that died a few months ago now has a new SD card, so hopefully I'll be able to post new pics more often. Despite the turmoil at home with my cousin's death and Mom's health, there's a LOT happening here!

Monday, April 21, 2014


How do you arrive to school on Monday morning, only to tell your class that one of their own will no longer be back? How do you comfort young hearts who think death is only for old people, not for 13 year olds riding four wheelers?  How does a subsitute teacher walk into a classroom, knowing that all day long the students will be asking about their teacher, who was the mother of Gracie, the teacher that "died" a few years earlier delivering a child, but regained vital signs as family members and church members throughout the area prayed, as doctors said "she should be dead; she was dead; we can't explain this" and is now dealing with the fact that her oldest child is no longer with us? This was a holiday to celebrate Life and Resurrection, to rejoice, not mourn and grieve.

And yet as I visit 13 year old Gracie's Facebook page and read posts from friends, classmates, family, and church members, I am comforted by what I read. Posts like this:

God, we don't always understand the answer, but we can rest assured it is always right. Gracie Abbott, I watched you grow up and it was a blessing. Please pray for the Abbott family, the church family, and friends. Remember, for a Christian death is not the end, but the beginning.

Father, as this day begins, may we remember that to be absent from the body is to be present with her Savior. This is eternal comfort so Father I pray for present comfort for students and teachers today. May we focus on You, Your gift of grace and love, and how we may show others Your love and be a witness and give testimony how You can give new life and forgiveness, so that we will see Gracie Abbott again in Heaven one day. There is no other way to understand a tragedy except to look to Christ.

I don't even know what to say. Gracie was such a vivacious force of nature it's hard believing this really happened. I've never met someone else so young and so brave. She never held back on sharing God's word or an opportunity to worshi...p Him. I've personally learned a lot from her, and I know this won't be for nothing. Her life was and always will be a testimony for The Lord. It doesn't matter how old or young you are or what your state in life might be. You are always an asset for the Kingdom of God. Gracie got a "Well done!"  Regardless, there is a hurting family and many others who are seriously hurting right now and could use a lot of prayer! 
Everyone, please pray for the Gracie Abbott's family. She had a bad UTV accident and now she has gone home to be with her Great and Wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ! Please, please if you don't know Him as your Lord and Savior, please get with someone who does. We never know when our last breath on earth will be met with our first breath in eternity. Gracie would be upset with me if I didn't make sure that your eternity is spent with Her Lord and mine, Jesus Christ! We will miss her badly, but will see her agin! We love you Gracie Lou!! 
There's also the posts about guardian angels and such that always make me cringe and let me know someone hasn't read their Bible very much, but I also know they're hurting and trying to reach out in their own ignorant ways.  My prayer today is that Wayne and Sharon will be protected from cutting comments that are meant well but still hurt, that Tina will have wisdom helping Cole cope with the fact that he survived and Gracie didn't, and that Larry and Phyllis and the other set of grandparents, along with all the other family will experience that peace that passes understanding. For Laura as she reaches out to her niece, having experienced the horror of losing a child too soon, that God will sustain her heart and mind as she can comfort Sharon in ways the rest of us can't. I'm so thankful our God is a healing God, who heals the hearts and souls of his creation, if they are willing to turn to Him. Jehovah-jireh.
Cole (Gracie's cousin) holding Elijah, her younger brother

Gracie Abbott, 13, 8th grader at Maddox Middle School

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

sometimes there are no words

In my dream world, there would be no problems. Everything would always be clean and organized, there would be no pain, and no laundry. We could just go swimming in our clothes and come out majestically clean. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Many years ago a group of ladies read a book titled, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martin. At first, I was skeptical. She started out the book talking about how terrible her marriage was, and how learning to really pray for her husband changed her marriage (not him, but how she viewed him and herself).  My marriage was and is fine, but the later chapters did force me to think about how seldom I prayed for Bobby in depth. Not just a "God be with Bobby today", but "Lord, give him wisdom in his meeting, help him find the right words to speak, grant him favor with that grouchy attorney during the meeting, etc"  And I found that as I prayed more specifically, I became a little more patient and caring about his needs. (Well, at least I was more aware of what he was facing sometimes.)

Even now, in depth prayer is not something I do all that well. My Mom was the master of praying without ceasing...mentioning quick requests out loud as she moved from task to task. But sometimes, I find myself not really knowing what to say..."God, give him wisdom and discernment" can only be said so many times before it sounds like a mantra. When we're faced with those life situations that inevitably come and we simply don't know what the correct action is, "Lord help!" doesn't seem all that deep, though I know He understands and gets it. Sometimes there just aren't words to describe the thoughts and feelings rumbling around in our hearts, heads, and lives.  And in these times, I'm thankful that God is sovereign, and that He understands the thoughts and intents of our hearts. He hears me, even when I can't get the words out.  And I have no words to describe how incredible and humbling that is.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Last year we bought three PawPaw trees from a man in Raleigh. I put them outside, on the ramp, to get some sun for a few hours. When I returned home from running errands, the dirt was all over the ramp, and the small seedlings were in the yard...with dry roots. I was sick, and so mad at our dog. I was ablee to replant two, one of which died almost immediately, and the other survived for several months. I kept watering it, hoping it was just dormant, and was thrilled beyond measure last week to see this:
 Of course, this would have been even more wonderful had I seen it three weeks earlier when I ordered two replacement plants, and not within an hour after planting those small trees. But still, I'm happy it survived. :)

AND, even though we didn't get the wyandottes we hoped for last week, I had a surprise for me at Hudson's this morning: Welsummers! (which are supposed to lay dark chocolate brown- colored  eggs)

 And an Ameraucauna (that lays light blue or eggs) and a Rhode Island Red, which we went for:

And all four birds (Welsummer, Red, Ameraucauna, Red).  The Welsummer and Ameracauna we got for their egg color, the Reds for their prolific egg laying. Next week, if all goes well, we'll add two leghorns (which lay white eggs) and two Marans (which lay almost black eggs).

Now just waiting for gosling eggs 1-3 to hatch. :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

more than a little late

Grape vines are supposed to be pruned in February/March. I started mid-March, have finally finished, and am now half-way through cleaning up the mess. Hopefully I can finish tomorrow. I will say that the vines have been "weepier" this year than normal, but I'm not to concerned as two other grape owners have said the same thing. I don't know whether or not the amount of rain we've had this winter has anything to do with it or not, but I'm hoping that means we'll have a good crop this year (which  is crazy as we eat less jelly every year and I've yet to find a grape juice recipe I like).

And since pruning is pruning is pruning is pruning and doesn't change, here's a link to pictures from a previous year (if have that crazy desire to see).

And this year, I'm not making vine wreaths, but am simply hauling the stuff into the small wooded area along the fence line that last year I thought we were going to clean out (until someone hauled the debris we had spent weeks cleaning there and kind of defeated the whole purpose). But if anyone wants the vines, you're more than welcome to them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

a no go

There's no pictures this week...but the brooder box is cleaned out and ready for whenever we get biddies or the goslings hatch.

We actually went to the Hudson's Hardware Tuesday afternoon, and the bins were empty. A sales clerk laughed when we asked about the biddies, saying they sold all 75 before noon on Monday, and the previous week sold over 100 before the day was out. In other words, we need to make sure we go by 10am next Monday if we want biddies.  I'm slightly disappointed we won't have the wyandottes, as I think they're pretty when grown. Now if the last week of April we don't get the Leghorns (white egg layers) or Marans (dk brown egg layers), I will be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

when I grow up

There's a very fine line between reality and dreams.

Sometimes I dream of owning a quilt shop. Whenever I tease Bobby about what we'll have in "our" shop, he gets a wary look of concern and says, "I think you should work in a quilt shop first." And I actually have thought about doing that, but the only shop I've known to be hiring in the last few years is a 40 minute drive away. That's not exactly cost effective.

And for now, I'm perfectly content to simply think or dream about it. The reality is, the next two seasons of my life, maybe the next three, will simply not be conducive to owning a business (and chances are, if I made up a business plan for one, I couldn't afford it!). Meanwhile, I'm content to learn different techniques of quilting and their proper form, to observe how different shops operate, how they decorate, their fabric choices/selections. In my opinion, the most efficient and the nicest shops have a core group of employees, each who has their own unique strength and area of expertise. It's certainly not a one person operation.

I made the mistake last year of asking the group of girls I meet with every month if any of them ever thought about it, and found out they think about almost as much as I do, one of them even more. Since then we've been challenged quite a bit to think about what that would entail and when we could do it. And after just a few minutes of thought, I realized for me, it's simply not viable at this point in my life.

So when I grow up, I'm going to own a quilt shop...if I'm not a librarian, that is. :)

Monday, April 7, 2014


Today starts the week that Hudson's Hardware is selling Silver Wyandottes and Tetra Tints. We've had the tetras before, and they're fine, but what I'd really like to have is another wyandotte. (We lost the ones we had last year). I'm trying to decide a) do I really want to do this again, and b) how will Buster react to biddies in the brooder box (which is in the garage).  After his "playing" with the little rooster this past week, I really don't want to come home or go outside and find the brooder box tumped over (which would be a huge feat) and a small chirping coming from inside his mouth. We also have goose eggs potentially hatching in 2 weeks, and I do NOT want to have biddies and goslings in the brooder box at the same time. We did that last year, and one of the tiniest biddies flew over the divider in the box and the geese squashed it.  It was sad and horrific. Of course anything I get now will be 2 weeks old by then, so they'll be larger (almost as a big as a newborn gosling).

So who knows what today will bring. (or if you will or won't see photos here tomorrow) And with that, I'm off to get some things done around the house.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

DA Q&A forum

Wake County held a forum at Campbell Law School Tuesday night where people could listen to all the DA Candidates answer questions. We left with two questions still to go, but by the time we left, I knew who my top three (out of 6 were).  With the primary May 6 (but I'll be voting absentee before then due to working the polls and new changes in the state's voting laws), it's time to start researching who you want your local leaders to be.

And here, they are, in order of how they were introduced (and I'm adding some of the question answers behind the introduction they gave for themselves):

Terry Swain - father of seven children, has a law firm in Wendell. His family owns Southern Comfort Heating & Air (his father founded it), attended Duke University, and he wants to see more electronic courts for people who are seeking dismissals, rescheduling, or things that do not require presentation before a judge or jury. Swain thinks the DA needs free will and reign to handle cases (in reference to Moral Monday cases); thinks current Calendar Call is not an efficient use of time or resources; thinks Domestic Violence Court can sometimes abuse power - not every bruise or broken leg is abuse - the DA needs leeway to act or not act; more courts should be either online or located in communities, not requiring people all over the county to drive into the "monolith" in Raleigh.

John W. Bryant - has worked in all aspects of a trucking business, in a medicine supply company, and he thinks the DA's office should stop crime before it reaches the courts. Bryant does not think a blank statement can be made on the Moral Monday cases; not all need deferral and should be handled on a case by case basis. Used a lot of quotes and references to questions, made some very valid points, but never articulated clear answers to questions.

Mr. No Name (he has a real name, but I didn't hear the announcer and he never gave it himself) - took some jabs at the other candidates for not having as much experience as himself; has worked 18 years in the Wake County DA's office, helped found the Special Victims Unit, supervises trial attorneys, has tried capital cases; No Name thinks Moral Monday cases are not the same as Civil Rights cases, saying they come planning to get arrested. If you dismiss those cases, then what next? You can't pick and choose what laws to prosecute; crime is crime. He also thinks that District Court is a mess, and there is a need for more special courts.

Jefferson Griffin - grew up on a farm, worked in the DA's office for four years; thinks different towns have different needs; Griffen agrees with referral for Moral Monday cases. If protesters broke the law, they do need to be prosecuted, but you don't place a higher priority on those cases than you would DUIs or crime; thinks domestic violence is a mindset, that court is overworked, and since there are no resources to make it efficient, the DA office should reach to community organizations and churches to provide programs that will help.

Laura (Lauren?) Freeman - clerk of Superior Court, started out in DA's office and Attorney General's office, public safety is her #1 priority; thinks Moral Monday protesters have a right to express their viewpoints and current offers are appropriate; Wake County led the state in 2012 in domestic violence cases, has worked on the Domestic Violence Court Fatality Review Team; thinks there needs to be more work with hospitals, child services and prevention case managers to closely monitor people charged; learn from other units in the state; says that new or specialized courts cost resources; dropped names in every answer she gave

Boz Zellinger - a prosecutor for the DA's office, had first court experience at age 11 when his sister witnessed a domestic violence crime on a field trip, despite the testimonies the man still got off and he thought justice wasn't served, county is experiencing rapid growth, now dealing with 12 year olds in gangs, need to change prosecution of JV crimes; stay ahead of technology; continue updates to Juvenile Court;  Moral Monday cases are currently being dealt with in an efficient manner given the resources available, 2nd degree trespassing should be a lower priority, allow them to have community service for a guilty plea, should not prevent or interfere with the trials for DUIs; Domestic Violence - victims won't always press charges, so the DA's office must be trained to fight for their behalf, save resources by using local expert witnesses from NC State, InterAct for victims - use the community, lawyers in the office should answer phones, file their on files, etc when necessary. For special courts, there is a trust issue between the police and the community in some towns in the county, so there does need to be community prosecutors.

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


5   am...the time Buster and squawking little rooster woke us up.

days...that's how long I plan for Buster to live in his pen for leaving at least two bald spots on the rooster and going after him not once but TWICE in an hour  AND three blueberry seedlings set out

2  days of no sugar at all (though Bobby says we might have to start our ten day count all over since I had corned beef hash this morning and that has tiny potatoes in it which is a starch and so it could count as thank you!)

goose eggs in the incubator...have I lost my mind?

more days until the breeds of biddies I want go on sale at Hudson's Hardware. Now we just have to decide whether or not we really have time/want to fool with replenishing our stock.

7 more hours 'till bedtime (I hope!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I totally understand the desire to hang out with people that are similar to you. There's a comfort and calmness there that makes life much easier.

What I don't understand is the animosity exhibited toward people who are different. One thing I didn't expect to learn from Facebook was how much arrogance all of us humans possess. I've been baffled at how much animosity people display toward others who don't share their viewpoint. I've been disappointed and sometimes downright disgusted.

Comments like these:
Why should I pray for them? My parents live in Atlanta and I've visited there. Southerners are stupid and if they can't figure out a way to build houses to survive floods and tornadoes then they don't deserve my prayers.

I want to help Muslims meet Jesus. (with a picture of a gun)

Tell me I don't treat my kid right? It's a wonder they didn't call the cops and have me on the nightly news!

Anyone who supports Hobby Lobby would also support an employer refusing to pay for statins or anti-depressants.

and I'm not even going to post all the ones, pro and con, that have dealt with homosexuality.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the love of Christ and how that was one characteristic that caught people's attention during the early church years. Sometimes I fear that is greatly missing from my life, that I don't exhibit God's love often enough. I want people to read my Facebook posts (which I almost never post) and see a heart of love, not condemnation, scorn, or hatred.  Yes, we have to take a stand for what is right, but pointing toward Christ is not a defensive position, nor does it have to be hateful.

The past few Wednesday nights we've been studying the attributes of God. It's been amazing how studying how awesome God is automatically brings praise to the tongue.  It's also been convicting. The more I see how incredible God is, the more I realize how much I need to change and work on to become more of a reflection of him.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 
~ I John 1: 6-10