Is this a good reason to be a little late for church? 
To have Men and Almost-Men calling from the car, "Mom! You're making us late!" 
or "Hey, remember how you like to get there early?"

I think so! Beauty in the most unexpected places! Nature is His own easel - His handiwork on display, always speaking to us.

Not as lovely, and not a reason to be late for anything - the bag worm sack photo, below. But still interesting (and still speaking). 
(Check out all the tiny worms - they've hatched an are ready to disperse and munch on my garden. They might think I care, but we're at the end of September and I don't care one bit!)


Smiling Ray

Living in an old home does have a few perks. Not as many as I once thought, but still, a few.
In every room, of different depths - sills! 
I try to keep my windowsills from getting all cluttered up, but it is a constant task to un-decorate because things just land there.  And stay. 
Cups, plates, footballs, keys, mail, more cups, more plates...
And there's so many things that need a spot for display!
No matter how I try to de-clutter, I can't seem to talk myself out of these items. 
Especially that Smiling Stingray photo
It is - it's smiling! 
And sometimes during the day I just need a smile aimed in my direction.


In Memorial

Million Bells - this was the first time it seemed like the plant may have lived up to its name, at least over here. Every plant that lives in the table pot seems to die an untimely death, much too soon in the season. 
But this beauty, found at Findley Market early this spring, held its own for a long, long while. It draped its apron of blooms all the way down to the tabletop, attracting hummingbirds and hummingbird bees!
When the Sprinkler Days arrived, though, that was the end of the millions of bells. Now all that's left are  dried-up brown stems already thrown in the weeding barrel. 
What's that quote about beauty being fleeting...?


To Market

If you haven't been to market lately, you've been missing out.

The waffle was wonderful, even if a little pricey.  Worth standing in a long line to get. I did have to share, but only a few bites.

Sights, sights, and more sights.  I think these shoes were ... interesting.

Oh, my - the bakery window!  I snapped a photo of my Dear Friend in front of this window, contemplating the sinful nature of sugar - and lusting after some! DF, I didn't share the photo, and you're welcome. We are truly pals!

How did the homeschoolers get a gig down on the streets? I watched for a while but could never spot their mothers, or any parent, keeping watch over these two talented boys.
"Hey, Buddy!  I came to market for some fish heads - are these fresh, or what?"
Why? How? Who?
(The questions that burn in my soul all the time...)
(For the next photo, repeat questions above, adding 'Why?' in a few more times.)
Most remarkable was that this guy was cooking food in a outdoor grill-booth. The food smelled great, but the views were killing business.
(Ironic eyes on the shirt back, right?)

I bought a birthday present for myself, admired the plants, enjoyed the crowd, and ate wonderful food with dear friends. What better way to spend a Saturday morning?


Look Closer

 The garden is truly moving into fall now. I've lost some plants - a great clearance rack score on perfectly white columbine bit the dust, literally, in the dry spell we've been in. And I remember why I don't grow vegetables, now that my gourd vines have given in to powdery mildew. How sad!  I still have one gourd vine kicking - a swan-necked gourd vine!  I am hopeful that the mildew will not travel down the garden, from one tepee to another, killing the swan-necks. The hydrangeas have been through their daily droops from the heat, and a couple of plants are producing some fall blooms. The annabelles are turning brown around the edges now, away from their wonderful apple-y green color.

And the zinnias are putting on their show! Just like Labor Day fireworks, these are blooming and blooming out there, right where I can see them while washing dishes.

Up close, each one has its own charm. I love the red, upward-reaching petals of this one, its crown of gold only just visible.

This lovely salmon color - one of only a few in the bed this year, made up of  mostly reds and purples.

I'm not really a PINK girl, but this one and only pink zinnia really was a 

It's worth an extra click to see the close-up. Now can you see how the bottoms of the petals look like they've been sprinkled with glitter? 
Is that amazing or what! 
The velvety center has all the rolled up baby petals still emerging ...
gold crown bits popping out in an encircling ring ...
dark pink pieces look like flames as they unfold.
Is our Lord interested in the details, or not? Looking at the artistic detail in this single bloom and admiring the craftsmanship on display here encourages me that He is! If the Master Gardener cares so much about creating beauty in this most lowly of garden flowers, then certainly He is big enough to be in control of what concerns me, bringing beauty where none is likely.
So look even more closely when you walk your gardens - remember with me that God is at work in the smallest of details. His character is on display.

 As a father has compassion on his children, 
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;  the wind blows    over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.  But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103:13-18

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?    
Matthew 6:30


Movin' Out

My tiny, cookie-loving, overall-wearing, brown-eyed baby boy is moving out today. It's been funny to watch him gathering his things, carefully packing up. Carefully packing up - that's a curiosity all by itself! He's brimming over with excitement at his dream finally coming true.  I'm not going to let myself analyze this down to the threads - I'm just going to admire his gumption at making it happen. As he goes, we are holding out final words of advice. We are whispering wisdoms that we've spoken and shouted so many times before, hoping he'll hear them one more time --- or maybe for the very first time. We're patting him on the back and carrying boxes, trusting that the Lord is keeping His arm around our boy, even as he ventures out from under our umbrella. 
And I'm trying not to cry and ruin the fun. 


Turn on the Spigot

These are sprinkler days. It is HOT and DRY out there, and the gardens are going grey. 
If you know what I mean by gardens going grey, then you might be a (gardening) kindred spirit.

So, I run out to the gardens in my pajama pants, pulling the bottom edges up, trying to keep them out of the dew, looking like a goofily-panted, prissy girl. Which I'm not - prissy, that is. 
Placing the sprinkler is just so important to the whole process! If it's placed all crooked-ish, then you'll just be watering the grass. Which may not be so bad, I guess. 
When it's finally right, then the water can be turned on at the house spigot. 
(What a nice word - spigot. Make sure you say it right: spik-it, just before you spit some toe-back-y. Don't get the juice on yer bed britches!)

The garden, or at least a small section, is getting watered, while no one (me) is getting eaten up by mosquitoes! 

(repeat the whole thing every 20 minutes or so, in a new section...)