Early Purples

There's so much PURPLE out there right now!
And alot of it shouldn't be showing yet. 
Just sayin'.
Some of the hosta are coming up bud bloom first
In my years of peering at the spring ground and admiring the new life,
I've never seen that.
I guess they thought they had slept too late, 
since it was over 80 degrees for quite a few days. 
The tulips came and went within five days. What's up with that? 
I think they rushed away when they thought it might actually be summer, instead of spring.
Temps have gone back to sort-of-warmer-than-normal now, and most of these purples have already disappeared for the year. 
But I have a Dear Garden Friend who has promised me a Royal Purple Hydrangea start from one of her bushes. 
I did a joy dance. 
And she wasn't surprised.



It's going to hurt if it snows at this point.  
This is my only snow photo for this winter - that's a BIG deal. 
I take snow photo after snow photo after snow photo every winter. 
But the snow just didn't happen this year. 
No snow days - it was weird, I have to say.
I didn't get to hang the indoor snow.
But I'm getting over it.
Please excuse my while I sigh over my daffodils. 
 Whoever loved this place before us, planted these. 
We just enjoy them - the best case scenario, if you ask me.
 Those ruffles
That color - pale, vibrant and deep, all in the same bloom.
Can anyone fail to see the Designer in these brief-lived bits of creation?
It's nothing else except FANTASTIC - His lavish provision of outrageous beauty can be for such a blessing, if we will just stop to see!
 Take some time to joyfully receive those blessings as you enjoy this brand new Spring!


Down the Drain

When in my cozy shower, my mind writes away. 

As scalding hot water fills the room with clouds of steam, pieces of thought and reflection assemble themselves, as I look on, it almost seems, and I'm pleased by what they turn out to be. I think to myself, "I'll run downstairs and write that down real quick..."
 Then I don't. 
It seems like the paragraphs, sentences and phrases rush right down the drain! 
I grab a towel and wipe my face, and my mind, too. 
Once I pull the shower curtain open, all those fragile passages have vanished. 
I would say, completely gone, but phrases or words linger to tease me.

What was it now ... ?
"something about siblings growing up the same but turning out different"
"something about eating responsibly"
"something about husbands and garbage cans"
"traffic accidents I've almost caused"
"people jumping in my car"
"people my car has bumped"
"cake - yum"
(cake seems to be everywhere these days)

I've often thought about keeping a notebook in there. Once I actually did it, but the pen and notebook were quickly requisitioned by other scavenging family members.

I can't tell you how many blog posts have washed down the drain in the last six weeks.

WHO could have any valuable thought in a shower like this?
Other than, 
"Where's my towel?"
"What was that sound?"
"What was I thinking - no door?"




One of the best things about Gatlinburg is just kicking back and watching the show. The Road Show that passes by continually on the street going through the middle of town. There are benches for this, although they are weirdly turned in the wrong direction. 
I would include the crowds of people in the entertainment, you know - no better place to people watch. And maybe a caramel apple. Yes, definitely.
There happened to be a car show that weekend, and my nephew had grabbed My Middle Son to point out some amazing car when I snapped this. 
Is there anything much more adorable than toddler arms? Tiny rounded arms ending in chubby hands and fingers - so squeezable! 
I love how they pressed their heads together to better see the one coolest thing on wheels, whatever it was. 

This photo has always been a favorite of mine. I guess the camaraderie ... the closeness ... the excitement, maybe? There's no formality in the relationship here, none at all. They are real buds, neither shy about grabbing the other and pointing the way toward something truly eye-popping. And I love that! Isn't that the kind of friendship we all wish to enjoy? Has God blessed you with someone in your life who will grab you around the neck, so to speak, and excitedly point toward something you just can't afford to miss? 
What a wonderful gift!

John did it for his friends, and I bet he was just as excited - can you imagine it? 
For more "LOOKS" see Genesis 15:15, Matthew 6:26, Mark 11:21, John 4:35, Acts 3:4


Blue Shirt Man

Dear Man In The Blue Shirt,

You really distracted me yesterday. I tried really, really hard to look away while you gnawed your fingers during the entire sermon. Since you and I held the same pew spot on the very edge of packed pews, you were directly in front of meThe sermon was on helping the helpless, with a great text out of John. I was into it - I wanted to be into it - but your crazed nail biting, fervent knuckle gnawing, and constant cuticle examination led me to think on other things. 

Like how to make you stop. Blue Shirt Man, have you ever watched Dog Whisperer? I thought maybe I could 'snap you out of it' Caesar style. If I just bumped you with my Bible, maybe that would redirect you. What if I coughed suddenly and loudly, just behind your ear? What if - what if I just tapped you on the shoulder and politely told you the truth? Would I be serving you well by speaking the truth in LOVE

"Sir, I'm so sorry to interrupt your worship, but please, please could you save your nail biting for the ride home? You see, I can't seem to hear from the Lord while you are working away at biting your own fingers off right in front of me. And I am sorry to feel so regretful to have shaken hands with you during the greeting time..."

So Sincerely,

Your Pew Pal


A Friend in the Drop Zone

Those tree trimming trucks - have you seen them around lately? 
Tree trimmers and I have a history. 
I think they might have 'marked' my house like the hobos did back in hobo days.
Crazy Woman Protecting Trees - maybe a female stick figure hugging a stick tree?
Yes, that would be me.
So when I saw the trucks nearing our house, I began to make plans. I lost sleep that very night, trying to think of the best way to convince a large group of Spanish-speaking men to not mutilate the row of pine trees that stand between our property and the road. How to get them to pass us by???
This same thing happened a few years ago, too - same scenario, same trees, same non-English speaking trimmers. I'm sure I looked insane out there making hand signals suggesting (begging) that they trim only a tiny bit, and begging that they not top the trees out.  They just listened, smirking, and laughing with one another. 
And yes, they topped every tree.
So I didn't have much hope that I'd be successful in convincing these tree butchers trimmers to pass us by this time. I'd seen their work further down the road and it was looking very bad
They seemed fond of scooping. 
But I found a friend! 
This tree trimmer (above) was able to understand me, and even seemed a little sympathetic. Lots of hooting and chatter started when I went out to the 'drop zone' to make my case for only trimming the teensiest bit. He said they would be cutting the trees IN HALF. Maybe he became sympathetic when I started to sob, I'm not sure. I went back to my porch to watch, and then ... he went to bat for me! The guy in the bucket yelled especially loudly, but my  new friend stood firm. He called me back and told me they would angle-cut the trees away from the lines, only as much as ten feet. 
He seemed embarrassed when I clutched his arm and jumped for joy. 
Cup guy looked disgusted. 

My Hubs said they'd certainly get them the next time around.


Steering, Digging, Feeding

Well, (I think) we've moved past the 'Icy Situation'. 
Or at least, we're hitting the gas and steering out of the ditch. 
There's lots of mud in the ditch! 
This parenting of teenagers is messy business.
But the naked truth is, as a Dear Friend reminded me, we're parenting sinners. 
And they bear the burden of having sinners for parents. 
It's not easy for any of the passengers, then, I guess.
The weather is doing its Spring Thing, right? 
Warm and sunny one day, grey rain the next, with snow and tornadoes in the mix, too. Crazy! 
Those warm sunnys have drawn me back outside to visit the greenhouse. 
I dug around in my 'soil reserve'  (hahahaha - a big bucket of nicer dirt for potting)
and filled some seed trays. 
(more snickering - my seed trays are used plastic lettuce containers)
It was nice, though, to smell some dirt, tamp it down into readiness, and think about May. 
 I even snuck a seed into the dirt - a big ol' moonflower seed left out from last year. 
My Youngest was glad to leave his bookstack for a trip out to check on spring.
One of his household chores is keeping the bird feeders filled. 
It's a cushy job when the weather is nice.
But the birds do spend time looking in windows and scolding when 
he doesn't take care of their handout. 
It's kind of creepy how they do that.