Insane Spidey

Insane Spidey 
You ever have one of those days?
When  just a few shirtless minutes on the garden swing would be so relaxing?

The dress-up box was one of my boys' favorite things. Packed full and delivered as a gift by Grandma, it had imagination oozing from every crack. I picked up clearance Halloween costumes and restocked every now and then, just often enough to keep it interesting. 
I'd hear the screen door BANG and look out to see Superman, Spiderman or Wolverine whooshing past the window swinging a stick-gun. 
Army Guy, Bible Man or a Sea Captain might belly slide down the stairs from naptime. 
Crazy Clown, Cape Guy or the ever popular "Bad Man" might show up after dinner to challenge Dad to the wrestling match of his life. 

Sometimes Insane Spidey would meander out to sit on the swing with 
me for just a little while. 


He's Early

I have a few Ruby Hydrangeas just outside our sunroom. 
Don't be fooled - they turn red in the fall, but their first bloom is NOT red, just a sort of half-hearted pink. You don't believe all those catalog blurbs, do you - not like I did, right?
ANYway, I was getting on the treadmill in the sunroom, and noticed a sunbeam falling just on the head of one of the bloom buds, just outside the window. 
All my hydrangeas are covered with blooms, even one sorry girl that has never bloomed in all its years here. This will be a banner year for hydrangeas, I think, due to the mild winter.
By the time I got my camera (anything to delay exercise) and worked on trying to capture a photo of that beam of light, this guy had landed drunkenly on the bloom head.
I'm probably wrong, but doesn't that look like a lightning bug???
He seemed stunned too!
Now, I know these come out in mid-June because they are my Youngest Son's birthday sign. 
Do you have birthday signs to watch for that indicate the soon-coming of your family birthdays?
So if that was a firefly, then he certainly is early! And it certainly has chilled down around here, so he might be asleep again - at least until late May.


Facial Issues

OK - I admit that I make faces. I think in recent  years, I've gained some control over my Grocery Shopping Faces.  
Still, I slip sometimes. Recently about the price of a dozen eggs at Easter. 
(scornful lip curling, 'pfpfpft', backward jerk of the head) 
There was that amazing find on lunchmeat at Meijer - really nice sliced roast 
beef for $1.99 a pound. 
(Open mouthed smile, all teeth showing, slight leaping skip - yes, I was embarrassed about that one, too.) 
ANYway, I'm getting better at controlling my outward expressions. 
or believed I was until this post began
However, I'm learning that I have other problems to conquer. 
I just discovered that I have an Ironing Frown
(jaw slightly to one side, biting lower lip, one eye twitching) 
This might have something to do with a BoyMan trying to explain to me -
(as if frightened at the woeful inadequacy my 21st century knowledge about shirts)
"that's the style of the shirt"
Lovely Girl Date - you're welcome - the shirt got ironed.
(HUGE eye roll, shaking head, lips pursed to one side)
this is getting worse and worse
This admission comes hot on the heels of realizing just yesterday morning that there also seems to be a Weeding Squint.
(eye squint, mouth hanging open - my goodness, poor practices for gardening, right?) 
Much of the time, that's due to expecting something with scales to pop out from the winter piles of dead leaves. I think this makes a squinty grimace somewhat justified. I mean just think of what could flop out from under the lavender bush. 
(stretched out and flat bottom lip, only lower teeth showing, eye roll heavenward)
I've been pointing out for years that My Wonderful Man has a 
Pumping Gas Scowl.
(head slightly bowed, eyes partially closed as in pain, substantial brows drawn to a uni-brow-ish touch)
Of course, it's deeper now that gas is $4 a gallon - hard not to scowl about that. But he does deny it.  Here in the latter half of our 40's, I think we need to face the truth about our facial issues. 
And I am his Helper Wife. 
(hard wink with grin and one thumb up)
it is hopeless


No Bunnies, No Sugar

We used to hide the Easter baskets and have the kids hunt for them.
(Like Mary hunting for the Risen Lord...)
Now we simply load carefully prepared baskets and set them out for  enjoyment.
Things changed when my little ones turned into tall, handsome  man-types.
No longer is the excitement about untucked shirts with matching clip-on ties, sticky peep fingers or chocolate-laced spitty kisses on Easter morn.
 Nor is there much enthusiasm remaining for the Easter Family Photo.
We've taken a family photo on Easter morning every year.
Every.  Year.
Usually it makes us a little late to church, but we don't care, since JOY runs high 
on Easter Sunday morning.  
The Easter Family Photo is LOADED this year.
There is ALOT going on here.
If you could click each person,
and thank God you can't,
allowing you to hear their real thoughts ... 
you would likely be a little bit shocked.
Or maybe a lot shocked.
And this Easter, there were  things  happening within the family that made me say,
"Forget the family picture this year. I don't want to remember this Easter."
Thankfully, there's a husband who leads this family with Great Courage - 
much greater courage than I happen to have handy lately.
I'm glad he insisted that the photo be taken.
In truth, this photo displays people who are in various stages, levels and kinds of 
There are no bunnies, nothing pastel, and no sugar - of any kind - present.
This Easter Family Photo is REAL.
Our 2012 family photo will stand as a reminder that The Resurrection can be
 especially for those who are 
in the middle of need,
wrestling with drama
strained by yearning.
I'm thankful that in growing older with my Boy/Men, I'm growing in understanding and appreciating the POWER of the Resurrection and what it means for ALL of us.
The Lord is walking with us along the path.
He IS our Risen Savior!


Spider Season

People are saying that since we had such a mild winter, 
there will be ALOT more spiders out this season. 

It makes me want to reach out and pinch their lips closed. 
Gently, of course.
I'm NOT looking forward to Spring Spider Season.
Especially that first incident.
The incident in which you find, to your complete horror and utter, unsuspecting shock, a BIG spider 
where it ought not be. 

Maybe under a shirt that's been tossed on the floor.
Maybe behind a chair you've moved while vacuuming.
Maybe in the bathroom sink! 

I found this spider shell in the greenhouse. 
It seemed to speak to me ... 

and then, she {snapped}


The Beautiful Un-Lovely

I'm going to throw out some not so pretty words,
 and you might be tempted to say "Eww-u!" 
But if you look past an un-lovely name ... 
if you determine to find beauty, will you be able to?
Can true beauty be found in how you look, 
and not so much in what you see?

These fungus are actually called 'turkey tail' - I know, I'm a nerd. 
But doesn't that somehow enhance the entire thing?
The warm yellow/brown/gray stripes and a gently fuzzy texture paired with plump new moss ---
 I vote YES on fungus.

What about that cool jadite color, topped by a contrastingly smooth and softly-brown cap? 
These Seuss-ish lichen (a combination of algae and fungus) are an amazing bit of handiwork. 
We stumbled upon them one morning ("Look!"), and they had withered away the very next!

Beauty is fleeting, and sometimes you have to  decide  to see  it. 
But it IS possible to find beauty in the unenchanting and the uncomely, 
if you are determined.


A Lowly Spot

Our spring trip to the zoo - EVERYONE else in the tristate area was there, too.  
But there were so many cute little ones, so very excited about the a'mals. 

I had to snicker a tiny bit at the intensity some parents were applying to a simple zoo visit. Does that darling, blond three-year-old really need to be able to distinguish between an emperor and a king penguin? 
There could be a time for just enjoying, right? 
How critical are these facts, anyway?
I guess I always leaned a tiny bit toward an 'unschooling' attitude in my home education - at least toward some things. If they don't wonder aloud about something, then I'm not going to throw out endless trivia. 
If they don't ask, "Mom, what do you think that bit of floppy skin at the end of his nose is for?", then I'm probably not going to say a word. 

Because most of the time, it's ME voicing those crazy questions aloud, instead of them.
This is a source of embarrassment for my almost-teen, who will still go to the zoo with his mom to get out of a day with the Book Stack. He might wincingly hear any number of musings from his mom:
"What in the world are those monkeys doing?"
"Why in the heck is that swan doing that neck thing?"
"How do you think it can eat with that kind of mouth issue going on?"
"What is that in its eye, anyway?"
"Do you think they can see us if I wave like this?"
(his very favorite...)
So, anyway. Lovely photos is what I really meant to post about. 
Youngest son is not embarrassed to have me stop to take photos in random spots, 
even if the zoo is very crowded. 
He is a very tolerant son. 
Or maybe he's just relieved that I'm not trying to communicate in any way with the a'mals 
(or tiny, adorable children in strollers).
2012 Garden Resolution: 
After seeing these at the zoo, I'm going to find them for my garden this year. 
AND I'm going to force myself to plant them in November when I am otherwise completely finished gardening. Daydream Tulips. They sort of glow in the morning sunshine. 
Beautiful from above...
... and from below, too.

Side Note That Might Only Make Sense To Me:
Life can be filled with beauty when you're up and walking about, on top of it all, viewing the Lord's handiwork from an upright point. 
It's a very different view from below, when you're down low, and at the bottom, so far from where you were before. But still, from that humble position, there is beauty, and life, and there can even be joy. As long as we don't squeeze our eyes shut in pain, misery and/or rage, we might get a glimpse of something not seen by all those lofty individuals who have not had the privilege of seeing life from a Lowly Spot. 

Isaiah 61:1-3 

Isaiah 55:8