Resolute Beauty

Spring blooms tend to be wispy and crushable, even frail - or is it just me? 
Tender squill and delicate crocus don't lend themselves to vases in my experience.
Sturdier spring blooms like tulips and daffodils, I find to be unpredictable entirely.
An entire stand of red tulips just disappeared - poof! - from my garden this year.
Crocus and grape hyacinth come up, willy-nilly, anywhere they please.
I love the spring flowers, who couldn't, but they are a gypsy, flyaway bunch.

But not these! 
Lily of the Valley grow along the patio just off our bedroom, and a more resilient, resolute spring plant I've yet to meet. No fear that they're not going to appear. Like clockwork they shoot up, and always multiply, providing plenty for sharing. Lily of the Valley take up a corner and fill it with fragrance and miniature beauty. 
And they make the sweetest bouquets.


He's the "Lily of the Valley," the Bright and Morning Star;
He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

The "Lily of the Valley," in Him alone I see,—
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole:

Linking with Miscellany Monday and Mom Mondays.


Warm Blossoms

Today I saw this as I was sending another one of my men out the front door and into their world.
Brand new sunbeams on apple blossoms - what!
I pointed it out, and the dear man nodded and made appreciative sounds, 
but his mind was already racing away and ahead to all that he would begin as he stepped outside.
 Having the great privilege of remaining in pajama pants for at least another ...
for as long as I want, I went to find the camera. 
Husband says that these trees are quite old, and that they won't last but another 
couple of years - that this might be, in fact, their last bloom. When we moved here, there
was a small grove of six, and now only two remain, and those with hollow spots and
(gasp!)  recent tomahawk wounds. 
The sun was just coming up over the tree line to meet the creamy pink blooms.
There was a frost here last night, so the rest of the yard is in frosty grey, while
these are transformed with buttery warmth. 

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness  looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.


Puff, Anyone?

Colorful packets of mysterious seeds are making the greenhouse seem crowded.
I've visited the garden department and spent a little too much, as usual.
The only repeat packets that I purchase, yearly and without fail,
are various zinnias and, of course, those heavenly blues!

All the other seed packets promise new-to-me plants.
How exciting is that? New plants for only about a buck. 
That's hard to turn down, right there.
I get a huge kick out of opening the slips and just seeing what the seeds look like!
It's incredible the variety that the Lord displays in these tiny, simple bits of life!
His hand of design leaves divine fingerprints - 
and not the sort that annoy or beg to be wiped away!

(The seeds are for borage, promising a true blue bloom,
Who could resist some love in a puff???
Not me.)


Signs of Spring

I recognize the call of a few birds, not very many. 
I often find myself asking, "Who's saying that?!" when they're all chatting by the feeder.
Unlike some pals of mine, who have every bird call brain cataloged, ready at all times for instant identification
("Oh, that's a cedar waxwing over in those trees...")
But I absolutely do know the sound of a redwing blackbird, and it's a 
sure sign that spring has come to stay.
Chickadee busy stuffing his beak, and doesn't that cardinal just look annoyed?
The chickadee's call is easy - he says his own name.
That bulb I received as a gift in my Christmas stocking has been taken out of
the closet after its months of darkness. The roots came quickly enough in
response to the light, but the bloom is much slower to emerge.
And that seems almost Biblical.


Peeker Plan

So we were on  our way home from a last day of spring break trip to the movies. 

Jack the Giant Slayer. Great! Could we agree that within the genre of  fairy tale, the hokey
 is completely acceptable, and things  do not need to add up perfectly.
This is a relaxing quality, I think. 

A discussion began regarding theater bathroom stalls and just why are they so very small.  
Our conversation meandered from there onto some thin ice. 

Just what is the plan to deal with Theater Potty Peekers? 

No one in the vehicle had ever had to deal with an actual potty peeker, but I cautioned 
that  it might be wise to have a plan in place for such situations. 

For example - the accidental driving-off-a-bridge-over-water exit strategy. I hope you have yours nailed down. I'm a firm believer in leaving the vehicle BEFORE hitting any water. But a lot of talk went around the car about the advantages of exiting AFTER hitting the water, falling debris, water pressure, electronic reliability of window switches, and MythBusters. blahblahblahblah. Any scenario that involves drifting to the bottom of a river and waiting for the water to reach the roof inside the car while breathing calmly only proves that the right plan involves some serious air time. The men agreed to various plans which involve grabbing my belt and dragging me to safety. Heroic!

Back to the Peeker Plan. 
In the case of an Under Peeker - it's just common sense. 
But have you considered what you plan to do if you ever encounter an Over Peeker? Not many options for us ladies, right? You're already in a compromising position in which it is difficult to be any threat at all. Unless you would be able to potty while keeping a pepper spray in hand. Someone in the car pointed out how extremely paranoid that would actually be.

Of course, I laughed and agreed, but I'm secretly relieved to have my plan for Under and Over Peekers now firmly in place. EXTREME SCREAMING - that's the go-to plan for  defeating Over Peekers.  
Unless you happen to have your pepper spray handy. 
Or if you're a guy.

I did spare you from the Guy Plan For Dealing With Over Peekers ... 



Out of the gloom of an April Showers sort of morning, 
looms an incredible glowing
The forsythia has gone and done its big show while I was busy 
trying to peer through college portals. 
But it finally caught my eye this morning!
 And coming on strong in the background - 
apple blossoms!
I finally feel like spring has arrived!


Let It Fly

It's almost time for the dog to get a good grooming.
We only do it twice a year - she's that sort of dog.
The men around here always send me with a single special request for the groomer.
They always ask me to make sure her MOHAWK does not get trimmed.
That sprout of orangish hair is not very dignified, 
but I've been told that it's her trademark.

Side Note:
I actually took this photo because the dear dog is busy making nose art (which I hate).
Yes, nose art is what I've heard it called, and I've decided to adopt that description  for my own.
Isn't it great how renaming something yucky can make it seem ....
 less yucky???
Use with care - this cannot be applied in every situation.
Believe me if you're able - I HAVE spent time trying to train the dog to keep 
her nose off the glass. But when the neighborhood man-dog tramp sashays past?
She just turns into a hot mess. And my heart goes out to our celibate, unsocialized
but beloved family dog. I toss training right out the window. 
It's time to let the nose art just happen. 
Just let it fly.
Pick your battles.
Know when to quit.
Be reasonable.
***Feel free to add your own quippy wisdom.***

But I'll draw the line at this clever quote - 
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!


Franny's Gloves

Francine found it difficult to drive the truck and peel off her fitted gloves at the same time. But she managed, best as she could in her agitated state, getting much of the work done at the town's single stop light. Why had she worn the ridiculous things, anyway? Stubborn, stubborn pride! Hadn't her Grannan warned her? And how right she had been! She should've known that her farm wife ways would not be hidden by the drawing on of some fancy nylon gloves. Should have guessed that she would receive no true hospitality from town women. Strong hands with thick calluses were her badges of achievement, and she'd not try to hide them again.

From the corner of her eye, Franny glared at the gloves, which poked upward and seemed to beckon from the worn passenger's seat. How they had chaffed her through the entire meeting of the Ladies Club, making her realize just how comical her pretense had become.  As she took the last turn toward home, the gloves were again in her hand. 

Before Grannan's words about reckless waste could fully surface, she had flipped the bright ivory pair out the open window.  From the side mirror of the Ford, she caught a diminishing glimpse of their tiny forms, finally benign in the muck and mire of the spring cow pasture.

"Just where they belong," she said to herself.

Buy Franny's pre-muck gloves here.