Category Archives: Nature

On the girl inside

Yes, sometimes I still feel like I’m 12… maybe 10.

I’m OK with that.

I’ve always felt like I have an “old-soul”


if I feel young at times,

I am grateful.

I recently got Kindle on my phone


have been enjoying free books from Amazon (who-a-knew-a-such-a-thing-existed).

This week

download a sample of Chrystal Evans Hurst’s,

“She’s Still There:

Rescuing the Girl in You.”

I didn’t really feel I needed rescuing,


she’s a fun writer.

I enjoyed her work.

It does have me pondering my past,

my little girl dreams…

I remember laying in the front yard watching the clouds,

seeing shapes…

When I drove by my childhood home earlier this week,

they have ripped out the bushes

that surrounded that front yard…


that made it feel private


wonderfully safe.

After having the house

in our family

for 46 years,

I’m still a little bitter.

I miss it.

Especially the gardens


VAST backyard – full of trees, a creek – woods to explore,


I digress.

I do that a lot.

I like to explore


that includes

my thoughts,

my emotions…

In Chrystal’s book,

she made a comment about wanting a house on the beach

when she was a kid…

I use to want to live in another country.

I still have dreams of living somewhere else…

I dream of mission trips too (which reminds me, I need to check with my good friend about exploring via mission trips… you know who you are, and I know you don’t like bugs,


I bet there’s something we could do/go with JMM…).


Needless to say,

I’ll be spending time pondering my childhood dreams in the days to come. If I have more to add… I will. Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!





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On miracles

I like miracles.

I thank God for miracles.

I have plants that are miracles.

They should have


last fall,


they are thriving.


Earlier today,

I lost another hen

to a hawk,


unlike all the other losses this year,

I focused

my thoughts

on the miracles


has done with them

over this last year

instead of

all the deaths.

I did not lose any hens for 2 years.


Pastor spoke on miracles

this last Sunday.

Will post my notes from service soon.



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on the #9 day allergy-test

I would have gone longer,


my nose was swollen and tender from all the Kleenx.

It started because I forgot my daily allergy pill… and I slept better,

a lot better.

I haven’t slept well for more than 2 nights in a row since I got married 2 years ago,


needless to say, I was willing to give it a longer try.

I decided to stop taking my allergy pills for over a week…
I was able to breath the whole time (Miracle!),
but my nose did run on occas.,
& I sneezed some.
By the 8th night, I had a headache & ear ache… or was that due to an ‘issue’ with my husband… I don’t think God minds us questioning Him. I ask Him questions all the time.
I wasn’t sure that night, if the symptoms were a ‘sign’ I needed to re-start my allergy/sinus regimen – or – a side-effect of my drinking too much coffee that day?
I had cut back quite a bit lately, going for days without caffeine.
I was resting & sleeping better.
It was glorious!   Then after our marriage class on Sunday (9th day w/o Rx), we stayed at the church where they are teaching it, and the pastor after worship asked for anyone with ear issues to come forward to be prayed for… my husband elbowed me… I don’t enjoy going forward, but I’ll TAKE PRAYER!   As soon as I was anointed with oil, my ear started to crackle… which I realized I had not heard in a few days. Praise God = sinus-fluid is moving AGAIN! I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about my Rx(s), so I waited even though my nose was swollen & tender …
I woke EARLY in the morning the next day, and decided if I wasn’t going to sleep a full night, then I could end the ‘experiment’ of no allergy meds…
at least for this month.
Whoaknowsa, maybe in a month or two… oh, let’s be real, after the holidays, coffee won’t be as tempting. I’ll try to go off my allergy meds again in a month or so… maybe for a few days… then eventually build up to a few months, and hopefully one day, not need them anymore.
I can remember a time I only needed ’em in the fall of the year (almost 20 years ago), so the fact I was even able to do this at this time, while gardening, is a miracle all in itself.  Dust is my #1 allergen (We even have several hens who are currently molting, so LOTs of dust-mites!).
God is so good to help me – even in this! :)
Since writing this – my other ear has started to crackle… which is actually a good sign.  
December update:
Last holiday is tonight.
I start another sleep study next week – they are paying me this time! God is so cool!
There is NO coffee to be perked in the house…
just a wee-bit of instant left…
chocolate does NOT have the same effect as coffee… I tried yesterday.
I got #5 new hens this week too… so more time with the birds = more sneezing…
maybe I’ll try no allergy pill as soon as I remember to buy the good decongestant at the store and finally have clear, crackle-free ears.
Best to start with a ‘clean’ slate.
I also learned, it’s one of my allergy pills that causes problems with my sleep… so I’m alternating,
as one of the other…  more effective allergy pills puts me into a semi-coma state.
I do remember life without allergies… I’m going to focus on that in the New Year.


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on “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis

I just finished the book – only 4 chapters,


I made sure not to read more than one every day or so…

kind of like

when I read his book,

“Screwtape Letters.”

I figured one chapter would be all that I could handle,

especially since I ‘felt’ God was leading me to read it.


It’s been two years since my 1st pregnancy. Time sure does not wait for us to process loss…

I’m grateful C.S. Lewis shared his process…

it ended well.

I’m glad I read it.

I smiled several times in the last chapter.

Just in time to cry listening to a fellow church member share his loss of his brother-in-law.

God’s timing is perfect in all things. I’m glad He made this book stick out to me in this time. I was ready.

Crying is good.

Smiling is good.

I like how in the end, C.S. Lewis went for walks…

in order to sleep at night.

That piece of advice

would help MANY!

He was only married a short time,

and his wife died of cancer… there’s a movie, and yes, I saw that too, but so many years ago, I only have vague shadows of memory of it.

Here’s what stuck out to me from the book if you are interested in reading more…

In the foreword by Madeleine L’Engle, written in August 1988:

“The death of a beloved is an amputation.

Like Lewis, I, too, kept a journal…

It is all right to wallow in one’s journal;

it is a way of getting rid of self-pity and self-indulgence and self-centeredness.

What we work out in our journals we don’t take out on family and friends.”

Introduction written by Douglas H. Gresham:

“… one man’s studied attempts to come to grips with and in the end defeat the emotional paralysis of the most shattering grief of his life.

a small, tight-knit group which became known as ‘The Inklings,’ and which has left us with a legacy of literature. J.R.R. Tolkien, John Wain, Roger Lancelyn-Green, and Neville Coghill were among those who frequented these informal gatherings.

Helen Joy Gresham (nee Davidman), the ‘H.’ referred to in this book, was perhaps the only woman whom Jack ever met who was his intellectual equal and also as well-read and widely educated as he was himself. They shared another common factor: they were both possessed of total recall. Jack never forgot anything he had read, and neither did she.

Jack’s upbringing was a mixture of middle-class Irish… and English, set in the very begininngs of the twentieth century

the daughter of two lower-middle-class Jewish second generation immigrants, her father of Ukrainian, her mother of Polish origins, she was born and brought up in the Bronx in New York City.

I had yet to learn that all human relationships end in pain – it is the price that our imperfection has allowed satan<I refuse to dignify him w/capitalization.> to exact from us for the privilege of love. I had the resilience of youth upon which to fall when Mother died…

I had Jack to lean upon,

poor Jack only had me.

It took me almost thirty years to learn how to cry without feeling ashamed.

on reading through them some time later, he felt that they might well be of some help to others who were similarly afflicted with the turmoil of thought and feeling which grief forces upon us.

her death was delayed long enough for him to grow to love her so completely that she filled his world as the greatest gift that God had ever given him, and then she died and left him alone in a place that her presence in his life had created for him.

For further reading,

I recommend

‘Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times’


George Sayer (Harper & Row, 1988; Crossway Books) as the best available biography of C.S. Lewis;

Lyle Dorsett’s biography of my mother,

‘And God Came In’

(Macmillan, 1983);


a viewpoint of our family life, my own book <Douglas H. Gresham>,

‘Lenten Lands’

(Macmillan, 1988; HarperSanFrancisco, 1994).”

Chapter One:

“… There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says.

Yet, I want others to be about me.

If only they would talk to one another and not to me.

I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much.

It is easy to see why the lonely become untidy, finally dirty and disgusting.

We both knew we wanted something besides one another – quite a different kind of something, a quite different kind of want.

Her absence is like the sky,

spread over everything.

It is incredible how much happiness, even how much gaiety, we sometimes had together after all hope was gone. How long, how tranquilly, how nourishingly, we talked together that last night!

Even nature isn’t such a clown as that. She never plays exactly the same tune twice.

Chapter two:

Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.

I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get.

all that stuff about family reunions ‘on the further shore,’ pictured in entirely earthly terms. But that is all unscriptural, all out of bad hymns and lithographs. There’s not a word of it in the Bible. And it rings false. We KNOW it couldn’t be like that. Reality never repeats. The exact same thing is never taken away and given back. How well the spiritualists bait their hook! ‘Things on this side are not so different after all.’

Why do I make room in my mind for such filth and nonsense? Do I hope that if feeling disguises itself as thought I shall feel less? …

And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, like suspense. Or like waiting; just hanging about waiting for something to happen. …

It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down.

Chapter Three:

Just this apathy, this dead flatness? Will there come a time when I no longer ask why the world is like a mean street, because I shall take the squalor as normal?

Grief is like a bomber circling round and dropping its bombs each time the circle brings it overhead; physical pain is like the steady barrage on a trench in World War One, hours of it with no let-up for a moment. Thought is never static, pain often is.

God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t.

The less I mourn her the nearer I seem to her.

Chapter four:

Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.

I do all the walking I can, for I’d be a fool to go to bed not tired.

Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it.

The sense that some shattering and disarming simplicity is the real answer.

Attention is an act of will.”


“<>” mark my comments


I got it from the library,

inter-library loan.

It was donated by the Schlanker Funeral Home in April 2014 to the Montgomery City Public Library in Montgomery City, Missouri.

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on being broody

Broody as in like a hen, sitting on her nest…

I don’t seem to want to leave home much.


I’m not isolating myself.


Nothing dramatic happen.

No issues.

I just want to be at home.

I wish I could say it was because I was enjoying a bunch of free-time, but that hasn’t happened yet…


I did see one of my fav hens sitting on the nest today… late in the afternoon,


clearly she’s broody…

no rooster,


no babies for her.


Last year, I got baby birds for an older hen of our’s that was broody for MONTHs,


they were not what she wanted…

I think she was sitting on the nest to recover from trauma… all the friends in her click got eaten by a predator… I’m guessing she saw it. Mercy.


I also saw on for broody:

“a woman wishing to have a baby of her own


I sure that’s part of it,


I may be happy with a dog… except they make me sneeze… and the cat & hens are already causing that on a daily basis…


the wood-stove does too,


that hasn’t been started up yet…


why am I sneezing every day? Oh yeah, hello fall… death, dying, dust-filled fall.


I’m going to ENJOY this season of my life. I like it here. God is good.

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on ‘coon

Another miracle from God… my husband home early from work one night this week and wanted to sit and watch a movie,

it wasn’t dark, so I didn’t lock up the birds,


a storm came in… my husband always says the rain keeps predators away…

um not when it stops.

I got ‘anxious’ after I saw that it was dark outside, and wanted to go lock up…

he reminded me of the rain…

I only last a about 10 minutes… I was so concered, I didn’t do my ‘normal’ flashlight check of the outer coop (screened in section), and just started doing a headcount of our hens, when I heard a noise, then another louder noise…

def. not the cardinals who have a nest in there,


I was busy counting…. God is so kind.

When I turned, what do I see crawling up the wires = HUGE racoon!

I told him to get out & went to find my husband – after ‘locking’ the inner door of the coop to protect the lady-birds.
A few months ago, we moved our trash cans with feed into the pen after we ‘heard’ & trapped another ‘coon who was knocking them over.

I moved them out of the coop when we raised meat-birds 2 years ago.

My husband set the trap today, and will relocate our current, furry-visitor, but WOW, I do not like being that CLOSE to a thing that attacks!

All our girls were quiet, unlike 2 years ago when it was a possum inside the nesting/roostig section of their coop… that was another night God provided a miracle. No birds lost either time.

God loves me.

Lesson learned: lock up birds BEFORE dark, and who cares if it’s raining or not!

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on fire & a cow

Yesterday on a drive to see a friend who moved several hours away,

I was feeling adventurous,


wanting to try a new way.

My sassy smartphone is use to me changing routes,

in route…


I wasn’t too concerned, and I was still staying ‘inside’ civilization…

it’s only near where I live that the gadget goes off-line.

Then about 10 miles from my 1st turn,

I had an urge to use a different highway…

wondering if it would get me in the right direction…

I knew it headed west,


I needed to go north,


it leaned to the south…


the urge didn’t go away…


I figured, I’d give it a try – REGARDLESS, my desire for adventure would be satisfied,


I’d be experiencing some country roads with wildflowers and vast yards and fields.

As soon as I turned,

my mapping program seemed happy… like I was going the way it had suggested… um, no I wasn’t – I have looked at the various routes SEVERAL times


this has never been one of the highways it suggested…


I should have known then that the ‘urge’ was a God-thing, and not me.

Livin’ & learnin.’

I didn’t even make it to the next exit before it was OBVIOUS

why God

had me go this way

that I NEVER go = fire.

LARGE flames were burning bright and tall in the dry grass along the highway in the median…


spreadin’ in the summer heat.

Smoke taller than a semi-truck.


Fire can be evil, destroying everything in it’s path.

God is kind…


He sent me this way…

knowing I’d get it reported to the peeps that could actually do something about it.

God is so smart.


In case, I wasn’t alert…

as in already pre-occupied…

for me, that can mean:

-being lost in a good song


-completely lost in my own mind, pondering the things of life…

there was a old, rough-lookin’ car sitting in the median a few hundred feet before the fire…

God sometimes has to get your attention.


there was a cop and a HUGE moving truck off on the slow-side in the shoulder…

God KNEW I wouldn’t miss all #3 things together in one view.


God is smart.


Do I pull over and tell the cop about the fire?

I slowed down,

but well,

it just didn’t seem right…

and HELLO,

the sassy smart phone is voice-activated:

“Hey Siri,

call 911…

Police re-directed me to the fire (which reminded me of the night I called about the cow),


well… they knew right where I was on the highway…

aaah technology. It is good, most of the time.

The other time God sent me a different way,

than the way I had planned (or usually go… habit)

was the night of the cow.

I NEVER go this way home… it’s further, and less fun… no curves to the road either.


the urge just wouldn’t go away. JUST LIKE YESTERDAY.

Maybe I should have called this blog: on urges…

God was in the urge, both times.

God is so cool.

I pulled off the highway onto a country-road that night to find a HUGE cow, grazing happily in the ditch…


she could get hit… or wander away…

I used the before mentioned smart phone, but wasn’t as successful that night. I ended up having to call information as I was directed to the wrong county for the call. Lots of transfers later, the right people were on their way to help notify the cow’s owners. I’d like to say I know my neighbors, but these, I don’t… and one doesn’t stop late at night and knock on the door of anyone who lives in the country…

I leave that to the awesome people who serve all of us, the police. God bless ’em.


I just need to let God help me with my anger… I noticed it keeps popping up it’s ugly-head.

I don’t want to lose out on the goodness of God, like Moses because of my anger. I can be humble… I can submit… I KNOW my fight is NEVER with people…

help me Jesus!


God will.


I will focus on what is lovely, true and right (Philippines 4:8)


NOT let myself ponder anything else. Period (taking EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ = 2 Corinthians 10:5).

God is so smart…

if I hadn’t shared this,

I would not have gotten my scriptures to help me with anger:

2 Corinthians 10:5 = “and we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God.

We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.”

in the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV).


Philippines 4:8 = “continue to think about what is

good and worthy of praise.

Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. ”


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