Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The door

The house we live in today has certainly changed from the house we moved into 30-plus years ago. It was old when we bought it - a total fixer-upper. We rolled up our sleeves and started the never-ending process of making the house our home.

One of the most unique features of the first floor was that there were 6 outside entrances. That's right... six! While it was comforting to know that in case of a fire we could each have our own escape route (I would carry the youngest daughter), it did present a decorating problem.

And... old wood doors, though heavy, don't seal well. It was a continual challenge keeping the cold winter wind outside where it belonged. So, we replaced the two living room doors (complete with ancient arched windows) with modern, quiet, insulated doors. A second door on the porch became a window. The laundry room door became a wall. The dining room now sports a door that actually locks with a key!

Last week, I was outside stripping paint from the old kitchen door... the last survivor of doors gone by. My plan was to make the finish smooth enough to paint it back to respectability. But as I struggled my way through layers of color, I fell in love with the mottled finish... the evidence of generations of women who spruced up the kitchen by painting that old door.

I think I'll know when the finish is just right. While I work toward that point, it's fun to review our history of five kids flying through that very door with the latest news of deer in the garden, baby goats in the barn, and chickens wandering through the neighborhood.


What a noisy house this used to be.

... I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of  wickedness. Psalm 84:10

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The bundle visitor

I had to show and tell before the tale of the visitor is to old to tell! Day 56, I checked the paper bundles to see if anything was happening. Not many changes... but the tree bundle had a special guest. I got right in his face and we had a photo shoot! (No sensitive eyes were damaged in the taking of these photos. I do not use a flash.)

I went back to the tree two days later. I wanted to see if there were any interesting chew marks or despicable - ahem - trails. He was gone! Well... most of him was.

I'm wondering, what will the next 32 days do to that?

But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:20, 21

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stacks and stacks and stacks!

Early stacks - neat, tidy.

The problem with that early stack is it was hard to tear into these once loved, now discarded, books. It was almost impossible to take an old illustration (that I might never see/hold again) and attach it to a project that I would certainly never see again!

Unruly stacks!

Too many thrift shops... too many bargains... I had to loosen my grip on this stack of "wonderful".  Amazing what happens, deep inside your soul, when you open the hand wide and share. It took a while to understand this. Fortunately for me, a lesson learned late is still good.

REmade stack - joy, down in my heart.

The stack of books in the re-make process is small. The finished projects moved to new homes. May this stack never grow high.

The life stack.

Early in the building of this stack, pages that looked like ransom notes expressed the cry of a heart desiring conversation with God. Over many years, new pages were added, then new books. They became more personal - and so did the conversation. What started as "I should", became necessary, like food.

My goal? That this conversation might become vital ... like breathing.

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in His word do I hope. Psalm 130:5

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leaving the comfort zone

Tomorrow, I am expanding my horizon. I will participate in my very first online collaboration. Sounds interesting, huh?

Go here to see what it's all about.

Then come back here tomorrow. Such fun.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


In the search for interesting, arty photos the other day, I happened upon a trio of attractive rocks!
They were huddled together, guarding the top of a bin from the disruptive effects of wind, rain and critters.

Hoping for interesting ... and intrigued by the varied colors, I tried stacking the rocks. To be arty, of course.

That's when he appeared! How amazing! How adorable! How arty!

So that's what I call him... Artie!

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalm 119:18

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Around the yard

I took some time to walk around the yard ... noticing things. I grabbed my buddy (my camera) and together we captured the sights. Some, far more interesting than I imagined!

Trying to be artsy, I put my camera under the mushroom. Surprise!

I am amazed at the translucent quality of these mushrooms... or shall I call them fungi?

The bounty of the earth for both man and beast. These make the best grape juice you will ever taste!

I love the fall nights when the mist is over the fields. My camera isn't sophisticated enough to capture the scene exactly... but close enough to catch the moonlit mist over the fields. A beautiful night.

The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

Friday, September 9, 2011

Halfway there!

Where did August go? I closed my eyes to sneeze one day and when I opened them... September was here!

My bundles of paper that are enduring all of the summer's harshest elements have now passed day 45... halfway through the process.

The biggest visible changes occurred during the fourth week. This is what I found on day 35...

Won't this lacy white paper be a beautiful addition to some guerrilla art? Or a card?

Fast forward to day 45... today. I notice that the colors are fading. And on one set of papers, there tiny gray spots that look like mildew.

Layers appear in the paper as the holes grow. But I have to say... I'm loving these rusty trails!

I still have the greatest curiosity about what is happening in the middle of these bundles. I tried peeking, but couldn't see anything. Even if the paper doesn't work out... at least I will have learned some patience. And that's a good thing.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecclesiastes 7:8

Friday, September 2, 2011

The birthday party

We met in Shipshewana - grandparents from South Dakota and from Michigan, together with the happy family that was celebrating the advent of their oldest daughter into the teen years.

There's a comfortable mix of old and new, natural and man-made in Shipshewana. Horses and buggies sharing streets with shiny cars.

Women in traditional Amish garb serving at a rooftop restaurant with continental flair.

An olive burger like no other!

A hungry bird waiting for leftovers. Hmmm... could he be the reason for the charming umbrellas?

Throw in cherry cream pie, shopping and a posh hotel... the stuff celebrations are made of.

Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. 
Proverbs 17:6