Thursday, September 28, 2006

It is hard to (scratch, scratch) blog when you (roll down
the sock and scratch) can't stop scratching.

The glorious early Autumn weather has been tempting
Kent, Princess Daughter, and me into meandering through
the woods. It's been (scraaaaatch) great!

Except for yesterday. We wandered deeper into the
deep, dark forest and sometime during that wandering
I must have (scritch, scratch) spent some time in the
nest of some seed ticks or chiggers; it doesn't really
which it was, they both deliver the same outcome-severe
case of itching.

Maybe it happened while I was standing looking back over a
long-grown-up field that was covered in red bushes which
stood out against the still-mostly-green trees. The sky
was filled with roiling clouds of dark and light grey. The view
was stunning.

Was it worth the itching? I dare to think so. The itching will
end...the memory will last.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Amy at Amy's Humble Musings is at it again. She has three
books she is offering for the price of a comment on her blog.
They are compliments of Faith and Family Books. The three
books to be won are:
Teardrop Diary
A Celebration of Pregnancy
Rest For Weary Homeschool Moms
You can enter for any or all of the books.
Excitement is in the air! Not only is it Autumn but Kim
at Life In A Shoe is holding a contest for $700 worth of
products from Vision Forum. Get thee over there to enter
into this wonderful opportunity.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

For those who are wondering, Grandma Opal is doing
great. She is looking forward to a visit next week from
her son who lives in Florida and his family. Some of
that family she hasn't seen in quite a number of years.
I am sure she will be exhausted by the time the visit
is over.

But meanwhile, she and I whooped up on Kent and Hattie
last night in High Five. They went home with their tails
between their legs. But I did not gloat at all. Never would,
never could.

We had walked down to Grandma's just before dark and
when she was saying, "Goodbye and thanks for coming
to entertain me", Hattie was looking out at how dark
the road was. "I think we need a flashlight," she quivered.
Kent and I vetoed that idea and we had a nice, spookish
walk down the very dark road. The moon was a golden
crescent hanging just over the trees, and indeed it set
before we reached home.

Earlier in the day we had walked back on the old home
place and Hattie was excitedly looking at all the deer tracks
and other tracks she saw in the mud.

I pointed out some scat to Hat,
She said, "What is that?"
I said, "It's just dung, Hon."
"And look, it's got some seeds among."

Well, I guess you have to be from Mayberry to enjoy that
little poem. But we could easily see that it was from an
herbivore, or maybe an omnivore, since there were lots of
big seeds in it.
Raising older children is more complicated than raising
young'uns. There are a lot of reasons for that (and I am
not talking about rebellious older children here), but the
one that is on my mind is the fact that you just cannot
protect them and shield them from pain as you would like.

It is a very growing-up time for the parents, as much, or
more so, than for the young adults themselves. As I look
into the lives of my three adult, and nearly adult, children,
I ache for them. If only I could give to them the assurance
that has been hard-won in my own life that God will be
there for them. And even far higher and more comforting
than that, that God has these things happening to them for
His own great purposes.

Romans 5:3-5
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations,
knowing that tribulation produces perseverance:
and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Now hope does not disappoint, becuase the love
of God has been poured out in our hearts by the
Holy Spirit who was given to us.

It is for me to trust God also. For me to come to a point of
believing that He is orchestrating their lives in order to
bring about the promise He made about them.

Philippians 1:6
...being confident of this very thing; that He who
has begun a good work in you will complete it
until the day of Jesus Christ:

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's not that I have been especially busy, it's just that my
sister's mother-in-law lent us the A&E 6 video volume of
Pride and Prejudice. We are 2/3 through, which, for those
who are mathematically challenged, means we have 2
left to watch.

I do have a potpourri of snippets to offer to the blogkingdom

Many bloggers have delightful Autumn poems posted.
They have whet my appetite for walks through crunchy
leaves. I especially enjoyed Vagabond Song by Bliss Carmon
which I found posted on Semicolon.

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood–
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.
The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.
There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

My boys never wanted to learn such poems. But they did
delight in the type Bill posted here at Mayberry's Seed.

Today we had a speaker from The Gideons International.
I am always impressed with the work they do in getting the
Word of God out to the world.

In Southern Missouri, I can't vouchsafe for the rest of the
country, but in Southern Missouri the wildflowers that line
the roadways in late Summer and early Autumn are colored
yellow. There is quite a splash of purple, though, to offset the
yellow and then a dash of white to add an air of elegance to
the picture.

By Sun and Candlelight has a whole gaggle of ideas to be used
in celebrating Autumn with your children.

And finally, I had to pass on this article by Tim Challies on
priorities. Terrific!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

This verse sprang to mind this morning when
I looked out the front door and saw the delicately
etched in pink sky. (That sentence is written just
the way it is meant to be read, awkward though
it may sound at first.) Such a view we have from
our house of both the sunrise and the sunset.

Someday I'll own a digital camera and I will be
able to show you what I'm talking about. For
now, just imagine.

That (not having a digital camera) reminds me
that yesterday I was thinking, "If someone were
to say to me, 'Laurie, choose any three things
around your house you need to buy or fix and
we'll do it for you', that it would be easy to decide
on." (I am having trouble trying to communicate
this exactly as I thought it.)

In other words, the person tells me that if I choose
three things they will take care of them for me. I,
at first, thought this would be an easy question.
In my mind I listed the three following items:
1. New windows to replace the ones that are so
leaky the curtains blow when it's windy...even
when the windows are shut.
2. A new refrigerator to replace the one that has
gaps in the rubber that lets air leak out.
3. A new kitchen table. (Mine is really nice, and
is an antique, but you can't get 6 chairs around
it unless people are sticking out at odd angles.)

But, then I thought, well, maybe I need some other
things more.

4. A new couch to replace the one that has stuffing
poofing out in several places.
5. A new vacuum because the carpet attachment no
longer works on mine.
6. New flooring in the the bedrooms because the old
stained carpet is really rather nasty, (hey if I got
new flooring I'd no longer need to replace the
vacuum because that would get rid of all the
carpeting in the house.)
7. ETC. ad naseum!

I remind myself of the time I was tucked in my snug little
bed one night imagining what I would do with $100,000
if someone handed it to me. At first I thought, "Oh, I
could never spend it all." But then, after about 3 and1/2
minutes I realized I had it all spent and needed a second

This is too much brain strain for me. I think I'll go back to
Psalm 19:1 and think about the glories of the heavens.
Then I'll wander over to Ephesians 5:20-- thanks always for all things to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,...

Really, what else does one need?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

News From The Farm-

A neighboring cattle farmer happened to mention to my
dad that the hay growing in his field looked better than
the spring cut did, so, Dad decided to make a second
cutting this year. We have this deal. He cuts the hay,
rakes the hay and bales the hay. We load the hay and
put it in our barn and feed the cattle for the winter. Poor
Dad, his equipment is utterly ancient. He can barely get
around the field one time before it breaks down and needs
repair. Therefore, to get a cutting of hay takes countless
trips to town or to The Bluff (the nearest large town...
it is know to the world at large as Poplar Bluff, but it is
colloquially know as The Bluff). We just sit around and
do other things until we get the word that it is all baled.
Really though, don't feel too sorry for him, he is a true
Gentleman Farmer and glories in such things.

So, last Saturday night, after dark, we all headed down the
road and brought back two trailer and truck loads of hay.
Good thing. We really didn't have enough for a hard winter.
Princess Daughter only fell off the haywagon one time. Now
we can sleep well at night knowing how contentedly our cows
will sleep this winter.

I noticed that same night that the glow worms are finally out.
I'd been wondering where they were. They are so fairyish.
You look and see one, then blink and it is gone. I've always
thought they were the larvae of fireflies, but I've been googling
them and there is not a whole lot of information on them. This
I know though, they are magical and help me to adjust to the
thought of summer being over.

Uncle Jim, who lives down the gravel from me, called today and
asked me if I knew of anyone missing a small, dark horse as
there was one in his yard. Nope, I didn't. He tried to get close
to it but it wandered off. So, I have my eyes peeled to see if it
wanders into our yard. If so, I'll have to try and catch it, Princess
Daughter would be thrilled to pet it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I intended to post this a few weeks ago, but I had trouble
getting the sidebar button to work correctly.

I hate shopping for clothes for Princess Daughter. The
styles are just unpalatable. I refuse, and Princess Daughter
agrees with me, to let her wear clothes that promote sexuality
and or brattishness. We are blessed with lots of handme-
downs and even those we have to cull carefully

If you are at all concerned about the clothing styles that
are available for young girls, then you should go see what
Everyday Mommy is proposing to do about it.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Princess Daughter dares her Daddy to chase and catch
her, which of course, always ends in a tickling match. The
other day the tickling match ended up being on our bed.
Billy heard the excitement and couldn't resist joining the
free-for-all that was going on. Actually, knowing Billy,
he probably got pulled in against his will.

Kent switched his full force from tickling Princess Daughter
to wrestling with Bill and Princess Daughter stole the
opportunity to escape. She stood on top of them and jumped--
right into the ceiling fan which was, up till then, happily
whirring along. Ouch.

So, as I held her crying, I tried to cheer her up by telling her
another fan story. A camp story.

A friend of ours, Jay, was a couselor at a camp we were directing,
sometime back in the early years of our marriage. Jay had an
old-fashioned fan going to help him sleep. No A.C. at our camps,
thank you. In the middle of the night he rolled over and his
hand flung out and into the fan blades. Ow! What a wake-up
call that was. But, do not fret, besides a sore hand he was just
If you've ever wondered what sets Mayberry apart from
The Big City the following is a good example. Yesterday
Princess Daughter rode her bike down the gravel to visit
her Great-Grandma Opal and various other relatives. She
was excited because she had heard that my cousins's husband
and his son were down for a visit since yesterday was the start
of bow season.

Around dinner I called around to find her; I located her on
the third call. "It's time to come home and eat," I told her.

"Mom can't I eat here?" she asked.

"What are they having?" I inquired.

Whispers occur in the background. Then, "Hamburgers, hotdogs
and bratwurst."

"Okay," I tell her.

On any given day she could eat dinner with her Great-Grandma,
Great-Aunt, Great-Uncle, Grandma and Grandpa or with us. It
is a blessing that they are all good cooks, andthat they all cook in
a relatively healthy fashion. That is, if you consider bacon grease
and hogjowl as healthy. Actually mix them with enough whole
grains and vegetables and they are.

Then here is a list of the people who dropped by our house during
the afternoon and evening yesterday:
1. Aunt Jenny--to borrow a utility knife.
2. 1st cousin once removed Mary--to have us scan and print out some
3. Cousin by marriage Alan--to talk about bow hunting and fishing.
4. Princess Daughter's 2nd cousin--they'd been riding bikes and
ended up here.

Late breaking news...Brandon, another 2nd cousin, just popped in
looking for the boys. His dad shot a deer and they need help
trailing it. Out the door went Billy, and away pelted Princess
Daughter. Life just doesn't get any better on the gravel.
I just finished reading (again) the two book "Pat" series by
Lucy Maud Montgomery. L.M. Montgomery is, of course,
famous for her well known "Anne of Green Gables" series,
and her somewhat less well know "Emily of New Moon"
series. She also wrote many stand alone novels, a few
other series novels, and many, many short stories.

L.M. Montgomery's novels are satisfying. They may seem
overly sweet to some, but they present a picture of wholeness
and wholesomeness that is a good hideaway to turn to in
turbulent times. The focus on home, food, friends and simple
living is delightful.

In "Pat of Silver Bush" and "Mistress Pat" we are introduced to
Pat Gardiner of Silver Bush. She lives, of course, on Prince Edward there any other place to live? Pat is seven when we
meet her and we follow her ups and downs until she is about
thirty. Mistress Pat takes a long time finding out what her
heart is telling her about love, and that is the crux of the story.

The only complaint I have with the "Pat" books is that Montgomery
repeats herself in the ending. Both the "Emily" and "Pat" series
have the childhood friend rushing in at the end to claim the heart
of the heroine. Both times it was after a narrow escape of a broken
engagement with a neighbor who just would not have done at all.

I am a sucker for crying over the Montgomery death scenes. She
does a very good job of picturing grief in the midst of a life that
must carry on. She is a master at creating quaint period type
characters, such as Judy Plum, and Josiah Tuttletuck, two
of the hired help at Silver Bush. And, her descriptions of nature
are delightful.

The "Pat" series is an altogether satisfying read.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Arachnid-spider (or other related creature)
Phobia-fear of

Arachnophobia-fear of spiders. This is not a fear that I am
blessed with. I have a confession to make. I kind of like the
little guys. In fact, if I see one in the house and it is not in
my way, (like in the washing machine-where I found one
this week, or in the bathtub-spiders in the tub are a bit much)
I grant clemency and let him live. I really like those big yellow
and black garden spiders that get on my bushes and make the
web with the long zzzzzzzz in it and then bounce back and forth
when you gently tickle them with a stick.

All of that to lead up to this little story. A few days ago I stepped
out on my porch and there was a big red spider spinning his
web in the corner. I snuck (really one doesn't need to sneak with
a big outdoor spider intent on his other duties) up so I could see
the behind the scenes action, and it was really fascinating.

The thread was coming out of his spinnerets and he was patiently
attaching it to the rays that he had already formed. He would pause
for a second, attach the new line, and then move on. I called
Princess Daughter out to watch and she was interested, for a moment,
I had interrupted a big game of Masterpiece between her Daddy
and her. I think he won, Daddy I mean, for, like, the first time since
they started playing.

The next morning Mr. Spider was hanging from the top of the porch
and in the web was a hapless victim, all trussed and ready for the
Big Sunday Dinner. There are way too many moths on my porch
anyway. They come in like a cloud whenever I open the door at
night. I think I will name him "Brave and Handsome Hunter"...but
he probably is a she. I do think all the aggression goes to the female
in the arachnid world. I better go look that one up.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mayberry Vignettes:

1. As I was coming home last night from a jailwives
(inside joke) JOY meeting, a large doe jumped out of
my yard and bounded across the road.

2. That reminds me that bow season, an official
Mayberry season, starts Friday and runs through
January 15. Tyler is gearing up. Billy won't get to
hunt much, since he is in St. Louis all week long. I
really do need another deer head or two, I think I
have a bare space on my wall somewhere.

3. We had a great time with the three youth groups
this weekend. They came for the BBQ at our house
along with a contingency from our own church. I don't
have a head count, but I do know 65 hamburgers and
20 or 25 hotdogs were consumed, along with loads of
chips, baked beans, coleslaw, and desserts. But they
the three youth groups and the Mayberry contingency)
didn't eat all the makins for s'mores, so yesterday
Princess Daughter and I tried to make a s'more in the
microwave. It worked. The marshmallows poofed up
and the top graham cracker slid off, but we put it
back on and it was-well yummy-what else can a s'more

4. A funny thing happened at the big gathering. One of
the youth pastors stopped up one of our toilets. He was so very
embarrassed. I told him airily, "Don't worry, doesn't matter,
it happens all the time." I didn't want to have to deal
with the entire mess then and there so I got to hang
an "Out of Order" sign on that bathroom door. It doesn't
take much to make me feel important!

5. A spawning has occurred. Mayberry's Seed is a new site
worthy of being checked out. It is put together by my boy,
Billy, and mod Jenn.

6. Autumn is definitely in the air. One of the things I love
about Kent is that he likes to sleep with the window open
as much as I do.

Actually a Hattip goes to Grandma Opal for this WFMW
idea, but since she is not a blogger, I can't link you to her.
However, if you want to visit her, she is just down the
gravel from me and would love to beat you in a game
of cards.

Grandma loves to keep her house (a delightful period
piece, as she is herself) spic and span. It is not at all
unusual for this 96 next-month-year-old to be caught
cleaning the top of her cabinets, or rummaging and
cleaning something else. Several years ago she told me
one of her tricks and I have used it ever since. She
basically uses a bottle of water with a few drops of
dish-detergent in it to clean almost everything.

I keep a spray bottle with a few drops of JOY detergent
in each of my bathrooms. (It must be JOY because--
when Kent and I first began to date he went with my
family to drop me off for my Senior year of college;
when I went to bed that first night I found a bottle of
JOY dish detergent on my pillow along with a note.
The note read, "May you remeber me with JOY every-
time you wash the dishes." I did and I still do!) I use
them to clean the entire bathroom, mirror, sink, floor,
and stool (I use something else for the tub.) I grab a
bottle and spritz away when I want to wash windows,
spot clean my wood floors, get dirt off of the walls etc.

I love the idea of not having a lot of harsh chemicals
floating around in the house and it saves a bundle in
cashola too.

Check out Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for loads of
good ideas that just might Work For You.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

There are three youth groups coming from the Big City of
St. Louis to float the beautiful jewel of the Current River
this weekend. They will sleep at our church and we will
host a BBQ at our house for them Saturday night. My dear
niece Annie will be one of those coming.

It reminds me of the way Kent and I felt when we first moved
here (to Don...I mean Mayberry) from the Big City. We were
just like two kids. Everytime we opened our windows
and heard the frogs and crickets it seemed that we were at
summer camp. For years, everytime I drove home from
town, I would absolutely gloat over the country roads I was
privileged to travel. I guess I must be a native now because
most times these things seem normal to me now.

A few days ago, though, I was paying special attention to the
winding, twisting road I was driving on and the thought came
to me that driving down a country road is much like traveling
through life. There is a destination, but we can't see it. All
we can see is what is between us and the next hill, or between
us and the next curve. What is over the hill, what is beyond
the curve is out of our realm of knowledge. We trust the road,
though, to get us where we need to go.

We know God has a plan for our lives. He sees the entire route,
even though we may be stymied by the steep hill we are
climbing or the sharp curve that throws us for a loop.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose.

There have been times, driving down the two lane highway that
lead to my gravel, when the fog has been so thick I had to truly
creep along. Only a few feet were visible in the headlights of my
car. God doesn't always give us a grand vision for our future.
(I am speaking in human terms of what to do with our life,
who to marry, where to live etc.). But He always illuminates
the next few feet for us. The path is laid out in Scripture for

Deuteronomy 5:32
Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your
God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside
to the right hand or to the left.

In the commentary, titled "The Wisdom and Will of God" in
my "New Geneva Study Bible" there is this quote.

It is sometimes difficult, even impossible, for mortal
humans to understand how obedience, putting us
at a disadvantage in the world, is part of a predestined
plan of furthering both God's glory and our good
(Rom. 8:28). But we glorify God by believing that
it is so, because He who cannot lie has said it. One
day we will see it to be so, because His wisdom is
perfect and never fails.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This has been a funny week. Kent made a confession the
other day, and yes, I have his permission to share it. First,
you have to understand that we are a very non-techno
couple (example this blog, I'd like to do a lot to it, but lack
the savvy and the time.) We do have some techno kids,
but that is not part of this story. Second, you have to know
that we do not own a cell phone. Six people in the family and
not even one single cell phone. Everytime I borrow one I
have to ask how to dial the thing. Third, Kent borrowed
his dad's phone when he and Billy went to Washington U.
for Billy's orientation last week. He put the phone in his
back pocket. Sometime during the day he was sitting on
a brickwall with a lot of bushes behind him and he jumped
off and started gyrating around. Billy, who is a techno,
although a cell-phone-less one (really we are just cheapies)
started to laugh. Kent thought a snake was crawling on
him, but it was just the phone vibrating because it had been
set on mute.

By-the-way, it was lovely to have Billy home for Labor Day
Weekend. We spent Monday on the beautiful jewel, Current
River. Our family and my-other-daughter Jen (mod Jen)
motored up and floated down. It was a shimmering pearl of
a day to add to the necklace of life.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Let's see, dinner tonight will be chicken enchiladas, salad,
green beans, apple sauce and apple pie. Somehow though,
that just doesn't compare to the cornbread, turnip greens
and beans I had a Grandma's house on Saturday. They
were a true feast. (Maybe it's because I won't need to use
any bacon, hog jowl, or bacon grease for tonight's dinner,
and she used one of those in everything she made Sat.)
"Pigwash". She said my house looked like pigwash. Oh well,
she was pretending to be a hoity-toity; she was all dressed
up in one of my dresses and when she came to visit she looked
around with her nose in the air and said, "This place is a pigwash!"

Princess Daughters are fun!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ninety-five Year Old Woman Bashes Rat With A Hammer

Doesn't that sound exciting? That is exactly what Grandma did
a few days ago. Some time ago she took up the hobby of mice
catching. She lives in a rather old house that is full of nice little
holes for mice and other critters to scramble in. Several months
ago she killed a mouse a day for about 13 days in a row. She told
me she just couldn't wait to get out of bed in the morning to check
the mousetrap and see what she had caught.

But then the rat appeared. He was just too big for any trap she
had, so she had my dad go and buy her a big old rat trap. She has
been setting it for a few months now but never could get that

She worried about this rat. Mostly she worried about him getting
into her quilts and ruining them. Then he started to steal things.
See, Grandma is not like many older people, she has a very neat
house and it is not at all cluttered with things. She is not into all
the knicknacks and such that so many elderly people are. But
she started missing things. One day she was missing two little
tomatoes off the counter. Then she was missing some apples.
She began to think, as she lay in bed at night, about him climbing
up in bed with her...arrrgh! Recently she asked her cleaning lady
to move a dresser so she could pull out the drawers and check her
quilts. In one of the drawers she found okra, peas and the missing

But finally, one day last week, she walked out onto her utility porch
and she saw a big thing lying on the ground next to the trap. He
wasn't in the trap, but he had been hurt by it. She was so afraid he'd
come to and run off that she ran and got a hammer and bashed that
poor thing's head in. Now, what should we do with her? She sounds
like a bloodthirsty old lady doesn't she. Boy, did she have a lot of fun
telling me all the gory details. In fact she was gloating. All she needed
was to beat me in a game of cards to make her week perfect.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Kent said something sad last night. We were down at the town
park last night for the Labor Day festivities. It was a lovely
night, but then Kent said, "You know, we don't really live in
Mayberry. There are too many people here that we don't know."

Of course we knew a lot of people. But he was right. Probably
eight or nine out of ten we didn't know. Down the road a piece,
in two or three directions, are smaller communitites even than
ours. I suppose if you lived there and went to their festivities
you'd be more likely to know eight or nine out of every ten people
you ran across.

So, we don't actually live in Mayberry, but you can see Mayberry
from where we live.

One person that we did run across last night was Jen. She is almost
my second daughter. She and Tyler are practically twins. And she
is one of the best friends of Billy and Tyler. Jen was wondering why
I never write about Billy going off to college this year. Good question.
I have followed closely Owlhaven's musings on her oldest daughter
leaving for college and how strange it feels to set a smaller table and
to have one less person to kiss goodnight. Maybe that is why I have
avoided writing about it. When you invest so very much time, energy
and prayer into a persons's life, it hurts to have them gone, even though
the gaining of their maturity is the very reason you have spent so much
of your life on them.

The peeling away hurts, even though it is a grand hurt.
Mystery Solved. It was really very simple. One of the
Jerseys was butting her head up against the gate. She
would do it until the bungee cord popped off (we close
that particular gate with a bungee cord, don't ask me why-
it's just what we do.) Then she would wander into the yard,
followed by whoever was in her vicinity. Really it is fine
for them to eat in the yard. We have a quite big yard, and
we can always use help with keeping it cut, but the next
time we mow we need to watch out for the cow you know

I guess it wasn't really worthy of the spooky music, but I
was befuddled for a bit!