Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shannon & Solomon's Seal

Up in the Maryland suburbs, these seem to be a nursery item. In my back yard and the surrounding forest, they grow wild. Over the last few weeks,

I have been watching them sprout, rise and open. Teardrop buds, which dangle in a line, under the luscious, sets of leaves are just now opening.

Solomon's Seal were first pointed out to me by my (step)daughter and each time I see them, I feel close to her. One of my heroes, she is uber-mom and all-around, amazing woman! When we need some odd sort of info, the saying around our home is, "Shannon will know". She is an awesome cook, gardener, homemaker , decorator and artist. She is loving, daring, playful, wise, adventurous and caring. If she sets her mind to it, I am certain she can accomplish ANYTHING she desires. When her 8 y.o. daughter had cancer, they were told the child's bowels would have to be removed. Shannon found that unacceptable and found a less life-altering, procedure being tried out in some exotic place like Fiji... Shannon convinced the doctor's to try it and it worked! She is now well into her nursing program, working towards being a pediatric, hem-onc nurse....What an amazing woman!!!
[I am having trouble getting images out of my camera, so pictures of them in bloom will have to wait until later].

What Is It? (pt.3)

Scottish thistle....this one was extra eager to jump into life. It's a bit early, so I don't know how things will go for cross-pollination, etc. Most folks seemed to think it was a cactus of some sort.
Life is like that. Sometimes we see only the thorns and fear to go any further, when in fact, wonderful things may be found. Other times, we can feel on the verge of something big and want to jump right in. Spontaneity is great, but we have to look at the consequences, and the timing. We have to take very seriously how other people could be effected by our decisions. Ultimately, the only way for any major decision is to seek God's guidance. Sometimes we may think we have all of the information we need, when in fact, there is much more out there that never entered our thoughts. I make my requests known to God but always ask for His will to be done. That way, he who has the big picture in mind, can open or close doors as I need them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thoughts of Daryl & Wisteria

Sweet, lavender clusters of floral grapes,
Candy-coloured fragrance of bygone days.

Breezy hammock dozing under draped arbors,
Cottony sky-dreaming while eyelids flicker in & out of shade.

Checkered blanket picnics with teeming wicker baskets,
Candle light and secrets shared to heart-filled eyes overflowing.

White-picket laughter amidst twining purple vines,
Stained-glass, long-ago lore & all things romance.

Country photo shoots, 'neath Blue Ridge Peaks,
Round hay bales on cedar-lined farms of yesteryear.

Macro-grasshoppers on rusty, barbed wire,
And tiny treasures for keen observers eyes.

Sharing mommy moments & warmth of forever friends,
Her spirit entwines my heart as wisteria graces spring.

Sitting Together

London and I were sitting out one evening, on the banks of the lake. Along came a friend....
London, naturally scooped him up. While he gently played with the little creature,along came another friend...

London has to have Uncle Wesley's approval before he can handle any snake and was oh, so sad to simply watch this one (possibly a baby, yellow rat). Strangely, toad and snake didn't seem to take note of each other in the least...not even when the snake slid right over the toad...more validation that, "If you sit quietly and still long enough, the wildlife will come out".

A Curious Eye

These images are from the dock out back. I like them. Tom does, too and he said that most folks just wouldn't think to capture images of things like this. He said that's what makes my eye and gift so special. I love how supportive he is. Enjoy a closer look at everyday things.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Is This? (Pt. 2)

Ok, you should have it now, but if not, the next one will be a give-away.

Who Is My Neighbor?

Jesus sums up God's law with the command,
"You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself". (Luke 10:27, see also Romans 13:9 & Leviticus 19:18). If I give to others all day, as a follower of Christ, am I entitled to take the evenings and weekends off? Can I ignore my neighbor because I have already filled my "good deed quota" for the day? I don't believe so. A lawyer asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29). Jesus replies with the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-37). One of those who passes by is a Levitical priest. This tells me that no matter how holy or righteous one thinks they are, there is never a time to turn ones' back on a neighbor.
Jesus gave 3, primary instructions: Love God, love your neighbor, preach to all the world. Just before His ascension, He commissioned His followers to "go into all the world..." (Mark 16:15) or "nations..."(Matt 28:19-20) and preach the Gospel..." Perhaps some believe Jesus' instructions were multiple choice, but I believe they were all equally important.
I like the metaphor in this image. The open archway that God created into a garden of His creations where the light begins to shine. This is in stark contrast to those who are in the dark and strive to fence people out of their lives. How does your light shine in your every-day and every-moment walk towards the Kingdom? Do we ever get to retire?...Take some time off...? Not on this go-around. That comes later.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sitting on the Dock...

The other night, London had his first, public school performance. His 2nd grade class voted to sing, "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay". That song always reminds me of my father-in-law, Jr. He was of the "Greatest Generation" and snuck into the Merchant Marines to serve in WWII. Characteristic of that generation of men, he was never one to outright express his feelings. He found more practical ways to show his affection. We often used to stop by to see Tom's folks after church and have breakfast together. Once Jr. found out that I love cheese, every week he would say, "Go in the kitchen and get you some cheese...Juanita! Get Jeannine some cheese!"
He would so adore his little grandson! Even though "Tommy" wasn't much one for fishing, London would be out there with him every day!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Really True !!!!

Growing up, my family always told me, "If you sit still and quiet long enough, the wildlife will come out." I never found that to be true...UNTIL, I started going quiet inside...then, it happened !!! Last weekend, as I sat on the docks mid-cove, I heard a rustling in the leaves on the far bank.....

We watched each other for ages and ages until the groundhog decided that lunch was more imprtant than I was.....

The episode finally ended when our loving huntress/herder, Juliette, awoke and decided I needed protecting......

Daily Strength

It is so powerful to start the day amidst God's creations !!! I feel so much closer to my Lord in prayer, when I am surrounded by his artistry !!As the day continues and my middle-schoolers show that post-spring break, Friday energy, I can recall the tranquility of these moments: the kingfisher hunting on the large lake, the mallards on the lesser one. I spied a new vine of yellow blossoms growing up an oak....these images and many more will give me calm throughout the day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Upcoming Treats

My Jack-n-the-Pulpit was marred this year....but, there are some more upbeat signs...

Wild strawberries for Bun-Bun...

and wild blackberries for us !!

What Is This?

Sometimes it is difficult to capture a novel image of something that has been overdone...I think this is a cool shot. I believe that God has blessed me with an eye to go beyond the obvious eye candy and find even more, sometimes greater, treasures to behold....more images later. Off to catch the beaver before he turns in for the day....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Carol of the Bells

Yesterday, as we headed out for our respective schools, London looked at me with a big grin and said, "I have a way to make you think about me all day long."
I replied, "Honey, I think about you all day, every day".
"No, I have a way to make you think bad about me all day."
"Oh, baby, I would never think bad about you."
He then set about whistling, "Carol of the Bells"...He was right ! Two days in and I am still thinking bad things about him at work !!!! (and several of my classes are thinking bad things about me!)

First Forest Flowers

I have never even bothered to look these up. I know them as "The spring break flowers"... they are the first thing to bloom in the forest... and always in time for spring break. they are only about 6-8 inches tall. The pictures do not do justice to the vivid red that splashes out all over the forest floor. Some years ago, I relocated some to under our oak out back and they are doing great!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Watching

Here are just a few of the things going on around our home: Silver Dollars, Geraniums, and Columbine:

I spent much of the weekend at The Glade next to the lake, watching the ferns and wild azaleas unfurl....

Robot Fun

Friday, April 17, 2009

Images Out Back

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Making Lemonade

London's first baseball game was WAY out in the far out, that by the time we found it, it was matter: Wrong teams, anyway!! SO we deicded to "make lemonade" and hit a bunch of "country yard sales"...found some very funky stuff, too.
On our way home, I saw it and shrieked, "please, please, please! We have to go back! I have been waiting for weeks for the wisteria to bloom...not only is it in bloom back there, but it is on an old abandoned house!" Tom and London knew better than to argue with me on something like that....("happy wife, happy life")The house had peeling, white paint and the porch roof was collapsing on both ends. Wisteria vines covered the front of the house and the crumbling, brick chimney. The porch was askew with items as though a fast exit had occured...mystery and intrigue! An overturned chair, empty wooden boxes.....the blinds were up at angles, but the glass was all in tact....the screen door was ajar next to an old wall phone...right there on the front porch...ah, those were the days !!!!
Tons of images later, we were on our way home to grilled cheese sandwiches and fun at home.....I hope to make it back this weekend to see and smell more blossoms!!!...maybe even ask around for some local stories.... Or leave it a mystery...I love to make up stories of houses I pass by....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Luna (Easter Evening)

After a glorrious day of praise and worship, friends, family and good food, we settled in around a fire on the deck to unwind from the day's heights. While we were doing so, Wesley noticed some movement. Attracted by the tiny lights Tom has up, a newly emerged luna moth came up to the umbrella to continue drying itself. What a treat !!!

Evening Watch

I am getting comfortable with the beaver's schedule, once again. I went down to where they come out each evening and was right on time...His wake is so cool. We have a small collection of beaver sticks..the old and used ones they have discarded.... washed up on the landing.

Growing up, we used to pass a creek that beavers' would dam up. Later on, a friend in Virginia showed Tom and I a beaver lodge that was maintained on his property. These are images I always held of beavers...until we moved here, adjacent to "Beaver Point". Beavers will burrow in the banks of a water body rather than go to all the trouble to build a lodge. Soon, they will have sticks covering their entryway, but right now, they have the doors flung open for a nice spring airing out......

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This is "Burnt"...not to be confused with Bert, from Sesame Street. London named him. He is the target of torture. I was a bit concerned, but have been told that boys tend to set aside one toy that is such a target. I have asked a large number of men and most eagerly expound fondly and in vivid detail all about their "special" toy of destruction. Burnt has been frozen in blocks of ice, lashed to railings for days on in end, in all seasons. He has been left on the roof in summer heat and thunder storms. He has been strapped to CO2 propelled cars and raced down school halls. He has been spiked on fishing hooks and used as bait, wrapped in duct tape, buried in get the idea. In this picture, Burnt is locked between my classroom doors. Presently, he has one arm that is attached with duct tape and the other is in a drawer somewhere. He is perched on a top shelf in London's room, peering down from the heights of peril.
Sigh !....He also has an "Extreme [Girl] Doll"...a little Bratz doll. She sits on death row awaiting death by explosion....Ah, boys !!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Images from Spring Break