Friday, September 23, 2005

Note to self

I'm mostly posting these pics as an aid to my own memory. In the spring when the soil is bare and the plants are just sending up their first leaves, it's hard to remember what the perennials looked like versus weeds! And I have some new plants this year, so I'm posting detail photos to help me remember their leaves.

I removed the eupatorium and moved a few strands of helopsis into its spot, which shows as a big blank spot over on the right side of the garden in the second picture. There's still room for something to its left. That spot hasn't been very good for plants so far. I had a baptisia that died there, then some white phlox that also died. I've replaced the soil and maybe should try something really tough like wild daisies. Not sure.

The liatris are almost unnoticeable in front of the bee balm. Consider moving them.

The cleome were a late-season standout! Although they're annuals, they'll come back because they self-seed prolifically. This is what their leaves look like.

The foxgloves bloomed this year, so next year they'll only put up foliage from the seeds. Here's a shot of their foliage. They can stay in this spot this summer, but for the following summer they need to be further forward and close together so they can be seen.

Divide stella d'oros in late summer,

Consider buddleia for bare spot.

Stake catmint, pink phlox, chives, poppies. Wild daisies?

I transplanted this poppy a couple of years ago, and it gave me two blooms this year. Can't wait to see what it will do next year! Here we see it surrounded by wild daisy plants.

Directly to left of the white phlox are some rudbeckia from the church, planted just yesterday. Their leaves look a little like violets when they first emerge.

If iris don't produce this year, consider removing them

I'm not sure what I think of these grasses. Maybe transplant them to the meadow?

The wild yarrow is pretty nondescript at this time of the year, but it blooms at a time in later summer when there's not much else going on. I have some white yarrow in front of the white phlox, and I tried to transplant some of the brilliant pink that had sprung up in the meadow, just behind it. Not sure if it will survive.

I love the way it kind of weaves around whatever else it's near. It's not much of a fighter, so I have to be on guard against marauding bee balm, which does try to take over all nearby territory!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A. W. Tozer rocks!

Steps To Personal Revival

1) Get thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself. Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress. The contented soul is a stagnant soul. When speaking of earthly goods Paul could say, "I have learned to be content"; but when referring to his spiritual life he testified, "I press on toward the goal." "So stir up the gift of God that is in thee."

2) Set your face like a flint toward a sweeping transformation of your life. Timid experiments are tagged for failure before they start. We must throw our whole soul into our desire for God. "The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

3) Put yourself in the way of blessing. It's a mistake to expect God's help to come as a windfall apart from conditions known and met. There are plainly marked paths which lead straight to the green pastures; let us walk in them. To desire revival, for instance, and at the same time to neglect prayer and devotion, is to wish one way and walk another.

4) Do a thorough job of repenting. Hasty repentance means a shallow spiritual experience and lack of certainty in the whole life. Let godly sorrow do her healing work. Until we allow the consciousness of sin to wound us, we will never develop a fear of evil. It is our wretched habit of tolerating sin that keeps us in our half-dead condition.

5) Make restitution wherever possible. If you owe a debt pay it, or at least have a frank understanding with your creditor about your intention to pay, so your honesty will be above question. If you have quarreled with anyone, go as far as you can in an effort to achieve reconciliation. As fully as possible, make the crooked things straight.

6) Bring your life into accord with the Sermon on the Mount and other such New Testament Scriptures as are designed to instruct us in the way of righteousness. An honest man with an open Bible and a pad and pencil is sure to find out what's wrong with him quickly. I recommend that the self-examination be made on our knees rising to obey God's commandments as they are revealed to us from the Word. There is nothing romantic or colorful about this plain, downright way of dealing with ourselves, but it gets the work done. Isaac's workmen did not look like heroic figures as they digged in the valley, but they got the wells open, and that was what they had set out to do.

7) Be serious-minded. You can well afford to see fewer comedy shows on TV. Unless you break away from the funny boys, every spiritual impression will continue to be lost to your heart, and that right in your own living room. The people of the world used to go to the movies to escape serious thinking about God and religion. You would not join them there, but you now enjoy spiritual communion with them in your own home. The devil's ideals, moral standards, and mental attitudes are being accepted by you without your knowing it. And you wonder why you can make no progress in your Christian life. There must be a radical change in your habits, or there will not be any permanent improvement in your interior life.

8) Deliberately narrow your interests. The jack-of-all-trades is the master of none. The Christian life requires that we be specialists. Too many projects use up time and energy without bringing us nearer to God.

If you will narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. "Jesus only" seems to the unconverted man to be the motto of death, but a great company of happy men and women can testify that it became to them a way into a world infinitely wider and richer than anything they had ever known before. Christ is the essence of all wisdom, beauty and virtue. To know Him in growing intimacy is to increase in appreciation of all things good and beautiful. The mansions of the heart will become larger when the doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it.

9) Begin to witness. Find something to do for God, and your fellow men. Refuse to rust out. Make yourself available to your pastor and do anything you are asked to do. Do not insist upon a position of leadership. Learn to obey. Take the low place until God sees fit to set you in a higher one. Back your new intentions with your money and your gifts, such as they are.

10) Have faith in God. Begin to expect. Look up toward the throne where your Advocate sits at the right hand of God. All heaven is on your side. God will not disappoint you.

If you will follow these suggestions you will most surely experience revival in your own heart. And who can tell how far it may spread? God knows how desperately the church needs a spiritual resurrection. And it can only come through the revived individual.
-A. W. Tozer, "The Size of The Soul"

Monday, September 19, 2005

Two times two = ...

Two-year-old twins! Happy birthday Jae & Jo!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Late green beans

Here we are in late September, getting more pickings of green beans! Believe it or not, we're even still getting beans off our bush beans (on the right). The pole beans are of course more prolific later in the season. I'm just pleased to still have fresh beans at all!

Time to fire up the blancher and put another bag of beans in the freezer for T's lunches this winter ... :o)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

$3 gas update

Gas prices have fallen; have you noticed?  And yours truly was able to nurse the two-week-old tank of gas along until they did.  Yes, I am still a $3-per-gallon virgin.  :o)  I filled up today at $2.989.  Much to my chagrin, I later saw $2.939 … in Hanover, of all places, which is usually the priciest town in the area!

Skunked and loving it

Lately, we've noticed little divots in our yard, as if miniature woodland creatures had been struggling with their tiny 7 irons in our fairway. T was pretty sure we had a skunk assisting us with maggot removal during the night, much to the detriment of our yard. Sure enough, last night he was doing his shoulder exercises (which involve trapping the end of a huge rubber band in a closed door. The physical therapist recently has been upping the strength of the rubber band. I hope he knows what he's doing, because that door's glass and I don't want to see T smeared up against it or pulled bodily through it!) ... now, where was I? Oh, yeah, so T had his rubber band trapped in the back door and was facing the back yard when Mr. Skunk sauntered into place and began nosing around ... literally. Rooting up maggots with his nose. Through our grass. Leaving divots.

Never one to miss a fauna photo op (hey! you think we should have tried to scare him away? You city person, you!) I ran for the camera, went into the spare bedroom where the vantage point is best and one window already has the screen removed, and carefully cranked the window open, trying to be quiet. Unfortunately, our humid weather had swelled the wood some, so it made a little "pop!" sound. Mr Skunk promptly executes a little hop in place a la Pepe Le Pew (I'm so sure I'm spelling that wrong, correct me somebody please!) and dashes under the deck. Very sad. New camera, a rather gorgeous skunk, and no photo op. Sigh.

An hour later, when T is in bed, I see Mr. Skunk again. The window in the bedroom is already open, so I somewhat nervously tiptoe in to take the pictures, hoping against hope that Mr. Skunk isn't afraid of sudden lights going off near him. In which case, neither T nor I will get any sleep for the stink of it all! But the story has a happy ending. Other than the occasional lifted tail, and maybe one slight warning shot (or was that my nervous imagination?), we all cooperated peacably enough. Luckily for me, Simba didn't figure out what was going on till I was nearly finished. Then he decided to growl at the back door, and I hastily closed the window and snatched him away before he could hurt Mr. Skunk's feelings. And all our nasal cavities.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A new obsession

Just start reading Mimi Smartypants. You won't stop. I especially love the image of ... oh, I guess I don't want to type it. Without reading the whole thing, it will sound tawdry. Just go here and search for the word "fundamentalist". No, it's not anti-Christian, it's just downright hilarious!

My Word!!

Much as I love Blogger, using the web-based composing windows is a bit of a challenge. Extra lines get inserted where I don’t want them, font selection is limited unless you edit the HTML, you can’t do nested lists (again, unless you edit the HTML), etc., etc., etc!

So … have you heard about the Blogger for Word add-on? I’m composing this post in Word. When I’m done, I will push the “publish” button and the post will be on my blog. It’s pretty slick! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

P.S. I just tested using Word to create a nested list. No luck. So I guess I’ll still be hand-editing those lists!


T is leaving Friday for a conference in San Francisco. He’ll be gone 10 days, swinging by Phoenix on the way home to visit his sisters. I love this man. He’s so into his family. It’s great.

A female colleague and friend of his who is not attending the conference passed on to him an invitation for an all expenses paid evening at a club called Bimbo’s 365.

His response (via email): I don’t think Pat would approve of my going to an establishment with the word “bimbo” in its name.

Her droll reply: She’s such a drag.


Seriously, I told him I wouldn't mind if he went, since it appears to be just a night club. As it turns out, he has another expenses-paid event that night. These conferences are such boondoggles. But double seriously, folks, who on earth invites a businesswoman (never mind a man!), especially one you barely know, to a club with a name like that? Would you invite a business colleague to Hooters? Come on!

So I did a little research, and found it’s not so bad. Check out the background for the organization. Ok, Ok, I guess it’s legit. Mostly.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

$3 gas?? Naaaah!

I am pleased to report that I have yet to pay $3 for gas. On Thursday, September 1, just after Katrina hit, I filled my gas tank with gas that had already crept up to $2.79. Since then, I've been a miser. We drove to Jaffrey, NH and back over Labor Day weekend, crawling along at 55mph and watching the rest of the world fly past us in the left lane. Actually, that's not totally true ... there were a few fellow gas savers on the road. Some of them barely passed us going 60 or so.

Since returning, I've taken absolutely no road trips unless I had an appointment somewhere. When I did have an appointment, I made sure to optimize my route so I could do all my errands with no backtracking, no extra miles. My gas tank is nearly empty, but I haven't had to fill it yet, and the price of gas is dropping!

With careful driving, I can get 450 miles out of our 16-gallon gas tank.

Yes, I'm a cheapskate, but more than that, I really believe in conserving gas. Our next car will be a hybrid or some similar gas-saving technology ... and it's not this gas crisis that is impelling us to say that. I told the salesman who sold us our current Subaru in 2001, Alfie, that our next car would be a hybrid, and I hoped it would be a Subaru hybrid, but our brand loyalty was not so strong that we would buy a Subaru if they didn't make hybrids when it came time to buy. We intend to buy an all-wheel-drive hybrid, and hopefully not an SUV but a truly conservative car.

I will say, though, that these gas prices have led Todd to consider whether he should be driving something to work that gets better gas mileage than his 1979 Ford F150!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Chatty twins

Pam and Patty happily chatting with a friend during the Labor Day Family Weekend at Monadnock Bible Conference.

It was a nice weekend for all of us. Great to get away from the daily grind for three days (at the unbelievable price of $125 per person, all meals and snacks included!). They're not posh accommodations, but they don't need to be. Todd's family has been doing this since he was 10. That's a lot of years!

It gave me the time to start reading A.W. Tozer's The Size of the Soul. Highly recommend it! It's a collection of his editorials from his stint as the editor of his denominational magazine, so each chapter is about the same number of words (I haven't counted, but they're about 3 pages long) and so packed with stuff to think about it. I give it the highest compliment by saying this isn't a book you would read quickly. One or two chapters make you want to stop and digest what you've read. Awesome.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Simba on Rodent Patrol

Simba loves to chase squirrels, and he never catches them, so I encourage it. It's great exercise for him and, truth be told, I find the squirrels a little pesky. Especially those dratted red squirrels, who sound off at all hours of the morning, even when they must surely know we're all trying to sleep. So, I'm certain Simba's attentions help keep the numbers down and that's a good thing.

This shot was taken after he had successfully cleared the yard of rodents of all colors. He often then comes up on the deck so he can scan the yard to be sure nobody else needs chasing.

I'm letting his coat grow out from previous clippings, and you can see in this picture that it's starting to get nice and feathery. Soft as silk, too. :o) [click the picture to see it full-sized]

Monday, September 05, 2005

Happy toes.

One of the first things I took a picture of with my new digital camera is my happy Marilyn-Monroe-red-toenailed toes. It's crazy how much I enjoy looking at my bare toes with their red paint, but there you are. I guess I'm crazy. Thought I would share some of that craziness with you! Now that I have a digital camera (wish I could take a picture of it to show you!) I have no doubt my blogging entries will be much more frequent ... for better or for worse!