Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hike to the Falls

We spent a delightful Sunday afternoon with our congregation's young family fellowship group.  We hiked to the falls off of the aptly names Falls Ridge Trail.  It was a delightful way to remember our baptism on Pentecost.

Spring is a great time to see wildflowers in the mountains.  Alas, no Trillium.

The Falls Ridge Trail can be accessed from Forestry Road 88 near Liberty Furnace in Western Virginia.  The first part of the trail is fairly steep.  We hiked to the turn off point for the falls and stopped for lunch.

The girls had a their last confirmation class for the year on the trail with our pastor.  They were told to watch for water and wind and think about the Holy Spirit.

After lunch we turned to the left on an unblazed, but well traveled trail to head for the falls.  If you head out to find the falls look for the rock cairns that mark the trail turns.

 Some of the Laurel is just about ready to bloom, the falls had more water than we'd ever seen before, and there were beautiful Jack in the Pulpit near the falls.

 Even though it was windy and cold, we even saw hail, we certainly found the Spirit out there on the mountain.

Happy Pentecost Everyone!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds what is good, gaining favor from the Lord.

There are times when I feel like Gloria Steinem - - I want a wife.  This morning's devotional started with this verse and ended with this prayer... Thanks for the thousands of things she does that I don't even know about. May I never underestimate, Lord, how much my loved ones do for me.

We had a great weekend around here.  It was full of fun time with friends and with family -- and work.

A weekend breakdown:

Friday night - stayed at school until 5:00 to make copies and plan for the week ahead.
 - made homemade pizza dough
- ran 2 miles while it rose
 - made white pizza with asparagus, goat cheese and tomatoes and regular pizza for the picky ones

 - unloaded the dishwashers, cleaned up the kitchen and ran out to the garden for some garlic while it baked
- fed the chickens, gathered eggs
 - finished loading the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen for a second time, including unpacking lunch boxes and washing them
 - started a load of laundry
 - took a quick shower and went out for a few beers and conversation with a friend
 - home at 11:30 - took care of the load of laundry I started when I went out, and started another load
 - picked up the ice cream bowls left downstair and put them in the dishwasher

 - Up at 6:00.
 - Finished the load from last night, and started another load
 - Ran 3 1/2 miles
 - Packed a backpack, cooler, paper products and other food for the evening's adventure
 - Got the children up and helped the boy find his soccer uniform
 - Discovered that his socks were filthy, and did another load of laundry
 - Discovered that the coffee pot was broken
 - Cleaned up the kitchen from breakfast cereal for the boy, packed breakfast for myself, the girl and the woodsman
- showered
 - threw in one more load of laundry
 - soccer game (assisted the coach)

 - bruch with friends
 - bought myself a new coffee pot, and remembered to get new dress shorts for the boy
 - great afternoon in Shenandoah National Park - a wildflower painting class, a short hike (Trillium were out everywhere but I forgot to bring the camera)

 - dinner at the local Brew House (smoked brisket is heaven people)
 - picked up groceries
 - unloaded the car, unpacked the items we used for our day's adventure
 - made brownies for brownie sundaes
 - watched Modern Family with the family
 - Enjoy reading Emma's mother's day card and coupons she made for me
 - took care of the laundry, and started another load
 - carried all the clean and dry laundry upstairs
 - cleaned up the kitchen
 - defrosted food for tomorrow's mother-in-law lunch
 - sleep
 - Up at 7:00
 - Make Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

 - clean up the kitchen
- take care of laundry and start another load
 - clean up kitchen
 - shower and head to church to teach Sunday School and for the service
 - Make lunch for my mother-in - law (Baked chicken, sweet potatoes, roasted asparagus, brownie sundaes)
 - Grouch at the family for doing a minimal job at cleaning the house on Friday, guilt them into doing a better job, feel glad about having a clean house, but feel upset and guilty for reacting the way I did about the messy space.  Wind up feeling both guilty, overworked and resentful at the same time.
 - Clean up the kitchen
 - Pack lunches, and dinner for the girl and I for tomorrow's fast meal in between dance classes
 - Call my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day, remember that I still haven't sent her a card or made the donation in her honor that I intend for her gift, feel thankful that my sister always takes care of our Mother on Mother's Day
 - Plan the menu and prep food for this week's meals
 - Clean up the kitchen
 - Put away the laundry (mine and The Woodsman's) the girl folded
 - More laundry
 - work in the garden - weed and mulch one strawberry bed
 - clean out the nest boxes, feed the chickens, fill the water
 - organize food for dinner, bring it to the fire
 - carry dirty dishes and uneaten food back up to the house
 - clean up the kitchen and run the dishwasher
 - wash the collected eggs
 - shut in the chickens and feed them
 - do piano lessons with both kids
 - remind the boy that he said he has a Mother's Day card for me in his backpack, read it and realize his humor comes directly from his father ("Thanks for being the best mother I've ever had.  Love Eli the Great")
 - read to the boy, and tuck him in
 - hang up The Woodsman's dress shirts and fold two more baskets of laundry
 - School work until midnight (gain inspiration from Steinbeck's description of Ma Joad being the backbone of the family, and remember and feel thankful for all of the strong women in my life.

Monday morning:  Up at 4:45
Cofee and work out and watch the news while writing this post.  See other families running from wild fires, mourning loved ones lost this weekend in car crashes and to gun violence and realize that even though my life may be insanely busy, and even though I freqeuntly feel overworked and under rested, and even though I don't always feel appreciated or that the work I do is even recognized... boy am I blessed.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you crazy, insanely beautiful women out there.