A Birthday Dinner & A Monday

Yesterday we drove to Henderson to visit our old church so that Flynn could see our friend Jean. With four of us there, the congregation numbered sixteen people. It was lovely to see those dear folk, but I do worry about how long they can keep going.


At home in the afternoon, I worked on Walter’s birthday cake and dinner. He loves bananas and peanut butter, so I made him a banana cake with peanut butter icing. The dinner was a Tex-Mex dip that we all enjoy. I admit that sometimes I feel a little sorry for myself for not getting to eat with the rest of the family anymore, but I really do need to eat earlier for the sake of my blood sugar.

Today I had my class to prepare for and plenty of grading to do. Jasper had his weekly math tutoring session with his brother-in-law Jordan. While I was teaching my class this afternoon, Flynn took Jasper out to get his watch battery replaced and spend some brother time together.

Flynn and Jasper and I watched a very silly movie while Walter was at his evening job. It is so much fun to have Flynn here. He has discovered some really bad movies that I was unaware of.

Parting Shot:


Jasper’s hive with the new super on top.

Holy, Holy, Holy

Since my husband had a birthday a couple of days ago, I am posting one of his favorite hymns today.

Holy, Holy, Holy

by Reginald Heber

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!





The Long Wait

Today, all day, seemed to be mostly about waiting for Flynn. He left Colorado early this morning, probably about the time I went to Walmart to pick up the groceries that Aldi didn’t have.

Walter and Jasper had to go out to their yard job today, for the first time since before Christmas. Grass is beginning to grow again! When they got back, Jasper put a super onto his beehive, along with a queen excluder, in hopes that it will fill up with honey.

I worked on a sewing project that should have been done two months ago, and got over the part I hate the most, so that was good.

Flynn arrived a little after 10:00 this evening and we are looking forward to a great visit!

Bee Business & a Birthday

Yesterday by the time I posted  I was too tired to remember everything that happened during the day, which is a pity because a really big thing that happened yesterday was that Jasper finally went to check on his bees. After losing his first hive, he’s been kind of paranoid about this one. It was a very small hive to start with, so he faithfully babied it along by feeding it sugar water for month after month.

It appeared to be healthy, but he was still afraid to actually open it up and look. Lately the hive has been very active, with many bees leaving and then returning laden with pollen. So yesterday he and his friend Sam went to have a look. They found a busy hive that is thriving! Lots of bees, lots of honey, lots of brood. This is what a beekeeper loves to see. Jasper will be adding another box to it and hoping for an actual honey harvest this year.

Today Jasper was up early to get donuts for his dad. It was Walter’s birthday today. His crew got him a cake, but we didn’t celebrate here because we’re going to wait until Flynn is here (he’s arriving tomorrow).  He did get some phone calls from family members, including Lina and his sister.

Also, I got Jasper to help me with my annual wisteria massacre. Every year I prune Miss Wisteria very severely in hopes of scaring her into blooming. We’ve had that thing for 14 years or so. Last year, for the first time, it had a bud, but it fell off before blooming. Every year I hope this will be the year we’ll actually see a flower! We do have a hyacinth blooming, but that’s not at all the same thing . . .


Company for Dinner

Sorry for my silence last night. I had a whopper of a headache and was glued to my computer waiting for a giraffe to give birth. Yeah. I bet some of you were too.

Today I got Jasper started on math and then went to Walmart to get the things I needed for supper tonight. You might remember back several weeks when Mercy’s friend Daniel was here and it came out that he is the nephew of a friend of ours from way back in the day. Well, this week it happens his uncle and aunt are in town for a missions conference, and since we hadn’t seen them for, uh, decades, we invited them to dinner (and also their daughter and Daniel).

When I haven’t seen someone for a really long time, I tend to go to more effort than usual over dinner, even if I don’t get to eat any of it. Nothing I made tonight was diabetic safe! I made my famous rosemary chicken, only this time I tried marinating the chicken in the sauce before baking it, and it seems to have been a success. There was also rice, broccoli salad, and homemade biscuits. I made mango cobbler for dessert and it all seems to have been well received.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed visiting during dinner and the rest of the evening. Tomorrow maybe I’ll get to taste a bit or two of leftovers . . .

And, still no baby giraffe.


Bright Sunny Day

Today was a pretty normal school day. I have been working for over a week on a writing project, and I finally finished the first stage tonight. It has been taking all my brain power, so maybe I’ll be able to think about other things now.

After all the rain we had yesterday, today was gloriously sunny and warm. Lucy and a couple of friends actually went on a picnic for supper.

I also had to count all the stitches on my knitting project. It was very tiresome to count 640 stitches, but now I finally get to start the “interesting” part.

A Chai Party & A Potluck

So, it was a busy weekend. Lina left early Saturday morning to drive to Nashville to visit Mary and Jordan. She made good time and arrived before supper.

Meanwhile, we had a chai party to get ready for here. We were also getting ready for our friends Don and Gwen to arrive. They got here about the time the chai party started. Gwen enjoyed talking to a Kenyan student and getting him to sing the Kenyan national anthem with her.

I stayed outside for a while, but then came in to work on the food for Sunday’s potluck.

After staying up late due to the chai party, I was up bright and early on Sunday morning, making a quick run to Walmart for a couple of things I had forgotten, and still getting back in time to tune my autoharp and run through the hymns a couple of times.

My famed potato casserole had been cooking all night in the slow cooker and the dessert was in the fridge. It took a while to get everything packed and loaded: 12 pounds of sausages, two dozen rolls, the cheesy potato casserole, plus a large cherry cheesecake and a platter of brownies. I took a lot of food because I knew there would be “extra” people at the potluck.

The occasion for the potluck was the recent arrival back of our friends Steve and Angie, who have been in Kenya for the last two and a half years. It was so good to see them and their three young boys! There was plenty of food and the things I brought went over well. Because of my diabetes, I just brought a salad to eat so I didn’t actually get to taste any of the potluck food.

Everybody stayed late visiting so my prized Sunday nap ended up being both late and short–but at least I got one! Don and Gwen and their son left shortly after we returned from the potluck. To my relief, there were enough leftovers from the potluck that I didn’t have to cook supper.

It started raining during the night and rained all day today. It was a good day to stay in. My poor students had to come through rain to get here, though! Yeah, I really did make them come to class on President’s Day.

Ninety and Nine

I have not heard this sung or played for decades, but when I was a child it was a very popular choice for “special music” in church.

The Ninety and Nine

Elizabeth C. Clephane

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me;
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.”

But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die;
Sick and helpless and ready to die.

“Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;
They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”

And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of Heaven,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”


The Friday Before

Today was the day of doom, the day I had to go to Aldi. This time I was doing the chai party shopping. It’s going to be a busy weekend. Lina’s leaving on a trip, we have a chai party and house guests to get ready for, and there is a potluck at church on Sunday. I think I’d better get the music for church figured out tomorrow morning!

I have been working on some revisions, and that seems to be sucking up all my creativity at the moment. Sorry about that.

94 Years and Counting

Today Lina and I went on a little outing. I had called my dear friend Jean on Monday and asked if we could come take her out to lunch today. Jean is 94 years old and still goes in to work at her son’s gun shop every day.

So we drove to Henderson, the town where Jean lives, and when we got to the shop, she was at the front of the store waiting. We have known Jean for about 25 years, since we were first invited to speak at her church during the time when we were preparing to go to Zambia as missionaries. She taught the toddler Sunday School class and therefore taught all our kids except Lina. She was a surrogate grandmother to our kids when they were growing up.

She is moving a lot more slowly now, and needs a cane to lean on when she walks. We took her to a restaurant across the street and had such a nice visit. She is a sweet, sweet lady. It was hard to hear Jean’s soft voice over the hubbub at the restaurant, so we went back to the shop and visited some more. That’s where I’ll go if I ever decide I need a firearm!

She told us stories of her early life, and how she had saved her husband’s GI salary during World War II so they could buy their first house–for $2200!

After saying goodbye to Jean, we drove over to her church, which we also attended for several years. The church was severely damaged in a tornado 18 months ago, and the repairs have just finally been completed. There is a new roof and a new section of wall so it looks at little different, but I am so glad they can move back into that building. While we were there, the pastor drove up so we stopped to visit with him for a few minutes too.

The town of Henderson is such a lovely small town, and seems to have more than its fair share of beautiful houses. I miss driving there every week. It is a beautiful drive, so relaxing and enjoyable. After yesterday’s rain, the sunshine was glorious.