Monday, 30 May 2011

traveling mercies

Every time I hear that phrase (traveling mercies) I'm reminded of a clip from the old Christian teen TV show "Fire by Night." (I tried to find a suitable video online but came up blank). A family was praying before taking a road trip and asked for "traveling mercies" when POOF a couple appeared. The man introduced himself "Hi, I'm John Mercy and this is my wife Sarah. We're the Traveling Mercys." God sent them to go with the family, just like they'd asked. :-D

Anyway, we just had a little trip down to my parents' house, and I wanted to share a few things.

#1. On the way down there we were passed by a car pulling a UHaul trailer, which had been carefully packed with boxes, lamps, a sofa... I know this because they FORGOT TO CLOSE THE BACK of the trailer! Bob had the sense to allow some space between our car and theirs, and we were glad when they exited the highway.

#2. We stopped for lunch at Hardee's (hamburger/fast food joint). As we were starting our meal a man who had finished eating stopped by our table, said "I've been looking for a sign; here's your money," and handed Bob $100. We were flabbergasted and barely squeezed out a "thank you" before he left.

#3. Sorry, I forgot this one. Anyway, we made it down and back in safety. Our chicks and cat are doing well, but very happy to see us.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Funny names pt 2

We attend a small, non-denom church. As in, about 45 people on Sunday morning. I happen to think it's odd how many "matching" names we have out of such a small group.

Jan and Janet
Shari and Sherry
Ann and Anna
Velma and Thelma
Wanita and Valita (not sure of the spelling on those two!)
Fay and Floyd (okay, that's stretching it a bit... both are men)
Jim and Jim
Bill and Willie
Kenneth and Kenny (that's not too odd; they are father and son)
Don and Donovan (married to cousins)

And we've finally figured out that cousin Jesse's mom is sister to the man who's wife is sister to his father. :-D

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Do you remember all those doctor visits Bob had last year, especially the VA appointments in December? Maybe I didn't even write about it... Anyway, it has all finally come together, and Bob will be paid a disability pension on top of his retirement pay. According to my careful calculations last year, it is just the amount needed to keep us comfortable without Bob having to work part time (or otherwise). Which is a good thing, since he actually doesn't do well at having to work for a living. Also great because if he meets an early demise (God forbid), I will continue to receive the disability payments (I don't get his retirement pay after he dies).

Last week I saw an ad in the paper about a sustainable farming retreat for veterans, here in Fayeteville. I'd heard about the group before we left England, but it was all in California so I dismissed the whole thing, but here they were in our own backyard. So I emailed and got Bob registered. The thing started tonight, with a full day tomorrow. We were going to let Bob go in, and I'd take the children out shopping, but before we could get away Bob came back to the car and said we could all go in. These people have put together a real nice deal. The premise is for them to help connect veterans with farms. They have professional farmers, business people, and resources. In the room tonight were our local USDA reps, a college professor, the manager of the largest organic farm in America, the ag guy for our US Senator, and a couple of local professional farmers. Maybe some others I forgot. I got to chat with a lady about applying for a $5000 grant to help us with our production. Tomorrow we get to tour a couple of farms, eat a special breakfast by a "real chef", and hopefully learn a lot more. The whole thing - food, books, lodging for non-locals (people from Hawaii!!), speakers - is completely free.

Next week my baby Naysha is turning 9 years old! Never a dull moment around here. ;-)

Ah, the other exciting thing is that I saw in the paper about elk hunting. There are elk on Arkansas state lands, and to control the herds they allow some hunting. The way it works is that any resident can submit an application, and they have a drawing to select 24 people to go on a hunt. I was pretty tickled that the paper had an article about getting your name in (in time to do so), rather than an article about who had been drawn (when it was too late to do anything about it). So I went to the website and put in Bob's name. Chances of him getting a shot at it (pun intended) are very slim, but at least he's in the running.

Edited Saturday morning: William woke up at 4am screaming about bees in his room... He had an uncomfortably high temperature (not dangerously high), so after medicine and a shower we decided that I would stay home today with all those who were less than well, plus Elijah. Bob took Taryn and Riah to the farm.

Monday, 16 May 2011

forgot I have a blog

well, almost. At least, I forgot I hadn't written anything in a bit.

This week has been rather eventful.

Bob finished the second "chicken tractor" - sort of a coop on wheels. We moved the second set of chicks out, and they have proved not as smart as we hoped. We put them in the nest area, and it was several hours before they made it out to the food and water. Then they wouldn't go back up when it was cold and rainy! Two died one night for no apparent reason. The older chicks are adjusting well.

I went to the doctor and got a shot because the poison ivy was so bad. Good thing is I also got a prescription nasal spray to help with my allergies. With that and the Omega 3,6,9 pills I'm breathing a LOT better than I had been.

We went to Oklahoma (3.5 hour trip) and back in one day to see my brother, his wife, and their new baby. Well, she's 6 months old, but it was her first trip out of Texas. She's very good natured.

We helped MIL work on her new house, putting tile down in the living room. Bob did most of the actual help - I took the little ones and went shopping. :-) I'm mad at Target right now, which puts me in an awkward place because I don't like Walmart in general. So I don't know where to shop! Doesn't matter too much as it will be a while before I want to go again.

We've gone from sleeping with the windows open and fans on to building fires again. And more rain.

There was a family reunion on Saturday.

Today we had church 3 times. In the afternoon we went to the annual "Decoration" service at our local cemetery, where Grandma is buried.

Bob is semi on board with me about giving up sweets. He lost weight working at Walmart, but I have gained since we've been here and it's getting BAD. I'm now officially one of those people that you see and think "If I ever get that fat, glue my mouth shut." Swelling up like a toad with the poison ivy didn't help my looks any, either. At least that's gone down now.

Roses are blooming all across my back fence, and various flowers are showing off all around the yard. I planted zucchini and cucumber, and they have all sprouted.

We've had some nice talks with the children about Bible translations, and why women are curvy.

Elijah still only talks with single syllables that start with "d," but he is becoming increasingly animated and expressive.

See you soon!

Monday, 9 May 2011


This is long overdue, but I wanted to post about my computer fast/ Bible reading venture. Funnily, I didn't even consider it a fast until Bob preached on fasting the week after I'd finished. It was just this thing I was doing.

I'm afraid to ask what you all would guess I took away from my time in the OT. I know what I would think someone of my temperament would get out of it.

I got a good overview of God's dealing with Israel. How He put up with so much complaining and even arguing/bargaining, but didn't tolerate doubt. I made some nice connections in the timeline that frequently are missed when I just read one story or book at a time.

But the thing I learned personally is to forgive. Specifically that I need to practice forgiveness towards Bob. I had been going around mad at him ALL THE TIME. Every thing he did upset me. So I started with the big things. You know, losing his temper, or stealing the covers at night. ;-) I would make myself say the words in my head, "I forgive Bob for losing his temper." Once I got in the habit or verbalizing exactly what he'd done, and my forgiveness of the act, I found myself forgiving him for things that, really, shouldn't have bothered me at all. "I forgive him for wanting chicken instead of pizza for dinner." Really? That's something I have to FORGIVE??? It was little things like that that made me realize how sour I'd become toward him. Who needed the forgiveness?

As a result of my new habit... Bob didn't start taking advantage of me. I didn't lose out on my rights, or even my desires. Quite the opposite, in fact. I found myself feeling happy. Bob smiled at me more. I even felt more qualified to speak to him about things that weren't going right.

This has been going on for a full month now, so I can't blame the change on hormones or the weather. Forgiveness has really become a habit. As has often been said, forgiving someone who has hurt you doesn't help them; it helps you. :-)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Catch up part 2

I want to blog every day, but every night I'm too tired. :-)

The big story of today is that on Tuesday we went to help MIL work on her new house, to expedite their move in. Bob helped sort out the curtain rods, and I cleared out the front flower bed. The landscaper must have not liked people, for every plant there was full of thorns or prickles. But what counts where today is concerned is that apparently one or more of the unknown plants was actually poison oak or poison ivy. I used to know what they looked like... The point being that my forearms are all red and bumpy and VERY itchy. ack!

In spite of all that, we've made some progress at home. We primed, painted and repainted (with the good, "one-coat coverage" paint) one wall of the living room. If you look closely you can still see the wall paper glue. So don't. :-) We have enough stuff to hang up it won't be a problem. Then we moved all the stuff from the other wall to the newly painted wall. This includes a glass display shelf, a piano, and the large bookshelf we bought at auction not too long ago. (I put a pic of it, right?) Of course all the shelves were full of stuff, so that was all unloaded, sorted and organized, and reloaded.
I did have the foresight to go ahead and paint the ceiling above the big shelf's new location, so we won't have to move it again. (Yeah, we're doing it backwards - walls first and then ceiling. What's your point?)
Then we stripped the wall paper from the now accessible wall, and started scrubbing off that awful glue.

In the midst of this chaos, Taryn has been scanning pictures nonstop. See, Grandma had pictures in every drawer, box, and cupboard in her house, and we volunteered to scan them all in to Bob's computer and make discs for everyone. It suddenly became pressing when we realized the family reunion is this month.

The chicks were getting crowded in their box, and some were getting picked on, so we went ahead and moved out the 4-H chickens (20 Red Sex Link girls) to the tractor that Bob and the boys made. They seem to be doing very well, though they haven't yet found their way up to the nest area. One got out today somehow, but stayed close until Riah found her and put her back in. The little ones in the box are happy to have more room.

Tiger has made a complete nuisance of himself, and since he's been "fixed" now, we moved him out of the house. I kind of miss him sitting on my keyboard as I type. :-/ He still has access to the back room, where we keep his food and water, but soon that will move to the garage and he will be an outside cat for real. He misses us terribly.

In spite of the sunny forecast, we've had showers every afternoon this week. Still nothing like last week, when we got a total of 17 inches of rain. Bob was able to mow some yesterday, but bent the blade again, on a root this time. He's thinking about cutting down the elm tree.

The roof guy never came out, but the insurance guy did. He thinks the leaks are just old damage, bad workmanship... Aunt next door agrees that it has leaked before in heavy rain. Any rate, it's not covered because it's not storm damage. So we'll try to patch it up and continue as before.

We had our first fresh salad of the season. I've never gardened this far north before, and it's kind of weird to be so far "behind." In San Antonio I know we had our peppers out in March, and the lettuce was bolting by May. But in NW Arkansas, May is still iffy for warm weather crops, and the lettuce is growing beautifully. The onions and potatoes look great, too. The tomatoes are holding out for warmer weather.

Ooh, I've seen a few new birds at the feeders lately. Hummingbirds. :-) Bluejays. Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Something yellow - maybe a warbler of some sort. And something small, very blue, and shy; looking at pictures we guessed Mountain Bluebird, but it's not supposed to live here. Maybe Indigo Bunting. I wish we could get decent pics through the kitchen window, but we just can't.

That ought to do for now.