Sunday, August 13, 2017

Library cards...

My daughter sent this photo to me while she was at our local library.  She and her girls like to go to the library fairly regularly so  I told her to look for the author Mitsumasa Anno who wrote several clever picture books for children, and guess whose name was on the card?  Mine!  And the one above my name is a friend's daughter.  Do you remember signing your actual name to the cards in the library books?  I always thought it was interesting to see who checked out the books before me, but when we were all assigned numbers instead, the fun ended.  Do you see number 334 on this card?  That was my number.  Now notice the number of "renews" there are under it.  I guess we really enjoyed Anno's Aesop.

We were homeschoolers and the library was  basically our school curriculum.  We all read a ton of books and the librarians were so much help to us finding particular books for the periods of history we were studying or science books or art books.  I remember one time our youngest, who was five at the time, went up to the librarian's desk, stepped up on the step stool, and asked if she could find him some books on how to read.  The librarian looked at me with questioning eyes and I said, "Well, can you?"   It was so sweet to see her come around from behind the desk and take him to some picture books about the ABCs.  By the way, Anno had a terrific ABC book called:  Anno's Alphabet and a couple of fun number books called:  Anno's Counting Book and Anno's Math Games which we checked out regularly.  If you have Littles in your life, they might love to read the Anno books with you too!

My married children are now homeschooling their children, our grandchildren, and it's just so much fun to share ideas and books with them.  The older I get, the more I have come to realize that the real learning in life happens naturally out of curiosity and wonder.  Day to day life teaches us many good lessons, but I am ever thankful for the trusty library card.  We could always dive deeply into a subject or choose to float lightly on the surface, finding the perfect library books to quench our thirst for knowledge and understanding.  Nowadays most everything in the library is computerized, and I think that has its many benefits, but it is still quite a lovely and humble thing to hear the stamp of the library date pressing down on a paper card in a paper book that can be held in eager hands.

Cheers to the library!

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Z is for....

Zinnias! Zucchini!
Now trending at our place.

How about some zucchini bread?

Oh the joy of gardening up north where I live.  You go along watering and weeding forever, so it seems, and then all of the sudden, everything is ready for picking all at once. I'm not complaining, but geez, there's a lot of zucchini (especially when you have four plants) and the cukes are going to literally explode.  I picked a good mess of green beans that we will eat tonight with our supper.  

I planted one cabbage that I just picked.  It's the size of a basketball.  I could probably turn it into a gallon of sauerkraut but we'll probably just eat it as slaw.  I was thinking to myself, "What if I had planted a row of cabbages?"  I would need to make a five gallon crock of sauerkraut.  I guess that's why my Grandma used to make sauerkraut.  Not only was she German, but she probably had a whole row of cabbages that were mature at the same time.  How else do you preserve cabbage?

I just dug up the garlic and it produced beautifully.  It's not as big as Dad's, but I'm happy with my crop. I'll save some back for "seed" to plant this fall and the rest we will eat.  I think I need to plant lots more garlic.

What's trending at your place?

Sunday, August 06, 2017


 Zinnias, glorious zinnias!
Among them left to bloom are the lime green zinnias,
and Bells of Ireland.

 Apples are blushing!
Northern Lights Apple tree.

 Another head of broccoli, my biggest head yet!

 Gobs and gobs of lettuce and new leaves coming up too.
I'm keeping many families in greens.

 Pots of petunias!

 Plums are beginning to turn purple.

 There will be zillions of zukes since I planted 4 plants.
I thought two were not going to come up.
My kids like them so I'll share.
Just picked 3 cukes.  More to come.
The apples were picked illegally 
(says OnlyDaughter) when all the grandkids were here running every which way. 
No one was watching so they picked and tried a few bites.
Sour.  Not ripe.  Illegal picking without asking.

More zinnias.

It was a hard week here.
My brother died the week before this and we waited for family to get here.
He was too young, just 53 years old.
He leaves behind a 9 year old daughter and her mother.
He had a life of struggle. 
I read this version of Psalm 23 from The Message when I heard of his death.
I felt like he was telling me everything's ok.

1-3 God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

Peace, brother.


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