Thursday, November 26, 2015

So Goes the Fig Tree

     Yesterday I sat in my warm, cozy library and admired our new fig tree. I wondered if it might be an evergreen variety because it was so green and full of life. Not a leaf had turned yellow nor orange (not even brown) in our autumn air.

 

    But . . .

 

     Last night we experienced our first serious frost!

 

     As we speak, as I write, the leaves are falling off right before my eyes! Those large healthy green leaves now lay wilted in a pile on the cold ground.  

 

   I see four,

 

  now three 

 

shriveled leaves trying to hang on for my sake.

 

    Is there a spiritual lesson here?  I'll let you tell me. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone!

 

Juanita

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thunder in the Ground


While I was reading in the library recently, a brown swish passed by the picture window and caught my eye. Another movement quickly followed. A rumbling thunder pounded the ground as two half-grown fawns raced from back yard to front, with hooves airborne. Again and again they raced around the red twig bush, with dried horse chestnut leaves flying off the ground, and returned to the back yard. This dogwood bush is showing more pinkish-red color as the cool nights announce autumn is here to stay, at least for three short months. One deer returned to scale the knoll by the pump house. He approached it as if he was on a pogo stick—all four legs stiff as he bounced and flexed his young muscles.

They had their morning fun and returned to the back yard to rest under the grape arbor and chewed their cud. They feast on the low-hanging grapes and the tender new leaves.

We are harassed by patches of clover from the result of old orchard grass in our lawn. The deer love to nibble on the clover flowers and any other beautiful, tender blossoms within their reach. I'm thankful they ignore, at least for this year, my colorful dahlias. One year they will devour my favorites and the next year they change their diet to another treasure of mine. This year they loved my chocolate plants for the first time. I can't blame them for that treat. Chocolate is addicting.

This herd of wild animals spends a lot of time in our yard. My husband's official deer food from the pet store, the salt lick block and the watering trough under the cedar tree makes them feel welcome until deer season when they wisely disappear from the neighborhood. 

Juanita 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

You Did What?

There Comes a Time in a Wife's Life to
    be more self-sufficient
      learn a new talent
        appreciate her husband's talents
          never complain when he doesn't do it perfect
             learn to mow the lawn after husband's surgery

The Dangers of Mowing the Lawn
    cobwebs and spiders between the trees
      low-hanging, grabbing branches
        sharp corners
          garden hoses
            setting sun blinding your eyes
               pray for that smashed blueberry plant
                         (don't tell Craig)
                dust in the eyes
                   garden snakes (don't tell Barb M.)

The Dangers of the Landscape
    rough terrain
       sharp curves
        deep holes
          steep hills (I thought of Nancy D.
             several times)

Necessary Tools
    gloves
       sun screen (I forgot)
          long pants & sleeves
            sports bra (don't ask why)
               cell phone for emergencies
                  hat tied on tight
                     ear protection
        enough gas (18-hp John Deere ran out at the
       farthest point from the gas house)

Can you guess what I did today for the first and last time?


Juanita 

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Book Review

Do you enjoy reading high adventure in a fantasy world?  If you do, you will enjoy a new book that is available now at www. Amazon.com

Here is my professional review of Thomas Locke's new book:

Emissary by Thomas Locke is high adventure in a strange world where evil wars against people of the realm. Unknown power sources are everywhere. The author writes with great description and has talent to describe the abnormal as common. A very complex story of mystery and intrigue. Without a glossary of terms in the book, the reader must stay alert to the many types of beings and creatures in the realm and their histories.
The book kept my attention with my mind dwelling on the plot during the day. I normally don't read fantasy, but I'm hooked and look forward to the next book in the series.
Rating:**** stars. It's a book a person would enjoy reading the second time to further understand the plot.

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Juanita Paslay



A Welcome Visitor


I looked up from my book at the perfect moment. I gasped as his tail disappeared up the golden cedar tree. I leaned forward in my library chair to see which way he would run. I haven't seen his kind in twenty years. His relatives were plentiful when we had our filbert orchard, but they moved away when we changed the landscape.

Three deer resting on the grassy knoll in the sunshine didn't flinch at his presence, but continued to chew their cud and twitch their ears. They didn't appear to share my morning excitement.


I have learned while reading in the library to keep one eye on nature. I hope and pray this visitor will make its home here with the brown tree squirrels. To me there is nothing more beautiful than a gray squirrel and his long fluffy tail floating behind him as he scampers from tree to tree.

A silver Eurasian collared dove flew by my window as I finished writing about this morning's adventure.

Now back to my inspirational book by Max Lucado.

Happy New Year everyone !

Happy Birthday to: Sue, Jessica, Mo, Shirley, Joann, Jeannine and myself!

Happy Anniversary to Dianne & Gary and Loren & Nancy !

Juanita

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The View


This is the view from my library window this morning.

Deep red burning bush,
Nine-foot tall Royal Pageant roses,
Lawn white with frost,
Cedar fence,
Magnolia tree dropping leaves
in the breeze like falling snow,
Red-orange twig dogwood bush
glowing in the sun,
Blueberry bushes dressed in fall colors,
Naked red horse chestnut tree revealing its
heavy coat of moss,
Bright green park bench,
Running brown tree squirrels,
Birds looking for breakfast:
northern flicker,
western scrub-jay,
steller's jay,
junco,
spotted towhee,
starlings,
Round thermometer reads 27 degrees,
Golden cedar trees,
Green fir trees,
White birch trees in a cluster
glowing in the sun,
Narnia-type lamp post,
And so much more!


Of all I see today, the most impressive is God's azure sky, so clear, so cloud-free. It seems to go on forever. Don't you love the view from a 747?

Now you know why I love the view from my library window.

Juanita 
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beware - Artist at Work

My husband left on a four-day fishing trip with our youngest son. The artist in me begged to do something wild in his absence. Our fifty-five-year-old barn had never been painted nor stained, until last week. I always wanted a red barn. The local weatherman predicted one day without rain, so I bought four gallons of red stain and borrowed a tall ladder. I only stained two sides. I'm sure the neighbors don't object to the old weathered look they see.
I was thrilled with the results, but three days passed before husband noticed the barn and only then because he detected an unusual smell in the area—the scent of oil stain. 
His only concern, “How did you reach the peak?” 
Our neighbor who owned the ladder volunteered to stain the loft area. I dared not refuse his offer. He's much younger and more agile than I.

In due time, outside painted surfaces look shabby. Paint peels off in certain sections and years of dust collect on the siding. Spider nests hide in the corners and their drippings run down the wall. Fade happens.
What's an artist to do?
I indulge in lunch at a fabulous antique shop with a dozen best friends. A wooden door leans in the corner looking old and expensive. The price tag shouts $450, without hinges or a doorknob. The design displayed several colors and had the look of a first-grader learning brush strokes.
What's an artist to do? Find an alternative.
You have seen my spray paint art and understand I paint scenery on whatever I find outside: pump house walls, neighbor's barn windows, antique windows from a recycle shop.
That day I refused to resist another temptation to create. Now my back door is quite shabby, not chic.  But the real professionals call the style shabby chic. The redecorating effort didn't cost me a dime except twenty minutes of my time. 

Left-over paint always comes in handy for my projects. My husband approves of my latest project. He suggested I paint a long-stemmed rose in each panel. I haven't decided if I'll keep the new look or paint the door white again.
Help me, Corlyss! I need a lesson on painting roses.

Juanita


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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Day Before Dawn to Remember


Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power:
for thou hast created all things, 
and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Revelation 4:11 KJV

Today might be one of the most spectacular days yet. The eighth is the day after Erik's birthday and the day before Brian's birthday, but this day is super special. I've been waiting six months for this day because on April 15, I was too lazy to set my alarm. So tonight, with a pot of strong tea and a long to-do list, I'm ready to stay up for the lunar show. My husband went to bed and awaits the announcement of action. My cousin says, “Call me if you see red, not brown.”

God made two great lights, the sun and the moon—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night . . . and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:16-18 NLT

He created the whole universe, good and perfect, for His pleasure. My Father God allows me to enjoy His breath-taking creations: Crater Lake, rainbows, the Grand Canyon, holding a red-headed sap sucker, a new-born baby. The list doesn't end. Today, before dawn, another event will be added to my list – a blood-red lunar eclipse. My anticipation is difficult to restrain. I'm trying to use patience. Reminds me of waiting for the folks to wake up on Christmas morning so we might open our presents.

The stars at night are big and bright . . .” The Orion constellation is visible tonight—no clouds. Plus a few falling stars.

I turned off our barn light. All the lights on the south side of the house are off and I pace back in forth in the dining room every ten minutes to peer out the window. Sure, I printed the official schedule, but scientists can be wrong sometimes, right?

I set the timer for 2:18 a.m., the beginning of the show. I'm down to less than an hour. I'm so excited! Four comfy dining chairs wait expectantly on the patio. Blankets are available if needed. The hot tub is disconnected. Who wants man-made noise during this special time? Our friends brought their telescope; I have my mink jacket for warmth, Barbara has her leather coat. I prepared fruit and muffins. The party is about to commence!

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” 
 Isaiah 40:26 NLT


 "The heavens proclaim the glory of God. 

The skies display his craftsmanship.
  Day after day they continue to speak;

 night after night they make him known.
  They speak without a sound or word;

 their voice is never heard.
  Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, 

and their words to all the world."
Psalm 19:1-4


Juanita

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Ballet of the Flag

Even in the shade, the air is extremely warm today, actually hot! My lawn chair faces the koi pond while I rest and scrutinize my latest project: wooded steps up an incline, or down, depending on which way I'm going. For several years I put up with the effort of making my way along this path, but finally when I had nothing else to do (believe that?), I changed the landscape to give the path a more designed appearance. Hopefully I'll get more leg muscles using the steps too.
With a glass of ice water in one hand and a pen and tablet in the other, I'm watching the flag, which hangs over the pond, dance in the breeze. It's not flapping loudly like in a strong wind, but gracefully rising and falling as the soft wind blows through my garden.
The old saying 'take time to smell the roses' is relaxing advice no matter what your age or occupation. The scent of my roses doesn't reach the pond area, but watching the flag flutter and waltz has almost the same results.
                                                              
                                  my "Royal Pageant" rose 

Seek out your private place of comfort today, away from the world's dreadful headlines and focus on your blessings and the beauty of nature—God's summer gift to you. 

Happy belated Birthday Tinsley
Happy Birthday Geni
Happy Birthday Sharon
Happy Birthday Zachariah

Love to all of you,
Juanita 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Pleasant Day at the Pond

The cooing of Eurasian collared doves in a nearby tree, the waterfall splashing on the rocks six feet below the falls, the flapping of our American flag in the breeze makes a inviting day to rest in the garden shade. I'm sitting by the koi pond with a good book and a writing tablet. The koi are somewhat distracting as they jump and dive, trying their skill at catching flying insects. 

 
Craig attends a three-day church conference, so I'm in charge of watering flowers and pulling weeds. I hope the weeds cook and die as the temperature rises. The weatherman will hit his target today for sure. I wonder how he knew this day would be the only time this week the temp would rise above 95 degrees in the valley.
I just moved the lawn sprinkler. That's one great way to cool off!
Guess how many times the jumping koi woke me up. Three times! They sounded like someone fell in the pond.
I could sit in the air-conditioned man cave, but I chose to sit here in the shade and write to you. Thanks to the Internet, I avoid the task of writing 108 separate letters. And envelopes, too!
As I sit and enjoy my surroundings, I'm reading an old paperback written in 1936 by Bruce Corbin. He wrote, “It is a startling fact that no man ever owned anything. No man owns anything now. All he has is the use of God's possessions. God created the world for His own pleasure and for man's use.”
We live on our land, pay the taxes, and manage the garden, but I thank God everyday for His gift of life and strength to maintain this property, our temporary dwelling place. I'm reminded of the Biblical words concerning Abraham: He looked for a city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God.
The author Corbin was expecting the holy city to appear in his lifetime. Are you, as well?

Happy 31st Anniversary, Joyce & Gabby
Happy 28th Anniversary, Barb & Hal
Happy 60th Birthday, Barb - sorry, I just had to tell-it's such a nice round number. But I'm way, way ahead of you!

Juanita


Monday, June 23, 2014

My View of the World

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! 
 
Your glory is higher than the heavens.”

Psalm 8:1 NLT

I enjoy a new view in my world. My husband trimmed a huge, fifty-year-old cherry tree in our backyard. With the tree dramatically lowered, I now see blue-gray mountains covered with evergreen trees to the south. We planted so many trees on our two-acre property that we must look up to see into the distance. 

Looking up is good. As a little girl, I laid on my back on the front lawn, watched the clouds move across the sky, and looked for Jesus to appear as He promised. Now when I discover a beautiful cloud formation or an amazing rainbow, I still anticipate that glorious day.

The view from a 747 takes your breath away. One year, I enjoyed two worlds as we jetted to California, one view below the dark, stormy clouds and another above white, fluffy cotton balls. That inspiring scene at forty-one thousand feet elevation went on forever, or so it appeared.

Bill Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman on the Apollo 8 mission to the moon in 1968 read the Scriptures in Genesis, chapter one, describing the events of creation. I wonder how Christian astronauts on their way to the moon contained their excitement as they saw what God created from their unusual vantage point.

I will never enjoy that particular view experienced as an astronaut, but the Lord has blessed us with many beautiful scenes, this side of the moon, of His magnificent earthly creation.

Our imagined views during eternity evoke another possible topic and another time.

Happy Birthday, Stacey
Happy Birthday, Corlyss
Happy Birthday, Roberta
Happy Birthday, Lynda

Happy 51st Anniversary - Barbara and Harold

Juanita

 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Watch What You Say in Private

 
    Solomon, one of the world's wisest men said, “Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don't make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.” 
 
This statement certainly applies to our day of wireless inventions. Solomon's little bird morphed into our big bird of a microphone left on when thought to be turned off, or a cell phone used to record a secret conversation or action.
Reading these words in Ecclesiastes, I thought of two recent examples. First, a whispered conversation into a hot mic between two world government leaders and second, a supposed private conversation with the owner of a professional basketball team.
Everyone is guilty of saying something we later wished we had not. Spoken or written words cannot be erased, but asking forgiveness is an important first step in reconciliation.
King David, another wise man prayed, “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.” This is an excellent prayer to begin each day before we say the wrong thing to the wrong person.

 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart 
 
be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” 
 
Psalm 19:14 NKJV

Happy 46th Anniversary, John & Jean
Happy 80th Birthday, cousin Marlene

Juanita