Friday, July 23, 2010

Rain - A Blessing and a Curse

Finally we are getting rain! It's been 8+ years of below average rainfall in our area of north central Wisconsin. Our lakes are dreadfully low especially up north, so we praise a heavy rain when we get it. My newly planted clearance-priced flowers are happy with the wet weather too.

The past few summers of drought have allowed us to ignore the chronic issue of our leaky basement foundation. Our farmhouse is at least 100 years old, and the thick foundation is a patchwork of large stones and concrete that has been mended throughout the years. With heavy rains, the water pours in from all directions; so much that last week I circled each sprouting spring with a piece of chalk to show the foundation man when he's here.

My mission in the next few days is to empty the basement of all contents - dead mice, spider webs and all. It goes against my nature to throw my own things away (but I'm fantastic at helping others get rid of their stuff!) so it has been mentally draining. This morning I watched my husband drive away with a wagon full of my junk, destination dumpster. He was giddy, I'm sure. He is not a saver and he just doesn't understand...

So if you've been looking for a rusty minnow bucket, a metal Sears sled, a wooden milking stool or an 8-foot artificial Christmas tree that won't fit back in the box - I'm your woman. But you better act fast. Another wagon load will be leaving tomorrow morning.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Queen Anne's Lace is blooming along the road, on both sides of my driveway. I can't resist cutting a few to soak in jars with food coloring to see what color combinations happen.

I learned this from my Grandma. I think she would have liked the lavender ones.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Patriotic Butterfly

What a lovely surprise to find this patriotic guy in my garden this evening!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grandma's Feathers

Feathers always remind me of my Grandma. Anytime she found a feather in her yard, she saved it for me to use in art projects. Sometimes she mailed me a letter and one or two feathers were enclosed. Often I received a package from Grandma that was hand-delivered by my Mom, and included were a few feathers, an article she thought I’d be interested in reading or maybe an old family photo or artifact. These gifts from her were (and still are) so precious to me, that she was thinking of me and wanted me to have those things. Of course, I wasn’t the only recipient of her thoughtfulness. Grandma always had a stack of things saved and ready to give to a particular person if they had a hobby or interest, and if she thought they could do something with it.
Grandma passed away a couple weeks ago, on June 25th.  She lived on her farm in central Illinois where I grew up, and I’m so very thankful to have been with her during her last moments with us. Mom and I were singing to her, old favorite hymns. As we sang, such calmness surrounded the three of us. I’ll never forget the last words my Grandma heard before she went to Heaven:
“Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”

I hope to continue Grandma's tradition of thoughtfulness and kindness, and I'll try to be mindful of others. In the meantime, you can find me in the garden, looking for feathers.