15 February 2019

Like a Tree Planted

A little pine cone and I were out this evening catching a few pre-Sabbath rays of the brilliant winter sunlight. Evergreen trees have my never-ending admiration, bringing color into the midst of the browns and golds of last year's grasses sticking up out of the snow. Maybe I, maybe we all, can be like them.

"And he shall be like the tree planted by the rivers of waters, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:3

14 September 2017


I've thought for years I'd like to write a series on happiness.  Or perhaps not on happiness itself, but about a few of the happiest people I've known.  The idea resurfaced tonight as I listened to a lecture about happiness.  (It's a good one, and you can listen to it here.)

In my little collection of happy people, many were widows, most were old.  You'd think those people might be sad or lonely, facing the many losses that accumulate through the decades of a life.  But they weren't (or at least they didn't act like it).  And remembering them, writing about them, seems like an important and pleasant pursuit.

So, stay tuned.

24 October 2016

Butterfly Weekend

I had never seen this butterfly before.  If it were mine to name it, I would call it the Orange Cream Butterfly.

It's a good thing these little flowers were prolific.  Everyone wanted some of their nectar for lunch.

If you're especially gentle, you can even touch a butterfly tail.

This is really a terrible video, but if you catch even a small fraction of a glimpse of all the butterflies that were out this weekend, the delight will be worth your few seconds.  We may have been having ridiculously hot weather, but we do get our rewards in butterflies.  

21 October 2016

Pumpkins and Applesauce

I've been pretending it's fall.  My imagination stretched itself like crazy to keep pretending this week while we had four days in a row of 100-degree weather, but nonetheless I pressed ahead pretending.  In a climate like this, combined with an unseasonably hot October, you just don't sit around waiting for baking weather or canning weather or everything nice weather, because it might not ever come.

What you should do instead is sign up for your grocery store's email list, browse their digital coupon collection, and maybe even download their app.  You'll find the best sales on apples ahead of time, which means you'll make and preserve your own applesauce for the first time in a couple of years. 

 It might be miserable, canning over a hot stove on a 99-degree day, but as it always happens with canning, you'll forget all the misery by the next morning and take a high level of joyous satisfaction in your beautiful jars all lined up in the pantry.

Then when you wake up one day and get the email that says you can have a free pumpkin, you can walk straight over to the store after breakfast with your husband to pick out your free pumpkin.  When you see that the bin is priced at flat-rate rather than per-pound pricing, you'll be glad you brought your husband to carry home the 20-pound pumpkin of choice.

You might discover that while 20-pound pumpkins fit in the sink to be washed, they do not fit in the oven to be baked.  No matter.  You'll manage to get it cut in half for partial roasting.

I'm hoping we've had our last 100-degree day of the year. But even if we have more hot days to survive, I'm grateful for the chance to tuck a few jars of applesauce into the pantry, and a few bags of pumpkin chunks into the freezer to use later in soups and stews.  

17 August 2016


Before living in south Texas, I had not encountered salt this way.  I wouldn't have even known to put it on my bucket list (if I had one).

Strong enough to hold up under my steps, white enough to sparkle in the sunlight, concentrated enough to stay in formation under the smooth water's surface.

Sprinkled over the dirt this way, you'd almost think it was a dusting of snow.   Except it's about 100 degrees out, which is the furthest thing from winter you can imagine.

Amazingly, some plants thrive in this salt land.

And amazingly, the salt land helps me thrive, too.

15 August 2016

{Book Review} Ironing Made Easy

Ironing Made Easy:  The Far Easier Way to Iron

The other day I discovered how to find free Kindle books on Amazon, and while I was paging through my search results, I discovered this little gem that has already saved me at least ten minutes over the course of two already-short ironing sessions.  I discovered that my biggest ironing enemy was my set-up, and with a few simple changes, I am on my way to ironing efficiently.  

On the first week of school and piano lessons, I'm grateful for anything that saves me time on household tasks.  This ebook is free at the moment, so take a look, and let me know if it saves you time!

03 May 2016

First Garden Papaya

If you want to get technical, the 'possums got the first couple of papayas from our tree.  This time, though, we out-smarted them, picking the fruits a little bit green.  We've cut the first one open this morning, and the verdict is that papayas straight from your own tree are the best papayas.