Category Archives: pictures

I’m learning…..

to spin yarn on a handspindle.  I’m using one I made myself out of a dowel and toy wheel from Michaels and a cup hook from the hardware store.

handspun
The dark brown “yarn” at the top of the picture is about a half ounce of Blue Faced Leicester roving that was gifted to me by an internet friend.  The yarn on the spindle is variegated Jacob roving purchased at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last weekend (picture-laden post coming).  I was at first drafting with my left hand and controlling the spindle with my right; after watching a couple of Youtube videos I decided to try switching hands and that has worked out better.   My initial effort varied between worsted and super-bulky after I plied it back on itself; the Jacob is better but still inconsistent; it goes from heavy fingering to worsted.  My goal is to get consistent fingering-weight singles.

And yes, I remember that I promised a rant about First Holy Communion and Prom.  Next post, I promise.

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The Obligatory Tea Party Post

Last Wednesday, after a trip to the bank to deposit the monetary fruits of my tailoring labor and a trip to the post office to render unto Caesar the taxes on those fruits, the checs and I found a parking spot, grabbed our signs (covered with plastic to prevent sogginess, as it was a very rainy day here) and appeared on our courthouse plaza for a Tax Day Tea Party, in protest of the ridiculous power-grab currently being orchestrated by our government.

Despite the rain, it was a well-attended gathering and there were people there of all ages and walks of life, from grandparents to little kids, business owners to passers-by.  The checs’ signs were photographed by many in attendance, including the local NBC affiliate’s reporter.

Don’t blink…..

The first time I saw this, all I saw was the butterfly. Probably because I really like butterflies, and when I was doing bookkeeping for a living, a butterfly was part of my business logo. Then I got to really looking at the image, and that got me to thinking, and that got me to finally get my fingers over here to the blog and start typing. Here’s what I have to say, for what it’s worth:

Don’t blink.  You might miss the good stuff.  The stuff that will make you smile when everything seems to be a physical example of the principles of Murphy’s Law.  The stuff that makes you laugh until tears run down your face, you have to go blow your nose, and your face hurts when you finally manage to get over the attack of hilarity.  The stuff that everyone agrees is good stuff – ice cream, your kid tying his shoe for the first time, a double rainbow, that car that waves to let you out when behind that driver are umpty-billion cars impatiently beeping and honking.  The doctor who sees you on time, the mechanic who says ‘no problems today, you’re all ready to go, just be sure you get your gas cap screwed on tightly in the future’.

But if you blink, you might miss other stuff too.

Stuff that most people would probably say ‘I’d rather blink, thanks’

The days when nothing goes right, but you’re still breathing at the end of it all, and you realize that there’s always tomorrow.  The discovery that you’ve been driving a car with a blown head gasket for a solid year, and look at all the places you went and the things you did.  The noise from the late-night party next door that makes you go outside to glare across the property line yet again, only to look up and see a million stars twinkling in the sky.  The rain, for the gazillionth day in a row…..that washes all the debris from the curb by your house and so enables you to avoid sweeping it up.  The snide comments from so-called friends about (insert name of rather unpopular decision here), that makes you look back and see that you really aren’t a spineless wimp, but a person of principle.

So don’t blink.  You might miss it.

Odd fruit of the week

Although I probably won’t purposely shop at the store where this was purchased very often due to the ridiculously high prices on staple items, we couldn’t resist this:

It’s called a Rambutan, and it’s a fruit related to the lychee. It is dark red and has little spiny things all over the outside, that are brushlike rather than prickly. After consulting the internet about how to eat the thing, we did this:

The rind comes off very easily. It reminded older boychec of a grape, taste-wise. I thought it tasted like a slippery apricot, only not as sweet. There is a pit in the middle that is like an almond:

And as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, on the way home from the store, just as we turned into our neighborhood from the main road, we saw, in someone’s yard:

I stopped the car, whipped out the trusty camera phone, and clicked this pic. As we were going on again, I noticed that there was someone behind us; I feel a teensy bit bad about holding up their progress to snap pictures out the window of the car, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Hope everyone had a wonderful, if soggy, Independence Day – we had hamburgers and hot dogs cooked out on the grill (which moved to the porch due to the rain), and tonight if the rain holds off we’re having Antarctica Night in our International Menu World Tour.

I never dreamed I’d find….

A Five leaf clover

Originally uploaded by raising3saints

a five leaf clover. There I was, sitting in the yard, when I looked down and saw what I thought might be another four leaf clover off to the left of my lawn chair. I bent over to take a closer look, and woo-hoo! It has FIVE leaves!
Now, does that add to, or take away from, any luck obtained from a four-leaf clover?

The newest boychec

Here’s my gorgeous little Godson, child of Mr. and Mrs. ByzCat (one of my three regular readers, lol).

ByzCat\'s latest blessing from GodOops, forgot to send the pic through my editor to brighten it up a bit first.  Silly phone without a flash.

The Spirituality of Gardening

I’ve been mulling over the subject of this post for a couple of weeks now, having taken some time off for the Great Fast and then trying to catch up on some other things.  As I look at the yard and the flower beds around my house, I notice that although the same things come back year after year, nothing looks exactly the same as it did in previous years.

I have tulips in a long, narrow bed along the rear wall of my house.  The year I moved in we planted 25 bulbs, scattered evenly in the soil.  The following spring about 15 of them bloomed, and over the past few years they have increased and though I haven’t counted them this spring, last year I had 50 blooms.  Maybe this is how our souls grow…..God plants the seeds of grace in us, and if the soil is fertile the seeds will germinate.  I believe that only in rare cases does a soul go from infancy in the spiritual life to maturity – this kind of growth takes time and if probably pretty much impossible.  If we plant 25 tulip bulbs it would be silly to expect 50 tulips the very next spring!  But with proper care and nurturing, those 25 bulbs can multiply to 50 in a relatively short time.

So it may be with our souls?

Those seeds are planted in many different ways; by family and friends; by circumstances and experiences; by prayer, fasting and almsgiving…..sometimes it takes a while for them to germinate.  Maybe soil of our souls is not as fertile as it ought to be, or maybe it hasn’t been tilled enough by life – and living – for the seeds to bear any fruit at all.  But I think that at some point when I look back upon where I have been and where I am now, I see the Gardener…..cultivating, rooting out weeds of indifference and discouragement, pruning off the suckers of pride and fertilizing the new green shoots of humility and obedience to His will.

At the corner of my lot there is a small triangular bed where I have tried, without much success, to grow various things in differing seasons.  Two years ago I frustratedly crammed into the ground about 12 daffodil bulbs given to me by someone who thinks I have more space than I actually do, for flowers.  Last spring they came up but none of them bloomed; this year two of them have blossoms.

We can be given gifts that nourish our faith by those who don’t even realize what they are doing.  In some seemingly random comment, a magazine article forwarded through email, a card in the snail mail, God in His infinite wisdom and goodness send what He knows we need, before we can identify the need ourselves.  After a time it takes root and we remember, thinking “if it hadn’t been for _______________ I would never have ___________________” and if the eyes of our souls are open we see that God has taken care of us once more.

I enjoy the digging, weeding, deciding what to grow, planting, cultivating and harvesting, but in these flower beds I have a chance to watch God at work.  How very blessed I am, and how utterly unable to ever thank Him enough for caring for me the way He does.

I leave you with a picture:

Signs of spring!