Archive for March, 2012

“ONIONS”

March 27, 2012

Spring is a very exciting time for me.  It is also a very busy time.  This year, I have been very busy “fixin” things.  It seems like all my toys are breaking at the same time.  First, my motor on my Shopsmith dust collector died, then the burners on my Charbroil propane grill needed replacing along with the hose, regulator, and gauge.  Then my electric service pole from the house to the shop rotted at ground level (See post “PATIENCE”  on 2/28/12.

This past Saturday was a very busy day.  It was also a very beautiful spring day to be outside and work in the yard.  I was happy to be outside and the sounds of the birds happily singing made it even better.  The Azaleas in our yard and around the neighborhood were in bloom.

My yard covers about 2-1/2 acres and take away the house, shop, and garden, it still takes a couple of hours.  Then there is the added pressure to finish my chores by 2 PM so I can watch the Longhorn baseball game with K-State in Manhattan, Kansas.  The first step is to use the weedeater to trim around the house, flower beds, etc….all the places my lawn tractor can’t reach.  By the time I finished this, it was time for Pam to go to the meat market and get a brisket for Sunday dinner.  (People always compliment ME on my brisket cooking ability, but it is PAM’s recipe and I always try to give the credit to her.  She cooks it all night and it’s hard to sleep in the wee hours of the morning when the smell fills the house.)

While she is in town, I always mow near where she parks her car so she can return to her spot and not be concerned about the mower throwing something and damaging her car.  Before she left for town, we trimmed a tree in the front flower bed.  I don’t know the kind of tree it was, but Pam knows.  It always has beautiful flowers in the spring.

Next it was time to mow the lawn.  While I was mowing in the back, Pam raked the front flower beds and left the leaves on the lawn so I could pick them up with the mower.  While she was raking in front, I finished the back and cranked the tiller and readied the garden for planting.  Then, after mowing the front, I fed the RIFA (Red Imported Fire Ants) some bait they believe is food and take to the queen down in the ant hill.  (If you don’t know about fire ants, see 5/11/11 post “RIFA).  This helps to control the fire ants, but it is an ongoing process.

Now it’s time for fertilizing the lawn.  I have a spreader to pull behind the lawn tractor.  Surprise, surprise!!!  The spreader needed a little repair work.  I have learned to never, never say “WHAT NOW!”  Every time I say that….something  else always happens.  So, I just smile and be happy as I go about another repair job.  After all, getting frustrated and angry will only delay my work and I will never be through in time for the baseball game.  (The Longhorns won!)

On Monday after work I planted the onions.

Just in case you are wondering how many onions I planted…300.  And also, if you are wondering why they all appear to be laying on the ground…that’s the way I plant them.  After tilling, I level the rows with a rake and then make a furrow with the rake handle.  Then I lay the onion sets with the roots in the furrow.  After that, I rake the soil over the furrow to cover the roots.  It is a lot easier than planting them upright by hand.  They will stand up straight as they grow.  I also plant them close together and as they grow, thin them out for our eating pleasure.  Pam and I love green onions and this allows the remainder of the onions to grow into large bulbs.  Three hundred (300) onion plants may seem like a lot for the two of us, but we really like onions.

 *****

As I think about the onions rising up and standing tall, I can’t help but think of a Risen Savior rising from the grave and standing tall for each of us.  As we approach the Easter season, it is time to be thankful for the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us.  He paid for our past, present, and future sins with His Life.  Just as I have faith that the onions will stand tall as they grow to maturity, I place my faith in God that He will help me to stand tall and always be willing to tell The Good News about a Living Savior who loves us  with all His heart.  So, I give special thanks for the new life that each spring brings us and celebrate the special occasion of Easter.

“SIGNS OF THE TIMES”

March 23, 2012

I have traveled many miles during my lifetime and am both amused and frustrated at signs on the highway.  We have signs of warning and some for information and rules of the road.  Here are some of the signs I see often:

I’m not sure the sign is for “Skid Tires on Pavement” or there is some kid on the loose with mud, paint, or ink on his/her hands.

Another sign I see often is the yield sign.  From my experience this means that you are to look (if you want to) as you pass through an intersection.  Many times it doesn’t get as much attention as when you get a statement of your investments and see what the yield (rate of return) is.

What this sign really means is to speed up and see if you can beat the oncoming traffic while making your turn.

You are on your own here.  I thought I knew the meaning of this sign, the the above circumstances baffles me.

Don’t worry, just follow the arrows.  You will be okay.

Are you enjoying this yet?  Are we having fun yet?  How much longer until we get to Grandma’s house?

This sign is located at the intersection of “WALK” and “DON’T WALK.”

 

Road construction signs are some of my favorites right along with “MEN AT WORK.”  I have actually seen construction going on, but not always.  More times than not, there are no men working.

  Another sign that is almost always misleading to me.  NO CENTER STRIPE.  When I encounter this sign, I look and there is a center stripe as far as I can see.

Here are a few of my pet peeves on my adventurous travels.

    *  “LEFT LANE FOR PASSING ONLY” – Everyone is passing.  I find it’s a lot faster and easier  to stay in the right lane.

   *  “SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT”  – Are you kidding.  The right lane is the fast lane.  The left lane is mostly for pickup         trucks and SUVs.  You get a special permit when you buy this type of vehicle.

   *  “PASSING LANE AHEAD”  –  This means veer left when you get to the passing lane.  It is not necessary to have any vehicles in front of you.

   *  “MAXIMUM SPEED 75 MPH – MINIMUM SPEED 45 MPH”  – I believe this sign means do not EVER drive under 70 mph or over 45 mph.

By now, you are probably wondering if I am crazy or just bored.  You are right!  I have worked hard all week, it’s Friday afternoon, the Longhorns are playing at Kansas State, and we will be forced to watch the games on the computer.

*****

Below the ***** is where I usually have some kind of lesson or words of wisdom.  When I started with the title “SIGNS OF THE TIMES,” I am sure I had something in mind.  I got so carried away with getting to the ***** I need to recapture my original thoughts.

I believe the SIGNS OF THE TIMES are very disturbing.  The economy and morals of this once great nation have been sliding downward more and more each year.  It is time for leadership that will lead us in a different direction than we are currently going.  This can only be accomplished by joining arm in arm, praying to our God and remembering that He will never leave us.  He  is doing His part and it is time to stand firm and do our part.  In the Old Testament, many times Israel is reminded of how God  delivered them from Egypt.  We must look back and remember all the blessings God has bestowed in the past and walk forward hand in hand with Him.

“ANNIVERSARY ADVENTURE”

March 20, 2012

March 18, 2012 was Pam and my 34th anniversary.  If you have read this blog before, you know we love adventures.

Day 1 of a 34-year Adventure

Honeymoon in the Bahamas

 25 Years Later

And now for the current…celebrating 34 years:

March 17, 2012

As you can see, I have done a pretty good job in the past 34 years.  Not that I need anything to remind me of our anniversary, but just in case I forget, when I see everyone wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day, I better have plans for the next day.

These past 34 years have really been an adventure.  To me an adventure sometimes includes the rare and unusual things that life has to offer.  So for this year my plans included new and different things.  I told Pam on Thursday to pack for a two-day adventure.  She asked what should she pack.  I told her to just pack what she normally would when I take her out.  At first, she just looked at me, and then said OK.  All I would tell her was the time we were leaving on Saturday.

We traveled to The Woodlands for a stop at Starbucks and then a movie.  I know that women like movies like “The Vow,” so that was the movie I selected.  Normally I would think this a “girlie” movie, but it’s a great movie for all wives and husbands.

I had located a hotel in the Houston Galleria area with an unusual name and it was  little unusual, but really nice.

The decor was a little wild but really nice.  It was tucked away behind the Galleria and not a hotel you would pass by and discover.  I had not selected a restaurant for dinner, so I began my search after we checked in.  I discovered this restaurant in River Oaks  and called for reservation.

When I called for reservations, the young lady asked if it was for a special occasion, so I told her it was for our anniversary.

We love seafood and the Chef Holley at PESCE prepared some of the best that we had ever experienced.  It is definitely worth a return trip.

The manager visited our table and presented this Anniversary Dessert ….he said it was his favorite.  It was really great and compliments of the restaurant.  What a deal!

After dinner, Pam told me she thought I might take her to Guadalajara del Centro, in downtown Houston.  The have a really great Guacomole salad we had with our lunch when attending The College Classic at Minute Maid Park a few weeks ago.  But, she was happy with my decision for Pisce.

The next morning we checked out and headed to the Guadalajara del Centro which was the only definite plans I had made.  She didn’t realize where we were going until we passed by the restaurant.  So, we had a great brunch which included the Guacomole Salad.

So, after brunch it was time to go back to the real world, so we headed home.  Pam said it was the best Anniversary of our adventure because it was not about gifts or “stuff.”  It was just about US!

It was a great weekend adventure sharing one another and the love that we have for each other.  The past 34 years has been one great adventure with many ups and downs, but looking back as asking, “Would I do it all over again?”, my answer is yes….a thousand times yes!

We had watched The Texas Longhorn baseball team come from behind on Friday night in Norman to defeat the Sooners in 12 innings.  Pam kept up with the game on Saturday by Twitter and the Longhorns won again.  We arrived home on Sunday in time to watch most of the game and Texas won again.  A perfect weekend just became more perfect.

*****

I said earlier that I had done a pretty good job with Pam the past 34 years.  Now I must confess that it wasn’t me…God has watched over us all these years through the ups and downs, and has truly blessed us.  And just as Pam said, the adventure we have with God is not about the material things in life but the relationship we have with Him.  I look forward to having another 34-year adventure with Pam and the relationship we have with each other.  That relationship is only possible because we are under the watchful eye of God along with the touch of His gentle hand.

“LONGHORN BASEBALL IS HERE AGAIN”

March 1, 2012

Last year I posted on this blog on 2/12/2011 “LONGHORN BASEBALL IS ALMOST HERE.”  The following pictures were shown of Pam’s nail polishing table for use as we travel to Austin for Longhorn Baseball.

Well, Longhorn Baseball is here again, and we were in Austin for the opening weekend against Duke.  When I built the nail polishing table, I asked Pam to give me all the different shaped bottles.  This worked out well and she had a custom-built table.  I guess nail polish is similar to women’s clothes.  The seasons change and new products are introduced to the market.  Not only do the products change, but the shape of the bottles change.  So, during the past year, some of the new bottles had no place on the table and again they bounced around on the console.

Pam went to Orange to see “My Fair Lady” last night so this gave me the opportunity to made some adjustments on the nail polishing table.  She gave me two additional bottles that needed to be included on the table.  I guess in the future the table may be covered with holes for the  products not yet in season.  If that happens, I will have to start over and eliminate all the obsolete shaped holes.

We have a trip to Houston for the College Classic Baseball Tournament, so I spent some time in the shop last night to get ready for the trip:

New holes drawn on nail polishing trable.

After a few minutes with the jig saw, new holes for the different shape bottles.

Now we are travel ready for the baseball season.  Hopefully, no new colors and/or bottle shapes will be added to the market place during the season.  But, that’s really okay by me.  There are still some space on the table for any necessary adjustments.

*****

There are times in our Spiritual lives where we need adjustments.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2)

Now the pattern of “this world”, this age, the times in which we live, comes to us through the five senses.  The media, our family and friends, the people with whom we work, present and defend a pattern that they expect us to follow.  However the Word is clear:  “Do not conform…”  The positive action we must take is to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”  We are told to renew the mind we have, not that we received a new mind at the new birth.

How many of God’s children, although saved and possessed of a new life, still carry about them an old head.  Nothing of their former theories, thought processes, or prejudices has been altered:  only a Christian casing has been added.  The command of the Word is to renew the mind, to bring it back to the state of newness that God intended.

In view of this, I find myself continually in need of some adjustments.