Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1-11-11 ... My Favorite Book List Returns

     Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I hit a brick wall trying to think of a clever way to use today’s auspicious date, so I popped it into my title! I've gotta hurry with this post because it’s a cold winter evening in Texas, Dear Heart has a fire going in the fire place, and our chicken tortilla soup is calling my name as it gently simmers.

     Guess what? I chose a book from the middle of my stack for a surprise read.Yes, it is cold out and some of my readers are barricaded under a BUNCH of snow and others of you haven’t seen sunshine in weeks. However, I’m not at all shy about promising you that SPRING WILL COME, so let’s get ready!

My Favorite Books – Entry Three

Category: Non Fiction; Gardening

How to Grow, Use & Enjoy These Versatile Plants
by Judy Barnett
(Texas A&M University Press 2009)

      Did you know that ROSES are HERBS? I did not know that until my granddaughter gave me a signed copy of Judy’s book. Our first granddaughter knows well my love for books (especially signed editions) and that I'm an herb freak so her family (which includes our first great grandsons) gifted me with a signed copy of this fun and informative book for Christmas, 2009—fresh off the press.
      I used this book of herbs last winter to plan my spring planting and I kept it at my fingertips through that spring, into summer, all fall, and have cooked by it since winter arrived. The author lives and writes from a small town in Central Texas near my own hometown (which makes her almost “family") and this useful dictionary of 39 herbs answers a multitude of my questions. In addition to explaining how to dry herbs, grow, soothe, deter, decorate, and experiment with these awesome plants, she provides recipes to brew herb teas and five flavors of lemonade plus a delightful recipe for Rosemary Fizz.
     What Can I Do With My Herbs? fulfills the sub-title and provides down-to-earth ways to plant and cook on a first-name basis with herbs.
      In her introduction, Ms Barrett writes, “…herbs do not come with any obligation. You can do things with them—cook, craft, comfort—or you can just look out the window at them and enjoy the view.”
       What Can I Do With My Herbs is a must-have volume for every gardener—even a wanna-be. However, HEED my advice: getting involved with herbs is ADDICTIVE!

I'm even growing my can't-live-without Basil indoors this winter!

Be brave, throw caution to the north winds, and on a cold January or February afternoon, curl up with this delightful book and dream sweetly-scented dreams of spring.

Order Judy Barrett’s books, visit her blog, or find her speaking schedule at http://homegrowntexas.com/  Ms. Barrett’s  brand-new, 2010 book is What Makes Heirloom Plants So Great?

Happy Reading and May your herbs bless your life!

Monday, January 10, 2011

For Eddy: I Blinked !!

January 10, 1970
Oh what a day.
And, he is still an awesome man,
a great husband, a devoted daddy,
a good brother, uncle, nephew, step-everything, a faithful friend
Yes, I could go on. However, let me SHOW you how fast it goes...

January 1971   

June 1972

My Cub Scout about 1977 

My Baseball Hero about 1982

Eddy and his first fix-up Chevy about 1988

My Marine comes home for Christmas after boot camp 1989

My Son gives me a jewel when he becomes a husband to Julie.

My Son becomes a Father. With my granddaughter, Madeline, June 2000.

The Daddy--the Gunny-- goes to war. Again. And Again.

All my children under my roof once more. 2009.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Frank E. Herbert, Jr. retires, 2010; 21 years.

So, Eddy, Happy Birthday, Awesome Son.
I love you.
Any way you are!

Dearest Love,
Your very proud mom,

January, 1970  

Clutter in My Heart

      It is taking longer than ever to defrock my home after Christmas this year. In that "other life" when my kids were young or when I worked outside the home full time or grandkids lived under my roof, everything was spit-and-polish shining by the end of New Year's Day. Yep, for real!
      Then life got even more crazy. I tried to understand retirement, got a new family, traveled and entertained more, and learned different traditions. All that along with the A thing  (aging!!). It seemed that Epiphany was a good target date to be done undecorating.
     Epiphany arrived last Thursday and time stood still for a couple of hours. Our Sunday School class gathered for our annual dinner and this year everyone brought favorite Nativity sets to share. A special "Ah-Ha" night! Sort of peaceful and sweet.
     Then a trip to the ER the next day after a rebellious dog event (my fault: had Ava's leash on my arm when she spooked and went the opposite direction, taking the leash and lots of my skin with her) Next, all the heavy, protective towels I had on my plants to protect them from freezing weather got soaked when God sent ONE INCH of rain to our drought-stricken land. Yep. Dropped right down on top of us last night. Marvelous! So today all those covers had to go into the dryer before nightfall and another freeze. *sigh*
     The atmosphere and my mind are just full of clutter and thinking is rambling. Good. Bad. Stuff. I do things automatically and think of good times and old times and a time when it seemed not to hurt so much.
Yeah, there's a story--but that's for later.

      Tonight I packed away happy memories, two days after we celebrated Wise Men finding Jesus. I could not shut out the TV news of tragedy, death, destruction, and evil that left innocent people dead. I clenched my fist and tried to sort the chaos running through my mind. Impossible. And.... excuse me? What? Isaiah, you say?
     I smiled at the old paper Rudolph and closed the lid to the box. Things weren't particularly easy 18 years ago, either.  Life changes and is hard. Life hurts and is cruel. Isaiah?  AND   "The grass withers, the flower fades; BUT THE WORD OF OUR GOD WILL STAND FOREVER."
     I keep reading... "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth."
     No, that does not stop the pain, or give warm clothes to people with no homes, or heal estranged families but it assures me that we are NOT in this alone.
     "He does not faint or grow weary;" Listen and hear and remember: "Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they SHALL walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40

And, right on time, the Messiah came. And He lives. And He WILL return.

My thoughts and our world is full of clutter. I hope that God's Word will cover us with His Peace that surpasses all understanding.
May that Peace surround you this week.

Because He First Loved Me,