In the Weeds With Me: August

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It’s the third week of high school for my one still at home and the second week for my one in college. I think we are finally back to some order. While I love the dog days of summer, my soul savors some semblance of sanity that is called a schedule.

I know, I know…with that comes a different beast to slay, like running to practices, reports, school projects, packing lunches, washing uniforms, making sure homework is done (and turned in), and the never-ending school supplies you have to buy…mechanical or #2’s, ½ inch or 1 inch binders (and for the love of all the colors!), pronged or not, composition notebooks and loose-leaf paper…college ruled or fat lined…God help us all be kind to each other in the school supply section.

Even with all that, I love having a routine. Anybody else need that?

In the Library

Here’s what I read last month…

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Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns had a different take on Biblical forgiveness that I’d not really thought about (and am still thinking about.) Not sure I completely agree with him on a couple of points but I like when I read things that challenge the way I’ve thought or been taught.

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr was helpful in the area of honing my writing skills and how to handle stories that involve others. I’m practicing my “show don’t tell” skill so you feel like you’re there with me in the story. Bear with me dear reader as you are my guinea pigs.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is about a young man whose crime was to be born of a black mom and white dad in South Africa. I felt for him as he never felt like he fit in with either group.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware was a great summer porch swing read (I would say beach read but since we didn’t go there…) Very Agatha Christy style with twists and turns and a surprise ending.

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan is the first but not the last memoir of hers I will read. Being between raising your own family and having aging parents can have its challenges. Throw in a breast cancer diagnosis and you have a mix of tears, laughter and love of all things family.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon is good so far! I’m about a third of the way in and if I could stay up like I used to and read at night. But the older I get… 🙂

Here’s what I’ll be reading in September…

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We recently watched The Great American Read on PBS (love this station!) and mentioned it to my oldest daughter who then did a spread sheet to see who in our family has read what of the 100 books they talked about, which then turned into a book club. So we will read those that no one has read. Catch-22 is on the docket for our first read together.

I need to read some of the ones others have already read mostly because I’m behind and feel like a stone. It has nothing to do with being competitive and that everyone is reading fast and marking X’s in their boxes. Nope. Not at all competitive.

In the Garden

I’m beginning to understand the demise Mr. McGregor had for Peter Rabbit. Half eaten green beans, pumpkin flower blooms, lettuce…you name it…it gets eaten…unless it’s a weed.

The weeds are winning the war you guys! One day I had things under control and then, just like that, you could lose a small human in parts of my garden! Why can’t the dumb bunny eat the weeds instead of the good stuff? Maybe he’s using it for cover…

My Grandpappy used to sit in a metal lawn chair in his baggy-worn jeans and tank top undershirt, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, holding a 22, watching, waiting. A bunny would come along and he’d say, Go on little bunny, damn-it, I don’t want to have to shoot ya! It wouldn’t move. Then pew pew…bunny stew.

So don’t mind me if you see me sitting out by the garden…

In the Weeds

Here are some questions/thoughts I’ve been working through when I’m out weeding:

In a world where big and loud get center stage, do you ever feel unseen?

Are we afraid to love our neighbor (people different than us) because we fear LOVING=AGREEING. Can we not have differences of opinions and still show love and compassion towards each other?

Life can’t be all about the sweetness of honey. Sometimes it takes a sting to get to the sweet.

Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Good people get cancer. Locusts destroy whatever’s in their path, pat their full bellies and belch without saying excuse me. Some prodigals’ return and some take longer to come home. In every situation God is good. God is faithful. God is trustworthy. He’s keeps showing me. I keep learning like I’ve never heard of this before. Is there such a thing as spiritual Alzheimer’s?

Gosh, I could go on with my thoughts (that’s scary!) but for now that’s a sneak peek of what you may read about. Did anything peak your interest?

kw

 

 

 

 

 

In the Weeds With Me

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I cannot believe it’s the last day of July! Where has summer gone? Here’s what’s gone down ‘round here…

In the Library

Here’s what I read this month…

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This an excellent book if you like World War II history. It’s based off the lives of some unsung heroes. The author blends several stories of real accounts and rolls them together to create a beautiful fiction depiction. One of my favorite quotes is But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.

Create vs. Copy by Ken Wytsma  

Everyone is born with God-given creativity waiting to be unleashed. When business slows, when funding dries up, when the home environment is tense—these are the moments that call for creativity and imagination. Are you ready?  I needed this book as a reminder that I am made in the image of God, a Master Creator, who created, creates now and will continue to create in, around and through me.

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Shawn is a psychologist who lays out seven principles or strategies that help us wire our brains for positivity and optimism. He doesn’t come from a Polly-Anna-life-is-always-wonderful approach but from a life can be hard but here are some ways to rethink the crappy parts approach.

The Giver Lois Lowry

One of my goals is to read more books off The Great American Read Top 100 List sponsored by PBS. This is the first one. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. It did not disappoint.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

She never disappoints! Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. Brene lays out ten guideposts to what she calls wholehearted living. This is a re-read for me with new underlines and highlights for where I’m at right now. Must read!

The Fiery Cross  by Diana Gabaldon

This is the fifth of eight books in the series. If you are an Outlander fan you will know this is the continuing story of Jamie and Claire. He is an 18thcentury highlander from Scotland, she is a time traveler from the 21stcentury. This has been the least favorite of mine in the series so far. I got bogged down in some of the details but you cannot not finish it due to all the new characters etc. Anybody else read(ing) these and not care for this one as much?

Here’s what I’m getting ready to read…

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In the Garden

There’s just something about growing things that tickles me to no end. To think that you can put a seed in the ground and a few short weeks later you have something to eat for dinner is amazing…oh the wonders of simple things.

We’ve grilled zucchini, made chocolate zucchini bread (this makes eating your veggies a breeze!), eaten and canned green beans and crunched on cucumbers. Nothing tastes better than eating the results of your blood, sweat and tears.

But not everything has done well…

In the Weeds

My basil is a bust this year! I planted it in the same pots, used the same soil, same seed company and it is wimpy at best. Being determined to grow some, I moved off the patio and out to the garden boxes where I planted an entire box of basil, five rows with even wimpier results. I mean the green beans are right next to the basil and are going gangbusters. There’s neither rhyme nor reason for it to not grow. My final conclusion? This just may not be the year for basil…at least around here. But I will continue to try.

As I was thinking this conundrum through while out weeding other areas of the garden, I realized that parenting can be much like this: You provide the same environment, pour out the same love and nurturing, the same discipline and determination and the results aren’t always what you thought they would be. Some kids bust a move and grow. Some bust up your heart. (Some just plain wear you out at times.) It makes not an ounce of sense.

My final conclusion? This just may not be the year for the growth you wanted but DO NOT GIVE UP! Keep trying. Keep loving. Keep providing. Keep nurturing. Keep pouring in.

Hang in there parents. Eventually that seed will produce the harvest you knew it could.

Thanks for hanging in the weeds with me!

kw