lord of wind and flame

I, the Lord of wind and flame
I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them
My hand will save

Singing these words of the hymn Here I Am, Lord choked me up yesterday. I was thinking of all the folks affected by the western wildfires. My heart particularly breaks for the folks around Colorado Springs as they deal with the Waldo Canyon Fire.

I’ve written many times of our summer forays into Colorado to escape the West Texas heat. The post Mountain Mysteries recalls the crazy creatures living around these high country lakes. The area around Colorado Springs, particularly the little town of Woodland Park is dear to our hearts. This land is intricately woven into the tapestry of our family history….all the way back to the Texan’s grandfather.

our summer community

Our friendly fishing community has been evacuated because of the current fire danger. Makes me think of being there just a week ago and of a serene evening walk with the Sprout and the Grandson.

Mom, can you smell that smell? (after a light, evening shower) Can you smell the dirt mixed with the pine trees?

Inhaling deeply. Sure can….there’s no other fragrance like it.

We strolled silently enjoying the beauty of nature and the wonder of that smell. Could we bottle it and bring it home with us?

We’ve been blessed to have a little summer home in the mountains. Sure, I worry about it….but I have no real cause for complaint or sympathy. I’ve relished every moment spent close to God in the mountains. For those folks who live and work there……my prayers and thoughts are with you. So far, so good. Godspeed and God bless the brave firefighters.

Safe love to all.

secret garden

Last summer+big, fat drought=pathetic landscape around my house. I TRIED to garden last year, but between the deadly combo of extreme heat and wind, most every plant died or was stunted in it’s growth. Never savored my homegrown tomato with juice streaming down my cheek.

This year, I wised up. For my patio….I planted solely succulents or cactus. Take that West Texas heat and wind! I can be gone for a week to Colorado and the iron-man plants on my patio survive. I’m kickin’ bad weather in the face!

View of patio from my breakfast room window

I realize it’s not exactly colorful, but at least there are live, green things on my patio. One of the most interesting and LARGE succulents is this plant. Don’t know the real botanical name, but I think this is called firesticks.

This genial plant enjoys the weather out here! In the fall before the first freeze, I spend lots of time repotting the succulents/cactus and I bring them inside for the winter. They are happy to go back outside when it warms in the Spring. Easy peasy-saves time and moola. This plant is so huge, I don’t think I can fit it through a door to bring it in this Fall. Not sure what I’m gonna do.

What does one do with a big hole in another patio? A hole left by a decrepit inground hot tub?

One fills the pit with gravel and buries a few aloe. My humble version of a zen garden. Sorry about the weeds-don’t judge. Again….not much color, but at least some living things.

Another plant that does pretty well in the heat….as long as it gets a little water is Russian Sage.

This sage is near the zen garden. I haven’t put anything in those pots-ran out of succulents. Look at the dead tree in my neighbor’s yard. Sadly, this is a common sight around town right now.

The bones of the flower beds in my front yard consist of nandina, decorative yucca, sedum, and some creeping juniper.

The little flowerbed to the right of my front door

I had a few petunias that were originally in pots. They were getting too dry, so I stuck them in the ground. They’ve done OK, and they provide a little pop of color in the front yard.

But, I wanted to show you my secret garden! This is where I have attempted to grow vegs the last couple of years. I just got through weeding this little spot and I thought you’d enjoy seeing it. shhhhhh-for your eyes only

It’s secret cuz it’s behind the garage. Can’t see it much from the house. One must walk outside to see it. If you came to visit, you wouldn’t see it unless I took you out there. You walk out the back door of our garage

like you are walking up to the Texan’s shop

or like you are going out to play a big game of rock with Roxy-Doxy,

and it greets you with fun pops of color. I know it’s nothing special….just some stuff from the walmarts, mainly. The flower bed is brimming with colorful moss rose, dusty miller, lantana,

An easy, colorful grower-pink mandevilla!

and very happy mandevilla. I put in a little micro-sprinkler with a timer on the faucet next to the bed, so it gets watered several times a week. So far, the plants have held up very nicely to the heat and the wind. We’ve had more rain this Spring than we had the entire year last year. The rain helps and I’m grateful for the beauty.
Can you spot my rockhound tearing up the grass?

she’s in the shadow

Couldn’t totally give up my dream of fresh food/produce. I found these funny little bags at a garden store for growing potatoes. You put in the seed potatoes and fill ‘er up with dirt. I used some sort of red and white seed potatoes for this experiment. Just add water and sun and in the fall, when the plant starts to die back, you open up the little velcro window in the bags and out fall plump, fresh potatoes. That’s the idea, anyway. I’ll let you know….best be prepared for coming hard times. At least I’ll have a starchy food substance for sustenance.

It feels positively decadent to have the prettiest part of my yard hidden away from public view, but this humble flowerbed makes me grin. Don’t even mind weeding it occasionally. It satisfies the hummingbirds and butterflies, too. If you come over, I’ll share it with you if you want. But I’m warnin’ you….don’t try to grab a potato. You might lose a hand.

Colorful love to all.

hound of heaven

The phrase hound of heaven is not original with me. The Hound of Heaven is a poem written by Francis Thompson. It refers to God as being a hound in the sense He is resolutely seeking a relationship with us…you and me.

He wants you. He REALLY wants you!

The events of this weekend sprung this doggy imagery to mind. If you’ve ever owned any type of hound dog, this imagery resonates with you. The hound’s heightened sense of smell and his resolve and talent in persuing prey is unparalleled.

The hound sniffed out my grandmother, Lucy. I keep this certificate of her baptism on my desk. It reminds me of her reliance on faith during the darkest days of World War II when her son, my dad, was serving in the Pacific. The date reads February of 1945. The war was over within the year and my dad was discharged from the Army. He came back in body, at least; not so much in spirit. Lucy was a rock during my chaotic childhood years.

Maybe just an old piece of paper, but precious to me.

When I was 11 in Del City, Oklahoma, someone knocked on our door from the local Southern Baptist Church. Those were the days when you let people in, and that’s just what I did. This lovely lady told me of the One who was seeking me. Someone was seeking me?…really?! Went to the local church and got baptized. No sprinkling for me….the preacher submerged me and I came up a new person. The hound has continued tracking me, even during days when I wandered far from the safety of his doghouse.

The Texan and I baptized all of our Sprouts when they were infants. The children were a gift to us, and we wanted to be sure we gave them back to the One who entrusted them to us. That determined hound has kept their scent and they are finding their own ways.

Sprout #3’s baptism day. He’s getting married in September!

The hounding never stops and guess who is seeking the grandbaby?

Baby G with his dad

Our family gathered at a local church to witness G’s baptism. The minister claimed G ‘packed the pews’!

Darn teeth! When are they going to come in? He chomped his fingers the entire time.

G isn’t aware of the hound of heaven yet, but he’ll figure it out someday. We’ll be sure to tell him of this day and of the One who is doggedly seeking him.
The minister walked G the entire length of the middle aisle to let everyone get a good look at him. The congregants promised to help him grow in faith and to surround him with love.

What a weekend! Sprout #3 was here with his bride-to-be, Jenn. When we weren’t baptizing, we were talking of and planning for their big day. Rest assured the hound has his nose on them, as well.

I feel blessed. Hope you feel that way too, because of the One who will not let you go….nor rest from His seeking of you. How are you being sniffed out?

Hound-y love to all.

may recap

Instead of apologizing for being a sluggish and slothful blogger, I’ll recap the entire month of MAY for you. Looks like it was a pretty fun month. I’ve been missing you. Ready to recap?? Let’s go!

The beginning of the month found me tromping around my yard admiring the blooming yuccas.

Yucca blooms on the hill behind my house

The middle of the month, the Texan and I got to keep the munchkin while his parents were out of town.

B&W rug-rat

Noticed the number of moths fluttering around my house diminished during his visit. Don’t suppose they flew into his constantly open, smiling mouth, do you? Naaawww.

I took advantage of the perfect opportunity to roll around on the floor with my camera and try to catch the drooling tyke in some nice light. I was pretty proud of these….but I’m pretty partial to the subject!

Later in the month, the Texan and I headed to Oklahoma City for the wedding of our nephew, Bob. It was a wonderful trip and we are over-the-moon for Bob and Laura. Bob’s mom called and asked if we would care to participate in the ‘flash-mob dance’ at the wedding. Flash-mob dance?? Well….count me IN! I’m packin’ my dancin’ shoes! I can cross ‘flash-mob dancing’ off my bucket list now. Wowza!! The Texan politely declined. Here’s a video of the flash-mob dance. I’m the goofy older lady dressed in black in the front. The mother of the groom is the beautiful blond in the bright blue dress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rjg2FuA5ngA

Can you guess what Roxy-Doxy and I are doing in this next photograph?

If you guessed watching the solar eclipse, you’d be correct! I read on the internets one should NEVER look at the sun directly. Being a good citizen of eclipse observing, I poked a hole in a cardboard box and waited for the moon to cross over and black out the pattern of circular light. I didn’t observe a damn thing, but you’ll be glad to know I saved my retinas. Can’t speak for the wiener. The pic pretty well depicts the level of excitement on that chilly evening.

That brings us to events of last weekend. The Women’s Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo! My lovely daughter-in-law competed on one of the teams.

She roped a calf and cut some calves out of a herd. We whooped and hollered while her husband kept track of the times.

They didn’t win first place at the rodeo, but they had a highly respectable showing. Judging from the smile, I guess we didn’t embarrass her too badly. Congrats ladies, on your mad horsemanship and rodeo skills!!

Whole thing made me want to spend more time with my ‘best-old-lady-horse-in-the-world’, Rodney.

Thanks for catching up. I’m flashing you a grin….on horseback….just like the photo above!

Unburned retina love to all.