Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nicest Day in 5 Months

Yeah!!!!  I think spring has actually arrived in New Hampshire.  I went out at noon for a little sunshine and it must be 50 degrees and the sun is shining and it's definately NOT snowing!!! 

This was the symbol on my computer weather forcast this morning... along with  "high 54".

Other things to celebrate today... the bank loan forms are sent... yeah!  One step closer to getting into our house and out of the tiny camper.   I was able also to get all the documentation off to the insurance company today.  Sooo happy to have those things off my desk.

I got an invite from my daughter Heather to come and visit and she'll fly me down in April.  I'm just a little excited about that.  We thought it would be on the bus, but she was able to get a great price on plane tickets, so that's very nice.

We had snow yesterday at our house, the kind they call "sugar snow".  Would have been great for making a snow man, but it made our driveway really slick and I wasn't thinking much about snowmen.  Hope that's the last of it.  For the last two days on my way home I've seen a herd of deer eating from the grassy patches in the fields above Mascoma Lake.  They're getting excited for spring too.  It was a very hard winter for all the little critters.  

Hope spring comes soon for all of you too.
mud season in New Hampshire has officially begun.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The ABC's of me

looks like a nervous little guy  :)

After that last post it's time for a little light-heartedness.  I think these are kinda fun, so thought I'd participate along with some of the others around the "bloggosphere"

A. Age:  56 I have no cause to be ashamed.  God had preserved me this long and I thank Him for that.  My husband keeps me young
B. Bed size: I  think it's a queen, but an odd size since it's a camper.  Queen sheets fit, though a little loosely and full size are too tight.
C. Chore you dislike: I've become accustomed to all of them.  I think I dislike paperwork the most.  Working on the budget is the worst unless there's enough money to pay all of the bills without question which rarely happens in our house.
D. Dogs: Our doggie Spot is a wonderful little terrier.  She keeps us entertained... who needs TV or movies when you got this character around.  She is always happy, happy, happy to see me and makes me feel really special.
E. Essential start to your day: shower, vitamins, and some sort of breakfast with a glass of milk, Bible reading, news and off to work (not necessarily in that order).
F. Favorite color: Green if you couldn't tell already. 
G. Gold or silver: any and all.  I have two rings I wear, my wedding band is gold and the ring my daughter gave me is silver.  I never take them off. 
H. Height: 5' 11" but I think I'm shrinking :)
I. Instruments you play(ed): I play guitar for my Sunday School class.  I have in the past played trumpet and accordian, but no longer own either and am totally out of practice.  Our little Sunday School class just got a set of Melody Bells and the students are learning how to play some simple songs with those.  They really love working with them and it's exciting to see their love for music.
J. Job title: I work in customer service for a paper company (no it's nothing like "Office" - I hate that show and it's on all the time).  I taught school for 15 years until I had to get a "real job" so we could get some financing for our land.  I would love to be able to go back to teaching some day.  That's all in God's hands.
K. Kids: I have two grown-up girls, one son-in-law, another daughter with Jesus and one grandson I love to pieces.
L. Live: New Hampshire
M. Mom’s name: Audrey - she's with my dad in Heaven.
N. Nicknames: Ruthie, Rufus, Hey You.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Only with my 3 cesarean sections and then I have stayed with my Mom when she was in and my daughters when they were in and a good friend Elsie when she was in.  Thankfully for nothing else.
P. Pet peeves: People who think themselves to be so important that it doesn't matter who else they step on to get where they want to go;  who are inconsiderate, impatient, and demanding.  Also those who like to hear themselves talk, complain, go on and on about nothing important, or who think they know it all. 
Q. Quote from a movie: I really don't watch enough movies to know or at least remember any quotes.
R. Righty or lefty: lefties rule!
S. Siblings: I have one brother who is 4 years older.  I was such a brat when I was little I feel sorry for him.  I have 4 great sisters-in-law.  Three are my husband's sisters and one is my brother's wife.  I didn't have any sisters growing up, but I sure have plenty now.
T. Time you wake up: about 5 am, unless I have more to do before I leave at 7.  This may change this summer to 4:30 am so that I can catch the bus to work ... yikes!  It gets more likely as the price of gas goes up.
U. Underwear: who makes up these questions anyway?  yes
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Okra, collard, any other slimy or bitter veggie.
W.What makes you run late: not getting up in time :)  Sometimes my husband has things in his mind for me to do, but doesn't tell me until it's too late to plan ahead for them... ya know what I mean?  I run a tight schedule and it leaves little extra for something I wasn't planning on having to do.
X. X-rays you’ve had: Many.  I'm accident prone, or at least used to be accident prone.  Arms, legs, teeth, hands, back, ankle, etc, etc.
Y. Yummy food you make: bread is something I do well, and my "famous" no-bake chocolate/peanut butter/oatmeal cookies.  I also make a great biscuit/gravy and egg breakfast.  No claim to fame, but my kids used to like it even if my biscuits were called "bowling balls".
Z. Zoo animal favorites: monkeys - resemble some people I know ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Contemplation

The Merriam-Webster says this about "contemplation":
1 a : concentration on spiritual things as a form of private devotion
   b : a state of mystical awareness of God's being
2    : an act of considering with attention : STUDY
3    : the act of regarding steadily

I would say that what's been happening in my brain is a combination of most all of these.  I've been thinking about my life in general, but also as a Christian.  I've been mulling over in my brain why I believe, what I believe and how it has changed me through the years as a person.

Many years ago... I'm 56 now so I can say that... when I was a high school student in the midst of the "Jesus Movement"  it was "cool" to be a follower of Jesus, or any other religious leader of the time.  I toyed with Eastern Mysticism and looked into many different religions.  My family had a strong faith and it didn't take me too long to realize that they were right after all.  I had joined a Penticostal church and made many new Christian friends in Colorado.  Then my marriage came unglued.  By this time we had two small children and I really had no where to go.  It became increasingly evident that for the safety of my daughters I had to go away.  We ended up packing a few boxes and moving back East.  My folks put us up for a while.  I was totally wiped out and humiliated.  My faith had been shaken to the core.  I wasn't sure what was true or even if I had faith in anything.  God picked up the shattered pieces of my life and gave me hope.  I started school again, but this time with purpose since I now had a family to care for.  It was really tough sometimes and we pinched pennies.  My family helped out some, but the strength to face each day came from God.  After a couple years of praying, my husband came East too and settled in the same area.  I had great hopes that finally we might be able to work out our marriage.  It was a really stressful time, but he really had no intention of getting back together with me.  He had his own agenda and it became evident that he was not a changed person.  We finally divorced.  Even after being separated for 2 years it still felt as though someone was tearing my heart out when the judge granted the divorce.  It was a very dark day that I don't think I've ever fully recuperated from.
He went on to marry another two times.  He had another little girl.  My children still had contact with their father and he meant a great deal to them, and to me as we continued to talk and be friendly with one another even though he at times could be very verbally abusive.  My greatest fear was that he would try to take the children away from me.  I worked even harder.  I went to school and finished by degree in education.  He had the means to buy nice things for the children and I was not able to do that.   I taught school and had the children in the classes I taught.  We were very close, but there is a special bond between a daughter and her father. 

Then he died very suddenly.  Oh what a sad day it was.  We cried and cried.  I couldn't pick myself up and I couldn't encourage my girls.  Once again, God reached down and did a miracle in my heart.  So many times I had no one else to turn to He was there.  He never left me alone.  He never let me wallow in despair for very long. 

I often think of others who do not have a Heavenly Father to walk through life with.  What a sad thought.  It is hard to put into words.  The death of my first baby, the death of my husband's grandparents and my grandparents, the death of my dad and then the long sickness and death of my mom, the death of my husband... the many times I wandered away, the falling away of friends and family and ridicule of many... He has been there through it all. 

The verse that has encouraged my heart like no other...

Isaiah 43
...Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.   When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:...

I am redeemed and lead of God.  All the hard times were to bring me to this place where my confidence is not in my own strength, but in my strong and mighty God.

If you are facing hard times in your life, please remember this truth.  God will never leave you.  He will never forsake you.  When the glue wears out on any other relationship... He will never fail.

Sorry this is so long and tedious to read.  I am not saying my trials have been any harder that anyone elses trials.  I know we all face them.  I pray that you are facing them with God by your side and in your heart.  I'm sure there will be many more trials for me to face.  I know God will be there every step of the way and NOTHING happens unless He allows it and has a purpose for it.

I am praying that today you will be bless beyond what you expect.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weasel in the Hen House

For the past few day we've had trouble with some animal attacking our birds.  We thought it was a weasel 'cause it only took what it could drag through the fence.  Fisher Cats are good climbers, so they wouldn't stop with just what they could pull through a fence.  Weasels are small enough so they can squeeze through a 1"x1" hole almost, so that didn't make lots of sense to me either.  Why would they just stop with the head when they could have feasted on the whole beast. 

Well this morning at 4:30 am we had the answer to our question....

the mink who was killing our poultry
It was neither of those, but a mink.  When Mr. D brought it up for me to see I was suprised that it wasn't white.  Weasels turn white in the winter.  This guy was chocolate brown.  Wouldn't mind having a few to make a nice fur coat.    But only if they were attacking our livestock.  I don't think I'd just go out and hunt them down.

These little guys are ferocious.  When the dog got anywhere close it about went through the side of the trap, hissing and screeching.  I'm not sure how we are going to release it.  I don't really want to kill it, but then again it may work it's way back if we don't drop it off far enough away.  There are quite a few people in the area who raise poultry too and I'm sure they don't want a preditor around their farms either. 

One good thing.  I think it got rid of all the rats before it attacked any of the birds. 

Mr. D had to go to Boston today to get some work done on his teeth and he took it in MY car so he can stop by the game warden on the way home.  Perhaps they have a trick to get them out of these live traps. 

We're just happy he's not eating our poor chickens and ducks anymore.

this little guy was hissing all the time I was taking his picture
More snow yesterday and more predicted for the weekend.  Will it ever melt?
I don't think it will be an early spring and it probably will be an incredibly muddy "mud season". 

snowy rides to work

the back yard with big snow piles

the same view... what it will look like in about 3 months
Yeah!  Summer will come... lupines and daffodils and green leaves and WEEDS. 
Hope you all have a great weekend!