30 Days Hath…

Thirty days hath September, April, June and November….

This is day 30. Tomorrow, April will be history.

History – ask yourself: “What can I accomplish today that will go down in history as the day that changed my world, my direction, and that of those around me?

It appears April 30 is filled with history all its own.  (See below for a few I’ve chosen to share from Historyorb.com. Oh – and there’s a challenge for you at the end.)

311 Emperor Galerius legal recognizes Christians in the Roman Empire
313 Roman emperor Licinius unifies the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule.
711 Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad land at Gibraltar
1349 Jewish community at Radolszell Germany, exterminated
1396 Crusaders & earl of Nevers depart from Dijon
1492 Columbus is given royal commission to equip his fleet
1492 – Spain announces it will expels all Jews
1527 England & France sign treaty of Westminster
1562 1st French colonists in US: Jean Ribault & colonists arrive in Florida
1563 Jews are expelled from France by order of Charles VI
1772 John Clais patents 1st scale
1774 Pope Clement XIV proclaims a universal jubilee
1789 George Washington inaugurated as 1st president of US
1798 Dept of Navy forms
1803 US doubles in size through Louisiana Purchase ($15 million)
1808 1st practical typewriter finished by Italian Pellegrini Turri
1812 (Eastern) Louisiana admitted as 18th US state
1864 – New York becomes 1st state to charge a hunting license fee
1885 Boston Pops Orchestra forms
1889 1st US national holiday, on centennial of Washington’s inauguration
1900 – USA annexes Hawaii
1911 Portugal approves woman suffrage
1916 Chicago Cubs play 1st game at Weeghman Park (Wrigley Field) beat Reds
1935 World Congress for Women’s Rights concludes in Istanbul
1937 The Philippines holds a plebiscite for Filipino women on whether they should be extended the right to suffrage; over 90% would vote in the affirmative.
1941 Spread of Judaism begins in Croatia
1943 Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp for Jews forms
1945 “Arthur Godfrey Time” begins a 27 year run on CBS radio
1945 – Concentration camp Munchen-Allag freed
1945 – Russian Army frees Ravensbruck concentration camp
1952 – Mr Potato Head is 1st toy advertised on television
1955 – West German unions protest for 40-hour work week & more wages
1958 Ted Williams is 10th major league player to get 1,000 extra-base hits
1972 “Arthur Godfrey Time” ends a 27 year run on radio
1982 – Atlanta Braves win record 12th straight from beginning of season
1985 Dale Murphy drives in record tying 28th & 29th runs of April
1990 As Met pitcher David Cone argues a call at 1st base, 2 Braves score
1991 In Bangladesh a cyclone killed over 131,000 & left 9 million homeless
1993 The World Wide Web is born at CERN.
1997 – 42 million watch “Ellen” admit she is gay
1997 – Atlanta Braves win record 19 games in April
1997 – Big Ben stops at 12:11 PM for 54 minutes
2012 The unfinished One World Trade Center overtakes the Empire State building to become the tallest building in New York
2013 – Willem-Alexander becomes the first male Monarch of Netherlands in 123 years
2013 – Hannah Warren, who was born without a trachea, at 2, becomes the youngest patient to receive a stem cell bioengineered organ.

2014 – (enter your blurb and share your history making moment)

April 28 Tornados

Ten minutes before post time I realized I’d prepared no blog post for today.

My mind raced…what could I write about in 10 minutes?

My mind…where is it right now? Ah….

April 28 proved to be a day that shall forever live in my memory.  The image of the red blobs with the tell tale hook echo of a large tornado producing supercell thunderstorm repeated itself time and again throughout the afternoon and evening.

For many hours these storms marched across Mississippi with tornado warning after tornado warning…and into Alabama and Tennessee and Georgia and….

Though the same was forecast here, we did not see anything of that magnitude.

However, a few miles south and east of us did.

My mind sees what my eyes saw as I remember the helplessness I felt as I watched and listened and prayed for those feeling the wrath of those storms.

And, my ears still ring with the words that fell from the lips of those reporting it: wide spread damage, multiple fatalities, devastation, state of emergency.

“God help them” is all I know to pray.

When’s the Last Time Someone Read a Book to You?

Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain – that’s the description LibriVox gives of itself.

Acoustical liberation of books….

Don’t you love the way words work when they are coupled by a master wordsmith?!?

LibriVox explains itself and its purpose on the site’s About page:

To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

Granted, the newer books won’t be available in audio format here, but you can listen to some of the great works, some of the older works – and even many children’s books – and allow your imagination to create the images for you as you listen to the scenes play out before you.

Turn off the TV.  Pause your games. Walk away from Facebook. Enrich your mind and engage your imagination for a change.

Relax and enjoy the acoustical liberation of a book….

April 27 Tornado Outbreak

During a four day period in 2011, April 25 – 28, over 200 tornadoes were confirmed in 5 southeastern states.  The deadliest time was the afternoon and evening of April 27 when an outbreak of 122 tornadoes took the lives of 313 people in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia. (Read more.)

A quick look at the weather forecast for my area indicates a need to keep eyes to the sky and the weather radio nearby.  Folks who should know (storm chasers) are saying we could see a repeat of outbreaks similar to 3 years ago today.

I guess that means I’d better clean out the floor of the hall closet so Daughter and her pets can seek shelter should the weather threaten.

Me?  No…I tend to stand at the door and watch it happen.  And, I’ve been known to stand outside (while Hubby, our kids, and pets sheltered in the bathroom) and look up at a swirling cloud mass as it passed over our house (minutes later touching down a mile from me). Not a smart thing to do, I know, but a small house with no basement doesn’t offer much protection…. I want to know what’s coming my way…meet it head on.

Yesterday was spent in storm prep.  Everything that could be done was done to prevent damage here and at Mom’s.  The main concern I have is of a huge, ancient tree across Mom’s fence in her neighbor’s yard.  It’s leaning and top heavy.  If it falls…if any of it falls, it will be into Mom’s yard…onto her outbuildings. And, if the tree should come down it would crush Mom’s house.  All I can do is pray…pray that the tree falls in such a way that it damages neither houses nor outbuildings.  It would take a miracle, but the One I pray to is fully capable of doing the impossible. (Thank you, Jesus.)

I pray the forecasters are wrong and that the weather will be sedate. But, with all the chatter I’m hearing, that doesn’t look promising.  The closer the front gets the harsher the forecast sounds.

In any event, I’d rather be alarmed about (what turns out to be) nothing and therefore prepared for anything than to be prepared for nothing and alarmed about everything.

Hunker down, folks. The next few days could be a wild ride!

Locust Winter Ushers in Strong Storms

Wednesday, I was surprised to see that Black Locust trees had bloomed.  They were full of leaves and covered in white racemes. Three days prior (Sunday) they had barely begun to leaf out.

What a difference three days made.

Several mornings midweek saw temperatures hover around 43.  Locust Winter had arrived.  But, as these late Spring winters are, it was just a breath of fresh air before the temperature soared once again into the 80’s.

Thursday night storms rolled in and rain fell…a lot of rain.  Newly planted gardens #1 and #2 drank in the water and pink-eyed purple hull peas popped up out of the ground.

Today, I had planned to plant okra seeds, but after looking at next week’s forecast I’ve decided to hold off…several reasons…may wish I’d waited to plant both gardens….

Initially, I’d thought I might wait until late next week to plant okra – after the next round of severe weather (forecast to arrive tomorrow and linger into Tuesday).  From the forecasts I’d seen overnight temperatures next week wouldn’t be low enough to discourage the okra from sprouting. (Okra is notoriously slow to sprout, often taking 10 to 14 days. Soaking the seeds overnight in warm water will encourage them to sprout quickly and lessen the possibility of rotting.)

However, it now appears that we have a period of a few days next week when daytime and evening temperatures will be cool.  These few days will follow three days of heavy rain and violent storms…little chance of solar heating to warm the ground between cold downpours that will chill the ground. AND, if the forecast holds true, any seeds I plant may be washed away in the 3 inches of rain expected.

By Wednesday morning I may be waving goodbye to gardens #1 and #2 as they float away.

Mom and I discussed gardening and Spring’s winters. She said Locust Winter hasn’t come…that it will snap after the next front comes through.  I disagreed, saying it had already come and okra could safely go into the ground.

It looks like I was wrong.  I sure do hate admitting that to her. 😉

These Spring Winters are confusing but one thing is certain.  Whatever cold snap(s) we have while the Locust trees are blooming will be called Locust Winter by folks around these parts. And, these same folks will be looking ahead to the winter that announces warm weather is here to stay – Blackberry Winter.

(Of note: I hear the racemes of Black Locust are edible…. Not sure I would care to try them since the pods and seeds are toxic. However, the seed pods of Honey Locust, which blooms at about the same time as the Black Locust apparently can be eaten. Take care, though…the thorns on both are vicious!)

Day 115 vs 250 Days

April 25th is the 115th day of 2014.

Take a moment and look back over the past 115 days.

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Now…remember New Year’s Day and any decisions / resolutions you made going into 2014 and any hopes you had for this year.

How’s it looking for you?

Did you stay on track? Have these past 115 days moved you forward into who and where you wanted to be?

If not, there’s time to get back on track.  We’re not too far into 2014 to regain focus and begin anew with clearer insight and greater determination.

Regain and redefine the vision of what you want.

Now, step confidently into the next 250 days and make each one count as you take possession of your dream.

There’s still time to make it happen.

You’ve come this far in 115 days – just think of what all is possible in the next 250!

Eleven Months and Counting

I saw her Sunday.

For a few minutes, my world unexpectedly expanded to include the joy of seeing and laughing with my red-headed granddaughter.

She’s 11 months old.

Her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are orange…a beautiful, brilliant orange that colors her world with fiery temper and glowing personality.

Her easy, infectious smile and bubbly laughter push aside life’s heaviness and evoke giggles and smiles from me and from her Granddaddy.

I wished her Aunt A, GrandMom and GrandMa had been present.  Their delight would have made my own complete.

Had I known grandchildren had the power to steal one’s heart and replace it with one of wonder, lightness, and joy…I would have had grandchildren first and foregone the stress of having and raising my own children. 😉

I love you, little red-headed girl with curls. You have my heart.  Keep it for as long as you will.  It’s yours forever.  Granddaddy says his is, too.

(Thank you, Grammy, for sharing her with us!)

The Culling

There comes a time when it’s necessary to eliminate some things –

  • from your house
  • from your life
  • from your schedule
  • from your work
  • from your office
  • from your religion/religious experience
  • from your to-do list
  • from your…

– so you can focus on what’s truly important, beneficial, and that will move you forward into who/what you need to be…want to become…hope to do.

I’ve decided it’s time for the culling.

That which adds nothing to my life or the achievement of my goals will be culled = pulled out, set aside and put to death (thrown away, given away).

With focus on the future – my future – I will, with a calloused eye, view all and reject much.

That which remains will be culled again and again and ultimately organized in such a way that it drives me forward into who I am becoming and where I want to be in my goals and dreams.

This is not a task I relish.  In truth, I dread it. I will be making decisions about things that I’ve tucked into boxes and drawers, things I’ve tried not to see and not wanted to deal with. But I know it’s necessary and wise.

I’m overwhelmed and too scattered. I need to narrow my focus and to do that a great culling is required.

What about you? What’s preventing you from achieving your goals of being who and what you dream of? What action will you take today that will drive you in that direction?

Seeking Glory From God

Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. (John 12:42, 43 ESV)

Sad, isn’t it?

One would think that the glory that comes from God would be in such high demand that people would give up all they have and are to obtain it.

But, it wasn’t so when Jesus walked as light in a dark world.  And, it isn’t so now, even in a world basking in the glow of Easter week. The celebration of Easter Sonrise was only two days hence…how quickly we slip back into life as we live it.

We consider ourselves enlightened. But, in truth, I wonder if the light is within us at all…within me.  My thoughts and actions seem so dark at times….  Is it possible that those dark moments come because I’ve taken my attention from God (Light) and placed it on myself or on others?

After 6.5 weeks of Lenten focus on seeking God’s approval and not man’s, one would think I have moved beyond giving a flip about the approval of others and become contentedly eager to seek the approval of God alone.

One would think….

Ultimately it matters only what God thinks.

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (John 12:44-50 ESV)

May it be so with me – without fear, without apology, without wavering, without concern, without the approval of others –  “What I say, I say as the Father has told me.”

Faith and Gardening

The Bible defines faith in this way:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

This past Saturday, I put faith into practice.  I planted God’s Garden #2.

Seeds that were dry…hard…dead went into an equally dry and barren ground.

Faith says that from these dry seeds life will spring forth.

And, not just life, but life-giving life.  These seeds will bear fruit that will sustain life.

Amazing, isn’t it?!?!

Here’s something even more amazing.

And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:23, 24)