Monday, June 28, 2010

Lavender is almost ready

Hidcote has gone from little green arrows to a nice deep purple and sunshine fragrant.

This is pink Melissa, one of my very favorite lavenders for baking. She has been stuck in a pot since we left Robe Valley. Looks like it is time to take some cuttings and get that sunny lavender garden out of my dreams and into the yard.

Just last year, Ray and I found this Provence at Jardin d'Solai. I could never get this one to live through winter at Robe. Our last winter was quite mild. There are a few buds, very few, should be just enough for.... something.

Originally this garden was going to be a moonlight garden. We bought two white lavenders just for this garden from smaller growers on the Olympic Peninsula. I did not bother to keep the tags that came with the plants. Both assured me that they were white lavenders. It is a little early to tell, but this one is lavender (pale purple).

This is the other "white" lavender. Last year every blossom was medium purple. I was starting to think there was something wrong with my soil. This year, about half the blossoms are medium purple and half are actually white. There is a very small Nana Alba just behind this one, too small to blossom, from a plant I had in Robe that always gave white blossoms. If that one comes up purple I'll know it is the soil.

This is Miss Katheryn. The buds have not blossomed yet so it is a little difficult to tell, but she is a sweet pink on a very petite plant. This is her first year so I do not know how she is for baking yet.
Feeling a little bit mellow now.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Tomato Tear-drop

Two full days of summer in the Pacific Northwest and the garden responds.
When we were putting up a new home in Robe Valley I learned to appreciate container gardening. That year I was limited to a tiny knot garden and potted plants. I have kept potted plants ever since. Most of these are herbs growing on the back deck, Parsley, basil, dill, bay laurel, pink lavender and a mixed pot of parsley, chives and golden marjoram. Then there are those pretty strawberries. Two of my four square foot gardens, which technically are container gardens, are in the background.

June 25: One tiny, tear-drop of a tomato. My very first! It is a Siltz Tomato. I didn't lead with this picture because it was so difficult to get that little baby in the cross-hairs. There is so much going on in this pot that my auto focus couldn't figure out what I wanted. I always liked auto focus before, now I wish I could shut it off if I need to.

Kathy R gave me two zucchini plants. The flowers always look like they come from Hawaii to my eyes (having never been to the island state). Thank you Kathy, they look like they are doing well. Those are lemon cucumbers in the smaller pot. They should probably be thinned.

That tiny tiny sprout is a cucumber. Big deal you say? Probably, but this is the third time I have replanted cucumbers and the first time I have seen a sprout. The PNW has been so cold and wet this year, I am amazed that I have anything at all. God is good to create things that are determined to do well. Dumb-luck gardeners like me are thankful.

Calendula, in my top ten herbal flowers. Nice medicinal, pretty plant.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Luke 9 Overview

And he said to ALL, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23

Deny self, deny allegiance to the world, and follow Y'shua. Luke has invited us to follow Y'shua as a witness to his earthly life and ministry. We have watched as Y'shua laid out his agenda (set the captives free), was rejected at home, healed the sick and deformed, banished demons from the lives of men and asserted authority over the elements. Who is he and what (if any) is our responsibility to him?

Luke chapter 9 is an invitation for the reader to take a look at their own path in life in the light of what they have learned about the extraordinary life of Y'shua ha Mashiyach. The chapter begins with the twelve receiving power and authority from Y'shua with orders to proclaim the kingdom of God. It ends with a warning to those of us who may have a divided heart to proclaim the kingdom of God.

We are going to watch the 12 be challenged to proclaim the kingdom. At first, seems that this is something they are to say but they will be challenged to proclaim the kingdom in their dependence on Elohim in as they step out with the message (verses 3 and 4) and later as they consider the needs of those who come to hear the message (verses 12-17).

We as an audience will be asked to clarify who Y'shua is. Do we agree with what the world believes (verses 7-9) or has Elohim revealed himself to us as he has to Peter (18-20)?

Finally, as ordinary citizens of the kingdom of God, we need to consider if we are willing to deny ourselves, deny our former allegiance and follow Y'shua. Our ways, which are deeply entrenched, are not his. We are fickle and sometimes faithless. The focus is him, not circumstances, no matter how dazzling the circumstances seem to be. The chapter ends with a challenge.

But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God and don't look back.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wild Blackberries

Usually I have to go hiking up some old clear cut to find these Northwest prizes. This time I just had to go out the back gait. That is not to say they were easy to pick. It was still a steep walk. Rudy and Bomber kept whining because old women shouldn't be going down nasty bluffs like that. Good boys that they are they came along to make sure I was safe (and to be sure that I did not go on an adventure without them.)
The thing about a patch of wild blackberries is that it takes a couple of days to get enough to make jam or pie. It is worth the wait. Lots of ruby red berries for my next picking.
Deborah.... all hot and yucky feeling, but with a small bowl of fruit in the ice box waiting for more ripe berries.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Yellow Breasted Chat

The Yellow Breasted Chat we found. Ray posted it to Tweeters and than....
The Tweeters started coming. Way kewl lens.

Still the one

Yesterday (June 21) was our 35th anniversary! I have an old Orleans song rolling through my head....
"We've been together since way back when....
Your still the one-- I want whispering in my ear;
Your still the one-- I want to talk to in bed,
Still the one that turns my head.
We're still having fun and your still the one."
We were completely without a plan for yesterday. We spent too much money on the new BBQ. Since we like to play with our new toys (and it was way too cold and wet to try out the new Kayak) we dressed for birding, tucked Rudy into the 'burb and drove north toward Mt Vernon to hit the Skaget County Co-op and do a little Fir Island bird walking. We did not get much and we did not see birds besides a sparrow or two. The ride was nice.

At the Mill Creek Central Market (yep, those are the kind or rides we take when we do not have a plan), right next to the 20 dollars a pound Copper River Salmon, we found a pile of bright, fresh Kodiak River Coho for 8 dollars a pound. The fish guy cut up our prize into 4 steaks and filleted the rest. Barbecue here we come! A few apple chips bundled under the flame, a glaze (sauce?) of butter and olive oil with fresh parsley, garlic and chives with a sprinkle of dill (my garden dill isn't ready yet and the fennel is too small) and I was in the Salmon business!

Ray ate peas for dinner. If you know Ray, you know he NEVER eats cooked peas. Even if English peas are raw he doesn't really want to eat them. He does like sugar snaps if I make a ranch style dip with lots of garlic, lemon and dill. But last night he gobbled up the Orange Saffron Butter Linguine with peas and shallots from the garden and asparagus, even had 2nds! I did notice a small pile of English peas on the side of my plate, but no snow peas left on either of our plates.

Did I mention birding in Skaget and not seeing anything? So there I was, grilling salmon on the back deck. I kept hearing a bird that sounded like a kid blowing on a toy train whistle, sometimes it would change up and sound like a play-ground whistle (the kind with a small ball in it to make a twitter sound). I can only hear out of one ear, so it is difficult for me to tell where a sound is coming from. I called Ray who quickly found the sorce of the song. It was a somewhat largish yellow breasted bird in a pine tree just down the hill in the draw behind the house. We thought, warbler? because of the bright yellow and new song. Ray kept coming back to a rare bird called a Yellow Breasted Chat. He got a decent picture of him but his lens isn't powerful enough to really draw it in, and sent it off to "tweeters". It wasn't long before he got conformation that it was indeed a rare Yellow Breasted Chat. Right in our back yard! When I went out this morning it was sitting an a bush just outside of my back fence, singing away.

Picture at Music of Rain:

Good start to another year! And.... it is actually sunny today.

You're still the on that makes me laugh,
Your still the one that's my better half,
We're still having fun and your still the one!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Farmers Market to Dad Day Dinner and Dessert

Rain, rain rain. We LOVE the Farmers Market when it rains. Really, No, really, we do!

Church was good, but as soon as it was over we hustled out to the market after a stop at Starbucks (hi Rebecka!!). Our favorite farmer from Fox Island in Skaget County had a big load of Strawberries for a fine Fathers Day dessert.
This cool wet weather means that the asparagus is still coming. So are the greens. You wouldn't think that the berries would be sweet in this weather, but oh, my, yes they are!

This little dolly likes the sweet cherries!

Brave souls in the rain at the market. It did get a little crowded under the quick shade. Do you still call it quick shade when it is a rain cover?

This bakery uses all Washington State ingredients, except for the lemon in Rays favorite Lemon-Sour Cherry Bread.

Just past the boys head are raspberries. Everyone has strawberries, but these were the only raspberries I saw. By the time I asked if I could take her picture for my blog this little cutie walked by and blocked the evidence.

Market treasure.

Did I mention that Ray got a new BBQ? He put it together while I made ice-cream. All those umbrellas and we are ready for the western Washington outdoor life.

Simple Strawberry Ice-cream. You can find my recipe and loads of how to pictures at Music of the Rain:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Something new and beautiful day by day

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness
I knew that a poppy was growing against the fence. I even noticed that the pods were filling out and bending over from the weight of the flower inside. I have seen other poppies in the neighborhood blooming and still did not think much about these in the shade of my garden. I walked and puttered about the whole of my garden and wondered at the arugula sprouts, the pumpkin leaves and zucchini blooms without seeing the orange glow along the fence. Just as I turned to go inside again, there it was, something common that filled me with wonder. The music of the passage in Lamentations 3 has been drifting along the edges of my soul ever since. The steadfast love of YHVH never ceases, His mercies never come to and end....

Friday, June 18, 2010

Washington Tomatoes in June

This is for perspective. The first rung of my tomato support is at twenty inches. That is the top of my tomatoes, some of my best tomatoes as a matter of fact. I am in Everett. I do not know if this is normal for June tomatoes in western Washington. What I do know is that is has been crazy cold and record wet on the rainy side of the state. Yesterday (June 17, the high temp was 59) I am not ready to bag the whole works yet but neither do I hold out much hope for more than a tomato or two. I just read a post from The Family Garden, which I think is in California, but she did write how her garden had some cool weather but the tomatoes just "took off" when the weather warmed up. Kewl! I'm stoked again ....sorta.
Oh look, blossoms on the Black Plum Paste Tomato (seed from Greenheart Gardens on Lopez Island) When I goggled this heirloom, the information said they were very short season. I sure hope so.

These are Persimmon Tomatoes from Territorial Seed Company in Oregon. What was I thinking? With out a quarter or something for perspective you cannot tell from the picture that even the blossoms are larger then the plums.

A side view of box number 3. These plants were started in my bedroom on March 1. The beans that you can see are not doing much better. I put them in when we have a warm day and then worry about them through the rain and chill.

Another view of the same box. That itty-bitty thing on the right is a pepper plant that likes the chill even less then the tomatoes.

This is a Siltz. This tomato is determinant and is not recommended for a Square Foot Garden. It likes its big black bucket, but even this cold tolerant tomato would rather be warm. It is busting out with blossoms though.

I got a little nuts with the tomatoes. Two of these are Siltz that I started from seed (TTS) the rest are plants I bought from the farmers markets. They are indeterminate and could go in the garden but I put them over here because I have no idea how they were raised and want to protect the garden from disease. There are no guarantees, but I'm trying. Yes, I see the contribution from the puppies, but isn't nitrogen good? I know, yuck, but they are not very tall puppies.

Finally, these are just so I can say I gave the Topsy Tervy an honest try. In the brown planter is one of the Black Plumb. It isn't doing so well but it has survived some really cold days. Next to it in the white pot is a patio tomato, just to compare another small container plant. There is basil just surviving on the top part of the brown pot. I hung a picnic table weight on the Topsy to encourage it to grow down instead of up.

Did you see those beautiful peas? The last picture is to show off something red in the garden.

Deborah get out and get dirty

Luke 8:40 - 56

Who deserves mercy? Who is worthy of a 2nd chance? It is difficult for me to read the account of Ja'irus who came to Y'shua begging for another chance for his daughter, and the hopeless, unnamed woman and not wonder, who has more value or is more worthy of life?

In America we are at times locked in a battle about quality of life. Medical miracles are expensive. Actually, simple medical care is expensive. The woman of Luke 8:40-56 has become impoverished in her pursuit of health. For 12 years she could not be cured by anyone (vs 43). Her community would consider her legally unclean for all of that time. Anyone that she touched, or who dared to touch her, would become unclean for some 24 hours. The times that she lived in had no feminine products to make her life a little cleaner. The blood simply continued to flow from her for all those years. Who would show such an outcast a kind face? Who did her shopping, how did she eat or earn any kind of living? The Scripture gives no hint. The only clue that Luke gives us about her, outside of her malady is that she is a woman of faith. It brings tears to my eyes. Somehow Elohim brought her to a place in life where she was not bitter in her isolation and weakness. Like Elijah alone at the brook, I am sure God provided for this daughter of Israel. But even the great Elijah enjoyed fellowship.

On the day Y'shua returned from his mission to the demonic across the lake, he was welcomed by the crowd. With in the group was Ja'irus, a father figure in the Synagogue, but more importantly, the father of an only child, another daughter of Israel. But this daughter was only 12 years old and dying. Her father was not ready to give her up to death. In humility, he comes to Messiah, begging for the help he has heard Y'shua is able to give.

All that the last 12 years of their lives have been leading up to come together, right on the street of that town in Y'shua. A father comes with humility, pleading for the life of his only child. A woman comes quietly from behind with hope that has led her by faith. If she touches Y'shua, He will then become unclean and unable to help the little girl. But if she does not take this chance it may not come to her again. Who is more worthy? The much loved child who could have her whole life ahead of her or a woman who has made no apparent contribution to the community? How many of us would choose the child? Would we turn on the woman of faith for the life of the child?

I am sorry to confess that I would probably choose the little girl. I tend to see irritation in Y'shua's words, "who touched me?" Even though I know how the story ends, with the voice of compassion and love, I still hear irritation. I honestly doubt there was even a hint of ire in his voice. He knew that the woman needed to complete her journey of faith.

Paul said....

Man believes with his heart and so is justified and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The Scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." Romans 10:10-11

This woman needed to know right from the loving words of her Messiah that she must not feel shame. He healed her body and her heart and made her whole in the presence of the community. Her seemingly fearful confession brought words of compassion from Messiah. I wonder how many times she had received words of scorn from the crowd before this day? "Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace."
Word Study on "power"

The high point of her life suddenly became the moment of agony for Ja'irus. His daughter died. Hope was gone. Tears would be his food for as far as he could see into the future. Before Ja'irus is able to respond to the news of his only child's death, the voice of Y'shua penetrates his ears and must shine bright in his thoughts, "Do not fear, only believe...."

Do not fear, only believe and she will be well. Could he understand what Y'shua said? Could he make sense of the words. Did he, like Martha in John 11, think that perhaps Y'shua meant she would be well in the afterlife? I imagine that this father who had just been touched by the sting of death was propelled toward his daughter by the Spirit of God to witness an event more amazing then even her birth. With his wife, he witnessed her resurrection.

"And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again on the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives, and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hidden Treasure

Will they be jam? Maybe pie? They could just top a bowl of yogurt or ice cream. It is possible that they will only be popped into my mouth some warm day. I know that I have already claimed them but really there is no reason to expect that the very bird who planted the vine might not eat the fruit. These are outside of the fence so I'm not sure that it is OK to cover them with a net. But I am sure thinking about it. Before the grass got long I could see blossoms all up and down the bluff.

Another "if"
If I find myself half-carelessly taking lapses for granted,
"Oh, that's what they always do,"
"Oh, of course she talks like that, he acts like that,"
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lavender Brownies

Too cold out to play in the garden, so I made Lavender Brownies. Have to use up those buds before the new batch colors out.

Recipe at Music of the Rain:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sunny Day "If"

There has been bird song since 2 in the morning. My night time temperature dropped to 48 degrees, a sign of the day being warmer. Maybe momma birds were encouraging their babies that this light trouble ushers in a blessing of warmth in the coming day.

If I can discuss the shortcomings and sin of any;
if I can speak in a casual way even of a child's misdoings,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Where is your faith?

Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake." So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?"

Luke 8:22-25 NASU

A day like any other: Y'shua, the Son of God, lived an extraordinary life. Those who chose to follow him (Luke 8:1-3) to cities and villages to proclaim the Kingdom of God were given the privilege of knowing the mysteries of the kingdom. Mysteries that were riddles spoken in parable to the majority who flocked to hear the popular rabbi speak (Luke 8:10). They were witnesses to the dramatic changes that came to lives as their Lord spoke. More than anyone else in the Galilee, they were exposed to the secrets of the kingdom of God. They did not set roots or sow a crop, but simply followed Y'shua wherever the Spirit led Him. An amazing life became a normal everyday life.

A boat was not an unusual setting for the followers. He had used boats to preach from. He had shown them his power from a boat and for some of them, their eyes began to open in realization that he was unlike anyone else they had ever known. (Luke 5:1-11) On this day, the boat was transportation to the other side of the lake. Perhaps welcome relief from crowds; or maybe from their public persona or a time to think about nothing except getting the boat from the put-in to take-out. On this day, no different than other days, they set out on the lake with experienced boatmen, away from the crowd. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake. . .

This boat trip is the only passage where Y'shua is said to sleep (Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:36-41). I know that my LORD never sleeps (Psalm 121) but the physical body of the man had to sleep. The crisis began as Y'shua slept.

A fierce gale: word study

Wind: word study

When I first read through this passage I expected that "wind" would be translated from the Greek word pnuma which is translated both wind and spirit. I expected this to be an epic battle between the kingdom of God and the prince of the power of the air. But the word just means moving air. It is moving with ferocity, but it is not a spirit. Paul uses the same word in his letter to the Ephesians to describe different doctrines that toss believers in the Kingdom back and forth. This wind was a fierce one and seemed to be aimed right at them

Descended: word study

Perish: word study

So often I have read this passage and said with the disciples, . . .He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him. . . and apparently have missed the point. Where is your faith? Too often I have thought that some circumstance would crush me. Where is faith? The Apostle Paul wrote:

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom 8:35-39 NASU

There is no circumstance, there is nothing in all of creation that can separate me from the Love of God, which is in the Messiah. Y'shua absolutely can calm the storm. He apparently is willing to do this for us if we ask, but it will not be long before the next crisis arises. Where is faith? Will we perish and does he care? Those who are IN Y'shua ha Mashiyach (Jesus who is the Christ) will face extreme danger, but never alone (Matthew 28:18-20). The bodies of many will perish as a result. Unless the rapture comes first, all of us will die. But will we live? The Lord lived by faith (standing firm on the Word of God) and when the time was right he entrusted his Spirit to the Father and gave his life for ours. We only die once Hebrews 9:27. Even dying cannot separate us from the Love of God. We get to live every day in abundance.

A former teacher used to say, "Fear and excitement feel the same in the pit of your stomach, you get to decide which one is motivating your response." I often cannot control how I physically feel in response to a circumstance, but I can choose to believe that this physical response is excitement. I am about to see God at work in my life. There is a not so old song, the chorus says, "I have decided I'm gonna live like a believer, turn my back on the deceiver, I'm gonna live like I believe." Where is your faith? What do you believe about your life in Y'shua? Can you live for him in victory? Do you understand that you can walk in victory by faith in the One who overcame everything on your behalf? Live like you believe. And if the Kingdom of God is a mystery hidden in a parable to you, call on Y'shua for salvation, He longs for you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lavender Scones

Under the umbrella off my kitchen door it smells of summer in a lavender field; even as a late spring rain pounds the fabric and runs in rivulets to the wooden deck below. A cup of tea and lavender scones bring the essence of summer as if I sit in the eye of the storm. Peace for a moment, the essence of rainsong, and a moment to survey the work that came before.
Recipe posted at Music of the Rain

More "If"

We had summer yesterday. I was so busy in the garden that I did not take a single picture to document it. I even carried my camera in my pocket the whole day. Today we are back to "Rain with showers" Phhtttt

If I belittle those whom I am called to serve,
talk of their weak points
in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points;
if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting
"Who made thee to differ?
what hast thou that thou hast not received?
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Lettuce Tasting, spring 2010

There I sat on that cold, cold, wet, rainy day. Rudy and I could not go out to play. There we sat we too, until suddenly, I knew what we two could do....

Rather then wait for the cat-in-the-hat and his wild pals, thing 1 and thing 2, I decided to celebrate the last day of school with my first ever lettuce tasting.

I am actually on a quest to find a lettuce that will hold up to summer heat. But so far we have not had any summer heat in the Pacific North West.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chamomile and Carmichael

Dumped the coffee, sipping Chamomile trying to stay clam and minister to all the idgy students who just realized that it is the last official day of school (even though they can work until Friday)

Here is the Carmichael part (from "If" ....I'm just going through them one at a time)

If I have not compassion on my fellowservant,
even as my Lord had pity on me,
then I know nothing of Calvary love

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Golden Sweet Snow Pea

Now you can see why they are called Golden. I tasted one, I wanted another. Now I know why they are called sweet. Next time you come to my house I'll let you decide for yourself.