A Moment of Bragging

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Forgive me, but I just have to brag for a moment. I came across this quote: 

You can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

So true. And yes, the men in my family are like that. A+ on this test, guys. You're not perfect, but you're awesome. (that's my brag, by the way.) 

Now I'm off to make an Indian curry... which is unrelated to this subject, but tasty enough to make up for it! 

Visit From a Small Newt

Friday, May 22, 2015

Here is an Eastern Red-Spotted Newt. Specifically, a Newt on our kitchen table.

Augs brought this one home from his morning prayer walk, and I was quite pleased! That's because I have a soft spot in my heart for baby Newts. They also make good companions - this one was content to sit by my computer for half an hour and just keep me company, spending most of his time curling and un-curling his tail, watching me type, and exploring his leaf.

After a while we put him out in the garden.

Cute little Red Eft. (that's what he is, technically, still being in the baby stage.) Doesn't he look nice? It's amazing how a Red Eft can brighten one's day!

Kindness to Animals is an Attractive Quality in Men

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


There is this young farmer. 

He is skilled, and confident, and likable, and rugged, and upright; a solid man of God and family and principles. He’s also about as masculine as they come – with a strength that is nothing remotely macho but is the raw, genuine strength that comes from hard work, integrity, and following the straight and narrow path. 

He works long days in the fields and his clothes bear the marks of his labor: running a full-time dairy operation, taking care of the animals, working the land, subduing the earth. 

Unfortunately, he is not available . . . just thought I should clarify . . . :)

Many years ago, our families sat around an evening campfire. We were talking about bow hunting and deer season, quite a topic of interest. And this farming man told us the story of his walk in the woods way back behind their farm, when he had come upon a tiny fawn hidden in the weeds. With his characteristically slow smile, he described its delicate beauty, and how it wasn’t even scared of him. “I knew my sisters just had to see it,” he said, then told of how he’d gently picked up the little creature in his arms, and carried it all the way back to the house to show the rest of the family. 

I got this mental picture sitting there by the fire (I still get the picture every time I think of it) . . . this strong, rugged farmer, tough as the land itself, cradling a baby fawn in his arms. Is there not something very good, something quiet and innocent and deeply attractive about that picture? When my family left the farm, it was with a fresh insight into the heart of this work-toughened, manly guy who was touched by the little things. It’s the attractiveness of a man who regardeth the life of his beast.

But part of what made that story so powerful for us was this: here is a man who truly understands the down-and-dirty, unpleasant and sometimes painful reality of animal husbandry. Animals aren’t just for companionship or cuteness. We use them for work. We use them for food. We have to herd them, brand them, doctor them, kill them. This is not the peaches-and-cream picture of playing fetch with dear old Fido. No, there are many aspects to caring for animals (farming in particular) that aren’t always pretty.

It is attitude that makes all the difference, that separates gentle strength from macho power, that separates husbandry from cruelty. There is a stark contrast between the man who will do the unpleasant task quickly and gently, treating an animal with gratitude and respect as a God-made creature, versus the man who is callous to pain, or quick to anger at unintelligent animals, or who makes sport of the task through enjoyment of violence. (By the way, this also includes the task of killing varmints).

Gentle, God-given strength is not only Biblical, it is far more attractive to a girl like me. It represents a fortitude of character that is on an entirely different level than the guy who is attractive just because he wears a nice baseball cap and hangs his arm out the window of his truck. Although that’s awfully nice, too . . . (just sayin’).

Forward-thinking girls watch to see how a guy – a potential future husband – treats the weaker, more fragile creatures in his life because it is a good indicator of how he will treat his own wife and children in the future. There will come a day when his wife is in a moment of helplessness and needs his strength – perhaps to help her do something unpleasant or unknown, like disciplining a small child or giving birth – and she will rely on that character in him, the gentle yet firm rock on which she can lean. There will also come a day when he needs qualities of tenderness and kindness to care for a little baby. Or two. Or ten . . . Even when he’s tired after a long day of work.

My bottom line? Kindness to animals is a very attractive quality in men. It’s a quality that I respect and admire in the men in my family, and it’s a quality I’m praying for in a future husband.

A Smile for Your Day

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Today's thought:

"Don't you just hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?"

Happy May!

Friday, May 1, 2015

These are a few pics Augs took either today or yesterday. They make me happy just looking at them, because they remind me of all things sunny and warm and wildlife-y. And anything that is pleasant right now is so very welcome, as I am currently feeling 100% sick.

Being sick makes me think of all the things I am grateful for, which are many. Here are five:

1. I have the best sister in the world, who makes me delicious meals and hot tea.

2. I have finally found a way to consume Bragg's apple cider vinegar (horrible health remedy) in an almost-pleasant way! (psst- the secret is pink lemonade)

3. The sun was shining today.

4. There was a Flicker in our yard this afternoon, attempting to aerate the lawn by poking it repeatedly. They make me smile. Always have ever since I was a kid in California.

5. Spring is here!

Now for a few more bird pictures. I couldn't resist...



A dove with blue eyeliner.

Hopefully I feel better tomorrow!


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