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Friday, April 29, 2011

From The Heart Of Suffering..........

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
My beloved Harmony Acres is saturated but it will survive.  We are all O.K.  Today, God is smiling down upon us with wonderful, glorious sunshine (for one more day and then more rained predicted). We are in that yucky drying out stage. The ground is mushy and muddy; oozing between my toes in my crocs (hurt my ankle again and can't wear rubber boots because of swelling). We were lucky! It could have been much worse!
Brother Dave cut this rose bush back to a nub so he
could replace the porch post.  It's never bloomed so beautifully.
I guess everything needs a little pruning sometimes.
Why is it that the light of day always brings renewed hope?  And an opportunity to give Thanks?  The list of things to be grateful for is far longer than any list of complaints I have ever compiled.  Gratitude.....hm mm....I like the feel of that word. 
Definition:   Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

Yeah! Attitude! Got plenty of that! Emotion! I'm a woman for heaven's sake, no shortage of emotion here.  It's the positive part that sometimes hangs me up.  On many occasions, I have been Positive of something only to have it bite me in the rear.  O.K. that's enough about my mental and emotional shortcomings; let's talk about me and my day (narcissistic, too? had to use spellcheck.  if I can't spell it then I must not be it. right?).  There is much to be done today.  No matter what, the animals (dogs, cats, bird, fish) still have to be taken care of.
Even if I didn't want to get up, the unrelenting howling and whining
coming from these two would force me out of bed to feed
them just so there would be no mad neighbors!
After many fruitless attempts (bath in dawn, herbal spray, benadryl, neosporin) to calm Maggies' allergies, the time has come for a trip to see Stacey (Hubler Vet Service)  for a shot.  The shots make Maggie go wee-wee frequently with no control, which upsets her to no end.  No rug (and we have a ton of them) is safe (she especially likes the bathroom rug.  Becky says she goes to the right room that ought to count for something).  Usually this is not a problem but at the moment I can't do laundry because........it's rained so much the lateral lines aren't draining. 
Mags wore her sailor outfit to visit Stacey.
Duke (Indy) came in to say hello.
We made our usual stop at McDonald's for Maggie's chicken.
Becky's plane lands in Tulsa at 4:30 p.m. today. It was a difficult trip to Denver for her (nose bleed, fatigue, headache; she is not accustomed to the altitude).  She has requested her favorite meal (not cold cereal again)--Spaghetti with vegetarian meat substitute.  Not a seven course meal: just spaghetti.  No problem. In the meantime, Maggie is taking a little nap so she can play with Becky when she gets home.
It's been a long week for a little girl.
It's been a long week for all of us and we still have another day left. Perhaps a tiny reprieve from the rain and a little sunshine will revive our souls.  Oklahomans are not strangers to disaster.  Natural or man-made.  We live in tornado alley, we suffer drought and flooding (all of Mother Natures extremes), poverty (At the end of 2010, more than 779,000 Oklahomans were on food stamps according to Janet Pearson's article in the Tulsa World) and the riches (all of the financial extremes) that the oil and gas business brings.

If one of us is hurt, we all bleed. Life can beat us to the ground but we will still stand and meet the challenge. Just heard Reba McIntire and Blake Shelton are doing a benefit concert for the Atoka County, Oklahoma victims of the tornadoes.  Okies helping Okies.  That's what I'm talking about! 
We are survivors!  We are Oklahomans!
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In Times of Trouble..... We Go To Our Knees In Prayer...For Others

"He who sees the calamity of other people finds his own calamity light."
Arabian Proverb

and it rained.......and it rained.............and then it hailed!  Enough already!  Mother Nature has been relentless this Spring.  Harmony Acres has a water retention problem that only Sunshine and Time can fix.  But first it has to stop raining.  Good Grief!  I can't do laundry (won't drain), I can't run the dishwasher (won't drain) and I say a little prayer every time I flush the toilet (a little bit of whining going on here).

My problems are insignificant compared to what's going on in the rest of Oklahoma.  Tahlequah is flooding.  People are having to leave their homes and some businesses have shut down.  Many county roads no longer exist in Green Country (another name for this part of the state)!  Either you can't get home or you can't get out!  Normal everyday life has come to a standstill. Waiting...............for the rain to stop........the rivers to crest......the damage to be assessed.  Just waiting...................

Our neighboring states of Arkansas and Missouri are suffering as well.  Levee breached in Missouri (massive flooding), tornadoes in Arkansas (loved ones gone forever in a moment frozen in time) and widespread destruction.  They don't need  an official government statement.  They know it's a diaster zone.  Moment by moment......tear by tear......loss compounded by loss.  Our prayers for them are desperately needed.

Joyce, my big sister, has no road left.  The rains have washed away their bridges (if you think my house is isolated, you should try to find hers) and they have no way out!  Incarcerated with her husband, Bill!  This can't be good even for a solid marriage of many years.   Don't get me wrong.  I love Bill.  It's much easier to love someone you don't have to live with.  This is the gospel truth.   
The sound quality on this video is dreadful but this is Warner, OK.

Other refuge have I none
Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee:
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing! Amen.

Simple Living is all about caring for others. We always pray for them first and us last. That is Country Ways 101.  We are all connected in the big scheme of things. By touching one life, we touch many.  By helping one person, we help many.  It's the ripple effect.  Think about that today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them. (Albert Einstein)

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. 
Harmony Acres is water-logged!
God has granted us a tiny reprieve.  No rain until later in the day.  All the rain has created utter chaos, inside and out.  I have much recovery work to do before the next round.  Harmony Acres is becoming like the "lost city of Atlantis" (underwater somewhere).  I have worked so hard. Invested so much time. Wanting everything to look the best it's ever been. It breaks my little heart to see it underwater and overgrown (again).  Darn! Darn! Darn!

I'm so glad I didn't put up a fence and plant my cucumbers where I started to ( in the magic creek) or they would have been washed away.
Yesterday, it was a raging creek.
Glad "we" worked on it so it would drain better!
O.K.  A little sarcasm there!
I know how this works.  In July and August, we will be begging for rain!  If you had ever experienced an Oklahoma summer, you would understand why Hell is not a place you want to go (there's no air-conditioning as well as other unpleasant factors to consider). 

We are still working on the garden room and planned to put in a window seat and book shelves to replace the garage door.  Having trouble finding someone who knows what they're doing to tackle this job.  So.........the heavy rain coming down seeped into the garage and all I can do is clean up the mess, wait for it to dry and try to caulk around the door today.

I managed to wrestle another use out of the "Good Stuff" expanding foam.  All it took was baling wire, a spoon and standing on my head.  Don't ask!
Outside of garage door leaked big time...........

...................so I caulked it.
I didn't say all my repairs were pretty but hopefully it will be effective.
Oh, yeah. I decided to mow the front yard for the UPS man (important delivery, toilet paper from Amazon).What? When I go to the store it takes one whole cart for pet supplies.  Keeping that in mind, it's a little hard for one little ole lady to drag two carts just for toliet paper. Besides, I love having UPS trying to find this place. Anyway back to my story: I know that no one should even try to mow the yard the day after Noah launched the Ark but  we have to look somewhat well kept around here.  However, I ran into a little problem: 
Oops! Not the smartest move I ever made..........

.......but common sense, two rocks and leverage got me out!
Oh, shoot! I just heard thunder!  Gotta run and check on pups! Be back in a minute.  Big black cloud........ big thunder.  Sure am glad I did a little creative engineering today on their pen. Yes, they are getting a fancy new dog house that is insulated and has vents.  One of those all-weather things. Gypsy (mama dog) gets one too.  I had a lot more time to meditate (smoke cigarrette and drink Dr. Pepper on front porch) before the blue heelers adopted us.
Yesterday, the lawn mowers and the puppies were in a water hole!

I put up tarp and dug a trench.  Hung dog blankets on fence to dry.
Cross your fingers.
It sounds like it's about to be tested!
And between all that, I gave Maggie a bath, hauled trash up to the road and scooped two litter boxes.  What a day!  Wish Becky were here to share my day with.  Simple Living is more fun when I can surprise her with my accomplishments. She'll be back from Denver Thursday night.  Can't wait! 

I am exhausted but not defeated!  Everyday, I must push the envelope, test my limits, reach for the unreachable and go beyond where I think I can go.  I only get one life, so there's no harm in trying!  All I can do is fall on my fannie but it wouldn't be the first time, now would it?  Falling is easy.  It's the getting up that takes "true grit".  You know what I'm talking about.  You've been there.

Thank you for joining me on this journey we call life.  The Simple Life really is for me.  Sweat is my new favorite fragrance, rubber boots or crocs my choice in footwear, and I look good in camouflage pants!

Tomorrow:  Muskogee for dog food.

Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.
Bern Williams
Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_inspirational2.html#ixzz1KfomXg

Monday, April 25, 2011

Please......Send Me A Rainbow!

Memo From God
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and   all  living  creatures  of every kind.  Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Dear Lord:
I know your busy but could we have a little chat. I am not writing to complain (much) but could you please turn the spigot off.  We were in a drought and desperately needed rain but.......a flood?  Whomever you made director of cloud control is not doing their job.  Did they go to sleep and forget to turn off the faucet?  Did they not get the memo (see blue area above)? 

Oklahoma has gone from fighting raging wildfires to flood control. In less than a week!  Please send me a rainbow!  There is water, water everywhere!  More rain in the forcast and I really need a sign from you.
And it rained...............................

and it rained.......................
I always wanted a property with a little creek running through it. 
Now I have it!
Front yard creek ........more rain pouring down.

Back yard creek......... more rain pouring down.
Pic is not blurry, it is rain wrapped!

My new favorite T.V. show is "Breaking Weather" because that's what's on every channel. I've learned a new phrase "rain wrapped" (translation:  you can't see nothin). This is today's latest warning from the National Weather Service in Tulsa:
* widespread heavy rain has occurred across much of eastern
Oklahoma... and northwest Arkansas. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 8
inches have been common across this area over the past 48 to 72
hours... with local amounts exceeding 10 inches. Additional
rounds of heavy rains will spread across the watch area
today... before ending by early evening. Additional rainfall
amounts of 1 to 4 inches is expected through today. The rainfall
totals over the past three days could easily top 12 inches
across portions of northwest Arkansas and adjacent areas of far
eastern Oklahoma.

Becky snapped this pic between cloud burst yesterday.
This morning Becky had to find an alternate route to work because the roads were flooded on two of the other routes.  It's hard enough getting from here to there without road closings!  She is leaving for a business trip to Denver today and I'm sure she will be glad to leave all this flooding behind.
Pushka seeking higher ground from the flood waters.
The barn is flooded and the pups are getting web-footed!  The garden room tried to flood (stemmed the flow with lots of towels) and I'm getting web-footed!  It's so wet, even the ducks have left.  Simple Living at it's most challenging!  So, back to my original request:  please send me a rainbow. 

Thank you for your time Lord.

It's Me Again

A little Creedence Clearwater Revival to help me through the day (Who'll Stop The Rain).  No matter what difficulties you may face, there is always a rainbow just around the corner. 

Noon:30 Update:    Still raining and raining and raining................

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Harmony Acres Wishes You A Happy Easter......He Is Risen!

"April rain is here again;
Hear it pitter, pitter, patter,
On the leaves and on the trees,
See it spitter, spitter, spatter.
Rain, oh rain, don't go away
We need you for flow'rs in May;
Drip, drip, drop and do not stop,
Send a little rain our way."
And it rained and it rained and it rained!  We have gone from drought to swim fins!  So it goes in Oklahoma.

The severe storms missed us again last night but it was close enough to drop some rain. Then it rained again this morning and this afternoon...... I was just meditating (smoking cigarette and drinking Dr. Pepper with two cats wrapped around my ankles) on the front porch.  Watching the rain bring much needed nourishment to Mother Earth, I could almost see everything turning a brighter shade of green and silently growing stronger.  What a blessing these showers are!  All things are at peace and Harmony Acres is thriving!

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday.  My boss and I are in negotiations  regarding closing the store till 1:00 p.m.  He and I attend the same Church (when I go) and I told him everyone needed to attend Church on Easter (sunrise service out at Spaniard Creek looking out over the water from cement bleachers, breakfast at Church, then Easter Program) and Christmas just to belie the rumors that one has died. 

When I had him on the ropes (your worst nightmare is an employee like me), I also reminded him that Hobby Lobby is Christian owed, prospering greatly and closes every Sunday.  Brother Danny (Preacher) came in the store today and I ratted my boss out.  Told him that a call from him would probably be more effective than my harping!  We'll see how it goes.  No matter what, we wish you a Happy Easter from our family to yours:
Izzie and I.
Becky and her twin Maggie.


Noah and Gigi

Mischief and Pickles
Grabby Britches

Molly arrived here with only one good eye.



Our Simple Living choice has brought us much joy and sheer pleasure in the small things. Next week I'm going to visit Herb A. and his family to see his custom design chicken coop.  Been thinking about getting some chickens............Can't wait to see what he has created (very gifted and ingenious family. Simple Living personified).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Using Everything You Gave Me, Lord

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." 
Erma Bombeck

Yesterday was so busy that I didn't have a chance to write (still catching up from working 5 days straight, had to fill in for co-worker who got married).  Here is a quick run-down of the day. And for those people who say "Wow, you've got it easy just working weekends", please know that when I look at you and smile, I'm really wanting to smack you a good one upside the head!

Feed and water the Wicket (lovebird), clean Lucky's (fish) bowl, clean cat houses and scoop litter, dogs out, dogs in, feed and water dogs.  Clean ceiling fan in garden room, move china cabinet to living room, vacuum house, wash dishes, do laundry (all bedding for cats and dogs), resurrected lawn mower one more time and mowed lane to house. I know, I know.....boring.   I like boring.  After years of dealing with unpleasant people, woman eat woman quotas, and unforgiving time clocks, this is pure bliss for me.

But anyway, while I was doing all that (Had to pause here, tick crawling on my arm, yuck! Nasty little blood suckers!  If you live in Oklahoma you know what I'm talking about, right?) this is what Molly was doing:
Molly says "This is the life. I eat , sleep, poop and the maid
 (that would be me) cleans my house."
I also tried a new roast beef recipe.  If you like cabbage (we do, inexpensive and nutritious), this is a frugal recipe (roast was on sale at Superfoods in Warner) I used and this is the finished product.  Becky said "last night cereal for dinner and tonight pot roast heaven" (We were both too tired to cook).  Feast or famine around here for sure!
Rump roast with cabbage, carrots, onions and a great sauce. 
We loved it.

Today, I put new collars on all the outside dogs.  No easy task I can assure you.  Writhing, squealing, little terrors.  Once the collars were on the pups, they set about trying to rip them off each other.
Gypsy and her pups now have collars! No longer just stray dogs!
They have adopted us.
After a long, stressful day at work and training after work for the 5K run, Becky (the one looking stressed and semi-conscious) and her twin Maggie (dog who thinks she is a princess held hostage by evil magic in a strange body) chill out in garden room watching T.V. while I put the finishing touches on the roast (don't want help with my masterpiece, thank you for asking though--translation:  leave me alone, I'm fine. No, really I'm fine.  Just left of normal is fine in my book).
Becky and Maggie after a long, hard day for both.
My life is really quite wonderful!  I rejoice in my daily chores and thank God that I am healthy enough to accomplish so many things each day.  My cup truly does run over!  I will leave you today with this thought:

Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.

I know I have one and can only hope I have the other.  You guess which is which. Thank you for joining me today on my journey to Simple Living.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Healing Place

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter...
to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life
John Burroughs

The donkey pooh has nourished my garden plants as though they were on steroids!  They love it!  Move over Miracle Grow; here comes donkey pooh!  The first bag of pooh from Brother Dave was a freebie (he shoveled, he delivered).  The rest of them I have to shovel myself.

Can't wait to have fried green tomatoes!
Roma and Cherry Tomatoes for our salad.
It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato
Lewis Grizzard
Arkansas Travelers for canning.
I also planted cucumbers in the same fertilizer.  They will have to be moved to the back yard so they can grow up the fence.  With the late frost and weird Oklahoma weather, it's a bit tricky knowing when to plant.
Cucumbers seeds planted in pooh!
My lawn mower is still playing dead so I had to take drastic measures and try to repair it myself. So far, this ain't pretty.  This is the first time I have ever had a shed to store it and now it wants to give me grief.  Guess I should have left it out in the rain.  My dandelion crop is taking over the yard.  Gotta mow!
Lawn Mower Battery On Life Support.
Everywhere I look, there are signs of life!  It is amazing!  Plant life, tree life, animal life, insect life, and people life.  I love the simple life.  Small moments of absolute joy and delight. I love Harmony Acres! 

When life has inflicted sometimes near mortal wounds, this place we call home is a sanctuary.  It is a healing place for everything (human and animal).  The beauty here is of the wild kind.  No formal or manicured gardens here.  To work the land is like touching the face of God.  It is a place of peace, love and harmony.  A place that restores balance.  I hope each of you can find your "harmony acres" even if it is just one moment at a time. 

As you know, all the animals here are strays (except Maggie. She was a pound puppy). Each one is a cherished member of our household.  I don't believe a loving God makes trash!
Pushka would like to be the only child.  He is so needy!
Gracie just wants to be left alone. (Are you looking at me?)
Oh, by the way; my salad garden is doing great.  Can't wait to harvest the lettuce and have a salad grown by yours truly!
A mixture of greens just waiting to nourish my earthly temple.
The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby - how could anything so beautiful be mine. 
And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. 
There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown.Alice B. Toklas

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pillow Talk.....Then and Now

People who are sensible about love are incapable of it.  ~Douglas Yates

I fondly recall those distant memories of sharing a (as in one) pillow with a special person.  We would talk about everything and nothing.  Basking in the "afterglow"; soft words of love, comfort, joy and hope were lovingly whispered.  His hand lightly caressing my cheek. Well, that was then!

This is now: I sleep with my cat and half a dozen pillows.  A special one made  for people who sleep on their side with a little hole for your ear to snuggle into. I still like to have my ear snuggled, even if it is just a $20 pillow doing the snuggle thing.( I failed to take into consideration that even though I am a side sleeper, I am a left, right, front, back, on top of my head sleeper who  gets up several times during the night for a mad dash to the bathroom).  Then there is the temperature issue.  I stay overheated but more so at night (my internal thermostat stuck?) We will not use the M (menopause) word.  Actually, I don't get much sleep at night. Maybe that's why I am cranky sometimes. (Mood swings?). Say it ain't so Dr. Oz!
I also have a little eco friendly pillow that I rest my right wrist on at night (maybe carpal tunnel, maybe not).  Then there is the pillow stuffed into my lower back area (yes, my bad back).  Good grief, I'm depressing me. And you people over at "Go Ye Village Retirement Center" in Tahlequah need to quit sending me brochures.  I ain't ready yet!  Do they have inside information regarding my medical records, I wonder?  I repeat, I ain't ready! Send your brochure to someone older than me!  Your depressing me!
Tree Hug & Planet Love Organic Pillow Cover, 18x18, Multi          Ruffle & Rose Pillow Covers
Then there is the pillow I use to cushion my bum ankle.  No need to go on.  You get the idea.  Yes, I do still have some parts that work correctly and I can name them on one hand (not the carpal tunnel hand). However, some of my parts were surgically removed and I have no idea where they went (nor do I want to know).  You're in denial if you can't relate to anything I've said and you're over 40.
Cats Leave Pawprints on Your Heart Decorative Pillow
My "afterglow" is now a sunburn from trying to wrestle a few acres from the clutches of "wild America".
Product Details
Aloe Vera Plant:  Miracle Sunburn Healer

What a difference a few years makes (O.K. more that a few years but less that a half century). The only thing caressing my cheek now is Sophie's whiskers! 
Check out the whiskers on this lovable face! (Sophie)
Being older and single is glorious!  Some of my friends want to "fix me" because I'm not married (i.e. find me a husband).  Guess what folks?  Don't "fix me" cause I ain't broke and I haven't gotten lost!  I have adapted to Simple Living single style just fine, thank you very much! 

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.  Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. 
H. Jackson Browne

Just a quick update:  The prayer at the bottom of Thursday's post worked for our community.  I'm sure my prayer wasn't the only one sent up that night, but God heard them all and showed his Mercy.  When the huge line of dangerous storms arrived, they split and went around us on both sides as if God himself reached down and parted the clouds!  I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer and give thanks to My God for his grace and love.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hodge·podge/ˈhäjˌpäj....................Noun: A confused mixture.

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. 
Mark Twain
 To my delight and utter surprise, Brother Dave brought my riding lawn mower home around 5 p.m. yesterday evening.  He gave me a list of parts and supplies that he had purchased to restore my baby.  It wasn't pretty!  Blades, filters, belts, oil............The cost was much less than a new mower (around a hundred dollars) and the labor was free.  Free is good but it came with some "I can't believe you let it get this bad" looks that only big brothers can give.  Brother even washed the whole thing inside and out!  To understand the magnitude of his gift of free labor, you need to realize my only other option:  push mowing an acre and a half on a bum ankle!  To me, that is Huge!  Love you, Bubba.
A brother shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. 
Author Unknown
I mowed some more before dark and then it was time for the nightly ritual of dogs out, dogs in, more dogs in, feed Maggie (dog who thinks she is a princess and has the crown to prove it) and doctor her ears, feed Izzie (cat), run to little store to get meditation supplies (cigarettes) and shower and finally bed with a good book.
Princess Maggie

Izzie at play.
Just a quick oops note:  Becky was looking for a banana this morning to pack in her lunch.  The dehydrated version was not what she had in mind (note to self: buy more bananas and don't dehydrate).  Daughters can give the same look of disgust as brothers!

The weather is forecasting severe storms later this evening (tornadoes?) so I need to finish mowing the yard today so I can put out granules to kill fleas and ticks.  I still believe in the "do no harm" rule, but if you have ever had a tick sucking the blood out of you in very private places, you will agree that it's O.K. to get them before they get me.  Nothing gets to suck my blood without my permission.  Besides, those nasty things carry Lyme Disease.  An ugly, debilitating illness (just ask nephew Jimmy).  If I am going to be that sick from being bitten by an insect, I want it to be while I am floating down the Amazon River, trudging through the rain forest looking for a cure for a deadly disease, living in the jungle with the Native population. Not walking in my front yard! Good Grief!
Deer Ticks carry Lyme Disease
Also, today, I planted another shrub from our Friday shopping spree.  Only have two left to plant before we can buy more.
Sun Parasol Crimson Mandevilla
Masses of Indian Paintbrushes grow in our pasture.

The flowers of Indian paintbrush are edible and sweet, and were consumed in moderation by various Native American tribes as a condiment with other fresh greens. These plants have a tendency to absorb and concentrate selenium in their tissues from the soils in which they grow, and can be potentially very toxic if the roots or green parts of the plant are consumed. Highly alkaline soils increase the selenium levels in the plants. Indian paintbrush has similar health benefits to consuming garlic if only the flowers are eaten in small amounts and in moderation.[3]
Well, my outside work is done for the day.  Now I will just work in the house and wait for the storms to arrive.  I have done everything possible to be ready but if one does hit we are simply at the mercy of Mother Nature and God. 
Our entire community was destroyed by a tornado long before we moved here.  There was destruction in every direction.  Weird things happen in a tornado. I saw it.  My neighbors not only lost loved ones but their own homes were destroyed  as well. 
I have spent more than one night huddled in the bathroom (the safest place in our home) riding out severe weather with Becky, dogs and lots of prayers.  Our barn and home received extensive damage during one of these storms.  I was sitting in the bathroom floor with my back against a wall that was moving.  So my paranoia is warranted. Scary stuff! It looks to be a long night. So let me end with a prayer for protection for all:
The light of God surrounds us,
The love of God enfolds us,
The power of God protects us,
The presence of God watches over us,
Wherever we are, God is,
And where God is, all is well.
Thank you for indulging me today.  The threat of severe storms makes me a confused mixture, can't focus (more than usual that is).

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