Wednesday, October 27, 2021

End of October Hodgepodge

 


Not sure how it happened, but October ends this weekend.  Joyce has a few themed questions for us to consider.  Here they are:

 1. Is Halloween a big deal in your neighborhood? Was it something you celebrated as a child? With your own children? Do you like candy corn? 

It doesn't seem a big deal at all in our immediate neighborhood, and I'm glad about that.  A nearby  neighborhood that  I often walk or drive through is about half and half -- many houses have mums and pumpkins and just glorious fall decor, while others are decked with skeletons, ghosts, and the like.  I just don't get how people think that is a cute way to decorate for the season.

 In my childhood days, the kids in our family carved jack o'lanterns and went trick or treating.  So different back then.  There would often be homemade goodies handed out, like popcorn balls or cookies.  Our school sometimes had an evening activity where kids could parade around the gym in their Halloween costumes.  And the costumes -- several of which I found in a box in our parents' attic -- were simple things like sailor outfits, pirate costumes, Little Red Riding Hood capes and the like.

Pumpkins ready for carving in 1957 or so

With our own kids, we usually carved jack o'lanterns and they handed out candy to the occasional trick-or-treaters.  There weren't many.

Candy corn is not a favorite of mine except as a component in some sort of snack mix.

Pumpkins at The Wilds of New England

2. Are you a scaredy cat? About what? 

Yes, I am, about many things.  Large spiders.  Mice.  Aggressive dogs. Driving distances by myself.

The dining room fireplace at Tall Timber, Pittsburg, NH

3. Last time you were somewhere that should have been busy but felt like a 'ghost town'? 

Probably in the airports when we traveled West last spring.  It felt downright strange not to stand in line to check bags.

The gang waiting for us to come off the plane in the Elko airport many years ago

 

4. Do you like chili and if so how do you like it? Beans or no beans? Meat or no meat? Beef or chicken? Spice or no spice? Favorite toppings? 

Oh yes, I like chili.   With beans, and preferably with meat.  For a tomato based chili, I would prefer ground beef or turkey.  I also make a white chicken chili that always goes over well.   Spice, for sure -- usually chili powder, cumin (lots of cumin), and oregano.  Favorite toppings: shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese; sour cream.



5. Would you describe yourself as a night owl? What time of night qualifies? What are you doing while everyone else is asleep? Do you then 'sleep in'? Define 'sleeping in'. 

No, I am not a night owl.   If I stay up until 10:30, that is late.  Our usual bedtime is probably around 9:30.  "Sleeping in" to us would be 6 or 6:30 a.m.

Display at the TWNE flagpole

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

 I just love fall decorating, whether it be indoor or outdoor, at our own home or somewhere else.  The warm glowing colors are so welcoming and delightful!

A fall corner at The Wilds of New England
On our own dining room table
A decorated outdoor nook at TWNE

Fall flower lights made by me and one of the grandgirls, years ago

My hutch decorated for fall one year

A favorite fall teapot with jadeite plates

There's the Hodgepodge for this week!  (Wouldn't you like to join in on the Hodgepodge, too?  To get the questions and link up, head over to From This Side of the Pond.)

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 

Just a note for those who may be coming in late -- I've been posting each Sunday about a simple study of Psalms that I worked on throughout summer 2020.  It was a perfect study to be working on amid the uncertainties of that year -- and some of it was done sitting at picnic tables while camping in the midst of God's glorious creation.  There just couldn't have been a better backdrop --so awe-inspiring, and so many great reminders of God's amazing power and endless creativity!  Again this week, all of this fits so well with today's verse.

This Psalms study is another from Good Morning Girls.  Although I love more in-depth Bible studies, but these simpler ones are also a blessing to do.  I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the journal from GMG uses a very similar method.  I find this method a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or praise for what it means to you.

Today's study is from Psalm 125.  Today we were to look closely at verse 1.  I chose to study both verses 1 and 2.

S=  "They who trust in the LORD shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.
       "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about His people from henceforth even forever."  (Psalm 125:1-2)

O=  In the Scofield Reference Bible, C.I. Scofield gives this psalm the title "The LORD's encompassing protection".   

Those who trust in the LORD are said to be like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but will abide forever.  This is the kind of firm trust that believers can have.

A second word picture involving mountains is that the LORD is round about His people forever, even as mountains are round about the city of Jerusalem.

I found some wonderful commentary on these verses in Spurgeon's Treasury of David:  

"The hill of Zion is the type of the believer's constancy, and the surrounding mountains are made emblems of the all-surrounding presence of the Lord.  The mountains around the holy city, though they do not make a circular wall, are, nevertheless, set like sentinels to guard her gates.  God ... so orders the arrangement of His providence that His saints are as safe as if they dwelt behind the strongest fortifications.  What a double security the two verses set before us!
"Note, it is not said that Jehovah's power or wisdom defends believers, but He Himself is round about them; they have His personality for their protection, His Godhead for their guard ... The two verses together prove the eternal safety of the saints: they must abide where God has placed them, and God must for ever protect them from all evil.  It would be difficult to imagine greater safety than is here set forth." -- Charles Spurgeon

"It is not enough that we are encompassed about with fiery walls, that is, with the sure custody, the continual watch and ward of the angels; but the Lord Himself is our wall: so that every way we are defended by the Lord against all dangers.  Above us is His heaven, on both sides He is as a wall, under us He is as a strong rock whereupon we stand: so we are everywhere sure and safe." -- Martin Luther

A= I woke up in the early hours of the morning and felt a little fearful for some reason.  One of the verses that came to my mind was this verse 2 -- reminding me that God is round about His people just as the mountains are round about Jerusalem.  What a comfort it was, and I could go back to sleep resting in God's protection.  I'm so thankful that God has given us the capacity for unshakable trust in Him, and the rock-solid truths for it to rest upon.

P= "Lord, I am so very thankful that You are round about Your people, just as mountains surround Jerusalem.  What a beautiful word picture!  As your child, I've been blessed with the capacity for an unshakable trust in You, and the innumerable truths of Your Word for my faith to rest upon.  We're living in very unstable times, and I'm so thankful that You are protecting and caring for Your people.  I praise You in Jesus' name, Amen."

There's the Sunday Scripture for this week!  I hope it was a blessing to you.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday five

 

Just popping in with a quick Friday five from the past week:

1.  A great time at the monthly ladies' Bible study on Saturday morning.  We are working through the Bible study book Never Alone from the Daily Grace Co. and what a wonderful study it is.  It's such a beautiful book, one might wonder if it has as much substance as it does style, but I am here to assure you that it does.  I'm impressed with the Daily Grace Co. If you want to check them out, they're running a Dollar Days sale right now.  I'm hoping to check a few gifts off my Christmas list from this sale!

2.  A wonderful time at church on Sunday.  We are exploring the possibilities of a merger with another church and just meeting together for the time being as we seek God's leading in this.  This was the second Sunday to meet together, and what a blessing it has been!

3.  A great result from day surgery for an older friend.  We were able to transport her to and from the hospital and stayed the night, and are so thankful, just praising God, for the way things went and how well she is already doing.

Photo is from one of our Charlotte's gardens up north

4.  A fun day in a small northern city while we waited for the surgery and recovery to be complete.  We did lots of errands and ate lunch out at a nice diner.  Later, we discovered the fun little park described below:

The river (just beyond the fence) was burbling merrily and colorful sumacs lined the riverbank.  I got the idea to take a little video while my hubby played one of the percussion sculptures in the background.  He is not in the least musical, but as you can hear, these sculptures make any attempt sound good!

5.   Yummy Mexican food on the trip home yesterday.  We got the street tacos and were transported back to our favorite taco truck in Elko, Nevada, as seen below:

At the restaurant yesterday, though, one of the options was shrimp in the filling.  I love shrimp and gave this one a try.   It was absolutely scrumptious!  The tacos (2 per order) came with rice and black beans and some wonderful salsa that tastes very much like the taco truck kind.  One could choose from shrimp, veggie, chicken or steak.  The chicken filling was yummy also and my hubby enjoyed the steak.

That's my simple Friday five.  So thankful for every one of our many blessings!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Bouncing back with the Hodgepodge


 Again this week I'm jumping into the Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.  Here we go with the questions for this week:

1. Do you (or did you used to) watch talk shows? Which are or were your favorite? 

Believe it or not,  we have lived for over 45 years without television.  I know that now one can watch TV via the internet, but we don't do that either.  I have seen the occasional talk show online, but not enough to have a favorite.

2. Would you describe yourself as resilient? If so what do you think makes you that way? If you answered no explain why? 

I would describe myself as resilient.   I can tell you for sure what makes me that way.  There is no need for me to speculate about it.  I'm sure that if you asked my first-grade teacher or anyone who knew me in my childhood, they would say I was easily crushed and not the least bit resilient.  However, my stability is now in Christ.  Any resilience I have is from Him and a direct answer to an ongoing prayer to grow in emotional stability,  endurance, and perseverance.  That prayer has resulted in some pretty hard trials, but it is faithfully being answered.

Graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

3. What parts of life have surprised you the most? Explain. 

What a question! I'm really not sure how to answer it.  I guess maybe just how, in spite of hard times and difficulties in life, I feel so incredibly blessed.  And that's a God thing; nothing of myself in any way whatsoever.

4. Why do you live where you live? 

Simply put, we love New Hampshire.   Every season -- although I will say that our 5th season, mud season, is not my favorite.

Autumn

Winter


Maple sugaring makes Mud Season worthwhile

Spring and summer photos kept getting all mixed up, but I think I've solved it now. 
From a jaunt around the Big Lake in February or early March one year.

Bird-on-the wing in the wildflower garden

Apple blossoms on our tree

Summer


5. A memory from this week that made you smile? 

We were at our little camp on Sunday evening when the grandkids from next door began trickling in ... first Josiah and Arielle, later Sam and Julia.   Josiah asked if he could make hot chocolate -- easy to do with the Keurig, but still there needed to be finding of the Swiss Miss K-cups, choosing a mug from the cabinet, getting the half-and-half from the fridge, etc.  As I listened to him bustling around in the kitchen getting all this together, my heart was so blessed and warmed that I nearly wept.  It is still making me smile.  Oh, how we need to notice and appreciate the little things God blesses us with every day!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I've only mentioned this a few hundred times, and it's hardly random to regular readers at my kitchen table, but Mr. T and I continue to be so, so thankful that God allowed us to purchase the property including our little camp. Even though still very much a work in progress, it's been a restorative place for us this summer, a place to go for peace and quiet and relative coolness on the hot evenings.  It's also been a place from which to extend hospitality -- and the blessings from that are innumerable -- and a place to make wonderful family memories.  We are so very thankful!

Don't mind the insulation stored underneath ...

Oh, and don't mind the vacuum cleaner and lumber pile in this one ... it's a work in progress, as I said.

 Wouldn't you like to join in on the Hodgepodge, too?  To get the questions and link up, head over to From This Side of the Pond.


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 


For those coming in late, I've been posting each Sunday about a simple study of Psalms that I worked on throughout summer 2020.  It was a perfect study to be working on amid the uncertainties of that year -- and some of it was done sitting at picnic tables while camping in the midst of God's glorious creation.  There just couldn't have been a better backdrop --so awe-inspiring, and so many great reminders of God's amazing power and endless creativity!  As you will see, this fits so well with today's verse.

This Psalms study is another from Good Morning Girls.  Although I love more in-depth Bible studies, but these simpler ones are also a blessing to do.  I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the journal from GMG uses a very similar method.  I find this method a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or praise for what it means to you.

Today's study is from Psalm 124, and the verse we were to closely consider is verse 8.  I chose to look at verses 2 and 3 and verses 6 through 8 of this short but so meaningful psalm.

S=            "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
       "Then had they swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us ...
       "Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
       "Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
       "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."  (Psalm 124:2-3; 6-8)

O=  C.I. Scofield, in the Scofield Reference Bible, titles this psalm "God on the side of His people."  What a wonderful truth!  The psalmist (David, in this case) states that if it had not been the LORD who was on their side when men rose up against them,  then:

* Their enemies would have swallowed them alive;
* The waters of trouble would have overwhelmed their souls.

But their help was in the name of the LORD,  the Maker of heaven and earth. The psalmist blesses God for His deliverance from their enemies.

A=  The psalm begins by emphasizing, "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side ...".  But it ends with the inescapable, incomparable truth: "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."  We are in a frightening place as believers and as a nation.  We might fear that we are in "the snare of the fowlers".  But the Maker of heaven and earth is on our side.  He is still able to deliver us from any traps set by the enemy.  The Maker of heaven and earth is all-powerful and all-wise.  There is nothing too hard for Him!

P=  "Lord, I am so thankful that You are on our side.  The all-powerful, all-wise, endlessly creative Maker of heaven and earth is on our side!  We need not fear what man can do unto us.  We're in a frightening situation, but we know that You are with us and that You are able to deliver us in ways beyond what we could ask or think.  We are trusting You to do just that, and we thank You for all that You will do, in Jesus' name, Amen."

The reflection question for this day's study notes, in part: "It is no small thing to have access to the maker of the heavens and the earth!  Our confidence that we can call on Him and He will help us, should be secure.  Think back over your life and tell of a time when you prayed and asked the Lord for help.  How did He answer that prayer?"

I wrote a lengthy answer to this, but for the blog I will summarize it.  We were in a difficult situation, one that just wouldn't go away.  One problem would be dealt with and another would spring up.  Our prayer had been similar to that of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles: "Neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon Thee."  We saw God answer in so many ways, from giving us good people to counsel us and give practical help to giving us excellent, restorative sleep every night.  God is so good and so faithful!

That's the Scripture study for this Sunday.  I think these verses are great ones to meditate on through the week in these uncertain times.  The Maker of heaven and earth is with us and will never leave us.  He is able to deliver us!

Friday, October 15, 2021

Friday five -- autumn leaf edition

 

 Today I want to share a bunch of foliage pictures from around our state.  I decided to set this up as a Friday five with photos taken in various locations.  Lots of pictures ahead, so fasten your seat belts!

1.  Pittsburg, New Hampshire.  Of course mushrooms cannot be considered foliage, but the colors are right, and we didn't get any foliage pictures up there two weeks ago.  It was pretty, but not at peak.



This isn't foliage either, except for that sprig at top right.  But it's Pittsburg and I really like this photo.

2.  Deering, New Hampshire.  First three photos from Deering Reservoir.

 

 

Seen while walking near our Airbnb

 3. Apple orchard in Alexandria, New Hampshire.

 

 

 

 

4.  On the way to our little camp (in a neighboring town).

On the road to camp.  I love how the road is winding into the distance.

The foliage on the sumacs is amazing this year.


 

The lake view from camp is getting better and better as the leaves come off the trees.

5.  Our own neighborhood and my walking route.




 The red tree above is on the street right in front of our house.  So thankful my hubby got these photos early this week; most of the red leaves are now history.  I loved the way they looked against the dark green evergreen trees.

My friend and I spotted these berries on our walking route a month or so ago.  We loved how the green leaves are edged with red.

 

This glorious red tree is also on our walking route.  Photo from Wednesday, I think.

Hope you've enjoyed the pictures!