Kabibonokka

I’ve got you wondering at that title, don’t I?  Well, I’ve been reading century old books lately…. something so special about them.  I finished up ‘A Girl of the Limberlost’, set in the Indiana swamp.  Most enjoyable for simple country girls!

limber-book

So then I looked over the bookshelves for another vintage read, and out popped Hiawatha!  When I was about 12, I had memorized 40 lines or so of the ‘childhood chapter’.  You know it too.  “By the shores of Gitche-Gumee, by the shining Big-Sea -Water….” (which is our beloved Lake Superior).   I’ve always liked it because of my Indian ancestry, love of poetry, and the Northwoods setting.  I thought it was Hia-time to read the entire book!  🙂

hia-book

Longfellow’s epic poem first appeared in 1855, after much research and interaction with Native Americans.

The first chapter covers descriptions of the Four Winds… and I smiled at the North Wind, Kabibonokka, who brings the snow and ice.

The fierce wind cries at the lodge dweller, asking “Who is this that dares to brave me? Dares to stay in my dominions?”  Ha!  That is exactly what we all thought of this winter!!

Kabibonokka tried to heap snow drifts on the dwellers fire, and flapped the curtain of his doorway.   And even though he felt the coldness, felt the icy breath, “Still he did not cease his singing, Still he did not leave his laughing, Only turned the log a little, Only made the fire burn brighter. O Kabibonokka, You are but my fellow-mortal!”

I love that.   And today, with sun shining, and windows open… we watch the 6″ snowfall from 2 days ago, pass away into the mud. Winter is finally dying.

Just as any long weary season in our hearts…. mortal fellows all of them.  Gotta turn that log in the fire, and make it spark a bit.

 

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Happy Spring… ???

snowflake

 

Just a quick pop in today…. to say Happy Spring to everyone.

Winter is holding us hostage up here in the north…snow falling quietly, as if trying to sneak in on this  first Spring day?

The sun did pop out for about 5 minutes, so I quickly grabbed my macro, and caught a few details on the porch rail. They are awfully fascinating, even though we are ready to be done with them.   Time to hike in the woods… without sinking in.  I DID veer off the road one day recently and was buried up to my hips!  Could hardly move, and thought I might be stuck there until the thaw!  That will teach me to be patient, and wait to check what I thought was some chaga on a birch tree!   (It was quite funny, after I got back home safe!)

Paint! I need more paint!

This cold COLD winter on top of our move, and my dominant melancholy personality has taken me on a ‘blue’ journey.  I try my best to keep it inside, this storm. I try to focus on:

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely… worthy of praise…dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

My sister once told me, “It seems the best way to get you out of the doldrums is to slap a paintbrush in your hand!”  I think she was right. 

I wish I was a painter of canvases, but it is simply rooms and furniture.  So, I started painting more this week.  Just some basement window trim, and then some shelves up in the loft.  It really does help my mood!

 Not sure what it is?          Transformation.         Yes…. that’s it.

paint

This song from a while ago..(yes… a WHILE!  I have the vinyl LP!)…has been playing in my head as I dip my brush into the paint can.  You can listen to it here if you aren’t familiar with it.

Paint my life with Your Charity,

Paint my life with Your Mercy,

Paint my life with Your Humility,

And I’ll share in Your Glory, Jesus,

Paint my life. 

Color Your brush with Your Kindness,

Color Your brush with Your Meekness,

Color Your brush with Your Gentleness,

Color Your brush with Your Forgiveness, Jesus…

Paint my life.

(portion from ‘Paint My Life’, By John Michael Talbot and Terry Talbot)

So the question is:  will this stubborn canvas of my life resist the touch of the Master Painter?  Or will I surrender daily to what His never ending palette might hold for me?  After all, He does KNOW which colors best blend with blue!  

Castles in the Air

Gorgeous day in the Northwoods, before the next storm comes crashing down tomorrow.  Windows wide open… and loving it!

We took advantage of the dry roads and headed over to Eagle River, WI to check out a few things.  As a bonus, we ran across their Ice Castle built with this winter’s  generous supply of the cold stuff. (Pretty cool, hey?– literally!)

ice castle

I remembered this Thoreau quote that I liked, and decided I ‘needed’ to combine the words and a couple of photos, just for fun.

castles-thoreau

Then that started me thinking about dreams, and a blog author that I follow, Holly Gerth.  One of her recent books is titled ‘You’re Made for a God Sized Dream’.

You can read excerpts from it here, (by clicking on the book in the link), and check out her blog here.

A ‘God Sized Dream’?  Sounds like something really huge and fantastic, filling me with fear and insecurity…. too big for me to ever aspire to.  But that isn’t necessarily true.  It’s not the size of the dream.  It’s more about what we were created to do!  It all matters. Big or small.

Today on our ride, I recalled with my husband some of the things in our past that were awesomely realized!  And how some of it is revealed ALONG THE JOURNEY…  not always dropped in your lap.

Here’s a ‘note from Holly’ about God-sized Dreams:

holly note

“If not for Grace…”   What powerful words.  OF COURSE I can’t do this thing called ‘life’ on my own!  As I face health scares, and getting older, it seems that any dreams I might have had are past the expiration date.  BUT perhaps there is something yet to be revealed…

…along the journey.

We’ve Landed!

It’s been about six weeks now…. since we’ve crossed over the border of Wisconsin, into upper Michigan to call a new house ‘home’.  What a transition.  My old stubborn brain had a tough time at first… but it is improving.  Just spent too much time at the old farm, so how do you leave after that many years?  Honestly, it felt like we were dropping a kid off at college, and driving away.  Rip.

But we are putting ‘our stamp’ on this place, and gradually we will fit in.  This week we finally got an internet service up and running!  Yea!  (Yes, we are at the edge of no where, but that’s what we chose.)  I call it Hermit Hill.  And a steep hill it is!  You can only visit if you have 4-wheel drive. (Or, we will shuttle you up!)

We are at the stage now of unpacking and organizing the basement boxes… which I am wondering about. WHY did I pack all of this??  Here is a bit of my late night ponderings. No it’s not a misspelling… I do try to “keep the peace” too, but this is about pieces.

Keeping the Piece

Crammed into so many boxes,

  these million fragments

  that make up my reflection.

Juxtaposed now against new surroundings.

     We don’t quite fit.

These nesting treasures, gathered for years

                      and tucked away.

WHY did I pack it all… carry it with me?

Thinking I could transplant? 

           When actually we are cuttings. 

no. roots. yet.

It will take time. 

Some slices will thrive, some will wither

to memory only. 

Yet I remain… the Keeper of it all.

house for blog

 

Gift from the Woods

This week I learned about a VERY interesting ‘mushroom’ that grows on Birch trees. Chaga! It has SO many wonderful health benefits.

You can read a bit about it here.  I looked it up on various sites to learn about harvesting and preparing it.  In a nutshell, this is what I’ve gleaned:

  • Harvest during the dormant season and only from LIVE trees.
  • Don’t gouge into the tree, simply use a hatchet and chop off level with the trunk.
  • Toss the chunks (leaving the black outer layer on them) into a crock pot… low simmer for a few hours. You don’t want to boil it hard.  (I used about a quart of water… simmered for an hour, let it sit overnight to steep, then simmered again in the morning.)
  • Strain well…. and drink up! Save the tea in the refrigerator, and dry out the chunks to use again. (not sure how many times they can be used?)

I was expecting a bitter bark flavor… but was pleasantly surprised!  It was smooth… and earthy. Not bad at all.

chaga

 

I am so happy to read about the wonderful natural gifts that are given to us. Since I have opted out of pharmaceutical treatment for a while (we are doing a watch and wait),  I am going full speed ahead with herbal medicines instead.  Yea!!  🙂    And a walk in the woods foraging certainly is healing too!!

Dance!

My inspirations come from the most unlikely moments.  

Today, feeling so tired, and a bit frustrated…. I decided to pull out the juicer and crank out some good stuff.  While scrubbing off the final carrots from the garden,  (those who never want to be boring and grow straight down)… these just made me smile!  Definitely a dancer, don’t you think?

So I was reminded of these lyrics…. and had to share this moment with all of you.  🙂

carrot

LEE ANN WOMACK

I Hope You Dance Lyrics

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance… I hope you dance…

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some Hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
and wonder where those years have gone.)

A Shout for Sprouts

I’ve been enjoying growing sprouts lately.  My winter gardening!  I’m experimenting with a variety of seeds.  Soak. Rinse. Repeat. Toss on a salad. YUM!  Little nutrient POWERHOUSES. So very good for us.  Broccoli sprouts are especially good at fighting cancer, (read about it here.)

Interesting to think about how they quietly rest– dormant. Waiting for the environment to be just right. A bit of nurturing and they explode with change as they grow.

©sprouts

 

Am I allowing the ‘seeds’ in my heart to do the same? Do I nurture and care about those as much as this handful of seeds in my kitchen?

I want to be more aware of the Holy Spirit at work. We all have dormant seeds waiting.  Let me grow in Grace.

Matthew 13:31

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds; but when full grown, it is largest than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

Chapters

Perhaps an interesting exercise might be to create a table of contents for the front page of ‘Your Book’. How would each stage of life be summarized? I’m not one for quick answers… this would make me think for a long while!

What would the current chapter be titled? For that I might have to choose  ‘Twilight Zone’!  This year has been a bit surreal.  Starting out with a cancer diagnosis, then our farm finding new owners, and a confusing hunt for a new place to land.  (We might have found one… fill you in on that topic when it happens!)  What about you?  How would you title your current chapter?

These thoughts about life stages have been popping into my mind as I pack up the house.  I’ve realized that I am trying to ‘pack up my past’ and take it with me!  TOO big of a load. Too wordy! I need to keep trimming it down.  Just like a book, life has chapters that build on each other… but you need to keep on turning pages, keep on reading.

We can try to write an outline of the future pages as well… things we might like to include in our story.  BUT, as we all know… life happens while we make other plans.  Ultimately, we don’t control it.  Just try to live it as best we can.  I’m still learning.

©books

(YES!  I really did find ‘Nina’s Book’…at a rummage sale!)

I was playing a CD this morning…. and this song had me singing along.  I especially like those last few lines.

You Are Glorious
            By:     Gary Sadler and Steven T. Taylor

Over the powers of darkness, over the prince of the air,

above the kingdoms of evil, Jesus reigns.

Over the rulers of nations, over the heavenly hosts,

above the armies of angels, Jesus reigns.

   O Lord, You are glorious,

      victorious, King on high.

   O Lord, You are glorious,

      victorious in my life.

Over my trials and temptations, over my guilt and my shame,

above my earthy confusion, Jesus reigns.

Over my past and my future, over my doubts and my fears,

far above, yet within it all, Jesus reigns.

<link to music>

I REALLY wanna be a Turtle!

While out on a house-hunting trek, we came across this big snapper guy, crossing the road to the water on the other side.

web turtle

 

And he got me thinking about how lucky he was!   He carries ALL he needs right on his back!  No fluff. No extras.  Just head on over to the new spot.

I am in the midst of packing for our move in a month. Sorting. Culling. Deciding. Almost 30 years of collected stuff has me wondering WHY I kept all of this?  (Simply because when you are ‘settled’ and have the space… you do that!)  It’s almost comical… I pack a box, and go through it again the next day to toss out MORE.  Is it really worth moving?  I think the people at St. Vin’s are getting tired of me and my bags full.  But the stuff still has ‘life’.  I can’t just toss it out.  I’m hoping someone adopts it all and puts it to use.

I am also realizing that my ‘intentions’ are showing.  Things planned… but never materialized.  It’s a sad sort of thing.  A few make me laugh though. Like my ‘Learning to Play the Drums’ book???? Yes.. I did (do) have that desire.  But I guess I’ll pass that one on to the grands now. Perhaps some of my dreams can be realized by my descendants.  That’s fun to watch too.

But when it comes right down to knowing the Truth, it’s what we store in heaven that counts.  And for THAT move… there will be NO packing!  🙂

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.    (Matthew 6).

Please, Let my words and actions reflect only that……with God’s help.