Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The IRS and My Front Yard


                Over graduation weekend, we received a lovely little notice from the IRS regarding a prior tax year.  Without going into detail, our summer is going to entail giving them money and tightening our belts quite a bit.  All gardening, patio, and longer trips have been put on standstill.  For about the last year, every time we turn around our finances keep taking a hit.  Frustration has set in not because we have to cut back in spending per say, but in that some dreams are being put on hold, again.

                For me, it means postponing a trip to Europe.  I have dreamed of traveling to Europe for the last 20 plus years.  I am also trying to establish my writing career.  In the next couple of months, I would like to independently publish a few of my short stories.  How am I going to afford the cover art?  I would like to attend a writer’s conference.  Also, I have been in need of a new laptop.  Mine died about a year ago.

                Alas, the laptop will wait.  I have a perfectly workable computer that I can share with my hubby and kids.  If I get up at six, I have a good four hours before any of them are clamoring for a turn.  They are also very supportive and willingly relinquish their time if I have a pressing task.  I will attend the local conference which is more affordable than the one in Seattle.  I am researching cover art and more affordable ways of getting that accomplished.  Italy isn’t going anywhere.  I will get there in God’s time.

                As for the other items, new outdoor furniture, new flooring, traveling out of state and patio building material can all wait for a later date.  I have plenty of projects I can do around the yard that will just take hard work, no money.  I am traveling a bit to the normal destinations of the Kootenai forest and other local areas.  I have plenty of places I haven’t explored in our region that only cost a tank of gas. 

My summer verses that I will meditate on come from Psalms 119:36-37.  “Give me an eagerness for your decrees; Do not inflict me with love for money!  Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.”  Thus, I will continue to read from the Bible.  I will look for the blessings God gives me daily.  So, with all that in mind, I went on a free artist date last week and want to share what I found.  I spent time in my front yard.  Later this week, I will take another artist date in my backyard.  God is so very good.



 
I found this idea on the internet.  This fall I will try to clean the dirt stain to make it more appealing.  Also, I think more flowers should be planted next year, but I still love my first attempt.
 
 
Here is a treasure I picked up when I went fishing with my dad a couple of years ago.  I think of him each time I walk by to get into my pickup.



 
After years of struggling, this section of garden is looking really good.  I love the little house.  When I walk by it, I always look for fairies to greet me.
 

Gardening for me is always an experiment.  I buy plants on a whim.  The next year, I never know what will come up.  This is one such plant.  I love the surprise of what will show up next.

 
Before the IRS notice, I bought this new pot and filled in this new section of garden.  I love anticipating how the new plants will grow.
 

Here is my beautiful statue of St. Francis among the lilies in the background and coral bells in the forefront.

My husband's favorite, the Bridal's Wreath.  This greets all our visits when they come to our home.  Every year, it seems to get more beautiful.
 
 

I started the turtle garden for my daughter a couple of years ago.  I added an internet idea of the tires this spring.  I still have to add flowers which I fortunately have a gift card that I will use.  I may add a photo later this year if it fills in better.
 
 

I hope you enjoyed a little tour of my front yard along with the little story of my experience with the IRS.
              Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happiness in Creation


             The past month, I have so busy preparing the house and yard for our son’s high school graduation party.  Digging, planting, mowing, cleaning, baking and all those chores kept me from writing.  Going through my photos, I realize I have also been busy attending softball games, a concert, and a dinner hosted by the second year culinary students at the tech (my oldest son being one of the students).  During this time my birthday came and went.  For the day, I gifted myself a walk up a mountain on the edge of town and spent some time with God.  I meant to share pictures, but never found the time.  Last night as I read myself to sleep, I highlighted this passage from Angels Watching Over, by Michael Phillips.

Some folks think praying happens only when you’re in church or are actually talking to God.  But I’m not so sure.  I think that when you’re feeling the silent mysteries of the world, and feeling the tunes that God put into it for us to listen to, and when you let His creation make you happy, then that’s a kind of praying too.  Page 10, Location 330, 8%

The author's words reminded me of my time on the mountain; however, I think I will add to his ideas of prayer in that spending time with our loved ones during their activities is also a form talking with God.  The past month, I have been praying continuously in reveling in the beauty of God’s creations.

                                           Enjoying God's creation on my birthday.

Celebrating a promotion!
 
My son, the soon to be Chef.
 
                                                My other son, his last high school concert.

My daughter, playing softball.
 
Graduation Day
                                       
               Yes, May was a very busy month.  I haven't even had the time to take pictures of my gardens.  Maybe that will be my next post.  In the meantime, I am one very happy wife and mom enjoying all the creations around me.  Thank you God!!!
               Blessings to you all.