Today is the 25th of September. It was a lovely day with the afternoon in the mid seventies. A stiff breeze was making a rustling noise in the fields of drying Iowa corn. I decided to dig my red-skinned potatoes. The vines had given their last hurrah mid month.
Some had asked me about storage through the winter. I have knocked together a rack (on casters) in the basement that uses large restaurant bus tubs for shelves.
I have found potatoes keep better if one doesn’t wash them before storage. I just rub off the excess soil when I dig them. I Sort them for size and (some for condition). I throw a mover’s blanket over the rack to minimize light. I have the rack in a basement room where the lights can be kept off most of the time. There is a small east-facing window, but we keep a heavy drape over it.
Lest you think they all look like they came from the supermarket in a bag…
The box contains small potatoes that will probably go in stews or the crock pot without being peeled. The dozen or so in the foreground were damaged by marauding thirteen-line ground squirrels. They will probably be used first as mashed potatoes after paring away the damage.
I am grateful for my life, Jesus! I am full of joy at being able to talk to You!
Thank You Jesus for the wildlife on the way this morning! Turkey, pheasant, baby bunny, killdeer, an awesome display of Your creativity!
Thank You for the victory You purchased at great cost over the enemy by Your faithful and loving sacrifice on the cross!
Thank You Jesus, for overcoming on our behalf!
Thank You for purchasing my freedom! I love You!
Thank You Jesus for deliverance from the darkness and the invitation to walk in the light with You!
I know our relationship is gratifying to me and I feel blessed by Your love. I don’t suppose I have thought much about You being grateful for it. Thank You for showing that to me!
I am grateful for the beauty of the tall pines in my view this morning! Your creation is marvelous, a testimony to Your magnificence!
I am grateful that the muscle I pulled in my back is getting better, that by Your stripes I am healed!
I am grateful that we are justified as a gift by Your grace; that redemption is in You!
I am grateful for the Winter solstice; that the physical processes of the seasons were established by Your limitless wisdom and that with You there are never unintended consequences to take You by surprise.
Lord, I am grateful for a good potato harvest and the satisfaction of manual labor.
For the past couple of years, I have been raising some redskin potatoes in our garden. My approach has been to till in a fair amount of composted manure to prepare the plot. Potatoes are heavy feeders, so the manure really helps. I rake a shallow trench for a row in the newly tilled soil and place the seed potatoes, eye up. Then I rake the soil back over to just cover.
My approach is much easier than the common approach of placing them in a 6″-8″ deep trench; easier to plant and easier to harvest. The deep-trench method is designed to keep the potatoes covered as they grow. I followed the traditional approach three years ago and found it backbreaking work. When it came time to harvest, I damaged many trying to dig them up in the tight Iowa soil.
Potatoes exposed to the sun will turn green and be toxic. (Potatoes belong to the Nightshade family.) I avoid exposure of the tubers to the sun by deeply mulching them with clean straw or even grass clippings. When it comes time to harvest, they can be carefully exposed with a rake and digging will be minimal. The fork may still be necessary to free tubers that end up a little deeper (on their own). It is best to dig further away from the vine and pry up the soil to loosen.
I wash off any dirt that clings to the potatoes. This year, I filled the wheelbarrow with water and allowed them to soak for a couple of hours. Most didn’t require any extra cleaning.
After allowing them to dry in the driveway, I pack them in open tubs in layers of straw for storage in the basement.The straw prevents the potatoes from packing too closely together and improves storage. I usually have usable potatoes right up to planting time and can provide seed potatoes from last year’s harvest.
Thinking about the year in retrospect, I thought I might share some selected entries from my gratitude journal. Some of these were addressed specifically to God the Father, some to Jesus, some to the Holy Spirit (all of whom are One, despite their distinct personalities and relationships with us).
I am grateful…
… for Jesus’ faithful heart and sacrifice for me!
… that Jesus it the Truth and the Holy Spirit is sent to guide us into all the truth!
… for rest.
… for a loving wife!
… to be healthy!
… for your Word and the Truth; an anchor against the tempest of deception the enemy is driving into this world as the unwitting give him opportunity.
… for time to dedicate to worship and to become better acquainted with Your Word.
… for those who share lessons they have gleaned from Your Word.
… for encouragement!
… for Your peace!
… that You are merciful!
… that You teach us many things!
… for Your kind intention!
… for the negotiations the President has been engaged in to improve our trade position.
… for the good economy and record-low unemployment!
… for the $10 bill I found in the yard and that the nearest neighbor is a half-mile away.
… for Your guidance!
… that all the promises of God, in You Jesus, are “Yes!” and “Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
… for the capacity to be grateful, and the benefits of being grateful!
… for forgiveness in Jesus!
… for all the unappreciated ways I have been helped by You!
… for a warm hug from my grand-daughter after traveling to see her recital.
… for the remainder of the year off from work to rest (after 12/21).
… that You have faithfully brought me this far!
… for Your generous heart!
… And, I am grateful the thermometer doesn’t say -22F very often!
I can highly recommend that you check out the goings-on over there. All those followers can’t be wrong, so you are not relying on just my opinion.
I found the receipt
on our home office desk. It seemed odd to me that my wife would have
purchased a peeler at the same time as two items cryptically
identified as “prepared fruit”. I made a mental note to
communicate my bemusement at breakfast in the morning. She is used
to it, I suppose. “It” being my quirky sense of humor. I have
even been known to guffaw at miserable excuses for puns. All who
know me eventually have to face it; I am easily amused. Simple
pleasures for simple minds, my Granny used to say.
Breakfast turned out
to be a special treat, as well as explaining the fruit and peeler
purchase. I don’t know about you, but I think having a spouse who
tolerates one’s eccentricities because she inexplicably adores you
is icing on the cake of life – layer upon layer of wonderfulness!
I completely forgot about poking fun at the peeler purchase, as it
had clearly been a gift for my own enjoyment.
The toaster was
ceremoniously ejecting a perfectly browned quartet of fragrant
English muffins as I entered the dining nook, even as the butter dish
waited at the ready, with the knife resting across opposite corners
of the inverted cover. My wife would never leave the room with the
lid off of the butter, lest our aging white cat Vanna had heard the
inevitable muted clatter as the dish was set down on the table. The
youngest son had succumbed to her raspy meowing for some often
enough. He would dab a little on the top of a front paw for her to
lick off. Though the son had been married and tending his own butter
dish for some years, Vanna clearly still remembered. Funny the
memories that the most common things evoke – even for cats.
To go with the warm
buttered toast, was a medium-sized bowl. I could smell the delicious
contents even over the steaming coffee in the tall mug next to my
place at the small round dark-walnut table. The early sun seemed to
especially please Pricey, our calico cat. She was already dozing on
the window sill next to my wife’s chair. It was, it seemed, her
favorite spot this time of year as the mornings turned more crisp
with the advent of early fall. I savored the sight of my
lovingly-prepared breakfast. It was a feast for the senses and I
could hardly wait to taste it. I offered a prayer of heartfelt
thanksgiving with my lovely spouse. The first sliced strawberry that
my fork located was lovely. I savored it’s sweetness as well as
the grainy texture of the tiny seeds dotting the circumference. I
know it was “store-bought”, but it was still delightful. I put
the fork down and had a sip of dark coffee. The vapor rising over
the rim of the cream-colored mug slightly fogged my glasses and the
first sip of the morning was particularly satisfying. My wife talked
of something her mother had said on a recent visit, as though to draw
my attention away from the extra effort she had put into this morning
As she spoke, I
picked up my fork and speared one of the uniformly sliced wedges of
pineapple as though I had solved the puzzle of the second “prepared
fruit” item on the aforementioned receipt with all the prowess of a
seasoned MI-6 field agent. Obviously, the yellow confection had never
seen the inside of a can.
The crowning glory
of our meal explained the peeler and I looked out the bay window at
the pear tree in the back yard, heavy with Divinely-provided produce.
My wife must have been daily watching closely to detect the very
first to ripen this season. In my bowl, the firm cream-colored flesh
of the freshly-peeled pear slices beckoned next to the
strawberry-pineapple garnish that topped them. There is nothing more
edible than a perfectly ripened pear, in my estimation.
And so, as I chatted
with my wife and thoroughly enjoyed the moment with her at the start
of the day, it entered my mind that I was going to have a difficult
time making a decision what aspect of this morning’s experience
that I was going to write as a gratitude statement in my journal.
You see, a couple of years back, my wise companion had made a
suggestion at this very table that I open my morning journal with a
single statement of something that I was grateful for. I must say,
that following that advice has made a larger difference in my overall
attitude about life than I would have ever imagined. Today, I think,
it will be to give thanks for the gift of a wife who goes to great
lengths to express love for me. I have a receipt to prove it. There
is nothing to poke fun at in that.
Featured photo from Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs Colorado
I am grateful that You are loving!
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:10
Good morning Jesus!
Good morning Jon!
If I didn’t know better, from verses like Romans 5:8 (But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.), I could read John 15:10 as a statement of condition for God’s love.
“If” precedes a statement of condition, by definition. But it is not the condition that has come first to your mind. The condition is not stating that God will love you only if you behave in a particular way. The condition stated is that God – because He loves you – has prepared a beneficial (saving, growing, healthy, vibrant, giving, amazing, purpose-fulfilling, life-changing, joyful, …, and on and on) way for you to walk and has told you about it. The “if”, therefore, refers to whether you will accept His goodness and walk in the Way He has prepared; His plan for your good (Jeremiah 29:11).
“Don’t play in the street”, a parent tells his child. Is this a command?
Yes, it is.
Is it given to prevent the child from enjoying the wonders of the roadway?
It is given to protect the child whose experience is not developed enough to avoid the mortal dangers of traffic speeding along the street.
Is protection an expression of love?
Yes, it is. An expression of love by a parent meeting a critical need of the child.
Do all children obey?
No. Not all. Perhaps none obey all of the time.
Does disobedience in this matter dissolve the love of the parent for the child?
A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1
It seems Jesus used some harsh words, calling the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs”, “hypocrites”, “brood of vipers”, and other such things.
Which stirred up anger.
Resulting in His crucifixion, according to the eternal plan of the Father.
And resulting in the written record of unmistakable condemnation of the hypocritical behavior of the religious leaders.
Satan is also known for wrath, but of a different sort. There is no turning away or appeasement of Satan’s wrath. He is consumed and identified by it (Revelation 12:12). The Pharisees were channeling it.
Most Bible verses containing the word wrath refer to God’s. God’s wrath is against evil. Satan’s wrath is against God and those who are His.
The Greek is instructive. ὀργῆς (orgēs) wrath – intrinsically/settled and constitutionally opposed. (As used in Revelation 6:16 of the Lamb.)
Ours is usually of a lesser sort. [F]or the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:20
As you see from the Greek, God’s wrath – His opposition to evil – is precisely because He is good. He cannot be good and wink at evil¹. We visualize wrath from our own experience with anger, which unredeemed, is based in fear, and certainly not of God. His wrath and righteousness are not mutually exclusive, but complementary and protective (of us, for example).
Satan’s wrath fits the same definition but is pointed in the opposite direction; he has become constitutionally opposed to good.
I have not (ever?) meditated on Your wrath, Father. Probably, I should have. I thank You for Your wrath. I am grateful that it is Your nature to oppose evil – the corruption of Your creation under the influence of sin. I love you! Thank You for Your wrath! Thank You that Jesus bore Your wrath on my account! It was right that You oppose the evil I have done. Sometimes mindlessly, always selfishly, never justifiable. It was pure mercy that He bore my penalty.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
I am grateful, Lord, for revelations of Your majesty! In the eyes of the one who dares to examine the smallest part of Your mighty works, You leave no doubt of Your power. Nor will the one who seeks refuge in You fail to understand that You are strong to save! You overcome those who hate us on Your account. You draw us close to You in safety. Blessed are we, in You!
Keeping a promise, today will complete a short series on making a doll bed for my granddaughter. Here is a link to the previous installment.
The four mortised bed posts are seen in the photo above, and four identical cross pieces are required with a matching tenon cut on each end. I did not capture a picture, but all of these have to have a slot cut on the inside centerline to inset the plywood that makes the closed head- and foot-boards. It is tempting to want to cut this slot with the dado blade on the table saw, and that could work for the cross pieces where the cut extends from end to end. For the bed posts, the slot is limited to the area between the mortises. I cut these slots 3/16″ deep with 1/4″ straight router bit. Because it is really difficult to get a saw setup to match the router setup exactly, I cut all the slots with the router. These can be done with only the top and bottom guides to keep the cut in the center of the board. One just has to be careful not to cut past the mortise on the posts.
The picture above shows the glue up of the foot-board with the plywood captured in the slot. One should always test fit all assemblies without glue. Once satisfied that it goes together correctly, then add glue to the mortise and tenon joints only. The plywood inset floats freely in the slots, allowing for expansion and contraction with humidity and temperature without splitting or cracking.
The bed rails in my design are painted angle iron. I welded a bracket on the end to take a screw to hold the whole bed together. This allows the bed to be broken down flat for storage. It would be perfectly acceptable to make these out of wood, but then I would not have gotten to practice with my new flux wire welder! Besides, I had the angle laying around from a previous project. The bottom deck is the same 3/16″ plywood that is inset in the head- and foot-boards.
The side rails are made from the same 1×2″ oak as the rest, except they are ripped in half to give a 3/4″ by 3/4″ finished cross section. In between five vertical 3/8″ dowels are glued in to complete the rails. Holes for the dowels were drilled using a drill press, so the depth is easily controlled. The rails are mounted to the head- and foot-boards with dowels that are glued into the rails but not into the bed posts. This arrangement allows for disassembly for flat storage.
Finally, the finish (after some light sanding) consists of two coats of a simple wipe-on poly. I like this type of finish for items that get wear and tear because it can be refreshed to deal with scratches with a light sanding and a new coat.
I am grateful for this week off from work to rest my mind from the urgencies of the office, the opportunity to more clearly fix my attention on things above and to cultivate a keener perspective on the proper place of temporal pursuits.
At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:25-30]