Tag Archive | Spring

A Clean Sweep

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

We are seeing many signs of Spring. I saw a bluebird this week and to me that means Spring more than seeing robins. Today was as good as any to start Spring housecleaning! That’s what we did for most of the day!

I started in my bedroom. Now, I’m not a typical cleaner. I’m sort of an obsessive cleaner (once I get started). To me, cleaning is not just getting rid of the dust and dirt, but it’s also organizing and thinning out things you don’t want or need any longer. I spent quite a bit of time just on my nightstand, which seems to collect multiple items that I don’t have any other place for. Everyone has one of those “junk drawers” in their house (admit it, you do!). My top nightstand drawer happens to be one of three (yes, three!) junk drawers in my house. But it is a junk drawer no longer!! I’m happy to say that it now houses things that I use on a regular basis! Some of the junk found new homes (some of it in other junk drawers) and some it made a journey to the trash. I straightened out my closet, cleaned out dresser drawers and put fresh linens on the bed. Then I tackled a real mess….the computer and it’s desk.

spring cleaningKatie is the main user of this computer. Lately, when she’s on this computer and I’m on my laptop, both computers run so slowly that it’s about pointless to even try. This afternoon, I spent 4 hours cleaning the computer itself. I pulled off literally thousands of photos and put them on discs, I removed programs we no longer used, and I cleaned out “cookies” and temporary files. I ran an in-depth virus scan and “defragmented” the computer. It runs like lightning now!! Another afternoon, I’ll do the same with my laptop, but 4 hours of computer clean-up today was more than enough for one week!

I was rather excited as well to complete a task I’d been wanting to do for some time as well. I cataloged all of my accompaniment CD’s and organized them in a CD wallet, eliminating dozens of jewel cases that really take up space. I even created a file to keep track of what songs I’ve sung and where I sang them at. I feel a great sense of accomplishment for getting that done!

The bedroom looks good….at least my side of the room does (Dave still has some cleaning to do of his dresser). It still needs swept and the curtains washed, but other than that….immaculate! Katie even worked on her bedroom today and also tackled her nightstand drawer!

Spring cleaning has never been my favorite thing. I really don’t like to clean….I have to be “in the mood” to do it. But, once I get started, I sometimes have trouble stopping. I didn’t have trouble stopping today….my brain was a bit fried after messing with cleaning up the computer all afternoon.

I did get to walk around outside for a while today. The signs of Spring are definitely there! The first thing I noticed was the hyacinths at my back door. The leaves are up and they’re in bud! I love the sweet smell they give when they bloom (that’s why they’re at my back door….so I smell them first when I go outside). We’re starting to see buds on the trees. Birds are gathering things to make nests. I saw a wren checking out our birdhouse this week too (I love the wrens that visit our house…they like to perch and hop around on our porch!).

Wren

Wren

As I see the signs of Spring and begin my Spring housecleaning, I can’t help but think that this would be a good time to do some personal “cleansing” as well. In Psalm 51:10, David writes, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” That is my prayer as we go into this season of the year. I want all those “cobwebs” in my soul to be swept out and God’s love to “cleanse” my spirit. Spring is a time for beginnings and renewal. Our desire should be to be renewed and revived with God as the focus of our lives.

Hyacinth budHappy Spring!

♥Miriam

Aaaah…the first robin of spring! Ooops! Or not!

This evening on my way home from work, I saw my first robin of spring. In fact, I saw two of them bobbing along the road. Aaah, yes! One of the first signs that spring is truly on the way. I smiled as I saw them hopping along. And then it happened. It was so quick, so unexpected. Just as I reached the happy little pair, they lifted off ready to fly.

Robin

I didn’t mean to do it. It just sort of happened. I heard a little “thump”, and when I looked in the rearview mirror, there was nothing but feathers in sight. I had killed the first robin of spring!! (At least the first one I saw this year.) This can’t be good! It must mean something like a year of bad luck or something. I feel terrible. Poor robin! I feel sorry for your widow or widower that I left behind. Hopefully, they will find another robin just like you!

I’m quite proficient in hitting birds with my van. Perhaps I need to get a big fake owl for the grill to warn birds to get out of my way!

Oh well! Spring will come even though I killed the robin. This morning was proof of that as all the snow we got yesterday was already melted and gone and I was comfy going to work in a light jacket.

Come on Spring! Come with your flowers, your warmer weather, your longer days…..and I’ll try not to kill any more of your robins!

♥Miriam

♫ It’s the Most Wonderful Time….♫

Spring brings many things…warmer weather, sweet smelling flowers, new colorful birds at the feeders, and softball.  Now, personally, I’m not excited about softball, but I do like going and watching a good game. Fortunately for me, Katie plays softball and looks forward to each practice and game.  And Katie is pretty good at it, even if I say so myself. It wasn’t always that way though.

Katie played T-ball first. You just have to love a bunch of 5-7 year-olds running amuck on the field, not really interested at all in the rules or really learning anything. They’re more interested in watching their teammates do weird things with their baseball hat. Dirt becomes a huge fascination as does pulling grass and picking dandelions. One of my favorite moments comes when someone actually hits a ball and the entire outfield goes running for it and wrestles each other to get the ball. In the meantime, the player who hit the ball could have lapped all the bases twice. I think the only purpose of T-ball is to get the kids to learn how to hit the ball. None of them really learns anything in the outfield. Overall, I found T-ball painful to watch between the hilarious moments.

Katie up to bat.

Katie up to bat.

Then she graduated to girl’s minor league slow-pitch softball. Still not really good at it, she tried her hardest. She was the littlest girl on the team. But we soon discovered something…this kid could run, and she could run FAST! Now, if we could just get her to hit the ball.

During her second year of slow-pitch, she got better, much better! This little pipsqueak starting getting people out at third-base and at home plate left and right! She hit her first double, and after that, consistently got on base and would hit doubles. The only thing she wasn’t good at was pitching and this really bothered her. So, since the end of last year’s season, she’s been practicing.

Getting an out at home plate!

Getting an out at home plate!

Unfortunately, Katie’s team hasn’t done well the past 2 years. Each year at the playoffs, they have bombed out pretty quickly. She has not been a “good loser”. She really needs to do some practicing with that!

Now, in 2 weeks, we’ll get to see what she’s capable of. This year, it’s a new ballgame…fast pitch softball. It’s also a new team, The Flash. And, we have a new coach. Katie is excited about all of it. I’m excited for her. Yes, it’s 3 months or so of running and running and running. But, this is something that makes her happy and so I’m happy for her.

Katie has been trying to keep her skills sharp in the off-season.  She is concerned about how well she will do this year. We’ve told her that she just needs to pay attention to what her coach is telling her. She needs to practice her skills. She wants to finish this season well, and hopes that she is on a winning team this time.

In  2 Timothy 2:5 is says, “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” (ESV).  I think she needs to make this a “theme verse” for her softball season. (A little prayer couldn’t hurt either!)

♥Miriam

♫Walkin’ in a winter….um…♪ Raindrops keep fallin….okay…..♫ Somewhere over the rainbow….oh please! Make up your mind!

The weather the past two days has been exceptionally weird. Yesterday we experienced pretty much anything you could come up with in a day as far as weather is concerned. I awoke to a beautiful sunrise, soon followed by giant snowball-like snowflakes coming down. This snow (which all the weather men assured us wouldn’t amount to much) started to accumulate and mix with sleet. We soon had around 2 inches! The temp dropped into the 20’s. By lunch time, it had all stopped. The sun came out and everything melted. Then came the rain, but it too was brief. Again there was a period of sun. But then there came a thunderstorm! Who ever heard of a thunderstorm in February….that’s a summer thing! I even heard reports of hail in the area. Once Mother Nature got done with her temper tantrum, it got windy.

Today, it flurried most of the day. It was cold and windy all day. I sure am anticipating spring! In fact, a friend reminded me that there are only 27 more days until we have Spring. (I believe I’ll start a countdown for that!)

The strangeness of the weather got me thinking. I recalled a verse from Hosea 6:3 – Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (NIV) Now, I’m not sure if we had “winter rains” or “spring rains”, but this verse reminded me that in all this, God was here. Did I thank Him for this weather. No, I didn’t, but I did thank Him for the safety He provided as I traveled in the sleet and snow.

I wonder how often God is visibly right in front of us. How many times does he allow something to happen to get our attention so we can feel His presence.  How many times has He been obviously close by, but yet I didn’t acknowledge Him. If I couldn’t tell after the rumble of thunder that rattled the walls of my office that God was present, then I must have been oblivious. I know that He is always with me…there are just times when it seems He’s a little closer than usual.

Yesterday, after all that strange weather, God sent us a sign that He was definitely there. He painted a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

A complete rainbow in our backyard this past summer!

A complete rainbow in our backyard this past summer!

I’ve been feeling His presence in my life more and more lately. It’s undeniable that He’s here. He’s provided for us in so many ways….ways I don’t even know about, but yet there are many ways that I do know. As this blog progresses, I’ll share how He provides in the lives of His people.

I stepped out in faith 7 months ago to take on a job I had never done, for less pay than I was making, and without a clue how I was going to survive it all. But God has provided! Neither my family or I have wanted for anything. We have been cared for by God and He constantly is reminding me that He is in control of everything. Now, if only I would take the time to acknowledge His presence at all times. Keep reminding me, Lord!

♥Miriam

♫♪Baby it’s Cold Outside!♪♫

I can’t believe that every year we put all our hopes on the prediction of a rodent. I mean really, who started this idea that if a groundhog sees or doesn’t see his shadow it predicts how the rest of winter will go? Well, I was curious, so I did a little reasearch.

It seems that Groundhog Day orginated from German settlers who settled in Pennsylvania. It is based on their celebration of Candlemas (or Candle Mass) Day. Candlemas Day was to commemorate the day that Jesus was presented in the temple as a child. Now, I’m not sure how the Pennsylvania Germans decided that this was a good day to see if the neighborhood groundhog was going to come out and see it’s shadow. After all, in the bible, there is no mention of a groundhog at the presentation in the temple. So, who and why this tradition was actually started, remains a mystery to me. Here’s an article from Wikipedia that talks about Groundhog Day and Candlemas Day. (Which wasn’t extremely helpful in giving me an actual person to blame for this silly holiday!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day

Punxsutawney Phil and his handler.

Punxsutawney Phil and his handler.

I have not, nor ever will rely on the predictions of an obese squirrel-like rodent, especially since many of his relatives like to make giant holes in my backyard. Spring will come when it wants to. In the meantime, I’ll start looking at the seed catalogs I get (even though I don’t have a garden) and dream about warmer weather as I snuggle up with a hot cup of tea and try to stay warm.

Smile away, little strange man holding a groundhog. You know very well you don’t really believe Phil’s prediction either! (Honestly, I don’t really know of anyone who does believe it!)

Keep warm!

♥Miriam