Monday, May 28, 2007

Buy this album!

My friend Vie has put out his solo album. It's very good. It's so good that, in fact, you should stop reading and click here to learn about him, his music, and to buy an album.

Strike that. Click here and order 3, and give them to two friends.

It's scriptural, heart-felt, rock. Honor God, support a great musician, and enjoy lyrics you can actually listen to.

And yes, he did do all the instrumentation and the vocals - and wrote almost all the songs on their. He's that good.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ephesian 5:15-16

I heard one of the best sermons I believe I have heard my pastor preach today about the above.
"See then that you walk circumstpectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, becuase the days are evil (NKJV)".

The key part, for me, was the confronting statement by my pastor concerning what he would do if he found out he had only one to two years to live. His comments:

- Pray more
- Turn off the TV
- Read a lot more, both Bible and great Christian authors
- Study harder
- Pray harder
- Sacrifice more for my family
- Personally disciple my girls
- Personal and passionate evangelism
- Fight for Holiness and Purity
- Do more with family
- Show love to my wife
- Prepare the church
- Do everything I could

The challenge is for me - and for you: Am I redeeming the time? Am I doing all I can for that that matters in eternity?

Good work and GOOD WORK

Yesterday I had a virtually perfect work day - on a Saturday, of all things.

What did I do? I worked inside and outside the An Taigh Thoirdhealbeach Bheucail, catching up on things I have been needing to do for weeks:

- Attempted (the jury is out) on parboiling the rice I grew last year to dehull it.

- Threshed my Teff (small grain from Africa, used in Ethiopian cusine to make injera, their version of flatbread. "It smells like molasses, while cooking, and if mixed with buttter, it tastes like cake" says The New Joy of Cooking).

- Hand shelled my blue corn for planting and grinding.

- Hand prepared my garden, including mixing in horse manure from The Ranch

- Made borsch with beets I grew in my garden (and homemade sauerkraut from my aunt -YUM!).

- Drove the truck!

- Got my smog certification on the truck (Yea, we passed!)

- Went to my local Nugget (A fine shopping experience), and bought myself a roll and an Imperial Stout for dinner.

- Went to Home Depot and got the last bit for my sprinkler set up for my garden, and a new handle for my pick.

- Went to Wal-Mart, got my oil changed, and got plants for the garden.

- Mowed and edged the lawn (not my favorite, especially edging, but got mulch for my garden)

- Prepared seeds for planting, including seeds I grew and saved from last year.

- Had a hearty and satisfying dinner of homemade borsch, dutch crunch roll, and Imperial Stout.

Now what, one might ask, is so satisfying about a day like this?

It's the sense I got at the end of the day, the sense of accomplishment. There is something - I don't know how to define it - that comes along with a good day of outdoor or manual labor that I have never achieved in my indoor work or white-color job. It is the sense of both mind and body laboring, feeling exhausted because of the labor, and having something accomplished. I went to bed with a good tired, not the collapse of exhaustion from lack of sleep.

The other aspect is the sense that, in some small way, I'm accomplishing one of my goals. To prepare the garden with horse manure from the Ranch (by default organic, I guess) and grass from home, preparing to use seeds that I grew last year, and preparing a meal out of what one has grown, gives me a small sense of providing for myself and working towards becoming more agricultural (and conservationist to boot).

C.S. Lewis in his book The World's Last Night And Other Essays in his article titled "Good Work and Good Works" notes:

"Granted the departure from the primitive condition in which every one makes things for himself, and granted, therefore, a condition in which many work for others (who will pay them), there are still two sorts of jobs. Of one sort, a man can truly say 'I am doing work which is worth doing. It would still be worth doing if nobody paid for it. But as I have no private means, and need to be fed and housed and clothed, I must be paid to do it'. The other kind of job is that in which people do work whose sole purpose is the earning of money; work which need not be done, ought not to be done, or would not be done by anyone in th whole world unless it were paid."


" If we have any 'choice of a career' (but has one man in a thousand any such thing?) we shall be after the sane jobs like greyhounds and stick there like limpets. We shall try, if we get the chance, to earn our living by doing well what would be worth doing even if we had not our living to earn. A considerable moritification of our avarice may be necessary. It is usually the insane jobs that lead to money; they are often also te least laborious."

Yesteday I did the work I would do if it were not paid (as it is not, at least economically).

It was a good day.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bee Update

Well, the bees and we had a successful visit:

1) The Italians (overwintered last year, requeened this year) showed evidence of producing brood. I removed one deep to help them concentrate on the other, as they appear to be expanding slowly.

2) The Minnesota Hygenic queen was located, but they had a tragic die off: the feeder we used accidently let the bees in, and literally hundreds got trapped inside and died - at least an inch deep.

3) The New World Carniolan were did not even use all their syrup (we gave it to the Italians). They seem very strong, although I was unable to locate the queen.

I think part of my problem (in all three cases) in locating brood was the fact that we are located directly beneath a pair of large pines, which shades the hives from summer sun, but also cuts down on the light available to look for eggs and larva.

Also, in all three cases, there was evidence that honey is being gathered. All in all, a respectable start to the bee season!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bee Update 2007

The Bees are back! The following developments have occurred:

1) The hive that I had survive the winter was failing. The queen was only laying drone eggs (books and pictures - you can't have enough of them!), so it was time to replace her. I got a new queen, put the old one in the empty hive (so at least she'd have access to food), and put a new Italian queen in. She was accepted by the new hive, but at last check, no progress was noticeable.

2) We are also the proud owner of two new types of bees: Minnesota hygenic and New World Carnolian. We got a package of bees and queens at the end of April (a supposedly easy jaunt that turned out as a 200 mile 6 hour extravaganza), and put them in the hive.

I hope to have a report after this weekend!

Back from the Wilderness

A long absence, for which I apologize. I would use the term back from the wilderness only because it is true.

Not a physical wilderness, but an emotional one. It has been a challenging 3 months - not from any real physical aspect, but more from spiritual and situational aspects, leading me to question what I have been doing heretofore and where I am going.

Another perspective - probably the one forcing me back - is the fact that I turned 40 this month. This in itself has caused a great deal of thought - mostly that of eternity, spending time wisely, legacy leaving, and activity participation (i.e. what were doing twenty years ago that you are doing now? Is that the way you want it to be in another twenty years?)

So pardon my absence. My thoughts for intially writing might have been good but flawed, but upon thinking about it, one thing I do is write well, and I should being doing that.