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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Deja Vu All Over Again

Since my last update I managed to get close to the grapes AND the beehive again. But this time "I" was completely successful. I tip-toed around those lil' Kamikaze bees and didn't get spied by any of their sleepy little sentries. I knew they were there...super! (It took several days for all those (10) bites to disappear...well they haven't really all gone yet...but they're well on their way into my history book.) I cut and pulled some small tree-sized saplings out of the vines and then, like a bandit, made off with em. Ha, ha, ha, ha, haaa, ha. But yup, those little bee guys got their message through to me crystal clear.

So far the grapes are doing just fine. They're green and plumping right now, but they'll soon be turning a translucent purple. I'm watering them every other day. Yesterday I cut and placed (draped) some of the necessary woven metal chicken wire over the vines for about 20 feet. It makes for a marvelous "deer helmet." I'll need more of that stuff, so in the meantime I've temporarily stretched some nylon bird mesh where I didn't have enough of the chicken wire to cover the entire length.

If you've been following my Wood Talkin' blog you've got a picture of the fun work I get to do with furniture. Of course I learned how to do it and then started working at it while I was bulldozing my way through seminary (back in the mid-70's...the era of gas rationing with long lines at the pump, a "Peanut Farmer President," and one of the first big declines in the outer space industry, i.e., NASA). Anyhow, this past two weeks have been slow for shop work and my counseling practice has not picked up the slack as it's been doing recently. So I'm doing some marketing-type things on both fronts to stimulate an "uptick" in the general situation for the immediate future. As we all know oh so well, the economy is really s-l-0-w.

I've got an "inner" space problem at the shop, one for which I've got to devote some exploring efforts and hopefully come up with some kind of a creative solution. As the winter approaches the challenge working inside there gets complicated by the brrrr cold outside there: it tries to get in the shop! Many of the chemicals and stains I use in the shop don't cure in the "cold" at 50 degrees the way they do when the shop temp is in the 80's. So, everything slows down...often by 48-72 hours! Then, too, there are challenges for me when it comes to doing any spraying. A dedicated spray booth would be nice, but the issue again is space.

I've thought of adding to the floor space. I really like that idea, but it would introduce some interesting complications of another sort. Wow, don't you wish everybody in the world had similar problems! Starvation, ruling despots, poverty, economic insolvency, cancer, HIV...a list that could go on and on and on would all be "GONE!" because everyone would be dealing with the issues of some inner space situation. Ha. Not.

B-b-but I'm working with some new directions in my counseling related business, too. Only God knows where any of it--or the inner space issue for that matter--will actually go or take me, or us. Again, the words of the Psalmist are in my thoughts, "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord God directs his steps (16:9). There's absolutely no doubt about that.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Kamikaze Moment

I arrived home late this afternoon. Spent the bulk of the day moving stuff out of the old Rivendell facility in Boulder. I was tired, but there was still time--and the will--to do some things around the house and yard.

This time of the year I've learned to keep a watchful eye on the grapes we have ripening along our driveway's fence. I water them daily and monitor their growth pretty closely. Right now they've got some ugly little Ash trees invading their space, and I'm going to sneak up on those little "suckers" to root them out.

I know the local deer population will soon be eying my grapes too. The fragrance of the maturing grapes will soon tempt the herd into our yard to sample them. The handsome freeloaders will quickly make a mess of the grapes, so vigilance is a must for the next six weeks or so.

In the meantime...

I grabbed my little arbor saw and headed for the front yard to cut out those little suckers. Kneeling down I had to crawl under the vines. "Wow, lots of grapes down here." Pushing the vines and several clumps of grapes aside I located the base of one sapling and quickly sawed through it. But I had to yank at a bit to pull it free, up, and out of the vines and grasses at the base of the fence. "Ugh, what was that. Surprise, surprise, this little sapling has little friends!"

Ouch! Yipe! Look out! What's that on my neck, biting my arm, in my shirt, and on my back? It's Beeeeeeezzzzz.....'n lots of them! My first thought, "They're protecting these little trees!" Then, my first emotional response was frustration--and anger--at the little bug biting me in the back. "Hmmm, protecting these little trees--the arrogance in that 'teamwork!'" But then, and very quickly, my thoughts and actions changed. It was about self-preservation now; "TEAMWORK" indeed! My angry strength was no match for the Kamikaze behavior of these little yellow soldiers.

Swatting and smarting (and talking to myself a bit) I cautiously walked back to the house...wary and clearly beaten. But, in the words of another formidable foe, albeit a mythical one, "I'll be baaack" to resume this fight another day...soon. For sure I can't have those little warriors waiting there when it comes time to pick the grapes.

I think maybe there's a message in this little late afternoon cameo...maybe you can tell me what it is?


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Spontaneous Combustion

How often do you have "one of those weeks?" I had another one last week and it's still reverberating to influence this one. Of course what I'm talking about in this instance is a week of days where my routine gets messed up by a variety of newly important demands or events that, just because they are urgent, preempt my "scheduled programming."

The way life gets lived--at least the way it happens for me--weeks like last week tend to arrive pretty much unannounced. Sure, I could see there were some situations looming out there that would eventually require my attention, but I had no real warning how several of these would gang up on my scheduled programming. If you know what I mean, it just seems to happen; a form of spontaneous combustion?

Go with the's what one does under such circumstances....right?! I resigned myself to the realization that my scheduled programming was going to be on temporary hold. I focused my attention on an effort to extinguish the flames. At the same time I monitored the responsibilities I had around my sidelined schedule--just to make sure something there wasn't developing a "critical mass" of it's own. Then I returned to extinguish more flames...and finally that fire was out.

So, there's some clean-up to do this week. I've embedded it inside my so-called scheduled programming for this one. It makes the week a tighter fit than it would have been had it not been interrupted
(Proverbs 20:24) by last week's events, but that's OK.

Actually there's a bit of a silver lining in all this. Those situations that had been looming out there are gone! Wow, that's a good thing and that realization introduces some great vibrations for sure. It's one for which I can get genuinely excited and genuinely rejoice about!

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). I believe that little verse offers some great insight into situations that "spontaneously combust." Among other things it clearly tells me how planning serves a necessary and important purpose. For example, it encourages me to identify goals and consider appropriate ways I can see to reach them, then it serves to help me get up and get going--moving toward them. That's the first part of the verse. Then once I'm up and moving along purposefully, God reserves the right to intervene... often through circumstances that are completely out of my control (e.g., Acts 27)...and He moves me directionally this way or that...correcting my plan--maybe even burning it up!

Of course I have no idea what your week will be like this week. Whatever your intent or it's content we can trust HIM together. We can support one another. Godspeed.