Monthly Archives: February 2009

oh prunella.

Prunella and I had a little spat just after Christmas; she didn’t want to work, I was mad, I yelled, she moved in with my mom for a bit…you know how it goes. However, we’ve talked it out and our relationship is better than ever. I’m excited to get some projects started with the cute fabrics that I found in the states. Gotta love the cute and the cheap! I made this purse for myself yesterday…not quite done, but a good start. I still have to put a button or snap on it and possibly applique a little flower on the corner, but I wore it out yesterday and strutted it around as though it was a Prada. Ha. Not quite, but you get the picture.
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the gardener.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
John 15: 1&2
To say that I enjoy my houseplants would be a huge understatement on my part; I LOVE them. No, I think that I might even ADORE them. You see, I used to be one of those creatures that could kill a houseplant with just one glare from the eyes. I hated this about myself and vowed to one day keep some alive for a significant period of time. After all, I have two children so why should a houseplant be so hard to care for?
Anyways, I think that I adore my houseplants so much because I feel a sense of accomplishment when I tend them. I’ve been able to learn a new set of skills in order to keep them healthy and even thriving. Although I love all of my plants, I do have a favorite; my Jasmine plant. She’s a real beauty with little white flowers that are so soft and fragrant, she’s brought me much joy over the past few years that I’ve had her. So I’m sure you would understand how confused and heartbroken I was when she started to shrivel-up and turn yellowy-brown. “NO!” I thought, “Not my beautiful Jasmine plant! What have I done wrong!??!” I quickly grabbed the pot, gave her a drink and then set her by some direct sunlight. “That’ll do it!” I confidently said. I must admit that I had taken note of no new blooms on her for quite some time. This was out-of-character but I managed to not worry too much about it.
The next day I walked over to check on the progress of my beloved plant only to find her even more shrivelled and even more yellowy-brown. My heart sunk. Again I picked up the pot and took her over to the sink. “She must be really thirsty” I reasoned as I set her down and began running the water through the dirt. All-of-a-sudden, seemingly out-of-nowhere, up came these squirmy-wormy little white things…lots of them. I quickly phone my mom (a woman who keeps a variety of houseplants very successfully) and asked her what I should do. I was told that I could either throw it out or wash the plant. Well, throwing it out was just not an option in my books, this was my beloved Jasmine plant after all, so I put the plant in the basement where it was to await it’s bath.
I didn’t get to it that day, or the next (dirt + toddlers + inside = disaster), but I did finally get to it. To be honest, the worms kinda grossed me out…it’s different when the worms are inside the house rather than outside in the garden. Anyways, I brought the plant upstairs, got all of my supplies ready and started my work. If any of you are familiar with Jasmine plants then you will know that their root systems are highly intricate and tightly bound, washing them thoroughly is no easy/quick task. I took her out of the pot and began slowly crumbly the dirt off from around the roots. Then I turned the tap on and began washing the dirt away, trying to get in between everything without causing too much damage. I got a bucket, filled it with water and plunged the mainly bare roots in so as to bring up any remaining worms. While she sat in her bath I prepared a new, bigger pot and filled it with fresh new soil. I placed her in, pressed some dirt around her roots and then went to work on the exposed parts. I cut back most of her newer off-shoots, tore off almost all leaves, and staked her larger stems.
While I did this last part of tending the Lord began to speak to my heart; I started realizing how similar I was to this little plant. For years I have asked and questioned why things have happened the way they have. I haven’t understood why God allowed/brought us through these situations and circumstances, with the most recent one being James job loss. I’ve usually focused on where our family was physically supposed to be going and what we were physically supposed to be doing and what God wanted from us in the physical sense. With His soft voice God began to show me how He is uprooting me because I’ve planted myself in bad dirt, how He is cutting back the branches that I’ve sent out in vain, of how He is tearing some old leaves off in order to make room for new, productive growth. He began to whisper that He is the gardener…not me.
I took my time with the last bit of tending as I felt a bit more of a connection with the plant in my hands. I didn’t know if my efforts would prove successful or not, but at least I had tried to keep her alive. During a visit to Safeway I picked up a little bit of plant food for her and gave her a dose latter that day. Well, it’s been a few weeks now and I’m happy to say that she is still alive and, in fact, doing quite well. I realized this while I was washing the dishes yesterday. I looked up to see how everything was going and, much to my surprise, I saw new life in her; there are tons of new buds on her bare branches. I did a happy dance. She had gone into shock from being transplanted and pruned, but with some more tenderness my, now healthy, Jasmine plant
survived the whole ordeal and is even flowering.
Maybe I am in need of some new soil, a good transplanting, a bit of pruning and some different food. Maybe this is what the Lord has been trying to whisper to me these past few years. I have a feeling that God is wanting to use these situations in my life to make me stronger and healthy, to help me to thrive. Maybe if I pay attention and let Him be the gardener I’ll start to see some new growth and maybe I’ll even see some new fragrant flowers.

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random bria – foreign children.

I was reading to Rhys the other night when I came across this odd poem. It would be wrong of me to not share it with you…

(this is the actual illustration that goes along with the poem)
Foreign Children
Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanee,
Oh! don’t you wish that you were me?
You have seen the scarlet trees
And the lions over seas;
You have eaten ostrich eggs,
And turned the turtles off their legs.
Such a life is very fine,
But it’s not so nice as mine:
You must often, as you trod,
Have wearied not to be abroad.
You have curious things to eat,
I am fed on proper meat;
You must dwell beyond the foam,
But I am safe and live at home.
Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanee,
Oh! don’t you wish that you were me?
-Robert Louis Stevenson-

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shorn.

I don’t think that I need to say anything with this one.

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weird.

I don’t understand why my kids are so weird. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they are half of me and half of James but I still don’t…okay, I take back that question. I just answered it.

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some honest thoughts.

My bed is so inviting with its heavy duvet and sleepy-grey colour. There are days where I just want to curl-up underneath its protective weight and sleep all of the confusion away. Thankfully I don’t feel like this every day and am unable to accomplish this on the days that I do, it’s quite the impossible task with two toddlers in the house. However, today is one of those days where I would love to hide. I would love to close my eyes and not have to open them for quite some time. I would love to not have to use words today. I would love to rest.

I keep on trying to pray and I keep on coming up blank. blank. blank.

In true Erskine fashion yet another thing has gone awry. Those who know James and I know that this layoff is not an isolated experience for us, oh no, it’s all the time. One after the other, for four and half years. The truck broke down last night while James was at a job site. I’m bloody tired of it.

There is a woman whom I respect and admire more than words can describe. When I am with her (which is few and far between these days) I feel at rest, I feel peaceful. I feel like God is shining right through her to me. It is my prayer that I will one day be this kind of woman. I’m so far away from this that at times it seems like a pointless prayer.

I’ve been listening to the new Matt Epp CD, ‘Orphan Horse’, a lot lately. One song that seems to dig into me is called ‘Love Is A Camel’ and I’d love to share a few verses with you.

“The earth here is parched, there’s cracks in the dirt
For a flower to break through I wonder does it hurt?
I’ve been seeing mules and I’ve been seeing jewels
I’ve seen a heavy gavel bend the rules.
Now I’ve got dark secrets but not from God
He has seen me and redeemed me and I welcome the rod
When my life is on the scale the truth will be plain
To be a righteous man I’m not able but for the grace of God I’m worse than Cain.
These have been some cold nights
Colder than ice (or cold as dry ice)
And we’re out here in the desert without a light
The stars are misleading and the moon is half strength
We’re gonna need some outside help here if we’re gonna run the full length.
So do you lead as a servant? Do you lead at all?
Do you lead when your example is how to fall?”
That’s about all. Just some thoughts that have been swirling around that I felt like sharing.

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sunshine and news.

I’ve been needing a little bit of sunshine in my life this past week, the dreary February weather has gotten to my already cloudy mind. I keep on hoping that the sun is going to burst out from behind the gloom and warm my soul…but alas, it has not. If you’re feeling similar to me then I highly suggest making some wonderful citrus muffins. They are sure to lift your spirits and be the ray of sunshine that you’ve been looking for. The smell alone makes me feel better!
Sunshine Muffins
1 Orange
1/2 cup of Orange Juice
1 Egg
1/4 cup Oil
1 1/2 cup Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Chopped Nuts (i use walnuts)
Heat oven to 350. Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl, set aside. Cut Orange into 8 pieces, yes the entire thing! Place orange, juice, egg and oil into a blender and blend until smooth. Add blended mixture to your dry ingredients and mix only to moisten. Divide into 12 muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy.
James hates raisins and oranges in baking so the kids and I get the whole batch of muffins to ourselves, mmmmmmmm. Anyways, I had a whole other post swirling around in my head over how to tell my readers our rather shitty news but there is no sense in being overly dramatic about it. James lost his job. Yes our family has been hit by the recession, YAY, we won! I think I might just go make another batch of sunshine for myself.

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