Trout Lily Extravaganza

First there was one or two plants, known by their leaves. Then seemingly overnight, KABOOM, the hill was covered. This being the last spring we live at this address I have been on the lookout for my favorite flowers. When I saw white flowers on the hill I got out my binoculars to define what I was seeing, spring beauty or trout lilies? Oh my! what a surprise.

The upright white flowers are hyacinths. The white flowers that seem to droop are trout lilies. It was amazing to be able to see them from the kitchen window. When we first looked at this property 15 years ago I was enchanted by the trout lilies. The thought of having them in my own backyard, naturally was delightful!

Wikipedia says Erythronium albidum, the white fawnlily or white trout lily, is a small herbaceous flowering plant in the lily family. It is native to eastern North America, from southern Quebec and southern Manitoba south to Georgia and Texas.

Recently the local newspaper sent a magazine insert. Love this quote from Algernon Charles Swinburne, “Blossom by blossom the spring begins.” Enjoy these photos! Look for the trout leaves and drooping flowers.

Grape hyacinth towards top center of photo.

They are named trout lily because their leaves look like the speckled skin on the back of a trout.

Oops, I see some honeysuckle vine in there (lower center of photo)! One of Bob’s pastimes has been to try to remove it from this hillside.

And last but not least, my favorite after a March shower. The droplets are on the back of the petals.

Our month of March is departing with more winds and some colder temps. Six weeks until we close on the house. Next year we will begin again with flower beds.

Luke 12: 27 NIV Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Covid-19 Vaccine TOGETHER

I am so thankful for each of the scientists who worked on producing the vaccines. Bob and I have both had 2 doses of the Pfizer brand. After the second dose we both had a couple days of feeling just crummy. Had already planned to lay low and let our bodies adjust. We are much better now.

I must admit, I have been cringing the past few months with all the ads on TV about the vaccine and showing those needles filled and up close, in arms, too.

When I was three or four I played jump rope with my sister and her friends. They were trying to get me to do double dutch.

I fell. I broke my leg. I rode in the backseat of the car many miles to the hospital. I was put in traction for 6 weeks. (Think 1954.) My father was in the same hospital with one of his many heart attacks. In 1954 there was not much they could do about heart disease. At one point they rolled our beds into the same room so I could see him. When I came home from Good Samaritan Hospital I was in love with the Sisters of Charity who took such good care of me. I am certain I learned the Presence of Jesus while there. I remember them holding my hand when the doctor was ready to cast my leg. The wraps were hot and I was so afraid.

Once home I was also terrified of white coats and needles. I was so fearful my parents could not tell me about any doctor appointment the night before because I would get very worked up. I worked for years to overcome all of that trauma. And I succeeded.

As to those ads showing the injection and those needles. I was more than unsettled knowing I would get that twice. I did okay. The first nurse to administer it did not do well. The second nurse was great.

We are still washing our hands. Avoiding crowds. Wearing our masks. Keeping our distance. But there is a sense of coming freedom!

We still need to keep well so we can get moved and unpacked! Bob says this virus will likely become like the flu. We will eventually get annual injections. We are both in high risk categories, but so grateful for the vaccine developers, nurses who administer the injection and the other people who actually get the injection to help keep it from spreading and killing people.

TOGETHER, yes, we are in this together and we can get through this TOGETHER. I praise God giving the scientific community the wisdom and methodology to develop these vaccines. I rejoice that He is able to keep us. I cannot answer the questions about those who died, and those who grieve their passing. I have been holding my breath afraid that Bob or I might die before we get this house built. So far, it looks as if we are moving there together.

Regardless, I will continue to praise my Lord and my God. He is “worthy to receive glory and honor and power for You created all things and by Your will they were created.” Revelation 4:11 NIV

This song keeps following me and I decided it fits right here. All along there was another in the fire. And He remains with us.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

–Daniel 3:16-18, 25

Ellie

Seven years ago Ellie was ill one day when her parents both had to go into work. My daughter asked if she could some sleep on our sofa. We said certainly. She inspired this prayer poem.

Watching Ellie Sleep© 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

As I sit here watching you sleep, 
my heart melts 
you are so sick 
not even wanting anything to drink
so ill you cannot stay awake

Eyelids that dark shade
that declares you are unwell
your lovely long eyelashes 
are enchanting
just like your mother’s were

I just want to make you well
though I know I cannot 
you sleep on
under your olive-green throw
and I pray over you
 
That Christ will heal you,
that there be no long lasting effects 
of whatever ails you.
Rest, my dear Ellie, 
and be made whole.

House Progress

Whirlwind here in Ohio!
Plumber was followed by furnace installation was followed by electrician. Inspection upon inspection (fine by us!!). Below is a photo update.

My kitchen window. Oops! It is set so that my eye hits the middle of the frame.

Oh well, I will adjust. Look just above the middle of the frame. The infamous hammock! It is on a rope in the neighbor’s yard that the wind wrapped around the tree.

Looking from the front foyer into the great room. Sliding glass door goes in the large opening on left of back wall. Window to the right will be over the sink. Dining room is in front of slider. Kitchen/dining room measure 23′ x 14′.

Great room measures 17′ x 16′. So hard to tell dimensions with studs showing!

Puddle on floor is from before they got roof on.

So the puddle is approximate placement of refrigerator. Left of that will be cabinet, stove, cabinet then pantry in the corner. Wall where the boxes are is wall where TV and photos will go. See the rolls of green insulation? Door to the right of those is laundry room. Use your imagination for the next one, too! Behind kitchen wall is master bedroom. Doorway is left of the insulation. About now you are saying, “Yeah! right!”

We did not want those black cabinets. We chose sort of a cherry finish instead, “Fairfield Nutmeg.” To the right of the black cabinet is our countertop sample. Carpet sample will be in bedrooms and office. Tile will be flooring in bathrooms and laundry floor. Above the tile is sample of the resilient flooring that will be from front door, throughout great room, dining room and kitchen. I think it goes down the hall to laundry and master bedroom, too.

Not the layout of our kitchen, but a sample of Fairfield Nutmeg cabinets.

Maybe we will get that lovely tile work done after we move in?

So we are still finding things to pack, even though we have hired movers to pack as well as move us. Lots of imagination for now. Oh we also have a garage door now! Front door is simply plastic sheet at this point.

Today Bob spoke with the people who lay the sod and install the plants. We want to choose our own plants and shrubs. She is sending a form online where we can define our flower bed, etc. As of now we are uncertain if the sod will be down before we move in. Would be really nice to have that for Lucky! They come and do many new houses at once, so we will wait and see! Then we are responsible to keep the sod watered regularly until it takes root.

The builder keeps surprising us with updates. Seems like at this point the closing will be May 5? Bring me a sugar-free Margarita! Naw, just give me the keys 🙂 The only thing that would hold that up is if we have many days of rainfall. If that happens then the “mud” on the drywall can’t dry thoroughly for the sanding and painting, etc.

Exciting none the less!

Eleanor Grace

My middle Grandgirl is a darling girl. As a very young child she was a handful, at times VERY difficult to cope with. (Would love to post her young pouting photo here, but the older ones are packed away.) As she grew older she has become more and more pleasant and extremely kind.

I have always wanted to pass along my faith to my grandchildren. Difficult to know how to impart that without disrupting family dynamics. St Francis said, “Preach always. Use words if necessary.” Nicole C. Mullen was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She published this song in 2000. She speaks truth about God’s children. Hebrews 1:14 says “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

I often sang this as a prayer for my children and grandchildren to know God. One person said they would each learn by watching how Bob and I live our lives. Before middle school each Grandchild knew we loved Jesus and live for Him.

The oldest Grandgirl, Lizzie, blessed me when she went to Christian Camp in 1994 when she was in Middle School and got baptized. Her Mom invited Bob and I show up at the pool for the event! I was so tickled.

At Christmas this year our second Grandgirl, who has never liked jewelry, was wearing two necklaces. I knew she and her Mom had bought one together a few months earlier. The necklaces were inside her sweater. I asked her if it was the necklace that she and her Mom both wear. She said yes, and showed me the other one she was wearing. It was a tasteful gold cross. I was stunned. When I found my words I invited her to come into the living room with me alone. Through our masks I asked her about her cross necklace.

She said, “Mommy bought it for me.” I asked if that was a piece of fashion jewelry or if it meant more to her than that. Put on the spot, she stammered, “Well, you know, Jesus.” I refrained from jumping up and down! I told her I was so glad she believes in Him. I asked her if she would like me to get her a Bible and underline my favorite verses. She said yes, her eyes twinkling.

Many years ago I got frustrated with the concordance in the back of my Bible. I decided to make my own concordance, gathering up all the verses with special meaning to me. That is my major remaining project before we move. Marking two New Testaments for the Grandgirls to have as their own with my favorite verses highlighted.

They have their own angels assigned to them now. I am beyond delighted. It was a Christmas surprise I continue to rejoice over!

Spring Peepers

Bird song is not the most amazing sound, though now, March 18 they begin before dawn. Spring peepers also delight me with their evening songs. Psudacris crucifer. Not surprising the educators dropped the CROSS on the back of this tiny frog and now simply refer to it as an X.

Hearing a spring peeper is rather easy. Seeing one is a different challenge altogether! Once Bryan brought me one cupped in his hands. This video helps my imagination.

I just love it! Makes me laugh and know regardless of the ground hog nonsense and the thermometer, spring IS coming.

Keep your ears and eyes open!

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

–Revelation 5:13

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.”

–Psalm 19:1

What Pneuma Pleases

The wind chimes are playing in the breeze outside the office window this morning.

Daffodils in the front garden with tuned chimes. Narcissus in the side garden on land we do not own, but no one cares that we have planted there! This also the milkweed bed later in the year.

The giant tuned wind chime off the deck only rings when winds are strong. Harder to get a photo of this one!

Chimes tuned to deep notes, daffodils on back hill

I often listen to the Calm app and select Mystic fountain for the background sound. Can even make it my sleep sound. It is a dribbling source of water with wind chime ringing occasionally in the background. Why do I enjoy the wind chimes so much? First it reminds me the wind is moving.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8 NIV

The wind blows – is similar to the action of the Spirit. The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Volume 2, p. 281 says:

“This verse contains a wordplay which cannot be adequately expressed in English. The Greek word pneuma means both wind and Spirit. The work of the Spirit (pneuma) is invisible and mysterious like the blowing of the wind (pneuma). Man controls neither.”

Exactly! I cannot control the wind. I cannot control the Spirit of God or how It wants to use me. Like the wind chime, I can yield to that power.

Obstacles ought to set us singing. The wind finds voice, not when rushing across the open sea, but when hindered by the outstretched arms of the pine trees, or broken by the fine strings of an Aeolian harp. Then it has songs of power and beauty. Set your freed soul sweeping across the obstacles of life, through grim forests of pain, against even the tiny hindrances and frets that love uses, and it, too, will find its singing voice. —Selected

Streams in the Desert Devotional February 4

Obstacles set me singing? Not quite there yet, but working on being more like the Aeolian harp below. Set your freed soul sweeping across, through and against the challenges of life, and perhaps you, too, can sing !

Hit play for 3:45 minutes of wonder wind music!

PNR

Wikipedia says “Burn the ships”  means the ‘point of no return (PNR or PONR) is the point beyond which one must continue on one’s current course of action because turning back is dangerous, physically impossible or difficult.’  October of 2018 For King and Country released a song called Burn the Ships. You can listen to it here:

Jesus spoke about leaving things behind, forsaking people and things in Luke 14:25-27.

Many people were traveling with Jesus. He said to them, “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—even more than your own life! Whoever will not carry the cross that is given to them when they follow me cannot be my follower.”

Easy Reader Version

We must love Him MORE THAN anything and anyone else we know and love. In 1982 I wrote We Must Go On © Molly Lin Dutina 3-15-82

It doesn't matter.
We must go on.
If they won't come with us,
we must go on.
Pressing together
into the Kingdom.
We must go on.
Our Master Calls.

We can try to tell them,
but we must go on.
Can't let earth hold us back
we must go on.
The Father soon will speak,
Jesus will come.
It doesn't matter
we must go on.

If we feel hurt and loss
we must remember:
the Father works 
for their salvation
every hour of every day.
We must obey - we must go on.

Burn the ships, forsaking all others, follow Christ. It still applies today!

  

Cincinnati Art Museum

While the realtors were showing our house, we attended a limited showing at the Art Museum. Limited, in that they issued tickets for only so many people at a time. The museum stated as follows:

“The Cincinnati Art Museum presents a major re-evaluation of the work of Frank Duveneck, the most influential painter in Cincinnati history, with the first comprehensive exhibition in more than thirty years.

“Through his brilliant and inspiring work as a painter and print-maker and as a charismatic teacher, Duveneck’s impact on the international art world of his time was substantial and enduring. “

We had fun seeing paintings we knew he had done and some we were not familiar with.

Venetian Water Carriers Duveneck

I was stunned by the following museum item.

That is Duveneck’s palette. There is dried paint on it. I love that! The brushes belonged to one of his students. The black and white in the background is a mural portrait of his students watching him paint. So, yes, that is a photo of his hand holding the paint brush.

The longer I stared at the palette and the more we tried to photograph it, the more it spoke to me about writing. It reminds me that an artist facing a blank canvas is similar to me facing a blank word document. Bob was able to crop the photo for my desk as a reminder to me all artists struggle to express themselves. The face reflected on the palette is Frank’s self-portrait.

r m dutina

I will never be as accomplished as Frank Duveneck, but I try my best to put my life experiences and my relationship with Christ into words. Hope you are putting your experiences with Christ into words or images, too ?!

Nice museum visit!

Worth It

Tuesday this week I had my eyes dilated. If someone would create the eye drop to reverse that dilation they could make a fortune!! I SO dislike the experience and would pay extra for that reversal drop. I know the doctor wants to examine the back areas of my eyes. It is necessary, especially with Type 2 diabetes like mine. I get it. I just hate it later.

This afternoon I get my second Covid vaccine. Grateful for the development of the vaccine. Even after one dose I had to really watch myself to remember to mask up, clean my hands, keep my distance, especially from ones I love or haven’t seen for almost a year. Inklings of psychological freedom!

After the pneumonia injection I had a badly swollen arm for over a week. Hoping since I only had a mildly sore arm after #1 Covid shot I will have no reaction to the #2 shot. But even if I have side effects, it has to be better than contracting a potentially deadly virus. My husband and I are both high risk and we have been vigilant and most careful for the past year.

Please get your vaccination and stay safe! Even if you get the vaccine and catch the virus you are reportedly protected from the worst of the symptoms, probably protected from hospitalization and death. So worth it!