Best-Laid-Plans Hodgepodge

Dear and me at a courtyard on the campus of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) in Oxford England. (July of 2014)

The phrase the best-laid plans is a translation of a Scottish proverb that was first published in 1786.

The best-laid plans refers to something that has gone awry, something that has not turned out as well as one had hoped. The expression the best-laid plans carries the connotation that one should not expect for things to always turn out to plan. Like many proverbs, the best-laid plans is usually quoted by itself, though it is not the full proverb. The full proverb is, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. This is a passage from the poem To a Mouse, written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1786. The verse was translated into English, the original Scottish quotation is: The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, / For promised joy. Note that best-laid plans is spelled with a hyphen, as best-laid functions as an adjective before a noun. Laid is sometimes misspelled as layed, though layed is not a word. Laid is is the past tense and past participle tense of lay.

And now here are the Hodgepodge Questions on this first day of July!

1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? 

Currently I am making plans for getting things ready for some summer visitors arriving next week. 

What emotions are associated with the planning process? 

Excitement to be able to share our new environs with some loved ones who haven’t visited with us in our Country Bungalow before.

Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

We had to cancel our trip to England scheduled for the middle of September. We are very pleased with the cancellation policy of Airbnb. They refunded us our money within an hour. We still need to call British Airways and try to get our money back for our flights. That was a big chunk of change and we hope to have good dealings with the airlines. As you can imagine they are swamped with phone calls. We were going to stay in Oxford. We are disappointed for sure. 

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

Our country bungalow is in a part of town where there are no street lights and very few lights shine from neighboring properties so star gazing is something we can do most nights when we don’t have cloud cover. It really is amazing to see so many stars and to be able to pick out constellations.

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberries by the handful…what’s your pleasure?

Yes to blueberries. I like them fresh picked by the handful. I also enjoy them thrown into a bowl of cereal/granola.

4. swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim…choose one of the ‘swim’ idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

In the current climate of our country I’m definitely swimming against the loudest tide. I know there is a quiet tide that I’d fit in with but it is being drowned out by all the angry noise.

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

A glorious time in June for family to be all together again.

Be happy in your mask! 

Start them young!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

One of my favorites to quote in good times and bad times, C. H. Spurgeon:

“Visit good books but live in the Bible”

“Let us not fear the enemy until he actually comes, and then let us trust in the Lord.”

“Lord, help us in such a way that we may see that thou thyself art working. May we magnify thee in our inmost souls. Make all around us to see how good and great a God thou art.”

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the Hodgepodge questions!

On the Road Home

On Monday June 15th we chose to drive home from Bothell on Highway 2 to Wenatchee then switching to a smaller Highway 28 for the central part of Washington state. This route was more desolate than taking 2. We had more rain driving home but not a driving rain so that was nice. Going over Steven’s Pass we enjoyed views of the Wenatchee River. We left our kids’ home early, just after six a.m.

Such power in that water.

We stopped in Leavenworth at the Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and because of COVID-19 their bathrooms were closed. We got our snack and a cup of coffee and continued on to the little town of Cashmere (home of Aplets and Cotlets Liberty Orchards). We stopped at the city’s 9-11 Memorial and I’ll share those photos come September.

One more post will be coming full of photos of time on Highway 28 before we reconnected to highway 2 in Davenport, Washington.

The state of Washington as of today (Friday June 26th) is imposing mandatory face mask wearing in public spaces for the whole state. Sigh…

But…be encouraged!

Remain Unshaken

. . . In order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

Hebrews 12:27

We have many things in our possession at the present moment that can be shaken, and it is not good for a Christian to rely upon them, for there is nothing stable beneath these rolling skies; change is written upon all things. Yet we have certain “things that cannot be shaken,” and I invite you this evening to think of them—that if the things that can be shaken should all be taken away, you may derive real comfort from the things that cannot be shaken and that will remain. Whatever your losses have been, or may be, you enjoy present salvation.

You are standing at the foot of Christ’s cross, trusting alone in the merit of His precious blood, and no rise or fall of the markets can interfere with your salvation in Him; no breaking of banks, no failures and bankruptcies can touch that. Then you are a child of God this evening. God is your Father. No change of circumstances can ever rob you of that. Even if by loss you are brought to poverty and stripped bare, you can still say, “He is still my Father. In my Father’s house are many rooms; therefore I will not be troubled.” You have another permanent blessing, namely, the love of Jesus Christ. He who is God and man loves you with all the strength of His affectionate nature—nothing can affect that. The fig tree may not blossom, and the flocks may dwindle and wander from the field, but it does not matter to the man who can sing, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” Our best portion and richest heritage we cannot lose.

Whatever troubles come, let us play the man; let us show that we are not like little children cast down by what happens to us in this poor fleeting state of time. Our country is Immanuel’s land, our hope is fixed in heaven, and therefore, calm as the summer’s ocean, we will see the wreck of everything earthborn and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation.

C.H. Spurgeon

Peaceful Hodgepodge

1. What’s something you could do today to feel more peaceful?

Turn off the TV and open my Bible!

2. June 2nd is National Rotisserie Chicken day. Who knew? Are you a fan of rotisserie chicken? You’ve purchased one at your local market for tonite’s dinner. Will you serve as is or make something else using the chicken?

First meal we would eat it as it is with a salad. Then I’d take all the meat left on the carcass and save it for a Chicken Pot Pie, or Chicken Chili, or Chicken Enchiladas, or Chicken Noodle Soup. A Costco Rotisserie Chicken is our favorite and you can’t beat the price.

3. I read a list recently (go here to read more) of 20 of the most beautiful places in America. How many of these have you seen up close and in person? Of the sites on this list that you haven’t seen, which would you most like to see?

Antelope Canyon Arizona, Kenai Fjords Alaska, White Mountains New Hampshire, Crater Lake Oregon, The Palouse Washington and Idaho, Grand Prismatic Spring Wyoming, Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Horsehoe Bend Arizona, Na Pali Coast Kauai Hawaii, Antelope Valley California, Lake Tahoe California, The Berkshires Massachussets, Maroon Bells Colorado, Angel Oak South Carolina, Acadia National Park Maine, Grand Teton National Park Wyoming, Turnip Rock Michigan, Central Park New York City, Niagara Falls New York, and Skagit Valley Tulip Fields Washington

I’ve been to Crater Lake, The Palouse in Washington, Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge, Grand Prismatic Spring Wyoming, Central Park, Niagara Falls, and Skagit Valley Tulip Fields (Photo Above).

I think I’d like to see Acadia National Park in Maine.

4. What’s one pretty spot you’d add to the list in question #3?

I’d choose one of the beaches along the coast of California or Oregon like Laguna Beach in Southern California or Cannon Beach in Northern Oregon.

Are there travel plans of any kind on your calendar right now? Does that make you happy, anxious, excited, sad, or relieved?

I’m sad that we are in the process of cancelling our trip to Great Britain. Things are not loosening up in travel abroad quick enough for our comfort in keeping our plans intact. Airline tickets are purchased already and half of the cost of our lodging has been charged to us, too. So I’ll have to contact the airlines and Airbnb to work on getting our money refunded. I will be relieved when that is taken care of.

5. Tell us one un-COVID related thing you’re looking forward to in the month of June.

We are going to Church on Sunday June 7th in our building not online! That is very exciting!

And yesterday, June 2nd,  I had the wonderful experience of finally having my hair cut and styled! And I have another appointment in 6 weeks.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I looked up peace in my Bible and wanted to share these verses:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1, ESV) 

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:13-16 ESV)

 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7, ESV)

“Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
 let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.

(1 Peter 3:10-11, ESV)

Thank you to Joyce for posting the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

May Yard

Quail in the yard and danger in the skies.

We are wrapping up May this weekend. Lots of good hope for June!

Our little 3 year old grand Addy is mastering her braking skills and can now ride her bike down the driveway. Our little 1 year old Jaymison has mastered the indoor Little Tykes slide. He climbs up and slides down without assistance, laughing with joy with this new skill. I’ll get a photo soon.

Have a great Friday y’all. We are planning on heading to our favorite Mexican Restaurant today! Do you have any plans for the last weekend in May?

Quotes of the week:

“No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.” C. H. Spurgeon

“God does not need us. We need Him. And any man who is preaching a gospel that says that God needs us is preaching a different gospel.” Justin Peters

“People may love a God of their own imaginations, when they are far from loving such a God as reigns in heaven.” Jonathon Edwards

“We are being transformed into the image of Christ, not a better me.” Dennis Wilkening

Bath Time!

It’s been fun to watch the robins enjoying the bird bath.

Lately when I go out into the world I come home and need a good bath (shower) and change of clothes to make sure I’ve left all those ugly germs we are warned against. There are other dangers to be aware of…

“If we don’t know the Bible, if we don’t know Doctrine, if we don’t know theology, it is virtually impossible for us to identify false prophets.” Voddie Baucham

“Discernment is not a mystical process where you ask God for discernment and He magically drops ideas into your mind. We receive discernment from studying the Bible and understanding what it says, by the guidance that the Holy Spirit provides.”

“Never trust a faith healer who has to wear glasses.” Justin Peters

“Settle out of court with God because when you stand before Him it will be too late. You have a mediator who will settle your debt, the Lord Jesus Christ”~ Riccardi

Hope you all have a meaningful Memorial Day Weekend. I’ll save my Memorial Day post for Monday.

Looking Back in May…

A look back to days of easy traveling in May and some Gardens visited from my photo archives.

The Japanese Gardens in Seattle Washington in May of 2010.

In May of 2014 Katie and I toured the gardens at The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

May 2016, Mother’s Day in our yard in Kenmore, Washington. Our huge Rhododendron Bushes. With our “Coast Kids”.

May of 2018 Tulip fields in Chilliwack, B.C., Canada.

May of 2019 archives but we actually visited this garden the end of April.  Manito Gardens in Spokane, Washington.

The primary reason I’m looking to my archives is that my photo uploads aren’t working yet again. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.

 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8

I’ll leave you with good words that I’ve pondered recently:

I’ve been concentrating on Psalm 119 and Psalm 19 in my Old Testament Readings. In the New Testament I’m in Colossians. Here is a selection of verses from Psalm 119:

119:4 ~ You have commanded your precepts
    to be kept diligently.

119:11  ~ I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

119:15  ~ I will meditate on your precepts
    and fix my eyes on your ways.

119:18 ~ Open my eyes, that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law.

119:27 ~ Make me understand the way of your precepts,
    and I will meditate on your wondrous works.

119:34 ~ Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
    and observe it with my whole heart.

I’m adding a link to an article I read on Tim Challies blog that I want to be able to reference called; Is Your Church Christian or Christianish?

Mother’s day like other special days that have fallen within our social distancing time have and will be different. Plans are afoot for our family here for an outdoor gathering together on Mother’s Day since we have a nice day in the forecast.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge please scroll down below Wednesday Hodgepodge. Cheers!
From this Side of the Pond

1. Has spring sprung in your part of the world? How can you tell? Did March come in like a lion where you live? Going out like a lamb or something more ferocious?

March is definitely going out like a lion. I was in Southern California for the beginning of March and it was calm enough except for the escalating worries over COVID-19. Panic shopping and hoarding had begun. In our part of Northeastern Washington Spring comes slowly. We see some green poking up and there are buds forming on some bushes. Our best sign of Spring is our granddaughter who was born on the first day of Spring in 2017.

She’s busy with Spring clean-up!

2. The last thing that caused you to spring to your feet?

Springing to my feet might be a thing of the past but something that made me get up as fast as I could to my feet was our grandson. We have a room at our country bungalow that has been designated as the playroom. It is one of our guest rooms so it has a queen size bed and two nightstands and a dresser and bookshelf besides some toys. I was reading to our granddaughter (sitting properly on the floor as per her instruction) when I saw grandson had walked around the bed to the flimsy lightweight nightstand and the lamp was tottering. I shifted Addy off my lap and got up as fast as I could which is hard from a sitting on the floor position. I got to him in time and moved him away. I then put a sturdy chair in front of the nightstand to block his access to it. Tragedy averted. Next time we are playing in there I will be prepared by moving the chair to block that nightstand forthwith.

For those of you Hodgepodgers who don’t regularly follow my blog, this is our grandson who was born in April of 2019 which is one of the best things that happened during the Hodgepodge hiatus since September of 2018. His older sister just turned 3 and he will turn 1 on April 16th with no huge 1st birthday party because of the virus. He won’t care but it’s tough on the adults in his life.

3. Do you have a spring clean to-do list? What’s one chore on the list you’ve already managed to accomplish? What spring clean chore do you most dread?

I do not have a Spring clean to-do list. We go with the flow.

We managed a good head start on cleaning up our fall brush pile and getting the yard ready for Spring growth. Using my hedge trimmer to clean up leftover dead growth around the former pond and throwing everything on the burn pile was very satisfying.

This winter we had a huge amount of branches and pine cones fall from all of our trees in the front yard. We finished picking up those branches along with some of the cones and they went on the burn pile, too.

I’m not dreading any Spring cleaning chore because I don’t have a big list of things I only do in the Spring. Should I make a list? Maybe I should clean out my closets and drawers??

4. Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or the wider world as a result of social distancing/the virus crisis.

I’ve learned that concentrating is harder these days. Even though I don’t feel like I’m anxious the uncertainty of where this is all going is unsettling. I’m a person who can get a lot accomplished if I have an incentive like a dinner party, or a trip coming up, or company coming to stay. There’s none of that kind of planning right now so one day just flows into another and my concentration has gone out the window. Hodgpodge helps and blogging helps and having my music on helps, and listening to sermons online helps, too. By the way y’all today is Wednesday just in case you were wondering. Anyone else having to ask, “what day is today?”

5. Something you love that’s the color pink?

My Lenten Rose (Hellebore) that I had to leave behind at our former home in Kenmore. It brought me such joy year after year when it would bloom during the season of Lent. Speaking of leaving things behind, here are my pink rhoddys that I hope are still thriving in Kenmore.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Some good quotes from trusted authors/pastors/Bible that I’ve read this week:

“Faith is not a power which you possess to create your own future. Faith is a God-given ability to trust the future that God has promised you.”~ John MacArthur

“Because of Christ, death is not final. It is a passage from one world to the next.” ~ R.C. Sproul

“Judas heard all Christ’s sermons.” ~ Thomas Goodwin

“Bene orasse est bene studuisse” To have prayed well is to have studied well. ~ Luther

Proverbs 3:25, 26(ESV) ~ Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. I’ll add the direct link on Wednesday.

Word Filled Wednesday

I’m home again and far away from the ocean. It was a good time to be in Southern California and to see four out of eight of my siblings and a few nieces and nephews. I’ll share more from Huntington Beach soon. Today is a recovery day at our country bungalow.

Here are a couple of quotes from J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) who I read about in Five Minutes in Church History and Grace Gems.

First on his conversion (1837):

Nothing I can remember to this day appeared to me so clear and distinct as my own sinfulness, Christ’s preciousness, the value of the Bible, the absolute necessity of coming out of the world, the need of being born again, and the enormous folly of the whole doctrine of baptismal regeneration. All these things seemed to flash upon me like a sunbeam, in the winter of 1837, and have stuck in my mind from that time down to this. People may account for such a change as they like, my own belief is that it is what the Bible calls conversion. Or, what the Bible calls regeneration. Before that time, I was dead in sins, and on the high road to hell. From that time, I had become alive, and have had a hope of heaven, and nothing to my mind can account for it but the free sovereign grace of God.

And this quote which is from the 1800’s but rings true to our time:

There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have and think they have enough–a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice; which costs nothing and is worth nothing. The standard of the world, and the standard of the Lord Jesus–are indeed different. They are more than different–they are flatly contradictory one to another. Never be satisfied with the world’s standard of Christianity!

Today is my 13 Year Anniversary with WordPress and with blogging. 

Have a good day everyone!

29th of February

Since this day comes but once every four years I’m adding C.H. Spurgeon’s thoughts on this day from my Chequebook of the Bank of Faith, daily readings by Spurgeon.

February 29

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6

A devout poet sings~

Lord, when thou
Puttest in my time a day, as thou dost now,
Unknown in other years, grant, I entreat,
Such grace illume it, that whate’er its phase
It add to holiness, and lengthen praise!

This day comes but once in four years. Oh, that we could win a fourfold blessing upon it! Up till now goodness and mercy, like two guards, have followed us from day to day, bringing up the rear, even as grace leads the van; and as this out-of-the-way day is one of the days of our life, the two guardian angels will be with us today also. Goodness to supply our needs, and mercy to blot out our sins – these twain shall attend our every step this day, and every day till days shall be no more. Wherefore, let us serve the Lord on this peculiar day with special consecration of heart, and sing his praises with more zest and sweetness than ever. Could we not today make an unusual offering to the cause of God, or to the poor? By inventiveness of love let us make this twenty-ninth of February a day to be remembered for ever.

My California family will make this day special as we celebrate our sister Vera with a breakfast out and then a dinner party this evening.

I finally made it to Orange County at 10:15 last night after flight delays that caused flight changes because of heavy fog at Seatac airport in Seattle. Happy to finally land at my destination. Onward and upward! It’s a new day that only comes once every four years.

Happy Birthday dear Vera! Goodness and mercy have followed you in your life and God will continue to take care of you!

Braving Air Travel

The last big birthday party our sister Vera had was for her 16th birthday eight years ago. Vera is a leap year baby so her true birthdays only come along every four years. Her kids threw her a wonderful Sweet Sixteen party back then. Now they are having an 18th birthday party bash on Saturday. I’ll let you do the math to get to her actual age.

I’m hoping to remember to get all the sisters together for a more current photo. We all will be there, Lord willing.

In searching my archives for Vera’s Sweet Sixteen party I found this wonderful photo of Moisi (our pop) with great grandson Jack.

I’m leaving for Southern California on Friday and I bought a packet of disinfectant wipes for the plane. Don’t know if I’ll have time to check in with my bloggy friends during my travels.

Some quotes from readings of late;

“Wonders of grace to God belong” It is not a small gospel message for small sinners that he has sent us to preach, but ours is a great gospel message for great sinners.” ~Spurgeon

“God’s Word is the authority over religious tradition. Consequently, tradition must yield to Scripture, not the other way around.” ~Nathan Busenitz (We Must Obey God Rather Than Men: Scripture, Authority, and the Reformation)

Also, from the same source above:

“Post Tenebras Lux.” “After Darkness Light” The dark grip of religious tradition gave way to penetrating brilliance of biblical authority. (Mark 7:1-3) “We must obey God rather than man.”

More from Spurgeon:

“The Bible exposes our corruptions and lays bare our falseness, pride and unbelief. Do not quibble with God’s faithful Word.”

And the quote of the current week from Spurgeon;

“Leave distracting concerns to those who have no higher calling.”

Enjoy the last days of February!