Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Soooooo hot! And we have an offer ...

We're breaking temp records here in Lake Havasu -- four times last week with temps ranging from 117-119.  My sister and husband live in Florida and had been travelling this summer through the national parks here in the west.  They arrived the first of the hottest days and just left this morning for what they hope is cooler weather in Sedona.  As Brenda said, "it's just too hot here for us flatlanders".

We thought we were going to get some relief one evening when we saw this on the horizon but it went around us and the heat continues.

This is the sunset as the storm went by -- a feast for the eyes.

Sunday afternoon we braved the heat to visit the Channel -- this is the only way to spend an afternoon outside in Havasu.  Boats line up on both sides of the Channel and the occupants jump into the water and stay there!  Some enterprising boaters set up canopies on the edge of the water and set their chairs in the water -- that would be my cup of tea.

We have a good solid offer on the flip house and are awaiting the home inspection next week.  That's good news.  We had to change real estate agents because we were not getting any feedback or showings from the original agent.  He had the house listed for 70 days with no results.  We listed it with another motivated agent and she had an offer in 7 days.  I think she's a keeper!  I'll be missing the pool when it's gone but looks like I can enjoy it for the month of September.  Hopefully by then it will be a little cooler.

I'm trying once more with a few flowers -- so far I've managed to keep these alive for a week!!  We'll see how long they last; I'm trying to be very good to them and baby them along so maybe I can make a month.  Wish me luck.

Stay cool --


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Food for the Spirit -- The Barren Land

Last month I wrote on "the Secret Garden".  This morning as I sit on my patio buffeted by the hot desert wind and look out at the rocky, barren landscape I am visibly reminded that if I do not cultivate my "Secret Garden" I will become like the land around me.  Empty, barren, hard, not very useful.

The Master Sower cannot plant seeds of love or joy or kindness or mercy in my life if my soul is hardened and dry.  The Israelites of the Old Testament tried God's patience many times over and He called them a stiff necked people.   The Lord had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and not long after that miraculous occurrence they had made themselves a golden calf to worship; "And the Lord said to Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people;" (Exodus 32:9)

God wants to give us a new heart:  "And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God]," (Ezekiel 11:19)

But He cannot water my Spirit if I will not drink freely of the water of His Word which washes my hardened heart and cleanses it for His use.   "So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, " (Ephesians 5:26)

The seed He wishes to grow in my life will not germinate if the ground of my life is not cultivated and made ready to receive nourishment from Him.  Webster defines cultivate as having to do with the raising of crops, to prepare a place for the raising of them, to loosen or breakup soil, to foster growth, to improve by labor, care or study.

Oops -- sounds uncomfortable if God has to do it in my life -- all that plowing and harrowing and raking.  And it requires labor and study if I decide to do it myself.  Better that I should spend time in His Word and in His Presence -- not seeking what He can do for me but seeking to know Him and what He wants to do in me. 

I am reminded of --  "But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides."  (Matthew 6:33)

This is certainly not an easy task, especially in this fast-paced world of computer, cell phones, and day runners but necessary if we do not want to look like this:
I don't want to be a thorny Christian who has access to rich soil and refreshing spring water but refuses to take the steps necessary to become a beautiful rose.
God freely gives us of His Spirit when we commit our way to Him but He doesn't force us to live it.  His Spirit speaks to us in a still, small voice -- not a booming yell.

1Kings 19:12  "And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice."

He desires only good for us but He requires that we heed His voice and walk in His way to receive all the blessings He has prepared for us.

After baptism it's our choice -- do we remain like barren, hard, unproductive soil that blows away into dust or do we allow God's Spirit in us to mold us and make us more like Him.  "Yet, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter, and we all are the work of Your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)

May we give way to the Master Potter,


All Scripture from the Amplified Bible

Friday, August 19, 2011

Unusual Accident

My husband and I went to Prescott, AZ, for an appointment on Wednesday ... it's almost a four-hour drive from Lake Havasu so we had plenty of time to both watch all the trucks going by and to pass a good many of them.  We remarked at how many trucks are on the roads and it goes on every day ... America on the move.

On our way home we were stopped on the highway for a while as an accident was being cleared away.

This is part of the debris on the side of the road ... note how small the pieces are ... it's as if they were put through a shredder!

This is what is left of the cab of the 18-wheeler that got hit by a piece of heavy equipment that flew off the bed of the 18-wheeler in front of it.  If this had been a car, there would have been nothing left.  Sorry I didn't get the whole cab but I didn't expect to see this and we were moving on before I grabbed a picture.

Directly to the right in the picture is the driver's part of the cab.  I have no idea what kind of injuries he sustained but I can't imagine that he got out without any.  It appeared that the straps holding the piece of equipment on the bed must have snapped and the piece just flew off the truck.  Scarey, especially when you consider how many trucks are on the road all the time.

Drive safely and keep safe!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Look what we found!

After a nice dinner out last evening my husband and I decided to check out the local park at sunset and look what we found --

Green Grass in Havasu!!!!  And real trees!

Too hot to enjoy it now but somewhere in my garage we have a croquet set and fall is coming with cooler weather, or so I hear, so that's something to look forward to.

And this is a view of the Lake from the park -- no pretty sunset last night -- but sometimes we have gorgeous ones.  Just a peaceful time ...

Today was a quiet, relaxing day ...


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Do we do this?

I read an interesting book this week ... I have spells when I read a lot and some when I don't.  This is one of my heavy reading spells ... might have something to do with the heat and the fact that it's nicer inside right now than outside.

The book I'm talking about is "Summer Roses" by Luanne Rice.  I enjoy her books; she has a way of portraying the nitty gritties of life in a realistic manner and wrapping it up in a pleasant container.

I came across this paragraph:

"Women learn how to hide the worst.  We love the best, and show it to all who want to see.  Our accomplishments, our careers, our awards, our homes, our gardens, our happy marriages, our beautiful children.  We learn, by tacit agreement, to look away from -- and hide -- the hurt, the blight, the dark, the monster in the closet, the darkness ... "

The first part of that quote is really the crux of the matter.  It would mean that we are not "real" with each other -- that the facade is more important than reality -- that "keeping up with the Jones's" drives our lives.  I read a number of blogs; it's fun and a nice way to share other's lives and interests.  I enjoy writing my blog when I have something to say (sometimes I don't and it's quiet here at Shoestring Reflections).  Many blogs are so gorgeous and beautifully done that I only visit them occasionally because it's daunting to see them and wonder if I should be doing more in my home, my garden, my, blog, my life.

You may have seen my previous blog this week showing my so "successful" gardening attempts here in Havasu so you can understand that a beautiful garden is not in my future at the moment.  And since we're renting a cute house for the time being, there is only so much decorating I want or can do.  The garage is full of boxes that came from Tucson with us that have no home here at this point.  But I'm discovering something ... this house is easier to clean and keep up than my house in Tucson (I had white carpet); gardening takes a lot less time than before (that may change when cooler weather comes but I'm not sure); and I have a lot more time for me.  Since we've been here only a few months and since many of our neighbors leave for the summer we don't really have a social calendar at the moment either so our activities center around family and each other.

It's a quiet and a pleasant period of time.  I wonder how many of us never take some down time to reflect on where we are in life, what we want out of our existence here planet earth, what we want to leave behind.  I think it's something that might benefit each of us.

Happy Reflecting,

Monday, August 8, 2011

What happened?

Oh, this is not good.  Here are some pictures of my plants taken this spring in Lake Havasu:

 See how full this asparagus fern is ...

And the crown of thorns has brightly colored flowers and deep green leaves ... the sedum is full and happy --

And now in August!

This is what is left of our two orange trees ... yep, the stick in the pot in the back WAS a tree!
What the rabbits didn't eat here, the heat has destroyed.
 We didn't intend to display just pots of dirt!

 This plant died with just one day of hot sun!
And here is the lush asparagus fern now!

And the sedum, what's left of it ... doesn't really look like a survivor to me but maybe ...

These are the only ones doing even half way decent --

The crown of thorns survives but both the flowers and leaves are faded ... actually this picture looks better than the actual plant today.

This guy is a survivor, but you can see why ... it's deadly to get close to it.  Those needles are sharp and have a crooked end that goes into you, but not out.  This is one even the rabbits leave alone.

And these two seem to be holding their own on the front patio in the shade where it still reaches 110 in the afternoon ...

So last week while I was in Walmart I thought I'd pick up a couple of heat hardy plants to add some color to the back patio figuring that anything that the garden department had now would be a survivor.  Well, guess what ... they didn't have anything!!  Guess that tells me something ... quit for the summer while I'm ahead.

I'm just going to have a glass of iced tea, choose a good book and chill until fall!  Stay cool, my friends.