Ahh, the hills of the Central Valley

I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural. ~ Thomas Jefferson It’s winter here, which means that the rains will change these hills from blond to green soon. But they’re pretty just the way they are.

Madam, you seem to have dropped your coat

In the pleasant orchard closes, `God bless all our gains’, say we; But `May God bless all our losses’ Better suits with our degree.’ ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning A closeup of one tree in the fall orchard featured yesterday.

Colorful fall orchard

“A man is old when he can pass an apple orchard and not remember the stomach ache.” ~ James Russell Lowell The orchard trees are now dormant, and the few freezes we’ve had have knocked off all their leaves. However, it is warm and wet enough for the grass to grow.

American Heritage Girl

“I promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, and Serve in my community.” ~ American Heritage Girls Oath My daughter participates in AHG instead of Girl Scouts, a growing trend among Christians and conservatives who think that the Girl Scouts have gotten too liberal. It’s your basic God, country, and excellence program…

Ready for planting

“He who thinks he is raising a mound may only in reality be digging a pit.” ~ Ernest Bramah A closeup of the holes being dug in yesterday’s post.  Even closer pic below.

Tree holes

“It is a good thing to follow the First Law of Holes: if you are in one, stop digging” ~ Denis Healey If you look closely, you can see the guy with the post hole digger.

Red leaves at the curb

Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day. ~ Elizabeth Bowen These red leaves were so striking against the pavement.

Sidewalk moss grid

Give me the man who will surrender the whole world for a moss or a caterpillar, and impracticable visions for a simple human delight. ~ Bruce Frederick Cummings I thought this was a nice contrast of colors, and animate v. inanimate.

Red leaves in the lot

Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay. ~ Robert Browning Nice contrast, pretty red colors. Here’s a bigger version

Dollar Scoop Nite

“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy the ice cream while it’s on your plate” ~ Thornton Wilder So many flavors!

Colorful fall streets

“Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll.” ~ Anonymous Colors down near by boy’s school. Pano below. “Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that…

Fall orchard

A man’s worth has its season, like fruit. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld These are the cherry trees that had such beautiful fruit on them previously. Winter dormancy. Pano below.

Winter vineyard

My lover is like a sachet of myrrh lying between my breasts. He is like a bouquet of sweet henna blossoms from the vineyards of En-gedi. ~ Song of Solomon 1:13-15 (New Living Translation) Kinda depressing! Dormant for winter.

More winter grapes

You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? ~ Jesus in Matthew 7:16 It’s a strange sight, but living out in farmland, I am getting used to the amazing amount of food LEFT BEHIND after harvest.

Winter grapes

I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a…

November Sunset

If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton Taken through a car window, still looks cool.

Sermon Notes

“A good sermon should be like a woman’s skirt: short enough to arouse interest but long enough to cover the essentials.” ~ Ronald Knox The first step in sermon prep, after choosing a subject, is to create it in your mind and heart, and then splurge out the outline. I use a white board for…


“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The puppet show at our friend’s birthday party was funny – cf. this photo.

Sharks and dolphins and whales, O My!

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ~ Albert Einstein In case you can’t recognize these three creatures, they are a shark, a dolphin, and a whale, according to my 4 year old boy. Gotta love the imagination when the electronics are turned off!

Ice cream makes me KWAYZEE!

Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.  ~Don Kardong Tuesday nights is dollar scoop night at Baskin Robbins. We go even during the winter because it gets us all out of the house instead of being cooped up, and it’s festive to get ice cream. Here’s my youngest mugging for the camera.