Friday, April 30, 2010

saving seeds

I'm growing plants with the idea of saving the seeds. Here is how to save tomatoes seeds. You have to begin with Heirloom tomatoes. Do not try to save a hybrid tomatoes seed…you never know what you’ll get the next time you grow it.

my garden today

just sent Juergen for more dirt...

free water

I found a 1000 liter water tank on sale on eBay. It is even in our town so I will not need to pay postage. It cost 79€. I want two of them! If I can capture the rainwater coming off my roof and garage, I bet I can collect enough water to water my garden for free. It is a good investment! They aren't pretty like a winefass, but much bigger and much cheaper!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

love the colors

I want to put a bucket garden in my friend Petra's yard. I thought it would be cool to paint the large ugly black rubber containers like French and Italian ceramics. What do you think? I just love the warm and cheerful colors! Nicole and the other kids will help me paint. It’s going to be cheerful!

an idea is new...will it pass or take root?

Nicole came home from a concert of African drums. She had that glow in her eyes that made me think. Then she said it for the first time, maybe I can do my humanitarian year abroad in Africa? Somehow I knew she would not be doing it in America. She has caught a missions bug! Every time she sees anything to do with Africa I see it. I just hope she will do something she loves and is healthy and safe. We will see what happens in the next two years. We will see how the way becomes clear.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I am a lazy gardener!

I started setting up a sprinkler system in my garden. I have soaker hoses to water all my plants. I need to make adjustments and buy a timer. I'm thinking 5 minutes morning and evening will do the trick. I'm going to try to get the thing worked out before our trip. Soaking the roots of plants is a much more efficient way to water plants then most every other way. You waste very little water and you don't wet the plant leaves (preventing mold). If I do it right I will have the lowest maintenance yard! I am a lazy gardener! I will never need to worry about a hot day, and my investment will be protected.

e Bay plants

I ordered 5 different Tomato plants on eBay, and I may even get 6 other variety’s this seller has available. So far I have 25 different tomatoes varieties growing in my yard. I would say 85 % of the seeds I sowed grew into plants. The plants are small but doing well. With these 5- 11 plants I'll have between 30-36 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and over 60 plants. I'm looking forward to lots of fresh salsa, and lots of sauce! I love tomatoes!!! I think I could really get into this...maybe even grow tomatoes as a business!

A dream

I had a dream yesterday. I saw all the diplomats leaving Israel because Israel had bombed Iran's nuclear power plants. It was like a vision…I was awake and I just saw it. I think it will happen very soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

this has cool ideas on water

some of the stuff I have growing in my garden

Painting plastic

I'm thinking of painting my plastic plant containers. Has anyone ever done that? I read you need to use a special paint primer or the paint will chip. I am using allot of plastic containers in my garden this year. I buy these heavy black buckets you use to do construction. Generally they are for mixing up cement or grout. We drill holes in the buckets and put rocks on the bottom to help improve the drainage. I have 40 black rubber buckets for my tomatoes and a few other plants. They work very well, but they are not pretty. I was thinking of having a bucket garden at my friend Petra's house. She said I could use her space. I don't want to put in anything permanent (it's not my yard). A bucket garden would work. But black construction buckets are not good looking. If I spray paint them...or have the kids do the job it could be very colorful and fun! I already have my containers in my yard planted, so I'll have to wait until next year to paint my pots. But I haven't done Petra's garden yet. I might as well give her color!

We also might put a giant trampoline in Petra’s yard. I asked her if that would be ok, and she gave it some thought. She said she would enjoy it. I found a super big trampoline online for a good price. It is 427 meters round with a net around it. I think it’s harder to fall off a bigger trampoline so they are safer. When I bring the kids down to work on Petra’s yard they can jump. They will probably come with me once a week to garden. Petra has one teenage daughter. She said she would love a trampoline, and Petra thinks she will also use it. I want to be very careful to only do what is ok with Petra. After all it’s her yard, not mine. I totally want to respect and bless her, not get in her way! We have zero space in our small yard for a trampoline, but the kids really love them. Their Uncle Wolfgang has one in his garden. It is the hit!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Poem Jessica wrote about me Mothers day 2005

All that I like about you: comfort giver, patience, joy-maker, good words, understanding,
contentment with self and us, gifted for friend-love, crazy about flowers, garden fanatic,
colorfull women's meetings, sleeping too long, understanding of sad hearts, deep friendship
for special people, too good for thankless brothers, valueable knowledge of autism, faith in God
and thoughts of peace.

I see no autism in her eyes

Last night I watched a you tube video about autism awareness. There was a very simple message. A baby was playing (normal baby) and the parents said “we never saw autism in his eyes, we never thought anything could be wrong”. And all of a sudden I was struck by a wave of grief. It knocked me down. I sobbed uncontrollably for 20 mins or more. It was like a post traumatic stress reaction. I thought I was past it. I thought I had cried all my tears. The truth is it was all there…as real as it was when Jessica was 2 and lost her voice. I had done a good job hiding it all away in a room…and locking the door but the door opened up and I was paralyzed by the pain. To be honest, I am going to clean up the mess and lock it all away again. I know its there but I’m powerless to change the past. I can only walk today. My hope is in God who has the power to heal and save. I hope He will heal my beautiful girl (she will turn 19 years old at the end of he summer). Even if He does not heal Jessica I have hope in heaven. There are no tears in heaven and there is no autism. God only gives me the grace to walk today. The past is sad, and paralyzing. I can not bear the weight of it. I do not deny it’s there, but I walk away from it. My hope is found in my God who holds my hand. Nothing can keep me from loving Jessica. She is my joy, and I do not see autism in her eyes…I see perfection!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

mixed feelings

I've sunk so much personal effort and money into our house I think I never want to move. I want more garden space, and I want to see my friends in Bad Schönborn more, but I dread any thought of selling and moving. We spent hours in the garden yesterday (maybe 10 hours). I love how my yard is turning out. It really is coming together. I am thinking I had better look for a piece of land near by. Maybe a garden I can share with friends. Then we could share turns watering plants, and share tools and seeds. When I'm old I don't want a garden to own all my time and energy. I want to travel. My kids all have friends now here. They all like their schools for a change. Church is so close. The street car and bus can take them most everywhere. I don't have to be a taxi mom. Do I stay and just keep investing in what I have, or move and begin again? I was so sure I wanted to move, but now I think I don't. All I really want is more garden space. I need to buy some land…all I really need is land! We had our first barbeque today. We could use a new grill because ours gets too hot. We sat outside and it was so nice! I love my pergola. It really is beautiful! We got a bid from a painter. God willing we will have the house painted in the fall. Someone passed by our house yesterday. Juergen overheard them say how cool the mural was on the garage door (my brother Rick painted it).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

a billionaire for one day!

This morning Juergen was reading the Heidelberg paper. There was a story about one of the founders of SAP (the software company Juergen works for). Hopp was asked how he feels about being very rich. He said he was basically a simple man. He still has one car in his garage, lives in the same house etc. Money is nice when you need it, but the billions are wasted on him. He did tell a story that was cool! He was having lunch at a restaurant with other very well off men. He went to the toilet. In Germany they have people who take care of the toilets and you generally give them a 1 Euro tip. He gave the women 50 euros. It made him feel so good to bless this women He went back to his lunch and asked his rich friends if they had to pee!
I love that story! I turn 50 next year (Oct 2012). I think I'll take a dozen friends out to Horton Galleria for cake and coffee. Their are 2 African ladies taking care of the restroom. I want to be a billionaire for one day!

up date from my yard

I spent about 5 hours in the garden. The weather is super. We planted hanging flower baskets, more plants in the rock garden, and 20 buckets of tomato plants I started from seeds. I also planted one more jumbo sack garden with cabbages, egg plant, celery, and beets. Yesterday we got our sweet corn in the ground. Almost everything is planted. I still need one more jumbo sack garden to put my other seedlings in. They need about a month before they have to be transplanted. I am thinking about waiting to plant Peteras garden after we return from Italy in June. I am going to be challenged enough getting my plants watered when we are gone. I'm searching for a house sitter/ plant baby sitter! I'm also looking at setting up a drip irrigation system. If I can set up a drip irrigation system to a timer, I will never have to water my garden. We are talking low maintenance. I need that! I tend to get busy and forget my plants!

Friday, April 23, 2010

my farm house is back on the market


I love old trees, but this is a bit much! Why don't they cry over the 3,000 babies aborted every day in the USA or the 200+ million orphans world wide or the 1 in every 6 people in the world that is living in extreme poverty? I think it's fine to protect the environment...I'm on their side. But I'm sorry trees??? How about I’m sorry you have to go to bed hungry, or give away your children because you can not feed them? Get a real cause!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to grow potatoes in bags

I am planting my potatoes today in bags. I know I'm a few weeks late but it's gotten cold so I'm sure it should be ok. I ordered my seeds on e-bay. I got blue potatoes and blood red potatoes. I have 5 different sorts. I'm a little worried about my plants getting enough water when we go to Italy in May. I may find a house sitter to baby-sit my plants.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Culture of Honor by Danny Silk

Culture of Honor is a book Bill Johnson recommended. It sounds like just the thing we need at our church. A Culture of Honor is a place where people are known and feel safe, and feel honored. I am going to order it.


The weather was a bit cold today. It didn't rain but it was cloudy. I planted some more plants in my garden. I have allot of plants I started from seeds. I need to start getting these things in the ground. I think I'll wait until the 2nd week of May to plant my tomatoes outside. I have them in the greenhouse and I don't want to take any chances with frost.

I'm very tired from being gone all weekend. We stayed until midnight Saturday- Tuesday listening to Bill Johnson. I was totally blessed but now I'm worn out. I'll be reflecting allot on what I have heard. I'm sure it has changed me. I know I need to trust God more. When I'm not so tired I'll write more.

My back is better. I am still afraid to lift anything heavy. I don't want to stress it. But I can walk without pain. I thank God it wasn't a disk. OK, I'm going to get some sleep. Good night world!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I use to be a University pastor...

Monday, April 19, 2010

I need faith to just recieve

I got to hear Bill Johnson speak at the Vineyard church in Speyer, Germany today. He said some things we need to battle for and others we need to receive as a child. The hard things generally need to be received by grace... We need wisdom to know when to fight and when to just receive.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

just imagine

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I can just imagine not being able to get home. Imagine being stuck with no food or money, and just waiting in an airport for an uncertain flight. The mail can not move, supplies are disrupted, kids on spring break can not get home. What a mess! I thank God I am not stuck in this mess but it could have been me! I did get stuck for 3 days in San Francisco trying to get to Oregon at Christmas. Nothing was landing in the northwest because of fog. I ended up on a greyhound bus. But you can not take a bus from Paris!

bad food but good company

Juergen and I went to a really bad Mexican restaurant last night. The company was good! This afternoon I get to see Bill Johnson speak. He wrote “When Heaven Invades Earth”. I look forward to hearing someone talk about the Holy Spirit as a person who has real power to transform broken people. We gave our one ticket to Nicole last night. She was totally blessed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Trapped in Europe

Help me, I’m trapped! Airplanes are not flying in Europe because of the volcanic ash from Iceland. The last time this volcano blew…it lasted 2 years! What will we do if we can not fly for 2 years? I feel trapped! I’ve got to get out of here!

Gilligan Island Pictures, Images and Photos

my kids love toby

still in pain

Low Back Pain Pictures, Images and Photos

I slept well on a very stiff cardboard box. My mattress is too soft so I put a heavy piece of cardboard on the top of it. It made a good difference. Unfortunately my back is still hurting. I iced it, and now I have one of those hot bandages on it. I can not move without pain. My garden will have to wait. I'm going to go buy food for my kids, and then I plan on laying flat the rest of the day. Maybe I can get Juergen to come home early again? I hope it's not a disk, I think it's not. I've had this pain before and it got better with in a few days. I could use some prayer. It's impossible for me to get anything done. I've got laundry to do, and cleaning, and more. This is not good!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

oh back hurts!

I over did it

I wanted to build another garden sack today but I'm afraid I over did it in the garden. My back hurts a bit. It's not totally bad, I had better just go easy for a day or two. I moved over 400 liters of dirt yesterday. I should get one of those support belts you see in home improvement stores. My back's only sore...but I don't want it to get bad.

Philip called from school. I had to pick him up because he was sick. The weather has been cold and wet. It's so easy to get "it" right now.

I read that air traffic has halted across Europe because of ash clouds from Iceland’s volcano. I'm glad I'm not stuck in an airport unable to fly. It's amazing to me the power of a volcano. We want to control everything...but we can not. We can not control the Earth quakes,rain,or volcano ash. We are weak but He is strong (yes Jesus loves me)!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

one big sack garden

I finished my first jumbo sack garden. It took 400 liters of soil. That's allot of dirt! I have it half planted. I'll finish it (God willing) tomorrow. One down and 5 more to go.

look, it's Jim Bradford

I interned with Jim Bradford. He has always been my hero. He performed my wedding. I love him because he is so humble. He's now a big wig...the General Secretary of the Assemblies of God. We always knew he would do great things. He reminds me of Frodo , a most unlikely hero. A Hobbit, small and quiet, but possessing a true and noble spirit

Shroud of Turin

Shroud of Turin is in Northern Italy. Maybe we can see it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April plants

What can you grow in April? Potatoes, Artichokes, Beans, Onions , Shallots , Broccoli ,Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage Cauliflower and Kale, Spinach , Lettuce and Peas too.

I got my jumbo garden sacks in the mail today. They are really great! I need an extra large amount of soil, and I'll plant the first of 6 sacks tomorrow!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Do you believe in the actual power of God to heal?

"We have to stop coming forward for prayer and start coming forward for healing".
- Bill Johnson

This line means so much to me. I can not count the times I have prayed for Jessica to be healed, but none of that matters. I need to keep seeking, keep knocking...and when I go see Bill Johnson next weekend I will be asking for healing not just words.

cash register #10

my frame is found

I found a strong metal wire framed composter that is about the right size to hold up my garden sacks. It cost 32 Euro for one composter. I need 6 of them. I decided to buy one and see if it's going to work. I'll probably get my new jumbo bags next week. If it works (and I think it will), I'll have 6 giant sack gardens. That's a very large amount of vertical space to grow vegetables in. If it looks good, I'll ask my friend Petra if I can put a sack garden in her yard. Then I'll have 12 or more jumbo sacks. That could be all the space I need to have vegetables to can, freeze and eat. It's an experiment but maybe it could be something that works! I’m totally intrigued by the idea of being fully self sustaining in an urban setting. And maybe we could help others do the same thing.

More Bags

My Bag garden is doing super good. I'll take pictures today. I wanted to put in some high raised beds, but they can be spendy. I found even bigger bags on e bay. These bags are 2 meters high and one meter wide. They are made of woven plastic. They can hold 1500 kg worth of stuff. I have to figure out a frame for them, but I think they could actually be more productive then raised beds. I got 6 bags for 68 € delivered. I'm going to have to pay allot of money for the soil and stones to fill these bags, but I think they should be very productive! It's sure worth a try!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Worm tower

I think I posted this before but I like the idea and I'm going to add it to my raised beds.

how to build a raised bed in German

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bill Johnson, Kathryn und Alan Scott

I could kick myself! Next weekend Juergen and I have one ticket to see Bill Johnson, Kathryn and Alan Scott. We planned to take turns going to this 4 day conference. We didn't have a regular babysitter at the time. We have one now. So we finally have someone to watch the kids, and no extra ticket. Bill Johnson wrote when heaven invades earth. Kathryn Scott wrote the song Hungry. So I have a babysitter and one ticket and they say it's sold more sits! Kathryn Scott will be singing on Saturday night April 17th. I'm thinking about giving the Saturday night ticket to Nicole. Nicole leads worship in her youth group. Kathryn Scott is all about worship.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

this is the first of 41 BBC videos on Italy

it's on auto will play all 41 videos if you let it run.

Home again

I spent the morning unpacking. We had a very nice time with Juergen's dad in the North of Germany. The kids played so well with their cousins. The weather was fine. We visited with allot of family. It was great to be there. We hope to visit again in a few months.

The weather here in Heidelberg is really beautiful. The kids have vacation. I think they will ride bikes and play soccer most of the time. I will be in the garden. I'm so excited because my tomatoes are finally starting to sprout!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I am trying to get tickets to see it this year.

I just filled out the ticket form to get tickets to see the Passion play. I am hoping to take Nicole on a weekend in June or July. The tickets start at 49€ for the cheap seats. People generally book a package deal with food and hotel. I can not afford it. I’ll stay over night at friends in München and eat a sandwich in my car. I wonder what parking will cost?

We are going to Juergen's dads house for Easter. I hope you all have a blessed Easter. Jesus has risen...and he lives! That is the best news!!