One last pesto

The basil is giving out at last. I could’ve planted another sowing, but I ran out of energy and if I plant more next year I will not run out until frost.

Anyways, one more good pesto will happen.

Chive talking

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Chives can be a little tricky. I have always found that they take a bit of time to get settled. Usually a season goes by before they get established and you have to coddle until then.

The pretty garlic chives in the photo are in their second season. I didn’t show the other chives I planted in the same bed this spring. They are all weak and wilty, but have survived and should help fill in my 4-foot square bed.

Next year I will plant a couple more until I have a bed filled with chives. I have this little dream of selling herbs someday.

Muscadines

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Funny story. Since moving to Texas I was very interested in that southern treat–muscadine grapes. They aren’t that easy to find and it took me a couple years to track some down at a nursery some ways out of town.

Anyway, when I saw the vines for sale I exclaimed to my husband, “Look! Musca-deens!”

There happened to be an older gentlemen with reading glasses nearby. He looked up at me, peering over his glasses and said, “They are pronounced Musca-dine.”

He frowned slightly and his soft drawl made me feel like an ignorant Yankee. I immediately exclaimed my embarrassment. He seemed mollified.

I bought two vines. Of course, knowing nothing about them, I planted them and expected a good crop of grapes. I also found another one and planted it by itself an acre away.When nothing happened I read up on them.

Erb. Male and females pollinators? I must have had them all in the wrong spots. I moved the two to the one. They survived but I expected nothing this year.

However, I got one, count it, one grape off one vine and now look what I have on another vine. 😂

Next year should be better.

Endings

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I’ve gotten terribly busy lately. The garden has become a nuisance. Everything is spent. Everything needs replenishing.

The raised beds need lots of soil. Weeds have taken over some landscaping beds. Watering takes up to two hours if the orchard is included. Where are the fall rains?

The tomatoes are like a jungle. I pulled them out today. I don’t care…I absolutely don’t care about those last little ripe ones.

Rhythms

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When you live out (as in rural) the impact of Nature and its rhythms looms large. And in Texas, where you can spend significant time outdoors, one begins to see that Man and Nature tend to diverge on such things.

I once heard that if one wants to know the natural rhythm of our day (what is normal for man) we should spend a day observing Nature.

Of course, the first thing I noticed is that we live life entirely too fast. Rural living (and aging) has slowed me down. Remember that cliche…”Stop and smell the daisies?”

It rings true. The rush of life, getting ready for work, school, rushing to meet artificial deadlines, etc., deadens what Nature’s God has lovingly designed for us.

I was out watering the orchard this morning and I observed clouds in the bright morning sky. It came to me that I had noticed a slight change in the last few days.

A breeze was coming up in the afternoons, cooling the summer temps slightly. The days shorter, of course. And the clouds. All a harbinger of Fall. In years past I might have missed these little signs.

I would have noticed the dried grass and spent flowers and the slightly shorter days. But I would have missed the encroaching clouds and the afternoon breezes.

I thank the good God for this earthly garden. 🙏

The Real War

This post doesn’t have much to do with gardening (unless you want to think of it as a serpent in the garden kind of thing). Anyway, I promised to comment on the following over at The Q Tree. A day late and a tad long, but here it is.

The Real War

For me, it has been difficult to grasp the finer points of this Scripture verse (Eph. 6:2): “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

When you hear that vile beings like MS-13 hack victims to death, tear out their hearts, and rape without conscience, it is difficult to understand that our battle is not against them, but against that entity who owns their souls.

I once heard a holy man, a French priest who lived for many years as a missionary, speak about what it means to be fully human. He said something that struck me very deeply. Paraphrasing, he said that once a man has lost his conscience he is no longer human. This shocked me at first.

But the priest went on to speak of what makes us human, in great part the Natural Law engraved in our hearts by God. He spoke about the salutary effects on man of the Christian faith on the world. Man is endowed with an innate understanding of right and wrong. When he ignores, rejects, rebels against it, he becomes an animal.

I’ve been horrified to be learning of the depth and depravity of the elites who currently lord it over us. Like so many of us have said, we FELT there was something wrong for a long time. There was a shadow, a certain darkness, over us. The warning signs were there, but we weren’t quite able to put them together and many didn’t want to know.

As Anthony Hopkins’ priest character says in the film, The Rite, “Not believing in the devil won’t make you safe from him.”

When I first became a Catholic we had an African priest in our parish. He was young and more ‘on fire’ than most priests nowadays. It was a surprise to him that many here have lost their fear of Hell. Coming from Africa, he had grown up with first-hand experience of the pagan religions that are still rife there. He told us stories that, frankly, we scoffed at.

He knew the names and behavioral characteristics of a number of demons, having seen the Irish missionary priests perform exorcisms while a young boy, and having performed them himself as a priest. He knew about shamans and witch doctors and how people would sell their souls in order to gain wealth or power, or to gain the love of someone or harm someone.

He was given permission to have healing services after Mass. So, Father trained a small group of us to help with those who came up for prayers. He always made us go to confession, fast, and pray a Rosary before these services. One night it become very clear why he did so.

The healing services were very popular. Many non-Catholics began coming to them. After Mass, Father would give a little talk and then ask anyone who would like prayers to get in line. He would meet and talk with each person, lay hands on them and pray. Sometimes people fainted. Some would call it being ‘slain in the spirit’, but we always had a couple strong guys standing by to catch someone if they suddenly fell.

This particular evening, I was sitting in the pews with others on the team. We would usually pray a rosary while Father was at work. My friend, Marie, spoke to a pretty, older lady who came in and sat down. They chatted amiably for a few minutes. Later, she told me she had known this woman since school days, forty years previously.

Then the woman got up and got in line. The line was long and it took some time before it was her turn. Most people had left by then and Father was a little tired. It had been a good hour or so. The woman spoke briefly to Father and then he laid hands on her. Now comes the part you think happens only in movies.

The lights flickered off and on. The woman suddenly dropped straight down to the ground. The men were able to keep her from hitting her head. They rushed to help her up. One of the men who touched her jumped back and yelped. He later said it felt as if he had been given a tremendous electric shock. He stood in pain, wringing his hand.

Father immediately ordered any and all of the lay people to stand back. Those of us in the first few pews watched as the woman on the floor straightened out and then her body started waving like a snake. She undulated up and down in a way that no human could or would do. We could not believe what we were seeing. The utter horror of the scene is indescribable. We were terrified. Father shouted for us to say a rosary. We immediately got on our knees and began praying as best we could. We were shaking with fear. The church had become very cold.

Father began to pray loudly. He said exorcism prayers over her for a long while. He doused her in holy water. She moaned and growled and slithered along the ground in ways that no lady of her age could’ve done. She jumped several feet into the air a couple times from a horizontal position. She was literally bouncing off the ground. It seemed to go on forever.

Finally, the demon was subdued. The woman came to her senses and walked over to her seat, near us. Marie asked her if she was okay. The woman was drenched in sweat. She had no memory of what had just happened. She just kept saying, “Whew, I’m sweating!” She seemed perfectly normal. She looked perfectly normal. No one would’ve suspected that she was possessed.

Later, we all went out to eat and dragged Father along. We were having a great deal of trouble digesting what had happened. We had a million questions for him. He wouldn’t say much except to say the demon had not been cast out. He told us the woman and her father had sold their souls many years previously for wealth. He said that payment was coming due and the woman was regretting it. The demon, he said, was a serpent demon, which is why she was slithering around so much.

I share this ghastly story because it is vital we understand we are dealing with fallen angels. They are powerful, but not all-powerful. Demons consider humans their playthings. The pedophile elites who abuse children and do the most despicable things do so because they have sold their souls to the devil and consider children and other humans their playthings, also. They worship devils. They have lost their conscience. They have taken on the traits of the demons. They have become animals.

C. S. Lewis has a character in his Space Trilogy named Professor Weston, who later becomes an Un-man because he gives up his soul to demonic possession. It is well worth your time to get that trilogy and read it, for it is almost prophetic regarding how the elites in government, business and academia and even religion plot to take over England with the aid of demons. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professor_Weston)

The god of this world would exterminate every last one of us if he could. His minions delight in haunting, tormenting, tempting, and destroying us. But, the devil is a mere creature. We can do all things through Christ, including overcoming demons and those who have given themselves over to the demonic. The power of Christ is unassailable.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:37-39)

Prayer is more important than we know.