Grape Harvester notJoy


Photo by notLolly

After years of waiting, I finally got to be Grape Harvester notJoy!  Yes, I did!  On that morning of fruition, the dew had laid itself out all glittery and sparkly.  The sun woke up happy and refreshed and was busy playing with all the pieces of the Earth touching everything with its warm fingers.  The fog wasn’t in the mood to play and slinked away between mountains.  The perfect backdrop for the harvesting of my dream.

Anxious and excited I got busy clipping the grapes.  The smell of fermenting grapes on the vine was delighting me and I was close enough to the real workers that I could hear their music and laughter as the clumps of grapes dropped in their buckets with a speed that confounded me.  Not that I was expected to match it, but I would have if I could have.  Maybe that’s why they were laughing!

The reality was different from the picture in my head, but it was the very essence of what I had imagined and more.  I was overcome with emotions and had to stuff ’em down so I didn’t start bawling.  Harvesting that dream was more emotional than I thought it was going to be.

My grape harvesting experience was worth the wait.


photo by notLolly



Dear Homegrown Tomatoes,

Thank you for making my BLT orgasmically good.  

Bless you and all your lycopene.

Forever Yours,


notBetter or notWorse

Long ago, I watched a horrible, sad movie and the only redeeming quality of that movie was one line.  I don’t even know if I remember it correctly or not, but what I remember is this, “You don’t know if things are better or worse until they are.”  Whoa.  It really stuck.  It remains stuck because of its piercing truth for me.  The truth in that little quip is the reason that I could be categorized as “resistant to change”.

My life can be difficult and somehow I am manage to get through.  What if my next choice makes it worse?  I don’t want it to be worse because I am able to manage it–whatever it is.  And then, SLAP! I get hit with the painful question, “But what if your next decision makes it better?”  The tears fall because I’m not much for gambling.  Where is my great, big God in that?  I don’t know.  Learning to be content in all circumstances?  There is truth to that too.

I’m setting forth on my third year of  home school with notLolly.   I’m making lists of my hopes and dreams for third grade and reflecting on second grade.  Second grade was rough and it is making me sad to think about it.  Second grade was filled with struggle for enough work the first half and then with too much work the second half.  notLolly’s dad found himself a serious girlfriend and changed notLolly’s routine considerably.  Then notLolly had an episode of nerves that lasted a couple of months.  Second grade was rough for us.  I’m glad it’s over and grateful we made it through.

Hot, Sweet Blackberries

When my marriage to notLolly’s dad broke and we divorced I decided that it was in notLolly’s best interest for me to remain single until she was grown.   I’ve been fixedly determined to follow through on this counter-cultural decision.  After more than five years of sticking to this decision, I still have people tell me that I need a husband and notLolly needs a step-dad.  I smile, nod, thank them and say once again that it’s not my plan.  I don’t want that.   Why won’t people listen to me!?!   The last time someone told me, “There is a wonderful man out there for you,”  I went into a mental tantrum and the camera in my mind panned to my own self and I saw clearly that wasn’t listening either.       Oh.       I hear the words coming from the mouths of caring folks but I have not been listening to the words.  Their points for remarriage are as valid as my points for remaining single.  My ears were opened and I heard.

I worked this revelation over and I searched for the lesson.  What would it take for me to consider entering into a romantic relationship?  I say to my own self that God would have to drop someone on my doorstep that I already know and with whom I am completely comfortable.   That made me laugh out loud!  That was never going to happen!  Off I go with a smile on my face and a kick in my step.  No worries.  I am safe in the hilarity of the impossible.

Last month I received a phone message from someone I’ve always known.  I’ll call him notTim for the sake of privacy.  The message was funny and he made me laugh.   The message confuses me.  It takes me a while to sort out notTim’s intentions and what they have to do with me.  Then I see it.  I see that what is laughable and impossible, maybe God doesn’t see as laughable and impossible at all.  I am caught off guard and overwhelmed.  This isn’t my plan.  My plan makes sense.  God doesn’t do this kinda thing.

The God that I worship is powerful.  I’m constantly amazed at the wonderful blessings He gives His people.  I have felt the hand of God in the toughest times and those experiences are beautiful and sacred.  God has cared for me and kept me when I’m broken.

NotTim had a lesson for me from God.  With painful clarity, I realized that my God does amazing things for me as my own personal life janitor.  My God is small.  My God isn’t big enough to do anything for me other than clean-up.   I am grateful for God’s clean-up, so truly grateful in fact, that I would never dream of asking for anything more from my small God.  I will continue thanking Him for cleaning up my messes and giving me my basic needs.  Everyone else has the all-powerful God of the universe bestowing outrageous blessings upon them, but not me.  NotJoy.  My God is a fantastic janitor.  My eyes were opened and I saw how small I made God.

I don’t know what it all means.  I don’t know if I wasn’t listening before or if God in His perfect timing and with His gentle hand, opened my ears and eyes.  I don’t think this lesson is about notTim specifically or even remarriage for that matter.  But, I do know that my view of my God was faulty and I’m sorry for making Him so small.  What I believed to be impossible, hilariously impossible, is not so impossible to God.  I will be open to the ludicrous impossibilities I can not see and keep on keepin’ on.

I’m single.  If that ever changes, it will be big.

This was a lesson experience.



My notSister takes her three boys to an Awana program on Wednesday nights.  Our notMom called it Iguanas once and that was all together too funny to me!

Could Be My notBook


Now, if this isn’t the perfect thrift store find, I don’t know what is.

What a notExperience experience.