June 22, 2010

Educating ourselves about Marcellus gas drilling

A few days ago I shared some concerns that face many families in PA and other areas surrounding the growing Marcellus gas well drilling that is becoming more and more prevalent through out the state. 
Here's some links that share info on the industry and it's impact on our water, air and soil;

Please think about keeping informed about natural gas drilling issues

through any or all of these listed websites











May i suggest joining the Susquehanna County Group Forum

They really do a great job of posting state and national news on

natural gas drilling also on impending legislation


June 17, 2010

Taking a breather

I'm taking a few minutes to write a little because I need to "talk" about the chaos.  Next week is VBS week and I'm looking forward to it.  Preparation is always hectic and I never really feel like I have time for it but it all works out in the end.
This past year has been full of lots of emotions that I never really thought I'd have to deal with in certain situations.  Frustration, discouragement, complete bafflement.  How do we know what God has in store?  If He brings together a series of events that lead us to a door and opens that door, how do we know what to do once we've walked through it?  Does it come down to soul liberty?  What if it all becomes fuzzy and you can't see where He wants you to go when the way seemed so clear before?  What if you encourage another person to go through a door that seems, to you, to have opened especially for them through a series of events and what they find there isn't what you thought they'd find?  What if what they find leads them to situations that would ordinarily be happy, fun times but are so hard and confusing that they wonder what they are doing there?  Is He trying to teach them a lesson?  I know that the plan He has for us is the best but I also know that He never promised that the way would be easy or without temptation or trials.

Or maybe He's trying to teach me a lesson about seeing someone I care about being hurt by another. 

I'm not liking it at all. 

OK ...So, yeah...frustration all around!

June 16, 2010

VBS and other stuff

Next week is Vacation Bible School at our church and, as always, we're trying to bring the story to life for the kids to make the greatest impact for Christ that we can.  Our theme for this year is the story of Joseph and how he was sold into slavery by his brothers.  The slave traders took him to Egypt where, after working as a slave and spending time in prison, he became a well respected man with great responsibility.  
This year things are going to be a little different because several of these activities will take place in the same room.  We're creating an Egyptian marketplace where the kids will do several crafts each day, snack, visit the library, have their picture taken and hear a story in the school house.   The opening and closing, where they learn the motions and words to lots of fun, new songs, pray and other cool stuff, will be in the auditorium.  The Bible room will be the place where they meet Joseph, the actual story comes to life.
This week is prep week and hopefully by Friday night, we'll be about ready.  Of course that would be a first because we're usually adding the finishing touches minutes before VBS opens!  We're hoping to start out with 120- 150 kids ages K-6th grade.  But by the end of the week, it would be great if we had 200!  Crazy...but great.

So we have lots to do this week and I'm thankful for a little extra help from my daughter's beau who's visiting PA for a while.  Also, it's worked out that both of my daughter's are off work this week so I'm putting child labor into effect.  :)  Just kidding...both of them enjoy being involved in VBS because they remember how much fun it was for them as younger children.  It's a chance for me to play a role and dress up in character.  An excuse I find as often as I can because I can be someone else in front of other people much easier than I can be myself.  Silly, I know, but true.  My job, after the marketplace is established, is to be the chief priestess in the embalming tent where the kids will learn about that aspect of Egyptian culture and paint their own sarcophagus to take home.  A token of the story to remind them of the lessons they learned at VBS.  The beau will be my head apprentice so I have to make him a costume sometime this week too.  Yeah, and in my spare time, I think I'll crochet a few skull cap type head coverings for the Egyptian women to wear!

June 12, 2010

Environmental hazards

Marcellus gas wells are a relatively new idea, especially here in rural PA.  My friend and her family own a small organic farm just a few miles from my home.  Just across the road from their farm, is a larger plot of land that has signed a lease to have marcellus wells drilled on their property.  The site for the well is very close to the lane that separates the property from my friend's farm.  Not knowing what the far reaching effects of the fracking chemicals will do to their water supply and how it will leach through the ground to affect their organic blueberry fields, fruit trees and gardens is worrying them sick and with good reason.  The fumes and air born chemicals that will be filtering over their farm for the duration of the process will have a more immediate effect.
Here's a link to what we have learned about the effects fracking chemicals have on the human body.


We're not only getting hit by pollution in the air and in water from the treatment plant; now folks with pure water from under ground wells and springs are going to be in danger too.  Last week there was a problem with one of the marcellus drilling operations near here and the result was huge quantities of raw gas and fracking chemicals spewing out of the well and flooding the surface, unconfined, for several hours.  This spill occurred near the head waters of a watershed which supplies a lot of homes with drinking water.  It's also near the top of the eastern continental divide line where the water flows east to the Chesapeake Bay or west to the Mississippi. 

While this is certainly a scary thought and we must speak out to make folks aware; what can we do to stop it?  Probably not much.  In this ever more polluted world that we live in, sometimes the most we can do for ourselves is to stay as healthy as we can in order to allow our bodies to do what they were meant to do.
We can do this by choosing free range meats, organic produce and protecting our home environment as much as we can.  In our area there are two organic farms who offer CSA's (community supported agriculture) to their sponsors or members by using their membership fees to grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, free range chickens and eggs, fresh baked bread and some herbs.  Each week during the growing season, each member family gets a box full of what ever is in season.  It's comforting to know that you can rely on your farmers to grow healthy foods for your family.  Check out the links for two of the farms near us; www.westlibertyfarm.com/  and www.quietcreekherbfarm.com/ .

In addition to what we put into our bodies, we need to be concerned with what we put ON our bodies, too.  Many products contain cancer causing ingredients and toxic chemicals that can build up in our systems over time creating health problems.  Then there's the water issue.  Already it's been found that water treatment plants are not able to filter hormones out of the water that supplies many homes.  This means that men and women alike are exposed, unknowingly to hormones in their water, their meats and personal care products.   But it's all big government and there's little we can do outside our own little sphere of existence.

Aside from that, our best hope is in finding the peace that passes all understanding.  We have a caring God who answers our faithful prayers.  He's promised to stay with us and give us the strength to get through each and every situation in which we find ourselves.
Does this mean that He will always answer our prayers the way we want?  No.  Why?  Because He knows the whole story...He sees the big picture.  What could the possible reasons be for all the pollution that is allowed to go on in this world?  I can't even begin to imagine except that we live in a fallen world and God doesn't make people follow Him or turn their hearts to Him.  He allows them to make that choice for themselves.  Greed and desire for power and money often drive people to create things that provide immediate monetary gain while purging natural resources and destroying the already depleted soil and water that we have to use.

I guess what I'm saying is that we need to be concerned but worrying isn't going to change anything.  We have the responsibility to do what we can, but our hope can't rest in our own abilities; it must come from the one who can give us true hope.  When we look at the sacrifices that Christ made for us so that our sin wouldn't separate us from God for all eternity, giving our heart and soul to His service for the short amount of time that we spend on this earth in relation to what forever really means is so small.  And think of the alternatives...if you think pollution is destroying our planet and making it a horrible place to live, what's it going to be like for all eternity if we choose to ignore God?   There are only two places we can spend it; there's no in between.  So if we believe what the Bible says and accept the gift Christ has to offer, when our life is over we'll have gained an eternity to rejoice.  If the Bible is true and we choose not to accept it, we'll be spending that eternity in suffering and pain beyond our imagination.   But if we're wrong and the Bible is just another book, what have we lost?  If there is no God, no redeemer in Christ, and life just ends, the best we can hope for is to blink out of existence into nothing.  That's not much to look forward to, now is it?  No hope for tomorrow, no peace for today.  Personally, I'd rather believe that it's true than take a chance that it's not.  Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to find peace at all.

If you want to know more, the Bible is the place to find answers.  But sometimes it's a little overwhelming, especially to a newcomer.  Pray to God to give you a personal understanding about what His word tells us and if you think that I could help you, please contact me.

June 10, 2010

Things have been fairly hectic at our house for the last week so I haven't had much chance to write.  I've been working in the garden and on a few other projects.  June is always a crazy month.  The end of school, planting the garden, Bible school, graduation parties, then throw in a wedding or two and before you know it the month is gone. 
I'm not looking forward to this summer flying by as quickly as the past few have.  College seems so close, already.  As the days roll by I feel more and more protective of the time we have together. 
There have been a lot of things on my mind lately and the chaos that comes from all these things meandering around in here makes me a little melancholy at times.  I start to feel a little claustrophobic and nervous about getting it all done.  Especially with college prep added into the mix.  But it's not like I didn't see that coming and really, along those lines there isn't a whole lot more to do.  Maybe it's just the end of the cabin fever I felt in May.  I know I'll get through it but right now it seems a bit daunting.  I guess that's because I'm not putting my trust where it needs to be.  I can't do this alone.
We've made several lasagne beds in the garden and a row of straw bale beds along the fence.  One problem that I've seen so far is that there seem to be a few brazen voles moving in and they don't care who knows it!  Time for the cat to earn his keep!  I'm planting a variety of things that I've started from seed in the straw bales to see how well that method works.  I would like to put more layers on the lasagne beds but for now I'll settle for three layers.  We have a pile of dirt from the township scraping the edge of the road but I'm hesitating to use it because I don't know what else might be in the dirt from road treatment in the winter, etc.  I'm also wondering about the leaves that the township picked up along the road.  We have several piles from 2-3 years ago that have composted nicely.  But someone mentioned that because some lawns are treated with chemicals, the trees may have absorbed some of those chemicals through  their roots and my leaves may contain traces of it.  You know, there's only so much I can do. 
As busy as June always tends to be, you'd think I'd be more prepared for it.  And just when I think I can handle all the things I have to do, something else gets added to the pile.  I begin to feel a little flustered and overwhelmed.  Sometimes that makes me a little irritable and withdrawn.  I don't like feeling that way and I try to step back from all the hustle for a few minutes so I can relax but you know how that goes.  I guess that's one reason that I like to write here.  I can ponder and whine and vent and then step back and say, "Wow, I'm glad I got that off my chest!"

June 3, 2010


Fear is a powerful weapon that Satan uses to draw us away from the Peace that passes all understanding.  And he's pretty good at it. 

June 2, 2010

The Squire's Tales

Every homeschooling family goes through the Arthurian stage filled with knights in shining armor and fair maidens.  Chivalry and honor, recreant knights and enchantresses, The Seelie and Unseelie Courts, Avalon and Camelot.  There have been many interpretations written through out history based on stories that have been handed down from ancient times by minstrels, troubadours and jongleurs.  Who was Arthur?  It's still a mystery.
One modern interpretation of the old Arthurian legends has been written by a fellow named Gerald Morris who is a minister from Wisconsin.  Mr. Morris has taken famous stories and poems from those written by Sir Thomas Mallory, Gottfried von Strassburg and Chretien de Troyes and retold them in his own, kid friendly style.  The tales are told from the perspective of secondary characters, young ladies as well as young men, that he added to the stories making them come alive with not only noble and courageous knights and their ladies but with squire's, minstrels and blacksmith's as well as young ladies in waiting and orphaned girls.  All of whom turned out to be more than they seemed.
The last installment in this series is due out this fall.  These are great read alouds to younger children and read alone stories for older ones.  They've created wonderful memories that we have of our homeschooling years.  I'm ever so thankful to Gerald Morris for sharing his love of the renaissance era and Arthur's mighty knights of the Round Table.  I'd highly recommend these adventure books for boys and girls alike.
Not all the knights of the Fellowship of the Round Table were knighted by Arthur, at least in the beginning.  Many who came to the court seeking membership had been knighted by one of the lesser kings of England before Arthur took the throne uniting all (or most) of England under one rule, bringing peace and prosperity to the land.  But as more young men began to seek admission to this chivalrous group, Arthur knighted them himself, but only after they had shown their true desire by doing worthy deeds.  He charged them to,"Be ever true to your God; protect always your neighbor; honor always your king."  Not a bad code to live by.

June 1, 2010


Having trouble taking my own advice today.  It's an emotional week for several reasons; some bittersweet, like the marriage of my bff's first born baby girl; some happy anticipation, like looking forward to the days ahead.  But, some hurtful, like words that cut like a knife; some regretful, like when I feel like a fool and some just...well...best not to dwell on it.  So, I'm eating worms this morning and reaching for the joy that I can almost feel...but there's a wall there right now.  I guess that's just me whining, which I hate.  Blah!  I could use a hug.

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