Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Thursday, June 30, 2005


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I found the following poem in an old magazine, dated 1886.
In view of the many unGodly acts taking place in our world, It is sometimes hard to keep our focus on Jesus, our hope and our deliverer.
When we do, we know peace.
Isn't it wonderful to know that we are on His team?

"God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines, of never failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs, and works His soverign will.

Yet fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread,
Are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace,
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will not ripen fast, unfolding every hour,
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain.
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Ken informed me that the previous link I posted was broken. Above is the new one he sent me.
Thanks Ken!
This URL shows us how each state is doing it's part to support our troops,
and tells us how we can do our part to encourage them.
There are video and musical tributes and much more.
Lets show our appreciation every way possible,
And remember to pray for these brave men and women as well as their
Families, who are all making a great scarifice so you and I can sit at our
computers today, and not have to live in terror of those who would
gladly destroy us.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ten Commandments

I wanted to do a post about the recent Ten Commandments removal, but after reading Ken's post over at Squamata Report I decided to point my readers in his direction. He did a terriffic job. I love how Ken is always uncovering facts that we are not informed of through our newspapers, TV & radio. Go check him out. You won't be sorry!

And God Created The Flowers

He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally considered a fortunate person, but his good fortune is small compared to that of the happy mortal who enters this world with a passion for flowers in his soul. ~ Celia Thaxter

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I took this photo of a Columbine flower with the bright sky behind, so it plainly shows the the veins in the blossom petals.
I know the leaves of a plant produce organic substances like sugars, from carbon dioxide and water with light on the chlorophyll in green plant cells. This process is called photosynthesis. I assume the veins in the flower petals carry nutrients to the blossom, to keep it beautiful and fragrant so it will attract pollinators. And I am guessing the blossom also protects the reproductive part of the blossom .
Anyone knowing more about this, please tell.

When I consider the intricasy of a flower blossom and all the reproductive parts which are finely tuned to do their part at precisely the right time to enable seed production I am always amazed.
When I remember that some believe this happened because of a 'big bang' I am even more amazed.
I have called our creator by several honorable names, but 'Big-Bang' is a new one to me.
Well, whichever name we choose to call him, Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth has my vote every time!
Now go smell a flower and let your spirit soak in the beauty of God's creation.

Friday, June 24, 2005


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I made this cake in 1980 for a couple celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Today my forever friend, Bonnie and I celebrated our 50th "Friendship" anniversary.
In June of 1955, Bonnie and I met for the first time when we double dated with our 'then' boyfriends, who later that summer became our husbands. Frank and Jerry had gone to school together and had been close pals for quite some time. Bonnie and I had both turned 16 and had just started dating so were very inexperienced, but of course wanted to appear as sophisticated, worldly women.
Our future husbands were 19 after all and had 'been around.'

I was so 'sophisticated' that the first time I dated my future husband, in the warm month of June, I wore a heavy wool coat to protect my 'parts' incase he tried anything and if that didn't work, I borrowed mother's sharp little paring knife and kept it hidden in my pocket incase I had to stab him and make a run for it. Yes there were virgins back then.
Oh yeah, I was sophisticated alright.

One double date we had, we drove to Birch Bay. The boys had managed to get some beer, and we were all drinking. Bonnie and I were angry because the boys wanted to sit together in the front seat to talk. We wanted a more romantic date and some attention. Bonnie and I got out of the car and walked a short distance down the beach then proceeded to roll picnic tables into the bay. I think we were rebelling, but beer has an odd effect on me, I really don't know what we thought we were doing.

My friend reminded me today that on another double date we drove a distance to some beaver ponds and drank Dandelion wine my mother had made. She said I brought the wine. If I did ,I stole it. I don't remember this at all. I don't really want to.

When she and her boyfriend wanted to get married, we all dressed up like 'adults.' The boys wore suits which were much too big for them, and did not compliment their crew cuts, acne, and gear grease under their fingernails from working on the constantly broken cars.
My dear friend Bonnie and I dressed up in high heeled shoes, I borrowed a grown up looking ladies suit from my aunt, and she wore a similar outfit. We plastered our sixteen year old faces with make up, including bright red lipstick and rouge, and wore old lady hats. Of course we thought we were very grown up looking but in reality we must have looked like a bunch of clowns. Bonnie and I were farm girls. Walking in those high heeled shoes sure made us awkward. I kept twisting my ankles and tripping.

We drove to Seattle that day, found the court house and Bonnie and Frank somehow managed to get a marriage license with my boyfriend and I as witnesses. We wonder now if their marriage was legal.
That September, Jerry and I were married and did not have the slightest idea what we were doing. We had rented a small cottage for $45. a month but forgot we would need food. We had sympathetic families who helped us out until pay day.

Bonnie and Frank and Jerry and I enjoyed a lot of time together over the years, playing cards, birthday parties, etc.
We had five children they had three.
Bonnie and I hated to iron clothes but there was no wash & wear back then so we devised a great plan. One week she would pack up her ironing board, iron, ironing and kids, stop for a six pack and come to my house. The kids played while we ironed, with a bottle of cold beer on the end of our ironing boards. Boy it sure hit the spot on those hot days, and the ironing went much faster.
When our ironing piled up again I would pack up mine, get the beer and go to her house.

Our marriages both lasted about 16 years before the boys began to wander and we divorced.
Our ex-husbands have not seen each other in years, but Bonnie and I are still the best of friends. We remember the days of our girlhood and marriages with laughter, and now also with a wisdom that only age can bring.
There is no place for regret or bitterness in us now. We did that. It wasn't fun. Life's too short.
Now we see the humor, and in our golden years can laugh about it all and really mean it.

Today we ate forbidden Bismark donuts, reassuring each other that the extra pounds we carry are because of all the weight the years of information stored in our brain has added.
We sat in my lawn swing, watching hummingbirds and butterflies,
and reminisced about the 'old days' and laughed because every tenth or so remark was, "I don't remember that." Some call this 'Senior Moments' We just say, "oh well, it wasn't important anyway."

Everyone should have a friend like I do. Someone you can tell your deepest secrets, and share such happy times with.
Bonnie and I will not have another fifty years here. And probably not even twenty five. I will be thankful for what ever time our Creator will allow, and even more thankful that we will be together with Him for eternity.

Happy Golden Anniversary dear friend. Boy have we lived!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I can't recall where I found this but it sure is something to think about.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some 1905 statistics:

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved road.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.
With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the union.
The tallest structure in the worls was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year and a dentist $2500 per year.
A veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year and a mechanical engineer about $5000.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education, but attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart Disease
5. Stroke

The American Flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska had not yet been admitted to the Union.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea hadn't been invented.
There was no Mother's or Father's Day.
Two out of ten U.S. adults could not read or write, and only six percent graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drug stores.
eighteen percent of all households in the U.S had a full time servant or domestic.

Try to imagine what it will be like in another 100 years.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Fetuses For Lunch

I was horrified when I read a post at ArmyofGod about Krishna Rajanna, an abortionist in Kansas, who apparently ate his aborted fetuses for lunch.
I found a very informative article about this at

I checked Urban Legends and Truth or Fiction and didn't find anything about this being a false claim

Until abortion is once again made illegal this is the sort of ugliness we will be seeing. As it stands, life is not valued. You can abuse, torture, maim and murder. And then you can eat your victims. AND IT IS LEGAL!!

This is the United States of America!!! For the love of God, what has happened?
Have we really become so barbaric ?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Steller's Corn Patch

During the winter and early spring months, I like to put seed out for the birds, because there is very little for them to eat at that time.
I also have squirrel visitors so I made a gadget to put a cob of dried corn on. It is just a piece of 1x4 with a long nail driven through the center and attached to my deck rail with a bungee. The soft center part of the cob slides nicely onto the nail. It wasn't long before the Squirrel's were sharing their corn with the Steller's Jays
I have enjoyed watching the many different kinds of birds who come to dine at Mountain Mama's 'Fly-Inn' and the acrobatic Squirrels are hillarious.
At the bird feeder I generally have sparrow's, chicadee's, flicker's, Varied Thrush, Rufus Sided Towhee, Grosbeak, Steller's Jay's and many others.
This post is about the Steller's.
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I borrowed this picture.

As you may know, Steller's Jay's are notorious for 'stashing' food. I have seen crows do this too. They get a beak full, and stuff it under a pile of leaves, at the base of plants or what have you. They are saving it for later but they generally forget about it, then field mice have a feast.
Or as in this case, grow their own garden.

I did not know the Steller's Jay's were doing this until later in the spring, when I noticed what looked like three corn seedlings growing from a long flower planter. Because I love surprises, and growing things, I just let them grow and sure enough, It was corn. It seemed to be doing fairly well so I let it go all summer, watering occassionally when I watered my gardens. The miracle of this is the fact that the soil in the planter was totally depleted, I doubt it could have grown a dandelion!

The Steller's corn did very well, and developed large full ears.
What is more surprising about this is the fact that they planted it in a neat row.
I suppose they must have been watching me plant corn in my garden and learned from what they saw. :)
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If you look behind the snapdragon's, in the brown planter box, you will see the Steller's Corn Patch.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

My Dad

He wasn't the president of anything, a doctor or lawyer, my dad was a railroad man, and a good one too. He could fix anything.
He was born in the little town of Ferndale, Washington on August 24, 1917, the youngest of five children.
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He grew up close to the Nooksack River and learned to fish at a very young age. He loved fishing his entire life, and taught me and my two sisters as well as our mom how to bait a hook, cast, play and land a fish.
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One bright summer day he drove us south to the Skagit River. Dad parked the car on a high gravel embankment above the river, and we looked down to a large pool where the river had washed back.
Several fishermen were doing some serious fishing around this pool. Suddenly, out in the center, a huge Spring Salmon broke the water and rolled lazily onto it's side before disappearing back into the deep water again.

Dad and I both saw this and he said, "that one's mine." I never saw him rig up his fishing rod so fast and he ran down the bank, sliding most of the way with his line dangling as he carried the lure in his hand. He had always told us the lure was supposed to be secured into the cork handle of our rod until it was in the water. I was surprised that dad was breaking his own rule, but his excitement was totally contagious.
I will never forget what happened next.

He cast out his line, let it drift a few minutes, then gave a teriffic yank on his fishing rod, setting the hook. He fought this monster for what seemed like hours before it was tired enough to be landed.
My dad was the hero of the river that day, and I stayed close to that salmon to be sure anyone who came to admire it knew it was "MY" dad who caught it.
Dad's 64 pound Spring is pictured below. I can't imagine how he was able to hold it.
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Eventually there weren't many fish left in the rivers and the regulations became so ridiculous that dad and mom found a new hobby. They became rock-hounds. Dad bought a brown van and made a bed, sink and cooking surface, as well as some cupboards. It was their little motel on wheels and they traveled in Washington, Oregon and Idaho in search of semi-precious gems.
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Dad built a 'rock-shed' out back and added a rocksaw and tumbler. He spent many hours out there delighting in the beauty he found in a plain old rock after it had been cut and polished. I can still see the big smile on his face as he came in for coffee, holding out a tightly closed fist to mom's receiving hand. Sometimes a moss agate, or a shiny piece of jade, a fire opal from Idaho or bright red carnelian. Dad loved surprises.
He made us many pieces of cherished jewelry. Below is the Opal ring he made for me.
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Dad and mom were looking forward to his retirement when they could travel more, but at the young age of 54, dad passed away.

I was blessed with kind and loving parents, and I am thankful for the sweet memories and precious sisters they have given me.
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Kenneth and Irene Banks

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Story Of The Peace Rose

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This is an example of the original Peace Rose.

Long read but worth it.
This was taken from May 2005 Grit magazine. I have whittled it down some.

There is a lot more to this beautiful rose than meets the eye.It has an amazing history.
It started in 1929, when 17 year old Francis Meilland, who came from a long line of rose breeders, cross pollinated his first two roses on his father's rose farm in Tassin, France. It was easy enough to cross-pollinate a rose, then sow the seeds, but to have one good good seedling worth keeping was a long shot, and the chance of that one rose being a winner in the rose industry was extremely slim.
Out of 10,000 seedlings maybe one is worth working with.

Melliand's rose-breeding work was receiving favorable attention. In 1932, Robert Pyle, owner of Conard-Pyle and a well known American rose grower, met with the teen and looked at his latest crop of seedlings. Before leaving, Pyle signed a contract with Meilland: Conard-Pyle would market any of Meilland's new roses in the United States and the Melliand's would receive a royalty.

In 1935, six years after he started, Melliand and his father chose five rose seedlings from a batch of 800 plants in their trial beds, though none looked outstanding. Of those those five seedlings, one had rich, green, glossy foliage and huge blossoms. However, Melliand didn't get his hopes up. So many roses that look like winners in their first year turn out to be worthless in their second year. In this case, the new rose-seedling 3-35-40-stayed beautiful and even improved.

In June 1939, when the roses were in bloom, a group of professional rose growers from seven nations visited the Melliands nursery. Many admired seedling 3-35-40, and several asked to grow the rose themselves as soon as budded stock was available. At the end of the day, a grower from Germany, with great emotion, paid them the warmest compliments and gave the heartfelt hope that they could meet again next year.

Unfortunately, Adolf Hitler's warmongering was well underway by that time. In September, Hitler invaded Poland and started World War II. Four days later, more than 500,000 French troops had moved to the French-German border in preparation for Germany's assault.

As the German army closed in, the French people needed food, not roses. The Melliand's with the help of the two staff members left, dug up and burned 200,000 roses in order to plant vegetables. They kept enough bushes to keep their business going. Yet calamity hit. They shipped a large order of roses to Turkey, arranging for payment to be made on delivery. The Germans stopped the trains and threw everything off, including the roses.
Before the channels of communication with the outside world closed, Francis Meilland sent two parcels of budded rootstock to growers in Germany and Italy.

By November, the Nazi's were closing in on southern France. The American Council, who loved roses, told Meilland that he could take rootstock to America if he received it within two hours. Melliand quickly parceled up a package, containing budwood for 3-35-40, and addressed it to Robert Pyle, owner of Conard-Pyle Roses in Pennsylvania. That rootstock was on the LAST plane out of France!

France fell to the Germans, so for a long time Meilland heard nothing about his rootstocks. Then he received word, first from the grower in Germany, then from the Italian grower. The rose was being sold as "GLORIA DEI" (Glory To God) in Germany and as "GIOIA" (Joy) in Italy.

In 1944, a month after France was liberated, Meilland received a letter from Robert Pyle. The rose was being grown in gardens all over the United States, and the American Rose Society had found the rose to be exceptional. It was delightfully vigorous, Pyle wrote. He said, "I am convinced it will be the greatest rose of the century." Pyle made arrangements with the Pacific Rose Society, the largest rose society in America at the time, for a naming ceremony at the upcoming rose show in Pasedena, California. The rose was named "PEACE" on April 29, 1945, the day Berlin fell to the Allies.
That June, when the 50 members of the United Nations met for the first time at the United Nations building in San Francisco, each found a blossom of the rose in his room.

Peace was given the All-American Award on the day Japan surrendered, and the rose received a gold medal from the American Rose Society on the day Japan signed it's peace treaty. It is estimated that in the next nine years more than 30 million Peace roses were planted worldwide. The money from the sales allowed Meilland to rebuild his stock of rose bushes and return to business.

Today, the Meillands are still creating roses.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


This is a small plug for Patty-Jo's cousin's quartet.

The family I married into is very large so they had to rent a hall on Christmas Eve so they could all celebrate together.
Always at the bench of the old upright piano was little Ricky Hammer, just pounding away to his little hearts content. And even though he hadn't had lessons he sounded pretty darn good.

One night an uncle of his came over and told Ricky to stop for a while. I told the uncle to leave Ricky alone because he was practicing to become a great musician someday.


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Rick hammer is high tenor and his son Tim is baritone for THE CIRCUIT RIDERS, a very talented quartet.

Singing talent seems to run rampant in the Hammer family. My children all got their share. Patty-Jo, Kathy, Cyndi, Mike and Shawn.

You can hear a few of THE CIRCUIT RIDERS sound clips at the following URL.
I sure like how they do GOD BLESS THE USA.
It's goose bump music!

God Bless You Ricky.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Silver Strands And Buttercups

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I have always had many flower gardens and even though the upkeep has been difficult at times, I enjoyed the outcome so much that I have continued to dig and plant and pull weeds since I was a very little girl. It is interesting how my outlook concerning my gardens has evolved since those early days.
When I was around four or five, I started by helping Mother plant our vegetable garden. I was fascinated to see those dried up little seeds grow into plants. That fascination has never left me.

By the time I became a wife, at age 16, there was not a piece of earth safe with me around. If a shovel wouldn’t dig it, I used a pickaxe, and crow bar, and I am a little sad to say, a few times I ‘borrowed’ my husband’s very nice chopping axe to whack out tree stumps and even sandstone. My Husband was a competitor at Logging Shows and needed a very sharp axe. I was a driven woman. Ground wasn’t meant to just sit there and look dumb. It had to be planted, and planted it was, with every kind of seed and plant start I could afford to buy, find along the roadside or in anyone yard. I usually carried little paper bags and when I didn’t have a bag, I filled my pockets, then I had to empty them when I got home, and sort the seeds.

I planted flowers on every side of my house and along the driveways, and on every knoll. Each dip in the ground begged for flowers, and the trees weren’t safe either. I dug out the old depleted soil from around them and replaced it with the fluffy composted soil my flowers would love. My husband must have been very frustrated with me, as his idea of a fun yard was to have roads everywhere, like a map. He would get his cat in there and have a wonderful time, dust flying and everyone running for cover. The miracle of this is the fact that he never once dug up any of my many gardens. I probably would have sugared his fuel tank if he had!

All during the years of raising my precious children, my gardens were a source of therapy. When they hit those ‘teen years’ and I wanted to be a mama guppy and swallow them, I would go outside and rip up weeds by huge handfuls. Oh my goodness that felt good. You should try it. I didn’t wrap a baseball bat around anyone’s head, and the gardens were kept up quite well during those years.

By the time I became a grandma, I could generally be found outside, pulling weeds or planting something. I made a cold frame and learned I could get a little branch from a shrub I liked, cut it an angle, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and stick it in the ground. The cold frame was like an incubator, protecting the new cutting until it was rooted and could be planted in the yard.
Today my yard is full of these shrubs. I also learned to do similarly with a single rose.
Most all the family knows that if they get me roses, as soon as they leave I will whack off the flower heads, slice 2” off the bottom of the stem at a slant, dip it in rooting hormone and plant it in the cold frame and next year I will have a new rose bush for my collection. I prefer to start my roses this way because they won’t freeze out and grow the old rootstock plant. It will always be true.

Well, now here I am. My hair is mostly silver, I’m a great grandma many times over, and still, have a yard full of flowers. I have about 20 new roses getting started from the bouquets of roses I received from my family on Mothers Day, and I planted blue morning Glory seeds along my front fence intermixed with my blue lake green beans. I have around 20 flower gardens, many are very large, one surround’s a fishpond, another a bird bath, one for just roses, but most are mixed flowers.
I still spend a lot of time pulling weeds, but I am not so obsessed with them as when I was younger. Actually I am taking more time to just enjoy what I have planted.

No, weeds really aren’t such an issue now. In fact, I have found that many of them are quite interesting, and some are just as pretty as my flowers. Isn’t it funny how just because somebody once called it a weed, it got a bad reputation. Take a buttercup, they like an acidic, damp place to grow and the roots are truly roots from hell, but if you ever take the time to look, really look, at a buttercup flower, they are very beautiful. I took a picture of one with my digital, and enlarged it on my computer. See it above. Weed, my foot! The bright yellow petals shine like the finest satin; the stamen is as delicately designed as that of an orchid. And some of the grasses are simple beautiful too. They can look like delicate feathers, or angel wings.

Yes, I am taking more time now to enjoy my garden labors. The weeds will come and go as they have done for hundreds of years. If they get out of control, old man winter will take care of that for me, and I can start a new growing season with relatively clean gardens, which have been composted by last year’s weeds. God planned it that way.
I am taking time to really see the things in my yard. Spiders, caterpillars, bees and even the lowly fly, ugly as it is, it is still interesting to look at.

I am enjoying what I am doing. Taking time to reap the benefits of my many years of labor.
I sit in my lawn swing with a fresh cup of coffee, watching my puppies play and the birds bringing breakfast to their young. Seeing dozens of bumblebees buzzing all over the raspberry patch, pollinating just as our good Lord intended, so I will have a good crop this year. The soft warm breeze dances with the branches of the huge old evergreen while a young squirrel scampers around it’s trunk, looking for a playmate.
The fluffy white clouds shimmer across the glorious blue sky, making familiar shapes, and then dissipating as quickly as they were formed.

They say these are my golden years. I don’t agree. My golden years began the day I was born. They just get shinier as the years pass by, like my knees do.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Wishing the happiest of Birthdays to my first grandchild, Jeremy.
I pray this coming year will bring you great happiness, peace and prosperity.
God Bless you Jamie Bug.
Lovingly, Grandma

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Thursday, June 02, 2005


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There was no canvas stretched smooth and tight,
No blueprint for Him, no plan, no light.
Not a colored pencil or paint brush in His hand,
No Digital, no photoshop, not even a magazine stand.

There was not a Paint-By-Number, or instruction book to read,
No friend close by to copy, nor instructor to take the lead.
He simply had a desire of what he chose to see,
Then spoke it into being, land, sky and sea.

And I know full well that He was thinking, of the pleasure it would bring
When He created woods and ferns and the crystal flowing streams.
In the cool and fragrant stillness of the shadowed mountain glens,
I delight in the perfect garden’s my Holy Father tends.