Garden Notes

What I planted today Blue Lake green beans (Gurney) Fernleaf dill (Park) Dark Opal basil seedlings (Ferry Morse) Calypso basil seedlings (Park) Profusion zinnias AAS Mix (Park) Apricot Profusion zinnias (Park) Whirlybird nasturtiums  Fordhook nasturtiums Easter lily Jet Star tomato seedling (gifted) I love planting purple things in the garden. The Dark Opal Basil looks amazing next to all the greens. We also have red lettuce that gives a nice purple contrast. It makes a really pretty picture in the garden. Two other colors I like in plants to go along with the greens are yellow-green chartreuse plants, and burnt orange plants like a certain coleus we've grown in our porch pots.

The Wonder of Apple Trees

  "It is an apple like ours in Myrtle." "But you said it was magical," Benny said, biting into a golden piece. Mr. Wheeler chewed his bite and swallowed. "It is." Jack Zulu and the Waylander's Key S.D. Smith and J.C. Smith

My New Cherokee Language Project

I am translating (transposing) a book of Cherokee phrases from English and phonetic Cherokee to the Cherokee syllabary.  I'm a member of the Cherokee Nation, and I've been wanting to learn the Cherokee language. The Cherokee language is written in a 81 character syllabary which means that each symbol is a syllable rather than in an alphabet where each symbol is one sound. In Cherokee, you have different symbols for the sounds "ga" Ꭶ and "gi" Ꭹ and so on. My first project was to learn it. There are 81 characters that often look alike and sound alike, so it was difficult. Once I did that, I needed to continue practicing it. That's what I do now.  I wanted to learn more Cherokee phrases, and I bought a book of Cherokee phrases called Osiyo Tohitsu  by Prentice Robinson. This has a ton of common phrases that you might use. There are also YouTube videos that the Cherokee Nation language office posts of common words and phrases. The problem with Osiyo was tha

Why I Deleted Facebook

I deleted Facebook this week.  I'm off of most social media now. I had been on Facebook for 18 years. I remember when Facebook became available for my college during the fall of my senior year. We were all pretty excited about it. I've got pictures and posts about my life ever since, but it was time to delete it.  Here's why I deleted most social media: Facebook: I left this site because I couldn't use it the way that I wanted to. I felt like I was having to constantly tell them to hide sections of Facebook. I realized this week that I kind of spent the last year leaving it. I went 6 months last year without posting at all. I put time limits on using it. I even unfollowed almost every page. Facebook was constantly changing how it worked. Instead of showing me friends and family that I wanted to see, they were showing me posts and people that I didn't sign up to see. Sometimes it was inappropriate things. I decided it was time.  Twitter: I left this site when things

Counting the Right Things in Ministry: Church Numbers that Matter

Every church keeps attendance. Pastors and boards and denominations live by them. Is there a different scorecard to use for myself? For churches and leaders? This was inspired by something Mike Cosper said a few years ago on his podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. A pastor asked him what to count if the emphasis on numbers was part of what led Mars Hill Church to hurt a lot of people. Cosper's answer was to count hospital visits and funerals. I've thought of that ever since. Here are additional numbers that we can count. Measure Walks with Family. Set a goal and measure how many walks you take with your family. This is good for your physical health. It's good for your mental health because it gives you the chance to process and think. Lots of writers, preachers, teachers, and creative people take lots of walks. It's also really good for your relationship with your family. Unstructured walks regularly would be something to measure. Fires with family and friends. This

10 Fan Bike Workouts

When I worked in a local gym, new people came in most days to sign up at the gym. We would ask them what their goal was and what their plan was. They always had a blank look for the plan because the gym was the plan. They planned on using the equipment to reach their goal but hadn't thought about how they would use the equipment. The equipment was the plan. Equipment isn't a plan. I've got 10 workout ideas for a fan bike. A fan bike is a bike that has a fan in place of the front wheel and usually has arms that pump back and forth. The reason for the fan is that the harder you pedal and pump, the resistance from the fan gets harder. As you work harder or get fitter, then the bike gets harder too. Fan bikes usually come with a computer display that shows time, speed, calories burned, distance, and revolutions per minute. It makes for great workouts. Schwinn Airdyne, Air Assault, and Rogue Echo are examples of fan bikes. There are others. Here are 10 workout ideas for someone

3 New Tomatoes for This Year

I'm starting tomato seeds this week and wanted to describe 3 new varieties. It feels late to be starting tomato seeds, but our weather doesn't really stay warm until after May 9th when we get back from our vacation. I also don't want my tomatoes to be too big and have a hard time staying up. This year, I'm trying 3 varieties new to me that were bred by Fred Hempel. Fred died last fall. His work used to be sold under the Artisan Seeds brand, but now is carried by a new company he was in the process of starting called Bene Seeds .  Benevento is the tomato that Fred was so proud of. It is a beefsteak tomato that is ideal for gourmet restaurants because it tastes great, holds up well if it is on a gourmet burger or sandwich, and stores well. You can pick it, store in normal conditions like a kitchen or restaurant, and have it still hold its shape and taste great. He talked often about the need for hold up like commercial tomatoes but taste like heirlooms. Benevento is a hyb