My spirit is spent within me

When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.
William Shakespeare

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( detail discarded tulip petal / Julie Cook / 2015)

I am a petal cast aside
tired and spent
My spirit rides low. . .
Gone is the supple newness and vibrant color
Life giving juices having long since dried
Wilted
Faded
Discarded

Until You reach for me
Gently
Tenderly
Softly
You lift me up
Picking me up from out of myself

A single tear trails down my face
Sorrow wells within my heart
Yet when you touch my cheek
Gently wiping away the tear
I know I am not forgotten. . .

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

To sleep, but to dream; to wake but to yearn

“I dreamt — marvellous error! — that I had a beehive here inside my heart. And the golden bees were making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures.”
― Antonio Machado

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
William Shakespeare

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(the beads of tiny rain drops appear as pearls upon a spider’s web / Julie Cook / 2015)

Routed out of slumber’s silent realm
waking in the harsh dark reality of that what was,
for was, was but a dream. . .

Again the dream, each time is different
Yet the meaning and emotion quite the same
To be. . .
Embraced
Enveloped
Loved completely

It may not be you
but it is some form of you
Sadly having never seen you
nor achingly never having known you

But you are there
kind and nurturing. . .
Missing you,
longing to know you
to see you
to feel you
to see your face,
seeing mine

In sleep you are elusive
Seemingly present, yet not.
In waking, you have never existed
Emptiness fills the heart

Fleeting and just out of reach,
Your smile fills the void
To be loved as in the dream,
In the reality of waking,
leaves the heart spent.

Tears fall as the pearls of a broken strand
worn beautifully around your neck
But that I could gather them up
giving them back to you,
pouring them gently into your warm hands
For in the dream, you are warm. . .

Your eyes tenderly enveloping the now grown child
You see nothing negative, just joy
in what stands before you—
How different would it all have been
knowing you?

You remain hidden
In the shadows of a sleeping mist
You are longed for in wakefulness
A haunting specter longed for in
a dream

Battle weary

“If you wish to feign confusion in order to lure the enemy on, you must first have perfect discipline; if you wish to display timidity in order to entrap the enemy, you must have extreme courage; if you wish to parade your weakness in order to make the enemy over-confident, you must have exceeding strength”
Tu Mu / Du Mu, (803–852) leading Chinese poet of the late Tang Dynasty

From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fixed sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other’s watch.
Fire answers fire, and through their play flames
Each battle sees the other’s umbered face.
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night’s dull ear; and from the tents
The armorers accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.

Shakespeare

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(English heraldry shield with ceremonial Union Jacks / Jere’s antiques / Savannah, Georgia /Julie Cook / 2014)

Allow me to introduce you to but a few of the enemy:

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The stripper of leaves and the tank crusher of plants and bushes—it knows no limits (image–Julie Cook)

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The nibbler of tender greens and head of ground troops (image/ Julie Cook)

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The corn ear husker, bird seed thief and chief of covert operations (image / The WWW)

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The blueberry bandit and chief of reconnaissance (image / Julie Cook )

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The burrower, vegetation marauder and chief of subversive forces (image / The WWW)

Do not allow yourself be fooled or lulled into complacency for one minute by the innocent appearances of the axis forces.
This lot, which has combined forces, is a formidable foe.
One that has left me tried, tested, spent and nearly exhausted.
I have used every available defense in my arsenal—those items and strategies which are of a humane nature of course.
And yet I grow weary.

This is the latest image taken from a recent night-time attack:

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The image is one of 4 rows of beans which have been re-eaten and topped off.
Wax and french beans decimated.
The casualty numbers are dangerously and tragically high.

What is at stake you ask.
This:
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The very nourishment and sustenance for my troops—-Er, make that “troop”, as in single, as in my husband. The army of one, led by me, a single commander. . .as in just really two who fight this war.
The crafty enemy is numerous and we are sorely out-maned and out gunned.
The enemy has boldly attacked our food supply lines, we are desperate to fend them off—using every available resource.

I will not be deterred.
No white flag here.
We shall never surrender. . .
“We shall defend our island, (replace island with garden and we’re good)
whatever the cost may be, (time, energy and money)
we shall fight on the beaches, (no beaches here so replace with the word garden again)
we shall fight on the landing grounds, (I suppose our yard could be seen as a landing field)
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, (just the fields)
we shall fight in the hills; (no real hills, maybe a mound or two)
we shall never surrender.

Winston Churchill with a few interjections by cookie

Plus Merveilleux or Butter Part II

“O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! And yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping.”
― William Shakespeare, As You Like It

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Part II to Presents of Purpose—from yesterday’s post:
As my students so irritatingly use to say when something grand took place—OMG! Now you and I are not phones so “text talk,” as I use to call it, has no place in face to face conversation or any sort of conversation, but try telling that to teenagers. However, at this moment, I suppose I must make an exception as what has transpired here is truly a wonderful marvel—a marvel indeed!!

BUTTER, we actually made butter!!!
The real deal! An amalgamation of an unctuous tongue coating sublime byproduct all from a cow– BUTTER!!
It worked!! The little shaker jar worked!! I must feel like Edison or Bell when their little tinkerings actually produced light and sound—amazed and elated all rolled into one.

But Julie, for Heaven’s sake, it’s just butter for crying out loud.
Just butter you say?!
Not just butter. . . but rather light, fresh, clean homemade wonder in a jar.
This little jar has produced something that I, until today, have only been able to procure from a store or vendor—never from my own kitchen.
The possibilities, imagine the possibilities. . .
The gears in the ol brain are turing now!!!. . .

This little gift, has in turn, given me not only joy and wonderment but tremendous possibilities for creativity as well as self satisfaction–and of course the added plus of tastebud pleasure. Who would have thought a little box with a little jar could bring such simple joy and pleasure?!

After the cream sat in the shaker jar for the specified 8 hours, and after I picked up my aunt from the side of interstate I-75, I came home to shake the jar as directed for about 3 minutes. At which point I strained off the resulting “buttermilk.” I was instructed to next add cold water to the jar and shake some more. After which I poured off the water while the resulting butter accumulated in the small ramekin attached at the bottom of the jar. Unscrewing the jar from the ramekin, I was amazed at what I beheld sitting before me. There amassed within the small white ramekin was a soft creamy off-white clump of spreadable butter. Sprinkle with a little salt, gently blending and VOLIA!!!

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And for my second act, I’m thinking herbs de Provence, or maybe honey cinnamon, or maybe red pepper, or maybe garlic, or maybe. . . mmmmmmmm so so good and so so wonderful!!!