Day 2 of Just Write – Stove Cleaning, Dog Cones, and Stringed Instruments

A guitar-playing son, a resting girl cat, and an alert boy dog

Well, hello there, WordPress page! I love seeing your peaceful blank slate that awaits new words.

Here we are on day 2 of my “Just Write Challenge”. Since I’m the only one being challenged, I am sure I will succeed no matter how long or short my run time ends up being.

Today, I will make this blog page less blank by talking about my morning. Who knows, maybe someone will read it and relate. That’s always in my mind when I write. I love stumbling across words of others that make me nod inwardly with recognition of some of its notes.

Last night, I planned to clean the wood cookstove today. Our wood is pretty wet, due to so much rain this past summer and also because of our still-incomplete pallet woodshed. As a result of the wet wood, I have to clean the stove once every week or two, which means waiting till it cools enough to take the heavy iron plates off the cooktop so I can remove the creosote.

But when I woke up, the stove was too warm. Coals were in the firebox and the heat-activated fan was still spinning. It’s a sunny day, though, so although it is around the freezing point outside, there’s enough sunlight through the windows and stored heat in the house to wait for the stove to cool down and we won’t all have to put on ski pants and parkas in the meantime – which we would have to do on some days if we were in the basement where there is no heat and no insulation.

I am taking this time to enjoy WordPress, waiting for the stove to cool down. I sit at my desk with a red-with-white-snowflake woolly scarf around my neck; my hair piled into a bun on top of my head with a wooden hair fork; all-black clothing of cotton 3/4 sleeve top, weird bootcut yoga pants with a short skirt attached, and Uggs slipper boots (with dog and cat hair adding a splash of colour to all this black); and a camo apron, in readiness for the stove cleaning. I didn’t actually think about it when I chose what to wear this morning, but black is wise for stove-cleaning day, for less chance of soot stains showing up.

My beloved wood cookstove

This classy cookstove might make it look like we are wealthy and live in a fancy house, but, truth be known, the stove was a huge investment for us, we are relatively poor in this country, and our house is far from fancy. This stove is hands-down the most beautiful non-breathing item in it. The coveted spot to sit for our family members is in a wooden rocking chair in front of that stove. If our kitchen were huge, I’d set up a bunch of rocking chairs around the stove for everyone. (I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, too. One can dream, eh?)

My kitchen is crowded. And that’s okay. I am so grateful for the house we have. I’ve lived in far less.

One more little blip of my morning is the picture I posted at the top of this blog entry. You will see a long-haired chihuahua puppy in a kennel, a grey striped cat on top of the kennel, and one of my sons in the top left preparing to practice his guitar.

Why the cone on the dog’s head, and why is he in a kennel? Well, this little guy is my oldest daughter’s dog. My “grand-dog”, if you will. They are staying with us for a few weeks. The puppy, Pedro, has a bit of mange on his face, and so putting a cone on helps him not scratch the itchy spots down to bare skin.

Pedro is only seven months old and too young to trust having free roam of the house without finding a secret new potty spot on say a closet floor or behind the couch. So, unless he is within reach of a human family member, he hangs out in his comfortably appointed kennel, right in the heart of the home yet cordoned off so he has a sense of being in his own little cave where none of the four cats or the Pom-Chi can bother him while he gets his beauty sleep.

And, ahh, my son’s guitar playing. I dearly love the sound of stringed instruments, especially when played right in my own house. I wish I could play like him, but, alas, I can only strum a few chords. Maybe someday in a new body…
“…with the music of stringed instruments
and with melody on the harp.
Your mighty deeds, O Lord, make me glad;
because of what you have done, I sing for joy.” (Psalm 92:3-5, TLB)

Ramble session done for this day. Off I go to pursue other things.


Removed by Music

Do you ever imagine, while driving, that you might die suddenly in a motor vehicle accident, and the loud music to which you were listening is still blaring from the speakers when too-late rescuers find you? Then they look at your phone and review recent track history to see what song was playing when you crashed. That song gets played at your memorial and your loved ones cry.

I envision it occasionally. I did today while driving from my house to the store.

Here I sit in my car, finishing the coffee I brought from home, letting my phone charge a bit before dashing in for groceries, and writing a blog entry.

“More Than A Feeling” by Boston plays on my car’s stereo. I dug that one out to download recently as my teenaged son is learning to play guitar and I thought he might like its intro. He’s always throwing songs my way that move him, and they re-move me as they are mostly songs that originally moved me, too, at his age, and continue in their movement now.

But back to the thought of being removed from this body while music plays. If it had happened on my drive to town today, it would have occurred during one of these tunes:

1. Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty

2. Put Another Log On The Fire by Tompall Glaser

3. Call Me The Breeze by Lynyrd Skynyrd

4. Travelin’ Shoes by Ruthie Foster

Then I parked and Starman by David Bowie came on. I could have been accidentally or purposely shot during that and have died as happily as during any of the previous songs.

Lady Gaga and some guy just sang “The Shallows” together, and now John Mayer is singing about how someone’s Body’s A Wonderland while his hands do the great things they do to a guitar.

Off I go to brave the grocery store. If I don’t make it out, pick some fine music to play in memory of me and enjoy the rest of your day.

God Of Wonders


The first time I heard this song was on a warm summer’s evening here in our little cowboy town in BC, in a huge tent, played on acoustic guitar by a guy named Cam who was visiting from another city.  Others too, cracked out their guitars and jammed.  Anyone who knew the words sang along beautifully and with heart.

That was the church fellowship that I used to feel was like family.

Most of those people eventually turned their backs on me when I left the abusive ex, because of their misconceptions and misguided ideas, but God never will.  He knows the whole story.

When Similar Stuff Happens


Another of those weird but cool things happened to me today.  There’s got to be a name for it, and I’m calling it “intuation” unless another word can be found.

Today, out of the blue, this song popped into my head, “Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about geography…”

I looked up the lyrics and found that it’s called “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke.

I wondered if I could find the scene from the movie “Witness” I had seen decades ago…

Aha!  There it was on YouTube — that one I posted above in this blog.  (I said that mostly for the people who are receiving notifications by email).

I looked up the lyrics and guitar chords, as I do for a lot of songs that pop into my head.  It seemed simple enough for my limited skills, so I printed it out.

Later, my almost-16-year-old daughter, who I’ll call “S”, was in the basement with a guitar.  She started learning the instrument in school a few days ago and is gung-ho about it, practicing every minute she can get.

I brought my two latest printouts into the basement and lay them on the bed.  Idly chatting with S, I strummed the chords for “Dance Me To The End Of Love”.

I glanced at the 3-ring binder that was open to the song, “Wonderful World”.

I didn’t remember putting that song into a binder.

Confused, I said, “S, is this yours?”

“Yeah, Mom.  It’s one of the songs we’re learning at school.”

I picked up my own two papers I’d had on the bed and looked to make sure my copy of that same song was really there.

“No way,”  I said.  “Look at THIS!  I just printed this out today.  I’d not even thought of this song in YEARS and now here you’ve got it???  Woah, that’s SO weird.”

We weirded out over it for awhile, and then we played and sang it together.

I love it when intuation takes place.  I intuate a lot.

Related posts:
Thinking About Something And Then It Happens

Grace Greater Than All Our Sin


I love how hymns pop into my mind at random.

Before I had to work so much, when I cooked every day, I would sometimes have a hymnal open on the kitchen counter, learning the words, feeling peace (as long as the abusive ex wasn’t home).

Other times, I’d go to my digital piano, play a part and sing the harmony to it.

As a side effect, my kids memorized the words to those hymns by hearing me.

In retrospect, I learned some hymns from hearing my own mother sing, even though they didn’t take on meaning until I became a Christian at age 20.

I don’t know these people who are singing this hymn, but they bring back sweet memories of crackin’ out the guitars and harmonizing with my sisters and brothers in Christ.

Grace That Is Greater Than All Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.


Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.


Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.


Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?