On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge Volume 191

Here are my answers to the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back over to Joyce  at From This Side of the Pond to share answers and add your link to the party...see you there!

1. It's Fall. Y'all. My (Joyce's and my) favorite season of the year! What's something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it's officially Fall? 

Visit the Dallas Arboretum

Put the leash on my dog and hit the pavement for a walk in the cooler temperatures. There's something about the way the sun creates different shadows that just speak to me of Fall. The air smells different and I feel rejuvenated. Football season also tells me it's officially Fall and it's time for beef stew or chili.

This pic says it all, y'all.
photo credit

And unrelated to that, do you ever say-'y'all'?

Do I ever say Y'all?? All the time. That's just a given here in Texas, y'all.

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?

My life is very peaceful in relationships, so fall outs are rare. But recently I experienced a disagreement with someone which could have turned into a fallout and hurt an already fragile relationship had I not guarded my words and prayed that it would not spiral downward. It was resolved very quickly and had a good ending.

3. A song you love with the word 'fall' in it's title?

I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline or Willie Nelson.

4. What's something you've recently let 'fall by the wayside?'

Yard work! :-) Recovery from surgery has been slow for me and so I'm falling down in some things around the yard and house. The weeds are taking over my roses.

Me with Jeb a few Falls ago. Poor thing.
One Fall his stuffing finally fell by the wayside!
5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-town-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?

Back in the spring, we went to see a movie which I never would have chosen. However, it was the choice of loved ones whom we wouldn't be seeing again for a very long time and they were soooooo looking forward to seeing it that I went along with the group. I never had any real expectations about the movie, but tried to go in with a good attitude and Oh. My. Goodness. It was even worse than I ever would have imagined. Everything about it from the appearance of the characters, the violence and the setting was just "ugly" to me. It just isn't my "thang."

6. Describe a time you said or thought, 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

Our pastor's daughter is an incredible woman of multiple gifts and talents being a blend of both her parents who excel in so many areas of leadership and accomplishments. I admire her so much and wonder at how she manages family, career, church and civic leadership with excellence, and still has time to relax and enjoy life. (Added to that, her husband is an associate pastor at our church and you know all the responsibilities that go along with that!)

7. Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?

The weather was nicer. The day was better in that it was today and I had been given another day! I spent the morning with friends at Bible study and lunch afterwards. Yesterday I felt I didn't accomplish as much as I should have. I spent a lot of time watching the PBS series about The Roosevelts.

Here is a Fall picture I took when we last visited New York and the Roosevelts' home.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am learning a lot about the Roosevelt family. I had no idea that Teddy Roosevelt had accomplished so much in his 60 years. What an amazing and energetic person he was. Very interesting, adventurous and productive man. Now my random thought as I look over my answers is that my admiration for overachievers causes me to muse as to whether I am not accomplishing as much as perhaps I should be. Hmmmm.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Volume 189

Here are the questions and my answers to this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then skip over to Joyce's From This Side of the Pond to add your link to the party.  See you there!

1. On Thursday we pause to remember a dark day in history-9/11. Will you mark it in some special way?

We marked it on Sunday at church. Our church brings in a replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall for several days for display in our parking lot so that all the community can come look and find names of friends or loved ones names who might be on the Wall. Some local schools brought students on field trips to see it. The display is guarded 24/7 by veterans.

This year those who wanted to do so bought and donated brand new pairs of Army field/desert boots like the military wears in Afghanistan and Iraq. Each pair was to represent and honor a fallen soldier from our area who gave their life in the battles there since the Persian Gulf. Veterans, active military, firefighters and police were invited to join us and be honored by our congregation and they and their families were served lunch. All the men and women honored stand up front as we applaud and cheer and then pray for them. I'm telling you, it is quite an emotional moment for everyone and you can see grown men cry as they feel the love.

On Thursday, I will remember how I felt the morning that happened. Stunned, shocked, disbelief, fear ... so many emotions. My husband was a firefighter at the time and our son was going to rookie school with the fire department. It was very scary to think about other women's husbands, sons, brothers going into those buildings never to return. 

2. Do you ever/still...listen to an actual radio? Watch a videotape (VCR)? Look up a number in a phonebook? Refer to a paper map while traveling? Set an alarm on an alarm clock as opposed to your phone?
  • I listen to the radio when I'm in the car ... alone. At night, if I'm having trouble sleeping, I will find a favorite teacher online and plug in to hear some really good teaching. It's really funny, but I never make it past the introduction before I am fast asleep and wake up in the morning with ear buds still in my ears.
  • I have several VCR tapes of kids' movies which we watch with the grands.
  • The phone books go in the recycle bin as soon as they are delivered.
  • Sometimes I use a paper map in the car. Not too often.
  • I set my phone alarm only when something is going on the next morning. I have an internal alarm clock that wakes me about 5 every morning, but I need a back-up sometimes, just in case.

3.  Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?

When I am talking with someone I don't know, I can usually get a feel for what their opinion is politically and also by the time a few exchanges have been made, we will know where we stand on the subject of God. I won't argue politics or religion, but I love talking with someone about Jesus. It's always exciting to find a kindred spirit. I get a feel early in the conversation as to whether they love talking about Him, too. 
I am fine with discussions and conversations with strangers about other topics besides those. Sometimes it is just NOT a good idea. Why create strife? That doesn't show love.

4. What's a dish you haven't eaten all summer, but come September find yourself craving? Have you made it yet this month?

I am ready for some good old-fashioned beef stew and cornbread. It just hasn't happened yet. Still too hot here. 

5. What's something you know nothing about?

Quantum physics 

6. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like classical music? If so, what's your favorite piece?

Yes, I do. The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah - so powerful!
Fur Elise. (Sorry, that's more than one.)

7. What's the oldest thing you own?

A rocker from the late 1800's. I love this chair and enjoyed rocking Kate and Jack in it. It had a great creaking sound to go with a lullaby.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I wish I had a way to slow down the rest of the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us before you know it and, as in years past, I will not be ready for it. The holidays will be different this year as everybody is scattered. Very seldom have the holidays been a Norman Rockwell scene, but I cherish the ones that were.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Returning to Normal .. whatever that is!

The past few days have been quite eventful with normal, everyday life ... more so than in the past few weeks of being in bed or sitting around getting well. I've been able to do things around the house, get out to run a few errands, and meet friends for lunch, or go to church.

Friday afternoon we picked up the kids and brought them over to spend the night. On the drive over, we decided to stop at the mall to let them play. All the drive over they played and took turns with the iPad and the Leapster GS. As we turned to pull into the mall parking lot, I smiled thinking of the similarity of instructions given when a plane is landing and the flight attendant's statement to everyone, "We are now approaching the parking lot of the mall. Please turn off and stow away all electronic devices!" :-)

Saturday we visited a place I had heard about and been wanting to take the kids to see. While Sharkarosa Ranch wasn't all I hoped it would be, the kids loved it (even though we had had to convince them to want to go - their druthers were to stay home and play on iPad).

I think I am going to just throw away all the toys we have that clutter the house since iPad is now the main attraction. Don't get me wrong! I know it isn't right for them to be using them ALL the time - all things in moderation - but that is something that keeps them pretty occupied. (They do still love outdoor activities, playing tag, hide and seek, or going to the park, etc.)

Riding ponies at Sharkarosa

Took a tram ride to check out all the animals in the wild.
We saw a couple of bears, camels, horses, zebras, emus,
peacocks, wild pigs, and deer.

The goat snorted at them!
They thought it was hilarious.
Maybe the blueberry snow cone wasn't the best choice!

They were terrific and we had such a wonderful time, I was a little sad about taking them home - the time just flew by. They didn't want to go home and asked to stay another night, but I knew that would be too much for us.

Sunday was a special day at our church. Our pastor, having been brought up in a military family, is adamant about giving honor to whom honor is due. So every year on the week of 9/11, we have a special service with the Jr. ROTC color guard leading the Pledge of Allegiance. We sing the Star Spangled Banner, and honor all military, active or retired, all first responders, firefighters, police, and EMTs by praying for them and presenting them with a token of appreciation. It is a special time to recognize, applaud and thank heroes and show the next generation our respect for these brave people who serve us. As Pastor said, we must never, ever forget the ones who have served.

Some gave all.
The past two years a replica of the VietNam Memorial Wall
has been brought in for display.
This year the desert boots were added to honor more
than a hundred of those from our area
who had given their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Each pair honored a particular person.

Here is my own hero, honored as retired firefighter 
and for eleven years' service in the Army National Guard.
The handsome one in the center.

Our son is a firefighter and was going through rookie school when 9/11 occurred. Believe me, it was quite sobering for our family as we watched the brave firefighters entering those towers.

Today, I accomplished a lot around the house, then needed to run a couple of errands. As I drove home on the freeway, I noticed just ahead of me were three cars, one of which was a state trooper. All three were traveling at the speed of about 55mph. The maximum legal speed is 70 mph on that road and I am always surprised when I see that people won't pass a police officer. So I just put my foot down and headed over to the far left lane to go around all of them, never going past 68 mph when, to my dismay and embarrassment, the trooper flashed those lights and had the nerve to pull me over!!! I was mortified! What in the world had I done? Is it illegal to pass a police car? Did I not use my signal? Had the speed limit changed? What??

Oh well, never mind all the questions. Far be it from me to dishonor or disrespect the ones who serve us, and so I waited patiently with both hands on the wheel so the officer would feel safe approaching me. I smiled at him and he very kindly informed me that my car had no front license plate. Well, that wasn't quite what I was expecting. Because I was unable to find our insurance card in the car - (where in the world did my husband hide that thing???) he said he would go back to his patrol car and run a check on me! Oh no!! Now my new prayer is please, Lord, don't let him notice that my CHL has expired, and please don't let him ask me if I have a gun in the car! (I didn't.) Last time I got stopped, that got me into some trouble with an officer who wasn't quite so kind.

Whew!! He didn't. He came back smiling, said he found the information, noticed I only had nine electric miles left on my car and told me I had better scoot on home. Thank the Lord!

This little girl is a bit of a toot!!

We played a game in the car taking turns drawing a picture on the iPad and the other guessing what we had drawn. We were allowed to give three hints.

My hint to Kate about my drawing: "This is something you have that I don't!" 

Kate to me: "A good memory!"

Then Friday night, Kate and Jack wanted to take out all the trash baskets in the house. They did both trash and recycles, which I praised them for. When we came upstairs for bed that night, I warned that we were only making one trip and I gave everybody something to carry up. When I gave Kate her bag, she said, "Nonnie, I just do trash. I don't carry my stuff."

She cracks me up!

Our other grandsons live three hours away on a good traffic day. Sometimes longer. Wish we could just run over and pick them up to come stay with us. They are growing up and more involved now than ever with school, soccer, friends, and other activities.

Brady's short tale of what he did this past summer. I'm happy he included our beach trip, but kinda sad he reported falling off the golf cart landing on his face. That little incident was one I would like to forget - and be thankful he wasn't hurt, just a little scared. I think that will teach him to hold on and not look too far over the side when we turn corners.

Noah's teacher sent home a sweet note. So proud of him.

And last, but not least, 28 years ago, I met my Dear Heart. 
I am so thankful for him and all the adventure he has brought into my life!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Trying to get back in the swing of things with fun questions from Joyce and Wednesday Hodgepodge! All are welcome to join the fun with Joyce's questions From This Side of the Pond 

1.  What's something you wanted to do this summer that you never got around to actually doing?

Since January, we had been looking forward to our beach vacation in June with all the family. I'm thankful and happy to say that did happen. However, my plans for the rest of the summer didn't work out quite the way I had anticipated. Two weeks in the hospital and then several weeks recovering at home prevented me from doing the things we had planned with the grand kids before school started. Ah, the disappointments of life! The upside to that is I'm thankful to be here!!!! 

2. Share a favorite memory of your own back -to-school days as a child.

Going back to school was exciting because it meant seeing old friends, making new friends, getting new clothes and shoes, school supplies, and meeting new teachers.

3.  What's one chore or daily task you prefer doing "old-school'"?

Dishes! Growing up, my sister and I were the dishwashers at home every day. For the past 40+ years I've  had a dishwasher, but it is still my preference to wash the dishes before they go in, and scrub the pots and pans myself. (My husband cleans up after meals often and he seems to think the dishwasher has little scrubbing hands, so when he does dishes, I usually have to re-do when he isn't looking.)

4.  Share something you've learned in life through the 'school of hard knocks'.

Don't believe everything "they" say!

5.  As a child, did you mostly bring or buy your lunch for school? What was your favorite thing to find in your lunchbox?

Throughout elementary school I carried my red plaid lunchbox which held no surprises. Every day it contained a grape jelly sandwich on white bread, a thermos of chocolate milk, a small bag of chips, and a fried cherry pie or Hostess cupcake with the squiggle - maybe sometimes a coconut snowball. The chocolate cupcake would have to be the favorite. I was a very picky eater and, on the rare days that lunch was purchased at school, it was mashed potatoes with gravy and chocolate cake.

I'm the one with ruffled dress which my Mom made.
And I am holding my red plaid lunch box.

6. Football season is upon us which has me wondering... how big of a sports fan are you (not just football) ? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being 'I scream at the players through my television screen' and 1 being 'is knitting a sport?' where do you fall in fandom?

Sports on TV just doesn't do it for me. Back in the "old" days when Tom Landry coached such guys as Roger Staubach, I loved the Dallas Cowboys. 

Since the end of that era, I have enjoyed a mini-vacation each Sunday afternoon reading a book while my husband watches football. 

7. Share a favorite quote you think might inspire students of all ages at the start of a new school year.

My random thought at this moment is that I am looking forward to next week and new semester for Bible Study Fellowship studying the Life of Moses. I am especially looking forward to having our daughter-in-law attend with me for the first time and grandson, Jack as well. It should be a great year! It's kinda like new school year. Got my bag, my new notebook, will have homework, and meet new friends. These days, we don't carry our lunch. We all go together after class! Love my friends.

Thank you, Joyce, for the excellent questions you post weekly. Whether or not I am able to participate, I enjoy the thoughtful answers by you and your fellow bloggers.