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


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Betty Jean

My Mother

A sweet, simple, naive, kind, gentle, loving woman.
So many adjectives to describe her. My Mama.
She was teacher, defender, the one who made lots of sacrifices for my sister, brother and me.
She spent hours making our clothes, cooking, doing backbreaking work under poor conditions without the conveniences we now have.
She could stretttcccchhhh a dollar, as they say!
I can honestly tell you I never heard my mother complain.

She literally rescued me from our burning house
when I was a baby.
 In my life, I strayed many times.
What she taught me about Jesus brought me back to the right path.
Her examples of prayer and faith,
faithfulness and loyalty stand out in my memory.
What others said about her?
She always had a smile and a kind word for others.
She had a reputation for never gossipping.
(She did have a sneaky side, though! ;-)
We found out one of the funny things she did sometimes was pull out our
roller skates after we had gone to school ... and skate on the driveway!!!
We found that hilarious.)
Selfish kids we are when we are young.
I remember at the end of the day,
all she asked from us was for someone to rub her feet.
(Wah, we didn't always "feel" like doing that.)
She passed away 25 years ago after one of the most courageous fights
against cancer I ever witnessed.
How I miss her. It would be a privilege to be able to rub her feet again.
The joy of her life in her last years were her grandchildren.
It was a disappointment to us that she did not get to see them grow up.
Have I made her sound too perfect?
She wasn't.
But she was the perfect Mom for me.
I look forward to seeing her again one day.
February 19,1931 - August 28,1987

Back to School

Our oldest grandson, Brady, is beginning kindergarten this year. But since he is (and has been for some time) in day care and Montessori school, the transition for him isn't so drastic as those just beginning school for the first time (for both him and Mommy).

Seeing pictures everywhere in Blogland and on Facebook of kiddos going back to school takes me back ... waaaayy back and evokes many school day memories. My mother told me that she would send me off to school crying because I wanted to stay home, and my sister would be crying because she wanted to go to school. (I bet my Mom was crying her eyes out just 'cause both of us were crying and giving her fits!!!)

For myself, I remembered this pic with the neighbor kids all set for school.

Me with ruffles on my dress Mom made
My little sister holding her baby doll.

Way, way back there - around 1956. Laddie pencils, tablets with wide rule, chalk and chalkboards, learning to read and write, spelling, and arithmetic. Kind teachers (who were able to keep control in the classroom amazingly just by the fact that they were an authority to be respected), saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag each morning, and the Lord's Prayer were also part of our school days.

All of the girls wore dresses (strange thing I never noticed before that the girl standing next to me appears to be wearing jeans). I had a plaid lunchbox which I carried throughout elementary school. It always contained a grape jelly sandwich on white bread, a thermos of chocolate milk, Fritos, and a fried cherry pie or a chocolate Hostess cupcake (remember the white filling inside? Ewwwww. I think they arrest Moms for lunches like that these days.)

We didn't ride a school bus. I have no idea why unless Tulsa had no public school bus system back then. We all walked to school together. It was quite a distance, too (you know the story, 5 feet of snow and pouring down rain). Seriously though, I have been back to the old homeplace and it was a long distance for children. In 2012, I am sure no Mom would send her children off to walk that far at the age of 5 or 6. Amazing how things have changed. And very sad.

On our way to school, we cut through Ziegler Park ... a beautiful park with lots of huge trees and a creek running through it. I remember everybody taking turns walking on the frozen creek in the winter time. As we crossed the park, we would listen (and tell) stories about what horrible things had happened to little children in that park. Oh, scary tales were told and all of us shuddered as we thought about it. How heartbreaking it is that these nightmarish tales are reality at present.

We were strictly admonished to never talk to strangers, nor were we to ever get in a car with anyone and to come straight home from school. One morning, the sweetest elderly couple (who also happened to be our next door neighbors AND landlords) stopped to ask if I wanted a ride home. Duh. No, I am not allowed to accept ride from strangers. LOL.

Surprisingly enough, though I did heed my Mom's warnings not to ride with strangers, somehow I reasoned it was all right to part from my friends and go home with one of my little classmates who lived in a different direction. Poor Mom would then have to leave my sister with the neighbors to come looking for me. On foot. Not only did she did not know how to drive a car, we were a one car family back then. Ohhhh, yes, I remember the feel the back of the switch on those days that I did not heed what Mama said. :-)

Special memories of the good, the hard and the bad times. I'm sure you have special memories of the end of summer and going back to school. Any favorite you want to share?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lights to light the way


Just being silly today.


Kate has found yet another use for her new Twinkle Toe shoes
that Skechers probably never foresaw!
She has decided they
can light the way for Nonnie
when she goes to the "Powder Room"
(I have blessed you by sparing you any other
sound effects than Kate stomping her shoes!!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Hello

Tulips are such happy flowers, don't you think?
The Dallas Arboretum Spring 2012
I love a field of tulips. We may be approaching Fall, which I enjoy immensely,
but I just found this in my photos and wanted to share.
The tulips have faded for this year, the roses are withering,
and the crepe myrtles are beginning to look a little ragged around the edges.
Fall will bring beautiful foliage and colorful mums and pumpkins and such.
I enjoy all the seasons because they are reminders to me in nature
of the fact that God's love never changes.
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” 
(Genesis 8:22)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; ...
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blessings to You Today

I took this photo in the Arcadia National Park in October, 2010.
Blessings to all of you and my apologies
as old posts are being updated and brought forward as
I am removing pictures obtained from the Internet.

The heavens

(NIV) Psalms 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Thank You, Father. Each day I am blessed to enjoy such a view out my window, greeting the dawn in the morning and watching the sun set at the end of the day. You paint the most glorious pictures daily ... for our pleasure!!!

This wide open view allows me to see the resident hawk soaring and searching ... bunnies scampering across the lawn, birds in flight, even a bobcat in our yard one afternoon. We may not have the most scenic view of the lake, but it is one that I have come to love. The wide open space of sky that I can see speaks to me of Your greatness. Watching lightning storms reminds me that when Jesus returns, it will be as lightning from the east to the west.

Kate noticed the sunset the other night and we watched it go down together. This brought about lots of questions about where the sun went tonight. :-) Any attempt at explanations was met with "why?" :) Having the privilege of a relationship with and enjoying the company of this child (and Brady, Noah and Jack) is so much more than I ever dreamed I would be blessed with. Thank You God.

(NIV) Psalms 8:3-4 "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Don't Worry ... Be Happy

Dear Heart has claimed more than once that he is "not a deep thinker."
I disagree. One of his favorite sayings is "Be Happy"
The Apostle Paul said it like this.

C. S. Lewis said it this way:

"My own idea, for what it is worth, is that all sadness
which is not either arising
from the repentance of a concrete sin
and hastening towards concrete amendment or restitution,
or else arising from pity and hastening to active assistance, is simply bad;
and I think we all sin
by needlessly disobeying the apostolic injunction to
'rejoice' as much as by anything else."


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Dog's Life

These are all dead giveaways clues for my Trudy

Good neighbor bag
(very humbling)

Just in case
and I'm positive that anybody reading this is WAY smarter than my dog.
Seeing any one of the above items will get her excited--
(even at the ripe old age of 14)
Don’t dare let one of them be seen in her presence
Or you will be in for a …


Or a very sad and disappointed little doggie.
Every evening she maintains her vigil  to see if any rabbits are lurking in the back yard.

After the doggie door is closed down for the night,

she heads back upstairs to stand by her bed
And wait…
For me to straighten out her bed
And pull the covers over her.

Cold winter mornings find her in Daddy's lap
Is that a spoiled dog?
Some people might think so.
and I'm sure they would tell you other tall tails
This is my idea of a spoiled pooch.

Recently, when we were in Vancouver,
I was SHOCKED somewhat surprised to see that the menu in our hotel room
had a page devoted to your “pampered pet.”
Menu items include such goodies as
Organic Venison and Cranberry Pepperoni,
Organic Beef Granola Bars and Turkey & Spinach
(made with all-natural ingredients like hormone-free turkey breast and fresh spinach).

I love my dog. She's part of our family.
(We even buy her dog food at Whole Foods!)
That is something the rest of us cannot afford.
She gets her hair cut as often as I do.
She has her annual check-ups and teeth-cleaning.
But she will NOT be headed for a spa or the Fairmont Hotel any time soon.*
(I have heard rumors though that when she stays with the petsitters,
she  actually gets to sleep WITH THEM!!!!!)

Don't laugh! I bet your pet has some really cute little quirky things going for them too.
*Disclaimer and fine print: These comments are not intended to be judgmental of anyone who does and can afford to send their dog to spas, day cares, fancy hotels, or anywhere else they may be pampered, petted, coddled, etc., etc. We all do what we gotta do, right? wink, wink

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good News Tuesday

It ain’t over till it’s over - right?

Monday’s post was the good news of today
and the sad memories of yesterday.
Today is the good.
Life brings its share of sadness - but it brings more gladness, I think.
And it is for the living.
Job’s sorrow lasted only three months.
A lot of tears were shed, a lot of prayers were said when I was left alone.
And God’s mercies are new every day.
The good news for me is that not long after the bad,
Good news came my way in the form of the guy I call my Dear Heart today.

For anyone going through the night seasons of life, be encouraged.
Weeping may last for the night - but joy comes in the morning.

Corrie ten Boom used this poem many, many times.

My life is but a weaving between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors, He weaveth steadily.
Oft' times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper and I the underside.
Not 'til the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares; nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him.
(-- author unknown)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good news Monday

Going to the doctor isn't that much fun, nor is it the way
I really want to spend an entire morning.
But it's always good news to find that everything is well when you're done.

It's a red-letter day health-wise. Not only does the doctor proclaim me to be in great physical shape - but I am still growing!
I grew half an inch this past year!! LOL! Thinking somebody made a clerical error
in the records somewhere, but will take it
since the additional height greatly improves the BMI index.

Eh?? What did you say?

I have been comexplaining my hearing is very bad.
Doctor's test says my hearing is better than average.
Now I'm wondering if I am ADD, using selective hearing,
or just tuning out others. What is my problem?
Will try to pay more attention.

7 years out on breast cancer! YAY!!!

Thats something to shout about!!!

Musing earlier about whether to mention this is also the 27th anniversary
of another day that was a life-changer for me. 
A day I discovered how quickly a fairly tranquil world
can be turned upside down - in the blink of an eye.

You wake up, life is normal, you bid your husband good-bye as he goes to work ...
and he never returns. You receive the dreaded phone call that nobody wants to get ...
and nothing is ever the same.
I remember that day vividly. The people who came to my aid in that time of need,
the weather, my emotions, sleepless nights, 
it is all etched in my memory as though it happened yesterday.

Since that day, I have experienced many other life-changing days.
The good news is I'm stronger now than I was then.

A strong woman believes that she's strong enough
to face her journey ... but a woman of strength
has faith that it is in this journey that she will be come STRONG!!!

Not as strong as I want to be.
Life still throws curve balls ... and always will.

The even better news

God gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
and He will sustain me in times of trouble.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birthdays, bubble gum, and bugs


The birthday party was a BIG success!! I should say the whole birth DAY!!
Kate went to gymnastics

The Jump House with her buddy George,

And partied hard with the family

and her special friend, Abby.
admiring outfits! ;-)

One of the big treats that Kate has been looking forward to about turning 4
was that she now will be allowed to chew bubble gum.
Lessons on blowing bubbles

That is, with the following stipulations:
Under supervision
Following the house rules
(i. e., as a reward, at certain times, anybody's house, car, church, etc.
you know, Mom rules)

With privilege comes responsibility. Right?

Mom's rules are working.
Hugs and thank you's were given to each gift-giver
before packages were even opened by Kate.
Good job!

To Do's

When we were on our cruise, we took a little computer course
to learn how to make a DVD.
It's taking me a very. long. time.
to make a decent DVD of our trip
that will be stored on the shelf somewhere.

Note to self:
Learn how to use a camera other than iPhone.

Work out some of the bugs on this blog thing.

Speaking of bugs
Happy to say our exterminator service
must be doing a good job.
Sad to say, I found this little guy all shriveled up on the kitchen floor.
It's a gecko. Geckos eat bugs.
Company coming ... so, cleaning house ALL day.
What can I say? Dirt lives here.
Somebody's house has been neglected for over a month
except for the things that you really don't want to have to do every day.
(I really MUST speak with the housekeeper).

I am one pooped out puppy!

And thankful for a husband who never complains
if I don't have time or want to cook dinner.
Hmmm, that may be his preference. ;-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday at Random

Lunch today with amazing friends Victoria, Liz, and Cindy.
So great to have a girl's day out with them. 
It is always a time of refreshment and encouragement and laughter we enjoy together.

Shopping for Kate for one last gift. Birthday celebration tomorrow:
gymnastics, jump house, then pizza, cake and ice cream and ... PRESENTS!!

Found the sweetest bracelet and other little items

and a pair of fun glittery Mary Janes

I hope she likes these

A stop at Dollar Tree for gift bags and balloons.
Still out of helium. grrrr
Just in case you are wondering
they will be discontinuing the helium because it is too expensive.
They will also probably discontinue selling balloons.
The balloons were $1 - the helium was free.
Guess they can't raise the price of the balloons because it would mess with their name.
Fried chicken for dinner tonight!  Dear Heart will eat chicken if I serve potatoes au gratin with it.
Checking on my niece Robyn daily now that she has moved to Austin.

Praying for good friends to come her way.

I read on the news that Helen Gurley Brown (Cosmopolitan)
passed away at the age of 90.
Among other quotes mentioned in the article, the one that caught my eye was that
she said her philosophy was "if you're not having sex, you're finished.
It separates the girls from the old people," she told an interviewer.
So that's what it's all about?
Enough said.

And now, ta-da!!! Dark skies, winds, thunder and ... RAIN!!!!!

Gonna sit out on the patio with Dear Heart and enjoy!

Thank You, Lord!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Road Apples

Are you familiar with this term?

Road Apples

(horse manure)

It has been my intent lately to make a more concerted effort to be careful about any negative comments - or thoughts … about anything …or anybody.

Sometimes it is my tendency to over-analyze conversations and the words I speak.The proverb about words and apples of gold came to mind, so I Googled the phrase. (Somehow my search produced an image of road apples!) I never heard of road apples before, but as I thought about it ...

I had made kind of a deal with myself that whenever a negative thought arises and is about to form into a comment … even one muttered under my breath - to immediately take it and turn it into a positive remark or thanks about the person or thing.

Do you ever just wish you could have a redo on something you said?

Road apples are unattractive and smelly.

Those aren't the kind of words I want to leave behind

and no pun intended there

to be cleaned up later.

I want my words to be lovely and sweet.

Apples of gold glow.
The right word spoken at the right time
is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.

Proverbs 25:11 NCV

Friday, August 10, 2012

Somebody is gonna be the big 4 next week! And I know who she is!

Beautiful baby!

My buddy

She sings and plays and invites me
to sing along.
Handing out "chocolate chip cookies"
from her doggie bag

She loves Grandpa

Not your ordinary princess!
Will post a pic of Kate at 4 when she is 4
and not B4
'cause that's the way it is.
(that is according to Kate!! - she rules!)

(and she says she won't pinch baby brother any more
when she reaches that big 4!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

God Still Sends Angels

Yes. I believe there are angels.
(Not the cute little fairy type characters.)

Most of the time angels are unseen.
But sometimes angels come in different "outfits" so to speak. ;-)
Ordinary Joe

 My Dear Heart keeps them busy! And keeps me busy praying!
So I am always thankful when God sends an angel our way to help us.

Case in point:

Dear Heart likes adventures. And he loves to fly, ride motorcycles,
dream dreams, and work on projects.

His most recent little big purchase was a Harley Davidson.
This Harley is silly to me special because it has a sidecar attached to it.

Now since he is always trying to get me involved with his adventures,
his thought was how fun it would be to go on trips with me riding in the side car.
Fat chance since flying, motorcycles, and most adventures are not my cup of tea.
(He gave up flying because I ruined the dashboard with my hard grip!)*
This Harley is also special because it is a 1975 which makes it a "classic."
old and not very trustworthy to ride in - it also leaks oil.

So one day, he decides to work on it. Translated: he must get UNDER it!
And his request of me is to stand and watch while it is jacked up on the driveway
to make sure everything goes all right.
Now I was willing to oblige this request until I stood there about a minute thinking
what exactly would I do to help him if the jack slipped?
That thing weighs a ton AND since Dear Heart recently had a quad-bypass
AND is taking blood thinners and other medications, any wounds are dangerous
as we witnessed with his recent experiences with a grinder, a tiller,
and trip to the emergency room
He is also not one to lay still (lie still?) while he is working!

As soon as he had finished working with his struggles,
I informed him that would be the last time EV.ER.
for me to stand by ready to call 911!

Would you believe it? About five minutes later,
a complete stranger pulls up in our driveway,
wants to check out the "cool" motorcycle and, before you know it,
he tells my sweetheart that he is a motorcycle guy and can help him work on it.
He is so clever that he pulls the motorcycle over the water thingee in the front yard
so it doesn't have to be jacked up.
He crawls under, does a couple of tweaks to the thing and,
voila! All done. I gave him and his dog cold water,
they sat in the shade, and then left.
Never to be seen or heard from again.

I know this man was a God-send and I did take the time to find his address,
write him a card and tell him so. God bless this man!
He was an angel for us that day.

Did I mention how much I love my adventurous guy?
There is never a dull moment.

*Lest you think me a party-pooper, I almost always give in to these adventures.
I have flown with him, gotten my own motorcycle license, etc., etc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Totally Tripped Out

Where we've been the last 15 days:


It is a loooong way from Texas … and much bigger than Texas.

(Alaskans continued to remind us of this fact all along the way!!)

What one picture can possibly describe Alaska?

                I don’t think any one picture can. But this is what I expected to see,
and I wasn’t disappointed.

Modes of transportation

Holland American
Ms. Zaandam

(and various other types of boats, trains and planes)
Standing on the dock of the bay
in Vancouver waiting to board the ship

Places we stayed

And on the ship for seven days
The McKinley Chalet at Denali
(and other lodges and hotels along the way)

Things we saw

Are you kidding me?
To think that I could tell you all we saw?
Mountains, rivers, glaciers, waterfalls, flowers, wildlife,
whales, sea lions, porpoises, bears, elk, caribou,
lynx, eagles.
Doesn't look real, does it?

(I have a good video of these whales,
but can't get it to work on here. Anyone have a tip on that?)
Humpback salute! ;-)

Things we did

Here are a few of our fun experiences.
Took a flight in a floatplane over the Tongass National Park.

Went to a crab feast.
Whalewatching and saw the Mendenhall Glacier.
An hour ride on the fjords between one beautiful mountain after another,
then hiked through a rainforest (crazy wild mosquitoes) to a river
where we canoed to sit directly in front of the Davidson Glacier.
Glacier Bay, Broadway show onboard the ship, comedienne Julie Barr.
Enjoying the scenery as we sailed, read, slept, walked.
Cabin Nite show at Denali (very fun historical musical about the gold rush).
Jet boat ride down Nenana River.

Panned for gold (came away with $24 worth).

Denali Wilderness Tour for a glimpse of Mt. McKinley

and saw plenty of wildlife on our way.

 What We Ate

Uh, can we skip that part? I'm a little embarrassed to share here.
But I did bring about 8 pounds of it home with me
and now I will be trying to get that off over the next few weeks.
You know how your jeans stretch as you wear them more than once?
Well, my body adjusted as we went! LOL!!

Who We Met

Lots of friendly people from
lots of different places.

Some Things We Didn't Know

Alaska is bigger than Texas. ;-)
Hmmmm. Only a native Alaskan can own a reindeer.
And it is a reindeer when in captivity.
If in the wild, it is a caribou!!!

I enjoyed every minute of this trip!
Smooth flights, smooth waters, great tour.
Everywhere we went, we were blessed with great weather and great sights.
But it is still so good to be back home again.
Even if it is 50 degrees warmer here!!!!

And here is the video. Will see if it works!