Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Time for New Beginnings

I know that all of us anticipate the new year and what it holds for us.  Will I be happy? will I have a job? will I be able to improve my relationships with family and friends?  will I be able to achieve my goals? 

We look back thru the past year, and evaluate what we accomplished, where we succeded, where we failed and what lessons we can carry into this new year, the clean slate that we have before us.

For me the past year has been a year for closing of one door and the chance to open another.  I retired from my job, and am now free to pursue my interest in art and writing.  My house was damaged extensively by water, and I was displaced for several months, but now that I just moved back, it is like moving into a new house, another new beginning. 

I have many goals for the new year, some I'll accomplish, and others will be a work in progress.  I want every day to be an opportunity to move forward, but still have time to explore all the wonders around me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Looking back on my vacation, I have much to reflect on.

I got to get to know the littlest g-grandkids, each so different, each so special.  A real armful of love.

 I was able to spend time at the coast, scatter flower petals at Mom's final resting place, reflect on what a great Mother I had and what an example she was.  Then of course, we had to eat at Mo's.

I also visited my brother in Washington.  His house was flooded in the December 2007 flood--water up to the middle of the windows, incredible damage to the area, logs piled high by their porch, but an amazing fact, not a window was broken.  Now the damage can only be seen in pictures.  I reflected on the resilience of the people of that area.

Then I reflected on the beauty.  Everywhere the hillsides and valleys were painted with brillant color. 
It reminds of this poem--
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

~George Cooper, "October's Party"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Memories of Mom

Today is in memory of Mom.  What a woman she was!  Born in the east in 1920, moving west as a child to Roberts Montana, after high school moving to Wyoming--the Northfork of the Shoshone river not far from Yellowstone park.   

Met a cowboy/rancher, became a rancher's wife, raised seven children, faced many hardships, but in spite of it all was a happy, artistic, funny lady. She loved flowers, especially roses, loved to visit the Oregon sea coast and watch the magesty and power of the ocean.

She was a very good mother to me--supportive, wise, able to look on the funny side of life, forgiving of my faults, and encouraging me to be better--an example I want to follow. I salute you, Mom, on this the day of your birth.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Tomorrow morning I will be be above the clouds, all my stress will melt away as I soar toward Oregon with its rugged coasts, maple and oak leaves painting bright spots of color, and probably some rain.  (Only a Phoencian would look forward to that.)

I will get to see my three little grandchildren, two of them for the first time.  I am also anticipating some quality time with my daughter and my granddaughter.

I love vacation!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On Mice and Me

A friend of mine sent me this thought

Worry is today's mice nibbling on tomorrow's cheese.
(Matthew 6:34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (NLT))

I have been going through a computer conversion at work, have spent many extra hours preparing, and was uneasy as to how things would go when we went "live".  Well, Thursday was the day, and although a little slow, it was a smooth transition.

I spent energy worrying about a problem that didn't happen.  Hmm, lesson learned, I hope!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saints and lighthouses

In my reading I came across this quote.
The 16th century Spanish mystic, Saint Teresa of Avila said:

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion
is to look out to the earth,
yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good
and yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.

I love this thought for several reasons, it reinforces the concept that all of us are important and have a purpose.  We may not see it at first or may question why we have to go through the problems we endure, but we can be a lighthouse to those tossed about in similar situations. We may be the only light that some people see, and how we handle our storms gives others hope and guidance in their situation.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What were you doing when you were 19?

Happy Birthday Natthen--my now 19 year old grandson.  He is a baseball player, extraordinaire; and a sensitive young man.  I am very proud of him.
As you can see he has always loved to play ball

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wisdom in a fortune cookie

Yesterday's fortune cookie said "Nature, time and patience are the three great healers."  I have been under a lot of stress trying to get our company's computer conversion finished.  If there has been a problem we have encountered it.  As the deadline looms, there still is a lot of work to do, and now we are encountering technical difficulties.  Today I took off early, and just drove out of town, parked by a cotton field near a pecan grove and absorbed the view.  There was a slight haze, but that made the mountains look purple.  Blackbirds  played chase, butterflies drifted from bush to bush, and a light western breeze made everchanging shimmering designs in the trees. It never ceases to amaze me that within a fifteen minute drive I am away from the city's busy action.  After awhile I could feel the stress melt away.  I must remember that this situation will soon  be over.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

I'm sure that most American's remember what they were doing eight years ago today at the moment that our history was changed, the moment that world terrorizm came to our land.  I was driving to work when I heard the news that the World Trade Center had been hit, when I turned on the TV at work the terrible mayhem was shown on every station.  I was shocked and then terribly sad--our wonderful country had been desecrated by terrorists.  Today, not only do I remember all those who lost their lives that day, but also the many soldiers who have died as a result of the terrorist's action.  God bless all the true patriots who love America and God bless all those who lost loved ones who gave their lives for America--and for me--because this is a personal issue for all of us.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Do You Want to Hear a Secret?

I bet when you were young, more than once you heard someone say, "I've got a secret and I'm not going to tell", and then they would go into great detail about the secret. Or a friend said, "Do you want to hear a secret?" and then they would spill the beans.

There is a country song sung by Clay Walker called "Chain of Love.  It tells the story of how one good act can come full circle.  It is the same idea as the pop phrase  "pay if forward"--how people should do random acts of kindness.

I believe in this, but with one more requirement.  The act must remain a secret, that way we make sure that we are doing it out of love, and not for self glory.  Of course, we gain satisfaction from the deed, but we also gain humility by not taking credit for it.  It's our secret with God.

So next time you give a couple of bucks toward an old couple's grocery bill, or help carry a pregnant ladies bags up the stairs, or return something that you see a kid drop.  Remember it is your secret.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Three (Grand)sons

I have three grandsons, each special in his own way.  My oldest grandson is a freshman at GCC, with only one thing on his mind, and its not girls, although they probably hold second place.  He lives to play baseball.  Sometime in the near future his name will be known in every household, as that young promising major league player.

My Prescott grandson goes toYavapai CC.  He loves BMX riding, and is a great artist.  No doubt one day he will be well known in the art world.  I like to think of this painting as a self portrait.

My youngest grandson, is five years old, and going through the trauma of adjusting to kindergarten.  He is an active child, and wonders about some of the rules that he must now follow.

It's hard to have to follow all the rules, I can sympathize with him.  Sometimes I have trouble with some of them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Curious Friend

In April 2001 I got a little wiggly ball of black fur that would grow to become my faithful pal.  Betsy is a Labrador--Queensland Heeler mix who looks and acts like a lab most of the time.  She is a curious dog, and I mean that in several ways.

When she was little she would climb like a cat.  I came home from work one day and couldn't find her, after an hour of searching, I heard a little woof, and there she was stretching-- just waking from a nap on the ironing board in the laundry room.  She would climb over any doggy gate, so finally I just let her roam, but she was well mannered and never had accidents in the house.  During the day she would nap in her crate, but when awake had to be where the action was always investigating--the noise outside, the cricket hopping across the floor, or what I was doing.
She has a favorite toy, a green bumpy football. She takes it everywhere with her. At the foot of my bed where she sleeps at night, outside when she plays, and close at hand when she is guarding the house.
She does have Heeler traits.  She is a good herd dog, although in the city her subjects are limited, but she is a resourceful animal.  Like the time I was reading in the living room when all of a sudden there was a terrible racket--squacking and barking.  Then into the room flew a chicken with Betsy close behind, herding it toward her special spot.  I screamed like a girl, covering my head under a blanket.  In the bedlam, the bird hid behind a chair, and Betsy laid down watching it with tail wagging--I suspect she thought she found a friend.  After mustering up enough courage, I got a broom and chased the chicken outside.  Betsy looked all over trying to find her friend.  Every time she heard it crowing on the other side of the block wall, she would run to the wall with tail wagging, encouraging it to come and play.
Maybe when I retire I will get her another friend---ummm, maybe not.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ripples of Joy

When I was young I liked to go out to our middle pond and throw rocks in the water and watch the circle of ripples grow.  Big rocks made a huge splash and a lot of ripples, but even the smallest pebble would make a ripple that would expand.  Some people are like that.

This weekend I spent time with one of my "Armchair Artist" friends.  She loves to make greeting cards--up to 100 of the same one--for all the holidays.  She now is working on cards for Halloween.  She buys paper by the bunch, designs the cards, and then sends them to people who need a little cheer in their lives.  She also crochets and knits making shawls, hats, dish towels and dish clothes by the dozens--all to give away.  She said that not only does she get joy from making all these, but also the joy of giving, so she is twice blessed.  Then there is the joy that the receiver experiences--another ripple.

This inspires me to try to make ripples of joy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Early Morning Treasured

Early this morning, just as dawn was breaking, I was leaving for work, and right outside my front door I noticed this cactus in bloom. Note that there is a bee already gathering its food. As soon as the sun comes up this flower will close. It may only bloom for a day or two. Such a beautiful sight. This picture teaches us a lesson-- look for beauty, look for opportunity when we see it. It may not be there for long and we may miss our chance to do something wonderful.
Till next time -- AM

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Inspiring Story

I just finished reading "same kind of different as me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. This is the moving story of how the vision and faith of a woman effects a transient Louisiana share-cropper and her rich art dealer husband to bring change to the Fort Worth homeless and their city. The book reminded me that one person can make a difference with God's direction. Read it and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hello World

As the time ticks down to retirement, and I am embarking on another adventure, I want to record all the things going on in my world. A new adventure always has its ups and downs, and I want to share these, and other things, too.