Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few things that highlighted this week
Hay baling time in the city

Corn field in west Phoenix

Lonesome dove

Mulch fire that burned in southwest Phoenix this week

Textured paper crane on watercolor by David Good now in my living room

This week’s statements:
1. If I don’t _
have a cup of coffee in the morning__ then __I am crabby___
2. I wish __
I could travel more____but then again _I do love being at home
3. _
Eating healthy______ is challenging for me.
4. I would say I am “computer __
savvy__” because __I can do most things just fine by myself____

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pondering with a Purpose--Knots

Today's prompt is: Knot

I saw this old knot on a hike through the Olympic forest last summer.  The center had rotted and was now the bed for a small garden of ferns.

Then the knots on the tree in the center look like a buxom lady.

In my hippy days I made all kinds of macrame pot hangers and wall hangings, Now today's kids are creating bracelets with this new craft they just discovered--macrame

I have knots in my stomach--I have to go to the doctor this week.  I might have a kidney stone (it wouldn't be the first).

Well, it has been fun thinking on this knotty question of knots.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fulcrum 1952--Part 2

This story has four parts that I want to share with you.  It was a story that changed all our families lives not only at the time that it happened, but for the rest of our lives.

Then one after another my two brothers and other sister became sick and day by day all were hospitalized with that terrible disease. My folks trying to protect me, kept me isolated from others.  Alone at home, I had no way of knowing what was happening.  At only ten and a half years old, I was responsible but scared of this strange scourge surrounding me.  My dad came home each night and told me how my siblings were doing.  Then one day a week later he promised that my older brothers and sister were slowly recovering, but would be in the hospital for a couple more weeks.  However, little Ruthie was still in critical condition and had been transferred by ambulance to Casper, a little over 200 miles away.  It was the closest hospital that had an iron lung that she needed in order to breathe.  Mom would stay with her until her conditioned stabilized.

So Daddy and I continued the business of life.  We ate, did our chores and listened to the radio.  Every afternoon he would go to town to check on his other children, and call Mom from the hospital to get an update on Ruthie.  After what seemed like forever,  the kids in the Cody hospital were released, and by that time Ruthie was stable so Mom also came home, but made the long trek to Casper to visit Ruthie every few weeks.

Part Three will be published Tuesday June 3rd.  (Part One was published May 28th.)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

1. How much do you trust the media in their reporting? Are there certain media outlets you trust or distrust more?
I think that most of the media is very biased in their reporting.  It is more commentary that actual news reporting.  All outlets are promoting their own agendas whether it is liberal or conservative.  It makes it very hard to make an informed decision about anything.

2. I just found out that May is National Egg Month... who knew... how do you like your eggs?
For breakfast I like my eggs scrambled, and a good egg salad sandwich is nice for lunch.

3. What have you written in the past six months that you are proud of?
On my blog on Tuesdays, I am doing a series of post about my little sister and how her situation effected the whole family.

4. Where are you in your spring cleaning?
I am finished with house cleaning, and now am concentrating on editing my closets.

And my question for you all is--
5. What is your favorite picnic food?
I love grilled hot dogs and potato salad for a picnic where we can have a fire. It it is a meal in a basket, then sliced ham and cheese sandwiches and fresh veggies.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Getting Even

John Southard says, "The only people to get even with are those who have helped you."

John Andrew Holmes said, "The entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." No matter how much you focus on your own goals and achievements, you’re not a fully developed individual until concern for others starts to become more important than concern for yourself.
So don’t worry about “getting even” when you’ve  been wronged – it’s a waste of your time, and can’t produce any positive results. Think more about getting even when you’ve done right! Then you’ll find more and more good things coming your way!
Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had (NIV)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Cure

Product Details
THE CURE by Athol Dickson is not an upbeat story, but it is one about redemption and forgiveness, about a man who is trying to make right something that had gone horrifically wrong in his past.  It is a story filled with emotional and spiritual pain of a man haunted by his own demons.

In THE CURE, Riley Keep is an alcoholic who at one time was a highly respected missionary from the town of Dublin, Maine  He has returned after many years living in Florida, as a vagrant because of a myth being told on the streets about a cure for alcoholism, that has the power to cure addiction. There is a subplot involving a woman who takes care of the homeless. She has a secret that has led her to this town, and it is connected to Riley and his past spent on a mission in South America.

The book moves along at a fast pace when the homeless men and women riot wanting access to the cure that could free them from their addictions and the woman disappears and is thought to be dead, and Riley is accused of murdering her; What happens, however, changes the outcome of what Riley hopes to accomplish, and changes again the course of his life.

This book reinforces the theme that only God can truly deliver us when we look to Him for strength to conquer our own personal thorn in the flesh.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of my favorite things this week:
Busy bee on Night Blooming Cereus 
What else is there to do when its 105 outside?
Great grands helping daughter clean
Great grands helping daughter clean
Great grands helping daughter clean

This week’s statements:
1. One of my best and worst traits is that I _
best--I am empathetic and worst is that I am insecure_

2. If I could escape for a day, I’d _
take a trip to a valley surrounded by snow covered mountains_
3. The best part of _summer__ is __being able to spend more time with the grandkids___

4. When I was young I thought _
everyone had parents as nice as mine_.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pondering with a Purpose--Wind

Today's prompt is: Wind

In Phoenix, when I think of wind my mind goes to the haboobs that we have.  The first picture is of a haboob (dust storm) moving in towards the airport, the second picture shows the haboob just before it covered the car.  

"During thunderstorm formation, winds move in a direction opposite to the storm's travel, and they move from all directions into the thunderstorm. When the storm collapses and begins to release precipitation, wind directions reverse, gusting outward from the storm and generally gusting the strongest in the direction of the storm's travel.
When this downdraft, or downburst, reaches the ground, it blows dry, loose silt and clay (collectively, dust) up from the desert, creating a wall of sediment that precedes the storm cloud. This wall of dust can be up to 100 km (62 mi) wide and several kilometers in elevation. At their strongest, haboob winds often travel at 35–100 km/h (~20–60 mph), and they may approach with little or no warning. Often rain does not appear at ground level as it evaporates in the hot, dry air."

The second thought that comes to mind is the roads that wind through Arizona such as the one near the ghost town that came back to life--Jerome.

Or that wonderful road that winds through the Superstition Mountains called the Apache trail.  It originally was a stagecoach road.  

The Trail winds steeply through 40 miles (64 km) of rugged desert mountains, past deep reservoir lakes like Canyon Lake and Apache Lake. The narrow, winding road is unpaved from just east of the town of Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt Dam; there are steep cliff drops and little in the way of safety barriers  It is a steering wheel white knuckle drive, but with the amazing vistas worth the effort.

I love to drive it in spring when the desert flowers are in full bloom.  The wildness of the area makes you forget all about the stress of everyday life.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. It's National Bike you own a bicycle? When did you last ride a bike?
I don't own a bike.  I didn't learn how to ride until I was about 30 and living in Phoenix.  In the rugged mountains there just wasn't the place to ride nor the need since we all had horses.  I can't say that I enjoy riding, it has probably been 20 years since I last rode.

2. What's something you learned in school that wasn't part of the curriculum?
I learned that kids are mean and that there is an established pecking order, and pity the kid at the bottom.

3. What's a food you've never tried, but want to try? What's a food you've tried and will never try again?
I like most everything, and having lived in different parts of the world have been exposed to many different foods.  I hated nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish dipping sauce), and menudo (Mexican soup made with tripe, yuk!)

4. Have you been more demanding on yourself lately or less? Why? Do you think that's a good trend?
More--since I retired, I had tended to become lazy, now besides daily time at a gym, I have a list of chores and errands that I do daily.

5. Who is your favorite book, movie, or TV show villain?
Hannibal Lector

6. How concerned are you about identity theft?
Not very much, I would pity the criminal that stole mine, he sure would be disappointed at how little he got.  My treasures are not at a bank.

7. I saw this last question on Dawn's blog a couple of week's ago and asked if I could share. Everybody hop over and say hi, but first answer this...would you rather have an ordinary home in an extraordinary place or an extraordinary home in an ordinary place?
An ordinary home in a swell place.  I love to explore, and use my home mostly for eating and sleeping.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am on a mission to find the perfect photos for an album that I am making about Arizona.  It has been fun to explore and also look at everyday things with a new view.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fulcrum 1951-Part One

This story has four parts that I want to share with you.  It was a story that changed all our families lives not only at the time that it happened, but for the rest of our lives.

The summer of 1951 was so much fun.  All five of us kids--me the oldest at 10, clear down to Ruthie just about two years old--had played at Grandma's house in Tooele, Utah.  We would chase the chickens, run through the orchard sneaking a fresh peach or apricot, and listen for the train that lumbered down the tracks just a quarter of a mile from the house.  Sometimes we would put a penny on the rails and then after the train had clattered away till we could no longer hear it, would hurry down to the rails and try to find the flattened treasure.

But September brought the end of play and time for school, so just before Labor Day we packed up our old Buick and took the long trip back to our ranch in the mountains near Yellowstone Park.  The few days at home before school started were filled with getting school clothes ready, and maybe a trip into Cody--twenty five miles east through the treacherous Shoshone River Canyon.  Since the school supplied all the essential paper and pencils, we would beg for a box of Crayolas, the kind that had 48 different colors.  The box of eight that the school furnished just wasn't that exciting. Then the day after Labor Day, with little Ruthie waving bye, we took our lunch pails and hurried down the mountain to catch the school bus (Actually Willard Rhoads' nice large station wagon--his ranch was at the eastern end of the bus route), and soon we were immersed in a new year of learning.

Little did we know that in just two weeks we would face a turning point in all our lives.  We would change from being carefree children to ones who faced pain and heartache.  Our Mom and Dad, once so carefree suddenly turned sad and look years older.  That was the year of the Cody polio epidemic.  The middle of September, Ruthie started getting sick--just the flu, my Mom thought.  But her conditions worsened, and finally my folks made the 25 mile trip through the rugged canyon to the hospital in Cody where she was diagnosed with polio.  Her health rapidly deteriorated and the doctors gave my folks little hope that this small child would survive the night.  Mom sat watch at her bedside holding her hand and looking for the telltale blue in her tiny fingernail, and praying for mercy for her young sweet daughter.  And somehow Ruthie made it through those dark hours, hanging on to life by a thread.  

Part Two will be published next Tuesday, May 28th.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Quiz about Me

Acting Balanced

1. May is National Asparagus Month - do you like it?  Haves a favorite recipe?
I love asparagus!  Favorite way to prepare--brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and either grill or broil.

2. May is also National Salad month... what's your favorite salad?
I also love salads, especially Caesar salad.

3. Laundry Question: Fabric Softener yea or nay?  How do you keep your clothes soft and static free?
I use dryer sheets.

4. Do you speak more than one language?  What language would you love to learn?
I speak a little Spanish--helpful since I live in Arizona, and a little French--a hold over from living 3 years in France.  But I am fluent in Western--I'm goin a beat the devil around the stump, put on bib and tucker, go to Crispy Creme and get me some bear sign.  (Translation, I'm going to take the easy way out, get dressed up and get me some donuts.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  This coming weekend is Memorial day weekend.  Have plans?
Me--I'm going camping on BLM land northwest of Prescott.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Fitting in

We should never confuse the will of the majority with the will of God. As Christians, let us be proactive in combating our culture. We must not euphemize it or disguise it. We cannot make excuses for it or ignore it. We need to be aware of it, turn it off, and tune it out.

Romans 12:1-2  Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Rooms by James Rubart was a compelling book--an amazing and insightful book outlining one man's struggle to find what world he belongs in. Exceptionally inspiring with just the right amount of action, suspense, romance, mysticism and Truth. Definitely challenges the reader to examine which world they are living in, whose voice is guiding their actions, and the very real consequences each action brings.

On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning, brand new nine-thousand square foot house built just the way he loves.  When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s rooms are a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into a new destiny.

Rooms is as great an allegory as Dinner with a Perfect Stranger or Pilgrims Progress.  The mysticism in the book fits the theme.  It makes me want the freedom that God gives and the possibility of an unencumbered life--a definite 5-star book.

Friday, May 17, 2013


friday favorite things | finding joy
Some of my favorite things this past week:
Great Grands showing me their pretty cactus

Great Grands mud cakes are almost done

Littlest Great Grand ready for Auntie's gladuation

All the great grands ready to go

Daughter getting diploma from college president

The graduate and her family


Each week, Hilary listis four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at Hilary(at)feelingbeachie(dot)com. If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is Pickles from Purrfectly Pickles who came up with the last two statements! I REALLY NEED CO-HOSTS, after so many weeks I am running out of statements!
I would LOVE it if you could please help me spread the word about this hop…. So, please tweet, FaceBook share, and add the linky to your post…
This week’s statements:
1. I can really use _
an ice cold tea_ right now--it's 6 o'clock and still 100 degrees outside.
2. I like to _
read__ my __Kindle___
3. The color of the sky right now is __
blue with not a cloud in sight_
4. I get annoyed __
at Wal-Mart___ because of __many of the prices aren't marked and there isn't store personnel to help_

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Soft and Tender

Soft-hearted instead of hard-headed; that's what love is about
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven  you. (NASB)

Pondering with a Purpose--Leash

 Today's prompt is: Leash

First thought, of course, is the tether thats used for leading something such as a dog.  Or perhaps a child.  I know that many look askance at a parent with a child on a leash, but let me tell you that if you have ever had a young one whose middle name is bullet you know the peace of mind that even though they have some freedom to roam, you still know where they are.  Even as they get older it is hard to release the leash that binds them to you, but it necessary.

In hunting country leash sometimes refers to a set of three, like three foxes or deer.

Leach also infers control, such as having a leach on your temper.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. May is National Blood Pressure Month...what sends yours soaring, either literally or figuratively? What calms you down? When did you last have your bp checked?
I had my bp checked last month by my PCP.  Conflict is sure to raise my blood pressure, I hate listening to or be involved in squabbles.  Music, reading or prayer will calm me down.

2. You just found $1-what do you spend it on? How about 10$ 100?
With a dollar I would buy a bag of ice--it was 107 at my house today.  10$ would get some treats for the grandkids, $100-I would pinch myself to wake me from my dream.

3. Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food has been proposed, but not enacted in the US. How much attention do you give food labels before you buy? Are you in favor of labeling if it means an increase in food prices? Is this an issue you've been following and feel strongly about, or is this the first you've heard of the controversy?
I have to pay close attention to food costs, so anything that would increase prices I would oppose.  I really don't think that GE foods will affect me.

4. May 15th marks the birthdate of Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. At this point in time, are you more in need of brains, courage, heart, or a trip back home? Explain.
I'd take a trip back home--I love revisiting my past, a time of innocence and freedom.

5. "There's no place like home" is an oft repeated line from Baum's book. When was the last time you felt the truth of that statement?
When I returned home Saturday night.  I love the peace and quiet of my house.

6. Steak...yes please or no thank you? What cut do you prefer and how do you like yours cooked? Sauce or no sauce? Besides your own kitchen, where's a place you like to go to get a great steak?
I can live without steak, I prefer seafood.  I hate fat on a steak, or one that I have to chew for half an hour.  If I do order a steak it is usually a rib-eye, and I eat it medium rare with no sauces.  I have had good steak at Durants in downtown Phoenix.

7. When was the last time you were in a genuine hurry?
I hardly am ever in a hurry, as I hate to be late, so I always tend to be early.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Saturday my youngest daughter graduated from college with honors (for the second time--first with a degree in legal studies, now with a degree in computer science)  all this while working full time and raising a family.  She is a special person.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Saturday was another milestone for this sweet little girl--my youngest daughter.  She always loved to go to school and learn and was an outstanding student, member of the high school band, and jazz ensemble.  She plays a mean saxophone.  She graduated from Phoenix College a few years back with a degree in legal science.  At the time she had one small child, and was working full time.  A couple of years ago, she went back to college and Saturday graduated with honors from Yavapai College with a degree in computer science--doing this while working full time, newly remarried, now with three step-children and guardian of three nieces and nephews, for a family with children between four and 21.
Getting her diploma from the college president

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

1. What did you do for Mother's Day?
I went to church and them came home and read

2. What was the best advice your mother (or a mother figure) gave you?
Be honorable.

3. Are you gardening this year?  What have you/will you plant
I just do a bit of container gardening.  Since the 100+ temperatures have arrived, I mostly will just water things until fall

4. What is the first song that comes to mind today?
Oh What a Beautiful Morning
And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  What is your favorite musical?
Mine--Oklahoma or most anything Hammerstein.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
Here are a couple of shots that inspired me this week
Old Glory salutes sunrise

Sunrise gold


This week’s statements:
1. If _the weather is good today__ then_I will work in my yard___
2. __Spring__ is my __favorite_ of the __seasons__
3. Once, I was surprised to find myself __enjoying exercise_______________.
4. To keep from going crazy, I _read and pray a lot________.