Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ready, Set, Go

I just returned from vacation--a combination cruise and sightseeing adventure. The ship was huge--3082 passengers plus crew.  We had a balcony suite, so I could sit out and watch beautiful sunrises or sunsets, and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.  It was so relaxing to listen to the ocean and let all my cares just float away.
Our ship the Princess Caribbean 
A bit too cool for a dip

Sunset on board our first night
I appreciate the time to relax and get away from the hectic pace of life.  It is good to be able to take time to reflect on all our blessings, to quiet our minds, and to recharge for the future.  Whether it is a vacation or just sitting in the back yard we all need this break from our routines.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?
I'm trying to transition my grandson to living on his own, and I have to be careful how I present this idea, so he doesn't think that I don't love him.

2.  What's your treat of choice?

3. Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?
No carved pumpkins for me this year.  My favorite 'Jack'--Jack and the Beanstalk-Boy who owned a cow and ultimately killed a giant. Love his sense of adventure.  Then of course Jack Benny that man who brought so many laughs to us.

4.  In your opinion, what's the grossest sounding word in the English language?
Slime doesn't bring any good pictures to mind.

5. When did your heart last skip a beat?
This morning when my sweetie told me he loved me.

6. Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Picket, Michael Jackson's ThrillerWerewolves of London by Warren Zevon, or Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters...your favorite 'scary' tune?
Monster Mash was a good scary tune.

7.   It was a dark and stormy night when______________________________.
My car hit black ice, and spun out of control.  Thankfully, the worst thing that happened I ended up facing the wrong way

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I have so many things to do and so little time.  I thought that as I got older my life would slow down--wrong!  Now, I have to make something for my son's birthday next week, get my vacation pictures organized, make some important plans for my future; this on top of all my regular responsibilities.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Beginning of a Grand Adventure

Of course our flight to Newark was  late leaving

Southwest Airlines, good flight

Sun setting as we get ready to land in Newark

View from our hotel room in Manhattan, just one block from Broadway and a couple of blocks from Times Square

We arrived a day before our cruise to that we would have to rush, good thing we did as our flight ended up arriving 2 hours late and we would have missed the boat. 

I have missed the boat on occasion and always regretted it, not an actual boat but an opportunity to do something special.  The lesson I learned when presented with a chance to do something, go for it.  You many never get another opportunity and may miss the experience of a lifetime.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! 
Here are the Questions:
1. When you went trick or treating as a kid; what did you hope people were giving out?
I never went as a kid, because I lived in the wilderness on the side of a mountain in Wyoming.  At school we would have a treat bag that would have an apple and several pieces of hard candy in it.  When my kids went trick or treating, I confiscated all the chocolate bars--not good for their teeth you know.  Of course that didn't stop me from sampling them.

2. What radio station do you listen to while driving?
I listen to country western music while I drive--KNIX or KMLE

3. How much do you think should be the maximum one would spend on a three year old's birthday party?
I think $50 is plenty, but I know my daughter spent over $300 on my granddaughters party.  They went to a fun house with bouncy houses, My thought--the kids would have had just as much fun playing in the sprinkler in the back yard.

4. When do you know that you trust someone?
I trust someone when they have proven by experience that they are honorable, and not a gossip.

And now a question for you--
5.  How much money do you spend on Halloween candy?
Me--I go to Costco and try to keep it at about $20.00

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Where was God?

 On Sunday Columbus Day, Oct 13, while on vacation, I attended the church services at Riverside Church in Manhattan.  The building is beautiful, reminding me of the cathedral in Chartres, France.  The service began with a performance of their bell choir--beautiful classical melodies.  The message that followed was a discourse on the times of Columbus, and the colonization that Europe promoted.  It touched on the slave trade and pillaging of resources from this new land.  It was a reminder of social injustice, which was good, but why was not any reference made to God or the scriptures?

Is not God aware and does He not care for those who are called by his name?

My conclusion about this service was that although the building was beautiful and the music uplifting it lacked the touch of the Holy Spirit.  

2 Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Next Sunday, I will tell about another spiritual experience that I had while on vacation.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Freedom Fighter

This is the true story of one man’s continuing fight for a world free of religious persecution.
Majed El Shafie was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to die after he converted from Islam to Christianity. His dramatic story, and those of others worldwide who are suffering persecution, are told in shocking, yet sensitive detail. Especially startling is the true story of rescuing a very young Pakistani girl who experienced horrific sexual abuse—because her family would not convert to Islam.
Although hard to imagine and even harder to accept, this important truth about religious persecution is blatantly exposed. Millions of families are praying for help. They are suffering daily in China, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and many other countries—solely because of their beliefs.
Freedom Fighter is Reverend El Shafie’s outreach—it follows his heroic work over a four-year period as he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to investigate claims of abuse, persecution, and slavery and to speak truth to governments that neglect and violate the human rights of their citizens.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Protection

PSALM 121:7-8
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life;

8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Dance

Two of my favorite authors teemed up to write this novel about repairing broken relationships.
Renowned relationship-expert Smalley joins with award-winning novelist Walsh to create a heart-wrenching portrait of a painful marriage. The story of Jim and Marilyn Anderson feels as true as any real couple’s, thanks to Smalley’s years as a counselor and Walsh’s excellent attention to detail. Like many women, Marilyn, decades into her marriage, finds herself feeling unloved and disconnected from her husband. Jim prides himself on being the head of his home in a biblical manner, and he’s shocked and furious when he discovers that Marilyn has decided to leave him. What will their grown children think? How will their community accept it? Jim’s world has crumbled, while Marilyn has rebuilt hers. Then, on separate paths, Marilyn and Jim both begin to find healing through ballroom dancing. Jim hopes to win Marilyn back, but her heart may be far too hardened after years of neglect. Readers will be totally drawn into their emotional journey as the wounds, large and small, continue to reveal themselves in the Andersons’ marriage.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Undaunted by Josh McDowell is the true story that chronicles the life of a young farm boy named Josh who carried unspeakable memories of an alcoholic father and a farmhand’s abuse, causing him to defy God’s existence. Yet God redeemed a horrible situation with his unbelievable grace. Today Josh McDowell is one of the most popular evangelists in the world who defends the reality of Jesus Christ to millions through his presentations and classic book More Than a CarpenterUndaunted unfolds the dramatic spiritual transformation in Josh’s life when he faces his past head-on and puts everything entirely in God’s hands. The result is an undaunted faith, a gift freely offered to everyone who seeks it.

For the first time, Josh fully reveals the dramatic spiritual transformation that occurred when he faced his past head-on and put everything entirely in God’s hands. It’s a story of overcoming shame, grief, and despair and embracing real love for the first time. It’s a tale of divine grace: when the worst that life can throw at you happens, you can come out on the other side with a faith that is full, free—and undaunted.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Worth

LUKE 12:6-7
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Certain Jeopardy

Six American men live behind a protective fa├žade, their real work hidden from neighbors and friends. Different in countless ways, they are intimately the same in one: at any moment their lives can be altered with a phone call, and their actions may change the world.

They are Special Ops. And one team’s mission is about to hit certain jeopardy status when the discovery of an Al Qaeda base in Venezuela becomes secondary to thwarting the transport of a nuclear weapons expert from that training camp to Iran.

Informed by the true combat experience of Captain Jeff Struecker and finessed by award-winning novelist Alton Gansky, Certain Jeopardy is an immersing and pulsating fictional account of what really happens at every level of a stealth engagement: the physical enemy encounter, the spiritual war fought within a soldier, and the emotional battles in families back at home.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Highlights on Friday

Highlights of my Week
Pop Warner Football Kickoff picnic

Kids having fun in the water at the park

All right children, how many times do I have to tell you to behave at the table

A just because gift from my sweetie

And now I am going on vacation for two weeks--a cruise up the eastern seaboard to see fall colors.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Lump or Two

Heating stove similar to one in our ranch house

Now that fall is upon us, it's time to get the central heat checked.  This is a far cry from the heating in our ranch home when I was growing up.  The main house was heated by a Franklin stove in the living room that burned wood or coal, and a kitchen stove that my Mom could make hearty stews or delicate angel food cakes.  

She would regulate the oven temperature with either one log or two or just the right amount of coal. Her hot water was warmed in a tank behind the stove.   We did have cold running water piped directly from a spring, captured just as it emerged from the ground and before it fed into the upper pond. Sometimes when I take our modern conveniences for granted I take a moment to remember my roots.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's one thing you learned in September?
That 30 days of hot weather is just too much!

2. Acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, zucchini squash, or blech! hold the squash... what's your favorite squash? What's your favorite way to prepare your favorite squash?
I like most squash.  Baked stuffed acorn squash is a favorite

3. The older I get the_more I like to experience new things.

4. What's your favorite television theme song ever?
Hawaii Five-0: The original series' brassy instrumental, composed by Morton Stevens, became a huge surf-guitar hit for the Ventures in 1969 and is still popular among marching bands

5. What do you wish you'd spent more time doing five years ago?
Enjoying time with my friends, who have now moved away

6. What item do you most need (or want) to add to your wardrobe this fall?
I really don't need anything, but would like to have another pair of boots.

7. On October 2, 1950 the Peanuts cartoon was introduced to the world. What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?
We didn't have a TV so I never had an opportunity to watch cartoons.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I am getting so excited.  Friday morning I leave on vacation--a cruise up the East coast from NYC to Halifax to see fall colors.  Then several days in NYC to see the sights and shop

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Not just a garage

Our ranch house had an unusual feature--a garage under the house. This was practical because the house was built on the side of a mountain
The garage was the home of a lot of interesting things.  In the front, the car was parked in the winter, when the heat of the house would enable Mom or Daddy to start it.  In the back was the canning store room, pine shelves filled with rows of mason jars--green beans, peas, beets, corn, tomatoes and fruits.  Potatoes, onions and other root vegetables were stored in bins of sand.  The coal bin was just beside the stairs coming down from the summer kitchen.  

Daddy in front of garage
But there was also room for other things–unused furniture, spare parts for various equipment, and a secret stash of magazines–National Geographic.  We would steal away and look at the pictures of exotic birds and wildlife and of course the people from various countries, including the almost naked folk from Africa.  We were sure these were forbidden magazines, because of those photographs.  We would read the stories of how these people lived and then memorize the exotic names of the countries.  Only later did I find out that Mom had already read them, and thought them just too nice to throw away, and was planning to donate them to the school library.