Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Morning Glory!

One of the best things about Summer mornings, in my opinion, is blooming morning glory.  By afternoon they close up tight,
but they are glorious in the cool early morning hours!  

Mike doesn't agree.  On the farm the little white morning glory flowers were weeds that would bind themselves around the wheat.  Mike HATED them.  I thought they were kind of pretty but quickly recognized that they were an enemy to wheat.

When I first planted these morning glories at the farm, he was horrified!
I assured him that they were annuals so wouldn't come up year after year. 
However, I did plant them year after year.

Now, I have them in our yard here.  Don't tell Mike but I haven't replanted them for several seasons.  It turns out that even annuals can reseed themselves!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sam and the Coyote

This is a picture of a coyote in a little zoo where we used to live in New Mexico.
It is kind of a sad picture because the coyote is fenced. I'm not posting this picture to make you sad, though.  I want to tell you something about this coyote. 
At least, I think it was this one.
If so, it is a story from this coyote's youth.
Ok, I really don't know that, but it IS the same enclosure for sure.

Sam was pretty young when I used to take him to this little zoo frequently.
He was never a loud or rambunctious child, at least not in public.
He was respectful and calm around the animals.
He liked to look at them all but this coyote was a favorite.


Because this coyote seemed to know Sam.
They had a special bond.
He anxiously waited for Sam's arrival.

OK, maybe that isn't true... but maybe it is.

I took this photo on a visit back to New Mexico, a few years after we'd moved away.
Sam wasn't with me this particular day; I'd gone to the zoo just to have a place to walk around while visiting with an old friend.
When we approached the coyote's enclosure, he just sat there like that.  He didn't do anything more than just throw a bored glance our way.

That wouldn't seem unusual except that when I used to bring Sam there the coyote would get all excited.  His body language was not aggressive but playful.  Then, Sam would start running, back and forth.  If anyone were watching I expect they'd be a little startled at what they saw because the coyote would actually play with Sam, chasing along beside the fence.  Sam loved that game and would run back and forth along the cement sidewalk over and over while the coyote mirrored his run on the other side of the fence.  Sometimes that would go on for quite awhile!
I always felt pretty mean when I announced we needed to move on.

On a side note I'd like to say that I know this little zoo was known to save injured animals and birds, creatures that would not have been able to live in the wild.  I don't know if that is the story behind Sam's coyote, but maybe it is.

Anyway, I like to think of Sam as the "Coyote Whisperer."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bode is Still Bode

One of the first things I got to do this morning was chase after Bode as he gagged.

Why is it that dogs always want to throw up on carpet?

I saw him gagging and sweetly called for him to go outside.  He actually runs right to the door then swerves, zips around the table and over to the carpet, still gagging.

I had to grab him by the collar and drag him out.
That can't feel good but what else can I do?

We made it, at least to the top step.  He couldn't manage to get off the deck but I was grateful to have made it out of the house.  This time is was just a pile of grass but a few days ago this scenario played out with Mike chasing him around the house.  When he finally threw up Mike discovered it was a big chunk of corn on the cob from dinner the night before.  No, I don't mean corn from the cob, I mean corn still ON the cob.

Afterward, he seems just fine...

...and ready to play.

Bode really is getting more pleasant.
He still chews things up but not at such a frantic pace.
Yet, it would still be premature to relax.

When I see what passes through him, I wonder about his chance of survival.
We try to keep things out of his reach.
The garbage is barricaded.
Our high shelves are loaded with things we've plucked from lower locations.

Still, he eats things like sticks.
How can that be good?

I hope he makes it through this stage before he perforates something.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Count Your Blessings

When upon life's billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged,
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will suprise you
What the Lord has done

Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.
Are you ever burdened
With a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear?
Count your many blessings,
Ev'ry doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by.

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your many blessings,
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven,
Nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict,
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged,
God is over all
Count your many blessings,
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey's end.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Have Lopper, Will Lop

Do you know what loppers are?

I did not know.
When my Mom was visiting I was talking about this tree in our backyard.

I know, it looks like a healthy bush.
However, it is actually scrubby stuff that has grown out of the stump from a Russian Olive tree that had to be cut down as it was falling over.  The stump was clean when Summer began, but is now all gangly.  Earlier this Summer I'd planted a raspberry bush nearby and it had virtually disappeared!

Mom then talked to me about her Lopper.
I must've had a dumb look on my face but I really didn't quite know what she meant.
She took me to Home Depot and bought me my own pair.
When I returned home I just could NOT wait to Lop!  I lopped and I lopped and I lopped...

And guess what, there was still a raspberry bush under all that mess!

In my excitement I forgot to photograph the other Russian Olive tree before I took the lopper to it with surgical precision.  Just trust me when I say it had branches all the way to the ground and they'd all grown there just since June!

Now, it looks kind of pretty with its new haircut.

I just went from bush to bush and tree to tree having a grand time.

Unfortunately, now I  have piles all over that look like this...

Nevertheless, I love my lopper!
Thanks Mom!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Who Says You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?!

I learned a new trick!

I learn how to imbed links!

I always wondered how people made a word in their text into something that you could click to lead to another site.  Well, I had to figure it out.  I've been writing articles for Suite101 but the editors told me I needed to try to imbed my links instead of leaving exposed URL's.... huh?  Well, I went online and studied it.  Some sites were very confusing!  Finally, I found a site that made it all clear and simple!

So there!  Sometimes an OLD DOG can learn a new trick!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sara's Birthday the Day After

Did you see my great post from yesterday?
Perhaps that is because I never published it!

I'm especially sorry because it was our daughter-in-law's birthday!
I'm so sorry, Sara.
My only excuse is that I suffer from a genetic condition, inherited from my own dear mother, called late birthdayitis.  Eventually I hope that you realize it is just our way of keeping that birthday feeling going by spreading it out over multiple days!

So now, to our beautiful daughter-in-law.......


Happy Birthday WEEK!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Frisbee Lesson

How to Throw a Frisbee...

Before you even begin, listen carefully to your instructor.

Then,  practice the wrist action.  This is important.

A good wind-up is sometimes useful.

If you do it just right, and your partner doesn't seem interested in catching it, you can sometimes get a really cool roll going.

Try not to be annoyed if your partner doesn't throw it back. 
Just go get it yourself and start the process over.

Most importantly,


Monday, August 22, 2011

Pizza and PlayDough!

Last night was lovely.
Mom is here and Eric, Maria and Cordelia stopped by.
We ordered pizza, which is an automatic party as far as I am concerned.
Enjoying each other's company, we were still sitting around the table long after we'd had our fill.  That's when Cordy spotted the PlayDough containers on top of the fridge.

Last week, while Cordy was visiting, Sam and I took her to Walmart and one of our purchases was a simple 4 pack of PlayDough.
It is a special 4 pack, though, because it was her first time with PlayDough.
Sam spent time introducing her to it, showing her how to stretch it, roll it and just have fun with it.  She was hooked!
She takes her PlayDough time very, very seriously!

I got it down for her again last night and we all watched her play with it.
Before long, pieces of PlayDough were being handed around the table.
Eventually, I glanced around and smiled, realizing each of us had PlayDough going.
We were having fun... maybe revisiting our own childhoods?

If you have no PlayDough at your house, I think you should get some.  Apparently it is not just for children!  And no, I was not asked to do a commercial for PlayDough and unfortunately I am not getting paid for this little advertisement.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jesus Said of Little Children

Jesus Said of Little Children

Jesus said of little children,
Suffer them to come to me,
For to such the heav'nly kingdom
Shall a home of welcome be.

Clifford R. Lanman 1937

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My Mom is going to be visiting me for a few days - Yay!

I love having my Mom around...and have I mentioned that she is beautiful?

Here are some pictures to enjoy.  They were taken a few weeks ago when Maria and I took Cordelia to visit Grandma Grace.


Friday, August 19, 2011

How Could This BEE Happening?

I was walking Bode, innocently sauntering along the sidewalk, when I was attacked! 
No, it wasn't thugs.
It wasn't even a lone bad guy.
I'm not sure what it was but I know it was


and it got stuck between my glasses and my eye.

It STUNG me before I could get my glasses off!
Thankfully, it got me just below my eyebrow, not right in my eye.

It hurt a LOT!

I suppose it was a bee.  Maybe it was a wasp or even a bat (I'm telling you, it felt really, really big) but for the purpose of this post, I am assuming it was a bee.

I instantly wished I had Benadryl on me.
I realized I had my cell phone in my pocket....good.
But, if I went into anaphylactic shock, would I be able to dial 911?

I started walking really fast to be sure I got home before the drama began.
Wait, wouldn't walking fast just make my blood pump faster, causing the vile poison to stream through my body even more quickly?

Ok, walk kind of fast but not too fast.

Be calm.


Oh, a sudden realization...

I'm not allergic to bee stings, Mike is!


 And here is how a bad thing became a good thing...

Recently I took some photos of bumble bees.
None of the bees posing for my photo shoot seemed annoyed by me and never once threatened to be mean to me.

 I wanted to use the photos on my blog, but how could I casually insert of photo of a bee into my conversation?

Well, Walaa!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This week I received a large package in the mail.

I always love receiving packages, don't you?

I knew this was my prize package from when I entered that give-away at so I had an idea of what I was going to find.

And I wasn NOT disappointed!

My prized included Tully's Coffee, Evergreen Blend.  I also received a cool porcelain eco cup.  The real surprise was a box of  Hottie Biscotti.  She'd chosen a Savvy Sweet Salted Caramel for me.  How did she know I had a thing for salty sweets?

All this was prettily presented in a cool little rectangular basket.

I've been enjoying this delicious prize already!

If you want to know more about the lovely lady who sent all this to me, check out her blog at

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Work Daughter

Yesterday I had a lovely morning visiting with my daughter and my "work daughter".

I work from home now but for quite some time I was working at an oncology clinic. 
I really enjoyed working with that patient population, although I hadn't meant to be an oncology nurse...that's a story for another day.

At the clinic, I worked with some really, really great co-workers.  I developed relationships that sustained me through some pretty rough days, friendships that I still value today.  One of those relationships was especially unexpected.

My first summer at the clinic an unfortunate chain of events occurred one week that left me as the ONLY full-time nurse working in an area that needed a minimum of 3 nurses.  A nurse practitioner came to help part of the time, but she wasn't used to working in that area and she had her own responsibilities that she kept having to go do as well.

I was frantic!

It was that week that a new nurse came to work there.
She was in her early 20's and as desperate as I was for help, I admit that I was disappointed to see such a young face arrive.  I'd hoped for someone more experienced, preferably someone with chemotherapy experience.  

Well, as they say, don't judge a book by its cover!
Her name is Kerry and as it turned out, she was like an angel sent from heaven that week.  All I had to do was show her something one time and she was able to remember it.  She was also incredible at taking the initiative and noticing things that needed done without even being told.  She was fearless!  That is not easy when you are thrown into a new situation, especially one as busy as that! 

I'm a middle-aged woman.  It feels weird to even write that because in my head I've not yet grasped that whole middle-aged thing.  Nevertheless, there it is.

This young nurse, Kerry, became one of my best friends.  We don't really have that much in common, I suppose, but somehow we just clicked.  I really came to admire her for her spunk, her intelligence and her nurse's heart.  I also felt very protective of her. 

I worried when Kerry had to face the reality of enduring the death of patients.  We would often get very close to our patients, which was great, but it made a loss all the more painful.  She was so young to have to withstand this heartache so frequently.  One day we were talking about that.  We are both people of faith and I made some comment about when we get to heaven we will know a lot of people.  Kerry was quiet for a moment and then smiled a little smile and said, "Yeah, we'll be the popular girls!"  I knew then she also possessed a quiet strength well beyond her years.

Somewhere along the way, after hearing me speak of "Kerry this" and "Kerry that", my own daughter (who is actually older than Kerry) said that Kerry was like my "work daughter".  It was kind of funny and we often referred to her as that from then on.  Kerry has a lovely mother who is my age.  She's close to her mom and had no "mom void" to fill.  I also have a relationship with my daughter that is beyond anything I ever imaged.  I had no void to fill either.  But nevertheless, a small part of our friendship probably is a bit like mother and daughter.  However it is defined, thinking of Kerry  makes me smile.

One day recently, Kerry asked if I could try to crochet a hat for her baby daughter.  She wanted it to have the look of an owl.  I wasn't sure that I could do it but gave it a try.  Since that day, Maria and I have made many, many hats to sell either on our shop site or at craft fairs or to any shop that wants to carry them.  We are having so much fun making these hats,  making them up as we go.  I thank Kerry for getting us started!

Yesterday Kerry and her two kids came by and posed for me with their new hats.

Shane as a bear.

Shane as a very serious bear.

Riley, probably wondering why this lady
is making her wear a hot hat on a warm August day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mountaintop High

We held our church service up on the mountain Sunday.  It was lovely! 
This is the shelter where we met... 

We were there early so as Mike prepared for the service, I wandered around enjoying being on the mountain.  I found some really large and fresh pine cones.  They were just too perfect!  I had to collect some.  I greedily gathered up as many as I could carry, hugging them to my chest.  After dumping them into our vehicle I realized my hands were sticky and gooey.  Even my sweatshirt had goop on it!  Oh well, I'd seen the water cooler already set up.  I  knew it was for drinking but I figured I could dribble a bit on my hands and make it better.  

That's what I did but I was really, really heavy duty sticky, not just ordinary sticky.
Then I rubbed...
still sticky...
rubbed some more...
seemed even more sticky...
gathered up some dirt to rub on my hands, hoping to dislodge the tenacious goop...
still sticky and now dirty...
back to the cooler to dribble more water on my hands, hoping no one noticed...
still sticky...
wait a minute.........!
It was NOT a cooler of water.
It was lemonade!!!

I laughed out loud at myself!

I am grateful that my friend, Cheryl, helped me out.
I confessed my problem and stupidity to her and she produced a bottle of water!

More people arrived and I entertained myself taking photos.  Unfortunately, I hadn't thought to charge the battery on my camera so the photos started getting more and more blurry and then the camera went to sleep.

Here are a few pictures I took before the camera-hibernation set in....

This cross hangs over the big fireplace.

It was chilly but the fire kept people warm...well, only the people near the front, which was pretty much just Mike.

My son, Sam, thought this profile looked presidential and should be on a penny.

I think she has one of the prettiest smiles, don't you?

She also found a way to entertain herself as we waited for the others to arrive.

The service was lovely.

People clapped.
People smiled.
People sang.
People prayed.
People shared communion.
People worshipped.

After the service, we enjoyed a lovely potluck picnic.

I brought a salad made from broccoli flowerettes, strawberries, sesame seeds, toasted almonds and Monterrey jack cheese cubes topped with a mixture of red wine vinegar, mayo and sugar.  I was kind of proud of myself as I actually followed a real recipe, well, except for the sesame seeds, they were my own idea.  And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I also admit I didn't actually measure anything as I added it but still, I LOOKED right at the recipe as I mixed it all up.  That counts, doesn't it? 
I just wanted to share that day with you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

One Issue Voter

I admit it.

I am a one issue voter and I don't apologize for this.

Actually, it has made it easy for me.  I don't even have to pay much attention to most candidates as so few remained on my radar.  After my one-issue eliminating factor was considered, there were few candidates whom I would support.  Normally, I'd believe that candidates should be examined by the entirety of their platforms, but I simply can't ever see myself considering electing someone to office, any office, if their platform supports the right to abortion as a legitimate choice.

I believe that the evil side made a big coupe when people were convinced that abortion was an acceptable choice, that a baby in utero is not a real person... unless of course it is a baby who's mother wants it. 


 I was listening to Ron Paul speak at the Iowa Straw Poll.  Click here if you are interested in hearing what he has to say...  To be honest, I didn't mean to be watching the Straw Poll at all but when I turned on the tv it was on that channel already.  I was about to change the channel when I caught a few of his words.  I had to listen more.

He spoke of a time during his training as a doctor.  He said that he was observing an abortive procedure where a baby was born crying and breathing.  He watched as the staff put the baby off to the side, letting it die.  Later, he was observing a baby, about the same size, born prematurely.  He watched as the staff worked diligently to save that baby.  He realized something was very, very wrong with the discrepancy of treatment for these two babies.

The difference between the two babies?
One was wanted and one was not.

Is that what makes us human, being wanted by someone?

I decided if Ron Paul could display such boldness, so could I.  I've written an article that I hope will catch the interest of others via the internet.  If you are interested, you can read it here:

As I listened to him I remember thinking, "He's sure brave to speak so potently against abortion while running for president."  I also thought, "He doesn't have a chance."
I kept watching, though, and found that he was not the only candidate to do so.

I'm wondering, are the times changing?
Are more and more people realizing that in utero or out, a human is a human?

Dear God, I hope so!

But it does mean I'm going to have to pay more attention now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jesus, Refuge of the Weary

Jesus, refuge of the weary,
Blest redeemer, whom we love,
Fountain in life's desert dreary,
Savior from the world above:
Often have your eyes, offended,
Gazed upon the sinner's fall;
Yet upon the cross extended,
You have borne the pain of all.

Text: Girolamo Savonarola, 1452-1498; tr. Jane F. Wilde, 1826-1896
Tune: Herrnhut, c.1735

Featured Post

My Life as a Travel Agent

On a recent morning I was at work and as one of my patients was waiting for his death, I thought again about an idea that keeps popping int...