Thursday, January 31, 2013

Someone is Watching

Last evening I thought for a minute that I was actually going to have a little nap in my recliner. The house was quiet. I felt myself fading so I grabbed a blanket, took off my glasses and snuggled down.

Shortly after I closed my eyes I started getting that weird feeling that someone was watching.

I opened my eyes.

I sat up.

I grabbed my glasses.

And this is what I saw...

For some reason Bode had to stop chewing and watch my napping attempts. He just kept staring at me with his toy in his mouth. I felt I had no choice but to reach for the camera. He's just such a dopey dog!  OK, I admit it. He is also very, very lovable. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Defining One's Self

I ended my post yesterday trying to lead you into thinking about how you should define yourself by good memories, quit holding on to (treasuring) bad memories. So, I started trying to sort out exactly how I define who I am. Here are my top three:

1) I am a Child of God.

Ok, that's not news. I tried then to think of memories linked to that statement. One of those memories was from before I started school. We lived in Commerce City, Colorado. I remember waiting out in our car, ready to head for church. I had a pen. I had a Bible. I wrote my name in the front of that Bible. That is a pretty defining memory, I think. I spent quite a bit of time looking for that old Bible. I really think I still have it somewhere but maybe not. I do have two of my old childhood Bibles, though.

This first one was given to me by my Dad in 1968. It had been his and I think he gave it to me when I was baptized. I was 10 years old. A lot of things seemed more simple then. He had written notes in it and later, so did I. There are two $1 bills tucked in the front. I have no idea why but I would guess I forgot to put them in a Sunday School offering the last time I used the Bible. I think I should put them in the offering plate now, don't you?


This second Bible was given to me by my parents on June 12, 1971. I don't know why or for what occasion. As far as I know they just thought I needed a new Bible.  Well, look at the one in the above photo. You can only ask just so much of masking tape, I suppose. Anyway, I loved that little Bible. I was easy to pack around and really, it was flat out cute. That's important in a Bible when you are 13 years old.

2) I am a member of a loving family.

Again, not news if you've read my blog at all. We aren't perfect but we love each other. I have roles as a sister, daughter, wife, mother, and now grandmother. I am also an aunt, daughter and sister-in-law, etc. You get the picture.

The first time I moved away from home I went to Moorhead, MN. I worked as a real estate secretary and one day at work I realized it was the first time in my life that the people I spent the most time with did not even know my family. My boss and co-workers did not know my family. Even my roommate never met my family. It was such a weird feeling to me. How could these people ever really know me without knowing my family? It was a new experience to see myself as separate from my family in such an ongoing way. I didn't really like that.

3) I am a nurse.

I haven't always been a nurse and someday I will retire from nursing. I will still be me. However, even if it is not professionally, I think I strongly define myself with my need to feel like I am helpful and caring in some way.

My earliest childhood memories of this part of my character revolve around my little sister, Tina. You can get to know Tina here. My sister has cerebral palsy and her handicap likely has something to do with why I became a nurse in the first place. When we were young and I walked anywhere with her, I learned to grab a wad of the shirt/dress/coat on her back. This was to help stop her from falling if she tripped. As her older sister, that need to nurture and care for her was pretty strong when we were little.

Tina did fall a lot as a little kid. I seemed to think it was my job, when she fell and cut her head, to run get a damp cloth.  Mom would press and hold the wound, which in itself is pretty amazing if you know Mom. She has a little problem with blood. In fact, even as she is reading my post here, she's probably getting woozy, right, Mom?

So, that defines me a bit. Now, what about you? Anyone care to tackle that self-definition? What are your top definers?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What is Your Most Treasured Memory?

Two of my friends are leading a Bible Study at our church. It is a short (6 week) course. I purchased the book and said I would be a part of the class but knew I would miss the first class as it began the week we were in Arizona. Well, it turned out the second class was on an evening when I had a another meeting. The third week? I got sick and couldn't go.

Last night I FINALLY attended the class and I rather enjoyed it, even if I didn't much know what was going on. The class is based on a lecture study by Beth Moore.

Beth Moore has a way of looking at scripture, pointing out things that I maybe would have read over without much thought. Reading from Deuteronomy 26 she was pointing out one such event. Oh, I forgot to explain that we watch a video of Beth Moore going over the lesson for probably the first hour of class.  OK, so she was pointing out how the Israelites would recite the story of their Jewish history, particularly their escape from slavery. She said it may have been their most treasured memory. 

Beth Moore asked the question, "What is your most treasured memory?"

I started pondering all the possibilities. The birth of our children came to mind. Maybe it was a special time with Mike. Perhaps my most treasured memory is a childhood memory with my Mom.

A story of slavery and a scary escape would not necessarily be a happy memory. Beth pointed out that our most treasured memory may not be a happy memory either. Her thought is that your most treasury memory is the one you cling to, the one that defines who you are in this life. She said it may be a very horrible thing but you are treasuring it if you cling to that memory and give a lot of energy to it.

I don't think I exactly have something like that, but I maybe once did. I thought of something that really hurt me. I had someone who should have protected my childhood but tarnished that role. I had quite a few years in my life where I kept the hurt from my disappointment in my treasure box. I thought about it all the time. I took it out during quiet moments and cried over it. When I wanted to feel sorry for myself that memory became the tool I used to open up wounds. In a perverse way, I was treasuring it.

I won't be sharing much more about that. Don't worry about me. I have shared it with plenty of people. Mike helped me a lot through those years. I no longer feel wounded by it and I don't have a need to talk about it on my blog. I only bring it up now, because maybe someone reading this blog knows what that is like. Maybe someone else is now realizing they've been treasuring something unworthy of that kind of dedication. I guess I just want to encourage you to let it go. If you can't do it on your own, please seek assistance. I'm not a professional in such matters but maybe the first thing is to simply limit the amount of time you spend thinking about that which hurts you. Put that treasured memory up and take some of your lovely memories down from the shelf. Define yourself by the worthy memories, rather than the unworthy. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Great Sunday

I just had the best day yesterday. I got to sing with our Worship Team, sit with two beautiful granddaughters at church, enjoyed a potluck with friends after church. I love potlucks! It's not really just the food, though. I love that time of fellowship with church friends. People seemed to linger longer today. It was just good to be together.

After the potluck I went directly to meet one of my favorite collection of women for a fun get-together. We are a group who all used to work together caring for cancer patients. We no longer all work together but our friendship has been sustained. It is not always easy to find a group of women who work together as well as did the five of us. Circumstances kept that from being a permanent situation but we remain grateful for the years it did last. I'm so happy that we have maintained our friendship. I always feel happy after time with these beautiful ladies!

That wasn't the end of it, though. Our daughter and her family arrived moments after I got home. We have developed a tradition of getting together on most Sunday nights for dinner. Ten years from now we likely won't be able to distinguish memories of one Sunday night from another, but we are accumulating a host of blended memories. I love it!

Elise gets time with each of us.
I think her Daddy, Eric, elicited the best giggles from her last night.

Most Sunday nights involve, at some point, some dinosaur hunting. I'm pretty certain that is Cordelia's favorite part of the evening.

Those dinosaurs are tricky to find!

They hide in some pretty silly places!

Mike & I soak up granddaughter time.

But all good things must come to an end...

... at least until next week.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Whom Shall I Fear?

(click title to hear song)

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light
Whom shall I fear?

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though trouble linger still
Whom shall I fear?

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises
You are faithful
You are faithful

Publishing: © 2012 sixsteps Songs / Worship Together Music / Alletrop Music (BMI) (Admin. at

Written by Chris Tomlin and Ed Cash

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chilly Living Conditions

How weird! It is after 9:00 a.m. and I just remembered I am a daily blogger. I hope that lapse doesn't happen again, but it likely will.

I was so exhausted yesterday that I spent my evening trying to stay awake in front of the TV, alternating with moments of waking up (the staying awake part was not much of a success) wondering what time it was. I don't mean I wondered if it was 8:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., I mean I had to sort out whether it was morning or evening.

This morning I was awakened to Mike's announcement that our furnace wasn't working. It still isn't, but help is on the way. Luckily, we are having unseasonably warm weather so long sleeves with an added sweater is working for the moment. I know there are others with furnace problems and below-freezing temperatures (Hi, Pam!) so I'd better not complain too much.

While it is annoying to have our furnace not working, it made me think of how nice I have it. Our home is not fancy but it is more than adequate for our needs. While there are people living 10 to a room, I now have an entire room dedicated to sewing/crocheting/jewelry-making/whatever-strikes-my-fancy-making. While there are millions hauling water for their everyday needs, I just turn on a faucet and that life-sustaining liquid flows freely. While some are scavenging for anything at all to eat, I'm trying to decide what appeals to me from the many options in my kitchen.

The inequality of all that is rather disturbing, isn't it? I've done nothing to deserve having better living conditions than so many others. I pray that my eyes will be opened to better ways to help those in need.

Anyway, those are kind of solemn thoughts for a Saturday morning I suppose. I will leave you with these photos from our Arizona trip. I am thinking that hole is where a bird lives. It looks rather hostile but perhaps the inside of a cactus is a splendid place for a home. I suppose the Wyoming birds who are trying to keep a nest in a tree during 60 mph winds would love to have such a place to hide away.

Stay warm and have a happy Saturday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lunch and a Photo Shoot

Yesterday I invited Maria and her girls over for lunch and a photo shoot. I had a few new items for Wyoming Rose Boutique and I'd imagined Maria modeling outside for me while I shot glorious photographs.

Well, mother nature had another plan. We had horrible winds so shooting outside became a bad idea. Well, no problem. We managed. Maria was a great sport, very patient with me and my camera. I shot a great deal of photographs with a big smear on my lens so many of my photos had to be thrown out. I was able to save some, though.

Isn't she beautiful? Thanks. I grew her myself.  

In between taking photos of Maria, while she was changing, I entertained myself taking photos of the little girls as well. Of course, I will share them with you...

We set Cordy up to watch Ruby Gloom on Netflix.

 She may have been a bit tired.

Elise wanted to show me her sitting up skills...

 ...and play with her toys.

And, as you can see, Eric provided his second daughter with lovely lashes as well.
Thanks, Eric.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Will Love You Foreber and Eber and Eber

My Mom told me it is time for more pictures of the little girls. I've always minded my mother! The first one was just taken during one of our Sunday evening dinners together. I do not know what was so fascinating with Cordelia's hand. I just thought she looked rather adorable in her hat.

Saturday I said I would take Cordelia swimming. The first photo was just her cute little self being all anticipatory and happy.  She was so delighted to be going swimming with me.
On the way to the pool I heard her sweet voice from the car seat in back saying,
"I will love you foreber and eber and eber, Grandma."
The second photo shows a tired but satisfied little girl. I do believe she must have gone down the little froggy slide into the pool about 100 times!

And is this not an adorable little giraffe?
Elise is smiles most of the time now....AND she says "Momma" when reaching for Maria! 
Yep, and she is only 6 months old. 
That girl must have a lot of things she is getting ready to tell us!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

55 Year Maintenance

I am feeling pretty good about myself this month.  You see, I HATE to make appointments, medical or otherwise. I don't know why but I hate making the phone calls almost more than going to the appointments. I decided, though, that this month I was going to get all my maintenance work done before I turned "double nickels" as Sam calls it.

For my day off last week I had my teeth cleaned and got a great report from my dentist. That same morning I went for my yearly physical and later in the day I even went to the DMV to renew my driver's license. Getting those three things done in one day was pretty awesome. I felt very self-righteous.

Yesterday, for my day off, I went to the eye doctor, got my mammogram done and threw in an ultrasound of my gallbladder just for good times. I only took photos from the vision center. You understand.
I snapped this photo before the doctor walked in. I think I would have been mortified had he caught me! Since I started blogging I've become pretty weird about pictures. Everything now needs photographed just in case I need to blog about it later.

Anyway, all that was done by 11:00 a.m.! After a delightful mall lunch with Mike, Sam, Maria, Elise and Cordelia I went back to the eye doctor's office to pick out new glasses. Mike came along, which he has never done before. That was interesting... in a good way, actually. You see, he's still the person I want most to like how I look. On the way there I thought to myself that I'd try to go with his choice, no matter what.


Now, ladies, don't panic. He was kidding. Actually, they don't look so bad in the photo, do they? In real life they made me look a bit like a bug. Luckily, though, we seemed to like pretty much the same glasses so it wasn't all that hard. The pair we chose did not have a price tag on them but I didn't think they were the expensive ones. I was wrong. It turns out we have expensive taste. If you know me, though, you know I am frugal in such things. Extreme frugality and expensive taste is a sad mixture of attributes. Well, you will be glad to know that Mike encouraged me to go with the expensive ones so I could feel good in them. Had he not been there, I'd have just brought in some Walmart sunglasses and asked them to pop out the dark lenses and put my corrective lenses in them.  Not really...that of course never crossed my mind... ok, it did...but do you think that could work? M a y b e   n e x t    t i m e . . .

So, I did take a photo of the chosen glasses before I left. Of course they won't arrive for a week or so. They are really just an ordinary basic black as that blended with my hair better. Apparently it was the shape of them that we liked, and it must have been the shape of them that cost extra.

What will I remember about the day? I will remember my sweet man encouraging me to spend a little extra money on myself for no other reason than to feel good about how I look. That leaves me all warm and happy inside.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sick Day

I woke up shortly after midnight yesterday morning. I knew right away that something was wrong. I am not too shy to tell you all about how I got sick (stomach bug) but I realize some people may not want all the yucky details so I will spare you.

By 5:00 a.m. I knew I had to call in sick for work. I HATE to do that but I could not have gone to work in my condition. In fact, I spent the entire day in bed! It wasn't all bad. I watched enough of Wild at Heart to need a break from it. Have you heard of it?

Wild at Heart is a British TV show that apparently ran for 7 seasons. It is about a veterinarian who moved from London to Africa with his family. It's a pleasant show to watch. I am loving the African scenery and the African animals as it was all filmed on location at an animal reserve there. It is really stunning! I almost feel as though I've traveled there now.

I enjoy Netflix. I find it is fun to pick a TV show and watch it for sometimes a couple of months straight. Yesterday, though, I got through an entire season! Admittedly I fell asleep through some of it but it was easy to back it up to pick up where I dozed off.

Do any of you watch Netflix or any of those types of services much? What shows would you recommend? Do you feel sad when you finish a series? I sometimes do. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Caramel Waffles

Do you all have a Pinterest Account? If you do, follow Only the Manager (me) if you'd like. I'm finding I really enjoy peeking in on Pinterest more than I thought I would. There are such cool ideas there!

It's funny, really. Pinterest uses modern technology and concepts that would not have ever crossed my mind before. Yet, the more I see on it, the more I long for simpler days. I want to try every cool Do It Yourself project I see! And the recipes... there are some really wonderful ideas! I think maybe I could even be a reasonably good cook if I just had the time to try out some of those delicious recipes. I'm also finding lots and lots of crocheting ideas that I wish to do. If only I had more time!

This week-end, though, I did try out one of the simpler recipes I saw on Pinterest. I made cinnamon rolls on our little waffle maker.  I'm not kidding! It was tasty AND easy...just my kind of recipe. It was so delightful I decided I needed to share the joy with my readers.

To start I bought a tube of pre-made cinnamon rolls. I sprayed my waffle iron with an oil spray and heated it up. I chose caramel rolls but any would be yummy.

I separated the rolls and plopped two of them on the iron.

I closed the lid and cooked them just as if they were regular waffles.

When I opened it up again, it looked like this...

When I added the caramel that came in the tube, it looked like this...

You want a bite, don't you?

Now, the thing is, I make really good cinnamon rolls the old fashioned way. Someday I will share that recipe as well. This way, however, is pretty wonderful when you are in a hurry and not feeding too many people at once. It tastes even better than it looks!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Beauty of Simplicity

 The Beauty of Simplicity 
                          (by Telecast)

It's the beauty of simplicity
that brings me down to my knees
I'll praise You for eternity
and Lord I love You
Because You
You first loved me
It's the beauty of simplicity
that fills me with eternity
I've tasted Your divinity
and Lord I love You
Because You
You first loved me

And all God's people say:
We, we love You
we love You Lord
we love You
And we, we love You
we love you Lord
we love You
We love You

It's the beauty of simplicity
that brings me down to my knees
I'll praise You for eternity
and Lord I love You
Because You
You first loved me

You gave Yourself away
just that I could stay
You took my place in death
and rose that I could say
That You are Holy
and You alone deserve my praise


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wyoming Wind Gives Clues

I do believe I've mentioned how our yard catches everything the wind blows around our neighborhood. Our street is long and our house is situated where the road bends. Add to that the fact that THE WIND IS ALWAYS BLOWING IN WYOMING and the result is, our yard is kind of a collection area. Remember when I told you we bagged up over 60 bags of leaves this Fall? Most people in the neighborhood just had a few bags sitting on the curb the day the city collected them. It was a bit embarrassing, really.

Do you remember the week we found a crutch in our front yard? Could the wind be strong enough to do that? The answer is YES! The gusts that week were up to 90 mph!

This week we received boxes in our yard.  They were empty. Either someone told everybody that we were going to do the cardboard recycling for everyone or the Wyoming Wind has been leaving treats for us once again. Apparently someone in our neighborhood got a new table.  

Someone else must have received a new red wagon, maybe for Christmas?

The weirdest thing I found in our yard remains a bit mysterious.  I thought I had already written a post about this but when I looked for it this morning I couldn't find it. So, sorry if I am repeating myself. 

Some time back I found this driver's license.

It just suddenly appeared in my flowers one day. It is pretty old as it was to expire in 2007. It was a provisional license as the young lady was underage at the time. She would now be 26 years old.  The weirdest part was that it is a California license. Why would that show up in our yard years later?

Friday, January 18, 2013


Our granddaughter, Elise,  is 6 months old now. She is delighted to get more involved in play with her big sister, Cordelia. Cordelia is also thrilled that Elise can do a bit more with her now. She has been planning all the fun they can have together!

The other day Cordelia wanted me to tell her a story about three little girls. She wanted the little girls to be named Cordelia, Sadie (Cordy's best friend) and Elise. I thought it was sweet that she included Elise.

Last time the girls were at our house Mike was showing Cordelia how to ride in a boat (box) around the kitchen floor.  Cordy quickly requested that her sister ride along. Finally, Elise is big enough to be included in such play! My photos did not turn out that great but they do give you a sense of the bond of love these little sisters already share.

 I love how Cordy locked her hands around Elise to keep her safe.

I also grabbed my phone and took a few photos of the two of them on one of their first rides together in a shopping cart.  

Cordy is generous with the kisses and I think Elise was trying to reciprocate.
Elise's kissing style is a bit underdeveloped (and wet)...but sweet.

I love these little probably didn't know that, did you?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Two Iones

We did not randomly choose to visit Arizona.  We all met there so that we could not only see Ben and Sara but so that we could see Mike's Mom, Carol.  She cheerfully hosted our whole family. We were really grateful to all have the chance to gather there.  I know it would be appropriate to send her a thank-you card but it is a new age and I am bad at sending cards. So, thank-you, Carol! We appreciate you!

Carol's middle name is Ione.  I probably shouldn't tell you that as she once told me she wasn't crazy about her middle name. However, I think she likes her middle name now, because she shares it with her beautiful baby great-granddaughter, Elise Ione.

It was fun to see the The Two Iones together for a few days.

I see a resemblance between these two pretty Iones.

Except Carol doesn't drool.

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