Monday, September 30, 2013

First Skates

Upon donning her first pair of skates, 
Cordelia said,
"Maybe I can be in Roller Derby now!"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Cordelia!

Cordelia has been so excited to turn 4!
Today, she finally does.
Happy Birthday Sweet Cordy!

Recently, while shopping with her, I was going through some
dresses and said, "Let's see if this one is your size."
Excitedly, Cordelia said, "Does it say size 'almost 4'?"

Well, she doesn't have to look for "almost 4" anymore.
Today, she officially turns 4.

When asked what she wanted for her birthday, Cordelia simply said, 
"Something pink."
I think we can manage that.

I'll tell you what, these last 4 years have been delightful!
I love that little girl so completely!
She and I had a conversation this past week about the day she was born.
I told her how happy I was when she was born, how exciting it was.
She looked at me and asked, "Is that when my Momma said it was ok for you to be my Grandma?"

With or without her Mom's permission,
I absolutely love being one of that sweet little girl's grandmas!

You are my sunshine, Cordy!
I hope your day is sunshiney as well.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lucky Tree Trimming

When a heavy, wet snow comes along this early, 
it can cause some damage. 
The trees all still have their leaves so there is a lot 
of surface area on which the snow collects.

It gets too heavy, though.
Branches start breaking.

Driving home from work last night I saw fallen branches all over town.
I was nervous as to what I'd find at home.
As I approached, I could see that some things had happened.
There are branches hanging off our roof.

There were branches laying all over our yard.
This one is about 30 feet long and
when I tried to move it I did not
even make it budge.
Mike got out his saw and took care of it.

The fallen branches looked kind of sad.

Luckily, the ones on our roof were
small enough that I don't think there
was any damage.

A few hours after I got home Mike came in and asked if I'd seen
the one between the garage and the fence.
I had not.

This very large branch had fallen
right smack dab between our fence and our garage!

It was heavy enough it could have taken out our fence
or damaged our garage.
the only damage was a bent gutter.

I am grateful it wasn't worse. 
Our cars were not hit; no people were hurt...
and our trees were trimmed for free.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Do you know or remember Gordon Lightfoot? Mike first took me to one of his concerts in 1976 or 1977 in Fargo, North Dakota. It was my first big concert and it was a bit scary. For some reason they didn't sell reserved seating and they kept the doors closed until close to show time. When the doors opened, the crowds pushed forward with frightening force. I remember Mike trying to keep hold of my hand as people were trying to push through. We managed to stay together and my arm eventually healed (kidding). 

Mike has remained a Gordo fan since the 1970's. I am a Gordo fan by marriage. Our children grew up hearing John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot and other pop/folk singer's voices in the background of our family life. So, whenever Gordon Lightfoot is performing nearby, and sometimes when he isn't really that nearby, we go to hear him.  Over the years we have purchased tickets to Gordo concerts in 5 different states. Hmmm.... that doesn't make us groupies, does it?

(Gordon Lightfoot in Wyoming September 20, 2013)

Back then, Gordon Lightfoot was a really big deal. Here's what Wikipedia has to say...

"Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr. CC OOnt (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folkfolk-rock, and country music, and has been credited for helping define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s.[1] He has been referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter[2] and internationally as a folk-rock legend.[3][4]
Lightfoot's songs, including "For Lovin' Me", "Early Morning Rain", "Steel Rail Blues", "Ribbon of Darkness"—a number one hit on the U.S. country charts[5] with Marty Robbins' cover in 1965— and the 1967 Detroit riot-generated "Black Day In July" brought him international recognition in the 1960s. He experienced chart success in Canada with his own recordings, beginning in 1962 with the Number 3 hit "(Remember Me) I'm the One". Lightfoot's recordings then made an impact on the international music charts as well in the 1970s, with songs such as "If You Could Read My Mind" (1970) (Number 5 on the US charts), "Sundown" (1974), "Carefree Highway" (1974), "Rainy Day People" (1975), all reaching number 1, and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1976) (reaching number 2).[6]

Gordon Lightfoot was once pretty much a household name. He was a denim kind of guy, just like Mike. 

A little more than a decade ago Gordo suffered a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm just before a concert in his hometown. That is often deadly and it very nearly was for him. He spent a long time in a coma. They had to put a tracheostomy in him and do abdominal surgery, damaging his diaphragm. These are not actions that improve a person's voice. Essentially he had to learn to breathe again. He still has problems filling his lungs with the amount of air necessary to sing. Nevertheless, he is now doing a 50 year tour. Think of that! 50 years of touring!

When we watched Gordon Lightfoot's Concert last week, I sat there thinking a lot about the aging process. He doesn't look too much like the guy I saw at that first concert. I wondered if he felt like that same guy. I suppose he does. As I age, I realize more and more that we are not the body we are living in. The essence of who we are comes from something much more substantial. I'm pretty sure I just said something profound there but this post is about a concert, so let's move on.

We enjoyed the concert. Gordon Lightfoot seemed to be enjoying himself and that makes everyone else enjoy themselves. The auditorium we were in held over 900 people and I believe it was sold out. Although he was used to singing to many thousands at a time, I liked that he didn't seem to mind entertaining a smaller group in a small town in Wyoming. I expect it was a walk down memory lane for many of those in the crowd, just as it was for us. I think we all appreciated his work, his songwriting talent and his love of entertaining. 

Do you have any entertainers that have stood the test of time for you? Any you'd go see in 5 different states?

It was a pleasant evening. The best part for me was this... after more than three decades, the same guy was holding my hand on the way into the concert. Yes, that was my favorite part. Oh, and I also liked that my arm wasn't in danger of breakage this time.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Healing Bitterness

Well, I decided this post was worth the effort to re-write it. I'm trying to let go of my bitterness toward BLOGGER for losing my post yesterday.

I am enjoying Bible Study with some friends on Monday nights. This week we talked of many things, including God as healer. I liked that! Maybe because I am a nurse, I don't know, but I really like to think of God as a healer.

It is easy to think of healing in regards to disease and injury. Something discussed Monday night, though, was our need for healing of bitterness.  Yes, bitterness. Of course I first started thinking of people I know who seem really bitter. It's always easier to see what is wrong with someone else, huh? The trust is, though, most of us have something that can makes us feel bitter.

Often people who are bitter about something don't realize it or wouldn't call it bitterness. Can you think of anything about which you might be retaining some bitterness? If you can identify something about which you are bitter, you have likely found something for which you need to consider offering forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a tricky thing. Sometimes we want to hold on to our pain, including our bitterness. Sometimes we want to wallow in it, huh? Eventually, though, it starts to smell bad, so to speak. In fact, one of the things we read was bitterness is like a cancer. It can grow and spread until you don't really even remember where it all began. 

So, how to wash yourself clean of bitterness? As I said, forgiveness is usually the ticket. God shows us forgiveness; we need to pass that on. Another tricky thing about forgiveness, though, is that we may worry about what message we are sending. Sometimes our bitterness is based on something really seriously bad that someone did to us. Does offering forgiveness mean to say that the wrong done to you was really ok? Nope. Forgiving and letting go of bitterness is not about saying a wrong is ok, it is about saying YOU are ok. It is to say you wish to quit allowing the wrong thing to keep hurting you. You want to be rid of it. You want to be healed of it.

OK, that is one of the things we talked about and I really wanted to share it. Now, I have. I feel better.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bitter About Bitterness

So, here is the deal...

I wrote a post for today titled "Healing Bitterness". Doesn't that sound intersting? However, I did it from my phone and when I sent it to publish, it got stuck. AAAAAAAAALLLLL day long it keeps saying "publishing" but it never really did that. It is stuck. I can't access the post at all from my phone nor from my computer.

Perhaps I will rewrite it. Right now, I feel bitter about it and I'm going to wallow in that bitterness for awhile.


Monday, September 23, 2013


Recently I had trouble finding a place to park when I was just trying to make a quick stop at my favorite grocery store. As I approached, I saw a lot of people lined up in the drippy weather.

Curious, I had to check it out.
It seems they were all waiting for a turn to
tour the Weinermobile.

It was kind of cute but I didn't understand.
Would you stand in the rain for a turn to peek inside the Weinermobile?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sometimes the Grass Really is Greener on the Other Side

My Mom is an artist. She really is a talented artist and has done many excellent paintings. That is not the art I want to talk about, though. I want to talk about how she uses her talents as an outdoor artist, working with nature.

A few years ago my mother bought a vacant lot not far from my sister's home. That lot did not look too nice to most of us, but she could see the potential. The lot next to her's is still vacant and shows you pretty much how her's once looked.

That fence marks the edge of her property, and trust me, the grass IS greener on the other side.

It once looked as weedy and sad as that lot.   One of the first things Mom did was have this little playhouse moved from her old yard to the new lot. Then, in the evenings, she'd come over and hangout at her little playhouse. It is cute and fully decorated. Just imagine what the new neighbors must have been wondering. Some even stopped by to ask about her little house, did she live there? She almost could have, except it has no bathroom.  Click here to see photos my Aunt took of my niece's little girls inside this playhouse.

Eventually her new (real) house was ready. Since Mom has been living there she has worked hard to make it what it is today. From a weedy vacant lot it has become a beautiful refuge.  

We were there yesterday and spent some time in her yard. It is so relaxing!  

I marveled once again at her eye for beauty.

If you do not live in a semi-arid part of the world, you may not realize how difficult it can be to grow the things she grows here.

And she makes it look so easy.

Sprinkled throughout her yard are delightful surprises.

And pretty little personal touches.

Even with Summer fading, her yard still has a lot of spectacular flowers.

 There is color everywhere.

It still has a lovely place to read, which we did.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fun at Target

Cordelia found some fun hats when we were at Target yesterday. That's it. That is all I have for today.

Thanks, Maria, for being our photographer.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Out Front

We've had quite a lot of activity out in front of our house this Summer.

First, we had the incendiary device right across from our house and the arson just down the street.

Later, we endured a lot of noise while our street was redone.

Now, we have a big hole in our street. Yes, they already had to tear up our pretty new street. The word on the street (literally) is that one neighbor dug up his driveway to have it redone. What he discovered under the old concrete was seeping water from below.

Now, they are digging up the street to find the leak.

(the view from our front window)
Apparently they kind of guess where they need to dig and they've guessed wrong a few times.

The hole is about 6 feet deep and when I went out to snoop, they were pretty much extending the dig from the neighbors' driveway and all across the street.  Did you know that after they fix the leak, they can't just return the same dirt they just dug out of there? They have to haul in all new sand that isn't clumped together.

The theory is this. All that pounding they did to compress the dirt before putting down our new street likely jiggled the old water pipes enough to cause the leak. I have no trouble believing this theory. The pounding was bad enough to rattle our dishes and make our pictures hang crooked.

The good news is that we still have water at our house, unlike our next-door-neighbor.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More Than Sagebrush

I love the drive from our town to the town where my mother, sister and other relatives live. It is only a two hour drive across part of Wyoming. It isn't through the mountains but rather covers mostly prairie. I've heard people say it was a boring drive...nothing but sagebrush...a whole lot of nothing, things like that. I disagree!

On my way home last week-end I decided to make a few stops to take some photographs. Let me share with you some of what I saw.

I saw a lot of horses.
They are so beautiful, aren't they?

Also, do you see the antelope behind this horse?

 Cattle are abundant in Wyoming.

 I saw a couple of buffalo herds.

This big guy was pretty majestic looking.

 Driving along there, you can almost feel the history.
It is not hard to imagine Native Americans riding living their nomadic life in this region.

Early settlers must have had adventures here.
It must have been a challenging environment!

My own great grandparents homesteaded very nearby.

Although it is easy to feel like few have been out in that lonely area before,
there are markers to tell you that the land is covered in history.

There really is a lot of sagebrush along the route.
I kind of like it.

 There are many, many weird rock formations. 

I couldn't stop to photograph all of them but you get the idea.

The landscape changes frequently.

I enjoyed watching this hawk soaring overhead.
On a previous trip I saw two bald eagles!
Sorry, not photos of them. 

Mama Deer led her twins to safety.

I was thrilled to see a badger up close.
He was in the middle of the road; I thought he was road kill
but he got up and scurried to the side of the road,
turned and looked at me as I passed.
A badger is kind of a rare sighting, especially during the day.
Sorry I didn't get a photograph.

I'm telling you...
... it is a beautiful drive.

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