Monday, April 21, 2014

Morning Reflections of Goodness

Another morning in Florida. I woke up first and did something I rarely take the time to do. I went into my picture files and watched slideshows. It was so enjoyable, it reminded me of my grandmother rereading her treasured saved cards from friends; which I am also guilty of sentiment can be genetic.
Lots of my files are from our trip to Texas last year. When my computer crashed I lost a lot of files. Susie and I went over to San Marcos day before yesterday and I LEFT MY CAMERA AT THE HOUSE---WAILING and wringing hands over all the fabulous missed shots of exquisite sights. We will remedy that this week. I won't be leaving my camera behind again.

Until then some favorite pics from the past.
It's been a year since my niece married and this little darling girl was so adorable in the wedding. My niece has known and loved her from infancy so she was excited about the wedding.
A tender moment between Pa and his girl. Weddings last into the evening and we were all feeling the love. Last year we were all together in Texas for Easter and for some ranching fun.
Love me some sissy-in-law, always wanted a sister and don't give a hoot if it's an in-law she is all mine. Talk about fun, and charming, and knowledgeable.
Like how to just kick back and enjoy the moment anywhere! Pure joy she is a Marlboro woman, pure country and laughter.
How my brother got her is pure mystery. I hope he blesses the Lord every day of his married life for finding this woman. She brings him nothing but goodness and blessing. You know how we are we can ignore the good and focus on minor irritations and forget the blessings our mates bring to us.

 My hunny is in love with this porch. The view is incredible.
1000 acres of just sky and land. Being there makes me sing at the top of my lungs. Being in wide open empty spaces like this brings joy to my soul in an unspeakable way, no words; just loud happy singing. Praises to the creator of this amazing land, and requests for rain as the drought is serious.
This is my happy place on the ranch. I would like to live here when I am a little old widow lady. I'll need to learn to shoot rattlers and rats but still it's so cute I think that is a small price to pay.
Country wisdom abounds....
and the beauty of life, God's incredible creatures and the sweetness of a baby looking for some ninny.
it was a feast of the best type, no caloric intake just pure soul food.
Friends, family, horses, dogs, fun, laughter, songs, and sweetness. My first introduction to a black cur hound dog.
and now I own one and she would be in hog heaven at that ranch. Maybe one day we can return and she can visit too.
OR they can come south and visit us we have country lands too. I wish we could share some rain. We have so much and they are so dry. It makes me think. We have so much of life and love, food, homes, clothing, joy; in our gratitude for all these gifts do we spill over into those who are dry? That is my prayer that living waters would so fill me that I cannot help but spill joy and hope into others. Like singing in the wide open spaces. Sharing the hope that lies within me. We don't need to share drop by drippy drop but like fire hoses of gushing waters. We are green trees planted by waters full and lush and able to stand.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Psalm 143










Saturday, April 19, 2014

Resurrections

Do you ever stop and take an inventory of what you have been doing with your life? We get so busy with routines and technology all the stuff that sucks up our time and steals our lives. It helps to just stop, to think, to take a few days to look at where our time goes because we only have one life here and good stewardship requires that we do not waste it.
I have been thinking a lot about stewardship. I need to get my life in better order, keep my checking account straight, control my spending control my eating; share with the poor, feed the starving. It's important because why do I assume that I'll always be free and fed and have a few bucks to spend? We take that for-granted.

It's the week we reflect on the passion of Jesus Christ his death, burial, and resurrection. I am praying for resurrection power in my life and in the life of my friends and family. Jesus didn't come to leave us in chains. We wrestle with a lot of different kinds of bondage, unforgiveness, inferiority, guilt, greed, malice, coveting, depression, anger, lust; we get stuck in our past, we lose today because we are so busy tightening the chains like Marley and Scrooge forging heavy steal links that can drag us to hell. It's all so stupid. I get why humans are metaphorically referred to as sheep in the Bible, because sheep are really stupid animals. They really need help. Without a shepherd sheep just get picked off and killed. They die easy, they die of fright. They will follow each other around right off cliffs if they happen to be in a stampede of fear, or they will die of thirst if they can't find still water because they are afraid to drink out of water that moves or splashes. We are sheep. We don't get to even be dogs who are intelligent and capable, loyal and lovely; it seems so unfair. I don't want to be a sheep but everything I do points to it. The only way I can steer clear of trouble is by following my sweet shepherd.  It is so easy to get side tracked and follow other sheep around! It is so easy to fall into stupid ruts.

This week I am away from home. I am visiting my bff and we are consoling each other because two months ago mama went to heaven. We know where she is but it's sad that she is not here only because we love her. We wouldn't bring her away from Jesus for two seconds but it's so strange how her presence permeates this place. I keep thinking I'll hear her call my name or turn the corner and see her smiling in the bed with her little hat on.
So funny and precious this lady had more personality than you can imagine she was a riot. We told her our pain pills would sell on the street for $20 a pill and she said ,"I'll drive." Pretty funny and of course we didn't but it isn't your typical old lady response, because she wasn't typical not in any way.
Grief is a tough valley to travel through and my friend has been having a rough trip.

 Recently I packed up little Bob and sent him home to his family because it's time.

 He just turned 90 yesterday and he needs more now than his neighbors can provide. People get more like babies as they age they need mama's again. They need someone to care for them, feed them, tell them what to do and hold their hands when they cross the street. They get afraid when their mama's aren't there and they need help when they take a bath or go to the bathroom. They get so precious and little again. The very old and needy pull my heart right out of my chest, I am compelled to mother them. My little  friend Bob is getting where he needs a mama round the clock now and I have a family, a husband. It was time for him to go to his family and be cared for by them. So we packed up everything he needed in two suitcases and put him on a plane which is a story in itself. I told the attendants he is deaf and he can't hear you. She said, " he's fine he knows what I said". So I demonstrated that I know what I am talking about because Bob just smiles so cute at everything and agrees with whatever is going on. I asked him, " Are you flying to China"? He smiled ,"YES! fine let's go". The SWA lady cracked up and admitted that she better use the tablet and large pen he was carrying to communicate with him. I got an escort pass to take him to the right gate to make sure he didn't go to China. I'll miss him my little baby papa.

I rested one day and got in the car and drove 620 miles to the valley of grief. My girlfriend has been crying for 2 months and stress starving. I did the same thing when my mom was sick and died. I weighed 103 pounds when I came home knowing I wouldn't see her again HERE.  We have been having a relaxing time, watching movies, reading blogs, drinking tea, and talking until the wee hours of the morning.
I told her I would come and she could boss be around to her hearts delight. She loves to fix me up, tell me what to wear and how to do my hair. "I have to admit it's been a big improvement. She really ought to make people over it's a gift and it's her art. I am so stubborn it takes a lot for me to admit that I don't know everything; one of the things I have been praying for---to become an ex-knowitall. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.

Here we are and this has been rich time with thought, reading good writing, reminiscing and delighting in life. I feel a spark kindling in my heart that I want to use life well and richly. To leave behind the time wasters, like Facebook and TV. To connect in meaningful ways and develop the art of living well.  It truly is Resurrection weekend. Tomorrow we are going to go to church and worship and pray. My prayer is for hope to be renewed and for comfort for my friend. I am so very thankful for the shepherd of my soul. I am so very thankful for this life.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; the life which I now live in the flesh I live by FAITH in the Son of God,  who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Gal. 2 :20.

We love because He first loved us.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy Holiday had by all

 We decided to celebrate this year with family and feasting. Feast we did. I pulled out all my goodies to set the table pretty and cooked it up BIG. Turkey, and dressing, gravy, green bean casserole from scratch with portabella mushrooms and white sauce, sweet potato casserole and a gelatin salad mold that I totally forgot to serve. I made fresh cranberry salsa, fresh cranberry relish, and clam dip. We had about 6 dozen cookies and a pumkin pie that nobody wanted. We were too FULL.
 The Midge in blissed out anticipation of holiday fun, it did not dampen her spirits that we didn't put gifts under the tree. We placed all the childhood Christmas books under the tree for reading and walking down memory lane.
 The cookies were endless. These are snowballs. I made Danish butter cookies, thumbprints with raspberry jam, bourbon balls, and snowballs. I used up 4 pounds of butter.
This is sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top and the huge white bowl behind me was full of clam dip. I quadrupled it.
I told everyone we were not buying gifts.
some girlfriends couldn't do it and they gave me presents.
 
 
 This is a little painting from my good friend who went to Pennsylvania and visited in Amish country. I teared up because I just love it.
 Gorgeous measuring spoons from another girlfriend. At the top of each spoon there is a little bird each spoon has a different bird.
 AND YET ANOTHER girlfriend sent these "cray cray adorbs," Franciscan Tiempo Lime Green dinner ware that goes so perfectly with the Franciscan apple dishes from my grandmother. She started something. I have always wanted to have solid color dinner ware and get my OWN dishes. Guess what I'm going to be looking for deals on?
 Do we look like brother and sister? Ya think? Christmas morning horsing around.
 Come here FATBOY ya wanta wrestle? Somethings never change, at least not me :) Actually I am showing him that his salami is authentic.
 

 I gave him food. What do you give somebody that doesn't need anything? Delicious food.
 My hunny and he just gets sweeter and sweeter.
 This is Bob my little neighbor that I adopted. I love grandpas. He is 89 and deaf. We get along great. All his family lives out of state so he ate with us.
 Feelin the love.
 and more love
 and they are so full of love they are getting silly and ridiculous.
 But not Bob he will take all you will give him.

 just beautiful.
 

 

 an awesome picture of Kayla she came for 2 weeks of break from college.
 We had play days with the puppy! THIS is Mercy's baby boy who is the same size as her at 6 months and he is a mess. What a boy super sweet happy pup. I love it that two of my neighbors adopted pups and we can see them. Mercy loves to play with her babies and they love her.

 
 She is such a different dog now so beautiful, he is sayin, "hey wait up ma!!"
 Hound dawg nose!
 

 After feasting we had to make some veggie soup because how much rich food can people eat?
 I had two piles of bananas to make banana pudding with and they over ripened because with all those cookies the pudding got axed. I couldn't even look at more sweets. But Kayla had neighborhood kids over to make gourd art. I gave each of them a loaf of hot banana bread and they sat down and copied the recipe. Homeschooling at it's finest. I was so happy with my home full of people.
 Learning what "cream," means and asking questions about the recipe. Told them to save some black bananas and we will make it together.  Sweet kids in our neighborhood.
 And the craft/laundry room is in full swing with dogs, and kids and painting!!!

My husband and I kept marveling at how happy we were over this Christmas. I can't say it was for sure avoiding the consumerism, but I think that was a big part of it. We did give our grandkids a few things they need like coffee, deodorant, toothbrushes; things college kids would like to save money on. We really celebrated life, people, and the birth of our Savior. it was a beautiful time. I was so relaxed. I just watched the shopping frenzy from a mental distance and told myself how many days until it would be over. The result of that decision was so peaceful. Our family was relieved not to have to buy us gifts. We were relieved not to have to buy a really LARGE amount of people even a small gift. It was great. Next year I am going to plan a more reasonable feast. Four pounds of butter is excessive even for the Danish. I am looking forward to the future holidays and how I can find even more ways to take the consumerism out, and put the joy back in. It was so worth it. Jesus is worth it all.
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Puppies to Presents

 Mercy had EIGHT adorable puppies and I loved every single one of them like they were my babies.
 They all got great homes.
 My tree this year and Axel who never misses a photo op! That dawg is a ham. He knows what a camera is.
 Check out the very cool shadow in the mirror. Decorating easy peasy this year in fact we decided not to exchange presents this year. I just want to enjoy the holiday with food and family. It's been such a relaxed month instead of all the stress of shopping and planning. Even squeezed a trip to Florida in here.  Now I need to get to baking because my brother is coming for Christmas. Kayla is coming and Heather is here so we are going to have a big family gathering. I am so excited.
 It was the year of blown lights. I had to take ALL the lights off my pre-lit tree. It took 3 hours and a couple of blisters to accomplish.
 One more of my sweet puppies these two were our favorites. It was so hard to let all of them go.
But mama Mercy is here to stay until death do us part. She has all of my heart and I love her so much. She is an amazing dog, growing up coming into her own. She was just a pup herself having that litter but she did a great job she was an awesome mom.  Crazy nut is chasing the cat up an down the stairs at the moment. 

Hope your enjoying Christmas preparations and have the joy of the season in your heart!