Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't You Just Love New Babies?

Meet my new great-nephew, Eli. He was born last week on Thursday morning - very early morning! He may have already shown his parents that he's pretty stubborn because he was reluctant to come and took his sweet time about it. He likes to be wrapped up tight and rocked and he especially likes for me to sing to him. Puts him right to sleep. Of course, with my voice that could be self-protection.
Here's the question of the day: if Eli is my great nephew, what is his relation to my grandchildren? And don't give me any of that once removed stuff because I will not accept "removed." He's mine and I'm not giving an inch on that. Well, really he is his parents first but then he's mine. Well, maybe he's my sister's grandson second, but I'm sure I'm third on the list. And I know he loves me very much because he arranged to be born in Denver when I was only an hour away on vacation!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


For those of you who have been following my cell phone story and fiasco.....Sprint came through! For the first time since last April my sister is able to call my cell phone and it actually rings instead of her getting a disconnect notice! She literally spent hours on the phone with Sprint trying to get this resolved and they came through. Here's the explanation, which makes absolutely no sense to me: some phone numbers can have two ways to route to them instead of one; mine did; when she tried to call me her phone got confused as to which route to take so it took none. :) Hmmmm, sometimes I do that too!

However, now AT&T has some catching up to do. As of last Wednesday I no longer receive my e-mail on my Blackberry. Out of the blue. I changed nothing. This whole trip, even when I didn't have e-mail access on my computer I didn't worry because I got my e-mails on my Blackberry. Then boom! nothing............ It just can't be easy can it?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Great Giveaways!

Check out this great giveaway at Old Farmhouse Gatherings!

Also here's another one I'd love to win at The Firecracker Kid.

And here's another! This one is from Sweet P Quilting.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Have Never!

Ya'll we've been to Colorado several times and seen lots of elk. This is our favorite time to come because the dynamics of the males and females during this season is so fascinating. I believe this is the largest herd we've ever seen and for some reason this year they are very close to the road. They act as if the hundreds of people standing there with cameras in hand don't even exist.

Jerry said he counted 41 cows in this group. We couldn't get them all in one picture so I'm posting three.

Now usually there is only one male with any group of females, whether that group has one cow or 41 cows. They are very territorial. But this year there are often a half dozen males with any group. Oh, the women all belong to only one man but the other males watch him like a hawk and if they think he isn't looking they try to sneak in. The males lose several hundred pounds during this couple of months! They don't let down their guard long enough to even eat.

These two young males aren't really fighting. They are like two teenage boys wrestling on the living room floor trying to see which one is strongest.

They sort of lock horns and push, each one trying not to lose his footing.

They might stay like this for several minutes, then back away for a little while. Once they've gotten their breath back they go at it again!

I cannot describe the peace in this place. The mountains, the streams, the trees....

How could anyone look at this and not say How Great Is Our God!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Morning's Ride

The promised 6" of snow never materialized in Estes Park...we were truly disappointed. I bet all those campers who fled yesterday are too. The camp host walked around telling everyone we might get as much as 16" and all the fishermen hitched up their waders and got out of here. But as we drove up into the park this morning we did see this tiny bit of snow. It looked as if God had sifted confectioners sugar out among the trees.

Of course up on the peaks He must have sifted a lot harder for a lot longer!

I promise you this is not a statue. It's rutting season for the elk, and if you don't know what rutting season is I'm not explaining! The male elks gather up a herd of females and for a couple of months they stand guard over their harem. They make the most amazing sound, called bugling, as they declare their territory and keep their women in line. This one stood perfectly still for the longest time as all of us gawkers took pictures, almost as if he knew what we were doing and he was posing.

Just a little farther down in the meadow I spied a long horn sheep making his way down the mountain. I've never spotted one like that before so I was thrilled. They have tiny little hooves and seem almost to be dancing around and over the rocks as they make their way. They have to cross the highway to get to the mudflats in the meadow below.

And once they reach their goal they eat the mud. That's right I said eat the mud. There are minerals in the mud that are necessary for their health. This sheep is just a young one and his horns are still very small.
We did stand out in a snow flurry to take his picture and I nearly froze to death! We made a quick stop in town and I bought a really, really warm North Face hat with ear covers. It will be perfect for sitting out in the wind to watch the animals.....both here and on the football field when we go to watch my son's games.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Outside My Door

We got to Estes Park, Colorado about 1:00 this afternoon. We're in an RV Park near one of the gates to the Rocky Mountain National Park. We've parked in this resort several times over the years and really like the people as well as the amenities. This is the first time I've had real internet access (except on my Blackberry) in over a week! The view outside my door is this one - you can just barely make out the snow on the mountain peaks. By tomorrow night that might be a lot plainer since they're predicting 6-12" of snow here tonight! No telling how much they will get even higher up. :) Thank goodness by Saturday the high will be in the sixties. While I'm excited about the snow I don't want to be stuck here! This resort closes on the 30th of this month so we have to be out of here by then.
Do you think we ever outgrow our child-like excitement over the first snow of the season? I hope not.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Return of the Sixties

Last week was the 38th annual Walnut Grove Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kansas and we were there. This is the third time I've ever attended this festival and I love it more every time. It starts on Wednesday and ends on Sunday of the third weekend in September. The first year I went it was 110 degrees in the shade and I nearly fried. The second time I went it was so cold that I had to buy a sweatshirt with a hood and wear every stitch of clothes I brought under it just to survive. This year, third time's the charm I guess, the weather was perfect.

There are five stages (but one of them isn't a sanctioned one if you get my drift) (and if you don't get my drift it's down in the far campground where the funny cigarette smoke forms a cloud over everything and I don't dare go). The music is really a mix of bluegrass, folk, cowboy, with an Irish band thrown in and even a country song or two. There's always a gospel song in every event and on Sunday that's the favored music of the day. You take your lawn chairs and move from stage to stage depending on which group you want to hear that hour. Tie dyed clothes are real popular and every other person attending is carrying a banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin or autoharp. It's a family affair with lots of babies and small children skipping along beside the motorized chairs of the elderly. The food is to die for - turkey legs and corn on the cob, barbecue, reuben sandwiches, fried fish and shrimp, Greek food, Chinese food, and best of all, funnel cakes. I ate one every day. Can you say gained 5 pounds? They even had homemade ice cream and kettle corn and fresh squeezed lemonade. Oh my goodness.
It's a time for friends and family and community. People joined together singing folk songs and the pride in our country and prayers for our fighting men and women were mentioned by every group. Events like this remind me of the sixties when we went to drive in movies and camped in tents by the river and played in the neighborhood till dark thirty. It soothes my soul. If you've never been to a bluegrass festival find one near you - there are a lot of them all during the year. It's a lot like going to the county fair - you'll find yourself tired, but refreshed, at the end of the day. You'll find yourself saying, "America is alive and well - praise God!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another Telephone Story

Remember my post from the other day about Using Age To My Advantage? I wanted you to know "the rest of the story."

My new telephone arrived less than 24 hours later! What service, I thought. What wonderful service, I thought. I did everything they told me; took the back off the old phone, took the battery out, took the SIM card out, and put all of that in the new phone. It worked - the new phone worked! It rang...loudly. That's what the old one wasn't doing. Then I tried to call out. No contacts. Not one flippin' contact. Reverse the order...put it all back in the old phone. Contacts reappeared.

Three phone calls and one visit to the store contacts, sort of, were in the new phone. By that I mean when they transferred them it took in this order: work phone numbers, if there was no work phone number it took the home phone number and changed it to say work, and if there were no home numbers it took the mobile number and changed it to say work. Apparently it wanted everyone to have a work number. It only took one number. So all others were lost into cyber space. All home numbers and all mobile numbers. In addition I couldn't receive or send e-mail. The nice 13 year old I got this time had the hardest time figuring that one out but eventually he discovered that the PIN number he had for me and the PIN number my phone had for me were different. They should be the same. That problem was resolved. That left me with lost phone numbers, no speed dial numbers because they all disappeared too, and all ring tones and pictures etc. that I had downloaded were gone.

Now of course there was a way to resolve all of this. All I had was to download some software, save everything to the software, then reload it to the new phone. However, the software took 30 minutes to download and then disappeared. Twice. I think maybe it might be here somewhere but my computer search can't find it. I could have waited until my grandson could come over when we get back from vacation but the old phone had to be mailed back right now or I would have been charged $425. Throwing up my hands I just mailed the darn thing and am working to find all those phone numbers, and giving up on the pictures and ring tones.

I forgot to tell you all that about a month ago my sister, who calls me every morning on her way to work, started getting a "this phone is disconnected" message when she called my cell. That's a whole 'nother long story. First she called her provider (Sprint). After a week they told her it was my provider's (AT&T) problem. I called her provider too while I was at her house and they told me the same thing. So I called my provider who, after a week, told me it was Sprint's problem and I should call them. I did that. But then Sprint wouldn't talk to me because I'm not a Sprint customer. Right. My sister called them back again. They would certainly call her back, so they said, within a few days. Never called. She called again. Same thing. They didn't call. Saturday she called them again. The first person she talked to said she would make a new ticket on it. My sister said "no ticket! You have three tickets on it! Let me talk to your supervisor." The supervisor said, "the problem is that you keep calling back and we have too many tickets so it hasn't been resolved." No kidding - that's what he said. My sister said, "let me talk to YOUR supervisor." :) The next supervisor said, "I'll make a new ticket." My sister said "NO TICKET! You have 3 tickets. Use one of them and fix it!" She assured my sister that it would be fixed soon. My sister asked for the phone number of Her supervisor. So she gave her the number of Account Services. Huh? Account Services? Those are the people I talk to if I don't pay my bill. The lady said, "believe me if you tell those people you are gong to terminate your service because we didn't fix it, they will get something done. They don't want to lose your business!"

So now we are at an impasse. No one who has Sprint can call me or my husband. They can all call anyone else on AT&T but not us. I don't know how many customers Sprint has but all five hundred seventy million three hundred forty one thousand can't call me. If that's how many customers they have. I can call anyone on Sprint. I can get a text from anyone on Sprint. My sister texts me and says "call me" and I can call her. But she can't call me.

I think I'm snake bit.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seasons of our Lives

When I was much younger and had small children at home I did a lot of canning. We were living in a small southern town where gardens were in every other yard and I had only to drive a couple of miles from my house to find a produce stand. Then I was all about saving money so I could afford to feed those hungry kids!

Today I don't have to feed hungry children, at least not in my home, but I find great satisfaction in "going back to my roots" and doing some canning, not because I have to, but because I want to. This summer I've been blessed with garden produce from two wonderful neighbors, Betty and Ross. They aren't wonderful because they give me produce, though I do love receiving it, but are wonderful because they are good Christian people and good friends and neighbors. In fact, I'm hoping God lets them live on my street in Heaven too.

This week they brought me a gallon bag of muscadines. Ya'll they were so sweet and good that we wanted to eat every single one of them at one sitting! We restrained ourselves, though it was hard, so we could make muscadine jam.

First we separated the insides from the outsides. :) I had to have some help with this because my hands don't have a lot of strenth since Arthur came to visit. That's what my grandmother always called arthritis. Anyway, Jerry loved helping me. Didn't you honey? Honey? You did, didn't you?

Then I cooked them, separately, for just a few minutes. I added some water to the peels but the pulp didn't need any. They had lots of juice. The pulp cooks up kind of clear but the peels cook up a beautiful purple.

After pressing all of it through a sieve and combining it this is what it looks like. I added sugar, lots of sugar, and pectin.

I poured all that beautiful jam into hot jars and gave it a water bath and ended up with.....

this gorgeous stuff! And ya'll it's so good it'll make you slap your mama...well not really, but you get my drift. Now don't you wish you had this to spread on my good homemade sourdough bread toasted with real butter? You are so jealous.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Traveling With Joy

We're going on vacation. Now all you burglers and robbers out there don't get your hopes up. When you live on a lake you have all kinds of folks volunteering to housesit. So there will probably be more traffic at my house than when I'm at home! My 21 year old grandson is our housesitter this time and like most single 21 year old young men there's a young lady, and there are friends, and you get my drift. I'm good with that.

Back to the vacation. I love vacations. I don't want a permanent one but I do want one. Or two or three. But just like candy I think if I had twenty they would make me sick. I'm not sure of that but I think so.

Anyway, we're getting the camper ready. Or should be. Jerry washed and waxed it! It's all shiny and beautiful. Today I'll go out and assess the situation and see what I left in there and what I have to add. It will take several trips. First, clothes: We're going to a bluegrass festival in Winfield, Kansas where the weather is much like it is here. There it will be in the 70's and will require slacks and shirts and maybe a light jacket at night. Then we're off to Estes Park, Colorado where we will need sweatshirts, wool socks, hats, gloves, fleece jackets. For me anyway. I have a picture of Jerry and I the last time we went there; I had on jeans and a long sleeved shirt and a fleece jacket. He had on shorts and a tee shirt. Our internal thermostats are a tad bit different! Our kids laughed when they saw it and said, "that's so Mom and Dad!" They know us well.

Second: Decorating. I will put a wonderful heavy quilt on the bed, which Jerry will kick off the first chance he gets. So I'll add an electric throw to my side which I can turn on to "Roast" if I want. I will put a beautiful, decorative platter on the dining table, which he will promptly fill up with his change, his keys, receipts from the last three hundred gas stations, and a leftover sunflower seed. I will line up the throw pillows on the couch, put the basket/coffee table squarely in front of it with magazines spread artfully across the top. He will add three pairs of his shoes thrown haphazardly in front of it on the right end. I will line up my clear glass cannisters behind the sink, in order of size. He will put the coffee filters on top on one of them, and sprinkle coffee grounds in a trail from them to the coffee pot. We both make our own contributions to the decorating.

Third: Food. I like to plan. Can you tell? I will make a menu, gather the ingredients, make everything ahead of time that I can, and store everything in the cabinets. Jerry will eat. Oh, and change the menu one day into the trip. And snack. And leave the wrappers/bags/etc. on the table. They add to the decorating scheme.

When we get back I will have a birthday and we will have an anniversary. All in one week. I know you think the title of this post is all about our vacation but it's not. It's all about life. I will be 63 and we will have been married 45 years. This is a journey I have been traveling with great joy! While we are gone I will try to post about the trip but when we get back I will tell you all about how Jerry and I met and began this journey. You'll like it. I did.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Using Age To My Advantage

This week I had a problem with my Blackberry. Again. I bought it April 18 and within 10 days they had to give me a new one because the first one was being ugly. That's what I call it when technical devices don't do their technical stuff. Anyway, it's been ok since then until this week. Now no matter what ringtone I try it won't ring loud enough for me to hear it.

To solve this problem I took it back to the company from whence it came. Whence...lovely word, don't you think? I digress. They couldn't hear it either. Ha! I know when that 13 year old child working in the store saw my white hair he thought I just didn't know how to turn up the volume. Au contraire. (I used that phrase in a recent post and liked it so I think I shall use it a sounds so, oh I don't know, French?) I had the volume as loud as it would go. Since I have insurance - and that reminds me of one of my favorite movies "Fried Green Tomatoes" - do you remember the scene where Kathy the actress smashes her car into the car of the young women who stole her parking place and yells at them that she is old and has more insurance? I love that movie. I digress. Again. Since I have insurance he assured me they would replace it.

That lead me to problem #2. We're going on vacation. Soon. For a couple of weeks. How could I possibly go on vacation without a working phone? He agreed that they could overnight it to me if I would pay X dollars which, since I'm old I surely have. No he didn't say that but I read it in his eyes. But first before they do that I should download some new software just in case (about a 1% chance) that would fix the problem.

That lead me to problem #3. I'm not good at download. But I, who believes with my whole heart and soul that "Nice Matters" agreed to try. He gave me a number to call and they would walk me through it. This I did. Talked to a very nice lady, who transferred me to another nice lady who told me where to go to download. I was to do that and call back. Call #2...I can't figure out the download. Not news to me but they very patiently agreed to help and we waited while it tried to download. Which was going to take three million four hundred seventy thousand and one seconds. Or something a little less but you get my drift. So nice lady would send me via e-mail three messages on how to download software, how to back up the phone, how to reconfigure something and how to walk a tightrope above Niagra Falls. Right. None of which worked.

So at this point when I'd made one visit and two phone calls I was no closer to solving my problem than I was when I began. Phone call #3. I said, and I quote, "I'm old. I earned every white hair on my head working with teenagers as a high school principal. I can control a crowd of three hundred screaming seniors the week before graduation or a thousand ninth graders during a bomb threat but I cannot fix this phone. That's your job." Or something very similar. But I said all that in my head, yes I did. And the part about being old and having white hair - said that part out loud. They are Fed Exing me a new phone which will be here in two days.

Sometimes claiming your age can be a good thing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Have you ever noticed that on the days when you need sleep the most, like the night before a big test, it escapes you? Or the night before a trip, or the night before you're teaching the first lesson of a Bible study, or the night you're just so darned tired you think you'll drop off the minute your head hits the pillow. What is that about? Excitement...anticipation...worry? And what do you do about it?

A couple of nights a week for the last 3 or 4 weeks I've not been able to sleep. Well I think I'm probably sleeping more than I know but my eyes seem to be open more than closed. I get up and try to read but my eyes are too heavy so I turn the light off again only to lay there thinking who knows what. I keep wondering if God is trying to talk to me and I'm not tuning in. Or if something's bothering me that I'm not realizing. Or if this is, horrors to think about, one of the signs of "getting older."

It's not a huge problem and I could take a Tylenol PM or a Benedryl or something but I'd rather not. What do you do when sleep doesn't come?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

For those of you who helped me on this journey...this is the camera I decided on. It looks like the old camera my parents had a hundred years ago and I love that about it! I looked at all those little credit card sized cameras and I not only couldn't see all the words, I couldn't even see the buttons they were on. :( And I sure couldn't make these arthritic fingers work the doggone things! I haven't figured out all the bells and whistles but I'll work on that. (And thanks for this picture Michelle!) My next pictures of the lake will be gorgous I'm sure. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009


If you're interested in a new Giveaway and a new block of the month then click on the button on my sidebar. It will take you to Dorothy Baker Designs - you don't want to miss this one!

I Bought New Jeans

When I was at my sister's a few weeks ago we went shopping. Because we always go shopping when we're together but rarely without each other. I know you think it's because we're such good friends and that's part of it. But really it's because if she gets something I want it too and if I get something she wants it too and it's easier if we go together.

We don't have a Kohl's here but she has one there and they were having a sale. I've since discovered they're almost always having a sale but whatever. And they were giving Kohl's Cash which is a whole 'nother story!

I needed jeans. Yes, needed. Two reasons I guess. Number One reason is that I go to a contemporary worship service and everyone but me (not I'm not sixteen but it's true I promise, well not promise but really) was wearing dark, dark jeans. They looked new. My Levis are just that - Levis. Faded, not new. Faded because I bought them that way and faded because they've been worn for ten years or more. And Number Two Reason (which might really be the Number One Reason) in the last ten years my body has stretched and my jeans didn't.

I found the perfect jeans for me! Dark, dark denim, on sale, and just like my body, they stretched! How cool is that! They are just a tad long but with a few washings that will self-correct. They have a tiny bit of spandex in them and while I hate, hate, hate spandex in blouses, I love, love, love spandex in the waistband! So I bought them in every color they had. Denim, black, brown and khaki. Do you do that? Find something you love and buy it in every color? Or is it just me? Because I then found a short sleeved casual sweater and bought it in three colors. Perfect for the church because sometimes the air conditioning in church is rediculous.

Oh and that Kohl's Cash? It has a date on it. It's not like real money. You can't save it for later. You have to spend it right away! Which meant that I had to drive 30 miles to the nearest Kohl's store after I got home and get rid of it quick. Which I did. As the younger generation might say, I "scored" two sets of designer towels (made from bamboo I might add) for only a couple of dollars of my cash and lots of Kohl's cash. It made my heart skip a beat, really it did.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My New Camera Did This

I think the new camera is going to work out! I ended up buying a Fuji 1500 based on several recommendations and it truly is easy to point and click. It has a few bells and whistles which, hopefully, I will learn in time. And it's not one of those credit card ones that I couldn't manage with my arthritic hands. This one looks like an old fashioned camera and fits my hand. I'd take a picture of it but...I couldn't figure out how to take a picture of my camera with my camera. :)
This picture I took last night at a football game. My son is a coach and it was a very pleasant evening for a game, not hot and not cold. His wife and three children were there so that was fun for me. I even got a video of the 3 year old girl sort of dancing to the band - she couldn't decide if she wanted to or not so it was half hearted but cute to us.
And have you noticed that the cute things your grandchildren do aren't cute at all when performed exactly the same by other people's grandchildren? Well, maybe they're cute, but not nearly as cute as when your grandchildren do them!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Satan Has Been Defeated Again!

I'm reporting back to let you all know that the bowl has been returned to the church and Satan has gotten himself behind me! This time. I'm not bragging because I know he will return when I'm least expecting it!

I went shopping this morning. Hate it. With a passion. I need a new camera because mine has decided it doesn't love me any more. It will only take one picture and then it shuts itself off. And probably it knows we're going on vacation soon and doesn't want to take all those pictures I have planned. I am camera technology challenged big time. I know I want a 35 mm because that's what I've had the last two times and I like it. Is there any other kind these days? I certainly don't know. Anyway I've always bought Kodak before because my parents always had a Kodak, now how's that for a reason? I don't want to pay more than a couple hundred but I am willing to branch out to other brands. I'm looking at a Canon....maybe.

Here's the issue I'm finding. They have tons of cameras at Best Buy and Sam's, the two places I've looked. But have you noticed how small they've gotten? They're like credit card size. I'm not kidding! And I'm soon going to be 63 for heaven's sake and I have "middle aged eyes". That's what the eye doc said and I'm stickin' to his story! So what's a girl to do? After the $200 ones they jump to $500 and they do everything but drive my car for me which will do me absolutely no good because all I plan to do is aim and push the button. And take the card out and put it in my computer.

So who has a camera in that $200 price range that has big enough buttons for me to see them and that you love? And what is it?

Oh and by the way, that question up there "What's a girl to do?" reminds me of my mom's best friend, Doris. After Mama died my sister and I took care of Doris. She was a widow and had no children and I can't remember exactly how old she was when she died but somewhere near 85 plus or minus a few years. When she went shopping she might very well have on her husband's old ragged clothes and a nasty headscarf on her head but she had on makeup, and lots of it! She couldn't see well so lipstick would be smeared and rouge would be big round circles and eye shadow would be out to her hairline nearly. I can still here her say she would never be without her makeup because honey, "a girl's gotta do what a girl can do!" Precious memories... but if you ever see me looking like that call me Doris and I'll wash it off I promise.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Mysterious Bowl

My husband washes dishes for all the bereavement meals at our church. He loves doing that. Now lest you think he washes dishes at home, au contraire! (Is that how you spell that? And does it mean what I think it means? Like, no not ever?) Our church has a big commercial dishwasher thing and since he used to be a Superintendent of Schools and could often be found washing dishes in the cafeteria (in his shirt and tie) when they were short handed or running behind, it's right up his alley. He has experience! Besides that, he gets to eat all that good food that the church ladies send. I'll let you decide what his ulterior motive might be.

Last week he brought home this great big corning ware dish that had a piece of masking tape on the side with our last name written on it. And said, "Is this your bowl, cause if it is you've left it at the church for like a year and they're tired of it hanging around." Or something like that. I couldn't remember taking anything in my dish so he looked and sure enough...I still have mine. And I loooove mine. But now there's it's twin, which I could surely use, sitting there on the counter staring at me saying....You love me, you have my twin, you could use me a lot. Get thee behind me Satan!

That bowl is going back to the church today. Just because somebody with my same last name left it there like a year ago and apparently doesn't love it like I do or she would have gone to get it is no excuse. That bowl needs to quit whining.