Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crack! Flash! Boom!

          Saw this light post early Saturday morning and thought it lovely surrounded by the flowers!

"Even the winds and the waves obey Him!"  Matthew 8:27b

The heavens were in their glory last Saturday evening! My what a storm!

"If you have never heard the mountains singing, or seen the trees of the field clapping their hands, do not think because of that they don't. Ask God to open your ears so you may hear it and your eyes so you may see it, they do, my friend, they do." McCandlish Phillips

I grew up in Rockville and the thunder and lightening storms there were strong and long! I'd sit in the hallway with my fingers in my ears. I'm not sure why I was afraid of the quick lightening flashes and loud thunder but I was. I've carried that fear all through my life.

It wasn't until I married Jerry and moved to Mt. Airy that things changed. Our lightening and thunder storms were no where near the power they were in Rockville. I was certainly happy about that, but I still put my fingers in my ears.

One day Jerry said, "Why don't you wear one of my ear protectors that I use when I'm shooting?" So I gave it a try and sure enough it did the trick. My fear decreased. I could sit calmly through a storm and almost enjoy it.

I often wonder why I couldn't think to use ear protectors all those years. Isn't that the way it is. You do something for years and all of a sudden you think of a remedy or someone mentions a way to help to make it easier.

 I have a pair in my car so if a storm comes up while I'm driving I can put it on. I have used them several times. It sure helped me to arrive at my destination safe and fairly calm.

I don't think I'll ever be like Jerry who has a CD of thunderstorms to go to sleep by. But I'm thankful those cracks! flashes! and booms! don't scare me anymore!

But . . .

Abby, who is scared of tractors and vacuum cleaners, slept like a baby through the storm. Jo, who is adventurous and not afraid of anything, sat on my lap shaking! All 90 pounds of her!

"I like to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station through which God speaks to us every hour if we will only tune in."  George Washington Carver (c. 1864-1943)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Happened to my Fingers?

Yes, this family must enjoy pigs! It's a lovely corner lot around a curve that I pass frequently. I was out looking for fawns and found potbellied pigs instead! It made me laugh!

Last fall I noticed I was missing letters and spaces on things I typed. Being completely ignorant of the workings of computers and equipment, I didn't know if it was the keyboard or computer.

I just overlooked it for awhile and began proofreading everything I typed. It was beginning to be irritating, and then I found out about the cancer and it wasn't important anymore.

All through the winter I just put up with it. Finally, I had had enough when I typed "hello" and it came out "hell." I didn't think my friend would appreciate getting a note that began that way!

I called my trusted friend, Cindy, who takes care of all my computer needs. She cleaned the keyboard, but it still did it. Next she brought over a keyboard she has and hooked it up. Unfortunately it still would not type all the letters.

I asked her if it could be the computer. She said no. Don't you think I should get a second opinion? Right.

It all boils down to me. My fingers are just not coordinating with my mind. Geez! I'm only 66. I need to put a big note on my computer screen from now on that says: "PROOFREAD!"

Found these two on a side road the other day. They were up near the barn and ran down to see what I was doing.
My friend, Linda, sent me this story that's going around on email. Definitely worth remembering . . . find beautiful things.
"Lisa Beamer on Good Morning America - If you remember, she's the wife of Todd Beamer who said 'Let's Roll!' and helped take down the plane over Pennsylvania that was heading for Washington, DC back on 9/11. She said 'It's the little things that she misses most about Todd, such as hearing the garage door open as he came home, and her children running to meet him.'
"Lisa recalled this story: "I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her Insight with a classroom of students. As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there.

"With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, 'Class is over, I would like to share with all of you, a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel Is very important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is God's way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day.'

"Her eyes began to water as she went on, 'So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see, it could be a scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground.'
"Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the 'stuff' of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted.'

"The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

"Take notice of something special you see today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do."

                         This is the "little things of life" that I love to find while driving around.

Now, where's that ice cream cone!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Early Bird gets the . . . Fawn?

You know how the mind goes . . . can't remember if I've shared this snap with you before, but it's one of my favorites of the girls. Who am I kidding? They're all my favorites!

This is my third year of going out Saturdays to find fawns to snap. I leave the house when there's enough light to snap a picture. I've been going out in July and August, but this year I decided to go out in Jue.

Most of the fawn I find are a month or two old. I've never seen a baby fawn. My friend, Carol, told me last week she'd seen a baby. So my mind started thinking and I decided I'd go out earlier this year. Mom's keep baby fawns hidden for awhile, but I was hoping I might come upon one.

I left home Saturday morning at 5:45 and headed towards the three best neighborhoods I see deer and fawn. There's few cars out on a Saturday morning so I average about 20 to 25 miles an hour through the streets.

And there it was! Nursing in someone's backyard. I stopped and aimed the camera, but the fawn had stopped nursing. I was able to get off six snaps before Mom and fawn were in the woods. What a thrill to finally see a baby fawn.

Only this snap is clear. The other 5 are a little fuzzy. But one is all that counts! What an exciting morning I had! To see a baby fawn and actually get a good snap.

On that note . . .

A newer friend said recently that she didn't know I had wrote two books. I told her I combined them and self published them three years ago. I stopped promoting the book in 2012. Publishing it had been a special journey I'd wanted to take, and I didn't have the ambition to promote it.

I thought, "I wonder if it's still on Amazon?" So I pulled up the website and typed in my name. Sure enough it came up. But what I hadn't expected was how much it was listed for: $999.11! I certainly had a good laugh and had to print a copy of that. So now I wonder, does any one know why Amazon would do that? There must be a reason.

They certainly didn't get their money out of it so maybe it was raised in hopes someone would buy it at that price. Doesn't seem likely. It's a ridiculous number.

Well at least I have a conversation starter! I'm going to frame it!

You can be sure I'll be out this Saturday morning with the birds, hopefully catching a few baby fawn to snap!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What's on Your Card?

Enjoying lovely peonies from my garden. Light, fluffy and beautiful!
Thank you Ernest Mosely . . .
My first business card came from my early working years with the local telephone company. Next was the Baptist Convention.  Everyone had one at the convention and mine told all that was necessary for someone to know.

Then when I began speaking at some of the convention events, I created my own card. It had my signature blue bird on it

About the time of my retirement 3 1/2 years ago, I created a business card to use when my book was published. It gave all the pertinent information and directed others to my email or blog if they wanted to get in touch with me. It certainly was sufficient for its purposes.

But last Sunday morning during the message my pastor told about a man he knows who created a business card when he retired. He tore up all his previous business cards. He was a well known man who served in many capacities of Christian service. His new card caught my eye (my design).

Pastor's message was on being a servant and humble person. His friend's card told it all. Really, as a Christian, is there anything else that needs to be known other than you're a friend of Jesus?

I think it's time for me to created a new business card. A card that says everything I need it to. And it will be the best business card I ever created.


And what a friend He is!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Follow the Shepherd

On my way home from the grocery store, (after making a slight detour), I checked out one of my favorite sheep locations, I found these sheep and lamb relaxing under this large tree on a beautiful spring morning.

We're studying the ten commandments in my Sunday School class. My teacher read an interesting paraphrase that she found in some Lifeway material:

"Blessed are they who need no substitutes.
Blessed are they who honor God's day.
Blessed are they who honor God's name.
Blessed are they who honor their parents.
Blessed are they who value life.
Blessed are they who keep their marriage vows.
Blessed are they who respect the property of others.
Blessed are they who love the truth.
Blessed are they who learn the art of contentment."

                  I like this snap between the fence posts with the two horses grazing close by.

Almost twenty years ago now I wrote an article regarding God's name. If you can't read it or enlarge it on your screen, just click on it and save it to your "pictures" as a .jpg.

God's name is powerful. As I wrote in the article, when I hear God's name taken in vain, I always whisper in my mind, 'I love you. Your name is wonderful'.  

                                                         Just love seeing those baby lamb!

Do you follow the shepherd? His name is Wonderful!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Abe Lincoln and Kindness

Recently I purchased Abraham Lincoln's Daily Treasure: Moments of Faith with America's Favorite President, edited by Thomas Freiling. I thought it would be an interesting read, and I love to read about people of faith in the past.

The other morning I read "On Acts of Kindness" and thought you'd enjoy this piece: "One morning President Lincoln asked Major Eckert, on duty at the White House, 'Who is that woman crying out in the hall? What is the matter with her?' Eckert said it was a woman who had been expecting to go down to the army to see her husband, but because an order recently had gone out prohibiting women from visiting the army, she could not see him. Mr. Lincoln sat moodily for a moment after hearing this story. Then suddenly his face lit up with pleasure. 'Let's bring him up.' The order was written, and the man was sent to Washington. It was spur-of-the-moment decisions like this, small acts of kindness, that endeared Lincoln to the American people. Do you take a break now and then to show an act of kindness? It will not only make you feel better, but it will help give you a reputation like Lincoln's."

As we all know, it is the little things that one does that makes a big difference. I always find it inspiring to read of the lives of others and learn what they've done to make a difference.

                    The girls were taking a rest one day, and I caught their pensive mood.

I knew I was not going to be able to do a lot in my gardens this spring while my body was trying to gain strength and energy. I was able to rake up some leaves and debris in April, but mainly I just watched as plants started growing. But this month of May I have been astonished at the health and beauty of the gardens. Just knowing I didn't do anything to enhance them this year, the gardens are full, the flowers are blooming and the beauty is delicious!

       This is the 4th spring for my first garden. Jerry put down a stone path that isn't quite complete.
                                                  The two Wiegelia bushes are in bloom.

My gardens are full of perennials, and for the most part, there is little care needed. But because of my illness this year, my joy is especially full, knowing I didn't do anything to help. If you're not a gardener, there's always hope that one day you'll find yourself digging in dirt. I was 63 when it happened for me!

This is the 3rd spring for my second garden. Poppies are blooming, the Geranium bush next to it is in bloom, pale blue flowers, the Pulmonaria in the foreground is in bloom, and the Clematis are too, although hidden. And there are babies in the church birdhouse.
And I'm proud to tell you that my friend, Roy Thomas, published his first book and it's on Amazon. I worked with Roy at the Baptist Center in Columbia for 16 years. I consider him a dear friend  and fun guy! Click on the following link to read more.
I leave you with this picture of my 91 year old mother. During her trip to Oklahoma and Texas a few weeks ago, my cousin got her on this Longhorn.