Thursday, July 28, 2016

Family Matters

A lot can happen in a week.
Good things and not-so-good things.
A week ago today, we loaded into Jim's Camry and headed for Tennessee.
Oldest grandson, Dacey, rode shotgun and I was scrunched up in the back with Dylan...
...and two dachshunds in a crate between us.
I wish I was kidding but I still have swollen feet and ankles to prove it.
Why? Because my legs are shorter than Dacey's.
We always have a great time when we go to Adam's peaceful country place.

He cut down a few trees since we were there last and this is the new view from the back porch.
I wish I could tell you there were cool breezes blowing as we sat on that back porch.
But I'd be was hotter than all get out.
Here are some of the highlights of our time together.
It has taken him a while but the tree house he built is nearly complete.
There is also a second story with a loft.

Pretty cool, huh?

We went for a short four-wheeler ride down the drive and across the road... the meadow where we plan to build our farmhouse, Lord willing.

Give us a couple of years and hopefully we will have this new zip code.

The "X" marks the spot where we want the house to sit.
Exciting stuff!

We came across these lovely and unique wildflowers growing in the meadow.
I googled "purple wildflower with squiggley tines" and found it!
I discovered it to be Passiflora incarnata L. or Purple passionflower.

We drove through an Amish community and visited some country stores...

...and rummaged through a really cool old general store/vintage Greyhound Bus station.

The bus comes through regularly and it is the sole means of long-distance transportation 
for the Amish folks when they visit far-away relatives and such.
It was a great vintage place with lots to see.

We visited Davy Crockett State Park and it was a perfect day for cooling off in the falls.

There is a small museum there and these beauties were there on display.
The owls seemed to look a little forlorn, yet peaceful and their beauty was stunning.

We also enjoyed the best brisket known to man (or woman) at this restaurant along the way.
Oh. My. Goodness.

And hanging on the wall was an array of tee shirts that can be purchased there.
No offense meant to any vegans or non-hunters, please...I just got a little chuckle out of them.

And I would be remiss if I didn't post a photo of our friend who came visiting on Saturday morning.
I got within a few feet of "Army" :)

And there's always time for a little target practice...
...near bulls eyes for all of them at around 150 yards!

But just hanging out on the back porch (when it cooled off a bit) was most enjoyable.
Parker, especially, just goes to pieces when it's time for us to say goodbye.
The time flies by when we are together but you know what they say about all good things.
And let me just tell you, it was way too soon to be doubling up like a pretzel again for the trip home.
We traveled at night so I was able to sleep through most of it, making it home safe and sound.
The next time, we really must come up with another mode of transportation!
And now for the not-so-good...
I received a text from one of my sisters in Ohio shortly before arriving home.
Our next to the oldest sister, Ruby, who was in the hospital with some ongoing health issues,
was given the news that her husband had been brought in with breathing difficulties.
Clyde had several serious health problems but had been recovering somewhat and getting dialysis.
Things quickly went downhill from there and just as we arrived home, 
word came that it didn't look good for him.
That same Monday afternoon, my sister's husband of 56 years passed away.
As God would have it, she recovered and was able to leave the hospital the following day
 to take care of the necessary task at hand.
So we will be on the road again Ohio this time,
no grands in tow this trip.

There will be dachshunds in a crate though, due to no other alternatives on short notice. 
We enjoy road trips but the very last thing we wanted to do was take another so soon.
Arrangements and re-arrangements had to be made in our lives, with our jobs, etc.
Death never comes at a convenient time.
It was nothing that was planned, but it will be a bittersweet family reunion.
All of us will be together to say our final goodbyes to a soft-spoken godly man,
one who was as close as any true blood brother could ever be...
...a father who was reunited with two of his own children that were taken way too soon,
as Jesus ushered him into Glory.
Yes, we're on the road again...because family matters.

Stay cool, my friends and love to all.
Sharing at:
Mosaic Monday

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Another week, another senseless act of terror.
Will true peace ever come to this world so full of hate?
If you believe the Bible, the answer is no.
As Christians, we find our peace in Jesus, not in the world, itself.
Ah yes, but peace can be found if you know where to look.

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. 
See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
Matthew 24:6

I need it like oxygen.
I thirst for it as if it were water.
I crave it like food when I am hungry.
I long for it in my day to day life.
I made a decision a while back to live in it.
That doesn't mean that I live my life that even possible?
If you know anything about me, you know that's not the case.
Peace is a choice we make and we need to seek it, wherever we can find it.
There are many things that speak peace to me.
Most recently, there was a precious dove lying motionless in the grass...

...and when I knelt down to investigate, off it flew towards the safety of the trees.
That sweet bird was safe and sound, and peace swept over me.

Then there was such peace after a storm that left the skies gloriously rich in texture.

There's a sense of tranquility coming from that quiet drive in the country on a sunny morning...

...and those cows haven't a care in the world.

Just soaking in the beauty that God has created speaks peace to my soul...

...and those tiny beads of water that hang on for dear life after a soothing summer rain...

...remind me of how God hangs on to me through times of trials, 
bringing such beautiful, unspeakable peace.

Just the other evening I walked into the kitchen and something immediately caught my eye.
The last golden rays of the setting sun peered through the Mason jars in the window,
creating the most calming glow, leaving me with such a peaceful feeling.
So as I'm typing this post, an old hymn is echoing in my brain.
I haven't heard it sung for a long time.

Warren D. Cornell, William G. Cooper - 1889

(click to listen)

I don't know how you can listen to that song and not sense God's peace and presence.
And I'll close with this poem I found.
  I think it speaks right to the events that we are witnessing in the world today.

~M.S. Lowndes

God's tender love and peace
Is what we all long for
In a world so hopelessly chaotic,
So unstable and unsure

It brings stability to our minds
And calmness to our souls,
For that is what we desperately need
As this world can be so cold

We need to have God's peace
When turmoil's in our lives,
For God's peace doesn't depend
On the daily pressures of life

When we have those stressful days,
God's peace can often soothe
And bring us such a quiet hope
That chases away the blues

So when you feel the pressure on,
Remember, Jesus Christ,
Receive from Him the peace He gives
As His daily dose for life!

And now, my favorite scripture about peace:

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

I pray you enjoy a peaceful week, my friends!

Sharing at:

Spiritual Sundays

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


So another holiday is behind us and the summer is just rolling right along.
I trust everyone enjoyed their weekend celebrations!
I'm joining Joyce's Hodgepodge this week...
...where she asks the questions and we write the answers.
So let's get on with it, shall we?

1. How did you welcome the month of July, and tell us one fun thing you did to celebrate the 4th. 
(or the weekend for any non-USA residents playing along today)

July 1st was the beginning of a long weekend for me. Our clinic is not open on Fridays so we love having holidays that fall on Mondays...three-day weekends are great but four-day weekends are even better! This was the hubs' weekend to work so it was basically a quiet weekend starting off. Yesterday (the 4th) we had a great time of food and fellowship at church and although he was working, Jim was able to bring all of the individuals and workers from his group home, along with those in another home. Oh, they had the best time filling their tummies full and a few even joined in for some volleyball! But the icing on MY cake was that our son was there...enjoying the festivities and he even helped the pastor grill the meat. Having him there, actually enjoying his sobriety had this mama's heart bursting with joy! This was his facebook post from a couple of days ago:

I almost cried when I read this on his page...praise God! And speaking of bursting, later on there were fireworks bursting all around me but I did not go out to see any. I sure heard them loud and clear...and so did my pups :(

2. Right now.. what's your favorite red thing? white thing? blue thing?

Red geraniums blooming profusely, white Dannon Greek Toasted Coconut Vanilla Yogurt (mmm) and the blue sky returning after a rainy weekend.

3. Wave the white flag, raise a red flag, fly your freak flag...which 'flag' have you flown most recently? Explain.

I flew the red flag bright and early this morning as our little Tasha bolted after a cat the in the yard and ripped herself right out of her harness! We've only had her a few months and she's never been off on her own. Needless to say, I was petrified that our little girl was gone. There is a busy road right through our woods in the back (in the general direction which she was headed) and my fear was that she would just keep running, right out into the road. I ran in the house, changed from my night gown (yes, that old holy one) into some clothes, jumped in the Jeep to see if I could locate luck. My neighbor behind me was kind enough to keep an eye out while I was getting ready for work and call me if she saw her. About 20 minutes later, I heard Oscar barking and sure enough, there she was on the back deck, looking in. I was so glad to see her, to put it mildly. I'll be checking out the problem with that harness, no doubt!

She looks so innocent, doesn't she?

4. According to Cond Nast Traveler these are the seven best places to visit in July- a boat safari in Botswanna's Okavango Delta, Riviera Maya Mexico (it's whale shark season and apparently you can swim with them), Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, Pamploma Spain, St. Petersburg Russia, the Fuji Rock Festival at Mount Naeba Japan, the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg Austria. If time and money weren't factors would you want to see any/all of these? Which would you most like to see and why?

Living in the Eastern US all my life, I've always had a desire to see the other side of the continent so Yellowstone and the Tetons would be my pick. Now if Ireland, was one of the choices, that would be a different story. Why? I love the color green :)

5. Grilled cheese, pimento cheese, or mac and cheese...your favorite from the cheesy treats listed?

I like them all but there is nothing like a great grilled cheese sandwich, made with a coarse, seedy bread that gets really crunchy when it's cooked to a golden brown. Yum!

6. What makes you sweat?

Would you believe me if I told you that I rarely do? I know that probably sounds like I think I'm some sort of princess or something, doesn't it? All I can say is that's just the way the Lord made me. I guess if I was going to sweat, it might be on days like we have been having and HUMID. The humidity is so thick right now, you can practically cut it with a knife. Now, if I chose to be out in it for very long (without being near a body of water) I can pretty much guarantee you that I might sweat... at least a drop or two :)

7. Your favorite movie with a 'patriotic' theme of some sort?

I really can't name one specifically at the moment but anything that has to do with Civil War era sparks my interest. If it gets too bloody or graphic, I have to look away.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I for one, will certainly be glad when all of this election stuff is over. And that's all I'm sayin' about that :)
God Bless America!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Let Freedom Ring

My Country, 'Tis of Thee (America)

Words: Samuel F. Smith, 1808-1895
Music: From Thesaurus Musicus, London, 1744

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees,
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.


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