Sunday, September 30, 2012

Home Sweet Home


Didn't take long for me to call this place "home".  No really, about a day back in August!  I've been gone all weekend, well since Thursday, and it feels like forever.  We were traveling in the rain, the wind, the road construction and nothing ever looked so good as my rain soaked growing green grass yard that already needs mowing since Saturday last!  We got the car unpacked, gave Ike a bath and are just porching until 8pm when good TV comes on.  The wind is from the north.  The windows are open.  The breeze is just sending chills down my spine.  We are home!  Truly, there is no place like it!  Evenin' yall!

Love and blessings to you who read us!

Exodus 18:23
If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

Encourage one another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.


Friday, September 28, 2012

An Inspiring Story AND a Lesson Learned

"Grit" a positive, non-cognitive trait, based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or endstate coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization; "perseverance," "hardiness," "resilience,” “ambition”.

A woman with grit, determination, and a passionate desire, that's how I would describe Lee Ann Rust.   The definition of grit above could not more positively identify her I don't think, including powerful motivation!
Last year at the NFR, I saw the barrel racing rookie of the year, Lee Ann Rust, step forward and accept her belt buckle.  She inspired me.  As I read her story, she seemed like a great person to know.  She's close to my age and when at the time in her life she actually could, and when she had a fabulous horse that might could take her, she set her mind on running barrels at the NFR.  I guess almost every girl who has ever barrel raced has a desire and a dream to run in the National Finals Rodeo!  I know I have had that dream.  As I began to follow her, I realized she was coming to Odessa to run in the rodeo there.  I decided to try to meet her.  I found her on Facebook and we "became" friends.  We had numerous conversations via email.  Lee Ann is a strong believer in "The Secret".  You'll have to read the book but it's about how your thoughts attract your outcome.  Since she was coming to my area, I invited her to sleep over and have a home cooked meal.  I figured she would probably be tired and need a comfortable bed to sleep in and a hot shower.  Unfortunate weather occurred and it snowed in Odessa and Midland.  Staying off the road was the best thing that evening.                 
I was able however to drive over to see her run the next morning.  The weather was cold, but sunny.

Harley and Lee Ann coming clean around the first barrel in Odessa, Texas 2012.  Unfortunately she hit the second barrel and did not get a time.

I walked over and met her at her trailer.  We visited and she showed me around.  We then went into the barn and I met Harley.  Here he is modeling the new halter he won at the Texas Circuit Finals just before the end of his first year of competition for the NFR.  Just listening to her talk about her upcoming week and her upcoming year wore me out.  Watching her load all her stuff up, load Harley, manipulate that huge rig around all the other rigs was just this side of crazy.  It is a LOT of work.  You HAVE to be on a mission to work that hard.  And Lee Ann is truly on a mission.

Just as Lee Ann was about to leave, a gal on horseback snapped this photo of us.  Me and Lee Ann, standing outside the barn after her run at the Odessa Rodeo.  She's a great gal I am blessed to have met her.

The lesson for me?  While I would love to hear my name called out in the "Thomas and Mack" arena in Las Vegas, after watching Lee Ann document her travels on Facebook since January, I don't believe I have in me what she has in her.  That's not necessarily a bad thing for me, it's a lesson in how hard those girls work and how deserving those girls are that make it to the Thomas and Mack.  They have ridden many a barrel pattern and traveled thousands of miles across the United States and into Canada to accomplish what they have.  It is not just fun, it is hard work.  It is their job more or less and they have to love it to do it.   I'm impressed, I'm astonished, and I'm amazed.  I'd had a little thought of wishing Lee Ann would have asked me to "ride along" so I could have documented the hard work of a barrel racing rodeo cowgirl, but I'm not sure I could have even done that.  She had many sleepless days and nights getting from one place to the other.  She did a good job of letting her FB fans know how she did and where she was on the road.  Everything you read or hear about her every where she goes states what a great gal she is.  She never meets a stranger.

While I am still prayerful that I have not run in my last barrel racing in competition, I am doubtful it will be at the NFR.  But I am grateful to know someone who will be!

Lee Ann is currently sitting at #12 in the Women's Pro Rodeo Association standings for barrel racing with close to $70K in winnings.  The top 15 barrel racers qualify.  Unless something unforeseeable happens, you and I will be watching my friend Lee Ann compete in the 2012 NFR.

To Lee Ann, who I am priviledged to call friend, my hat is it off to you!  Although I would love to go to Vegas (maybe still maybe) and cheer you on in person, you can be sure I'll be hollering and crying with excitement from my living room in south central Texas as you round every barrel.  I'll be living vicariously through you, each time you come down that famous narrow, long, blind alley at the Thomas and Mack.  On day number 10, as you round that third barrel for the last time, give Harley a little kick for me, as I urge you on.  I'll be prayerful for all clean runs and that you'll be picking up a big check and a saddle, and hopeful you'll soon be headed home for a good rest, a home cooked meal and some green pastures for Harley.

"You are a great champion; when you ran the ground shook; the sky opened and mere mortals parted, parted the way to victory where you'll meet me in the winners circle and I'll put a blanket of flowers on your back." from DREAMER

2 Peter 1:5-7

New International Version (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Explore; Dream; Discover!

I found this quote a couple of years ago while looking at a website in preparation to travel to Big Bend.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did.  So throw off the bowlines.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover."  Mark Twain, 1879

I remember thinking, if I don't want to look back and regret what I didn't do I  better get started.  In twenty years, I'll be 78 and much less likely to be able to do things I could do now.  

On my list (in no particular list) is a white water rafting and camping trip.  The kind where you go and you raft and the guides do most of the other work like cooking, preparing the campsite, etc.  Many of these are in Utah on the Snake River.  I have rafted the Snake but not camped.  I'd like to do something I would need to be "fit" to do and do a good job.  

I'd also like to go on a (wild) horse round up.  Somewhere in the high country where they gather the horses for the winter.  They don't even really need to be wild, just wild at heart.  

I'd like to go on a women's trail ride, just women, once again with someone doing most of the work and me just doing the riding.  I'd even be willing to do the work if there was someone to show me how and or what to do.  I can always cook, just don't have the equipment to do this on my own. 

I'd like to go back to Italy.  I'd like to stay a month and get a job there and live the life and eat the food and speak the language.  I'd like to be an Italian for a month! 



I'd like to see the northern New York countryside and spend some days just driving around.  I'd like to visit NYC about a million more times.   

And of course mosey on to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo starting the first weekend in December every year.  I have no idea how long I've wanted to go to the NFR, but it's been a long time.  It's the best of the best in rodeo, doing their best to win the best, most valuable buckle of them all.  Of course, the barrel racing is where my heart just pounds as they run and I literally cheer them on from my living room.  One day I plan to actually be there cheering them on.  

While just a start, and it's fairly short, looks like I have some homework to do.  Next summer is just around the corner and this year isn't over yet!   

Acts 2:17
“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Ghost Dog

Mostly, he only comes out at night.

One morning very early Ikey decided to take a vigil out the bedroom window.  He was perched on my pillow RIGHT next to my face.  Ears perked, eyes wide, he watched.  I never looked at the clock and I have no idea why or how long he was there.  I was dosing off and on as he lay there.  At a point I hear this low growl.  His head picks up off the pillow.  I peer outside and there appears "the ghost dog",  BIG, sort of yellow, long haired, ambling.  I have seen him several times at night, off the side of the road usually.  On one occasion I had taken Ikey outside for his last bathroom break before bedtime.  It was very dark out.  As Ikey was still at one point, in the pasture next to us, some 100 yards away, I saw him, the ghost dog, stopped, quietly looking at us.  Then he traveled on to where ever he was going.  Ikey never saw him thankfully as I scooped him up immediately, hid his face and carried him into the yard.  Ikey would absolutely take off like a bolt of lightening after any dog (or cat) near his yard.

Now here he was again, traveling through our yard, right outside my window, like a ghost, a quiet ghost, never making a sound.  Ikey's low growl was the only noise and it continued (but no barking which was unusual) until the dog disappeared from sight.

I have spoken of this dog to someone in the neighborhood and they say he belongs to another neighbor who owns property and a house to both the south and the north of Ikey and I.  He must be traveling from one home to the other.

Let me say, I don't plan to become friendly with him.  Although he doesn't look menacing, it's just as well he doesn't stop for a visit.  We'll just leave him alone and hope he does the same.  

Judges 5:6
“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths.

Encourage One Another...continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chihuahuas Who "Porch"

I only know one...chihuahua who "porches".  But I'm sure there are many.  Here's a short story of the one I know.
On our way to our new home in Cost, Texas..."pre-porching" days.

Ikey has, like me, decided that "porching" is the best thing ever.    He obviously loves the sounds, the sights, the sun and the adventure.  He loves to watch the cows graze, the squirrels scamper, the hummers hum, the birds sing, the butterflies fly and he trails, tracks, runs after and jumps on grasshoppers.  (Still trying to get video of how cute he is doing that!).  

 First days of "porching".  Just learning how to "do it right"!
He occasionally will ask out to "porch" alone...and I let him.  I feel pretty secure he will be ok on the covered, gated porch.
Night "porching".  He is a diligent night watchman!


But he loves to nap too!
 Truly life is good when you are rocking and "porching".
 Cattle moving across the front yard are fun to watch.
Relaxed, peaceful Chihuahua "sun porching".

Back at the condo Ikey, had his own doggie door.  He had freedom to come and go at his little whim, day and night.  And he did.  I was a bit concerned about him being more confined in our new country home with no doggie door.  Not only did we not want unwanted varmits coming in the doggie door, I did not want Ikey going out unsupervised with all the varmits that might be outdoors (ie: skunks, snakes, hawks, owls, possum, rats!).  So, life is different for Ikey.

He has adjusted amazingly well to no doggie door.  Going in and out has become a bit of a routine and he is managing without mishap.  I am truly impressed.  

When God created the dog, he created an amazing creature.  One who loves you unconditionally and has no expectations; one who greets you with enthusiasm EVERY time you walk in the door; one who licks your face; one who brings joy to your life and a smile to your face every single day.  I thank God for dogs, especially mine!

My "Big Ikey" is just an amazing little guy.  So if your in our area, come by.  We're usually out here, morning and evening, "porching".

All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful
The Lord God made them all
–Cecil Francis Alexander
Genesis 1:25
God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Ellen K, this one is for you!  Let me know if you read it?!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What's For Lunch Or Rocky II

Ikey and I were restfully sitting out on the porch one morning this week.  Ikey's lounging in the sun and I'm rocking in the rocker.  I see Ikey stand up and hear that little low growl he does.  However, I don't see what he sees.  All of the sudden, running up onto this perch in the big oak in our yard I see "Rocky".  

'Lunch, this must be lunch" I think.  And Rocky is happy as a clam about it.  For a minute anyway, then Rocky sees us and I can tell that he wants to "chatter".  He gets jittery, He moves and thinks and tries to figure out how, with this huge wad of green pecans in his mouth, his going to give us the "what for"!  He circles, sits up, flits his tail, and watches us.  I even know what he wants to say...."don't even think about it!"  Like I would, I mean really, I don't like green pecans and neither does Ikey.  We will eat a ripe one, but we are happy to leave the green ones to our friends.
 Our eyes are glued to him and he knows it!
 You can see his tail twitching in this photo.  He's getting really anxious!
 He's calculating his escape, ready to make a run for it.  Fear and greed are getting the best of him.
All the sudden he disappears to the back of the tree.  I'm still ready with my camera wondering where he's going to come down.
Down he springs and then sprints across the yard to the safer oak trees outside the yard fence.
It's green pecan pie for Rocky for lunch and a ham sandwich for me!

Isaiah 61:11
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Well, there's been another spotting of the pecan nabber, this time only 2 pecans were confiscated!  Getting braver and greedier...or just maybe hungrier?  Rocky...bon appetite!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The First Day of Autumn (Autumnal Equinox) Saturday, September 22, 2012.

Cost, Texas' perfect morning weather for first day of fall.
This morning's temperature, 61 degrees.  Winds 5 mph out of the north west.
The sun is rising in the east.
Dew is glistening on the ground.
Hummers are buzzing and whirring in the air.
Birds are singing.
Ikey and I are "porching".
My sister spent her 1st night in her new house in Austin where she and my bnl are moving closer to me.
All is right with the world.

Deuteronomy 12:28
Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Divine Connection

Have you been fortunate in your life to meet someone new that you just "connected" with?  That almost immediately you felt like you had known this person your whole life?  You felt like they knew your heart before you even spoke it?

It has happened to me.

I moved to west Texas in April 2007. s.  I had purchased a cute little condo and was working on it's decor and furnishings.  The interior was dark and dreary and some dark Gothic fans and light fixtures has immediately gone to the resale shop.  New, creamy white fans with frosted glass fixtures had promptly taken their place.  Other lighting and furnishings were needed to make this place much different from my previous home.  I wanted a fresh start.

I had been to numerous estate sales in search for things, not new, more vintage.   At one, where the house was also for sale and on the market, I bought a creamy white, with antiqued gold trim , floor to ceiling lamp with three small shades for the living area.  In this patio home (there are tons of patio home in Midland), I spotted an enameled floral chandelier over the kitchen table.  I was in love.  It was not for sale obviously, as it was part of the house for heaven's sake.  However, I had a feeling that whoever purchased this house would want to "update" it, not live in it as it.  I got the name of the realtor who was listing the house.  I gave her a call and put a bug in her ear that when the house sold, if the buyers decided not to keep that chandelier, I would love to purchase it.  She stated she would be glad to forward my message.

On a random weekend that October, I decided to go to the "Trade Days" held, monthly, in Fredericksburg searching furnishings and for a chandelier like the one I had found and loved.   While the trade days there are not near the size of those in Canton or Round Top-Warrenton, they take a day to explore.

At the very end of the first barn I navigated I found a vendor with a similar chandelier.  It was not quite as big and it was not quite as fabulous, however, it was close.  And most importantly, it was available!  I immediately took up a conversation with the gal who was the proprietor of this shop.  Her name was Lee.  I don't know how much I told her about my life that day, but there was just this immediate attraction to her gentle soul, who also loved old things like I did.  We had a great deal in common.  We talked about the chandelier and my finding the one in the home for sale.  We talked about a TON of other stuff.  I think I told her my life history.  Anyway, I told her I loved it, but honestly I wanted to look around since I had just gotten there.  She also had a beautiful quilt I feel in love with but honestly didn't need.  I told her I would be back to let her know something.  So off I went for more exploring.  It was a great day and I found a number of items for the condo, but no other chandeliers. My heart still longed for the one living in that home in Midland.

Days later I emailed my new friend and told her I was going to pass on her chandelier but loved meeting her.  We shared some more and I remember her sharing Psalm 92 with me.  Life was turning on a very big wheel for me during this time of my life.

it was February 2009, before I contacted her again.  I just felt a calling or a directing to email her, so I did.  She was no longer working at the place where her email when but "by chance" a previous co-worker emailed that email to her new address.

The rest is history.  We have been friends ever since.  She has guided me, mentored me, uplifted me, encouraged me through many events in my life since that time.  She is just always there.  She always has something to say that makes a mark on my life.  She is my objectivity.  They fact that she did not "live" through the last 25 years of my life with me has her coming at things from a whole different refreshing perspective...which I needed.

We are truly friends in our souls and our spirits.  Here's the funny thing.  In these 5.5 years, because there was so much distance between us, the first time I saw her again was April 2011.  We met in Warrenton, Texas, at the Antique Fair.  We shopped, spent the day together, went back to her house for the night and went back to Warrenton to shop some more the next day!  We had a blast.  For me, it was as if we had never been apart.  It was as if I had known her all my life.

Yesterday, a year and a half later, we met for lunch.  Once again, just started where we left off.  We spend a lot of time emailing, however, do not get to spend much physical time together.  We don't even talk on the phone.  Since we met we have shared intimate things, things about our families, our grandchildren, our loves, our hopes, our desires, our difficulties, our losses and our joys.  We have shared a lot and truly have become the friends it appears we always were...if that makes any sense.

I believe God put her in my life that day in Fredericksburg, Texas.  He connected us and touched us in a rare and fruitful way.  I only hope that I have added even some small thing to her life through this compared to what she has added to mine.  I pray for a long and lasting friendship with her for the rest of our lives.  I thank God for her.

Ecclesiastes 4
9  Two are better than one
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 if either of them falls down,
     one can help the other up
     But pity anyone who falls
     and has no one to help them up.


The Chandelier
Several months later, late in 2007, I got a phone call from the realtor.  She said they had finally sold that patio home I had contacted her about months ago. She said the buyer was a local interior designer and yes, he was changing out all the fixtures.  She said he was holding the lovely enameled chandelier for me at his store...for no charge.  It proudly hangs in my condo!

Encourage one another...continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Calming Sound of Rain

Slow, intentional, steady, nurturing, free falling, earth quenching, flower blooming, tree thriving, sweet smelling rain, that's what I see and hear outside my windows.

The cattle just stand and lower their heads and continue to graze.  It does not faze them.  It's breezy flannel shirt weather.  (I have on one that was my dad's).  Oh my gosh, it's been too long.  Having lived in west Texas for 5 years it just didn't happen out there very often.  Last year 2011, it did not rain, literally,  the entire year.  The year before that, if it did rain, I was generally inside my work place or someplace where I could not see it or hear it or enjoy it.  I wish I had a way to capture it for later, when I'm stressed, when I'm tired, when I just need to be blessed.  Just to listen to God giving Mother nature what she needs, what she longs for.

Leviticus 26:4
I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.

Deuteronomy 11:14
then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.
2 Samuel 23:4
he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’

God is truly good!

The Rain
Pitter-patter, raindrops,
Falling from the sky;
Here is my umbrella
To keep me safe and dry!
When the rain is over,
And the sun begins to glow,
Little flowers start to bud,
And grow and grow and grow!

- Anon.

Rain On The Green Grass
Rain on the green grass,
And rain on the sea,
Rain on the house-tops,
But not on me!

- Anon.

Slip On Your Raincoat
Slip on your raincoat,
Pull on your galoshes;
Wading in puddles
Makes splishes and sploshes.

Deuteronomy 32:2
Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.

Encourage One Another...continuing the journey on fresh paths

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Most Recent Visitor

Meet "Rocky"!  Our most recent visitor.

Yesterday the wind blew....really blew here.  Gusty I would say.  It blew over some plants and knocked wind chimes and a bird feeder out of my tree (the bird feeder no birds have bothered to eat from).  Well, it left some seeds on the ground in the yard.  I took and shook it out in the pasture, hoping any "unwanted" visitors (ie: RODENTS) would stay away from the house.

As Ikey and I sat "porching" this morning, he growls under his breath, ears alert at something which I never saw.  I didn't see anything concerning anyway.  A bit later, I saw Rocky scampering toward the tree.  I suspect he was (behind the column) on the ground eating those seeds.

Genesis 2:19
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. (Squirrel)

He jumped up the tree and I was able to get some shots of him there.

He was mostly cleaning his hands it appeared!  We just remained still (Ikey actually never saw him again).  He eventually scampered down the tree, around the yard and then disappeared behind the house.

Yesterday Ikey and I got up very early in the morning, while it was still dark.  We thought we heard something in the attic, some light knocking and movement sounds.  He and I just sort of looked at each other.  All was not quiet anyway and it was a bit concerning.

Oh my, I hope it's not Rocky who's taken up residence in our attic!!!

Encourage one another...continuing the journey with fresh paths

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I mentioned I was starting a Bible Study this week.  It's called Discerning the Voice of God.  First session out of the box I learned several very valuable things in the weekly daily work.

The first one know God's word and not obey it is a sin against Him.  If you defy God you will not hear him.  If you obey God, your reward will be great.  A consequence of that is that we will hear his voice far less often.  A callous will build up around our "spiritual" ears!  No matter how hard you pray, your likely not to hear him if you are blatantly disobeying him.

'If only you had paid attention to My commands.  then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.' (how peaceful) Isaiah 48:18

"Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man."  Matt 7:24 must set aside time for him, time to talk and time to listen.

Matthew 21:22

I'm all about talking away at him, telling him this and telling him that; asking him for this and asking him for that, thanking him, praising him, on and on.

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" Thes 5:16-18

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Matt 21:22

But then I don't set aside a time for HIM to talk to ME!  I don't give him time for rebuttal.  I don't give him time to answer my questions or listen to his will for me or his wisdom.  It's a one sided conversation.  It's all about me.  So while praying is about thanking him, talking to him, asking him, it's also about listening for him.  How can you hear his voice if your ears are calloused or if you never give him time to speak.

"As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut...he is in heaven, and you are only here on earth,. So let your words be few.  Ecc 5:1-2

And hey, here's another thing....he may not speak or answer your prayers when or how you want him to.  Waiting for him to respond may take a while.  You still have to give him the opportunity, every day.  Even if you start with a few minutes of listening and not talking, listening without a hundred other things going through your mind, listening with anticipation that he will answer, that is what it's all about.

"Be still, and know that I am God.  Ps 46:10

Obeying him, setting aside time, being quiet, and listening for him with anticipation that he will speak to me, are my goals.  That's a big order.  It's God before me and I'm pretty selfish much of the time.  I can do it though and I know God will be patient with me.  He always has been...I'm a slow learner.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Porching Weather Report 6:30am 10 Sept 2012

It's 58 degrees; winds-3mph; clear except for few clouds on the horizon, flannel shirt on and light blanket in hand, quiet, peaceful and just this side of heaven. No haze, no fog, clear vision. What are the people in the city doing today!?

Wow I've been anxious for a morning like this to show up so I could sit outside. Here it is. As the sun starts to rise the birds start to pick up their chatter, a few cattle low in the distance and a batch of crickets are still chirping. What a fabulously fabulous morning.

The first real noise is the diesel engine sound and rattling of the school bus coming down the lane. Poor kids, how early must they HAVE to get up. What a long day they must have! I can see the lights of a few cars start to hit the highway. Folks off to work or farmers out to their fields and check their livestock.

For me it's going to be a lazy day at home. Oh, wait, that's most days isn't it? Internet guy is coming hopefully. It won't have to be DAYS later before I am able to post now. That will be great. There's been little internet work in the last 30 days. It's been a bit challenging to find a Wifi spot in the little town I live in. I've been hanging out at the library and McDonalds to do any internet work. No “internet cafes” or cute little hang outs or Starbucks around here! But I've managed. No withdrawals or panic attacks because I can't get to the internet. My iphone has helped but you know it's easy to get WAY up on your internet usage with that. They send you a threatening note, even though you have unlimited access, to “stop that or else!” So today is the day for my own internet finally.

Tonight I'm starting a woman's Bible study class. It'll be held at a small church in another small town close by.  It'll be great to meet some other women living out here in the country close to me. Hopefully I'll meet some new friends or rekindle some relationships with some old friends. The study's about hearing God speak to you. That's exciting.

We're just going to hang out here and enjoy, listen and watch, and wait for the first humming bird. Oh! It's 6:59am, there he is, gotta go!

“Lord, heighten my spiritual senses to see that which is not visible, hear that which is not audible, sense that which is not tangible, believe that which is unbelievable.
Teach me to sort through the noises of this world to hear and discern your powerful, wonderful, pure precious voice.”

Encourage one another...continuing the journey on fresh paths.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sunrise at the Little House

“God came from Teman...His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand...” Habakkuk 3:4

I captured these photos last week one morning when clouds were around the horizon. Sometimes I'll wake up early to check for clouds. If it's clear I'll stay in bed til after sunrise. If there are clouds, like this morning, I get up because the chance for a beautiful sunrise is pretty good. I think this day I hit a bulls eye.
There's this oak tree, as you can see, right in the spot where I watch the sun come up from the porch. These photos were taken through and around it as you can see. I am only using my camera on automatic...I'm a chicken to venture too far from that.

Since the sun sets behind the house I don't catch many sunsets...yet. I'll have to start watching the sky for those too. It is starting to get dark earlier, maybe thirty minutes or so. The days are getting shorter. August has been so much cooler than last year. In fact, the whole summer has been much cooler and wetter than last year, a huge relief to the earth.

I'll keep snapping these photos of the sunrise and share them from time to time. God is good, and I remain blessed by the beauty that surrounds my new home.

Encourage one another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Friday, September 7, 2012

No Really, I Am Living in Mayberry or Better

Here's a little update regarding my new home.  Truthfully it's just a tiny little town in south central Texas.  However, recently if you remember I blogged about my daughter saying I was not living in "Mayberry".  Here's "the rest of the story".

I went over to meet my backdoor neighbors.  I walked over with my pup and we introduced ourselves to them when they were out working in the yard.  I actually knew the wife, Susan, some years ago and she remembered me.  I met the husband, Gary, and his grown son, Wes, who lives there part time in an RV.  The husband's dad also lives on the property but was not available that day so I did not meet him.  They were very nice and we had a good hour visit.  We discussed that the area was good for star watching especially if you turned off the guard lights.  That was on Sunday.

The following Saturday I was working out in the yard.  The dad, Billy, the other neighbor walked over to meet me...I was so appreciative.  I thought it was very "neighborly".  He's a bit older than I and also retired.  He works outside ALL the time and is constantly keeping up their yard.  He mows and picks weeds and just generally keeps their yard in tip top shape, especially for a "country" yard.  We discussed fire ants and how to kill them, snakes, gophers, our pups and had a great visit for about an hour.  We exchanged phone numbers for emergencies.  He has a few health problems so he stays at home most of the time.  He even offered to let my pup outside for me if I had to be gone long from home for a long afternoon or something.  I have taken him up on that on one occasion already.

Well, I've been out of town babysitting my grandson since Sunday evening.  Today I got a phone call from Billy just checking to be sure I was ok.  I thought that was so thoughtful and sweet.  He said he did not want to be "nosey" but he noticed my car was gone for several days and just wanted to be sure I was not sick or something.  I like the fact that we folks look out for each other; that we watch for strange cars or absent cars, slow cars and speeding cars; that we keep an eye on each others properties and if anything is awry we check into it; we wave when we drive by and speak when close enough.  We are in fact, good neighbors.  So really, where I live just might be better than is truly a great place to live and I am happy to be living here, outside this little country town in south Texas.

Deuteronomy 11:18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

Encourage One Another...continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Post Script Hummers Update

Genesis 2:20
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. 

There are almost daily updates on the hummers. Thursday five hummers were spotted at the same time circling my two feeders. They were swooping and buzzing around like bees. It's sort of like a “zzzzzzzztt” sound or a “bbbbzzzzz” when they fly. Their verbal sound is like morse code “dt dt dt......dt dt dt” sporatic and choppy.
Then they showed up again yesterday, all five of them. There was one that particularly stood out. He was iridescent almost florescent green with a full white chest. He sparkled in the sun. He liked the perch too. 

 By far this one, “Sparkle”, and “Red” are the most beautiful.

So far I can identify three different kinds. One is mostly a light brown, the red throated one and this new iridescent green one. If you've got a hummingbird book, send it my way. “My eyes have seen the glory...”

Encourage one another...continuing the journey on fresh paths.

OH MY Goodness. Just as I'm finishing this, a hummer comes on the porch, literally two feet away, checking Ikey and I out. We are eyeball to eyeball. She is fluttering her winds at a most rapid place and suspended in air not moving. Ikey and I remain VERY still. He's looking at her too. He's sharing his porch with her. Just phenomenal!   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Owl and the Hawk

Birds of prey. I've been warned about those out here in the country in regard to my pup. They are beautiful but not to be trusted. I truly love those big birds, always have. I love to hear them and photograph them. However, at this point, with Ikey in the country with me, I do not trust them, not at all! I keep an ever watchful watch over Ike when he is outside. I've seen hawks flying over several times. I've heard them close more often than that, including the trees behind the house. I caught this one flying south across my yard then resting on the high line one morning last week. You can see he and a smaller hawk next to him. This is a Yellow Tailed Hawk.

While watching and photographing him, I caught him flying back north, again right outside my yard.

Here is a close up of one.  Aren't they beautiful??

For two nights in a row when I take Ikey outside before we go to bed, I've heard an owl in the trees just outside the fence. At least he's “hooting” to give me a warning that he's close. I don't know why they hoot, but I'm glad he does. I don't let Ikey more than three feet from me. I carry a flashlight. Last night I had a bag with me to put in my car and kept it with me until I picked Ikey back up. That owl makes me nervous. It's dark. He sees with microscopic eyes in the dark. He's fast. He makes no sound as he approaches. Though beautiful he can be deadly for small animals. I'll be reading up on him too!
I don't have any photos of the owls but if I did they might look like this...
  This is a great horned owl!                                              
 Or this, which is a barn owl.  In fact one late evening one of these almost flew into the window of my friend's Jeep.  It was so close it brushed the rear view mirror...phew!                           

In the meantime, I will remain close and watchful over my little Ikey!

Encourage One Another....continuing the journey on fresh paths.