Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jill - "The Light That Shines"

Photo from

You know that breast cancer has touched my life, my heart and my soul.  You know that my sister is a breast cancer SURVIVOR!!  You know that on 11/8/12, I posted a post and link to..." Jen, she was NOT cancer".
Today, through the same Paige Knudsen blog

I was linked to this one:

Go there to hear another survivor's story and see her courage and her beauty.  Her survival from breast cancer has not kept her from cancer focusing on another part of her body.

Cancer sucks!

To Jill, I offer prayers for your healing and I thank you for your courage and your message.  To those that told her story, thank you.

To the rest of you, be blessed.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Matthew 14:14
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healedtheir sick.

Share these links so Jill's story can be told!

Monday, January 28, 2013

In the Right Place at the Right Time

Matthew 3:16
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

I've decided I need to have my camera with me all the time.  I just never know when a perfect moment and a great photo opportunity is going to come my way.  Like today...
I'm driving down the gravel road with my camera in the seat next to me.  Out my window, to the left, in the flash of an eye, I see what appears to be a hawk, swooping down to the ground and dive bombing a Caracara (Mexican Eagle, also known as a buzzard) on the head.  The hawk then lands in the top of the tree.  I stop my car and grab my camera to get a photo of the hawk who landed in the tree and disregarding the one still in the field.  Then I see the other big bird take flight toward the one in the tree.  That one LANDS on top of that hawk.  I'm snapping away at a rapid pace, not believing my eyes, now suspecting and still not sure but thinking I am seeing these birds mate.

 I'm thinking, "OMG, what in the world did I just see!"  Then they fly off.

I'm just blown away.  When I get to the house I zoom those pictures in on my camera.  They are phenomenal.  It is obviously two hawks.  They don't even appear to be the same kind.  Their feathers are different and they are different colors.

When I download them onto my computer I can't get close up like on my camera disappointing.
Here is a photo I took with my phone of the camera screen where I had zoomed in.
Just take my word for it...this was a once in a lifetime sight.  I hope I can check with our area game biologist and see what he has to say about the whole thing.  I'll probably google it too.  If I find anything else out...I'll let you know.

Isaiah 40
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love XO

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Ride Through the Country

Psalm 18:32-34

New International Version (NIV)
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.

Yesterday a friend called and said "want to ride with me to go try to trap the neighbor's bulls who broke into the meadow place?"  I said sure, donned my jeans, cap and camera and jumped in the truck.  The whole bull trapping thing was a quick success.  This wasn't his "first rodeo" when it comes to trapping cattle.  But the perk was lots of cruising through the brush.  Deer were everywhere.  You never know when you ride through the country if you'll see one or twenty one deer.  Today was my lucky day. There were many more seen than I was able to catch on my camera.  But they are in my mind, in my memory and with a smile on my face.  Nothing much prettier than a deer in the wild.  Here are a few photos:

At "the meadow".

 Look close, you just see her tail as she's scampering off!

At "Peach Creek".
 See them, one just to the left, one just to the right of the opening.
 Some shots are actually much better and closer than others.  This was a great close shot of the girl on the right.

At "the ranch".

 Not only do you need a keen eye to see these deer in the pasture, you need a keen eye to find them in these photos!

Along the way at "Peach Creek" we got a chance to see this new fence line.  No one still alive has ever seen down this fence line before due to the thick brush that was bulldozed to clear this line.  My friend was seeing it for the first time in his lifetime.
 If you look close, the fence goes right between these two huge Live Oak trees!  You can see it in the top photo.
 Here it just looks like it goes right through them or runs into them and starts again on the other side.

 Beautiful oaks were hidden in here!

 These photos were taken at "the ranch".  A new project.  Always love the flying flags.

Here's how we ended our day...with a beautiful full moon at dusk.

 Using different exposures.  My camera had a HARD time taking photos into that bright moon!
 These two views were so cool!
We topped everything off with sausage, eggs, biscuits and honey.  This day gets chalked up as one of my best.

Psalm 104:19
He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love XO

Friday, January 25, 2013

Be Thankful Psalm 100:4

Psalm 100:4

New International Version (NIV)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
Just last night the friend I had dinner with said "how's it going".  I told her, "in my life, I have no complaints.  I still strive to be content no matter what my situation is.  I don't always succeed at that, however, it doesn't take long for me to listen to someone else's story and realize how blessed I am.  My family, my home, my health, they are all great.  My life is good.  My life is "going" great".  Of course that quote is not exactly what I said but the content is accurate.  We discussed the health of some of our dear friends, the financial situation of some, how HARD and long hours some of our friends have to work.  We discussed "life".  At any time, life can take that downward turn, that turn that sends you straight toward God in a rapid pace.  Until then, strive hard to live grateful, live blessed, and stay close to God.  Try not to wish for someone else's life, someone else's stuff.  If possible, enter everyday in a feeling of gratitude, and be blessed.  

I found this poem on a friends blog.
Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
Author Unknown
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

Encourage one another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you XO

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In a Leafy Silence

Two days ago I wrote about the brown ugly leaves that cover my yard.  Someone (A Quiet Life) changed my focus and reminded me how the leaves protect and cover the tender growth below them, for promises of grass and plants in spring.
Today again I am prompted to change my focus of the brown ugly leaves.  The reminder is of my gratitude in my ability to hear.  I'm sitting on the porch with Ikey, enjoying the "spring" weather I spoke of two days's 74 degrees.

I hear a rustling of those brown crunchy leaves as the cattle walk in the pasture up close to my house.  I hear!  There is enough silence and peace around me that I can "hear" the rustling of those leaves.  I can also hear the turning of the windmill that turns, pumping water from the ground for the cattle to drink.  As the breeze blows I can also hear the tingling of the chimes that lull me to sleep at night along with the singing of the coyotes.  My gratitude includes my life in the country minus the car horns, police sirens, and the loudness of city life.  Oh how grateful I am for my little house in the country.
So, brown, ugly leaves, I am grateful to you after all.  I thank you for the blanket you provide and look forward to your spring surprise!

Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Be blessed and love, xo

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blog Post #200 Happy Birthday Baby Jesus

Seems my 200th blog post should be something important.  I can't think of anything more important that the birth of Jesus.

Back in December a friend expressed how she made a birthday cake for Jesus for her granddaughter on Christmas Day.  She said she did it ever year.  Sometimes she used a cake mix, sometimes home made, sometimes store bought, sometimes brownie mix.  On top she placed a little baby Jesus in a manger and one candle.  Great idea I thought.  I had not even heard of this idea before.  It seemed like a great tradition I could start.  My friend even offered me a little pan she had that she did not use.

Can't remember if I told you about the little Baby Jesus I found at a local Goodwill store in November.  It was just a little white plaster Baby Jesus with no Mary and no Joseph. I just couldn't leave him there alone.  I had no idea what to really do with him without the rest of the manger scene, but you know me and homeless kids...I gotta find a home for them.  So off Baby Jesus went, home with me.   When my friend gave me this idea, I knew why I had come across Him that day!

So the idea was born.

I made the little cake out of brownie mix.  It was so cute.

I had planned to make homemade icing, but was not feeling too well over Christmas so opted for store bought instead.  I had decided to not ice it until Christmas day as we would be having Christmas dinner until that afternoon.   Iced, it was even cuter.

And with the little white Baby Jesus on top it was perfect.  Candle in place it was ready to go.

When you ask Baby Gray whose birthday is Christmas.  He says "Jesus's".  So he knows, sort of!

So we all sang "Happy Birthday dear Jesus", he blew out the candle, and ate the cake...happily!

A tradition is born!

Luke 2:

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Was Mistaken

The weather was so nice today I'm "porching".  It's been a while.

I thought the oak trees in my yard were coniferous.  Mistakenly I thought all oak trees were coniferous.  As it turns out, most oak trees are deciduous and they lose their leaves.  The unfortunate thing about my oaks is not only do they lose their leaves but they also just turn brown and fall off, they do not turn pretty colors then fall!

Ugly, currently they are just ugly as far as trees go, sprawling brown and lifeless.  Those leaves that were pretty and green are now brown and ugly all over my again!  Don't get me wrong, I still love my house in the country, my yard and my just helps me look that much more forward to spring.  It's a ways away.  However, in Texas, we get lots of days that feel like spring, but are in the dead of winter.  Mid 70s, no wind, sunny, just perfect days to do whatever in.  

I decided not to bring my plants in this year.  I'm hopeful the days that are below freezing will be only freezing for a few hours then heat right back up.  So far so good.  They are just such a mess of dried leaves falling off to clean up all winter long.  We'll see how it goes.  So far so good.  

No photos, just take my word...brown (two words) ugly!

Genesis 2:9
The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

In Memoriam..."Marley"

My niece is a dog trainer for a company called "Sit Means Sit".  She loves her job.  It has taken her quite a while to find something not only that she loves, but that she is very good at.  She has two dogs that she has trained that are her partners.  She demonstrates with them to owners how their dogs should respond to commands etc.  Her dogs are pretty special.

This afternoon, my sister, the one who was the "mother" to Annie who died yesterday, text me saying that she was with her daughter, my niece, who was with her dog, age 4, at the emergency vet.  They were with "Marley" who she described as "real sick".  The next thing I know I get a text from my sister that said "Marley just died".  "Oh no", was all I knew to say.

I do not know the details.  My sister was still with my niece when I talked to her later by phone.  Maybe tomorrow I will know a little about the what occurred.

Regardless, tragedy hit my sister's family hard this week.  I know God is holding them in his hands near his heart.

Numbers 6
24 24 “‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
25 25 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
26 26 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Friday, January 18, 2013

In Memoriam "Annie Girl"

Hebrews 13:2

King James Version (KJV)
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

After a very long and well lived and loved life Annie Girl is no longer here.  Yesterday was her time.  My sister and my two "other" nieces took her, hugged her, loved her and said good-bye.  She is resting easy now.  Many medical problems plagued her over the last year.  They no longer do.  She was 16.
Almost 7 years ago a garage door crushed her little back.  She had surgery.  Initially she struggled really hard to come back, but about that time a little 6 month old rebel rouser came to live a short time with her and rehab-ed her to complete recovery.  She tried to follow him everywhere...and she did.  He lead her without most heros do.

She lived the next 5 or so years very well, very happy.  I lived those years very close by and we became very close.  Slowly, as with all of us growing older, life just got harder.  Her spirit however, remained as playful as a pup.  She was always cold natured and if she didn't beat Ikey to the "pink" bed (which is actually his) she would just "ease" her way into it with him growling away.  She didn't care...she knew he wouldn't do a thing.

When I had not seen her for a while, as  I walked into a room, she would sing out to the moon, scream almost with excitement.   She loved me as much as I loved her.  There's a You Tube video of she and Ikey singing to the ATT tune if you want to search "Ikey the Singing Chihuahua" on You Tube.  She's the background singer!!

Sixteen years of memories later we wake up without her this morning, but she is on our minds.  We loved her to the end.  And we will miss her.  Especially my sister...and Ikey!

Vaya con Dios my sweet Annie Girl.  I love you.
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faithhope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jump Start to a "Mission"

It's been a while.  Other than a little run in with a virus Christmas eve eve that ran thru to a couple of days after Christmas, the holidays went well.  I am glad to get back into the life of a retired person who spends a lot of time relaxing.  Of late I've been perusing blogs that show up some how that have linked to other blogs I'm reading...very time consuming.  If you check my Pinterest today you will see what I have been up to and what I'd like to be up to (lots of "how tos" and "just do it" projects.  On my shopping list are a sewing machine and a glue gun!  Neither of which I have a spot in my house to really use.  I'm working not to purchase anything I don't have a place for...until I do, so they are just "on" the list, non-emergency.

However, since the holidays are over I have a little jump start going to finishing my house.  I have purchased and put up window treatments on all windows except the "room".

I have hung pictures that have been in boxes since I moved in and two awesome vintage paint by number horses I received from a good friend at Christmas .  My house looks almost finished except the "room".  I am on the way this week to the Design Center in Austin to find fabrics and purchase them to get the two chairs in the living area upholstered.  I have been to the upholsterer and just need to drop it all off.  I've measured the bedroom windows to purchase shades that WORK this week as well.

I'm on a "mission" to get the rest of my house finished by the end of February.  Baby Gray looks squeezed into the pack and play where he stays when he is here.  He and needs another place to sleep more comfortably.  I also want to be able to invite guests who will have a comfortable place to sleep.  Right now someone is on the couch!  So far that someone has been me!

Also with the help of a friend I got the Little Tykes fort that was in the dirt in the front of the house onto a concrete slab in back of the house.

I'll get that cleaned up and in a safer place for BG to play.  We also cleaned the crummy dirt out of the huge tractor tire (prior tenants called it a "sand box") that was in the front yard as well.  I have big plans for it to be my "mini garden" as spring rolls around.

There is no place for a little garden and this should work if I get the right soil, etc.  I need some gardening tutorials and ideas!  I can almost see the colorful red tomatoes, cucumbers and squash already!

There are still lots of other projects on my "inspiration board" in my bedroom.  They'll come along as well.

So, so far I've been a little productive in the new year however, with miles to go.  Thankfully, I've got some good running shoes!

1  Thessalonians 4:11-12
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths!