Saturday, August 31, 2013

A BRIEF LESSON ON THE WONDERS OF MY ANATOMY!

I expect NO comments on the revelation that I am about to make, but the truth is that my mouth is very-very small.    DO NOT EVEN THINK IT!!!  When I make a trip to the dentist and hygienist, they are always flustered trying to work in such a small and cramped space.  Having X'rays made is pure agony--for even the child size plates are torture.  One memorable trip--the dentist in frustration tells me to just "UNHINGE MY JAW" to give him more room.  Yes, I will unhinge my jaw as soon as you decrease the size of your hand!  



NOW I KNOW you are ALL laughing and thinking the woman of MANY MANY words---that loves to talk--has a small mouth.  WELL it's true!  God DID gift me though to compensate for the small size.  When my kids were small, I could stand at my back door, take a deep breath, and yell loud enough for the entire neighborhood to know they needed to come home.  I can shout with the best of them--I should enter a hog calling contest or something-I am so gifted.

God is always using the unexpected, the scripture is full of examples---Moses--the man with a speech impediment, Peter, Andrew, James & John--fishermen-that probably smelled a little fishy to become part of the original disciples, David-the small shepherd boy with a sling shot and a rock, Mary-the teenage Mother of Jesus---Ruth-the lowly widow, and the list goes on and on.  SO why would God not be using my voice--from my tiny mouth for His good reasons?  Stranger things have happened--he chooses to use the unlikely--to reveal His great power and glory. 

So if God chooses to use my tiny mouth and small voice to comfort you, to teach you, to remind you of Who He is and what He has done for you---Why Would I Be Surprised?

Never dare to question how God can use you--even when you don't think you are equipped.  He can be a God full of surprises!


"Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet,
neither was I a prophet's son;
but I was a herdsman, and a dresser of sycomore-trees:
and Jehovah took me from following the flock
and Jehovah said unto me,
Go, prophesy unto my people Israel."
Amos 7:14-15
If God is prompting you, please feel free to share any and all posts.

Friday, August 30, 2013

PUT YOUR HAND OUT

In the past few days, God has sent me a reminder.  When life is filled with pain and anguish, you need to put your hand out and allow someone to help pull you from the pit of despair.  It is a long way down into the well of sorrow.  At times the well is so deep that we cannot pull ourselves out--we seem to be stuck in the quicksand of grief.  Grief is like that-it is all coming in my book--it will suck you down and if you are not careful-you cannot pull yourself back up and into the light. 

God has reminded me of who He is, by prompting me to share with a few- where I am and asking them to pray for me.  How do I know these faithful friends have prayed?  What else would explain my thoughts turning from those same ones that keep going round and round the track-never ceasing the circuit of my consciousness?  What else would explain within minutes of a plea for needing help an oasis of light--in a 2 year old smile as she follows me down the sidewalk as I walk?  She would not leave my side--with her daddy calling to her--she kept telling me "I'm coming" as her little legs worked to keep up with me.  Could I not stop and smile at her sweet face?  Why else would my tears seem to dry ?  Why else would the knot in my chest--slowly begin to disappear?   Why else would a friend text a scripture when I cannot find the words to pray?




I am still struggling and the tears are still near the surface, but I have my hand held up--and am asking God's faithful to hold on tight as I work to overcome the dark--yet again...HE IS FAITHFUL!


"Therefore encourage one another, build one another up, just as you are doing."
I Thessalonians 5:11


If God is prompting you, please feel free to share any and all posts.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

TATTOO ME!

SO when I am down--It is good to change the subject and give you something of the lightness in my world.  Lightness laced with truth.

Tattoos seem to be the latest and greatest these days.  I am amazed at how many now have those "works of art" on their bodies.  I will repeat my warning--the rising sun could well become the solar eclipse in 30-40 years-so CAREFUL with your placement.  My grands came and spent some time with me today----I bought a package of tats for those little darlings---here is the result after a few hours of fun:















My son in law--Dr Daddy has a wedding ring tattoo.  I have TREMENDOUS respect for this man--knowing he could not wear his ring in sterile environments--He has it permanently etched upon his finger so there is NO DOUBT that he is married.




I must confess that I do have a tat myself.  A few years ago I had my eyeliner permanently applied--which is a tattoo!  Let me just say--needle---eyelid---MANY pricks nerve wracking.  BUT AS I TOLD YOU I HAVE A TATTOO!!!  Glad I had it done---BUT it was tedious to say the least.  The one "Real Tattoo" I have seriously considered getting is this one:
In case you cannot read it--"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
I would SO get that one---BUT I fear that you would never get past my lovely toes---"Poor Toes"---runner's toes to see the artwork on the side of my foot.

The one thing I do want-need-desire is for God's Word to be permanently etched upon my heart.  For every thought and action to be couched by a reference from His book that springs from deep within my being.  Take my heart out Lord---prick away---place your word permanently on and in it--so that ALL  I cross paths with will know of Your Great Glory.


"I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
Psalm 119:11 

If God is prompting you, please feel free to share any and all posts.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WHAT IS GAINED FROM PAIN?

I have been mulling over and processing all that has transpired the past few days.  I have come to the conclusion of one VERY IMPORTANT thing-----Yes I am once again in pain---yes at the moment the world looks bleak---BUT I am reminded that Satan attacks those primary targets who are doing an effective work for the Glory of God.

Remembering my old friend Job,  God allowed Satan to attack him for a very good reason and for the ultimate good of Job.  Did that take away the fact that he lost EVERYTHING--his wife, his children, all his wealth, and even his good health---NO--they were FOREVER gone---BUT Job came out on the other side of all that pain  with a deeper and better understanding of WHO GOD IS!  When we read Job, we are told that Job was a man who was blameless and upright; and he feared God and shunned evil.  This is the reason Satan attacked him--he was God's man and following the mandates of His Father.  As Beth reminded us this weekend, Satan was not interested in killing Job---only using him to further his agenda.  Through it all---more than I can imagine bearing---Job remained God's man and God revealed Himself to Job in a deep-deep way.  He came out on the other side of Satan's attack with God blessing him in the last years of his life, even more than the first.

SO I am rejoicing that Satan feels threatened by my witness and God's use of me!  He is attacking me--God is allowing that attack, BUT HE HAS MY BACK.  "Though he slay me, yet I will hope in Him." Job 13:15  "If I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16  No matter what is thrown at me--what I lose, the depth of my pain--I have the promise of eternity and the deep-deep love of the Father to sustain me.  "Weeping may tarry for the night, BUT joy comes with the morning."  Psalm 30:5.




"But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
He speaks to them in their afflictions.
He is wooing you from the jaws of distress-"
Job 36:15-16

If God is prompting you, please feel free to share any and all posts.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ONE MORE MOORE THOUGHT

I came home from Bossier--so filled that I felt like I was bursting at the seams---THEN the world came crashing down around my head almost as soon as I recovered from no sleep while gone.

Sunday I went to late church--with an expectant heart--ready for more worship and wisdom.  I stopped in the lobby to talk with the School Ministry Coordinator and missed almost all of the worship.  I am excited about getting plugged in to the church's ministry to at-risk students--so that was not all bad.  Then their really gifted lead pastor began his message---about the future plans and building program for the church.  I am very sorry if I am offending anyone--but that is not what I want to hear on Sunday morning.  I know it is important---know it needs to be communicated---but have met the total of 5 people in church now---and felt like I was sitting in on a family meeting of the family next door.  I left disappointed--but thankful I still had the overflow from the weekend conference.  

Sunday night and today have been very difficult with the revelation and reminder of the place I am emotionally.  I am VERY homesick--decided to not visit R this week because I knew it would make it harder.  I was reminded of how much I miss my sweet friends and family by those I did see in Bossier.  The crowning blow came with the announcement of some news that rips the scab once again off my wounded heart.  I spent a restless night and morning--rehashing all that has wounded me so deeply.

All this to lead you here---Beth reminded us that

The Accuser's focused target is any child of God.

The Enemy knew what happened at the conference and he is not pleased---so he is throwing his flaming darts at me and whispering doubts in my ear.  He is doing ALL he can to take me out of the peace and joy territory that God has given me and back me into the corner of doubt, self-debasement, and pain.  I am calling out to Him---SAYING IT OUT LOUD--pronouncing His word to Him---always seeking the path and asking Him to rebuke the road block.  


"We are hard pressed on every slide, but not crushed,
perplexed, but not in despair,
persecuted, but NOT abandoned,
struck down, but not destroyed."
II Corinthians 4:8

If God is prompting you, please feel free to share any and all posts.

Monday, August 26, 2013

HARD TO SWALLOW!!!

The last morning of Beth Moore included the teaching of praying for our enemies---THIS IS WHEN SHE STARTED MEDDLING!  

For me it all starts with Judging---or the cloak I like to hide judgement under---condemnation.  I have an entire chapter of my soon to be released book dedicated to my propensity to judge-- NOT one of my more charming attributes.  Beth hit the nail square on the head--how we look around us---spot something/someone---shake our heads in somber sadness--and then OPEN OUR MOUTHS and allow Satan to use us by our words of accusation and disapproval--BUT OH YES---ALWAYS---couched with "Bless their heart".  I suppose our blessing them before blasting them is supposed to make it all right! 

SO---I love to announce with my righteous glow to all around me---"I have forgiven".  Truthfully I have---BUT the next step is Praying for Them-----BUT GOD DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT THEY DID TO ME?????  After Beth's reminder of the scripture, she then instructed us to 


STOP
BE SILENT
BOW YOUR HEADS
PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES

You could have heard a pin drop in the midst of 8000 strong--not one sound---all heads down------And then---behind me ---this cry began---a SOULFUL-REMORSEFUL- CRY FILLED WITH PAIN AND ANGUISH----and it was not for a few seconds or even a minute-she cried tears among moans and groans of anguish for what seemed like an eternity.  It echoed throughout that vast arena.  It hit me--was this what heaven sounds like when I sin--when I am disobedient?  THEN I could pray---reminded that God surely understands and knows our every tear--every moan--every groan. 

It is NOT so much about praying for our enemy--though that is exactly what we are called to do---it IS about being obedient.  God's word is NOT empty of reason and this command to pray comes with meaning as well.  When I FINALLY could pray for those that have cut me to the core and broken my heart ---BECAUSE GOD HAD INSTRUCTED ME TO---THEN I HAD FORGIVEN THEM!  It is an act of obedience  BECAUSE God understands what is best for us.  We extend mercy because HE first extended mercy to us.

If I am going to continue to develop that deep-deep relationship of love with Him---I MUST be disciplined in obeying His word.  It is all there for a purpose and a reason AND that will lead to REALLY KNOWING Him----

"But I say to you,Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you."
Matthew 5:44


If God is prompting you, please feel free to share any and all posts.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

TESTIFY!

Last night and today was spent drinking from the Well of the Living Water!  I met some friends at the Beth Moore conference in Bossier (318) yesterday and we spent 2 days being lavished with teaching from The Word---lovingly admonished--constantly encouraged and reverently prayed over.  From the very first until the last worship song--it was an experience beyond description. I came away--re-energized, convicted, and redeemed after a teaching that hit me SQUARE in the face.  Laughingly I came away thinking "She was MEDDLING IN MY BUSINESS!"  I confess I deserved the meddling!  

8000 voices raised in worship is an incredible choir---if the Heavenly Host is better--I am ANXIOUS to experience that wonder.  The last emphasis of the day was in USING YOUR VOICE---as a weapon against The Evil One and as an instrument for The Father's Glory.  We were told---SPEAK IT OUT LOUD----since I have very few around me today that I can verbally speak to---I will instead use "My Voice" of writing to proclaim that which we were encouraged to speak out loud--including the use of social media.  Red letter is Beth Moore's beginning--blue returns to my voice

If the Lord had not been on my side: 
I would be leading a hopeless, defeated life with no sense of self worth-believing the world's lies that I am not worthy-not beautiful-not talented-not loved and in fact abandoned and rejected.  Yet because of His faithful love, compassion, and mercy, I am alive and living in the hope of the future that He has planned for me as his beautiful loved one that He loves beyond measure and uses for His great glory and pleasure.  I am a living example of His great mercy and love as evidenced by the great fountain of grace that pours over me continually as He loves me BEST.  

TESTIFY, SISTER--TESTIFY!

"And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life and the life is in His son."
I John 5:11

Saturday, August 24, 2013

RENEWAL

I am away today---being fed at the table of worship and teaching.  Enjoying the sweet fellowship of those with like mind---minds set upon the glory of God.  Pray that I and ALL those that fill the arena will experience the presence of the Father.   Pray that I see His face--reflected in the eyes of those that surround me.   Pray I grow in my wisdom of His ways---and come away renewed and re energized- in my quest of seeking His face and the path He has placed before me.  Pray His love will wash over me and cleanse me again---and that His Holy Spirit will expand my desire for Him.  Pray each and every person filling the building will draw close and KNOW the love of the Father.  






Friday, August 23, 2013

THE RESTORATION BUSINESS

Do you trust the sun will rise in the East---that the night sky will fill with stars--that Fall will come with a breath of cool air?  Trust-You cannot see it---you cannot feel it--you cannot even truly describe it---but how do we live without it?  Trust is a fundamental part of our very being.  Without it---we are looking over our shoulder---backing out of rooms--waiting with bated breath --peering from suspicious eyes --expecting the worst.

My children and grands have learned that they can trust me from years of experience.  I will love them, help them, serve them, and pray for them without even a thought. My extended family trusts me to be a presence in their lives, to never take them for granted and to cherish the sweet gift of family.   My friends know they can trust me--when push comes to shove---and we are in the nitty gritty of life---I am going to be there for them.  This trust has been built on experience- years of reliability.
























I totally trust God--that He has the perfect plan for me.  That His ways are not my ways--and yet the path He has for me--will bring Him great glory.  I trust that He loves me--He is faithful to me--He has me in the palm of His hand.  Whatever tomorrow may bring-I trust Him.  All of this trust has been built upon experience.


My personal "Trust Tank" is low and I am asking God to help me fill it once again.  You can trust me, so when I discovered that trust could be broken-the discovery put a hole in my tank and it began leaking out.   I am praying He will  plug that hole and restore my trust.  I am tentatively peeking out of my shell and trying to learn the lesson of trust anew.  I cannot spend my life always looking with suspicion and fearing the worst.  Somehow--someway I pray that God shows me--how to let down my guard---open up my heart---and trust.


"Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him."
Job 13:15

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DOCTOR---DOCTOR!

Most of you know that my favorite son-in-law is a doctor.  I love that daddy of my littlest grands--EVEN though he does not give any credence to my VAST medical knowledge AND has even DARED to laugh or smirk when I was expounding upon my fountain of medical information.  To top that off, he even argues with me or ignores me entirely when I ask for a prescription after self diagnosis.  The ONLY time he has offered any meds--I was coughing my head off after HIS children gave me some dreaded disease --AND I was helping with those little darlings.  He prefaced that offer with--"It isn't going to help, BUT"   I replied,  "NO NO---I will sit here and cough and gasp for breath while taking care of your children and die in the effort---NO NEED TO GIVE ME ANY WONDER DRUGS."  SERIOUSLY---I do love him!




It has been a LONG haul to finally be called Doctor.  Eight years after high school and then you begin your residency.  He has studied LONG hours and poured over books and listened to lectures --every hour of the day.  He has studied the cadaver --every nook and cranny was examined.  He literally has followed all the rules, studied all the books and jumped through all the hoops to fill his head with the knowledge and know how to be a doctor.  My strong hunch is that he really began to learn how to be a doctor when he started treating the patients--living-breathing people-listening to them, testing them, learning all about them, and then pouring a portion of all he had learned into treating them.  That is when he REALLY started being a doctor---when that alive-breathing-conscious being was in front of him.

This reminds me of us Believers---we can read and memorize the book,  follow all the rules, serve all the needy, and even enter into fellowship and worship with our fellow believers---BUT until we stop our busyness--put down the books---enter the solitary sanctuary with ONLY HIM---we may not ever enjoy that one on one relationship that marks the beginning of not just being "A Believer" but also "A Knower".  We have to talk to Him, be still and listen for Him, look for Him, and begin to understand Who He is---a Living God--and then we are on the path of being "A Knower"---WHAT JOY!

"Be still and KNOW that I am God."

Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LOST AND FOUND

Moving two times in just two years has been disconcerting to say the least.  The first move brought a serious culling of 30 years of accumulation in that home--I still think of things I need that are long gone--Serious down-sizing sometimes brings hasty decisions. The next move involved 300 miles of travel and still less space to put those "things".  After packing, unpacking, packing & yet again unpacking--with some "stuff" still in boxes, I find I have lost some things--or misplaced--or discarded and do not remember.  It is all a blur--physically and emotionally---a blur.  Things have been lost.



I have also lost some intangible things in this process.  I lost a riding partner to talk away the long miles on those road trips.  I lost a living-breathing presence in the vastness of my alone-ness.  I lost an ear to hear my thoughts and a voice to respond to mine.  I lost the one that understood the intricacies of this family.  I lost the one that had shared the important days in the life of this family.  I lost a person in my bed to reach out and touch when the night brought dread.  I lost the warmth to turn and curl into when the cold of the night closed in around me.  I lost a part of me that now I struggle to replace as if that part of my being has been amputated and I am left to compensate.

In the midst of the loss, I have found so much.  I found a Father that loves me beyond my wildest dreams.  I found Him who cares about me--my joys and my pains.  I found One that knew me, knows me, and already knows my tomorrow, and yet loves me without fail.  I found total acceptance and recognition of my beauty and grace.  I found the One that loves me at my best and my worst and is ever faithful and present in it all.  I found the deep well of love and concern that continually flows with the spring of mercy and the hope for tomorrow.  

I might never have found all of this---had I not first lost so much.


Mark 8:34-35

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TAKING OFF MY MASK

The little fellow, the youngest of the "Perfect" Grands, is now 8 months old.  His little personality is beginning to shine from those BIG blue eyes and sweet little face.  He seems to be taking after his mother---prone to the dramatic!    He began his turn to the dramatic by yelling.  Perhaps I might be a little guilty of encouraging it ---I would echo his yell---and he finds that a great game.  The next step was the game of "I am shy"---NOT!  He would turn his head and hide behind his mother's shoulder when I was talking to him always with a sweet smile.  The newest "face" is mouth wide open--acting like he is in great distress---wrinkling his nose up---closing his eyes and yelling.  He can turn it off and on faster than I can flip the light switch.  He is very amused at himself--and loves to put on his little dramatic act for us.



I began thinking about the masks that I wear.  I am working on taking those masks off and being the "Real Me", but it is a slow process after successfully wearing all these masks for a LONG time.  I had a friend ask me last week, why I revealed so much about myself when I write--I told them it has not always been that way--but in reality--it is much easier to just be myself by being honest and living the truth than to keep putting on the masks.

I have a mask called "I'm Fine"---It appears when someone asks how I am.  Perhaps I am everything, BUT fine---but there is this long ago lesson that you do not reveal too much about yourself-to ANYONE!

I have a mask called "I'm Happy"---Who wants a "Debbie Downer" as a friend?  This mask has a permanent smile on it---no matter what the day has held.

I have a mask called "It's Alright"--while in truth things may be so far from alright that it is not even in sight.  Who wants to hear what is wrong with your world?

I have a mask called "Righteous"-while the truth is that I am so far from righteous -except by His mercy-that I should be called "Wrongeous".

I have a mask called "Holy"-there is only one who is Holy---I am NOT Him!

I have a chest FULL of these masks---too many to list.  So I have begun the quest to leave the masks off and be the person that I am---Broken and Fallen--yet joyful-because of His mercy that cleanses me and makes be Holy in His sight. Taking off the masks can be risky in the eyes of the world-but freeing in all truth.   My attempt to hide behind my masks only fools this world----HE knows who I am and is not surprised or disappointed with the real me.   I am who I am---and yet He loves me beyond my wildest dream!


Psalm 139: 1-4 




Monday, August 19, 2013

DANGER IN THE GARDEN

I spent a large part of the day Saturday enjoying the temperate weather while working in Camille's flower bed.  Sadly, I have neglected those beds since we moved her in their home almost 2 years ago.  My good excuse is the busyness of 3 boys--4 and under--but my good intentions led down the road to almost ruin.

This large corner bed has several trees and shrubs, but also contains a VERY invasive ground cover.  As a LONG time gardener---I need to warn you---be VERY careful when planting ground covers and KNOW they are going to require vigilant trimming and maintenance or they will choke out all other beautiful- and sometime fruitful plants and just leave you with only ground cover as a garden.  The ground cover is planted with the good intention of filling the blank places--filling in the gaps.  In the beginning it just seems to sit there--a clump in the garden--but then slowly and surely it begins to take over the entire bed.  Creeping up and smothering out all the other in the garden.

As I clipped and pulled, I thought of how this reminds me of the sin in my life. It begins in innocence of filling in the gaps---covering the loneliness--just a filler.  If I am not vigilant it will begin to slowly spread, choke out the good, and take control before I realize that I have been consumed.  The best solution is to pull it out by the roots.  At a minimum, I need to keep it nipped in the bud--and not allow any growth.

I snipped---out came the sloth- I am prone to laziness.

I yanked--out came the envy--of others--their marriages, their beautiful homes, their athletic prowess, their fun vacations, their good hair, their successes, on and on---anything someone else has that I look on with desire.

I snipped--out came the pride---pride of life--that I have done nothing to deserve.

I pulled--out came rebellion---my way is not His way---seek ye first the Kingdom of God.

I jerked--out came the love of self---putting myself in the center---not looking past my nose---

I cut--out came my fear of tomorrow---

On and on--I yanked, jerked, cut,and pulled---an everyday process to keep the ground cover  or sin in my life at bay so my tree can grow, produce fruit and bloom where He has planted me.  A never ending process for fallen man---keeping the tares, snares and ground cover from choking the life out of His beautiful garden---created in His very image. The secret to a beautiful garden is  --cultivating the good and cutting out the bad---always while on your knees.


MATTHEW 13:24-25

Sunday, August 18, 2013

THE VOICE I DO HAVE

I read other bloggers everyday.  Every fiber of my being would LOVE to have the voice that some do---Click HERE

Notice your mood is set before you read one word of what is to come with the beautiful-haunting piano music.  THEN you begin to read the lyrical-peaceful-inspiring words of author, Ann Voskamp.  Voskamp wrote One Thousand Gifts.  A best selling book inspired by her listing of the gifts in her life.  NOT an easy read, but profound-thought provoking-soul searching exploration of our blessings and what will happen as we live our lives in the joy of thankfulness for them and not in the desire for that which we do not have.  I read a few pages at a time---it is one of those voices that you have to take tiny bites and chew and chew--before moving on to the next bite.  She has such a peaceful--lovely voice---the voice I would love to have.

Instead --the voice I have---can be too loud, has a drawl, laughs until breathless, and screams and yells when over the edge.  Rather than lyrical--somewhat staccato-I fire out words in bursts resembling gunfire on the battlefield.  Where is my charm--my allure--my breathless whispering?  It cannot be found on these pages--for what I write is a lot like what I live---sometimes joyful--but also from the pit of despair---sometimes with my tongue in cheek and a smirk--but then again in the bluntness of pain---sometimes with laughter bubbling out with each word and every reread--but other times with tears pooling and then pouring down my face.

We all have different voices for God's good pleasure.  Rather than covet another's voice, I should live in the joy of the moment and accept who I am as who God created and is greatly pleased with--in HIS very image----Turn up the loud stirring music in my soul---dance and laugh and then accept the low hum of the love song that pours from my heart as I sit and weep.  Ann's voice is beautiful--lyrical---poetic--but the voice I am blessed with--it pleases Him---He HAS no favorites and we are all beautiful in His sight.  


Job 34:19

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FORT WORTH NIGHT SOUNDS!

I live in the surreal world of the BIG CITY---or perhaps it is the REAL world and I have lived all those years in the past in the surreal world of a small town.  I finally bit the bullet and bought a small buzz fan-following #1 daughter's sage advice.  The original purchase was to help cool the grands while here--but now it has become my noise machine.  Some nights it works like a charm and I do not even hear Whipper Snapper come home around midnight, but it does not always work.

The TCU students are back in town and with the students comes the booming night life of a college town.  The cars and trucks with their loud music are roaming up and down the street at all hours of the night.  The sidewalk strollers seem to begin their nightly exercise around the time I go to bed.  Sounds of living in the city are all around me.

Whipper Snapper's friend with the orange VW beetle showed up again after weeks on the MIA list last night.  Remember Whipper Snapper---no--then click here.  NOW I CANNOT REMEMBER IF I TOLD YOU THE STORY OF THE ORANGE VW---GETTING OLD!  If I did not---then in a nutshell---WS has a friend that owns an orange VW---(How many men do you know that have orange VW'S?)  ANYWAY--Friend comes over and spends the night with him occasionally, but has not been around in a few weeks.  Friend began parking in my space behind the house and I saw the friend leaving early one AM with shoes and pieces of clothing in hand.  NOW ON WITH THE STORY-  Last night at 1:00 AM --said VW owner comes over and the fun begins---there is yelling---loud voices---slammed doors--and a repeat of all the above until around 3:00-perhaps a little spat?  I have a class at the Y early this AM.  Tried to be super quiet since the orange VW is parked out back---until I got to the back door-right by his bedroom---I accidentally slammed it so hard the brick shook on the house.  The old James---PA in action!


Before WS and all of his shenanigans, the helicopter races started around 11 PM and lasted a good hour +.  The races do not happen every night--only special occasions---such as we do not want LL to get any sleep nights.  I am not sure WHAT is going on--perhaps I am in the flight pattern to the hospital and there has been a wreck---perhaps Lockheed Martin likes to perform night checks on their aircraft (do they build helicopters?), OR PERHAPS BIG BROTHER is conducting surveillance of all my comings and goings--since I do a LOT of things late at night---DO NOT KNOW---All I know is the helicopters fly low over my house constantly for at least an hour and sometimes more.




Would LOVE to have a night filled with the peace and quiet of the country--tree frogs, katydids, crickets,---the sweet lullaby of the country.  MISS RUSTON!


Friday, August 16, 2013

FRIDAY'S IN FORT WORTH--MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY

It has been suggested that I explore a new place in Fort Worth every week and blog about what I see.  SO every Friday for a while--FRIDAY'S IN FORT WORTH.  A blog about what I am finding in the Big City!

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History


I have  visited this museum several times, the latest being while all the grands were here in town.  Something for ALL ages-


A children's area where the four year old and two year old LOVE playing in the grocery shopping area and the extensive train lay out.  The grocery store has shelves of all the grocery items you need and carts to put them in before checking out at the rolling conveyor belt, cash register complete with the scanner.  At what age do we finally realize that going grocery shopping is NOT so thrilling and can even be dreaded?  OH and DO NOT FORGET the outdoor water area--that even baby Collin likes!


A dinosaur lab--with a great exhibit of dinosaur finds and a computer game where you construct your own dinosaurs.   We came up with a dinosaur with pink & purple spots and feathers---quite unique!  All the boys enjoy this area.


A cattle raiser's exhibit with barb wire, saddles, stuffed longhorns and horses, saddles, pictures---a video room, a room to ride the broncs, something for every age.  We spend the most time in this area-re-living a by gone era.

An I Max show and a planetarium.  The boys never tire of the I Max and we have seen the planetarium show previously--impressive.


An energy gallery with a mock set up of a city and the energy grid and life size tools and truck and rigs of the energy industry.  More for the big boys---but who doesn't like turning lights on and off?

AND FINALLY FOR ME-
A great exhibit---filled with people and volunteers---what better way to spend a HOT summer Texas day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

BACK TO THE DRAWING TABLE!

WELL people--NO more breath-taking scenery pictures, SO I suppose that means you will have to ONCE AGAIN--endure my wonderful stick figure art!  SO SORRY---take up a collection and send me on a trip!  I promise to bring back pictures!

There are times in my life--that I seem to be a little over the edge crazy---well to most anyway.  Mary Ann commented that I was very brave and a little crazy and that made a good combination---truth is I am a LOT crazy and DETERMINED to conquer my fears.  That comes from growing up with brothers---if you EVER showed the least bit of fear--you were tormented to the ends of the earth by that very thing once they sensed your weak spot---ESPECIALLY the older brother!

I am OVER-DUE for a hair-cut/color and not going back to Ruston and my man Russell anytime soon.   SO after obsessing about it for a few days, I finally bit the bullet and called a salon where #2 gave me a gift certificate for a spa day.  I ask the receptionist when I can get in and she responds--"How soon can you get here?"   OH DEAR---color me apprehensive!

I go and out comes my "New Man"---he looks---well different---Camille tells me that I need to get with the times---I AM NOT THERE YET.  I CERTAINLY do not want my hair to look like his AND his body art is extensive--NOT JUDGMENTAL---BUT has he thought about what all that is going to look like in 30-40 years?  I mean the rising sun could well become the solar eclipse!  ANYWAY---

He nicely asks what I would like and I tell him "Do whatever you want to do."  He looks at me like I have lost the little mind I ever had.  I nicely explain that I have BAD hair---have had BAD hair since birth--in fact it is the same wispy-fine-baby hair I might have come into this world with---with the exception that it is not blond now but brunette-by choice of dye color!   My friend says we have feathers not hair--good description.   We talk it over and come up with a plan for the color--but then comes the cut.  OH WAIT--let me tell you that when he shampoos me, he massages my scalp AND puts a hot towel around my neck and hairline---OH HEAVENLY!  He has redeemed any lack of good hair and all his body art with this ONE act---I MAY BE EASY!

Anyway---I had grown my hair out to put into a ponytail ( because all the fast girls have pony tails--did not work--still slow) and for hiking.  You understand--no bathing or washing hair on the trail!  SO--I tell him---just whatever you think ---HE LOOKS AT ME LIKE I HAVE HIT THE JACKPOT!  I learned a LONG time ago--no need to be OCD about the hair---because it is NOT going to do what I want it to anyway!  Judging by his hair and the hair of many of the stylist, I could be in for QUITE the change! 
 SIDEBAR:  I could go off on  a tirade here about all the advertisements for hair products--but will refrain!  Let me just say--I DO NOT know many women that have hair so beautiful.  Why not advertise and use a REAL head of hair that MOST of us have?? 
  I am pleasantly surprised!  SO I am sporting a shorter and as Camille told me--YOUNGER cut.  EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!  I now look my age and not in my 80's!

You just have to be a little brave and a LOT crazy to try new things---that sometimes works out for the good!



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

THE GREAT ADVENTURE-LAGNIAPPE-FOR THOSE WHO WONDERED

The comment most received while talking about the hiking trip, "I am NOT going to the bathroom in the woods!"  I also noticed no man ever expressed any concern or acted like this would be the slightest issue.  SO, GIRLS, it seems we "ALL" have an "Issue" with natural functions anywhere but in the comfort of our porcelain throne room.


I must admit that I have had my "Issues" in the past about just where I was willing to relieve my needs.  You might even call me a bathroom snob.  I have literally walked in and turned around and left--just could not tolerate nastiness.  Thank GOODNESS for great control!  Well, Girls, I find the great outdoors a far sight better than some of the stinky, nasty indoor plumbing I have witnessed.  

Most of the time, as long as we were not above tree line, there was no problem.  Just find the right rock and lean back for support and use the bio-degradable TP--(Remember the post---Woman in Aisle 10 needs toilet paper?) 

Now as delicately as I can put it--when Mother Nature gives you a greater call, it can be a little more complicated.  This trip involves a spade and some digging--they call it a cat hole for obvious reasons.  First trip--no problem!  It is like a lot of other things in life--the fear of the unknown is far worse than the actual event.  




SO I am now full fledged Pioneer Woman----actually quite freeing--literally!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

THE GREAT ADVENTURE--DAY 9 HOME AGAIN HOME AGAIN

It should be easier packing to go home!  All that food is gone--so more room-right--NO SUCH LUCK!  The only thing missing is the food--all the other has to be stuffed back in with the extra weight charge looming if you go over the "No Frill" airlines limit.  The wonderful thing about traveling with a group is the decreased cost from sharing accommodations and car rental cost!  The most expensive part of this trip was buying the gear necessary when I could not borrow it.  WELL---I guess this means I will have to take MORE hiking/camping trips to spread that cost over.  We are already talking about next year's trip.  It is a LONG way off---but it gives me something to look forward to.  NORTH TO ALASKA---that's good enough for me!

The two new hiking partners prove to be quite enjoyable AND know a LOT about camping--SCORE!  They are flexible and low key and most important FUN to be with.  It is also nice to enjoy the fresh aroma of youth!



























With the car loaded, we begin the long drive through the mountains back to the mile high city of Denver---eating one last meal together (always trying Food Channel finds). This has been a truly great adventure that has taught me a lot.  Thankfully after all the weight lifting, I had no problem carrying the weight on my back.  My problem comes from getting enough oxygen into my system at those altitudes.  I have learned that I MUST do some running and other cardio training.  Plan to begin running and power walking again SOON.

We know how to function as a group better and what to take and how to prepare for the next one.  I am thankful for the blessing of safe travels and the magnificence of God's creation and wonderful friends to share it all with.

NOW WHAT AM I GOING TO WRITE ABOUT?????  Would you consider starting a fund to finance another trip?  My day to day life may bore you to tears!




Monday, August 12, 2013

THE GREAT ADVENTURE-DAY 8

The final full day is here---everyone is exhausted and legs are spent--but these people NEVER say die!  We leave Jim at the hotel and decide on a little touristing and a SHORT day hike.  Driving to Glen Springs, we spend some time looking in the cute --expensive tourist spots.  Glen Springs is known for a natural hot springs pool, and this sounds great to me---just soaking in the minerals while in a HOT Pool----BUT OH NO---we need to eat (OF COURSE) and then head to the Hanging Lake Trail.  The books says this is one of the most popular hikes in Colorado and there does seem to be a virtual parade of humanity.

I am reluctant to go---but these girls do not take NO for an answer.  Promising a short hike--yada yada yada.  It begins as a pleasant experience of strolling by a small mountain lake across from the railroad tracks that are cut into the side of the mountain.  We witnessed a train full of coal cars come through and it is quite amazing to see how many engines it takes to pull and push those cars over and through the mountains. 

THEN you begin the true hike---an ascent of over a mile 1000 feet altitude gain straight up--with steps made by drilling into the rock to get you up the mountain.  As we begin the hike, I comment that the lake is going to be at the top of this mountain.  Slyly Sam says, "Oh No", it will be just up a little.  7 bridges and more switch backs than I can remember you finally come to the last 30 feet which is so steep they have drilled guard railings into the mountain to keep you from falling off and to pull yourself up with.

At the top is a beautiful waterfall that empties into a clear mountain lake with such a delicate eco system that you are warned to not touch the water for fear of what the oil from your skin will do.  It is amazing how many people of all ages, sizes and shapes that make the climb considering how difficult it it.  It must be the lure of the short distance that you are promised and the promise around each bend that it cannot be much farther.  Truly amazing to see those that make the trek!

So the last day and the last hike draw another adventure to a close.  Time to go home with the hope that the nearness of God while here in his amazing creation will linger until His next revelation of His greatness!





Sunday, August 11, 2013

THE GREAT ADVENTURE--DAY 7-PART II---THE RESCUE

When the full story of the search for Jim is revealed, we were all amazed at the well oiled machine the mountain rescue team is.  They actually send out runners---YOU REMEMBER EARLIER REPORTING RUNNERS ON THE TRAIL?- from three different directions to look for him.  It was always quite a sight when we would meet these runners on the trail.  I struggle running at sea level to get enough air and these mountain goats just leap along the trail.  Keep in mind, these runners are on the trail with 4 passes at over 13,000 feet.  These mostly men, but also some women can run the almost 30 miles through scree, boulder filled trails, and straight up grades in 7 hours---REMARKABLE---the same trail that we planned to take 4 days to complete.  

They also had planes out searching for Jim.  They took extensive notes on the hike plan, his medical history, his supplies and his experience.  It is impressive at a minimum and they usually do at least one rescue a day--most with a good outcome.

Lesson learned for Jim---always go the way you promised.  Lesson learned for all of us--stay together as a group when hiking.  Jim is extremely apologetic, but we are just relieved and forgiving.  As we explained to him--we are extending the same grace we have received for far greater sins.  God is truly all around this trip.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

THE GREAT ADVENTURE-DAY SEVEN

Awake early, after a night of praying and considering all the possibilities, Mountain Rescue calls us to report they have sent search parties from the three different directions that Jim could have gone.  We have determined that Jim has all he needs, but a camp stove.  He might have to eat cold food, but he can eat and he has shelter.  Late in the morning after MANY phone calls, Mountain Rescue calls and reports their team has come across someone that camped with Jim last night at Snowmass Lake.  Hikers are friendly like that---invite you in to their camp and share their evening with you.  Obviously he decided to continue the hike after saying he would not.  Later in the morning, we get a call that a rescuer has found him and is hiking with him.

With a huge sigh of relief, we decide to rent bicycles and bike from Snowmass to Aspen for a late lunch.  The rental guy tells us it is mostly downhill, with the exception of one long uphill---he forgot to mention the grade is so steep that you have to get off the bike and push.  On the bike ride, we receive another call that Jim will not accept help to carry his pack (which is BY FAR the heaviest of all our packs) and is struggling.  He has to rest every 10-20 feet.  Their person cannot stay with Jim, if he refuses help, and they are asking Sonja to hike in and help get him back.  SO Sonja with tired and weary leg, eats a quick lunch and heads off to be taken to the trailhead. 

After a delicious lunch, I take my bike back and ride the bus back to Snowmass.  Cindy and Sam take a walking and riding tour of Aspen since they have not seen it before.  What began as good news, turned south quickly, but thankfully Jim is not injured or worse and probably worst case scenario just exhausted.

Jim and Sonja finally make it back after a long and exhausting hike around 7 PM.  A quick shower, supper, hot tub and bed for all ended the day.  Thanking God for His protection after hearing of Jim's struggle to complete the loop.  His grace is sufficient.
Tomorrow a recount of the full story of the search and rescue--AMAZING!



Mouth Fully Open--Trying To Get Enough Oxygen
After One Mile Uphill Climb!