All the grands went to Weatherford today to swim at the Jennings' beautiful pool.  They are ALWAYS so hospitable and kind, never hesitating to share their lovely home and take excellent care of us all.  Camille is very blessed to not only have a great husband, but also wonderful in-laws.  

While we were there, Adam and Camille made several under-water pictures with his cell phone.  Don't ask me how--I think it has something to do with the cover he has for it--but as you all know, I am a technical dummy.  The pictures are awesome---clear underwater portraits of all the swimmers in action--including the bubbles.

This started my wheels turning--if you are a swimmer and have ever been underwater with your eyes open--then you know that things are not always as they appear when you are looking at them through the water.  Another alteration of reality, but is it?  If it seems real when you have your eyes open and are looking directly at an object--then what it appears to be and where it appears to be---is that reality?    AGAIN with the question---if in your mind--something is reality---even if everyone else says it is not---then IS IT reality to you?

I PROMISE---I am off this subject after today.

ONLY my grands could sit in my chair---without me protesting--pick all their favorites to eat--even if I think it is a little strange--or actually very strange--and pick every silly sitcom that has ever been made without me uttering a word.  THAT IS WHAT Lulu's are for!  I well remember how wonderful my visits with my grandparents were and how much they spoiled me--My ONLY chance at being an only child--even for a brief time!  It's my duty and privilege to carry on the tradition!


I drove back from Austin today with 3 of the 5 grands in tow and all 5 in the same city---COLOR me happy!

It is a three hour trip--and I planned to stop in Waco which is half way for gas and a break.  I had thought of a brand new convenience store/gas station on the beaten path.  It did not occur to me until I pulled in for the rest stop that I had gotten off the interstate that takes you back to Fort Worth and in fact I was headed to Ruston.  Thankfully I had gone a very short distance before I made the stop and it was no big deal to get back on track.

Camille began Baylor in 2001 ---I traveled these roads for 4 years until she graduated.  She then worked in Waco for a year before marrying, and then married and lived there one more year.  SO for 6 years I had driven that path back and forth---forth and back--to see my sweet Camille.  THEN just before she moves to Erie for Adam to attend medical school, #1 son and family move to Austin.    It just so happens that you travel the same road through Waco to go to Austin. SO I have driven this same route since 2001---only for the last 6 years---there has not been a stop in Waco--but just traveling through.

It was second nature to get off that interstate and head to Ruston--and not even think about it.  Many things in life become second nature ---we do the same things over and over--and at some point not even think about them--we just do them.  I was well aware that I would probably always call Ruston home since I have spent 47 years there---but I wonder when it will finally dawn on me to not turn east toward Louisiana since I do not live there anymore.


Sweet Henry rode with me to pick up "The Cousins" in Austin today.  He is quite the conversationalist, but I have noticed something about his line between fact and fiction.  Today was another reminder of his propensity to become convinced that something happened, when it never did.  We talked about many things during the 3 hour trip, but there was no electronic entertainment at all--not even the radio during the trip.  He named every tractor we saw, we talked about what those tractors are used for, he warned me about the police office that would put me in jail for a LONG LONG time if I was going to fast---the entire 3 hours except for his 30 minute nap were spent talking.

After we arrived in Austin, he proceeded to tell his Uncle Gabe about the movie that we watched while driving here today--complete with title and vivid description.  It never happened.  NOW I do not think he intentionally tells stories, I really think he thinks of these things and become convinced they really happened.  He has a very active imagination.  It is his perception of truth.

It is easy to dismiss this as a child's imagination, and just smile and agree.  When Gabe questioned me about it, I just laughed and said, "Did not happen."  This started me to thinking about the fact that most of us grow out of these fantasies of our youth and learn to discern truth from fiction.  The key word is "Most".  There are those that live in the fantasy world they have created in their heads of what reality is and it is so far from the truth that you wonder where they ever came up with their perception on the truth.  SO if this is their perception and even if it is not truth---is it truth to them?  Does their skewed view of reality become truth if they truly believe it is?  Is there a fine line between fact and fiction after all?



The BEST cure for the blues---we all know--is to get busy!  So after dragging my lazy rear out of the bed, I decided perhaps I would do a little work on the book.  BAD IDEA!
I seem to have forgotten just what the book is about--GRIEF----so as I worked on the first chapter and fought back the tears---it slowly dawned on me perhaps today was not the day after all to begin the process of editing and rewrites.  I am dense and slow---but most of the time I finally clue in!

Next thing on my list of things needing done is house cleaning---although I am not sure why since the two oldest grands---13 & almost 11 could care less AND it will more than likely need cleaning again once they leave.  BUT for the sake of sanity--I started cleaning.  NOW when I really clean house---I start at the ceiling and work my way down.  One of the gifts Momma gave me was the fine art of cleaning a house in the correct manner.  

So I've spent a lot of the day cleaning---while taking breaks to sit down and read and reflect and listen to sad music by Allison Krauss & Union Station wind around the apartment on a melancholy cloud. Occasionally I get a grip and realize perhaps that is NOT the best thing to lift my spirits and then start plotting which is the best room to vacuum thoroughly since Whipper Snapper is home and sleeping after a late night of shenanigans.
  ANYWAY---I am surviving the waves of sadness and loneliness after days of wonderful companionship.  AND as I scrubbed the toilet from the top to the floor---decided on the name of my next book when or IF I ever get this one off the ground---GIFTS FROM MOMMA---which OF COURSE will include the ability to clean house well enough to eat off the floor!   


One of the things I have learned about grief is that it comes in waves.  When the waves start rolling in, my first question, once I get my head above the water again, is how big are the waves and how long are they going to last?  There are times that the waves are slow and lazy--filled with sweet memories that just bring a melancholy ache with them.  At other times, the waves are huge and never ending, and difficult to stay on top of so that I can still breathe.  And then there are the times that it is a rouge wave that comes from nowhere and pulls you under without warning, leaving me scrambling to not drown and stay lost.  I am thankful for my lifeline that has always rescued me even from the biggest tidal waves.

I should have suspected when I came back to the "Real World" there would be some waves-but for some reason I was hit unaware.  Thankfully, my friend Sheila meeting me at the airport and having another couple of days of "Surreal World" put off the inevitable.  I have had a 10 day dose of Ruston-via the mountains of Colorado and the ballgame with Sheila.  Such a sweet reunion of what I had been missing and was homesick for--I had been here just long enough to begin to settle into a routine here in the Big City---a lonesome routine at times, but nevertheless a routine.  Now I have been reminded of how wonderful my sweet friends are and how much I miss their day to day presence in my life.  

I sat by a "Cowboy" on the plane ride from Denver to DFW and we had a short conversation before landing (I was trying to nap--little on the exhausted side).  He has moved several times and asked me had I made any friends yet.  I confessed only a couple.  He quickly told me to begin volunteering.  I answered that I volunteered a lot in my hometown, but with a busy summer schedule and many out of pocket during the summer had not had the opportunity to throw myself into the act of serving others.  That will come soon--but for now I have to finish out the summer until things get cranked back up.

So I am allowing myself a couple of days of waves.  I am sure some of this comes from being tired and needing to rest, but it also comes from being homesick.  I am driving to Austin with #3 grand in tow to pick up #1 & #2 for a few days visit with Lulu on Sunday.  That will help get me over this storm of grief.  After their visit next week, I am going to go to work on editing my book---already have some changes formulated in my head.  I have also been contacted about training to become a mentor at the church I am attending.  So my busyness will help--but for now I am treading water and trying to keep my head above the waves.


If you have not read the series I have highlighted on the upper right, I highly recommend it.  I read the first one sometime ago and picked up the second while traveling.  I picked up where I left off on the last book---Well written and highly entertaining!


If someone could kindly tell me how the heck to get this turned and keep it rotated, I would appreciate it!  All of the other changes were saved--just can not seem to jump this hurdle!

Friend Sheila and I went to see the Texas Rangers & New York Yankees play today--My VERY FIRST professional baseball game!  It began at one PM---IT WAS HOT!   I lathered on the sunscreen, but somehow missed my neck---color me a redneck!   Had a GREAT TIME---Sheila is a huge Yankee fan and a baseball fan in general.  She patiently schooled me in players, etc since it has been a long time since I watched baseball.  

The stadium is beautiful---the fans were hugely entertaining & the atmosphere was exciting---What MORE could I ask/  The heat did not seem to deter the faithful and there were 35,000+ in attendance!

Much to the chagrin of the local fans--the Yankees won 2-0, but no one scored until late in the game-so it was a great game to experience my first professional outing!  I was a little surprised at how many Yankee fans were in attendance.  I would suppose that comes with living in a large metropolitan area. 

We had great seats 2 rows behind the Rangers dugout and 15 feet away from the Ranger owner, Nolan Ryan --of baseball fame himself.  On the row in front of us were 5 guys that were having a beer guzzling contest which was quite entertaining.  On the row behind us were 4 guys that discussed politics for most of the game.  WHY would you come to a baseball game to discuss politics?  JUST CURIOUS!  

Three ring circus is a good description of the entire atmosphere---I HAD A GREAT TIME!! 


I am back!---I am alive!---I am in one piece!  Friend Sheila picked us up at the airport and the other 3 girls headed East & she and I ate DELICIOUS Mexican food!  Home now with my feet up---resting---we are going to see the Yankees & Rangers play baseball tomorrow---FUN IS NOT OVER YET!  Our official picture taker on the trip is sending me all the pictures soon & you will have to wait for all those stories---AND there are PLENTY!  I will give you a little preview by posting the PRELUDE BLOG TODAY!  Stay tuned the other is coming---you may just have to hear all my other mundane thoughts between now & then!


Who knew this day would be 16 hours before we arrived at our hotel and that carefully made plans would all go to the wayside.

We flew a "NO FRILL" -INEXPENSIVE - i.e. CHEAP airline.  I must say that fare was VERY cheap but that is the precursor to "GOTCHA"!  To begin with if you have baggage that weighs more than 8 ounces--OH DEAR---an additional charge--EITHER Carry on or Checked.  AND no drinks and certainly no peanuts unless you were willing to buy them from the airline attendant whose only duty that I saw was selling their refreshments.  Remember you cannot take a bottle of water through security so you can buy a drink at a gift shop for $3 or on the plane for $4.  This all came after our lecture on use of all the flotation devices for 15 minutes.  Color me ignorant, but I did not realize you flew over water between DFW and Denver.  

Not having slept much the night before with the girls in house and us all trying to finish packing, I tried to take a nap while stuffed into the total of 15" of space.  It is just wonderful to realize that your mouth is hanging open as your neck pops as your head slowly begins to fall off it's axis.  Such a pleasant experience, napping on the plane.

Then we had the excitement of the rental car agency.  Following waiting in line for over one hour, we step up to the agent.  The nice lady laughs at us when we tell her we plan to put 5 people and 9 bags in a full size car (TAKES LOTS OF HIKING GEAR) and explains a full size vehicle will never accommodate that--but she can give us a sweet deal only costing 3x as much since we definitely need a SUV!

Our Eagle Scout Jim has missed his flight following a traffic ticket and we killed time at Wal Mart while waiting for his delayed plane.  Side note the Wal Mart looks very different on the outside in CO--in fact we did not recognize it, but inside--a Wal Mart is a Wal Mart.!

FINALLY we start our 4 hour drive to Snowmass using the scenic route.  Seven hours later, we are here.  WHY DOES IT TAKE THAT LONG?  That answer is coming when I post Day 1-part II soon!


Hopefully, I have survived and am on my way home today.  I could NOT re-post about past trips and not share this one to the GREAT NORTHWEST!  Click HERE and see the trip that had the most beautiful wildflowers I have EVER seen!  Hopefully I will be rested enough to begin sharing this year's story tomorrow!


Go to HERE and see my thoughts about Momma on her birthday in 2010.  I am still in the Rockies, but headed back to a hotel and a bath today--HOPEFULLY!  I wonder what Momma would think about this trip?  She would probably have been like the rest of you--wonder if I have lost my mind!  She always loved to travel though and that part she would have highly approved of.  When I read over that post, I also wondered what she would be thinking about my life today, if she were here.  I always wanted her approval and blessing---just wondering--


This post if from the hiking trip in 2007---before my world began to fall apart.  I had just begun blogging and was learning:

Click HERE 


Click HERE to read the last day of that trip---hopefully I have not fallen off the mountain on my current trip and will live to tell of this lastest "Big Adventure"


If you have been in my presence any time at all, I am CERTAIN that I told you this story of the Bear Encounter---UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL---Go HERE to read it before all my embellishments!  The post constitutes 2--one with the day's adventure and another click on "Stay Calm" in the body of the post to read the bear story.


Go HERE and look at this beautiful scenery!  Hoping I am getting pictures this good on the current trip!


I have one last dillo story Go HERE


Today I am in the Snowmass Wilderness beginning the hiking/camping trip I have talked so much about.  Click HERE for my very last dillo hunt!


I am off into the Wild Blue Wonder today--headed for the mountains and a few days of hiking.  I thought you might enjoy a trip down memory lane and my dillo hunting days---SO Miss them!  Click HERE


The hiking crew will be arriving today---time is here for the BIG ADVENTURE!  I am hoping that I have it all together and am ready--if not-plan to tag along anyway.  I can't help but share the trip planner's conversation with the Snowmass Wilderness ranger:

I talked to someone at the Aspen Ranger Station today, and asked several questions about our upcoming trip

Snow: light snow year, trails should be clear

Weather: forecast calls for isolated storms through middle of next week, highs in the low 70's, lows in the upper 30's-low 40's. (COLOR ME HAPPY)

Bears: He said they are out and about! Should not be a big problem, but he recommended hanging food,even in a canister. He said they prefer people to hang food because even though food is safe in a canister, the bears still come investigate the smell and become habituated to people. Should have plenty of places to hang. 

WELL--perhaps I DO need to run buy a LONG rope to hang my bear canister with!  It should be an exciting and fun trip----will give you all the details and pictures when I return.

In the meantime---the blog will be posted everyday while I am gone.  The miracle of cyber posting!  SO just in case you like the read---tune in and be entertained by a blast from the past!  

Just in case a bear eats me, thanks for reading  and know that I was having a great adventure when he enjoyed dinner with me!  

Post Script- ( above was written a few days ago--let my secret out of the bag) I finished the rough draft of my book this weekend.  If the bear does eat me, my family has been instructed to publish it since after death they are ALWAYS best sellers AND with the added drama of death by bear meal---well I should be off the charts!  


I went with the 3 little grands to swim at Memaw & Dude's today (other sweet grandparents).  We spent most of the day in their wonderful and beautiful pool.  My 3 little grands are fish!  The baby--only 6 months old--will stay in the water for long periods of time--splashing and watching his brothers play.  The older brothers--well Henry at 4 is totally comfortable and can give Mark Spritz a race for his money.  Elliot at 2 1/2 is just beginning to learn to swim.  He is at the point that many little ones get when he has learned to hold his breath and can kick enough to get from point A to B, BUT is so comfortable that he does not realize his limitations.

Often when he is swimming from A to B we have to yell at him and remind him to KICK--he tends to just get comfortable with being under the water and does not realize the trouble that can come if he does not move forward.  He is just learning and does not have the technique for rolling over and getting a breath, so trouble could come quickly if we did not keep our eyes on him.  He can see our out-stretched arms, but sometimes just sits still in the water-not moving forward to the safety of our arms.

Reminds me of our relationship with our Father.  He is there--He has his arms out for us--He is providing a safe harbor--and yet we sit still in the water--unwilling for some reason to kick or reach out to him.  I suppose we have to be to the point of drowning, before we know we need saving.  Even then---at the last gasp---He will save us--we just need to reach out for Him.     
Psalm 18:16


I have been to Academy to finish up my supply list for the BIG Hiking Trip to the mountains---YIPPEE!!  I carefully selected all the necessary equipment and clothing on the list---acting as if I were off to hike the PCT!  I will admit that after training for weeks with BB on my back--I am conscious of EVERY ounce that I am putting in it--only thing I am not scrimping on is the food, BUT the problem there is getting  all I would like to take to eat in the bear canister.

SO anyway---I am down to one item left---and I LOOKED AND LOOKED AND LOOKED---FINALLY I think there is none and head to the front of the store---where there just happens to be a really nice sales associate stocking the items by the register (You know where they put those things that entice your children or you to buy some useless item that looked so promising at the moment)  I think--perhaps she will help me--I could be over-looking it--after all-it is a small BUT IMPORTANT item.  I explain my dilemma---She immediately goes into action-----


Then she walks with me ALL the way to the back of the store---walkie talkie chirping and gets someone else involved in the search for the bio-degradable toilet paper.  

While all of this is going on, I am texting my friend about what is happening.  She suggests leaves or pine cones----OUCH!  I have SUCH smartie friends!

HAPPY to report---she found it with the help of two other associates and I walked out with the entire store knowing I needed toilet paper for the woods. MY REPUTATION IS GROWING BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS HERE IN THE GREAT WEST!


I have not only begun, but I am 2/3 of the way through my book on grief.  It is HARD HARD work to bare your soul and tell others of the pain in your life.  It has taken a lot of introspection and many re-writes and go back and more writes to begin to see it all taking shape.  This is only my rough draft and after finished with the other chapters it will then require editing and more re-writes.  I expected it to be work---but only thought of the time and physical energy required---the most difficult part is the emotional energy.

Perhaps the purpose of the book is for only my own glimpse at what God has done in my life.  Perhaps one person will read it and be helped.  Perhaps it is to show others God's redemptive grace in our lives and faithful and sustaining love for us, even in the midst of life's greatest pain.  At this point I am not questioning what to do with it, I am just writing and writing and writing---long into the night, early in the morning---always with God by my side.

Once I am as satisfied as I can get with what I have done, then there are many decisions to be made.  I've read the book---it is all very complicated.  My sweet friend, Barbara, who has written a book and edited another told me to not worry about opening an account at the bank, you could put it all under your mattress with no sense of fear of loss.  Laughed at her and assured her that was not the reason for this exercise in remembering.  She also warned me of critics.  Those that matter will understand where this comes from and love me even in disagreement.  The others that don't know me and love me---I guess in all truthfulness--they could never hurt me beyond what I have already experienced. 

SO as with most of life, I am asking God to guide me---trusting what He is telling me and doing the next right thing---forward motion.


I often speak of being here alone--but truth is I am not alone.  Everyday upon awakening, the first thing I do is say, "Good Morning".  Every night as my eyes begin to grow heavy with sleep, the last thing I say is, "I love and adore you." All day long there are snippets of conversation between us.  Sometimes short but also lengthy discussions about the events of my life, or those that I love, or problems that I am facing, in fact all the events and concerns of the day are discussed.

God is present---alive and well ---living in my heart---the Holy of Holy's in my body.  At times, He begins the conversation by placing the thought.  I know when He puts these thoughts in me that it is time to talk it over with Him-- To bring before His throne those that He loves or to ask His plan for what is before me--To seek His counsel.

I look forward to being in the mountains--one of His most glorious creations.  He is with me here on the second floor of this almost century old house--day in and day out, but He will take great delight in showing me the home He created in all its beauty and splendor when I am with Him walking through those timeless creations of His.  We will be close---perhaps the closest--for there are no distractions---no world crushing in.  It will be Him and me---at the top of His creation and I will stop and look and listen--knowing He is with me.

Psalm 139: 7-10


I rarely post twice in one day-but today I KNEW you were ALL in need of a 


You do remember old Whipper Snapper?  NO--if not go HERE and read about him.

ANYWAY---being the kind, sweet & gentle soul that I am---I have been taking Whipper Snapper's garbage cans to the street on collection day.  WELL perhaps not just my wonderful spirit, BUT also the fact that he rolls those noisy cans on the rock drive at 3 AM if I don't.  ANYWAY---I GET POINTS---I take it out and most of the time, I have to roll them back when he leaves for work in the afternoon and just leaves them where they are---I ASSUME he intends to roll them back to their place at 3 AM also.  He rolls them RIGHT UNDER my bedroom window---light sleeper---NOT happy to be awakened---difficult to go back to sleep---YOU GET THE PICTURE!

When I got home last night after helping with the Jennings children since #2 is STILL not completely recovered, there are the garbage cans staring me in the face and OF COURSE Whipper Snapper has already left for work.  I roll mine out and SHOCK--there is NOT ONE THING in his cans----GREAT--I get a day off and perhaps he is not as trashy as I thought!

At 3:30 this morning---he is at it again--rolling out his two cans--loudly--under my bedroom window----GRRRR!  The waste disposal man comes really early--but when I looked out---Whipper Snapper had filled his cans so full the tops would not close.  I guess he had all this trash in his apartment all week--  back to the trashy designation you go WS!

SO after they collected the trash EARLY this morning, I rolled the cans (ONLY MINE SO FAR) back to their resting place, while pulling them by HIS GROUND FLOOR bedroom window at 6:30----TOUCHE, WHIPPER SNAPPER!!!


I SAID that I would not go there--when discussing walking around sans clothes---BUT I started giggling this afternoon about the bare facts and just can not resist sharing---probably a GREAT deal more than you care of know!

Most women that I know--when they are young---are pretty modest---WELL let me back up and say---most women of my generation!  Obviously younger women are not afflicted with these same Victorian mores---based upon what they prefer swimming in.  NOT going there--NOT the purpose of this post!

Then as we grow older and become more comfortable with ourselves--along comes our family.  This leads to a level of inhibition of new heights.  I personally do not care to discuss the difference in anatomy on a personal level with my children--now or ever.

My move to Fort Worth has been very "Liberating".  My apartment is the top floor of a two story house with an entrance downstairs.  I am home alone---most of the time--except for an occasional visit from #1 daughter and grands.  So no one to pop in--without plenty of notice--since I am upstairs.  SO --perhaps--just maybe-this has been a revealing experience!  

It has been  freeing and I am no longer startled when I walk by the full lengthy mirror --wondering whose reflection that is---in fact--I am beginning to recognize just who she is!


Remember me telling you that I am going to a class at the Y called Power Pump?  WARNING---I am beginning to get strong again---what ever you do -DO NOT MAKE ME MAD  (oh yeah---I don't get mad--forgot)----ANYWAY----I am becoming a MASSIVE BODY BUILDER--------NOT!!

One of the instructors let the secret out of the bag that we do over 800 repetitions during this one hour of FUN!  WHY DID SHE NEED TO TELL ME THAT----I am now singing the OCD Blues while trying to count and pump iron----just can't do both at once especially when I have a bar over my head or chest!  

So I'm hanging in there---3 times a week--pumping iron!  Today once of the nice ladies that I have met asked me had I noticed a difference yet----Did I have things headed back north from the south.  I just laughed and told her---not sure about they were headed north, but do think the free fall has stopped and things have stabilized!

Now here's my dirty secret----I LOVE out lifting some of those young (well truthfully they are ALL younger)hard bodies.   I must admit--most are stronger than me---BUT there are some that I am out doing and have a little smirk on my face when they notice my massive amount of weight (NOT)!  Who said getting old can't be fun!!!


I have had a change in body rhythms during recents days.  I believe it all started while back in R for a few days.  Glenda and I stayed up late visiting and hitting the roads while I was there and I slept in much later for me.  After YEARS of going to bed around 9 and being up from 4-5 in the morning, things have changed.  I woke up that early for many years to run with my friends.  During the school year, they had to go to work early and during the summer we tried to run before the sun came up because of the heat.

Here in Fort Worth, I am a little apprehensive to hit the streets alone--even in the early morning hours.  I have always laughed and said the Evil was at home asleep at that time of the morning, but I am more cautious here in virgin territory.  So I don't go out until the sun is up and I can see whom I am about to meet.  So recently I have been still reading or writing at 10-11-12---I MAKE myself go to bed at 12, and then stay in the bed until 6-7---GASP!

I also have begun sleeping better-thank you melantonin and becoming used to the city sounds and even Whipper Snapper's middle of the night shenanigans!  I do need to remember that the students are all gone and there is not nearly as much foot traffic in front of my apartment.  Will have to see how that goes once school starts again.  For now, I am sleeping better than I have in years, and thankful!


Poor Little E---he is really sick with Mouth, Foot & Hand disease, which is a virus that causes lots of ulcers in his mouth and other places.  It should not be confused with hoof and mouth disease which some blame for their loose lips and subsequent foot in the mouth which leads to diarrhea of the mouth.  (SORRY---just had to throw that in)  He is miserable and in a great deal of pain and running fever.  We think Baby Collin has had it also, but his symptoms have been much less severe.  He spent the entire afternoon crying and asking for medicine, because his mouth was so painful.  We kept having to put him off, until it was time.  I can't tell you how much he has sobbed and cried---in so much pain.  

The time finally came to have the pain reliever, and I was shocked, but he cried and refused to take it.  We begged, pleaded, coerced, and nothing worked.  Finally Camille had to hold him down and just force him to take the meds.  In a very short time, he began to feel a little better.  We kept telling him over and over---this will help you--make you feel better--but he was bull-headed and afraid of more pain-so he refused what would help him.

Reminds me of my relationship with God.  A lot of pushing and pulling goes on.  Things are good--I push Him away -I've got it handled.  Times are painful--I pull Him to me.  He shows me the path He has planned for me----I push Him away---that is not my plan, God!  I know that His path is the best path, and I know that if I stray from it or refuse to go down it--it will be painful---but I am human---and do a lot of pushing and pulling!  

Jeremiah 29:11


I have added another e book that I read recently on the top right of this page.  Enjoyable--slow ---easy---SUMMER TIME reading!


I LOVE the beach!!!!  So many have posted their pictures or told me about their beach trips this year and it brings back wonderful memories.  These pictures are from last summer and our trip with The Thompson's to the beach.

Our family vacationed with our dearest life long friends, The Thompson's for 30 years--a long stretch by anyone's measure.  They were wonderful trips filled with fun and laughter.  I miss those trips and I miss the beach---my heart cries for those days, but I will be joyful with the memories of a beautiful blessing that nothing can change.


It has been disappointing how difficult it is to get someone to talk to me here in the big city.  I will try to start a conversation, only to know almost instantly that the one I am talking to is either not interested or distracted.  I keep wondering how do you finally break the ice.

I believe I have finally discovered one of the secrets-at the local Y anyway.  While home last week in R, we hiked at the park and I discovered I was not ready for the strenuous hiking of steep hills yet.  I came back with a plan to go to the Y with BB on my back and use the treadmill to simulate the rigors of going up the mountains.

Turns out this is the key to get someone to talk to you, for MANY are curious as to why I am doing this.  I have had numerous men and women come up to me and ask why I am walking on the treadmill with a 30 pound pack on my back.  I always stop, take out my earphones and explain what I am training for.  Some are immediately satisfied, others want more details, and all have wished me well.  SO to get someone to talk to you, just do something outlandish and out of place, such as walk on the treadmill with a backpack loaded down.  NOW all I have to do is figure out my next outlandish and out of place stunt so we can keep the conversation flowing!


I may live in the big city, but I am always amazed when I see glimpses of Small Town, USA cropping up all around me.  I travel the back roads between my apartment and Camille's house-through several different neighborhoods.  I've noticed this week the signs of the celebration of our great nation's birthday springing up.

If I were not a technical dummy, I could get this picture rotated and it would stay rotated---OH WELL.  It is announcing a neighborhood 4th of July parade and party that is following.  One of the many older neighborhoods within the city, this particular one seems to have lots of patriotic spirit.  There are also little flags lining all the streets.  Warms my heart to see--perhaps we are more similar than different.

Here is the bottom line---I firmly believe that most of us---conservative and liberal--LOVE our great country.  As we celebrate the birthday of this beautiful land today, I pray that we come together as family, who though we are very different, are still united by the legacy of freedom.



The infamous hiking trip is drawing neigh and I have begun trying to plan my meals.  There are certain things you have to remember when packing for hiking----

1.  EVERY OUNCE will be carried on your back
2.  It must ALL fit into my bear canister (NOT A CANISTER WITH BEAR FOOD--BUT A CANISTER TO KEEP THE BEARS OUT) which appears to be slightly smaller than a gallon tub.

SO that means DELICIOUS dehydrated food---YUMMY---which you will mix with boiling water which you take from the mountain stream--hopefully the filter will filter out all bugs-dirt-debris-and other crunchy edibles.  All the others are taking oatmeal---I do NOT like oatmeal---so I will have to come up with a breakfast substitute.

The others are also bringing along--beef jerky---do NOT like jerky of any kind and what if you break a tooth chewing on that rawhide while days away on the trail.  I am SURE these smarties have not thought about that.

Everyone else is bringing dried fruit---UHHHH--PEOPLE---when you mix 25 dried apricots (or whatever fruit) with a gallon of water that you will need to drink---GUESS WHAT--we are only carrying ONE shovel!

That leaves me with my favorite granola bar---EXCEPT---I have eaten the 100 calorie bars for years--LOVE THEM---BUT I will have to find bars with more calories and grams of protein or I am in trouble in the fuel department.  All those higher calorie bars seems to have the distinct flavor of cardboard.  May have to learn to love cardboard!

I am down with the peanut butter--but not sure I can get it down without bread or at least a cracker---got to think about the room in the canister.

SO---I am just going to fill my canister up with PEANUT M&M's & SNICKERS---protein in the nuts and my favorite-chocolate & caramel---WIN WIN!!!


Sweet brother Robbie and I have always laughed about being introverts---we laughed--but inside because of the important relationships around me ---I thought that  I might be second class.  I became convinced the world was the extrovert's pearl---and we introverts were the shell.  

Those times that I refused to make decisions without careful analysis---and exploration of options---instead of jumping on the impulsive bandwagon of snap decisions--I often was left feeling as if I did not have faith--was a Negative Nelly.

Now I am not so introverted that I do not enjoy social interaction--but I prefer an intense one on one conversation to a night of idle chit chat at a huge social gathering.  I want to hear what you are thinking and feeling---and use it for my thinking fodder and to know you better.  You are important to me!  My friendships run deep---and I like that!

I also can lead--and enjoy the stimulation of leading a discussion-teaching-conducting a business meeting.  Have had to do the tough task of addressing employees that are not working---even the ultimate "We are not a fit" talk.  Now--I can do all of this---but after it is all over I will probably go home and curl up with a great book.  

I am reading a book--Quiet---you can click on it on the top right side of this page.  Turns
out---there is NOTHING wrong with me---I am encouraged---and feel better about myself than I have in a LONG time and I have not finished reading it yet.

SO bottom line---we all love to be around the extroverts in our life---but we introverts---we have a LOT to offer!  Feel like you might have some introvert characteristics---strongly encourage you to read it.  Easy read and SO reassuring!


I hear tell---that some from this fair city of Ruston drive ALL THE WAY to Dallas to get their hair cut-----WELL I would like to tell you that I drove ALL the way from Fort Worth to get my hair cut by the infamous Russell of Rumo's.  I must admit he does great work with not much to work on my head (got BAD hair) BUT I also enjoy the theologically based tantalizing discussions we always have.  He almost ALWAYS makes me think!

Today while administering the color and cutting the tresses---we had a discussion about marriage that lead to him telling me the difference in men and women was that we women were more modest and don't walk around unclothed (I WILL NOT GET OFF ON THIS SUBJECT FROM A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE!)--but that men would like "To be necked (Southern for naked) lots!"  DUH---like we all don't know that!  Anyway--the light immediately went off---BLOG!  Be VERY careful what you say around me---all comments are being censored for blog material!

I circled back around to the fact that we are all naked before God----I have shared before that it occurred to me one day while showering that there was nothing to hide that God knew exactly who I was---inside and out.  There is NOT ONE THING that we can hide from Him---It is useless to try---sans Adam and Eve in the Garden.  Remember a few posts ago when I told you that when the grands were up to something--all got quiet and they would think they were getting away with something --hiding while being bad.  It all comes to surface in the end AND we are all naked before God.  HE sees it all----AND loves us dearly---What Joy!  Hebrews 4:13