Thursday, December 8, 2016

WHEN I in awesome WONDER



Listen to this rendering of "How Great Thou Art" sung in the Austrian Alps by this brilliant country music group and prepare to WONDER at their skill and God's greatness.  Click on this  LINK

This group have also recorded some wonderful Christmas carols on their CD "Full of (Even More) Cheer".  This group sing everything a capella with amazing harmonies and arrangements.  "O Holy Night" is my favorite and I have been listening to Christmas Carols for a very long time! This is fresh and new. Wonderful!  Do take a moment and go to You Tube to hear more of their recordings.

This post brought to you courtesy of Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Green of ABC Wednesday in honor of the letter W.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


This is a picture of my dear friend VAN.  I have chosen her for this post not just for her name but also for her VICTORY.  This photo was taken in June this year at my husband's 80th birthday celebration. Five months later, Van was gone.  And here is the Victory part.  

She knew she was dying (she was in her nineties) and when she was put into hospice care I went in to see her.  She was sitting up in bed all ready to see me.  I gave her a hug and she said to me in typical 'Van' fashion, with her wry humor and in a dry raspy voice,

 "So this is what they call the end". Typical Van!! 

I laughed and said, "No, Van, this is the beginning!!"  She knew what I meant.  She was more than ready to go because she knew where she was going.  In fact she had expressed several times in the weeks before that she wished the Lord would take her because then she wouldn't have to deal with the aggravations in her life. That day I visited her, she was actually rejoicing.  Her sins were forgiven, she loved the Lord and there were only good things on the other side.

Two weeks later I sat with her beside her bed and held her hand.  I talked to her softly but she didn't answer.  I didn't expect her to, but I knew she could hear me.  They say that hearing is the last to go.  The next day I was just getting ready to go to see her again when I got the phone call that she had passed into the Lord's presence.

O Death where is your sting?
O Grave where is your victory?
Thanks be to GOD who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55

Grateful acknowledgements to ABC Wednesday workers and Denise Nesbitt and Roger Green.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Our Lantana Tree

This is a photo of our puny little Lantana  Tree back in March 2013. It had been without much water before we moved into this house. Around it was a large patch of purple ice plant that was beautiful in 
full color for a month or so but was old and 'ratty' looking for the rest of the year.  We were so embarrassed by our ugly tree that we seriously considered cutting it down.  But then we decided to water it and feed it for a while and see if we could rescue  it.
It totally surprised us by bursting into bloom and with a little help from careful trimming and giving it a little more attention, it really began to thrive.  It was a bit unwieldy but we didn't know anything about pruning -- or anything else about gardening. So we let it bloom.

 In a year or two it got so heavy with blooms that we decided we had to cut it back because when the rains came the branches or even the spindly trunk might break.  So we waited for the blooms to die off  before we trimmed it. By this time we had come to think about this tree as a miracle tree because it NEVER stopped blooming.  Finally we had to take the bull by the horns and cut it back -- blooms an'all.   Within a month of cutting it back, the tree was in full bloom again. 

About that time, we decided to take out the ice plant and redesign the front garden (It's not very large)  I have related about this in previous blogs so I'll get back to the tree.  It has never stopped blooming now for almost four years except when we trimmed it back and then only for enough time for new buds to form.

We have already cut this back twice this year, once in May and then in July and sure enough it came back blooming even better, if in a rather unruly condition.

So about 3 weeks ago we trimmed it back in a more orderly fashion.
And yes, it is covered in buds again and we are waiting to see if and when it will burst into bloom.  A nice bonus is that the butterflies and
humming birds love this tree -- not to mention bees!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Two Luxuries


I have two luxuries, which I suppose I could live without but I wouldn't want to.  The first is to get my hair done every week.  Now the photo above doesn't exactly look like I just had it done but  that's because it is supposed to have the 'tousled' look.  My beautiful beautician took the photo just a few minutes after it was finished.  She really does a wonderful job.  It takes very little to look after it -- just the "Freeze and Spray"  hairspray which is quite strong, but very necessary as my hair has a mind of its  own.  I can't believe how old I look here.  My hair color is natural.  I wanted to take a photo to compare with others taken a year or so ago.  Perhaps I shouldn't have.  But this is my birthday photo.  Christmas Day I will be 79.  I really don't believe it.  I don't feel a day older than 69 -- but obviously I look it.
UGH!  I remember now why blogging was such a chore!  I CAN'T get the underline to turn off.  What a pain!  I'll just have to continue writing and try later to turn the thing off.  Sorry!  Blogger has a mind of its own too!The second luxury is to have lady who comes to clean the house every two weeks.  What a blessing that is!  It means we have to put away stuff we've been working on or just left out.  There is'nt much to do in the kitchen since I don't cook a lot.  The dust is the biggest problem.  The house is quite old, though it doesn't look it, but it certainly gets a lot of dust.  That is partly because I have the front door open most days.  Our large living room windows face south and the sun keeps the house nice and warm.  With the doors open we get a beautiful breeze right through the house. Lovely!We had about half an inch of rain yesterday and expect another half inch tonight.  We badly need the rain.  Have had water rationing most of the summer.
I'll be showing you a few changes we have made in our back yard in my next blog and a couple of pieces of my artwork too.  Then I have to tell you about the big excitement I have coming up next weekend.  See you soon.

Friday, November 25, 2016


The last turkey dinner I cooked, 2013

So yesterday was Thanksgiving.  We had a very nice quiet day.  My family know that gone are the days of my cooking a large turkey dinner!  Both boys are either away or traveling so there were just the two of us.

About 2:30 p.m. we wandered (in the car) down towards the ocean where we visited The Claim Jumper, one of our favorite restaurants.  We knew they were fully booked but they said that if we just walked in they would probably be able to  fit us in -- and they did! There were 8 or 10 couples with reservations waiting in line.  We just went up to the counter and flashed our "Tom Landry" club card and they seated us right away.  This is a membership card for the restaurant where we get points for every time we choose to eat there, a free meal for a certain number of points and a free meal on our birthdays.  Not a bad deal since the food is excellent and the servings large.  We had the turkey dinner of course -- 4 large slices of carved turkey, vegetables, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, preceded by a salad and followed by pumpkin pie.  The really good thing about this restaurant is that there is always way more than we can eat at one sitting so we get leftovers boxed up.  Guess what we had for dinner tonight?.....Another turkey dinner!!! Since I don't care for pumpkin pie we took our desserts home too and Barry had mine this evening. But don't feel bad for me because he went to the grocery store and bought gelato tiramisu for me.YUMMY!!!

I didn't waste all day on the laptop today.  Although I WAS on the laptop, I wrote my article for our News Magazine.  Nothing very earthshaking, but at least I finished it before the deadline, December 11th.  I joined the publications committee of the HOA a couple of years ago, consequently I frequently contribute articles and photographs to the News Magazine, which helps to keep me out of mischief.

That's all for now.  See you again later.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I'M BA..A..A..ACK!

PHEW!!  After about 4 hours I finally got back into my old blog.  I stopped blogging about 18 months ago -- mostly lack of motivation and didn't seem to have much to write about
But I think I've got a little more enthusiasm to pick it up again.  We shall see.  I certainly hope I can get back into this dashboard page again.  Honestly I think I tried every combination I could think of.  Ah well, persistence pays off.  Now I'm hoping I can catch up with all my old friends from my past blogging days.

We had about a half an inch of rain yesterday. YAY!  Everything is looking SO much better.  We haven't had anything more than a drizzle since last May.  The creek is looking good and the ducks are much happier.

I have had no more digestive blockages since I last wrote.  I have lately been drinking green tea with honey, greatly diluted with water.  I never drank water, but now I have about 24-30 ounces of the diluted green tea and I have to say that I think I feel somewhat more energetic than I was.  It's either the tea or the fact that the hot weather has finally moved on.

Not doing anything special for Thanksgiving.  Son #1 and wife and daughter are on the road permanently, helping out with Samaritan's Purse, and amazingly working with the FLDS polygamous
families of Colorado City, AZ.  This is the group run by Warren Jeffs who is now in prison for life for sex with minors.  The women who want to leave this cult have nowhere to go and need as much help they can get.  There are genetic problems among the children and a 'baby cemetary' for the many babies that died at birth or very young. It is an amazing story how Son #1 got involved with this ministry.  Visit to see what is happening in their lives.

Son #2 and Vicki are coming to visit at Christmas.  Since Barry has been having digestive problems we will probably have Thanksgiving dinner out and plan not to eat too much so that we can bring some home for dinner on Friday and still not eat too much at one sitting.

Other lovely things happening in our lives but will write about them another day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I was on a cruise ship a few months ago when something happened that has niggled at my conscience for a while since then.

I was sitting in the library area, feet up, on a very comfortable chair, drawing and watching the seascape glide by.  An older husband and wife sat a few yards away from me and a few yards away from them a group of exuberant  students filled up the padded benches just to their left.  Because of the way I was sitting I could see both the students and the couple very clearly.

After a while the students moved on.  Soon after that, the husband of the couple casually stood up and strolled toward the padded benches, picked something up and just as casually returned to his seat.  He had in his hand some kind of  iphone or ipad. Then followed a conversation between them as to what to do with the ipad.  The wife opted to either leave it there or turn it into the desk.  The husband felt that whoever he gave it to would probably keep it for themselves.  As the debate continued in subdued voices, I sat as though concentrating on my drawing.  At some point the wife mentioned that I had probably seen and heard what had happened.  The husband assured her not to worry about me, he was sure I hadn't seen or heard anything, (too old and too intent on my drawing).  What neither of them knew was that I have excellent hearing, and as a teacher I am unusually alert to deliberately casual behavior -- someone's usually up to no good.

After about ten minutes they both got up and took the iphone with them. For as long as I was there no-one came back looking for their possession.

I have no idea what happened in the end, but I must admit that I am disappointed in myself that I didn't do or say something to prevent this from happening.  Even worse, at the time it didn't even occur to me to intervene.  I know I was absorbed in my drawing, but I also know the difference between right and wrong.  Maybe I was just waiting to see they would do.

What do you think?  To me, doing nothing is the same as being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

This incident was brought to mind by Berowne's post today where you can find another moral dilemma for you to solve.

My contribution to ABC Wednesday's letter T.  Thanks Denise and Roger and all other helpers.  For more contributions please click  HERE