Friday, February 22, 2008

On our walk this morning

Brownie and I haven't been able to go on our regular walks for several weeks now, due to a variety of reasons. I'm happy to report that we were able to take one today. Even though the weather was just above freezing and it was spitting little snow flurries (that never really accumulated on the ground). I bundled up and off we trotted.

We have a trail that we like to take where we walk near the water and we see (and sniff) everything there is to see (and sniff). We both really needed it. I thought I'd share a few things we saw.

These two geese were swimming below us and it seemed like we followed them for quite some time. Guess they were going the same direction we were.

This just caught my eye, so thought I'd see what it looked like up close.

On several of our walks now I've seen this beautiful bright red cardinal and he really stands out amongst the bare, stark trees. However, he moves too quick for me and I haven't been able to capture him yet (on film). He's an elusive one. Maybe one of these days he'll sit still long enough for me to whip out my camera, turn it on, try to zoom in on him, and snap a picture. Or maybe not. I haven't been successful yet, but I'm kind of enjoying the thrill of the chase.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My birthday card from Grandma

The most wonderful thing came in the mail today--a birthday card from Grandma (who went to be with Jesus yesterday morning).

In the midst of the pain of our loss (her happiness), I really didn't want to ask anyone if Grandma had been able to put a card in the mail to me. But I really hoped she had. I kept thinking to myself that it would be so nice if I just had this one last birthday card.

I kept waiting for the mail, trying not to get my hopes up. And when I went out and opened the box, there it was! I held that envelope close to my heart. I really debated on whether I shouldn't savor it for a little bit before I opened it, but I couldn't.

I tore it open and read the last words she had written to me and it was like she was speaking to me from heaven and telling me she loved me. I needed that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Precious Grandma

This is a picture of my precious Grandma when she was young. I love this picture of her.

She turned ninety in August and was still going strong until just after Christmas when the two left chambers of her heart stopped functioning properly. She spent most of January in the hospital, but she's been home the last few weeks. Her kids have taken turns to help take care of her.

It was my Mom's turn yesterday. She called me in the early evening and said Grandma was having trouble breathing and was in pain (which is what happens when the fluid builds up around your heart because your heart can't pump it off), so she was following the ambulance to the hospital.

Mom went on to tell me that earlier in the day, Grandma put her hands up in the air like she was praising Jesus and she said, "Hurry up! Hurry up and take me home."

We got a call at 2:30 this morning from Mom saying that Grandma went to be with Jesus. At some point before she stopped breathing, she said the names of her siblings who have already passed away. My mom asked her if she saw them and she said yes.

In the midst of our pain at her loss, we are so happy for her. She got what she wanted from a gracious God who heard her cries and answered them--she got to go home and be reunited with her family who were waiting to greet her with open arms.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tonight's Sunset

We went for a family walk this evening and I took these during the course of our walk.

I've been missing the glorious color when the sun meets the horizon
because I'm usually in the backyard.

And a final burst of color as the last hurrah for the day.

After we got back home, we were in the backyard and I had the thought to try the handy dandy "close up" feature on my camera through a knothole in the fence, and voila, I can see what I've been missing.

Another day, another beautiful sunset.

Another day with Mini-Mar

It's another day with Mini-Mar. In an effort to make sure there is no uncontained poo, I make sure to get the elastic around all the little thigh rolls and snugged up to it's proper place. I'm thinking that could be a reason it came out the leg the other time--one of the thigh rolls caught it and kept it from fitting tight. Who knows.

Why is it babies like to keep themselves from taking a little nap? They can be tired and rubbing their eyes but they make noises to keep themselves awake or start crying to wake themselves up. It's not like a baby really has any good reason to stay awake, say because they might miss something. Here, baby, let me move you from one place to another. The view really doesn't change much. Not much to miss.

If someone fed me, changed me, put me down in a warm, safe place with my pacie to take a nap, I'd sure take it. It would be nice to just eat, sleep, and be taken care of all day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tonight's Sunset

We went out as a family to run some errands. I like to take my digital camera with me (which I still absolutely love). I snapped this on the way home through the side window while we were going 45 mph. I can't believe the quality I get from this camera. Love it!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Sending Love"

"Sending Love" painted 2/5/08

Rainy Day

It is a gray, cold, rainy day. The perfect day for staying indoors. And that is what I plan on doing now that I've gotten back from taking care of the little dog I'm dog-sitting. I wanted to take him for a walk, but I couldn't on account of the steady rain. (Don't worry--he still went outside really quick to go pottie!)

On the way over to let the dog out, I saw a man walking in the street in the rain wearing a winter coat with a hood carrying a big cooler in one hand, several bags slung over his shoulders and on his back, and a large duffel type bag in the other hand. At first I thought he might have just gotten off a bus and was walking home, but he wasn't near a bus stop. Then I got to thinking that maybe he had so much stuff with him because the street is his home. And then I wondered why he didn't take shelter, at least until the rain stops. And I also wondered what his story is; how he came to be where he is at today. My heart reaches out to him.

With the little dog taken care of, I was on my way back home and was passing a cementary when I noticed a blue tent set up with those blue covered chairs inside. There was a nicely dressed man in a black double breasted coat standing there under the tent. It was 12:15 and I couldn't help but wonder how long he was going to have to be waiting there. I've really never heard of a funeral that went to the cemetary at 12:30. It made me think he was going to be standing there alone until 1:00 or so. What a dreary, even sadder day to bury someone you love. I said a prayer for the family that will have to arrive there with heavy coats and hearts and umbrellas and have such a gray day to put their loved one to rest. My heart reaches out to them.

Everything may not be going perfectly in my life, but I'm just thankful for the blessings God has given me and am thankful to have today. My heart is full.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Valentine's Day Box

When I was in the 5th grade, the teacher announced that we would be having a contest for who had the best decorated Valentine's box.
When I told my parent's, my Dad thought about it and came up with this wonderful idea--a toilet. You lift the lid and put the Valentine's inside the "bowl".

I can't remember who won the contest (it may have been me). All I remember is being so proud to carry that beautiful, fun Valentine's toilet into my classroom and having to tell my admiring classmates all day that the handle wasn't supposed to actually flush (which they kept trying to do).

You think I've kept this picture of it all these years? Well the truth is, I've kept the whole thing all these years and I took a picture of it recently so I could show everyone the toilet my Dad made for me. Everytime I look at it, I see not only an awesome Valentine's box, but I see the love my Dad has for me. I think that is why I've held onto it all these years. I love having something my Dad made just for me, something so wonderful that was so creative and really was admired by all the other kids.

Although I've had many Valentine's Days since, this one will always hold a special place in my heart.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today's Weather

It is just above freezing today, with these dark, heavy clouds passing over. The sun will come out for just a little bit, then the clouds will cover it up again. I love seeing the sun's rays peering through those dark clouds, but the cold breeze makes it too chilly to be outside for long.


A friend needed my help to watch her baby for a few days, so that is what I'm doing today. She is a sweet little girl, who for several reasons I call "Mini-Mar". The first is she's a mini-me of her father and the second is a short form of her name.

When I hold her and feed her, I look in her eyes and I ask her to tell me what it was like to be with Jesus because I just know she knows and I'd really like for her to describe to me what it felt like to be held close to his chest and listen to his heartbeat and feel his love. I can see in her eyes that she knows, but she's not telling. Maybe if I can catch her when she just learns to speak, but before she gets too big to forget....

She has a sweet little face and looks kind of angelic. I was sitting in my office typing yesterday, but I could see her from here sitting on the table in her little bouncy seat. She was fine and I was engrossed in my work when I heard a loud noise coming from the kitchen. I paused in my typing wondering if I'd really heard what I thought I had and sure enough, it came again and again. That little girl was ripping out farts (or barking spiders as we like to call them in my family) like a teenaged boy at a farting contest. I just sat and waited for a bit because I knew by those sounds that her diaper would need changed, but I wanted to make sure the explosion was done before I started.

Turns out this girl not only blew out her diaper, but she blew it out one leg of her diaper and had it all down her leg and on the inside of her pants! I knew that one would take a bit to clean (and it did), including a new diaper, many wipes, and a complete change of clothes (which was very tricky seeing it was covered inside with poo and I was trying not to get it on her or the couch or me). Then I had to rinse out her clothes to get the poo off. I'm not sure I like uncontained poo. Contained poo is one thing, uncontained is quite another.

I'm kind of hoping we don't have a repeat of that today. Not poo itself, mind you, which of course I want her to do. I'd just prefer she not blow out of her diaper again today. As long as I don't hear any major barking spiders, I think we'll be okay.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"River of Tears"

"River of Tears" painted 2/4/08.

In case you didn't know, I'm an artist. I can do many different mediums, but I really love to paint. Especially abstracts. That's not to say I can't paint realistically, because I can. It's just my abstracts are a reflection of my soul. There is nothing more freeing to me than grabbing a canvas and some paint and seeing what comes out. I love it.

That being said, I'll periodically post some of my paintings on here for you to see. I won't give you any explanations of them because it doesn't matter what I have to say about it, it is all about what you see in it.

You may not like abstracts at all and that is okay. The phrase "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" certainly applies to art. I paint because it makes me happy. If in the process, I make someone else happy, that's just an added bonus.

If you are interested in seeing more of my paintings, please visit my website at

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tonight's Sunset

I sat outside again this afternoon and relaxed in the porch swing while I blogged. I like having my camera there so I can watch the sun begin its descent and see what it will look like this time.

There is just something so majestic about it.

The puffy cottonballs just beg me to reach out and see if I can touch them.

And then the sky cleared of clouds and the sun went down. I went in shortly afterwards as there was a chill in the air and my hands got too cold. But I can still feel the warmth of the sun on my face and feel the beauty of another sunset in my soul.

Brownie's Whiskers

I don't know if you already know this or not, or if this is something that happens with all dog's, or maybe just certain dogs. I don't know. I didn't even notice it the first four years we had her. All of a sudden, without a full time job and a little more time on my hands, I saw them on the bed. They were just laying there, without her. By themselves. Little fallen out whiskers.

Not more than one, maybe two at a time, but sitting there waiting for me to notice. I was vacuuming the bed off (a necessity for those who have loveable, snuggly, very hairy bed mates) when I noticed the first one. It was coarse and wiry and as I held it in my hand and studied it, I realized it was a whisker!!

I looked at her muzzle to see where she was missing a whisker, but didn't see any missing. I was amazed by it. I taped that little coarse, wiry, slightly curved down on one end whisker into my journal. And I've continued doing that with ones I've found since. I've in essence replicated her cute little whiskers, like they were on her face, in my journal. I hope you aren't grossed out by that. I don't think it is as gross as keeping bitten off fingernails in a bag for years (like the American Idol hopeful showed us two weeks ago; those yellowed, twisted fingernails).

I never would have known that whiskers are also on a growing cycle, just like the rest of the hair on her body. I guess I could have assumed it because our hairs are on a growing cycle. I just really didn't know and was surprised to find the cute little things. I thought I'd share it, just in case you didn't know or just didn't notice. I just wanted a little physical something to remind me of her presence because her lifespan is shorter than mine. And I found it in her little black (and a few white) whiskers.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tonight's Sunset

It was such a beautiful day today. The wind was blowing for much of it, but then it stopped in the late afternoon. I was trying to catch the last bit of sun today (before it alledgedly gets cold again tomorrow), when I noticed the sun was setting. I went in and got my camera and snapped pictures of it, as best I could without a clear view of the horizon.

I sat and clicked and watched and rocked until it was totally dark. It was a panorama of clouds and a little bit of color and light. I really enjoyed sitting there and watching the show. God always seems to speak to me through nature and while I was sitting there watching, everything in my life (lack of money, things I need to take care of, my Grandma's heart, etc.) faded and I felt He was with me and that He cares. And for that little while, it was just him and I--me watching the sunset he was painting on the canvas of sky and marveling at what great work he does and him reassuring me of his love and concern.

I had to sing to him. The beauty of the moment just overwhelmed me and I had to tell him how much I loved him (in song). I love it when he puts everything in perspective. I know he is bigger than my problems, but sometimes problems seem bigger than he is. But watching God at work reminds me of the truth--he is in control, no matter what it looks like or how I think it should turn out. He is creating a beautiful work of art out of my life; the good times, the bad times, the hard times. They just give the painting more depth, more relatability, more vibrant color.

As soon as I finish a few other paintings (and take more pictures of sunrises/sunsets--probably more of the latter as I'm not often up to watch the sun rise), I'm going to paint a series of paintings based off the pictures I take. In some small way, I want to reflect his glory in my paintings and hopefully in my life as well.