Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My roses

These are my roses. I have two rose bushes in my backyard. This is from my "Lovers Lane" bush. They are really beautiful. I love having tangible beauty in my life.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Quote for the day

"The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt." --Bono

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Playing in the river

We went and played in the river over the weekend. Brownie loves to chase the waves and nip at them.

She was soaked by the time we were done (she wasn't finished, but we left anyway after we'd played for around thirty minutes).

We like to have fun as a family! (Even in dirty brown water)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another beautiful sunset

A few nights ago, Pooker hollered at me and told me the sunset was really beautiful and asked me where the camera was. I told him and he grabbed it and ran out to take a picture. I went out and looked as well and it was really beautiful.

Squirrel on a tree stump

We have a lot of squirrels in the area. This one froze on the stump when he saw Brownie and I coming. I thought he'd move when we got close, but he didn't. I guess he thought we wouldn't see him if he didn't move. Cute little fellow (definitely a boy).

My sister came over to pick me up to go shopping yesterday (we had lots of fun) and we saw a squirrel scampering up the side of my house with a nut. We watched him scamper back down with the nut in his mouth and walk in front of her car and pause in front of my open garage door. Janee and I both held our breaths (and I was thinking "Please, don't go in my garage, please don't go in my garage") as he peered into the garage for a few seconds, then he scampered off and up the side of the neighbors house. I was relieved that I didn't have to try to chase him out of my garage. It was a close call.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On our walk yesterday morning

Buppa and I went for our walk yesterday morning. It was slightly overcast and was misting a little bit. I love to walk in the rain and feel the little drops kissing my face. I end up feeling cleansed and renewed.

I thought the river looked really pretty with the mist hanging over it. When we walk the trails, we are mainly walking around just above the water. I love the sound of water running (even the drip of a faucet, and especially the tick of a clock). I guess I enjoy seeing things and hearing things and touching things and tasting things (nothing icky). Maybe by involving my senses, it really involves me in life, in the now of things. And when you think about it, all we really have is now. We can't live in the past (or shouldn't) or in the future (again, shouldn't). So, that leaves now; lovely now.

A picture of me

I was sitting on the floor in the sun spot reading (had taken over the sun spot when Brownie moved to the couch), when I realized it was a nice spot and maybe I could get a picture of myself with the sun shining in behind me. So I did. (I didn't stop at just one picture, so maybe I'll share some others with you later.) Hi, everyone!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My feet

I was swinging on my porch swing and thought I'd take a picture of my feet. Then, I thought maybe you wanted to see my feet (unless you are one of those people who don't like feet). I happen to like feet. On my left foot, I have a toe ring that is turquoise (not real, I'm sure) with tiny little silver dolphins swimming towards my heart. On my right foot, I wear a toe ring that has multi-colored butterflies on it. I love color (as you know) and I really enjoy wearing rings on my toes.

On our walk last week...

I took these on one of our walks last week, but just didn't get around to posting them. I thought the sky and clouds behind the dark trees were really beautiful and I wanted to share them with you.

Watching a bird bathe

It rained the other day and I was looking out my door and saw this bird bathing in the puddle. So, of course, I ran and got my camera so I could take pictures of him bathing.

He was pretty cute ducking his head and using his little wings to splash the water around and over his body.

Then he'd use the wings to wipe off the water he'd splashed on himself.

I loved watching the whole process. It's not often you get to watch a bird taking a bath.

Then this fellow came. Not sure if he came and was waiting for his turn or if he just wanted to watch, too. Now we've all seen a bird taking a bath!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My blanket

My precious Grandma made baby blankets and would give them to her children when they had babies so each of us grandchildren (and now greatgrandchildren) would have a baby blanket from Grandma. On my 4th birthday, Grandma came to my party with a gift. I opened it and there was a beautiful, big blanket with strawberries on it. I loved that blanket and carried it everywhere with me. I would lay on our floor air-conditioning vent with the blanket over me and it would puff up from the trapped air and I would sing into the vent. At night, I would snuggle up with it. As it turns out, I was also a knob (the pieces of yarn tied in knots used to hold the blanket together in the middle) twister, so by the time I was eighteen, all the strawberries were gone.

At that time, I asked Grandma if she would re-do my blanket. She said she didn't have any strawberries, but she had some hearts. I said that was fine. When I got it back, it was four inches shorter (an inch from every side) (because she had to cut off the seams from around the blanket and start over). I was thankful, but now the blanket hit me at my chest and ankles when before if I scrunched up, I could still hide under it.

Well, I continued to sleep with it (and twist the knobs). I got married when I was twenty-five and my blanket crawled into our bed as well. And I started to realize why that blanket meant so much to me. It had been given to me with love. Everytime I carried it around or snuggled with it or crawled under it, I felt loved and comforted. And in a way, it also reminded me of God's love--always there, blanketing me with its warmth. So I've always felt doubly loved. It was as if God told Grandma to make me this blanket (I have no knowledge of anyone else getting one for their birthday, other than their baby blanket) because he knew it was his way of giving me a tangible piece of love to cling to (because I'm a sensitive soul and I need it). This blanket means a lot to me, because I feel God's love and Grandma's.

As you can imagine when I continued to twist, the hearts disappeared and the blanket was pretty worn and dirty (I don't like washing them--they lose their special smell they have acquired and then you have to start over for it to reaquire the special smell, plus you have to wait with bated breath in front of the washer and dryer because you don't know if what went in will come out the same or not). In the past couple of years, I've thought it was probably about time for me to re-cover the blanket. I talked with Grandma about it and told her I was going to have to re-cover it, but wasn't going to ask her to do it as I was afraid it was going to lose another four inches (then would it only cover my elbows to my knees?) (how can I feel comfort and love if I can't get under the blanket?). She just laughed.

I went ahead a year ago and took some of my birthday money to buy blanket material. I was thrilled to find some strawberries (not quite like the ones from when I was four--those were on a red background, but I definitely wanted strawberries). I bought almost six feet of material for each side (because I wanted to be able to get my whole body under it again--I've grown some since I was four!). I hadn't done anything with the material for a year because I knew it would involve taking apart the blanket that is left, then washing it (couldn't risk washing the blanket as it was as it looked as if it would disintegrate and that would have made me cry). Then Grandma passed. And then one evening last week I had some time and I thought maybe it was time to re-do my blanket.

It wasn't easy. I had to bring in another card table to set up by my kitchen table to make it long enough to hold the material, which I laid out. Then I had to carefully take my blanket apart (only held together by one side seam and five sporadic knobs) and separate it into two and carefully smooth them out. I put the backing on top of all that, then went in and painstakingly put knobs in all over that blanket to hold it together (which was especially crucial as it was in two pieces inside and full of holes, ragged edges, etc.). I got that done and pinned it together to sew, which I did the next day. It was pretty thick and heavy to sew (Grandma had sewn and old blanket inside for extra warmth when I was four, then when I was eighteen, she enclosed everything that was left in between two new pieces of flannel, and I did the same at thirty-seven, although extended the blanket to make it long enough for me now. It is pretty substantial.)

Then, I put it in the wash (gentle cycle) and prayed everything would be okay with it. When it was all done, I left it out to dry. And then when it was dry, I held it and it didn't feel like my blanket and it no longer smelled like my blanket and I wanted to cry. So I waited a day and then I experimentally snuggled up with it and it felt good. I huddled under it and I felt warmed. I sniffed it and it doesn't smell like it should, but I'm hoping that comes with time. It makes me a little sad that I had to re-do it, not because I twisted all the knobs off, but because it is a change from the old one and I'm still having to adjust to not having Grandma here and now I'm having to adjust to a new blanket. But maybe both those things are okay and maybe now was the perfect time. God loves me and he is in heaven and Grandma still loves me and she is in heaven. Grandma's been changed, so I guess it is fitting that my blanket has been changed and is now long enough for me to cover completely up and feel twice as much love.

Here it is! My new, changed, strawberry blanket.

This white baby blanket on top shows you how much bigger my blanket is than a baby blanket.

And somebody else likes my blanket, too! (Although I have made her one of her own--it has little dogs on it and words like "Bark at the mailman," "Play ball," "Eat," "Sleep," "Chase the cats...".)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Duck on chocolatey water

Brownie and I went on our walk this morning. I don't know why the water looks so chocolatey, but here is the duck we saw.

We went for our family walk/jog yesterday morning (we don't usually go out two days in a row), but I just felt like the two of us just needed to get out again. I'm sure glad we did. I love to walk and think and let the serenity of nature restore my heart.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I went to the grocery store today and got some things we needed. Incidentally, had a little excitement upon exiting the store. I was pushing my cart to my vehicle and I hear a man off to my left saying something about he wanted to get up off the ground. I looked over and there were three Wal-Mart employees on a man laying flat on his stomach on the cement, voicing his displeasure. I noticed movement in front of me and see a man running towards them with a pair of handcuffs. I hurried to my car and put the groceries in, then quickly pushed the cart back over to the carrel to see what else was going on and I was in time to see them haul him to his feet and walk him into the store. I did have a rush of adrenaline when I saw it and realized what I was seeing. It was kind of exciting, in a scary sort of way (like I could have been going in or out of the store when the guy stealing stuff ran by me--you just never know).

Anyway, Pooker gets home and is getting his supper heated up. He opened the pantry and was rummaging around and then he calls out, "Chipmonger" and I hear the rustling of him looking at the bags of chips I'd bought. I explained to him that I got the Funyans for when we make the green bean casserole, the Fritos for when I make chili, the Tostitos to replace the bag that we've almost eaten because I'd like to have some artichoke dip, and then the Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips because those are nice to eat with a sandwich. If that makes me a chipmonger, then so be it. As he continued to rummage around in the cabinet, I heard him say, "Chipmonger" again under his breath and continue on with his supper preparations. He's a funny guy and I thought "Chipmonger" was worth repeating. In fact, "Chipmonger" is rather fun to say.

Where's Brownie?

Where's Brownie?

There she is under her little fort. (I put that up so she could hide under it when it was storming.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Quote for the day

"This is my "depressed stance." When you're depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you'll start to feel better. If you're going to get any joy out of being depressed, you've got to stand like this." ~Charlie Brown

In our yard this morning

It is a nice morning. Brownie was outside, so I went outside to join her for a little bit. The next thing you know, a squirrel goes walking by balanced on the top of our fence. Brownie noticed and gave chase around the yard. The squirrel was flying around the top of the fence, with Brownie nipping at its heels from the ground. It was making a noise like "squee, squee, squee" as it ran as fast as it could. It jumped from the fence to a telephone pole and clung there looking down at Brownie, still voicing its displeasure.

I've seen that squirrel leisurely walk around the top of the fence before, but I guess Brownie didn't notice it the other times. The squirrel wasn't too happy to make that fast of a trip. I was kind of watching while holding my breath and hoping that the squirrel wouldn't lose its footing and tumble into our yard.

After Brownie "chased" it, she came back over to me, smiling really big. She loves the thrill of the chase. The squirrel had a moment of panic, Brownie got her thrills, and I was able to start breathing again when the squirrel made it safely to the telephone pole.

Another nut eating squirrel

On our walk over the weekend, we caught another squirrel in a different tree eating a different nut. Or I guess it could be the same squirrel, different tree, eating a different nut.

And then he noticed us looking at him and stopped to stare back at us.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring is here!

Spring is here!!! (finally)

Quote for the day

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did." ~Newt Gingrich

A pillow, a rust colored bird, a crane, and a ferret

We had a nice walk this morning. Pooker couldn't join us, so it was just us girls. I didn't take my camera with me because there was a chance of rain (and God forbid my precious would get wet and not work anymore).

We ran across what I at first thought was a white garbage bag. I was still staring at it when Bup kind of lifted one leg up and scooted her body partially over it to mark it really well. It was then I realized it was somebody's pillow. I kind of laughed to myself thinking you should be careful where you leave your pillow. You never know what might happen to it.

I saw a beautiful rust colored bird on the trail (again, no camera). Would love to have a picture of him, too! And in the middle of an apartment complex we walk by, in the water were some geese and a crane!!! So now, I need pictures of the rust colored bird, the red bird, the crane, and Jesus. All so elusive.

While I was out running my errands, I stopped into a store for Brownie food and my attention was immediately snagged by movement in a cage. I got closer and realized the little animal was in a swing. He was flopping around, then his little tail hung off the edge and he was belly up with his cute little pink paws in the air. I am really fascinated by movement, so I got closer and stood on tiptoe to watch the little ferret swing. Then he got out of his swing and started rooting around in his bedding, pushing it with his head. I gradually became aware I had a huge smile on my face as I stood there with my face close to the glass, watching to see what he'd do next.

I really love watching animals. I see the heart of God, a God who cares, who thought of all these creatures and made them so wonderfully. It is both fascinating and amazing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

And then tonight's sunset

It was just really beautiful to catch the sun setting with those dark clouds rolling over.

To see the brilliant light through the darkness.

And to have the clouds kind of part to reveal it. I feel touched by His presence from having seen tonight's sunset.

The storm that passed through

Brownie and I were sitting outside enjoying the evening, when all of a sudden these omnious clouds started passing over. We sat there and watched as they went over our house and off to the south. Then, at the tail end, I started seeing the lighter sky above those dark clouds and I thought they were beautiful, so I ran in to get my camera.

The birds were flying overhead and I was glad to have caught a few of them in the above shot.

I especially loved seeing this beautiful bit of blue sky through the clouds.

I loved the contrast of light and dark.

And then seeing this opening, I was kind of waiting to see Jesus pop through (as with the elusive red bird, I hope to catch him on film as well).

Quote for the day

"Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad." --Norm Papernick

Retro Tennis Shoes

I had this dream last night. I can't really recall the first part of it, so I'll start where I remember.

I had been at a store, maybe a quick stop, when for whatever reason, I needed to go check on my sister and cousins at another store. I went in to get them and they were relaxing in this row of comfy chairs, eating ice cream and visiting. They saw me and waved, but continued to eat and visit. I hadn't been in that store before, so I was wandering around, looking at everything.

There was a table with these clearance shoes on it and I noticed colorful, funky Keds, like from the 80's, for $6.99 (you know, florescent colors, paint splattered, two colors of shoe laces, some had cut outs like slingback tennis shoes, and some had a little wedge heel). I had at least $6 cash and some change left over from my birthday money, so I knew I could get a pair. No two were alike and since my foot size has changed dramatically since high school, I was uncertain what size I needed, so I was poking through them and was going to pull out all the ones in my size to try on.

While I was looking at them, I noticed another table back by the wall that also had $6.99 shoes on it, so I went over there to see if there were any others there. I turned around to go back to the other table and all the wonderful shoes that I had been looking through were gone! Someone had came in and bought all those funky tennis shoes before I could get a pair.

I was pawing through the shoes on the table by the wall and I found a box that I thought had a pair of the tennis shoes in it and I opened it up to see a cute, colorful shoe. I took it out and tried it on and thought it would work, but when I opened the box to get out the other shoe, someone had put a high heel in with it, so the other tennis shoe was missing! I was frantically pawing through the other shoes to find the missing one, when the owner of the store turned the lights out and was trying to lock up (everyone had left the store while I was focusing on the shoes).

She really wanted me to leave and I wanted her to help me find the other shoe. She wouldn't turn on the lights, so I was debating whether I should buy the one shoe, if one shoe was better than none, when I woke up. And my first thoughts on waking up were that I was feeling sad that I wasn't able to find and buy a pair of the cute shoes.

So I'm wondering if I need to find myself a cute, funky pair of 80's shoes (because I think those florescent colors are back!!!), so I can re-claim a part of myself I wish I'd never let go of. There was some pressure in the early 90's to let go of the 80's, which was all I had, so I updated. And I think in the process I lost a little bit of myself. My wardrobe went from colorful and fun (like me) to a palette of blues (which happen to be a good color for me). But where did my hot pinks and neon green's and turquoises go? I'm slowly recovering myself by trying to re-stock my wardrobe with pinks (all shades) and I've got my eye on a turquoise shirt with pink lettering that says "Okie Grown."

I'll get there eventually, but I sure didn't know I needed at least one funky pair of tennis shoes. I hope I can find them for $6.99!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Our morning walk / Beans and Cornbread

I actually took this picture last week on our walk. We like to walk on the trails, some of which are really close to the edge so we can look directly down on the rocks and the water. Pooker has joined us again as he jogs while we walk/sniff/explore, then we meet back up to cross the street and walk back home together.

I could have caught the sunrise this morning, but I didn't take my camera with me. I need to, but I really should put it in my hip pack the night before as it is all I can do in the morning to get myself ready and to remember my cell phone and keys. I'm really not much of a morning person, nor am I much of a night person. I consider myself a day person, best between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm (although I could start to wilt as early as 8 pm). Although it is a little after noon right now, I feel like I could really use a nap.

Neither of us have been sleeping real well lately. Could be we have a lot on our minds, but we are sure missing that nice REM sleep. I'd rather wake up refreshed than wishing it was time to go to sleep again! I don't really do naps (with the exception of sometimes on Sunday afternoon) because I have a hard time sleeping during a nap when I feel like I should be doing something else. Plus, I wake up feeling like a truck has run me over and it takes some time to be fully functioning again. Doesn't seem worth the bother, especially if I do have things I need to be doing (the house can always use a good cleaning, although sometimes I wish it would take care of itself).

I've got some brown beans baking in my crockpot. I'll make cornbread and fry some potatoes later this afternoon for supper. I love eating this meal for several reasons. It is cheap. It is pretty simple. It tastes good. But mostly because it is eating a memory--of time spent at my precious Grandma's house. Noboby made brown beans and cornbread as good as she did. In my mind, this meal takes me back there to carefree days spent playing with cousins, running loose on the farm and having so much fun. And now with Grandma gone, I feel close to her by making a dish I associate so strongly with her. I'm looking forward to supper!!!

Quote for the day

"Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyways." --Anonymous

Squirrel in a tree eating a nut

We were on our walk last week when Brownie noticed this squirrel. He was sitting on the ground eating his nut, but when we went closer to investigate, he ran up in the tree and continued to eat his nut. It is fascinating to watch them eat it. They turn it around and around in their hands while their teeth are working at the shell and little bits of shell are flying off as fast as they are turning the nut. We watched him until he was done eating and threw the empty shell on the ground and scampered up higher in the tree. I was glad he let us watch because both Brownie and I were staring at him pretty intensely (and were standing fairly close).