Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Monday, June 29, 2015

Of tornadoes, bugs and birthday cards...

No, we didn't really have a tornado. Whew! But I did get a Facebook message yesterday morning that my daughter had sent at 1 a.m. asking me if I knew we were under a tornado watch! I got the message 7 hours later, so I was blissfully ignorant. :) I had noticed that the skies looked threatening before going to bed and took this photo. I try not to worry about such things because there's really nothing I can do in my glorified double-wide trailer except trust in God. And that's a pretty good thing.
Have you seen these little critters on your windows? Isn't God fun? I wonder what they do in the grand scheme of things? Feed birds? :) I had a hard time convincing my camera to take its picture instead of focusing on the great outdoors.
My son Jordan turns 33 on Wednesday. I've made handmade cards for son Josh the last couple of years and thought I'd try one for Jordan. I seem to have a thing for loons. It was a fun little art project.
 I tucked in a little pocket change. Goodwill is his favorite shopping place. Smart guy!
Micah, Adam and the girls dropped in for an unexpected visit. They were taking a walk on the Heartland Trail that passes by my house and Micah called to see if they could stop in. It was so cute to watch them walking up the street in front of my house. Audrey and Hazel keep up a running commentary between themselves and I could hear them from my patio door. As they were leaving and had just turned right at the end of my driveway to go back to the trail (about 100 ft. down the road) I saw Hazel's little blonde head turn toward the house and heard her say, "Bye, Gramma!" You better believe I was ready to say "Bye, Sweetie!" back to her. They had a fun little short visit and managed to play with the piano, tambourine, drum and xylophone! (No, I didn't think to take the photo when they were actually on the road, duh!)
Audrey modeling her braid.
 Adele power!
 Hazel, cousin Cali and Audrey at the park.
 Audrey and cousin Cali at gymnastics this morning. Audrey has skills! ;)
 Have a great evening!
That's all I have for now. Just wanted to check in! :)
Love God, love people, and speak the Truth in love.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I've been reading through some of the old emails/letters written by my Mom and myself over the years. I speak a bit about them in this post. I came across a letter about my nephew Isaac and wanted to share a bit.

About 16 years ago my nephew, Isaac, at the age of 14, went home to be with the Lord. He had suffered all of his life from a metabolic disorder called Niemann Pick disease. He was only expected to live a few years, but the Lord extended his time. He lived much of his life overseas because his parents were missionaries with Youth With a Mission. He led an interesting life, I think, and his parents made sure he got to participate in "kid things" as much as possible, even T-ball. Though he needed oxygen constantly, they managed to find a team for him to play on.

I won't tell you his whole life history, but I wanted to share something that happened in the last few moments of his life here on earth. His parents and sisters, grandparents, and many friends were gathered at home to be with him, knowing he didn't have long left in this world. My little niece, Naomi, Isaac's little sister, must have been about 4 at the time. As my mother wrote, "In Isaac's last moments little Naomi pointed excitedly toward Isaac and said, 'Do you see the shining arms? Do you see the shining arms?' She saw arms reaching down to receive Isaac. Isn't that wonderful of the Lord?!! After that she quit mourning and crying and, like all the rest of us, walked in a cloud of grace." I find myself sobbing, joyfully, every time I read this! God is good all the time. What the devil meant for evil (death) God has used as the vehicle for our triumphal entry into Heaven.

Isaac had once told his father that when he ran into home base he felt like a hero. On the long drive home after the funeral my mom said, "I kept receiving a picture in my mind of Isaac in his T-ball uniform, running in to home base and a big angel/umpire shouting, 'SAFE!' Well, at last, he is home safe and a hero."

Isaac told one of his father's friends that he was excited about going to Heaven because he would never be bored, never be tired and...could fly! I never met Isaac in this life, but I look forward to seeing him in heaven. Maybe we can go flying together!

Shalom. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

No excuses...

Yesterday was rainy and gave me a good excuse to simply sit and read and rest up. Today, however, dawned clear and sunny. It's 82* outside with a nice breeze. I'm not complaining after seeing what's happening in MK's neck of the woods!

I did some relaxing this morning and attended my son's church in Burleson, TX, via the internet. I do enjoy those people, though I know that eventually I need to get back in fellowship with some local folks. As Pastor Troy reminded us in his sermon today, nobody in the body of Christ is a Lone Ranger! I keep telling myself that when I semi-retire in the fall of 2016 I'll have more time to get involved in a local church. I'm not sure if that's true, or just an excuse. Holy Spirit?

I listened to the second service, too. You always get something new thrown in and I get to watch my son some more. :) While listening the second time I actually worked on some drawing and painting. Who does that in church? Me, I guess!

These are for a Dr. Seuss swap.
 About 1:30 I was craving a hamburger but had none of the requisite ingredients at home. So, I decided to order one from the local café and bring it home. When I got there and saw the place was empty (I figured it would be packed with tourists!) I decided to eat there. This was probably the second time I've eaten out alone since Bob went to be with Jesus. But it's a small mom and pop café that's part of the mom and pop grocery store I mentioned in a previous post, so it didn't feel awkward.

Upon returning home I noticed the lawn was looking pretty seedy. Too hot to mow? I figured if I took it in small pieces with lots of resting it shouldn't be too bad. I really have to conserve some energy for work tomorrow. My supply is not boundless. So I set up a rest station complete with glass of iced tea (under the cap to keep out marauding dragonflies and other flotsam) and John-Michael Talbot's book The Lessons of St. Francis. I'll share a couple of pages below. :)
This is no manicured city lawn. But I like things a little wilder.

The view from my chair.

During my rests I've been reading JMT's chapter entitled "Creativity" which discusses how we, as Christians, made in the image of a creative God, should also be creative. He gives some very practical ways we can live this out even if we don't feel we are particularly creative. Here are those pages. Maybe they'll make you want to read more?
(You'll have to click on this pic to make it large enough to read.)
Right now I'm taking a longer rest indoors. I might wait an hour or two until it begins to cool off to finish the front yard. The back yard can wait until next time. I did the side yards already, so there won't be much left.
I hope you're all enjoying your summer weather. Lawn mowing is about the only thing that coaxes me outside, and I'm so glad it does. I enjoy being out there. I just need to get into the shade a lot. The only shady spot is where I put my chair in the pictures!
Happy weekend to all!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Treasures from Mama...

In the part of southeast Texas where I was born parents are commonly referred to as "Mama" and "Daddy". Even big old grown-up manly men refer to their parents in this way. After we moved north to Colorado we exchanged these terms for "Mom" and "Dad". But I think my mom always preferred "Mama" and I even use this term sometimes when signing emails or texts to my kids. It's a word that is full of affection.

As many of you are aware from reading my blog, my mom has dementia. But long ago she created a document of her last wishes. Among them were instructions to send me the copies she had kept of emails we had sent back and forth over the years. My faithful step-dad (Daddy Glenn) has seen to it that her wish was fulfilled. When I came home from work last night I found a HEAVY box sitting on my porch filled with treasures that Mom had saved for me. Thank you, Mama!

 My mom's name is Mary Jane, hence the M.J. on these albums.
 I especially look forward to reading through the "Warm Fuzzies" notebook.

 I remember this day. We were watching daughter Micah show her 4-H animals. :)
A similar stack of notebooks was sent to my brother James. He and Mom kept in touch via email over the many years he and his family were missionaries all over the globe. I can imagine his pleasure at reading through them.

I'm so glad we're a family of writers. These memories can be passed along as part of our family history. When we fly away to heaven they will no longer be needed, because we will see each other face-to-face and we'll have all of eternity to spend together. But for now, it is so nice to have them.

Thanks, Mama. And thanks, Glenn, for faithfully carrying out her wishes. I love you both!

It's a rainy day in Minnesota. I don't  have to worry about whether or not I should go outside and mow. I think I'll just read some emails, talk to my little brother in Texas, and maybe go visit my daughter and grandgirls later. Hope you all have a great day!


Monday, June 15, 2015

A very fishy post...

I suddenly realized that all my ideas for this post had to do with fish...

First of all, here are my latest ATC's for  a swap called "Go Fish!"

 My hostess requested that I make a copy of a card from a previous swap because she liked it so much. So I made this for her host card.
 The trout is my favorite. :)
 While looking up fish images for my cards I came across pictures of darters. I never knew these little jewels existed! So tiny and colorful. God created these little guys who most people will never see. But what beautiful little creations! I hope these were returned to the river they came from.

Thirdly, my favorite fishy snack! I used to love sardines in mustard sauce, but I find that the newer version of mustard sauce is pretty insipid. So instead, I buy these in olive oil (they're the cheapest brand I found) and then I add plain old mustard to them, mash them up, and plop some on a cracker. Yummy!

I'm looking forward to some rest time tomorrow. I will have to make a foray into town to see the eye doctor about some new glasses. I'm so ready for a new pair! I hope to have a relaxing day.
God bless all and shalom!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A cool evening after a hot day...

89 degrees on my car thermometer as I left work this afternoon! That's hotter than I like it. I prefer somewhere in the low 70's, or even cooler. But it's summer. We've been looking forward to this all winter, right?

Well, now it's cooling off. I opened my west windows and my east sliding doors when I arrived home. There was a terrific wind that whistled through my screens and blew the curtains around. It was very comfortable indoors and I enjoyed just listening to the wind and putting my feet up for a while.

Now the cool fresh evening breeze is rustling the grass outside and the birds are singing their evening songs. Isn't it wonderful how they seem to have a special song in the early morning and again in the evening?

I took this photo this morning while the robins sang joyfully.

This was a view of the evening shadows and sunlight.
After a long hot day the grass blowing in the evening breeze looks so enticing. Do you ever feel like you'd like to just sit down in the tall grass and enjoy some solitude while it blows around over your head? Why don't we do this when the urge strikes? (Because our neighbors would think we were crazy, that's why. If I lived further out in the country I might just do it! Well, woodticks might factor into it, too.)

I've often seen a beautiful spot in the woods as I drive down the highway and wondered, "What would happen if I just pulled over, got out of the car, hiked down through the ditch and took a nice walk in those woods?"  Well, I'd most likely be arrested for trespassing, because everything is private property these day. Remember being a kid and never even thinking about the concept of private property? You would innocently meander across property lines all the time, thinking the whole world was your playground. I think Heaven will be like that. No private property. Everything for our enjoyment. Woods and meadows enough to explore for all time. Ahhhhh... See you there, kindred spirits! :)

Today was a pretty good day. I spent a lot of time worrying during the night hours, thinking it would be the hardest day ever because of the way workers were scheduled. Instead, God changed my perspective. He provided and things went more smoothly than usual. Thank you, Lord! (At 1:30 in the morning I woke up and had to close the window. The loons were making so much noise on a nearby lake, they weren't helping me to get back to sleep! But I do love the variety of calls they make.)

Well, I finally finished another two page spread in my Sketchbook Project sketchbook. I still have some captioning to do, but here's the jist of it.

It's a beautiful evening. I think I'll go enjoy it some more. I spent a few minutes outside in my deck chair eating a banana split of sorts, enjoying the fresh breezes. I tossed a lump of chocolate ice cream to my barn cat friend and he enjoyed it. (Yes, MK, I'm grazing again! Wish I could enjoy grazing on fruits and veggies instead of ice cream!)
Hope you're enjoying your summer days. Shalom, friends.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

ATC's and library assistant applications...

Well, I didn't get the library job. (Thought I'd cut to the chase.) I'm okay with that. I think I'll be happier with myself in the long run if I stick it out at the deli for another year and a half. Then I can find something different to do and have a clear conscience. I wasn't feeling good about jumping ship when the deli was so short-handed. Anyway, it was a good experience just giving it a try. The interview was interesting. I now have a better idea about what the job entails. Maybe someday I'll give it another try, or maybe I'll try for something totally different.

On to other things. Here are the last two of my ATC's for the Medieval Animal swap. They will be off to England, probably on Monday. Hard to get hold of an international stamp between now and then.

Hmmm...I hadn't realized the similarities between these two cards until I put them side-by-side! :)
And now for some glorious God art.

One of the locals. I'm their version of TV.
It's getting toward bedtime. Another day of frying chicken tomorrow (this will be the 5th since Saturday). I got a different shift today, but since the chef went on vacation this week and the chicken fryer had to fill in for him, I've been filling in for the chicken fryer. Not that I don't fry chicken quite a bit anyway, but...

I'm thinking that God is looking out for me in all of this job stuff. My house finally got listed yesterday, and that could be enough to deal with right now. I already see some problems with the listing and who knows what will happen in the next year. Changes enough, perhaps, without a job change as well.

Cheerio for now, all. Shalom.