Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dino the wonder dog goes on vacation.

Two years ago was the first and only time that we took Dino camping. He did very well and had a great time. Obviously. Coz as we were packing to go camping this time, he didn't want to get left behind. 
 His favorite thing is swimming in Lake Superior. He will fetch a stick thrown in the water forever. We worry that the stupid dog is going to have a heart attack though, coz he doesn't know when to quit. 
 It does take him a little while to settle down in the truck, though. Most of the way up to Michigan he drove us nuts, bouncing around. By the second day he had figured it out though. Time in the vehicle is just time to go from one fun thing to another. 
In an attempt to settle Dino down on the long drive to the State Park, Himey bought him a rawhide bone. Dino had no intentions of chewing it until it softened up a bit. So as soon as we got settled into our campsite, he buried it under some leaves at the each of the woods. Every day he would bring it out and nudge it around, seeing if it was soft yet. 
As we were packing up the camper and the campsite on Thursday morning, getting ready for the sad trip home, he dragged out the rawhide bone. He set it at my feet, as if to say, "Don't forget to pack my stuff too."
The day after we got home, he finally started chewing on the bone. He's such a goof. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Get Focused

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:25 New International Version (NIV)

In 1980 I bought a bulky 35 mm SLR camera. Everything on it was totally manual, which meant I could let in as much or as little light as I wanted, I could set the exposure however I wanted (coz sometimes pictures look cool when they are slightly blurry) and I could focus on whatever I wanted.

In 2005 I got an inexpensive but workable digital camera, and then last year I got a little bit better digital. It has taken me a while to figure it out, but I am happy with most of my results. I still sometimes miss the old heavy SLR.

Sometimes, it takes a little work to get things in focus. It doesn’t always just happen. I was so excited to see this iron ore freighter on Lake Superior last week, and even more excited that my new camera was able to zoom out that far. But I forgot to pay attention to where the camera was focused.

Ah, I got it right on the second try.
When things seem blurry in our lives, when things are out of focus, we need to turn to God. Sometimes it doesn’t come naturally and sometimes we have to make adjustments, but once we focus on God, our troubles don’t seem so troubling. We know we can get through another day. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Go Fly a Kite"

Sunday morning, my husband, the dog and I piled into the Blazer, towing the pop-up camper, and drove to Mclain State Park in Michigan’s UP. I just love it up there, and I know I have blogged about it before so I will try to stay focused on the story at hand.

Every morning when we are up there, we drive to a little township park a few miles up the road from where we are camped so that Dino can frolic in Lake Superior and I can hunt for pretty rocks. The hubby usually is along for the ride or the walk as it turns out.

Our first morning there this year, as Dino and I were on a mission on the beach – one of us to find rocks and the other to just plain play in the water – the hubby found a discarded kite in the sand. By the time I had walked far enough up the beach to have filled my pockets so full of rocks that my thighs looked like chipmunk cheeks, he had the kite aloft and was having a great time.

This is a talent I do not possess; I cannot get a kite airborne. Hubby, though, has never had a problem flying a kite. And I will never win an argument with him by ending it with “go fly a kite” because he would gladly go outside and do it.  

Even Dino the wonder dog thinks that Daddy is talented. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How does your garden grow?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” Luke 12:27
New Living Translation

Every spring I purchase too many potted flowers from the greenhouse. I plant these tender buds in various flower gardens about my house and then pretty much ignore them. My philosophy, with both flowers and vegetables, is that if they are not tough enough to overcome the weeds, then – oh, well. Most of the time, the weeds take over.

This spring I started yet another flowerbed, this time in a huge old copper kettle which had been sitting empty on my front stoop for many years. My husband dutifully drilled holes in the bottom of it and filled it with a mix of top soil and potting soil. I purchased four Gerber daises and five pansies to fill the space. And then, as usual, ignored them.

Perhaps it was the fresh dirt and fresh spot, but these little flowers have done quite well. I look off of my deck each evening and eye the splash of color which they grace me with. On days when it seems as if God is so far away, all I have to do is look at these little flowers and know that He is right beside me as always. 

If you want to read and see more of my gardening adventures, click here and you will be directed to my other blog.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Works of Chalk

I probably don't do it as much as I should, but every week or so, I try to save everything I've written onto a jump drive. I know that there are other fancier ways to back up your work, but this is the system that works for me. On occasion, just to be sure, I've e-mailed things to myself as another way of saving them. I rarely resort to printing anything out anymore – seems a waste of paper - but sometimes things need to be printed for posterity. 

Imagine spending hours on a project, pouring your heart and soul and back into it, knowing full well that it was only a matter of time - perhaps only hours -before your work would be erased, destroyed forever. 

Last Sunday, I went to Chalkfest just down the road from where I live. What masterpieces of art these people have drawn on the sidewalk. What talent. And patience. And all it's going to take is a little shower, or a hundred footsteps, and that work of art will be gone. Amazing. 

And because of stupid Blogger and whatever the world it does with my writing with the white spaces, I was going to scrap this entire post. See, I could be a chalk-drawer after all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday, Pat

This past Sunday, the 15th, my sister Pat would have been 53. Instead, she is still 39. Doesn’t seem right that I have to get older, while she will forever be young. I know I have blogged about her in the past, especially about a lot of the trips we went on. Did I tell you about the year we were camping in the UP on her birthday? We actually almost forgot about it, but then ran into town and found a place which served ice cream, coz it just would not be her birthday without ice cream.

I’m going to the UP next week camping with the hubby. Pat will certainly be there. 

 At the rehearsal for my first wedding, July 1985
 Pat with her husband and me with mine, at the Luxor in Las Vegas, Spring 1995
 Camping with my kids. 
June 1998, Pat with Val at the Lake of the clouds. One of the last trips we went on. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Are you missing anything?

A while back, I lost the R letter on my laptop at work. Luckily when it popped off the keyboard, it didn’t go far. I wasn’t able to pop it back on so I put it in my drawer for safekeeping until the tech support person came around later in the week. With her skinny fingers and long fingernails, she was able to snap my R right back onto my computer. But it was surprising how many times in a day I need to type the letter R. 

It seems like things are always missing in our life – there’s not enough money to pay the bills, we can’t find an important piece of paper, we run out of time by the end of the day to get done everything we needed to do, we are missing more than just one letter on our keyboard.

On days like that, we need to remember the one thing that is not missing from our life. That would be an eternal Savior who will always be at our side. He can’t – and he won’t – pop off of our keyboard. He is here to stay.

 Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock. Matthew 7:7-8 Good News Translation 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just some silliness

Here we are, ready for adventure. Ready to take the plunge into the cold deep sea so that we can sail to foreign lands and conquer all our foes. 

Hold it, guys, what's wrong here? I don't seem to be able to get my bearings.

Can't get your bearings?? I can't even breath. What's the deal here?

Hmm? So football season's right around the corner.
Yep, glad I live in Wisconsin and not that state to the west. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Do you get the Message?

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 New International Version 

I missed our Fourth of July parade again this year. Because it just is not that exciting for me, I miss it many years. And this year it was especially hot and humid besides. I much rather be at my quiet country estate on such days.

I did volunteer for a few hours at a fundraiser for Kinship, but by noon it was time for this chick to go home. Before heading to the car, I swung by our church where they were selling brats to support our youth program. I tend to support positive youth programs whenever I can.

With brats in hand to take home to the hubby, I next ventured down the street to the cheese curd stand. As I crossed the street heading away from our church, the chimes in the bell tower began playing. Just then I passed a little girl, maybe four or five years old, and she asked her daddy, “Why is that music playing?”

I slowed my pace. I wanted to hear what Dad was going to say.

“So that when people hear that music they remember that Jesus loves them.”

Yes, Dad, you nailed it! I wanted to stop and give this total stranger a high-five. Instead I kept walking down the side walk, a foolish grin on my face.

That simple response made my whole day. What a blessing that there are still people out there who get the Message and share it with their kids. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

North for the Fourth

Being as I live in a tourist town and we live on the edge of the arctic circle so that we see one week of summer a year, our chamber of commerce has always done up a big Fourth of July celebration. My hometown is Tomahawk, so this celebration has always been called the Pow Wow Days. I am surprised that the city is still able to get away with that. Shh, please don’t tattle on us.

 It seemed however like this was a much bigger thing when I was a kid. They even set up carnival rides on the west end of Main Street. One time I rode on the tilt-a-whirl so many times right in a row that I actually threw up when I finally got off of the spinning thing. Yea, there’s a memory I should have kept to myself.

There was also the year that a tornado struck north of town. I think it was around 1978. From the east end of Main Street, my friends and I watched green swirling clouds descend upon the city. About the time we decided we should seek cover, torrential rain started coming down. We raced for Hanke’s Super Market and asked to use the phone to let our parents know we were safe, because that’s the kind of responsible kids we were. The clerk, being equally responsible, said it wasn’t safe to use the phone in the storm, so we ran back out of the store and slogged our way to Brenda’s sister’s house two more blocks away. Yea, that was another smart move.

This year? Nothing so exciting. Here are a few views of our downtown, three hours before the big parade. Several people told me that most of these chairs were actually set up by six am (the parade is at one pm). And myself? Well before the parade started, I was home again, eating a brat and cheese curds that I had bought downtown. Like, I said, nothing exciting.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Now?

The desktop computer was acting up this morning, wouldn't let me get online. We had a bad storm last night, so I wonder if it got hit by lightening. But I can get online on the laptop, so I don't know, coz I always thought our wireless had to go through the other computer. Like I say, I don't know. Oh, and that phone jack doesn't seem to want to work for the phone either, so I am really confused. Going to try a few things though yet tonight. 

Anyway, it nearly resigned me to not posting a blog tonight. That and I got pulled into another movie. Ok. Really maybe I was just lazy. But I did eventually feel guilty enough to jump on the laptop and post SOMETHING.

These are pictures of Foster Falls which is way up in northern Wisconsin, the closest town of any size being Hurley, and if you've been to Hurley, well, that's a whole 'nother story. Yep, Hurley is in the back of my mind as a setting for a book I'm going to write someday. Imagine that.

Enjoy these pictures and have a safe and happy Fourth.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

In pain

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1-3 New International Version

My back went out yesterday morning. This usually happens every spring, so it was not unexpected.

Sometimes it is the spring chores – too much lifting and raking and general yard work. One year it was hoisting a hundred pound carpet into the back of my cousin’s Jeep. Most often however, it is nothing dramatic, it is simply bending down to tie my shoe. Or like this time, when honestly, I wasn’t doing anything that should traumatize my vertebrae. I was washing dishes and next thing I knew my back was cinched up like a bronco’s saddle.

I used to run to the chiropractor and after several “crackings”, my back was fine. But I have found that over the years, the stupid thing goes back into place on its own in about the same amount of time. On average I can expect to be in pain for three or four days, while walking around with my right hip a few inches out of alignment.

It’s been the few occasions where this back pain has dragged on for over a week that I lose my sense of humor. What if the pain doesn’t go away? What if I can never straighten up again? What if I end up addicted to pain pills that make me goofy (goofier)?

When my brain takes off like that, I take a deep breath, say a prayer and turn it over to God. Just like everything else in this world, it is going to turn out the way it is supposed to.

Dear Lord, thank you for the beautiful weekend which you have given to me. You know what is best for me, and if that meant this was the weekend I was going to be laid up with a bad back so that I was forced to neglect the housework and get some reading and TV watching done, thank you for that opportunity. And whatever the coming days bring, I will accept it as Your will. Amen
This would be how my back feels. This picture was taken last Sunday at the ruins of Plummer Mine in northern Wisconsin. See? God let my back be good last weekend.