Sunday, August 30, 2015


 I am sad and tired.
    Make me strong again as you have promised. 
Psalm 119:28 (New Century Version)

A lot of the authors throughout the Bible write of being tired and weary.

 He gives strength to those who are tired
    and more power to those who are weak.
 Even children become tired and need to rest,
    and young people trip and fall.
 But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up as an eagle in the sky;
    they will run and not need rest;
    they will walk and not become tired. 
Isaiah 40:29-31 (New Century Version)

Their faith, though, is in the Lord as they know that only He can give them strength and refresh them.

 Then he went back to his followers, and again he found them asleep, because their eyes were very heavy. And they did not know what to say to him. Mark 14:40 (New Century Version)

Even Jesus’ disciples gave into fatigue, at the most crucial of times.

 “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” 
Matthew 11:28-30 (New Century Version)

But Jesus reminds us that we need to turn to Him and our fatigue will lift. We will be able to carry on.

 We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up. 
Galatians 6:9 (New Century Version)

And we will receive our reward.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Closing the Book on this Story

When Achilles tendinitis took hold of my left ankle this spring, I slowed down a bit, frustrated that I couldn’t shake the pain. Then when bursitis attacked my right hip the first of June, not only was running impossible but walking became a challenge. I quit my weekly walks around Tomahawk. And even when the bursitis abated, and I had decided to just suffer with the tendinitis, my walks never resumed.

I kept telling myself, week after week, “get out there and finish walking the streets of your town.” And week after week, another excuse came up.

At least I am going to finish one tale of that year and a half long goal of walking every street. I am going to close the photo essay of the old Sacred Heart Hospital. In its place, Milestone Senior Living opens this week. And though it doesn’t have the character of the old building, it is a beautiful facility and will serve many individuals over the coming decades.

In my walks around that block, I tried to keep track of where I was. But when the old building disappeared and the new one went up, I lost some of my landmarks. And also just plain didn’t keep track of where I was as I took each picture.
July 11, 2014
September 3, 2014
March 20, 2015
August 27, 2015
March 30, 2014
September 3, 2014
September 6, 2014
August 27, 2015
July 11, 2014
August 25, 2014
September 9, 2014
October 16, 2014
March 20, 2015
August 27, 2015
March, 2008 (yes, 2008, have I been keeping my eyes on this building for too long?)
July 11, 2014
September 9, 2014 
September 14, 2014
March 20, 2015
August 27, 2015
March 30, 2014
August 18, 2014
September 9, 2014
September 14, 2014
March 20, 2015
August 27, 2015
This post has probably got the most pictures I've ever posted. And in case you are wondering, I have a total of 164 from this one block in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. But now is the time to close the book on that story.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday - is it a lost cause?

I know that I posted the rhino’s plight before, but since I saw him in the news again, I just had to share more of his stories.

As with other animals, there are several species of rhinos, some doing better than others, but none doing well. The number of southern white rhinos is around 20,400. On the critically endangered list, the Black rhino comes in at around 5,000 and one subspecies is already extinct.

It still doesn’t sound good for any rhinos. The northern white rhino of Africa has met the worst fate. Their entire population is down to four. FOUR! One male and three females, who are all incapable of reproducing. “Nabiré, a 31-year-old female northern white rhino, died of a ruptured cyst in July.” 

Besides having a shrinking habitat, the rhino carries a precious commodity on his head – his horn. Poachers continue to slaughter these magnificent creatures at the rate of three per day in Southern Africa! Just because some wealthy people, mostly in China, believe the horn has medicinal properties. There is a software engineer in California who is perfecting a fake horn which is so biologically similar to the rhino horn that he believe the sale of his imitation horn will drive down the price making it less desirable to kill for the real thing. A good idea in theory, but isn’t that giving into the creeps who want these rhino horns in the first place, like feeding an addict’s habit with something else instead of curing the problem? 

I know there is no easy answer. Is there ever? 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

All Dogs Go To Heaven

“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won't be too bad.”—Robert Wagner (actor, The Longest Day) 

I just read on Facebook that some friends of ours put their dog to sleep. Cinnamon had just celebrated her seventeenth birthday, which is very old for any dog, but she was a golden retriever, and an internet search just told me that the average lifespan for that breed is twelve.

I haven’t seen Cinnamon in many years, but I’ve heard her stories and seen her pictures. I feel a loss in her passing, but not nearly the loss her family must feel.

I look at my devoted Dino and wonder how I will survive losing him some day, what a hole will be left in my heart when he’s not there waking us up at five a.m. every morning without fail, when he doesn’t greet me at the door every night so excited that I have returned to his house just to see him, when he doesn’t plop his 60 pound body of fur on my lap when I am trying to read in bed at night. What will my yard look like in the spring without two wheelbarrows full of poop?

Which brings up the question – do dogs go to heaven? To which all of us dog lovers know the answer.

"Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in." —Mark Twain (author, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Short Track

Monday night around midnight, I returned home from my fifth Green Lake Christian Writers Conference. I searched those words on this blog and I must be boring you to death with stories from the previous four trips there. I’ll cut it short this time, just like my time at the conference again this year. 

I took 120 pictures, mostly on the grounds of the Green Lake Conference Center, in the day and a half that I was there. Let me just share some of them, then we can both get to sleep. 

Yup, there I am, all serious. 

This little boy was so cute, checking out the statue of kids his size.
With Lynne, a friend who I dragged along with me this year. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Someone is there to pick you up

9 Two people are better than one,
    because they get more done by working together.
10 If one falls down,
    the other can help him up.
But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls,
    because no one is there to help.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (New Century Version) 

My husband and I left our daughter’s wedding reception early last Saturday night. We are getting too old to party all night. I crawled into bed at the hotel, exhausted, and laid there wide awake for hours. I didn’t feel like I had anything on my mind, but I couldn’t get to sleep.

Around midnight, panic seized me out of nowhere. My daughter. Something had happened to my daughter Val. She was in pain and needed my help. The feeling was so intense that I had the urge to wake my sleeping husband, get dressed, jump in the car and drive the 20 miles back to the reception.

The feeling passed and I eventually drifted to sleep.

In the morning, when I talked to Val, she was miserable. She had fallen some time after midnight and knocked her knee cap out of place. She’s got bad knees and this has happened before. She knew what to do about it. She was not only in physical pain, but emotional pain that this had to happen now. 

My feelings were spot on.

But Val was surrounded by family and friends when she had fallen. She wasn’t alone. Loving arms picked her up and caring individuals got her an ice pack. In the morning, not just one, but two sets of crutches were delivered by people who care about her.

What a blessing to have support in our time of need.

Heavenly Father, thank you for surrounding us with family and friends, people who care about us and are willing to pick us up when we fall. Thank you for sending people like that into my daughter’s life. And thank you, Lord, that her knee is doing better, and please grant her full healing. Amen. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Story of a Wedding Day

As you may recall, my daughter got married this past weekend. Which explains my negligence in writing this blog all summer. Hopefully I will get back on track. What did my day last Saturday consist of? 

After running a few other errands, Hubby and I piled these flowers in the back of my car. 
 Then dropped the flowers off here, where a friend of my daughter's turned them into beautiful bouquets and center pieces.
My daughter and I supervised the preparation of transforming four friends from young ladies
 Into beautiful hillbilly women.
 Luckily I had no part of this - taking that poor pig out of the cooler
 And fitting him onto this grill.
 But my most important task was taking this
 And this
 And creating this. Over 25 years ago when I first made her, I never imagined she would ever, ever turn out so beautiful.
 I sure didn't think this motley crew would be her wedding party.
 Or that we would get them safely on this dock and back to dry ground.
 But a momma will do anything for her family.
 And a momma's daughter will always be her baby girl.
 Even when she is now joined as one to a fella like this.
And that's how the hillbilly wedding turned out.