IT'S NOT EASY BEING A SOUTHERN BELLE-EVEN AFTER YEARS OF PRACTICE!













Thursday, December 31, 2009

JOYFUL NEW YEAR!


I just reread last year's New Year's Eve Post, "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly". It was a trip down Memory Lane. I am reflecting as I write on the past year and a worthy title for this blog. Perhaps it will come to me as I write.


Looking at last year's post, I reflected upon Dr. Dale's leaving. After MONTHS, of watching the insidious illness take its toll, Dale slipped peacefully into the hands of the Father. A true man of God, we all miss him and I often think with a smile of his dry wit and insatiable desire to get me stirred up. He made me think! His memory lives on with us all.


God reminds of us his goodness with "New Beginnings" such as the birth of our sweet Henry. It has been a delight to watch him come into the world and grow into a crawling-LOUD babbling Little Man. His Mom and Dad have taken to parenting like Bees to Honey. It has been pure joy to watch.


The two oldest Grands have grown up A LOT in this year-especially the oldest. He is a sweet and tender young man that has learned how to pull at his Momma Lulu's heart. #2 is ALL BOY----but I see the changes coming as he also follows in his brother's footsteps in the path of growing up. They are joy---pure joy!


It has been a year of unexpected and painful revelations----it has been a year of reoccurring illness-----it has been a year of a life full of turmoil-doubts-struggles, but then ONCE AGAIN God has provided his strength. I have grown in Him and He is still wooing me. The growth comes with life's pain---but the growth is SO worth any pain.


I have been reminded of who He is and what He desires for me-----it is all Joy. He is my faithful Lover and I am His bride. How beautiful.


He has provided the Blessing of wonderful children and grandchildren, friends that would walk through fire with me, strength to sustain me, solace to comfort me, and as I look out the window and see a HUGE beautiful hawk 30 feet from me--a reminder of a beautiful world to live in.


I am thankful for how He has chosen to use me this year and blessed by an occasional glimpse of the blessing He has poured out through me. I pray for Him to continue to nudge me---maybe even hit me over the head when necessary---just use me. My prayer is for Him to change me---and to remind me of my part in that act of change.


Life is still not easy----but He is ever present and loves me FAR BEYOND REASON! Another year closing and fewer years spread before me than those behind me---I am joyful for the Blessing of His Faithful and Sustaining Love.


HAPPY NEW YEAR---INDEED!

JOYFUL NEW YEAR---In all things and in all circumstances, I will count it all joy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MERCY

While traveling to Austin for Christmas, we stopped for lunch. While waiting in the line at one of the World's favorite fast food spots, the young man waiting on me was given a difficult time by his supervisor. He said, "Lord Jesus" with such conviction and emotion that I KNEW he was no stranger to beseeching God for MERCY! I have been reminded in the last couple of days of the need all of us experience for the Mercy that only can come from Him. As He extends His Grace to me, may I extend a fraction of that grace to those I encounter.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ADVANCED GRANDS!

We may not be with Mr. Henry this Christmas, BUT we do have this new picture of his piano recital.

ALL MY GRANDS ARE SO ADVANCED!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WHERE'S THE MAGIC?


Christmas has always been a magical time of the year for me. From my earliest memory my Daddy made Christmas wonderful. There have been times that I have found Christmas over-whelming---and times that I even fought off being blue---but even with that it has always been my favorite time of the year.


For many and various reasons, I have not had the "Magical Feeling" this year. There are no decorations---not even a tree. I just could not get it all going this year. It is almost like it is not really Christmas. I did get out and push through gifts for the close family---but that has been it. I have almost chosen to skip Christmas altogether---except for the Grands---I might have done just that.


Today God revealed to me that the "Wonder and Magic" are not in the tinsel and presents----but in the very thing we are celebrating--The Birth Of Our Saviour. It is a wonder and beyond my ability to comprehend why He chose to come down to Earth---HOW He could love us that much-------That Love Beyond Reason! So as I drove along the interstate, I took the time to thank Him for the Reason for the Season. Perhaps it was a good thing to put all the Human part of Christmas aside for a season and STOP and reflect on the "Wonder of It All".


Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Monday, December 21, 2009

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION-FINALLY!

I have noticed and commented MANY times that ALL of the fast girls have ponytails! Friend Sheila, took care of that and bought me my very own pony tail. I wore it to lunch today and everyone was SO envious. I will be known as the "Silver Streak" from now on. One of the runners was slightly dis-respectful and said she thought I looked like Willie Nelson and promtly named me Willete----I think I prefer "The Streak"!


My Running Buds took me to lunch today to celebrate my birthday. They always come through! There was not much celebration on the actual day since the kids and grands are all out of town. I did get sweet telephone calls from the entire crew that day! Today though----was great! The group has a wonderful way of making you feel special! We laughed and ate---two of my favorite activities! Thanks to all the "Running Buds!"





Saturday, December 19, 2009

ON MY SOAPBOX!

I am usually not very vocal about political drama-BUT this Healthcare bill that is being forced upon us is THE PITS! Mark my words----this will be a disaster of HUGE proportions! We are going to be in a even BIGGER healthcare mess than exists now.

Look at the US PostOffice. Now that works well-doesn't it!!! Who in their good mind would think the federal government would do a better job of running anything than free enterprise.

What really ticks me is that I have spent most of my life taking good care of myself--keeping my weight down, eating healthy, and exercising. Do I get ANY break for this----NO! Now that I am entering those years where I will probably need to use my insurance or eventually medicare, they are train-wrecking the entire system.

I plan to keep a list of those that vote for the bill and remind them now---and later when their system fails to work and especially when their next election comes up.

When do we all say---enough-----and vocalize---no scream----STOP???

Thursday, December 17, 2009

TRY THIS

The link I posted does not work for others so try this:

www.sportphoto.com

event-White Rock Half Marathon
Bib # 12624

MY GIFT TO YOU

Today is my Birthday! As my gift to ALL 2 of you that read this blog, I am breaking my long standing practice and sharing a photo-OF ME! I recieved the proofs from the White Rock Half and got a good laugh at myself. As usual my mouth is hanging open, becuase I cannot get enough air otherwise. I know Sandra will crack up when she sees me turning off that GPS while crossing the finish line. We ALL give her such a hard time because NO MATTER WHAT she turns that watch off if she stops! You will note that as I posted---it was like running in a parade. I can't remember exactly where the cameras were, but I think around mile 6 or so.

So click here and DON'T YOU DARE LAUGH!! http://orders.racephotonetwork.com/QPPlus/Images.aspx



As I stop and reflect--briefly--BUSY DAY!---I am once again thankful for all the Blessings that God has showered upon me. Wonderful children---the TOP OF THE LINE Grands----great and faithful friends---a lovely home and beautiful woods to live in---food on our table and shoes on our feet---good health--sweet extended families----a husband that God loves deeply---AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST---the ability to still run at 61. I am most thankful that He has chosen to draw me to Him and given me a hunger for Him. He has used circumstances in my life and mentors He put in my path---to create a hunger and desire to know Him intimately. I am thankful!



SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY---OLD GIRL!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BIRDS AT CHRISTMAS


Do Birds Have Christmas?




On a chilly Christmas morn, as I looked out the window

at a crystal coat of frost on the Mulberry tree,

I saw a sudden movement, like a darting shadow,

that quickly transformed, into a happy Chickadee.




A thought crossed my mind, as I watched this little friend.

Could I learn the truth, from a fine-feathered brother?

If the Chickadee could talk, my ear he would bend.

Do you birds have Christmas, or is this day just another?




I watched, and listened, for action and sound

.Suddenly, a Brown Creeper, diving with speed

halted its plunge, a foot from the ground

,to peck at some old suet covered with seed.




More tiny friends appeared, to my delight.

The tree filled with blacks, reds and yellows

as Goldfinch and Cardinals arrived in a flight

.Do birds have Christmas? Tell me, little fellows.




Some Juncos flew in, these darts of slate.

They were hopping and jumping like children at recess,

feeding on seeds with the ground as their plate

.Do they know of Christmas? I can only guess.




I pushed close to the window with my forehead,

as nuthatches and woodpeckers joined in the throng.

All colors of feathers, white, black, yellow and red.

Each different, but the same, all getting along


.


I sneaked open the window, and heard them all sing,

At last to my mind came all the right words.

It was as clear as their chorus, a choir on the wing.

Birds don’t have Christmas, Christmas has birds!




By Mick Zerr, Christmas morning, 2005

Monday, December 14, 2009

TOO OLD TO STROLL!!!

The reason that they have you sign up weeks to months in advance for these marathons and half-marathons is that if you commit that far in advance----it seems like a REALLY GOOD IDEA! Oh these race director are SLY FOXES----sign up now registration is limited! ; registration will close 4 weeks before event (Minimum); 99% full registration-last chance. So--you put you name on the dotted line and for a MEASLY $75-$200 they will LET you run 13.1-26.2 miles! MY AREN'T THEY NICE!

Many of our group decided WEEKS ago that we would run the Dallas White Rock Half Marathon this year. You know go over as a group----stay in the hotel in adjoining rooms----eat together--see Dallas Christmas lights together---eat together----run together----eat together. WELL it didn't exactly work out like that! We did have a small group of 5---but that's OK---we did all of the above anyway.

You do have to understand--when it comes to race day there is no running together---it is every woman for themselves. I must say though when you run with 20,000 other close and intimate friends, it becomes more like running in a parade. At anytime that you could see for 1/4 to 1/2 a mile in front of you---it was a wave of people moving down the road. QUITE A SIGHT!

The race itself was a bit of a disappointment. Not much crowd support along the route, some dis-organization, and not the run you were promised. It seems someone in Texas might not be capable of telling the truth---we were promised a FLAT course. In case you did not realize it-there ARE hills in Dallas---LONG SLOW CLIMBING hills- which we DO NOT LIKE! Lots of concrete ====sore knees. I plan to tell the Dallasites they could take lessons from the Houstonians.

A good time-----my time was exactly where I wanted it and the others also had a good race---so a fast---but fun 2 days!

Friday, December 11, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GABE!

There are three things that I have done well and good in my life-----and that is bring 3 wonderful and sweet children into this world. Today is Gabe's Birthday and I am reminded of the blessing that he has been for me.

Gabe and I share the distinction of being "Middle Children". That is not an easy role to fill. There were times that I felt like all 3 kids were-"Only Children" since they are so far apart in age----but there is still birth order dynamics.

Of my 3, Gabe probably has the tenderest heart. As most of us middle children do, he is quick to volunteer to "Rush in for a rescue". Are you sick, are you down, do you need help----he will come to your aid. A loving Uncle that the grands adore. He is a playmate and yet a firm hand when needed. He has spent countless hours throwing kids in the water, swimming in the lake, throwing balls, and jumping on trampolines with all of his special nephews. He can even get a little silly with Henry, just to get a smile.

By this time 33 years ago today, Gabe was not very happy with his entrance into the world, his Dad had gone home to get some sleep and I was wondering how to quiet a screaming baby. A day not unlike today----cold and wintery--and yet one of the days that changed my life forever. A real Momma's baby for 2-3 years, he was on my hip or my constant shadow until I finally pushed him off and out the door to be with his Daddy. Once he learned the delights of maledom---I think I lost him except for brief moments.

We've made a full circle and discovered new things that we both love in his adult years. It is a delight to be in the kitchen and cook together-----although he does seem to forget just WHO IS IN CHARGE when we are there together. We both love to hike and he is the one child that doesn't mind looking at my pictures and hearing my adventures.

Gabe never meets a stranger and knew everyone within the neighborhood in a short period of time. Scott commented that he had lived there a few years and still did not know all the neighbors, but somehow Gabe had learned all their names. He has the gift of striking up a conversation and inviting you into his circle with ease. A lot like his Daddy, he sometimes uses all of his emotional meeting and greeting energy away from home and comes home drained and silent.


Gabe is a wonderful son and a blessing to me. I am thankful everyday for the gift that God chose to give me--33 years ago today.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Gabe!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ARE YOU LISTENING?

There are those that do not believe that God still speaks to us, but I think the problem is "Knowing How to Listen".

I awoke at 3 AM with a thought in my mind of the boundaries that are placed around some. If we don't learn at first, after crossing that boundary, we quickly get the hint. Don't go past this line. Here is the line and you are not allowed past it. I immediately began a prayer of praise that there was NO BOUNDARY between God and me because of Jesus. I praised God and thanked Him for this knowledge and assurance of His love far beyond reason.

This AM I received an email from a dear friend and mentor that said, "Psalm 16-Praying. " No other message.

During my "Listening Time" a few minutes ago, I began by reading Psalm 16----

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup,
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
SURELY I have a delightful inheritance.

I will praise the Lord , who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me,
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken."

Yes, I am listening and He is speaking! There is no boundary to keep me from God and he will instruct me even at night.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

EARS TO HEAR!

Friend, Sonja, gave me a new book to read (I have about 6 going now), "Hearing God" by Peter Lord. The first chapter is about "Listening" for God. I was encouraged by the lessons that I read and even began some of the steps suggested. Then later in the day, I definitly heard a message from God. While out "volunteering", a sweet friend shared with me an update on her life. I was reminded that God also uses other Believers to speak to us---if only we are listening. I was touched by waht she said and reminded of the blessings God has lavished upon me. I am totally undeserving of any Blessing and yet He has lavished upon me sweet children and grands, a husband that provides for our needs, wonderful friends, a beautiful world to live in, and Godly mentors in my life. Sometimes He needs to remind me to get my eyes off my navel and on Him. I just need to "Open My Ears" and "Know That He is God"!

Monday, December 7, 2009

GOTTCHA!


A family of squirrels have made the life-altering mistake of nesting in our attic. Once we hear them rumbling around in the crawl space, I am on a mission. If you think a mouse in the attic can sound like an elephant, you can JUST IMAGINE what a family of squirrels sounds like---A VIRTUAL WILD WEST STAMPEDE! I will give them this credit, while the mice seem to be nocturnal---the squirrels sleep at night. It is not until the early morning hours, that I begin to hear them. Since I get up VERY early at least 3 mornings a week----they were discovered as they crawled down the drain pipe.
I am on a mission to catch and release FAR away from here. I am kind---I don't shoot them like most would and I do release all of them in the same "neighborhood" of trees. I won't tell you where I am releasing, but if you happen to notice a population explosion of the "Little Rodents" WELLLLLLL!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

NOBODY LOVES YOU LIKE-------

For some reason, I began reflecting today on the love of a Daddy for his daughter. It really is a special kind of love. I was remembering how special my Daddy always made me feel and how I craved his attention. He was my "Knight in Shining Armor" for those early years. He called me, Miss WeeWoah, the name I gave myself when I could not pronounce my name. There was always a special place in his lap or in his hug for me and I adored him. A girl needs her Daddy-----but sadly he left far too early.

I often reminded BC of how important he was in his daughter's life. I told him that as long as she felt secure in his love and he made her feel special, she would not feel the need to search for another man, until the time was right. He did a wonderful job of being her "Knight in Shining Armor" . When the time came for her to "Leave and Cleave", she did an excellent job of selecting another "Knight". I choose to think that those early lessons in how a man treats a woman with respect, honor, and love helped her make a great choice.

My finite human mind can only begin to understand the love My Heavenly Father has for me, but thinking about this special love between a Father and Daughter is the beginning of understanding. Most damsels desire a "Knight in Shining Armor", but are often disappointed. The real Knight in our lives and the One that promises deep, satisfying, faithful, and steadfast love is God. As much as my =Daddy loved me, protected me, cared for me & loved knowing all about me, it does not begin to compare to God's love and care. What a Blessing!




Saturday, December 5, 2009

I QUIT!!!

Days like today, all I want to say is I QUIT!!!!!! Some days are not good running days! I have a theory formed after much reading. Once your bio-rhythms get off-IT IS NOT A GOOD DAY! Basically you have two rhythms internally---the physical rhythm and the emotional rhythm. It is a VERY good day when both of them are up. The days when both are down are THE PITS!

Today's run was 15 miles and it was 26 degrees when we started at 5:30. Being slow is a CURSE---I run by myself a LOT. Friend Sam turned around and joined me about mile three and ran with me for the next 3+ miles. Steph & Mandy then ran for another 1 1/2 mile, but THEN I WAS ON MY OWN! The last 3 miles, I did lots of walking and had NOTHING left. IT WAS A MISERABLE DAY! I QUIT!!!

Then Friend Sonja, who is also training but out of town, texted me and asked how it went. When I told her I didn't think I could do it, she texted back and was very encouraging. Thank goodness for my encouraging friends. Those that don't run---don't care and don't ask . I guess I understand--asking about what is going on with someone else is not always at the top of our list. I am blessed with good running friends though that do ask and do care AND most important keep encouraging me!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I NEED HELP!

For the FIRST time in my ENTIRE life, I just cannot get it going to decorate for Christmas. In years past, I have usually gone OVER THE TOP! This year I have not EVEN gotten out ONE BOX of decorations. I don't have the desire, the want to or even the compulsion to conform.

Perhaps it is the fact that no one will be home for Christmas and I don't have any parties planned here. No-that has never stopped me in the past. We have had other Christmases with no kids or grands coming home. Perhaps it is the fact that BC-once again said, "Hire someone to decorate". For some strange reason, I always take this as an indication that my efforts are not up to par. I am not sure what the reason-but unless some miracle of attitude transformation occurs-there will be NO decorations here this year.

If you happen to LOVE decorating, and take pity on me----COME ON OVER-I could use a LOT of HELP!

I did go and volunteer today with my ESL student at one of the local elementary schools. She is PRECIOUS and SO wanting to do well. Now if I had her sweet little face to look at every day---there would be a tree up-just for her!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CHRISTMAS OF ANOTHER SORT

We all get SO wrapped up in the holidays at this time of the year, but yesterday I was reminded that not all do. SIL Carol pictured above has had a re-occurrence of cancer this year. She is once again going through chemo.

My sweet niece, Elisha, called a couple of nights ago and asked would I take Carol to Shreveport for her day after chemo shot yesterday. I was delighted that she called and asked. Twenty four hours after Carol receives her chemo, she goes back for a shot to raise her blood counts quicker. This shot causes extreme aches and pains since it sends your bone marrow into over-drive. So after a day of IV chemo which assaults the cancer cells and also has MANY side effects including extreme nausea, you go back for this fun shot.

If you have never been to a cancer center, it is quite the experience. Basically they have these recliners all around in a circle where they administer your IV. The nurses station is right there so they can monitor many patients at the same time. There are also private rooms, if you prefer or if you are having problems, but the majority of the patients are in one large room.

As I looked around the room at all the patients and their support person, I was reminded that for many the Holiday excitement takes a distant second to some crisis in their lives. The Nurses are unfailingly cheerful, upbeat and supportive, but we all know what is going on there. It is a fight to insure seeing the next Christmas. It is very serious business.

So I came away reminded of how much I admire those that are waging this battle and especially at this time of the year. It makes running around and shopping and decorating and being totally stressed seem a little bit ridiculous. Anyway I am thankful that God placed this opportunity in my path to remind me of my priorities and continue to draw me closer. So as you run around in sheer panic, stop and take a moment-remember what is important and those in our lives that are important. So what if the tree is not up, so what if the presents are not bought much less wrapped, so what if all the plans are not made-----there are MUCH MORE important things in our lives. Take a moment and reflect on your Blessings and then smell the roses-FOR THEY ARE PLANTED ALL AROUND YOU---If you only stop and gaze upon their beauty and deeply inhale their scent!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A DIFFERENT THANKSGIVING

BC & I went to Aspen, CO for Thanksgiving this year. I believe this is one of only two Thanksgivings that we have not spent with family and friends and COOKED the traditional meals. It was a wonderful trip and Aspen is a beautiful village. Below are a few pics from the trip.

Bridge over Rio Grande River in downtown Aspen
The John Denver Memorial
Sopris Mountain






The Only Pass We Could Find Open-Note the Gate That Will Soon Be Closed




The Largest Living Organism in North America-A HUGE Grove Of Aspen Trees






Another View Of The Gate












We Found Vineyards & Winerys-SADLY They Were Not Open!



The last day we took a 300 mile drive and drove through much of North East Colorado. The change in the terrain is remarkable! A GREAT TRIP!








Sunday, November 29, 2009

SPLAIN THIS, LUCY!!


If you can help me understand this, I will be eternally grateful. Whenever we go on a "Road Trip", BC seems to always play some sort of "Car Game". Many times the game involves-just how many miles is the trip. Since we make MANY of the same trips to see kids/grands, etc. after a while once the mileage is the SAME EVERY TIME-this game gets old. We are creatures of habit and seem to follow the same "Pig Trails". Other times the game involves how much time it takes to make the trip. After finding there is usually not much variation, this game also has gotten old.
Today while returning from DFW Airport (Story of Trip To Come), I discovered after about 50 miles, BC had a "New Game". This game involved just how high could he get the MPG while still maintaining the speed limit. He announced that the MPG was going up steadily after about an hour and the game continued the entire trip home. He sets the "Cruise Control" and works at maintaining a steady speed. The MPG does begin to slowly climb.
Perhaps the game had gone a bit far when he started asking me to lean forward when we were headed down hills. Being the compliant spouse that I am, I was more than willing to go along. The next request was to lift myself off the seat while climbing hills---a little far fetched----but OK. I drew the line though when he wanted me to put my window down and stick an oar out and row!
Seriously--he became obsessed with getting that MPG up. If I needed to stop for a diet DP OR HEAVEN FORBID a REST STOP, I WAS OUT OF LUCK! You do know that all of the slowing down and stopping is a serious drag on the MPG. By the time we arrived in Shreveport- he had the MPG to his desired 31--as shown above. HURRAY!!!
We stop for a meal, and then I get in the Driver's Seat. OLD LEAD FOOT!!!!! Once we get out of the traffic and he can relax since I have not wrecked his car--he falls asleep. I set the cruise control KNOWING I would NEVER hear the end of it if I seriously impacted his "Goal MPG". Since we had to drive -stop and go -while in Shreveport, the mileage was down to 30.8. I settle in and become determined to get it back to 31. LOW AND BEHOLD-----I do just that. Then I get this BRILLIANT idea and get behind a 18 wheeler so that he will decrease the wind friction on the front of the car. In other words, I start drafting.
31.0--------31.1---------31.2
WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN'T DRIVE????????

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AN EMOTION OR A DECISION?

I have had some discussion lately about love with BC and my friends. It is my contention that love is a decision you make-EVERYDAY-when you get out of the bed. Read the Scriptures---how does Jesus show love? BY HIS ACTIONS! I make a conscious decision everyday to love my family and my friends and THE ONLY way they will realize and know my love is by my actions toward them. Love then is a verb.

If you believe that love is an emotion-----OR a noun, it is then just a feeling. It just happens. Perhaps in the early stages this is true-but in my small mind the days of being only a noun are limited.

Love then is a long term commitment after you make the decision to love someone. Be it family or friend---the visible signs of your love is how you think of and then treat the other. I loved the wild over the top thrill of the emotion of love, but the reality is that is difficult to sustain. The day to dayness of life can often -get in the way- of infatuation. The deep warmth that a long term relationship built upon serving can also be a thrilling and heart sustaining thing. The beauty of the commitment of serving between any two for year upon year is one of the most wonderful things I have ever witnessed. To see a couple-in the twilight of their years hand in hand can bring tears to my eyes.

When talking this over recently with friends, the women thought I was correct, but BC laughed and said this, "Life is tough and then you die." What say ye----is love a noun or a verb in your life?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

IF I EVER HAD ONE-I HAVE LOST IT!

OK-now practice this-----NO NO NO NO NO

If I EVER had a mind----I am pretty sure I have lost it! Somehow I have agreed to another marathon. I have to back up and think about just HOW this happened.

In an effort to get my weekly long run mileage up, I agreed to the White Rock Half Marathon in December. When you are faced with a 13.1 mile run, you have run out of excuses and the mileage HAS to begin to increase. This would have allowed me to get my base up and stay at the 10 mile weekly run after White Rock. Believe me when I say, you do not go out and run a half marathon without some preparation. So-----I thought good friends Dallas at Christmas wonderful Dallas cuisine-----I'M IN!

The next thing I knew while just getting my mileage back to 10 is that Sonja asks me to consider a Spring marathon. I am thinking LATE Spring and that would give me PLENTY of time to train. I agree.

I then get a text that Sonja has another Grand on the way-this summer AND she needs to do a marathon sooner. OK-SO MAYBE APRIL. The problem is that we are looking for a FLAT marathon---MOST IMPORTANT! UNFORTUNATELY THERE ARE NOT A LOT OF FLAT MARATHONS OUT THERE!

I then get a text while out of town-that GOD is leading her to the Albany, GA marathon on the first Saturday in MARCH. GOOD GRIEF-do you know how soon that is? We usually train for 18 weeks-that can't happen in this time frame. I ALWAYS increase my long runs a mile at a time---NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! SO---HOW DO YOU ARGUE WITH WHAT GOD WANTS?????? We finally left it that I would begin the training and SEE how it went.

Since I had been out of town for the weekend-this past Monday I had to run 11 miles to make up the Saturday long run. NO TIME TO DELAY! The first few miles were in the misting rain-----the last 3 miles were in the POURING rain. I know all those cars on their way to work thought-WHO IS THAT NUT? Wednesday we did speed work----now that is a New form of torture that we should try on our political prisoners-----perhaps even a few of our representative and senators. TODAY I had to jump 2 MILES to 13 miles. I finished but as with every long run and step on in mileage-when I finished I had NOTHING left in the tank.

I HAVE DEFINITELY GONE OVER THE DEEP END!

Friday, November 20, 2009

SHOPPING SYNDROME

I am not much of a shopper, but like to go and look----just not very good at buying. I invited Friend, Helen to run over to Monroe today-specifically to pick up a ham-but then with a little light shopping in mind.

ONCE AGAIN-I go shopping with someone else and spend the day finding things for them to buy. I was ONCE AGAIN successful at spending someone else's money. Helen even bought me lunch!

I will admit that she talked me into a jacket------TOO BAD they didn't have the slacks in my size. Hopefully the jacket will not end up sitting in my closet and never worn-since I am NEVER happy with the slacks I have.

While I am on the subject-what is it about BLACK that keeps pulling my eye? I have a closet FULL of black clothes. You would think I was in the Old South and in the required year of mourning! As Scarlett would say, "OH FIDDLY DEE!" I really look better in color!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

GOOD BYES

BC & I took our "College Adopted Students" to dinner tonight. We were celebrating Gracie's graduation from Tech this weekend. She will be receiving her degree in Civil Engineering--QUITE THE ACCOMPLISHMENT!

Grace came into our lives four years ago. She was attending our church and signed up to be "Adopted" by a local church family. Gracie was from Nairobi, Kenya and came to LA Tech for the excellent engineering program. She has been a delight in our lives. I originally adopted two students for a selfish reason. I was in hopes that someone would treat my daughter the same while she was so far from home. God turned my selfishness into a Blessing! We have loved both of our "Adoptees". Gracie's life was always full of drama-quite a change for a No-Drama person. Meriedth was just the opposite-perhaps even my soul mate-quiet-task oriented-responsible--a lot like me.

We are saddened to see Gracie move, but rejoicing for her accomplishments. She has supported herself while here and has not been home and seen her parents in five years. Through hard work, scholarships, and determination she has accomplished her goal. All she needs now is a job in her chosen field. It has proven to not be a good time to be entering the work force, but I feel certain that when given a face to face interview-she will sell herself.

I told Gracie that there are those that would think we were like two ships on a vast ocean that just happened to pass. I chose to believe that God directed our paths to cross and I am thankful. Our lives have been blessed by her friendship and I will always remember her fondly and with a little laugh. We left her with a hug and a promise to stay in touch. I am always amazed at those that God places in our lives and thankful for the blessing of their impact on our lives. Gracie will leave a void in my life, but as with any vacuum I am looking for something to fill it and anticipating God's intervention with another to love.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AUSTIN SUNSET

We went to Austin this past weekend to see our offspring and grands. While there BC grabbed the camera and #2 took him to one of the high points above Lake Travis for a sunset picture. If you look closesly in the first picture, you will see the lake in the right mid picture. Living on Lake Austin in the hill country surrounding Austin, the view is quite spectular and BC did a good job of capturing it.






Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WHERE DID HE COME FROM?

#1 Son is quite talented! His latest endeavor is "Green Chairs". For all of you that don't "Get It", green chairs are chairs that are totally made from recycled materials. These chairs were made from the lumber that he and #2 salvaged while tearing down the trailer on the lots they are building on. I was most impressed. Even after hearing about them while having a telephone conversation, I was still AMAZED at how great they are. On the contemporary side, these chairs should appeal to anyone with clean lines and the added bonus of "Saving the Planet". WHERE HE GOT THIS TALENT I don't have a clue. I was placed in remedial coloring in the first grade and the artistic side NEVER got any better from that point on.

The Throne -Made for Caroline's Anniversary Present
He will add a seat cushion to this high back
Plain and simple lines


One of my favorite two-could be because it fit me so well



Probably #1 in my book-it has notches that conform to your rear-VERY COMFORTABLE!






Monday, November 16, 2009

WHERE'S THE OLD LADY?

There seems to be some question among the few "Faithful Readers" about where the blog went. I was asked did I quit paying the bill. NOW THAT IS FUNNY! I must say that I probably should pay them to allow me to post my ramblings.

I am thinking and mainly praying about the continuation of the blog. Will post as God inspires me. I am on a quest to know Him better and deepen my relationship with Him. One of the signs that He is pleased is that EVERY book I have picked up to read lately has been on that very subject------5 books so far. I have learned a tremendous amount about Him in the past months----but know that is only the tip of WHO HE IS!! He was correct in calling Himself-"I Am" There is no better description.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SMALL GROUP

Our church has adopted one of the local schools as one of our local "Missions". This school has primarily children from lower socio-economic families and there is little parental support. One of the ways we support the school is by encouraging the staff. We send treats once a month to show our encouragement. Our small group signed up to provide the November treats.

We came up with the idea of "Break in a Box". We assembled these little picnic boxes and filled them with various treats, a bottle of water, and a scripture. We all had a great time putting them together and I look forward to delivering the "Goodies" tomorrow. What a blessing to work together to bless those God puts in our paths!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

THE JOYS OF AGING!


OH, the things we are required to suffer-JUST BECAUSE we are over 50! I went for one of those "FUN" medical tests today. Sweet Friend, Helen, did the driving honors since they drug you up before they steal your dignity! The test was fine and I am cleared for another 5 years. COULD I JUST TELL YOU HOW FAST 5 YEARS CAN FLY BY! You get this little yellow card in the mail announcing-"HEY-Come on over and let's see what's going on inside!-It's been 5 YEARS since we saw your smiling ---! The only comment I really have to make about the test is that it appears my kids are right-I am a LITTLE UP TIGHT!


As I was saying they give you this wonderful amnesia causing drug ---after all WHO would want to remember this--before the test. It seems that it takes a while for the drug to wear off. I think I have a faint dream like memory of having lunch with Helen and her son, Mark and then shopping at Target. Don't have a CLUE what I bought but there is a sack in there-so I assume I did indeed shop. Perhaps the retailers of the world should give everyone a little "shot" of this joy juice when we hit their store doors. GUILT FREE UNRESTRAINED SHOPPING!


Anyway, Helen said I had a really great time and seemed perfectly normal. HMMMM that makes me wonder-just what is my normal!

Monday, November 2, 2009

PENNSYLVANIA FALL SHOW

I seem to have visited Erie at the PERFECT time for the Fall Foliage Show! The leaves were beautiful. Perhaps God allows this beautiful show to soften the blow of the BRUTAL winter around the corner. I was blessed to see sights such as this every where I went during the week. I will not comment-Just Enjoy!


































































Friday, October 23, 2009

IT'S ALL IN THE TIMING!

WE HAVE HAD RAIN AND HAD RAIN AND HAD RAIN IN LOUISIANA! Most unusual for this time of the year. It started raining in August and has pretty much been a monsoon since then. I had to work FRANTICALLY this week to put out OVER 20 flats of Fall and Winter flowers in my garden when we had the occasional break in the rain. It rained AGAIN though yesterday! This weekend I see the weather is supposed to be cool and sunny-PERFECT Fall Weather! I left VERY early this morning to go see Henry--------and oh yes his parents. When we arrived in Erie-IT'S RAINING and supposed to rain all weekend. I JUST CANNOT GET AWAY FROM THIS RAIN! I think I may be close to mildew stage!

On a HAPPY NOTE-the leaves in Erie are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! SUCH A GLORIOUS SIGHT WHEN LANDING THIS AFTERNOON TO FLY OVER A FALL CARPET OF SPECTACULAR COLORS! So maybe I will forgive the rain-Erie-ites!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

QUESTION????

I finally got a flu shot yesterday. My arm is really sore and is hot to the touch. Does that mean that my arm has the flu???????

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

THE SMELLER!




I had a stark reminder today that no matter what crisis or trouble you have in your life-there is ALWAYS someone with a "Worse Story". I took Mr. C. to the doctor today for a little "Maintenance Work". While there I had a great "Catch Up" with an Old Friend and one of the two readers of my blog. (The Other Being My Daughter).




She commented on my scarce blogging, but then asked about Mr. Armadillo. I told her the story of coming up with a brilliant plan to keep him out of our garden. I found a fence that I have installed at each end of the garden entrance. It actually is a cute fence and is only about 18'' high, but just enough to keep the "Devil" out of the garden. My friend and Master Gardener, Susan told me that the Dillo's are creatures of habit and come back to the same place over and over. It stands to reason that if I can break the habit-I may be home free. I was delighted to tell DeeDee that I had solved my problem and had not suffered any more "Dillo Holes".




Dee Dee then proceeded to tell me the story of the skunk that parked himself below her bedroom window for several hours last night-INCLUDING spraying after something spooked it. OK-SHE WINS! We have an occasional skunk pass through, but the spraying has always been at a distance-I AM HAPPY TO REPORT! This reminds me of the old saying used during pre-puberty grossness- THE YELLER IS THE SMELLER! I am certain that needs no explanation.




When BC was coming home after dark last night, he had a gray fox cross in front of the car lights. While running, I have had a red fox cross the road in the daytime in front of me (VERY STRANGE-they are nocturnal), but have never seen a gray fox. HERE ONE IS RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE!




WE TRULY LIVE IN THE WOODS!!!! It is a blessing!

Friday, October 16, 2009

SEEKING HIM

I am currently reading three different books. They all have the common theme of "Knowing God". I am pointed to the reminder that as I seek to "know God"- He will reveal Himself to me. There is nothing more important-than developing and growing my relationship with Him. As I "Die to Self" and seek Him-Joy and Peach will come. I am fervently seeking Him and anticipating the fulfillment that will come with a deeper relationship with Him. My current prayer is that He will reveal my sin to me and constantly remind me that I only need worry about my sin and leave others to Him.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WHERE IS FALL????

At 5:15 when I hit the door, I DO NOT like to see every window in the house covered with moisture. IT IS A DIRE WARNING of what I am about to face. The above weather seems to have two things that are VERY WRONG- there was not even a breath of a breeze and the humidity HAD to be 100%. When the air is so saturated that Larry's glasses are covered with the moisture drops from the clouds that are hovering just above ground level-------well I am pretty sure that is 100% humidity.

Today's run was pure misery! WHERE OH WHERE IS FALL??????

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MAKING LOUISIANA PROUD!

Our three Ruston Marathoners all finished and did great in the "Windy City Marathon." Sam-who was running her first marathon finished while running with IT band problems and feet that have had bleeding blisters on them for WEEKS. She still finished in 4:41.

Susan and Sandra both finished in 4:31. Great time! Now the story is that Sandra fell 10 feet from the finish line. Poor Sandra has permanent scars on her knees from all of the falls that she has suffered. She actually has gotten MUCH better at staying on her feet, but after 26 miles-you can't even feel your legs anymore-much less know for sure if you are picking them up high enough. Anyway-she fell-do not know all the details. The story is that the volunteers came out to help her. She thought they were other runners and told them to just go on and finish-typical Sandra Fashion! Sonja's report was that they drug her across the finish line-Sandra reported that they helped her across.

She has a laceration on her head or face (don't have the whole story) that required stitches. The group spent the next few hours looking for Sandra, Sandra calling me to call them-going to wrong hospitals-and just generally stumbling around as if in the dark-well I guess they were in the dark. You cannot imagine what it is like in a crowd of tens of thousands of runners to try and reconnect with your group. This after running 26 miles and just wishing you could sink down in a hot tub somewhere and then take a LONG nap.

Sonja is back and the others are coming home today. CANNOT WAIT TO HEAR THE WAR STORIES!

GREAT JOB- SAM SANDRA & SUSAN!

Friday, October 9, 2009

LOUISIANA GOES TO THE WINDY CITY

Three of our running group will be running in the prestigious "Windy City Marathon" in Chicago Sunday. They have trained during the LONG-HOT Louisiana summer and now the fun-26.2 miles of running. BUT then comes the sweet reward- the "Finisher's Medal".

Running are Sandra, Susan and Samantha. This is Samantha's inaugural marathon-but she is a VERY talented athlete. Sandra and Susan are multiple marathon veterans. They have all trained hard and done great during training. We are expecting great things from them.

Traveling along with the runners as the "Support Team" are Babs and Sonja. I am sure there will be plenty of laughter and lots of fun over the weekend.

Good Luck and I KNOW you will make us all proud.

"Both those whose hope is in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles,
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, September 13, 2009

OPTIONS

I have done a lot of thinking lately about blogging. I have talked this over with Camille, who also blogs, and have decided it is time to take a break and carefully consider the time spent and the purpose of my blog. One of the many questions that has surfaced is would I be better served journaling. All to say-I will not be blogging for now and perhaps permanently.

Thank you to all that have read and commented.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A GOOD CAUSE!


Next Saturday our running group will participate in the Annual Race For The Cure. We don't normally run in 5K races. We seem to have become "Distance Snobs" preferring longer races which require endurance. We count it a privilege to run in this 5K though.
This picture is from last year's race. We all ran in honor of not only our running buddy, Lisa pictured on the left, but MANY friends and family that have been affected by breast cancer. Since last year's race Lisa is doing great and has been recently promoted to Principle of one of the local schools. Two of the others that we ran in honor of have had a recurrence. Not the news we had hoped for.
As I grow older, more of my friends and family have been directly impacted with this cancer. I have even lost dear sweet friends when they lost their long battles. The treatment that is endured by the many suffering is NOT for the faint of heart. It takes a STRONG and COURAGEOUS WOMAN to fight the good fight.
During this week, consider making a donation to the cause of finding "The Cure". I would LOVE during my lifetime to see those diagnosed not living in fear and dread, but knowing that with treatment their lives stretch before them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

HEAVEN



As I was driving back from Texas yesterday, I did a great deal of thinking about Heaven. I came home to find this music video in my email. If you don't know the story, Steven lost his daughter in a tragic accident last year. I am certain the lyrics were from his broken heart.

I will post again on the subject and give you my thoughts during my alone time-but for now-I leave you with this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SAD DAY


I took Henry and Camille to Weatherford yesterday to The Jennings. I spent the night and headed home today. They will fly out tomorrow on their way back to Erie. Our house is like a morgue. AND THAT'S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

JAMES FAMILY REUNION

Henry met all the "Cousins" at the annual James Family Reunion. A fun time was had by all-especially the "Little Cousins".

Mom Trying To Prepare Henry
Poppa Bob Expounding On A Little Family Bias
Cousin Ann and Cousin Audrey -Henry looks like his cheeks are squished

Cousin Emma Cheesing It Up



Another Pic of Cousin Audrey




Cousin Jack-THANK GOODNESS he came since my first cousins Caleb & Cade Didn't Come To Protect Me From ALL of those Girl Cousins




Sisters and Cousins Ann & Adrian







Uncle Robbie Terrorizing His Grandchildren In The Jump Around







5 First Cousins From Two To Five Years Of Age