Tuesday, April 29, 2008
My mind has been rolling around the phrase from the Bible, “Press on” now for several days. I get stuck in a rut sometimes on little phrases. I remember for a time after the death of my first husband getting stuck on the phrase, “Take heart.” See how easily I digress! I do wonder if I had born later, if I would have been treated for ADD. My sympathies are certainly with those children! Refocusing now, “Press on” has taken on more meaning for me lately as I struggle with training for the 5K and some other disciplines as well. Yesterday, I did not do my park shuffle because it was raining. This appropriate verse gave me more to ponder in my heart.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely
as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.
Hosea 6:3 (NLT)
Monday, April 28, 2008
You wonder what happened to those fingers I am missing? Well, I’ll tell you, I used to chew my fingernails.
On going through a yellow light that is turning yellow or maybe already turned red, “That one was still pink.”
While carrying Kay’s purse for her because it was too heavy, “I am almost a modern man here carrying a purse. All I’ve got to do is hitch my pants down a bit so my butt shows a little and I will be a thoroughly modern man.”
What’s my favorite kind of pie? Pie!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
After removing four frames from the deep, Bob shakes a few bees in the bottom of the hive.
The queen is "my girlfriend". She is pretty special.
Bob opens the queen cage and carefully places her on the bottom of the hive. The other bees quickly surround her to care for her. He then shakes the rest of the bees in the hive.
The whole process is fascinating! I do love hearing my beekeeper hubby during each step!
He is happy working with his bees and never ceases to be amazed by them and by the Creator!
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Like Mother and Dad, I am also direction challenged.
Started out at 7:30. Crossed snow capped Smokies with sun shining on them. Wanted to get to Cornelia’s so bad that we didn’t stop for breakfast. At Knoxville we went wrong direction about 25 miles so were 50 miles out of way altogether. Turned back again.
Like them, I lose things!
July 21, 1983: Lost the car keys, had to eat supper in Ramada Inn. Cost $11.55 plus .90 tip.
July 22: Cost $19.00 to get the trunk open, keys were there.
Oh man, I understand!
November 15, 1940: Thru Roanoke went on new, very nice Blue Ridge Parkway. Realized we were not supposed to be driving on that road as it was not yet finished. Ran out of gas at 12:30. Spent 1 hr. until we got going. Road workers helped us. They told us that it was illegal to be on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Took route 18 & were we glad to get on our way!!
But this one I don’t get! Except perhaps I do? One night when Bob and I were spending the night at a castle made into a hotel in Port Townsend, WA. We were thrilled to get the last room available—until around 10:00 p.m. when we got a knock on our door. It was other guests asking if they could tour our room because it was the haunted room. They tiptoed around our rooms—it was a suite—whispering things like, “Have you seen doors moving? Any creaky noises? Where did the murder occur?” Hmm. . . I had to keep reminding myself and Bob that God did not give us a spirit of fear and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. The next day though we laughed about it. Maybe that experience loosely relates to this one.
Is a great love for carbs inherited?
I cannot resist “free” food either—though I am trying.
I, too, have always, always had hair issues. I am glad this story had a happy ending for mom.
Got off the plane 20 min. late & then the wait, wait for the baggage. Finally in line for luggage inspection. Now we can go, no! We got to be searched. The women seemed a little disappointed I was clean. Then no porters around to help. Taxi’s scarce but finally on our way to the beauty parlor. Arrived at 2:30, half hr. late but she was so kind & took me in. Frances Beauty Salon-at Coral Gables. [March 6, 1971]
My mother was very hospitable with guests in our home. I remember one time when she told me that a good host and hostess not only gave the guest their bedroom, they also moved their car out of the garage so the guest could park their car in the garage. This gracious hospitality was recorded on their honeymoon trip when they stopped for one overnight with friends.
Mother also had a couple of recipes at the end of journals that she must have received from people when traveling. Her recipe for Hungarian Walnut Torte from someone in Haiti particularly made me chuckle as she copied, “Put on rock to cool. When cool, fill & frost.”
Mom and Dad’s faith in God was very much a part of their lives. Notations indicating this are sprinkled thoughout the journals. If away from home on a Sunday, they always found a church where they could worship and fellowship with other believers.
And at another church, I enjoyed singing with them.
Ate breakfast in our room, juice cold cereal, donuts & coffee. Had our devotions per usual.
Home looked good, but Praise the Lord for a wonderful trip.
Mother itemized every expense even 2¢ stamps and did a trip expense summary at the end of her journals.
From their honeymoon 1940
Or like this entry from their Haiti trip in 1971.
Total cost of trip: $209.14
Total miles: 758
This little door peep hole into Mother was fun. She might think of it as an embarrassing souvenir. We just don’t know what our children will find after we are gone. But I do think she would agree that like Ezra on a journey (Ezra 7:8-10) the gracious, merciful hand of God was on him [her]. And in turn, I have been blessed and yes, challenged. And yes, Mother would approve of that!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Whenever possible, Bob and I attend the monthly beekeeping meetings. This motley crew of 75-100 beekeepers are mostly hobbyists with a few hives. Some are sideliners that actually make a profit from their bees but they have other jobs. The good leaders of the group benevolently share their knowledge and secrets to promote the hobby and truly want others to be successful. At this particular meeting there was an informative video on installing bee packages. There was also a book review on a book published in 1956 called, The Queen Must Die. The reviewer gave the book anywhere from a 1 ½ to a 4 on a scale of 5 and called on his 23 year old daughter to give her opinion. She rated the book at a 1 ½ but they had four books that they hoped would sell that night. Also we learned how to make beeswax lotion and furniture polish for sideliners to add to their repertoire. Bob always comments on the way home, “Now that was a slice of life.”
At the last meeting a guest gave a 10 minute presentation in 45 minutes of how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs. You may wonder as I did how this got into the agenda but here is the correlation. The lady used beeswax to make her eggs. It doesn’t take much. She passed around her first tries at making the eggs and her second that was so much better. Then she passed eggs of several patterns and colors that were taught to her by her mentor that had recently died. Lastly she passed around her very best egg--her favorite of all—that she wished she could show her teacher/mentor. It took her many hours and many days to do it. I could not believe that she was passing it but she did and yes, that was the one egg that broke. It was quite sad! I do want to clear this up though, it wasn’t I that broke it or Bob. Whew!
The secretary told about his great joy when his wife was reading the paper and she found an ad and “Guess what?” It was the ad for the beekeeping meeting that he, himself had put in the paper. It made his day when his wife found that! He guessed the ad was working also, by the great attendance that night.
At the break in the meeting, someone accidently kicked the table for the coffee and other drinks. Whoever had set the table up had forgotten to lock the legs so the table collapsed spilling a 64 cup decaf coffee pot and two 32 cup pots of regular coffee and hot water and some kind of honey sweetened drink on the floor. I promise that I was not even close to the table at the time of the accident.
You probably understand by now that this is not an ostentatious group which is why I had the courage to make a beehive cake and bee cookies for refreshments. I knew that the cake was pretty much a stretch and looked like it had been created by a 2nd grader. But some of the beekeepers look a bit disheveled themselves and some come in bib overalls and I was hoping that most of the cake would be cut and not noticeable. I was pretty proud of the cookies. One gentleman asked me a couple of questions and I thought he was inquiring how I assembled the cookies. I explained that I used Keebler shortbread cookies for the bottom and then blue frosting and marshmallows for the wings and a Twix mini candy bar for the body. He astutely said, “I can see that but what are they? Butterflies?” Oh my goodness and we were at a beekeeping meeting! I ate humble pie all weekend.
I did win one of the door prizes--a box of 24 eight ounce honey jars with lids. That sort of helped.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Cousins Tootie and Delight
In front: Me, Uncle Andy and my stepmom, Kay
Lou, Dad and Aunt Fanny
On Friday, I had the opportunity to visit with my dad, my stepmom, Aunt Vera, Aunt Louise, Aunt Fanny, Aunt Mable and Uncle Andy. I admire, respect and love each one. Most are close to 90 years but Aunt Louise is a young 85 and Aunt Mabel just celebrated 100 years in March.
Because of them and Aunt Arvada who lives in VA, I am thankfully not quite the oldest generation. I have empathy for them knowing that I am next in line.
We saw Aunt Fanny as she worked through her physical therapy session. I asked her if she thought she was getting stronger. With a grin on her face, she told me, “Oh, I am strong now. They worry that I will run away.”
I prayed with sweet, sweet Aunt Mable. (I forgot to take a picture.) Her life has been very difficult. She is ready to go to heaven and wondered why it is taking her so long to go. Her husband died when she had three little girls and the oldest was three years. His death was tragic and after all of these years, she spoke wistfully about how it might have been prevented. I told her that she had lived well and she said, “Well, I tried.”
As I drove home, I praised God for each one. They teach simple lessons of contentedness and frugality. They laugh and tease and enjoy a good story. They do not complain. They remain engaged in life. They pray. Their faith in God is so natural that it is part of them. There is no separation possible. God is present.
And I am blessed—and my children—and their children—though they cannot know or comprehend it.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. Luke 1:50
I was reminded of the song, Find Us Faithful. In googling for those lyrics, I found a blog post by the same name written two years ago by David Ainsley. It resonated with exactly what I was thinking because of the challenge of my dear relatives and also, I think, because I have been training for the 5K run. David used another translation of Hebrews but I liked how it was written in The Message.
. . .The Christian race is unlike any other race we know. It is a race not against time, or each other - for what does it profit a man that he should arrive at any point ahead of another, except to encourage those coming behind to persevere?
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that
exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That
will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12: 1-3 [The Message]
No, the race is not against time, nor each other, but it is a race for distance. Yet, it is also a race unlike any other, because it is not a competition. It is a race in which the sole purpose of being ahead of the man beside you is to encourage him to keep the faith, to "press on toward the goal to win the prize (the prize to which we who are sons of God are all entitled for we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ) for which God has called me (us) heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phi 3:14).
Friday, April 18, 2008
- The weather has been fantastic!
- I bought new shoes and they really are fast.
- My picture on this blog was taken almost one year ago on Father’s Day. However, the picture of me at Grandparents Day last week shows a decidedly fuller face and I have not had Botox.
- Because I can. “Use it or lose it” is ringing through my head especially since I entered a new decade.
- To encourage my grandkids. I would hope to help them see that they are only competing against themselves. One time, Steven did not run in the 5K because there was no hope of keeping up with his brother, Kent. Kent is tall and lean and a running machine. I told Steven, “I would rather participate and finish dead last that just be a spectator.” Now, I know that is stretching it just a bit. I really want to finish in the middle somewhere. And when I am really bad at something, I want to practice in private before going public. I have been walking at 6:30 am with my walking partner and then after she leaves, I go back to the park and practice. I think I will wait a few more weeks before I suggest that we start training. By then I should be at least able to make it around the park with her.
- Because Bob’s office is officially, as of today, in our home. When he is not traveling, I want to impress him. I am a bit concerned about him finding out what I actually do all day.
- Because I have a practice schedule and it does feel good to cross it off.
- Because I love to hear my hubby say, “I am really proud of you, Babe!” He is always my chauffeur and encourager.
- Because I need a new swimsuit. This June, my Rupp girl cousins are getting together for a few days at Devils Lake in Michigan and most will be in their suits all day.
- I made a doctor’s appointment for a physical in mid June. I still have some pounds to lose or I will have to break this appointment. It has been a long time since I have been to my doctor. Bob has been nagging –yes nagging–me to do this–using the excuse that if he retires we may not have as good of health insurance. I don’t believe for a minute that he is actually going to retire but I am a submissive and obedient type of person.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
We discovered at least a week prior that April 11th was the scheduled pick up day—by alphabetical order so we would be right in the middle around noon. It was also my birthday and Grandparents Day at Harrison School. It was a bit difficult for me to generate proper enthusiasm for a seven hour road trip to Stillwater and then back again on that particular day with a new load of precious cargo. This is hard to imagine, I know.
I was happy when Kevin agreed, on request of my hubby, to take a personal day off from his work to be the other driver and allow me to stay home—a happy birthday gift to me from Kevin and my beekeeper hubby.
Early Friday morning, I was also glad to hear that Kevin did not have to go. His time is precious and he is in the middle of a large home renovation project. If I had only known, I would not have been pleased.
The bees were delayed because of a massive winter storm in Wyoming causing our bee supplier and delivery point beekeeper much concern and a driver detour because Route 80 was closed.
I was nearly home from Grandparents Day, when Bob called to tell me that he had just talked with Beekeeper Jim and we could leave right away for MN. Yay! Lucky me! I could go and help with the driving and complete my Bible study lesson in the car and be home to celebrate birthdays (with my friend, Ellie) on Saturday evening.
After a long snowy, rainy, sleety ride to Eau Claire where we decided to stay for the night, I was treated to birthday Oreo cookies and water as a complimentary hotel gift—and I did not even know that they knew it was my birthday.
Unfortunately, things were not going nearly so well for “our girls.” The delivery truck was involved in an accident with several other semi's in ND. The drivers were not injured, the tractor wasn't damaged, the trailer was damaged. Two pallets of bees (about 200 packages) fell out of the truck. They were banded together and other than the drop, really not in bad shape. The trailers were separated and the drivers were going to get the bees loaded back on the truck. At that point, the ND trooper said, “We are clearing this road right now!” and directed a snow plow to plow the bees into the ditch. Beekeeper Jim told us we would all have to bear some of the pain of the accident and none of the excited and anxiously waiting new fathers—excuse me--beekeepers would get their complete order.
We got a personal phone call regarding the good news delivery update before falling asleep. Perhaps only 100 packages had been lost. The rest were on their way and would arrive by 7:00 in the morning.
Unfortunately, as we were hurrying to take off for Stillwater around 6:00 a.m. to welcome our “baby girls”, we received a very sad phone call. In an early morning routine check, it was discovered that all of the bees had died!
We surmised that the bees had frozen to death but we were wrong. Apparently the autopsy results show that the load over- heated and that led to their demise! Boo hoo! Boo hoo!
I will have to end this story now but I will update again when we get more information from the supplier and Beekeeper Jim. Or you can read about it yourself by checking this blog.
Monday, April 14, 2008
On my birthday, I attended Grandparents Day at Harrison School with Morgan and Hale! What fun to see them in their setting and among their friends.
One of the highlights of my childhood was helping to keep my siblings humble. It was a hard job but somebody had to do it. Usually, I could get one or the other to help out. I am not like that anymore! No, I am not! And they don’t hold grudges either. Nope! My brother, Lowell's hearty greetings with three little pigs singing tenor encouraged me to celebrate as big as my birthday which he reminded me is a very big number. Lou sent two cards--one in very large print reminding me of the inevitable signs of old age! And although we seldom give gifts other than greetings, Donna sent me a lovely Haitian scarf, a card that had to do with potty training and phoned as well since I was at such a landmark age. Their teasing attention made me aware that I was celebrated and loved. No matter what you say, that really is what it meant!
I had even more highlights! For one, my dear friend, Ellie and I nearly share a birthday and so we always celebrate together. This year we had a wonderful dinner with hubbies and then attended a participatory rockin' and clappin' and turnin' but no jumpin' by us but lots of jumping by others Gospel Choir concert!
And if you have the patience to listen, here are the Make My Day Sweet Sounds of grandkids! On hearing the end of Jackson and Lilly’s greetings, my sister, Lou, said that she knew where they got such a sense of humor! Grif’s unprompted call made me chuckle and smile with joy!
I received an "It's A Go" bouquet from my dear hubby.
And an "I love you, neighbor," bouquet as well. (Donna's table scarf is on the little table.)
Friday, April 11, 2008
I was embraced and affirmed and challenged. I laughed! It cannot get better than that!
Seriously though, I am totally grateful when people forget my birthday. It makes me feel like less of a miscreant. I am so very bad about sending cards and remembering others birthdays. It embarrasses me when others remember me when I have not remembered them!!! Now I am committed to doing a better job of sending cards and celebrating with others! I do love you all so very much.
Thank you family and friends!
I am most blessed!
A few of my cards from the best of all friends!
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.Psalm 103:5 [The Message]
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Jackson and Lilly helped me celebrate my birthday by doing something I had never done before—play Wii games! It was totally fun! I have a video that is as inspiring as Dancing with the Stars but unfortunately it is too big of a file to post. A few snapshots will have to do.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Over and over today, I have been reminded of God’s love. What has impressed me is not new to me, but I am thankful for God’s reminders to me. I never tire of hearing that I am loved.
When I was doing my Bible study, I was blessed by Psalm 103.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love. . .
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
I talked with Andy today about his love for his son, Ryan. Yes, and I do so love our children and grandkids.
Verse 8 in The Message says:
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
And it isn’t as if we have done anything at all to earn this love! God remembers that we are formed from dust. (The Message says, “mud”.) Our lives are like a vapor that is here for a bit and then are gone. Yet God’s love for us doesn’t end. We are significant to Him. It is too big for me to understand. How can God care about me when there are so many people? I am thankful that I can’t understand! He is a very big God.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children!
This morning I also glanced at a Bible verse calendar to look at the verse. Here is what is said from 2 Samuel 7:18-21.
O Lord God,
Why have you showered your blessings on such and insignificant person as I am?
Such generosity is far beyond any human standard!
Oh, Lord God!
What can I say? For you know what I am like!
You are doing all these things just because you promised to
and because you want to.
Then on the radio, I heard the song that I have frequently heard and loved by Mercy Me. During Easter week, I could not get away from the words, “Such a tiny offering, compared to Calvary, nevertheless, we lay this at your feet.”
I decided to google the words and read them. Once again I was blessed by the message.
Lord You know
Our hearts don't deserve Your glory
Still You show
A love we cannot afford
Like hinges straining from the weight
My heart no longer can keep from singing
All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified
God with us
My heart sings a brand new song
The debt is paid these chains are gone
God with us
Such a tiny offering compared to Calvary
Nevertheless we lay it at Your feet
Such a tiny offering compared to Calvary
Nevertheless we lay this at Your feet
The visual picture that I have is of a child breaking her tiny piggy bank to give a gift to a billionaire. That billionaire bends over and gets eye to eye with the giver and says this is what I wanted most of all—and means it because that child is so very precious to the rich man. I’d like to think the little girl is sweet and adorable. But the truth is as we look closer, she is naughty and dirty and has a runny nose and is not attractive. Even so, she is cherished and loved—unexplainable but wonderful indeed! It reminds me of a devotional that I once heard about the Cinderella story. God loves the ugly, nasty stepsisters. Most of us are much more like them. God knows who we are. That is who He died for! He brings us up out of the slimy pit and embraces us! Incredible love!
Such a tiny offering compared to Calvary
Nevertheless, I [want to] lay it at His feet!