"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sure Signs Blowing In on Warm Breezes

In Central Texas, our Hill Country area, spring is in the air.
Oh, she is a fickle one, as usual.
Some days, like today, she twirls in on tiptoe,
embracing us with open arms.
As she spins, the warm, soft breezes surround us in silk.
Yet tomorrow she may scurry around the corner and hide,
dropping temperatures into a chill that pulls sweaters from the closet once again.

But, there is evidence she will soon stay.

Grasses are turning green and soft.

Easter lilies are reaching out of the dark to greet the sunshine.

 And today I saw my first dandelion!

 Birdsong fills the air most of the day.
The new songs, the cheery, "Let's make a nest together!" 
lighten our hearts.
I can see plenty of pairing up among the tree branches.

 The birdbath is a busy place with at least one feathered friend bathing or drinking at any time.  
There are two here if you look closely.
A cardinal and finch.
(The concrete bird doesn't count.
Sometimes the others sit on him.)  

There is happiness on days like this.
I won't go on about "cedar fever", the one blight on January.
The cough, itchy red eyes, runny nose...
That's enough!
This is a time for rejoicing!
Spring is in the air.  
Oh, and God bless me.

All this said...

I wrote this post one week ago.
Talking about Springtime "hiding"--
I'm afraid she has crawled in a deep hole.
It is cold.

I know that if any of my New York friends 
were to read this, they would shake their heads.
"You call that white dust SNOW???
I know.  I really do. I remember.
But, this IS Central Texas, after all,
and those pics at the top of this post--
well, that's what it should be looking like!
Birds singing, dandelions, Easter lily shoots...
As I tuck away my mittens this evening,
I am reminded of my own description...
Spring is a fickle girl.
The weatherman predicts 75 degrees by Friday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday.
Another year.
I could wax all philosophical.
(I often do.)
I could show one of my National Geographics, Davis style.

But I got this email birthday card 
and HAD to use it for my day.

Some disclosures, first:
Not quite my body.
Not quite my skill level.
Not quite my hair style.
But it IS my face.
It is also the best this old birthday girl has looked or moved in a number of years, or should I say decades???
And I used to dress like this back in the 60's-70's.
I really did.
I also think I had a top just like this one...

Please click on this url below and watch me celebrate!!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Reviewing Resolutions

My history of New Year's resolutions is bleak.
Year after year I plan the same ones
(you can just imagine!)
and, come December of that year, they are either long forgotten 
or, most often, far from achieved.

This year will be different!
Do you hear the positive lilt to my "voice"?
One resolution involves removing a certain word from my vocabulary.
It's a common word and I think I overuse it.
It has the potential of being seen as judgmental or harsh by the listener. 
 I don't want to be that kind of person.
I want to encourage, not tear down.
So, I will be intentional and bite my tongue before it escapes.  I hope.
It is my goal.
Perhaps I'll share the word later in the year...

Another resolution involves Christmas cards.
Those hugs in an envelope that arrive in the box out by the road.  
I delight in opening each one.
Sometimes the news enclosed within in sad,
but I cherish the connections with friends.
I don't want to pack them away with the bells, tinsel and ornaments come January.
They sit in a special basket throughout the year.

This year I plan to be more active with those cards.
I hope to draw one from the basket each week.
I will reread it, linger over the pictures, sentiments and news.
Then I promise to pray all week for the sender.
That God will bless and touch him or her.
And I will try to contact said sender.
Perhaps a card, a letter, a phone call or email.
I'm not sure how this part will materialize,
but I hope to communicate each week 
with someone that I usually write to only at Christmas.
I am into week 3 and...so far, so good.
I'm excited.
And maybe...perhaps...possibly...
I'll lose a few pounds, too.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Everlasting Poinsettia

My mother, in an act of generous kindness,
selected a poinsettia from the large display in her church 
to bring to our home for Christmas.
She searched among many to find the prettiest one.
It is lovely!!!

The day she brought it to our front door was chilly so we both rushed to keep it warm, handling its tender leaves carefully.  
I placed it in a prominent place in my house 
and kept it watered.
 I watched for the tips of the leaves to darken 
so I could trim them as needed,
maintaining the beauty of the plant as long as possible.
Even as the holidays were passing.

We planned a trip out of town for a few days so, before departing, I made sure our thriving plant was watered and free from drafts.
We returned home and I tackled the trimmings with vigor.
Climbing, crawling, packing--decorations and tree relegated back to storage.
I was quite pleased to see the brightness of the poinsettia 
had not dimmed.  Not one bit. 
 No drooping. No leaf dropping.  No shriveling.
I had never seen such a vibrant, long lasting plant.
I decided to dig around in the soil and among the inner leaves as I once again watered.
I noticed the stems felt particularly firm.
Peculiarly firm.
Then reality hit me in the head!
I began to laugh aloud,
standing alone in the foyer.
This plant, in all its splendor, was fake!!
Fake, I tell you.

I was still laughing when I called my mother.
She had just learned the truth that past Sunday at church.
We laughed together.
We decided I should keep the pretty plant,
displaying it each Christmas holiday to come.
And the story and laughter will brighten our home 
as much as the vividness of the red blossoms.
Maybe even more.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A period a the end of 2013








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                      The LORD bless thee and keep thee: 
the LORD make his face shine upon thee
 and be gracious unto thee:
            the LORD lift up his countenance upon thee
                      and give thee peace.          Numbers 6 : 24-26

This is my "verse for the day".
I just tore it off the plastic stand a bit early.
That once chunky day-by-day calendar is empty, 
save a few pages of ads.
I have a brand new one in the drawer, still in its shiny box.  Filled with 365 pages of colorful pictures and words of great wisdom, God-inspired.
What does that mean, exactly? 
God inspired.

The argument against the power of the Holy Bible is that it was "written by men".
But, as scripture says, and I believe without a shadow of a doubt, all scripture is "God-breathed".
Yes, men through the ages have written down the original words.  Since then, these words have been grouped into sentences, paragraphs, chapters and books.  They have been translated and are still today being painstakingly translated into other languages.
But each word, before chisel taken to stone or reed to scroll or even pen to paper, was silently "spoken" by our Almighty God into the hearts and minds of the variety of authors.
Have you ever experienced this breath of God?
Have thoughts entered into your mind that you KNEW, just knew, weren't of your own imagination?
Have you ever sat down to write of some deep emotion or situation and the pen seemed to push forward of its own power?
I have.
Not that I, for a second, think I am anointed as the authors of the Bible, but I have sensed God's Presence through thoughts and words "breathed" 
into my mind.
Inspiration, we call new and creative ideas.
Divine inspiration takes this to much higher levels.

And so, back to this last glossy page, ragged on the top where it was torn away.
It is a blessing to each of us who believe.
As I read and reread it, a melody lingers in the back of my mind.  I am quite sure these words have been put to music and I sang them with a choir years ago.
How lovely!

Whoever edited this calendar chose an excellent reading for #365.
It serves as a period at the end of a lengthy, rather run-on sentence that was 2013.
Did this past year bring you joy...sadness?
We live our lives on a continuum of each,
sliding (or bumping) on those 3 little dots.
Back and forth. Tossed about at times.
Despite the ups and downs of living,
the promise within this blessing holds true.
God Himself spoke it to Moses, telling him to teach these exact words to Aaron and his sons so they could use them to bless the People of Israel.
I can close my eyes and imagine the warmth of oil or honey being poured over me as the priest held out his hand and spoke this over me.  A physical response to this blessing.
And I will know peace.
PEACE as we step into 2014.
To you.


           TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2013

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The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: the LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

¶ NUMBERS 6 : 24–26