Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For A Precious Angel ...

'Boy and Angel', By Abbot Handerson Thayer

For Craig W.

You are in my special thoughts and prayers, Craig!

Hopefully one of these days, we will actually have a chance to meet face to face.

Until then, may peace be in your heart, your mind and on your lips.

You are a precious angel, Craig ... In God's eyes ... In the eyes of your parents ... your sister ... your family ... your friends ... and to all who truly see with love.

May Angels watch over you, comfort, protect and guide you on your journey ...

God Bless!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Church of the Future?


One of my favorites.  This one hangs in our music room.  Inspirational!

Surreal ...

Perhaps one day, in the near, future: real?

"A church with no walls, one God and one united people."

Now that idea, to me, has infinite appeal ...

God Bless!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Close Encounters of the Animal Kind: Yikes!

I went out late last night to return rental movies that were due back to Blockbuster -- and of course, we had forgotten ... hence the late night outing. When I pulled into the drive, upon my return, a family of raccoons was waiting to greet me. They scared me half to death at first! My heart literally skipped a few beats because their presence was so totally unexpected. Three rotund fur balls -- these guys are definitely well feed! -- sat, not 10 feet away from me, on the densely wooded hill that borders our neighbor's property and ours.

Coming face to face with these masked little bandits is the closest that I've been to wild animals without having glass, or a fence, between me and them in a long time. But, I'll take these cute little critters to any of my other wild animal encounters hands down (including, but not limited to: a 4-5 inch diameter, > 6 ft. in  length, snake crawling right across my little Girl Scout feet as I tried to take a shortcut from my meeting through a tall grassy field in northern California. Had my eyes closed for most of that encounter, so I don't know if the snake had a rattle at the end, or not ... I was completely frozen!; Lots of other snakes including a sidewinder, in Arizona, and coiled king snake, that I nearly stepped right on top of!  I could have sworn that one was a rattler;

A tarantula and many, many scorpions ... even unknowingly slept with one once ... but thankfully, didn't get stung; Stepped on a big, 3 inch diameter, hairy black spider -- not intentionally ... of course -- but he got me back by biting me on my big toe ... OUCH! 

Lots of lizards ... most of them pretty cute, but skittish; Also, the head of a giant giraffe sticking its entire enormous head -- don't realize how big these things actually are until you're right up next to one -- through the sun roof of Ken's Porsche to help himself to the bucket of feed -- with the biggest tongue that I've ever seen! -- at an animal adventure safari park;

And one MEAN giant armadillo that I ran into in a dark parking lot upon my return from a late night bicycle ride while in college ... those things are crazy scary! Green glowing eyes ... loud hissing ... wicked claws and huge teeth! The thing probably would've charged me if I hadn't gotten the hell out there, quickly!) !!

But these raccoons were kind of cute and curious ... not afraid at all ... which really surprised me. Two of them got up on their hind legs -- like a bear, for lack of a better image ... didn't know that they could do that?! -- in an almost playful manner. But don't worry, I resisted the urge to reach out and pet them. : )

At least now, I know who has been crawling around on my roof and peeking into my skylights, leaving half eaten plums on my decks, and making my dog bark periodically throughout the day and night. I'll try to keep my camera handy and see if I can catch them on film. Erynn Jeanne got to see them with me, but the other kids haven't yet. Hopefully, they'll get a chance! I wonder: if these raccoons can get up on their hind legs and stand so gracefully, can they dance? : )

P.S. As I said above, these photos aren't mine.  Will try to catch ours on film.  As I was browsing for raccoon photos:  I came across this one.  I think: 'Uh oh ... hadn't thought about this prospect?   Wonder if they are living under our house?  Wonder if that is a problem?  Are these guys breeders like mice?  Do they carry diseases that can affect my dog and the kids?'  Have to look into that ...

KEN SAYS:  "If you want to see some 'local wildlife':  Just  head to the [shopping] mall!"  : )

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thought for the day ...

Don't rush through life, always judging books by their covers ... if you do, you are sure to miss out on some of the wonderful subtleties in this life.  'God IS in the details' ...

Open your eyes, your mind, and your heart and you will begin to see.

God Bless!

God writes His messages in the clouds ...

God reaches out to embrace us ... surround us ... with His infinite love and warmth in the beauty and splendor of the setting sun.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

French Vanilla Icecream .. Whimsically Drizzled in Sweet Chocolate Syrup?

I am randomly looking through other blogger's blogs early this morning -- while trying to wake up and begin the process of engaging in my day ... I'm definitely NOT a moring person!  This is not usually the way that I start my day, but I like to mix things up ... especially on the weekends and kids are not up yet.  Ken had to go into work.

Anyway, I came across the blog titled 'Down the Far Hall' .  The author, parsc2, has a blog with an interesting photo for each new day and little bits of his wisdom underneath.  I love the entry for Monday, September 14, 2009:

"Not all who wander wonder; then again - not all who wonder wander." 

[The photo for this thought is of  an ocean wave, on a sunny afternoon.]

I would leave a comment here, but my slowly recovering sixth says it is probably best not to ... besides it's so hard to leave comments on blogs nowadays?!  Too many login/IDchoices -- most of which don't work anyway?!

Some of parc2's photos are very interesting and the comments on a few make you laugh ... fun way to wake up!  Check out his blog if you have time and the inclination to do so ...

Here where I reside, it finally looks like the northwest that outsider's perceive of us -- weatherwise.  Today, it is overcast, dreary and drizzly, but that's okay ... the cloudy days, to me, are nature's way of giving us permission to slow the pace of our hectic lives ... and the gentle rain cleanses us, renews us so that we are ready to appreciate a sunny day when it arrives once again ... and a sunny day is sure to be just around the corner ...

In fact, we had a glorious sunny day just yesteday.  The sunset yesterday reminded me of a blue fiestaware bowl, filled with clouds of airy French Vanilla icecream, drizzled whimsically with sweet chocolate syrup ... you know, the way that the icecream begins to gently melt into the chocolate ... starts to swirl into the vanilla in strange and unexpected patterns ... almost like food art : ).  I was inspired to take a snap of this unique sunset, but my big camera had eaten through all of its batteries again (she needs to go on a diet!) and no replacements were readily available : ( ... thus had to resort to using her little sister ... maybe I should tell ken that I want new sets of rechargeable batteries next time, instead of flowers?

Here's are the images that I was able to capture ... judge for yourself ... (click on the images to see an enlarged view ... better detail) ...

Vanilla Icecream, Whisically Swirled in Sweet Chocolate Syrup ...

I'm off for another cup of tea ... hear the kids stirring ... Joyful day to you!


P.S.  HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE!  Hope you all have sunny skies down there once again in honor of your special day.  God Bless!

9/19/09 I wonder ... does experiencing pain ... any kind of pain have the potential to awaken us ... awaken our senses ... our appreciation for things that we used to walk right on by ... not even notice? Now that I feel as if I am starting up the upside of the emotional pain and turmoil that I've been experiencing these past few weeks +++, I feel ... this morning, strangely alive? Not even sure if that is the right word? But every smell is stronger, every color is brighter, music is sweeter, a hug from my kids feels warmer, food even tastes to me once again. I don't know what it is, but I hope that it lasts ...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Witness a TRUE Miracle and BELIEVE!

Art work courtesy of

As I was sorting through the mail today, I saw that I had received a handwritten letter -- don't get many of those nowadays -- from a dear friend whose father I knew was dying from an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer. Recovery chances for late stage pancreatic cancer are usually not very good, statistically speaking. But people aren't statistics in my book, and so I wrote my friend a letter giving her, her father and their family my very best. I told her that I would be praying -- storming heaven for her -- for her father and for the whole family during this difficult time. Then, I called my family and told them to start praying too.

I must have received my friend's initial letter, with the bad news, over 6 months ago and I have not heard anything back since that time. I had her address, but no current phone and no working email. I had given her my phone and email, but she has not called. I knew that she was busy; I figured that she would write when she had time and news that she wanted to share. So I just kept praying.

When I saw my friend's letter tonight, I was worried that it contained bad news. I opened it very slowly ... cautiously. Then, I began to read. As I read the opening paragraph of her letter, a feeling of sheer joy overcame me and I began to sob uncontrollably. But these were tears of joy! Miraculously, her father who initially was diagnosed with a tumor (size?) of 225, now had a tumor that was a 38 ... and 37, my friend informed me was NORMAL! NORMAL?! This is truly a blessing ... beyond a shadow of a doubt a miraculous occarance ... a MIRACLE. Proof again -- not that I need it -- that there is a God, a higher power, and that there is POWER in prayer.


I continued to sob, tears of joy, as I explained the reason for my tears to my husband and my eldest daughter who were staring at me with concern. When I told them why I was crying, they shook their heads at one another and looked at me like I was crazy, but I don't care ... this is closest that I've come to the sheer ecstasy of JOY in many, many months.

I am so happy for you, Cassie, for your father and your entire wonderful family. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers, and pray especially for the continued healing and health of your beloved father. Please give your father a HUGE hug from me when you see him again and call me when you have time to talk once again.

God Bless one and all!  May those who happen to pass this way BELIEVE!


P.S.  'HALLELUJAH!' is typically not a part of my vocabulary.  But I needed a powerful word to express the emotion that I was feeling and this word seemed to fit beautifully.  I am NOT a religious zealot.  Quite the contrary,  I believe that organized religions are a necessary evil ... a tool to help those that can't even begin to fathom a direct relationship with a God ... Creator ... Higher Power.  I, personally, have a strong relationship with God, the Creator.  I talk to Him daily ... often throughout the course of my day ... and I try my best to listen to His side of the conversation, even with all of the distractions in my life.  I don't feel that I need organized religion, but now that I have children:  I want to give them a strong foundation for having a relationship with a God, so we do the 'church thing'.  My hope in doing the church thing is that when my children are older, they will be able to make their own choices concering a God and the relationship that they wish to have with Him because they have some firsthand experience -- aside from my input -- to draw upon.  While I, personally, do not feel that I need an organized religion and that a lot of wrong has been done in the name of organized religion:  I think overall, the net effect of organized religion has -- and currently is -- contributed to the greater good of our world.  Given the wonderful diversity of the people inhabitating this planet, it would only stand to reason that there would be many different ways of choosing to worship a God ... Creator ... Higher Power.  I respect all people, their faiths and their beliefs, and I pray daily that the distrust and misunderstanding among various religions comes to an end.  I also pray that the people who have been turned away from God because of various organized religions find their way back to a relationship with God again ... even if they choose not to do the the church thing.

They say, "Never talk religion or politics."  But, I've never put much stock in what 'they' say anyway ... they tend to take the fun out life in my opinion.  Well, I've said my piece ... now I will be quiet.  Joyful day to you! 


Monday, September 14, 2009

I Dare You Guys at Blogger ...

Okay?!  Is it just me, or does that piece of cake on the blogger login page look awfully inviting?  What's up with that? I know ... I know:  HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLOGGER! 

Hey, here's an idea:  Why don't you brilliant minds at Blogger create a 'playlist' at to celebrate?  I'd love to see what you all would put together for a list.  Are you based in Austin?  Remember that you were having some sort of get together celebration there a while back?  Isn't the 'Austin City Limits Music Festival' coming up there soon?  In October right? So you can draw your inspiration from that upcoming musical gathering.  Seriously, are you guys up for the challenge of putting together a list?  Dare ya ... No pressure, I just love this song! : )

Song:  Under Pressure, By David Bowie and Queen

P.S. Had a lot of stuff going on in my life these past few weeks+++.  Thanks again for providing a place to vent and stay sane ...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Latest Images from Refurbished Hubble Telescope ...

As you know:  I'm partial to butterflies and I love all things related to astronomy.  So check this out ...

Just one of the Latest Images from refurbished Hubble Telescope ... 'Star Butterfly'

Wow!!!!  How can you look at something so spectacular and not believe in some higher power or order?!  Just magnificent ...

Here's part of the accompanying newsclip and link, updated Sept. 10, 2:02 a.m. from the 'Daily Mail':

"This celestial object - NGC 6302 - looks like a delicate butterfly but is far from serene: What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually boiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The gas is tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour - fast enough to travel from Earth to the moon in 24 minutes. A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the centre of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow. This object is an example of a planetary nebula, so-named because many of them have a round appearance resembling that of a planet when viewed through a small telescope. The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a new camera aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, snapped this image of the planetary nebula, catalogued as NGC 6302, but more popularly called the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula. WFC3 was installed by NASA astronauts in May 2009, during the servicing mission to upgrade and repair the 19-year-old Hubble telescope. NGC 6302 lies within our Milky Way galaxy, roughly 3,800 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. The 'butterfly' stretches for more than two light years, which is about half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri."

See the link below for additional images and info ...

Read more:

P.S.  Other things that glitter ... My latest jewelry creations ...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Last of Summer Forays ...

(image removed)
Took a week off for some last minute summer fun with the kids -- last week in August  [Finally getting to the point where I can sort through the thousand+++ pictures that we took with two cameras]. 

We headed into Seattle to take in all of the sights.  Our adventures included the zoo, a harbor cruise, a revisit to the Experience Music Project & Sci-Fi Museum, Pacific Science Center and Imax,  Seattle Aquarium, and Day and Night visits up to the top of the Space Needle.  Oh, I almost forgot the kids favorite part:  some spin and puke rides at the City Center -- remember when we couldn't get enough of that stuff either?

At the EMP the Kids and Ken did a recording of them, "in concert", playing the song "I Love Rock-n-Roll" -- they didn't know what "Purple Haze" was?! We wound up with a DVD, concert poster and tickets. They were the band "Pink Ice" -- poor Ken, he's so sorely outnumbered. Ken played lead guitar, Bethany played keyboard, Erynn rocked on the drums, and Lauren sang the vocals. Loads of fun! I was the fan and photographer. No more spots left, but that's okay with me; I don't like to be in the spotlight anyway.  I'm in the process of learning "Purple Haze" on the electric guitar (LOVE Jimi Hendrix!).  If I ever get it down:  I'll go back to the EMP and do a recording myself.  ": - )

Still sorting through and cropping photos:  I'll add more (e.g., harbor cruise) as I get to them done ...

Anyway, we had a blast!  Need to take time off more often ...

Song:  Arms Wide Open, By Creed 

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Truth Behind Humor?

True or False? All humor comes from witnessing someone else in misery.

This little pearl of wisdom comes from a cynical coworker, proud father of a three year-old and new born baby girl.

I tried to come up with an example to disprove this theory and I couldn't. Didn't spend more than a few minutes on it though. Anyway, can  any of you come up with an example that would disprove this theory?

It is a rather dark perspective, wouldn't you agree? Help me out here. I would LOVE to disprove this!

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful and always insightful efforts.

Joyful day to you!


P.S.  Think I have typing dislexia lately?!  Seriously: Please excuse not only my many typos, but interchaning whole words within sentences in really weird word orders?! The lack of sleep must be starting to take a profound toll?  Think I'll resort to sleeping pills tonight.  Pleasant dreams to you.  : )

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Give the Poets Another Try ...

[Image Left: John Keats; Right: Lord Byron]

I remember in High School AP English --near the end of the schoool year--we were each given a poet to research. Then we had to give a reading of one, or more, of our poet's more famous works. After our reading, we had to analyze what messages the poet was trying to convey to his audience, who was his audience, etc. Remember all of that stuff?!

(I have to go back to high school for this because in college, as an Electrical Engineering major, I didn't get much of the Arts; if it wasn't required: I didn't have time for it. I kind of regret that now, but hey it's never too late, right?).

Anyway, somehow I wound up with John Keats as my poet, and boy did I NOT like his work. His words seemed convoluted and overly flowery. Keats used way too much simile, metaphor and imagery for my tastes. I had thought about choosing Lord Byron for a fleeting moment, but his work didn't seem any easier to understand. So, I wound up sticking with Keats.

I chose the poem 'Ode to a Grecian Urn' to recite and analyze, because it was shortest and therefore I had hoped it would be the simplest to analyze -- wrong?! I was pretty clueless then. I stumbled through the reading, butchering the inflections miserably. My analysis was mediocre at best, and I went and threw up afterwards because I was so nervous at having had to get up in front of a class full of the brightest kids on campus.

It's funny how much we change, and grow, along this journey called life, because now -- especially right now -- I so get Byron and what he was trying to say. Maybe you have to experience what the poet is writing about in order to really get it? I don't know, but what I do know is that with all that I'm feeling these days and no one to talk to (aside from this blog ... and for the most part, love you, but you don't talk back ... I just hate to burden others with my problems): it's nice to have someone put into words what I'm feeling, or words that I would like to hear on the other side of a conversation that will never happen.

So if you've never given poetry much serious thought in your younger days -- like me -- maybe you should broaden your horizons and give the poets a second chance. I promise it won't hurt too much. Here's a great place to start:

Who knows, I may even work up the courage to revisit some of the works of John Keats?

Happy reading to you, and if you're lucky: feeling and understanding as well. Most of us could use a bit more of the latter in our lives ...

P.S. Confession: Had a half cup of coffee today. REALLY, REALLY needed it! After a few sips: remembered just how much I love that marvelous drink. Hopefully this won't jump start the cravings again. What can I say ... guess I'm human after all?

Song: Peace of Mind, By Bat for Lashes