Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ten Years

Another year is come and gone. Come to think of it another decade come and gone.

A few things that we have gone through in the last ten years.

Living in Brussels.

Moving back to the states.

Buying a new house.


Starting and selling a small business.

Oldest son graduating h.s.

Employed again.

Youngest son graduating h.s.

Oldest son getting married.

Gained wonderful daughter-in-law.

Oldest son had a daughter, became a dad - made me a granddad.

Many, many, many, many blessings on my family.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Travel Thursday

The "Where Am I" title has morphed into 'Travel Thursday'. The concept remains the same, a photo will be posted depicting a location. Your duty is to discern and guess the location.

Now for today's photo:
This will be relatively easy for most.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where Am I???

Align Right
Well, here is another place. These photos do not necessarily depict a national landmark.

Hint #1
This flower is often found in this region. (Although, native to South Africa.)

Hint #2
A relatively famous hotel.

And finally hint #3
A skyline.

Blessings, and enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Where Am I?

Now for a little game. I will put up a photo of a place and see if you can guess where it is.

Photo from my hotel room.

Can you guess the town?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Becoming an Authority

It takes a lot of work to become an authority,

unless you are a teenager.



Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Spool Down

Life in our household was a little different than normal the last few weeks. We were preparing for a wedding.
My oldest and his bride got married last Saturday, August 22nd.
They thought it would be nice to have it in our backyard.
At sunset.
With 'tiki' torches.
And twinkle lights.
In August!

So, that's what we did.

Prayers for good weather started immediately. Can you say water, water, water the grass and flower beds? Did I mention watering? Some trimming and neatening. Lots of mowing. The Creative Soul & the bride brainstormed ways to decorate. They did a tremendous job and everything looked fantastic! (Photos found here: Creative Soul )

But, I saved the best for last. They asked me to officiate. Humbling, exciting, proud, anxious, WOW!

All went well. Now we are finishing up recuperate mode. Took most all week to get revitalized. It was well worth it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quiet In The Night

Isn't it interesting how 'quiet' it gets at night.
Especially when you can't sleep.
Restlessness removes cobwebs and senses sound an alert.
Background noises come to the foreground.
Sounds of life gain volume until blaring.

Houses breathe.

Floors creak.

Refrigerators roar.

Faucets drip.

Breezes rattle screens.

Plants scratching outside.

A cricket's

And we usually sleep through all the din.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

To Bed or Not to Bed

The grass is growing. Time to start mowing twice a week. My better half thinks we need to convert to flower beds - no grass - just flower beds. I am not too sure about that. I am not convinced flower beds are less work than grass, but that's her opinion.

Currently I think we are up to ten flower beds. Let's name them.
  1. The front bed
  2. Front corner bed
  3. Front door bed
  4. Front sidewalk bed
  5. Well bed
  6. West wing by fence
  7. The bed by the air conditioner.
  8. Rose bed
  9. Bed by our bedroom windows
  10. Pond bed
  11. Nathan's bed
  12. Pool bed
  13. The Garden of Eatin' (Nathan named it)
  14. Ami's Garden
  15. The East fence row
  16. The West fence row
  17. The South shrub row
  18. The East side of the house bed
It looks like 18 beds instead of ten. Some are not very big but I am pretty sure she is scheming ways to expand them and probably add more.

Looks like I am fighting a losing battle.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Went to a funeral

Yesterday I went to the funeral of a friend's brother. The overall feeling was uplifting. One of the phrases that caught my ear was,

"Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last."

This intrigued me enough to google it. The line is from this poem by C. T. Studd, a missionary of late 1800's early 1900's. Hope you enjoy.

Only One Life

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say ‘twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

C. T. Studd


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

To all the ladies who have just experienced the soft sweet smell of a newborn,

to those who have been tested by the terrible twos,

to those who have answered the millionth question of the inquisitive preteen,

to those who have endured the trials of the turbulent teen,

to those who have had the child become a friend,

to those who have been blessed to the harvest of grand & great grand children...

May God bless you on this special day created to call attention to you,

and may He bless you every day

for you have earned and deserve the honorable title of



Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Great Day For a Birthday!

Birthdays are good days. Time for a little reflection and time for looking forward.

Reflection on how very very very blessed my life is. I grew up in a family that loved and loves me. God placed a wonderful woman by my side to share life with...good, bad and terrific. I have two handsome sons who have a desire to have God in their lives. My needs are more than taken care of. Many friends whom I am honored to have.

Looking forward to the gifts of life yet to come. I know that good and not so good are ahead...BUT there is more and more of good even in the not so good.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Refreshment

Spring showers, spring flowers, SPRING TRAINING.

Had a great time with Deb experiencing a few days of Texas Rangers spring training in Surprise, AZ.

It was fun learning the etiquette of spring training. There are obvious rules - Don't Cross the Red Lines - Stay OFF the fields. A more subtle one, they are happy to take time to sign your memorabilia, just be polite and wait your turn as they walk from one practice area to another. Sometimes they don't have much time, but they stay as long as they can and are even apologetic if they have to go to 'work'. The minor leaguers enjoy a little attention, also.

One of the things that struck me as quietly poignant, after batting practice EVERYONE helps pick up the baseballs!

They don't have some flunky out there running around gathering them up for next batting practice - they could - but, they don't. The pitchers had a fielding practice and afterwards they ALL helped gather up bats and balls.

For more photographs and great perspective check out Deb's thoughts at 'Creative Soul'. She is an enlightening communicator. You will enjoy her perspective.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


An airplane is a little like a boat in a river. If the boat is going downstream the boat goes the same speed through the water, but with the current pushing from behind goes faster in reference to the shore. If the boat is going upstream, against the current, it goes slower in reference to the shore. An airplane going into the wind, or headwind is like a boat going against the current. The airplane with a headwind still flies at the same speed through the air, the headwind just slows the plane in reference to the ground.

In the last few trips we have encountered some hefty headwinds, some reaching over 1oo mph. In fact yesterday we saw a headwind of 173 mph for a segment of the flight. If you are familiar with small airplanes, you will know in most of them you would be backing up with that much headwind. If you encounter some very strong headwinds you did not plan for, you will need to land your airplane and get more fuel to reach your destination. There are a couple of things you can do to combat headwinds, but mainly you just have to put up with them or not go.

Living life can be a little like flying an airplane. Sometimes you have a headwind and you just can't seem to get anywhere. So you have a couple of options. You can go park you plane in the hanger, waiting for better conditions. Or you can get in your plane and soar into the skies doing the best you can. Both can be right answers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Refreshed From Anothers Well

Being on the road often has definite drawbacks. But, today I want to focus on one of the pluses. When I am away from home on Sundays, I usually get online to find a local congregation to worship with. The internet makes it so much easier than it used to be. Looking in the yellow pages and trying to figure out what addresses might be within an accessible range was challenging without knowing the local streets and suburbs.

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to worship with the Northland Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio. Having flown the night before and finally settling into our hotel around 2:30 am, I had some difficulty hopping out of bed in just a few hours. After I had my morning visit with Deb, it was get ready and go find the church building.

I made it there a couple of minutes early. Greeted by several as I entered, a nice lady escorted me to an adult class. The class was informative and interesting. After class I visited with the teacher, an elder off and on for about 35 years. We made our way to the auditorium just as the singing was beginning. The singing was robust and hearty. Voices joining together praising God. Ron Adams presented an excellent lesson on forgiveness. We finished with a couple more songs.

Well, I went away refreshed from my time of praise and worship with the Northland Church Christians. So if you are in the Columbus, Ohio area stop by and pay them a visit. You will be blessed by your time there.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sweets For My Sweetheart

Yesterday I started celebrating Valentines. My reason for getting a head start is my schedule will have me out of town on Saturday. Therefor yesterday I went for a little date lunch with my wife.

After lunch we stopped at Wallyworld to pick up some necessities and valentine cards for the family. We walked in through the garden section. (Do they have any other doors?) We looked at some potted tulip plants. I was thinking ahh she just might like some of those. We went on and got most of what we needed. I picked up a couple of lemons to make her a pie. Near the produce was the floral department. We glanced over the flowers and found a few bunches of tulips. She expressed an interest and she ended up with some tulips for the house.

Later that afternoon there were tulips in several vases through the house. And I proceded to make her favorite, lemon merigne pie. I was not a fan of this pie growing up, it just didn't interest me. But, after a few years of making it and having it around, I have developed a fondeness for it.

So Valentines has begun at our house.

Hope you find something special for your sweetheart. Something that warms the cockles of her heart. Enjoy this opportunity to express affection for each other.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Can You Say NO?

For some, especially those who want to please, and hate to disappoint, one of the hardest words in the English language to utter is the simple little word, 'No'. Yes, you heard me correctly. It really is hard for some people to say no.

There are several reasons people don't say no.

They don't want to let any one down. They often end up saying yes to too many things and cannot complete all of the things they have agreed to. So they eventually let some people down.

They feel like by saying yes they are pleasing the person making the request. Again they will end up being bogged down by all the things that are offered to them. And, not getting the task done.

They want to be indespensable. If they are into everything then they have to be kept around.

They haven't learned to focus. They need to determine what is a high priority, agree to that, complete it and move on.

Learn to say 'No'. It will free you up to do the things that are really important. And once you narrow what you have to do you will have time to do those things well.

OK, practice it now, NO, no, No, No thank you, not this time, no, no, no. Good job.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Slam Clicker, Lobbyist, or Explorer?

Having stayed in a few hotels through work I have come to see three different kinds of hotel guests. Which group do you gravitate toward?

  1. The 'Slam Clicker'
    These are the folks who check into the hotel. They get their key and go to their room. The last sound you hear is the closing of the door and the clicking of the lock, 'Slam Click'. Almost always order room service or delivery food. Never see them again until checkout.
  2. The 'Lobbyist'
    These are some who can't stand to be in their room. They use the room for showering and sleeping. All other times they are in the lobby or common room reading a book or newspaper usually with a television in sight. In the summer you may even find them by the pool. They will go out to eat with the group and maybe a mall. But, not going to wander too far from 'home'.
  3. The 'Explorer'
    These are the adventurous souls that see the inside of the hotel only when they have to. They are always asking locals "What there is to do here?". They will often do prep on the internet and have a game plan for attacking this 'new frontier'. If there is some kayaking, hill climbing, art, museum, historical site, interesting downtown area, countryside to be seen, they are out exploring. They welcome the company of others but are willing to set out on their own if abandoned by the less hardy.
Me? I am usually a 1 or 3, never been a 2.


Monday, January 19, 2009

What Makes For Happiness?

Boy, if I could only have a new car, with new tires, that doesn’t break down. I would be delighted. If I just had that new game system, with those wireless controllers, and that new game that everyone is raving about. I would be exhilarated. If I just had one of those computerized sewing machines that can sew through anything, and makes all those fancy stitches and and creates intricate designs. I would be ecstatic.

I would be so happy!?!?

Would you? Would I?

These things could be pleasing. It is nice to have a reliable vehicle you can depend on. It can be fun to play video games for hours. It could be pleasurable to sew some very cute things.

What happens when the newness wears off. When new has become old and used. Where is the happiness?

True happiness is a chosen state of mind. Contentment is learned.

Happiness can be a fleeting emotion. Based on the things around us, it can come and go on a wisp of wind. But true happiness and joy is a deeper part of your character. It comes from your belief in God and what he has done for you. Joy is what sustains you through winter funks and hard times.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Things are Tools

Things we acquire and accumulate in life are just tools. Whether we crave some thing and go get it, or receive it as a gift, it is still a tool. Most things have a designed use. They can be used for their designed task or used imaginatively with mixed results. The same wrench that tightens the bolt, can break the bolt. The same car that takes you to work, to church, can deliver you somewhere you don’t belong. The same hammer that drives the nails to build the house can be used to break and destroy the house. Money can provide shelter and nourishment or it can provide fleeting pleasures, drugs and sins. The television that entertains can detain.

The tool has no mind of its own, it does not demand to be used. It only does what it is commanded. The difference in what is accomplished is determined by the user.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Are You A Pack Rat, Also?

Yes, I have been accused of gathering and keeping things way beyond their useful life. I have a shirt from when I was in high school, (yes, it still fits). The list could go on and on. But today, with my 'Creative Soul' mate, I begin cleaning out a file cabinet. This is a four drawer deep file cabinet and it is FULL. Glancing through one drawer the other day I saw a health insurance file from two jobs ago.

Don't get me wrong, I like organization...just not getting rid of things that might be useful someday. The demon awaits, wish us luck that we survive the ordeal. Especially me as I rip through my craving to keep everything, well most everything.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Celsius and Fahrenheit Trivia & Reality

Many, many moons ago, in a little town called Happy, I learned about Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales. We were taught how to convert from one to another, ( you know the divide by 9 multiply by 5 add 32, or was that subtract 32 then multiply......). It was a long time ago.

There is one thing that is simple to remember about the two scales. They both are equal at 40 degrees below zero. Brrrrr that sounds cold.

Well, if you were with me right now in Edmonton, Alberta, you could experience it with me. Yes, it is currently -40 degrees on both scales. And it is COLD!!!!

This is the window frame in my hotel room. The curtain is frozen to the frame. There are double curtains so my room is warm, but, it is definitely cold outside.

As we used to read on postcards sent from California or Florida..."Wish you were here!". Come on up we will chip some ice.