Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Jacksons and the Chipmunks


Tiny but entertaining chipmunks.
 Thanksgiving was a bit different this year.  We were fortunate enough to spend it together; just the two of us.

After visiting neighbors and over eating the traditional Thanksgiving foods, we decided to take a walk along the lake.  It was such a beautiful day. Families were spending time together in different activities.  Some were fishing off the pier; some braving the wind boated around the lake.  Some families were just visiting sitting on their boats still docked in the marina just visiting and enjoying their surroundings.  Others were grilling outside visiting around campfires and picnic tables.

Brother and sister Chipmunk watching.
 We came upon a mother and her two children hiking the same trail.  She explained she had visited the area for the first time as a single person.  After marriage and two children, she and her family still come every year and spend the entire Thanksgiving week.  She says she wanted to share this experience with her children.

They invited us to join them in their present activity; chipmunk watching.  They were sitting quietly and patiently as a tiny chipmunk popped shyly in and out of its nest. Mom said the yard of their rental was filled with chipmunks.  The family had brought “Louisiana acorns” all the way from their Baton Rouge home to feed them.  Apparently the chipmunks have some Cajun blood because they were devouring them.

Sharing the joy of nature is truly a gift—for young kids and the not so young kids!

"Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours." (1 Chronicles 29:11)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gotta Eat Your Veggies

I know better. Wal-Mart is always crowded. It is especially so on Monday mornings. Letting the weekend get by without grocery shopping, I was forced to make a run into the maddening throng.

It was much worse that I had anticipated. Factoring in the Thanksgiving holiday, the slew of shoppers was so thick you could not walk at a normal gait. One lady started saying, “I’m stopping now, I’m stopping now.” Responding to my smile she said, “I keep getting rear ended.”

Another lady and I were navigating down an aisle together. She apologized for reaching over me for a package of chocolate marshmallow cookies. “I just want my cookies and I am done. I know they are bad for you but I have to agree with my sister. My sister says we should eat what we want. We are in our seventies. So what if we die a day sooner? It is worth it.:” I feel pretty safe in saying, my sisters would agree with that reasoning as well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Leaf Storm

We have thoroughly enjoyed the weather this week. It has been sunny and clear. The leaves of crimson and gold shimmer through blue skies the mountain air clean and crisp. The usual mundane chores were mostly pleasant.

Kicking back, feet up, cruising.

One of our projects this week was excavating our small back yard. Under years of dirt and overgrown ivy lies stone work I have claimed as a water feature. Even through the years of neglect, you can see the loving care with which the stones were laid. Dan is not really on board with that as of yet. He is holding fast to a lovely rock garden. We will see how it plays out.

Coming soon....rock garden or water feature?

While Dan manned the weed eater in the back, I tackled the leaves in the front and side yards. I long since learned it is best to make myself scarce when he is in project mode. It had only been a week since I had blown, raked and mulched. Still, the leaves were knee deep. We laughed at the seemingly effort in futility. As quickly as one leave came up, a dozen fell to the ground. There was a storm of leaves pelting upon our heads.

Things were going pretty well; until we ran out of line. The hunt began. “What does it look like?” “Where was the last place you saw it?” You know those “helpful” wife questions. I did manage with some effort, not to say, “Are you sure?” After an unsuccessful search, Dan headed out for the hardware store. By the time he had found what he needed the sun was getting sleepy as were we.

This morning we took our yard debris to the local recycling center. As we twisted and turned around the mountain roads we were sure we were headed in the wrong direction. Surely a landfill would not be in such a beautiful area. We were pleasantly surprised to find it tucked away in the middle of the mountains surrounded by parks and hiking/biking trails. While strict, they are extremely well organized. Items that can be recycled are taken without charge and given away for free. These people know how to respect our environment!

Ouachita do not do them proper justice!

The afternoon found us at the marina cleaning out the boat. We discarded several pounds of items no longer of use including an old stereo and speakers. We did uncover some needed items. Perhaps the best part of the marina visit was meeting new friends. Our next door marina neighbors stopped and visited with us. On our way our, yet another couple asked if we wanted to join them for a short cruise. While they were folks we had never met before; they did not feel like strangers.

We ended the day picking up a set of golf clubs for Dan. This retirement thing, for us anyway, has a learning curve. We are making preparation. We have the boat, fishing gear, walking shoes and golf clubs. Of course most importantly, we have each other and friends to show us the ropes. With a little (lot) of help from our friends, we can do this!

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10-11

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lazy Stick

Lately Dan has expressed concern over my climbing ladders and such. One day he was obviously really annoyed when he came home to find I had been painting on the high side of the house. I asked why he was so upset. He explained it worried him that I might fall when I was alone. I resisted speaking the thought that came to mind. “Is it okay to fall when I am not alone?”

I will have to admit my balance does leave something to be desired. I am prone to vertigo. My eyes are and always have been a big problem. On the outside chance he might be right in his concern I bought a lazy stick this week.

One of my most challenging chores inside the house is cleaning the ceiling fans. The playhouse also has a lot of high windows with hard to reach sills. I tried out the stick yesterday. Judging by the dirt that stuck, it wasn’t a minute too soon.

In some places it seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. Minus the climbing on ladders and the like that is . Over all I think it will work out fine once I get the hang of it.

What is this lazy stick? It actually is one of those dusting contraptions that advertisers claim make any chore seem like a breeze. Don’t they all? Maybe I will call it a stick of convenience. Better yet, a safety stick? That sounds better doesn’t it? Now--about those floors. Maybe a roomba?

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience....Colossians 3:12

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Vote 2013

It seems everyone is expressing their opinions on which candidate will change the tide of our country. Your opinion does not offend me; the open animosity over politics among family and friends does. Each person should have at least a platform that impassions them on how to cast their vote. I find those who choose not to vote at all extremely upsetting.

Frankly, I am not particularly excited about the election. I know that will come as a shock to some. I am sick to death of hearing all the empty promises from opposing sides. Friends witnessed one overly excited voter this week.  Seems a gentleman was so elated after he cast his early vote he turned and planted a big kiss on the lady behind him.  Yep...square on the lips! I don't recommend kissing strangers but I do commend his excitement.

We are registered Republicans but we do not vote strictly along party lines. We vote for the individual based upon his character, ability and willingness to fulfill their job description competently. They are applying for important jobs. Their resume is important.

It seems gay and abortion issues are particularly hot buttons. I am very open about my personal abortion experience. My personal agenda in that regard is to be of help and healing to those who like me live with the pain of that decision. I do not hotly debate the issue as some see fit to do.

We have friends and family that are openly gay and others who wish to remain private. They are just as loved by us as they were when they were known to us a “straight”. We do hold true to our faith and belief on this issue.

While abortion and homosexuality is in stark contrast with our faith, so is hatred. To disagree is human and it will always be. It saddens me that we cannot in our differences choose to love and accept each other as Jesus did.

I am not perfect. My “robe” is tattered and stained….maybe even more so than most. I know the pain of rejection because of choices I have made. It is not pleasant. It stings.

It is my prayer that we seek the face of God in voting for our candidate. It is my hope that we work together in holding each elected official accountable in their positions.

After all, it is God alone who truly sees the intent of heart. He alone can judge it. Thankfully, we do not receive what we deserve.

“He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 23:3