bumper stickers...

The pastor shared his new bumper sticker with us on Sunday. When he posted it on Facebook, I commented, I always suspected it..., He is a big, burly guy but has the heart of a little kid. If push came to shove, I have no doubt he would win but he might try to negotiate some kind of settlement first which takes all the wind out of one's sails of bragging about him. If you take the philosophical high road, does he have the knowledge to win a theological debate, yes - would he fight to the end, I think not and just thinking about that - makes me proud.

Not just because he is the pastor. I think that is the road we should each take. Do you win just because you can knock the other person down? It might feel good but that feeling is only short term. I am not a fan of bumper stickers. They don't invite discussion, they are statements meant to invoke a reaction. It is a 10 second attempt to get their point of view into your head. A moving advertisement of something that mostly, means little to nothing.

I mean no offense to the pastor or anyone who likes bumper stickers. We are a culture that like to show off our stuff, in many different ways and since we spend so much of our time on the road, it only makes sense that this kind of billboard is the one so many choose. Ali Edwards posted this tweet this morning from her husband.

Chris just called to tell me that he saw this bumper sticker on the way to work: "God bless the whole world, no exceptions."

I agree... and while it sounds lighthearted, I see a whole big Jesus thing here that could get ugly. If we really believed that there are no expectations, how would that change our lives. To me, that is a big pill to swallow and makes me humbly aware of my own shortcomings. Even having a pastor that protect me in a time of need, couldn't help me out of this.

No exceptions, fits nice on a bumper sticker - maybe not so nice in our theology...

do you see what I see?

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did so throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover...Mark Twain.

She still it the most stunning thing I have ever laid eyes on. From the first time I saw her to coffee this morning. How fortunate I am to share this life with her. I hope she can see the possibilities that I see. She always says, you're my mom - you have to say that. . I have no frame of reference for this, maybe she is right.

I remember being her age. Life was not great. Medical and bio family problems along with working full time put me on the verge of crazy, most days. I didn't have anyone to tell me, hang on - you are doing fine. I struggled through and after much trial and error, see that I am more than what I see.

As long as I am willing the tough questions, I am on the right page.
When I can acknowledge that sometimes, it is my fault, I am on the right track.
When I fall on my face and cry out to the One who made me, I am on the right path.

So I want her to know that I see someone with so much potential, but I am her mother and supposedly, have to say that. With age comes the possibility of picking up a bit of wisdom, but even if I wasn't her mother - I would want her to know - there is One who sees more, knows more than any mother ever could. We are so alike in so many ways but she is much farther ahead than I was at her age. If I knew what I know now at her age, life would have gone much smoother but the bumps made me who I am and I wouldn't trade that for anything. I wish the same for her. Do we see what He sees? I hope we all get there Someday...


If you turned your TV on yesterday, there was nowhere to go to escape the now worldwide swine flu scare. The panic level has been raised to 4 and every other photo shows someone wearing a mask. For Mexico, it has been deadly - more than 150 have lost their lives. With the exact same strain finding its way to 50 confirmed cases in 8 states as of yesterday, only one has been hospitalized. The Powers That Be don't know why this flu is so deadly south of the border and that makes the panic potentially more fatal that the disease. in 1976 under Gerald Ford, we had a Swine Flu scare and after a public saturation of flue shot warnings, some died from the vaccine which made it even more scary.

But if I am living in Mexico and seeing everyone on the street wearing masks and my next door neighbor died form the flu... I am going to panic. Plain and simple. We human are people of quick triggers. We may not use our brains to anywhere near capacity but those tapes that play in our heads, have 100% recall.

While everyone else is is out buying hand sanitizer and googling Swine Flu symptoms, those in Lower Manhattan yesterday didn't even have the flu thing on their radar. Apparently trying to take advantage of a photo op, the FAA authorized the Air Force One backup 747 with an F16 behind it, to do a flyover the city without informing the public. Because no one had been told, from Mayor Bloomberg, down the chain, there was a panic from those who lived through 911 to see these 2 planes. I can only imagine what was going thru these people's minds watching this play out. This photo was taken by a couple who were working from home, completely aware that this was real and thinking, please let it not be true.

Video clips show people out on the streets looking up and unsure what to do. Memories of the fateful day 8 years ago that changed their point of reference forever. Imagine what you would think...and feel. Someone at the White House is in big doo doo, as well they should be.

We all have triggers that are emotion driven. They are the hardest ones to deal with. I am guessing that they are not located in the part of the brain that stores our warm fuzzies. These triggers hit hard and fast with little warning and can last a long while. Each of us have different ones and some like 911, we share in community. In theory, if we can learn to identify our triggers, we can anticipate them and be proactive. Sounds very therapy-like and doable... if we are ready.

Looks like the Swine Flu thing may trigger some issues in the days to come. I like that we as a nation are being cautious but am thinking getting the vaccine will not be in my future - I will take my chances. I've got enough triggers on my emotional plate. It looks like a buffet that goes on forever. Felony stupid - I so agree. The people of NY need an apology and those who were in charge of this photo op, need to find new jobs...


For a month of so, I have been wrestling with a spiritual thing, I don't know how to describe it but I know what the symptoms were. I couldn't get off my mind - it keep coming back again and again. I also know it wasn't something that I questioned or had an issue with, it was about somebody else. I shared my dilemma with a friend and our conversation led to much more thought. Not in a way you might expect, it was really a negative that lead to a positive. Not trying to be mysterious but it was like a nagging puzzle and I was looking everywhere to solve it so it would get out of my head.

I had another unexpected conversation where this subject came up - the other person had no idea of what I had been struggling with - and said, You can't explain it, it must be experienced. It was the last piece of a what seemed a very big Puzzle and after that day, it got out of my head and has never come back.

Was it all in my head? Sure it could be but I highly doubt it. The process of going through this was agonizing at times and thrilling at others. It came down to, how do you explain the Love of God to someone and the answer is you can't. It is something that has to be experienced. Like childbirth or having a son. One I have experienced, the other, I have not. I could study everything I could get my hands on what it is like to have a son but I still wouldn't understand fully. The same with God's Love, as much as I would love to fully explain it - I can not. Now or Ever.

I am amazed at the way God works in our lives. How do you take a 20 something atheist and get inside her head and then her heart? I can't explain it but I sure have experienced it...

PS He's her son and what a joy it is watching them together -http://www.mycharmingkids.net.

PS2 Stellan EKG went so well this morning, he was discharged and he and MckMama fly home tomorrow :)

shelf life...

Shelf life, we all have one. Whether human, animal or anything else. The pastor gave a great visual today - he asked those under 25, how many of you have heard a sermon by Charles Swindoll? No hands were raised. When he asked those of us over 25, nearly every hand went up.

Pontiac announced last week that is was discontinuing the Pontiac line. The very cars of my youth, the GTO and Firebird are no longer desirable to the new generation. With green being in, I understand why. These gas hogs were all about cool and cool has changed.

I also learned last week that my digital camera has a shelf life. They say that my particular model of camera will need replacing at between 50.000 and 100.000 photos. I have a while to go but where I believed this camera would be my one and only, isn't looking like it now.

Just like the internet has made the newspaper virtually a dinosaur, the computer did the same to the typewriter. No longer do we have the same job or home. The average time that we have either of these is 3 years. Sometimes shelf life is dependent on culture, now technology is changing many areas of our lives. We don't fix things if we can buy them new, cheaper which is the case of many more things today than ever before.

The only place were the shelf life seems to be less of a force is music. Watched a Barbra Streisand concert on TV last night and even at 64, (concert was shot in 2006 -she turned 67 last Friday) there was no change in that gorgeous voice. She and I disagree on most everything but her songs have been a big part of up adult musical history. She opened the concert with a God song which I am sure she doesn't evern recognize, Somewhere...

There's a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There's a time for us
Some day a time for us
Time together and time to spare
Time to look, time to care

We'll find a new way of living
We'll find there's a way of forgiving

There's a place for us
A time and place for us
Hold my hand and we're halfway there
Hold my hand and I'll take you there

While life gives and takes away, changes constantly and leaves us looking for something to hold on to, someday...

black and white...

A while back a friend send me the website of her favorite photographer. She did beautiful work but the thing that caught my eye was - she specialized in black and white. No color in her world, just black and white and all the shades in between. I was in awe, that would be the perfect fit for me. Don't know about making a living but if you shooting for pleasure only, that would rock my world.

There is just Something about taking a photo, any photo and finding its perfection in black and white. There are very few photos that I have taken that I don't like better in black and white. Not just like but sense some kind of emotion or purpose that you just don't get with color.

Everything that is framed in my house is in black and white with the exception of the kids' room which is filled with bright, colorful layouts for them. Even in my office, the layouts I have on my wall, are black and white. One of my favorite things to do with my digi layouts is to run them through Lightroom and see what pops up when I enter the B&W preset mode. It truly is a different world where life is pared down to the basics and all distractions are removed. Stripped of the confusion of all the color, the theme of the photo or layout, shows its true colors. There is no hiding or trying to make magic - it just is. The focus shifts from the oohs and ahhs of the color that first captures our attention to the immediate separation of things color and makes you pick a place to focus on.

I don't know if there is much of a market or if one could sustain a photo business in Idaho by only offering black and white photos but I am not too interested in the moeny making part. The idea of working in a black and white world makes me darn near swoon. I am married to Mr Random. He is so right brained - creative and lives in his Many Shades Of Gray World but he finds that his job is one of black and white, as we have discussed - poor planning on his part. He was talking about The Powers That Be the other day and how they couldn't get it into their heads that he needed lead time to get what they wanted and since they couldn't make up their minds about How Much, his hands were tied. Black and white, where my head and heart have been all my life. Welcome to my world, my friend, welcome to my world...


from mckMama's blog this morning,
Stellan was at peace when I said goodbye to him this morning and is in surgery now. We had a very long night and he ended up getting sedated so he could rest. Here he is right before he got put on the ventilator for surgery.
Amazingly, I am at peace as well.
I expect to hear a few updates during the morning, with the entire procedure expected to last at least three hours. If possible, I will update or have someone do it in my stead as things go along.
In the meantime, please pray for Stellan and for all hands involved in his care today. My friend Amy will be continually updating the post below during the entire time Stellan is in surgery.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

It has been almost 5 weeks since Stellan first entered the hospital. Last week he and his mommy transferred to Boston where the second opinion doctor took over Stellan's care. Technology has certainly played a part in making Stellan's little heart continue to fight as well as allowing MckMama to keep us up to date on Twitter. This is what she has said since late last night,

I'm going to work on a post now about all the details regarding how it went. It was a complicated situation and Dr. A did the best he could.7 minutes ago from web

They will extubate him a bit later. He needed a blood transfusion earlier and he's still finishing that up. He looks so sweet and peaceful.8 minutes ago from web

Stellan made it through!!! I am with him now in recovery. They are going to leave him under for a while, since the procedure took so long. 12 minutes ago from web
A bit of news trickled back to me: there is a lot of fluid in Stellan's lungs and tissues.29 minutes ago from txt
Yes it's been over three hours, no I haven't heard any update at all.
about 1 hour ago from txt

Stellan is sedated and intubated (he's on the ventilator, which is breathing for him), will be heading into surgery any minute now.
about 5 hours ago from web

Okay, now Stellan has flipped back out and is asleep. I cannot believe this is my life right now. It's like a bad dream. A really bad dream.
about 10 hours ago from web

The anesthesia team was in here. They may put Stellan under & intubate him. Waiting...about 10 hours ago from txt

...breaking my heart so my dad is taking a turn rocking him and Stellan is relaxed now.about 11 hours ago from txt

He is on oxygen and has been desperately trying to nurse as I rocked him. It was...
about 11 hours ago from txt ...shots of Adenosine broke it temporarily, but now his is back in (narrow) SVT.about 11 hours ago from txt

...a wide QRS complex. It was SVT with abberancy. Two...
about 11 hours ago from txt It was a long hour. Stellan went into what looked like v tach, but was actually...about 11 hours ago from txt

...he is accepting his pacifier & sugar water as a substitute right now since he can't eat.about 12 hours ago from txt I am just rocking him right now. He's awake and I know he's hungry. Thankfully...about 12 hours ago from txt

He is still in SVT but his rate is down from 250s to 210s now.
about 12 hours ago from txt The goal is to hold off until the morning for surgery if we can. That is looking probable.about 12 hours ago from txt

"And miles to go before we sleep."about 12 hours ago from txt

The news about Stellan is getting better but he is just out of surgery, but well enough that MckMama is getting somethng to eat and making jokes again. We are now becoming community in a whole new way - over 9000 people on Twitter have brought Stellan and his family into their their own worlds ever though we will never meet in person. I spent the better part of my day praying for their family and checking in for updates. Sounds like a family to me. Technology and Jesus make for quite a day. If you are interested in Stellan's full diagnosis by Dr A, check out MckMama's blog post, A Good Play With An Awful Hand at www.mycharmingkids.net


Saturday after our 2 early morning soccer games, we headed about 3 hours east to Shoshone Falls. Those who have seen the falls when the water is flowing at its peak say it is well worth the drive. What they didn't tell us was that ALOT of other people have friends who told them the same thing.

What should have been a 2 minute drive form the main highway turned into a 1 1/2 hour wait, complete with police telling you that tomorrow would have been a better day to come. There is only a short window - a week or so to see them at their Very High status and even those who live in town, were taking no chances.

We took the school bus to the lookout point and then proceeded to look at every angle we could. When we went out to the viewing deck - Gage is yelling at me to look at the rainbow. He sees the water but the rainbow is what fascinated him. I was trying to take pictures and listen to him, take a picture of that, nana but he always came back to the rainbow. We took some video even though the snack bar had a DVD for sale of the falls. Their version doesn't have little voices in the background, wouldn't be much fun.

Miss M was a bit afraid so we hung out on the grass while everyone else took another path to see a bit more. After everyone was satisfied and a bit hungry, we headed out to get something to eat before heading back home.

I'm pretty sure I would have seen the rainbow even if it hadn't been pointed out to me but having it pointed out to me was better. No Hollywood special effects here just the Glory of the only One who could have made it. I think that was what Gage was trying to tell me even if he didn't realize it. Look at the rainbow, nana - look. wysiwyg - what you see is what you get. The more you see, the more you understand and the bigger the rainbow, is...

object permanence...

Object permanence refers to the ability of the brain to retain and utilise visual images. It develops at about eight months of age. This faculty is distinct from a baby's recognition memory.

For example, a baby is able to recognise and prefers to look at its mother by the third day of life. However, it will not cry upon being left by mother; "Out of sight, out of mind." At around eight months, the child will be exhibit signs of separation anxiety when mother leaves the room. This is because the child can now appreciate what he has just lost - the presence of his mother. Another sign of the attainment of object permanence is baby's delight at the game of "peek-a-boo," which demonstrates graphically that the child appreciates that just because Mother is out of direct view she is still in the world and can be recalled by moving the hands or blanket out of the way

She initiated the phone calls. They are sporadic, come at all hours of the day. They mostly end abruptly as they did tonight when her cell phone went dead. The funny thing is, she is 15 and I am not. Her grandmother and I were friends for over 30 years. I have known her mother for all her life minus 6 weeks and while I have know this delightful girl her whole life we have only met face to face less than 10 times and only 3 since she was a baby. We bypass pleasantries and get to business. The business of being 15 and all that goes with it. Tonight our conversation started with poetry, and then moved on to object permanence which I had never heard of but was fascinated by. As soon as she started telling me about the peek a boo thing, it immediately triggered the thought of God as being there, whether we think He is or not. I thanked her for teaching me something new today - she thanked me for the God reference. What a way to end the day.

I have no idea when she will call again. Hadn't heard form her in a while so I thought we were done. The interesting thing is from the very first call she made last year, there was never an introduction, Hi, this is ... She just started talking like we have talked forever. I knew exactly who it was - her voice is uniquely distintive...and we have been talking ever since. She calls me and I am always available. Her grandmother and I have not spoke in over 4 years but I Facebook with her mom and aunt. They have never asked me about our conversations but know we are conversing. It is a wonderful, random thing for which I am grateful for - no matter if I ever get another call or not. Object permanence - what a find and out of the mouth of babes...


rebuke (ri byook)
To express sharp, stern disapproval of.
To reprove,
A sharp reprimand.

Sitting and lite chatting at a friend"s house with another friend I hadn't seen in a long while. We were talking about kids and my friend made a comment about her oldest child who is still at home - something like when he is gone when our mutual friend rebuked her remark in the name of Jesus. I thought it was odd, it was a remark meant to be funny and with absolutely no malice whatsoever but I hadn't been around this person and let it go. Then we were talking about men and motorcycles and I brought up my dilemma with DH and said he had to do the paperwork to get the bike, I would do all the funeral planning. Then, My statement was rebuked in the name of Jesus.

In my rush to judgement to now label her as crazy, I didn't go on to explain to her that I was dead serious and that by not fighting my husband on the motorcycle thing, I realize that alot of what happens to us has to do with our choices. Sometimes, the devil can just sit back and relax as we go about out lives - Read The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis - great perspective.

In saying all that, I don't want to close the door and label it as crazy, I am getting smart enough to try and take it all in and learn from it, good and bad. While I lean toward having her committed to 100 hours of Jesus training, there is a part of me that thinks this whole mindset comes from fear. Two statements, one obviously made in jest and the other in totally sincerity doesn't seem like the correct venue to play the rebuke card. I totally believe in rebuke and have used it, IMHO, this wasn't it. The conversation later turned to talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres who is a strong influence in the lesbian community and the same person had no issues with her or her influence. In fact, she adores Ellen. It was about then that I realized why there are many times, the dichotomy I see in the christian community, makes me want to do some strong rebuking of my own...


It has been a week of fun for me. A rare day off with DH, followed by a great photo shoot with another one tomorrow. Today the kids and I were looking for more of these life dance movies and found this. I have been with T Mobile for 7 years but couldn't love them any more than I do now.

Life is hip hop, rock and roll and at times, very waltz-like. Life is about the dance. Standing for something so you won't fall for anything. This week has reminded me of all the good that surrounds me and how I need to take in all in more often. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week - I am so looking forward to mine.

stand by me...

My favorite song right now is Ben E King's, Stand By Me. done by Danny Gokey. It may be the lead song on the funeral playlist the way I am thinking now. I love that American Idol/ITunes are releasing studio recordings weekly. I am going to wear this one out.

There comes a time in your life when you understand that making peace with yourself is not only worth it but may prove to be a invaluable relationship. Stopping the in-house fighting about weight, looks, what is sagging and what is eluding you. You have seen enough to understand that it is time to take what you have, accept it and make it work.

The bible says, if God is for us, who can be against us? For most of us, we don't have to look much past our own noses. Life is unfair, people aren't nice but boy, can we do a number to ourselves. Personally, I am ready to stop. I am embracing the multiple personalities that vie for attention in my head, even giving them each a mental hug every now and then. I don't think you can even start to go there until your 40's but there are those who through no fault of their own, have enough experiences to be well on their way before then.

I have more years behind me than before me and I am well aware that I need to make the most of them so Brandi, we may have to change the family rule of turning the music down in the van so I can hear the phone ring. I promise I will check the phone every now and again. You know me, I don't want to miss a thing!

Vietnam ...

DH had the day off yesterday so when he finished his self appointed chores, I asked him where he would like to have lunch - Brick 29 was his choice.

Don't even remember how we got on the subject but he started telling me about joining the Idaho National Guard in April of his senior year. 1966. I always thought he joined the NG because of his dad's love for the military, turns out, not really, he went from the Marines to the National Guard and knew the score for his only son. His dad told him, Look, you don't want to be drafted. The National Guard will be the last to go to Vietnam. So 3 months before his 18th birthday, he joined the National Guard, along side his father.

Turned out his dad was right even though later, the elder would want to go to Vietnam so he could draw a higher pension. They were on Priority 1 for over a year which meant they would be given 2 weeks to get their personal affairs in order before being deployed. I felt like a reporter trying to get all the information that I could. It was a nice, deep discussion - unlike the shallow ones we had been having about buying a motorcycle.

The one Story that really caught my attention was the Officer Story. They called in a few of the men in DH's unit and had them take a test, unknown in nature. Later they would be called in and told it was to see if they were officer material. DH was, he passed with above average results. They wanted him to accept and head to Officer School. He declined. Not only no but hell no. He had a year of military service left to go and then, he was out of there. He did not share his father's love of all things, camouflage. His father retired from the Guard and DH went back to his real life and both were happy with their choices. DH maintained yesterday, given a choice - he would do it the same way all over again.

The way we make choices will be studied by those way smarter than me, forever but if you are able to see a Story and follow its history - you can learn enough to get by. I am so happy we got to have this talk and it gave me another piece of DH's puzzle and when it comes to men, we women need all the help we can get. Amen...

Do Re Mi...

I turn on the news and it's all about pirates.
Pirates...really?..in 2009?

Then I woke up with the most real dream I can remember. I was pregnant with twins. I have this pregnancy dream every few months. Have had it for the last 20 some years. Usually I am panicked and the main theme going thru my head is - I have to start all over again at my age. Last night's dream was different and has stayed with me, most of the day so while pregnant thoughts and pirate panic are invading my much needed mental hard drive space, I find myself day dreaming about being in Belgium and having this experience.

While my perfect musical experience would not have Julie Andrews as its main star, it still feels worthwhile. Coming down from my Easter and Princess birthday high, this fit the bill and more. I found myself singing along and ready to dance my way into their Moment. There were no thoughts of pirates or having babies or anything but Do Re Mi. Maybe the Von Trapp's didn't have it so bad after all. When push came to shove, they had their musical talent to get them out of trouble. A happy song with happy thoughts - I must remember that. Be that as it may, try to get this song out of your head for the rest of the day. Assuming you won't be able to...enjoy!

April 12...

Easter Sunday and Miss M's 4th birthday - alot to cram in but again, we managed. It was the best Easter service ever. I love the music at DD's church - Like Third Day and Toby Mac style and yesterday, Pastor Doug brought his old friend along who happens to have been the keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band. When you look at Pastor Doug, you wouldn't imagine he knows as many rockers as he does. The music along with his sermon made it, the perfect Easter.

On to the festivities - no rest for the weary. By the time we got to Aunt BeBe's the Easter egg hunt was on. Uncle Blake had hid 138 eggs...or so he counted. The guy is a math genius but when we counted the found eggs at the end and came up with about 15more than he counted, we were a bit concerned. Trying to avoid Uncle Richard from mowing any plastic eggs with dollar bills still in them.

The Princess had a wonderful day and in all her princess finest, played with her pink baseball glove and ran her little heart out. The Hello Kitty pinata was a great success and they each went home with enough candy to feed a small country.

Throughout the day Pastor Doug's words kept coming back to mind. He talked about Easter as the completion of the Christmas Story and what it really means in our lives.

The reason you come to church every week is Easter. He is dead on right. Whether we like the pastor or not, whether we like SS or not, none of that matters. Without Easter, there is no point in coming to church EVER. Simple concept and I will be reminding myself next week when the time comes. The reason I am going to church is only, and I mean only, Easter. Either He did or He didn't - that is the only question we have to settle in our minds...after that, it is all about Easter.

It was the greatest Easter ever and the best 4th Birthday of Miss Morgan Sydney Smith ever. I am a very lucky girl...

R.I.P. Earle Brewer...

There was so much to do on Saturday - getting ready for Easter and Miss M's 4th birthday. DH had a few days off and we had lots of errands to run. A funeral first thing Saturday morning was not on the agenda but there was never a question that we would start our day honoring Earle.

The service was at the funeral home - always thought Earle's funeral would be at the church but maybe because of Easter, they decided against it even though we were all invited to the lunch at said church, after the service. It was the first church I ever attended. I was 27 years old and had accepted Christ 6 months earlier. Took a while before we choose a place to go and the minute I walked in and heard a 90 year old man singing Amazing Grace, I knew this was where we would land.

Earle was our first Sunday School teacher. He was about the same age I am now. There was never a Sunday I didn't leave that class wanting to be a Brewer. Earle was the man and we took it all in. He not only knew some much about God but he believed it passionately. He passed that on to me - that is where I got it. I didn't realize that until yesterday at his funeral.

The place was packed out - people were standing in several rooms. For an 83 year old man, his audience seemed young. As they started with a slideshow, the family laughed and made comments thru the whole thing. However you came to meet Earle, you never forgot him. Guess that is why that little funeral home was overflowing. The pastor of said church has knowing the family for years - said church was always involved with the pastor's bio family and the mission field. Now he was the pastor and he was having a tough time making it thru, because it was Earle.

Much talk about Earle and his passion. Whether fishing, farming or just being himself, his passion was something that you could not get away from - even if you wanted to. Those if us who share passion as a personality trait come off as bigger than life. We don't mean too, it is just the way we are. 25 years ago, I didn't know that passion was such a big part of who I would become but looking back, no wonder Earle was my hero. He loved his family, passionately. He loved the church, even though he didn't agree with it sometimes. To sit in that sea of people, some related and some want to be's - it was obvious that if showing people that they are loved is the most important job one is ever given, alot of people got the message.

It was a few hours of time but it made my day. We weren't able to go to the luncheon but I saw his daughter when I walked in so she knew we were there. I hadn't seen Earle in several years and haven't sat in his classroom for more than 20. The last year, he was in a nursing home - not sure why but it must have been very difficult for him. He was an outdoorsman, through and through. Being dependent on a wheelchair must have been tough, for everybody.

Not sure Pearl can do without him. Never thought she would out live him. I can only imagine their kids are thinking the same thing. Would not be surprised to see her die soon of a broken heart. He truly loved Mama, oh how he loved her.

We left the funeral home and continued on with our To Do list but in the back of my mind, The Brewers were there. Today as they celebrate their first Easter without Earle, he is celebrating his first Easter in heaven. Imagine that...


The Love of God. I have been wrestling with this theme for a while now. Not for myself, I have been good with waiting for answers until the other side of heaven but keep having this nagging feeling that I am missing something.

I have got pieces of the Puzzle from some conversations with those whom I share my Page with and think I am getting closer to getting whatever it is there is to get. This is what it looks like in my mind.

The Love of God is not like a bigger version of parental love. It is not even close.

It is not about solving the Mystery but pointing the direction toward the My Mystery.

You can't explain, it must be experienced.

It may not make sense but after weeks of living it, there seems to be a dropping of bread crumbs to follow and follow, I will. This Easter, my icon is Gage and his overwhelming desire to be a rockstar, complete with a mohawk and assorted instruments so he can sing,

Here I am to Worship,
Here I am to Bow Down,
Here I am to say that your my God

There truly is, No Greater Love...


Doubt can be a bond as powerful as certainty...

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter has a feel all its own for me. That hasn't always been the case. For the first 1/2 of my life, it was all about the Bunny which means chocolate. The perfect Easter icon was the biggest chocolate egg you could imagine with my name written on it. Never got it but that was always, always the dream.

It was really a few years into my God experience before the whole Easter thing made sense. Real sense but these days, it is almost like second nature. I go thru the week with nothing special in mind. No formal services for Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, just taking it day by day, trying to get a sense of what the week might have been like.

I grabbed Doubt from Redbox this morning. Have been waiting for it to come out on video and didn't realize it would be Easter week. While I knew the basic premise of the movie, I had no expectations but from the beginning, maybe because of the Week - it quickly took me to a deeper level where I stayed for a few hours. It had all the good and bad of humankind, wrapped up in the mentality of belief and doubt.

It is intense and unbelievable...but so is the Story of Easter. It shows the best
and worse of humanity...Just like Easter. It helps us to understand that what we feel and see is never finished. That allows me to see the grace in what is less in me and you. It means all we are responsible for is today, tomorrow will take care of itself. The Story and visual about the priest and woman and gossip is worth the time alone. When you see the feathers flying out of the pillow and failing from he roof to the street, you see how gossip spreads and it leaves no doubt, that we have a long way to go...

Las Vegas, living life upside down...

Last Sunday, 60 Minutes did a piece on how the economy has changed the livelihood of Las Vegas and in turn, medical care of its people. Doubling the unemployment rate in less than a year, their main source of income - tourism, has started a tumble down a hill that is slashing a path of destruction that is out of control. Financial losses in access of 70M has forced the hospital to close medical avenues to the newly unemployed. Cancer patients were given names of private doctors but without insurance, there was no value in sharing this information. one woman had been diagnosed with a treatable cancer but with no care available, that treatable may go to untreatable. I was close to tears as story after story of families who have always paid their way but working, have nowhere to turn. For those on the very bottom, there is help and for the those at the top, they can take care of themselves but for those caught in the middle, what are they to do.

DH came home Sunday and was sharing about a woman we have both known for years - her cancer has reoccurred and she is now in a nursing home and must have chemotherapy to live. Stop the chemo and she will die. Don't know if she is still legally employed and has insurance and if not, what her medical prognosis will be. My heart hurts for her and her family. DH and I have longs said, you can't understand until it happens to you.

Stellan's Story goes on and after two week in the hospital, he has a new doctor and is looking at changing hospitals. Surgery may be in his future. I can only imagine what his family has been going through. So far, they seem to be getting all the help they need and those of us praying his Story, are with Mck Mama - God is in control, no matter what.

I would imagine that at least 51% of all prayers are health-related. Whether for a child, grandma/grandpa or our next door neighbor - we pray for everything from complete healing to a quick and painless end. We love and hate those who give us medical care. Nothing about medical care is fair, absolutely nothing and that is what makes if so tough. If anything ever happened to my gkids, their other grandma has an in to St Jude's and she is ready to call in every favor she has. If you have been in this situation, you know all you have is prayer. If you haven't, you will Someday. It's not just in Las Vegas and it just doesn't happen to other people. If you find yourself praying for those who are weak and weary in body, pray for peace in the middle of their Storm because they probably can't for themselves and would if they could. We may not be able to stop suffering but we can most certainly can settle for peace which brings it's own kind of healing...


Let's say the average age one is pottytrained is 4 and let's also say that in any given year, those of us who wear underwear (and there are those who don't - I make no judgement) do so for 300 days of said year. Remove our illnesses and bathing suit days, and 300 should be just about right.

Me - 57 minus 4 = 53
53 X 300 = 15,900

That means I have put on underwear lamost 16,000 times. That is a lot of practice.You would think I could do it in my sleep and for the most part, you would be right but just when I start thinking that is exercise is a no-brainer and that I need not pay attention, it happens. Ever find yourself kissing the carpet because you either missed one of both underwear openings? Or hit the same opening twice and found yourself in a downward spiral? Oh, yes - I mean you. I can't be the only one. WEll, me and DH. That is how our morning started. He caught himself and didn't hit the floor but kicked something, sounded like the chair he keeps his clothes on. We laughed because first, you have too and second, because we are amazed that one could do something 15,900 times or in his case, 16,800 times and potential -kill yourself. I told him that was another of the things on The List that I would outright lie to paramedics about (Oh yes, there is a list). Tripping on a shoe would be spmewhat acceptable although I imagine there would still be paramedic giggling, a much better scenrio is that he lost his balance due to a long-term inner ear affliction that is progressive and nothing can be done. We have been to the best doctors in the country... sorry, too much information.

My point is don't get secure in any area of your life, no matter how long you have done something. Be open and try to learn everyday. I certainly have a comfort zone that I don't like to leave. As the times change, we need to change. The wisdom we have picked up over the years is valueable and useful but we need to learn new wisdom. Pay attention when you put your underwear on tomorrow and if you don't engage in that particular activity, pay attention to that first step out the door - it could be a doosie...

why I carry a camera everywhere...

I had the kids help me tonight, try to find the perfect purse. Gage is the best. He understands it has to be black, have a long single strap and has to be big enough to fit my camera and bag. We were not successful but not for the lack of trying. There are good reasons not to leave home without a camera - Photojojo had the time last week to list 12 reasons why.

1. Mark your parking space (if you have spent one minute looking for your car)
2. Use it instead of a printer (take a picture of your computer screen - save ink)
3. Remember details (spray paint for coffee table)
4. Mark your property (take a photo of your address and phone number in case it gets lost)
5. Shopping lists (take photo of recipe for ingredients lists)
6. Retrace your steps (before taking something apart, take pictures to put it back together)
7. Collect evidence (fender bender)
8. Use it as a mirror (check your teeth for spinach)
9. Make a wishlist (book, gift idea or CD)
10. Use it as a flashlight (use flash to find keys that fell on the floor)
11. Remember places you want to go (restaurants or the new shabby chic furniture store)
12. Record phone numbers (snap that phone number so you can call on that house when you get home)

Lots of good ideas. Don't think I will carry and lose another grocery list ever again and as for finding my car in the Walmart parking lot, I think I have found my new parking buddy...


We live in a all about me world. You can't take too many steps without being made aware of how much more/better/prettier/smarter/everything else, you could be...if you only used this product or bought into that theory. Now matter what you might do, it is never enough. There is always room for improvement.

I don't totally disagree. If you think you have arrived in any area of your life, you start ignoring that area and move on. For me, there has to be a better way to get through this life then waiting for the next best thing and I think it has to do with what we already have.

Look at a child watching themselves in a mirror. What do you think they are thinking? I bet it has nothing to do with weight or wrinkles or the gray in their hair ( ok, a little projecting going on there). They may be thinking nothing. Not a thing. Mostly I would imagine if they think anything, they would be pretty happy with what they see. We learn over time, not to like what we see. Sometime, we take that thought to an extreme and it affects everything we think and do.

Part of my prayer life has to do with loving what I see when I look in the mirror. To see it from God's perspective. Nothing gushy or over the top but a genuine affection for one of His creations. He made me, He made me for a reason and I hope that this day, I didn't screw up too much. See - there is that bad thinking again. There was nothing spectacular about today but I think a kind word or a loving hug is just as important. We need to see ourselves as God does - take that with us and live the lives we have been given. If we get the AAM stuff out of the way, it makes room for more of what we really need. Look in the mirror and try to smile. It's a start...