Wednesday, May 30, 2007

For the Best

I found a small booklet that I picked up in London at a small deli, Pret. We went in and we had a cinnamon danish and coffee. It was very good. The deli was on the street where we stood waiting for Evan Evans tour bus to pick up a bunch of us scheduled to see the Queen's official residence, Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge that day.

This booklet is all about their food, ingredients, goals. When I saw it I thought it looked interesting and I stuck it into my purse (it was free) to read later. Today I found the little booklet "Good Stuff." I sat down to look through it.

"Home Truths, Menus and Stuff."

It has quotes in it. Quotes are fun. One of them was by Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks.

"The idols of today are unmistakable - self-esteem without effort, fame without achievement, sex without consequences, wealth without responsibility, pleasure without struggle and experience without commitment."


I have not heard about this Rabbi, so I decided to look him up tonight. I read one of his speeches, "London Rally." He ended that speech with this prayer.

"Ribbono shel olam: Be with your people Israel now.
Hear their cry
Heed their tears
Listen to this, our prayer on their behalf.
Grant peace to all your children, Jew, Christian, and Muslim alike.
Help us live together, respecting one another.
Help us cherish life.
Help us to use the powers You gave us, to heal, to mend, to build.
We ask of You, Almighty God, just one thing:
You who make peace in high places,
Help us to make peace down here on earth."

It's hard to know what to do about our men and women fighting over in Iraq. I want them to come home, yet, will terrorism get worse if they do leave? We are where we are because terrorism came right to our doorstep with 9-11. Sometimes for the best outcome we have to do things we would rather not do. I wish we didn't have to be there and I pray we can leave sooner than planned. We have a nephew in Iraq, my brother's son. When you pray for our troops, remember Aaron. Thanks.

One more quote from Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks.

"Friends, let me tell you what is wrong with terror. It is not just that it murders the innocent: the young, the old, the defenceless, the uninvolved. It is that it murders innocence itself. It turns virtue into weakness, decency into vulnerability. And if we, if Israel, if Europe, if America do not take a stand against terror, if we ignore it as the world ignored it for so long, then it will leave a stain on the human future that no tears, no regrets, will ever remove."

To read or listen to more speeches by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, visit his website.

I did get around to making rhubarb pie even if I didn't feel like it. I am glad that I went out and picked the rhubarb and made the pie because it was a big hit tonight.

Day 156, Millie? You want to come over for coffee and pie?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cold Spring

Just took these pictures this morning in the yard. Pink bushes are called Rose Tree of China. They are incredibly beautiful right now. The Norland Apple tree for the last two springs has been in full bloom by May 16 (my birthday), this year it does not have blooms at all, or yet... maybe they are still coming. The crabapple is just about ready to bloom. The white blossoms are on the Maytree. Spring has been cold so everything has been slowly coming along. Rhubarb is coming in good, as usual.

Chewy got a haircut today. More like Chewy got a hair-butcher today. I worked on his hair for hours. It is a long, tedious job to groom him. When he is done he looks pretty good. I have not mastered the buzz clippers yet but I know if it would work properly this job might be easier.

Anyway, I think if he stays out very long he will definitely feel a chill! I clipped off enough fur to cover two more little dogs. He looks so different! But he is still cute.

After his haircut this morning I gave him a bath. I don't know if it is common for shihtzu's to turn maniac after they get wet but he turns into a little gremlin, just like the movie "Gremlins"! Maybe it is to naturally warm him up so he does not shiver to death as he waits to dry.

Last time I saw Millie she was sitting in a chair (Friday). It was so nice to see her up in a chair. Adam had just returned from his away job and was there suctioning out her throat so that she could breath quieter. She had one eye open and was looking up. She had on ear buds and was listening to music. I waited awhile then I took them off so that I could say hi!

Two of her daughters are up here now, visiting her, from the Lower 48.

Day 154.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Smell Of Rain

If the following is a true story it is cool, even if it isn't it's still a cool story. Many times I've watched my newborn babies as they slept and smiled. I thought to myself that their smiles were definitely not from gas (as some people tried to explain to me). Instead, I believed at that newborn time they could still see the world that our souls came from. It is the same place that God is. I believed that as time ticks on the evil one clouds our minds with his lies... then we all forget.

As I type it is raining here, it always smells so good when it rains. I am thankful for the rain tonight. We have been having warnings that the fire danger here in the MatSu Valley was Very High and all open fires were being banned.

I will be leaving early this a.m. with Doug and we will be at the MX State Race's in Anchorage at Kincaid Park this weekend. If you have ever wanted to watch a MX race then this weekend is a good time to do it. It will be a busy place with kids coming from all over the State to compete. If it is raining it will be muddy, but the good news is --- it won't be dusty!

Now on to the story. Thanks to Mary G. for sending it to me.

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery.

Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991 , complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature.

Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could.

"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one"

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.

She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say.

She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.

Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old. her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.

And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life.

She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving , Texas , Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.

As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent .. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him.

It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

Have a great weekend!

The picture was taken in a small plane on the way home from Pedro Bay. God's vast Creation goes on and on below us!

Day 149.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Kudos to Lexie!

On our way to visit Millie yesterday my daughter Kim casually told me that our granddaughter Alexis Dustene received the Citizenship award at her school. I was excited! To me that was always an award that the very nice kids received. I am so proud of her for being given such a great award.

I looked up the criteria for giving out Citizenship Awards and found this at the NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) site.

The award (Citizenship) honors any student in elementary, middle, or high school who has shown by their words and actions that they possess the qualities and characteristics we hope to instill in all our students.

There were probably many other awards given out on Monday for Firsts in sports and academics but, what should be a big highlight in Lexie's life probably is one that young kids don't realize the value of yet at their age and she probably does not either.

Too often, disruptive students command attention while the students who follow the rules and conduct themselves appropriately go unnoted. The American Citizenship Award is designed to recognize the students that consistently exhibit the kinds of behaviors we want to see displayed in our schools and in our communities. We all want students who are always prepared in class, have their homework finished on time and volunteer whenever volunteers are needed. We want students who are ready to help others, always play fair and treat everyone with respect; students who exemplify the desirable behaviors we all want to encourage. Honoring model students with this award will inspire and encourage other students to strive to be better citizens. The American Citizenship Award can be thought of as recognition by the principal that "I caught you doing something GOOD!"

Yesterday I called her and said, "Lexie! I am so proud of you for getting a Citizenship Award at your school!" She replied, "I was so proud of myself too."

Very good job Babe! You are a sweet, loving and caring person and I hope you will continue to cultivate those qualities in your life no matter what life throws your way. Your name Alexis Dustene means "helper of mankind" and you have been demonstrating that you are that sort of person. We all love you!

The following test was developed as an age test by an R&D department at Harvard University. I received it from my friend Sandi and since it was fun I wanted to share it with you all today too.

Take your time and see if you can read each line aloud without a mistake. (The average person over 50 years of age can't do it.)

Good Luck!

1. This is this cat
2. This is is cat
3. This is how cat
4. This is to cat
5. This is keep cat
6. This is an cat
7. This is old cat
8. This is cuss cat
9. This is busy cat
10. This is for cat
11. This is forty cat
12. This is seconds cat

Now go back and read aloud the third word in each line from the top down and I betcha you can't resist passing it on. :-)

I visited with Millie yesterday. She does not have the IV stuff in her left arm anymore (where they administered medications). So the big, black spot it was creating there will be healing now. It is therapeutic to visit with her and wash her face and hands and feet. I talk to her as long as I have something to say then we just sit quietly. We listened to some of her favorite music - KT Oslin and also Milly Jackson.

Day 148.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Flurry!

Nope, I didn't see snow but my daughter Kim and her family and my son Kris did on Alascom Road! They went up to camp a day earlier to set up camp than the rest of us did and they didn't appreciate the cold and then on top of it the S*N*O*W! Kim was definitely not a happy camper when she was telling us about the (I think maybe slightly exaggerated) "Snowflakes THIS big - MOM!"

The weekend went fast and the highlight --- we enjoyed meeting Matt from North Carolina. He is a friend of Marie's and we were all anxious to meet him. The trip to Alascom Road was Marie's plan and we complied even if it meant leaving our green Valley and seemingly going back weeks into winter traveling up to the mountainous country. (It sure is nice to have a warm RV. hehehe)

Another highlight was all the sheep we saw on the mountain sides. I tried to get a picture but I do not have a very goood zoom and besides, we were traveling down the highway when I tried to take a picture.

I didn't get to visit with Millie since the races did not finish until pretty close to the end of visiting time at Providence Extended Care. I miss Millie and hope to see her TOMORROW! ....maybe.

Day 146.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dirty Low-Down Scoundrel

Chewy my indoor companion who is normally such a sweet little guy acted like a stinker when I was not watching. I was busy on the deck with watering and putting little seedlings in the sunshine and making sure they have enough water to last for a few days.

I went into the house for just a minute and this little guy chewed (Chewy) on one of the sunflower seedlings and then sat there looking like "What?" "I didn't eat that plant." But, he is not aware of the incriminating evidence --- leftovers on his chin!

It's a good thing he has such a good friend in me! (Not really, it was just one little sunflower seedling, ha!)

Today is May 18 and for some reason I always remember that it's Helen G's birthday. Happy birthday Helen. I know you all are depending on God for comfort on the loss of your dear brother.

No visits with Millie yet, I miss seeing her. I hope to make it there Sunday.

Day 143. 1-4-3. I-L-Y. I love you Millie.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Something Stinks Today

Here is some poetry I have received.

You know you're getting older when...

Everything hurts,
and what doesn't hurt,
doesn't work...

Your knees buckle
and your belt won't...

You feel like the morning after,
and you didn't go anywhere
the night before...

You can only burn the midnight oil
until 9 o'clock...

The twinkle in your eyes
is the sun hitting your bifocals...

Your back goes out more often
than you do...

And another sure-fire way to know
you're getting older is when...

Cards like this start showing up on your birthday!

Oh well- try to have a good one anyway!

How about this poem:

A fart can be quiet,
A fart can be loud,
Some leave a powerful,
poisonous cloud...

A fart can be short,
A fart can be long,
Some farts have been known
to sound just like a song...

A fart can create
a most curious medley,
A fart can be harmless,
or silent, but deadly...

A fart might not smell,
while others are vile,
A fart may pass quickly,
or linger a while...

A fart can occur
in a number of places,
And leave everyone
with strange looks on their faces...

From wide-open prairie,
to small elevators,
A fart will find all of us
sooner or later...

But not all farts are bad,
this is simply not true-
We mustn't forget..
Dear, sweet, old farts like YOU!

And then... after all that the card has the nerve to go on and say... Happy Birthday. (lol)

Well, "the apple does not fall very far from the tree" is seems because from my daughter Kim I got this birthday note:

Happy Birthday, Mom...
From one of your stinkers!

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! I had a beautiful birthday time.

Pictures included in the slide show are some off of the cards and some that the Grand kid's created for me.

Day 141.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Drawing Test

I saw this online and thought I would try it and now I am sharing it here.

drawing personality
What does your drawing say about YOU? The results of my analysis say:

You tend to pursue many different activities simultaneously. When misfortune does happen, it doesn't actually dishearten you all that much. You are a direct and forthright person. You like to get to the core of the issue right away, with few signs of hesitation. You are creative, mentally active and industrious. You have a sunny, cheerful disposition.


Still Day 140


The swallows I mentioned in my previous post that were not here - they are here now! Flying around, dipping and diving and checking out the bird houses. I think we are supposed to clean them out each fall so that they want to use the houses again, well we didn't. But, they are here!

I am always happy when they arrive and also the red robins. Besides them the cranes have been here a while, ducks flying around busy checking out the lake and pond. The frogs begin to sing. The moose go to higher ground. We saw an osprey soaring around the lake about four days ago. I saw swans flying over near Pittman Road but none have graced the lake yet. The geese went through several weeks ago. Was watching a small black, yellow beaked and gray chested song bird this morning.

I just added a new blogger from Ohio that I want to visit as he keeps track of a bird nest hooked to his window. Check out his blog: A View From A Treestand.

Day 140

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day in Talkeetna

Alaska's spring has been kindda cold!!! I went out to the RV to retrieve several items I needed, with capri's on it was quite chilly! We have definitely been having a long, cold spring, but the robins are singing! I have not seen swallows up here yet. We saw some bear tracks on the river bed in Talkeetna.

What a great weekend together as a family. Times like this families should cultivate to keep relationships refreshed. I especially liked being with Doug since his new work schedule gets him home tired every day. I am not used to seeing a tired-out husband day after day. (Previously he worked two weeks away and two weeks at home.) So, this weekend was refreshing for our relationship.

I loved being with all of our kids. Mom's day made it more special. Oh, btw, all you great Momma's out there, I hope you have a wonderful day! I forgot to have something special for my daughters Karla and Kim who are Mom's themselves. Such busy Mom's too. Was I ever that busy? I don't remember, they are both working hard at their Momma jobs. My Mom had ten babies and she is a Champion Momma Warrior. Doug's Mom had five sons, she is also a Champion Warrior! All those sons grew up to love the Lord too. My thoughts of Doug and my own parents were part of my weekend. My admiration of them was refreshed.

Alexis and I read the Bible together one morning and we talked about God and what a great Creator He is and so caring that He sent His Son to earth. He loves each one of us and when we believed He put into our hearts the Holy Spirit.

When we feel that we are not appreciated, or maybe feeling alone and not noticed, the Holy Spirit is always with us and He loves us so much. We talked about when Jesus will return on His white horse. Don't all little girls love horses! He won't be coming on a donkey this time, He will return so majestically on a horse! I know it is going to be a view worth roll after roll after roll of film!!!!

We saw so much beauty out in the woods but talk about incredible beauty, majestic, awesome, a take-your-breath-away sight! An event that will have all the great photographers reaching for their cameras! Or, will it be so mind boggling to see Him as He is that we all will stand with mouths hanging open, not even one thought of a camera at all!

Here is a slide show of our weekend.

I haven't been to see Mil all weekend. I read the update by Doris and sounds like she is coming along well.

Day 139. Reminds me of my favorite Psalm. Psalm 139.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17,18.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

VE Racing Team

Tony had a wreck at the race track that he did not remember having. That was kind of scary, but that happens sometimes when they race. I don't know what to say about that since I feel kind of like I should be the one that says something about being careful... being the Momma of this bunch. Yet, they are all grown up and I guess I don't have any say anymore. So they all love motocross. I just pray they won't take crazy chances with their bodies.

These races are going on every weekend at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. No races this coming weekend so we are all taking our four wheelers and heading up the highway to camp a few nights. Tony is home from work for two weeks then gone for two weeks so he wanted to get started on our summer of camping weekends. Summer goes really fast in Alaska and being gone for two weeks at a time really speeds it up. We know, Doug had that work schedule for many years!

This video is the race that Klint won. Klint, Kris and Tony run in the Intermediate Quads. Visit their MySpace.

Day 135.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lake's, School's and Toes are Out!

No more snowy races on this lake! It is so good to sit out on the deck and watch the sun sparkle across the lake. Our spring has been coming on very slowly and we still are staying in the high 50's and low 60's.

We have enjoyed the outdoors already a lot and even if it's a bit cooler, it's all good! So far, we have been spared the snowy mornings my sister further West has been treated to, including this morning! I don't want any snow, I am happy with the soothing drip of rain.

We attended Klint's graduation in Anchorage at the Sullivan Arena. Lots of graduates (over 2400!) and lots of people there who loved them ---so the crowds were there. Only one person we were interested in seeing march down that aisle though! We are very proud of our son Klinton. He has earned a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics and a Minor in Physic's. He is much smarter than I can ever be! Good job Klinton.

The "Sons of Thunder" is a title my son Kris decided was going to be the name they will use at the MX Races. I thought that was pretty cool to name themselves after the sons of Zebedee and Salome of the Bible.

James and John, by their name (which Jesus gave to them), were a couple of guys that were "fervid," "impetuous," "passionate," or even "declamatory" and "vociferous." "Boanerges;" Sons of Thunder. A surname given by our LORD to James and John (Mark 3:17) on account of their fervid and impetuous temper. (Quoted from "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did?" (Luke 9: 54) That Gospel story makes me chuckle in light of the meaning of their name.

Well the sandals are pulled out of the closets and shoe basket and even these tiny little feet were sporting sandals today! Aren't they so cute!

Raegan Mae came to visit today and she was wearing jeans, a summery top and sandals. I was trying to push her little toes up so she could see her sandals and she grunted and I saw the jeans were tight on that tummy. I said to her Mom, "Aw she already knows the pinch of her jeans!" Baby girls are so fashionable today!

Geeee whizzzzz, look at those eyes!

Day 134. Actually, Millie opens her eyes when we move her arms around. Does that mean she is awake? I think I mean awake when she sleeps at night and wakes up during the day. My sister Kotya says, but she was a night owl, maybe she would be awake at night... ?

I heard that she spoke. I have not heard her say anything yet. I have heard her moan after she coughs.

Millie is taking her good ol' time 'emerging'.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Forget-Me-Not Poem

One day this poem came to me when I was looking at some forget-me-not flowers.

My Forget-Me-Not
by Connie VanWingerden

It's just a little flower,
But it has a great big thought;
'Cause every time you look at it,
It says, "Forget me not!"

Well, I visited Millie today with seriously high hopes of hearing her talk, but she made not a peep!

No peeps, just sleeps.

Day 127.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spring Stuff

Cooking steak cubes over a fire.
Cleaning up the yard.
Sweeping porches free from winter's abuse.
Filling and hiding Easter eggs.
Visiting with Millie.
Visiting with Mom and Mark.
Crocheting a toddler sized poncho.
Flying in small planes and ending up at my sisters home
Enjoying the company of Becca's children.
Watching cable t.v. way out in the village!
Riding ATV's through deep, muddy bogs, making a fire and roasting sausage.
AJ's birthday at Kincaid Park and motocross practice.
Yummie strawberry ice cream birthday cake.
Gunner's birthday dinner.
First motocross race, Klinton wins first place in the first heat of Quads.
Beadwork while Doug travels away from home.
Messing around with MySpace for hours and hours.
Watching swans, geese and listening to frogs wake up.
Walking with my LORD throughout the days.

Spring has sprung and I've been busy doing ... stuff.

Here is a video of our times at Moto-cross so far this year. Enjoy.

Happy May Day! 126, Millie.