Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Tree, a Chainsaw, and a Tetanus shot

We were invited to a BBQ with our friends. However...one catch...we have to cut down a tree. Okay, not a problem. We were ready...chainsaws in hand, Jim was the director, and... ...the monkey in the tree. This didn't look good to me!!!! His wife, Michelle didn't think it was such a good idea either!
The next door neighbor came over with a "better" idea...just cut it down! Get set....
TIMBER!!!! And it was down...
It wasn't as bad as I thought. The chain saw did all of the work. You just had to start it and away it went...mmmmm.....maybe this one was stuck!

To get an idea of how big this tree was...it covered a good share of the yard...BUT...
Steve did the chain saw, and...after lunch...he said he knew he got a little tired...not a good sign..
NOTE: Jane said that no good story ends well that begins with...Your dad had a chain saw...
We were getting ready to leave and he walked toward me and I saw the rip and the blood...
Yesterday (Monday) he went to the doctor for a tetanus shot...
The doctor said the leg was a lost cause so...we think that they got the leg ready for him in record time...and he is doing very well with it...
OH and we had a great BBQ. I didn't realize how tired I was until we went to JoAnns and both Steve and I couldn't make a simple decision...Of course, maybe the blood loss had something to do with Steve's fatigue...
NOTE: He would say...oh...why did you say that? It was nothing and there was only about a teaspoon of blood! He is so predictable.
And since he did have to have the leg removed....
Note: No legs were replaced in this story....

Tip toe through the tulips....

On Friday Carol, my friend and Steve's sister, and I went to Mount Vernon to see all of the tulips. We had a great day.

First, we went to lunch. We ate at the Calico Cupboard and spent time enjoying one another UNTIL...this is where the dark music should begin...a rose colored light shining down on the two of us...and all movements are in slow motion....
Scene set...We paid for our lunch and I looked for my keys. (NOTE TO MY CHILDREN: This losing things is not something that has happened recently.) I looked in pockets, the bathroom, the place where we sat while waiting for a table...Nothing. I began to panic! Carol said, oh, maybe you left them in the car. I REMEMBERED locking the door. Steve has come to many places and rescued me however never 1 hour away from home. We walked out to the car and Carol climbed in...flashback...I remembered locking the doors. Curious.... Then she nodded her head to let me know that the keys were in the car. I opened the door...and sure enough the keys were in the ignition...AND the car was running. I learned several things:
1. Cars will not lock when the engine is running.
2. Parking in a limited time (2-3) hour spot would indicate that you are coming back...in what?
3. People in the Mount Vernon area can be trusted not to take things from a running car.
4. AND no one TOOK the car.
We went off to the tulips and had a great rest of the day...

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Invisible Hand of God

We are doing a book by R. C. Sproul in our couple's small group that, by chapter 2, has already stretched my "picture" and "definition" of God. Last week it was the story of David and Bathsheba's first child, born from an affair. God told David that He would strike the child with an illness and the child would not make it, he would die. David prayed, fasted, and prostrated himself before God while his child suffered. When the child died, he got up and the first thing he did was go and worshiped God. (2 Samuel 12) Sproul mentioned the preachers (and well meaning Christ followers)who tell us that God would never harm anyone tend to forget about the invisible hand of God and His Providence. Hmmmmm...S T R E T C H.....God's providence...
This week he added to the definition of God's Providence. In the chapter he talked about Aristotle's god who was compared to the clock maker. The clock maker would spend time to create a beautiful masterpiece, then step back and allow it to do what he created it to do...tell time.

God is not like the clock maker. He is intimately involved in ever aspect of our lives. He created our world so that it would benefit us. In fact Sproul states that God micromanages every aspect of His creation.
When I was reading this to Steve,while we were traveling to Oak Harbor, we had just passed over Deception Pass Bridge. The power and majesty of the sight there is awesome to behold and we talked again about the creation of God.
God created the trees to give off oxygen and use carbon dioxide. The colors that He created are breathtaking. Why would he have to make so many different things in creation? Think of the varieties of trees. The multitude of evergreens, the variety of trees that lose their leaves, and then the tree that fascinates me, the Madrona tree that looses it's bark and not it's leaves. Not only are these things in creation amazing, they are beautiful and pleasing to the eye. It is spring here and the flowers are plentiful. This morning Carol and I are going to Mount Vernon to take in the Tulip Festival and what we will see boggles the mind. Acres of beautiful tulips in a multitude of color and shapes! Why did He have to do this? Our world that He created is not boring, nor should it be taken for granted. I know that there are times when I seem so caught up in His creation but I just marvel at His handiwork.
Sproul had some dire warnings and statements that caused the blood in my veins to run cold. One of the things he said is: "The culture in which we presently live has little room for the thoughts of God's providence. At best we live in a modern climate of neo-deism; at worst, the culture is defined by a climate of neo-paganism."


In that same section he writes: "In the 18th century Adam Smith wrote his classic work The Wealth of Nations in which he sought to apply the scientific method of the vagaries of economic enterprise and discover the laws that govern economics. Smith was searching for the "invisible hand" of Providence. In our time the "invisible hand" is not merely deemed invisible, but non-existent. The hand of Providence has been chopped off altogether, and with the amputation we are left to grope alone in a hostile, or even worse, an indifferent universe. We look no more to the invisible hand of Providence for our economic well-being but to the highly visible hand of human government to solve these questions."


It is because of these statements that I feel a need to call attention again and again to the awesome power and majesty of our God, Creator and Sustainer of our world. It is He who can provide for us as He does the birds of the air, the flowers in the field, (and the cats in our neighborhood.) He is the One who can meet your (our) every need no matter what it is, whether financial, physical, emotional, or spiritual. He is the One who loves you beyond measure and will care for you beyond belief. He longs to be our answer. In this culture and in this time, He is the one that we need to reach out to...That is why nature and all that He created is a loving and dramatic reminder of just who my God is...


Rejoice in what you see today...come before Him in praise....Marvel at His glorious works.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flashback from the files...

I was attempting to send something by attachment and found this in my saved documents. It was something that happened to me a couple of years ago while I had a NIGHT class at ACTS.

It all started Friday afternoon and I called Bob, one of my classmates, to find out if I could ride to class with him that night because with my eye infection and my previous problems with night perception problems, I tend to be a hazard at night with my driving. Bob had to go early so I couldn’t ride with him.

At 5:45 I left our house to travel to ACTS, a trip that takes 35-40 minutes to make. I didn’t know that Canada had just had a week of Spring break and that they were returning in droves! The wait at the truck crossing was 4 blocks long. BUT, I had a Nexus pass which basically puts you in your own special lane and you just zip across the border. I had to go to the Peace Arch crossing because that Nexus lane is separate and open at that time. That line was only 2 blocks long. And what should I behold in our line, the Nexus lane, a truck! What was a truck doing in the Nexus lane? I knew it was a ruse. The truck was a decoy and the real ammunition was in one of the cars following it because after searching the truck, the crossing guard (they aren’t really called that but the Canadian border police can’t carry guns and when there is an incident at the border, they leave their posts and run….) would be so upset that he had taken the so much time searching the truck…oh wait, I may be watching too many episodes of CSI… SO I crossed the border at 6:30. Since my class started at 6:30 and I had a 20 minute trip, I thought I might be late.

During our break, I asked Bob if I could follow him across the border. He graciously said that I could. I was relieved. I knew that if I could follow his tail lights, I would do okay in driving. So I relaxed…there should be foreboding music right here. Unfortunately, I am not on CSI or any day time soap opera.

Class ended and Bob and I were the last ones to leave the class. We laughed and told our professor that I had to follow him because I couldn't see, and maybe he should not follow us because I might be a hazard…[uproarious laughter]

Bob told me where he was parked and I could pull in behind him. I waited until the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate drove out. I was there! I was on that white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate’s bumper like glue on an envelope! Bob went fast, I went fast. Bob slowed down, I slowed down. We left school traveled down 216th and turned on 16th Street. I kept my eyes pealed on the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate. I didn’t watch for anything…just the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate. We got to Highway 15 which leads to the border and Bob, driving the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate, zipped past it. I was confused but thought that Bob, knowing the lights really bothered me, knew a better way to the border and was saving my eyes. What a prince of a man! On we went, past streets, turns and more turns but I was following the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate. Then, horror of horror, the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate turned into an apartment house and an underground garage.

More CSI* thoughts went through my mind. What if he were really a mass-murderer and it was all a trick. (Good grief, Linda, pull yourself together!) I panicked and started to cry. I had to back track and find the Canadian/US border by my blind little self. After all the border follows the entire 49th parallel, it shouldn’t be hard to find. Keep in mind that I am having problems with my vision, it is now 10:30 and VERY dark, and the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate didn’t exactly take a straight route to this underground garage. I choked back tears and then made a reckless U turn and tried to retrace my path. I ran into one dead end and then I found King George Street. I headed in the direction of the border and I found it. I called Steve once I crossed the border and warned him that when I got home, I would be in tears. I was already crying so it shouldn't have been a surprise.
*Since this happened, you will be happy to know that I no longer watch CSI.

  1. Now let’s speed ahead to Saturday morning. Initially, when Bob was going to lead me safely across the border, I was going to stop and get him coffee on my way to class because I was so thankful that he would be so nice. Needless to say, NO coffee for Bob.

    I walked into class and said, “when did someone cut in front of me? I was following the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate.” He said, “I was so worried about you. Your blue car pulled in behind me and then all of a sudden you pulled over.”

    I told him that I had followed him or the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate and it went speeding past Highway 15. He told me that when the blue car turned off, he pulled over to the side of the road and waited for me for 10 minutes.

    I said I never let anyone in between the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate so I had to be behind him. He said, “I don’t have a white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate. I have a silver car with Washington plates. Why would I have Alberta plates? I live in Washington. And I knew that your blue car was right behind me.” I said, “I don’t have a blue car.” Silence. We stared at one another. Then, hysteria! By the way...by this time the whole class was interested in the seminary student who would mess with a blind girl. It was not even casual eavesdropping...it was blatant eavesdropping.


It was another student who suggested that I may have followed someone else in the class. I asked, the class if anyone had the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate. One student suggested that it may be Erinn, who had not come to class. Erinn walked in shortly after that and someone said, were you stalked last night? Erinn’s face clouded over in confusion. I asked, “do you have a white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate?” she said, “yes.” The class roared. I had followed Erinn home.

Here are some things that should have sent off some warning sighs:
1. Alberta plates…nope, Bob lives in Washington that's why I was following him. It was a question that I was going to ask Bob on Saturday why he had Alberta plates.
2. Bob was a tall man and I couldn’t see him above the steering wheel.
3. I had ridden with Bob before, and I didn’t remember him speeding. And he didn’t seem to be someone who would mess with a blind girl.
4. Bob didn’t turn on 15, now that should have been neon blinking sign.

I am in seminary and don’t think that I don’t know that this will come up in some sermon illustrations. Here are some that I came up with all on my own:
1. Be sure that you know whom you are following.
2. You can be so sure that you are following the right thing, in this case, the white car with the almond shaped tail-lights and the Alberta license plate, but still be surely wrong
3. When you are leading someone, be sure that you are a good leader and you know that the person is following you.

Can you think of other lessons?

Needless to say, I added this to all of the other stupid things that I have done.

Bunny trails of the mind...and my mom...

I don't know about you but my mind travels a great deal in the span of a few seconds. Today there are so many random thoughts traveling through it I thought that I would just take a minute and let you "travel" with me...

A week ago my sister and I spent time in Seattle and that got me thinking about my mom. Her birthday is on April 30 so I usually think about her around this time, but lately there have been so many times I see and hear her...




When we were in Seattle, I wanted to call her and tell her how much fun we were having. She would have been so happy that we were spending time together. We could have told her what we were laughing about and she would have laughed too.
Sandy and I saw lots of necklaces and broaches that mom would have loved...and she would have worn because she got them from us. That is one thing I do remember about mom. One year for Christmas, I gave her purple bell earrings. They were sooooo pretty. Mom wore them every time she left the house. It wasn't until I was much older that I asked her about them. I remembered them and in my "advanced" age, I remembered that they were pretty ugly!!! That's when she let me in on a little secret. She did wear them EVERY time she left the house and in her pocket was the pair that she would wear throughout the whole evening, only to replace them with the purple bells before she came into the house. You know, I didn't feel deceived, I really felt loved.


When I came home, I had to do a coffee at the Funeral Home and so I got ready and then spied my mom's beads. I decided to put them on and wear them. There were a couple of people who said something but mostly, they just looked. They didn't know that they weren't the "in" thing. They were old and they were mom's.

This week I was talking to my sister. She was having some problems with her blood pressure and so I checked on her a couple of times since Jerry, her husband, was out of town. At one point I asked her if she was going to share a symptom with the doctor and she said, in perfect Erna manner, "well, if he asks the right question." Mom always waited until the doctor asked the right questions before she would tell him what was wrong. Thus...her doctor and I would email back and forth and I would feed him the "right" questions. Sandy also told me that "her feet worked, her hands worked, and her mouth worked and because of that she was blessed" which is another response that I got from mom in her later years.

And she loved the camera. I think what I miss the most is having her get to know the people that I know now. I would have liked her to come out and see where we lived and she wanted to so badly. I would like to share what Simon and Mazie say. How Jane and Andy are doing. What Betsy and Jon are doing in Omaha. There are so many things to share. Thankfully, I have a sister who...is a lot like her...she has her hands and her feet and her mouth...and we can laugh about the grammieisms that come up.

Yep, her birthday is coming up. I miss her. She was some lady. She was my mom.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I won...try it

The first time I played I won...$20 iTunes. A friend won $2,000 worth of plane tickets...have fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trip to Seattle for the Sisters...

On Monday, we went to Seattle...we were going to drop Jane off at the airport and send her home to Andy and meet my sister at King Street Station...

We went to King Street Station first...



While we were there, we had some time to be together and these are some of the things we found to do...

Steve thought that we should sit down, so he found the most uncomfortable place to sit...but it was the original seats in the Station....


We read all about the revitalization of the Station...Jane was intent on the facts...and 6 years from now, she will remember what she read...what a mind....

We had a tutorial session on taking self-portraits. I knew who the master of self-portraits was so I got some pointers...

Yeah!!!! Sandy made it and we were beginning our 30+ hours together...she likes the train better than the plane! She is sold, in fact!!!!

We went to Redondo Beach (Seatac, WA) and ate at Salty's. It was great! We were right on the water...then it was a rush to get Jane to Seatac airport...


Steve took us to our hotel in Seattle. We had the Best Friends package at the Roosevelt Hotel. It was great! We had a certificate to get our hair cut in one of the up-scale salon, lots of Macy's coupons, and it was great. Here we are posing in the lobby...Sandy kept saying..."hey, we have never been to the big city" so often that we had to have a talk. I thought that telling her that it wasn't right to say that out loud...she decided that it would be much more fun to say that we just got out of jail! To be honest...that was a better story.

We went to the saloon which was actually a salon... and shopped on the way.


I turned my back for a minute and found Sandy talking to her new friend...we had another talk.
(Note, she is hanging onto the flipper and talking...what can I say...she is my older sister.)

*EDITOR'S NOTE: She was very worried what I would post on my blog. :-)

We shopped at Macy's so much that the clerks recognized us! Good or bad thing? Not sure!

We shopped at Nordstroms and the Rack...

We had a mantra....eat it or wear it!!!

Sandy asked our waiter on Tuesday which was the quickest way to get to King station and found out there is a world that lives under the streets of Seattle...the bus world! And it's free!

Here we are testing that self-portrait lesson...and we were on the bus system under the streets of Seattle...We told our driver we wanted to get off at the International District so when we got off at Pioneer Square, she said, "Not now!" We went up these steps and then realized we were not where we thought we were so down the same flight of steps...and back on the bus...but we were able to take some cool pictures of the underground system.
Here's a look at the tunnel from the 2nd floor...Sandy loved the ceiling!

When we got off at the "right" stop, we were across the street from China town and the King Street Station....
We waited for Sandy's train. She left at 5:30 and I left at 6:45. It was a great time....
Some highlights that weren't captured on film:
1. Make overs and eyebrow waxing...My sister cannot handle anything touching her lips...
2. We laughed and laughed! We had such a good time. If I were to tell you some of the things that we laughed about?....you probably wouldn't think it is funny, but the sisters had a GREAT time.
3. A time of pride: When we finished what we could eat for lunch, Sandy said, we should package this up and give it to the homeless outside. Okay...I had to think about this...some of these people go dumpster diving to get their food. So our waitress, who encouraged us to do this, packaged the meals with napkins and forks and knives and off we went. We walked outside and Sandy went over to one man and asked if he would like the food. He looked at her and said, "yes, ma'am and thank you and God bless you."
I gave her my bag and we saw a lady who had a sign that said, "Pennies help". Sandy asked the same question. The woman looked up and said, oh, thank you so much. God bless you.
I would never have thought of this, but we didn't throw the food...
I was so proud of my sister!
This was the end of day 2 of the Sister's trip. It was a perfect time. We had sun and fun. We decided that it was the first Sister trip...but was not the last!!!!

It worked and I don't know why!


I have tried uploading movies and today, I checked and it was working. There are repeats in the previous blog but I was so proud of myself that I had to post this too.
video

Now if I only knew what I had done. Of course this will come before the other blog...I haven't figured that one out....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter eggs and Jane...and....

Martha Stewart! Jane was coming and we knew that we had to dye Easter eggs. She loves that. My sister called and told me that she had watched Martha's show and was going to try a different method of egg dying....
Not that we are the least bit competitive...
I knew we had to do it too...
So, I watched the video, got some silk...from Steve's closet-o-ties!, and we were ready.
We came home from Port Townsend and we got things ready. Jane said she learned about blogging from her sister so she assembled our steps and took pictures!
1. ASSEMBLE: Get 100% silk material...old ties will do. RAW eggs. Muslin and twist ties
2. START: Wrap raw eggs in silk, then in muslin, and then use twist tie to secure both fabrics.
3. BOIL: put the wrapped eggs into a glass pan and boil for 20 minutes with water and 1/2 cup of vinegar! My sister did this and forgot the vinegar. :-)
Take them out and let the little bundles cool completely.
FINALLY....unwrap and be amazed! This was the one with the tie...
And the purple one....
And all of the masterpieces...
great idea....fun project!
I didn't hear about my sister's eggs...the ones without the vinegar...more on that later because Sandy and I are meeting today in Seattle for a Best Friends Forever overnight at one of the hotels! Don't worry...I'll have pictures!

She came, we had fun, and not she leaves....

One of our outings was to Port Townsend

No, not these pampered pouches that we saw in a Port Townsend store...notice the tilt of the head. Yes, I asked someone if I could take a picture of these pooches!

Jane! And her timer shots. We were driving around Port Townsend and saw this salmon...and since Jane LOVES BIG animals...we all posed in front of this one...
It was beautiful. We took the ferry to Port Townsend, and then had lunch on the deck. We found out after we got our food that they don't guarentee the food if a sea gull flies over...hmmmmm....didn't really think about that!
This is the view from the deck!

AND again, we had to measure our selves...hmmm...I think I am leaning into her...She really isn't taller than me. It's an optical illusion!!!
It was raining on Easter Sunday and Jane had to find my "dress" coat from the 90's and wear it to church. I am kind of glad she did...I really didn't think it was SOOOOOOOOO bad until I saw it on her...I would have made fun of someone with this coat on....hmmm....wonder how many times in the past 5 years that there were giggles behind my back!
We had a great time. It was good that she came but....
we did miss Andy and thank him for letting Jane come out here! Thanks Andy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is risen! He is risen, Indeed!


Easter...the time of the greatest sacrifice ever made. Jesus, the Son of God who lived a sinless life, died, was buried, rose from the dead that Easter morning.
This picture is a picture done in the 6th century. If you block one side of the painting, you see a Jesus who was a judge. The other side, the compassionate Christ.
His love and compassion is evident in His sacrifice for us. His judgement is equally evident. His desire is that all come to Him. It is our choice what to do with the invitation of life that He gives us... come to Him! Believe in Him and you will receive eternal life...



Look closer...the picture of Christ is made up each one. It was for each one of us that He died and it is each one of us that makes up His church.
what an amazing story...Halleluia...He lives!