Saturday, March 30, 2013

selections #114


This is a video made in 2010 of my 2nd cousin, Vanessa, and the moose she raised during her summer internships at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

One of the early pictures of V & Jack.
 Jack was found with an injured leg when he was just three days old, Mom nowhere to be found.  
V spent many nights sleeping in a tent with him to comfort, feed and care for him in those first weeks.
These are actually two other moose calves that were rescued later.
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center has many animals native to Alaska.  
They do great work to not only educate the community about conservation, but they have also been instrumental in reintroducing wood bison back into Alaska.
He was just starting to get his antlers here.
How's that for a big soft pillow?
This is one of my favorite pictures of V and Jack.

Sunday Selections was originally started by Kim, of Frogpondsrock ,as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 
It is now continued by River at Drifting through life and Sue at The Elephant's Child. The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Friday, March 29, 2013

it is a good friday ...

the cold i thought was going to mar my spring break seems to just be morning allergies
perhaps i am allergic to sleeping late now

it was a cold and windy start to the week
more like a winter break than a spring break
but the week has turned out to be beautiful
with clear skies and a bright sun
tho i'm not brave enough to visit the beach in a bathing suit
like those much younger than i, who hail from farther north,
those who would truly believe that a week of temperatures in the 40's was a heat wave.

while doing some "spring cleaning"
i found some paperwork that almost slipped through a crack
it is a good thing i caught it

i attended a Tenebrae service last night at church
Photo Source
it was a powerful reminder of the
shadows
that were faced by Jesus on our behalf

today is considered to be
although i have often wondered why.
what was good about watching a man
~ the Son of God ~
hung on a cross
tortured
and slowly and painfully die?
for many today is a day of fasting
silence
prayer
mourning.

the good came from what happened next.
the resurrection
the forgiveness
a new life
reborn
and given a
a second chance.
when we can cast off the old skin of our sins
and fly with the wings of faith

and that makes it a Good Friday
Photo Source

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

reach for the sky ...

If you knew you wouldn't ~ couldn't ~ fail ... what would you attempt?
If you knew the sky had no limit ... what would you reach for?

There are blue skies today ... skies within reach.
I'm reaching for them.
Reaching for heaven.
When I stopped to think about what I wanted ... what I needed ...
~ that I didn't already have ~
I thought at first the list would be endless.
Financial blessings.
Full-time job.
Benefits.
Home.
Furniture.
Food for the dogs and cat.
But I could think of nothing.

Because I have everything I need ...
and want.

Yes, there are days when I let my fears take hold,
when I worry about today ...
and tomorrow.

But the reality is that all I have reached for ...
I have obtained.

Peace.
Serenity.
Faith.
Calm.
Joy.
Love.

It may not be a lifestyle Donald Trump would be comfortable with ...
but that's his problem.
Not mine.

full moon rising...



There is a song from a 1987 animated movie,
"An American Tail,"
that I always think of on full moon nights like tonight.

Post post script ...
I am laughing at Elephant Child's comment because I thought the same thing when I heard the video above.
But ~ true confession ~
There is a better version of the song out there sung by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram but the reason I put the cartoon mice is because that is more like what I would sound like if I attempted to sing it, and when I see the moon it is that scene from the cartoon that I think of, not Linda & James.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

k is for ...

Cruising the Rhine River...
River Queen ~ Uniworld River Cruise
An incredible company!  I loved my Uniworld cruise [and no, this is not a sponsored post!]
Kolner Dom ~ the Cathedral in Koln.  These were carved by hand hundreds of years ago.
I love history ~ if only those walls could talk....
I loved walking around the churches and buildings and just feeling as if I had gone back in time.
View from the river.
The numbers on the white house, 1685, is the year the house was built, not the street address!
Can you tell I was excited to be there?  I wore that grin for a month ~
starting the week before my trip, and for two weeks after I got back!
It was a magical trip for me.
Best.
Christmas.
Ever.

Monday, March 25, 2013

... tolerance ...

     Karen, at This Old House 2, posted her thoughts on Saturday about Defining Marriage.  It is a touchy subject because there are so many emotions involved.  Marriage is a personal statement.  It is a public commitment that for some is defined by religion, and for others by the government.

     After reading through the 40something comments that had been made, I made this comment:

"Outside of breaking laws designed to protect us, it is not our place to judge others, only God has that right. I see so much intolerance at times that it makes me wonder if we will ever learn from our mistakes. Hitler and the Jews. Blacks and Whites. Catholics and Protestants. Straights and Gays. What will be next? Brunettes and Redheads? Old and young? Educated and Uneducated? I’m amazed at times at how we can so easily forget that we are all here on ONE planet, and our survival on this planet depends on us coming together as ONE.  To help each other, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or whom we choose to love."

     If we are to survive ... if the human race is to survive ... if the Earth is to survive ... we must stop hating, and learn to be tolerant of each other.  We must love.
Source:  WeHeartIt.com
"Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you."
2 Corinthians 13:11
NIV

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
Ephesians 4:2
NIV

"It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?"
Galatians 5:13-15
The Message

Sunday, March 24, 2013

on being grateful for what i don't have ...

     I've debated for several weeks now whether or not to write a post on the issue of Friday Furloughs ... I didn't want to get into a political debate on budgets and whose fault it all is ... it is so easy to point fingers, forgetting that there are four pointing back at ourselves.

     I also didn't want to sound like I was being insensitive to those who suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of a furlough notice ... and yet ... I keep thinking that those I have heard complaining the most are the some of the same ones who just a few years ago I heard wishing we had four day work weeks and three day weekends all the time.

     Be careful what you wish for.

     The thing that really stuns me, however, is how little gratitude I hear from some of those impacted by the Friday Furloughs.

     Yes.  Gratitude.

     Gratitude for still having a job ... when so many don't have a job at all.  Gratitude for still having health benefits ... when so many don't have any health benefits at all.

     I've been struggling to make ends meet on a part time job, that doesn't come with benefits.   I finally had to see a doctor for a badly infected toe after a month of trying to get it to heal, and spent $80 I couldn't afford on the office call.  Fortunately, Publix Pharmacy offers free antibiotics for certain prescriptions.

     I've been struggling to pay my utility bills on time, restricting my water and power usage to only what I must to survive.  I grateful that I'm waiting for an eviction notice on my foreclosure.

     Yes.  Grateful.

     Grateful because if I wasn't already waiting for it to come, I'd be dreading and worrying about how I was going to pay my rent or mortgage.

     I'd be more stressed than blessed ... and lately, I've been too blessed to be stressed.

     Tomorrow I'll be posting pictures on Craig's List of what little furniture I have left that I can sell because I won't get paid for another three weeks.  My small paycheck didn't stretch as far as I needed it to this month because of those unexpected things like a doctor's visit, and using more gas in the car that usual because I was trying to pick up some extra hours subbing at the after school care program.  I may not have a cell phone next month because I won't have the extra money for it until later. I'm planning on getting my television cable shut off this week just to eliminate a bill for something I barely have time to watch anyway.

     I'm grateful for the things that I don't have ...

     I'm grateful that I love my job, the students I work with and how they touch my heart ... I'm grateful that I don't have job stress.

     I'm grateful for the fact that I have less to dust ... less to vacuum under ... less to clean ... and when that eviction notice does come ... I'll have less to move.

     I'm grateful that my air conditioner isn't worth repairing and won't work again this summer ... because it cuts down on my electric bill.

     No matter what we have ... or don't have in life, there are so many who will either have more ... or less.  What I have learned is that no matter what you have ... it can always be lost.  No matter what you have lost ... it can always be had again.  True valuables are not things ... or days ... but our faith ... and those we love.

     So for those who are moaning about being furloughed on Friday ... turn off your television or computer and save some money.  Spend that Friday with those you love ... or being grateful for what you do have.

"... my cup overflows."
Psalm 23:5

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Selections #113

Several years ago
when I had the opportunity to travel more often
I brought along a cute little Steiff bear.
Her name is Jubi ~ for Jubilee ~ 
I took pictures of her and wrote a book about her journeys
for my nieces and nephews.
Flying to Alaska
Along the Seward Highway going to Homer, AK
Grewingk Glacier
I even took her to Europe for Christmas that year on a Uniworld cruise!
Love Uniworld River Cruises!
A garden face in Passau, Germany
I have a feeling that she will soon be going places again.
Watch for her.  Who knows where she will be...


Sunday Selections was originally started by Kim, of Frogpondsrock ,as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 
It is now continued by River at Drifting through life and Sue at The Elephant's Child. The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

spring break begins...

rain ...
sore throat ...
fuzzy jammies ...
veggie soup with extra cheddar goldfish ...
lazy dogs & cat ...
movies all day ...
perfect.

Friday, March 22, 2013

friday ...

I met an angel this week in the form of a five year old boy.

I've been "subbing" at the after-school care program occasionally.
This week at a new school, I met a little boy,
an angel in disguise,
on an afternoon when I was emotionally fragile.
I had wanted to turn down the request to sub that day ~ the school was farther away ~
but I need the extra money, so made the drive.
He smiled and waved at me when I first walked in,
as if I'd known him forever.
Later he ran up to me, held my hand and asked me questions he would not have known to ask,
unless he was hearing the whisper of God.
Not waiting for answers, he just hugged my knees tightly,
and ran off.
He hugged my knees three times that afternoon,
just out of the blue,
running up behind me.
A hug and run.

It was what I needed to heal this week.

Another exciting update is that I will have a part-time summer job,
if I don't get a full-time permanent job before then,
and that is a good thing.

I found this picture tonight on Henry's new family's facebook page.
It made me cry.
Oh how I miss this sweet boy.
But oh how glad I am that he is loved.
I wish I could have him back in my arms again,
fighting for space on the pillow between him and Oreo.
One day I will have a house that snores
with the sound of pug puppies.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

an awesome day...

For some reason I thought today was the day to celebrate awesome students.
It was in a blog I read somewhere,
but now I can't find it.
Instead I found that the Day of Awesomeness was on the 10th,
and today was actually Common Courtesy Day ...
which was convenient because I spent the day
writing each of my students a thank you note
telling them how much I appreciated every good effort they made today.
Even if the best they could do today was to be well-behaved at lunch.

Sometimes it is nice to realize that someone notices you,
especially when you are 12, 13, or 14 years old
and autistic.

what are you doing?

Oreo was acting all suspicious this morning in the guest bedroom ...
Sneaking around and hiding something from me.
When I asked him what he was doing,
he moved to the far side of the room where it was dark ...
unless you just happen to have a camera with a flash handy ...
What?
Nothing ... why do you ask?
Oh this thing here?
I was just looking at a stick on the floor ...
Wow ... it's a flying lizard!
By the time I rescued the lizard, it was partially paralyzed, but still fighting.
I placed him on a plant outside where he could die peacefully.
There was a cold snap last night, and he was thin still from his winter hibernation.
He most likely woke earlier in the week when we had such beautiful weather.
Lizards are cold-blooded, so when the weather turns chilly,
they are sluggish and not as quick to escape.
Oreo had him at a disadvantage.

happiness is...

... a safe home, hugs & love ...




Monday, March 18, 2013

the age of ...

... change ...
I'm at that
age
of sleepless nights
and
hot 'flashes.'
I have come to the conclusion,
however,
that whomever labeled them
'flashes'
has never experienced them.
[must have been a man]

I can feel my entire body start to tingle
then suddenly I feel as if my core temperature has reached a boiling point.
My nights are spent throwing the covers off
then on again as the fan cools then chills my body.
Covers off.
Covers on.
Covers off
Covers on.

It wouldn't be nearly so bad if I did not spend the night thinking of the "Karate Kid"

Breathe.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Selections #112

 It has been a week of ups and downs.
I had to decline the job offer in Colorado.
They decided they could not pay to move me ...
and I can't afford to move myself at this point in time.
I'm disappointed ... 
but know that it just means something better is around the corner.

These are photos of the first sunrise of the month ...
to brighten my day ...
and yours.
Just peeking ... 


Sunday Selections was originally started by Kim, of Frogpondsrock ,as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

It is now continued by River at Drifting through life and Sue at The Elephant's Child. The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hebrews 2:13

13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.”

I started this journey through the Bible, one 13th verse at a time over a year ago.
October 13, 2011
Matthew 13:13

It was a way for me to learn more about the Bible,
each month I was amazed at how verses would relate to where I was in my life.

This month is no different.

I'm at a point in my life where I know there are changes coming.
Big changes.
Challenges.

As if the changes and challenges of the past year weren't enough ...

And again, I will put my trust in Him.
Source:  WeHeartIt.com

Monday, March 11, 2013

listening...

... to the rain on the skylight and aluminum roof over the deck tonight ...
... listening for the whisper of God in my ear ...
I've been reading a book by Joyce Meyers about "How to Hear from God."

Wouldn't it be great if we could just post a note on His facebook page ...
 asking for a status update on our lives?
Dial Him up on our iPhone ...
or look up his Tweets on our iPad mini or notebook?

The truth is that God talks to us all the time.
We just don't listen.

Joyce mentions in her book about a woman who for two years avoided doing what God was pressing on her heart to do ~ an act of forgiveness ~ and every time she went to Him for guidance on something else, 
she was told the same thing ...
forgive.

Three years ago I was faced with a decision about jobs.
I was offered a position in Texas, that I had interviewed for twice.
I was also offered a position in Georgia, that I not only didn't interview for, but I didn't apply for.

I didn't apply for it [and wouldn't have] just because it was in Georgia. 
I had an area of unforgiveness in my life there.
I was unwilling to let go of hurts and words and pain.
I was unwilling to hear.

I took the job in Texas, which was for less money, just because it wasn't in Georgia ...
and I could continue to carry my burden of unforgiveness on my heart.
I wouldn't have to listen.

I thought I could move forward with my life and just leave everything else behind.

But God wasn't hearing me.
He didn't want to listen to me complain about the burden on my heart.
He had already given me an option.
He had already shown me the answer.
He had already opened the door.

Last August when I was ready for my life to be over ...
I forgave.
I listened.
I heard.

I healed.

I have an offer for a job in Colorado that I've tentatively accepted.

Today I interviewed for one in Virginia that I hope will also give me an offer ...

... because Virginia is closer to Georgia.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Selections #111

It was a beautiful day ... in spite of the smoke haze from what I hope are controlled burns...
Trooper investigating a dead puffer fish.
The water is reddish ... altho whether from red tide
or from what has washed down from flood rains in the north,
I'm not sure.
I have no idea what this is.
There were several floating along the edge.
They almost look like a small brain ...
but I think might be a sea cucumber or sea snail of sorts.
A very hazy day for boaters.

Looking across the field to the house.
This is Trooper and Annie's "dog park."
I don't know why this rock cairn and crosses are in the trees near the bridge.
It was not there a few months ago.
*Update:  I was told that this may mark the grave of a brown pelican "friend" of a man who fished under the bridge.*


Sunday Selections was originally started by Kim, of Frogpondsrock ,as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

It is now continued by River at Drifting through life and Sue at The Elephant's Child. The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

what i've learned...

Being a blogger is at times a huge responsibility.
You don't know how far your words will reach ...
or the hearts they will touch.

Will your story be his/her story?
Will it make them realize they are not alone in their
struggle
pain
fear
and that they can reach out and feel
validated
safe
not alone?

I read blogs that make me cry ...
laugh ...
relate ...

What I have learned in my four short years of blogging is this ...
the world is smaller than we realize ...
and
we need each other more than we realize.

Friday, March 8, 2013

friday five...

I was thrilled to watch and listen to flocks of Cedar Waxwings this week as they migrated north.
Naturally, I didn't have a camera ready.

I was also blessed this week to have watched an eagle soaring as I drove home from work.
And of course ...
I didn't have a camera ready.

After last weekend's rains and roof leaks, I was grateful to be able to sit in the sun this week and soak up the rays instead of soaking up the water from my floor.
I'm ready for spring!

I received a significant job offer this week.
Significant.
Out of state.
Life-changing.
I tentatively accepted it, but am now waiting to see if they will pay to move me.
With late bills on my counter waiting to be paid ... and another week until payday ...
my options are limited.
But God is good, and He has abundantly blessed me.
If this job is to be ... it will be His will.
I have an interview for another job on Monday.
Here's to having options ...

Training this week ...
I learned more about friendship than being a paraprofessional.
Win - win.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

suddenly it hits you...

     I took this job of a part-time paraprofessional with autistic middle school students (6th, 7th, & 8th graders) because I needed a job.  Once upon a time, teaching was my goal, but it slipped away as life got in the way.  I had actually started college with a goal of becoming a special education teacher, but the closest I ever got to that was teaching at a university.

     I heard you chuckle.  Honestly, when you think about how challenging it is as we get older to force our brains to learn new things ... well, anyway ... I never imagined that I would teach younger students, and got away from pursuing that dream.

     But the last month that I've been working along side these [awesome] kids, I've learned how much I love to see that light bulb go off in their eyes when they make the connection between what is on paper and what ... is.  Even with math [and yes, some of those light bulbs have been my own ~ I spoke English as my first language and never learned how to speak math ... until now].  I love the one-on-one connection with the one student I shadow most of the time as I gently guide the learning to what will be easiest grasped.  I've even created pyramids, cones, and cylinders out of paper to explain how to find the volume of them.

     Learning is something that sometimes takes more than one sense.  To see the problem ... to hear it explained ... to speak and paraphrase the learning of it ... to hold it in the hand and examine it closely.  If I could bring in a small kitchen, we would learn how fractions can make the best brownies when you measure the ingredients just right.

     Tomorrow I will miss a day of work so that I can attend training, and this afternoon when I told my shadow that I'd be gone ... the disappointment in my shadow's voice touched my heart.

     I won't be able to apply for the math/history teaching position that will open next school year because I can't afford the cost of testing to get certified in them ... but that is actually okay.  I think being a paraprofessional is what I was called to do.  To change one life at a time.

     My life has already been changed ...
Source: WeHeartIt.com

h is for...


My first book...
Getting Hugs by my Hairy legged best friends after Having eye surgery

Hang out with us...

Monday, March 4, 2013

friday fellowship...

Disclaimer:  I am not an artist.

I recently participated in a ladies church craft night.
I really enjoyed the fellowship,
getting the chance to meet and talk with several of them.
[One can never have too many new friends]
This was our example to follow.  Cute and whimsical.
I should have stuck with whimsy.
I love being creative and crafty, but it is very obvious that I did not inherit any of my mother's art skills.
This was my finished base canvas ... and quite honestly, when it looked best.
I should have stopped here.
My "tree" which actually looks more like a Medusa's head.
See...
Notice the similarities?  Medusa by Caravaggio (1595)
With button embellishments ...
which didn't really help much.  I should have used them for eyes and a button nose ...
oh wait, that is Santa Claus isn't it?
Talented, beautiful, wonderful women...
Hopefully next craft night will be something less likely to give my overnight guest nightmares when they wake to find Medusa glaring at them from the wall above their head in my spare bedroom.

Update:
I have salvaged my Medusa.