Saturday, April 28, 2012


     I am linking to the beautiful photo selections of Kim at FrogPondsRock and The Elephant's Child.

[Kim's Linky Blurb: She take a lot of photos and most of them are just sitting around in folders on her desktop not doing anything. She thought that a dedicated post once a week would be a good way to share some of these photos that otherwise wouldn't be seen by anyone other than her. So she has started a photo meme that anyone can join in and play as well. The rules are so simple as to be virtually non existent. Just add your name and URL to the Mr Linky. Publish your photos on your blog using the “Sunday Selections” title. Link back to her.]

     I had not planned on participating this week because I've been in a deep, dark hole most of the week and so far this weekend.  A hole where there are no answers.  Only questions, and not the type of questions most like to answer.  Questions like ... what makes life worth living?  What is your reason for waking every day?  Questions that don't really have a definitive answer because there are no wrong answers, as each one is personal, and right for that person.

     So for this moment... this very second... in time... these are my answers... and I hope that tomorrow I find more...

Trooper being my rock (Tink is now at Rainbow Bridge)

Me and Mom when I saw her last in 2007

Trooper and Henry

Oreo... patiently waiting for me to come home

Friday, April 27, 2012

Five on Friday...

Monday... I opened my day planner/journal to this week and read a reminder that I had taped in there two months ago.  Apparently my subconscious knew just what I would need to read and when.  "I love who I am and am grateful for the journey that has brought me to this place."  I know that lately I've been whining commenting quite a bit about this "journey" and "this place" but in all honesty, I am grateful.  I've learned more about myself in the last 20 months than I probably have in the last 50 years.  I have been forced to not only peel layers, but to dig deeper into my heart and soul to know just what it is I want, and don't want, but also I've found out who I really am.  Bedtime... I'm exhausted and stressed, but have found I'm sleeping better just knowing that not only is there a light at the end of the tunnel... but the end of the tunnel is getting closer.

Tuesday... my Note from the Universe reminded me of something today that I've been overwhelmed by... Maxabella loves blogged about them a few weeks ago and called them "Self-induced Annoying Things."  She talked mostly about those little things that need repairs around the house that we just continue to overlook rather than take the five minutes to fix them that it would require.  Mine... not such an easy fix.  My note today said that the reason our human brains are so much larger than most of the other creatures on this planet is so that we can imagine all the details of my heart's desires; "not so that you can figure out who you need to meet, when you need to meet them, where you need to be, or how you're going to pull it all together."  Thank God.  Imagining all of my heart's desires is so much less stressful than all of the other things I've been worrying about for the past few months.  I am grateful that I can take that "SAT" and turn it over today.   Bedtime... I lie there thinking of all the things I'm going to do once I am "home" again, and all the self-induced annoying things I'm actually going to enjoy having to do.

Snow day!
Wednesday... Karen at This Old House 2 recently rescued a dog.  Not just any dog, but probably the wisest dog since my own Trooper.  His name is Frasier, and he is handsome.  You can tell by the pictures she posts that he is at home with her... and it is a home that he was always meant to be in.  I am so grateful for my pound puppy, Trooper, who at 73# pounds is no longer a puppy, but a strong, comforting weight against my legs during the day, and against my back at bedtime.  I'm also grateful for my rescued pug, Henry, who was named after Thoreau and always provides me with reasons to smile as he watches videos on the computer over my shoulder, or shares his sugar boogers with me in the morning.

Thursday... I have a short-timers attitude at work.  It isn't making me do less work, or slack off on the quality of work that I do, but seems to have wrapped me in a "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a darn" attitude when certain people want to push my buttons and try to spoil my mood.  I wish that it could be put into a liquid (non-alcoholic, of course) to be shared with my co-workers.  It might ease some of the stress that everyone is feeling with workloads that seem to double overnight like rabbits.  Bed... time... I'm enjoying the comfort of my bed, the way the mattress conforms to my body, and the way my down comforter folds around me.  I know that once the movers come in a week from tomorrow, I will be sleeping on the hard floor until they get to Florida.

Friday...  coffee... Friday... can there be anything else to be more grateful for?  Oh, and of course, bedtime tonight and the thought of sleeping a little late in the morning...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From the darkness... a ray of hope...

     My birthday isn't for another week and a half, but since I have no adult supervision at home, I open cards and packages as soon as they arrive.  No matter how many times Mom writes "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 5 MAY" or "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS DAY" on the envelope or outside of the box.

     That is the wonderful thing about refusing to grow up and not having any adult supervision.  Every day can be a party.  You don't have to wait for one specific date on the calendar.

     Yesterday I received two cards in the mail.  There was nothing on the envelope stating that they were birthday cards so I opened them right away.

     Plausible deniability.

     One was a card from my Aunt in Arizona, who is so wonderful about always remembering to send a card for every occasion that I often feel guilty when I realize that a holiday or birthday has come and gone and I've not sent anyone a card.  Her card was joyful and sweet (it had a cake on the front of it).  The fact that it was bought at Trader Joe's made me think of the time I last saw her when we all gathered for a reunion, and I thought I could just live in Trader Joe's forever.  It brought a smile to my face and made my heart do a little happy dance.

     The second card was from my Uncle, now also in Arizona.  His card was the ray of hope... ray of light... that I desperately needed yesterday afternoon.

Wonderful are Your works...

     My Uncle's card had this quote on the front of it with a beautiful orange sunset and sailboat on the water painting:
"There are things only you can do,
and you are alive to do them.
In the great orchestra we call life,
you have an instrument and a song."
~ Max Lucado ~
Inside the cover of the card was this:
"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
Wonderful are Your works; 
And my soul knows it very well."
~ Psalm 139:14 (NASB) ~
The card read:
"God has blessed you with your own special gifts,
with a light that is uniquely yours.
Your birthday is the perfect time to celebrate your gifts...
and the wonderful person you are."

     While both cards brightened my mood tremendously, the message on my Uncle's card was the reminder that I needed.

     I am better than She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and all of her petty attempts to catch me in a lie just because I caught her in several.  She will fail.  I will prevail.  I know who I am.  I know what kind of person I am.  What kind of ethics I have.  I know that one day, she will find herself alone in the office because she has chased off everyone with her management 'style' of spying, accusations, and distrust.

     Yes, I am blessed.  Yes, I have a light that is uniquely mine... and if she can't see it or appreciate it... I will take it somewhere else.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dreams do come true...

     Wednesdays are usually wish casting days with Jamie Ridler Studies, but she is taking a break for two weeks to make one of her dreams come true by going to Paris, France!!

     Her guest bloggers are all discussing dreams that have come true, so I dug out the journal and list of dreams I wrote up back in the late 1980's and see how many of them had come true.  I was trying at the time to list 50 things I wanted to do, but could only think of 40.

  1. Ride in a hot air balloon (January 1988)
  2. Go to Alaska (I went twice!  Summer 2008 AND winter 2009)
  3. Visit Germany as an adult and see my childhood memories through older eyes. (2007 and 2008. Still had magic!)
  4. Write a children's book (it was never officially published, but was a photo book of the adventures a small Steiff bear had on my first Alaska trip and I sent copies to my nieces and nephews)
  5. Go snorkeling (Bahamas 1986)
  6. Go on a cruise (river cruising is the ONLY way to go!  2007 & 2008)
  7. Try sushi (2010)
  8. Take cooking classes (2007-2010)
  9. Go white water rafting (Cody, WY 1997)
  10. Learn to crochet (Sept 2001)
  11. Stay with one company for more than three years (Lockheed Martin 1997-2008 before a moment of insanity)
  12. Learn to speak enough German to not get lost (2007 ~ LOVE Rosetta Stone!)
  13. Go to Switzerland (2007)
  14. Get a tattoo (2010)
  15. Run a 5k (1998)
  16. Finish my MBA (2001)
  17. Be a mom (so what if I'm counting the kitten I bottle raised who still calls me MawMaw)
  18. Teach (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University 2005-2008)
  19. Write and publish a book (three of them now! 2008, 2009, 2011)
  20. Take some kind of art classes (I learned how to slump glass and make jewelry, plates and bowls 2008)
     The amazing thing has been that after I wrote that list, the journal was hidden away, then boxed up for a move or four, and forgotten since that time.  It was only when I unpacked it in the last year that I looked at it and was able to check off so many things on the list.  Without even being aware of it... my subconscious mind remembered the list... remembered my dreams that I hoped would one day come true... and steered me in directions to make at least half of them possible.

People aren't numbers. People are love.
     Some of the things on my list will never happen... like being a bio-mom.  Some of them I've realized I really don't want to do ~ like going bungee jumping, although hang gliding is still on the list.  I've also learned that some of my dreams... like weighing 125 lbs for five years or more... was unrealistic.

     Because the most important thing I did check off my list that I didn't put above was this:

     21.  Love myself and be happy with myself just as I am.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Some more of Dad's projects... these are some sinks that he put in a vacation house for a prominent oral surgeon in Panama City.  Here is the garage sink project.
This is the unfinished version of the tub sink in the garage.
What I thought was REALLY cool was not just the storage drawers on either side of the sink, but the stairs that pulled out from under the sink for the kids to be able to get up and wash their hands.  When not being used, they just folded up and out of the way!
This is the 'bar' sink that he put in the laundry room
to replace the tub one he moved to the garage.
Okay, so that picture above is 'eh?' no big deal... at first glance.  But check out this Rodgengineering....
To make the skirt bend around the corner he cut it into segments and glued it back together (it has a piece of Tee Shirt epoxied on the back side of the corner to give it added strength). The brackets were made from a piece of dunnage that he dragged home from the lumber yard. It took four tries to steam bend the trim around the counter top (out of 3/8" Oak – the radius is about 3 ½"). The sink is up off the floor so it can be cleaned under and there is a place to put the trash can.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Monday...

One of those days...
Post of those days I wish I'd never gotten out of bed for.  Nothing seemed to go right until tonight, when I had dinner with neighbors and oinked my way back across the street to get to bed.  Work tomorrow... it will be my TwoMonday since I'm sure that all the emails piled up and small fires became bonfires today while I was gone.  Only 11 days 4 hours and 18 minutes until I am on the road.  Just 9 more work days.  Just one day at a time... one hour... one minute... one breath.

“Never let go of hope. 
One day you will see that it all has finally come together. 
What you have always wished for has finally come to be. 
You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... 
'How did I get through all of that?”
~ Anon ~

Saturday, April 21, 2012


     I am linking with Kim of FrogPondsRock in Australia for her Sunday Selections of photos.  The 'rules' are really that there are no rules, and anyone can join in the fun by linking up with her blog.  Kim's selections today were beautiful, scenic sights for all of her house-bound friends, and The Elephant's Child has a wonderful selection of flowers from the garden.

     I have spent the day watching once treasured belongings go for nearly nothing as I try to get my moving expenses down to at least one kidney.  As a result, I am exhausted and feeling a slight bit of loss for those 'things' which I once swore I would never become so attached.  Things are just things after all, and no matter how hard we try, we can't take any of it with us when we go.  We come into the world naked and with nothing and leave the same way.

Dad, Aunt Linda, Uncle Ron
     My selection of photos tonight then will be some of the "things" I've lost, but have not really lost because they will forever remain in my heart and are so much more important to me than any of the "things" that left the house today.
Grandpa L, Aunt Sue, Grandma L
Grandma Nor & Grandpa C.


Miss Ebony




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A much needed laugh tonight...

First off, I absolutely LOVE the music.
Secondly, I love these dogs.
Third... I laughed until my sides hurt.

It was a much needed and very good end to a frustrating day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dad's Jenks Avenue Project

These are photos of one of Dad's last projects that actually took him several years to complete.
This is a before picture.  The house was built in 1937.
Here is a picture of the front steps after all the shrubs were cleared out.  The steps were sinking and needed to be rebuilt, but they didn't want to use "new" bricks since they wouldn't match the rest of the house.
Front steps
Here you can see closer what the problem was ~ the original steps were built on a mound of sand that over 69 years washed away causing the steps to sink and become unstable.

He was able to remove the bottom step without damaging any of the bricks and rebuild and reinforce them with a good foundation of concrete that should last another 69 years.

Wherever possible they recycled wood from the original house in the remodel.  Below is a picture of the back side of the house and what would become the new entry to it.  All of the trees were removed with a little help from a hurricane which took down the large tree in the picture above.
Back side of the house which became the new entry door.
The back side of the house is where most of the real work was done.   There was an old two story WWII era apartment building on the back of the lot - not occupied since 1974 - and the siding on that was a good match for the siding on the house. He was able to recycle enough to replace all except one board on the old house.
Work on the back side of the house with the recycled wood.
The intent of the remodel was to keep it looking as much like the original architectural design as possible.  The picture below is the "after" of the front of the house.
The rear of the house, after...

The house is currently a law office.  The lot next door, to the far right in this picture belonged to the same attorney and Dad built a house on the lot.  It was his last project that he never saw finished.  When I get home I will have to take pictures and post them.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dad's Gifts...

     I am linking up with Kim and Frog Pond's Rock for her Sunday  [in Australia] Selections of photos.  While these are not ones that I have taken, they have been sitting too long in my files, and I wanted to share them to keep Dad alive somehow.  He has been gone now just over five years which seems hard to comprehend.  There are days, like today, when it feels as if it were yesterday...

     The project above was the audio table for a church.  His notes say that he just made a rough sketch of what they needed and then made it up as he went along. The top of it is a roll top that he had to work with cables in order for it to roll correctly.  This was just one of several projects that he donated to various churches around town.  This one being the St. Andrews Methodist Church.

     It was the same church where he restored this window below.  I couldn't find any other pictures in his files.  The one just beneath it is one I snagged from Google Maps Street view.  I remember this project of his because he had a difficult time getting the wood frames for the windows to bend the way he needed them to without breaking.  So he just built his own steam machine that softened the wood enough to make it pliable.

    In the photo below, he created an Ark for the Torah at the Temple B'nai Israel in the name of Lou Schatz, one of Dad's good friends.  He used 100 year old rough sown pine that he got from another remodel project three years prior.

Friday, April 13, 2012

2 Corinthians 4:13

13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken."  Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak...

Because He believes in you...

     2 Corinthians had so many 13th verses to choose from that it was hard for me to select one.  All of them were relevant to different times and people in my life, and all of them in my growth in Christ.  I finally decided on this one because it is in that same spirit of faith that I have felt moved to speak.

     I wasn't always so sure of my faith to be able to speak about it.  I avoided friends and people who seemed eager to push their faith and beliefs on me because they just seemed so artificial.  Some of them were.  But now I realize that some of them were just so excited to share something so wonderful, so powerful, so life changing.

     I knew that I believed from a very young age, but I just wasn't sure how to share that belief, that faith, with others because I was still trying to figure out exactly what it was myself.  God just seemed so far away at times, and I felt so insignificant.  But He has never left me, and He has never stopped showing me that I am significant.  That you are significant.  He gave... so that you might live... before you were even born.  You are so significant to Him, He wanted to be sure that you would always know that you are loved.

     When you have faith to stand up for your beliefs, to speak out for your beliefs and your faith, you are sometimes the encouragement for others to believe and speak.  Even if you are standing alone in your faith, or standing alone in your belief, you can still believe that you are never alone.

     This journey that I have been on ... reading the Bible and writing on a 13th verse from each book in the New Testament has been a time of growth for me and each month I am excited to see where the next book will lead me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Travels ~ Tent City

     This is one of  a few posts that will share my Dad's life and work.  This one is taken from an article he didn't write, but was about a project that he was very active in designing and building. 

     What strikes me about this article is the fact that these men [these civil engineers] could have [should have] written guidelines for FEMA to use so many years later when Hurricane Katrina hit.  If they had, life would have been so much better for those who were made homeless in the aftermath of that storm.

     As the 2012 hurricane season quickly approaches... FEMA might want to take notes and pay attention  .... [emphasis below is mine]

Transition to a New Life
by Maj P.A. Peckham, PE, Capt P.G. Arnold and Capt J.L. Davis, EIT
Published August 1975 in the Engineering & Services Quarterly

     Word was received on 27 April 1975 that Eglin AFB, Florida ... had been selected as a possible site for processing refugees from Southeast Asia.  A thorough comparison of available facilities versus mission requirements made it clear from the beginning that although Eglin AFB had ample land area, it completely lacked housing for even a few hundred refugees.  Several abandoned auxiliary fields were considered.  All had been constructed during World War II and were inactive. ... The Armament Development Test Center (ADTC) dictated the use of Auxiliary Field #2 which is located five miles north of the city of Niceville on State Route 285 and approximately 10 miles north of "Eglin Main."
     Auxiliary Field #2 was constructed in 1942 and had been used briefly during the early days of the Vietnamese action for training Red Horse personnel prior to their deployment to Southeast Asia.  It had been evacuated in November 1973 at which time all vertical structures, including electrical poles and wiring, were leveled. ...
     The initial guidance provided by Headquarters US Air Force was to plan for housing up to 20,000 refugees.  Although this number was later cut back to 2,500 and subsequently expanded to 5,000, it was obvious that we were in a race against time as the first refugees were due to arrive within five days.

     ... [lots and lots of technical engineering information ~ blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda ~ if you really want to know, send me a comment and I'll scan the article and send it to you via email]

     The camp was laid out in increments corresponding to the planned arrival sequence of the refugees.  Each tent would house a maximum of 12 people.  An increment would contain approximately 70 tents and would contain sufficient shower tents, laundry/ironing tents and latrine tents to support the planned population of that increment.  
Image Source
     The "Tent City" was completed on 23 May 1975.  From the beginning of the Project New Arrivals, Air Force Civil Engineering personnel were faced with a monumental task.  With a minimum of notification, forces were joined to construct a city for approximately 5,000 refugees.  In addition to providing living facilities, other facilities were erected for processing, feeding, medical, religious, educational and recreational purposes.  The first increment with a capacity for 2,500 was almost complete when the first refugees arrived on 4 May 1975.  This was only five days after the project "GO" signal was received.
     This accomplishment came about only because of the concerted civil engineering team effort which had excellent support not only from local agencies such as Supply, Procurement and Transportation, but also from local merchants.  All of the work was completed in an expeditious, professional manner, in spite of long working hours and conditions which were far from ideal.  Through the efforts of this team, and with the outstanding logistical support that it received, the Refugees Processing Center at Eglin Auxiliary Field #2 was completed ahead of schedule, enabling the new residents to begin their transition to a new life.
     This entire article could have been used so many times around the world as a 'blueprint' of sorts during natural disasters ~ floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis.  Rather than wasting time and money securing trailers which later just sat toxic and empty, can you imagine the relief some of the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina might have felt if FEMA and the government had just taken things a step down to basics and put together a "Tent City" in days to house them temporarily?  Or really anywhere that people need shelter quickly?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What do you wish to jump into?

     Wishes are being cast at Jamie Ridler Studios on this Wednesday morning.  You can join in if you like.  Having a circle of people sharing your wish... sending prayers your way... is something I think we all can use.

     What do I wish to jump into?

     The first thing that comes to mind is life... but I'm sure that comes to the mind of most, and as with all of Jamie's prompts, I think this one has a much deeper answer to it.  We all jump into life... whether we crawl [aching and groggy] out of bed in the mornings... or leap out with excited anticipation, coffee pot already auto-brewed our first cup of mo-jo juice even though the added caffeine is not necessary. 

I want to jump back into bed...
     I'm a crawler, by the way, in search of my first cup of coffee.

     We can jump into our work, a job or starting our own business.  We can jump into following our dreams.  We love to jump into a lake on a hot summer day and to jump into someone's arms.   We jump for joy and jump on our beds. Sometimes we feel jumping off a cliff.

     This morning, [if I must be honest, and I must] I really want to jump back into bed.  Curl up with my dogs.   Sleep for 48 hours.  Because in the past month I've not been sleeping well at all, and it is taking its toll on me.  The exhaustion is making me depressed and I have no motivation to do any of the purging and packing that I must do.  I want someone to jump to help me... jump to motivate me... jump to move me... jump to hire me....

     I guess I will just jump into this pile of work instead.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Problem of Expansion...

     In his life, my Dad wore a lot of "hats"... Civil Engineer; Carpenter; Auto Restorer; Boat Captain; Fine Wood Boat Repairs... and probably more than I can remember or knew of.  He was one of those creative souls that could see what others could not.  Who could take an idea and run with it.  Someone who when faced with a problem, always found a way to solve it.  If there wasn't a piece of equipment, or a tool that could do what he needed to do... he'd make it.
Uncle Ron (L) and Dad (R) and two of their favorite hats.

     After he retired from the military, he tinkered here and there doing things he enjoyed, and as word of his carpentry skills spread, he set up a web page to showcase his work.  That page has long been shut down, but I have the printouts of the pages that I will start to share over the next several weeks.  I was talking about my dad yesterday at work ... really not even sure how it came up now ... but I shared two articles with one of my supervisors.  One of them, which I will paraphrase below, was the first article he wrote back in 1966 (?) about a problem he faced with a building that needed structural repairs.

     The thing I really love about reading my Dad's article from that time is just tapping into his creative thinking... his "outside-the-box" thinking... and I know where I got mine from. {emphasis below is mine}

The Problem of Expansion
by Capt Rodger C. Clarke

     Occasionally, in our rush to "scientific management," we tend to forget that in our shops we have a wealth of experience and vast resource of capability.  Recently, Turner AFB, Georgia, was confronted with a problem that, at first glance, seemed impossible to remedy without expending a large amount of money.  It was solved however, at relatively low cost by the ingenuity of the shop personnel and by the willingness of management to deviate a little from the orthodox.

Building Walls Were Falling
     The Missile Maintenance Shop was constructed in 1962 at a cost of $358,760.  Construction consisted of a steel frame industrial type building with sheet metal siding above a four foot wall of eight inch concrete block.  The building was constructed on a wide expanse of abandoned airfield apron which provided ready made parking and accessibility to the new shop.  In August 1965, after three years of service, it became apparent that the walls of the building were failing.  The block walls leaned out at the top, and only the sheet metal siding, bolted to the lintel on the concrete wall, prevented the walls from collapsing.  The damaged portion of the walls was 80 feet long on one side and 120 feet on the other. ... It did not seem possible that a concrete block wall would bend, but this one did.
     The Corps of Engineers assessed the damage and quoted a price of $10,000 to make the necessary repairs and they required an additional $2,000 for design, making a total of $12,000 for the project.
Unorthodox Solution Presented
     At this point, an unorthodox solution was presented.  If the wall would bend out without breaking up, then why not just push it back in where it belonged?  Naturally there were those who said it couldn't be done, but it was decided to try this method. ... The job estimate of $1,900 was based on intuition more than anything else.
     ... The set up took approximately one and a half days with an average work force of five men.  Pushing the wall into place took 15 minutes with two men.
     The job cost the Air Force $1,928.69.  The result was a firm wall with a foundation stronger than the original.  Savings to the government based on the Corps' estimate were $10,071.31.  The benefits derived, however, are not confined to the monetary savings, nor the renewed appearance of the facility.  A more important benefit was the feeling of accomplishment on the part of individuals participating in the project.  This job contributed immeasurably to the morale of the organization.
     A number of lessons can be learned from this project. First is the technical aspect.  ... Another lesson, and probably the most important one, is a lesson in management.  This lesson is something that every manager has recognized either in formal training or in the field.  In our rush to scientific management we tend to forget and need periodic reminding that the ability of any organization is only limited by the combined ability of all the members.  A book that defines and makes use of all these capabilities has not yet been written.
     ... Management must be forever open and receptive to ideas and suggestions.  Further, it must seek suggestions and ideas on particular problems.  Managers must know their people and their individual capabilities.  When necessary, management should seek out skills and experience not reflected on unit manning documents.  Growth and sophistication can result in loss of individualism.  The organization becomes a machine listing of numbers designating crafts and skill levels, grades and authorization, and is expected to function and produce in the same manner as the machine that produced the list.  The larger the organization, the harder management should work to take advantage of the individual capabilities regardless of how impersonal the management system may appear.  Management may be impersonal but managers should not.

Scientific Management Stressed
     ... There is always room for ingenuity, not only at the craftsman level, but at the management level also.  Running the civil engineering function by the book is necessary and justified, but letting the book run Air Force Civil Engineering is as wrong as bombing the next Operational Readiness Inspection.

     That was my dad.  Rabble rouser and out-of-the-box thinker.  I'm just like him, too.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Selections

Normally I link up with Kim and Frog Ponds Rock for this meme, but she is sleeping in this Easter morning.  So I'm dusting off these pictures that have not seen the light of my monitor in quite a while until she wakes up.

Tiny baby lizard sunning... it was about an inch long not counting tail.

Tree frog by the key pad at work ~ taking refuge from the rain that day.
Another baby lizard ~ this one rescued from my cat at the time.

Friday, April 6, 2012


“Passover, now, is a concept about people enslaved.
Everyone has their own personal Egypt.  
Passover is a way to leave that personal Egypt and get connected to God.”
~ Levi Mentz ~
Freed from
     I've never heard Passover described in that way, and when I read it yesterday, it rocked my world.  I know the story of Easter, and Passover, but have just never had it broken down in a way that can be applied to my life today.

     My "Egypt" has been my fear of taking that leap of faith and trusting that God would take care of me the way He has always taken care of me.  It has been what kept me feeling trapped (enslaved) in previous marriages and jobs.  It has kept me feeling tied down, isolated, and chained.

     My "Passover" in February when I gave notice at my job without having any real plan laid out, put my life in God's hands... where it has always been but I'm just usually too full of "free will" to admit it.  And God has provided, just as He promised.

     I've seen that.  Known that.  Thanked Him for it.  But last night when I read those words, it was as if it all just clicked together like pieces of a puzzle.

     What is your Egypt?  What enslaves you?  How will you pass over those things and connect to God?

A surprise email from Levi's father:
Baruch Hashem
Dear Cindi:
So nice to read your blog ..... especially quoting my son.
Thanks for making his dad proud that he taught someone and "rocked their world"
Rabbi Mentz

It is nice to see a father proud of his son... and a son who makes his father proud.  They are blessed. ~ Ci

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Travels ~ Niger, Africa

     I'm linking today instead of writing on someplace I've been or want to go.  One of my 'real' heroes, Eden Riley of Edenland, is in Africa, as a BloggerMom for World Vision and the plight of those starving in Africa.

     I call her a 'real' hero because she is incredibly brave, with superhuman strength, words that can leap continents and oceans and tall buildings, and a wit that is fast and furious and filled with honest, raw truth.  And because she is just like any of us.  She is a mom.  She's human.  She's compassionate and caring, and I'm in awe of her.  She's battled demons and dragons, and conquered them all... and has been willing to sit by the ashes of the demons to share her tales with us... to help us be strong... to help us heal... to help us to also be brave and be heroes.

     I love the photo she shared of this child because the light behind her makes it look like God's light and blessings are shining down on upon her and all of the children... on their plight... on those that would stand up to help instead of stepping aside.  I love the trust in the child's eyes... and I hurt for the look of pain and resignation in the eyes of the other two children in the picture.

Photo by Eden Riley, hero
     So my travels today are to encourage you to reach out and touch another who is hurting, hungry, or in pain.  Whether you decide to sponsor a child through World Vision, or another organization... pay it forward... touch a heart... because one touch, touches us all.