Monday, August 31, 2009

To Have & To Hold

Today is our son and daughter-in-love's 1st anniversary and this week we celebrate our 31st anniversary! I revisted this 3 minute clip this morning as I knew it would make my heart happy, so I'm sharing it with you(again).

There was another divine appointment that day... a wonderful connection between the minister that performed the ceremony and us. Jesus just loves weddings and so do I!

It's said that a lasting marriage is the union of two forgivers. So true.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Life is a Dash

The saga of the chickens continues at my house, but that’s not what this post is really about. We do have 16 new biddies that arrived last Friday. It's quite amazing to see how fast chickens grow. Just two months ago, these fellas (who are not my friends, just for the record)
looked like this:
Another little guy that has grown really fast is my daughter-in-love’s Morkie puppy, Bunker. I'm keeping him while the happy couple celebrate their first anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. (I tried to fit in the suitcase but that was not to be.) In Feb. when I kept him he looked liked this:
He’s grown like a weed:
It was hard to get pictures of these animals as they don’t stand still. The shutter on my camera is not fast enough.

Yesterday, I attended the memorial service for a friend’s husband. My friend delivered an amazing tribute to her husband. She started with parts of the well-known poem “Life Between the “Dash” by Linda Ellis.

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the “dash” between those years. (1934 -1998)

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars...the house...the cash,
what matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our “dash”.

Whether it’s children or chickens, puppies or even your own mirror that mark the quickly passing time; in the midst of the busyness, may you experience the unhurried rhythm of grace.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I've never particpated in Wordless Wednesday before, as it's not often I'm speechless,but this photo taken by Uncommon Blonde of our Rosebud takes my breath away.

Our Tiny Dancer

Monday, August 24, 2009

Of Sunshine and Rain

We are enjoying a spot of uncharacteristic low-humidity weather in N. Florida. It feels marvelous. It follows an extended period of heavy rains on a daily basis with a 24 hour constant of at least 80% humidity. I forgot to take a photo of our record-breaking crop of mushrooms last week.

It doesn’t feel altogether different from the climate of the tropical rainforest. But there are some crucial differences. Most of our moisture is atmospherically produced and relates to our proximity to water. But the rainforest produces a full 50% of its own rainfall; a result of transpiration. In the Rainforest Model for Success, we equate water with information.

We live in the information age, so how could it be that one could not have a good flow of information? It’s critical that we CHOOSE the information that can make us thrive; the equivalent of the rainforest producing its own rainfall. A good portion of the information flow in our culture can be so toxic to our minds.

I’m flooded with wonderful training information as a result of my association with the Rainforest Business Institute. Books, CD’s, DVD’s, teleconference calls… it has me living on the edge of my seat in fascination.

Showers of blessings to you as you begin a new week. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds! I love transformation.
Photo credit to David Gross for "Sunshine After Rain"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You're Beautiful

You Are Beautiful.

Has anyone told you that yet today? Now they have. This short clip has a powerful message…

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pretty Close to Paradise

I've been pretty crazy about Sarasota ever since I moved away from there. And that's meant in a nice way, as human nature being what it is, you sometimes don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. (Name that line from a song if you can - it's a Joni Mitchell classic.) I have so much I want to write but I need to dive into a busy week so this is just a quick hello. I have blog posts galore in my head and got a new software program that is supposed to help me get them typed by talking (!) called Dagon Naturally Speaking. I'll let you know how that goes.

Most of you know that Sarasota is the city of my birth... I was born in the same hospital as Addison! These photos were taken in my mom's backyard.
We instructed builderman to smile and his response was "I am!". I smile enough (and talk enough!) for both us. : )

We had such a wonderful weekend. I've decided that 420 miles is closer than you think when paradise is calling. I haven't changed my mind about bliss being holding this little bundle of sweetness. Even if she's crying and upset, it doesn't bother me a bit. She loves her bath and no doubt we enjoyed it as much as she did.

While I'm sharing photos, I finally have one from my mom's 80th birthday party last month. Doesn't she look terrific?! She doesn't even color her hair - it's still naturally brown.

As a serial entrepreneur, there's one last thing I have to share - we ordered dinner one night from a new businesswoman in Sarasota that makes the best Barbecue I've ever had and delivers it. She doesn't have a restaurant but caters at this point. I love creative people. You can read more about Nancy's Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Q in this clip from Sarasota magazine.
Happy Monday from rainy Florida. I'm sharing one more photo because it makes me happy - this was taken 2 weeks ago of our children with Rosebud. I feel so rich, and I'm not talking about money.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Taste that Refreshes

It’s fun to learn new things and pick up fresh ideas, so today I’m participating in Works for Me Wednesday. You can click on over to “We Are That Family” for hundreds of tips.

Have you tried the Green Bags that are supposed to keep fruit & vegetables fresher longer? When I stayed with Uncommon Blonde, she sent me home with some of hers. My observation is they work pretty well. If I still had a child in school, I would have them do a science project with these and I’d find out exactly how much they retain freshness. The key seems to be putting the produce in them DRY. If it keeps produce fresh even 5 days longer, that saves money! I buy a lot of fresh produce.

I picked up on Uncommon Husbands’ favorite drink while I was there too. It’s called an “Arnold Palmer” and it’s simply half lemonade and half unsweetened tea. Very refreshing.

The best stress reliever I picked up while I was there was this snugglebug. She’s a month old now and we’re going this weekend to see her. YAY! Holding her is blissful.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lift Up Your Heads!

I have been captivated with studying “gates” since my return from Central America last month. I’ve seen locks before; I’ve been on a ship that cruised the St. Lawrence Seaway and we had to go through locks on our way to the Atlantic ocean. But observing this engineering feat at the Panama Canal made a bigger impression on me than I was even aware of at the time. The Panama Canal is 50 miles long, extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea.

I visited the MiraFlores Locks and the vision of those giant gates has been on my mind continually. I’m sure it’s because of prayer. To clarify, I was praying for provision for a couple that is planting a church in Miami and I immediately pictured the gates at the Panama Canal opening with an amazing outpouring of water. We’re talking ginormous gates and millions of gallons of water. This picture captures a photo of the water just “leaking’ in.Lift up your heads, O you gates;
Lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory.
Psalm 24: 9,10The first photo and this last photo were taken at a point about midway through the canal. There's only a 45 minute segment every day when ships are going both directions as they change the traffic flow each day. I happened to see it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summertime - when the living was easy...

The sand dunes on Okaloosa island were once as high as a 4-story building. Well, at least they seemed that way from a child’s perspective.

A steady parade of hurricanes and tropical storms through the years have etched the terrain and altered the shoreline in immeasurable ways. The dunes that we romped on and climbed while pretending we were on a trek in the Sahara are now off-limits to human feet in an effort to preserve the only buffer the roads have from waves and tidal encroachment. Such is life.

The Bosom Bottom Buddy Club was an exclusive club with what we considered to be a slightly scandalous name. My sister and I laughingly re-enacted our membership ritual recently at my mom’s birthday party. This snapshot captured the Bosom Bottom Buddy Club about 44 summers ago. We’re planning a reunion at the beach in the spring. I think time has etched us in immeasurable ways too. Such is life.

They say growing older is unavoidable, growing up is optional. I've always had the goal to remain child-like in my sense of wonder and curiousity (note: this is distinctly different from being childish.) I've decided now that I have a grandchild to experience life with, the clock starts to reverse. You know, the cycle of life!
Care to guess which smile belongs to the mini-me?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunshine over Lugubriousness

Who among us doesn't love words? I have a collection of words that I think are cool and want to use more often. Lugubrious seemed appropriate for a Monday when I often attempt to counteract sluggishness with humor.

Lugubrious (adj) [lu-'gu-bri-ês] Mournful, gloomy, depressive, doleful.

Of course, you know my recipe for just about anything includes laughter. I've seen this "man message" before, but it still made me laugh when I came across this recently.

If you're dragging, it's time for a walk on sunshine. This is probably my favorite 80's tune: