Saturday, October 25, 2014


Remember the Fourth of July celebrations when you were a kid and you and your siblings ran out to the curb of the street with your bundle of fireworks that your parents brought home? Remember the snakes and how fascinating it was to watch them grow right there on the cement? (I can still smell them.)
 Remember the sparklers and how fun it was to whip them in circles as you raced around the yard at dusk?
Remember all the brightly colored ones that you lit up and then they either twirled around on the pavement or made a noise like a siren? Or both.

Or the ones that did that shooty thing straight up in the air? (that is obviously the technical name.)

Or the one that you lit in anticipation and they just sort of spark once or twice and then fizzled out?

That was called a "dud" and we would just shrug and move on to the next smoke bomb or twirly thingy.
Sometimes I feel like I'm a dud. Like I spark and then just fizzle out on the sidewalk.
 A dud.
A dud for Christ.
I know I'm feeling that way because I said no to a speaking engagement for next week.
Rod and I prayed about it and for a variety of reasons really felt I should say no at this time. But that doesn't stop the voices in my head saying I messed up. Again.

Like God will turn his back on me and never ever use me again.

Do you ever feel like that? Like you messed up so bad that God doesn't even want to look at you?

One of my favorite things in, my favorite thing in this life is being able to share what God has done for me. How he took a girl who was living only for herself, harming herself and others in the process of being so selfish, and let her know that he loves her and has saved her from herself.

My story is not really about me. I am definitely  not the hero in my own story. God is and will always be. He saves. He loves. He chases me and finds me...a dud.

So when I get the chance (and I do very often) of sharing my story, I am terrified and thrilled all at the same time. Terrified because I feel very naked and vulnerable while I talk about what I have done. Then thrilled when I get to talk about what Jesus has done...anyway.
 I absolutely explode with joy and am just on fire to share how God loves us enough to overlook everything we have done and adopts us in to his family. I so do not deserve that no matter what I do.

 "Baby, you're a Firework" by Katy Perry is playing in my head because that is pretty much is how I feel when I have to chance to let broken people know that God loves them and forgives them. Not usually a song when we think of worshiping God.

 But it fits here.

The accusing voices in my head need to just shut it.
Zip it, for Pete's sake. Or for mine.

And I'll go on gladly and happily being a dud for Jesus.
 One who explodes with joy on a regular basis over the things he has done.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


My good friend is throwing a wedding this weekend for her daughter because her daughter's fiance is getting deployed much sooner than expected. I am aching for them because I know they were anticipating throwing a fantastic wedding and reception that reflected all the love and joy they felt for this occasion.
Right now I wish I had a good eye for design. I wish I could decorate a wedding cake. I wish I could make beautiful centerpieces and help her make the best of a rushed wedding reception. Honestly, I am wishing I were someone else that could actually help them.
Right now I am feeling useless.

I am going to the place where the reception will be held the day before to assist in setting up tables and chairs,and anything else that needs to be done. But honestly?I am scared to death that someone will unwittingly  ask me to hang bunting or arrange flowers.
Oh, the HORROR!!

I am almost frozen into immobility while I focus on all my short comings.

This morning while I went on my walk with Coops and Lucy I was praying for my friends and this wedding and this marriage. My prayers turned to asking for wisdom for ways I could help and before I knew it, I was rehashing all the ways I couldn't help because I am not talented or skilled enough.

Nothing like some lovely ingrown eyeballs.

Society tells us our problem is that we have low self esteem and so we go looking and searching for that thing that shows that we are good at something, that we have worth, value and are successful. We need something to give us our identity and worth.
Growing up, I felt like everyone in my family had something they were extraordinarily gifted in, but I could never seem to fine my niche. I wasn't athletic, I couldn't sing beautifully (cough-cough) I wasn't an artist, I didn't do very well in school (cough-cough).Oh, I was skilled at being sneaky. Ask anyone. But I felt I had no identity, aside from being the stereotypical, troubled middle child.
I am truly not writing this to garner compliments and assurances of my skills and worth. But, if you feel led...
(Just to clarify:I am obviously not trying to say I have no worth or value what-so-ever.  I am a Jesus-loving, goat whispering, dog walking, duck chasing, stall cleaning,ferocious Mama Bear, fluffy Nana-bread and best friend to the best guy ever. It's just that those things don't help my friends out when they are trying to throw a wedding that means a great deal to them. So, I wish I could decorate a cake right now. That's all.)

It wasn't until I met Jesus that I found my true identity. What a huge sigh of relief!

God, who is all-powerful,compassionate, eternal, faithful, a consuming fire who became man chose and adopted me, the stereotypical, troubled middle child with no discernible skill or talent.
 And if you believe in Him, then He adopted you as well.
 Yeah, I'll take that identity. I'm good. (He does tend to use the weak and the foolish...just sayin'.)

This morning, while on my walk, I stopped in my tracks and reflected on Jesus Christ and who I am because of Him.
I'm forgiven.
I'm redeemed.
I'm a child of God.
I am a friend of God.
I've been set free.
I can love others because he loves me.
(fyi: imagine each of those points above written in  flaming, neon font, italicized and underlined and bold. Because that is how I am imagining them.)

When I start thinking like this I wonder how I can ever stop gushing the Good News to everyone I see. Seriously.

I need to quit looking for the good things that can make me feel worthy and look at the good things Christ has done for me.
Instead of finding my identity in my skills or talent or job or relationships I have to find my real identity in the cross.

Cake decorating, designing beautiful wedding venues, flower arranging, etc. are all excellent skills to have. Ones I really, really wish I had right now. But I need to constantly remind myself  that my value is not based on having ( or not having) those talents.
Because all those skills and talents will eventually let you down.You'll lose your ability or get older, or people will disappoint you. The applause and accolades will die down and fade away and then you will have to try more and try harder to get them again.
 True that.
Here is a song by Matthew West that helps remind all of us who we really are.
Enjoy your day! (and if you are helpful planning last minute weddings, hit me up.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


In case you didn't see the fireworks, standing ovations, marching bands or the military jet celebratory flyovers, my daughter Amy, had her baby last week. It was a joyous, emotionally charged,laughing-mixed-with-crying kind of week.

Amy and Jason went to the hospital Tuesday evening and breath-taking contractions had started every minute by 7:30 AM. By 3:00 PM they broke her water and shortly after began Pitocin. By 5, they administered the spinal epidural.

At 5:30, after an exam, we were told she would have to have a c-section immediately.

Not what she was expecting.

Not what we were expecting.

But, it all worked out and now we have the most gorgeous dumple in the known world.

She has a voracious appetite and a temper that shows itself when she is bathed or her diaper is changed.( Gracelynn, not Amy.)
We love her to the moon and back. (Both of them)

When she was 4 years old When she was close to her due date, Amy began planning her baby's hospital-leaving outfit. She brought three or more choices with her. With matching headbands and booties.
Can you say Fashionista?

I was there at the hospital when the new, sweet little family was packing up to leave, and there was Baby Gracelynn in her hospital issued onesie and wrapped in a faded hospital receiving blanket.

All her sparkly, carefully chosen, obsessed over outfits were packed in the car already and Amy was not feeling terrific yet after her surgery.
"She looks like an orphan-ghetto baby." Amy lamented. But, as exhausted as she was, there was nothing we could do.
(Apologies to any actual orphan-ghetto babies.)

Not what she was expecting that day.

Amy has been absolutely exploding with joy since Gracelynn arrived. She was so made for motherhood.

She said the other day to me that she has never been so happy. In fact, she is so happy it scares her. She almost feels like she is waiting for, or expecting, something bad to happen and the joy to be snatched away from her.

Oh, Amy.
 I so understand that feeling.
If we are honest, we all do.
I have felt like that.

Feeling like I am so happy, but knowing that I don't deserve this happiness. I haven't done anything good enough to earn this happiness.
That something bad must be right around the corner.

 Almost  as if I have stolen joy,like a cookie from the cookie jar, and any minute now, when God starts paying closer attention, He'll  surely realize that I am happier than I should be, than I deserve to be, and He'll make the necessary adjustments.

 I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Who hasn't felt like that, at some time or another?

But here is the thing.

We are God's children.

 Amy, you are beginning to know what it is to have and love your own child. How you would never do anything to hurt her and only want to help her. (sometimes in a frantic, mothery kind of  way)

You are a child of God. (John 1:12)

Does this mean nothing bad will ever happen to you?
Of course not.
But it means you will have your Father, a parent,  with you through it. Carrying you through it. Never leaving you alone for an instant. Watching you, hearing you, loving you, obsessing over you. (Sound familiar?)

A Parent that you can trust with your life because He has your best in mind.
And He doesn't give us what we "deserve." He gives us what is best for us. It won't always look like what we think it should
That's for sure.
But He loves us and we can trust Him.
Believe it.

So let me just end with this.
(And, yes. I know you already know all this stuff. But we have to remind ourselves of it all the time. Daily.Hourly, if possible. Because we are only human beings and we all forget to live like we know it; like we believe it.)

Believing in Jesus is the only religion where you aren't accepted because of how good a life you lived, or how many rules you follow, or how much money you give,how often you attend church, or how many orphans you feed. You are not accepted because of how good you are.

You are loved simply because you believe in Jesus Christ.

Nothing. Else. Counts.

You are His and He is yours. Forever.

All other religions say that God saves the worthy. If you want God's blessing and God's salvation, you must be worthy of it and live a particular kind of life. So, in other words, what saves you is how well you perform and conform to a life of self-denial, love, selflessness, forgiveness, etc.


Jesus says he came NOT to save those who think they are worthy or righteous, but those who know they are sinners.
Paul says in Romans 4 that God saves and justifies the ungodly apart from anything they do.

So, Christianity says that we are saved NOT by our lives and how we lived them, but by HIS.

The crushing burden of having to be worthy, good enough,and trying harder is lifted.

All of our expectations of what we deserve or don't deserve explode in this vision of amazing, crazy, scandalous GRACE. Grace means undeserved favor.

It just makes no sense and doesn't seem fair.

(There are loads of people, sometimes Christian people, who don't like to believe in grace because it isn't fair and doesn't make sense. Grace-haters)

But it is true.

So breathe a sigh of relief and quit waiting for the other shoe to drop.

You didn't get to have Gracie because you did something good and deserve her,and she won't be taken away because you did something wrong at some point.

Gracelynn is simply a gift from God because He loves you.

If you forget this sometimes and find yourself working frantically to be worthy of this gift, just look at your baby and think about her name.
Grace Blaesing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Letter to my daughter

Dear Amy,
My girl, my girl. My own baby girl.
Tomorrow at this time, you'll be checking into the hospital getting ready to do the hard work of bringing your own daughter into this world.

I remember when you were born and, before they even handed you to me, I kept asking if they were sure you were a girl. I wanted you to be a girl so much. I would have asked your Dad, but he was passed out on the floor. I guess that hour or so of labor was a bit much for his sensitive constitution.

I remember how you slept through the night from the moment we brought you home and I used to tip-toe in to check on you and make sure you were breathing and alive. Scary!

I can  still hear your raspy, little girl voice yelling at your brother when he was teasing you unmercifully. He still does that, huh? But I adored your  husky, unique voice so much.

I'm laughing (and tearing up a bit) thinking of your four-year old, pink Osh-Kosh-wearing self weeping as though your heart was breaking when you figured out how long you had to wait before you could have your own baby. (You also did this when you found out how long it would be before you could drive a car, but that is a whole other story.)

That day has arrived. (Cue balloons and fireworks and marching band.)

You always wanted to have a baby and be a mommy. And, now, tomorrow, you'll finally get your wish and your dream. You are going to be such a great Mama. There is no doubt in my mind that God has created you specifically for this important job.

Amy, your life is about to change.

You'll begin to learn out how it feels to love with a mother's love.

 You'll find out how it feels to have your very heart forever go walking around outside your own body. It doesn't even make sense, but it is so accurate.

When your baby girl is happy,you'll be ecstatic.

When she giggles, you will laugh,too.

When she cries, your own eyes will fill with tears. When her heart is broken, you'll feel the sharpest pain in your own heart.

When someone hurts her feelings, your Mama-Bear will be born and come roaring out before you know what even happened. Truth.

When she accomplishes her goals and dreams, you will celebrate and feel as if yours have been achieved.

You will be filled up with pure JOY like you have never have before.

You will be through and through, bone tired like you have never been before.

You'll learn more about the unbelievable depth and the realness of God's love than ever before. You'll find comfort and joy in prayer like you never imagined.Your thankfulness to Him for this blessing will be endless and new every day.

You will put someone else's needs and wants before your own. Every.Single.Time. Without hesitation or question.

Never again will your heart beat only for yourself.

It's just not safe to love like that. Because, at times, it will  hurt.

But it will be worth it.
No question or hesitation.
 It is so worth it.
Love is always worth it.

 And tomorrow you will begin to see the truth of that.

 You are my heart walking around outside my body, and I love you Lumma Loo.
And tomorrow night, at the hospital, you'll finally get to meet your very own heart.
See you soon, best daughter.
Love, Mams

Monday, July 21, 2014

Remodeler's Log: 07/21/2014

It is day five of the master bathroom/bedroom remodel. Up until today we have been not only civil, but kind, patient and courteous. We have kept our sense of humor and encouraged each other.
Well, hello Monday morning.
Today neither of us would be commended on our civility.
Words are direct, short and clipped.
Most of the sounds are hammering, drilling and sawing.
Rod turned his head when I snapped this picture and it is good that the camera did not catch the look in his eyes. I rushed out before he could stop me.

Yesterday when we went to church I was really looking forward to losing myself in worship with God's family and hearing teaching from the book of Galatians.
On the way home, I confessed to Rod that my thoughts kept drifting off to the estate sale coming up, the upcoming new additions to our family and also which flooring to choose.
He said, "I'm not going to lie. I couldn't stop thinking about the bathroom wall."
Yep, we are that focused.
So sad.
We need to be reminded to be kind, loving and patient with each other.
Especially with all these power tools laying around so conveniently.
Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One thing leads to another

Rod came out of our bathroom yesterday and began giving me an encouraging pep-talk.
"We need to be patient and not lose our tempers with each-other. We're in this for the long haul. We just need to stay positive and cheerful. And kind."

First off, I have no idea what he is talking about.
Second, why do I get the feeling he is really talking about me, not "us"?

"Um, what is going on?" I asked.

"Well, you know how we have been noticing the shower floor getting saggy?"

Of course I noticed that. I'd been working on ignoring that for almost a year. Making excuses like, maybe I've gained more weight than I'd thought. Maybe I have an inner ear infection and it is making me all wobbly and dizzy.  If all else failed, I just sang "LA LA LA-la la LA LA!" with my fingers both covering my eyes and plugging my ears.

"No. What are you even talking about?"

Then he opened the door to the master bathroom.
Just to clarify, I used to have a shower and a whirlpool bathtub right there.
Look, you can see my peony bush out through that hole in the wall. Why does that look like a cat door? I don't even have a cat.
Apparently we are having an unexpected remodeling project to do this month.

Oh, and Rod informed me that the wall and floor leading into my bedroom have also been destroyed by the Black Death Mold and we will need to replace those as well.

Did you know that my bedroom floor goes ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE ROOM and therefore my ENTIRE ROOM AND BATHROOM NEED TO BE DEMOLISHED AND REDONE?

I'm very sorry to shout, but I am trying to hear through my own "LA LA LA LA la la la la LA LA's."

So, if any of you has any great bathroom or bedroom ideas please send them my way. Because I do not day dream of redecorating. No, this is the stuff my nightmares are made of. This is not my gifting.
I have had to start looking at ideas on Pinterest.
Oh, the horror!
On the bright side, I can demolish.
Look, here is my back deck where all my bathroom stuff now resides until we can load it up and make a happy trip to the dump.
What a welcoming retreat!
 If you notice other things among the bathroom stuff, that is because I needed to clear some stuff out of our spare room so I could make space for all the things I will need to store there while we UNEXPECTEDLY TEAR APART MY BATHROOM AND BEDROOM.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Duck Wars and other weekend happenings

It was close, but there have been no injuries and no bloodshed.
On Saturday I went to the feed store to pick up goat chow, fish chow, dog chow, rabbit chow and I even went to the grocery store (on a Saturday! Do I have a death wish?) and picked up a little bit of people chow.
While at the feed store, I saw the small building labeled "Critter Corner."
What could it hurt? I thought.
So in I went, not emerging until I had two more ducks to add to our three at home.
 But these are brown ducks and will look more natural in our mountain pond setting. This is the very reasonable argument I practiced in my head before Rod saw I bought more ducks.
When I arrived home, I untied the burlap bags and set the new ducks free in their new home.

I had pictured the old ducks welcoming the new ducks with quiet beeps and quackings and gentle flapping of wings.
I did not picture the new ducks catching sight of the older ducks and saying, "Oh, this is YOUR pond? Our deepest apologies. We'll just find a new place. Ta ta and cheerio!" Then the new brown ducks began waddling down the the road, apparently looking for THEIR pond.
So I began to chase them back to OUR pond, which is plenty large enough for five ducks, for goodness sake.
Lucy came down to see what all the fuss was and began to "help" chase them back to the pond.
 Such a big helper.
There was loud honking and quacking as she chased them up the creek, and it got quite a bit louder when she caught one. The slower one.
I'm sure it was just a tiny misunderstanding. Reluctantly, Lucy let go of the poor duck and I returned it to the pond, safe and sound.

Until the older black and white ducks began to peck at it with their duck bills and then attempted to drown it by holding it's head under water.

Not quite the Welcome Wagon I had expected.

And who knew ducks would hate their new duck neighbors and try to drown them?

 Really, ducks? Seriously?

Well, things calmed down for a few minutes and then the first wave of neighboring campers showed up. Our neighbors own a couple hostels in Portland and invite their friends and people staying there to come to the mountain and camp in tents and yurts.
They call it Family Camp.

I call it a time for me to freshen up on my accent skills.

 It  has been happening for a few years and is fun for all of us. We enjoy visiting people from all around the planet and showing them our horses, goats, fish pond, Rod's little barn brewery etc.

 (Do I sometimes feel like we are a really elaborate exhibit at the zoo?
Yes. Yes, I do.
Good thing I like the zoo.)

The only down side of Family Camp is my tendency to pick up whichever accent the person who is talking to me has and begin using it as my own. Like I was born with it.
I know. This makes no sense at all, and  I have tried to stop it, but when I get nervous or stressed out in the slightest I tend to talk even more.
So, I was talking to some nice people from Wales and just relaxing and enjoying listening to them talk about the dogs they'd had over their lifetime.
I almost forgot to be worried. I forgot to be vigilant.
They mentioned that they had had a German Shepherd (they called it an Alstasion.) and I heard my self say, "Oh, so you like the German Shepherd dogs, then?" in a proper English accent.
Why do I do this??
Arrrrggghhh! (Groaned in whichever accent you have.)

The first time I did this accent stealing, (that I noticed) was when I was attending my sister's wedding at a posh (see??) place near San Diego. I was in the receiving line chatting with some of the groom's family who seemed to have a Euro-East Coast-Madonna thing going on with their way of speaking. They were talking about a vacation they had taken yachting around Greece.
 "Have you been?" They politely asked, although "been" was pronounced  "bean."
I have no idea how I replied, except I know it was in their accent.
They all just looked at me strangely, made quietly courteous murmurings (in their funky, citizen of the world accents) and moved away, probably thinking, "Aha! There's the old barmy sister. Every family has one..."
This is obviously something I must work on.
Both the accent-stealing and the barmy part.

In the meantime, everyone is settled in at the farm, peace is reigning and I'm completely knackered.

Close-up, so you can see there are no injuries.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ingrown Eyeballs

Oh, come on.
You know you get them, too. When you become so focused on yourself and your problems that other things, more worthy things retreat, growing dim and quiet.

So, a couple weeks ago I dropped the 6 ton 5th wheel trailer hitch on my foot. After I had x-rays and stitches, the doc told me it wasn't broken.

Except it still hurts to to put a shoe on.
 It hurts to walk.
Last night, it hurt when I was sleeping.
I think I should re-examine that doctor's licensing.
 Did he even pass x-ray class?

On a daily basis, this means that I can't walk the dogs, or run my loop.
This is where I meet with Jesus every morning. If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know this.

As silly as it seems, this has made me feel a little abandoned, as though I need the loop in the forest in order to meet with God every morning.

 Logically I know this is not true. In my heart (which is deceitful above all things...I know, I know) I miss my morning times in the forest spent in prayer and fellowship with Him. Somehow I feel like I can't be as close to God if it is not on the loop.
In the woods.

With the dogs.

 In the morning.

And people call Him controlling.
Boy, it sounds like everything needs to be just right for me to have any meaningful time with the God who created the Heavens and the Earth, amen.

Ingrown eyeballs.

Last Friday, I had to take Lucy,our bullmastiff, into the vet because of a bad infection. They were very concerned and
asked me to leave her there with them. We were all very worried about the possibility of cancer. Certain types of cancer will present themselves this way.
When I came home, Rod was getting ready for a weekend men's retreat with our new church. He was excited to begin building relationships with some of the guys and hear some great bible teaching.

(enter Ingrown Eyeballs. That's Mrs. Ingrown Eyeballs.)

"Please don't go...I bet they're going to tell me we're going to have to put Lucy down and I don't want to be by myself." I may have shed a tear, I don't even remember.

Rod really felt that God wanted him to go on the retreat, promised he would leave the phone on, and come back if I really needed him to.

I was so glad that Rod chose to follow God's leading in his decision. 

I was so excited that Rod was going to enjoy spending time with new guy friends.

I was so mad.

(Full disclosure: I may have mentioned my unhappiness about Rod's decision to a friend. Not a good idea. Ever.)

Rod went on his retreat.

Lucy came back from the vet; her infection being just an infection, at least for now.

(yay Lucy!!)

This morning, Rod was talking to me about the speaker at their retreat. His wife had had cancer years ago and they had beat it. Friday morning,just before the retreat, they received word that the cancer was back and had spread to a few different areas.
They were still in shock.
 They prayed about whether he should still go speak at this men's retreat and his answer from God was a yes.
He needed to be there.
You might think that this man was selfish and should be there for his wife. Or that Rod was selfish and should have stayed home when his whiny wife asked him to.

I say they don't have ingrown eyeballs that are only focused on themselves.

They have eyeballs that are only focused on the object of their faith; Jesus.

I say I want to, need to have their kind of eyeballs, their kind of focus.

 In "The Pursuit of God" by Tozer, I read the following quote this morning ,
" Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our vision, and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be, and it is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said "I will set my throne above the throne of God." Faith looks out instead of in and the whole of life falls into place."

So here is my prayer for us and my prayer for myself. (even if I can't pray on the loop with the dogs in the morning...whatever)
Taken from Tozer, again:
"O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may, with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear and be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe.Amen."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day memories

What a great title. I astound myself with my creativity.
I think the highlight of my weekend came when I had to dig the tick from the cozy home it had made on Rod's collar bone.
We had just arrived at Rod's brother's house for a Memorial Day BBQ.'s so important.
Rod: "Would you take a look at this? I think I poked myself on a stick hiking through the woods."
Me: "How long has it been hurting?"
Rod: "Oh, about 3 or 4 days.
Me: "Let me see...."
Then shrieking ensued as we saw tiny legs waving from Rod's tiny little burrowing friend.
I told his Dad to quiet down so we could take another look without the neighbors thinking we were being murdered.
(only kidding. only kidding)
The kind host and hostess brought us tweezers, which was especially generous considering we had brought an extra, uninvited guest to the party.
Don't you just love it when a guest shows up with a tick that needs to be removed?
To keep the party atmosphere up, I should have suggested that we all check each other for fleas, as well.

After much prodding, digging and excavating,I pulled the little critter out. Minus it's head. Oh well.

Arden, Rod's Dad also took a spin with the tweezers, digging expertly into the skin on Rod's shoulder/neck area. As we worked, Rod began calling out for an alcoholic beverage. But his cries became weaker and we ignored him. Or his brother Doug finally brought him a beer. I don't remember.

 Rod's Dad was able to remove most of the tick's head which had seemed like it might have to become a permanent part of Rod anatomy.
Unlike his beard. Which, in an odd but welcome turn of events, was removed by my friend, Jen, this weekend.
Jen looks slightly maniacal here, but Rod's eyes scare me.
During a party. Well, a BBQ- get-together. Camp-out. Sleep-over. Foos ball tournament. Clearly, Jen does her best work in the midst of chaos.
See how they are still pretending to be friends? Sweet.

It was a family and friends filled 4 day break. My sistah from anotha mutha...(oh, scratch that...same mother) came from Northern CA with her daughter to get a breather. I'll have to ask them how that worked for them. If she ever speaks to me again.

Well, I'm sure, if you are still awake, you'll agree that this post was absolutely riveting.
You are welcome.

What? You are disappointed that I didn't throw in a gratuitous picture of the tick?
Well, here you go:
This is not Rod's actual tick. Although his was every bit as nauseating.

 And my injured foot, as a free bonus picture:
I knew I could work this in somehow. I dropped a fifth wheel hitch on it. Yes it hurts. No, it is not broken.And it looks worse now. Please shed a tear for me. It will help.

So, there you have it. Don't say I never did anything for ya.
Have a great day. (while you try to remove these images from your head.Using tweezers.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Full-on Ugly Cry

If you have not read about the son I gave up for adoption and my daughter's successful search for him, read this post and this post first. Otherwise the current blog post will make no sense.
Which will make it identical to 98% of my previous posts.

So, Sunday(yesterday) we went to meet the parents who raised the son I gave up for adoption.

No biggie.

My resting heart rate has not been below 175  since last Saturday when we all figured out who was who. And that WHO was WHO. Oh, you know what I mean.

More on that another time.

These are the actual thoughts (yes, I do have actual thoughts) that ran through my mind yesterday.

"This is bad. There is no way around it. Their first impression of me is going to be the full on ugly cry."

"Shoot, maybe I shouldn't have worn make-up..."

"Maybe they won't notice..."

"What if they don't like me?"

"What if my nervous jokes aren't funny and I laugh manically anyway?And can't stop? And sound like a wounded hyena? "

"Well, that's attractive."

Sunday is over. Two mighty strange and exciting and wonderful Sundays in a row. Now it is Monday and my resting heart rate is(almost) back where it belongs. There are many new and unfolding adventures in front of my family and theirs (ours?) which we are looking forward to. We'll share more as time goes by, but right now emotions are still high and feelings are tender.

 But we know this, and it has been confirmed every single day:
God is in control.
Romans 8:28  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Thanks for caring for us in these topsy-turvy times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Birthday prayer

(This was originally posted in March 2008. It bears repeating because of all the craziness this week.Diane)

This day comes around once a year.(Like most days, I guess) Usually I remember what the day signifies, say a prayer, and slowly return to my daily routine. This time, though, I went to the files and got out the medical records.

Well, one really grainy copy of my stay at the hospital. It records the time I arrived (5:45 AM), some notes I can't read, the date (3/18/81) and the time of my baby's birth. (6:55 PM)

It doesn't record that I gave him up for adoption that day.
It doesn't tell me what his parent's named him, or where they live.
It doesn't mention if he has any other siblings, or how he is doing now.
It doesn't tell me if he is following Christ .

I can't help but wonder about him today as I look at this paper. At the time, all I wanted to do was get out of that hospital and get on with my own life.What a mistake. I didn't get that that WAS a part of my own life and that someday I would be crying over this single sheet of paper,the only thing I have from that day,and praying for him.

I am so grateful for the life that God has blessed me with, for my family, friends and church. (Josiah just called AGAIN to check in; no son calls their parents that much! It reminded me how really blessed I am)

So, on your birthday, son that I never knew, I pray for your life. I pray that you are healthy and safe, that your family is good to you and that you know our Lord.I pray that the Lord will someday allow you and your brother and sister(Josiah and Amy) to meet. They would like that so much. I almost feel as if I can't ask that for myself, although I dream of it. I ask the Lord to bless you and to help you grow towards Him daily. I'm more sorry than I can say that I didn't appreciate how precious you were , and a gift from God, until years later. I do love you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Are you my brother?"

I knew I wasn't ready to be a mom. I was 19 years old. I honestly don't think I was ever ready. Not really.
I knew I wanted him to have the best chance at a good life that I could give him.
I remember seeing him when he was born and they plopped him on my stomach.
Red and squirmy and heavy.
Shock and awe.

I remember wanting to move on with my life.
But I never forgot him.
Rod, the kids and I used to look for a familiar face in the crowds.
They never forgot him either.
He just had a birthday and we thought of him again.
I have prayed for him in the middle of the night, and I call him "the son I gave up for adoption." Because I never knew his name.
But we have prayed and hoped that he is well, and healthy,and happy and that he knows the God who created him and that someday, he might want to meet us.
 His other family.
Amy, my daughter, is determined  and pregnant. She wants to know her other brother. She wants her brother to know her and her family.
So, this is what she did today.
"Hi friends & family! Please help us on this exciting adventure to find my brother who was given up for adoption on 3/18/81! Share this photo to help us spread awareness and let him know that he has a whole bunch of family who are searching for him and would love nothing more than to finally meet. Thank you for your help, I know we can do this!"
So, now we'll wait and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.
And if you want to, and you haven't already, please share this so we can get the word out. Thank you for your help, everyone.
Important note: this blog is not set up to accept comments. (something went wonky with it) so please use the email addresses in the photo to contact us!) or

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Goat herding

Hello, my name is Diane and I am a goat-herder.
I'll only have the job until Rod fixes the goat fence, but he has work and he somehow injured his neck so it hurts to digs holes and set fence posts. I wouldn't know because my job is to herd the goats and take them on the occasional goatie stroll.
This morning it is "Oregon misting" on me, but Rosie and Willow still wanted to venture out of their dry stall.
I wiped off my lawn chair, set it in the yard and called the goats over to the blackberry bramble covered sand filter on the side of the barn.
How do I call them?
I "maa-maaa-maaaaa-aaaa."
They seem to respond.
I am the goat whisperer. As well as the herder and the stroller.
The sky was misting, the birds were chirping, I had my coffee, my camera, my phone and my office book. (I was goat herding AND I took a job down for next week. I am a multi-tasking goat herder.)
Here was my view.
Yes, the dogs graze right along with the goats. I try not to ask too many questions.
This is Rosie, enjoying her breakfast of blackberry vines.
I'm enjoying my new job.
Have a great day, everyone.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wow, what an incredibly whiny post...

(I wrote this before I titled it. Then I read it. Super whiny)

Did you watch the Trailblazer game last night? Man, when one guys goes up for the shot, and another two go up for the block and they all crash and fall together in a tangle of arms, knees shoulders and other body parts, I  physically cringe. I think I may need to visit the ER just from watching these guys battle it out. If I actually experienced one of those under-the-basket accidents, I would need to be life-flighted from center court at the Moda Center. Stat.
As Rod and I get older, we seem to experience more and more body aches and pains, and what we used to shrug off now makes us snivel and wine for weeks.
Anybody else?
Just this week Rod somehow crinked his neck.(Spell check is telling me that "crinked" is not a real word. I still like it. Carry on.) Now it keeps him up at night because of the discomfort.(which means it keeps me up, too.)
I would help him, but I have my own list of injuries to deal with.
Take the busted up bruised nose I received this morning  from feeding the dogs. Yep, it is dangerous chore, but somebody has to do it. One of the dogs, whose initials start with COOPER, jerked his head up and smacked into my old-lady reading glasses which I was wearing because, HELLO, if I should happen to take them off and set them somewhere I will never remember where I put them.
I speak from experience.
Or, how about my injured elbow? I have no idea why it hurts. I just woke up like that. But it hurt so much, Rod had to help me get dressed this morning before I went running.Yep, I'm a warrior. I went running for a full 1.5 miles even though I had an injured elbow.
 Thankfully, my arms are not completely necessary for that activity.They just help keep me balanced. Imagine how graceful and athletic I must look as I careen around corners with my arms windmilling about to keep me balanced and upright...for the most part.

Side note: my niece Hollie is in Costa Rica right now with her husband and kids. She writes of taking idyllic, injury-free morning runs on the beach before heading back to the condo to play with her family for the rest of the day.I think she is 12. I think I might hate her.

After I run, I usually sit and count what hurts, swallow down half a dozen Advil with a glass of wine and try to remember why I do this to myself. (Okay, I'm obviously exaggerating, but honestly? I'm going to punch Hollie in the throat when she comes back from her holiday.)
This is not me, but it is how I feel after a run. This woman was injured when she was ATTACKED by RACCOONS when she was jogging in the woods. So, potentially, this could be me... 
One recent injury was especially uncomfortable and irritating. Both my hands and wrists were rendered next to useless for a few days. I didn't go to the doctor because I didn't want to explain to Dr. Grise that it was an X-box injury, caused from playing Zuma for too long on the X-box the kids got me for Christmas.
I am not lying.
An X-box injury.
 I should sue.
My grandson came over and wanted me to pick him up and I COULDN'T, people. My hands and wrists were killing me.
Getting old is no bed of roses, friends.
Maybe some of you youngsters could organize a meal train for us. Just a thought.

PS Hollie, I won't really punch you. You are freakishly strong and would hurt me, if I did.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What's new?

So much. So, so much.
We'll start with the big ticket items.
I turned 52.
I know. Happy Birthday to me.
What this meant this year is that I needed to go to DMV and renew my driver's license.
Good times.
So I went the day before my license expired because I work better under pressure.
After I took my eye test and paid my money, they had me step over to the plastic, government approved chair to have my photo taken. The one that will won't expire for 8 long years.
But I was ready for this challenge. I knew I didn't want to smile and look like a grinning lunatic.
I went instead for what I thought was a serious, deep, thoughtful expression.
I wanted my eyes to tell the story. (Have I watched too many episodes of America's Next Top Model? Perhaps, perhaps.)
This is what I got.

My eyes told the story alright.
They tell the story of a down and out woman who was arrested for shoplifting PopTarts in Walmart. This is her mugshot.
It is obvious that she did not get to eat the PopTarts. Hence, the sad, sad eyes.

"Sad eyes...turn the other way....I don't wanna see you cryyyy..." (Sorry if you are old like me and you remember this song and now it is stuck in your brain.)

Have a happy rest of your day. :-)

P.S. Clearly, I cannot schmize, thus proving that I have NOT watched too many episodes of ANTM .
The end.