Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Well boo hiss I cannot get blogger to upload the right image in the right order. You've already seen this pic of my shawl. I'm trying to send a close up of this shawl and it's just not doing it. Oh well, I've pretty well beaten that horse into oblivion any way. So we'll let that go. I think it's past time for that. These pics are all out of order and they keep changing their order but here's a pic of the flowers and plants I have in the corner of the deck by our front door. I can't remember if I've sent that one or not. If I have, please forgive the repeat. Also showing the view from our deck. I don't think I've sent this one before. I give up with the pics. I guess what I'm going to have to do is not do more than one pic per post. Because blogger seems to discard them at will and it places them wherever it feels like putting them in my post. I'm going to leave well enough alone for today and just go with what I have on the page.

I have nothing on my plate for today. I've really been struggling (looks like I just lost one of the pics of the shawl. That's a good thing.) I just can't figure out blogger and how it aligns my pics and how it keeps dumping pics without me telling it to do that.

Okay, I'm going to try to make the type wrap around the pic. Hey, that worked! I was able to get rid of one of the pics of the shawl and still keep my photo by the door. I'm just having a hard time figuring out blogger and putting pics into my post.

Anyway, as I was saying, I don't have anything on my plate for today. Guess I'll take it as it comes. Hubby is going to try to get into the DMV today to renew his drivers license that expires June 5th. He's on the phone right now with the office for his spinal specialist and it sounds like they're going to try and put him off again. This will be the second time they've resheduled him and in the meantime, he's in agony. Bummer!! He's been trying for over a year to get in to see this guy and they keep putting his appt off. He really needs to go get some help and the sooner the better. Looks like Dr. Grant had an accident and broke his foot over the weekend so his appt has been changed to June 8th and he'll be seeing a different doctor. Maybe this is for the best. Maybe Dr. Grant was not going to be a good doctor choice for him. Who knows.

I'm really having a very difficult time getting started on something to knit. I'm trying to start another baby afghan but I just can't seem to get situated. I just can't seem to get a pattern to click for me. But I persevere! I will not be beaten! Oh yeah? That's what I was saying yesterday. Right now I'm back to Tam's dishcloths because I can't get anything else to work up for me. I think I will do as Kathleen suggested and do a small swatch of the pattern before I go to all the work of casting on 200 stitches and then knitting the border only to find out that the pattern doesn't work for some reason. (The reason is usually me. I'm sitting at a wide place in the path and I don't know whether to keep walking or sit down and rest.) Guess I've sort of decided to take a rest. But it seems like I can't get more than one or two rows of pattern stitches before I get into trouble. Maybe it's time to make a new choice and go with a short trial to see how it works out.

I finished my study of Proverbs and am now studying a little book called Christian Disciplines. The first study was about our quiet time. I learned much from it. I learned that what I've been doing for my quiet time is not working because I have been coming just to get my daily Bible reading done and not to spend time with the Lord. I hadn't realized that until the Lord opened my eyes through this study. I have inadvertently allowed my Bible reading to be the center of my quiet time rather than God. I vowed to change but find that even this very morning I fell back into my old ways. Thinking that my Bible reading was what it's all about. I know better but I can't seem to function in that new understanding. I will keep working on it. My next study is on prayer and I know there will be a lot of things for me to learn there. I've really let my praying diminish. I seem to stay in an attitude of prayer rather than in the functioning of prayer. I don't "officially" pray much. But it's like I take everything to God in prayer. It is an attitude. A way of living. Constantly being in this attitude. Constantly recognizing that I am in submission to the Lord's headship for my life. But, while I find that form of prayer in my relationship with God to be most rewarding, I think there needs to be proper prayers at times. I need to come formally to God and seek His counsel and worship Him above all else. But this discipline seems to have been pushed aside. It's not that I don't pray, because I most certainly do. But it's in the method and mechanics where I fail. I don't get on my knees and come before the Lord. I do it on the run, while I'm doing everything else, and I'm not sure that's enough. Granted I submit everything, every attitude and action to the Lord, but I've let the formality completely slip away. If I had to choose just one method I think I would choose the way of my prayer life right now. But I don't have to choose. I can have both forms as I relate to God. I think I need to spend some time cultivating the discipline of formal prayer. Jesus is my Example and He withdrew quietly to pray all the time. Certainly He kept an attitude of prayer, yet He saw the necessity of formal prayer. He saw the need and the benefit of getting alone with His heavenly Father and lifting His face toward Him. I will take the time out to study today and see what I can come up with. Maybe there will be some hints on how to incorporate this formal prayer into my attitude of prayer. Certainly without it I am not functioning at full power. Maybe this study will have some good ideas for me. Sometimes I wish I were Catholic so I could just recite my formal prayers; have a distinct method, time, and place for them. Prayer is so vital for the Christian walk. It simply cannot be done without it. Without prayer we drift off into a hazy relationship with our Creator and that manner and method leaves much to be desired. But it is so comfortable to simply exist in this attitude, rather than get down to the specifics. It's so much easier to just float instead of swim. I think I have become lazy in my disciplines. Perhaps I realized that when I purchased this study book months ago when Ken first got baptized. I had thought I was buying it for him but maybe the Lord was leading me to buy it for myself. I've had it on my shelf for months and months and I'm just now getting to it. But I think it is good, no I think it's crucial, to step back and look at our Christian Disciplines to see where we are in our Christian walk. It's a lot like maintaining a vehicle. Routine maintenance. Periodical care. It's sort of like oiling our hinges so they won't squeak.

It is important for me to keep vigilant in prayer and to use the ACTS acronym until a good habit gets formed within me. There are things I must do to facilitate good prayer time. Pick the moment, find the place, and realize that prayer is more than just asking for God's help. It is the vehicle of our love for God. As my prayers go heavenward God is worshiped. I am adoring my God when I see my proper place in prayer. Submission is an act of worship. But I must cultivate this habit. I used to pray constantly. I had a running conversation going with my Creator every minute of my day but I also spoke many formal prayers. I have become lazy in my Christian disciplines. My formal prayers don't need to be long or complicated; they just need to be. But it's not the number of prayers offered that is important, it is the recognition that they need to exist. I need to pray but I also owe it to God to pray. He deserves my prayers. My prayers must be more than just a long list of needs and favors. They need to be acts of worship to my Savior. As I concentrate on ACTS I will develop a better habit. Scripture says to choose these choices specifically. I need to make an honest attempt to develop a better relationship with my heavenly Father through prayer. What an incredibly valuable tool this prayer is in my life. Can you grasp the value of something that puts us in direct alignment with God? Not only does God hear our prays, He covets our prayers. He is ever prodding each of us into a better and bigger relationship with Himself. He is the power behind it all. Prayer was His idea. It was His gift to us. It's Him saying, " I may be bigger and better than you are but I seek your struggles and your joys. I seek to have a special arrangement with you, individually, just the two of us." Can you grasp that? It totally floors me to think that God wants to have anything to do with me at all. Talk about a mind bender! So now I must take what I've learned and apply it to my life. I could get all anal about this and say that I will get on my knees and pray every day from 9:00 to 10:00 AM, between 2:30 and 3:00 PM and between 7:00 and 8:00 in the evenings. That is usually my way of handling things. I like schedules and routines. I would have loved the military! But God says these forms of prayer leave much lacking. While I need to incorporate formal prayer in my life, I need to let the Spirit lead me on this matter. He will bring it to my attention if I will tune into His frequency, so to speak. How many times a day do I feel the Spirit pulling me to pray and then do not? This is my problem. This is my thing to work on. Is it yours too? I know now that my attention is definitely needed in this area. Have I spoken to you this morning? I hope so.

I have knitting group tonight and we're going to have a little party for Christy to present her with the sampler afghan everyone helped knit. (Except me. I joined the group a little too late to be a part of that.) But I will party too. Christy's wedding in only days away. My how the time does go speedily by!!! Don't you ever just want to reach out and grab time and hold it still for a little while? I sure do. The older I get the fast time goes too! That I can definitely do without. OK I need to get something done today so I best go and do something! Take care...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reliving the Honors

I was going to send two pics of my prize-winning prayer shawl but blogger won't let me do that for some reason. Blogger may be down again. Seems like every time I decide to post blogger is down. Boo! This is a problem I've been having for months now, blogger being down. Anyway this is my shawl with it's ribbon. I wanted to also send a pic of my afghan that should have won something. I know, I know, I mustn't hold grudges. But it didn't help finding out that my afghan was judged along with dishcloths and that I was pushed out by a first place dishcloth. Now, I make dishcloths myself. I know the work involved but it still shouldn't have been judged against a dishcloth.

My KnitPick order came in yesterday's mail and I was thrilled. I've already made one face cloth and a good start on my second cloth out of the same ball. I'm anxious to find out just how many face cloths I can get out of one ball. It would be wonderful if I could get three because that would bring the cost of each one waaay down. Just getting two will divide the cost in half. I wish KnitPicks yarn came in colors other than wheat-like ones. They look pretty bland. But the individual stitches show up nicely. I got a new KnitPicks catalog in the mail yesterday too and I've already decided on about $100 worth of things from them. Mostly for accessories, a needle holder and some blocking boards. But also more yarn. I want to buy some of this cotton yarn that is so soft and make myself a sleeveless sweater for summer. I once had one that I just loved but then I quit smoking and gained all this weight and can no longer wear it. This cotton yarn from KnitPicks is really soft. It would make a wonderful sweater. So all this added together means a large order. I won't place another order until after the first and another check. I've got the money stuck away for it, but I'd feel better having it out of next month's expenses. I wish I could get going on my next baby afghan. I had the border done and the first pattern row but it didn't come out right so I tried taking it back out stitch by stitch and kept dropping stitches. I was never able to completely recover and went all the way back to the beginning. I hate when that happens. So now I have to decide it I want to do it again or go with a different pattern. I know if I go ahead and knit that first row again, I may end up having to rip it all out again. I love to knit but I get frustrated when I first start a pattern row and have it not come out right. I had one too many (or one less) than I was supposed to have and that row called for about a dozen P2SSO in it and those are real bears to backtrack stitch by stitch. And obviously, if I had to take the entire thing out last time, I wasn't successful with my attempt. I don't want to do that again. Guess I'll just stick with my dishcloths and face cloths for the time being. I may get it casted on today so I'll have it to take over to Kathleen's tomorrow to have something to knit and to see if she can figure out what I was doing wrong with the pattern.

It's a beautiful day up here in the Gold Country (the foothills) and I had a nice quiet time out on the deck this morning. I slept late today and that doesn't please me but I just didn't wake up until after 9:00. All week I have been waking up around 6:30 -7:30 and I loved it. It's amazing how much time I have in a day when I don't sleep half of it away. If our day is anything like yesterday it will be quite mild all day long. Yesterday we got by with just running our fans so I didn't have the roar of the cooler to struggle to hear over. [That's a very poorly structured sentence but I think you'll know what I'm saying.]

My grandson is thinking about joining the Air Force with a friend. They want to enlist on the buddy program so they'll stay together. I think the Air Force would be good for both of them but my son laid down the law that my grandson is not to sign anything until my son gets to see the papers. Of course my grandson is 18 and legally able to do anything except drink so he can go over his dad's head if he really chooses to do so. I hope he will let my son be part of the decision making process. Upheavals are going like crazy in my son and daughter-in-law's life. Started out by being let go from his job of 14 years. Now his house is ready to go into foreclosure, his wife lost her job too, and then my grandson also lost his job, and my oldest granddaughter is getting married Aug 9th, and now Michael wants to join the Air Force. Talk about changes. Life is really throwing them some curve balls in the last few months. Wish I could catch some for him. It's hard to watch your child go through upheavals and changes. It's horrible to go through all these changes and not be able to do anything about them. When your kids grow up you lose all control. He feels like he hasn't had any control over his life for months now. And the thing is that we don't have control. Our lives are constantly being affected by the way of this world and the will of God. Is it possible to have one and not the other? As appealing as that may sound, I don't think you have an ounce of control. When things are going right we just think we're under control when really it's the will of God. And when things are going rotten in this life, we need to realize that all this world has to offer us is bitter water and we must seek to cultivate a deeper reliance on our heavenly Father. We must relinquish everything into His hands and live ultimately for the glory of God alone. It brings Him honor when we take negative events and turn them over for good. We must seek to always give the final control of everything in our lives to God. And we must rest assured that whatever happens is for God's glory and our ultimate good, even when it doesn't look or feel that way. It's a tight rope to walk, and a tough row to hoe.

Blogger is not cooperating with me at all today. It keeps freezing up so I am going to publish this and try writing again on another day. Hopefully it will publish. [Well, just tried to publish this and blogger wouldn't do it. So I will have to try again later.]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Day at the Fair

[It is really Monday May 18th. I have no idea what's up with my blogger's time stamp. Just wanted to let you know that the day isn't right. I can see on my blog that the date is off but I have no way of changing the dates myself.]

Sorry about the repeated picture of myself but now that I want to delete something, I can't get it to delete! Wouldn't you know it would be that way? I've lost several pics by doing nothing and now that I'm trying to delete, it won't do it. So guess you'll have to bear with me while I continue to learn the ins and outs of blogging with pics. The new pic (of the fat lady at the fair) was taken on the 14th when Kathleen and I went over to see what entries won ribbons and which ribbons they won. I got a third place ribbon on my shawl but nothing on my afghan that we both agreed was better than the shawl. I never would have thought that it would win a ribbon. And I also won a second place ribbon on my cookies. First time I've baked cookies in 40 years and I won a ribbon. Between you and me, I should have got the first place ribbon. Kathleen won first so if I had to be second I'm glad it was Kathleen that did it. But she made plain chocolate chip cookies. Mine were peanut butter oatmeal and raisins cookies with nuts. Lots more work and character in my cookies, I'd say. But her cookies were very, very good. I'm sitting here writing this while I wait for her to get here as we have to go pick up our entries today. She said 10:00 but she's usually a little late.

Well, I succeeded in getting rid of that unwanted pic but I picked up an underline that I can't get rid of. Computers!!! They drive me nuts. I see I also went to bold. Okay I just got rid of the bold. Now if I could just figure out how to get rid of the underline.

Just got back from picking up our entries and I'm ready to get started on my next baby afghan so I will keep this post really short. Next time maybe I won't mysteriously pick up an underline. I just looked at my pic again and I have really got to lose some weight. I don't even look like myself. Kathleen and I again marveled at the fact that there were 3 positive praises on the back of the judging slip on my afghan with no award and on the back of the first place winner there were 2 negative comments written by the judge. If the judge really felt that way, I should have gotten first place on my afghan. How funny that this little event has brought out so many competitive thoughts and emotions on my part. I don't particularly like that. I don't think it's attractive or spiritual. Humm, something to work on through the year until next year's competition. I think it's a riot that I won a ribbon at all. My very first time of entering entries into the judging competition. Actually two counting the daily event where my cookies won second place. So I think I did really well. Don't you? I will work on a spiritual overhaul on my attitude.

It's going to be over 100 degrees again today. I think summer has arrived with a vengeance. Fri hubby and I planted portulaca in our window boxes along the deck railing and some in some free-standing pots on the deck mixed with sprigs of Rosemary. And I repotted my cactus, transplanting several to a new pot. It looks really nice out on our deck and around beside the front door. I tried to have my quiet time out in my favorite spot on the deck this morning about 7:30. It was nice and cool and perfect except for one thing. Mosquitoes! I complained and hubby sprayed the entire area (and then some) with insecticide to kill them. It looks like blogger isn't cooperating this morning so I don't know if this will post or not. It's failing on the autosave feature which usually means that blogger is down. I'm going to try to send this and if it won't go through I'll just have to hope I don't lose it entirely. I mean, that would be a really big loss, LOL! I want to get to my study in Proverbs today too (I just have 2 studies left to work) so I've got lots of things cooking today. Speaking of cooking, we'll probably have leftover chili beans (yes, I know it's a weird choice for a super hot day but it's all hubby could think to make yesterday) again for dinner so I don' have to worry about that. I should be cleaning house. But I'll do that tomorrow. It doesn't look too, too bad, I guess. I'm just not the housekeeper I used to be. Rats! LOL. [Added on Edit: I just tried to post and it didn't work so I'll have to try to do it again later.]

Here it is hours later, look no underline!, I didn't do anything to get rid of it. It resolved itself. Anyway it is hours later and I'm going to try one more time to publish this post for my blog. We'll see what happens. Oh, and my study in Proverbs? Well I've given up on it. There once was a time when I could figure out anything. But my brain just doesn't work any longer and it takes entirely too many brain cells to take abstract thoughts and apply them to my life, what they mean for me. I don't know if I'll try tomorrow or not but I got started today and just had to give up on it. Proverbs is not an easy book for me and wouldn't you know that it's also the book I'm reading during my quiet times each morning! I feel like I have Proverbs coming out my ears. There must be something there that God is trying to teach me but I keep resisting. I'm just tired of thinking that deeply. Taking abstracts and turning them into concrete ideas. My idea of a proverb that would go with any of those written in the Bible would be: There are 4 sipper cups of milk on the table, each a different color, how big are the cups? They totally do not compare to my brain. Or, The wicked runs when there's no one chasing him, but the good drink in the cool water. What does one have to do with the other?!!!!! Ugh. I need an attitude adjustment. Okay I'm going to publish and see what happens. The autosave is not flashing so that should mean that it will publish okay. If it doesn't, I'll try again later. My life is so confusing!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just Feeling Brave

Here are a few pics. I'm hoping they will all align into an order of some kind. I think the picture of me will come up first on my blog or at least that's the way it shows up on my blog writing page. This is a pic that I had my hubby take of me so I'd have something to send to Karishma in India. Karishma is a little 8-year-old girl who I have chosen to sponsor through Compassion International. I chose Compassion because they work through the local church setting and the truth about Jesus is taught to them. I've "adopted" children in the past but I was not allowed to write about my personal belief in the Messiah. Compassion encourages us to talk about our faith and to build up the child's faith also. Karishma lives at home with her mother and father and a sibling. Her father is a day-laborer and makes very little money to raise his family. My little bit each month helps tremendously. I am not doing this alone (I would if that were the only choice left open to me) but the entire deacon board at church has gone in with me on this project. It's sort of our project as a small group. I am responsible to make the monthly support donation and to do the letter writing but each deacon contributes $3 a month toward Karishma's sponsorship. That way it is not a big expense for me. It's strictly honor roll. They know if they donated the previous month and if they pay in advance, they know how far they are paid up. This is a terrible picture of me because you can see all the weight I've packed on on my chubby, little, round face. I have gained 40 pounds since I quit smoking and although I can't seem to lose it no matter how hard I try, it appears to have stabilized for me.

The second picture is of our tomato box. We went across the river yesterday and bought all the top soil we needed and the four tomato plants. We bought a cherry tomato, an early girl, a celebrity, and a whopper hybrid. Hopefully we'll have delicious tomatoes in a few months. This first picture is taken from our deck looking down on the box and the next picture is one taken while standing next to it. Hubby is wonderful about using scrap lumber to make things. The wood used for this box was given to us by our niece who was just going to throw it away and my son grabbed hold of it for us. It was an old frame for a waterbed and we had plenty of wood to build the box.

The next picture is of a drawing my hubby made. Hubby is an artist and I thought you might enjoy seeing what type of work he does. He sent me several photos of different paintings he's done and I chose to post this one first. Well it looks like I just lost the second tomato box pic. I don't know where it went but at least you have the one picture. Anyway back to the painting. I have dozens and dozens of paintings in my house all done by hubby. [I want to hit the return key but I'm afraid if I do the pic of the elk will disappear the way the second tomato box did.]

Okay I got brave and just moved my cursor down and clicked it. I'm still learning how to work with pics in my blog so you just have to put up with some of my trial and error attempts at doing things. Michael (hubby) has painted hundreds of paintings using everything from pen and ink to oil. This one is a pen and ink with watercolor. It is my favorite technique.

I have an executive board meeting tonight at 7:30 and that's about it for my schedule. I'm knitting dishcloths hot and heavy. My nephew just got married and my granddaughter and her fiance are getting married later this month so I'm busy making their wedding gifts. Dishcloths may sound like a puny little gift, but they are a labor of love to make them. It takes me about 10 hours to knit each dishcloth. I've chosen to knit them in garter stitch rather than get all fancy because the garter stitch doesn't stretch out as much when it is wet and the garter stitch takes more time because the knitted stitches are smaller and tighter together. It makes for a very absorbent dishcloth. Perfect for all the mop up chores you get in a kitchen.

Tomorrow is my day to go to the county fair with a bunch of friends from my knitting group. We've all entered things into the judging that we made this past year and we'll get to see if any of our work earned a ribbon or two. I sure hope my baby afghan wins a ribbon. It is very, very nice and just may win one. Keep your fingers crossed for me. We will go early tomorrow morning and get our cookies entered into the daily contest (that's what gets us in free for the day). You must understand, I am NOT a cookie baker. I may do a cake once in awhile or a pie if it comes frozen in a box. But I do not bake cookies. However I used a recipe given to me when I was only 10 or so years old by a neighbor who brought the recipe over with her from Germany. I used to baby sit her five boys. Those boys now have grandchildren I'm sure. Anyway I made up two batches of cookies and proceeded to eat one batch all by myself. They were very, very good and I will be baking them in the future for hubby and I.

So far I haven't gotten to my study in Proverbs this week I've had other things going. Hubby and I got our evaporative cooler cleaned out and ready to go for when we hit the high temps that are coming our way. Sat or Sun we are supposed to be above 100 degrees. So we took care of that on Mon and then yesterday was our vegetable garden and tomorrow will be my fair day. I actually need to go to the fair twice. Once in the morning with my knitting friends and then I'll go back later that night with my son and watch Kayla (my youngest granddaughter) vie for the Miss Calaveras title. Last year she came in first runner up. This year we hope she'll take the crown. She would really like to win the title. And for someone who's never gone to the fair, except to watch Kayla try out, I have a long day planned for tomorrow.

Hubby has taken the car across the river to have a heat shield bolted back on the underside of the car. The part simply fell off one day as I was driving the car. I circled around to see what had made such a terrible racket and there it was laying in the middle of the road. I scooped it up and brought it home but hubby couldn't fix it because the car needs to be up on a lift to get to the underside and we don't happen to have a lift around. I sent him with $150 and sure hope it doesn't cost more than that. It surely can't cost more, can it? Oh, I hope not. I'm hoping for to get at least $100 back.

Well I need to get busy doing something. All I've gotten accomplished so far this morning is the bed, a few rows of knitting, and this blog. I need to plan out dinner. We had Marie Calendar's pot pies for dinner last night because that's my knitting night and I get them all prepared with the foil around the edges and then he puts them in the oven about an hour before I am due to come home. That way we still get to eat together and it's piping hot when I walk in the door. I really need to do my study in Proverbs so I guess I'll take something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner and sit down at the table and complete my lesson for the day. It was a bit nippy this morning so I had my quiet time in here on the couch instead of out on the deck. Enjoy the day, my friends and God bless you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spring Fog and Clouds

These photos were taken in May 2009 by Michael Harvey. I think the first one will be the pic of fog spilling over hogback ridge. It's rare to see fog this time of year but the marine layer from the Bay Area must have been really heavy that day. The second picture is of some of the cloud formations we get up here in the beautiful, clear blue skies over San Andreas.

[I'm not sure what happens when this cloud pic reaches the bottom of the fog pic. I think the type will wrap around the first pic but I'm not sure how to make it wrap around the fog pic (the second one. If I hit the return key, the second pic disappears (or at least it has a couple times). Okay so now I have both pics to the right of the text except for what's running under the fog pic. I'm afraid if I hit return I'll lose the cloud pic. I'm just going to type dumb stuff here for awhile and see what happens when I get a little ways down the page. It doesn't appear to want to wrap so I guess I will hit the return key and see what happens. If I do this and it disappears, you'll know why. It is now wrapping the photo but I'm having to do it manually and I know that won't work. Rats! I don't know what to do. Guess I'll just post this and you can enjoy the pics even though the text isn't doing what I want it to do. It's supposed to wrap around but it's just not going to cooperate with me. Okay I'm going to post this as is. I may play with it more later this afternoon. Maybe I just won't be able to post more than a pic or two and have them separated by the text. Frustrating to not know how to do things!]

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Test

This is my second attempt to add two photos to the same blog. This is a picture taken from our deck. That's Hog Back mountain in the distance. This is what I see when I'm at my computer and look to my right out the glass sliding doors. It's very beautiful. I may have some more pics coming in a day or two of some beautiful cloud formation taken this afternoon by my hubby.

Okay I'm just going to hit the return until I can get Mike's pic to align on the right side as it's supposed to. You can't see it but on my blog writing page (don't know what that's called) the two pics came out side by side and I have blogger set for right flush but something Keeps going wrong until I get down to the bottom of the first picture.

This of my only grandson, Mike, and he is the apple of his daddy's eye (and mine!) This was taken last year for his graduation. Right now he is working with the local fire dept to get his training in and then he plans on moving to San Diego and becoming a Federal firefighter. I should tell you that Mike towers over me by almost more than a foot. His braces are off now and he's almost a year older than when this pic was taken.

It looks like blogger isn't going to let me do a wrap around with his picture. Stupid blogger. As I type he just keeps moving down the page.

So guess I will not continue with this test since it's shown me that it won't work. Now looked what just happened! It's doing a wrap around the way I wanted it to. Sorry for calling you stupid, blogger. I should not be so judgmental. Anyway isn't he one handsome young man? I think so.

We had Steve Hall come to our church two Sundays ago and what a treat he was. Yes, that's right, Steve Hall came and played for my very small, back-in-the-boon-docks, off-in-the-woods church. I don't know who made the connections but I will be eternally grateful. If you don't know Steve Hall, he's got about 20 CDs available on Amazon. He's really quite famous with his music. (He's a pianist.) I was thrilled to be able to listen to him play and lucky enough to be able to purchase two CDs he and his wife brought up with them to our church. They live in Canoga Park down in southern California. He introduces his 15-year-old son on one of the CDs I bought, who is following in his father's footsteps. I've never heard such beautiful classical music played before and I can't get enough of it. It's wonderful to put on a CD and then just sit and let the music move you. (Great for listening to while napping also!) Since I lost most of my hearing years ago, I have not appreciated music because I can't understand the voices in the songs. Then I discovered I could enjoy classical, symphony music and bought several inexpensive CDs with Vivaldi (my personal favorite) and all the other greats. Then along came Steve Hall. Thank you, Lord, for your gift of music you gave this man and for the gift of appreciation of his music you gave me!

This is short. It's only a test and I would almost guarantee there will be more tests as I learn the in's and outs of this process. If you're just now checking my blog after a few days to a few weeks, please be sure to go back and look at the pics I've sent in previous posts during the last few days. I have several you might be interested in seeing.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just Playing Around

Well, I'm still playing with pictures. This is a picture of my oldest granddaughter, Jamie, and her fiance, Ofir. They've been an "item" for about 4+ years. I had my grandson's pic on this page too but it disappeared. Not sure where it went. I could have tried to put Mike on again but I decided to let it go for tonight.

Today I baked cookies for the baking contest at the fair next week. I baked a batch yesterday too but they were baked too long and turned into real crispy jawbreakers. These I made today are chewy the way they should be. The downer is that as I stooped and reached into the refrigerator to fetch a cube of real butter, I twisted when I shouldn't have and set my back off again. I just got over a session with my back. I hope this doesn't become a habit. I think, if I can get out of bed in the morning and walk and move carefully for the next couple of days I'll be okay. Pray for me, please. I don't want anything to interfere with my plans for next week. Kathleen and I and a couple other women are going to go to the fair next week on the 14th to see if our knitting pieces won any ribbons. And you know of course that we'll have to eat some junk food while we're there. And I can't go to the fair and not buy cotton candy!! Then I will go back that evening for the Miss Calaveras County pageant. My youngest granddaughter, Kayla, (I sent a pic of her dancing a day or two ago) is running for Miss Calaveras again so of course gramma has to cheer her on. She should have won last year I think but she placed second runner-up after winning the talent portion of the contest. I really want her to win this year.

I did my study in Proverbs today and it was selected verses on discipline. Something really came to my mind as I studied and I meant to remember it so I could share it with you but it seems to have slipped my mind. But we all know about discipline, don't we? It's something that we shun like the plague. But discipline is good and good for us if given in the correct way and that would be with lots of love and absolutely no anger. We need to "train up" our children and not "spare the rod" but we need to understand that this type of correction isn't in anger or in any way intended to harm anyone. I think it's like a grapevine. I was raised on a farm in Caruthers which is about 20 miles south of Fresno (California) and we had vineyards. Every year the vines had to be pruned and tied to the wire. At first it was done with difficulty. The vine never wanted to be changed (disciplined) and so we had to use gentle pressure to wrap it around the wire and then we used twist ties to hold them in place. The purpose was not to hurt the vine. We were "training" the vine to grow down the wires for support for when the new growth appeared and the heavy fruit began to pull down on the vine. This was discipline for the vine. Done for all the right reasons that would make the vine the best vine it could be. Well our children are like that vine and sometimes we need to use discipline with them to train them up to be what is best for them. But it's never done in anger. Only love.

My son is grown now with grown children of his own so how do these verses apply to me? They apply to me in that I am a child of God. And as my good Father, He disciplines me. He wraps me around the wire, so to speak, and ties me up there with the very Word of God because He loves me. For no other reason. He just loves me. And He knows what's right and He always DOES what's right. So whenever I go through a season of trouble ~ discipline ~ I must recognize the fact that God is disciplining me out of love and never anger. He is doing what is necessary to "train me up" into the person He knows I can be. He is the Vinedresser. He knows what's best for each and every vine. What is right for me may not be right for you. But our heavenly Father loves us with a perfect love and He will do all that is necessary to conform us into the image of His Son. Jesus is the perfect Son and in that sense the Father even disciplined Him, not in the sense that Jesus did anything wrong. But only in the sense that His Father knew what was best for His Son. Scripture tells us that Jesus learned obedience from the things He suffered (Heb 5:8). It's the same with us. Discipline is training. And we learn obedience from the things we suffer and endure here in this life. Jesus never sinned. His obedience was solely that of training. You and I, though, are sinners and sometimes the discipline we receive is well earned from our behavior or attitude. We deserve the discipline. But even so, it is never done with anger. Our discipline is always to make us into the image of Christ. To refine us and remove impurities from us so that we might serve our Creator and worship Him alone. When we are disciplined we are loved. That is why we are supposed to be joyful in trials. Because we are being trained into being all we were meant to be. And we can rejoice in these trials because all discipline comes with deep, perfect love. It is important for us to fully understand that God is not being mean. He desires the very best for us and because He loves us perfectly He disciplines us for our own good and for His glory and honor. He disciplines us because He loves us with perfect love. How could a righteous and just God do otherwise?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

More Pictures

This is a picture of my son and his wife and my youngest granddaughter. Isn't she a beauty? She's the one that taught me how to put pics in my blog. This was at a Valentine's Day Dinner and Dance at my church. Ken and Tamara went for the party and Kayla went as, well she was a lot of things. She took "studio" pics of the different couples that went. She sang and DJ'd the dance. This is a great pic of my son and granddaughter but I know Tam's going to hate me for sending this one of her. She's a very pretty woman. This pic just does not do her justice. Tam, if you see this blog, I apologize for using it.

Today was communion Sunday and everything went just fine. I was late getting home by time I had everything cleaned up and put away.

I have plans tomorrow to go with Kathleen to the county fairgrounds to drop off all our knitting entries to be judged and then exhibited during Frog Jump (the county fair). Mark Twain wrote The Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County in regards to this event. That's not the exact title of the story he wrote but it's close. I just can't come up with it right now. I think it's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. There is a lot of history here in our county. Bret Harte and Mark Twain both traveled these roads during the gold rush era as well as several other well-knowns. I'm going to see if I can send another pic onto this post so bear with me as I investigate. Hopefully, I'll be right back with another pic.

Well that didn't work out the way it was supposed to. The photos were supposed to be stacked not side-by-side. That is a pic of Kayla performing her dance routine last year. Okay now I'm going to publish these and see what it looks like. It may be a real mess, I don't know.

Okay, they did come out stacked but the new one gets inserted from the top so what I wrote about the valentine's dance and what I wrote for Kayla's pic are near the wrong photos. Hopefully you'll be able to figure this all out when you see it. I'm sorry but I'm just learning and doing things using the trial and error method. Probably what I'll do is save all the pics first and then go back on edit and do my writing. Blogger is not helping me any. But I'm getting there.

I discovered a really, really good verse today. This is from the Good News Bible. Joel 2:13:
"Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and full of mercy; he is patient and keeps his promise; he is always ready to forgive and not punish." Isn't that beautiful? He is always ready to forgive and not punish. That's the kind of God we have. Amazing isn't He? He'd much rather forgive than punish. When we partook of communion this morning we were reminded that we have been saved and there is nothing we can do to change that fact. I know that's hard for some people to understand but it's because they can't see that our salvation is based on what Christ has done, not on anything we do. Christ's sacrifice was everything we needed and what we needed (His forgiveness) He freely gives. What a awesome God!

Still Another Picture

This is a pic of the Cacti I have by my front door. In the post telling all about where I live (a few posts back) I said this was just to the right of my door but that wasn't right. This is just to the left of my door. The deck goes to the right. I need to repot the cacti in the middle as it's gotten "leggy" and I think it has also outgrown it's pot. There's also some ivy to the right and if you look carefully at the cacti on the left you'll see E.T. looking back at you. Do you see him?

We got up at 7:00 this morning and was across the river and in Jackson by 8:30 to do our shopping. I made all the lights on the way. It's next to impossible to make all the lights. You usually get at least one red light. We got our shopping done and were back home by 10:30 so we made good time. We'll need to go back again before the month is out to purchase the things we need that WalMart was out of though. I'd like to be able to just one month get everything on our list in one trip instead of two. I did manage to pick up some more yarn to finish my oldest granddaughter's summer scarf that I have almost complete. And I bought several balls of cotton yarn to knit a shopping bag, actually I think I have enough to make two shopping bags. And I picked up some other cotton yarn so I can knit some pot holders.

Came home tired from shopping. So was hubby but neither of us took a nap. I sat and knitted on my maroon shawl that I've been working on hot and heavy the past week. I'd rather enter this on in the fair exhibits but I won't have it finished in time so I'm going to stick with the green shawl I knit several months ago. I've progressed in my talent (knitting) and the one I'm working on now is better than the green one but hopefully it will be good enough. I'm also entering one of my baby afghans. The last one I finished. It just might win a ribbon. Oh I hope it does. I'm only submitted it because my friend Kathleen insisted I put it in for exhibit and here I am hoping it wins a ribbon. But it is a very nicely done afghan even if I say so myself. Kathleen and I will take our projects to the fair office Monday for judging. I'll let you know after the fair whether or not I get a ribbon. The fair isn't until the third weekend in May so it's a ways off.

Tomorrow morning is Communion Sunday which means that I'll have to get up early again. So far this week I've been up by 7:00 for five of the six days. I think I like it that way. I get so much more done in the course of a day when I don't sleep half of it away. Funny how that works, huh? Anyway, tomorrow will be a long morning for me by the time I set up everything for communion. I will plan on taking a nap tomorrow after I get home from church. I'll spend the afternoon knitting and playing on the computer with my granddaughter, hopefully.

I spent yesterday afternoon at Kathleen's house doing knitting things. She showed me how to do a felt ball and then I held the shank of yarn for her while she balled the yarn she bought to make something for her mom. It was beautiful yarn but is it ever skinny!!! Then we tackled this white baby blanket I have going by ripping out the rows I hadn't knitted right and worked on figuring out the pattern once again. I got the pattern from a book in the library and the pattern is written really, really difficult to understand. I'm about to toss that pattern in the trash if this doesn't work right this time. It's just that the pattern isn't clear. Kathleen has knitted enough in her lifetime to figure out the pattern when it's unclear. I haven't. But hopefully we've got it figured out by now. This is the third time we've had to figure out what they mean in their pattern.

We had a nice, soaking rain yesterday evening and then most of the night. Almost an inch. And we didn't have rain today until just as we were leaving the city to come home. I think it's supposed to rain more tonight. I like the rain, I always have. So far today we've just had off and on showers. Hopefully it won't be raining in the morning for church but I do think they said we'd have this weather pattern for a few days.

I didn't get my study in Proverbs done yesterday or today. I had compressed the study from a weekly study to a daily one so I'm still way ahead of things as far as that goes. I think I'm about half way in the study. Maybe I'll get back to it tomorrow. It's been a very valuable study for me. I answered a challenge last summer and read a chapter of Proverbs a day for a month (31 chaps) but didn't really get anything out of it. But I'm finding that there is a wealth of counsel there for daily living. First off it puts us in the fear of the Lord. Meaning that we are in awe of Him and are seeking His way to live our lives. I will try to find some gem to share with you from my study when I have a little more time. Right now I need to get some dinner before I faint. I'm really hungry which is explained by the fact that I've only had a couple slices of jicama all day long. So anyway, I'm going to close this post, satisfied because I could actually send a pic along with my blog. There will be more to come. I promise. Michael tried to send me another pic but it wouldn't come through to my computer for some reason. But hopefully I'll be able to send pics all the time now. As soon as Kayla shows me how to send more than just one pic at a time, I'll send several and may even toss one in of myself although I'll probably wait until the swelling in my throat has gone down. I don't know what's up with that. The left side of my throat is very sore to the touch but the right side is swollen like a tennis ball. Go figure that one out.

I hope you are having a great weekend and you'll have a wonderful week ahead. I really will get my act together on my blog. I'm just so thrilled that I can do pics now!!! Yea! Thank you, Lord. Stay in the shadow of our Creator and seek His will and stay in the Word. I firmly believe that we must be in the Word every day; every single day. Find the time. Even if it's only 5 mins, find the time to read something in the Scriptures. And pray. Pray without ceasing as Paul said. We have a great and merciful heavenly Father. Let's do all we can to adore and worship Him.
Okay this is another view taken from our deck. That is Hogback Mountain in the distance which sometimes gets a dusting of snow. This looks like a Fall picture but it was actually just taken a few days ago. It was late afternoon sun coming through the new spring leaves that makes it look like it was shot in the Fall of the year. You can see more of the vacant lot in the foreground in this pic.

Now I'm going to try importing another pic in addition to this pic in the same post. I'm really just flying by the seat of my pants here learning these ins and outs of doing this. I need to see for sure that this writes below the pic and it does. Now I'm going to try to do another image. Hang on.

Well that didn't work. I'll try it again. Somehow this isn't working. But I think I have figured out how to send at least one photo. My granddaughter is at rehearsals for the Miss Calaveras pageant but hopefully I will be able to get her to come over tomorrow afternoon and she can show me more. I'm happy with just being able to sent one pic!

I'll try doing another post.

Another Picture

This is a picture taken from my deck with a zoom lens by my hubby, Michael P. Harvey 2009. (He insists that I give him photo credits). It is at the intersection on the other side of our vacant lot (you can see the grass of the vacant lot in the nearest foreground. That's a beautiful old barn that neither of us happened to notice until very, very recently. I don't know what that says about our powers of observation since we've lived here for over 5 years!

I can't believe I'm actually putting a photo in my blog!!! I have wanted to be able to do that ever since I started blogging a year and a half ago and finally found the one person who could help me and she did it in about 30 seconds!! I don't have the capacity in my computer to do pictures on my own. I have to have my hubby send it to me in an email and then I import it into my blog. I'm having a little trouble doing that though. I had given up and then somehow I got it to work. I have more pics to send so I'm going to be doing a few trial and errors runs through with my blog using photos so please be sure to go back far enough to get to see all the pictures. I think this is so really great!!! My daughter-in-law tried to show me how to do it about a year ago but her way was really complicated and I didn't write anything down. Then when I asked her the other day she said she had forgotten how to do it on my computer (for which I'm grateful because her way of doing it was really difficult) and suggested I talk to my youngest granddaughter. She came by today and I thought to ask her and Presto!!! I'm set. That is if I can remember how I got this far. She wrote everything down for me but blogger kept telling me I couldn't do something at one point. But then I chanced upon the solution and here it is. A blog with a picture!!!

Anyway I'm going to be playing around with this and figuring out how it works. I want to try to do more than one pic on a blog and checking to see that I can write between them, etc. etc. But please go back and see all the pictures.

An Experiment

This is an experiment to see if I can write on the same page as the oak picture. I am learning to shift pictures from my email to my blog. I need to take this down to the bottom of the page and see what happens so bear with me for a minute. Looks like I'm able to do it but it's going to change the format of my page. Okay I'm going to save this and publish it as a post. (ignore the pig) The oak picture was taken by my hubby. Michael P. Harvey 2009.