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Independence Day, Off the Grid and Walking

July 4, 2017 – Independence Day

Just about any country that lays claim to being an independent entity celebrates the day it became independent from another world power. For the United States July 4, 1776 was the day that we declared our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. For Armenia, they claimed their independence from the Russian Empire on May, 28 1918 and then again from the Soviet Union on September 21, 1991.

Bulgaria claimed their independence from the Ottomans on September 22, 1908 and Ecuador claimed theirs from the first time on August 10, 1809 from the country of Spain and then again on May 24, 1822. India claimed theirs from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947.

Every 4th of July we are reminded by celebrations, parades, special events and fireworks that we are a free country, that we do not serve or bow down to any other country around the globe. Almost every free country celebrates close to the same way.

As a free country, as free individuals, we may celebrate some private independence days. For some it may be the day they move out on their own, from under the rule of their parents. For others it may be the day they leave a dead end job for something better, and for another it may be the day that they are independent of the yoke of their sin, the day they ask for forgiveness of their sins and accept Jesus as their true King.

I am proud to be an American. Even though our country has been going through a difficult time, even though we have so many battles being fought on our home ground, even though we seem to be in a political and racist mess, I am still proud to be an American, I still celebrate the Fourth of July. But I also celebrate an even more important independence day. I celebrate January 15th, 1993 for that was the day I accepted Jesus and took my independence from the evil and sin in this world. Today I am thankful for my independence day.

July 5, 2017 – Off the Grid

I have noticed over the last several years that more and more people are looking at living off the grid. There is no doubt in my mind that at some point in time we will loose all the technological advancements we have made, and it is as simple as taking down our “grid.”

What is our “grid”? It is the network of technology that has been built over the years that connects everything in our country by use of underground cable lines, satellites orbiting the earth, power grids that are joined to keep our lights on, plants that use solar and water to generate power, it is the very fibers that connect us 24 hours a day to each other and to the technologies that we take for granted.

I’ve read some articles over the years about what could happen if the “grid” went down. People would panic for sure, because they have become so spoiled, so dependent on the man made technological inventions and advancements we have today. Not only would we lose power, we would lose communication, not just with each other, but with the satellites that orbit the earth and bring us the minute to minute news of what is going on in the world.

We would not be able to fill our cars with gasoline because 99% of the pumps are electrical and computerized. We wouldn’t have lights, heating, cooling, public transportation or communication other than with our neighbors and residents of our small town. And while this is so possible, we supposedly have a network of checks and balances that get us back up and running within a few days.

The sad part is that within that time people would still panic, running to the store for water, over running people in their way in theirrush to make sure they empty the shelves at the store before anyone else does. We could actually be thrown back in time to where we might have to live without all of these things that make our lives easier.

Because this is a possibility, many people are learning to live off the gird, to do without all the advancements that make life easier for us. They are setting up stockpiles of canned and packaged goods. Some are buying generators and fuel while others are changing completely over to solar power. Some are actually buying property and living without electricity, the internet and television. They are growing their own food, raising livestock and learning to live off the land like our ancestors did.

I haven’t ever completely lived off the grid but I have been homeless and hungry. I have had to, at times in my life, sleep in the back seat of a car in a garage, sleep on a basement floor or sleep in the store room of a bar. I spent one winter without heat and electricity, with a small tv hooked by wire to a car battery and cooking on a Coleman stove, washing clothes out in the bathtub or sink and heating water to wash with. Today I am thankful that for now I do not have to live off the grid.

July 6, 2017 – Walking

When I was a child and a teen I used to walk everywhere I went. I never gave it much thought, it was how we got around the small town of Pueblo. At that time you could walk across the whole town in half an hour, today it is quite huge and I am sure it would take several hours.

When I was a young, single mother, I still had to walk a lot. At one time I had to walk two miles to work each day and then repeat that walk at 2:30 in the morning because I didn’t have a car, couldn’t find a trust worthy ride and the buses didn’t run that time of night.

I have always loved to walk, especially in rural settings. I’ve climbed partway up mountains, explored ravines, climbed trees and looked out over an awesome vista. I’ve walked across meadows, out into cornfields and down country roads or through the woods.

I’ve pulled a cart for several blocks, filled it with laundry or groceries and pulled it back home again. A few winters ago, when our car broke down we walked to the hospital three times a week for Rich’s infusions, walked to the ER when he would have an attack, walked downtown to pay bills and walked the mile to Walmart and back carrying bags of groceries.

Last year I started having trouble with my feet. It took several months, several different doctors and a bunch of blood work for them to figure out that I have Rheumatoid arthritis. For the most part, my feet ache all day but I’ve basically gotten used to it. On other days, when I have a flare up, there will be shooting pains through my ankles or toes or the whole foot will feel like it is on fire. On those days, I stumble, I walk slow and often walk with a limp.

I can no longer walk the radio station hill, but I walk around the block once in awhile, get up constantly and walk around the house. I get on the stepper and do as many rotations as I can, when I can. I am determined to walk for as long as I can. Today I am thankful to still be walking and praying God will allow me to do so for many more years.

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Positive Days, The Right Decision and Soul Maintenance

loveJuly 1, 2017 – Positive Days

We live in a world that is shaky to say the least. We have no certainty what each new day may bring. We wake up in the morning, hoping that our day will be a positive day, that everything will fall into place where it should, that everything will run smoothly from the time we awake until we lay down at night.

Life seemed so simple when I was young. I got up, went to school, came home, did my home work, spent some time with friends, had dinner, TV time if we had one and then bedtime to start the same routine over again.

I didn’t feel any peer pressure to take drugs, participate in harmful dares or follow what any open crowd was doing. Even though we were pretty poor, things were mainly peaceful and calm. My life was orderly and I liked it that way, but I grew up and moved away from home.

Our days are iffy to say the least. Although we have the normal infusions every 48 hours and monthly doctor appointments, we really don’t know how many times we may end up visiting the ER during the month. We have a small refrigerator so we probably have to refill on grocery items more than the average person.

For the last couple months, everything seems to have been in chaos. Rich got sick first and 12 days later I got sick. It took us over a month to get well, but during that time we were very sick and very tired. It took every effort we could make to get to the appointments and pick up groceries at the store.

I’m the type of person who, if given a choice, likes my life well ordered. I don’t like to let my housework suffer and there are projects I would love to work on, but lately there just hasn’t been time, it’s been hard to just keep up with the basics.

Things seem to be settling back down since we have healed and our schedule is getting back to normal with less ER visits and normal infusion days. When things are not stirred up, we usually have a day in-between infusions. We try to pick up what groceries we need on infusion days so we can have those days at home. I call these my positive days because we can actually stay home, relax, get a few things done. Today I am thankful for our positive days.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope

oldman prayingJuly 2, 2017 – The Right Decision

We make many decisions every day of our lives. We make some small ones, some medium size ones, some huge ones, some good ones and some bad ones. Some of the decisions we make are not always thought out because they have become habits for they are normal ones that need to be done on a daily basis, like going to work or taking the kids to school.

We quickly decide what we will wear, what we will eat, what we will buy and where we will go. It’s life and these decisions are normal almost every day of our lives. On a large scale, we may be faced with making decisions about buying a house, buying a car, changing jobs, changing churches or relocating and these decisions take more thought.

But there are some decisions that people never make. They keep putting them off, often times because they consider themselves too busy to be bothered at the moment or feel they have other, more important decisions to make. Maybe they aren’t sure or are even afraid of some of the decisions they should be making.

But what if you had to make a decision that would have the largest effect on your life. If it was a health decision, you wouldn’t hesitate to make the right decisions, so why is it so difficult for people to make a decision that can ensure their future for eternity? In 1993 I made the most important decision of my life. I decided to accept Jesus as my lord and Savior. Today I am thankful that God urged me to make the right decision.

John 14: 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

eyeJuly 3, 2017 – Soul Maintenance

Every well working machine needs maintenance. Any building of any size needs maintenance. Even our gardens need maintenance as well as our lawns and yards. Maintenance may include oiling and replacing parts on machines, checking electrical outlets, plumbing, cleaning and repairs on buildings. To maintain our gardens we pull weeds, trim and water. To maintain our lawns and yards we prune, mow and rake.

Our bodies need a certain amount of maintenance also. We take baths to keep clean, brush our teeth, comb our hair Women shave their legs, men shave their faces. Many people exercise, run or walk and the body must be fed in order to keep functioning. Society has advanced enough to where many people are maintaining their health better by eating better, more natural and healthier foods.

But what about our soul. Shouldn’t we be doing some kind of maintenance on it? Shouldn’t we be cleaning, straightening up and feeding our souls? Shouldn’t we be feeding it good things while cleaning out old, worn out, negative thoughts and ideas? Shouldn’t we be exercising it also?

I used to go to bed worrying about everything from work to what my son was doing, from what I need from the grocery store to problems with the neighbors. I would toss and turn all night trying to figure out the problems for everyone I cared about as well as my own.

Eventually I developed a way to clean it out before I went to bed. I would picture my mind as a big, cluttered room with things thrown all over it. In the corner stood a broom and dust pan. In the middle of the room was a big box and a trash can. All the clutter, dirt, dust and cobwebs were the problems that were keeping me awake.

I would sweep up the dirt and dust and take down the cobwebs that represented all the chaos from the day, sweep it into a pile and put it in the trash can. Then I would start picking up the clutter, piece by piece, look at it and if I didn’t have an immediate solution in mind, I would put it in the box, if I knew what needed to be done I would set it off in the corner to be taken care of the next day. Usually I would doze off in the middle of cleaning.

When I became a Christian, I started doing the maintenance a different way. I would take all the thoughts, all the feelings I had from negative events during the day and throw them in the trash can. Then I would start picking up the clutter. What I could take care of on my own I would set against the wall, what I couldn’t I would hand to the person sitting in the middle of the room, Jesus. Then I would feed my mind with positive thoughts and the word of God. Today I am thankful he directed me on my soul maintenance.

Philippians 4: 8 Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

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Chronicles, Easy Choices and Hot Water

bibleJune 28, 2017 – Chronicles

I’ve read the bible from cover to cover several times. I have read different translations, The Original King James, The NIV, the NIV Study Bible, John Hagee’s Prophecy Bible, and the Good News Bible are the ones I have in my library now. I also own the whole Left Behind Series, and several books from Readers Digest that give a historical view of the times before Jesus, during Jesus, after Jesus and how the bible came to be.

Presently in my readings I am in First Chronicles. No matter how many times I read something, it seems that when I read it again I find something I missed the first or second time. I do believe that God’s word speaks to us, that we are directed to certain books, chapters and verses to help us through our daily lives and through trying times.

Chronicles covers the genealogy from Adam to Solomon. It covers all the fathers, sons, grandsons, and great grand sons and so on down until it gets to Solomon. While going through these lists of historical birth records which can get boring from time to time, there are breaks where they will get into detail about the deeds and accomplishments of one person or another.

I’ve really been disturbed by this world we live in lately. It seems that it can often be dangerous to even step out your front door, that no matter where you live there is a chance of getting hit by a stray bullet, attacked, robbed and beaten, harassed by some of the younger generation, murdered by a maniac or hit by a drunk driver, and lets not forget the possible kidnapping of our children and an attack from terrorists.

It seems like the news is so full of death every day; terrorist attacks, war battles, serial killers, mass shootings, missing children, murder suicides and family members killing family members. These are the last days, but the last days can last for a long time, it is according to God’s will and his timeline.

What I have noticed in Chronicles is the many battles and wars that were fought. The heroic deeds of certain individuals, the instructions from God to destroy a whole town, city, or ethnicity. There were a lot of battles in the bible, a lot of destruction, a lot of slavery, a whole lot of destruction.

In a way it is comforting to know that what the world is going through is just a repeat of history in many ways. It is a continuing series of ongoing, repetitive actions from generation to generation. We just hear about it sooner because of all the super technology we now have. In the end though, the people of God always win!!!!!! Today I am thankful for books of the bible like 1 Chronicles that allows us to see that we don’t necessarily live in worse times than our ancestors did.

common senseJune 29, 2017 – Easy Choices

We have to make many choices on a daily basis. Most of them are small, but every so often and big, important one pops up. Many of the choices we make during the day are spontaneous and quick because we’ve made the same choices every day for a very long time. Unfortunately when a major choice comes along, many of us will make the mistake of making a quick, rash decision that could have dire consequences.

I’ve learned over the years to try and be proactive in the choices I make. I try to schedule appointments in a way that we can also accomplish other things during the day such as restocking at the store or stopping to get a bill paid. When you live with disabilities, you have to learn to make things as easy as you possibly can.

We have to be at the hospital every 48 hours for Rich’s infusions, then there are his monthly visits with his primary care doctor, my monthly visits with the same doctor, food bank appointments, specialty doctors to see, checking in on mom, picking up groceries and the list goes on and on. It seems that for being disabled, we are often very busy.

There are other choices we have to make. What will we eat for dinner, what can we afford at the store, do we need more gas in the car, do we need a repair person to come out for the internet, do we need to run the electric bill higher by using the air conditioning, can we afford to eat out at least once this month and so on.

We have become proactive with our health, it was a necessity, especially with the way the medical facilities are now. If you have to go to the ER, which we sometimes have to do several times a month, we prepare a list of questions we need to ask because they are rushed and don’t always have the time to go into a bunch of details with us. It is much the same at doctor appointments, because they are expected to see a patient every fifteen minutes.

But there are also so easy choices. Simple ones that only take a second, like choosing what to make for dinner, when to lie down for a nap, or what to watch tonight during our television time. These are the simple choices that take little or no effort, no stress and very little time for thought. Today I am thankful for the times we can make easy choices.

waterJune 30, 2017 – Hot Water

I’m not exactly sure when they built and installed the first hot water tank, but I sure do enjoy my hot showers in the Winter, warms ones in the summer, and long soaks for achy bones when necessary. Most people take hot water for granted. When they move into a house, they are 99% sure they will have an abundance of hot water, but what happens if the water tank breaks.

I can tell first hand what it is like to live without hot water. A couple years ago our hot water tank went south. Because we were in the process of buying the house, it was our responsibility to replace it. At first it just didn’t seem to be heating up as quick, then the water was only luke warm. When the electric bill and water bill umped to 500.00 we knew something had to be replaced.

If you live on a fixed income and you live from check to check you don’t usually have any money left to put aside for a rainy day, or in this case a “no hot water day”. We didn’t have any extra money and there was no one or no where to get what we needed to get a new hot water tank.

So for several months we scraped by the best we could, saving every penny we could possible put away for a hot water tank and the money to pay a plumber to install it. In the meantime we bought some five gallon buckets. Each night I would take every pot in the house, fill them with water, heat them to boiling and dump them in the tub. It took six buckets to get enough water in the tub for Rich, because he likes baths, it only took two buckets for me to do a bucket shower.

He would bath very quickly and then take the extra bucket waiting with hot water next to the tub to rinse off. I would stand in the bath tub with one bucket and a bowl or cup. I would wet myself down, wash my hair, use the cup to dip water over my head to rinse it. Then I would wet a rag, lather it up, and wash down. When I was finished I would take that bucket and the second bucket and pour them over me to rinse off. For dishes I would heat water on the stove. Finally we saved up enough for the tank and the installation, and right after that, the stove quit working. Today we rent and any repairs are the problem of the landlord, but this place has a brand new hot water tank. Today I am thankful for hot water.

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Irritations, Simple Things and Possessions

anger faceJune 25, 2017 – Irritations

We all get irritated from time to time. Sometimes it is just a noise that seems to grind on us, give us a headache or just persist so long we get tired of it. Maybe it’s an irritating habit some one has like talking over you, gritting their teeth or constantly complaining.

We, humans, are as far from perfect as you can get. We let a lot of things bother us, even when they shouldn’t. Our society pushes us in so many different directions that it only takes one irritation to develop into something dangerous.

With all the riots, protests and marches that have been going on, it only took one person, who wasn’t pleased with the outcome, to start a mini war. Whether it was a relative of the person injured or killed, or just a trouble maker making a remark about the out come of the investigations, because they were irritated, they irritated others to follow in their way of thinking.

In some case, even realizing that they have no control over the irritating circumstances, they have induced disruption, mass hysteria, injury, violence and even death. Take for instance what happened in Baltimore and Ferguson. Because one or more people didn’t like the outcome of the investigations, because they became irritated that it didn’t go as they thought it should, they created situations where businesses and homes were destroyed and people were injured or hurt.

God gave us a lot of choices in our lives. We could choose to be nice people, to be kind, understanding and helpful loving individuals or we could choose to dwell on every little piece of negativity that comes our way. There are those who take there irritation to violent and often time disastrous ends.

We can choose do everything according to the law, let it take it’s course and accept the outcome or accept that we have no control over the outcome or we can choose to take the law into our own hands, creating more of a problem, one that could, would and did harm other innocent people, making them the victims of something that had absolutely nothing to do with them. Trouble makers, instigators are a dime a dozen. I really believe that some of them are doing the Devils work for him.

What one person determines is irritating to them can influence so many others into being irritated with the same thing, can influence them to take that irritation further and blow it completely out of proportion.

I used to get irritated at small things. I used to get into long, loud and drawn out arguments with people over my irritations and it would usually result in a lot of hurt feelings, a lot of words that couldn’t be taken back and the loss of many friendships.

Usually what I got irritated over was something minor, something that didn’t really matter, or something I had completely no control over, yet the result wasn’t what I wanted and couldn’t accept that. Over the years, God has shown me that getting irritated over the small things or the things I have no control over was a total waste of my time and the time of others. Today I am thankful that he has taught me how to handle my irritations.

old front porchJune 26, 2017 – Simple Things

I have never been a material person. That wasn’t the way I was raised. Even in the foster homes, there was never an abundance of material wealth or money. It never really seemed to bother me. Sure, there were times that I kind of wished I had some things others had, like a pretty new dress or the latest shoes, but I never let it take over me, I never obsessed over it. I never let it become a problem, in fact I didn’t even know we were poor until I was in Junior High School and a rich kid told me. Still it never seemed to bother me.

Even as I got older and traveled from one job to another, or one situation to another, material possessions were not high on my list. If I had the basics, that was fine with me, and there were many times when it was difficult to even have the basics.

There were times when I didn’t have much, but I made do with what I had and was thankful for it. There were times when I made enough money to be comfortable, but I didn’t rush out and buy the latest electronics or technology and I didn’t rush out and buy designer clothes, no in fact, when I was pretty well off, I spent the majority of my money trying to help family members and friends in need.

It didn’t bother me if spent a whole paycheck making sure someone was able to pay their rent or buy food for their kids. It didn’t bother me that I drove a used car or bought my clothes at a thrift store, in fact I loved buying clothes there because I didn’t like many of the styles of new clothing that retail establishment sold.

I’ve pretty much have been more happy with the simple things in life. I would much rather take a drive in the country than spend a ton of money on a theme park. I would much rather browse the thrift stores than wander through Macy’s or Target or any of the other upper end retail shops.

I would rather sit on my front porch and watch the birds and insects flying around than sit on the deck of a cruise ship and I would much rather watch one of my DVD’s than sit in a dark movie theater. The simple things in life are so much more pleasing than trying to keep up with the Jones. Today I am thankful for some many simple things in my life.

loveJune 27, 2017 – Possessions

Sometimes, in the still of the night I think about my possessions. There is nothing lacking, there is nothing I want or need. If I were to lose everything material I owned right now, it wouldn’t destroy my life. I’ve been through that many times before.

If I didn’t have a television, I would read a book, If I didn’t have the internet, I would go for a walk. If I didn’t have a phone, I could sit and sew something, and if I didn’t have anything at all, I would pray and trust God.

I have many possessions, but they are possessions you cannot buy, you cannot steal and no one can give them to you. These possessions are the most important possessions I have every had, and they are the ones that I am not willing to ever give up.

I have trust, faith and I have love. I have peace and I have fairly good health. I have loved ones, I have friends, I have people who care about me and people I care about. Most importantly I have Christ. My loved ones may one day die, but I will see them again.

My friends may also expire or move away, but have fond memories of them, and maybe some day I will be alone but I will always have Christ. Today I am thankful for these possessions, not the ones that you can buy, but the ones that are blessings from God.

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Accomplishments, Ahh Moments, Mobility and Realizations

awardJune 21, 2017 – Accomplishments

There isn’t one person that I know who doesn’t want to accomplish something. For many of the younger moms and dads, they want to be able to take care of their young ones, provide a good home, wholesome activities and a decent education. If they can accomplish that, those are some major accomplishments.

For some others, getting that good job, buying a house, getting a new car or starting their own business is on the list of what they want to accomplish. For others just living right, doing what they can to bring others to Christ and helping others are the major items on their list of things they want to accomplish.

Life changes. We don’t from one day to the next what will happen. There is just so many different things that can happen unexpectedly. For example, 10 years ago I had the perfect job. I didn’t have to work in an office or warehouse setting. It wasn’t a job where I had to sell anything or make anything. I got to drive around to different courts and research records for people who were applying for jobs, trying to buy new items or rent/buy a house. I researched criminal, civil and educational records. It was probably the most interesting job I ever had.

After five years in house, climbing quickly up the ladder to a supervisory level, I applied to be an outside agent, simply for the freedom it would give me and a less stressful environment. I had a company car. All repairs were paid for, gas was reimbursed, insurance was paid. I earned 6.66 hours per month in paid time off along with all paid Holidays and had a great health and medical insurance package. I even had stock in the company. My house phone, internet and cell phone were also paid for by the company. It was a “cherry” job.

I didn’t expect to be laid off and I certainly did not expect to become disabled. Life changes suddenly and you can never be prepared for anything. Today, if I can straighten up the house, do the dishes, throw in a load of laundry and maybe even run the vacuum, I have accomplished a lot for the situation that I live in.

If I can find time to do some research, sew something or work on the blog site, I have accomplished even more. There are days that none of this gets done and I have learned not to beat myself up over it. I have had to accept that life has changed, I am older, I am disabled, I cannot accomplish what I used to. Today I am thankful for what I can accomplish and thankful God has shown me I don’t need to worry on the days that I can’t accomplish anything.

rainbowJune 22, 2017 – Ahh Moments

I love those “ahh” moments. Those times when something just goes completely right and you step back, take a deep breath and let out that well deserved “ahhh”. I love those moments when I walk outside and the weather is perfect. The temperature is just right, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the plants are standing at attention, and the squirrels and birds are busy going about their daily activities. Those are some of my favorite “aah” moments.

I love it when I can talk to family and friends, whether on the phone or on social media, and know that they are all doing well that day, enjoying the positiveness they are sharing about good things that have happened, activities they have enjoyed, or special moments they want to share with me.

But I think that some of my best “ahh” moments are when I hear about someone accepting Christ, prayers being answered and positive actions being taken by those I care about and love. My other special “ahh” moments are those times, when I just stand outside in the early morning or later evening, when everything is quiet and I look around at the magnificent world God created for us. Today I am thankful for all of those “ahh” moments.

Legs in SPA

June 23, 2017 – Mobility

When I was younger, I walked everywhere I could. When living in Black Forest, my foster sister and I would walk around the whole twenty acres her family owned. Climbing a few trees, looking at some strange mushrooms, or watching woodland creatures on the way. It was not unusual for us to race across the meadow, jump over logs and then race home. Sometimes we would take off early I the morning, just go out exploring and not return until around supper time.

I have always been a little stubborn, hard headed about doing things on my own, without the help of any one group or individual. If I needed something from the store, I got there on foot when necessary, often lugging back several bags up hill to my house. If I had to go to work and didn’t have transportation and the weather allowed, I would leave early and walk there if the distance was acceptable, like a mile or two.

I’ve dragged large garbage bags of laundry or my possessions from one place to another, often having to drag them up a flight or two of stairs. And sometimes I would just walk for hours at a time just because I enjoyed walking.

I don’t get as much exercises as I would like to get. When the rheumatoid acts up and my feet swell, I am usually sitting most of the day. When my back hurts or a migraine sets in, it is a sure fact that I will end up laying down a few times a day. And when I get those big callouses on my big toes that have recently started to appear, wearing shoes is just not an option.

But I walk, every chance I get I walk. We walk the radio station hill, four laps equals two miles and half of that is an upward incline. We walk the corridors of the hospital, 10 laps around the 1st floor corridors is a mile. We walk around the block a few times if we are not up to do doing the hill. While I would love to be able to do this all the time, there are days when I am short on mobility, days when the feet swell, the back starts and a migraine takes over. Today I am thankful for the days I have my mobility.

eyeJune 24, 2017 – Realizations

I don’t live in a “lala” world, a world where people are swept away by all the social impositions and demands of this fast failing world and all the sugar coating and lies being forced down our throats on a daily basis.. I don’t have my head stuck up in the clouds, believing that everything is perfect and always will be. While I would love our world to be filled with peace, harmony and love, it just seems to be going in the opposite direction.

Each morning, as I scroll through the news I become sad, disillusioned, and even angry at all the crap that is going on. Besides all the political trash that is on constant feed, there are murders, and rapes, and burglaries and kidnappings. There are businesses failings, banks closing, buildings being burned down and people living on the streets.

All around the world there is war going on and innocent people are being forced out of their homes daily, going hungry, and even dying from dehydration, exposure, starvation, illness and executions. People are being held hostage, tortured and forced into slavery and prostitution and now we seem to have an epidemic of parents killing their children.

While I normally try to keep an even attitude, try to stay positive, try to uplift others, there is still the part of me that can’t tolerate evil, hatred and abuse. Although I would love to lay claim to be a perfect Christian, I have come to the realization that I nor anyone else can ever accomplish that goal.

I’ve also come to realize that all the events we see going on in this world are right in line with what the bible says will happen before the Rapture comes. I realize that it is going to get worse as time goes on, that evil will be taking a stronger grip on the world as that day comes closer.

While I still hold to the faith of Jesus Christ, my human nature, the love I feel for others is sorely tested during these realizations. Today I am thankful for these realizations, even though so many of them are go against what I think the world should be. The more I realize what the this world is turning into, the more I also realize that Christ is coming soon.

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A Fresh Mowed Law, My Nose, My Ears

sunrise-in-the-countryJune 18, 2017 – A Fresh Mowed Lawn

We smell a lot of odors in our life time. Cooking orders, body odors, perfumes, pollution, car exhaust, flowers, rain, and animal odors are just a few. Some odors are pleasant and some not so pleasant, but they exist in our every day lives and for the most part we get used to them, recognize them and go on with our lives.

Sometimes the odors we smell can warn us of impending danger or problems. The smell of wood burning or smoke at a time and in an area where there shouldn’t be any could indicate a fire somewhere, maybe even in your home. Even the odd smell of rubber or plastic melting could indicate an electrical problem that could cause a fire or other damage.

The sickly sweet smell of rotten eggs can indicate a gas leak. The smell of gasoline when driving down the street could indicate a leak in your tank and the smell of burning oil could indicate you have an engine problem. We learn to recognize all of these odors for what they are the more we have had to smell them.

But there are pleasant odors in our lives. There is a saying “stop and smell the roses” and I take that literally. I love walking through the garden area at Walmart and smelling all the flowering plants they sell and I love to stop and “smell the roses” when bouquets are up in front on sale for Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Memorial Day and Sweethearts Day.

There are other smells in nature that often reach our nose such as a passing skunk, the awful smell of a decaying woodland creatures body, flowers, trees, grass and even bubbling brooks all have their own smell. One of my favorite smells, although it kicks up my allergies is the smell of a freshly mowed lawn. Today I am thankful for all the pleasant smells like that of the freshly mowed lawn.


June 19, 2017 – My Nose

Have you ever taken the time to stop and think about the different senses God has given us? Our ears for hearing, our eyes for seeing, our nose for smelling. There are other senses we have such as the sense of feel. We feel pain, we feel heat, we feel cold, and we itch.

We have other senses like our instincts that give us the gut feeling that something is wrong, or we shouldn’t be in a certain area or around a certain group of people. The hair on our neck may stand up when danger is near or we have a sense of fear.

We sense many other things in our lives, such as sadness, sorrow, joy, pain and suffering. Sometimes these are sensed by our hearing or our eyes. We can see when someone looks tired, sad or depressed and we can over hear the words of other people when they talk about their depression, anxiety or problems.

As a whole, the human race takes for granted the different sense that we are blessed with. So many just assume they will get up in the morning, see, hear and smell everything they did the day before, but what if they woke up and one of their senses was gone?

I have used my nose to sniff a lot of things in my life. Dirty baby diapers, dirty clothes, body odor, dead mice, cooking food, gas leaks, smoke, and hot electrical wires. When you raise children or grandchildren, or just have children around, your nose seems to go into overdrive because you have that instinct to protect them. We are the same way with all the people we love that live with us. Some spouses can tell by the body odor of their loved one if something might be medically wrong, they are so in tune with the regular odors their mate normally has.

I love my nose. I love to smell good things like flowers, fresh bathed babies, fresh mowed lawns, fields of grain, a summers rain and a rare perfume. My nose has gotten me out of a house that had an electrical problem. It has helped me find dead mice and mold and mildew that might have caused health problems and I have used it many times to check for gas leaks. Today I am thankful for my nose.

B ig earsJune 20, 2017 – My Ears

When I was a teen in Pueblo, my mother had a friend that would come over once in awhile. He was deaf and dumb. He was one of the kindest, nicest people I have ever met in my whole life. He used to sit and teach us different words in sign language, and at one time I got pretty good at talking with him.

When I think about the many people on this earth that can’t see, hear or talk it breaks my heart. While God usually enhances other senses when people lack in one area, I have read of accidents and injuries caused because a deaf person didn’t hear a car coming and stepped into the street, or a blind person fell down an open man hole or a flight of steps because they didn’t know it was there.

I pity those who cannot see the beauty of this world, and the ones who cannot hear the music of nature. I often wonder how they deal with it, but realize that in some cases it isn’t something they miss because it isn’t something they ever experienced. I love to listen to music, old time gospel, charismatic christian, super oldies and even classical.

I also love to listen to the music of nature. There is nothing like sitting out in the country near a babbling brook or even our own back yard, listening to the birds, the chirping of the insects or the drumming of the rain. There is nothing like standing out on the porch and listening to the rolling thunder, the pitter patter of the hail or whooshing of the wind during a thunderstorm. Today I am thankful for my ears.

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Insects, Help From Nature, Natural Remedies

blue butterlyJune 15, 2017 – Insects

Have you ever stood out in your yard or sat on your porch and watched the many insects around you? If I stand out on the porch during the day I am sure that I will see some butterflies, flies, wasps, ants and bees. All of them going about their daily routine.

The bees and butterflies are going from flower to flower feeding on the nectar, picking up the pollen, then flying to others where they will collect the nectar from them and leave the pollen from the others. The flies are flying around looking for any kind of garbage they can feast on, including other dead insects. The same goes for the ants. They are busily going back and forth to their hills bringing in any tidbits they can find.

I know ants will carry any kind of food they can back to their nest including some leaves and flowers of some plants. I didn’t know that they would feed on other insects, but apparently they do. I found a dead beetle in the bathroom the other day and when I went to move him, several hundred ants took off running from underneath him.

If I stand out on my porch after the sun has set, I am apt to see mosquitoes, water-bugs, moths, night spiders and gnats and other little flying bugs around. It seems that the insect world never sleeps. It is as busy outside at night as it is during the day.

While, for the most part, I watch and leave the insect world alone, there are some things I cannot abide. Roaches are nasty, dirty spreaders of disease. Ants are invaders, sometimes biting you, but definitely getting into your food and drinks.

Spiders are not allowed in the house, especially since the black widow and brown recluse are native to our area, however, I do not destroy the spider webs outside until I know they have been abandoned because in actuality, spiders are our friends. They eat otherwise nasty little insects that could get in the house such as the flies and gnats that are in the same category as the roaches.

What my observations have shown me is that they each have some kind of purpose, some kind of task they must complete. Ants must feed the colony and as far as I know they don’t spread disease, but they help to get rid of garbage by dragging food and bugs down to their nest. Wasps, hornets, bees and butterflies help to spread pollen to plants to help them produce.

Spiders, for the most part help to keep pests under control. They really seem to love flies, gnats and even on occasion a wasp or two. I am not sure if there is any benefits to having water-bugs around, but it is interesting to see them running wildly around on the back deck, seeming to go nowhere or do anything.

God created such an intricate world, even down to the insects around our houses. Each one seems to serve some kind of purpose and each one seems to know their place in this world. If humans could learn from watching the insects, how they get along, how they persist at their functions, we could learn a lot about getting along, surviving and being productive. Today I am thankful for the many insects that work so hard at what god intended them to do.

rainbowJune 16, 2017 – Help From Nature

I will admit that I am one of the first people to complain about the weather. I blame it on getting older and my body changing with age. When I was younger, it didn’t matter what the weather was, I just went with the flow. If it was hot, cold, rainy or snowy, I just dressed accordingly and went about my day.

As I have gotten older, developed different medical problems like the chronic migraines, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, I find myself complaining more about the weather because it does have a big impact on how I will feel that day.

There were several years in a row that we didn’t have much rain and definitely very little snow. They had burn orders and warnings during the summer, and sometimes even restrictions on people washing their cars or watering their yards because we were in drought conditions.

It is easy to see when there are problems with the weather by looking at the prices at the grocery stores. If there is too much water and the fields go to rot, prices go up. If there is too much heat and not enough water and the crops shrivel up and die, the prices go up.

The last couple years we seem to have more rainy winters and less days of snow. I’m told this was a good thing as it brings our water tables up and keeps us out of drought conditions. So far this summer, with the exception of a few very hot days, it’s been pretty bearable. Sometimes Nature has a way of balancing everything.

With the water tables higher and no drought conditions, the production of crops looks like it might be pretty good this year. That means that there will be plenty to go around and prices won’t soar so high that you can’t afford to by the produce or have to buy very little of it. Today I am thankful for the times that we get help from nature.

medicine-bottlesJune 17, 2017 – Natural Remedies

I used to completely trust my doctors, when I lived in Cleveland and Florida, although they always seemed to be cold a detached when talking about my health concerns or prescribing medications for me. Sad to say, most of them never actually talked to me about what to expect from my medical problems or the prescriptions they gave me, so, in my trusting nature, I just took whatever they gave me.

I gained weight, I felt bloated, my headaches got worse, I was short of breath and had trouble sleeping. No matter what I did, I was uncomfortable all of the time and I had no idea if the medicines were helping what they were supposed to be treating. I actually was taking 28 pills a day at one time, which I found out later were treating conditions I didn’t even have.

Most doctors treat the symptoms first, and if they continue or get worse, then they will run tests to see what is really going on. Unfortunately this is not really their fault as most of the ones whose practice is connected to a hospital clinic are pushed to see a patient every 15 minutes. I know this to be true as there is a sign in our doctors office that says if you are sitting longer than 15 minutes, let the clerks know.

Medical practice is big money now. I’m sure there are kick-backs from pharmaceuticals to different medical establishments for how many prescriptions are written for their product. Many patients are automatically referred to specialists or other doctors because that way the hospital or clinic gets paid for another visit.

Sadly, most prescriptions have some nasty and often times severe side effects. I’ve researched all the ones they prescribe me and often times have refused what they want me to take, doing research on natural remedies and cures.

For instance, one that I need to take because it is actually the safest treatment for the rheumatoid arthritis has the side effects of black tarry stools, blood in urine, bloody vomit, diarrhea, joint pain, swelling of feet and lower legs and this is just the listing under major side effects. Sadly, there is no natural cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but I have found some natural treatments for the pain and swelling and help hold flare-ups down.

If you compare possible side effects on all your medications, you will see that most of them list the same side effects like nausea, constipation, headaches, indigestion, fatigue, sleepiness, weight gain, weight loss, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, rapid heart beat and these are the most common and considered the least dangerous.

While I have to take a possibly dangerous drug for this condition, I have done my research on how to take it, what signs to look for if it is causing problems and different ways to be more comfortable with the side effects of the disease and the medicine.

My sister and I do a lot of research in natural remedies and cures. She even makes some of her tonics, creams and tinctures. Unfortunately she also researched and found out there is no natural cure for this type of arthritis.

I have made it a habit now to research symptoms myself before running to the doctor, and looking for and using natural remedies and cures if I can safely pinpoint what the problem is. For instance, I know when my GERD is acting up, so I grab the apple cider vinegar and honey. I know when I have strained or pulled a muscle so I grab the cayenne and a heating pad. Today I am thankful that there are still natural remedies and cures available to us.