Sunday, December 18, 2011

Redemption From the Pile

     The pine trees outside my dining window were much easier to decorate 10 years ago.  Since they are now so large I thought that I would just hang lights on one of them. I had a pile of odd  lights that I thought might make a nice Christmas menagerie on a tree.  I spent an hour just before sundown untangling and hanging these half-working lights- overlapping the dead spots with the hanging icicle type mixed with the net type.  As twilight approached I could see more clearly, ironically, how awful the project was looking.  I decided to scrap it entirely and focus on something more manageable, and quickly, before my fingers froze off.
   I found an old fake tree with no stand, that sat dangerously close to the trash barrel.  I reshaped it's mangled wire branches, draped the mess of lights on it and bungee strapped it to deck railing.  It shone super bright in the darkness next to my Adirondack chair and made me smile. Redemption from the messy piles - I think that's what Christmas is all about.                                                                     

  On an even brighter note, here is a picture taken during some Christmas shopping time with the boys.  This has been one of the highlights of the Christmas season so far for me - these guys are so awesome!  It gets me thinking that this is just a fraction of how God feels about me.   And that's why He sent Christ to rescue me. To rescue all of us.
   Merry Christmas!!!                                                                                      

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shiny Tennis Balls Hanging from the Tree

     Twinkling lights glitter the landscape and Christmas music started playing on the radio two weeks ago.Yep, it's that time and I love it!
     Walmart decorated way before Black Friday, which has nothing to do with the fact that for the first time in my life I was one of those people who waited in line for the equivalent of a day for a crazy deal. But before you judge, let me explain. 
     Our family room TV came to us when one of Westley's friends salvaged it from the curbside.  It has duct tape covering a couple of the buttons so they don't shock you. It was a step up at the time. It still works, but when we had the opportunity to get a nice, much larger TV for such a great price we decided to go for it.  Westley, Dexter and I and our friends Joe, and Taylor arrived at the store shortly after Thanksgiving dinner (now you can judge me).  We were the first in line and there was hardly anyone in the store.  One of the managers told me I couldn't sit on the low shelf. We waited there for seven hours and fifteen minutes until midnight.  We witnessed pandemonium, saw a lot of weird people, stopped caring about the germs on the floor, and used it as a dinner table at one point.  We discovered that you can fit three 40 inch TVs in an Impala with five people. I won't do that every year but it was worth it, that TV is beautiful.

     Frank came home for a visit today and as usual, was asked to drop his slobbery tennis ball outside the door.  He saw the tree in the other room before I could catch up with him. I heard a 'tink' and ran in to find a gold ornament on the floor.  Frank would like to know why there are shiny tennis balls all over the tree...inside the house.  He would also like to know why they don't bounce like tennis balls, such a buzz kill, he says.
     Those are a couple of the lighter holiday happenings that help me smile amidst the heartbreak of loved ones who are hurting, and friends who are deceived and broken.  I'm not telling those stories here, I'm praying over those ones, and doing whatever I can in my small way to help.
     I try to see all this, with my feeble mind, in a way that I think God might see it. 
      ...and I got nothin.
      What I do know is that I can trust Him, and that He gives me joy along the winding way.
     I better go check on Frank now.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One day last week:

I was having one of those days.  The kind that I felt like a bumbling fool...couldn't seem to do anything right.  Do you ever have days like that?  I left stupid long voice mail messages with no option to re-record. I called someone by the wrong name, someone I knew well.  Wanted to kick myself.  I couldn't figure out a document set up/printing  issue and wasted way too much time on it. The sticky part of the bottom of my shoe was grabbing onto the floor and tripping me.  I know it's for traction, but seriously.

Then it started raining pretty hard outside, and the dog started following me around, walking all over my files that I had organized next to my desk on the floor.

The increasing thunder and wind was concerning her.  She needed some comfort, could I blame her?

I got a cup of hot tea, hunkered down at my desk to work some more and I let Zoey curl up at my feet, after I took those shoes off.

I thought of how God does this for me any old time.  He is always there, patiently at work, and He doesn't seem to care that I'm messing up His area.  He sits with me until I can get up and go again.  Then He goes with me.

This Thanksgiving week as I think on what I am thankful for,  I am genuinely grateful for that. 

I am also thankful that the headlight Dexter fender-bendered off my car only took $25 and a small dent to...fix.  Beautiful!

I am thankful for my hot and funny husband, for my amazing, wonderful sons, and so much more.

Happy Thanksgiving! Truly.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Thunks

"Ma'am, do you have a Golden Buckeye card you would like to use?"

My 40-year-old face at the time was immediately horrified.  First of all, I can't be old enough to be referred to as Ma'am.  And clearly, I had done something to offend this 60-year-old who looked 70 and thought I was 55. But I'm over it.

Getting one year closer to that Buckeye card this past week gave me pause for reflection, among other things....

The day before my birthday I was about to head out the door to an early work meeting.  Dave had just gotten in his truck to get to work himself when I heard a really loud THUNK, of the metal-to-metal kind in the vicinity of the driveway.  I ran to the window and peered out into the darkness trying to see what had happened.  That's when I heard Dave's visceral yell of frustration, sort of like a long growl with one vowel sound and a resounding r. "I think Dad needs help!" I yelled up to the boys.

Upset with himself he came storming into the house, "I backed into the van!"

Turns out Dexter had no where else to park the night before, except the side of the driveway.  The damages?  The truck needs a couple hundred dollars worth of repair (a discounted cost from yet another kind person).  The van just looks worse than it did before.  I used to notice the scratches and dents here and there on the ugly green machine.  Now, I notice the undamaged little patches here and there, so beautiful when the sun reflects off the metallic paint.  More importantly I focus more on the fact that the wheels still turn, and it's paid for.  But let me emphasize the word focus.  I have to focus on these areas.

I guess it's something like turning 47.  I'm learning more and more to focus on the good stuff. I thank God that He puts good stuff all over the place.  This time of year there's anything from pumpkins to peace.  Of course peace is the best, but even the rotting pumpkins with 99-year-old faces make me thankful. First, that my face doesn't look 99 quite yet, and that soon there will be cheery Christmas lights to replace the harvest wares.

It's all good, aging has its beautiful pay offs.  So go ahead, you can call me Ma'am (but don't ask me for my Buckeye card just yet).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Took a Chance

     It's really good to take chances.  I want to try to take a chance everyday.
     New experiences grow new memory paths in your brain, or something like that.  And I just know it's good for my somewhat too-calculated self.  Also, it can be...exhilarating, yes, that's the word.
     It's especially easy when it's only an $8 dollar chance at the Goodwill.  It was a VHS/DVD combo player recorder, for goodness sake.  Remember when those cost $300?  Yeah, me too!   So I weighed the pros:  VHS will be extinct some day and I will still be able to play my extensive collection; I can play parts of my new DVD collection in the same device; my boys will be so proud of my find; I do not need to feed this thing when I get it home; I will not have to live with this decision for the rest of my earthly days; the power turns on in the store; it's only $8.  Okay, now the cons:  $8 can buy a very small bag of groceries- I could be throwing away a bag of groceries; this Goodwill store is an hour from home- if the thing doesn't function properly it's not worth the return gas money; and lastly, it could be a piece of crap.
      I bought it, along with a jeweled pair of $3 garden Croc shoes - it was exhilarating!
     Below is Dexter's product testing report.

     I have a new path in my brain.  I also was able to save The Emperor's New Groove.  Life is good!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Laughing a Little

 Been working on some other rather than no blog post at all, here are a few things that have made me laugh lately.

I would like to make this the new rage to calm road rage.  I was really hungry on a long ride home with groceries and discovered that is especially helpful through a construction zone.  Almost as good as a Starbucks red-eye.

 Bruce.  Unstaged.  He makes me laugh every day.

Here is the latest book that has 5 of my stories published in it, by Barbour Publishing.

Considering what I have packed in my overnight bag, I should consider reading this book.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Life

Funny, how I find myself jealous of our cat, Bruce (also funny that we named him Bruce Lee because he is more of a bug slayer).

We find him keeping tightly to his rigid nap schedule as evidenced here, and obviously any place is a good place to lounge or nap.

It is common to find one of us staring at him (and laughing), and commenting on how nice it would be to have his life. He comes and goes, opening the sliding screen door at his leisure (bravely protecting the household against all sort of enemy bug).

The ease of which this creature of God exists is enviable, to be sure.

But then, Bruce doesn't have the capacity for planning beyond the next bath or bug really. He doesn't seem to be dreaming, goal setting, and working toward...much of anything. He doesn't read or process media (that I know of), in fact, he likes to sit on whatever I'm reading. All of this you know of course, since you are reading this and not your cat.

But still, he really has the life.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Balloon Bust

Dave and I just finished up a week of vacation, just the two of us this time. We started with a balloon fest in Jackson, Michigan. We were going to catch the last hot air balloon launch before we headed up to Lake Michigan. Turned out that the heat was too much for them and they cancelled that launch altogether - so disappointing. We did spot a helium balloon afloat in the 100 degree heat, but it didn't do much for us.

The winning moment at the festival was when we were shopping at some of the booths. Shopping would save the day - of course! I was looking at some sun dresses next to another woman. The booth vendor walker over to us and asked the other woman if she needed any help finding a size. "Oh, shut up!" the woman said.

The vendor was taken back, completely in shock. But, I noticed that the woman shopping was wearing a blue tooth headset (she was talking on her cell phone). I started laughing out loud. Then the shopper realized what had happened. She apologized and us three strangers had a good laugh together.

So, it turns out that the balloon festival wasn't a total bust.

Since there is no balloon photo I am sharing this photo from yesterday at a graduation party. I was given a balloon flower. Isn't it awesome? Thanks Kristen!

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Boys are Awesome

On the 4th of July we got a game of pool volleyball going with Dave and I, three of the boys, a fiance' and friends. I feel suddenly ancient surrounded by young people in a pool, no matter what. Add volleyball to that, yikes...but I was doing alright. During a volley one of Dexter's hits slipped and the ball smoked me in the side of the face.

After a pause to make sure I was okay, he said, "Mom, if only you had better reflexes."

"I was four feet away!"

We all laughed. Then a little later in the game Dexter was serving behind me as I stood ready for defense. The ball drilled me in the back of the head!

Everybody sort of gasped and fell silent. I was losing brain cells at an incredible rate with these knocks to the head, I didn't particularly care for it. I regained my senses, turned around and sort of pounded on Dexter. We all laughed.

The next day Wes, Dexter, and friends went off for a couple days of self-imposed running camp. First off, they're gluttons for punishment running in the sand dunes, but suddenly my house got quiet. That same day is when I grabbed this photo of Frank chewing on wood which he does all the time (I prefer this over flooring and books). I noticed that a nailed-on step from one of the boys' many tree forts was attached to one of the logs. It made me sad.

Old times are literally falling away and there is nothing I can do to change it, unless of course I could live in the past which is never a good idea.

Thank God that new experiences, adventures, and...hits to the head, are right around the corner. That's where I'm off to next. I am grateful for a growing, thriving family that keeps me growing too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

He's Afraid of the Books

Just days after Frank chewed up my last new box of books, another book came out. Recently I figured out that I make about $10 an hour writing if a story is accepted, so my reward is really in seeing it in print and getting the box with a newly released book inside. It's like Christmas! So, I was relieved to be around when Heavenly Humor for the Teacher's Soul arrived to intercept Frank. He sniffed the box and I told him "no". He looked down in shame. When I tried to take a picture of him with the box he didn't chew he ran from it! It's just possible that he is learning.

Here's info on the book if you want to take a look (or you can get one from me for $5)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My New Book Arrived and...

I've been waiting for my new book to arrive, couldn't wait to open that box and devour the story I wrote about my friend Kim Lee. As you can see Frank beat me to it - quite literally. But you know, after I picked up the package strewn across the front yard, and beat the dog, I could still read the story. If you would like to buy the copy with a chunk of the spine missing, that one costs more. The book is Heavenly XOXO for Women, here is one place you can preorder (release July 1).

PS- How do you inform delivery services not to leave boxes where dogs will eat them?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Caution! Needs to be Under Construction

The pool deck slopes here and there. There are hidden weak spots where you least expect them (be careful!). The carpet that was once sturdy and a sweet blue, is thinning, fading, and worn through to the sagging spots. The integrity of the deck structure has been compromised from years of changing seasons and a few winters that seemed to have no end, not to mention the rough treatment of people not always thinking. The liner, holding the very thing a pool is for, has not delivered what was promised (some people you do business with are not who they say they are). A lot of self-repair and obvious patching has had to occur. The filter basket is so fractured that the skimmer pulls it down into itself. Plumbing issues are at least an annual thing. The filter is tired of taking in the continual dirt and back washing it all out again, thank God for the waste mode when things are really bad after the long winter. The motor's casing is covered in rust on top of rust, but it keeps on ticking. This pool is old. I actually made signs for the deck to protect visitors from injury (umm case you wondered what those pictures were).

But, the water is finally a nice shade of blue. I can't quite see the bottom clearly but it is really refreshing to enjoy the water.

All this has me thinking that my wreckage of a pool is much like life (read it one more time). Broken, repaired, getting tired, getting fixed, and overall, worth it.

Thank God.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Things Will Never be the Same

I am not sure what I like better about this car, the bungee straps, or the fact that holes had to be drilled in the hood to use bungee straps.

One thing is for sure though, I'll miss this car in the fleet. There's so much to miss. Where do I begin? I mean, it was great how you couldn't lock the car because the door keys would not work, so to lock something up you had to put it in the trunk and lock the glove compartment where the trunk button is. And of course if you did happen to lock the doors the AAA lock out service was just a call away (on speed dial).

I loved the mystery squeak in the back of the car, and the muffler pipe held up barely by a coat hanger. These features announced Mitch's arrival home long before he entered the long driveway.

The gas mileage and longevity of the '94 will be truly missed. When a run-in with a deer delivered the Topaz's last blow it was decided that we would help her make it to 300,000. With only 500 more miles to go, a plan was devised.

Enter, bungee straps, and a power drill to keep the hood from blowing open onto the windshield again. Her previous drivers, Trevor and Mitch, were instructed regarding the plan to take her on every short run trip possible.

Yesterday she reached her 300,000 mile destination. Today she was taken in as a donor, where she will give every usable part to Wes' '94 teal Topaz. She WILL live on, maybe not in all her dull white painted glory, but certainly through her radio, her door handles (not the locks), her glove box door, ignition, and tires. It will be beautiful.

But today we say goodbye, sort of. We'll see her again but it will never be the same.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

UFO Sighting

There were a lot of calls yesterday for UFO sightings around here.

"Something very powerful is in the sky! There, see it? In between the crack in those clouds!"

Turns out it was just the sun deciding to make an appearance.

Just the sun? Did I say just the sun?

Seriously, the sun has been in hiding for so much of the spring, not to mention the very long winter, that this is a pretty big deal.

The atmosphere was so gray, in so many ways. To encourage myself I would think of how the sun is still always shining behind those thick clouds, but it doesn't make me any warmer.

Today, I feel like a different person with this bright UFO around. It's been hanging around all day!

Suddenly, there is warmth, brightness, hope. And I can't help but think that if I did not know the depth of dark gray days, I could not possibly appreciate this day as much as I do.

Happy sunshine northwest Ohio!

Photo of Lake Erie by

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Deadly Duo and Easter

The four-legged crew pictured here is now known around here as the deadly duo. Bruce scales the heights of the counters and piano top to bat things around and then swats them down to the floor level where Frank awaits his newest play toys.

Toys can be anything really, mouth guards, coins, books, a bright pink ink pen (especially bright on white linoleum), and various plastic items. Today it was a food glazing brush that was drying in the sink tray. A few days ago it was the...turtle.

THAT was a sad day. Bernie the turtle (aka Weekend at Bernie's) did not fair so well with Frank's play.

When we found him upside down, tightly inside his injured shell, we put him in water right away to try to revive him. When he didn't respond we set him on his rock halfway out of water in a sort of hopeful/state of denial.

A couple hours later I found him in the water moving his legs a bit. I was so excited, I texted the boys with the news and renamed him Lazarus. It's possible that the cat knocked him in the water and he was moving with the water looking alive, but, either way, he didn't end up making it. We were all very sad.

We call the dog and cat duo, Murderer and Accessory, but really, they're just...not thinking or incapable of such. Our punishment will not help them. They don't understand. They need good instruction and mostly grace.

This morning, Easter morning, during some songs at church it occurred to me that me and my sin/my stuff, are the deadly duo that put Christ on the cross. The reason that He did what He did. Granted, I was born into this state, and I too, am often not thinking or incapable of recognizing some things. I was and am regularly in need of good instruction and mostly grace.

SO refreshing to realize that I am offered that grace freely.

Easter is really more like New Year's Day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Sprinkles of Spring

Thankfully, dreary days like these bring with them the promise of future flowers, like those popping up outside my kitchen window. Today I was admiring them along with some pansies I planted last weekend. Just at that moment one of the dogs walked up and peed right there. It's sprinkling everywhere.

On this rainy day I thought I would share a post I wrote for whatavisit. com a little while back. It sure fits today in Ohio! The last sentence is cut off in the's supposed to say " nice it was not to worry about leaving them sit at the table. I knocked on the window to wave at friends standing where I would be in a moment, to wait with others under the awnings for the crosswalk light. BG is a really warm town, even on a rainy day." Nothing like spoiling the ending! :)

The full rainy day story is at Happy spring!

Photo above from Nice pics Lizzy!

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Been a Rough Day for Frank

I got a call shortly after I left the house from Kyle, a family friend who was at the house with Dexter. "Shelley!" he said. I was afraid someone was hurt, but he quickly relieved my anxiety.
"The funniest thing just happened! We cannot believe this!" he said gasping with laughter.
"The cat peed in the dog dish! From the laundry basket in the cart! From inside the laundry basket! A perfect stream into the dish, for like 45 seconds! We're just shocked. We're not going to change the dogs' water just so you can see it."

Then Dexter: Mom, I heard running water and hoped one of the animals wasn't peeing. When I leaned into the laundry room I saw a yellow stream and then could not believe my eyes. I yelled for Kyle, who came in with a stunned look on his face. Bruce had pushed his butt up against the inside of the basket and peed directly from a square in the plastic grid, into the dog dish, for the longest time. I wasn't even upset because the aim was so perfect it was amazing. What do you think he could even be thinking?...I really wish I could know what he's thinking.

Thankfully Bruce doesn't do this type of thing too often.

This is Bruce on the job (below). While I worked today he simultaneously slept and systematically pushed whatever he could, off the shelf, and switched locations from boxes to envelope stacks and of course cluttering the entire corner of my office.

More pets news: we installed a wireless dog boundary system and were trying to acclimate them today. When Zoey first felt the 'static' she was mid-step. She stood there with her legs crossed, at first frozen, then she started to shake. Frank's first encounter made him cry. Honestly, that's a pathetic thing, a puppy crying. We should probably dial that thing down a notch.

One last piece of pet news today (yes, a big day): Frank's Daddy, Carlos is back from Alabama! He belongs to a seasonal truck driver at a local farm.

OK, seriously. I walked away from the computer for a couple minutes to take Trevor's call and share the stories of this crazy day. While I was on the phone with him the dishwasher basket full of dirty dishes...chased Frank across the kitchen. At least that must be what he thinks. His collar caught on the wire basket and he freaked out, shriek-yelping, while flying, crashing dishes littered the floor. His dog tag is missing (the dog warden will never believe this story).

Frank will not move from under the chair where Dave sits, the only one who hasn't traumatized him today.

It's been a rough day for Frank. He's been leashed & shocked outside, chased by gorillas (Mitch and Dex) and the contents of a dishwasher inside (all while trying to help with the dishes), the cat peed with perfect aim in his water, and he found out his Daddy is in town. He didn't even know he had a Daddy.

Mamma said there'd be days like this. They'rd be days like this. Mamma said.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What A Visit

So I started writing for this cool new website and have had a few other writing projects, so my blog is suffering! I figured I would share my recent little piece on the website with you. It's a sweet little true story you might enjoy at .

As always, I love to hear your feedback! Hope you have a great week friends!
Above image is my Blackberry version of a screen shot. I really should learn more about the computer, AND buy a Mac!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

25 Years Today

When I first met him he rolled out from inside a wrestling mat, of course. His charm was misunderstood (he was flirting with her). His credibility was misrepresented over the next week ("You might know my boyfriend Dave Lee!" ...I thought he had a girlfriend at every college).

Three years later he moved in next door. He didn't remember me, but you know I remembered him. He worked at winning me over nonetheless.

The Lake Michigan beach with a bunch of friends was our first outing (that word doesn't mean entirely the same thing today). Top Gun was our first date.

I remember the day he came driving into the apartment complex, bopping along in his sporty royal blue Omni GT, the same way he walks, and he smiled that big beautiful smile. I got this crazy warm feeling. I think that was the moment he captured my heart.

How today we have been married 25 years is crazy, wonderful, and mostly miraculous.

I started out a hopeless romantic. Life in a fallen world as a flawed human dealing with other flawed humans has made me a realist with hope.

I rarely find a greeting card that works for Dave from me. They're so...full of it. The cards I give him usually have words crossed out and additions of my own. Things that do not make it past my pen are phrases like "long lost love of my life", "soul mate", "my destiny", "my reason for living", "my universe". Such bullcrap.

Okay, sorry! I am told there are people who feel these words are true for them. But even my eternal optimism can't comprehend it. I mean, marriage relationship is just incredibly hard. Yes, there are many good things- I for one, contrary to how all of this sounds, feel incredibly blessed. But I feel one of the keys to getting to the 25 year mark and still loving him, is just being real.

The challenges over the years, of financial hardship, making a home together, parenting, losing a child, raising four sons, navigating careers and aspirations, trials and temptations, dealing with deep disappointments & times of despair...well, I don't know how we would have survived them all without being genuine about our hearts with each other and before God, and growing through it all. Plenty of people live in a state of denial. If I may give one piece of advice, I don't recommend parking there.

Here we are, 25 years later. I'm not going to start sugar coating things now. We are committed to love one another, we're not always in love, especially not always in like. But committed, at times like an insane asylum (I'm smiling), to working with each other, and supporting one another.
And through all of it I can say I have a handsome, upbeat, humorous, hard working, man of integrity, who loves God. I am blessed beyond measure. That, I can say with certainty. There just isn't a greeting card to match that. But Dave did wake me up this morning with a card that made me cry, because he put his own words in it.

I am celebrating today, and I am also praying for many loved ones in struggling relationships. But mostly I'm smiling. Because there is Hope. Great big beautiful Hope!

Happy Anniversary Babes. I love you, and today I like you too!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

5 Guys With Shovels

The bulk of the blizzard sort of skipped over us. I really thought we would see huge drifts and actually get snowed in for awhile. To the north and south of us the weather was much more severe. I was a little concerned last night about power failure when the wind and sleet blasted and we saw a light flicker, but even that we were prepared for. So, honestly I was a little disappointed.
There were some nice things the "blizzard" did blow my way though.
Dinner and euchre with Dave, Mitch, Wes, and Dex, because I wouldn't let anyone leave in that weather.
The Office on DVD because Direct TV was out.
The Puppy, Frank, waiting to be let in, covered in snow and completely happy about it.
Later, Frank at the door being pelted by sleet, not as happy about it.
Two different neighbors who both came over and plowed our driveway, one of them with a back hoe! Wow, thanks guys!
I was remembering times years back when there were 5 guys with shovels and various skill sets working on that very long driveway. Today those 5 shovellers of mine are...smarter (expanded skill sets) and busy with other things. Even though the sidewalk got shovelled today, heavy equipment suits the time.
Once again, the thing I can count on is that things always change. And it's all good when we're moving forward and growing.
I am one thankful person. : )

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Damages 3

OK, this is part three of a series that you need to read backwards...sort of...I think you can follow this madness (scroll down and start at "Damages" and then scroll UP). Blogspot would not let me post my photos in the order I wanted, it jumped them all over the place. So, there's more than one way to skin a cat - that's what Frank said too. But then, he likes the cat as a pillow also.
Frank has unpredictable taste. For example, there is a Giorgio Armani tie, made in Italy, in the trash (thankfully I got a crazy great deal on it online for Dave for Christmas).
All this damage has strangely been worth it for the unconditional love Frank gives us all every day. He's so happy to see me every morning and every time he rounds a corner, anytime.
Unconditional love amidst the damages that come with life. Reminds me of God.

Damages 2

Here's that great shot. Dave needed a new phone anyway.


First, I want to say that I am completely smitten by Wes and Trev's puppy, Frank.
And here he is snacking on the flooring.
See, there was this little corner that had peeled up by the door and well, you can see the rest of the story.

And then there was the phone charger....

and the blogspot refuses to let me insert the photo of it! But it's a great shot of a chewed off end of a charger. To be fair, Frank didn't produce this damage, his brother Charley did.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Live Full

Taking time to regroup, rest, and enjoy home and family over the holidays was refreshing. Happy New Year everyone!!

We are into the second year of non-0-years (oh). It will be nearly nine decades before there will be another o-year. We'll likely all be in eternity by then. So, here we are in the 20-years, twenty eleven for now.

That's weird, I know. But it helps me look closer at the time I live in, and to think about what I did with the last year of life I was given. What did I do with that flash?

I love to write down goals and look back on what I accomplished. It is really interesting. A few years after I had started doing this I found out that studies show that if you write this stuff down (and apparently only 3% of us actually do this), that you have a really high chance (a percentage I can't remember...) of achieving them. I have found this to be true. So, it's fun you should try it!

This year as I looked back at last year and wrote down a few more things for the coming year many things came to mind.

I thought about the many people I knew who have died this past year. Some lived full lives that impacted many for good, like my Grandma Josephine Carli for example. I cherish the memories and look forward to eternity. Others lives were cut short by tragedy or bad decisions.

The older I get the darker this world gets, I guess just because I'm sadly more aware of the real effects of sin in each of our lives. My shortcomings and others' combined. It's a tangled mess. But not to be discouraged, the light of eternity is getting brighter all the time too - chasing away the night.

Those are sort of heavy thoughts to start out the year, but thankfully it makes me more stubborn to live a life that is less about escape and more about joy and living fully.

Since I probably didn't make you laugh in this blog quite yet, perhaps I should share that on Christmas morning before we all opened our gifts we saw two eagles perched in a tree back along the river. We all looked out the window over the fields of sparkling snow and Dexter said excitedly, "Did Mom open her binoculars yet?!"

No, she didn't.

Photo of Shelley looking up from the spinning planet while climbing a ladder, by