Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord"  Isaiah 37:14

What was in this letter?   Well it was a letter from the enemy of the Jews ridiculing them and God.  It was a pretty good length and truth to tell had Hezekiah shaking in his boots.  The king of Assyria told Hezekiah how he had destroyed all the other nations around Jerusalem, and now he was coming to get them.  He told them not to bother looking to Egypt for help and certainly not to bother the Lord their God for help because it wasn't going to happen.  All the gods of the other nations had been destroyed -- of course because they were only made of wood and stone.  

So in spite of all the threats from the King of Assyria, Hezekiah prays to the Lord: "Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone".  Hezekiah knew God and Who He was as well as what His power was.  Because of the great blasphemy the King of Assyria had heaped upon the Lord's name -- to cut to the end of the story -- the King was called to return to his land and before long he was killed by his own sons because they wanted the throne.
The Lord, He is God of all the earth and He alone.  

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

S is for SPIRE

S is for SPIRE

This is the crooked spire of St. Mary's Anglican Church in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK  It is said to lean at a 45 degree angle and does so for two probable reasons:
1.  The workmen were not sufficiently skilled.
2,  The wood they used was un-seasoned and therefore warped.

This is the Same Spire in Silhouette:

The next photo is in honor of  Sergeant Major, Ed Billups, who celebrated his 80th birthday this week, having served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean and Viet Nam wars:

 and he can still get into his dress blues!
Happy Birthday, Ed!

One more Spire, made more Spectacular by the Sky behind it:

The Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise, Idaho.

Or you can have Sweet dreams about this Spider:

On display in the Nature Center, in Carlsbad.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Odds and Ends

The Amaryllis is about 10 inches across now that it has fully opened.

Took this in a outdoors store in Boise that had quite a large exhibit of forest and desert creatures in the center of the store.  This coyote looks a bit more well fed than the ones we find around here!

This is Bailey.  It turned out quite well in catching his expression, but the color is not quite right and I couldn't fix it with my digital image editor.  He was more brown than gray, but in so many photos he comes out looking gray.  The brown is actually more of a taupe, shading to coffee cream.  I  think I need to put a wash of water color taupe over it.  I'll try it, but will have to wait a day or two as this is a busy week. The nearest to his real color is the paw at the bottom of the picture.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Getting Ready for Summer

We have had a cool spring for us.  Not too many days when I could sit out on the patio because a cool wind was blowing.  But one day last week was beautiful, so I set up my summer accoutrements.  Had to sit in the shade, the sun was too hot.

Cushions on chair, binoculars, my favorite cold drink , (cold Ovaltine), the telephone, a couple of cookies, a book and of course my camera.  Behind me the jasmine is in full bloom.

Viewing direction is straight down the path to the bird feeders.  We've figured out a way to put out half an orange for the orioles.  You can just see it by the bell feeder.  I also sprinkle seed on the patio table in the winter and spring , so that if we get a sprinkle of rain, it doesn't just sit and get soggy in the tray feeder. The fountain is close by as you can see and the birds love it. The cone shaped things are to keep the squirrells off and the bell shaped cover is to keep the pigeons out of the seed in the tray.

Our amaryllis is blooming for the third year, much to our surprise.  It was one of those you buy for indoors at Christmas.  Barry just planted the old bulb beside the waterfall stones (we have a waterfall as well as a fountain.) and lo and behold we have been getting one or two blooms a year.

The orchid cactus is struggling.  This was a good sized one and in good condition, but I think it outdid itself last year when we had more than 20 blooms.

Barry caught this rabbit, one of quite a number who live around here.  He was basking in the sunshine in the front yard on our 'Arizona lawn' as we call it.  He could have taken quite a few more pictures but the camera card was full and I was still in bed!

And this is one of my evening occupations,  drawing or painting.  This is Violet, from Boise, one of my
 grand-kats.  I call her Lady Lavender.
She's a real cuddler.

The next one I do will be Bailey.

Too cold to sit outside today and our May Gray and June Gloom is forecast to settle in next week.
May Gray and June Gloom is what we get along the coast before our warm weather sets in.  If you want sunshine you have to go inland about ten minutes.  It is the subject of much complaining.  We are never satisfied are we.

Whoops!  The birds are calling.  Time to go out and feed them!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010



I can see I shall have to permanently change the title of this part of my posts!

"If riches increase, set not your heart upon them". Psalm 62:10

The word "if" is important here. Somewhere, somehow, some people have got hold of the idea that health and wealth are our right as Christians. 'Fraid not. It doesn't work like that. I could preach a sermon right here and now on why not, but I won't. The point is that if God sees fit to bless you or me with riches -- or good health for that matter, don't take them for granted. Not only that, don't let them become the source of everything that is meaningful in your life. They will let you down and you will find you have no foundation for meaning in life. Jesus Christ is who makes our life meaningful. He gave us life and we didn't all get what we expected or thought we should. But He has His reasons. This is where faith and trust come in. Trust Him, He knows what is best for your life -- and mine too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

FLAMBLOGGER: R is for....

In keeping with my post last week about finding Pieces of my Past in old diaries, I thought you might be interested in seeing this, that just arrived yesterday.  
I saw an ad on Blogger for taking your blogs and putting them into book form: BlogstoPrint from SharedBooks.
I thought I'd give it a try and this is the result.

The cover is glossy and looks much nicer than this and the pages are photographic or glossy paper. I chose green because I love that color but there are other colors to choose from. I was very pleased with the result.  There are about 70 pages and the cost was approximately $33.00

The nice thing about this is that now instead of old diaries full of reminiscences done in tiny writing in pencil from my teens, I now have a full colored illustrated diary of my seventies!

I just did the year 2007 to see if I liked it.  My husband is so pleased with the result that he is urging me to have 2008 done.  Then at Christmas I'll do 2009 followed by 2010.

If you're interested just Google Blogs2print or SharedBooks.  I'm not getting any commission!  I just thought other people might like to see their work preserved in a different way other than on computers.

But while we're at it  -- the letter 'R' that is,-- this is another reminiscence that begins with R -- me and my dog Rip, taken about 1950.  My eyes are not shut, I was just looking down at Rip.  What a great dog he was!

One day I had just read a touching story in the newspaper about a dog, so I took my ten shillings I had been saving up for a tennis racket and told my mother "I'm going around the village to find a dog and I'm not coming back until I've got one!"  And that's exactly what I did.  I found a fisherman who had Rip, (who was about 6 months old).  I gave him my ten shillings and I took Rip.  He lived to a good old age.  He was still with my parents until a few years after I was married.  That was a pretty good bargain.  

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Heritage Park Oceanside.

We took another day out to look for gems in our own Tri- City Area.

Heritage Park is a small park in Oceanside that is often overlooked.  It features old buildings and replicas of Oceanside in the early days of its history.  The buildings are set around a large green, grassy quadrangle.  At one end is a beautiful bandstand:

At the other end  a few solid and clean picnic tables...

...right next door to the City Jail.

Along one side of the quad are some old store fronts  and some  farm implements...

...the General Store and a Barber's Shop

Beautiful wood toned store fronts

Along the other side of the grass quad is the old "Blade"  newspaper building.  Our son started out his photography career with the old Blade Citizen newspaper (not in this building!  We're not that old!)

The first Libby School building is next to the Blade.

Same buildings, but a step further back to look at the beautiful tree set in front of them.

Now look at that tree again  -- so beautifully shaped.

And that was our day out last week.  
Once again, not a soul there.  The caretaker did come out to say hello.  He said that three or four days a week there is nobody using this park But next week they are to have a big splash when all the old timers from what was the Oceanside School District, (now incorporating Carlsbad and Vista) will have a great reunion with a lot of fun and many memories recalled.

Why don't you explore your old neighborhoods?  Bet you'd find some gems too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

'Q" IS FOR....

Q is for QUARTZ
If I had been born in the desert I think I would have been a rock-hound.  These two pieces, of quartz, each about 3" in size, I bought when we were in Brazil a good number of years ago now.  It was an impulse buy.  I'm sure I could have bought them here in the States, but I liked them and they had good color and were a fair size, so I bought them -- only a couple of dollars each as I remember.

The purple one is of course amethyst and the amber colored one, citrine.  Both are beautiful and grace the top of my bookshelves.

Speaking of beautiful....

Here is Henrietta between two small piles of rose quartz which a friend gave us many years ago when he was re-doing his front yard.  I could have cropped her out -- and the beautiful berries, but I didn't have the heart to do it.  Henrietta was such fun when she stayed with us!

Here she is the 
Actually, if you look closely you will see that this is actually my replica for Henrietta.  After she left us, I transformed a rooster I bought in Kauai and this is now Henrietta enjoying the rose quartz.


I wondered if I could find an appropriate Bible verse with Q in  and sure enough I did.

"In Quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15
As a child I was always hyperactive, only they didn't use that word in those days.  What it means is I was never still and talked way too much!  As I have grown older and hopefully 'matured' I have learned that when I'm rushing about, tumbling my thoughts and actions, I do much better if I slow down and quieten down.  Today, I would say I have learned to look to the Lord for peace, quietness and confidence when I have something important to do or say (at other times too, but especially in those times).  So I'm glad I looked up Q in the Bible for ABC Wednesday.  This verse is a good reminder.

If you have a moment, please go back and take a look at the two paintings I posted yesterday.  I was quite pleased with the way they turned out -- though they are no masterpieces.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dings and Things

Well it had to happen some time, but we weren't quite ready for it yet.  Last week we went down to our favorite park, me to watch birds and Barry to read.  There wasn't a soul around as we parked the car and took out the lawn chairs.  It was beautiful, quiet and warm.  We'd been there about an hour when a group of young fellows approached from afar, throwing a frisbee back and forth.  Suddenly we heard a loud bang -- almost like a gun shot.  Whoops!! One of the guys missed his target and the frisbee flew about 50 yards straight into the door of our brand new car!!

Can you see it?  Right in the middle of the yellow reflection.  The poor guy was so apologetic.  But what can you do?  It is too small to warrant repair.  The only good thing about it is that I wasn't the one to make the first ding in the new car.  I would have felt so guilty.

I've been doing some more painting while recovering from my cold.  The first is:

The Two Trees.

I found this scene for Virtual Paintout, but didn't get it finished in time. (Sent in a different one.)
But I so liked this scene that I decided to finish it anyway.

 The next one is from a photo I took while up in Boise.  It hasn't reproduced too well.
I call it "Vicki's lamp".  This little vignette caught my eye, mainly I think because of my two favorite colors -- peach and sage green -- and the beautiful lamp.

See you tomorrow on ABC Wednesday.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Back from Boise

So off we went to Boise for our annual visit to Son #2, whose birthday is in April.

The good old Capitol Building is a fine historical and political marker.

The weather was not exactly California style -- showery and cold, but we came prepared with sweaters and jackets.  We had highs of 53 F!

This looked kind of ominous, but it missed us and as you can see we were still in sunshine.

I'm missing Bailey, but this little love, Violet -- I call her Lady Lavender -- helped me along.  What a little sweetie she was!  She napped with me Saturday afternoon.

Boise is a blaze of blooms at this time of the year.  Such a beautiful city in the spring time.  This year the snow was still on the mountains around the basin.  But I had to photograph these. I love catkins.  They remind me of spring in England.

Sunday, the sunshine stayed warm enough for our early Mother's Day Dinner. This turned out to be a great photo -- and the meal just as great -- but we ended up indoors half way through.  This was the first time we had met Vicki's parents, so it was an especial treat.
If we had sound on blogger, you would now hear Barry's coughing and sneezing in the background, as I gave my sniffles to him!  I'm generous that way :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Late again this week, but two excuses:  I've been out of town for five days and also brought back a bug -- or allergies or something with me.

Paul's prayer for the Colossians, among many to be found in that letter, is that we "may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God".

We can't walk worthily or be "fruitful in every good work" unless we have the "knowledge of God".  This knowledge of Him is why I attend Bible Studies and read the Bible regularly.  Nowhere else can I find the true knowledge of Him.  If I look elsewhere, I end up with someone else's opinion of Him.  Have you ever wondered at the thousands of ideas as to who or what God is?  How can we find the truth in that maze of opinions?  But Jesus says, "I am the truth".  Thank goodness we have something and Someone who really knows truth in this sadly mixed up world.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pieces from my Past

Going through a long unused closet packed full of junk, I recently came across an old cookie tin.  When I opened it, pieces of my past came tumbling out...
    My report card from kindergarten (I'm 72 years old!)
    All my old high school report cards
    Three diaries crammed full of my frivolous teenage adventures from ages 16, 17, and 18
    The stub from my first paycheck as a teacher
    The first birthday card my husband-to-be sent me before we were even 'going together'
    The bill from the hotel where we spent our honeymoon in1959

While I spent a good many hours looking through these and other things like them, I think you might be more interested in more up-to-date 'P's such as...

Colored PENCILS which I frequently use for my art work

 Photography another one of my recent hobbies

 My plumeria which has survived yet another winterThis is a bloom from last year.  The plant will not bloom again until much later this year.  We are fortunate because we did not have a whisper of frost this winter.Usually I watch the weather forecast on the cold winter nights and have to throw a light cover over it if the temperature goes below 40degrees F
The brown PELICAN which has made a remarkable come-back in the last 30 years.  There are plenty of them in the beach and harbor area.  I am told they were dying out because the use of DDT made the egg shells soft and the babies could not survive.  Well they are  certainly surviving now.
Anyone from Liverpool will recognize this as what we call "The PIER Head".  It's correct name is the Royal Liver Building.  "liver" being the name of a bird that so far as I know, no longer exists.  But Liverpool certainly still does and this magnificent building is in good shape.  It was known by my husband and his cronies who grew up there, as "the peer-red".  Say it fast and you will understand. It stands beside the River Mersey.  Yes, this is the same Liverpool as the one where the Beatles came from.  We have the distinction of knowing someone who knew JohnLennon.  He used to stand as lookout while the rest of them went shoplifting!

 In honor of the Virtual Paintout this month, whose topic is Portugal, I decided to include this tile made in Portugal and brought home for me by my husband after visiting there a year or two ago.

I'm back from my visit to Boise and will be visiting my blogging friends again soon.  But Boise  -- or the flight -- was a little too generous in passing along a bug to me.  Anyway between sneezes and blowing I have not missed ABC Wednesday.  Aren't you glad computers can't pass along this kind of bug , or virus?