Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Year in Review and Your Challenge for the New Year!

This past year, 2013 I tried at least two brand new activities each month that I have never done before-IN MY LIFE ! This is a tall order for somebody over a half-century old. Some activities were fun, but some were not, some items had to be done, chores of sorts but some items on my list were just plain fun.

I was inspired by a book, "the Second Half of Life" by Angeles Arrien.

An ancient European custom, still practiced in some parts of the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain, keeps soul loss at bay, the previous year I noticed my enthusiasm about life in general was ebbing. People there are encouraged to celebrate their birth date each month for a year by doing something they have not done before. This practice requires discipline, ingenuity, creativity, and motivated engagement.
I invite you to do the same this year! Enjoy!

January 2013

Rode the Greyhound bus to Glenwood Springs with our service dog, Dusty Boot--who incidentally had never ridden a Greyhound bus before, either. This activity was done with the express disapproval of multiple grown children.

Went to partner yoga with my husband. Be still my heart!

February 2013

Wrote two Special Needs Trusts and figured out how to get EIN numbers from the Federal Government.

Met two new new grandbabies: Bowen Joseph and Zachary Isaac. These two little ones were born five days apart to my oldest son and my youngest daughter, who are eleven years apart. What a miracle, and how blessed we were as grandparents to be able to be there for both births.

March 2013

Went to Wellington, Colorado. A small town in my native state that I had never visited.

Wrote three wills.

First time being kindergarten Mystery Reader for my grand-daughter, Emery

April 2013

Hosted our first guest with Airbnb.  We hosted a total now, of six times and all were memorable in a good way. We've hosted guests from as far away as Holland!  Airbnb, founded in August 2008 and headquartered in San Francisco. The company is an online service that provides a platform for individuals referred to as "host", generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests.

Learned about the "Little Free Library" movement and found the perfect small display cabinet ton Craigslist. Began the process to become an official "Little Free Library" and now we are on the map with our own "Little Free Library"!

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”


May 2013

Learned about flashing iphones and found two amazing college students that can repair almost any cell phone problem.

Back on my bike first time since breaking my wrist and elbow and surgery in a biking accident last year. To be honest, I never thought I would get back on a bike, again!

Celebrated my first 25th Wedding Anniversary!

June 2013

Went to Yoga on the Platt, sponsored by Root Down for the benefit of The Chanda Plan Foundation.
Beautiful, live music, Denver skyline wonderful people and setting.

Went to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, rode the Alpine Slide twice and the roller coaster once--which was more than enough and then toured the fairy caves! Amazing--went with Zachary my one of my new grandsons. And no, he didn't ride the roller coaster or the alpine slide! Felt like a kid again!

July 2013

Tried a "Black Betty" at Doug's Diner: A hamburger served with peanut butter, black berry jam, green chillies, on a ciabatta roll. Delicious!

Went to the Little Britches National Finals Rodeo with our oldest grandson, Brendan--My faith is renewed in the youngest generation!

August 2013

Made vegetarian lasanga with no cheese or meat. Made two batches and ended up with enough to feed an army.

Learned that you could call home from out of the country for free with a Google number!

September 2013

Went to the UK

First on a bike trip, and first bike trip in a foreign country.

Made bagels

Tried bacon Jam


Used the hold mail service and had it delivered when returned home--worked like it was supposed to!

October 2013

Made a photograph album of our anniversary trip online and ordered a hard copy. It turned out fabulous!

Learned about Social Security and when and how to apply by going to an educational class at the library. Do I look as old as everyone else, here?

November 2013

Attended and did a Barre Class.

Went out for Thanksgiving to Mimi's Cafe, delicious!

December 2013

Went to the Nutcracker Ballet with my daughter-in-law, grand-daughter, her sister and daughter, my daughter-in law's mother, and her sister's mother-in-law. Did you understand all this, if so I am my own Grandpa! Never realized what a beautiful tradition and performances I had been missing at Christmastime!

Attended the Global Bed Bug Conference for our K-9 Pest Detection Business held in Denver at the Sheraton--well worth the time and money.

Attended my first American Citizen Ceremony hosted by the US Immigration Department watching my husband became a US citizen! God Bless America!

This exercise is designed to keep us fluid and flexible. Connect with activities that give life and are meaningful. Celebrate your life---do a new activity each month for a year!

Let me know how you do!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to Eat Trout Without Getting Any Bones!


My Dad, an original Colorado pioneer, taught me when I was a very small child how to eat a fresh trout, without getting any of those insidious little bones stuck in my mouth! 

You can eat one of those brookies, rainbow or browns like a chicken leg. 

After it is gutted, lightly salt the fish and roll it in yellow cornmeal. Fry it up in a little Crisco vegetable oil till it is nice and brown. You can add a little chopped onion or garlic in the oil, if you wish. You can cut off it’s head but I prefer to use the head as one of the handles, use the tail as the other handle. 
The tail is a crispy tasty treat after you’ve gleaned the tender meat off the bones.

After the fish is cooked, take all the fins off the trout, there are three sets of fins on the bottom of the fish and one set on top of the fish. Each of these sets of fins have itsy-bitsy bones that jut into the flesh of the fish, which are separate from its main skeleton. Make sure when you pull off all the fins that you take all the little bones with the fins.
Now, pick up the fish with two hands. One hand holds the head of the fish and the other one the tail.  Gingerly eat the flesh off the main skeleton of the fish. You won’t get any bones and the flesh  will be picked clean off the bone.

Let me know how you fared!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blessing/Prayer for a New Home

As you move may this beautiful prayer be true for you as you open a new chapter in your life..........

May the door of this home be wide enough

to receive all who hunger for love,

all who are lonely for friendship.

May it welcome all who have cares to unburden,

thanks to express, hopes to nurture.

May the door of this house be narrow enough to shut our pettiness and pride, envy and enmity.

May its threshold be no stubling block

to young or strained feet.

May it be too high to admit to complacency,

selfishness and harshness.

May this home be for all who enter,

the doorway to richness and a more meaningful life.

The Siddur of Shir Chadash

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

D-O-G Apologetics or Everything I Know About God, I Learned from My Dog

I am the proud owner of a certified working scent dog and I am a certified handler. 

I confess, my hard working dog, “Dusty Boot” is a bed bug sniffing Boarder Collie mix. Bed bugs are difficult to find. If a business card can slip in an opening so can a bed bug. The bed bugs wedge in, hunker down making a harborage for themselves. 

The faint sweet sticky strawberry smell of the bed bug is no match for Dusty Boot’s keen nose which is over 1,000 times more sensitive than mine! When Dusty Boot alerts, I know there are bed bugs. Whether or not, I can see them or find myself. Dusty Boot interprets reality for me during an inspection. My reason is suspended. 

I have unreserved faith in a dog and his revelations.

This realization revolutionizes my world view.  

What if........what if I looked beyond the boundaries of this physical world--beyond nature, itself, would I find the Creator of the universe--a Holy God?

My Christian friends start with a self-contained Holy God, Creator of the universe, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as set forth in the Bible. Yet, they are considered backward in their thinking and less than objective. 

Wait a minute, aren’t I assuming more, by demanding God look at the world and everything in it from my viewpoint, follow my double minded laws of logic? I don’t require Dusty Boot to inspect for bed bugs from my point of view, if I did , I wouldn’t need a dog. Aren’t I judging God with creature capabilities inferior to that of a dog’s? I need a scent dog to find bed bugs maybe I need God, and the Bible to interpret reality for me, daily.

I judge God with the creature capabilities the ones He created and gave me, ones not equal to another creature’s much less comparable to the God of the universe?

What if God created heaven and earth and everything in it
and me, in the Imago Dei (Image of God)?

I would not exist in an impersonal mechanical world of chance. Time, history and meaning would come from a personal purposeful God. Consequently, life’s purpose and my best life would flow from God’s design for man........for me. Wow!  

If I exercise faith daily in a relationship with my dog, a created being whose senses I admit are superior to mine why couldn’t I rely on and trust God, and the Creator’s revelations to interpret and impart meaning for me?

What if God, and God alone is the starting point and source for intelligent thought? 

The Bible’s claims to be the Word of God, the truth with a capital “T”. What if it is? 

If it is, I would not be in Cesar Milian’s terminology spend my time striving to be the “pack leader” but rather:

1.  Delight in and celebrate the fact that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. I am made in the image of God: an all-sufficient, self-contained intelligent, powerful, loving and just God.

2.  Seek to know God intimately by embracing the Creator’s and redeemer’s interpretation and purpose for my life and all creation.

3.  Recognize that I am accountable to God. I am not entitled but will bow in His presence at the end of my life 

4.  Exercise my God given authority to take dominion, by being a good steward of His creation. In my world, that’s dog and bed bug.

Say your prayers, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Comments? Questions about bed bugs?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Earth Day

Give Glory to God When You See Something Beautiful

Every time you feel in God's Creatures something pleasing
and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone,
but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say:
"O my my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty,
delight and joy how infinitely more full of beauty, delight
and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!

Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Celebrate Memorial Day in a Meaningful Way! Table for Four

Directions below for "The Table for Four":  A great way to honor those who serve our country on Memorial Day with family and friends.

We had our four-old grandson help with the presentation of the, "Table for Four".

What you need:
A small table, set for four. Cover the table with a white table cloth. In the center of the table place a single red rose with a red ribbon tied prominently around the neck of the vase. Four pictures of an individual in uniform on from each of the armed forces, Army, Marines, Navy and the Air Force. Pictures of family members who have served are the best placed at each place setting. On each plate place a slice of lemon. Sprinkled each plate with slate. Invert the glass set at each place setting and turn the chairs up to the table.  Place a Bible on the table.


Table for Four  

This small table is a table of remembrance. It is set for four.

It represents the four services in time of war:

The Army, the Marines, the Navy and the Air Force.

This table symbolizes that members of our military are gone from our midst.

We call them brothers, fathers, uncles, and friends.

They are unable to be with us so, we remember them each day.

The Table Cloth is White--symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's
call to arms...


The Single Rose-displayed in the vase reminds us of the families and friends of their lost
loved ones...

The Red Ribbon-tied prominently on the vase reminds us of the blood that was shed for our

A slice of Lemon-reminds us of their bitter fate...

Salt Sprinkled-on the plates reminds us of the countless fallen tears of their families...

The Glasses are inverted-they cannot toast with us...

The Chairs are Empty-they are not here...

The Bible-represents the strength to sustain the families of those gone from us, from our
founded as one nation under God...

Let us pray for those still serving our country so that we might be free.

We put a slice of lemon on each plate, sprinkled salt on each plate, turned the glasses over and turned the chairs up to the table.

I did not write this and could not find a source for it. If anyone knows who did please leave a comment and share the author's name with others.

Please share with me other meaningful ways that you've celebrated Memorial Day with your family...........

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Christian Mind Meets the Yoga Mat

I love Yoga. I enjoy how my body feels afterwards. 

However, I worship the Creator of the sun.  (Job 38-41) 

As I move through Yoga exercises at home or in class in my head the routine goes something like this:  

Come to your mat. Sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position.
Arms outstretched, palms up on knees. 

Breathe slowly and evenly through your nose. Begin to breathe deeper and meditate on the following Scripture verse:

Genesis 2:7
“the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being.”

Without oxygen we would die within a few minutes.

God is our source, and His oxygen is vital for life.

Job 33:4
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Embrace an eternal perspective.

Psalm 39:5 
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.  Each man’s life is but a breath.

Breathing deep cleansing breaths supply the body and organs with oxygen. It is an easy way to rid ourselves of waste products, toxins, recharge our batteries, and rejuvenate the skin.

Lift your shoulders to your ears and then pull them back and down your back. Reach the crown of your head up to the ceiling and root your pelvic bones down to the ground, stretching your spine long and straight. Be still. I have heard it described like being “a candle flame in a windless environment.”

There are many “be still” and “wait” passages to meditate pick one of the verses below or better yet find one on your own prior to coming to the mat that speaks into your own life:

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.

Psalm 130:5
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope.

Put your arms in front of you and walk then forward. Then  move up on your knees with your hands under your shoulder and your knees over your ankles.

Cat/Cow Pose

Isaiah 40:12
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?

Spinal Balance Posture

Start with a neutral spine from previous posture. As you  
inhale lift the left leg and right arm up. Keep them both 
straight and parallel to the floor. Hold for thirty seconds
continuing to breath. Lower both the arm and the leg down
and do the other sides.

As we begin to pick up the pace remember: ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’.  (Acts 17:28a) After practice read the verse above in context:   Acts 17:27-29.

Downward Dog Posture

From the Downward Dog Standing Position: step your left leg through to assume a Warrior One Position, bringing your arms up reaching forward and up to the ceiling

Warrior One

The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-19

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be
able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition, to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

Warrior Two

Reverse Warrior

Extended Side Angle Pose

Bring feet together, Downward Dog--right leg through and proceed as before through Warrior One, Two and extended Side Angle Pose on the other side.

Tree Pose-Finding Balance

Find a stationary focus point level with your eyes to help your balance work on memorizing these tree verses from Psalms while working through the Tree Pose to remain balanced through the day. Do one side and then the other.

Psalm 1:3a
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. 

 Psalm 92:12
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Psalm 52:8
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

Sit on your mat with legs extended.

Seated Side Twist

1 Timothy 4:16
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Before returning to the mat again, after reading the Chapter 4 in Timothy in its entirety.

After finishing the Seated Side Twist on both sides, extend both legs out in front and pull yourself down, bending from the hips and holding your toes

Child’s Pose

John 1:12
Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God----

Mark 10:16
And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them.

Amen, so be it!

Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together, with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

Amen.......So be it!

P.S. Often in Yoga class they play the Leonard Cohen's secular song, "Hallelujah". The tune is haunting and I find it emotionally reflective. I recently discovered that it has been newly released with Christian lyrics.