A Million Trees


The Bed and Breakfast of My Dreams
September 26, 2010, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Health and Wellness

I’ve been away for a good while.  Take a look at our latest adventure and you’ll understand why there just isn’t enough hours in the day!  http://www.raspberryridgebandb.com .



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Never give up… Keep tryin! Keep tryin!
February 11, 2010, 6:18 am
Filed under: Fitness, Grandparenting

Sleigh riding at Camp Determination

Our grandsons Ethan and Edison came to stay with Papaw and Mamaw for 10 days recently.  I said to my husband Jim when their visit was confirmed, “Great!  Let’s teach the boys determination!!”  We definitely want them to be as stubborn and bull headed as we are.   Oh yes we do.  We definitely do.

You see we were disturbed by their level of follow through when the going gets tough so to speak.  At first, it was an unwillingness to ride a bike if it was physically demanding or there could be a fall of any kind.  Then, it seemed to be snowballing into reports of  “The boys don’t like to be out in the cold.  They’d rather be snuggled up inside and warm with a cup of hot chocolate.”  and well, you get the idea…

So, hut two three four, to Mamaw and Papaw’s they came.  The boys arrived under the pretense of celebrating a late Christmas due to distance.  When at last we were all together again, little two year old Edison defiantly announced “Santa is fake!   …..  Santa is FAKE!!”  I had already been warned by my daughter Stephany that she felt it important that the boys not become confused about Jesus by believing in Santa.   My grandson “Older than five Ethan” knowingly looked on with approval at his little brothers’ assertion.  Jim and I later tried to present the snowshoes that Santa had left the boys but it was futile.  The bit about Santa being limited to the frigid, winter land of northern Minnesota would have made some inroads with little Edison but not older than five Ethan.   He took two steps back and lifted an eyebrow of disapproval that his grandparents would reach such lows as lie to him and his little brother.  My husband and I looked exasperated at each other knowing it just wasn’t worth sliding further onto this thin ice we found ourselves on.

We had our first instruction the next day with the very un-controversial activity called sleigh riding down the icy, snow covered driveway.  We first versed them in wearing layers for comfort.  They learned the importance of  stuffing their gloves inside coat sleeve elastic, the importance of the northern ‘gator’ for their neck protection, and not just stocking hats but knit hats with tabs down to their collarbones to cover tender ears and cheeks.  Next, came “the hill”.    We focused on form and technique, placement of the rope and it’s use, the wisdom of ‘ditching’ if they slide out of control toward a tree, etc… etc…

They were frustrated at times, Ethan kept forgetting the placement of the rope both up and down hill.  Edison lost patience at all the effort it  took to maneuver uphill.  Once, he almost stormed away sure I had betrayed him by accelerating his fall to the ground in front of the sleigh. Ethan cut through the Dutch language barrier I was experiencing with Edison’s excited scorn,  “He thinks you did it on PURPOSE?!.”   That too became a lesson in “Never give up.”  I coaxed Edison back to the peak of that hill and with determination he once again committed to have fun on the sled.

But then, it all came together when we just wouldn’t accept a failure to have sleigh riding fun.   They were naturals.  Why they flew down the hill.  Older than five Ethan proudly announced his desire to go up and then down the hill again and  little Edison belly laughed all the way down sitting face first into the wind in front of his big brother for added weight and speed. We were pleased that they had completed their first day of Camp Determination.  I smiled to myself  knowing it was on to snowshoes tomorrow…

Kids and Dogs in motion

And so I’ll leave you now to the rest of your day.  The saga of the snowshoes is a whole other story…



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September 25, 2009, 3:28 am
Filed under: Health and Wellness

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The Hate Speak of the Old Guard
March 10, 2009, 6:23 am
Filed under: ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, In the News, NBC, Obama, Speak Out | Tags: ,

Saturday, February 28, 2009

…Mockery, anger, bullying, exclusion and abusive labeling of people that look, think, act, or believe differently is slithering across the air waves…  It’s called neo-fascism.  Yes the Republicans spent their Saturday afternoon listening to Rush Limbaugh’s sermon.  The messiah of the Republican party is preaching that America turn away from religious freedom and choose THEIR way and no other. 

I’m listening to Rush Limbaugh speaking to the Republicans gathered in Washington D.C.   CNN just had to cut him off as his base character came seething through the screen.  He mockingly spoke in a classic stereotypical gay male lisp as he spewed polarizing hate against the Democratic values of religious freedom and equality for all in the United States.

He continues to undermine our founding fathers principals of fighting for religious freedom, life and liberty for all people while seeking to deceive that HE is protecting those values.   Hmmm…  I think the Bible’s Book of Revelations warns us to see him and others like him for what they are – not what they say they are. 

Laissez-faire business practices in the United States is on it’s way out and the Republican Party wealthy elite are turning to their progaganda machine to sway the masses back into line – a pill popping, law breaking, bigoted, fear mongering,  old white male spewing hate to  mobilize the uneducated masses!  This is the Republican party’s ‘best of class’ ?  

Rush actually tried to deceive Americans into believing that bleeding heart liberals are responsible for the politics of racism in the Republican party.  He would have us believe Democrats are the ones creating cartoons portraying blacks with watermelons, monkeys and lynch ropes.   This hate and anger as contrasted against the audacity of hope… 

Hmmm….  how do I want God to judge me once I take my last breath?  As a Christian woman, how do I want to describe my life to Him?  Did I take personal responsibility for my choices in life or seek to point out others short comings instead?  Did I live peacefully as Jesus instructed me to do with compromise and compassion or did I choose to seek power over others lest they have power over me – the anatomy of every abuser personified? 

Did I fight for life by eliminating ignorance and poverty among young men and women or did I act as the pharisees and preach religious superiority while grinding women into poverty perpetuating unwanted pregnancy, drugs and alcohol, violence and despair.   Did I live by Jesus’s commandment to show love by forgiving trespasses as I pray that God will forgive my own?  

Did I choose peace instead of war, love over hate, my family’s health, the wonder of earth’s creation and childrens rights to clean air and water in place of corporate profits and laissez-faire greed and corruption? Did I choose to shepard the lesser creatures of the world and practice humane animal husbandry as God commanded or did I choose killing for sport and twisted, sick abuse of animals as a God given right of having ‘dominion over’ ?

Faith and class warfare used as a weapon to manipulate and polarize the masses is nothing new – the Crusaders, Klu Klux Klan, Skin Heads, and Hitler have nothing on Rush.  It saddens me so to know many Americans learned nothing from the lessons of the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War, World War I and World War II.  This hate speak puts America on the wrong side of world history and I pray our great nation will continue to choose religious freedom for all, human rights, our children’s right to clean air and water, the ethical treatment of animals, honesty and integrity in business practices and compassion for all peoples.

There is a center for America and it’s not found in the politics of divide and conquer. You won’t find it by being a ‘sheep – le’ blindly following leaders seeking to overflow their coffers by preaching what divides America from the pulpit.  I choose light over darkness – and yes in the name of God Almighty as I understand Him to be.  Amen.



And Now the Rest of the Story…

America lost a true American yesterday – Paul Harvey passed away among family and friends in a Arizona hospital yesterday.  He was 90 years old. 

I grew up listening to Paul Harvey from our farm kitchen window to the world.  Commentators are speaking of Paul Harvey as a conservative – I guess I never thought of him as convervative or liberal – he was someone I knew instinctively I could trust.  I think Paul Harvey and my father would have been great friends.   My father was elected to the ASCS office for 21 years in a row despite being a passionate Democrat in a very Republican county.  

How did he manage that you ask?  He carried out his responsibility of distributing farm grants with fairness, honesty, integrity and honor.  Dad loved people and it showed in his interactions and yet make no mistake he was the epitimy of the Democratic Farm Labor party.  Dad and Paul both lived in the era long past of civility, even handed justice, and steering clear of controversy that would tarnish your good name.  

Paul Harvey was a friend, companion, voice of reason and ray of sunlight during my youth.  I am saddened the country has lost someone so dear to so many but glad he has reunited with his precious “Angel” .  It’s exciting to think that Paul Harvey and his wife “Angel ” are exploring the next chapter in their lives and together again.  They truly know “the Rest of the Story” now….



The Next Great Industrial Revolution – Green Jobs
Loutherbourg d. J., Philipp Jakob
Coalbrookdale 1801 Artist: Loutherbourg d. J., Philipp Jakob

Change is coming so we hear in this election.  The world is changing at an accelerated pace over the last 200 years.  It’s amazing really – civilization has been on a colision course toward destroying the world since the first industrial revolution

For sure – things will change but will it be good change?  I say it absolutely HAS to be the change that will save our earth from total destruction.  I know I sound like an alarmist… it’s because I’m alarmed.  How greedy are you?  I mean really…  If you were told your child has 20 years to live unless you change everything you’re doing right now – would you?

Are you concerned for your job?   How about blue collar jobs, small businesses, the credit crisis, the stock market fall, hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and drought?  Global warming… is man made and we must think about the future of our children and grandchildren.

Make the right choice on November 4th – vote for the candidate that will truly bring change to America and bring us out of this economic disaster.

Vote Obama