Thursday, November 27, 2014


The trampoline, which not only exercises, but does a great job with lay-flat laundry
The nice clerk at the post office leaning across and giving my clerk the pretty stamps I wanted
Being able to find natural healing methods for an injury immediately, off the Internet
A friendly neighbor that takes me out to lunch
A thrift store find of a cooler, just the size I wanted
Good pans for a small price at a retirement yard sale
A Florida alligator who had the prudence not to come up on the bank near me
Thoughtful gifts from my Secret Sister
Photos that bring back delightful memories
Free anti-virus protection
Finally meeting family friends from way, way back (before I was even born)
A lovable mama pit-bull named Sweet Pea curling up in my lap and going to sleep
Delightful sisters-in-law
Non-ethanol gas that makes my lawn mower work better and last longer
The majestic beauty of Black Rock Mountain
The warmth of sunlight on a cool fall day
My solid black Lab when she’s not running a con to get more food
Digital photo books
The godly, hardworking Duggar Family, with their nineteen kids
The computers in Heathrow Airport, London--“dinosaur” though they were--they worked, sort of
The ticket agent that rerouted me without charging me for the new ticket
That my purse wasn’t stolen when I left it in the horse carriage in downtown Cape Town
Hiking with Vicki and watching the sail-kayaks scoot along the vlei
Pretty, colorful scarves
Bufflesfonteine Safari and gawking at the huge South African rhino
Gorgeous fall foliage, while walking the Three Rivers Greenway, Spanish moss draped over branches of oak
Numerous turtles covering logs and rocks in the river which reflects the vivid blueness of the October sky
 Kleenexes that have decent thickness to them
Gas station attendant’s response to tract I gave her: “I like ‘funny but good Christian!‘”
A friend’s husband who will come do jobs for us that we can’t do
Useful tips on dog training
My kind and clever cousins coming down to repair our three stoves that all stopped working at once
A neighbor’s dog who watches for me as they walk past my house, and sits down to wait
Best of all, God’s amazing love for me!   

 Posing in front of the Christmas lights on the square. Which are now out due to a power outage.

 David and Philip with their mom

 The accommodating brothers when Missy tries to take their picture

 Stephen, Lydia, and their mom share a joke.

Satiated with a sumptuous dinner!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Far Above Rubies Ladies' retreat

Jubilee Center at Cedine Bible Camp, overlooking Watts Bar Lake, on the Tennessee River

It's fall!  October 2-4, the Far Above Rubies retreat.
Right next to the Center

The theme for this year's retreat was the circus. The clown is doing tricks with Brother Ed.

The dining room, which shows a pictured history of Cedine Bible Camp.

Looking out the dining room windows at the galloping horses.
Each guest was equipped with a spare nose.

On the pontoon, touring the lake.

Bird Island, with a hunting blind, which is most of the time inhabited by birds with their spacious nests.

Our favorite part of the retreat--talks by Margaret Springer, missionary to headhunters in Irian Jaya.

Margaret singing a duet with Mina, not by choice. She made sure that someone recorded the event with snapshot, as she claims she can't sing, and here she was singing with famed soloist Mina Oglesby.

Yeah, I'm an emu, and whatcha got to say about it?!

The less ferocious Nubian, looking for a handout.

Grace shooting me as I shoot her in the equestrian arena.
Grace in the handbell choir.

My man the clown, who, I believe, has heard Small Paul preach.

Grace House

Lana and me as we prepare to leave.

Beautiful fall scenery at a rest area.

My Far Above Rubies clown.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

BIRTHDAY JOY in the mountains

The birthday trip was over 320 miles, and I drove the whole route. Nerve-wracking for Grace and Becky, I suppose.
Ah, Black Rock Mountain, with its breathtaking vistas from the parking lot.

Great photo ops!

Bright blossoms bring color to the scenery.

Now to actually hike.

The morning sun didn't scorch us. Here it tends to be 20 degrees cooler than Central Georgia.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is simply not all it's cracked up to be. I'm leaving."

The information we were given doesn't seem to be correct as to how to get to
the falls.
Finally heading down to the car to find the lake.

The quaint church up near the dam.

Thunder rolled across the mountains, warning us not to go on the trail around the lake and risk getting our cameras wet.

"The paparazzi follows me EVERYwhere. The price of beauty, I suppose."
He does!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Accidental Vacationers

Grace and I decided it was time we visited some retired missionaries that hadn't seen in a long time. So we drove down to central Florida and stopped in to see seven retired friends. This is Lakeland's beautiful lake with swans.
A gorgeous bloom in the town library's rose garden.
However, as we were tooling along on SR 64, we began hearing suspicious noises coming from our car, so Grace pulled over. We found nothing out of order, so continued.  
The second time it happened, a man driving a rental company truck stopped to see if he  could help. He examined everything he could see, and pulled on the tires, 
but could find nothing wrong. 
Pulling back onto the road, almost immediately, downright ominous sounds issued from beneath the car. But before we could get to the shoulder, the driver's side wheel detached and zoomed across the road through the barbed wire fence to explore the cow pasture.
(*No animals were harmed during the filming of this adventure.)

Does it look pitiful, or what?

A pickup did a U-turn and the young man hopped down to offer his assistance. He crossed the road, climbed the fence, and rolled the wheel back to us. When Grace was asked questions she didn't know about her car, this young man answered them for her. He dialed 411 to get our hostess's number on his smarter-than-me phone (it was on Grace's, but hers was busy with the tow company), and handed it to me as it dialed. He stayed with us for close to two hours, I guess, then loaded our luggage in the back of his truck, and drove me to Bradenton.
He refused to take any gas money or anything for all his help. Carolynne C. thanked him, and he left to go check on Grace, still waiting for the tow truck. He told Grace Mrs. C. was awesome.

Loading the car on SR 64
The kind next-door neighbor, Len, immediately offered us his car for anywhere we might need to go. We later accepted it, and drove it to prison.
The garage recommended to us by State Farm and two individuals. 
They kept our car for two weeks.
Il Villlagio--"Serving those who serve the Lord"--the missionary village built by Anthony Rossi, founder of Tropicana Orange Juice.

Crafts from Carolynne's mission field, Venezuela
Come and get it. Sand hill cranes behind the house. There were always three, which we dubbed the Three Musketeers. The adolescent's head had not turned red yet; you can see his shadow.

More Venezuelan crafts.

Bird of paradise in Carolynne's front flower garden

Venezuelan musical instruments

The country  of Venezuela embedded in stones

This is a gated community.

Passing scenery in Bradenton
Para sailing, soon to be outlawed, I hear, due to its dangerous nature

Busy boating area

Len's beautiful flowers

An always interesting view out the kitchen window

Memorial bouquet for the first anniversary of Mario's Homegoing on July 3

Our lovely and gracious hostess, who put up with us for two whole weeks

 We walked every day, no problem of security

Grace masters the golf cart.

Enter the villain of the piece--The Alligator.

This is a gazebo where we ate lunch one day.

Orchids in the library, which was open 24 hours a day.

 This bird intrigued us, because he would stand for so long with his wings outstretched. But I finally realized it was a simple answer--he was drying his deodorant! :-)

Manatee Village Historical Park was closed when we passed it on the Fourth. But if I ever get back this way, I'd like to step back in time with these buildings and exhibits from the 1800's.         

Well, we didn't plan on this trip being a vacation, but it became one, like or not. 
Il Villagio was a nice place to be stuck, with the library, boutique (free thrift shop),
 hospitality house (free bread), and occasional yard sale. 
Plus lots of new friends!