Sunday, August 31, 2008

Two Years Old

I was going through some old family pictures today and came across this newspaper clipping (at right) of me on my second birthday. Since my birthday month is July, I can certainly understand the context of this picture which appeared in our local newspaper. My mother was a real "shutter-bug" and always had her camera ready for just the right shot.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nim's Island

Last evening, after going out to dinner, Jim and I came home and watched "Nim's Island" on DVD. The movie stars Gerard Butler, Jodie Foster, and Abigail Breslin. I had seen the movie in the theater, twice, when it was first released and enjoyed it so much that I bought the DVD last week and ask Jim to view it with me. It was just as entertaining as ever!

Here is a portion of the review on the the DVD's dust cover: "Nim's Island takes place on a tropical island paradise where imagination runs wild and adventure rules. Nim Rusoe lives on a deserted island with her scientist father, Jack and her animal and bird friends. But when Jack goes missing at sea and the island is invaded, Nim reaches out via e-mail to the adventurous author of her favorite books, and together, each discovers what it takes to truly become the hero of your own life story."

If you are looking for a good, clean movie to watch alone or with your family, this may be the movie for you. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Banana Split Cake

This recipe from Kraft Kitchens was sent to me by email. It looks delicious and would be great as a cool holiday dessert.

Prep Time:15 min / Total Time:5 hr 15 min /Makes:24 servings, one piece each

1-1/2 cups HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
6 medium bananas, divided
2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
1 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans

MIX crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the butter; press firmly onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Freeze 10 min.

BEAT cream cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spread carefully over crust; top with pineapple. Slice 4 of the bananas; arrange over pineapple.

POUR milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping; spread over banana layer in pan. Top with remaining 1 cup whipped topping; sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate 5 hours. Slice remaining 2 bananas just before serving; arrange over dessert. Store any leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Night At The Movies

Fall will be here soon and with it-- wind, rain, and eventually snow. So I've compiled a list of "must see" movies to watch when the wind is howling past your window and the cold rain is pouring down outside your door. These classic movies can be found on DVD at most movie rental stores and are favorites of mine.

1. Gone With The Wind

2. Casablanca

3. Out of Africa

4. Somewhere In Time

5. The Notebook

6. Sleepless In Seattle

7. Cold Mountain

8. P.S. I Love You

9. Ghost

10. Shadowlands

11. Titanic

12. The Bodyguard

So pop some corn, put on your jammies and slippers and enjoy a night at the movies...absolute bliss!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Search For Serenity

I've learned many important lessons in my 64 years of living--two of them being: I couldn't be "all things to all people" and the absolute need for relaxation. I came face to face with this reality about eight years ago. I was the manager of a small shopping center, I had a large family, my mother had just passed away, my husband, Jim, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was going through menopause, and I had recently been elected to our town's City Council. I thought I could do it all!! But things were going to change and change drastically.....

One Spring afternoon, I went out for a short walk. As I returned home my left ankle was hurting. The next morning my ankle was swollen. The second morning, my left knee was swollen. The third morning my wrist and fingers were swollen--I couldn't close my hands! The fourth morning my arms and shoulders wouldn't move freely. All this continued until I could only get out of bed for brief periods of time--mainly to go to the bathroom or sit with the family. Each day I was spending 18-20 hours in bed. The symptoms became so bad that I couldn't apply my make-up or brush my hair. I couldn't drive the car, I couldn't was growing worse and I imagined that I would eventually enter the City Council meetings in a wheel chair. All of this had happened, so suddenly, to a relatively healthy woman-- literally overnight.

My doctor ordered tests, which all came back negative. The final conclusion? STRESS. I had taken on too much. I had been too hard on myself--tried to be perfect--expected too much, and cared so deeply about others, that I was taking everyone's pain as my own; hadn't I always considered myself a "worrier" and a "fixer?" I was exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The physical "me" was rebelling. Enough was enough! My body would take no more and told me so, "You will slow down. You will rest! You will accept your limitations."

As I lay quietly in bed, through those uncertain days, I learned to be more caring toward myself and I made a commitment to live life slowly with joy, learn when to say "no" and find time everyday for rest. With medication, I began to get well and I have continued to honor myself as well as others.

My search for serenity had begun.......

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Monday, August 25, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Sundays have become the day my youngest daughter Becka and I get together for an outing. Her husband Tony is usually working on Sundays, so we get to do some girl stuff together.

Yesterday I picked her up at 12:30 for lunch at Red Lobster, then shopping at the mall and afterward we stopped by Starbucks. At 4:20 in the afternoon, we took in a Sunday matinee at the theater-- "House Bunny" was playing and we both had been wanting to see it. After the movie we came home, changed into our biking clothes, loaded the bicycles onto her car and off Becka, Jim and I drove for an evening ride on the river bike path (photos at right and below). It was close to dark when we arrived at the parking lot, so we knew we had to get going or darkness would soon overtake us.

Well.... to make a long story short, the three of us had a great ride and got back to the car just as darkness fell over the landscape. Now that Fall is only a few weeks away, we will need to ride earlier in the afternoon. Even though I love summer, I'm looking forward to cooler days for our future trips alongside the river.

The first five (5) people to leave a comment on this posting will win (with no strings attached) a free gift!!! The gift will be chosen at random (by me) out of my Fatima's Treasure inventory. If you are one of the five lucky winners, you must send your home address to Your home address will remain private.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fantastic Friday

Yesterday, Jim and I drove to Spokane for an overnight visit with daughter Linda, her husband Mike, daughter Lori and her husband Joe and our grandchildren Shiloh and Coleman. The weather was beautiful and made for a comfortable trip there and back.

While we were there we ate delicious food, had wonderful conversations and lots of laughter and happiness. In fact, I had the most delicious lunch I have ever eaten--a fresh crab cake sandwich, served at the Rusty Moose restaurant in Airway Heights. I will definitely go back for another one in the very near future.

Jim and I stayed with Linda and Mike on their ranch where Linda introduced me to Beautiful Girl, her gorgeous young Mustang (photos at right and below). Although I've never owned one, I have always been fascinated with horses, so it was quite a thrill to get to know Beautiful up close and personal and to watch their other horses.

Thank you Linda, Mike, Lori and Joe for our fantastic Friday visit!

(Linda's blog is listed in the sidebar on the right side of this page under "Beautiful Mustang.")

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Nice Cool Outing

Yesterday afternoon, with temperatures in the high 60's, Jim and I decided we would load the bikes up and go for a bike ride. It had rained most of the day, so when we saw a break in the clouds around 5:00 p.m. we thought it would be the perfect time for an outing.

We biked along the Snake River bike path, stopping to watch the swift flowing river from time to time. We had a wonderful time and took some pictures which are posted below (scroll all the way down the page to the large photos).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Favorite Corn Bread Recipe

The weather here has turned rainy and cool, so I'm thinking more about baking breads and making soup than I am about eating cold foods on the patio. In fact, today it's cool enough to wear a light jacket or thin sweater. Why is it we appreciate our kitchens more when the weather starts changing from summer to fall? Rain and snow always inspire me to start getting out the family's tried and true recipes and my favorite old cookbooks.

Today I'm thinking of making a batch of cornbread. We eat it buttered with honey or crumbled in a glass of milk. I make it with very little sugar added to the other ingredients. My family considers it comfort and soul food. Here is my recipe:


1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup yellow or white corn meal (I use yellow)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Whisk all ingredients together until blended.

On stove top, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a heavy 8 or 9 inch skillet. Pour cornbread batter into hot oiled skillet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nesting Dove

Graceful, winged bearer of her young--
flying back and forth,
weaving, stringing together
the fragile, sacred shelter
for parent and offspring.
With unexplained intelligence
she searches the ground
for the perfect tendril--
formed, soft, pliable.
Cautious, watchful, flying upward
through leaf and branch;
anxious, hurried,
awaiting the arrival of the future.

(Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis)

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Gifts From The Sea" (Book Review)

I read "Gifts From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh many years ago when I was a young wife and mother. As I think back on it now, I'm sure I didn't fully grasp the full scope of her profound writing.... or perhaps, I pushed it back somewhere in my subconscience mind-- the compelling content making up a small part of the woman I am today.

Recently, I picked the book up again and was immediately consumed by the author's opening words: "I began these pages for myself, in order to think out my own particular pattern of living, my own individual balance of life, work and human relationships..." Those could have been my own words--that being one of the primary reasons I began my blog writings!!

First published in 1955, the timeless masterpiece encompasses themes of solitude, relationship and inner peace intertwined with the wonders of the sea.

If you are a woman in search of self, peace and your place in the world, this eloquent book will whisper your name. Enjoy!!
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Alone again-
As the sun rises from it's deep sleep...
As the dove builds her nest
in the dying dogwood tree...

As day fades behind the dry hills
And night lies dark and still...
Alone again.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Audrey Hepburn Story

Several nights ago, Becka and I went downtown to Movie On The Wall (mentioned in a previous blog) to watch "Breakfast At Tiffany's"--I hadn't seen it in years. Afterward, I became so fascinated with it's star, Audrey Hepburn, that I ordered "The Audrey Hepburn Story" starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, on DVD from Not wanting to disturb Jim and his news programs, I watched it last night on my laptop computer with my earphones on. The movie was much better than I expected it would be.

This bio-pic portrays Audrey Hepburn's struggles as a child and teenager during World War II and how she ends up as one of America's most beautiful, talented and successful actresses. It also explains some of the background from "Breakfast At Tiffany's." Even though Hewitt could never be a perfect match for Hepburn (and probably knows it), I was totally captivated by the story and highly recommend it to my readers.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Give-a-way Prizes Arrive

I've been notified by two of the winners of my recent "give-a-way" that their gift has arrived. In fact, one of them posted a photo of the prize on her blog "The Stair Landing" -- . Please go to her site and take a look!

This new venture has been fun and exciting. I will give more away very soon. Keep watching.

My Adventures On Ebay

Five years ago I became a Power Seller on Ebay. I had heard good things about the site and my children often bought items from there. So with the help of my youngest son, Matt, I started selling gorgeous pashmina shawls in just about any color one could think of.

After the shawls became a success, I added a large stock of Red Hat items-- selling to Red Hat ladies all over the world. My inventory now consists of shawls of many kinds, Red Hat items, jewelry items of all kinds including bridal jewelry, tiaras and crowns; scarves, umbrellas, a variety of hats, gloves and beaded purses.

You can find my store on the right hand side of the page. I'll start adding more items now that the summer season is ending and Halloween and Christmas are coming up. I hope you will drop by whenever you are looking for something pretty for yourself or for friends and family.

I will also have GIVE-A-WAYS from time to time, so keep watching for those!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where The Action Is

Last evening, Becka, Jim (my husband), and I went for an evening bike ride along the gorgeous Snake River bike path in Clarkston, WA. We waited until almost 7:00 p.m. thinking the weather would be cooler, but as we rode along the trail I found out just how hot it really was!

Jim must be the most "fit" man on the face of the earth; he didn't "break a sweat" the entire time we were biking and rode like the wind. Becka, the young woman she is, had no problem whatsoever, but I'm another issue! I'm just beginning to bike again, out of shape and 64 years old. In the 90 degree weather, I thought I was going to DIE, but after a few stops to catch my breath and cool off, I finally made the entire ride and got back to the car in one piece. I did realize, however, that I'm getting stronger and more confident with each excursion. I made it further than I had ever made it before.

Jim and Becka continue to give encouragement, telling me that not many 64 year old women are out there biking. I look at it this way, I don't know how many moments, days, months or years I have left, so I'm going to enjoy each second as fully as my health, energy, and bank account (not much is free these days) will allow.

Life should to be FULLY LIVED WITH ENTHUSIASM. So look for me out there where the action is.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Reinventing Myself" (Book Review)

I've just finished reading "Reinventing Myself, Memoirs of a Retired Professor" by Marlys Marshall Styne and LOVED IT!!! Her book was a pleasant surprise--filled with honest accounts of a life well-lived.

This strong, talented lady writes about her struggles and joys, her trips all over the world and life as a resident of Chicago. What an exciting life she has lived! I am usually reading four or five books (all in various stages of completion), but when I began reading this one, I couldn't put it down until it was finished. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for adventure, inspiration and a quick read. You can buy it from my "bookshelf" on the right hand side of this page or at Happy Reading!!

Give-a-way Success

The give-a-way idea was a great success! Surprise gifts are going out to three very deserving ladies. I'm going to do this again in the near future...the date will be a surprise, so keep watching.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm Doing A Give-a-Way

I saw something like this on another blog and thought it would be fun to do it, too. So... I'm going to send the first three people who leave a comment here, a random item from my EBay store (link to store is below, but the surprise may not be pictured in the site's inventory).

*Some comments will be my own, so be sure to read the "comments" to find out how many individuals have participated.

*The item I send will be a complete surprise with "no strings attached." After leaving your comment, you should send me your address at: (Your personal address will remain private.)

This should be interesting and fun!! If it works out..I'll do it again soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lunch On the Palouse

Our youngest daughter, Rebekah (Becka), her husband Tony, Jim and I drove 12 miles out of town today for a trip to tiny Uniontown, WA. (photos at right and below)-- population 345. There's a wonderful bake shop there, Sage Baking Company, that is just darling and serves yummy fresh baked bread, sandwiches, homemade soup and delectable pastries. The drive was gorgeous and not too far a distance for a "change of pace" lunch. Becka and I had eaten there a few weeks ago on one of our excursions "off the beaten path" and could hardly wait to share our discovery with Tony and Jim.

Sage Baking Company is housed in a quaint, small, red brick building on the main street in Uniontown-- with a friendly "down-home" atmosphere and staff. It appears to be very clean and attacks lots of travelers who are passing through on their way to large cities. While we were eating, customers continued to flow in and out, but it was not crowded at all. Sitting at a table near a window facing the street, we had a great view of the slow moving traffic and the old-fashioned buildings in town.

Jim, Tony, Becka and I, all agreed, we had spent a perfect summer Saturday afternoon on the rich, fertile land of the Palouse of eastern Washington.

"First Worship"

My first spiritual experience came when I was somewhere around three years old. It is one of my earliest memories of childhood and happened on a frosty Sunday morning; I remember looking through a damp, icy window, into the early morning mist. I had run to the window after hearing church bells signaling the onset of the Sabbath, with the distinct feeling that I should be with the bells--I felt a sense of worship and was called toward it.....

My family were Methodists; we attended the beautiful Memorial Methodist church on Main St. in our little southern town. Sunday was the happiest day of the week for me because I knew that I would be going to the place I loved most.

Before going into the formal church service, I went to Sunday School. I can still remember the smell of fresh paint, lacquer, bibles and hymnals, and supplies. The sweetest of teachers, Mrs. Kitty Murphy (we called her Miss Kitty), would gather over a dozen children together-- meeting us with tender hugs and greetings. Sitting in rows, on short, wooden, straight-back chairs, we would sing familiar childhood songs like "Church In The Wildwood" / "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know"/ "Down In My Heart" and "The Wise Man Built His House"...all to my delight! After we finished singing, we were told Bible stories and made craft items. I never tired of being in that "special" place.

After Sunday School, I would meet my mother in the hallway and go into the formal, white, Holy sanctuary. As the organ played, we would quietly enter and take our seats. We always felt respectful and reverently waited for the first order of the service, which was the entrance of our pastor and the choir. Midway through the morning, my mother would put a quarter in my small hand, so I could place "the gift" in the offering plate when it was passed from person to person. It helped me feel as though I was part of the service and instilled in me a "giving" spirit.

All of my life I have carried this memory of "first worship" close to my heart. It was the beginning and the foundation of a deep relationship between my Creator and myself.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Family Visit

Our oldest daughter Lori and her husband Joe, came for an overnight visit yesterday afternoon. Jim and I bought a 20 inch strip of beef tenderloin at Costco and cut it into nice size steaks (we got about 18 steaks out of the whole thing); Joe BBQ'd six of them on our outdoor gas grill--delicious!! I baked whole potatoes in my new oven and made a green garden salad to go along with the tender steaks. After dinner we played one of our favorite card games, Spades, for over three hours, until Joe and Jim finally won as a team. While playing cards, we recorded the Big Brother reality show, and watched it at 9:00 PM. This morning we're having a big breakfast of bacon and eggs before they start back on their two hour trip home. It's been so much fun having them here with us....and Riley ("our little boy in a dog suit") schnauzer, loved being with his best buddy, Peyton (their cute female puggle). Hope they'll come back soon!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Today is our oldest son's birthday. Jim Jr. (Jimmy) was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and weighed 10 pounds, 7 ounces. That morning while I was in labor, my husband and I watched as snowflakes fell outside the hospital window....on August 7th.

Back in those days, the father wasn't allowed to go into the delivery room, so Jim had to wait outside in the hallway while Jimmy was coming into the was just the doctor, the nurse, baby Jimmy and myself. As soon as he was weighed, measured and examined, the nurse brought him for Jim to see and then carried him on to the hospital nursery. Jim was so proud of his "big" boy, but didn't get to hold him until later in the day.

Jimmy was ALWAYS a sweet and thoughtful child and has grown up to be a good man, loving husband and adoring father of two little girls (photos below). Jim and I are VERY proud of him. He's serving with the military and doesn't live close to us at this time; sadly we can't be with him today on his birthday, but he will be in our hearts and thoughts......HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A WONDERFUL SON.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Watermelon Season

Today Jim and I traveled across the "Blue Bridge" into Washington to shop at Hayes Produce Market. This time of year the market gets weekly truck loads of Hermiston watermelons, from Hermiston, Oregon. They are vine ripened and are the closest thing to the melons I ate as a child, in East Tennessee......

I can still remember the trips with my family to little makeshift fruit stands, which popped up in the summertime along most two-lane roadways in our mountain community. Back then, in the 40's and 50's, my folks would thump on the dark green hard surface of the melons with their thumb and middle-finger to test for ripeness. After thoughtful consideration, they would chose one to be "plugged." The owner of the stand would, graciously, cut a deep triangular plug from the melon. One family member would give it the taste test and if it was perfect, we would buy it-- if not, we would continue going about choosing one that met our high expectations. Most of the watermelons were chilled on ice in big red, chest-like, Cocoa Cola coolers, so they were still cold by the time we got them home. Back at the house, in 90+ degree temperature and stifling humidity, we would sit in lawn chairs under a big shade tree, cut long thick slices and eat that cold, delicious, scarlet red goodness, spitting the black seeds on the ground, to be cleaned up later by my grandfather.

I can't think of anything more delightful or memorable than those carefree days of summer, a big shady oak tree and a juicy, sweet southern watermelon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Favorite Southern Comfort Foods

Here's a list of my favorite Southern comfort food:
1. Banana pudding
2. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes w/country gravy.
3. Turnip greens
4. Cornbread
5. Cornbread and "sweet milk" (meaning whole milk)
6. Catfish and Hush puppies
7. Green beans cooked with ham or bacon drippings
8. Chicken and dumplings
9. Fried okra
10. Biscuits and country gravy
11. Grits w/sugar and butter
12. Pinto beans
13. Tennessee Stack Cake
14. Pickled beets
15. Pecan pie
16. Sweet potato pie
17. Tennessee sweet tea
18. Cornbread dressing
19. Vine-ripened watermelon!!
20. Watermelon pickles
21. Just about anything fried!!

This list makes me hungry and homesick!!!!!!! I need a trip to Cracker Barrel....

Monday, August 4, 2008

When I Was Young....

I keep a few "special" children's books in the small bookcase beside my chair in the living room. Occasionally, I take out one or two--look at the pictures, go over the words and remember the days and nights I read to my children when they were little. They each had their favorites and I loved the stories, too, for their sweet messages or nostalgic content. Stories like: "Love You Forever" /"Where The Wild Things Are"/ "The Sweet Smell of Christmas"/ "Katy and the Big Snow"/ "The Patchwork Lady" /"Mrs. Gigglebelly Is Coming For Tea" and "Frog Where Are You?" never failed to hold their wide-eyed attention. One book is especially dear to me--"When I Was Young In The Mountains" by Cynthia Rylant. It reminds me so much of my own East Tennessee childhood and I enjoyed sharing it with my children.

On the first and second pages of "When I Was Young....." it tells of a grandfather coming home from the coal mines. I lived with my grandmother and grandfather (he did not work in the mines) and we lived in coal country. Coal miners, wearing their blackened pants and shirts, were a common sight in our town, so it gave me a chance to tell the children about, both, my grandfather and coal miners.

On the third and fourth pages, it tells how the grandmother would spread the table with corn bread, pinto beans and fried okra....these are some of my favorite foods, even now. They would frequently appear on our supper table when I was growing up.

Pages 5-6 : talks about the "johnny-house" which my family called our "outhouse." We didn't have an indoor bathroom, until I was a pre-teen, but we did have the prettiest and fanciest "outhouse" that I have ever family's pride and joy. Our potty was built several yards from our house, painted spotless white with a pretty green roof. Inside it, we had actual toilet seats that were pretty and could be lifted up and cool.

Pages 7-8: talks about walking across cow pastures, running through the woods, the swimming hole and snakes.

Pages 9-10: Shopping at Mrs. Crawford's store.....we shopped at Mr. and Mrs. Fielden's country store, where I remember "cold cuts" being sliced for us on their big slicing machine and when we got home we would make wonderful bologna sandwiches. I would buy Cocoa Cola in ice cold bottles for a nickle and small boxes of fluffy Campfire marshmallows (my favorite confection). I remember the long glass candy counter and the excitement of picking out my favorite hard candy for a penny each. Once or twice each week, I was given a dime to spend on treats.

Pages 11-12: Pumping water from the well. We didn't pump water by hand, it came directly into the house, but Mr. and Mrs. York (my husband's grandparents, who lived across the road from us, did have an old pump and lived that way).

Pages 11-12 also talk about heating water for baths in a round tub, just like we did. A round, shiny galvanized tub was brought into the house on Saturday night, placed in the middle of the kitchen floor; water was heated on the wood-stove, poured into the tub, along with cold water and the baths were taken...first the children, then the women, and last, my grandfather. Sounds pretty icky now, but back then it was a practical way of living. After our baths, the tub was carried by two people to the outside of the house and "poured out" (recycled) into the garden area. Used water from the kitchen sink ran underground, by hose, to the outside of the house and into the garden.

Pages 13-14: making cocoa on the old black cook-stove.

Pages 15-16: baptisms in the swimming hole.

Pages 17-18: baptisms continue

Pages 19-20: listening to frogs after dark and killing snakes with a hoe.

Page 20-21: killing snakes and wearing them around the neck (a male schoolmate did this once and frightened me half to death!)

Pages 22-23: sitting on the porch in the evenings, grandfather sharpening pencils with his knife, grandmother shelling beans (which I remember very well) as the dogs lay around and "bobwhite whistled from the forest."

Page 24-25: the child expresses love for the mountains.

My personal library, today, consists of many theological, intellectual and sophisticated books, but the ones that mean the most, are those that bring back the gentle memories of our lives.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Seeker

Yesterday, Becka and I drove to our favorite riverside park to go for our daily bicycle ride. As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a lady sitting alone in the shade of a big pine tree. She sat on the thick, green grass, looking out over the gently flowing river, where a dozen sea gulls swam with the current. Her head was erect, her back straight, yet relaxed, hands resting on her knees, palms up-- she seemed to be meditating in the lotus pose, as in yoga. She would take a bite of food and go back into the position--easily, yet deliberate.

We took our bikes, carefully, off the bike rack which is attached to the back of Becka's car, checked our gears, brakes, and tires and rode off on our two mile, evening ride, along the paved path. It being Saturday, we passed more bikers, walkers, joggers and family outings than we find on weekdays, but the park is rather large, so there was plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the scenic beauty of our valley's green belt.

As we arrived back at our starting point, the "yoga lady" was now standing beside her car, reading--looking out at the river, occasionally; appearing to memorize an important passage or contemplate the book's profound message. As I, casually, watched from a distance, she began to walk, again, toward the pine tree--still in deep thought. This serene woman was the essence of the peace and tranquility we all seek. She chose to come out of her busy world to relax, read, meditate and perhaps pray, alone. We left her there, still enjoying the solitude of the riverside and reminding me of the promise I've made to myself--to find more quiet time for emotional and spiritual growth.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A New Adventure

Becka (our youngest daughter) and I did something completely different last night. After going to Tomato Brothers for dinner, we went to Movies On The Wall. It is sponsored by the downtown merchants and features an old classic movie each week. They have painted one large outdoor wall, white, where they show the movie. Each of us brought a lawn chair to sit on and the movie is free except for a donation which is used for the area food bank. Last night they were showing "Breakfast At Tiffany's" and it looked as if there were about 100 people attending. We loved the movie and had a unique adventure on "the road less traveled." Becka's husband, Tony, was working late and Jim stayed home to watch his news programs (he hardly knew I was gone). It was a fun community experience. A big "thank you" to the merchants of our wonderful city!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

10 Ways To Worship

There are many ways to worship and some of them we do constantly and some we do occasionally. Here are 10 of those ways:

1. Pray (Prayer can be as close as your next thought).

2. Meditate (Sit quietly, clear your mind and experience the peace of God).

3. Read a Psalm.

4. Cultivate a grateful heart and keep a "gratitude journal."

5. Develop a creative personality. Learn new things. Practice your talents. God is the great Creator. Whatever you do--dedicate it to the glory of God.

6. Serve someone in need. Volunteer with an eager heart.

7. Develop a strong faith. Put your problems in God's hands and walk away knowing His wisdom will prevail.

8. Sing! Sing in the car. Sing in the shower. Sing to your child. Sing while you're working. Sing in a choir. Sing like an angel. A heart that sings is a happy heart. God loves to hear your voice, just as you delight in hearing the voice of your child. Singing also relieves depression.

9. Read a chapter of the Bible every day.

10. Write a worship poem.

Never A Dull Moment

Who said "retirement is boring"? Jim and I seem to be busy all the time--even busier than we were, earlier, in our lives.

Jim walks on the treadmill every other day; I write my blog, sell my eBay Internet items and sometimes go to Curves for exercise, we go out for lunch almost daily, except for days we have lunch on the patio; we run errands, repair broken items around the house, do mundane housework, visit with our six children and eight grandchildren, read, meditate, watch our favorite TV programs, correspond with our friends, volunteer (Jim is Commander of his chapter of the Disabled American Veterans), bike several times each week and of course there are always those little unexpected things that come up. Wow! I'm tired just thinking about it all.

Last evening, Becka and I went on another bike ride. This time we set out in the opposite direction on the bike path and it was absolutely gorgeous--rich green manicured grass along the paved path, which runs along the river. We took our dinner with us in a backpack, parked our bikes and ate as we watched boaters, fisherman and other bikers. The weather was beautiful--a little warm, but I'm not complaining. We had a wonderful time--Becka is very patient with me (I'm an accident, waiting to happen!). Jim didn't get to go with us this time. His bike will be out of the shop next week and I know he's going to love going as much as Becka and I do.