Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Day Through My Eyes

Here are some of my images from today. I am not posting anything dark or scary. That dog inside the house door; it's a real dog and was, in fact, pretty scary. The twins are our friends, Caleb and Connor Knight. Caleb is wearing his grandfather's uniform. I told him that he looks like a french revolutionary. Why you are not seeing my grandaughter is a post for tomorrow. Halloween is really all Saints Day, and started out as a Christian holiday to honor the saints. It's really too bad that it became so dark and bloody. More on that in a few days, as well. This Halloween, we had one of the worst scares of our life. And I'm not talking about a Halloween type trick, this was the real thing. It makes for a spooky story, which I will tell you all on tomorrow's post. Chilling, indeed.
"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." John 1:5

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cemetary Cats

Can you tell what's real and what's not in these pictures? Well, of course the cats are the only real thing. This house in our neighborhood decorates every year for Halloween. In their front yard are tombstones, bones, and the skelton of a pirate. And for some reason, the cats just love it. It's their local hangout, The Meow Cafe'. They are all very friendly, sweet cats. You can see them coming down the steps to meet our car, and posing and meowing prettily for us. Do they even know that their hangout is a creepy boneyard? I thought it was dogs that love bones! We love cats, and had three when we were first married. Unfortunatly, I'm allergic now. Cats may have a more checkered history than any other animal. Through history, they have been worshipped & mummified, persecuted, and used to symbolize many things. And speaking of cats and graveyards, what do you think happens to our pets when they die? Many animal lovers think that there is some kind of Animal Heaven. There are even poems about it. It's surely a nice thought. Here's a thought from Ecclesiastes 3:19: "Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: as one dies, so does the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal...all go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth". Of course, this is not a statement, it's a question. But it is interesting to note that man is the only being who God breathed His breath into. I think this is something that no one can know, what do you think?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Groundhog Days

Awww! Isn't he cute? I have never been able to take a picture of a groundhog until I got this Super Zoom Camera. These are real groundhog days. They are everywhere, fattening up as much as they can for the long winter hibernation. These are actually two different groundhogs that I snapped on two different days. The one standing up eating is in our yard. The other is in front of my hiusband's office. See the picture where all you can see is his head? That's where he spotted us and ran in his hole. He's peeking out. Most men around here want to shoot them. Would you? They are one of fourteen species of marmots, and are the largest members of the squirrel family. They are also called woodchucks, or whistle pigs. This is because they have a loud alarm whistle. One day about a year ago, a groundhog spotted my husband too close to his hole, and emitted a loud whistle. It's hard to forget, and I wish I'd been there. I wonder if my Florida friends have groundhogs? Groundhogs hibernate for the winter, and during that time, their body temperature goes from 99 degrees to 38 degrees, and they only breathe four times a minute. Hibernation is still a mystery to scientists. How does an animal know when to get ready, and how does it's body slow down? Scientists have found a special substance in the blood of hibernating animals called HIT (Hibernation Inducement trigger). If blood is taken out of a hibernating squirrel in the winter, and injected into an active squirrel in spring, that squirrel will go into hibernation. Hibernation is not a deep sleep, but a state of dormant existance, almost like a small death. So it's almost like they rise from the dead every spring. Do you believe the dead sleep? This beleif is called soul sleep. One Bible verse that seems to support this theory is Ecclesiastes 9:5 "The dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten." Contrast that with Luke 23:43, when Jesus said to the theif on the cross "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise." What do you believe? Either way, we as Christians are promised a wonderful home in Heaven. Just when it occurs is only a minor theological point.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So Late

Is It Really Almost November?

How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon
December is here before it's June
My goodness how the time has flewn!
How did it get so late so soon?

Here are some pictures that I took in our area. I think they say "Fall" more than any words can. Sandra, I know you're wondering where the trees are. I took so many pretty pictures of them, I'm giving them a separate post. Enjoy.
"God of fallen leaves and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power filled presence. May we gain strength from this."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bring On the Night

Our son, Mike, works at the Little Debbie Baking Company. It’s called McKee. You’re probably familiar with these pre- wrapped cakes and goodies that are sold in the grocery stores. The company was founded by the McKees, and they named it after their 4 year old granddaughter, Debbie. There are more than 75 varieties, and when they first started, they were only 49 cents a carton. Mike has been there about 14 years, and has a good position making the honey buns. His job is to run the computer that adds and mixes all the ingredients. Of course, this post is just as good an excuse as any for me to show his picture. Now they have told him that he will quite possibly be working the night shift starting sometime in early November. The hours would be 1:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. This is disheartening news, and he has put in a complaint to his boss. I have just now gotten some news that they may be making a compromise of sorts with the hours. When he was in his early 20’s, he worked night shift for awhile, but he was very young and had not started a family then. When my husband was young, he worked night shift, also. And early one morning while he was driving home, he fell asleep. He wrecked his car into a parked car. The damage to both cars was minimal, and he was not hurt. How amazing that is to me. My husband can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. One evening when he was very sleepy, he was trying to watch something on T.V., so he stood up and ate popcorn. He dozed off standing up with a mouthful of popcorn. Has it been your experience that men sleep better than women? Women seem to be light, nervous sleepers, while men hibernate like bears. Perhaps this has something to do with the mothering instinct. As for our son, it is very fortunate that he still has a job, with the many layoffs happening. Somehow, McKee has managed to avoid layoffs, when many factories around here are closing or cutting back drastically. So here’s what I say: Bring on the night. If this is inevitable, God has a way of turning things around in the most unexpected ways. Isaiah 42:16 says “I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” I will close with this lovely thought from Psalm 42:8 “By day, the Lord directs His love, at night his song is with me-a prayer to God for my life.”

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Girl And Her Owl

Today when our little three year old friend, Ella, came over, we had a surprise for her. A giant owl balloon. And how she loved it! She has been telling me about owls lately, and here are some of her wise thoughts on these birds: “Owls are kind of like birds, but they’re not. Owls go hoooo in the night.” When asked why an owl is not a bird, she says “Because it’s an owl. It can’t be a bird and an owl at the same time.” I see her point with that first one. So when I saw this balloon in the store, it reminded me of her thoughts on owls, and I just had to get it. Owls have the best hearing of any bird, and can even hear creatures moving under the snow. They can turn their heads so far around because they can’t move their eyes to look to the side like we do. They have come to represent a lot of things from death to wisdom. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, and here’s what he had to say about wisdom. “In the end, both the wise man and the fool will die and not be remembered.” So what do we gain by knowledge? I’m thinking that our heart is what’s truly everlasting. We can have all the knowledge in the world, but without a kind and loving heart, we have nothing. So we should not put all our dependence on seeking knowledge, but rather seek the will of the Lord for our lives, which transcends even death. And in the meantime, take some time to laugh and watch little girls play with balloons. “If I can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge…but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:2

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Fall

“Come”, said the wind to the leaves one day,
“Come o’er the meadows and we will play.
Put on your dresses scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone and the days grow cold.”
A Children’s Song Of The 1880’s

Yesterday when I went outside, the leaves had come down to play, spinning in the air on their way down, and were laying on the ground showing their last touch of beauty, which I captured here. Leaves have a more beautiful ending than beginning, and so it will be with us who trust in the promises of Jesus. Proverbs 11 says “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf…the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.”

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spider Veins

Do you know what this plant is? It’s actually a flower. Yes, that’s right. But when you think of the word flower, does anything even remotely like this come to mind. It’s the anti-flower. Aren’t flowers supposed to be pretty? This for sure is the perfect Halloween flower. We went to an orchid show last night, which I’ll post much more on later. And I took these pictures of the Spider Orchid. That’s right, I’m not joking. The orchid specialist told us this, and then I came home and looked it up. Who would want a plant like this? Perhaps the bride of Dracula. So this post is all things spidery. If you read my earlier post, “A Wisp Of Gossamer”, then you know that I’m terrified of spiders. When I was little, an adult told me that God created everything except spiders, which Satan created. I guess they must have been well meaning, but who would even think of such a thing? So you can only imagine my horror at the orchid show, where I expected to see only beautiful things. Orchids are very strange anyway. To me, something seems to be a little off about them. Something not quite right. I never did much care for them, as they need too much pampering. And even with enormous coddling, they only bloom for a very short time. Nevertheless, it was an interesting and diverting learning experience to go to this show. Who would have guessed it would turn into my very own “Trick Or Treat”? “God made… everything that creepeth upon the earth after His kind; and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 2:25

Friday, October 23, 2009

You'll Really "Fall" For These Doors

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Rev. 3:20.

If you knocked at one of these doors, it looks like you would get a very nice welcome indeed. Do you decorate your doors or windows for Fall? I enjoy looking at doors when we are driving around. I think you can sometimes tell a bit about the inhabitants by looking at their door. These are just the Fall doors, I’ll do a post on doors in general sometime later. Notice the two plain orange doors. They are not decorated for Fall, that’s their permanent paint color! Yes, two in the same neighborhood. I would not have enough nerve to paint our front door orange, but what a happy sight! Like a big smile on the front of the house. When I look at these houses, I think that the owners must be quirky, risk taking fun lovers. Outgoing people who would certainly welcome anyone who knocked. Perhaps they were hippies as teenagers. I would love to come knocking just to find out, but whatever would I say? “Orange People, sorry to bother you! But are you full of the joy of life? Do you laugh and sing, and is the world your oyster? Can I please have some? Can I stand in your air and breathe it all in?” I would likely be put under psychiatric care for a while. People would tiptoe past me and whisper. So maybe I should just paint my own door orange. But the real doors to life are not orange. They are the doors to eternal life. And they are open to everyone. “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” Proverbs 8:34.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Orange'ya Glad You Read This Blog?

More than any other color, orange is a color on the edge. It is the color of change between the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Orange has a true duality. In the early Christian church, orange was a symbol of glory and the fruits of the earth. It brings up images of citrus, pumpkins, and flame. But for leaves, their dying color is not black, but orange. Can you think of any dying thing that’s more beautiful? Most people either hate or love this color. Which are you? Someone once said “Orange is red brought down to humanity.” According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, the color made its appearance in the 14th century. It is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. Not one of their primary colors, for sure. I’ve read that back around that time, people used the Madder root to produce a whole spectrum of red colors including orange, russet, and brown. But the orange dye produced by the madder root was not colorfast, so orange clothes were worn by the lower classes. Here are some pictures that I took around town. I think they are cheery and uplifting. The last one is a happy orange vision of our granddaughter, AnneMarie.

When the frosts are in the valley,
And the mountain tops are grey,
And the choicest buds are blighted,
And the blossoms die away,
Blessed are those who listen
And those who understand.
As a loving Father whispers,
"This is coming from my hand";

Blessed are you if you trustWhere you cannot understand.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Attack Of The Mailbox Lobster

Run for your lives! It’s the attack of the mailbox lobster!! No one’s mail is safe. It eats all paper in it’s path! Isn’t this cool? When we passed it on the road, I just had to take a picture and have some fun with it. Looks like these people get some serious mail. In Old Testament days, the lobster was among the forbidden foods to eat. God gave instructions to only eat creatures in the sea that had fins and scales. I would still agree with God on that, as these things are just creepy. Take crabs. My rule is not to eat anything whose eyes are on stalks. Yuk! As for lobster, if you have to wear a bib and dip it in butter to get it down, forget about it. Give me some pasta, soup, or French toast, and please don’t be crabby about it

In General

 Our Dollar General store moved into a new building this year, and it is larger and has a fancy layout. Here are a few of the spring things ...