Monday, November 30, 2009

A Hypochondriac's Dream Decoration

Does your head hurt? Do your ankles ache? Do your bunions burn and is your stomach sour? Do you always feel as if you're coming down with something? Then have I got the Christmas Tree for you!! Take a good look at this Christmas tree. Can you tell what it's decorated with? It's a first aid tree. That's right, this tree is decorated with hypodermic needles, medicine cups, and band aid dispensers. I thought it was so hilarious that I just had to snap a picture! The red rectangles are band aid dispensers. Actually, not a bad idea, I may pick up one to keep in my purse. This little tree is in our local pharmacy. It sits atop the drug pick up countertop. So if you're feeling sick at the holidays, you can look at it, and either get depressed and sicker, or have a good chuckle. "On the twelfth day of christmas my true love gave to me: one inhaler and an aspirin in a pear tree..."
"When the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to Him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of His cloak, and all who touched him were healed." Matthew 14:35

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not To Walk On, But To Look At

This is the last of the fall ornamental grasses in our area. I don't know what this last one is, does anyone know? Is it even grass? Did it bloom earlier and was it prettier in the spring or summer? It seems they are lasting longer this year than before. Maybe because we've had such a mild Fall. But take a look at the next to last picture. This grass was actually taller than the house!! I'd never seen anything like it! I wonder if it's a very fast growing species or just very old?

"Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes the grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call....the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." Psalm 147:7

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Slinking Away

Last night, our granddaughter was over, and I taught her to use a Slinky, which we had just purchased. Not the new plastic kind, but the classic metal one. What glorious fun! She loved it, and took to it very quickly. The girls seem to favor the old fashioned toys that have been around forever. They adore dominoes and Mr. Potato Head, and will play with these instead of new fangled toys. I've noticed that Hula Hoops are back now, too. Were they ever gone? I think they were; for a while anyway. Back in prehistoric times, when I was a child, the world was divided into two kinds of people. Those who could do the Hula Hoop, and those who were unable to and just didn't get it. We thought the ones who couldn't were hopelessy uncool. Now we are all remembering times when the world was a lot kinder and gentler. And I was blessed to grow up in thise times. Parents actually left their kids outside all day to play, unwatched! Back then we had drive-in movies, drug stores with soda fountains and lunch counters in them, and 5 and 10 cent stores (now replaced by dollar stores). There was no aids, no flesh eating bacteria, and food contamination was unheard of . There were no gang shootings. Of course back then we had no computers, microwaves, cell phones, or disposable diapers. But is this really progress? Maybe it's not such a good trade. I just read an article about things that will be extinct in the near future, and some are: telephone booths, cafeterias, ham radio, dial up computer connections, and movie rental stores. These things are all disappearing right before our eyes. So nostalgia is a big deal now. Ecc. 7:10 says "Do not say 'Why were the old days better than these?' For it is not wise to ask such questions." And it is true that we should be looking forward, not back. Ecclesiastes also says "What has been will be again...there is nothing new under the sun." And Psalm 90 says that our days pass quickly, and then we fly away. It's easy to let time "slink" away from us. So let's make our own past right now by doing what God asks of us. "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark." Philippeans 3:13,14. If everyone did that, there would be no need for nostalgia, because the world would be wonderful right now.

Friday, November 27, 2009


What animal has been around for 400 million years and never sleeps?
When we went to the Science Museum, we stopped in the "Shark Cage". Plenty of interesting stuff there. These fish sculptures are all made out of sand! There was still loose sand all over the floor from the sculpting. The cage is what they lower divers in when they go down to look at sharks. It doesn't look near safe enough to me. Seems like a small shark could swim right in there! Sharks are fascinating. They have lived on this planet for about 400 million years, which means they were here even before dinosaurs! They have five to fifteen rows of teeth, which are not too firmly attached, so they loose teeth easily. When they lose a tooth, another one just spins forward from a row of backup teeth! They can go through 1,000 sets of teeth in a lifetime. They do not have a single bone in their body, their skelton is all made from cartilage. They don't care for their babies; not too surprising! Their bodies are denser than sea water, so if they stop moving, they will sink. Because of this, they can never sleep! No wonder they seem so cranky and snappy! We went to see the movie "Jaws" when it first came out, and it gave me such a headache that I had to take aspirin when we got out of the theater! We should actually be more afraid of bees or wasps. Their stings kill 100 people a year, but only about 6 are killed by sharks. The Book of Jonah 1:17 tells us "The Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights." One of our commentarys says that the fish couldn't have been a whale, because their throat is not big enough. But it could have been a shark, as there are many in the Mediterranian, and their mouths and stomachs are very large. This passage tells us that God prepared this fish just for Jonah; how else could he have breathed in there? So I like to think that this was a fish like no other ever before or since. Some people think this was just a parable or fable, but Jesus actually verifies the truth of it in Matthew 12:40. So the next time you see a shark on T.V., think that it may have been a shark that a man once stayed in for several days and lived to tell the tale!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rock Of Ages

Last weekend, when we went to The Science Museum Of Virginia, we saw lots of interesting things besides bats. These geodes were in their gift shop. I love geodes, aren't they beautiful? They were for sale, and now I wish I'd looked at the prices and maybe bought one. But which one? It was too hard to choose. Geodes are rocks that are ugly on the outside, but the inside is a different story. Inside is a hollow cavity lined with beautiful, dazzling crystals. Some people think that crystals have healing or mystical powers. Scientists still aren't really sure how geodes were formed, but there are three probable theories. Each geode is completly different and unique, kind of like us. Geodes remind me of our physical and spiritual bodies. Everything that God made, He formed with work. But God breathed His breath into man. We may not like the way we look, but oh my, what's on the inside! When we leave our physical bodies, we will have glorious new ones that will be beautiful. 1 Corinthians 15 says "listen I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye...the dead will be raised up imperishable. Death has been swallowed up in victory." C.S. Lewis once said that if we were to meet our new bodies while walking down the street, we would be tempted to fall to our knees and worship ourselves! What a wonderful thing to look forward to. We have much in common with the geodes, because when I look into one of these rocks, I see my own future. And it's truly dazzling.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Day Of Thanks

For the days when nothing happens
For the cares that leave no trace
For the love of little children
For each sunny dwelling place
For the altars of our fathers
And the closets where we pray
Take, O gracious God and Father
Praises this Thanksgiving Day.
For the hours when Heaven is nearest
And the earth mood does not cling;
For the very gloom oft broken
By our looking for the king
By our thought that He is coming
For our courage on the way
Take, O Friend, unseen, eternal
Praises this thanksgiving Day.

Wishing all my "face to face" friends and my blog friends a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcome To The Bat Cave

Batcave entrance
Can you see him hanging in the tree?

My husband with bat ears!

White Honduran Bats-so tiny and cute!

The smallest of bats-The Bumblebee Bat

When I was a very small child, I was attacked by a crazed bat. But more about that in a minute.
My husband and I went to The Science Museum Of Virginia on Saturday, and in the first room was a bat cave, so we entered! They had lots of exhibits and fun things to do. Bats are the only mammals that can fly. There are more than 1,000 species worldwide (yes, that's right!) and the state of Virginia, where we live, has 17 of those species. Some live in caves and some in trees. Around here, some people put bat boxes in their yards to attract them, because a single bat can catch about 1,200 mosquito sized insects in an hour! Bats are extremly clean and groom themselves almost constantly to keep their fur soft and clean. They are not even remotly related to rodents. They have their own group, called Chiroptera, and are grouped with primates and monkeys. They are not blind, as some think. But they are able to navigate at breakneck speed through the darkness thanks to their built in sonar system. When I was a very little girl, I was outside with my mom at twilight when a bat swooped down on my head. It scared both of us, but I was not really hurt or bitten. There is a myth that bats like to swoop down on people's hair, as the bat did to me. But they usually only do that when they see an insect by your head and are aiming at it. One evening when our family was outside at twilight, my sharp eyed daughter-in-law spotted a whole bunch of bats flying over us. Caves are not only a big deal for bats, but to people in Bible times. They used them to bury people in and to hide in. King David, Samson, and Elijah hid in caves. Obediah hid 100 prophets in two caves. And a group of five kings hid in a cave! I would probably be as afraid of the bats in there as the people I was running from! Jesus tomb was a cave with a large stone sealing it.

"An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightening, and his clothes were white as snow...the angel said to the women "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said." Matthew 28:2

Monday, November 23, 2009

These Are The Hands

Hands. I've come across quite a few images of them recently. These pictures are the hands of my husband and I ; the hands of my husband, me, and our three year old friend, Ella ; a loaf of bread carved into a hand ; and stone sculptures of hands from a museum exhibit we went to. I've heard it said that the only two body parts that cannot hide your age are your neck and your hands. Do you think that's true? In the book of Isaiah, God promises never to forget us and says that He has engraved our names on the palms of his hands. Here is part of a poem I found about that:

In God's great hand my name is written down
Not lightly, but with bold deliberate strokes;
Engraved forever there
For me to see one day when I come home

Psalm139:8 "If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your right hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Now for the answer to the mystery utensil. Again, Heather Short got it right! And also Judy squirrelqueen) as well. I don't know the name of it, but it's used to remove the tea bag from a cup and squeeze it dry, as pictured. Also pictured is our son and granddaughter having a tea party, one of her favorite things. Little girls adore tea parties. Do you drink much tea? I usually only drink it when I'm not feeling well. In England, they put milk in their tea. That would seem strange to me. I've read that putting milk in your tea destroys all the health benefits of it. Then there's the elaborate Japanese tea ceremonies, that take days to prepare for, and involove many strict rules and lots of purification. Tea goes back thousands of years, but apparently there was none in the Old or New Testament times in those lands. Though they did drink water, it was a chore to get clean water, so they drank lots of wine and goat's milk. They also had beer. Back then, one of the most important positions was the King's Cupbearer. He was a highly trusted official with great status and respect. He served the King his drinks every day, but first he poured some into the palm of his own hand and tasted it to check if it was poisioned. Ah, the worries and dangers of royalty! Now aren't you glad we're all just lowly peasants?

"...whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mystery Utensil

In Crate & Barrel the other day
I spotted this along the way
It's something I could use for sure
So I bought it there right in the store
Put on your thinking cap and guess
What is it? Tomorrow I'll confess

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and in this case the sugar IS the medicine.
You've heard of disguising medicine as food to get kids to take it. But what about disguising food as medicine? Well, that's exactly what we did with this cake of prescription drugs. Our talented daughter-in-law, Melissa, works at the local bakery and she made this. Our friend, Andy, is a retired pharmacist. And not just any pharmacist. He has started at least one organization, won many awards, and is in demand as a speaker. His birthday is this weekend. So I thought we would give him a birthday cake covered with pill bottles. None of the medicine on the cake is real. It is all edible, made from fondant. Happy Birthday, Andy!! And don't forget to take your medicine! In Bible times they used food as medicine all the time because they had no real medicine. They used wine, oils, and herbs. They would pour oil and wine on wounds and bandage them up. When King Hezekiah had a boil, they made a poultice of figs and applied it. So you might say that he was a human figgy pudding! The Bible only mentions the word medicine once, in Proverbs 17:22 "A cheerful heart is good medicine." And we now know this to be true, as studies have shown that attitude plays a part in recovery and healing. Laughter is also good medicine. So go and have a little treat now, and instead of feeling guilty, just laugh and laugh!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

While The Sun Shines

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under Heaven...a time to plant and a time to uproot."Ecc.3

There are lots of things we should do while the sun shines, and one thing a lot of people around here do is make hay! We are surrounded many beautiful farms, and it's harvest time, so they are all busy making hay and baling it. A pictueresque sight, to be sure. The fields are especially beautiful right now, especially when the light hits the hay bales just right. Whoops, wonder how that last picture snuck in there? Well, not ALL fields are beautiful. Wonder if they were trying to scare me off?
"Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal. 6:9

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dynamic Duo

Do accordians make you ache? Do polkas make you puke? Congratulations, you're in the majority! Accordians have gotten a bad rap for a long time. They have been called "Squeeze Box" and "Wheeze Box". But that's nothing compared to what conservative Christians called organs when they were first introduced into churches. "The Devil's Box Of Whistles". No kidding! The currant church instrument causing angst and division is the drums. Too heavy metal! Too loud! Argh! We love drums and even have a set of electric ones. But back to the much maligned accordian. My husband is a good player (No polkas, ever! We hate them). How could this have come about? When he was in 7th grade, his music teacher wanted him to play french horn. His dad (a conservative preacher) told him to forget it. Much too worldly. It might lead to after school activities, even band! Who knew what bad influnces could be lurking there? So, accordian lessons, several years of them. On the bright side, at least it wasn't bagpipes! My husband is now an accomplished accordian player, and also plays lovely piano. He plays in our church, also at funerals and in nursing homes. Everyone loves piano, but only old people like accordian. Accordians are the heavy metal of the nursing home set. They totally dig it. We're now giving the little ones tiny toy accordians and teaching them before they realize what's going on. Shhh, don't tell them quite yet.
"David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps, and cymbals." 1 Chron. 15:16

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Magical Creature

Sandra (MadSnapper), Beverly (Lacoochee Kid), Judy (Through Squirrel Eyes), and Sarah Whitcomb all knew the answer to yesterday's mystery animal! It is an alpaca. What's the difference between an alpaca and a llama? Not much, except a llama is twice the size of an alpaca. How on earth did my winners know which one it is? There are several alpaca farms near us, and we passed some this weekend so close that we could touch them! Alpacas are native to the Andes Mountains of South America, and are creatures of antiquity that have been around at least 6,000 years. They were first imported here in 1984, and every single one born here must be blood-typed and registered. Their fleece is a premium fiber that is lightweight, warm, durable and soft as cashmere. It is in very high demand in the fashion industry. You can tell by looking at the pictures how thick and rich it is. The ancient Incas measured their wealth by how many alpacas they owned, and a thriving Peruvian economy continued for thousands of years with these animals creating prosperity, so they were thought to be magical. A pregnant female sells for over $15,000. These animals are truly georgous. They look like they have makeup on. And large, childlike, yet magical eyes. They are almost hypnotic to look at. They are friendly, gentle and curious. A member of the camel family, but without any of the camel's nasty habits.

"Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you...which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:7

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mystery Animal

Tall and furry, very sweet
It was so nice for us to meet.
Their native home is way up high
In mountains that would touch the sky.
They're magical, or some say so
Now take a guess before you go.
What you think they are, they may not be
But tomorrow you will really see.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Stone For Sandra

We have had just a georgous weekend of Indian summer here. We were driving in the country today, and this is what we passed. So I just had to turn around and snap pictures. If you're asking why, it's all because of my friend Sandra. (see MadSnapper in my blog list on the right). One of her recent blog posts is asking this question: rock or stone? After extensive research, she came up with some very interesting theories, but no definitive answer. My husband said that a stone is English and a rock is American. I figured this was because in England, people are weighed in stones. But he said no, it's because The Rolling Stones are English. Good thing they aren't American, or they'd be The Rolling Rocks! Anyway, Sandra, this stone's for you. Have you ever seen one like it? From a distance, I thought it must be man made. But no, it's natural. Looks like an anvil or an animal. My husband thinks that sometime in the past, water must have made the curved in bottom part. But take a look at the house and yard behind the rock. See all the rocks under their land? These are big, expensive houses, but they were built on rocky ground! I wonder how anything grows there. This development needs to be called "StonyRidge".
"A wise man...built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the wind blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had it's foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24


 On the outskirts of town, we happened to pass this building. It used to be a gas station. But what a difference now! What was going on? One...