Say it with Pictures

My first grade teacher taught her pupils the alphabet using big flash cards with pictures. And for some odd reason, the letter S with a picture of a snake on it was my favorite one and the only one that still sticks out in my mind. So, in my case, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. If you like pictures more than words, then you will like my word art creations.

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A Touch of Wimsey: Digital Art

Computers are fantastic. Till they’re not. Mine died and I had to buy a new one. Then, I had to re-install all my art programs only to discover that one of my favorite plugins, Eye Candy 4000, no longer worked. Finally, after figuring everything out, I’m up and running and will try my best to get caught up on reading everyone’s posts.

Before my computer crashed, I was working on this post. I finally finished it today. Enjoy!

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A Crab’s Life through a Child’s Eyes

Talon, my great-grandson is six going on twenty. He is smart and quirky and extremely perceptive for his age. When he looks at you it’s as if he can see into your soul. I love this little boy. He is truly a gift!

With my granddaughter’s permission, I’ve posted Talon’s written school assignment. It is just too darned cute not to share.

Talon’s perception of a crab’s life . . .

Our Little Ray of Sunshine

Lucas, our great-grandson, had a rough start in this world, from being born with an enlarged head, a hole in his heart, and respiratory and swallowing problems. Later he developed muscular weakness, preventing him from walking. Just weeks following his birth came a battery of tests ruling out fluid on the brain, autism, and downs syndrome. He’s had physical therapists, speech therapists, and chewing and swallowing therapists. And through it all, he has never lost his beautiful, contagious smile. Lucas will be three next month. He is walking and talking and knows how to spell his name. He may be delayed in some things, but smiling isn’t one of them. He is truly a ray of sunshine wherever he goes and teaches us many, many things about life. We love you, Lucas!

 

Life is Tough. It’s Tougher if You’re Old . . .

So, my plan was to help Buck pick up all the limbs in the yard . . . lots and lots of limbs. Big limbs. Little limbs. Way too many limbs for a young person, let alone a shriveled up bag of bones. After thirty minutes of bending and stooping and sweat burning my eyes, I quit!

Not my thing anymore!

Will never be my thing again!

EVER!

I feel like crying.

NO! I feel like cutting down every blasted tree, pulling up every blade of grass and pouring cement!

Then I’ll cry.

A deep, overflowing river.

Long gone are the days of working in the yard from sun up till sundown, jogging twenty miles a week, cleaning the house from top to bottom, and working five days a week. Never again will I run up a flight of stairs, bend over and touch my toes, and press a hundred pounds.

Wait. When did I ever press a hundred pounds?

I’ve never been weak and helpless. I’ve always been able to pull my weight and somebody else’s too. Even as a kid I was strong as an ox. Stubborn as a mule, too. But we won’t go there.

I think you get my drift, especially if you’re where I am at the moment . . . old and tired and frustrated and discouraged and weak and puny and . . .

Stop! The list is getting too long!

When did it happen? When did old age wrap its bony fingers around my neck and choke the life out of me? When did it break my back? When did it chop off my arms and legs?

When I started jogging at thirty-six, I assured myself and everyone that I’d keep on jogging even in my seventies. I stopped at fifty-eight.

One of my many regrets. 

I did take it back up when I was seventy-one. But it was never the same and after my back injury, I had to stop. Even walking makes my back scream. But, occasionally I tell it to shut up and I do it anyway.

So, here I am. Wishing I could do the things I did five years ago and reality laughing like a crazed hyena in my face.

So, back to picking up limbs. Buck finished my job and is mowing, now. He likes to mow. And I’m happy he likes to mow. No. I’m ecstatic he likes to mow. Now, if he just liked doing laundry. And cleaning the house. And taking out the trash . . .

 

A Little Birdie Told Me . . .

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:26, 27

Hear the birds chirping? See them fluttering from the trees? Can you Sense their happiness and peace of mind?

Birds don’t worry about stuff like coronavirus or running out of toilet paper. They don’t fret over empty shelves at Walmart or starving to death. And they certainly don’t get their feathers ruffled over clutter on the back porch.

Jesus knows what a bunch of worrywarts we humans are. That’s why He tells us to look at the birds of the air and observe how lighthearted and carefree they are. They don’t work for anything. They don’t store up anything. Yet, God takes care of them. (Matthew 6:26)

God reminded me of that again this morning as I sat fretting amongst the clutter on my back porch and wondering what the heck I’m going to do with it. How quickly I forget that God is in control of every little detail of my pitiful life. Nothing happens to me that He doesn’t know and care about. I don’t have to pace the floor biting my nails to the quick. I don’t have to beg and plead. I just have to trust Him.

Yep! That’s what a little birdie told me this beautiful sunny morning while sitting on my cluttered back porch.

I captured a few pictures while sitting with hubby and our two girls on the back porch. Pepper doesn’t mind posing for a snapshot. Bella, on the other hand, refuses to cooperate!

 

Running Out of Toilet Paper?

Before the advent of modern toilet paper, many different materials were used for the same purposes. Different materials were used depending upon the country, weather conditions, social customs, and status. People used leaves, grass, ferns, corn cobs, maize, fruit skins, seashells, stone, sand, moss, snow, and water. http://www.toiletpaperhistory.net/toilet-paper-history/used-before-toilet-paper/

Hubby got up at five this morning and was sitting in the Walmart parking lot at five-thirty thinking it opened at six. It didn’t open till seven. But that’s okay. He got everything we need for the month except flour and you guessed it . . . toilet paper.

But, we’re still good. We have one roll left in the guest bathroom and two rolls left in the master bath plus two skimpy partial rolls.

Like you and everyone else, I don’t want to run out of toilet paper!

But, what if we do?

Because I’m self-sufficient and despise relying on anyone or anything for me to survive, I create my own resources as best I can. For instance, I went online and learned how to make hand sanitizer: (https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-make-hand-sanitizer). I haven’t made any yet, but I will because hubby is screaming for some. Too bad I can’t make my own toilet paper. Then again, maybe I can. I haven’t checked that one out, yet.

But, about this toilet paper thing. When my son was born, I always used cloth diapers until he was potty-trained. For three long years, I rinsed the poop and pee in the toilet then washed the diapers in the washing machine. Before I had a washing machine, though I used the washboard. Yeah. I’m actually that old.

No, I’m not going to wear diapers, I’m just saying there are other means of wiping our butts besides using toilet paper. Just use your imagination and do whatever works for you and your family.

Running out of toilet paper is not the worst thing that can happen during COVID-19


None of us are happy about this deadly virus
and none of us were prepared for it. But it’s here and all we can do is the best we can till it passes like staying home, spending time doing the things we love that we don’t usually have time for, playing games, and talking to your kids and your spouse, and calling your friends.

We’ll all be glad when this is over and can get back to our normal lives. This sudden smack in the face has shown me what little control I have over things like COVID-19 and empty shelves at Walmart and people getting sick and dying.

As a believer, I know that God is bigger than COVID-19 and that He is willing and able to take care of me and my family. I know that when I’m afraid I can talk to Him and find peace. I’m thankful that God is bigger than the universe and has everything under control and that I don’t have to worry about silly things like running out of toilet paper because He promises to supply all my needs.

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (even toilet paper). Philippians 4:19

Kites and Balloons . . . Oh to Be a Kid Again

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Free for your own personal use

In case you’re wondering what on earth you can do with my creations, you can use them to make cards, bookmarks, pictures to hang on the wall, scrapbook embellishments, share with your friends . . . the sky’s the limit. Most of all, have fun!

For you digital artists, my kites and balloons all have a transparent background.

KITES

BALLOONS

My Two Wannabe Queens of the House

Smiling, I watched as Pepper ate peacefully from her food bowl this morning, remembering how she had to fight for every morsel a few years ago. She was abandoned with 15 other dogs when we rescued her. She was so starved that for weeks after bringing her home, she ate bugs in the yard when we let her out. I didn’t think she’d ever get meat on her bones.

Bella was skin and bones, too when we rescued her from the dog pound. And she was skittish and cowered in the back of her cage afraid of her new surroundings. We didn’t shut the door during the day so she could go in and out as she pleased till she felt safe with us. Now, the only time she goes in the cage is when we go off or she’s in time out or she thinks Buck and I are fussing when we banter back and forth. As soon as we raise our voices, she gets up, hangs her head and creeps into her cage. It’s funny and sad at the same time. It makes me wonder what happened to her before we rescued her.

Sharing our home with two queens isn’t always easy, especially for me. Buck grew up in a house with four sisters his mother and his grandmother so he knows how the female world works. Me, on the other hand, grew up with four brothers. My sister was practically grown by the time I came along. So, I know how the male kingdom works.

I know they’re animals, but having owned only male dogs throughout our married life, these two queens are definitely different, especially Bella. She and I are both alike: strong-willed, sassy, and difficult to get along with. So, it’s a never-ending battle as we compete for the throne. So far, I’m still the one wearing the crown.

I love my girls and I’m so glad we rescued them and are able to provide a safe haven for them. I fuss and fume when Bella drags a loaf of bread off the table and eats half of it before she’s caught and when Pepper chews the corners of my throw pillows and still pees and poops on the floor. But, they are sweet and truly fill our house with joy.

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Take Up Your Mat and Walk Like a Boss

So, I’m paralyzed. Been this way since the car accident. I can’t walk. I can’t feed myself, bathe myself, even brush my own teeth. And this Man comes to me and asks, “Do you want to get well?”

And with a big, pearly white-toothed smile I say, “No. I’m good. I like people waiting on me hand and foot. I like using my handicap as a crutch. I like not having to do anything, prove anything, take responsibility for anything. I like people coddling me, making excuses for me, doing everything under the sun for me.

Of course, this ridiculous scenario is just fiction. I’m physically healthy. I can clean my own house, pull weeds from my flowerbeds, even walk around the block a few times.

But the man Jesus approached at the healing pool had been an invalid for thirty-eight years and Jesus had the audacity to ask him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6) 

Why would Jesus ask such a no-brainer question?  Why would He even think that the man wouldn’t want to be healed? He was at the healing pool, wasn’t he?

As a snotty-nosed kid, and seeing the world through my over-sized rose-tinted glasses I often wondered about that scripture. Then, when I grew up and those glasses got punched off my face, I saw the world and the people in it differently. I even saw myself differently.

Reality stinks. It rattles our brain and makes us see things about ourselves and others that we’d rather not. Don’t open my eyes and I won’t have to see how people use their long-time physical and emotional handicaps to bully and control others. Stick in a pair of earplugs and I won’t have to hear their never-ending moans and groans.

It’s funny how you can sit in a room with strangers or even people you know and friendly conversations often become a contest of who had the most surgeries or take the most pills or has the worst ailments or suffers the most pain.

Why do people do that?

As kids growing up, my brother and I had rheumatic fever, but Kenny’s was more severe than mine. He was sickly all the time, in and out of the hospital and pumped full of penicillin at the least sign of a cold. He cried a lot. Was coddled and babied a lot. And I felt ignored a lot.

Then, when I was in the third grade, I got deathly sick every day after lunch and laid my head on my desk trying not to throw up all over the floor. Finally, mom and daddy took me to the doctor to discover I had walking pneumonia.

Finally! I was one up on my brother and rubbed it in his face boasting that I was the sickest, now and it’s my turn to get all the attention!

But, Kenny wasn’t having it and argued that he was still the sickest. After dragging mom into it, she finally ended the contest by calling it a tie. We were both equally sick.

For many years I expected people to treat me with kid gloves because of my out-of-whack emotional disorders. I relied on others to do things for me that I was afraid of doing myself. I relied on my loved ones to protect and defend me, to be there for me, to boost my confidence, to validate and make excuses for me. And the more I relied on others the more dependant I became.

Then hearing my desperate cries at the healing pool one day, Jesus knelt beside me and whispered, “Do you want to get well?”

When the prison doors swung open, I just stood there gazing wide-eyed into the vastness of freedom. It was scary out there without my crutches —- those emotional handicaps I so desperately clung to for so long. The smell of freedom was alluring and sweet, but stepping into it was like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.

I still rely on the love and support of my family, but I don’t expect them to sit and hold my hand twenty-four hours a day, not that I ever did. I don’t expect them to make up for everything I lost throughout my life. I don’t expect them to coddle me and pamper me and agree with every single thing I do or say.

Just as God has set me free I set others free. I know what it’s like to be bullied by someone else’s handicaps and I’d rather cry alone in the coldest, darkest cave than to ever do that to the ones I love.

Freedom always comes at a cost, especially if you’ve been enslaved for a long, long time. In order to gain one thing you have to let go of another and another and another, whatever tattered rag you’re clinging to because it feels reliable and safe.

And as crazy as it seems, many people would rather lay around sucking on their emotional pacifiers than get off their pity pot and walk.

I don’t want to be one of those people. I want to get well. I want to be what I was created to be. I want to take up my mat and walk like a boss!

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6