Friday, January 30, 2009

Every Evening

Every evening I turn my worries over to God.
He's going to be up all night anyway.
Mary C. Crowley

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run
(and the song goes on....)

A few days ago, my Bible reading included Matthew 15.14, “...if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” It was a verse that I immediately connected the three mice with. Now tell me if that’s not an imagination! (No, I blame it on being an only child).

I remember singing this rhyme/song as a child, and then singing it to my children and grandchildren. Its' beginning strikes me most - blind mice, aimlessly running toward danger (i.e., the farmer’s wife). Oh, now that’s frightful!!! These guys chose putting their trust in a cause that allowed them total freedom to scurry about doing their own thing. It was a blindness where they couldn't determine right from wrong - so, kerplunk!, they (along with their leader) fall in the ditch (without their tails! for goodness sakes). Oh, and to think I exposed my children and grandchildren to such "vile" encounters reading/singing this atrocity to them! What was I thinking???

Seriously, sometimes our way is not always the best way. Sometimes we need to hear, "that's the wrong path, that's the wrong cause", etc. We don't need to attach ourselves to "itching ears" buddies. We need friends who will warn us of dangers ahead - not nonchalantly escort us into harmful and destructive settings. And I believe that we cannot afford to take for granted what we are told. We must confirm our leading by seeking answers in the Word and through faithful prayer. We must open the eyes to our hearts, and not risk blindly falling into the ditch (where danger lurks to destroy our souls) .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Is Life?

There are times when we must step back to evaluate what's most important in life, and in so doing, get our priorities in order. Today is a marked day in my life, so here are my thoughts.

What Is Life?
Poem written in memory of my son, Mark

What is life? It is but a brief moment,
a vapor, to appear then suddenly vanish.
It takes our plans, tossing them into obscurity.

Consider life's uncertainty, its presumptions.
Daily we put our trust in false securities,
assuming them safe as mist over a field at dawn.

Vapors reluctantly moving, breezes following,
portrayed as two children engaged in a game of tag.
"Unconditional" and "Conclusive" are their names.

The chase begins, with life designated to be "it".
There will be no escape, no place to hide,
for we are vapors, small fleeting seconds in time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Your Ship Will Come In

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
Dolly Parton

Wet When Raining

We've had a little rain here in California the last few days, so when I ran across this sign, I couldn't resist posting it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is Your Heart An Open Door?

Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty -
He is the King of glory.
Psa 24: 7-10

Friday, January 23, 2009

Know the Voices

Make sure you
are listening to
the right voices

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
quote by Mae West

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

As Touching

“…if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any shall be done...” Matthew 18.19

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

UNITED We Will Stand!

God Bless
our 44th President of the United States of America
Barack Obama
"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and [a] latino America and [an] asian America - there's the United States of America."

BTW: The picture above is the official portrait of President Obama, which was shot by Pete Souza, the new official White House photographer, using a digital camera for the first time to take an official presidential portrait. The "digital" portrait will hang in federal buildings throughout the United States.

Follow the Peacemaker

Peace lives in the hearts of those who will allow it to do so; and War soars in the hearts of those who know not the Peacemaker. We live in an hour when we must put aside our differences, and unite to accomplish the Will of the One who brings true Peace, Hope and Resurrection.

Monday, January 19, 2009

May Freedom Ring

Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

"So let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring. But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. And when this happens, when we let it ring, we will speed that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last, free at last/Thank God Almighty, we're free at last."

** The Words of Dr. King, 1963 **

May we as Americans, and with God's speed, let freedom ring - and may we as humanity recognize that God created all men equal.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

All Things New

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Love This Guy!

Happy Birthday Popeye
80 years old today

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
I'm strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man

Popeye made his debut January 17, 1929 in a comic strip called Thimble Theater. Originally the comic centered around Olive Oyl and her eccentric family but Popeye eventually took over the entire strip because his spinach-eating character, with its strength and perseverance, was so irresistible.

But why did I REALLY post this? It's simple! Today we are host to the same plot as the 1929 cartoon. Many times we are overtaken by bullies which work at wounding us. Popeye didn't stay down so I say let's not be pushed down by every wind of dissent and hostility - let's become "Popeyes". Why all we have to do is pull out our "can" of faith, flex our spiritual prayer muscles, and through perseverance, strength will come to foil any eccentric situation in our pathway.

BTW: Visited my friend Tena's blog this morning, and wham! There was Popeye. Guess great minds think alike. lol She's posted an old cartoon so take a visit to watch Popeye.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Beware Blogland Buddies

Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Loaded Down?

Heavy Burdens are God's Speciality

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Electric or Manual?

Which suits you - an Electric or Manual Can Opener?

With all our modern appliances and conveniences, we don't exactly jump for joy when we read this Proverbs 31 scripture: "She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff." Why, we are the Prima Donnas of the electronic age. The thought of being "tied" to a machine requires physical labor, and that does not make for a pleasant day! Often I wonder how many blessings I've missed because of my non-involvement in something. You too? We sit, and sit, and sit, waiting for the right opportunity. That's called an "electric" mentality. As you can see, I could go all over the place with this but I'd like to go to times from the past, and then determine what needs to be done in my life to do a productive work for the Lord.

I love to ramble (it is what I know best) so here I go.....Oh, the thoughts about the candy and bake sales of old....
and how through that "manual" labor, the sales helped sustained our churches financially. We spent much time baking cookies, pies and cakes for sale in front of a grocery store (or bank). Our kitchens smelled sickening sweet, and we vowed never to eat a "sugary" again. (Oh for curses, I didn't follow my vow; for to this day, I still pick up a sugary treat - oh well, the Bible says all men are liars, doesn't it?). Now to get on with my story - then we "Betty Crocker" mamas wrapped our goodies in saran wrap, loaded them in our trunks/backseats, drove to the designated site, decorated the display table, and sat for hours in front of Bank of America or the local grocery store selling our savory treats. BTW, reason I mentioned Betty's name was that we ladies saved the coupons off the cake mixes to purchase silverware to grace our tables. Funny how I never did collect enough box tops to finish my set of tableware. It just took way-too-many tops to complete a set, with serving pieces, for a family with four kids.

Then there was the peanut brittle....

Ah, now that's another story. I remember the hours and hours of creating this nutty temptation, the inevitable burns (and scars), the aching backs (sore muscles), cleaning pan after sticky pan, mopping gooey floors, and comforting swollen feet that were held hostage in size 9 shoes (feet had strutted to size 10s). It would be good to stop here, because that's enough physical labor in itself; but usually the women who made the candy took their children and a few other kids out to sell the stuff too. Have you ever taken 4 or 5 rambunctious 8-10 year old boys out for a selling adventure? Mercy me! I'm having reoccurring nightmares.

I could call the names of so many of my baking/cooking buddies/friends, but most of all, they were my spiritual mentors. While slapping those patties together we would pray, sing, and just about "preach" in hopes of helping each other through one of life's obstacles. We didn't realize it at the time, but we were having church every Tuesday and Friday morning (during the holidays, it was more). Yes, these were ladies going beyond the norm so their families and others might have a place to worship next week, next month. Their labor helped with the mortgage/rent payment, made sure the electricity would be on for the next service, or that the pastor and his family would have food on their table for another week. Oh yes, saint and preacher alike realized what sacrifice was being made - and the appreciation was so real. Some days I feel ashamed of how easy it is now to take money out of a church fund, or saints take it out of a savings or put it on a credit card to pay for the "needs". We just "electrically" open our sacrifices, nary lifting a finger. Back then there were no funds/savings/credit cards available. However, in all the labor required to make ends meet back then, it developed people of faith – ones laying hand to the spindle in a common cause - the cause of Jesus Christ.

Now in my simple way (and somewhat beating around the bush), I am wanting to say, that we need to renew our acquaintance with “laying hold of the spindle” – perhaps not in the form of candy/bake sales and peanut brittle but in the terms of getting busy about the Lord’s business. It is up to us - to either stay with the “electric doomaflatchie” (hope the spelling is right as I don't have a clue how to spell it so used my feeble phonics skills to create) - or we can get out the “manual reliable one” (which means work!) to accomplish something for Him.

As for me, turn off the electric, please.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Observing Life's Tides

"…in life, grief flows continuously in and out of happiness, and happiness in and out of grief."

I will not elaborate as to why I posted this thought today but my heart is heavy for ones whose joy has been interrupted. Yes, I’ve rejoiced on the mountaintop with them, and now it is time for me to walk beside them in the valley - offering a gentle touch, a kind word, a whisper of hope, and a special prayer.

Look around; there has to be someone who needs your encouragement this day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Saying Goodbye

“A Collection of Yesterday’s Memories Today”
Offering Years of “Collectible Addiction”

Sadly I said goodbye to my dear friend. One that had been by my side since year 2004 when I retired from my position with the PUC. Faithfully this friend and I spent every day together - collecting, gathering, taking photos, writing script, etc. We had an ideal working relationship.

What happened? December 30th was the day I closed my eBay store. Yes, Hopper's Storehouse officially went into eBay's Electronic NeverNeverLand. I really miss the old "girl" although it has only been "X" number of days since we ceased partnership. Thought it time to go our separate ways as the store hadn't really made any money for the last year and one-half - but before that, it offered excellent added income ($1000-$2500 a month net). However, with the ways of the economy and folks no longer looking to "wants" but focusing on "needs", my cash cow quit giving milk. Plus the trips increased to my husband's doctors in San Francisco making it increasingly difficult to run the store. Sure I continued (selling sparingly) this past 1-1/2 years, but mostly the sales just paid for eBay/Paypal fees and the cost of the items (and on most occasions, it did not do that). How many people want to buy expensive bone china, vintage California pottery, and other unusual/prize items when there is the rent/mortgage, groceries/clothes/gasoline, etc. to pay for? Nope, the volume just wasn't there. Let me give you an example: Last month I sold approximately $250 worth of items; paid $80 in eBay fees; $15 in Paypal fees; items sold cost me $550. Now let's see, that's a non-profit of $395. (unfortunately that was a monthly happening).

Now I don't want to leave on a sad note because I enjoyed every minute. I met some of the nicest people throughout the United States, Canada and the World - reaffirming that people, in general, are good, honest, and caring. I am thankful for the space I had to converse with these people and which allowed us to share our God.
Well, old buddy. Thanks for everything. Bye for now - got to get to packing away my collectible items, and if the economy picks up, I'll be back to open another store. However, til then, I'll leave it all as an inheritance for my kids and grandkids. Imagine that sounds thrilling to them (heehee). (Know they like Pottery Barn better).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Let's Have Church

It's Sunday - got my dancing shoes on - so Let's Have Church.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do Good Where You Are

Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Need 2009 Calendar?

I can remember the days when you could get a FREE calendar everywhere. In fact, it was nothing to have at least a dozen calendars for any given year. Can't say that now. No longer are there an abundance of FREE calendars for the taking. We still get a FREE one from our cleaners and one from my husband's union but other than that we have to buy them. Well, I received another FREEBIE - calendar pictures from a dear friend via email that are from the 2009 (Playboy) Bunny Calendar.

Sure it's a joke - but a cute one you've got to admit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Time for Repair?

In what condition is your "spiritual" building?

Perhaps it's time to commission The Carpenter, and make repairs.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Orchids Galore

When coming home from our mini-vacation, we stopped at our favorite orchid grower, Gallup & Stribling, south of Santa Barbara just off Highway One - and it was right in time for their annual sale. Most flowering beauties were $9.95 to $19.95 a plant (some higher but not that many). Restraining myself, I only bought one this time. However, upon thought, I will try to make a trip back in a couple of weeks to pick up a few more. Thanks Kel for taking the pictures.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Don't Say A Word!!!

Well, shut my mouth - in more ways than one!!! Looks like me and papa got basking in the holiday goodies and forgot the consequences.

Inspiration for post, courtesy of fellow blogger, Carol Connell's poem, "The Die in Diet".

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In Whom Do We Trust?

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Photo: India Monolithic Chariot