Monday, July 31, 2006


I've been out of pocket for a few days, dog-sitting. Here's my new best friend. We've become very close. Every morning we get up and play ball for a while during the cool time. When it's hot, we stay inside the house with the A/C as much as possible. Sometimes we play with Spongebob Square Pants and a long-necked dog (a toy giraffe). We've been having loads of fun!
Emma thinks she is a lap dog. Sometimes I have to remind her that when she stands up on her rear legs, she is taller than I am (not to mention stronger!)
Don't tell, but she really likes sleeping on the bed next to me. Her mom really doesn't want her doing that but mom's not here right now. Shhh.... it's a secret! I do have to say that Emma likes her half out of the middle of the bed.

Isn't she pretty, though? One blue eye and one brown.

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Home Sweet Home

My friends Cliff and Anne are getting married soon. Friday they closed on their new house, which is paradise indeed. Friday evening they toasted the new house and invited me to come take photos. (Actually, I kind of insisted -- part of a project I'm doing for them. Shh.. it's a secret! LOL!)

As part of the festivities, Anne's son and his girlfriend tested the zip line across the pond. Things were going so well. Well, here, just take a look-see:

On the treehouse platform, looking over the situation.

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Aieeeee!!! This is FUN!!!!

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Uh-oh. Stuck! Over the middle of the pond!!

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If you can't go forward, try going back. He's pulling her back across to the platform.

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Almost there. One more pull and a swing should do it.

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OH NO!!!

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Revenge of the Mud Girl. Give him a BIG hug.

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Boy, that was fun! Can't wait for the next time!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Take Five Minutes -- and Imagine

This is better with the music. Just spend a moment -- enjoy -- and imagine.

Sand Fantasy

Friday, July 21, 2006

Requesting your prayers

I need your prayers for my Aunt Dot, who is in intensive care in a Kansas City hospital. She is suffering from sepsis and things are very much touch-and-go tonight. I've been in contact with my cousin, who has flown in from Atlanta. She had been talking with her mother on the phone last night and could tell she was in bad shape. She called a neighbor-friend who took my aunt to the emergency room. Her blood pressure was dangerously low and at one point they could not find a pulse.

My car has been in the shop all day today for air conditioner repairs (absolutely essential as you all know because of the 105+ temperatures we've been suffering this week.) Late this afternoon I learned the extent of the repairs ($600+) -- they won't be able to return it to me until Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, I've packed a bag to be ready to be gone for a few days if necessary. With the car A/C repair I'll now be ready to go the moment I'm told it is time.

This aunt is very special to me. She's taken over the role of "mother" to me since my own momma died in 1999.

Please pray that the doctors are able to achieve the fine-line balance to treat her and restore her strength without over-treating her. She has overcome cancer many times, as well as I don't know how many other health emergencies. This one is the worst so far and I am feeling rather shaky about the situation. So is my cousin, who has asked me to ask everyone for their prayers. We know Christ is the Great Physician.

Thank you all for your prayers.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Maybe the secret IS to refuse to post if no one comments. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dear Friend Anne

The other night when you tried so hard to fuss at me? It got through after all. Thank you for always being my scaffolding and for letting me be part of yours. Though things are changing in wonderfully good ways, you'll always be my friend.

Scroll down to my post about wisdom and dreams and you'll see how I processed you message. I got it.

Love you!

P.S., keep scrolling down to see more pictures -- the band, and more.

And just because I am so chatty today ...

This is my new friend. The butterfly blanket was delivered last night and she was allowed to go home today to Bartlesville. We had a great time. She is an angel!

Speaking of dreams: Note to J.T.

OK, here's a message I think I've been supposed to deliver to you for some time. Let's see if there's any understanding of it. It's a dream I have had MANY times in the past few years (probably 5 to 10 times in three years. Very lucid and I always remember all the details.)

There is a younger woman, maybe 5 to 7 years younger than us. Her name is Judy. She has long, sunshine-yellow blonde hair. In my dreams she is always wearing a pink skirt and a cream-colored blouse with ruffles. She's thin and very smart. She sees things with clarity and purpose and is task-oriented, outlining a plan and achieving it no matter what the challenge placed before her. She is a tremendous asset to the community, but modest and slightly shy. She may not be the first person people think of, but if she is on a list of names, she is the person everyone would pick to be on their team or committee for any project.

If you know her, or you meet her, you're supposed to marry her. OK? She's the one picked out for you. Let me know when the wedding's scheduled!

Wisdom comes in dreams

E.R. posted the other day about a dream he had about his father not being around.

I think such dreams are very common among those of us who have lost family members or other loved ones. I had one myself last night, one that came bearing messages and lessons left to learn.

A review of my family history: My dad died Aug. 23, 1976, the day I was supposed to head back to OU for my final semester of school. I had just finished my internship the Friday before and was enjoying the weekend at home. During our last conversation, I had a profound sense that we were finally relating as two adults instead of as angry father-submissive child.

My brother died at age 43 on Nov. 17, 1997. He had cerebral palsy and lived his entire life under my mother's care. They were totally inseperable after his schooling ended at age 12. Bob would never have been able to function on his own without a caretaker.

Momma died on Christmas Eve, 1999. Her reason for living died in 1997 with Bob. Once he was at peace, she was able to start letting go of this life.

So last night's dream was puzzling at first, but then the message was crystal clear. I'm writing it here to remind myself later, in case I forget. But I don't normally forget the dreams of this type because the symbolism is so clear and absolutely addresses whatever issue I need to deal with in reality.

I was in a home that clearly belonged to me. It had some similarities to homes I've owned -- features cobbled together. A bedroom from one home, a bath from a different one. Odd hallways and storage areas kind of pasted in here and there.

I was somewhat disturbed by the lack of tidiness -- not because I'm a neat freak (y'all know I am not.) What bothered me was that the messes I saw were not of my own making.

I turned down one hallway and saw my dad going into a room. Although he was 55 when he died, he was old and somewhat frail in the dream. He never contributed to the household chores in any form, so I knew that he was not cleaning up after himself. He couldn't even wash dishes if asked. Rather, wouldn't.

The next person I saw was Momma. I saw her hands, so crippled by arthritis that they were non-functioning, exactly as they were during her final years. The fingers literally hung from her hands, the joints so damaged that they had become disconnected. I felt the hot tears on my face even as I slept. She was sitting in her chair asking me for something to drink -- a grape soda, I believe.

On my way to the kitchen I passed a bathroom. Bob was in there, struggling to take care of himself. Wet towels were on the floor and the bathtub was in need of a good scrubbing. I admit my temper was often very short with Bob, something I regret every day of my life. I wish now I could have been infinitely more patient and loving.

I returned with the grape soda and a straw, and held the can so Momma could sip it. I can see her smile as she let out an "Ahhhhh!" followed by a loud belch. She smiled again as she would have in real life -- yeah, she got her kicks from being anti-social and belching was one of her favorite things.

I think she noticed me looking around the messy house with a sense of despair. I know I was wondering why no one else was lifting a finger.

And now, the moment of clarity:

In my dream thoughts, I said to myself:

"Of the four people living in this house, I am the only one who CAN clean it. That's why it has to be my job."


Immediately, I started scrubbing the bathtub, picked up the laundry and started washing it, ran the dishwasher and vacuumed.

I stopped feeling so put-upon once I realized I was the only one who COULD do it. Housekeeping started feeling like an honor instead of a burden.

Now, the second lesson:

Try as much as I might, I can't isolate myself as a single unit. Even if I wanted to leave these family members behind, I cannot, because they are each a part of me. I've learned that each of them appears in my dreams when there are particular things for them to teach me.

My dad shows up in my dreams when I need to understand that I am in control. Just as he controlled every aspect of life up until the moment he died, I am now in charge. Usually he shows up in dreams in which I am driving to a strange location. (Most particularly Dallas, but I haven't figured that out.) I wind up getting lost at a highway cloverleaf as day starts turning to night. That's when I notice that it is my dad driving the car and I am in the back seat. When I'm really lost, he is driving from the front seat, but from the passenger's side. I learned a long time ago that I have to be the one driving my car, NOT him. Now I make him pull over and give me the keys. He's welcome to ride along in the back seat if he wants. So far, he'd rather stay at the side of the road. Maybe that's where he needs to stay.

Momma shows up when I need to be more patient and compassionate, and when I need to figure out that some things have to be accepted and dealt with, instead of being fought against. She accepted an awful lot in her life and saved her precious energy knowing how to choose her battles. She epitomized the expression "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it." (Subtext: And enjoy a good belch while you do it!")

Bob shows up when I need to remember that we are who we ARE and not what we DO. BEING is the essence of living, not DOING.

Put them all together and the total lesson is: I am in charge. I am the only one who can clean up the messes -- all of the messes caused by the different parts of myself. No one else is going to help clean up because they cannot. This one is not their job. They did theirs.

If the house is full of dirty dishes, a skanky bathtub and bugs on the carpet, I need to take care of it. I need to take charge and be in control. Having this life and all of its problems to solve is my blessing. I just have to realize I am well equipped to do it, after all.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Lavender Butterfly

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Children's Hospital of Oklahoma is filled with children in dire need of prayer and comfort. If you ever have any opportunity to help a child in need, I implore you to do so.

I know we can't each do all that needs to be done for every child, but we can all do something to make life better for someone. We can volunteer to read stories, play with children in the play room, something.

Friday afternoon I was contacted by a friend from one of my message boards who knows about my prayer shawl ministry. She lives in Jenks, up near Tulsa. A mutual internet friend's daughter from the Bartlesville area is in Children's Hospital and had a very extensive surgery related to her spina bifida. She will be in the hospital a total of 10 days or so.

Meanwhile, Mom's father is dying of cancer and may not survive long enough for her to see him again. And Dad's mother is also gravely ill. Imagine the grief and pressure this darling girl's parents are going through with their daughter, mother and father all in such dire condition.

My friend from Jenks asked if I could do a child's prayer shawl. Of course, no question about it. I thought I could finish it by Sunday morning to have it blessed by my church, but I was a bit optimistic about my abilities. I just now finished it on Tuesday afternoon, and it's been my full-time job for the past four days.

This was the 10th one I've made since March and each one has been very special to me. Lots of prayers have been said for the recipients and their needs. This lavender one didn't have fringe, but blessings from the church come through the Teddy Bear, which is part of our church's Comfort Critter ministry.

Each month, 90 to 100 teddy bears and other soft, stuffed animals are placed in our sanctuary. They spend a month with us in the congregation, listening to the music, the prayers and the sermons. Members of the congregation hug the bears during worship. At the end of a month, the animals are "commissioned" to go out into the world to provide comfort and loving support to children in need. We send the bears off to work with the state Highway Patrol. They keep the bears in their cruisers and give them to children who find themselves in a car accident, broken down by the side of the road or caught up in a bad situation we don't even want to imagine.

We've done this for about 15 months now -- close to 1,500 critters. And as many as we send, they are all used every month and there are always more children in need than we have bears to provide.

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This bear sat with me Sunday morning when we listened to our new organ play for the first time. I asked him to go to work just a little bit early to go with this prayer shawl. He was happy to take the job!

Be like my little bear friend, please. There are tons of kids out there who need to know there are adults on their side, praying for them and rooting for them to have the life God intended them to have.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Concerts in the Park

One of my favorite things in the summer is having the chance to hear free concerts in the park. Yukon city park hosts a summer series, as does Hafer Park in Edmond.

Tonight The Bonham Revue played in Edmond. These guys are friends of mine -- the bass player is engaged to one of my best friends (she of the feet in the previous post) and they are fast closing in on wedding plans. It's a very exciting time!

The guys in The Bonham Revue, a bluegrass group, are also members of a country band called City Moon. Check the schedule of both bands at City Moon. After tonight's concert they boarded the bus and headed for a gig in Kansas. City Moon will be playing in Hafer Park on August 10. Catch them if you get a chance! I promise you an evening of music you will enjoy.
They are also at Langston's in Stockyards City on August 12. Grab a steak at Cattleman's while you're down there.

Below: The Bonham Revue. In Photo 3, they are dressed for their rendition of "Viva Las Vegas!"

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

The final work

Here's how the latest prayer shawl, "Tree of Life," looked today at the end of church. My dear friend Anne is holding it up for me -- I was too short to hold it for anyone else to get a full shot of it.

I added a few more details to it late last night. I decided it needed a dove, so I made one. It really does look more like a bird in person because you can see the three-dimensional wings -- they don't cause enough of a shadow in photos to give you the necessary detail.

I also added more flowers along the bottom which helped me hide some adjustments I made around the "roots" area to try to straighten things up a bit. I also went back over parts of some branches to adjust the shading -- what I had hoped would look like shadowing before just looked stupid. I like it much better now. (That's what duplicate stitching can do for a piece.)

Let's see, what else... Oh yes, I did not want to put a fringe on this piece. And customarily the congregation has participated by tying knots in the fringes. To compensate for that, I put strands of yellow yarn in the centers of the flowers so people would have something to tie. And I left some "stems" on some of the flowers for more tying purposes. A good trim of the loose ends will neaten everything up.

So it is now done and out of my hands. On to the next project -- I think I'll go back to a couple of straightforward, simple prayer shawls for a while instead of competing with myself for "fancy" stuff. I was just inspired to create this design for the particular recipient.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Quiet down, you screaming hordes!

There's been SUCH demand (yawn) for a photo post of my latest knitting project. This is a prayer shawl I've designed for an older woman at church who is having some mobility problems and has not been able to come to church for about a month. I started working on this as soon as I heard about her situation. She's kind of a matriarch at the church -- there are three generations in her family who attend every Sunday.

The design is a Tree of Life with a textured bark. I've learned some things from this project that will make future projects better.

Tonight I spread out a quilt in the back yard and gathered up the shawl along with the "extra" pieces -- the sun, the leaves and the flower at the trunk. I think I need to add some more flowers around the trunk to smooth out some of the transition areas.

Photo 1: The project is layed out. Photo 2: Little flower sewn on. Photo 3: Leaves sewn on. Photo 4: I'll sew the sun on tonight.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

43 Things

“Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively.” -Mel Brooks


I found this quote on a web site worth looking at: 43 Things Take a look and see what you think. The idea is to 1. Write down your goals; 2. Get inspired and 3. Share your progress. You've got space for 43 things on your list.

It is interesting to see some of the goals people have set for themselves, especially if it's a goal you have for yourself as well.

I see myself spending some more time at this site.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Photos coming later today. Knitting involved.

I just realized there's not a single post on my page with a photo. This will be remedied today. Beware.