Sunday, September 01, 2013

Long time no blog!  I decided to stop doing the blog when Facebook started taking over my life.  I figured the world had enough of my ramblings on there.  Not sure I'll update this too often because of the same reason but I do want to add this post here.  I did post it on Facebook and I've done a scrapbbook pages to get it down for future generations, figured, why not go ahead and add it here too.  Perhaps it'll reach someone that I didn't thank on FB.


35 years ago on 9/1 my world collapsed. My Dad was a volunteer fireman for Central City. He went out on a call driving a new truck with Wayne Newman in the passenger seat. They said the truck malfunctioned. It crashed going into a curve on Hwy 70. They didn't come home. We heard it on the scanner. I HATE scanners. We didn't know it was Dad for sure but we knew, we knew in our hearts.

It's taken me a lot of years to even be able to read these articles but I'm finally able to pull them out to make copies for my brother and sister so they can share with their kids. I didn't want to remember the details of the accident all these years. I wanted to focus on the way the whole city came together to pull our families up out of the pit of despair. The brotherhood of Firemen has a special bond that others just can't understand. They have a God given love for helping others that goes far beyond the firefighting. They became our family. Most of the time it was awesome, but let me tell you, it's not good to have that many big brothers when you're trying to get away with stuff! Sure kept me on the straight and narrow line. I never knew who was watching!

I was the oldest of the three kids and Mom needed a lot of help. She tried to keep it together but Dad had always been the one to handle everything so she was lost just trying to deal with finances. My sister was about to celebrate her 4th birthday and instead of finishing planning the party, we had to plan a funeral. Three days after the funeral, we had the biggest party ever with all the firemen present and even one of the trucks there for the kids to play on. They bought presents galore but they brought love even more. My Mom wouldn't have been able to pull it together but they knew she'd be even more upset later if the party that she and Dad had been working on fell through.  






The little ways the community ministered to us kept coming, not just the firemen. Utility bills were paid by unknown sources. Food came from everywhere for weeks. People mowed the yard when we weren't home. Phone calls and visits were constant. Cards came in the mail from people that I didn't even think cared. I found one from Mr. Cather, the teacher from CCHS. I don't remember seeing it before but it's in the box. The teacher that I thought hated all the students took the time to send a condolences card to us. That touches me today more than I can say. I know he can look down now and know it but I have to wonder if I thanked him then. I still have the silk flower arrangement that was sent by my Senior Class and you know what, it still looks good!

I'm posting this today not as a way to gain sympathy, my family is blessed, but as a way to thank the many many people that helped my family then and to remind us all that there are people today that need that kind of love. The little things that you think won't make a difference really do and the feeling will last a lifetime.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Austin

Today is my nephew Austin's 6th birthday.  He's is such a little character.  Fun to be around but so full of energy that he just wears me out! 

We had his party on Saturday.  It was a pool party and, when he was telling me about it before hand, he was just adamant that I had to get in the water too.   I told him that there would be way too many kids for me to get in.  He thought about it for a minute and then asked his Mom if she had already invited everyone.  She said that all the invitations had gone out except one little girl's.  He then looked at me and said "well if we don't invite her then she won't come and then you can get in." 

I told him no there would still be too many kids and that he wouldn't need me in the water, he'd have plenty of people to play with.  He thought about it for a bit and then said, "well Aiden can't come because they're going to be on vacation and (he named two other kids) won't come because they never come to anything so that will be four kids that can't come.  That is enough room for you."

We compromised and I went early to play in the pool with him.  I think he has a future as a lawyer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Day of Summer

Today is the first official day of Summer.  Since it's been in the high 90's for over a week I think it missed it's mark by a few days.  It's too hot to do anything outside at all though so there won't be any celebrating Summer this week.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be 98 degrees with the heat index way over 100.

Those that know me, know that I love warm weather. (Yes, I hear you saying "it's because you have no body fat--you know who you are!)  I can't tolerate cold at at all.  (Even though I do so love the snow!)  Warm weather usually finds me outside every possible second that I can be out there.  It probably doesn't help that I work night shifts so miss out on a lot of sunshine just because of that.  Yes, normally I'd be outside not long after the coffee cup is dry, if not with a coffee cup and stay outside until the dark covers me totally.  Everyone else will have sweat rolling and I'll be just as cool as can be.  This past weekend, however, found me melting along with everyone else.  There simply was no air to breath.  I went out to the porch to read Friday night around 7 p.m. and could only stand it for 20 minutes.  My lungs actually hurt.  Just going out to water the plants last night was painful.  Sure don't know how people that have to work outside are standing it.

Guess I'll be staying inside this week.  Who knows I might even find the time to clean out the closets.  Who knows what I'll find there.  

If you have to be out this week, be careful.  Drink plenty of fluids and wear your sunscreen.  I'd like to keep you around a little longer.  Might find some heavy stuff in that closet and may need you to come help!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Haven't posted in forever!  Sorry about that.  I thought about just giving the blog up.  I seem to spend way too much time on the computer as it is.  Got a sweet note from someone that had been following the blog telling me that she missed me so I guess I'll try and pop in every now and then.

Today is Father's Day so I'll send a quick shout out to all the Dads out there and hope that you've had a great day.  My own Dad died in 1978, still doesn't seem like he should be gone so long but the calendar doesn't lie.  He was a fireman for those that don't know, and the truck he was driving malfunctioned as he and another fireman were on their way to a call.  Both men died that night.  Two families were what they thought at that moment, totally destroyed.  My Dad left a wife and three kids, me the oldest and the youngest three years old.  The other man left a young wife and two small boys.    I will say that the close knit fire department rallied together to support both families.  We didn't think we'd survive but we did.

Luckily for me, my Uncle Charlie was there to be my "other Father" as he had been even while my own Dad was alive.   I celebrated Father's Day with him and my Aunt Joyce today.  We went up to see Jeremy last weekend and he and Randy were able to just hang out and enjoy each others company.  Randy wanted his employees that were fathers to be able to spend the day with their Dad's so he worked today in their place taking Friday off to spend the day with his own Dad, golfing in the extreme heat--crazy men!  I'm sure when he comes home he'll be more than happy to chill out on the couch with the remote control and just enjoy a lazy evening.

I'm thinking today about the young man that grew up with my own son who moved his young family into a house across the street from us a few years back.  He died suddenly last month.  No warning, getting ready to go to work and collapsed.  We were unable to bring him back.  He was there one moment and then gone the next.  He leaves a 27 year old wife with three small children, one only 10 days old at the time.  This was the first of many Father's Days they'll have to go through with no Dad to make gifts for or to burn his breakfast or even buy a cheap tie that only a Dad would wear with pride.  I saw their Uncle come over earlier, now their "Other Father"  a role that I know he'll do an excellent job with but one he never anticipated he would have to fill. 

Very melancholy today I guess and I certainly hope I haven't brought you down.  That wasn't my intention at all.  Just typing what comes out.   I guess my goal was to simply say that we really don't need a special day to celebrate the love we have for dear old Dad.  Since I know just how short time can really be, I hope you'll try and show it every day.  I know we do.  I certainly hope we're succeeding.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Resurrection Cookies, just in time for Easter

Today is Good Friday.  The weather outside today is gorgeous and that makes it a good Friday all in it's own.  But the real reason it is Good Friday is that many many years ago God allowed his only Son to die on the cross for me and for you.  That makes it a GREAT Friday.   I've been watching the marketing for Easter and it is all about new clothes, presents and egg hunts.  I'm not seeing a lot of Christian images at all.  That's sad.   So I dug out this recipe as a way  to remind your children what Easter really is all about. 

Resurrection Cookies

Read through the entire recipe first so you’ll understand completely the importance of each step as it is written.

You will need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1 cup sugar
a ziplock bag
1 wooden spoon
scotch tape
Bible

Instructions:
These are to be made the evening before Easter. Preheat oven to 300F.
*** (this is very important --- don't wait until you are half done with the recipe).

Place pecans in ziplock bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested. He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read: John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read: John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read: John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers,and the bitterness of our own sin. Read: Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. (You can add chocolate chips at the same time you add the nuts. Many of the people where sad to find the tomb empty but the sweetness of the price Jesus paid is a new beginning every single day. With confession your sins are washed away and everyday is a sweet gift and a new beginning.) Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read: Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus tomb was sealed. Read: Matthew 27:65-66

GO TO BED!
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read: John 16:20-22

On Resurrection Sunday (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read: Matthew 28:1-9

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Mexico Chili Cook Off

I received this email and I kid you not I was laughing so hard tears rolled down my face.  I'm printing it exactly as I received it.  I will caution you not to try and read it while you're eating or drinking, you may choke on your laughter and also you may not want to read it if you're sneaking on the computer at work.




New Mexico Chili Cook Off
If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you. I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in New Mexico .


Note: Please take time to read this slowly.
If you pay attention to the first two judges,
the reaction of the third judge is even better..


For those of you who have lived in New Mexico , you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Santa Fe Plaza . Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chile taster named Frank, who was visiting from Asheville , NC .


Frank: 'Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge #3.'


Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


CHILI # 1 - MIKE'S MANIAC MONSTER CHILI


Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.


Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.


Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These New Mexicans are crazy.




CHILI # 2 - EL RANCHO'S AFTERBURNER CHILI


Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.


Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.


Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.


CHILI # 3 - ALFREDO'S FAMOUS BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI


Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.


Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.


Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.


CHILI # 4=2 0- BUBBA'S BLACK MAGIC


Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.


Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.


Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills.. This 300 lb. woman is starting to look HOT...just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?


CHILI # 5 - LISA'S LEGAL LIP REMOVER


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.


Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.


Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.


CHILI # 6 - VARGA'S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.


Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.


Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.


CHILI # 7 - SUSAN'S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI


Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.


Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.


Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing. It's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.


CHILI # 8 - BIG TOM'S TOENAIL CURLING CHILI


Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.


Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?


Judge # 3 -- No report
__________________

Sunday, March 28, 2010

No more hotels

Bringing in the end of March already, time goes by so quickly.  It's been a really busy month though and I've packed a lot into it.  For a change I can actually see the results, well at least others can!

Jeremy and Kate bought their first home and I've went up a few times to help them get it renovated.  (Randy went once, better give him some credit too, he helped with the washer/dryer.)  They LOVE the neighborhood and were so excited to be able to find a home there so quickly.  They thought they'd have to buy a smaller place and then eventually move into the area.  The previous owners wanted to move to a bigger place (blows my mind because this house is HUGE) and with the tax incentive it was the perfect time for everyone to move on up.

When they first looked at the house they knew that some things would have to go before they could move in.  Like this tongue and grove parquet floor.  It may have been pretty when they first installed it when the house was built in 1986 but it sure isn't now.  It covered a lot of space too, the entire kitchen with eat in area and two hallways.   It also made the cabinets look bad.  Not sure why anyone would install the cabinets with the same finish as the floor but everyone has their own likes and dislikes.


They picked out some new flooring, found out that it would cost a fortune to have the store install it so that is where dear ole Mom came in.   We stupidly thought we could install it in two days.  WRONG.  The house has beautiful crown molding and therefore lots of intricate cuts around the many many doorways.  


They still needed to paint the bottom of the baseboards when I took these photos, I dug a permanent grove into one finger and had nerve damage that lasted two weeks to my right hand but we are all very happy with the results.   The hallway view is from the front door.  To the right is what was probably designed as a formal living room but will be their office and to the left is the formal dining room.  There is a half bathroom on this hall (don't even get me started on how hard that thing was to renovate).  All the bedrooms, two full baths and the utility room are upstairs.  LOVE that the utility room is up there, no carrying laundry up the stairs! (Granted the guys may not have loved it when they were trying to get the appliances up the stairs.)   The end of the hall goes into another hallway, right to the living room, left to the kitchen and the stairs to the finished basement (or as Jeremy calls it, his Man Cave) go under the stairs to the upstairs with yet another door to piece around.  Wrigley and Gracie also give it a four paw approval rating!

Every room in the house had to be painted.  We think that the previous owners must have got a great deal on sea foam green because that is what EVERYTHING was painted.  Even the outside of the house is green.  I chatted with a neighbor and she said that the green was a huge improvement over the first owner of the home though because she loved bright colors and had rooms painted fuchsia and bright orange.   Jeremy and Kate are more of earth-tone people though and while they both like green, the "calming hospital wall" color had to go.

The ceiling over the staircase was quite challenging to paint.  I got as high as I could but Jeremy had to use a ladder (which is scary to even think about now) and his long arms with this extension pole (the longest one we could find) to reach the top.

It's going to take some time to get everything the way they want it and as you know, once they do, it will be time to start changing it again but I'm sure they're going to love being in their very own home.  It's also good for me because no more hotels when I go up to visit!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Good day for basketball in Kentucky

Today was a good day and a bad day for basketball fans here in my area of Kentucky.    Good because Murray State and the University of Kentucky both advanced in the NCAA Tourney.  (Louisville plays tomorrow, gotta love three Kentucky teams in the NCAA!!!)   I figure UK will go all the way to the final game and hope they don't choke in the end.  I'd love to see Murray state make it to the end too.  It's really a great school.  Jeremy went there for his pre-pharmacy classes and we were just so impressed with the entire university.  Really fine school!  Of course he went to UK for Pharmacy School, can't say too many nice things about it but do enjoy UK basketball.  Yes, March Madness in Kentucky causes us to bleed blue.

Speaking of blue, our local high school, the Muhlenberg Mustangs, made it to the State Tournament at Rupp Arena today.  Our county just consolidated our school system with this school year so it has been stressful for more than a few families.  Combining the schools did great though for bringing the best players together on one team for a winning season (no disrespect to the kids that didn't make the team and I know several were really awesome players).    There was a lot of controversy over every aspect of the consolidation and even more over hiring the new coach (sorry I still think Steve would have done an excellent job and believe wholeheartedly that they would have still made it to the tournament today had he been hired instead of Reggie, no offense to Reggie either.)  Anyway, doesn't matter because the whole county supported them today.  They took so many buses that they caused traffic problems in Lexington.  For those that couldn't physically attend the game, they  listened on the radio or called friends to check on the score often.   The team didn't win but even the sportscasters commented on how hard they played so we're all still very proud.    Hold your heads up high Muhlenberg County!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Changes

Updated my blog a bit with a free blog banner and header from The Cutest Blog on the Block.  Can't beat free and it's oh so cute!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring is here--oh I hope so!

It has been a gorgeous week weather wise here in Kentucky.  Well it has rained all day today but I'll take rain over snow/ice any day.  It made it up into the 70's several days in a row.  The nights have been back down into the low 40's but that's okay too.

I snapped this photo in Jeremy's yard on Wednesday.  I've also seen Robins building nests.  Oh Spring bring your warmth--I'm so ready!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Happy March

Welcoming March and what I'm hoping will be better weather.  Of course, with the change in weather the ole body reacts funky too so I'm currently under the weather myself.  Felt horrid all day yesterday, hurt everywhere and couldn't even sleep even though I'd worked all night.  Today my head is still hurting, ears itchy and stomach is rolling but it's better than it was.  Hoping that means it's on it's way out.

To catch you up on life in my little world, it was quite the exciting weekend around here.  Our son and his fiance bought their first house Friday.    They're getting married next year and decided to go ahead and start the house hunt early.  They found a neighborhood in Lexington that they wanted to eventually end up in and then started looking at smaller houses that would allow them to buy up later and get into their desired location.  What they didn't know was that a house in that neighborhood would come available at a price they could afford now.  They had a great Realtor and he got them in on it super fast.  The previous owners found a bigger place and wanted to hurry and sell so they could close on their dream home.  This house had almost everything that they wanted.  God watches out for that him I'll tell ya!

I'm headed up there this weekend which is another reason I have to get well.  They've already started painting and will have to replace some old carpet before they can move in.  Of course, they're going to need a ton of furniture so shopping will be fun, even more so because I can shop with someone else's money, LOL.  Jeremy has some furniture and Kate has some but not enough for a house this size.  Besides that, Jeremy's has been through a fraternity house and many moves in and out of apartments while he was in college, doubt any of it is worth moving.  (Yes, Dan if you're reading, we'll still get it out of your house.)  The backyard to the new house is fenced and although the granddogs are quite confused right now, once they get moved in they should love it.  The house is down the street from the park that Jeremy and Kate have been taking them to for the last year so they "know" the neighborhood well enough.   Jeremy said they both get really excited when they get near the street but seem disappointed to stop at the house instead of going to the park.  I'm excited because now I won't have to stay at a hotel.  Probably the only person I know that doesn't like to stay in hotels.

This weekend also brought a new sporting event for the family as I went to watch Jackson participate in his first swim meet, held at the Healthpark Center in Owensboro.  He just started swimming on a team this year (thanks to the new wellness center in Central City) and he is really doing well.   Saturday, he came in 6th for the first one, 3rd for the second one and finished 1st in the last event which actually was the hardest because it was the 100 yard freestyle.  He had to swim four total laps, wore me out just watching!  He was so far ahead in the last lap that he had already made the turn and was headed back before the closest other kids even made it down.  I snapped this photo of him coming up after winning.  He was giving me the sly thumbs up.  He's such a cutie, gosh, I love that boy!  He turned 10 years old today.  Who knows may see him in the Olympics down the line. 

Guess that's about it for life in my little world.  Hope everyone else is having a great start to the month.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Little Bird Told Me


We've had quite a busy time here in my little world lately. We've had more snow. 
I broke my little toe after pretty much freezing it shoveling and then coming 
inside and hitting it on the cabinet as I was walking by.  Did you know that last 
week 49 out of 50 states had snow!?!   Work has been very busy with lots of heavy 
care patients resulting in me working harder than I want to and with the bad roads 
taking longer to get home which leads to less sleep making me more tired. 
 
My Aunt is ill again and I'm so very worried.  A coworker took ill suddenly, spent 
a week on a ventilator and then died at the very young age of 59.    I'm stressed, 
anxious, worn out and just plain exhausted!  Needless to say, haven't had time to 
update but I did receive the following message in an email and really felt like
it was something I needed to hear.  So since I liked it, I wanted to share it 
with you.  I've copied it word for word, not sure who wrote it so can't give them 
credit but will say thanks to my friend Paula for sending it to me. 
 
How Do I know? A Little Bird Told Me.
 
I had a difficult time sleeping last night. I think I finally dozed off around 1 a.m. after wrestling 
with a bout of anxiety over my lack of middle-aged accomplishments and my overabundance 
of failures. I thought of finances and the future and the fleeting aspects of life all in comparison 
to what I have had, have now, and will or will not have in the future. 
It was rather depressing and exhausting.
 
After a sleep deprived night, I woke up early this morning to a clean snow on the ground; 
the symbolism of purity, freshness and peace. I love getting up early when it snows. I like to see 
the snowfall completely undisturbed before footprints, dog pee, and car tires mess it all up. 
 
 
But it was not the thought of snow that woke me up this morning before daylight. It was the sound 
of birds.  The only time I hear birds singing on a winter morning is after a fresh snowfall.


Why? Because they are hungry. Actually they are starving to death. And since I have a large  
bird feeder outside my kitchen window that stays full all winter, they depend on that seed for 
survival, especially when the temperature drops below zero and the snow covers the ground.

While the cry of hungry birds woke me and the pristine fresh snow enticed me, neither was 
enough to get my tired and sleepy body out of bed after a rather restless night. It was cold 
outside, my bed was warm,  I was finally getting drowsy and I wanted to sleep till 10.

Then I heard it...a small voice from the darkness of my bedroom, much like the voice of an angel. 
At first it sounded like a dream, but then it became real and present in the room with me, 
 
“The bird feeder is empty....the birds are hungry...they need some seed.” 
 
I imagine it was similar to the still small voice that Elijah heard on Mount Horeb, after the whirlwind, 
fire and earthquake…maybe even a little softer, but nonetheless just as convincing. 
 
As I opened my foggy eyes I caught a fleeting glimpse of the angel complete in soft flowing gown 
and glowing face. It was my four year old daughter, Hope. 
 
“Daddy, the birds are hungry. They are tweeting outside my window and I cannot sleep.
You need to fill up the bird feeder.” 
 
I rose from my bed as if summoned by the Lord Himself, put on my sweatshirt and hiking boots, 
went to the garage, got the ladder and the bag of seed and went outside in the snow to fill the 
feeder. 
 
I poured the seed in, spilling some onto the untouched snow intentionally for the ground feeders, 
and I thought to myself, “These birds really depend on this seed to live. Without it many of them 
would perish in the cold snow and instead of waking up to the beauty of a pristine, undisturbed 
snowfall, I would have woke to a cold, white blanket dotted with tiny little feathered corpses.” 
 
As I finished pouring the bird buffet, I could hear the sound of thanksgiving whistling from the 
leafless trees all around the perimeter of my yard. “Your welcome,” I said out loud, rather 
sarcastically, hoping my neighbors didn't see me in my underwear and hiking boots standing 
in the snow talking to birds. 
 
I put the ladder and the seed back in the garage, knocked the snow off my boots, fixed me 
some coffee and grabbed my Bible. The little messenger angel had already gone back to her 
heavenly abode and, except for the bird choir worshiping at my kitchen window, 
all was peaceful in my warm house.

A comfortable chair embraced my sore back and I placed my feet by the fire still feeling the 
weary effects of last nights sleep-wrestling tournament.. I then turned to Matthew chapter 6 
and read these words, 
 
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, 
nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than 
clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet 
your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” 
 
And thus my paraphrase,

“Stop worrying and losing sleep over stuff you have no control over. I have bigger plans for you 
than what you could ever imagine. Want proof? I sent a bird to your daughter’s window with a 
message. I sent your daughter to your bedside with a revelation. I sent you to the bird feeder, 
in your underwear, in the freezing snow, with life-giving sustenance all for a small flock of 
feathered Parus Carolinensis (scientific name for the particularly small birds at my feeder). 
I love you more than I love these birds and will take care of you accordingly. Got it?” 

Got it Lord, I think I’ll go back to sleep now. 

"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls. . . Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills." --HAB 3:17-19

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow, snow, snow

This week brought a winter storm back to Kentucky. Luckily for us, it was just snow and not ice because it was the same week last year that we were hit with the massive ice storm that paralyzed this part of the state.

The weather forecasters had a field day proclaiming the winter storm was headed our way. They started broadcasting on Tuesday and by Friday I doubt that you could find a single gallon of milk anywhere in the area. At first they were saying that the snow would start Thursday night, then they backed it off until starting early Friday morning. They called off school on Friday. The kids waited and watched. My nephew Austin liked to have driven my sister the rest of the way crazy trying to see the slightest snow flake indicating that it was time to go sleigh riding. All day Friday they waited and watched. Around 3 p.m. a few flakes started coming down.

It snowed all night. By Saturday morning the kids were finally rewarded with a beautiful white blanket of snow covering everything. In my yard we got anywhere from five to seven and a half inches depending on where I dropped the yardstick. I found one drift that was a foot and half. I didn't venture too far out in the yard either because I couldn't find my boots. Don't remember seeing them since last year's storm. Might have left them at my sister-in-laws house who knows. Anyway, I snapped these photos Saturday morning. The snow was too powdery to make snowmen even though it was certainly deep enough.

Aunt Joyce said Parker (her poodle) loves the snow. He's worn her out wanting to go outside. She said he jumps in the snow like a rabbit and she said one time it totally covered him requiring him to dig his way out with his nose. No photos to share with you although she said she did try to take some but he was moving too fast. She didn't go outside to play with him, by the way, she just had to dry him off every time he came back in because a six pound dog covered in snow can sure absorb a lot of water.

Do have some to share that my sister sent of Austin enjoying the day. She hooked up the inter tube to the back of the razor and drug him around their yard. She said it sure beat pulling the sleigh back up the hill and he had a blast. Sorry that I can't get them to show up any larger.

Well that pretty much is it for the weekend update from our house. Hope all is well at yours!