Last Flight

The dove hit the window and left this wonderful image~

The dove hit the window and left this wonderful image~

There are six double windows in my sun room and often the birds I feed fly into one of them. Usually they just make a thumping sound and fly off. Once in a while it is a dove and they really hit hard. I run out to see if they are alright but sometimes they are lying in the hedge with a broken neck. That is sad, Doves have one mate and they stay together for their whole lives. Yesterday I heard the loud hit and knew this was not going to be good. I went out and picked him up out of the hedge and held him a few minutes to love him and let him know someone cared. I said, ‘I will take care of your girl and feed her every day’.  This evening when the sun was shinning on the windows, I saw where he had hit and it was a soft outline, a perfect ghost like image. There is also an image below him where another dove had hit last week, that one lived. I won’t wash it off and it may still be there until next time I clean the windows.(Which is not often). One of the greatest blessings is to have the beautiful wild life in my yard. Deer, wild turkeys and all the many birds. I have many bird stories~

Uganda

Bicycles (next to walking) are probably the most popular method of transportation in all of Africa and you see pictures of several people sharing a ride.This was a recent get together when lots of people came to study the scriptures and have a great meal of Ugali, greens, potatoes and goat meat stew.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

Someone sent me pictures and here are a couple more  that I especially liked.

Some deep thinking~

Some deep thinking~

Four children with their ta ta.

Four children with their ta ta.

Another mission trip is planned for this summer, and there will be five going this time, three of the original group and also two new ones. They will be visiting the new farm on the Nile River near Jinja where work has been going on for the past two months on buildings there. The craftsmen are amazing workers with few tools and mostly hand made bricks and mortar.

another view

Most buildings have metal roofs but one has a beautiful grass roof in keeping with the African style.

Rock work on dormitory

Rock work on dormitory

Honeymoon house, garage laundry and work shop, and dormitory

Honeymoon house, garage laundry, work shop, and dormitory

Grass roof on this cottage took several days to complete. It will last for years with only occasional upkeep.

Grass roof on this cottage took several days to complete. It will last for years with only occasional upkeep.

After their stay at the farm, the  group will then go to Soroti for mission work with John and Elizabeth. A highlight of this trip will be waiting for them in Soroti, Miss Gavirella~

Gavirella eating mango30125774_10213034090779659_1815298565_o

I am pretty well running out of new stuff for my blog so I have decided to just post something ever so often when things happen to write about. I appreciate all those of you who enjoy it and even check it out on a daily basis. Special thank you to my friends Al and Pat, Dan, Austin, Linda, Ann and Sharon. I even get a phone call early in the morning if I fail to get one up ((to be sure I am OK). You are welcome to go back to the older ones you haven’t seen. I started this over five years ago. Everyone should keep a journal of some kind. It makes you realize you have been living a busy life. That is good!  Check back often~

Miss Piggy and Kermit

she looked pretty happy with him today, it was either lavishing him with kisses or throwing him across the room

When I bought Miss Piggy and Kermit in 1977, she was a hand puppet. She had a big vinyl hollow head, (no body) and the famous elbow length lavender gloves with matching dress.  I had planned from the start to make her into a doll. I made her a soft body, she felt cuddly and nice to hold.

it was fun making the shoes, they were pretty tall wedges.

 

I carved some platform wedge sandals and added satin straps. (They are in style now) Then I made her a long formal satin evening jacket.

A girl likes some bling

Of course she needed jewels so she had  several stands of pearls, a pearl and gold filigree broach and a tiara for her hair.

here he is in his tux, his character seemed to be a happy go lucky guy

 

 

Kermit was just a green frog so I made him a Tuxedo with a pleated shirt, pearl buttons and a cummerbund. I knew it would be what Miss Piggy would want. These two characters have lived at my house, and lived in Sonora, then San Angelo and finally are back with me. (They were Christmas presents that we passed back and forth). They are both in perfect shape, even after 41 years.  We watched the Muppet Shows on TV for several years~ Miss Piggy and Kermit were our favorite characters. I loved those shows. Jim Henson, the famous puppeteer who created the Muppets died in 1990 at age 53.

Billy Graham’s Prayer

my cousin sent me this prayer today, I want everyone to be as moved as I was, words spoken and thoughts to be embedded in our hearts~

my cousin sent me this prayer today, I want everyone to be as moved as I was, words spoken and thoughts to be embedded in our hearts~

Billy   Graham’s Prayer For Our Nation  
WHAT’S HAPPENING TO  OUR  COUNTRY!
‘Heavenly Father, we  come before you today  to ask your  forgiveness and to seek your direction and   guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those  who call  evil good,’ but that is exactly  what we have done. We have  lost our  spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.  We  have exploited the poor and called it  the lottery. We have  rewarded laziness and  called it welfare. We have killed  our  unborn and called it choice. We have shot  abortionists  and called it justifiable…  We have neglected to  discipline our  children and called it building self   esteem. We have abused power and called it  politics. We  have coveted our neighbor’s  possessions and called it  ambition. We  have polluted the air with profanity and   pornography and called it freedom of expression.  We have  ridiculed the time-honored values  of our forefathers and  called it  enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know  our  hearts today; cleanse us from sin and  Set us free.  Amen!’
With the Lord’s  help, may this prayer sweep over  our  nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so  that we  once again can be called ‘One  nation under  God!’

Cameras I Have Loved

This camera took great pictures but you had know how to adjust the settings. It used film that cost to have developed

I have always liked cameras, my first one was in college, it was a Kodak Pony 135. This was in the early 1950’s and it made good pictures. It used film so I had to be selective and not just shoot everything I saw, it could get expensive. It had a big flash gun, a bar with a shinny reflector and it used bulbs. No fun to carry around for snap shots.

I used this one for 10 years, it was heavy. It made great pictures but they were expensive to develop and you didn’t know if you got the shot until later~

When Dan and I married, he had a nice Cannon .35mm with a light meter and flash. It made great pictures but again the film had to be developed. (the worst camera I ever knew of was the Kodak Instamatic, that and the Polaroid,  they took horrible pictures, I never had either of those) 

Sony made good pictures on floppy discs so was inexpensive to use. You could check each shot on the screen as you went along.

Then came the great digital cameras! Shoot all day, view them on the computer, find the best ones and print them. I could run them through Adobe Photoshop and fix any minor flaws~(trimming fat hips, flattening bulging stomachs, softening bags and sags).

The Minolta was my first fine digital camera, a hand-me-down~ it made excellent portraits and snapshots

The Canon EOS makes the best portraits, it was another hand me down gift~

My first digitals I had were high end models, someone gave me their Minolta and later a Cannon EOS.  I have a bounce flash that shoots the flash on the ceiling, it  lightens the room and doesn’t flatten the face like  a ‘straight on flash’. It leaves all the nice shading and features on a face. These are truly fine portrait cameras. 

A nice little  camera fits right into my hand, it is a comfortable one to hold. Great pictures~

This is the last camera I will ever need, it makes excellent pictures, is the smallest of all, and easiest to use.

I bought the neat looking Canon PowerShot A540 and have loved it. Then the little Cannon PowerShot 300 HS came out and this may be my last camera ever. I don’t think this one can be beat. It is very small 2″X3″ and flat. It seldom needs to flash, it makes perfect pictures in low light. I have used it for most of my blog pictures.  I enjoy setting up for the blog pictures every day. Sometimes  I cook, take the pictures and then find someone to give the food to. I don’t need a pound of pralines~ Anyway, taking pictures is a great hobby in itself.

my sweet loving little Missy, all she ever needed was to be close~

I like pictures of my dogs most of all~ 

Belgium waffles

Minolta DSC

Homemade waffles from scratch, a fast and delicious treat for once in a while occasions. I like mine with  fresh fruit and then enough butter and  syrup to the point of almost getting sick~

Around 50 years ago Mack and Danell were visiting one evening and we told them to stay and I would make waffles. I had made apricot preserves and that always goes good with waffles. I got the waffle maker down from the top shelf of the pantry and heated it up while I mixed the batter. Bacon frying, everyone getting ready for a treat ~ then I opened the lid on waffle maker and there was this green, calcified, decomposed old waffle~ left in there from months ago.  (OK, who’s  first~)    Note: you can use waffle batter to make pancakes, I saved the day.

Belgium Waffles
1 c buttermilk
4 eggs
1/2 c melted butter
2 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
beat buttermilk, eggs and butter together in mixing bowl
Sift dry ingredients together
Add to buttermilk mixture and blend
Pour about 1 cup of batter into hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with Pam
Bake until golden.  (this makes about 5 waffles or 4 servings of pancakes)

Merry Christmas

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and every where, Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is Born! The Eagle Rescue Center Orphanage.

This was five years ago, our Merry Christmas from Kenya. We finally got here, it was a long trip. Worth it! I was amazed how beautiful it was, I have never seen anything so pretty. Huge trees, huge mountains and everything was green even though this was the dry season. Beautiful people too. On this Christmas Day, it was hard to realize it was Christmas, Kitale had no lights and decorations in town, no Christmas Carols, it was just like any other day. I realized when we were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the children that this was our Christmas dinner. It was one of the most memorable times of all for me.

A Christmas To Remember

Another of one of those most memorable Christmas’  was in the early 1940s. I was eight, Tricia was nine and Nancy was four. Mother always made things extra special for us.  When it was time for Santa to come, we ran across the street to get Granddad and Grandmother Christian, it took them a while to get their coats on and check the stoves and turn off the lights. Santa Clause always left our surprise sitting there under the tree unwrapped. When we walked in it was dancing and squealing time. The first thing I saw was a tricycle he had left for Nancy. I didn’t see a new doll or anything else, just the wrapped packages that had been there all week. Mother was smiling and happy and Daddy was too. We started opening our gifts, the usual new pajamas, a book, a game, a card with a dollar in it, and soon every gift had been opened . Nancy was already on her big new tricycle so we were pushing her around the room. (I was ashamed to be feeling SO disappointed) Mother made some hot chocolate with marshmallows and we were stacking our gifts up in their own neat little piles. Then Daddy said ‘Wait, there is a card up in the tree!” He handed it to Tricia and she read it, “look in the front bedroom”.

(I had to color a B&W picture to show). The tires were a small problem, they had to be aired up every time we rode it, no paved streets back then. It didn’t stop us though. Once I decided to really fill  the tires so they would stay up longer, I went to Pete Bryant’s Station, rode home, went in the house and in a little while, heard “POP!”

We opened the door and there it was! A beautiful, wonderful, bright blue bicycle. Tricia and I cried and hugged each other and yelled and danced like never before. We just couldn’t believe we had a bicycle. I can feel the thrill as I write this. The next morning was cold and windy and neither of us knew how to ride, we both got pretty skinned up but by the end of the day, we had learned. The bicycle had belonged to our Aunt Maxine and been stored in the rafters of Granddad’s garage. Mother took it and completely refinished and restored it like new. New paint, saddle seat, handlebar grips and the tires had been patched and were holding air. Because of the war, bicycles were not something you could buy or new tires either. What a wonderful Christmas, and there have been many of them, but nothing ever compared to this one and the blue bicycle! Oh, we did have a most precious mother~

Kenya East Africa

Five years ago, I was packed and ready to leave for this trip to Africa. I had waited two years until the time was right and it was my turn to go. It is one of the things that I will remember as the top of my list of lifetime memories.

This is the garden in the yard of ZZ's house. It was surrounded by lantanna hedges that were 15 feet high. Monkeys in the trees but I didn't see any birds. Beautiful place

This is the garden in the yard of ZZ’s house. It was surrounded by lantanna hedges that were 15 feet high. Monkeys in the trees but I didn’t see any birds. Beautiful place

I never knew much about Africa. I had it pictured as a country with a parched and dry landscape as far as you could see, and maybe one old gnarled, water starved tree with an elephant kicking up dust. In the last year, I have learned it is not that way at all. I have enjoyed seeing hundreds of pictures of Kenya with it’s lush and beautiful green countryside. It is on the equator but the elevation is 7,000 feet so it is cool, green and wet. There are small gardens everywhere with maize, tomatoes, greens and all kinds of fruits growing. The city of Kitale is in the eastern part of Kenya and has a golf course, modern hotels, large banks, supermarkets and then the unique market places on the streets that sell all kinds of produce. It is much like parts of Mexico.  My heart has been over there with someone I love very much. She is my sweet ZZ and home for two months while she renews her visa. This is the good time!

Scarecrows

here she is in her last stages, she held up for years, guarding the garden and entertaining the deer

This is Miss Lilla, our scarecrow. She guarded our garden for many years, as you can see, she was just about finished. She had a sister Sarah who took care of the garden at the river. She faired much better, she went to the barn in the winter time. They were both life size dolls who wore size 8 clothes. Several times they got new outfits but the shoes held up for all those years. Miss Lilla’s arms would swing in the wind and when my neighbor drove down the road, she said she always waved back. It made me sad when I finally put them to rest, I felt like I was loosing an old friend. One of these days I will start over and make a new one, they were sculptured out of flesh colored sheer nylon fabric, with real wigs and stuffed with plastic bags filled with newspaper. It worked. The deer stayed out of the garden for a short time, until they caught on~

High Fashion Doll

her dress is peach velvet and organza, she has petty coats and pantaloons, Billy and I always enjoyed doing projects together~

This is a fashion doll or dresser doll. Billy had a catalog of china dolls, painted or unpainted, you could just buy heads, hands and feet and make your own doll.  We both ordered something. Mine was just the parts, unpainted and there was a pattern for the body.  

when you are working with a doll you get to know them, by the time you are done, you have bonded~

I used my oil paints to paint her features and hair color like I wanted. It was fun putting her together and then making her dress. This doll is over 40 years old. When I was a little girl, there was a lady who lived across the street from my grandparent’s in San Angelo. Her name was Mrs. Bellings and I got to go to her house often. She had a beautiful fashion doll in her bedroom on the night table and  I never got tired of looking at it. She didn’t have any children but had a niece and we played together. ‘Nancy Ruth’ told me that her aunt said someday that doll would be hers. (I have a feeling that everything her aunt owned was going to be hers). Anyway, when Billy showed me her catalog, I was excited to make a doll and tried to copy the one Mrs. Bellings had, as I remembered it.  It took a while to make her, she had pantaloons, petty coats, and the dress had handmade roses. What a fun project, I enjoyed doing things with Billy, we had a lot in common, we both liked handwork.  And I certainly remember Mrs. Bellings, she was a petite woman with red hair, and a sweet voice, her husband was a happy man who always sat in his big chair and was bald headed. I hope Nancy Ruth got that beautiful doll.

Christmas Picture

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

 Another re-run from five years ago. I was packing my bags, getting ready to go half way around the world to spend Christmas with ZZ in Kenya. I was beyond happy! I never get tired of Christmas stories and remembering exciting times.

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined  I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

Our family has almost always been able to be together for Christmas, it goes  on for  a week or more, some of it here and some in San Angelo. Our times together were always a special blessing for me and Dan. There was a lot of visiting, eating great meals and music. This picture is one someone took just as we were leaving for church one morning and I didn’t see it until everyone had gone home and later I had the film developed. Most of our pictures were on video and I enjoyed watching those and reliving the fun of our Christmas but this is the one I liked the most. ZZ stayed with us another week or two after the others went home, that is when we got down to serious fun. Then I would load her up with Little Sweet, Spook and Blue Boy and we would head out for New Mexico.

Thank you Lord Jesus for being in our lives. Merry Christmas to all~