A Story of Dogs, Ship, Presidents, Speed, and Being at the Right Place at the Right Time

Image result for gerald r ford aircraft carrier free images

This morning Fox News was broadcasting the Commissioning of the new Navy aircraft carrier battleship, the Gerald R. Ford.  Wonderful event with Trump arriving by helicopter.  I had the TV on in my bedroom and living room  so that I could see/hear wherever I was.

Eventually, I was sitting on the sofa with Toby, and he was licking his paw furiously.  I noted he had been licking his paw a day or two ago, but didn’t check it out.  Looked this time and the paw is quite red between the claws plus there is a red lump or two.  Called the vet.  It was 11:40am, and they close at noon on Saturday!  They could see him, so I ran as fast as I could (I wasn’t even dressed yet!) and arrived at a very busy office with 2 other dogs, both checking out.

The vet isn’t sure what the problem is – allergies, sting, ?  I also told him Toby had eaten 4 ears of corn this week, shucks, cob, and all!!!!  So, in the process of examining him, he stuck his finger up his rear to check for blockage.  Toby did NOT like that and jumped into my lap.  As the vet was talking to me and Toby dancing on me, I asked if his assistant could take a picture.  LOL  I said this needed to be posted on Facebook.

He prescribed a med plus Benadryl.  I asked if they could babysit Toby while I ran to the grocery store next door for the Benadryl.  So we are home now, with meds in his tummy, and he is sacked out.  Sad to say, I missed the actual commissioning.

Image result for gerald r ford aircraft carrier free images

The name of this ship has special significance to me as Gerald R. Ford is the only President I have met, shook his hand, and had a brief conversation!  August 1997, we were vacationing in Vale, CO.  The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra was performing in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater adjacent to our resort.  Since we met while in college at Rochester, NY, we, of course, attended the concert.  Gerald and Betty were there that evening!  And we sat one row and a few seats away from them!!!  At Intermission, Betty jumped up and ran out of there like an arrow, heading for the Ladies’ Room.  Meanwhile, many were lining up in the row behind us to shake the former President’s hand.  We also jumped our seats and joined the line.  It was only a fleeting moment of greeting, but I had the chance to thank him for what he did for our country after the awful days of Watergate. Later we overheard that Betty’s Secret Service detail was quite upset with her, as she totally was out of their grasp.

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vale, CO.


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Gratitude List


A – Apple computers; Astronomy; Ancestors
B – Birds; Bible
C – Car that works; Chocolate labs; Chautauqua Institution; Christmas
D – Dog as faithful companion
E – Energy, enough to accomplish what I want to do
F – Flowers; Fox News
G – God; Grandchildren
H – House to my liking; Helpful Handymen
I  – Ice Cream! Hot Caramel Sundaes on Butter Pecan ice cream; Ice skating
J – Journal for remembering the past
K – Karin, my awesome, talented, intelligent daughter (deceased)
L – Life
M – Money, enough to live on and enjoy; Music
N – Naps
O – Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light. . .
P – Purple, my fav color; Prayer
Q – Questions which help us to learn
R – Restaurants so that I don’t have to cook; Relatives; Rotary
S – Summers with hot temps
T – Texas Hots (only in Wellsville, NY)
U – Universe, our awesome cosmos
V – Velcro
W– Writing true stories; Whales
X – X-rays that find our problems to be cured; X = Christ!
Y – Yoga
Z – Zoos! Love animals!

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Stress Relievers

These are my favorite stress relievers or time fillers/wasters when I don’t want to do something else — like houseclean or organize a closet.  These activities  might  work for you too.  My favorites (not in any order) are —

  1. Playing piano
  2. Chatting with a friend in person or on the phone.
  3. Vegging on the Internet.
  4. Yoga.
  5. Gardening or just sitting looking at my garden.
  6. Reading for pleasure.
  7. Playing a card or board game with a friend.  I want to share my FAVORITE game with you!!!  Three to Thirteen.  Dear friends taught me this game over a dozen years ago.  A close friend dislikes games, but this is one he enjoys.  Anyone with second grade math under their belt can play.  Two or three players need one deck of playing cards.  Four players need two decks of cards, and six need three. The simple premise to win is to have the lowest score.  Eleven hands, from 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. cards up to 13 cards in a hand, comprise the game.  The goal is to make one or more sets of at least 3 cards by having the same number/value cards in a variety of suits or having consecutive numbered cards in the same suit.  Each numbered card is worth the number on the card in points.  Face cards —

Ace = 1 (worth 1 point)
Jack = 11 (worth 10 points)
Queen = 12 (worth 10 points)
King = 13 (worth 10 points)
The Joker is wild (can be whatever card you want it to be) as is the number card for the number of cards in your hand — for example:  the first hand has 3 cards, so number 3 cards in all suits are wild.  The next hand has 4 cards, and the number 4 cards are wild, and so on up to having 13 cards in your hand with the King being wild. When all of the cards in your hand are within a set, knock on the table to indicate you have won. The winner has the lowest score.
The best advice for winning is to not be caught with high cards in your hand unless they are in a set of at least 3.

This is a great game to play while waiting in a doctor’s office, at a restaurant, on a plane, anywhere you need to fill time.

The official rules can be found here. 

What are some of your ways to relieve stress of fill in time?

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To Lent or Not to Lent?

I grew up in a Baptist tradition which did not recognize Lent. After all, “Lent” is not a Biblical term and Baptists try to remain true to the Word of God.

Who made it up and what does it mean? I assume the Roman Catholic Church “invented” Lent for the purpose of helping us remember the pain which Jesus suffered on our behalf. The inner ache we experience for a favorite thing, of which we deprive ourselves, does go a long way to help us focus on Jesus’ suffering.  And why did he suffer?  He didn’t have to. He willingly suffered and died to be the sacrificial lamb to cleanse those of us who believe He is the Son of God. And then He rose from the dead to prove His identity as God’s Son!  Our belief becomes our ticket to heaven.

I received an email today titled, “Can Lent Be Happy?” from Kate Shellnutt, the Editor of CT Women.  She considered giving her article a title such as “Happy Lent” but thought that seemed inappropriate.  She called it grim and legalistic to force ourselves to give up something we enjoy.  Then asks, is that “really a God-honoring sacrifice?”  She explains, through prayer and the Holy Spirit, our hearts become transformed by the sacrifice we have made.

I am happy for those who do make the effort to deny themselves of a favorite something.  In so doing, they may find other things they were missing out on.

Personally, Lent as a time of focusing on Jesus’ suffering, makes me queasy.  While well aware of Christ’s suffering for my salvation, I find it too squeamish to dwell upon it.  I push Lent behind me, looking forward to Easter and the Resurrection which remain my focus for this time of year.  I decorate my house with trinkets of new life.  I do remember the Lord’s death adequately through Communion.  While living in Canada where I attended an Anglican Church, we celebrated the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.  Initially, I thought Communion every Sunday would inhibit the specialness of the ceremony.  But it does not.  It only makes it more special.

Happy preparations for Easter!



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Forgiveness Is Not Easy But Necessary

When someone has slapped you down repeatedly, even when you didn’t realize your denigration for years, how do you forgive?  The only way comes from recognizing how God has forgiven us. Each of us creatures have a sprinkling of less than righteous human characteristics such as tempers, sassiness, unpure thoughts, desire for retaliation, selfishness, egotism, among others.  These peculiarities keep us from achieving forgiveness of others which would ultimately bring freedom to ourselves.

When we say the heady, “If so-and-so can go to law school, then I can too!” it falls short of  saying, “If God can forgive a terrible sinner, then I can too.”  We are NOT God.  Yet, as Christians, the Spirit of God does dwell within us, making us capable of far more than we can imagine. Jesus does command us to forgive 70 times 7, usually interpreted as meaning endlessly. It goes along with the turn-the-other-cheek philosophy also taught in scripture .  We don’t need to punish the offending person as God has promised, “Vengeance is mine.  I will repay, saith the Lord.” Christ followers are forgiven, so forgiven people should be forgiving people.

Long ago, a relative disappointed and hurt me, until we realized she had Alzheimer’s.  Forgiveness came easily then, to just love her. Pity plays a part in the emotional side of forgiveness. It also becomes easy, though painful, to forgive when you watch someone fall into sin and see their character sucked out of them until they become a sham of their former self. Grace is behavioral from the spiritual side of forgiveness. Grace sneaks in as a gift and does not appear comprehensible to us until we come to recognize the grace of God in our own lives. Grace permeates our soul and gradually teaches us how to react.

Do you have a forgiveness story?



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Loving, Healing Words from Dr. Michelle Bengtson, Neuropsychologist

Today I am sharing Dr. Michelle’s blog post.  I hope her words are as meaningful to you as they are to me!


How Do I Love You? 8 Ways to Love

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broken heart: Broken red heart shaped lollipop. Closeup. Vignette. Stock Photo

How could things come to such an end?
Terminated by procrastination, lies, and deceit,
The beginning brought happiness, honesty, and hope.
The  world whirled in wonder, being spiritually attune.
But then there was hard work.
Mouths to feed and minds to educate,
Taking time and money.
It was working; at least, one thought so.
Crabmeat Benedict and singing
With The Cosmopolitan Singers
Brought connection, joy, and
Inferred affluence.
One didn’t like coming home to chores,
And chose to work long hours.
Or was it playing around?
To one, vows meant something.
With naiveté and generous forgiveness,
Life continued.  Until. . .
Death.  Of a child.
A new relationship ensued smothering
The grief.
Waves drowned the homefires.
Nothing mattered but finding happiness
In a new realm.
Lacking the desire of family protection,
Mistakes were made.
Budgets evaporated.
Integrity waned.
The end loomed.
God’s mercy — all that remained.



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