Saturday, February 28, 2009

feeling a bit sheepish...

When I was in Surprise (AZ), I was surprised--and delighted!--to see this field full of cuties right along the roadside. Now, perhaps farm animals are not your "thing," but I cannot resist such wonderful four-legged photo opportunities! When I shrieked in delight, pulled my camera out, and started making sounds like one who is going to leap out of the car whether or not it has stopped, my friend was gracious enough to do a u-turn and let us out to go see the creatures!
I just think they're wonderfully adorable!
I liked the "like mother, like daughter" poses in the next three shots...

...And then we were sighted...
"Hey, what's goin' on over there?!"

"Are they lookin' at us?! I don't think I like the looks of this!
Are they gonna SHOOT us?!"
(quite smart for sheep, don't you think?)
...and that was the end of that little photo adventure!

But, it was fun while it lasted....
usually I have to get my cute baby farm animal fixes at Farmgirl Fare
(where the baby donkeys are to die for!!).
It was fun to have a live encounter! : )

Friday, February 27, 2009


I've spent the last two evenings after work, until just about bed time, at the hospital visiting a friend who is unexpectedly there for a few days. And, it's been a long week at work. I'm a bit tired, and perhaps, a bit punchy as well. It is in that mode/mood I write this post tonight...

I had a couple of "what....!?!" sightings on the way home that I thought I would share with you.

For this first one, I was driving from work and had to stop at a stoplight. I looked at the car in front of me... nice car... an Audi... but WHAT was that riding around on the trunk?!!?!?

I started laughing!! How funny! I think it was play-dough... in a lovely shade of fuschia!

I wonder if the driver even knew it was there?? And, I wondered if the one who put it there just forgot it or if it was meant to be a joke, in which case they're somewhere snickering away? Either way, I enjoyed the stop at that stop light!!
I also had to stop at the store to pick up some milk. When I came out of the store, it was just turning to dusk, and I happened to glance up at the sky. "What...?!" It was a lovely display of moon and star (probably planet, actually...Venus, maybe?) ...
They were in kind of unusual positions, and I thought they were beautiful.
I really loved that a couple of other people were walking to their cars gazing and commenting on how cool it looked! (I do so love it when I catch other people seeing and enjoying the things I see and enjoy!)

And, lastly, when I was walking to the hospital from the parking lot tonight, I happened to look down at the sidewalk in front of me, and ... "What...?!" I saw a bill on the ground, and there was no one else around to whom it could belong. I bent down and picked it up and discovered it was a $5 bill--which is just about what it costs to park in the hospital parking lot for the hours I was going to be there!
God is very cool, don't you think?! ... a laugh at a stoplight, a wonderful night sky, and my parking at the hospital paid for... What more could one ask for in one night?

...and so, with a smile (like the moon) and a wink (like the star), and a thank you to the One Who created them both (and gave me the parking money!!), I bid this day good-night...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

surprises in my photos...

Remember the other day when I was thrilling some of you with my stories of taking photographs while driving? (yes, I was chastised by a couple of you who were concerned for my safety--or that of others!-- though I swear to you, I was paying attention to the road! really!!)

Well, the downside of taking one-handed, not-looking, snap-a-picture-out-the-right-side-passenger-window photos is that you just don't know what you're going to end up with. But, that is also part of the adventure of it!

I had a few surprisingly good photos out of those taken in the above-described manner. I also had a couple of good surprises!

Many times I have wanted to take a picture of something we have here in Southern California that I find rather delightful. I, however, have not been able to do so since I only see them when I'm driving. I was quite pleased when I was looking through my photos, and lo and behold! there they were!! Right there in my picture without me trying to capture them and actually without me even knowing they were there!!....

See those funny looking palm trees??

Let's take a closer look...
In case you can't quite tell, they're not actually trees; they're cell site posts! I love it! They look just like palm trees--brown trunks and green palm fronds--but with cell site thingys in the palm fronds! There are also pine tree versions in our area (in appropriate places for pine trees, of course). It is my opinion that ALL cell site antennas should have to be made to look like trees! I mean, why not?! They look far cooler than just antenna posts, don't you think?

And, though I'm not into 'paving paradise and putting up parking lots,' I do think it's a wonderful idea to have them look as natural as possible... far lovelier than metal! (oh, and I have absolutely NO IDEA what that toothbrushy-looking white thing is next to the "trees"!!)

My other wonderful surprise is in the photos below. I was just trying to get a nice picture of the mountains and trees and misty foggy stuff because the colors were great--deep green, a beautiful blue, and a bit of snow sprinkled on the mountains. And, when I was looking throught my photos later, do you see what I found in the shot?...just there, on the right...

Neatly tucked away in the corner of such desert loveliness, in stark white contrast...

I love it.
Delightful surprises.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God sky...

Whenever anyone mentions the words "God sky," most of us know exactly what they're talking about... that wonderful kind of sky where there are rays of light filtering through the clouds and descending to the ground... the kind of rays on which the angels slide from heaven to earth... the kind of rays that remind us that God is looking down on this ol' world...

That's "God sky."

As I was driving to Phoenix to visit my friends, I had a real treat. I was driving east, but when I looked in my rear view mirror at the setting sun, THERE IT WAS!! GOD SKY!! and what an awesome one it was, too!

I pulled to the side of the road, leaped out of the car with my camera in hand (in just my socks...who has time to put shoes back on when 'God sky' is waiting to be seen?!), and stood in awe. It was beautiful...
...and what better to add to "God sky" than .... crosses! Look at that!!
Yes, I do realize they're telephone poles, but with the rays of sunshine pouring down upon them, they looked like crosses to me...

...a beautiful reminder of the sacrifice of our amazing Lord...

in the amazing setting of a "God sky" sunset...

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
~Psalm 19:1-3

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

for His glory...

In human intercourse the tragedy begins,
not when there is misunderstanding about words,
but when silence is not understood.
~Henry David Thoreau
In light of the problems many of us have been experiencing in Blogger the past few days--that of our "followers" mysteriously disappearing and our comments sections not working properly--I thought this quote would be appropriate.
When we are suddenly faced with "silence" from our regular blogger buddies, either from no comments being left or from their faces disappearing from our "followers" list, most of us fall immediately into self-doubt or introspection. What did I say to offend? Was I boring? What was IN that last post?!?! Where have they gone?!?
And an even bigger question brought up from the very depths by the unexplained silence: "What do we do (and how do we feel) if no one comments or follows us?" That question takes us right to the heart of the issue. That one should make each one of us examine why we blog in the first place... is it about the strokes? the praise? or is it to share the awesomeness of God in our worlds? to share with others the wonders of knowing the Creator of the universe?
My blogger friend, Billy, addressed the "follower" issue in a post today, and we, his readers, were reminded that it's not about who reads our blogs or about how many readers we have each day. Or, at least it shouldn't be. It's about how we let God speak to us and through us by what we write or what photos we share... and it's about the community we are involved in as we write our blogs and read those of others. It's about how we bring glory to our Father--the true Writer of all our stories--rather than to ourselves.
As for me, I don't have a huge list of followers, and to be completely honest, at times in the beginning, that bothered me a bit. I saw other bloggers with multitudes of followers, and I wondered what I was doing wrong. Then I remembered why I started my blog in the first place--it wasn't about me... it was all about God, the Giver of all good gifts. It was about looking for Him all around me... and as my title says, it was to be "...thoughts about everyday life--with its joys and sorrows and oh, so many mysteries-- about opening our eyes to see God's hand and HEART in the details of daily life and about learning to hear His whispers of love in the midst of a shouting world..."
And that purpose, that mission statement if you will, does not require comments from others, nor does it require followers. It simply requires that I open my eyes and my heart to see His hand and to hear His voice. And that I am faithful to acknowledge His presence, His GOODNESS, in my daily life.
So, if others would like to join me in the adventure, I say, "Come along with me! Let's do this thing called 'life' together!" And, when there is silence--when the praise or encouragement is not heard and when no one else seems to be "in it" with us--let us each continue to do that which God has called us to. If it is writing, let him write. If it is photographing, let her photograph. But in all things, let us seek His face and give Him the glory...
"Perseverance must finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything."
~James 1:4

Monday, February 23, 2009

vanity plates and a good hard look at one's heart...

Taking a look at ourselves... it's sometimes NOT a pretty thing. I had one of those moments this morning. I was driving to work, and at a stop light, I noticed the license plate of the car in front of me. It was a vanity plate. It didn't really matter WHAT it said (though it said DVAFIED, which was rather apropos). My problem started with the fact that it WAS a vanity plate.

(Actually, my problem didn't start with that. My problem started way down deep inside; the plate was just a catalyst causing my problem to surface!)

In my head, I heard myself say, "Sheesh. I can't even AFFORD vanity plates." Then, I REALLY heard what I had said, "God, You don't provide very well for me. I can't have good stuff like what everyone else has."

I'd like to say I was shocked by the voice in my head. But I wasn't.

I'd like to say I didn't mean it. But I did.

I'd like to say I'm better than that, more grateful. But I'm not.

What I was, however, was convicted. As soon as I really heard the comment in my head, I knew what I was saying. It was quickly followed by, "Wow, God. Thanks for the manna and the quail, but what I'd really like is something different, something better." Because, at that moment, not one thing was separating me from the Israelites in the desert --grumbling and complaining and whining about what they didn't have while God was providing miraculously every step of the way!

I immediately confessed and apologized to God-- Jehovah Jireh, my Provider-- and asked for His forgiveness for my ungrateful heart and ungracious thoughts. And I began to thank Him for all that He has provided for me, for the many, many ways He shows me His love, for giving me Jesus when I'm complaining about not having vanity plates.

For what more could one ask?

What greater gift could ever be given?

Lord, I ask that you would give me a grateful heart...
and that I would always treasure You above the vanities of this world.

(Dr Freud and the Self-Aware Chicken appear courtesy of Doug Savage; used by artist's permission)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

celebrate the Sabbath... caring for our souls...

Six days a week we wrestle with the world,
wringing profit from the earth;
on the Sabbath we especially care
for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.
The world has our hands,
but our soul belongs to Someone Else.
Six days a week we seek to dominate the world,
on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.
~author unknown

Saturday, February 21, 2009

true friendship...

A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend;
one human soul whom we can trust utterly;
who knows the best and the worst of us,
and who loves us in spite of all our faults;
who will speak the honest truth to us,
while the world flatters us to our face
and laughs at us behind our back;
who will give us counsel and reproof
in the day of prosperity and self-conceit,
but who, again, will comfort and encourage us
in the day of difficulty and sorrow,
when the world leaves us alone to fight our own battle as we can.
~Charles Kingsley
Thank you, Father, for this kind of friends in our lives...
those who love us in spite of ourselves;
those who love us with Your love;
those who remind us of who we are in You;
those You have given to us
and us to them.
I am grateful.

Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
~Ecclesiates 4:9-10

Friday, February 20, 2009

clouds out the window...

I have discovered that there is one distinct disadvantage of taking a roadtrip by oneself when one is constantly seeing things outside the car that simply shout to be photographed... well, one cannot take the photographs! or, can one??

Please, please do not tell the California Highway Patrol, but I could not resist!! After driving nearly three hours in driving rain (ha!), I drove out of the rain...and into such a beautiful blue sky filled with the most lovely clouds that I could not contain myself!

And so, I learned to take one-handed-out-the-right-hand-passenger-window-over-the-shoulder photos... are a few of the cloud shots I was able to capture, shall we say "sight unseen?"

It was actually a great adventure in photography, as I had no real idea what I may or may not be capturing. I had fun later that night looking to see what, if anything, I had actually photographed. I got several good shots and even a couple of surprises... but those are for another day! : )

Edited 2/21 - please note, as I have received comments of folks concerned for my safety (and probably the safety of others) my eyes were on the road in front of me--only my right hand was playing while i was driving! That was why I had no real idea WHAT I was photographing! : ) (as could be verified by the majority of photos being of the door of my car or of completely uninteresting sky!) These were just some which actually turned out ot be cool! Fear not! I was being safe ... probably FAR more than most folks talking on the phone while driving!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

a few of my favorite things (photos, that is...)

I thought I would share with you three photos I really like...
I love the beautifully vibrant colors
and the delicious textures in these.
God's creation truly is amazing...
and I am honored to have eyes to see...
and fingers with which to touch and feel...
and a heart that finds
the glorious imagination and wonder of the Creator
in His creation...

  • colors (211)
  • the gift of sight (210)
  • fuzzy flower stems (209)
  • wet green seaweed (208)
  • smooth blue berries on green bushes (207)
  • the sense of touch (206)
  • cool, wet sand (205)

...for these I am grateful!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a Bible study lesson and a laugh...

This week has been a long week at work (despite the Monday holiday!), and today was an exceptionally long day for me. I just got home after 12 hours at work, and I'm tired. I was working on a project that has to be finished by tomorrow, so I had to stay until I finished it.

I was much in need of a bit of laughter to end the day, and I remembered a bit from one of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan. If you've never seen or heard him, let it be known that he is wonderfully funny! And his humor is clean... which is fantastic!

I was introduced to his comedy at a family camp a couple of summers ago. They were showing this "Dinner Party" clip from "I Walked On The Moon" to demonstrate how so many people behave in Bible studies or small groups--where the Me Monster comes out, and one person takes over the discussion. (I'm sure you know just what I'm talking about!!) I laughed so very hard when I saw this, and I thought I would treat you to a bit of Brian Regan tonight...

I hope you enjoy the video and that it brings a smile, or a chuckle, or even a belly laugh to your day...

A cheerful heart is good medicine...
~Proverbs 17:22a

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

collecting shells...

It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells than to be born a millionaire.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, February 16, 2009

love in the Arizona desert...

I just got home from spending the weekend in Arizona with good friends of mine who live there. They are near Phoenix, and the drive tonight was a long 7 hrs due to rain the instant I hit the California state line... and then much of the rest of the way home.

I thought I would give you a small taste of the desert scenery (though I didn't do much photographing on this trip. It was quite overcast much of the time.) This was where we took a little drive this morning--off-roading a bit.
And, this is what I found out there...

...a little bit of love in the desert...

...just a little bit more evidence that God meets us wherever we are!
(no, Dave...they're not photoshopped!! :) )

Sunday, February 15, 2009

celebrate the Sabbath with JOY-FULL praise!...(and a contest!)

I thought of so many photos to go with this song of praise, and yet, I felt it best appreciated solely for its wonderful words...
Celebrate the Sabbath today with a song of JOY-FULL praise...
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
opening to the sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
center of unbroken praise.

Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest!

Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
brother love binds man to man.

Ever singing, march we onward,
victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
in the triumph song of life.

* * * * *

Today is also the celebration of a blog-iversary for me... my 200th post!! And, I would love to celebrate it with you, my faithful "followers" and readers, with a little contest. For all the kind and encouraging words and delightful smiles you've given me with the comments you've left me on these 200 posts, I'd like to give someone the opportunity to win a little prize. I make blank greeting cards with my photos, and I would love to treat one of my blogging friends with a little packet of them. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I will close the contest on Tuesday, Feb 17th at 10am PST, and will randomly select one of the names as the winner. Have a wonderful Sabbath, my friends!

edit 2/23/09 -- my sincere apologies for being so SLOW in getting the winner announced!! i did a double-blind random choosing (that is, written your names on equal-sized pieces of paper, folded them exactly the same, and put them in a bowl from which my co-worker chose the winning name!) of the winner... (drum roll, please....).... and the winner is.....


Saturday, February 14, 2009

happy valentine's day...

Let us CELEBRATE love today...
the love of family...
the love of friends...
the love of an amazing God and Father...
Who delights in showing us His love
in so many strange and wonderful ways....

"...I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." ~Ephesians 3:16-19