The Best Blessing of all!

I was swept off of my feet, by a man who was sweet
When I was a mere slip of a girl.
As we danced our first dance, our attraction advanced,
With each little dip and swirl.

I was really quite sure his intentions were pure.
I could tell by his modest replies.
It did not take long as we swayed to that song,
To know he was one catch of a guy.

My smile became brighter and my heart became lighter,
When we married and started our home.
It makes my heart leap to feel a love rich and deep
for Al, the man in this poem.

48 years have gone by, which brings tears to my eyes
To feel so lovingly blessed.
I pray that someday we’ll still dance and sway
Together, in our heavenly dress.


Is your name in this book?

Each morning, Al and I do devotions to get a right start on things for the day. In addition to this, each night we say our prayers before sleep to help remove the worlds assaults to our psyche which sometimes dims our inner spiritual light. We want to feel cleansed, safe and protected through the night, and our prayers offer us that blessed assurance.

The following has always been a favorite verse for me because it creates a wonderful visual as I recite it. I learned it many years ago in our church and I am grateful for having it taught to me!

Psalm 51: v 10-12 Create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. These verses give me great comfort, especially during times when I feel overwhelmed or anxious. I often include this prayer in my evening prayers.

I also love the prayer we were taught as very young children and have prayed this my entire life.

Now I lay me down to sleep.

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

If I should live another day,

I pray the Lord to guide my way.

I love you Jesus!


This simple child’s prayer covers it all and as a child I can remember always feeling relief to say the third part which meant I would likely get another day. Children are literal and I am as literal as they come. Lol!

Our morning devotional followed by prayer for others is how we refresh our spirit. It is similar to us taking vitamins each morning to give added strength and resilience to our body, only in this case the devotions and prayer adds strength and resilience to our spirit as we seek to put on the whole armor (or spiritual vitamins) of God!

Our day begins with the advantage of a clean heart and a renewed spirit from praying the night before, but we know that by the time we end our day, it will be time for another cleansing.

The morning devotions and prayer serve the purpose of making us ready to face a new day with new challenges, and, as the good Lord knows, we need all the help we can get in the day and age of a pandemic and warring political factions!

This prayer book in the picture was my Mother’s. When she died, I chose to not take much in the way of her material possessions because I knew she had no great attachment to them (which is why she did not own a lot of excess). Her small apartment in her widowhood was full of things on the walls and surfaces, but these were mostly gifts given to her from family members who were constantly showering her with material expressions of love. She always displayed our gifts so when we came to visit we would see them and feel good about her enjoying our gifts.

At the time of her death, her prayer book spoke to me, along with some other personal writings she had left behind. This prayer book journal was full of blank pages waiting for names to be entered of someone we should pray for. Since her death, Al and I have used her prayer book to write in the names of those friends and acquaintances who are dealing with problems and are in need of prayers. We have always prayed for people, but this time we actually began to log peoples names in this book and as prayers were answered, (one way or another) we drew a line through the name.

The prayer book benefited us every bit as much as the people who are entered in the book because as time has gone by, we began to understand that everyone on earth has their challenges. Some have ENORMOUS challenges, and some have MANY challenges, but we all have them in one form or another, be them big, small, or many.

We began to notice people who helped us build OUR faith as we witnessed their fortitude and perseverance on their health journey. These are the people who have dealt with health issues for years and years, who continue to thank God for the little blessings in the midst of their suffering. These people, who we have long admired, are full of Gods grace and we are/were grateful for their example of a strong faith. (Great is thy faithfulness)

The challenges faced by our friends (and ourselves…our names are in the book too) consist of a wide variety of human suffering. There are always many health concerns, but the list also includes people who are dealing with challenges with their children who unknowingly break their parents hearts in one way or another. Maybe their child has a mental illness, drug addiction, homelessness, broken marriage, loss of job, or a failure to thrive in this very difficult world we find ourselves in. There are children and grandchildren who get sick and die ahead of the parent or grandparent which is always heart wrenching.

We have friends who are personally dealing with dementia, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, lung disease, and the list goes on and on.

Then there are the friends who have no family support for one reason or another. These people are lonely and alone.

We have friends who have lost the most precious or most important person in their life…a spouse, a child, a grandchild, a parent, or maybe a sibling. Sometimes the loss comes from death and sometimes there is estrangement or separation. Whatever the reason, it is still a loss that leaves a hole in your heart.

The list of troubles that people face in this world are seemingly endless and by way of our little book, every single morning we are reminded that we are not the only ones in this world dealing with problems. Like my Mother used to say…”Sometimes I think that it would be nice to have a “Trouble Store” where I could bring in my bag of troubles and exchange them for another type. But, I suspect that once I got there and took a look around, I would say “thank you anyway…I think I will keep what I have” 🙂

Oh, how MUCH I miss that clever, witty, kind hearted woman who was my Mother. (Now here is a huge loss I have never been able to completely accept!). But, you know what? In the midst of the sorrow I always feel in the loss of her, I send up big thanks to God for Him making her my Mother in the first place. I would not trade her for anyone else in the world. So, these days, as I clean our house and pick up a picture of her here or there under which I dust, I say “Hello Mom”, and then the memories flow forth from my mind on down the inner highway to my heart where it swells with gratitude for having known her and for having the privilege to learn the lessons she provided for me! She loved to laugh and so do I! God bless her for bequeathing that trait to me!

Back to the prayer book. Are you in it? If we know you and we are aware that you are struggling with something, you are likely in the book. There are some of of you who we know better than others, but even so, if we know of a need you may have, then you are there. We not only pray for your struggles to be lifted, but we also send up gratitude prayers for when God takes them away. We have many acquaintances on our list too…people who have no idea we are praying for them. Prayer is powerful and we know that it works in Gods timing and for Gods purpose.

I will close this with another prayer I have always loved because the wording is profound in its simplicity. It is the Johnny Appleseed prayer/song.

Oh, the Lord is good to me.

And so I thank the Lord

For giving me the things I need:

The sun and the rain and the apple seed;

Oh, The Lord is good to me




🎼 AaaaaMEN! (Praise the Lord!) 🙏🏼

Today is the day which the Lord has made…let us rejoice and be glad in it! Out, out, out I go, rejoicing all the way as I tend to all my new replacement plantings! When I water these new additions to our yard, my nurturing side steps up as I mingle with the birds, the bees, the butterflies and the little baby chameleons!

Oh the Lord is good to me…Amen!


Heart on fire…

My heart feels like it is on fire…a deep burning sensation that comes from feeling intense emotion.

It has been such a long year since the Pandemic was first announced and along with its arrival we were given restrictions of lockdown, masks, 6 foot distancing, no hugs, no gatherings, separation from loved ones, and all of it with a heaping helping of fear laid on top.

Now we are entering the 2nd year of restrictions, and it seems as though life will never go back to what it once was. This saddens me greatly.

We have a very good friend in ICU on a ventilator and he is really struggling with double pneumonia, difficulty breathing, and low 02 levels. Please pray for a miracle. We believe in miracles and we know God has the power to grant a miracle to those who pray for them and keep the faith.

We are in our sunset years and while we have gratitude for having come this far, the journey also hands to us many challenges, not the least being, having to deal with ongoing loss. These losses are either experienced first hand or through our loved ones challenges. We notice a loss of energy, loss of strength, loss of health, loss of purpose, and loss of friends and family. The potential for loss grows exponentially the older we get, and one never becomes accustomed to it. I never realized how brave our elderly parents were until now. It takes courage to stand strong in the face of this kind of adversity.

We pray for our friend to heal and be allowed to enjoy more years with his wife, children and grandchildren! I ask anyone who is reading this to please pray for him. His name is Paul! God will know who you mean! Prayer is powerful and the more people who are praying, the better chance for a miracle!

Thank you,


He is Risen!

Today is Saturday and I have not been on my blog for many months because life has been so incredibly busy. We were deeply affected by the freak February snow and ice storm here in Texas and we have been dealing with the destruction left in its path. We are beyond a year now into the Covid 19 Pandemic, dealing with lockdowns and face masks and limited gatherings with loved ones.

I quit Facebook a while back because I wanted to be free of (my) perceived obligation of having to post and comment on a daily basis. I worried a little bit about dropping out because I thought that I would lose touch with everyone I knew on Social Media. I actually did lose touch with the majority of my fb friends, but I have also discovered the pleasure of an engaged precious few who were getting in touch with me by other means. Gosh! To think I actually did matter to some after all! What an ego tripper! It was also a gratitude growing phenomenon in the making!

The decision to break free reminded me of a time, LONG ago, when our family was about to move to yet another new location due to my husbands career, I sat across from a friend discussing this move. She said to me, “You will be surprised at who stays in touch with you or reaches out to you. It is not always who you think it will be either! Just remember, the cream always rises to the top”. I found this comment to be prophetic and never forgot it. Indeed she was absolutely correct!

I thought I would be mourning the loss of many fb “friends” but instead, I was blessed to see who was actually invested in ME as a person. It wasn’t many, that’s for sure, but the ones who contacted me by snail mail, text, IM, phone and email, really did turn out to be the cream! It is difficult to pull back from Social Media because we humans are such social creatures. However, in my case, I discovered the value of truly connected kindred spirits at a heart level. I guess it is a bit like finding the prize in the cracker jacks box! Lol! (No disrespect intended). It has been a huge blessing! Now, with a small group of “compadres“, I actually have time to share thoughts and have intellectual conversations rather than an endless supply of sound bites that don’t mean all that much!

In this past year I have learned to “let go” of things that no longer serve me. I have always been the type of person who would hang on to people and things for sentimental reasons, probably long past their expiration date. I have especially been this way with family members. In my mind, if we were family, it meant we were bound to one another forever. I have discovered that even in families, some are more invested than others. You realize that letting go may actually be a gift to both parties.

Recently I mailed a large envelope of old pictures to someone who I thought would enjoy seeing them. I actually mailed this person two large envelopes of photos. I got no response. I wasn’t really expecting a response, because this person stepped away from the family long ago. When I had it ready for mailing, Al said, “Why bother?” I said, “Because it is always good to do the right and kindly thing and then let the chips fall where they may”. The chips fell on the side of silence. Well, o.k. then….good to know it is ok to let that one go! It frees up a lot of emotional space for someone who may be interested in that spot and can step in to it.

Value is always in the content and NOT in the numbers. I would far rather have one seriously interested and invested friend than a whole host of “fly by’s”.

Tomorrow is Easter! What a great gift we have been given by the One who is REALLY invested in our future and our well being! I love Easter and the significance of the greatest gift ever given to mankind!

This weekend I get to see my children interact with each other for the first time in a year and a half. This is the “second greatest gift” to their father and me.

I want to thank those friends who remembered me and let me know they still care. I want to thank our son who drove all the way across the country a few days ago to visit with his siblings and to help us clean up our landscape after the history making Texas February snow and ice storm! How grateful we are to be parents to someone who is that sensitive to our needs.

Darkness to light is manifested in so many soul enriching ways.

Happy Easter everyone! We are eternal souls and I am glad to have made your acquaintance. To others I have not met yet, our acquaintance is a distinct possibility. One just never knows!

With love, Jjb


Take Aways

This has been the year of “take aways” starting in March when the pandemic was announced. As a society, we have had our jobs taken away, our facial identities were taken away by masks, and our freedoms to come and go wherever and whenever we want were taken away by the shutdown of airlines, restaurants, bars, churches, schools and the lockdowns of our own homes. Our gatherings were reduced in number and size. Adult children were taken away from their elderly parents due to quarantine of old age homes and old age in general. Our holidays were taken away due to strict covid restrictions. Basically, most anything that has been an American tradition has been eliminated in the name of covid.

We are retired, so it has not affected us as cruelly as it has some people. I sat quietly on Christmas morning listening to beautiful traditional Christmas music. Hub (husband) went for a walk and while I felt somewhat melancholy, my heart was full and my mind was overflowing with memories of Christmas’s past. Many things can be taken away from us, but we are gifted with the retention of all of our memories of a lifetime. One thing that has become a gift while living with excess time on our hands is the stillness that comes with it which allows us to seek and reacquaint ourselves with our inner spirit. Even the Bible says “Be Still…and know I am God”

Usually the Christmas season is a breathless chase of shopping, buying gifts, decorating our homes inside and out, writing cards, cooking, baking, traveling to family far and near. In all that hectic busyness, the season seems to come and go in a flash and we find ourselves collapsed in a heap of exhaustion, feeling spent after having “overspent”.

For us, very little of this occurred this year. We did manage to write cards and “hub” helped me which resulted in some friends getting two cards as our coordinating skills were failing us in our “uncoordinated” process. Lol! Oh well, two Merry Christmas’s are better than not getting even one card!

I like the quiet, and I think that some of the changes these forced lockdowns have brought to us may end up being permanent and this time they will be by choice. . This Christmas, we had the time to read the cards arriving in our mailbox and savoring the ones who wrote letters. We no longer watch t.v., so the radio or c.d.’s filled our home with Christmas music, both Christian and secular. We get to choose exactly the kind of music we love to hear, anytime we want, right off the internet and play it through our Bose speaker.

I wonder how many other retired people have found this lockdown a hidden blessing? We were plucked out of the frenetic busyness of modern day life and gently set down in our homes where we learned to enjoy all this excess time at our disposal. I have so enjoyed our home…I used to laughingly say that for all the money we spent on our home, we could have just as well have saved it because we were so seldom here to enjoy it. That changed with covid and I have found myself bonding with our surroundings in a big way. Pictures I once purchased because I fell in love with them were barely noticed in the rush of our living following the purchase. Now I stand in front of our pictures one by one and take them in. I found myself standing in front of this old wooden carved picture and as I read the woods, I sang the song in my mind and fell in love with this piece all over again.

On sunny days, I watch the suns rays move around our home as the day progresses. It lights up our eastern wall of windows in our bedroom and feels like a cheery “Rise and Shine”. As the sun moves through the sky, it’s light rays are reflected through our stain glass windows in our dining room which sends prism’s of color throughout the room. It is also reflected off the big mirror on the dining room wall which lights up the opposite side of the room. Continuing to move through the sky, it shines in through another window which lights up our fireplace brick and mantle on the far side of our family room. The sun continues its journey and finally wraps itself around the back of our house where the rays stream in through our living room’s wall of windows and I can see dust motes dancing in that stream. The brightness in that room seems to beckon us to come on in and set down for a spell.

Everything that I am now noticing in our home, I have rarely had the time or attention span to notice previously. Daily, I enjoy looking at an orchid our daughter gifted me a while back which sits on a small table in front of our dining room window.. I tenderly care for it and watch its progress from day to day. It is very happy in its warm, southerly location. Her gift to me was in her favorite color of purple, therefore, each time I glance at it, or tend to it, I think of her! (Purple gift equals love) ❤️🥰😁

My husband and I have grown closer than ever before and have rediscovered exactly how compatible we are. 🎼Love and marriage, 🎼 horse and carriage, just like the old song sings, we seem to go together. Getting old isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it is much reliant on the fact that we do still have our health and a life long loving companion to soften the realties of what aging will eventually bring to our doorstep.

I finally quit my facebook habit! After a decade of being on that site, I finally decided to put that time to better use. What I discovered was how much happier I was without it. It’s not healthy to constantly be into other peoples business, and certainly cannot lead to peace while engaging with so many people. My life, OUR life, is custom created for the two of us. Perusing facebook can somehow make a person feel as if they are “missing out” on the things other people have that we do not. This does not mean that I was jealous or envious because I was not ( well maybe just a little bit on some of it). It was more about the fact that I was so wrapped up in noticing everyone else’s blessings, that I somehow missed seeing some of our own. Our life once again feels FULL of blessings because I have more time to notice them, live with them, and to feel grateful for them. We are ALL given blessings, but we each receive DIFFERENT blessings and it somehow just works out perfectly!

What did I discover about myself that I did not know before I went into the Pandemic quarantine? I went into it with the assumption that I was an extrovert. Instead, I have discovered that I am most likely an introvert, maybe even a social introvert, because I have not minded this time at home as much as I thought I would. Of course, I do have my husband here which makes a huge impact on how I feel about the last 10 months, but, I also now understand why large parties were always so uncomfortable for me to attend. I love people and enjoy engaging with people but preferably on a one on one ratio or in small groups. I can remember the days when my husband was working in a company that required that I be involved in the large scale social functions and how drained I felt at the end of each one. Where extroverts draw energy from mass gatherings with a lot of conversation and interaction, I would lose energy. Now I know why, and it is ok.

So, here I sit again, in the quiet of a Sunday, January 3rd, 2021! I am “being still” and acknowledging the Who that is, Who that was, and Who will always be. (The great I am.) He is the one element in our life that was NOT taken away, in fact, I am more aware of his presence in our life now than ever before, because I have the blessing of time to focus on our Triune God! Thank goodness we made it through 2020. We are 10 months into this shelter in place and doing well.

What have you learned about yourself in this past 10 months of lockdown? I would love to hear about it!



I turned on the television and within minutes there was hateful sarcastic speech, so I turned it off. Then I went to my email and read a Next Door Neighbor question where within minutes a comment popped up that was very inflammatory about the area in which we live. I backed out of that site quickly.

I have determined that anything said or written that is dark or mean spirited is just going to be eliminated from my life! I move away from it! I have to say, in a country where people have been blessed with so much, there seems to be so much discontent and unhappiness, and it saddens me greatly! I have seen people in other countries with so much less than we have here in America and they actually seem happier than people in our society do. Maybe less really is more.

Our church opened for services in the new church building but we did not attend. We do watch it virtually and it was nice to see that people were in attendance. It was far from full due to covid restrictions for our sector of society. We are advised by our government to stay home and stay well.

I miss our old life. I miss the coming and going and mingling with people. We are still here sheltering in place after 10 months. While we have discovered that we are most likely introverts, based on how well we have been doing, we are finding the lack of socialization to be a huge loss! That said, it has had its positive side as well!

We finally had time to do things we had such limited time for before. Reading, clearing out and downsizing things, painting, repairs, gardening and trimming on our property, etc. etc. We have been doing devotions in a leisurely fashion rather than having to squeeze them into a busy schedule! Time has been a gift to us, though it is countered with a longing for communion with our friends and family.

Today a friend of ours was working security at our church and he texted us to see how we were doing. This was the first Sunday service in our newer, much larger church. I dearly love our former, small, chapel type church and I know I will miss it. So, since we could not be there, I asked him to send me a photo of the new church cross. I felt so uplifted when I saw it because the cross and the Bible are the foundation of our church.

God feels closer and more present to me now in times of covid than ever before. He has always been an important presence in my life, but these days I am leaning a littler harder into Him because I long for peace in this world. I am so incredibly grateful to my Mother for teaching me about Him in the form of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! I am grateful to know about the gracious and free gift of life everlasting. How would we feel without that promise? I cannot imagine!

Blessings to all as we approach Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for!

God bless!



Words are very important to me. Because I am a writer, I generally contemplate every word I am writing and how it applies to the content of the story I am trying to present. I am also a voracious reader and have been so since I was a young child. I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on, even reading the words on a cereal box as a child while I ate my Cornflakes, Wheaties, or Rice Krispies on any given morning.

In my formative, growing up years, we lived rurally in a day and age before the internet and social media, so we got our information from Newspapers, books and our parents who watched the evening news. This was a time before children were over scheduled every minute of everyday with planned activities, so it was up to us to create our own entertainment. I read books with great enthusiasm because books opened and expanded my world. As I read, I gained knowledge and a growing perspective of the world around me. Every time I came to a word where I did not know its meaning, I would look it up in the dictionary and with that, my word knowledge continued to grow! I read many different types of books. I read books of Fiction, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Bibliographies, Memoirs, History, to name a few. In church we read and were taught stories from the Bible. With everything I read, not only did my knowledge and perspective grow, my curiosity also exploded. The more I gained knowledge, the more I realized how much was out there that I didn’t know. There was so much to discover and I was a very interested explorer.

Recently, we were involved in a Bible Study about a chapter in the book of Daniel and as we read the passage, a couple of sentences leaped off the page for me. This chapter in Daniel is recounting something that I had not fully considered previously.

Daniel’s Vision of a Man

10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel. Its message was true and it concerned a great war.The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.

At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz,his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.

10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 

13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 

14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”

18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”

20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.

As I exclaimed enthusiastically over the “conversation between an Angel and Daniel” in verses 12 and 13, it was suggested that one should not get involved in only one sentence of a story, and that I should not to focus on the “details”. Rather, I should just pay attention to the story as a whole and the message the story was intended to present. I understand that to be true, but what is also especially true for me is the fact that ALL words matter to an author or they would not be there in the first place.

So, not wanting to be a burden to the class, I let it go, but knew I would go and research that sentence later on, which I did.

The sentence that caught my eye is where Daniel is being told that God heard his prayers and had sent this spirit or angel in response to his prayer.

This got my attention because while I believe in angels and I DO believe they are here to help humans, I never considered that Angels might have particular assignments doled out by God. Now, as I said, we all see things differently at different times of our life, and this was a moment of clarification for me. It was exciting!

I always thought of my prayer as going directly to God (which it does) and that God or Jesus would act on it (or not) depending on His great authority. I know that the Holy Spirit is a gift God gives us Who lives IN us to protect and guide us, so my focus has always been on the Triune God, assuming all three aspects of God were directly working things out for me in regards to my prayer. (Which They are, but also while enlisting Angels to help Them with the response.) This sentence, then, opened my eyes as to how God directs the Angels. It also clarified to me that things are often happening simultaneously and I may need to wait patiently on the Lord to bring an answer to my prayer until a time opens up for Him to answer. The visual of the angel being busy in Persia for a time on the way to bringing a response to Daniels prayer was a great illustration for me. The visual of the Archangel Michael going there to relieve him so he could respond to Daniel was also profound (to me).

Why this was important to me was because it explained to me why it sometimes takes a long time for some prayers to be answered.

Our Bible Study discussion was about how Spiritual Warfare goes on unseen by us and around all of us. This entire passage reaffirmed to me, once again, that God not only hears our prayers but that He notices our humility (or lack) while we are praying.

There is so much here that one could discuss, but going forward, (for me) I now have a very strong visual about the unseen war going on constantly between Satan and his cohorts and God our Father and his heavenly army of Angels. Both sides are always in a war, fighting for the acquisition of our souls. It was a lightning rod moment for me.

We all come to an understanding at our own pace and in our own time. Because each and every one of us are custom created by God, we are different from one another so we come to know God through His Word in our own unique ways and in our own unique timing. There is a saying “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” and I guess I was ready for that little epiphany.

Here in America, there is a spiritual war going on with Satanic forces fiercely working on all of us to our detriment. The mayhem we have seen, the hatred that people are displaying in words and action are of the devil. Of that there is no doubt. The angels are working on behalf of us at Gods request and in answer to prayer. Prayer is extremely important and the fervent, ongoing prayer going up to God in a chorus of spiritual voices will have a huge impact on how this all ends.

This sentence within the story of Daniel really resonated with me. So much so, I wanted to share it with you! You may have already arrived at that conclusion or even a different conclusion, but this happened to be mine.

Praise be to God, and please, God, BLESS America!



Good Morning! One thing that is a relatively new thing for me is how my sleeping patterns have changed. Some nights I can sleep a solid 9 hours and other nights I open my eyes after 4-6 hours feeling WIDE AWAKE, yet attempting to roll over one more time to catch another wink or two. But, alas, the rooster has crowed in my mind and I know I may as well get up! Last night was one of those nights. I slept like the dead for about 5 hours, from 10 pm to 3 am and then that was it!

It worked out fine for me though because Mr. B and I are driving up to our future daughter in laws mothers home today and we are going to have a socially distanced lunch out on her patio. We decided to “brown bag it” to be safe and I decided to bring some brunch type breakfast muffins. I am making them with biscuits, sausage, hash browns, green onions, eggs and cheese. They should be yummy and I plan on bringing a few extra along to leave with our dil’s mother for future consumption.

So, first things first, I made coffee and poured it into a cup that was a gift to me from a long time friend who was one of my bridesmaids in our wedding. Considering how long I have been married, I am rather proud to still be able to call her my friend. As we move into the autumn and winter of our life, we come to realize just how valuable long term friendships are. We know each other’s history and she and I kid each other about the fact that we “have” to stay friends because we have too much information on each other. We always laugh and say “If I go down, YOU go down”, meaning that neither of us must ever tell some of the things we know about each other. Lol! So I tip my cup to my friend who I call Ethel (I am her Lucy) and wish her a telepathic “Good Morning” because she lives in the far northern climate and while I reside in the south.

It is still dark out at 5:22 a.m. and I have been up over an hour already. Normally I am a night owl type, where I enjoy reading long into the night, but on these rare occasions where I am up early, I find I enjoy the beginning of the day as well.

The furnace is running this morning. This is the 4th night of a cold front that came through, but fortunately, the weather man is promising that today will be in the 70’s. I love weather in the fall where the sun is warm and the air is crisp. God knew we Texans would need variety so he blessed us with it! Today is going to be a very nice day. We will get to enjoy nice temps, a nice drive and a social outing of which there are very few in these days of covid.

COVID! That nasty invisible enemy that lurks out there just waiting for us to bump into it! We avoid doing this by staying home. It has been 7 1/2 months already since Covid turned our life upside. We went from having fun part time jobs to being unemployed because we are in the high risk group. We used to have friends over to our home often, but now we rarely do because of distancing issues. We haven’t seen our older son and his family in over a year because it would require an airline flight or a motel stop if we drove. We used to frequent restaurants a lot, and have only eaten “out” three times since we have been shelter in place, and those times we ate outside on a patio. Church has been closed for a long time so we attend virtually. The pattern of our life which used to be very busy, came to a screeching stop!

BUT, some good things have come out of this! We have been spending much more time on our property planting and trimming. I have never cooked this much in my life. By cooking, I mean trying new recipes and making delicious simple meals. It has been fun finding recipes online and creating something I haven’t tried before. Mr. B sure enjoys it! Eating out has lost its attraction for us and even when covid finally leaves town, I doubt we will ever again spend that much time or money on dining out in the future as we once did, nor on shopping or entertainment….

We have returned to our roots, metaphorically speaking. We were both raised in simpler times, in simpler homes, with simplistic needs for happiness. It does not take all that much to make us feel happy and content. We have replaced television with books and online documentaries, cooking shows, and old movies. Whatever made us think we needed so MUCH in the pursuit of happiness? We spent many years pursuing “the dream” and in many ways it worked out for us because we were able to put our children through college, move to the south, build our retirement home and so on. But, now that we are here, sheltered in place as they call it, we have rediscovered who we really are and we are happy. We recognize the imperfections in ourselves and each other and feel the love anyway. We see the imperfections of our lives and feel gratitude anyway. We see the imperfections of the world and we pray to the one and only perfect person who ever lived, and then we feel contentment!

Life is good!

Now, I have to see about how those breakfast muffins are doing! Will check back in with a picture!



An old love thing…

As I here in my old leather chair in our kitchen/sitting room, the sound of a strong wind beckons me to look through our windows. I can see the branches of our trees moving about by the sheer force of our Autumnal wind. No wonder the nickname for Autumn is “fall” because many of the leaves are doing just that. They are being blown off of the tree limbs and like little parachuters they are falling every which way as they ride the currents of the air. They flit this way and that way, until they finally coast on down and hit the ground. The word “blustery” comes to mind. The sun peeks out on occasion as the clouds scuttle by hurriedly in the wind.

A cold front moved into Texas a couple of days ago and as a result of this, I went into full “north country girl” mode. I dug out the pots and pans and baking utensils and I continued on with the Christmas cooking project I began a while back for our daughter and son in law. They are a busy career couple who rarely have anything to eat that is not grilled or tossed… as in grilled meat and a salad. (Quick and Healthy). I wholeheartedly approve of how they usually eat healthy and I support that! We ALL should eat like this most of the year, but holidays are special times to indulge in some good old comfort food!

We will likely not see each other on Christmas 😢 because she will be working in the cardiac intensive care unit. The holidays are when home cooking is much desired, so I decided to make them a variety of home cooked meals to help them celebrate the holiday. I am making old fashioned dishes like my Mother and Grandmother used to make which equates to delicious because I am using their old recipes.


Delicious does not always equate to healthy eating, so I am substituting keto ingredients wherever possible as I attempt to preserve the original intended flavor. The idea is for them to have a freezer full of home cooked meals that they can pull out, thaw and reheat; (not every night of the week of course, because that would be unhealthy eating). I thought that perhaps once a week they can have a nice dinner together with a glass of wine and candles casting a glow on the table as they share their work experiences of the week previous. I hope their taste buds feel the love behind the flavor because I am liberally seasoning all the food I am preparing for them with loving thoughts.

It came to me that this culinary act I am partaking in could be described as “an old love thing” (to quote an old Tammy Wynette/George Jones song). 😄 Of course Tammy and George were singing about something other than cooking, but the application is still the same. Our maternal ancestors expressed their love for their families in their kitchens and I remember very well the sounds and aromas emanating from my Grandmothers and Mothers kitchens. I still salivate when I catch the scent of fresh baked bread, or the spicy, meaty aroma from my Mothers home cooked pork and beef roasts slow cooked and simmering in their combined juices in one large cast iron pan.

I was going to bake Cornish Pasties today, but have to wait for a grocery delivery of the course ground beef. The Pasties will have to wait for another day to be made. I am excited about creating this Cornish aka Finnish/Swedish baked meat and potato pie because I have never attempted to make them before! This Pandemic delivers certain odd rewards as we hunker down in modern day confinement advised for high risk individuals. One reward is the gift of excess time. We were always too busy before to spend this much time in the kitchen and I am finding myself humming little tunes as I listen to music in the background. Humming usually comes with feelings of contentment, so I guess the Pandemic has delivered a blessing of domestic happiness to me in the midst of everything else it has done. A little bit of good along with the bad. So the year 2020 might as well forget trying to get me to give up on life! I love life and to keep it interesting, I just keep changing up what I do from day to day.

The day is speeding by and my project of disassembling all of my old albums is calling to me from our home office. It is a HUGE task to go through 50 years of pictures and decide who gets what! The end result will create room on my shelves where the albums used to sit, and it will be one less thing for the kids to have to concern themselves with after we go to join our parents.

In the meantime, it is a great day to be alive, don’t you think? EVERY day is a gift!


Adjusting the sails

Good morning everyone! The cold front finally hit Texas, so we woke up in the middle of the night shivering and had to get up to add another blanket! Wow! It reached 80 degrees just 2 days ago and last night I think Al said it dropped to 47. Brrrrrrrr!

Al had one of those nights where he slept until 2 a.m. (about the time we got up to add another blanket) and when we went back to bed, he could not get back to sleep. When I got up this morning, he was tipped back in his recliner snoozing, so I talked him into just going back to bed. These days there is rarely anything on our calendar anyway, so no reason for him not to do so.

I feel I want to address my previous commentary about cooking and baking for our daughter. In hindsight, I see that it sounds rather braggadocio but when I wrote it, I was filled up inside with warm feelings of loving kindness and wanted to express that feeling. I did not mean to say “look at what a great Mom I am!” (because I most certainly am not….just ask the kids…they may vote for average 🤨). I was just having so much fun cooking while imagining her feeling like we were right there in her home every time she reached into the freezer.

Our daughter and husband are what is sometimes called “dinks”…(duo income no kids). She has a wonderful husband who travels with his career. So, for the times when she comes home to only her French Bulldog, I thought it would be nice for her to find “us” there with her through the extension of the food we made for her, stuff she will never make for herself, because as she said, “I just don’t cook that much Mom”. She will make easy things like salads and burgers, but doesn’t mess around with things that may require a recipe. So, these types of foods are embraced and most welcomed by her on occasion.

Life is strange…When I was young, I imagined after we had our children that we would have many grandchildren sitting at our table eating Swedish Pancakes and coming for sleep overs. But, I am reminded of the old phrase “When Man makes plans, God smiles”. The truth is that while we are all busy making plans, life happens, that often bears no resemblance to what we had originally imagined or intended. So, Al and I have just TWO grandchildren and we are GRATEFUL for those two. However, as luck would have it, they live in Minnesota and we live in Texas. Fortunately, we have a good relationship with them and in these days of covid they check in with us by way of texts, calls and emails. They have been raised very well, and are very bright girls. BUT, they are not here. 😢. We do not have the daily, weekly visits that so many of you have with your own grandchildren.

Time passes SO quickly. This fleeting of time has really taken us by surprise! Our older Granddaughter graduates high school this year and the younger one is a Freshman in high school.

So, in the many years Al and I have been married, we keep readjusting our sails upon the sea of life, taking on the headwinds to our dreams and facing the storms that come our way that could easily tip our boat. This latest storm is the Pandemic and it has stolen from us our sense of security, our sense of family, and our sense of purpose. Suddenly, we find ourselves isolated and overly cautious about the decisions we make. Where, once upon a time, I was impulsive and impetuous, I have become very slow to act on things, and where I was once gregarious, I find that I am getting far too comfortable in our little nest viewing the world through our window. It feels safe here and far removed from the craziness the world finds itself in.

The political dialog and the uncivil discourse that we have been subjected to through the news and social media since the Pandemic began has been soul crushing to me because if ever there were a peacemaker, I am the personification of that. I bloom when living in peace and I shrivel when faced with conflict. It all saddens me to the core. There is a spiritual warfare going on in our world and of that I have no doubt! I am making my self ready for the next storm…I am battening down the hatches.

So, just what does a Grandmotherly septugenarian do about all the hatred and discord and evil happening around her, other than to pray and vote and follow the pandemic rules that seem to change daily?

She carries on with her life, trying to create an illusion of peace and love and harmony and “doing unto others as we want them to do unto us”. She writes and she plants and she cooks in her own little orbit and tries to bring happiness to the people she loves. She tries to be grateful for all the things she has been blessed with and ignores the things that did not pan out for her. Time is only well spent when we think of others over ourselves.

So, today is Italian Spaghetti sauce and Quiche day! We have told Andrea she may need to being a couple of coolers down and she laughingly said she may have to buy a new freezer!

To anyone who may think this is about me being a good mama, thank you so much! You really give me too much credit! But I can see that these are YOUR good hearts responding to my project, all you good mothers who sense what this is about. Because, what it REALLY is about is creating a purpose for myself in a purposeless, covid isolated world. What is it they say? If life hands you lemons, make lemonade? That’s it for me.

(OR, maybe I could take those lemons, ZEST them, and make her a birthday dessert)….hmmmmm! Lol!

Love, Me… aka..Julia Child…..(nah, not even close, but this gal is working on it!)


Peace, baby, peace!

I never see a red geranium where it doesn’t bring to me memories of my childhood and visiting my maternal grandparents home. My grandparents always had potted red geraniums sitting on their front porch. Hence, each time I see a red geranium, I am transported back to a time and place in my life where I had absolutely no awareness of the workings of a government and how it can affect and even control ones life. This colorful flower brings to mind a time when my whole world revolved around a family axis where I felt loved and secure with a strong sense of belonging.

Thinking back now, I realize that I have never been “political” in my life. I have always voted, and my vote was dependent on what I saw on the local news. That was about it. That said, I have to also say that staying home for 7 months in the year 2020 has given this retired person a LOT of time in which to research everything I have ever wondered about, and I have learned SO much!

In a conversation with a friend the other day, we were talking about coming of age in the 1960’s when the Vietnam war was raging. Woodstock (during the so called “summer of love”) was the place to be if you were a young person in 1968. There used to be a saying that if you remember Woodstock, you weren’t there! That statement applies to me. I remember hearing about Woodstock but this old soul was not interested in attending. My contribution to the era of “peace, love and rock and roll” was wearing hip huggers with bell bottoms paired with a lot of colorful paisley print tops. I wore platform shoes and greeted everyone with the two fingered peace sign everywhere I went. I enjoyed feeling young, cute, and part of a generation that was out to save the world.

As my friend and I were comparing the politics of today to the politics back then, I told her that I just do not remember seeing or experiencing the enormous amount of hate and destruction that we are seeing now. I DO remember the very heated civil rights movement of the times and JFK being assassinated and it was shocking. Our school Superintendent brought all of us together into an assembly to watch the news and in that act alone, we were made aware of the enormity of it. JFK’s tragic assassination was followed by Martin Luther Kings assassination and finally, R.F.K.’s assassination as well. It left Americans in a dazed and frightened state of mind. We found ourselves wondering what horrible thing would happen next. I was impacted by the seriousness of the assassinations but it all seemed more “surreal” to me than real, like so,etching out of a very bad movie! In 1969, Richard M. Nixon became president. Ohio astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. In Los Angeles, the cult of Charles Manson went on a two-night murderous rampage. In New York, 400,000 people showed up at a New York farm for the Woodstock music festival. I can remember when the Kent State shootings in 1970 horrifically ending what initially began as a peaceful anti war protest. Vietnam War protests were going on in Minneapolis, as well, at the same time I was working as a young nurse at the University of Minnesota Hospital system. Because I worked long hours at the hospital, I did not have the time to participate in any protest. While others were out there acting as political activists, I was taking care of very ill patients.I said to my friend, “So, in remembering the long and violent history of the 60’s why does everything seem so much more terrible and intense now than it was back then?”

She said, “Well, I think it is because in those days the news was limited to morning and evening, whereas now we have a 24 hour, 7 days a week cycle of news and there is no getting away from it. The shelter in place order and social media only intensifies what we are seeing and hearing.”

Her statement stopped me in my tracks because, of course, she is right! These days we are surrounded by the Main Stream Media news and until recent times I tended to believe what I heard because I grew up in a day and age where a persons word was their honor and we lived in a time when the news was factual, not biased. Hence, I thought that if it was on the news, it must be true! This is just not the case anymore. So much of what we hear and see in this day and age is not journalistic news. What used to be journalism has morphed into biased opinion pieces with a lot of rancor attached.

I have been doing a lot of research since living “shelter in place” and I have spent hours upon hours and entire days sifting through all kinds of information from Theologians, Historians, Scientists, Doctors of Medicine, both Conservative and Liberal views and what I have found has disturbed me.

What I have discovered is that in this day and age most Americans have their own version of the “truth”. How I view the world is colored by the information I receive and how you view things is colored by the information you receive and often it is two entirely different versions!

What is very disturbing to me is witnessing our National Leaders on all sides fighting non-stop and it seems we have more dishonesty than honesty running rampant in our upper level of government on ALL sides. There has been no compromise, no thoughtful debate, no civil discourse. Sometimes I wonder if we are following the same path that the Roman Empire walked and we know how that turned out for them. As a result of being saturated by the daily onslaught of negativity, many American citizens are following the same pattern! People have decided which “side” they are on and they feel they need to prove their point to others. It is especially sad when friends or family members begin to challenge each other. (What ever happened to privately voting for our personal choice?) When we add all of this to the “shelter in place” mandate we feel like we are being fed a toxic stew that is slowly poisoning all of us.

Despite the fact that our American life feels like it is on fire and under attack, I remind myself daily that what I really must FOCUS on are the blessings, because all of this mayhem feels like spiritual warfare to me. I choose to focus on what God can do for us rather than what Satan is dishing up. I believe we must care for one another despite our differences and we need to understand that the differences between us are in place to teach each other lessons in life! We can agree to disagree and be grateful if we can still manage to appreciate or even save the friendship for what it once was and still can be.For sanity’s sake, WE have created a rule for ourselves and for when we are with our family and friends, and it is that we no longer discuss politics with anyone! We want to keep the relationships we have formed over the years and we recognize that to do this, there are simply some topics that are off limits…money, religion and politics for starters!

While I realize it is important to keep myself informed of national and world events, I also understand how limited the power is that I have over any of it! Voting and praying are huge in their power and I plan to do both! Other than that, as we go forward, I will consciously take in each moment of each day with the understanding that the true daily gift of an ordinary life is a blessing to me!


To Each His Own

We are having a very laid back morning with a hot cup of coffee in hand. Al is reading and I was watching this video that was sent to me by a friend. As I watched it, I knew immediately that the world we are living in is changing at a speed that we will not be able to keep up with.

Our get away to N.M. was much needed..a change of scenery, a different perspective, and no media. We changed our lives when we switched our information away from main stream media to non biased sources….people like historians, pastors, conservative and liberal thinkers who speak from a historical perspective about how we arrived to this time and place in our country.

This video is very unsettling to me because TRUTH is tantamount to how I make decisions in life. Just give me the facts (not altered facts) and I can go on from there. I don’t feel a need to explain to anyone my line of thinking. People are usually not interested anyway. I just want to live my life in a response to a truthful reality.

Reality is on the cusp of being altered to feed people whatever information technology wants us to believe. It is already happening. I have never seen so much emotion elicited over an election. The emotion is on both sides because both sides really passionately believe what they are reading and seeing. I no longer believe anything I see or read because I know that everything can be (and probably is) altered to suit the people who are putting it out there.

So, I spend much time in communion with God. When the election comes, I will say yet another prayer before I put down my vote and I have faith that God will allow what is meant to happen in 2020. No matter who wins, there will be people incensed about the outcome! I am already prepared to accept the results whatever they are.

I am glad that God has laid out the length of our lives as he has because I do not feel we are mentally or emotionally able to function in the world beyond the average life expectancy, especially not as fast as it is evolving these days. Artificial Intelligence will bring miraculous new benefits for humankind, but it will also bring the dark side as well.

So, today is our last day here and we are going to Cloud Croft after breakfast. I love our leisurely life in old age. We were blessed to be born in the era we arrived. We were blessed to have lived lives that were comfortable, where we had just enough to get by, and where we were blessed to be born to people who taught us about our creator and His son who died because ALL lives matter.

God bless all our friends today! We are so grateful to have you in our lives!

Love, Jjb


When I was a little girl and my Dad was going off somewhere, I would say, “Where are you going Daddy?” He would often jokingly respond with, “Crazy, wanna come with?”. I thought that was a funny response and would always laugh when he said it.

Now as we continue with our shelter in place, 180 days, almost 6 months since it has begun, the house is beginning to close in a bit! Some days, I wonder how to avoid that trip to crazy and am pretty sure no one wants to come with me and Al.

We live in what I have dubbed “the goldilocks house”. It’s not too big, it is not too small, it is just right. We really love our place. We enjoy our porch and courtyard, both of which help us during these days of covid to have a feeling of purpose with our cleaning, gardening, watering, painting and repairing. It is nice to be able to go outside and spend time with our plants and garden. Over all, our shelter in place has gone quite well! But, there ARE those days!

Thankfully, we have the internet to keep us in touch with friends and family via social media and zoom! We also have our cell phone which gives us phone calls, text, emails etc. These things help take the edge off of the solitary nature of our life in these quarantine days. But, it isn’t the same as being right there near your loved ones! I have never been a lover of crowds, but I would do most anything these days to be in a big room full of people so I could bask in all the energy that would come with it!

Quiet and solitude lends itself to deep thinking and deep reflecting! Still waters run deep, you know? I have ALWAYS been a thinker and a reader and a writer! While I have always enjoyed people, I especially enjoyed and treasured my quiet times! These days I do nonstop reading and research on the net which acts as pseudo company for me.

As of late, I feel a need to switch from inward introspection to looking outward! I miss the spontaneous movement and interaction of our previous life.

This morning we had many people sitting in our family room with us and it is always such a psychological lift to have everyone here. This always happens during devotions. Al will read the devotions for the day and then, following the devotions, Al takes our prayer list and reads off all the names of friends and family we are praying for daily. As he reads, one by one, they pass by my minds eye! I “see” the image of each person as the name is read and my heart responds with joy at their image while a petition to God is said on their behalf.

Our minds have a huge storage capacity for our memories starting in childhood. It is similar to looking at our photo albums where we see a vast amount of pictorial memories, beautifully preserved, and we relive the moment like it was just yesterday.

Devotions during the time of covid is a wonderful discipline and exercise and the rewards are immense. Prayer and petition are the ultimate vitamins for maintaining our spiritual health contributing towards the healing of others. At our age, our list is long because each year adds more people and more petitions. This long list speaks of the blessings of the abundance of people still in our life who matter to us!

Did you know you came for a visit today? It was lovely to see you and bask in your presence. Knowing of your existence gives meaning to our life! As a visual of our family and friends march through my mind as Al is reading your names, my feelings of crazy disappear. Your presence in our home feels loving and healing and I thank you for this fine spiritual medicine! I KNOW, without any doubt whatsoever, that we will meet again someday, here or on the other side! Imagine how joyous that reunion will be, in a place where peace and love reign supreme! I find myself thinking of so many people who have gone on before me…People I loved deeply, people who had influence on my life and it brings tears to my eyes! I miss them so much! To reunite with these people again will be a source of extreme joy!

At present, we live in very stressful, violent times! Satan is busy and there are many working on his behalf! Their work is visible, noisy, and frightening. But at the same time, WE work on Gods behalf and our work is quiet and silent! We know that in the end, God conquers all! I am grateful I am on His side of the equation!

🎼Onward Christian soldiers, going off to war,

with the cross of Jesus, going on before! 🎼

I just heard this song the other day and stopped to listen because I haven’t heard it in a long, long time! The song resonated with me. These are important times for Christians and we need to know what it is, and Who it is we are fighting for!

There is no doubt to me that we are on the winning side. We just need to do our work and pray that more and more follow in step for the cause! God wants to reign in as many believers as possible, and we can help Him do this!

God Bless America! We are doing our part with prayer while staying in place!

When the day comes where we finally get to see our children I will wrap my arms around them and hang on for dear life! I miss them SO much!

In the meantime, we will silent march in Gods army, knowing that prayers and petitions have immense power!



Does anyone really see? Does anybody care?

We watch our country burning down. There are riots everywhere.

Where has gone the punishment for crimes done left and right?

Does the end justify the means, by thugs who roam the night?

Why do leaders turn their heads? Why is all of this allowed?

Hate is destroying America with a swelling, riotous crowd!

Main stream media tells us lies, “these are peaceful protests here.”

Then we see a man being shot! There is screaming far and near.

Whose children are these in our streets? Who taught them so much hate?

Destruction for peace and justice, does not at all equate!

Do they even know their reasons? Is civility so hard to find?

These people are destroying America! Destruction is on their minds!

Peaceful protests have been highjacked. It’s now looting, vandals, fires.

As we watch these people in action, We see that prayer is required.

Our hearts break as we view these scenes. Prayers for America are now world wide.

We are praying for God to show us grace. In His name our prayers abide!

Thank God this life is not all there is. Heaven awaits for you and me.

Tears are rolling down my face. I remember how life used to be.

I am growing old and this will pass. Things will settle down.

But America needs to remember, Who REALLY wears the crown!

We were once a beacon to the world. We could worship without fear.

God blessed this country for its faith. He held our country dear.

We need to return to our spiritual path. We need to get down on our knees.

Let us pray to God for our country! Please, God, keep America FREE!