Thanksgiving!

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 the states 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 today but we did not attend. We did 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 (not ruled) 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 8 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!

jjb/11/15/2020

Words

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!

jjb/11/2/2020

Cockadoodle-doooooo!

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!

YUM!

jjb/10/31/2020

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.

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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!

jjb/10/29/2920

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!)

jjb/10/27/2020

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!

jjb/10/8/2020

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3o_unnafSg

Crazy

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!

jjb/9/3/2020

America

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!

jjb/8/30/2020

Civility

These days, in the modern era we live in, we have access to endless information, followed by endless opinions! Our brains and psyches were not created to receive so much input, nor so much negativity!

This morning I was perusing “Next Door”, a neighborhood website which delivers postings and comments from the e-community board right into my email inbox. Most times, I am very selective about what I read, keeping the input to things about what is new in our community and recommendations. For whatever reason, I began reading a political post with comments following about the RNC’s first night on air. I saw the comments expand from there and we are now on the 4th day of an ongoing thread that is getting nastier and more snide as it goes along!

By now, at my age, nothing should surprise me, but I am always amazed anew at the meanness of spirit when it comes to political discussions. I do not know any of the commentators personally, but after 4 days of reading, I have formed opinions about the people contributing to the debate.

There are the obvious intellectuals who put out their opinions with facts to support them in a non emotionally charged way! (This is ALWAYS what I prefer to read, because I just want the FACTS, not someone else’s spin on the facts, so I can decide for myself.) Then there are those who voice their fears of what is to come depending on who becomes President. They are definitely an anxious bunch and they speak with an urgency of what they fear is ahead! Of course the two sides go at it because they see only from their personal view and do not believe any possible good can come from the other side.

Then there are those who engage in a verbal mudslinging contest to defend their belief system and as it progresses, so does the anger and hate, because the mudslinging comes from both sides! With the mudslinging comes the name calling, the ridicule, and most disturbing, the meanness of spirit which shows WHO they really are as their character begins to rear its ugly head! Like anything we read without illustration or pictures, we have to form in our head a visual of who these people are and what they must be like as human beings. It is as if everyone has returned to the schoolyard where we all sit in our little groups of people with similar views to ours of the world. We watch the bullies fighting and we see people forming a circle around the altercation, egging them on because they are enjoying the conflict! This breaks out into additional side altercations and the chaos begins.

I suspect that some of them sit in church next to us and we would never have a clue how degrading these people can be to others! I think this is because some people are chameleons where their personality takes on the color of the environment they are in. In the case of politics, the color is very dark!! I see riots in the cities where buildings are being looted, burned and destroyed, and some people will INSIST they are peaceful protests. Well, yes, they BEGAN as peaceful protests, but how can anyone turn a blind eye to the riots going on and not try to at least stop it when fellow citizens are losing everything they have worked for in their life? I believe we are on the cusp of a civil war and I believe it is that serious! Why do I think this? Well, when civil discourse goes out the window from the general population, this is what it can possibly devolve into. I am always a supporter of individual thinking, but group think is very dangerous. I am always saddened when I see my friends or family speaking in a tone of derision when sharing their political beliefs. I have never seen so much hate thrown around in my entire life! Where has the hate come from? I am not talking about who or what it is they hate…I am talking about the hate itself. Where does that dark emotion come from? It isn’t healthy physically, emotionally or psychologically for anyone to live with feelings of hate as an internal emotion. It eats you up. I know who I am going to vote for and I believe I have done my homework! I have spent the last 5 months of “shelter in place” re-educating myself about both political sides and there is one clear cut winner (for ME). I have no intention of trying to convince anyone to come my line of thinking. I just pray that when we cast our votes, it is done fairly and without any cheating! That will be another story, I am sure! I will also pray, NOT asking God for MY chosen candidate to win, but for HIS choice to prevail! As I pray, I say “THY will be done LORD, THY will be done!”. This is what faith looks like! I also pray that peace will come back to our society. How can we live in this beautiful country and be so angry? I pray for Peace and Love, knowing that we may not ever find that perfect combination, but maybe along the way we can rediscover human kindness! The next life has peace and love in abundance! I look forward to the time when I can live a life where peace and love reign supreme! (I am in no hurry to go there, but am so happy to know this is ahead of me when I am called back “home”!)

Amen!

8/27/2020/jjb

Eye can see clearly now!

I have been extremely myopic (nearsighted) my entire life. My first visual correction came in the form of glasses as age 7. My second visual correction came at age 16 with my first pair of contact lenses. How liberating they were at the time. Through the years as I got older, I developed cataracts on both eyes that not only made my vision worse, but I was also seeing things through a sepia tinted corneal lens. It was time to make a decision of what kind of lens to choose to replace my corneal lens. I opted for a PanOptix IOL lens because I wanted to treat myself to multifocal lenses that would allow me to see in the distance, intermediate for computers and close up for reading! PanOptix IOL’s were just approved in October 2019 by the FDA and were expensive, but my husband said “do it!”. So I did! Bless his heart!

A week ago I had my left cataract removed and yesterday my right remaining cataract was removed with PanOptix IOL lenses inserted! This morning, for the first time in my entire life, I opened my eyes and could see everything around me in absolute clarity! I could see the little clock and the time on my bedside table. I could see the ceiling fan turning above my head! I could see our children’s pictures on the opposite wall and a tapestry on a wall with an ocean view from a terrace! The colors that I see in both eyes is now vivid, true and clear.

I got up and walked into the kitchen and I felt as if I were seeing the world in HD! I know I have said this many times since my first eye was corrected a little over a week ago, but now with both eyes corrected, it feels like a miracle! It IS a modern miracle.

My heart is thankful and my heart is full! As I stood in the kitchen, I could see Al sitting in a chair across the room in the family room side of our combined living space and I could see the individual whiskers on his face. UNBELIEVABLE! 9 days ago, I could not even make out the features on his face from the same distance without my glasses or contacts!

My prayer is that I never take this new vision for granted! I pray often and with extreme gratitude for this miracle of 20/20 vision in the year 2020. I smile as I wrap myself in the feel good miracle of what God and Dr. Kyle Rhodes did for me! Out of gratitude, I want to live my life as if life itself were a prayer! It begins today!

Dr. Kyle Rhodes….you are my hero and I thank you so much!

Anyone looking for an excellent Ophthalmologist with a warm and friendly chair side manner, look no further! Out of 5 star rating, I give him a 6! 🥰

🎼I can see clearly now, the rain is gone!

🎼I can see all obstacles in my way🎼

🎼Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind🎼

🎼It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sun shiny day!

Loving the light!

jjb/8/25/2020

If you have nothing nice to say!

I kept thinking about my cousins fb post today and after I read it I decided to comment on what she wrote! She was basically asking people to play fair when talking politics. I agree 100% with her that many American Citizens have left the path of civility when it comes to speaking for which “side” they are on. Like one other of her commenters said, “vote for the PERSON” AND for whatever actions that person brings to the table for the good of America. Do not just vote along a party line! Know WHO you are voting for and know what they believe in and vote accordingly. Mostly, please just VOTE, because there are over a million graves that testify to many peoples belief that a free society was worth dying for!

One thing that has become so outrageous is how we speak and treat each other in the name of politics! This negative communication only creates more division.

Let me create a silly example to point out how behaviors can affect a personal relationship!

Let’s dwindle down the differences in our preferences and opinions on politics to something ridiculously banal. Let’s say that we live together and I love Traditional design and you like Contemporary design. We tell each other how important our “preference” in design is to us, but we realize we need to respect the other persons choice as well. We understand that in order for us to live together in harmony in our home, we each have to give in to the other persons preferences a little bit out of fairness. We seek to appreciate the beauty of the other persons choices as they seek to appreciate some of ours and then we begin to negotiate on how we should proceed! Perhaps we decide that we can each have one room we can design to our own taste. It won’t be easy giving up full authority over how our entire place is decorated, because we really want what we love, but we recognize that we have to live together and get along, so we negotiate how to make it all happen so it will still be a lovely and happy place for both.

Imagine if, because of our differences, we started calling each other bad names because we did not agree with the choice of the other? Imagine if we started using hate speech because of our differences? Imagine if we started destroying rooms in the house to make our voice heard! This would be ridiculous, of course, because we would not only be destroying the place in which we live, we would also be destroying our relationship with each other over our refusal to sit down and discuss our difference of opinion.

As I said, this is a silly example, but the component that is missing in our society is the ability to negotiate between the parties! It goes back to the two political parties who have caused all this upheaval because there is no real negotiating done anymore. The message to “we the people” is that our votes are imperative to an entire party line because we can no longer trust in the ability of the other party to be open and honest to negotiate. No matter which side you support, neither side trusts the other party at all!

We see many of our leaders speak with hate and derision which gives the signal to the American people that we must bully and intimidate to win our point. Hence, “we the people” cease to understand that there was once a time in the not so distant past where we could actually negotiate the finer points of any debate and come to a fair COMPROMISE! Our mentality has become “its my way or the highway!”

I really agree with my cousin that a person should fact check before writing anything on line or speaking. Even then it would be wise to stop and think about whether what they say or write is helpful to anyone! To make fun of someone just makes your point moot! No one is EVER won over by hateful speech or actions, nor ridicule, nor spite, nor lying!

Respect always wins! Respect brings admiration. Self control and dignity with a soft tone always makes everyone want stop to at least hear what that person is saying!

Vote your truth and be satisfied that you have done so and then pray and try to make a difference in this world by only staying with the positive. As my Mother (and probably yours) always said, “If you have nothing nice to say , then say nothing!”

Live your belief in such a way that others want to be a part of your belief system!

8/24/2020/Jjb

Eye Candy…Day 2

It is 7:30 in the morning and day 2 since my left eye surgery. I left my eye patch on all day yesterday and through the night last night and each time that nature called I could see my way through the patch far better than I could see with my right eye by a large margin!

Now as I am typing this, I can see my words with crystal clear clarity! I picked up my book and could easily see to read! I am entranced with this new world I live in!

Even beyond the miracle of clear vision is the added miracle of clear natural color! As I do my right eye left eye alternating blinks, the contrast is so big, it makes me wonder how I did not realize how much my cataracts had interfered with my visual color wheel! A third enhancement is the amount of light that I now see! It is a huge difference! Creams are actually white! We have white shutters in our Master Bathroom and I thought that after 23 years they had become a drab white..almost cream. This morning when I walked in there, I was taken aback by the pure whiteness of them. I swear to God, it is like our whole house has had a fresh coat of paint and a very good cleaning.

Al has had fun listening to me exclaim over my everyday miracles that are evolving! I told him last night that when God gave us contrast, He added for us our ability to appreciate opposites. For example after we are outside in really cold miserable weather, coming inside to a warm interior is a welcome gift of comfort and one that we appreciate. The same holds true for a person who is outside when the sun is blazing hot. Just stepping under the shade of a tree brings relief and we feel gratitude for the tree that provides that shade. Then, coming into an air conditioned and cooled interior from the extreme heat outside is yet another moment of “ahhhhhhhh!” Absolute appreciation for the gift of cool.

So it is for the people of this world with severe myopia! We, who have a corrective lens given to us so we can see, whether that lens is in a frame, on our eye, or surgically implanted within the eye are grateful recipients to this visual correction!! Add to this gift the miraculous removal of a discolored corneal lens that had dulled and added a brownish tint to everything we look at and after the new clear lens is installed, there seems to be angels singing with an internal orchestra playing in my head! Lol!I pray that I never come a time where I take this new sight for granted. This surgery for me is life changing. As one Dr. said, my eyes have returned to seeing colors as I saw them when I was 20. The gradual discoloration of my corneal lens happened over the last 50 years so I just did not know it was happening! Today I see colors in their true natural state of being!

I told Al that when I read about Near Death Experiences, most everyone describes heaven as a place of many colors…beautiful brilliant colors one has never seen before and because of that they are hard to describe.. Today I am in my own little heaven on earth and the angels begin singing in my head every time I see something I have not seen before which is pretty much every object my eyes glance at.

Next Monday I will have surgery on my right eye to get the worst of the two cataracts removed! I could not be more excited! This is, undoubtedly, the best gift I have ever been given!

Today I go in for my post surgery check up and I am going to make Dr. Rhodes understand fully how much his skill as a surgeon has changed my life.

8/18/2020//jjb

Eye can’t believe my eyes!

So, the moment finally arrived. The cataract surgery that was postponed on March 17 due to Pandemic “shut down” rules was finally performed this morning, five months delayed!! I have been extremely nearsighted all of my life, and to add insult to injury, I also developed cataracts in my aging process. As time moved forward, I knew that I would need to have surgery to remove them.

My good fortune is that I was born in a day and age of modern medicine and in a country that could correct my vision issues every step of the way. My first correction came in the form of glasses when I was around 6 years old! I lived in a world full of many minute details that went completely unnoticed by me because my world was one great big blur. I could not see details unless I was literally a foot away from anything. The day I put on my first pair of glasses opened the windows to the world’s details for me with crisp clear imaging. I could not contain my excitement as I pointed at objects I had not seen before, ordinary things like a red stop sign which I now saw had lettering on it and I was excitedly spelling out the letters s-t-o-p to my father on our way home from my eye appointment! That was my first visual miracle because it opened intricate details of the world I had never seen before! My new eyeglasses were my most valued treasure!

The second visual miracle came about when I was in high school the day I purchased my first pair of contact lenses. They were a new advance in visual correction and I was thrilled to be able to expand my vision with something another person could not see on me! They would assume I had natural 20/20 vision.

The day I walked out of the Ophthalmologist office wearing contact lenses, I enjoyed a wide expanse of vision that was no longer confined to my limited view through the lenses within the frames of my eyeglasses. I could not stop smiling over the fact that I could see without glasses resting on my face. With my level of nearsightedness, glasses were heavy and cumbersome, so wearing contacts literally took weight off of my face. No more glasses steaming up when leaving the cold outdoors and entering warm interiors. No more steaming of lenses when lifting a lid off of a boiling pot of water or when peeking into a steamy oven! My second miracle came in the form of eyeglass liberation and with it came full, unimpeded peripheral vision.

This morning I was feeling a little breathless with excitement in anticipation of the cataract surgery ahead. I was going in to have my cataract removed from my left eye which was the less obstructive cataract. The right eye gets done next week! I opted to go with a panoptic lens which allows a person to see three distances, far, intermediate, and near. It is a relatively new procedure, therefore expensive, but Al said “go for it!”. My dear, sweet Al who is always my champion in life. He knows how little I can see without glasses or contacts and he felt I should have the gift of good vision without contacts or glasses at least once in this life. It seems a little reckless at my age to spend so much money on this new type of lens, but he assured me the kids would be more than happy that I took the funds out of their inheritance! Lol!

We were at the surgery center by 6:30 a.m. with actual surgery being done at 8 a.m. The surgery itself only took about 15 minutes and while I was awake for it, I was in a very relaxed state because an i.v. was dripping anti-anxiety medication into my system. I saw the whole surgery from the inside looking out and did not feel a thing as I watched the laser doing its work, followed by bits and pieces of debris from the cataract being lifted out. Then came the lens and I watched them insert it in my eye through numbed up distorted vision. Done! It was SO quick! They wheeled me out into the waiting room where they gave me instructions of what to do and what to expect when I got home and then they wheeled me outside to the car where Al was waiting! This is my third visual miracle!

I am presently wearing a clear vented patch over my left eye and over this patch, I am wearing eyeglasses to offer vision to my Cataract inflicted right eye. Despite the distortion of the glasses to my left eye, I could see an enormous change in light and color! I was so surprised to see what I had not realized before, which was that the cataract had taken away light from my vision and had added a yellowish, brownish hue to everything! Because this cataract developed over a period of many years, I had not noticed the change.

I was beyond thrilled to see the proper color of things again. My amber hued world now only remains in my right eye until a week from now when the larger cataract gets removed! On the way home I kept alternating in closing my right eyelid with my left, one at a time, so I could see the new difference in light and pure color! Each time I saw the difference between two objects I would laugh with sheer joy!

I told Al that I could not wait to see the color we had chosen to paint the outside of our house this past year. When I stepped out of the car, I did my left to right eye blink comparison and laughed again! It was astounding to see how different it looked. The creamy trim on the house of my cataract vision was now a crisp white linen. The darker sand colored paint was now a lighter taupe! I kept chuckling and was filled with anticipation of the inside of our home. We stepped indoors and with my new eye, saw that the interior was filled with lighter, brighter colors, whereas with my cataract eye, it had looked dim and almost dingy! I had just presumed that everything we had repainted a few years ago once again needed new paint! I laughed aloud in pleasure and then went from room to room looking at walls we had painted in the last few years of our update. I stood in the middle of each and every room and just gushed over how lovely it all looked! To think I had picked colors through cataract impaired eyes! I thought they were nice colors before, but now it feels like the house has been repainted in fresher lighter palettes!

I have an appointment to see my Dr. tomorrow in a surgery follow up exam and I am going to have a hard time restraining myself from giving this young man a big hug! That would probably not be a good idea in normal times but especially forbidden in the middle of a Pandemic! Haha! But, I think I love him and I want to tell him so! Al says he loves him too after giving me this new lease on life!

How BLESSED my life has been to have been born in the day and age of modern medicine where new medical techniques are developing all the time! Today is Day One, the same day of surgery and in the midst of all my gratitude I am looking through a clear, vented, plastic eye protector, so haven’t had a chance to experience crystal clear vision yet! Day 2 is bound to be equally exciting in its own way..I highly anticipate laughing a lot tomorrow as well!

If you are hesitating on getting cataracts removed, hesitate NO MORE! You have a miracle waiting just for you!

I will let you know what tomorrow brings! My heart is so full!

8/17/2020

Mr. Positive….

So, Mr. Positive, Mr., “Gee, isn’t life great?” finally hit the quarantine wall this morning when he read about the lockdown being mandated as extended until December 15th. On top of that, people without masks will be fined $500.00, which isn’t an issue for the two of us, who never go anywhere. But, on the rare occasion that we do, we wear our masks. What is getting him down is the ever increasing regulations. Al always has a smile in his voice and a lift in his step, always! Today he has been moping around so I made him a late brunch which he appreciated but was still shuffling around.So now, at my suggestion, we are sitting in our tree swings under our giant oak tree and reading. The chimes above us sound like church bells and we are each sporting a fan to assist in the slight summer breezes we feel today! I hope this lifts him up!I suggested to him that we take a road trip to an area of the country with very few cases of Covid just for a change of scenery, and we may just do that. It all depends on what is happening with the Pandemic at the time! I have to get my cataract surgery behind me over the next few weeks and then we will have our annual physicals that are also scheduled right after the cataract surgery! That brings us to September. Mid September will be our 6 month mark of being shelter in place!There have been many, many blessings during this time…we have accomplished many home projects, read many books, watched many videos, Al has done a lot of fishing, we have relearned the art of cooking and baking, and we have bonded nicely! So what’s the problem? It kind of sounds like paradise doesn’t it?

What is lacking is having a purpose in giving back to the world, serving others, and the sense of having value because we give value! It has been written that “No man is an island” and this is living proof! Happiness doesn’t come from serving oneself. It only comes from serving others!Oooops! He has left the swing! It is a very HOT summer day in central Texas and despite the nifty fans and the lofty over head shade bequeathing tree limbs, the air feels like it is blasting from an inferno when the temps are reading 102 degrees! Even the Cicadas sound tired as they begin their drumroll. As much fun as the swing is, it is just too hot to stay here at this time of day! I think I will go find him and see if he wants to get in the outdoor spa and splash around a bit! I glance up to the old oaks magnificent branching and leaves and whisper goodbye.

I just have to add a post script to this to show how well the Lord listens…..After I posted this I went in search of Al. I found him indoors on the phone talking cheerily to someone! It turns out it was his young high school friend Paxton who called him on a whim. Paxton is a high school senior who Al mentored a couple of years ago through the church. They got on like family immediately and formed a wonderful friendship. Just like Grandpa and Grandson! The mentorship came to a close when that school year ended but they have stayed in touch…at least until Covid came to town! I just can’t believe how perfect this timing was! God is good!

So ends another day in the 2020 Pandemic! The clock is still ticking away as we pray for an end to all of this! Al said he feels much better now than he did this morning. It is amazing what a little loving attention will do for someone!

Amen!

jjb/8/15/2020