Author Archives: Busswoman

About Busswoman

I am a woman who has loved the written word all my life. I was an avid reader throughout my childhood and am still hooked on books in my adulthood. Writing has been a hobby for a very long time. Opening a new blog is a new adventure and one I hope will be a positive experience. My goal is to simply have a place to put my thoughts down in an easy format, and if in the process, my words give another person some enjoyment, then it is all the better. In the meantime, I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN! (All rights reserved...content found within may not be used without permission)

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

Gifts and Blessings!

I have been thinking of my Mother a lot this morning, and as I do, I can feel my eyes misting over. How blessed I was to have been given the gift of that particular woman as my Mother and my mentor! I feel lonesome for her company today and I wish so much that we could sit and visit for hours on end as we once did. She and I used to talk about all sorts of topics, family, religion, morals, politics, and also frivolous things like recipes, gardening and decorating. I cannot wait to see her again. Someday we will meet in heaven and when we do, I will put my arms around her to give her one long and loving hug!

From time to time I come across things that have her handwriting, a lot of them book type gifts from her to me where she would mark the year and put my name on it with “From, Mom” at the bottom. Yesterday, I was cleaning out a closet and was setting aside books to donate to the library, when I came across yet another book in which she had inscribed a note to me. When I saw her handwriting, I brushed my hand across the surface of the page on which she had written. It was done in the form of a caress, and as I did this, her image appeared in my mind and she was smiling at me. I wonder if she knew how many times her little gifts would nudge me with a “hello daughter” at a much needed moment in time?

These are such dark times in America where we see evil at work all around us. There are people who are seeking to destroy an ideal that was formulated and put together by our forefathers. The Declaration of Independence was signed 234 years ago by people who envisioned a new world where people would be free to live and work and worship in a free society because they knew, firsthand, the hardship and grief of living in oppression under a tyrannical regime. Many of our ancestors faced fear and persecution and death in the pursuit of this new ideal which was described as a Republic and was represented by a flag. Many lives were lost in pursuit of this dream where they thought man should be able to make his own decisions on how to live, guided by God and laws that would protect all of us.

We have seen the moral decay taking place in our country for many decades and have allowed many uncomfortable changes in the name of “inclusion”. We became “politically correct”, not wanting to upset any of the special interest groups. Our lives were comfortable and many of us attended church on Sundays and prayed for the world but we were insulated from the reality of evil and danger that has existed in so much of the worlds societies. Our country has been under assault for a long time, but we were not aware of this because it was happening underground, out of our sight.

But, now, it has become a horrifying visual as we watch our cities being destroyed, looted and burned. We watch as churches are closed down and we are asked to comply. We are having our protectors in the name of the police departments disbanded and degraded. We see people hurting each other and yelling profanities in one place while our rights are being taken away bit by bit in another place. We see Bible burnings and flag burnings! How is it possible that so much hate could exist in a country that was founded “under God”?

Daily, I read about what is happening politically and it just takes my breath away, so much so, that I go in search of Gods word and promises. Is this the end times? Will Jesus be making an appearance? Many Pastors are talking more and more about end times which also makes me take pause, PRAY, and take note of my belief system. As a country we have to go back and remember that this country was deliberately formed as one nation under God! I wonder what my Mother would say if she could see what is happening and I can imagine her and I talking about it long into the night.

The Pledge of Allegiancee needs to be put back into the schools so our children learn to love and respect our country once again. Prayer needs to be encouraged in schools as well, each student praying in their own way. They were in place when I was in school. When did they go away?

I believe that there is life after this life, and it is a much better life than we can even imagine. It is a place where evil does not exist. There will be no more sickness, pain, hurt, or fear. We will all be in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. There will be celebration and joy and singing. We will be surrounded by angels and loved ones who departed this earth long ago. We will be standing among other Christians and we will understand that we did not buy the ticket that got us there. The golden ticket to heaven was bought and paid for by God himself in the name and form of His chosen Son. Heaven is our gift from our Heavenly Father. How much better proof could He give us of His love for his creation, which includes each and every one of us?

He knew us before we were even in existence. You and I are not some quirk of nature. We were planned and created by God in his own image. If you are walking around this earth right now, you can rest happy in the knowledge that God chose YOU to partake in His Kingdom one day and all you have to do is say “I accept your gift, and I thank you!”

I like to imagine my Mother there in heaven. She and I used to debate the idea of when do we go to heaven? Is judgement right away after we draw our last breath, or is it when Jesus comes back? My Mother said, “Well I believe that it is one and the same, because when we die, it will be like going to sleep at night where you lose all sense of time. When you wake up in the morning it seems as if no time has passed at all because we were not conscious of the time that passed during our slumber.”. We talked of her death and mine too, and how and when we would meet again. She said to me, “We will meet again, of this I am sure! When I die, do not feel badly because ‘I will see you in the morning'”. Oh how I loved that visual being presented to me. Even now as I imagine her slumbering, I know that when God returns, she will rise up, and at some point our eyes will meet and she will greet me with “Good morning dear daughter. I had such a good sleep! I hope you slept well too!”

“Anita…Mother….I miss you so much, but what makes this separation bearable is knowing that we will see each other again under much better circumstances and in much better company!” I am glad you are not here to see what is happening in our world. You would feel so badly, knowing that your father and my father risked their lives when they fought to protect this countries freedoms!

I pat your written name one more time and then close the book. The first prayer you ever taught me goes through my head.

“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, Amen!”

I’ll see you in the morning! I hope you are having a well deserved rest!

jjb/8/12/2020

We are all in line!

August 4th, 2020

  

Every minute someone leaves this world behind. 

We are all in “the line” without knowing it. 

We never know how many people are before us. 

We cannot move to the back of the line. 

We cannot step out of the line. 

We cannot avoid the line. 

So while we wait in line – 

Make moments count. 

Make priorities. 

Make the time. 

Make your gifts known. 

Make a nobody feel like a somebody. 

Make your voice heard. 

Make the small things big. 

Make someone smile. 

Make the change. 

Make up. 

Make peace. 

Make sure to tell your people they are loved. 

Make sure to have no regrets. 

Make sure you are ready. 

Make sure you forgive. 

Make sure you help others. 

Make sure you are mindful. 

Make sure your compassion is bigger than your ego. 

Make sure you live a happy and fulfilling life. 

Love more Give more

Author unknown. 

Here’s looking at you kid!z

Recently, we brought our mantle clock into a clock shop for repair. Afterwards, we both went into a bit of withdrawal, not having our clock on our mantle for us to check the time. We had not realized how many times we glanced at that particular clock throughout the day! So, in our frustration, we attempted to order a cheap clock to temporarily replace the mantle clock and each one we received just did not have not large enough numbers or numbers well defined enough for viewing for “yours truly” who had her cataract surgery delayed when covid came to town.

After ordering at least 4 different clocks “on the cheap” as a temporary replacement for our mantle clock, (and returning them because of lack of ability to see them) we finally settled on this one. What a joy to be able to look up at the clock and SEE the time easily! Old habits die hard, and even though our phones and ipad and computer display the time, our eyes have long been trained to look at our mantle clock more times a day than we realized. The clock repair man said it would be several months before our old mantle clock would be ready for pick up due to a long list of customers ahead of us! Yay for the clock repair shop’s success in the days of covid. We don’t mind waiting and we are glad for him that he has a strong small business going on.

It was over 4 months ago when I had my final eye measurement appointment in preparation for my cataract surgery. I was nervously excited about the prospect of having a surgery that would give to me the 20/20 vision I was not born with! On that March day, the eye tech went through the many tests and measurements required and then said “O.K. the Dr. will be in in just a minute”. As I sat there I could feel butterflies in my stomach as I nervously anticipated the next step.

When he entered the room, he sat down on his chair and said “We’ve been shut down!” I said “Excuse me?”…He repeated what he said and then went on to explain it was a new ruling by the governor because of covid. He had just heard the news himself and was still trying to digest it. I felt more sad for him than myself. So, I went home with glasses on my face to wait until the next possible time for surgery. It is now the third week in July.

I have always had very poor vision, and I still remember feeling a sense of amazement followed immediately by gratitude on the first day I received my glasses when I was around 6 or 7 years old. Once they were placed on my face, I could actually see the world with crystal clear precision! I was very young and my new improved sight was all thanks to my teacher alerting the school nurse who in turn alerted my parents that I had a vision deficit. My parents immediately took me in to the Optometrist in town.

After a series of tests, the Dr. wrote a prescription for glasses. When I finally got them and put them on, I was in slack jawed awe. I just could not believe my eyes! What was lost was now found in the way of the visual details of our world. All the way home I kept exclaiming in amazement at what I could see. For the first time, I could see the word STOP on the stop sign, so I excitedly spelled the word out to my Dad! I could now see that trees were not a solid mass of green, but actually consisted of many different leaves and branches. I saw a couple of deer sprint into the woods along the roadside where previously I would not have even noticed them. At school, for the first time in my life, I could read the blackboard all the way from my desk! Earlier times I would stay in at recess so I could copy an assignment off of the blackboard. On the way home that day, I could not stop chattering about all that I could now see! It was a miracle.

Through the years, medicine advanced and once in high school, I was fitted with contact lenses. Another miracle! No more heavy framed glasses for me!

Here I am now, so many years later and I am going to be having surgery for my cataracts and will have the latest internal contact lenses on the market which will give me multifocal lenses. I will be able to see close up, middle distance and far away. I will donate my glasses to the Lions club for some poor soul who has vision deficit like I had and who will be as thrilled with their new corrected eyesight as I was when I got my first pair of glasses. It is a nice gift to give to someone! Pass the blessings along.

For my part, I anticipate when I will be able to open my eyes in the morning and for the very first time, be able to see my surroundings with great definition! To say I am excited would be an understatement.

I called my Ophthalmologist to see if they were open for surgery yet, and they are! My appointment is in two weeks for remeasuring,with surgery soon thereafter. I hope this will all work out this time!

For now, as I sit here, I look at our cheap replacement clock and feel gratitude that I can even see it with my glasses. Yup! Large numbers easily seen despite the cataract! I am so glad I live in the modern western world where we have so much available to us medically. Had I been born in an African outback, I would most probably have been eaten by a wild animal by now while wandering about, and I would never have seen it’s approach!

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes and some of my greatest blessings have been teachers and school nurses and caring parents and good eye Drs, and those wonderful, creative people who figured out how to bring good vision to myopic people. There are so many people to be grateful for in the correction of my eyesight and some will remain nameless to me. Nevertheless, my heart is full of gratitude!

Thank you God for handing out so much talent to so many different people. we do need each other to feel whole on this earth!

Amen!

jjb/7/23/2020

129 Days – Saturday July 18, 2020

Lately, our days roll by without much fanfare. We are living our days out in the heat of summer here in central Texas, but it’s nothing that a bit of shade and an icy beverage can’t make a little more comfortable. Sheltering in place makes the pandemic seem far away from here, even though I have read the headlines declaring that Texas has become inundated with cases. It’s just that WE are not “out there” in the world at all, so unless I keep tabs on the news, we are more or less off the information grid, and I keep my reading to a minimum for the sake of peace of mind. There is nothing I can do about what is happening out there right now, so we focus on keeping busy here at home.

We have our routine down pat now as Al rises with the morning doves and I go to bed to the sounds of our old hooty owl sitting on our chimney. Because Al gets up so early, he also goes to bed early. The opposite is true for me. My burning the midnight oil, as it were, causes me to sleep later in the morning. It is a good system because it allows personal individual time for each of us to do whatever strikes our fancy.

Yesterday, I slept in very late because when I awoke earlier in the morning, I was coming out of a very comforting dream and I decided to roll over to see if I could catch more of the dream! I did! I had to smile to myself upon waking for the second time when I realized that I did not have to socially distance from anyone in my dream. There we all were, laughing and hugging each other and enjoying the love we felt! It felt wonderful to be sitting in close proximity to loved ones again which is why I rolled over to try and recapture the dream!

Al and I made a hearty breakfast this morning and carried it outside to enjoy on our porch with a hot cup of coffee. As we drank and ate, we visited with each other and I told him that despite what we know of the pandemic, the riots, and politics, (all joy stealers), I felt that this “time out” from the rest of the world was almost like a Godly gift to us. Not since I was a child have I ever had so much free time to commune with nature and God! There is no peace more comforting than this kind of peace.

I wonder, not for the first time, what the future will bring. I wonder how long it will be before we are free to spend time with other people in close proximity again. I think of our theater season tickets languishing in a dresser drawer. I think about our family in the north country and wonder how long it will be before we see them again. I think about my husband and sons cancelling their July fishing trip this year to Alaska and wonder if that will be possible even by next year on the same date? Will anyone be safe enough to travel anywhere by plane by then? I wonder about Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays coming up and if we will have to celebrate all of those in a solitary fashion as we did with Easter.

Truth be told, there is no more effective jailer for old people than a pandemic and we are all living with the consequences of the virus escaping far across the world. The world isn’t so large anymore with modern travel in airplanes, and before this pandemic is even over, scientists are already predicting another Pandemic in the not so far off future. Will we be better prepared next time?

Those are a lot of deep questions for a Saturday morning with no real answers. So I refocus my mind to what is in the here and now. Al’s hair needs a minor trim and I wonder if he will trust me to do it? My rose bush needs trimming too and some spraying to ward off insects. My newly planted Crepe Myrtle trees need a bit of water. Our grass needs mowing. The bird bath and fountains need filling. My boxwoods could use a little trim too and the flowers need some attention. The shade and the breeze are lovely. I can hear the squeak of brakes as the mailman stops and drops off our mail, so I think I shall go on up the driveway to retrieve it. I also have a very good book waiting for me to pick up and continue on with the story!

It’s the little things in life that keep us content and happy! The little things give us a a sense of routine and security, and allow us to focus on the things we can control, or at least, give us the impression that we even have control. Control is just an illusion and it is within this illusion we feel safe! So, safety then is also an illusion!

As all of these little things are beckoning to me, so is Al. He says he wants to go for a drive in the countryside, which sounds good to me! I tell all my “little things” that they will have to wait for me now because I have a very important date I need to prepare for! We might even sit on the bank of a river and tickle our toes with cool rushing waters! We will go where the spirit leads us, and our spirits never steer us wrong!

And so it goes with life in the days of Covid-19. We are grateful we are still here and still healthy. Sooner or later life will return to what it once was, (or maybe it won’t), but I wonder now if we will really want back all that we once had and did? Maybe to “be still” is the best gift of all?

jjb/7/18/2020

Tasha

So, during this time of shelter in place in the days of Covid-19, we are now half way through our 4th month of not going anywhere and seeing very, very few people (occasionally we see our Austin son and his fiancée at a proper 6 foot distancing measure). It always gives my heart a lift to just see his face and spend time in his presence. Despite our hearts pining for friendships from times past, and a hug here or there, we have managed to fill our days with home projects, gardening, planting and purging of things we no longer use. The key to successful confinement is changing up the routine from day to day. Keep busy and keep it interesting.

This has been an experience unlike any we have ever had before. We have unlimited time to do anything we want, within the confines of our home and our small urban lot. At first it was almost daunting, trying to figure out how to live life hidden away from the rest of the world. Despite living near a big city, we are as isolated as Laura Ingles Wilder ever was, and probably more so, because she at least could talk to their neighbors and mingle with the townsfolk and go to school. Even in the days of TB sanitariums, the patients at least had different nurses and Drs and could have occasional visitors, so, this isolation has had its challenges. However, once we got into the rhythm of our new life we began to explore the world through books, internet, documentaries and movies.

In many ways, it has a actually been a very freeing experience.

We are free to go to bed when we like, get up when we want, eat when and what we want, dress how we want, (or not) and shower as much or as little as our partner encourages! HaHa!

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching a number of documentaries and this most recent one about the life of Tasha Tudor was especially fun. She was an illustrator and an author of world wide reknown. She was born into a wealthy family, but even in her childhood, as well as on into her adulthood, she lived in unusual circumstances. She eventually grew up, married and had children.

In her adult life she chose to live an existence that replicated a time gone by, about a century precious to the one she was born into. She was purposely without modern conveniences, and spent time making her own clothes from the wool of sheep she kept on her farm.

The documentary on Amazon Prime “Take Joy” The Magical world of Tasha Tudor’ is an enjoyable experience where the visuals are filled with scenes of time gone by. Following, are some photos from her website for you to enjoy. Imagine living there…in this time and this place! The movie is not long (about 45 minutes) so after the movie I wanted to know more about her and began to search on the internet. To say she was eccentric would be an understatement, but she is also delightful to watch and listen to. You almost forget which century is being filmed as you watch the movie.

Anyway, enjoy these photos from Corgi Cottage in Vermont. I am just SO sorry I did not know about her and her farm when we went to see the Von Trapp Lodge which is also in Vermont. However these photos give us a little taste! If you are ever going to go to Vermont, give them a call and reserve tickets for a garden tour! It will be like a step back in time!

When you go in search of Tasha Tudor, you will recognize many of her illustrations in books from your children’s and your own growing up years.

Enjoy!

jjb/7/16/2020

Summertime

It is a glorious day here in the hill country of central Texas. There is a lovely soft breeze, low humidity (which is key to comfort in the southern heat) and lots and lots of shade from many trees and tall hedges across our property. Shade is nature’s antithesis to the Texas sun. it is amazing how much of a temperature variance there is from sun to shade! It feels like a 20 degree drop between sun to shade and is pure pleasure!

We have been outside this morning enjoying this stretch of mild weather in the middle of July. (Mild, meaning 94 degrees by late afternoon) but again, dry and breezy. Al has his smoker cooking up some ribs and trout while I am watering some newer plantings that have been stressed by the midsummer heat! I can hear the cicadas clattering in the distance and birds are flittering around, occasionally dipping into the fountains and bird baths available to them. My heart is full.

As I look around our property and as I water my plants, my mind wanders and I find myself remembering times in our early marriage when we had very little in the way of material goods. I also remember times when we had a whole lot more than we could ever have imagined possible.. Due to Al’s career moves, we have moved a lot and have lived in many types and styles of homes…Nine in all! We have lived in small, medium and large homes, each one serving the perfect purpose for that time and that place. For the last 23 years we have been settled into a modest, one story home which was exactly what we wanted all those years ago and it still feels just right. We wanted an “empty nest” home where the kids could come and visit, but where we did not feel overwhelmed with too much unused, wasted space in between their visits. It was a good call!

We love and enjoy our property because we have invested a LOT of time and physical effort in pulling it together. I saw it all in my minds eye all those years ago and through the years the vision grew into reality! It has been so rewarding for us to create and my hands show the wear and tear! But, you know what? I don’t care a bit! It must be the pioneer blood running in my veins that urges me to dig and plant. I always feel close to God when I am out here and I often tell God that I sure hope a garden shed full of tools comes with my mansion in the sky! I will not be serving tea to my heavenly guests, UNLESS, it is served in my ever evolving garden! Amen to that!

These are such crazy times…political unrest like none I have ever witnessed before! I just hate the nasty vitriolic discourse between the political parties and how that has infected our relationships! It saddens me to see protests hijacked into riots, and the covid 19 pandemic that has forced us to stay home and socially isolate for 4 months and counting! Who wouldn’t feel crazy by now?

Fortunately, we are holding our own! We have our very private property which sits inside private hedges where we can wander around in our nightshirts if we should so choose, because no one can see us anyway. This morning, I told Al that I almost feel like we have been gifted a very expensive retreat where we can lounge around in our pajamas, read countless books, watch endless movies, splash about in the spa, plant, water and barbecue to our hearts content. Devotions and prayer are in the mornings over coffee, and fortunately we enjoy each other’s companionship.

I am not so sure how we will feel if we are still in lockdown at Thanksgiving which will then total 8 months, but will have to take each day as it comes. No point in worrying about any of it!

Today is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good!

Thy will be done!

Amen

jjb/7/15/2020