Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Photos of Colorado, last year

Chris took us to Red Rock Amphitheater. Lots of climbing stairs, but breathtaking scenery!

This is us before the climb!

Beginning the climb....still climbing....

Seating view from the bottom near the stage....

Still climbing to the top....

View from the top, looking down on the stage.

Overlooking the landscape.

Looking up from the visitor center

We also went hiking @ LairBear Park, walking paths, bike trails, rock climbing.

Also passed a castle on the path.

A running stream followed along the path, too.

Earl decided to climb a rock in the creek.

Hanging out over the creek.

we ate lunch in Morrison outside.

We also tried out Cactus Jack's in downtown Evergreen.  Chuck and Chris came with us, but Chuck got sick the next day.  He had ordered his hamburger med rare, and we think he got food poisoning from it.

While we were there, we attended Allison's music concert @ Colorado State, in Fort Collins, and met her BF, Austin

I really liked Fort Collins...beautiful city with views of the mountains.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Colorado Trip

We had fair weather on our trip out to Colorado, taking two days to get there.  We stopped in Valentine, NE. as a half way point. It had been windy, and rainy off and on across South Dakota, so we were glad to stop.  Nice room @ the Super 8.  We booked reservations for the way back while we were there. We arrived @ Chris & Chuck's about 3:30 pm, with Chris there to greet us, and show us their home.
  View of their driveway, and pond out front, with daily visitors of mule deer.
Duck in Pond

View of back from deck looking out living room window

Chris, Mitch, and Tanner

Their house is beautiful, and spectacular views.  While we were there, it rained, snowed, was warm and sunny, windy, calm...in other words, a little of everything.

Chuck shoveling the deck in shorts after a  snowy morning.

Snow lasted only briefly, then melted.

Kind of pretty with the snow falling.

Earl and I decided to hike @ Three Sisters Park.  The weather was cool, then changed to snowshowers, but we got a good hour of hiking in, even if it was hard to catch your breath in this altitude.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

April Highlights!

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be make known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.           Philippians 4:6-7

The beginning of April began with a day spent with Lorrie, and Alaina to the Clara City spring craft show.
I hadn't been to that craft show in years, I think maybe the last time I went was with Lorrie.
Mostly, we looked at all the crafts, wishing we could afford to buy some well-made things, but
resisting the urge to splurge, and settled on some small things.  Then, we found a cafe in town, and
had lunch, and a caramel latte.  Alaina is in to all kinds of crafts.  I love that she is interested in them.
We looked at a display of wooden frames that had many of the latest names, and Lorrie was trying to
decide what she liked for girl's names, as her baby she is carrying is a girl.  Lorrie looks great, and is feeling great as she carries this little one.
Monday, I met with my retired friends from work.  We try to meet the first monday of each month @ McMillian's.  It's nice to catch up with each other's lives, esp. after the funerals we all attended.

Earl and I found out our hospice patient was admitted to the hospital, so we stopped by and visited her.
Then, Earl was off to a K of C meeting, and I went to the Oakes for Bev Marcus's retirement party from the hospital.  It was a fun time, seeing some of my former co-workers, watching Bev open her gifts, some of them, gag gifts(I made up different gift certificates), and listening to Diane and Becky sing her a song they made up.
I joined a bible study group @ church.  We discuss the Sunday readings each week on wednesdays,  I talked Earl into joining us, too.  We both enjoy it. We also attended the Carmelite meeting in Willmar as we are still considered visitors, til we decide to make a more formal committment.  We went to a Hospice appreciation dinner @ Bethel church, which is always very nice.

Sadly, Ron Cramlet passed away, so I made a supper meal for Sharon and family, and dropped it off  for them after the wake.  He had been sick for a long time, and Earl was his hospice volunteer.  They enjoyed their time spent together.  Also, this month, several teen suicides occurred.  The community has been devastated by them, and have been trying to meet and discuss ways to prevent them.

Warm days finally came in April.  We cleaned out flower beds, raked lawn, and began getting ready for Spring!  We got the deck swept up, and the patio furniture cleaned.  Ah, come spring.  my tulips are coming up too.  Still waiting for the trees to bud out with leaves.  Getting out and walking with the dogs, too.

We visited Ella Mae again, and sadly, found out she died the next day, peacefully.  Earl had taken care of her husband  three years ago, and she had requested him when she got ill.  It was so nice to get to know her.
Easter is upon us, and Earl and I attended Vigil Mass @ St. Mary's, and again, on Easter Sunday, @ Our Lady of the Lakes Mass, where I sang in the choir.  It was awesome!  Earl carried up the Easter candle both @ the vigil, and @ the Mass on Sunday.  Then, since we were not getting together as a family for Easter, we made reservations @ the Oakes, and had dinner there.  Afterwards, we took a long walk with the dogs.
The next day, with a lot of help from Earl, we got the front yard raked, and I gave the dogs a bath.  We saw Jonnie's last concert, where he plays the bass with the fourth grade.

The next day, we left for Colorado to visit Chris, Chuck, and family. the dogs were put in the kennel, and we stayed for a week.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happenings in March!

Friends over for small Superbowl Party!

                                          We attended Alaina's Band Concert.  She plays the cello beautifully with nimble fingers.  I think she likes playing.   

Each time we see her and the class play, they get better and better.  Keep it up, 'Lainie.

We also went to our old church, St. Patrick's for their annual Ham Dinner with Lorrie, Jon, and family.
Always enough food, and we got plenty of ham.  Fr. John, their new priest, enjoyed the day dressed for the occasion.  Only complaint-they always stop the children's games, and face-painting too soon.  The boys didn't get a chance to have their face painted.

Then, just as it warmed a bit, and started melting the snow off the roof, and we could see a little ground, we had a turn in the weater, and got hit with a foot of heavy, wet snow again!!

Please Come, Spring!

Sigh...I may whine about the weather, but I am so blessed with a home, food, clothing.  I say this as I see the photos of Japan, who experienced the strongest earthquake they ever had-8.9, with a devastating tsunami to follow.  10,000 people are missing, and so many have nothing left of their homes.  No electricity, cold, no food, nuclear plants near meltdowns, living in shelters.  Dear God, may we all come together, and give them a helping hand.
March is also Food Shelf Month.  Let us all give enough so none go hungry in this nation, and world.
I've attended two friend's spouses funerals in three weeks, and one friend's retirement party.  I take each day as it comes, and am thankful for what God gives me.  It is good to be here.  May I return His love by reaching out to others around me, and extending that love to all.  And keep my twin granddaughters safe.  They have had their share of accidents-2 concussions, and cut leg, playing their sports. And may everyone stay well...enough with the pneumonia, and strep throats, and influenza.  OK?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Who do we think we are?  Who are we?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?  And why are we here?  What am I suppose to do with my life?
 Lent is a time to reflect on these things...a time to slow down, and quiet oneself.  How did our world get so hectic, and instant messaging related?  It is a time of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.  Fasting for what? For penance, for a hunger to empty ourselves, for discipline to think about others, and not just ourselves.  Prayer for connecting to Our Lord, and Mary, his mother, and all the people who need our prayers and petitions, and Alms for those struggling for the basics, the hungry, the jobless, the less fortunate.  But I feel, we need to do this all year long.  Our needs, and petitions are on-going.  Why did God make us...to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and be happy with him in the next.  I think, sometimes, we forget this....with our hectic schedules, family activities, work, so maybe it is good to have a special time each year-Lent.  Jesus tried to show us when he came down to this earth, how to live, by his actions, and his words.  Listen, and you will hear him speak to you.  He came as a servant, not searching for power, wealth, accolades, ambition, yet we are richer beyond measure by his love for us, and forgiveness of our sins.
 Who are we?  We are the body of Christ, and in so being, a community of sinners, who need to live in peace, love, and service to others.  May we all come to see that in our lives, and make a stand for what is right in God's eyes.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Life of Faith.

Life is a journey, a journey of faith.
 For me, it has been first, an acknowledgement of a higher being, God, and then, an ongoing study of who He is, what He wants me to be, and how to attain a loving relationship with Him.  My journey started when I was conceived.  God formed me in His likeness, and loved me.  My parents, then, believed in the importance of Baptism, and had me blessed with sacramental graces, and wiped clean of original sin as I began my formation in the Catholic faith.  When I was seven, I received the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  I felt so pretty, dressed all in white-white veil, white fancy dress, white shoes and socks.  I processed into church with my whole class, boys and girls alike in white.  I don't think I really understood the meaning of receiving the body and blood of Christ that day, but I knew in my heart, it was something very special, and I wanted to be a part of it. There was a reverence for going up to the altar rail, kneeling down, and opening your mouth to receive the host changed to Christ's body, and drinking the wine, changed to Christ's blood.  I still to this day, feel in awe of receiving the Holy Eucharist, and desire to do it as often as I can.  I also made my First Confession, now called Reconciliation.  I liked the fact that you could go into a darkened confessional, say what you did wrong, and nobody knew it was you, so I thought.  God knew!
I started Catholic school in the third grade, and continued til the eighth grade.  In the fourth grade, I made my Confirmation.  I received the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.  I believe my faith was a gift, given to me by God, and He expected me to carry on in that faith my whole life.  It has always been important to me, a sinner, to try to follow the doctrines of my faith, even when I doubted some of the Church's teachings on birth control.  More about that later.
When I was 21, I received the Sacrament of Matrimony.  "Through sickness, and health, through good times and bad,  I committed myself to this man I chose as my husband.  I found out how challenging life can be, but  I never gave up, and gave in to dispair when things got rough.  I guess you could say, I got tough.  But I didn't do this alone.  I knew I had to rely on God and my faith to get through the bad times...difficult relationships, accidents, sickness, death of loved ones, and He made me stronger.  By the time I had my third child, though, I wanted to have a break from pregnancy.  I talked to a priest about what I could do to prevent another pregnancy, and he said to pray...ask God to help me.  Well, I thought, that wasn't the answer I wanted to hear, but I did pray to God, half-heartedly, now that I think back about it.  I didn't really trust God with this matter.  Sure enough, I got pregnant soon after.  I cried, and cried, felt betrayed by God..didn't He hear my prayers?  This isn't what I wanted now!  But I know realize it never is about what I want, or feel, or desire, it's what God wants and plans for me and all of us.  What seemed devastating at the time, turned out of be a wonderful delightful child, who grew into a glowing, happy woman who I love dearly.
But, at the time, I decided to take birth control matters into my own hands.  In the early seventies, there was a movement in the Church, that started to question Church teachings.  I was part of a Church group, called "Genesis", which met in each others' homes, and explored our feelings about ourselves, and our faith.  From those sessions, I came out of that, that it was OK to not always follow the Church's laws, as long as we followed the doctrines, and decrees of our faith.  So I convinced myself that it was alright to use some form of birth control.  It  was my body, my life,my,my, my.  Where did I fit God in my plans?  Did God want this?
I used a diaphram to block the sperm.  That should be OK.  I objected to the pill, as it caused a chemical change in my body.  I now know it can actually cause a chemical abortion to a fertilized egg.  I joked to others, how God took pity on me, and didn't give me another child for five years, but it was me blocking any chance of another pregnancy.  But God got the last laugh, when He decided to show me who really was in charge, though I didn't get it at the tme, by blessing me with another child, my fifth girl.  She came at a time when we needed a renewal of our marital relationship   My husband got to follow me into the labor room this time, but still couldn't be in the delivery room.  He became more involved in her care as a baby.  We rejoiced in her, and love her spunk, and spirit as a woman's/child's advocate. 
Still, I went back to using the diaphram for five more years.  Then, by the grace of God, he blessed us with a son. This time, my husband was with me throughout the whole labor and delivery process.  In my mistaken ignorance of not following the Church I professed to believe in, I decided that he would be my last one.  Physically, I was exhausted in carrying this child.  I didn't want to be pregnant in my forties.  Again, the selfishness, instead of the trust.  So I had a tubal ligation.  Maybe I deprived my son of a brother?  Who knows.  I realize all life is precious.
God in his mercy has forgiven me. More on my faith in the next blog.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

So how are those goals Going?

Each day is a day that God has given us,
and each moment of that day is in His hands.
Roy Lessin

Physically, I'm feeling great, but am hit and miss on daily exercise, I mean, the kind that goes to the Y, and works out at least 30"daily.  I just can't seem to motivate myself to incorporate it as part of everyday planning.  My eating habits are also hit and miss, most of the time healthy, but those extra sweets keep creeping into my diet, and my weight is not going downward.  So I've decided to follow the South Beach Diet plan for awhile, and see if I can stick with a eating plan that helps me lose some of this weight I'm carrying around.  In phase 1, I'll be cutting out all bread, fruit, and high glycemic foods.  Then, after 2 weeks, in Phase 2, I can slowly add some of these back in, but not all at once.  I'll let you know if this works for me.

Spiritually, Earl and I have been attending Mass almost daily.  We start the morning reading the scripture readings, and the liturgy of the hours.  I find this is a very good way to start the day, helping me to focus on how to live, and thinking of God throughout the day. I have also kept a prayer journal daily, and it helps me focus on what I'm ever thankful for. I belong to the church's choir, and I love it.  I have hymns singing in my head each day..  Our music director makes our practices exciting and lots of fun.  This saturday, I'm driving 5 of us to a Music Ministry workshop, to discover what changes will occur in the Mass this fall.  I'm also trying to increase my devotion to our mother, Mary, by saying the rosary each evening.  There are so many things, and people to pray for.  Earl and I were also invited to visit a parishioner we met @ her home near Belgrade.  So we went there for lunch one day in January.  Her husband was a neurosurgeaon, who passed away, last year, and she lives on a 260 acre place with a hermitage on it, which she runs, with the help of friends.  While serving lunch, we got to know each other, and she explained how she belongs to a lay Discalced Carmelite order, and asked us if we would like to join, too.  We were given the literature on it, and have read it over, and am praying about it.  It is a 3-5 year process, and would help draw us closer to our Lord, and Mary.  We also are getting more involved in church activites.  We both bring communion to the shut-ins @ Glen Oaks assisted living, and independent living facilites, the first Sunday of the month.  I signed up to be a reader, and Earl, a eucharist minister.  I also got involved in the planning of a "Mystery Tour" for our women's group.

Once a week, I volunteer to help a mother of quadruples plus a 4 yr old son, with taking care of the babies, and helping with laundry.  There are 3 boys, and one girl.  It's fun to see them growing, and I enjoy it.

After much debate, we decided not to replace the camper right now, if ever. Gas prices are increasing, we're not comfortable driving with it, and not sure how much we'd use it.  So we got new tires on the Envoy, and are ready to travel in the car.  Last week, after being sick of cold, below freezing temps, record snow falls, and being couped up in the house, we decided to go down to our resort in Spirit Lake, Ia, and enjoy some time away from home.  They had a "retired or not" retreat for four days, so we took part in it.  We met new people, played games, learned new card games, swam, and took the dogs for walks daily,  Nice and relaxing!  Earl has had a yen for Chinese food, so for Valentine's Day, we found a place in Spirit Lake, called Asian Palace, and had a wonderful dinner, and conversation.  My favorite phrase on love is: 

Love always protects, always trusts, always hope,always preserves.
And now three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.  1 Cor 13

As I write this, there is a blizzard blowing outside.  So much for the warm weather we experienced last week.  This week, I am going to the hospital party for one of my co-workers, Bev, as she is retiring.  And sadly, I am also going to the funeral of a dear friend, whose husband died suddenly, last friday. 
Happiness, sadness...isn't that what life can bring at times.  "Each moment of each day is in God's hands."