Monday, July 30, 2007

If your right-click on the download link, and choose 'open in new tab or window'
you won't be taken away from today's blog entry!

Our daughter Dezrae is out for a visit so I won't be putting up another entry for a few days or sooooo..... will be back next time with pics etc!

Just on the chance you have summer company (who doesn't?) and you are, like me, a KFC lover, you need to get on over to the KFC website and scoop some of the online coupons! Just click here to save some money!

I made the Kraft Margarita Pie on Friday. It turned out awesome. Tastes like a lemon lime creamsicle in a pretzel crust. Miles had a hard time wrapping his mind around the pretzel crust, but he got over it. It wasn't the flavor he had a problem with, it was the very thought of it being pretzels. But the salt actually complemented the filling, perfeclty. I'd make it again, though the price of Sweetened Condensed Milk near set my gorgeous husband on his behind!


Still in summer mode, drying fruit and spices, baking, baking myself at the beach. I'm even swimming some laps. I don't like to put my face in the water - never have. Miles would gladly teach me, but I'm not ready just yet, and really, it has not been a problem yet, unless a boat goes by and swamps me. Then, it seems I just open my mouth to get a gulp of air, and I wind up filled with water!

I'm getting my own process for drying and preparing herbs down to a fine science. I've set up a system where I can dry the herbs on cookie sheets lined with paper towels. I put a light screen overtop and leave them out on the patio for a few days. Luckily we have almost no humidity here, so they dry out quickly. When they are completely juiceless, I bring them into the house, where I grind small batches up using an electric coffee grinder we picked up at a yard sale for $1... no kidding, works like a charm.

Now another thing I learned is that the grinder must be cleaned out between different spices, so that the flavors don't mix. So, I don't even know where I exactly learned this, or perhaps I just guessed it - I take a small bit of bread and grind it after each spice. It cleans out the grinder nicely, and removes most of the scent of the previous spice. Bonus, I put the spiced breadcrumbs into a bowl and use it in recipes! I have been using a regular piece of bread, but I suspect crackers or even some dried crumbs would be better so they're not moist. Had some of our basil on mini pizzas, its wonderful.


first 'air mail' stamps

We have some homing pigeons fly over our place every day. They're quite amazing, really. I can remember the first few times I heard them go over, sort of a loud "foo,foo,foo!" sound of their wings cutting through the air. Generally, we see about a dozen, but at times there have been smaller groupings, as low as perhaps five or six. They fly incredibly fast - so fast that sometimes I've just caught the sound of them going over, and have been too late to actually see them. I guess it took just several hundred times of them passing overhead for me to wonder about them! My friend and I were out biking recently and discovered the house they call home, its about a kilometer south of us. So the following is what I learned doing research about these amazing fowl!

Homing Pigeons are a sort of tamed Rock Pigeons which have been selectively bred to fly over long distances. Homing Pigeons are called 'homing' because they always return back to their mate or 'homing' place. Their average speed to fly (reasonable distances) is about 30 miles per hour, but they can do bursts of speed up to 60 miles per hour!
Homing Pigeons can be, and have been, used to carry messages, written on thin paper placed in a small tube affixed to one leg. This is actually called Pigeon Post.

No one is EXACTLY sure how these birds navigate, though there are several theories out there.

Messenger Pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad and later yet, by Genghis Khan. In 1860, Paul Reuter - who later founded Reuter's Press agency, used a fleet of 45 Homing Pigeons to deliver news and stock prices between Brussels and Aachen. The result of the Battle of Waterloo was delivered by a Pigeon to England. One of the first, possibly THE first regular air mail service was Mr. Howie's Pigeon-Post service. The service was between the Aukland, New Zealand suburb of Newton to Great Barrier Island, starting in 1896. For sure, the first the first 'airmail stamps' in the world were issued for the Great Barrier Pigeon-Gram from 1898 to 1908.

Homing Pigeons were used extensively in wars, to carry messages back and forth. Even up to the 21st century, these birds were used by police in India in remote areas in cases of natural disasters.

Remarkable, no? Every time I see them fly over now, I have a renewed appreciation for these astonishing birds.


what is this? any guesses?

Miles took me to yardsales on Saturday. There were a good number of them, and the first three we went to were very good! I think we spent less than $15 but came away with a good number treasures. One item in particular which was unique and intriguing were three very large pinecones. We think they must be from a giant Sequoia tree, because the lady who sold them to us said they originally came from California. These pinecones are at least 8 -10 inches high, and must be 6-8 inches wide! The cones weigh several pounds each and the bristles are heavy - like a carved wood even, and the seeds within are big too. We think they'll make good decorations and wonderful conversation pieces.

I also got a new hummingbird feeder. Oh, we used to have one, but it developed a crack and would leak fluid and started attracting wasps, so we got rid of it. I wanted to be patient and trust that I would find another, and I did for a whole .50 cents. Its actually a pretty one, with a large clear globe to hold the sweet feed inside. Within 1/2 hour of hanging it, we had hummers! Yesterday I witnessed a standoff between two of them, one a teensy tiny guy, the other a larger, more showy one. The little one won out, with the larger guy sitting it out on a nearby telephone wire waiting it out till the first one had it's fill.

and this?

The Case of the Buzzing Bathtub

The bath was poured. She was looking forward to some time to soak away the remnants of sleep, to revel in the warmth and moisture - to submerge in the fragrance of her new orange blossom bath salts, and read a few chapters of a novel she'd been enjoying. Hanging her pajamas on the back of the bathroom door and tying her hair into a ponytail atop her head, she proceeded to the tub and readied her toe to break the still surface. Just a few inches short of the water, she pauses, cocks her head to the side, and listens.

The bathtub is buzzing!

How odd! She listens carefully, trying to determine exactly where the sound is emerging from. Her first thought is that she's accidentally switched on the electric heating - it has happened in the past, as the switch looks just the same as the light switch. No, thats not it. Could it be a pipe, humming? She turns the water on again and listens more. No, the sound does not change no matter what the water flow is. Well, at this point she makes a decision she'd best not chance getting in - what if it were something electrical? I mean she did want the bath to wake her up, but thats too extreme!

So she calls to her husband and he comes for a listen. Hmmm..... he goes over exactly the steps she did, plus he checks downstairs at the hot water tank etc. It's a genuine mystery... so we call our friend, who comes over. He too, listens, follows the same steps, and considers whether it might be the pump for the septic system. Then, he decides to check out the tub again. On a whim, he presses on the silver, bell-shaped plug - and the sound quits!

It appears the plug was not pressed down fully, so water was escaping in a small steady stream, and creating a vibration as it went. LOL!

Baths cold now. She begins again, fully awake. (of course, the she... is me!)


How's your summer going? Are you vacationing, or staying home. Do you have company? I hope you all are taking some time 'away from the world'. No matter if you are physically going somewhere or not, we all need some quiet time, and summer's a hard time to do that - unless you have a cabin in the woods or something like this. Being with people is nice, but if you're married we need time to connect with our spouses as well. Are you setting the best portion of your time and energy aside for your spouse? Remember, your guests should be entertained on the overflow of time spent with your loved one. If things aren't good between you, how can you have a quality visit with other folks? The calibre of the visit with others will be in direct proportion to your marital relationship with your husband at that time. Unless we keep clear perspective on what's most important sometimes we try to do things backwards, and thats a sure recipe for failure!

I was reading a passage in the bible recently and came across this scripture:

Deuteronomy 24:5

"If a man has recently married,

he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him.

For one year he is to be free to stay at home

and bring happiness to the wife he has married."

Now, this got me thinking - this time was not given to a man AFTER he'd been married for years - when he'd been retired. This time was given at the BEGINNING of the marriage. I believe this time was given to create a deep bond between the husband and wife, but also as an example for the couple to learn to invest time into their relationship, to set the habit, so to speak. Being this year came for a recently married couple, it was like a reward, a honeymoon, a vacation and would cause us to value setting time aside to connect. Its funny when you think of it. I'm sure that the lesson was not to be 'spend the first year together all the time, then for the rest of your married years do your own things, and be together' no, I'm sure it was to train us to value and treasure the time we spend with the one we pledged our lives to. And it stands to reason, if you're not spending time together, you aren't spending time in the word together - and God's the biggest part of our relationships. Your marriage to your spouse can only be a measure against your relationship with God. We must work for our marriages to reflect our relationship with our Creator.

I receive a Christian Newsletter by Jim Burns from and the last installment is about marriage. Jim lists 5 roadblocks to spiritual intimacy in our marriages, and they are as follows:

  • busyness

  • low level anger

  • lack of forgiveness

  • lack of respect

  • spiritual warfare

The article is thought provoking and insightful - isn't your marriage worth the investment to read this and choose an area to work on? You might want to go to and sign up for the newsletter - or if you find the site a bit confusing to find this particular one, just email me at and I will forward one to you!

Also, I published this passage about a month ago - but I think I will publish it again here, today, as a reminder of how we can work to make our marriages the best way we can be (this, by the way only takes ONE - if you decide to follow the following list you should see some sorts of results... often its when we let go of our EXPECTATIONS that a difference is made) This passage comes from Love Life for Every Married Couple, by Ed Wheat, MD

NINE WAYS TO EDIFY (your spouse)

1. Make the irrevocable decision to never again be critical of your partner in word, thought or deed. This may sound like an impossibility, but it is not. It is simply a decision backed up by action until it becomes a habit you would not change if you could.

2. Study your partner. Become sensetive to the areas where your partner feels a lack and think of ways to build up your partner in those areas particularly.

3. Think every day of positive qualities and behaviour patterns you admire and appreciate in your mate.

4. Consistently verbalize praise and appreciation for your partner. Be genuine, be specific, be generous. You edify with the spoken word.

5. Recognize your partner's talents, abilities and accomplishments. Communicate your respect for the work he or she does.

6. Husband, show your wife publicly and privately how precious she is to you. And do not express admiration for another woman. This is never edifying to your wife. Keep your attention focuse on her!

7. Wife, show your husband that he is the most important person in your life - always. Seek his opinions and value his judgement.

8. Respond to each other physically and facially. The face is the most distinctive and expressive part of a person. Your mate wants to see you smile, eyes sparkling in response to him or her.

9. Always eshibit the greatest courtesy to each other. You should be VIP's in your own home!

and this!

Today in History:

1784 - French writer Denis Diderot died after eating an apricot his wife had warned him not to eat. His final words were "How in the devil can it hurt me?" Diderot was one of the foremost writers of the 18th-century "Age of Enlightenment".

1845 - The saxophone, invented by the Belgian musical instrument maker Adolf Sax five years earlier, was officially introduced into the military bands of the French Army on this date.

1898 - The first magazine automobile ad was printed in "Scientific American". The Winton Motor Car Company from Cleveland, Ohio, asked people to "dispense with a horse".

1932 - In Los Angeles, California, the Olympic Games opened. In 1984, the Games would again grace Los Angeles, the same venues of the Los Angeles Coliseum.

1937 - Organized today was the American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) as part of the American Federation of Labor. The union was open to all radio performers except musicians. Later the union would become The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to include television people.

1942 - On Victor Records, Frank Sinatra recorded his last of 90 recordings with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. His last song was "There are Such Things", which would reach number one in January of 1943. For the rest of his career Sinatra recorded on Columbia Records as a solo singer.

1942 - Legislation signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt created the WAVES. The participants of the Women's Auxiliary Voluntary Emergency Service were a part of of the United States Navy.

1956 - 11-year old singer Brenda Lee, from Lithonia, Georgia, recorded her first hit song for Decca Records; "Jambalaya" and "Bigelow 6-500". As Brenda Mae Tarpley she had been professionally singing since age six. She would record 29 hit songs in the 1960s and become a successful country singer in 1971. Brenda Lee racked up a pair of number one songs with "I'm Sorry" and "I Want to be Wanted". During her career, she recorded a dozen hits to reach the top 10.

1956 - The motto "In God We Trust" was adopted as the United States national motto by President Dwight Eisenhower. The phrase, originally printed on US coins during the Civil War, was adopted as the national motto in part as a response to the growing influence of the Soviet Union around the world.

1975 - Former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa (real name was James R. Hoffa) disappeared outside a restaurant near Detroit, Michigan. Seven years later Hoffa was declared officially dead. He was imprisoned in the 1960s for mail fraud and embezzlement of funds, but his prison sentence was commuted by then President Richard Nixon. Hoffa began labor organizing in 1930.

1976 - The International Olympic Committee announced that three athletes were ejected from the 21st Olympiad games for using anabolic steroids, which were used for illegally building muscles.


Need Instructions - Got Instructions to Share?

Very cool website! Instructables - step by step instructions. Share what you make and how others can make it!


Friday, July 27, 2007

if you right click and open the download link in a new
browser window, you'll still be able to read today's blog entry
while downloading the element at the same time!

Believe it or not, today's element was inspired by some glass tiles I came across in our local DQ. Right, my mind does not rest at any time - LOL, and luckily Miles encourages all my crazy ideas!

Kinda dropped off the map for a bit there! Well, its summer, and I'm promising this will be happening a lot. The past three days have been a blur of activity for me.

I've had two days with my friend ridding the neighborhood of Puncture Vines and other icky weeds. We managed to fill a big green trash bag (compacted) with the nasty vines and some burrs and even a bit of trash. I got brown from the sun and I got stung by a wasp, who was hiding an entire nest inside a discarded, folded piece of weatherbeaten paper. I don't know who was more surprised, him or me!

choke cherries

I've also been putting up some fruit. My friend located a source for beautiful choke cherries, so we made a date and spent a wonderful morning together picking. It awakened so many memories of childhood summers. As kids, we used to pick fruit for my Grandmother - I think she paid us something like 50 cents for each pail. I also remembered her cooking up all sorts of delicious jams and jellies on an outdoor wood stove - and how we enjoyed those same jams and jellies later during the year.

Miles and I were blessed with a bag of juicy, fresh apricots - a gift from his hairdresser. She works from home and I'd noticed a tree in the back, loaded, with fruit thick on the ground, going to waste. Turns out neither she nor her family eats them, so she welcomed us to pick!

I've not been so energetic as to turn it all into jams and jellies just yet, rather I've cooked all the fruits down and then strained them into containers for the freezer. I'll turn them into 'something' when the cold weather sets in. Worry 'bout that all later.

okanagan apricots, sun-drying

I've also been drying some apricots as well. I have an electric food dehydrator, so I simply removed the racks from it and loaded them up. I stuck them out on a table in the hot sun - and now we're mere days away from enjoying. There's nothing like our fresh Okanagan fruit!
How nice to be home this summer, to enjoy it.

Miles and I saw a recipe in a kraft magazine we thought we would like to try - so I made a list for him (he does most of our shopping - I love it!) Well, he came home two items short. Actually he came home with two wrong ingredients because he substituted what he could find for the two he could not find. First of all, the recipe called for a package of unsweetened Lemon Lime Koolaid. He brought home Lemon Lime Jello Jelly Powder. This after consulting with a cashier who spent 1/2 hour with him? The recipe also called for Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk. He came home with Pacific Evaportated Milk - this after spending quite a bit of time with a guy clerk... sigh. Oh well, the pie will still happen as he made another trip a few days later and got the real things.

In the meantime, as we were hankering for something sweet and cooling, I created a three layered concoction out of ice-cream, fruit juice concentrate and whipped evaporated milk with red jello jelly powder. I froze it in layers, in a glass corning dish, lined with parchment paper. Later, I sliced it and rolled the slices in toasted, crushed pine nuts and topped with fresh sliced nectarines. It was delicious, if I must say myself. So I don't really have a recipe to share with you for this dessert, but you can find the original recipe from Kraft for Key Lime Margarita Pie Miles and I hoped to make by clicking here

And you might also enjoy the FREE little online summer e-cookbook (pdf format) Kraft has for you too! Just click here

And speaking of ice cream, whats your favorite flavor? I think mine has to be plain old vanilla - but a good fresh, french vanilla. I also love anything coconut or butter pecan like. Seems like there are more and more flavors 'out there' every time I look. It makes it so hard - do I stick with my good 'ol vanilla because I love it so much, or go bold and take a chance on some wild new thing. I can just imagine the taste testers sitting around for some of the whacky flavors. And speaking of whacky flavors, I came across a website the other day which lists 100 really crazy (frightening) flavors... you will have to let me know which ones appealed to you. You will be able to choose from some flavors such as squid, fried eggplant, eel, chicken wing, cactus, lettuce and tomato, pit viper, spring water and fried pork rind ice cream... just click here

Ok, so now that I've completely grossed you out (saved you a few lb?) LOL... I should provide something nice to offset that last bit. So I'll point you to a gracious article from NPR about a guy who gives ice cream away - for free.

Allen stops at nearly all the nation's large music festivals, where he has given away thousands of ice creams to the people backstage. He can do this thanks to sponsors such as Levi's and the music group the White Stripes, who pay him to display their logos and play their music.

To hear the full article, just click here

my CIS from the North (in her purdy new skirt!)


frame - ksds_fancyfreefreebie

all other papers and elements from TCO (Poppy Kit)

I've even found a bit of time, between baking and processing fruit, reading, swimming and weeding to do a layout. Sometimes I feel scared I will have forgotten how - and I get so busy blogging and making elements I think I won't remember how to pull it all together. But I was inspired to make a layout for my friend (my Cistah from the North) who entertains me with her wonderful blog, daily. I pulled the photos and journalling from her blog entries and surprized her with it and she says its a-ok for me to share with you. You can visit her blog (packed full of great recipes and photos and info on a plethora of flora and fauna from her area!) Just click here

With this, I will leave off, leaving you with some history facts and a neat site which will answer all your burning questions about old superstitions! Hope you are all having a great summer! I'll pop in now and then with more goodies and news!

Today in History:

1054 - Siward of Northumbria and Malcolm defeated Macbeth at Dunsinane.

1214 - Philip II of France beat an allied English, Flemish and German army under Otto IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, at the Battle of Bouvines. This broke up the coalition and secured Philip's position.

1540 - Thomas Cromwell, principal adviser to King Henry VIII of England, was executed for treason.

1742 - The Peace of Berlin between Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and Prussia ended the first Silesian War.

1775 - The first Surgeon of the Continental Army, Benjamin Church, began his service.

1784 - Printed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first French newspaper to be published in the United States was "Courier De L’Amerique."

1789 - The United States Congress established the Department of Foreign Affairs. Later the agency was re-named the Department of State, or the State Department.

1866 - Reliable telegraph communications service was established between England and the United states when the Great Eastern steamer laid a trans-Atlantic cable.

1909 - The record for the longest airplane flight was set by Orville Wright who was testing the United States Army’s first airplane. Wright kept the craft aloft for 1 hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds over Fort Myer, Virginia.

1918 - The first concrete barge the "Socony 200", was launched today. The vessel carried oil, not concrete.

1921 - Canadians Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolated insulin for the first time. It proved an effective treatment for diabetes.

1947 - In Geneva, Switzerland, the World Water Ski Organization was founded.

1949 - The British De Havilland Comet, the first jet-propelled airliner, made its maiden flight.

1954 - Britain and Egypt initialed an agreement to end British occupation of the Suez Canal Zone.

1955 - Chuck Berry's first hit record, Maybellene, entered the R & B charts.

1976 - Former Beatle John Lennon won formal permission to remain in the United States as a permanent resident and would be eligible for United States citizenship in five years.

1984 - Film actor James Mason died at the age of 75. Though he never won an Academy Award, the handsome, highly-acclaimed character actor received Britain's highest film honor, the Golden Seal. His film career spanned nearly five decades. Mason's list of film credits include A Star is Born, North by Northwest, Lolita, Fire Over England, The Prisoner of Zenda, Madame Bovary, The Fall of the Roman Empire, and Heaven Can Wait.

1987 - Freeway shooting incidents were all the news in Los Angeles, California. There had been nine incidents involving vehicles and guns since June 18, 1987. There were actually two motorists shot to death and four others injured.

Got Superstitions?

Ah, we all have had them - often passed down through the family. Funny how these things can become ingrained.

Find out all about yours, on the largest superstion list on the web!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

If you right click on the download link and open it in a new browser
you won't be taken away from today's blog entry.

Thank you so much for your continued faithfulness to my blog. Summers usually find my entries spotty at best - generally because we are travelling. This year we're enjoying just being home but 'hiding out', so I'm able to post. I just need to keep a balance so we really do take some downtime. Sherry D. - you blew me away yesterday with your kind words -its humbling to know that as I'm obedient to share what God provides, meets your needs. What more could a person desire? Every time this happens to me its a direct confirmation of the value of my blogging. Even so - I too, appreciate the time and effort I know it takes to leave a heartfelt comment. Kind words are the water to a dry and thirsty soul - and some days your words have quenched me. There are SO MANY of you who faithfully uplift me in words each day, I can't possibly list you all here - but thanks from the bottom of my heart!

I know I've said this time and time again, but what you read here is truly of the Lord. When I started my blog - and especially as I did not even know, really, what a blog was, I prayed and asked the Lord to take command of my blog - that it would be my 'work'. I've never looked back. Sometimes I wonder what on earth I might share with readers, and will I be able to create elements which are unique and people can use? Well, you are all proof that His hand is on this blog.

Blessed is he who has found his work;
let him ask no other blessedness.

"Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established."

Proverbs 16:3

My last blog entry was about how God uses our afflictions to teach us to have empathy for others. Later that same day, Miles and I were reading scripture when we came across the following:

"We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper, must first be a sufferer. He who would be a saviour must somewhere and somehow have been upon a cross; and we cannot have the highest happiness of life in succoring others without the tasting the cup which Jesus drank, and submitting to the baptism wherewith He was baptized.

The most comforting of David's psalms were pressed out by suffering; and if Paul had not had his thorn in the flesh we had missed much of that tenderness which quivers in so many of his letters.

The present circumstance, which presses so hard against you (if surrendered to Christ), is the best shaped tool in the Father's hand to chisel you for eternity. Trust him, then. Do not push away the instrument lest you lose its work."

I hope you like my element - of course it was another thrift store inspired one! It was a belt - I'm sure some of you may even have one of these lurking in your closet - or you could have been the one to donate this one in the first place. Don't laugh, it's happened to me more than once! I've even posted my 'buys' on my blog, only to have readers email me to give me the history on that particular item! Kind of a strange and wonderful feeling.

Speaking of elements - embellishments - accessories (yes, my mind goes randomly from one thought to another) ... so I'm thinking accessories because I meant to share about what our daughter brought for me recently... (after all, this IS my very own show and tell )

double-click to view larger!

What a good girl, she not only bought me this bag - which I adore and haul around everywhere, but she gave me a neat hair band too. Better than the gift itself, she showed me how to style my locks into a 'do' that I'd never dreamed I'd be wearing at my age. See, both our daughters and my dear, sweet husband encourage and dress me so I don't do the natural slide into polyester-dom with age. Now, saying that, polyester HAS come a long ways since my other/grandmother wore it. Thanks Sweetie, for your thoughtful and cool gift!

My Little Blister (Nina) and Zach

I also didn't have my pictures uploaded of Nina and Zach. I made them stand out in the rain, reluctantly, I might add, to take it. So here thems are!

My knee was feeling good enough to go for a short bike ride with B. on Wednesday. We stuck to the flat roads and walked up the hills. I admire her tenacity in working to keep our small corner of the world free and clear of invasive and noxious weeds. You see, most people will read about and talk about these problem plants, but only a few are actually moved to do something about it. Even the newspaper carried some feature articles recently regarding some plants. How can we inspire our young folks to care about the removal of these pesky plants unless we set the example. I've got a grin pasted on my face as I travel along with B. because if you're out in your yard and you've got weeds or trash laying about she's going to have a conversation with you.

I'm not poking fun at my dear friend - I really do admire her. Most people would not want to get involved. But she has such a lovely way about her. She never talks down to folks, and never makes them feel as if she's judging them. She always takes the time to help people identify which weeds are the offenders and offers helpful suggestions on what they might do to help get them under control. She's not afraid to get her hands dirty (though she's bright enough to bring gloves etc) She's not afraid of good, hard work. She's not shy to be seen pulling weeds on the skirt of a busy highway. Shes resourceful enough to use 'found' grocery bags to fill with odd bits of trash along her route and she uses whatever implement she needs to loosen weed roots (eg: a small straight stick works well for shallow rooted plants)

Puncture Vine { Tribulus terrestris }

On our ride B. showed me many Puncture Vine plants. Tribulus terrestris is a flowering plant in the family Zygophyllaceae, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Old World in southern Europe, southern Asia, throughout Africa, and in northern Australia. It can thrive even in desert climates and poor soil. Like many weedy species, this plant has many common names. Puncture Vine, Caltrop, Yellow Vine, and Goathead are the most widely used; others include automobile-weed, bindy eye, bindii, bullhead, burnut, burra gokhroo, calthrops, cat's head, common dubbeltjie, devil's thorn, devil's weed, doublegee, dubbeltje, gokshura, ground bur-nut, isiHoho, land caltrop, Maltese cross, Mexican sandbur, puncture weed, rose, small caltrops, sticker, tackweed, and Texas sandbur (also T. micrococcus).

As I imagine many of you don't know exactly what a Puncture Vine is. It is painful - get one in your foot and it can make you dance! It is expensive - we have so many here that the bike and hardware stores make a lot of money replacing tubes for tires. The stems radiate from the crown to a diameter of about 10 cm to over 1 m, often branching. They are usually prostrate, forming flat patches, though they may grow more upwards in shade or among taller plants. The nutlets or "seeds" are hard and bear two sharp spines, 10 mm long and 4–6 mm broad point-to-point. These nutlets strikingly resemble goats' or bulls' heads. It is considered an invasive species.

It has been reported that Puncture Vine seeds have been used in homicidal weapons in southern Africa; murderers smear them with the poisonous juice of Acokanthera venenata and put them where victims are likely to step.

At any rate, I'm going to join B. on Monday to try and rid our small area of this vexatious flora. We will arm ourselves with some sharp instruments, good gloves and thick soled shoes and spend a few hours to clear up the largest ones we can find. Now is an ideal time to dig them up, before they go to seed. At the least we will be able to lessen the spread in this area, and just perhaps we may be able to inspire someone, anyone to do the same. All it takes is one person to start a chain effect!

Why not share here, the things you do to make your corner of the world a better place?

So my thinker has wandered on another tangent. Puncture Vine - sharp - thorn - thorns - Jesus and His crown of thorns. The mocking soldiers as they painfully crushed the crown of them into his skull. For us. Thorn in the side. Blocked by thorns. Seeds falling among the thorns. Thorn among the lilys.

John 19:2
The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe

Judges 2:3
Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.

Proverbs 15:19
The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.

Mark 4:7
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.

Song of Solomon 2:2
Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.

Can you think of a thorn the same, again, my friends?

Tomato Hornworms

As I was waiting on Miles last evening, as he nipped back into the house to retrieve an item, B. beckoned me from the garden. When I met her there, she had these big uglies to share. Whoa, they are horrific enough observed from a distance, but when one gets down to their size via macro... ewww! It's like being in a miniature sci-fi scene. This is probably the result of a childhood exposure to a movie that scared the pants off of me. I had to be very young indeed. The movie was called Ants - and it was about some ants in a scientist's lab - they consumed colossal amounts of sugar and grew to gargantuan proportions. These ants went about hunting people and crushing them in their immense mandibles.

Actually, when I could remove myself from being afraid of the big 'ol tomato worms then they do sorta make me think of a Chinese Dragon - the sort in parades with all the people inside...

So of course I had to do some research on this critter too. Seems the the larval stage of this creature is the Hawkmoth, which is common in our Americas. From what I'm reading too, I'd best be out checking the tomato plants close to the stems, as the caterpillars are difficult to spot due to their coloration. Not only this - they like eggplants, potatoes and... (ack, please not Miles beloved) peppers!

Enough of bugs for now - I'd best get along with my day. May yours be Blessed.

Today in History:

1376 - According to legend, a Pied Piper rid the German town of Hamelin of its rats. When the townspeople refused to pay the piper for his deed, he mesmerized their children with his tunes. The children followed him out of town never to be seen again. Historians now say that the legend is based on events that took place in 1284 when young men left Hamelin to find work in other lands.

1604 - King James and Bishop Bancroft worked out a set of 14 instructions to the translators of the King James version of the Bible on this date. The instructions were designed to ensure that, despite the variety of views among the translators, the forth-coming work would be a Protestant Bible and the Bible names be "retained as near as may be" to the original. It was requested that when the translators had completed work on their assigned sections, that they should confer together on what had been done. The King James Version is often referred to as the most successful work ever done by a committee.

1894 - The first automobile road race took place in France and was run over a distance of 78 miles from Paris to Rouen. The previous record average speed of 13.6 mph was broken in this race by Count De Dion.

1900 - Fifty-five American athletes completed their domination of the second modern Olympic games held in Paris. The games reopened in 1896 after a lapse of 1,500 years.

1926 - In a stunt at New York's Mitchell Field, Babe Ruth, a private in the National Guard, caught a baseball dropped from an airplane. The plane was at an altitude of 250 feet and traveling at about 100 miles-per-hour.

1933 - Aviator Wiley H. Post ended the first solo flight around the world. His flight lasted for 7 days, 18 hours, and 45 minutes. His famous plane was called the "Winnie Mae". Two years earlier he flew around the world, but on that occasion was accompanied by navigator Harold Gatty. Post died in a plane crash in 1935.

1933 - Today, Caterina Jarboro became the first black prima donna of an opera company. At the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, she performed "Aida."

1985 - Country singer Dolly Parton announced plans to open a 400 acre theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The name for this new amusement park? Dollywood.

Good Summer Reads for Kids

Ah, the middle of summer ... ah... the newness of vacation wearing off for the kids. Why not check out this list of good summer reading books for kids, compliments of NPR Radio?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

(right click the download, and open a new browser window
then you won't be taken away from today's blog entry)

I've a lot of news stored up to share with you! Hopefully I can organize myself and not overwhelm everyone. I think I will start at the beginning - isn't that the logical answer?

Firstly, my knee is still not 100 percent healed. This is due to my inability to remain still for any amount of time. I know that I'm supposed to be following the r.i.c.e. rule - rest, ice, compression and elevation... I'm not doing very well on much of any parts. Thank goodness its not anything serious or Miles would have to tie me into the chair (with my leg up, of course!) But now, things have become complicated by a fierce crick in my back. I don't know what caused this either - and I don't know how to fix it. I'm not complaining - rather, it sure makes me appreciate folks who have things like arthritis who have to live with pain and stiffness daily. I've more empathy for them. I accept there's a purpose in my affliction, God has a purpose for me experiencing this.

"The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"

John 18:11

Now, the next thing I would like to share with you is some great summer reads. I am a book-a-holic, often having something like 40 out from our local library at a time. This includes many back-issues of magazines which I peruse and glean tips for you. I love art books and recipe books and decorating books. I love audio books and videos. I'd be perfectly content to find myself locked in the library over a weekend. I don't read every book I take out, I'm pretty discerning what keeps my eyes 'pure'. Its too lengthly a process to skim every book right at the library, so often if I don't see any questionable content on the first glance through then I take a chance and bring the books home. Later, if I get even a few pages in and there's anything unsavoury then the book simply gets turfed off to the side. And, to be honest, some books wind up as a big stack of doorstop simply because I lack the time to read them. I can still wish, can't I?

Ok, so with reading so much, it takes a pretty great read to keep my attention. I was told by some artist friends, that when someone submits a slide of their painting to be juried (professionally) that the jurors look at the slide for an average of something like 5 seconds each - so your painting better be eye-catching or it won't even make it into the beginning choices. So it is for me and a 'good' read. A good read has to grab me in the first chapter and pull me along with a strong storyline and characters with real character. I have to be able to identify with their lives - so much so that the words disappear and at the end I feel richer for having known them. A good book is never finished for me, it merely makes me thirst for more. Even better when there's a series. Another measure of a good book, would be if I actually recommend one to you!

Dreaming in Black & White

by Laura Jensen Walker

And this is what I'm doing - recommending some books. I have to admit the first thing that attracted me to these books were their covers. Something about the funky, edgy and fun graphics on the cover hinted at some entertainment within. A brief glance over the storyline, and also noticing the publisher was one who publishes Christian books, I popped them in my big yellow recyclable book bag. A few days later, I cracked the first book open - Laura Jensen Walker's Dreaming in Black & White. Well... had I known how good this book was, I would have set an entire day aside to inhale it! Unquestionably a Chick-Read, here's Laura's description:

"Not your typical size two chick-lit heroine, Phoebe Grant aspires to the madcap life of a forties-style career gal-she lives in a cool apartment (even if it does need a little work), works at the city newspaper (ok, she writes obits-but she's sure she'll get her dream job reviewing movies), and has a best girlfriend (that would be Lindsey) to play straight-woman to her life's witty script. In fact, aside from a steady stream of laughably bad blind dates, over-thirty Phoebe has a great life-even if her leading man appears to have missed his cue.

But when she loses her job and her mother breaks both arms, Phoebe finds her carefully constructed screenplay being re-written in ways she hadn't planned. And when Lindsey secretly signs her up for an online personals service, the script suddenly becomes a slapstick."

This book kept me highly entertained, laughing-out-loud so at times Miles would look at me askingly "What, what?"... Laura's writing keeps your fingers turning the pages without you knowing its happening. I was sad to come to the end!

And I did recommend this book to my friend Becky. Becky is someone who can really write. I gaze envyingly at her blog entries and simply admire how she's able to wrap her thoughts into such good journalling. I knew, even from a writing standpoint, she would appreciate this book too. And did she! After passing the book along to her, I received an email the very next day that she had read it in one sitting!!! Hmmm, is her husband thanking me? I'm not sure!

Laura's books carry a good Christian message, with humour - I love how her character Phoebe keeps counselling herself "Get over myself, already!"

Dreaming in Technicolor

by Laura Jensen Walker

At any rate, I had the next book in the series - Dreaming in Techincolor. Here's a synopsis of this second gem!

"Phoebe's family has money troubles. Her spiritual life is dragging. She really, really misses her long-distance best friend, Lindsey. But all that's bearable because of Alex, the gorgeous man who shares her love of movies and actually likes women with a little meat on their bones. At last-a real boyfriend to kiss on New Year's Eve!

But by New Year's Eve, Alex is in London, called home by a family emergency, newly engaged Lindsey has turned into Bridezilla, and the snooze button still sabotages Phoebe's morning quiet times. She needs a break, which is why she jumps at the cheap off-season fare and flies to England. She's not chasing Alex. Really. She just wants to broaden her horizons.

What awaits Phoebe in the land of Mrs. Miniver and Notting Hill (and beyond) is nothing short of disaster . . . and nothing less than a miracle."

So, my friends, I am encouraging YOU to read these books. And that's not all! I was moved to email Laura to ask her if I might add her website link to my permanent links list. Not only did she reply within a day - giving me her blessing to add her, she also took the time to visit my blog and left me giggling with this comment:

"I took a quick (very quick as I'm on deadline :) look at your blog site--and aren't you the gorgeous thing! I'd kill to have hair like yours, but it's not gonna happen--until I get to heaven."

(Awww - Laura, does this mean I will have to curl my hair every day - as 'course for that one I had curled the dickens out of my mop, before going on a date with the handsomest man on earth - my husband Miles!)

And she added further that she's working on a new book, coming out in 2008, called Daring Chloe. And imagine my delight to find out she's got another book under her belt which I've not read yet called Reconstructing Natalie - which must be a fantastic read as it claimed the honor of being 'Chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006'

encourage you to visit Laura's website by clicking here. You may also look for her permanent link in the list at the left of my blog! Thanks Laura!

Alright, onto the next bit of news. Miles and I had a lovely unexpected lunch visit with our sister Nina and nephew Zach. The visit was only unexpected on my part - Nina had informed me in an earlier email/chat conversation, but it when whip, in one ear and out the other. I have selective hearing syndrome... and Miles made her promise to confirm directly with him for future dates. Nina did forgive me and we enjoyed a good chat and chomp - catching up. Zach, it was so great to spend some time with you, and we look forward to you coming sometime! And yes, Neens, I DO have your visit dates engraved into my grey matter...

And then, more news. Real news news. I've had photos featured on our local news three times over the past short while. The station always advertises for 'newshawks'... What they are seeking are people who happen to see something newsworthy who can take a few photos or video and submit it to the station. Well, it seems I've been in the right place at the right time, three times in a row! A couple of weeks ago I noticed a fire off in the distance between our town and the neighboring one. I grabbed my camera, snapped a few and emailed them off. They were able to use them for the news segment. Last Sunday, as Miles and I were heading home after lunch, we witnessed a grass fire just out of the town, so we drove up, snapped a few, emailed them off and they were used. And then today, after we left our sister in Keremeos we were stopped by the emergency vehicles (fire etc) heading west - so Miles caved into my desire to follow and see what was up. It was actually a scary looking car accident a few miles away. An s.u.v. type vehicle had left the road, rolled down a steep embankment and ended up in a pond overflow from the Similkameen River. It was a grim scene and we could not possibly imagine how anyone could have survived. I got many pictures and even a short video clip which I sent off right away. We saw the pictures an hour later on the local news. Amazing what today's technology makes us able to do! Thank goodness, according to the news, it was a single person and she was OK.

I'm looking forward to a quieter end to our week. We have some cooler weather, with rain and thunderstorms. I'm sure this is not what you were expecting from 'sunny okanagan weather' Nina!

I just have to share this video clip with you, which I found on the net. I've become fascinated with birds since moving out of town. We have so many interesting bird sounds assailing our ears and I'm slowly learning to identify them. We have a Catbird which sounds like the pitiful mew of a kitten. We have Phoebes, Robins, Loons, Ravens, Osprey, Wrens, Swallows, Bluebirds, Quail, Gulls, Homing Pigeons and even Bats. There's a whole mess of birds I'm not even aware of yet. Anyways, enjoy this amazing bird's calls - just click here to view.

Today in History:

1939 - The first surgeon to use fiberglass sutures was Dr. Roy P. Scholz of St. Louis, Missouri.

1942 - Shastakovich's "The Seventh Symphony" was first performed in the United States by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

1946 - Marilyn Monroe did her first screen test. She passed and was signed to her first contract with Twentieth Century-Fox Studios. Of her 29 films, the first was "Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!"

1949 - Singer Harry Belafonte began his recording career with Capitol Records. The first recorded sessions included: "They Didn’t Believe Me" and "Close Your Eyes." Shortly there after, Capitol said Belafonte wasn’t "commercial enough," and left him go. He went on to sign with RCA Victor for what would be a productive and very commercial career.

1950 - Walt Disney released the film, Treasure Island, to theaters. The film, filmed on location in England, starred child-actor Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins and Robert Newton as Long John Silver.

1985 - Durhame, North Carolina native George Bell of Durham, claimed the title "Big Foot" with his size 28-1/2 shoe. George was the first place winner in a biggest feet contest, when at the age of 26, he stood 7 feet 10 inches tall.

1985 - In the first 3 days of its re-release, two years after its initial release, "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" grossed an additional $8.8 million. That weekend, the film would place second behind another Steven Spielberg film, "Back to the Future."


Where Digital Photography/Tech is headed

You won't want to be trying this on your computer if you have a slow or outdated system, but if you are able you should really check this out. Read the requirements before installing!

The Photosynth Technology Preview is a taste of the newest - and, we hope, most exciting - way to view photos on a computer. Our software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and then displays the photos in a reconstructed three-dimensional space, showing you how each one relates to the next. In our collections, you can access gigabytes of photos in seconds, view a scene from nearly any angle, find similar photos with a single click, and zoom in to make the smallest detail as big as your monitor.

Photosynth is an amazing new technology from Microsoft Live Labs that will change forever the way you think about digital photos.

Our software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed three-dimensional space.
With Photosynth you can:

  • Walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle.

  • Seamlessly zoom in or out of a photo whether it's megapixels or gigapixels in size.

  • See where pictures were taken in relation to one another.

  • Find similar photos to the one you're currently viewing.

  • Send a collection - or a particular view of one - to a friend.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

right click download and open a new browser window - this way you won't be taken away from today's entry!

Remember the weekday to keep it holy.

"If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow Me."

Luke 9:23

God made sun and moon to distinguish seasons, and day, and night, and we cannot have the fruits of the earth but in their seasons. But God hath made no decree to distinguish the seasons of his mercies. In paradise the fruits were ripe the first minute, and in heaven it is always autumn, his mercies are ever in their maturity. We ask our daily bread, and God never says you should have come yesterday, He never says you must again tomorrow, but today if you will hear His voice, today He will hear you.

by John Donne, poet and Dean of St Paul's a the seventeenth century sermon.

Right, first things first, thank all of you for your prayers and good thoughts regarding my knee... must have worked as I'm well healed (like a good dog, well heeled... haha) I'm able to put weight on it, and even walk - its only when I move it to the side that I get a good reminder not to do that particular maneuver. I am hoping if I don't do anything silly between now and Wednesday I will be able to go for a bike ride with Bonnie.

Thanks too, for your feedback about the cloud pictures - and especially to Olga who sent me a link to the Cloud Appreciation Society - what a terrific website - I don't even have to leave my computer to sit back and enjoy the cloudscapes! If you would like to visit the website for yourself just click here.

Sundog in Osoyoos Evening Sky

And while we are still on the subject of sky... we spent a lovely evening on the beach with our friends Bonnie and Roman, playing music together. Miles and Roman both play guitar and they sound great. Me and Bonnie, well we thumped away on both a set of bongos and a djembe and we just had fun! As we played, the sunset played along the horizon - and we were treated to a phenomenon known as a sundog. Have you ever seen one of these? Rather than me giving you an explanation (which would be a mashup of my limited knowledge) I will refer you to the wikipedia page by clicking here.

Alternately, you can get a visual explanation by clicking here.

layout by blog reader Jimtown

Thanks for sharing with us!
(Jimtown has a sweet template for giveaway too, called Hole in the Barn Door)
template: Super by Rachel Hansen
papers: Diva by Daniela Peuss
element: 50's glasses by Barb Derksen

I just found something very thrilling! Something thrilling for me and for Miles. Thrilling for me because it's a new service which has become through our library system... it means I can download audio books to my computer using my library card! Thrilling for Miles because it should reduce some of my big library fines.

If you live in British Columbia you will be wanting to check out this service... I think of my bookaholic Sis Nina will be diggin' this for sure. With this service you are able to listen to audio clips of the books too! Way Cool! Just click on the following link to learn more:

British Columbia's Library To Go

Layout by Julie

Thanks to you too, Julie! I LOVE seeing my kits and elements in use - please send me your links if you'd like to be featured on my blog. Truly, my blog es su bloggie!

Diva Kit/Kristine/WenchdGrafix Designs/Pink Dot paper, Diva word art; Barb Derksen/Pink Poppy Blog Freebie/Pink and White background paper; Robin/Back To Basics/Black Velvet Paper; Doodles/Scrapgirls/Merry Mine, Tasty Tattoos, I made This Today blog freebie; Flowers/Christina Renne/Urban Buds; Bling element/Camo Lace and Bling Blog Freebie/Jannidee of JanniScraps Designs; Negative strip/KarikaiaQ Blog freebie

woo - you used a whole mixed - bag on this layout Julie, but it worked nicely for you!

I saw this amazing car ad the other day, about a car cake - or a cake car. Wow, thats on a bit bigger baking scale than just cooking for the two of us... You can read the article behind this ad by clicking here

Our new Town Clock

Recently our town got a new clock. Its no ordinary clock, it was commissioned by the town and built by a talented clock maker - and it took a long time and a lot ($20,000) of money - and that was at cost! I hear murmurs on both sides of the approval/disapproval scale, however it's here, it's now an attractive landmark and hey, it's a great place to have your photo taken. I wore my pretty thrift store skirt for the first time!

Fair is fair... since I recently published some entries regarding how much bottled water we all consume and the waste created by them, it's only reasonable that I follow up with another article from National Public Radio which deals with what all those plastic bottles get used for! The sale of bottles is now a competative market even! To read or listen to this article just click here

Today in History:

1861 - Congress authorized the Treasury Department to print and circulate paper money for the first time. Pressed for money to finance the Civil War, the government issued "Demand Notes", replaced a year later by "Legal Tender Notes". These were the predecessors of the dollar bills used today, the "Federal Reserve Notes"

1866 - The tunnel built under the Chicago River was authorized. The project would be completed three years later, at the cost of $512,709.

1867 - The first dental school in the United States, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, was established in Boston, Massachusetts.

1938 - Unemployed airplane mechanic, Douglas Corrigan, left Floyd Bennett Field in New York, allegedly for Los Angeles. Twenty-eight hours later, he landed the 1929 Curtiss Robin monoplane in Ireland at Dublin’s Baldonnel Field. the 3,150 mile flight was made with a radio or any other navigational device, except a compass. Corrigan was welcomed home as a hero, but was forever known as "Wrong Way" Corrigan.

1955 - In Anaheim, Calfornia, Disneyland opened the gates to "The Happiest Place on Earth." In the theme park’s first year of operation, about four million people would visit its attractions at Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland. Disneyland held a gala television broadcast featuring Walt Disney, Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter and Ronald Reagan on its opening day.

1959 - Paleontologist Mary Leakey discovered one of the oldest hominid skulls in the Olduvai Gorge, northern Tanzania. At first she found several parts of the skull, and in the following few weeks, with her husband Louis Leakey, they uncovered more than 400 skull pieces. Originally named "Zinjanthropus" (East African Man), the skull was later renamed "Australopithecus boisei". The Leakey's estimated that the skull's age was 1.75 million years old.

1960 - The Beatles began a three-month engagement at The Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany, their first appearance outside of England.

1989 - Rebecca Schaeffer, the attractive 21-year-old co-star of the CBS situation comedy My Sister Sam, was shot and murdered as she opened the front door of her Los Angeles apartment by Robert John Bardo, an unbalance fan. Two years earlier, the obsessed Bardo had arrived at the Burbank Studios, wanting to see her, but he was turned away. With him, he carried a bouquet of flowers and a 5-foot-tall teddy bear. It was reported that Bardo, age 21, easily obtained Schaeffer's home address through the Department of Motor Vehicles. The incident prompted many entertainers to demand protection of their privacy through the phone company, and to beef up their personal bodyguard entourage. Bardo was later sentenced to life imprisonment.

Barb's Handy Tip # 292
Keep Your Kids Safe on the Net!

What is it?
Its a Flash based web browser for kids!

How does it work?
Its really simple really. Instead of letting the browser have access to the whole world wide web & 'trying' to filter out the bad content, like most childrens internet browsers & filtering software do. We blocked out the entire internet & only let the browser access limited, top quality, child related sites that we programmed into it!
Its kind of a K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach, but it works great!

Kidrocket has many cool features too:

Full featured childrens web browser
Fun, family friendly web sites for kids
Integrated Starfall reading program (Alphabet-ABCs).
Interactive math flashcards.
Configurable math equations.
Customizable browser colors (almost 250 colors)
Time in Use: timer
Digital Clock
Built-in popup blocker
Internet filter - Web blocker, except for approved sites
No expiration date.
New website & KidSafe version in web browser.
Fullscreen feature for all games on
Improved "Lockdown" with ctrl+alt+delete disabling.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

right click the download link and open in a new webpage, then you won't be taken away from today's blog entry!

Well, I'm messed up right now... something that happened called a floating accident. No, I didn't say a boating accident, a floating accident. Miles challenged me to a flying leap onto one of our silver floaties, but my body chickened out in midair, above the thing, and I wound up hitting it on an angle, knee extended... I heard/felt something 'go' and now I've pulled something. Ugh. I pray it heals quickly!

Miles was speaking my love language this weekend - can you say "yard sales"?

I don't think he necessarily enjoys ferrying me around the back streets of our tourist saturated community in the sticky hot heat. I think he could find a thousand other things he would like to get into - especially now that he's got his plate almost completely uncluttered. But he knows that there's nothing I like more than finding 'the deal' The deal can morph from a piece of furniture, to jewellery, to a unique vase, clothing or - well, let your imagination run wild.

Its not essentially the item bought and paid for... its the hunt. I really don' t have a need for anything - particularly in the clothing department. I could easily eliminate one half of my clothing and not miss a thing. I need the folks from What Not to Wear to come and do a tune-up on my wardrobe. In the meantime, I will just have to go through it all in the fall, when the weather gets cooler and bless the local thrift store back with the many items I bought there in the first place. Its recycling, a good thing, right?

And anything vintage would be a 'must buy' for me. I am a sucker for the old and unusual.

click picture to see larger

Like, I'm always on the lookout for something like these... platinum and golden beaded eyelashes - a girl's got to have 'em!

So, what did I find today (that I don't need) It was a sparse day for me. I found a lovely pair of black stretch jeans, a clock/radio and a pottery vase that looks exactly like a crumpled paper bag. Way cool. So cool that it caused an longing, envious remark from another saler who just missed it. I can post a photo if you would like - a comment might motivate me friends.

So, I've been learning Adobe Illustrator, under the watchful and helpful eye of my brainy husband. Thank goodness for him, as I flounder at some stages and need him to push my mental wheel out of the rut every now and again. I'm somewhat familiar with the commands as I've used Microsoft Expressions for a while now, but Illustrator is much more evolved and complicated. In case you are not familiar with the program, you might want to visit the following website of Yukio Miyamoto - the Master of Illustrator, to see the potential! Just click on the following link! (if you right click and open his site in a new window then you won't be taken away from this blog entry)

Today's pics are of some lenticular clouds we saw in the evening sky a few days ago. I've always been fascinated by them and so after processing these photos I just had to go and look them up. This is what I've learned:

Lenticular clouds are formally known as altocumulus standing lenticularis. They are stationary and they are normally lined up at right angles to the wind direction. When stable damp air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains, a bunch of prominent standing waves may form on the downwind side. Lenticular clouds sometimes build at the crests of these waves. Under some conditions, long strings of lenticular clouds can be created, forming a formation known as a wave cloud.

Some plane pilots avoid flying near lenticular clouds because of the turbulence of the rotor systems that come with them, but sailplane pilots actually seek them out, because though the clouds can produce heavy turbulence they also show a sign of precipitation. These systems of atmospheric standing waves that cause "lennies" (as they are sometimes familiarly called) also involve great vertical air movements, and the very location of the rising air mass is fairly easy to predict from the position of the clouds. "Wave lift" of this sort is often so smooth and strong, and allows gliders to soar to singular altitudes and great distances. The current gliding world records for both distance (over 3,000km) and altitude (14,938m) were set using such lift!

And of course, to find out the real scoop on clouds, I referred to 'the book'... my bible, to see what I could glean there... and it was an eye and ear opener! For starters, God's clouds can be a reminder to us anytime we see them, of His covenant with us.

Genesis 9:16
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

God himself, hid himself in the form of a cloud (and fire at night) to guide His people to safety.

Exodus 13:21
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

He stayed and protected His people in the form of cloud and fire - surrounding them with His safety always.

Exodus 14:19
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,

His cloud provided the light to His people, while creating darkness for the enemy.

Exodus 14:20
Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

And our Lord God may watch us from a cloud.

Exodus 14:24
During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.

In fact the Lord himself tells Moses He will appear in a cloud so the people will believe in what Moses says:

Exodus 19:9
The LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you."

He hides in clouds, He dwells in clouds, He creates the clouds, He loads them with moisture and lightening, He uses them to punish us - or to water the earth to show His love.

1 Kings 8:12
2 Chronicles 6:1
Job 37:11

Job 37:13

He brings the clouds to punish men,

or to water his earth and show his love.

At any rate, there's nothing subtle about God and clouds. He created them and uses them in so many ways. Can you not look at a cloud and marvel and wonder? I can imagine Him hiding in the little wispy, whimsical clouds - to me they're like a playful reminder of Him, did he create these sort to whisper "hello, My Child?" The clouds I imagine Him riding on and hiding in are the big fat fluffy clouds - Cumulus clouds - the sort that look like heaps of soft, white mashed potatoes. I can also easily see God in the powerful Thunderclouds - His voice the booming sound, his presence in the brilliant flash of lightening produced. The sky His canvas, His artwork the cloudscapes He creates - no one exactly the same, ever changing with the atmospheric conditions. He's ever present, everlasting. His creation changes, but God does not.

And this brings to my mind and lips, a powerful worship song you may have heard:


by Robin Mark

These are the days of Elijah Declaring the Word of the Lord
And these are the days of your servant Moses Righteousness being restored
And though these are days of great trials Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert crying Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

Behold He comes!

Riding on the clouds!

Shining like the sun!

At the trumpet call Lift your voice!

It's the year of Jubilee!

And out of Zion's hill salvation comes!

And these are the days of Ezekiel The dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days of your servant David Rebuilding a temple of praise
And these are the days of the harvest The fields are as white in the world
And we are the labourers in your vineyard Declaring the word of the Lord!

Behold He comes!

Riding on the clouds!

Shining like the sun!

At the trumpet call Lift your voice!

It's the year of Jubilee!

And out of Zion's hill salvation comes!

There's no God like Jehovah!
There's no God like Jehovah!
There's no God like Jehovah!
There's no God like Jehovah! (Repeat 3 times)

Behold He comes!

Riding on the clouds!

Shining like the sun!

At the trumpet call Lift your voice!

It's the year of Jubilee!

And out of Zion's hill salvation comes!

Have a Blessed Day, my friends! I will be popping in and out during the next few weeks, to bring you small goodies and I have some mucho interesting articles and sites to share. Thanks for visiting me today.

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