Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last Light - Terri Blackstock

Just finished reading Last Light by Terri Blackstock. This is not my usual genre of book, but because it was written by Terri Blackstock, i decided to give it a go. She takes an interesting road to explore a deep subject. i found the pace slower than i remember her other books, and it took me a while to finish it. However, she had enough suspense in it to keep me coming back for more. I will read more of her books, but maybe not another one in this series.
She starts off with a father and daughter arriving at the airport nearest their home. After that things litterly fall apart - the airplanes crash, the cars stall or won't start, anything electronic seems to be not working, including digital clocks, phones, etc. How much to we rely on these things instead of relying on God? Could we go back to the time before technology and be content? How would we deal with it all? The questions are thought provoking, and meaningful.
Although this is part of a series, i felt left very much up in the air with the ending...what really caused the technology to misfunction? A lot of loose ends needed cleaning up. Sorry, Terri, i was disappointed in this book.

December 28

 Sitting here, in Mom's park model in Arizona. Listening to the rain on the tin roof, the furnace warming us and watching a hummingbird. Moms reading and me on the internet. What more could i ask for? other than to have family here, or you to have coffee with. Hard to see the hunningbird, but she/he's spent most of the last hour there.
1229101206a.jpgThis morning Mom and i went to "Fun Crafts". For those of you who are unfamiliar with that session it's a regular Wednesday morning 'class' here at Pueblo El Mirage Resort, spearheaded by Ethel Klopfer. it is a time we can bring our unfinished projects to work on, and get distracted from that by learning a new craft, or whatever. Today i took nothing along to do, thinking i would just visit or watch what others were doing. To my great pleasure, Barb Herron, a renown arts and crafts teacher offered to help us with making a card. She had planned to make her Christmas Thankyou Cards there this morning and had all of her supplies with her! So instead of doing her own cards, she help 7 or 8 of us make beautiful embroidered cards. She offered me a book of Christmas patterns, so took it home and will copy a few pictures for my own use. Don't think i'll use them for sending to everyone next Christmas, though. She will bring copies of the card pattern we made today to next Wednesdays Fun Crafts, as well as supplies to make a 'gift' that some of us missed out on. Not exactly sure what it is, but it needs puzzle pieces!
Mom took her 'baby cap' along to work on. Ethel was making 'scrubbies' made with netting. Rita was working on a blanket, as was 94 year old Mary. Gail was making a cardigan, and so on. Each does their own thing unless someone is willing to help with a craft.1229101209a.jpg
i need to wash down the house from the summer sand, but with it raining, guess i'll leave it for another day. Have some shopping i need to do, but am thinking even that can wait. Tonight we plan on going out with neighbors for supper, then playing card games - either Skipbo or Racko, but i'm leaning towards Skipbo. so until next time. mitzi/marianne

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Because of Love

Recieved this in an email, didn't want to limit it to a few.
Love is very powerful.  It can heal a broken heart and can also give us faith.  Humans are not the only ones who feel this powerful force which God created.

A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre- Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farm. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside... The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.

The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end.

Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks. Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One." She is no longer of use to you. It's been years since you've had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?"

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, "Yes, I could use a pair of new boots. His arm slid defensively about the Old One's neck as he drew her near with gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied softly,

"We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love."

Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley. The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks.. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation smouldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the "Old One".

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire's fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together before the barn. They were speechless as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old and withered hand. The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light. Bedded down about the "Old One" close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the "Old One" as she moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now, she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife. Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift---

Because of love.

Only Because of love...

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy... and again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is a true story.


This is an Inspirational message sent to a small group of people. My hope is that it will make your day just a little bit better.

A small request.

Cancer is a strange cell. Going along for years in remission and then one day it pops it head up again.

Pray for the day there will be a permanent cure. A SMALL REQUEST... 93% won't forward, but I'm Sure You Will...

A small request... Just one line...

Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer. In Jesus Name, Amen

All you are asked to do is keep this circulating even if it's only to one more person. In memory of anyone you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

How wonderful it is to be around family at Christmas! We are enjoying my brother Peter and his wife Karen while they are here with us in Arizona! I am actually sitting outside on the deck having coffee and blogging! It is about 51 F, at 9:22 which isn't hot by Florida standards but warmer than Alberta weather, if not by much!
We got here to our second home on Wednesday, and since then have been trying to settle in. That involved grocery shopping, of course, but also getting such 'necessities' as a new coffee pot (from Peter and Karen) a BBQ - my gift to Mom and myself - and so on. Today Karen is making a ham we picked up from Cracker Barrel (a hit any time) with sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, salad, and so on.
The park is a busy place this morning with families coming to spend Christmas Day with their parents and grandparents. A blessed time for everyone.
This mornings devotions commented on how everyone from Mary to the shepherds, wiseman and so on followed God's leading. It gave me a fresh thought for the day. Have a Blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

december 7

i GOT MY CHRISTMAS CARDS all ready for the mail! What a good feeling! Now if i could get some parcels ready to go too, i'd be all set. Next is getting the windshield on my pickup replaced (i got 2 good "shiners" and on the highway, too), and then catch up on some book work. How easy is that? Think i'll go start packing for Arizona...talked to a friend down there, and i guess they are counting the days till we leave. i think i'll just check in with him.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1

After trying this a couple of months ago, and giving up in frustration, i will try again, and see if i have better luck. If at first you don't succeed, you're about average". We have had an inch or so of snow, and with the ground white, it is feeling like winter. We had a few days of really cold weather (-28 Celcius) but this week it has warmed up to -2 Celcius or just under freezing. Have started with Christmas cards and letters. And i am starting to think what i want to pack for Arizona. We hope to leave early enough so we get there for Christmas.