Picking Peppers

A cold front was coming in.  

Jody was out of town and she sent me an urgent request.

"Please pick the peppers in my garden."

So off we went!

She twirled in the sunshine before getting down to business.

The old sheets and blankets were ready to shelter the plants from the coming cold.

Once inside, she sorted and counted. 

She separated the few red peppers from the green ones.

It was a very good harvest.

Some days hold unexpected surprises and delights.  
This day was one of them. 

 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James 1:16-18 

Photos processed with RadLab from Totally Rad.  

Autumn Extends her Stay

OK, I know it is December 2.

Would you please indulge me?  I am having a hard time letting go of Autumn.

In my part of the world, Summer shows up early and overstays her welcome.
She comes loaded with blow dryers set to high and an abundance of heating blankets.

Autumn has to push her out of the way.

So Piper and I headed out to enjoy her beauty before Winter hustles up to our front door.

Santa is peeking over her shoulder, letting us know it won't be long . . .

Thankful Day

It is good to have a day that makes me stop and

To look past the
"if only" 
and the
"what if"?

It is good for me to stop and
take in the abundance 
right in front of 
my eyes.

I am thankful.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  His loving kindness is everlasting.
1 Chronicles 16:34

A Halloween Treat

I will not lie.

I love Halloween.  Though I am not a fan of the "dark side", I have happy memories of this holiday going back to when I was a little girl.  

Dressing up, walking the dark streets with my friends and siblings, securing a bounty of candy . . .

We ventured out into a new neighborhood, so I tried to keep my expectations low.  You know, the celebration of Halloween has changed so much over the years. 

Many homes are dark and no one is home to open the door to greet the little super heroes and princesses.  

Our evening started slowly.  It was not quite dark. We were the only ones out.  

Though some homeowners enthusiastically welcomed our 6 year old Red Cross Nurse,  there wasn't that special Halloween buzz.

But then, I noticed a house.  
It was on the corner of the next block.  

All I could see were some orange lights lining the side window, but  I heard voices.  
A lot of voices.

"Let's go that way!"

When we rounded the corner, it was like stepping onto a Halloween movie set.    

The neighbors had gone all out with lights and foggers, music, pumpkins,  creatures, a grim reaper and a cemetery.

There were dozens of children and adults.
People were walking dogs and pushing strollers.

From one brightly lit house to the next we went, finding our way on the dark, crowded sidewalks.

Eventually, the Red Cross Nurse decided she had had enough fun.

"What?  Oh, alright."  I reluctantly agreed that it was time to head home.  
I was comforted by visions of Snickers bars.

Earlier in the day, I had heard a radio expert proclaim it to be the #1 Halloween treat.    

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 

A State Fair

The State Fair of Texas closes today after an exciting three week run.  
When we moved to Dallas as a young married couple in 1976, we enthusiastically embraced the joys of having the fair in our very own city.

 Over the years, our family grew.  We took the children, and now the grandchildren.  

We weren't much for the midway.  We were always too cheap to spend the money on expensive rides and games.  

The animal barns, creative art displays of photography, needle arts and canning fascinated us.  
We are all fans of the wild bird shows, the Frisbee chasing dogs, the acrobats and the new cars in the automobile building.

Oh, let's not forget the food.  There is nothing like fair food. 
Fine dining, indeed.

Well, this year turned out a little differently.  
One little one thinks fair = rides.  
So off we went.  

No, we didn't ride this one.  
The very next night, the ride failed and people were stuck at the top for two hours. 
Scary and chilly.  Can you imagine?

All in all, we had a terrific day.  
Even though the thrill seeker was disappointed she didn't get a few more rides, and passionately declared it the "worst fair ever."  
Seriously?  You be the judge.

Happy face following the last ride. 
We love these statements, and bring them out every chance we get.

Now I have to tell you about Big Tex.  
He is the state fair mascot, a representation of all things Texas, a huge presence in the center of the fair grounds.

I have so many photos of him from years past, that I didn't pay him much attention this time.  

My Facebook post the next day:

Big Tex, I feel terrible about our visit yesterday. When we saw you at the State Fair, I was so cavalier, thinking I already had so many photos of your greatness from previous visits that I didn't need another one this year. All I have to show is this crappy photo. I didn't even care enough to include your head. Wish I had known it would be your last day with us. Wish I had known that you would burn like a cotton ball this morning. They tell us you will come back next year, better than ever. I hope they are right.

Yes, Big Tex caught fire, possibly an electrical short.  Burned down to the frame.  

Very sad.  

He was only a part of our background the day of our visit.  We'll try to make it up to him next year.

I hope you have the fun of a fair where you are.  

And if you are ever in Dallas at the end of September into October, I hope you will pay us a  visit.


Today, the daily photo prompt over at Shutter Sisters is "time".  

So I started thinking about how to represent time in an image.  
There are clocks, hour glasses, calendars . . .

Round and round went my thoughts while I tackled an editing project.  The son of my very dear friend, Deb, was married last month.  I have a load of photos from the rehearsal dinner to sort through.

This is one of my favorites.  My husband took it the morning after the wedding.

Karla and Deb

Here we are, two women who met as young mothers, a long time ago.  Now our children are marrying and starting families of their own.  

A few days ago, as I sorted through 25+ years of neglected jewelry, it was as though I was holding my entire fashion history in a single box.  

I could remember when I bought that necklace, how this bracelet rarely left my arm.  I was reminded of special friends, how we dressed in those days and the fun we had.  And how I miss Susan, friend and fashion companion, who left this life five years ago. 

a mother and her two daughters

Today I wear no earrings, fewer bracelets.  Still love a necklace, though.  

So many ways to measure time, to notice its flow.  Many events are universal, common to each of us.
But it is still ours alone, a unique experience.  

Do you remember when you lost your first tooth?  
I do.  
And so will she.

It's her turn.  It's her time.

There is an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth.
Ecclesiastes 3

We Found a Beach

I grew up in Miami, Florida.  It was a quick drive to the beach so it was nothing for us to run over there.
Since moving to North Texas more than three decades ago, our beach visits have been infrequent, requiring lengthy car rides.  

Imagine our delight to discover a beach only one hour from our landlocked home .

Located in Fort Worth, Texas,  Burger's Lake offers summer fun for everyone. Burger's Lake is a 30-acre park featuring a one-acre spring-fed lake for swimming.  

Throw in some slides, a trapeze drop, and a diving platform.

Lots of shady spots and picnic tables under the towering live oaks.

Spring fed? My heart sang.  Most of our recreational lakes are man made, great for fishing and boating, but not for beach play.  

The water was fresh and cool on that not-so-hot, 90 degree day. 

 And the photographer in me gave a happy sigh.  Beach pictures.  It has been a long time. 

He refreshes my soul.  
Psalm 23:3

A Daughter's Goodbye

The word came.  My mother had had a heart attack and was in the hospital, in another state, far away.
Far from me, her oldest child, her oldest daughter.

The relatives had gathered in her room.  I called my cousin.  She put me on the speaker phone as my mother took her last breaths.  I was far away, and yet, there.

Now it was time to go there.  New plans made, current plans set aside.  My sister and I were going on the trip  I had always dreaded.

Though she was almost 83, and had suffered with dementia for several years, her death was a shock.  There is no other word to describe it.  Below is the video I made when I returned.

This is the story of my sorrowful trip to be at my mother's funeral in April, 2012.
Though my sister and I traveled together, and we were enfolded by our family, it was a solitary journey.
This video is not truly about my mother, but about me, and my attempt to come to grips with my loss.. We lived hundreds of miles apart, and she suffered with dementia the last few years. In essence, I have been grieving for a long time.
The weather was shockingly unkind. An unseasonable cold front brought wind, rain, and even snow on the day of the funeral.

"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all."
John 11:25

Easter Egg Scramble

Watch the children dash madly around the back yard in this celebration of Easter!

A Spring Day

 tornado Piper in a field of bluebonnets 

I wish you could see the front page of The Dallas Morning News.  There is an Incredible photo of one of the 12+ tornadoes which dashed through here yesterday.  One went over head on Centerville Road, which is at the end of our block, and Larry's office is also on this road about a mile further down.  We are blessed to have escaped harm.  Our hearts are with those who are recovering and cleaning up.

I was at work at the Hope Center in Plano, close to one of the hot spots. We made a couple of trips to the stairwell.  Though we were protected, we were a little restless with no windows to see the black sky or what might be coming our way.
Lindsay and Brent live on the edge of Ft. Worth, near Arlington.  Brent was at work on the campus of University of TX at Arlington, and spent some time in a stairwell there.  Lindsay, at home, had some heavy rain.  She was her father's meteorologist, as Larry was unaware of the tornado headed his way until she texted him.  

Aimee, who grew up in an area with frequent tornadoes, was a calming presence at her office.  Piper was in lock down in the boys bathroom at school and not at all happy about it.

On the news this morning, they said this was the worst episode we have had since 1979.  I well remember that one, because I was four months pregnant with my son, standing with coworkers in the underground parking garage of our building.  We fared well, but others were not so fortunate

He Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up nor leave you without support.  I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down , or relax my hold you!  Assuredly not!
Hebrews 13:5b  Amplified

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