Wednesday, November 26, 2008


One day last week, I thought I saw a bald eagle flying high in the sky over our pasture. Two days ago, 16 y.o. said, "Mom is that a bald eagle up there?" It was! The sky was clear and the eagles head and tail feathers gleamed bright white. It got even better though, there were TWO of them. Very beautiful birds. They were flying off as I got a picture, so it's not clear.

Harvest is still going slow with several setbacks, i.e. broken axle one night, broken tie rod last night, some fields still too wet, etc.

Prayers going out to husband's niece who is in Panama in the Peace Corps. They are having bad flooding and mud slides. Niece has been evacuated for a time to another part of Panama.

Thankful for each new day and for each breath I take.

Psalm 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Here's a picture of 3 y.o. and Grandma. It was taken in June, when Grandma gave 3 y.o. her birthday present.

A week

Yikes, it's been a week since I have posted a blog. When I started this blog, I wanted to update it at least three times a week. Perhaps that was too ambitious during harvest time.

Yes, we are still in the middle of harvest. The weather has not cooperated. We've been getting enough rain that it's too muddy to be in the fields with the combine. Monday and Tuesday of this week they were able to finally get out there. A field that they were going to do today (Wednesday) is too muddy, so we will have to try a different one.

Life has been pressing down on me in several areas lately. I need to find a quiet place and rejuvenate my soul. I reallllly want to be finishing two magazine articles. I possibly got a good lead for some information on one of them. It's a non-fiction article about something that happened during WWI. Hopefully, I will get an email about it today.

The other article is a fiction story for teen girls. I have most of the story done, but it's not all there yet. It's annoying that I can't seem to finalize it. Will continue to give it thought. It's also the story I am doing for my writer's course and I think I am past-due (again). Thankfully, this is a self-paced course and extensions are allowed.

My mom seems to be doing better after having been in the ER last week for a mini-stroke. She didn't remember my name at one point in the ER. That's weird for lack of a better term.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the areas of good counsel. Here's a verse that was the verse for the day at

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Choose to live well

Once again, my plans for writing were superseded. I spent most of the afternoon at the emergency room with my mother (who lives in a nursing home attached to the hospital). The doctor thinks that she possibly had a TIA - or mini-stroke for those of us not in the medical field.

At one point, she asked what my name was. As hard as it is not to concentrate on her situation these days (she's 87, blind, and has dementia among other health problems) I chose to remember some happier times.

I remember a picture of the two of us in her wing-back chair - it must have been shortly after they adopted me. I remember her teaching me ceramics. I remember all the stained-glass mirrors, lamp shades, and window sun-catchers that she made. I remember Thanksgiving dinners she cooked. Although she didn't have patience to teach us cooking - she was a TERRIFIC cook. She also tried her hand at oil painting, knitting/crocheting, and if I remember correctly, pottery. Although she didn't like to put her head underwater, she taught me to dive - that was after hours of belly flops from my dad trying to teach me! I also remember her taking photos and movies of my sister and I water skiing, snow skiing, ice skating, and riding our bicycles.

Was she a perfect mom? No. But then, none of us are perfect. She had a difficult childhood and she made the best choices she knew how. We all make choices with each minute we are given in life. What choices are you making? Are you spending your days with regrets and unforgiveness or are you choosing to look at the glass as half full? You will only hurt yourself harboring regrets and being unforgiving. Let them go and live life well.

Linda Ellis wrote a poem in 1996 called The Dash. Hopefully, if I've done it correctly, you can read it here (at the bottom of the post, you'll see the poem). It's WELL worth it.

Matthew 6:27 and Luke 12:25 both say:
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hay Ride

We had a houseful this past weekend for a family get together/hay ride. We made homemade pizza one day (I have a recipe I made from combining two other recipes plus an addition of my own.) The left over pizza was actually better the next day because I didn't have time to pre-cook the dough before adding the toppings. The night of the hayride, we broiled hamburgers and hot dogs. It was too cold to stand out at the grill! I think everyone had a good time - and it's always nice having family visit.

Three things I'm thankful for (since this is the month for Thanksgiving):
1) My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
2) My family and friends
3) The "gifts" I've been given from God

The NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month) is already a "bust" for me. I have been out in the fields a good deal of the time. When I am in the house, I'm either helping 16 y.o. with his schooling or cooking a meal for those in the fields. After lunch, the kids and I are going to Pilot Grove, Iowa to get a belt for the combine. It's about a 2 hour round trip. Right now, the kids are helping Daddy put out hay bales for the cows.

I woke up to one of my favorite sounds - rain on the window. Unfortunately, rain is not a good thing when the harvest is not complete. If the rain stops, they could still harvest corn today.

I worked on two different magazine articles last night. I did some research on one - contacted a historical museum in Illinois. The contact person emailed me back and said he would email some information on Sunday. This article I want to send to Highlights for Children magazine.

The other article, I'm still mulling over in my head. I don't have an "inner conflict" for the main character - so I have to figure that out. I'd like to get that article done today. This article would be for Brio magazine.

Reading Proverbs 31 makes me look like a slacker (I probably don't do the best with time-management) but here's one of the final verses in that chapter:

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Transitions in writing get you smoothly from one paragraph to the next (hopefully). Transitions in life get you from one stage to the next. 16 y.o. will be 17 in a few months. He has definitely gone through a new stage this year. Trying to be more independent. Not wanting to listen to the adults in his life. Pushing against the status quo.; yet, he still relies on us for support and comfort. I'm trying to give him the tools he will need to be as independent as possible. He's also had a lot of bodily changes - he's 5' 9 3/4". Just in the last month, he's grown another inch and grown out of the jeans I just bought!

Unfortunately, the new medicine from Canada that he started on this year is not working. It seemed to do really well for a while. I'm not sure if he just got used to it or what. Disappointing to say the least. He will never be able to drive until he is seizure-free for one year.

On a totally different subject - we harvested quite a few soybeans yesterday for the guy my husband farms with. We did three fields in two days. The first field was really bad. The next two were better. I spent most of the past few days in the field - either on the combine with husband, in the pickup truck hauling the bean cutting head, or driving a tractor and auger wagon down the road. I'm not very good with the tractor, especially on the very bad dirt road. I felt like I was on a bull-riding machine. Luckily, I got the nice tractor -but it is still challenging to drive while hauling an auger wagon. Husband hopes to harvest more tomorrow. My mother-in-law will be here to babysit the 3 y.o. I have to take 16 y.o. to St. Louis for his quarterly neurology appt. Hoping to do something fun while in St. Louis too. We will have a houseful of husband's relatives this weekend and some friends for a hay ride. Hopefully, I will get some pictures taken.

Not happy with a good many of the election results. On a state level, there was good news and bad. I am trying to keep everything in perspective and remember that the Lord knows what's going on - although, He did give us that "free will" that gets us in trouble many times! I thought of this verse this morning:

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Monday, November 3, 2008


National Novel Writer's Month or NaNoWriMo - what a crazy time! This is a month of attempting to write a 50,000 word novel. Is it expected to be good, perfect, publishable, etc? NO - the purpose is to get it down on paper and then use the next 12 months to perfect it. Most people say they want to write a book, but they never do. Here's your chance!

By the way, I'm WAY behind on my word count! Farm work comes first. :o)

10 Important Issues to Me

Here are 10 issues I felt were important in making my decisions for this election. (Even though this is long, this is my condensed version.) They are not in a particular order.

1) National Security: (FYI - I spent 5 years in Air Force intelligence from 1983-1988 and I come from a long line of military family members - and one of my brothers is currently serving in the navy over in the middle east.) I want someone who believes in keeping the country secure. I don't want someone who will change American ways to conform to other countries' ideals or values. This is the United States of America, not the European Union, UAE, etc. That being said, I believe we need to work with our Allies and also help those who can't help themselves (like we did for WWI, WWII, Iraq, etc.). And for the record, this summer 550 metric tons of yellowcake were sent to Canada from Iraq; in 2004, Polish soldiers found 500 sarin and mustard gas laced missiles in an Iraqi warehouse (yes, they were old, but it shows that Hussein lied (again) about having gotten rid of such weapons); Hussein had human shredders and other torture devices for his own people and don't forget that tens of thousands of Kurds and Iranians were poisoned with gas bombs and napalm. Even though the US and our allies had incorrect intelligence at the beginning of this war, the people of Iraq are thankful to be out from under the tyranny of Hussein. I know our ally, Israel, is watching closely who wins the presidency. By the way, during my five years in the Air Force, there were many times I had to brief the base commander on daily intelligence. What you see/hear in the news is just a small portion of the truth and the whole story.

2) Abortion: Have you seen the picture of 21-week-old Samuel Armas? He was having surgery (in utero) for spina bifida and a photographer took a picture when Samuel's hand flopped out during surgery. He wasn't a bunch of cells or just a fetus - he was a human being. Women say they have a right to choose what to do with their bodies - but they are taking away the rights of the unborn. The democratic candidate voted 4 times in the Illinois State Senate to deny medical care to infants if they are born alive after an abortion (I read the transcripts from the Illinois Senate.) He also believes any abortion at any time is acceptable. I also abhor the fact that my tax dollars fund abortions.
One fact not thought of often by most people - 40+ MILLION children aborted since 1973 aren't paying taxes to pay for social security or any other government programs! Perhaps Social Security wouldn't be in the bind it is today if those children hadn't been murdered.

3) Family: I believe in traditional marriage. There are already ways for unmarried people to have legal contracts with each other for any number of reasons.

4) Stem cell research: Adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood are the only ones that have had proven success. Using embryonic stem cells has not worked and involves having to kill a human life first.

5) Economy & Environment: I want America to be able to utilize our own resources for energy. I have seen pictures of oil rigs in Los Angeles, California. The footprint is very small these days - and they've covered them to look like buildings. We should be able to drill off our own shores for these resources. Wind, solar, clean burning coal, ethanol, fuel efficient cars, etc - ALL are important to our economy and the environment.
I do not believe all the hype about global warming. Where was all the pollution after the ice age when everything melted? It's called cyclical climate change. Have gases and pollution possibly contributed? Most likely - but the main cause is cyclical.
The legislative branch of our government (House of Representatives and the Senate) has been under the majority rule of the Democrats for the last two years. I think we have all seen economic and moral decline during that time. Is it completely their fault - of course not, but they have contributed significantly to the problems. Historically, the decline started at the end of President Clinton's term of office. When stocks were very high, all the financial advisers warned that it wouldn't sustain that level forever; that there would be a "check" at one point or another. It happened and everyone seems surprised about it.

6) Health care: I have a friend in Sweden. 60% of their paychecks goes to taxes. They have socialized medicine. In Canada, England and other countries with "publicly funded" or socialized medicine, you have to wait your turn for procedures. Many Canadians come to America to have surgeries performed so that they don't have to wait, in some cases, years for a surgery. As farmers, my husband and I have no employer funded health care. Is it expensive, yes. Do I want the government deciding where I get my health care, NO.

7) "Share" the wealth - It is only sharing if you give it voluntarily. If the government takes your hard-earned money, it's not sharing - it's socialism. This country has thrived on free-enterprise and entrepreneurialism. Taxes should be fair and equal - one group should not pay a huge amount more than another group. If you only want to tax the rich, there won't be any incentive for new business.

8) Border security: Why should illegal aliens get free health care, college benefits, etc? I think the border patrol should be able to protect our borders - and be given the tools to do so. My Thai sister-in-law had to wait for her passport, visa and green card in order to legally live and work in the U.S. - all "visitors" should go through the same process. If they are found to be here illegally, they should be deported - with no amnesty.

9) Gun control: America has always allowed private citizens to own guns and protect themselves. Do I want machine guns and the like? No, I don't think they are necessary. However, criminals are not going to get their guns legally in the first place so if you take them away from one group, it won't matter to the criminals. There are times a gun is needed on a farm - if a cow is dying and needs to be put down (personally, we call the vet to give the cow a shot) or when a wild animal is trying to kill the livestock, etc.

10) Schools: I believe people should have the freedom to choose which school to send their child to and I don't believe the homosexual agenda needs to be "taught" in school. Children as young as Kindergarten are being indoctrinated into the homosexual agenda without notification to the parents to be able to "opt out" for their children. In our small county school, teachers were told not to discipline "same-sex" couples on the school grounds for public displays of affection, but the heterosexual "couples" could not kiss, hold hands or hug. (Mind you, I don't think ANY of the kids need to be showing PDA at school - but especially not one group over another.)

Those are just 10 of the issues I considered when choosing my candidates. Other issues are: judicial appointments (I don't think judges should change the laws, but ENFORCE the ones on the books - it's not their job to change the laws, but that is what they are doing.), housing issues, "don't ask, don't tell" in the military, jobs, trade with other countries, etc.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Remember, you will be required to give an answer to God for all you've done here on earth during your life.