Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

I remember I was about 10 years old, my mom crying when she got word. He was the only son of my great aunt and uncle, she was widowed at the time he died. The last time we saw him was at my grandparent's farm. He had his lovely fiance with him. I thought they were just beautiful together. They never got married. Bill was a gunner in South Vietnam, a "green bean" as one officer affectionately described him. He and his crew died in a chopper crash.
William Henry Murphy
Lieutenant (junior grade)COASTAL DIV 15, TF 115, USNAVFORV United States Navy23 September 1942 - 19 November 1967 Madison, WisconsinPanel 30E Line 025

CW3 Curtis Woodrow Hutto, pilot, A/1/9 Cav
WO1 Michael Joseph Utter, copilot, A/1/9 Cav
LTJG William Henry Murphy III, observer, COSDIV 15
SP4 Jeffrey Allen Hawk, crew chief, A/1/9 Cav

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Little boxes, little boxes.....

Found this pic posted at
Says Padraic C.: "My parents were taking out some recyclables, when a few old cardboard boxes fell off the stack. By the time they got back from the end of the driveway, they saw this"

Cats are some of the most "free-est" creatures. The world is their, well, world. Yet, with all the openness around, all the free space...they chose to sit in these boxes.
Reminds me of Christians, or maybe people in general....freedom is all around, yet we persist in sticking our butts in a safe zone. I keep reading what I just wrote and I can't seem to say in words what I'm thinking. I've been going to a house church off and on. I was hoping it would be different, and it is, but people keep falling back into their preconceived roles: a leader at the front who wants to let go, but keeps snatching it all back; another guy who knows the Bible inside and out and will tell you so, except he's just really a humble guy...and will tell you that as well. Then there are the Worship people who are the only ones who can seem to lead worship, even though there are bunches of folks with great voices. Then comes sweeping in the "I am a prophet" big-haired scary woman who has a Word for everyone. And I mean, that her "Word" for everyone could FIT everyone. Really nothing specific. In my opinion, a Word for an individual should be privately given...that's kind of a common sense manners kind of thing, because you might invoke an emotional response that the receiver may not want to express publicly. So, we're in a circle of people and someone points and declares they have a Word for YOU...and you're trapped like a deer in headlights. So we're sitting there, listening to teaching from the same people, and when you interject a comment or question during the teaching, all the people with their church faces look at you like, "How can you interupt the TEACHING with a THOUGHT?? A COMMENT??" So, I imagine the Holy Spirit sitting there, wanting to add something, but no one is listening for that still, small voice because they are too far away from it, still sitting their little boxes.......

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Footprints in the sand......

Larry's response, in case you didn't read it in the comments, follows. He's a very humble guy, one of the reasons I like him. A private guy, who puts his gift right out there OPEN on the beach for everyone to see, to admire...or criticize. It takes strength and trust to do that....all of you creative folk know that when you put your talent out there, you put it out with the chance that you'll be annihilated by someone. So, it's gotta be a God thing!
"*blushing furiously*Hey, folks, it's just sand... but no one else does anything like this. I'm driven by a desire for beauty that runs into a requirement that I leave no tracks.Sand leaves no tracks. The sculpture disappears. But... the sculptor is working in a highly public place. Sand sculpture requires tons of sand and water and there's only one place to find those.It's interesting. Sand sculpture started as an engineering exercise, gradually changed to a design exercise as the engineering became more established, and then became a revealer of something I never thought I'd tangle with: Love.I got saved in 1971, started doing sand sculpture in 1979 while camping with a friend in Maine and then departed from God in about 1982. I kept doing sand sculpture, and when the time was right God brought a man to the beach when I was sculpting.God, sand, love, Jesus. Who'd have thought it. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, as BJK has pointed out today. ~~Larry"

Friday, May 26, 2006

Larry's gifts....

I can't help it...when I see incredible stuff, I have to share. These are just a couple of examples of my much-too-humble blogpal Larry's sand sculpture. You can find links on his blog under sand sculpture on the left, and navigate to find more work. It's simply wonderful.
  • Larry
  • Thursday, May 25, 2006

    I have to comment on this news story: David Sharp, solo climbing on Mt. Everest (stupid, yes) left to die by at least 40 mountaineers so they could continue their climb. They said he was too far gone. This is unbelievable and it's heartening to hear Sir Edmund Hillary speak out about this. He says a climb is not as important as a human life...and of course he's right. There's a lot to this story, but Diane Sawyer asked the age-old question: what would you do? I know what I would have done, and I know what you who are reading this would have done. We'd have stopped and rendered aid and rescue....even if it meant abandoning the climb. The guy with the prosthetic legs that was climbing past Sharp was, in fact, rescued off Mt. E once, at great risk to his rescuers in a snowstorm. That's how he lost his legs. And yet, he gives Sharp some oxygen and moves on. Unbelievable. And, yeah...I'm am SO judgin'.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Random thoughts.....

    I work for a lot of people who live in houses ranging up to about 10,000 in sq footage. It’s starting to annoy me….don’t get me wrong. Jealousy is not one of my traits. I’m annoyed because 2 or 3 people are living in these behemoth energy guzzling structures….and no one is there during the day, except maybe one lonely little dog, because they’re all working for their “appearance.” They leave their air conditioning on 85, which is great fun for me when I’m hanging by my nose on a ladder. This is why I’m moving away from making money off these folks and instead doing art for those who can’t afford it, or art ideas that I receive from God. I know He’ll provide for me.

    The houses I work in are beautiful….but they are not interesting. I like my friends' houses better. They’re interesting. Patchouli’s, Connie’s, B.K.’s. They all look like individual's homes, not some unlivable picture in a House Beautiful mag. Interesting can be beautiful, too.

    I have this impish idea that one day all those big houses will be subdivided into apartments for 2 or 3 families because we’ve abused our natural resources and have to pay the price…kind of like the big mansions in the UK that are now subdivided into separate living quarters.

    I captured this rainbow this morning as I was watering my little oasis. I thought of all of you when I saw it and wanted to share with you. You all make my day…I admire you, I worry about you, I pray for you, I laugh with you, I cry with you. I may walk past you on the street and not know it’s you, but we’ve shared our souls. If that’s not God at work, then what is?

    I landscaped my whole back yard beautifully at one point….simple, arty, organic, etc. Then came Gracie….she ran paths through the yard, as you can see in the pictures. I had to dig up all the non pet friendly flowers (most of them). I have my work cut out for me now. I’m observing where things grow and where they don’t.
    I’d rather have Gracie than the yard, though.

    I wish you all were here to sit back here with me and talk. I guess that’s God in the glowy white chair on the left? :-)

    This is Rufus, my metal rooster. I like him…he makes me smile. All the stuff in the garden is meaningful….sometimes it looks kind of kitschy to me…but I like it….some of the statuary I picked up at antique places for cheap because of a chip or two. My beloved kitties that have moved on to heaven are back here. Some of the yard art is from my late mom’s garden and it meant a lot to her, and I think of her. The old milk can has been around the family forever. The kids and my grandpa built some of the little benches and birdhouses.

    One blue salvia flower says it all. There’s a lot of discussion about “correctness” in theology. I look at this one blue flower. This is God’s work. We are all His work. All that matters is Him and His love for us. Now, if we could all just get to that place of loving each other.

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Pray for a little girl... that she would be healed. They can't find the cause of her illness.

    Good stuff...

    Well, bloodwork is almost back to normal, iron-wise. I've spent the last week hauling a ladder and paint around, doing a home office wall for a residence...a client that I realized I've done work for now for almost 10 years. Freaky.

    Anyway, I'm not too out of shape....well, I probably am, but I really didn't get tired getting back into the groove of things. I just didn't feel much like DOING, she told me she didn't want pink tones in the room, I started the finish on the walls.......then she changed her mind. Cha ching.....but a kind of wasted day.

    It's really hot here today.

    I've been following a lot of blogs with a "institutional church or no institutional church?" theme. This seems to be a major thing running through Christian minds these days. I'm trying to get through Barna's Revolution but having trouble finding the time. You may have heard of's about how we are the body, yada yada...and people are moving away from the church in a brick, as I call it....

    Then, I'm intrigued with the "Da Vinci Code" crap going on. On one hand, I think it's great...people are talking about Jesus....a lot. On the other hand, as a scholarly fellow pointed out last night on a "Cracking the Da Vinci Code" show, that there are a lot of folks in other countries, including this one, who may think that Brown's fictional story is TRUE. Heck, he says in the beginning or somewhere that his information is based on truth. Not true at all.

    So, I think that there is a lot of spiritual stuff flying around these days. That's a good thing. Some of it is creating confusion, and that's probably okay, too.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    You're Australia!

    You're easy-going, relaxed, and yet somewhat tough and hardy all at the
    same time. You can appreciate culture, scuba diving, and even safaris. This
    makes you pretty interesting and intriguing to others, though also really unpredictable and
    even wild. Your knowledge of nature is unthinkable to most of those around you, even
    though your respect for it is sometimes less than perfect. People really like your

    Take the Country Quiz
    at the Blue Pyramid Hmmmmm.....I knew I didn't belong HERE, and I really do respect nature, but..........maybe Simon would give me a ride from the airport.....

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Mini road trip....

    Friend B.K. and I took off yesterday morn after grabbing a cuppa; road trip to town to run an errand she had to run, then we went to the Farmer's Market. The Market was way cool and gave me many ideas for my yard. I'm going to finish my back yard into a Sanctuary Garden...just need to add a few things and do my art stuff. I have mosaic ideas for fountain and benches and "rooms" to put back there, all in keeping with the paths that Gracie has chosen for herself. I've observed where stuff grows, and really just need to throw in a few more dog-friendly plants, and mulch, and then, let it do its own thing, or rather, God's own thing.

    Anyway, it was 2 ADD women in a car with espresso, way fun! (my kids, by the way, were fast asleep on Mom's Day....hubby made me breakfast) B.K is funny and very creative; she does some radio stuff and is very active in many endeavors and works hard. I figured she was alone on Mom's Day with her daughter living elsewhere, so off we went. Then family and I went to see hubby's mom, who is doing well.

    This morning, I'm just a tad anxious, don't know why. Maybe it's still the death things that are bothering me, and I'm going to try to shake it off. In a minute will grout table, and go gather supplies to do a wall finish at a client's house.

    I guess when we approach those decade markers (I'll be 50 next year) we realize our mortality. Of course, finding someone exactly your age dead in their living room probably adds to that anxiety. I can't control my own demise; short of exercising proper caution in living; and that both bothers and comforts me. Trying to get to a place where it just comforts me would be really nice.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    set in stone....

    The table set up! I want to add more grout, am believing hubby, Home Depot guy and MarkD. Then will trim it and I want to do a more creative finish. Not ready for tomorrow night, but that's okay. I would rather get it right. Thanks ya all....I'll post a pic when it's done.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    A Lucille Ball kind of day....

    If there had been a video camera on me today...someone would probably win some cash. Maybe it's the antihistamines. Maybe the 3 cups of coffee? Maybe the healthy blueberries I had this morning for breakfast...oh yeah, they were attached to sugary PIE....
    Maybe a mix of all of it.

    Anyway, I may have botched my table up. It was a cascading situation. I thought I was mixing enough grout, then ran out. I was using the hose outside and must have squirted myself in the face about 20 times. I couldn't find my rubber gloves. I was slapping brown grout into the grooves with my hands, not thinking about how I was cutting my fingers up. My nose was itching, Sweat glistening on my brow (oh...I'm a girl, I don't sweat, I glow...) I was battling time, and I'm pretty sure I was muttering words that some might consider to be, shall we say, "colorful."

    I may rename the table "Blood, Sweat, and Tears."

    I had to mix the remaining bunch of grout, then slipped with the hose and put in a tad too much water, was grabbing some of the excess grout to add to it to thicken it up....but now I'm afraid it won't set up. Hubby assures me it will, and after listening to me grouse, informed me that I was giving him a headache. ;-} HA! I have grouted tons of stuff, poured cement, etc. I still get a little nervous when I do it. This definitely didn't help.

    I'm definitely having water issues with this "River" I was trying to clean up in the sink, I didn't notice that I was overflowing the counter, so I had to start throwing towels on that.

    I tracked grout in the house, looking like a crazed woman playing with mud pies. I still can't get it completely off my hands (grouting with bare hands is a big no no...not good stuff on the skin) and my 14 yr old put bandages all over my fingers, trying not so hard not to laugh at me. My career as a hand model is over. The little smarty did ask me if I might prefer Pooh band-aids over the boring "flesh" tone band-aids. Ha ha. By the way, it irritates me that "flesh" tone always ends up to be "Caucasian." Why is that? And why is Jesus always some white dude? But, I digress....

    So, I went to a client's house, fully cognizant of the fact that I was probably taking my life in my hands, or someone else's, by getting behind the wheel. I was very careful, but for some reason, every cop in town was out, and they kept following ME...or maybe it's my paranoia. Hmm. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are NOT out to get you....

    So, just returned from client's house. Bigger son brought a salad home for me. Kids rock. My table looks like it may set up after all....don't know if I'll be done by Sat. I'm determined to get it right. If it is messed up...I shall prevail! Nevah give up! I'll start all over again if I have to.

    Update: It looks like it's going to be okay....but may have to add some grout on top. Home Depot guy said I could if I rough up the grout lines to give it tooth to hold another layer. It had to be thick to prevent some other poor idiot from cutting themselves!

    I'm going to watch a movie and eat Chinese food.....

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Prayers for a man alone....

    Please pray for my neighbor John, who passed away some time yesterday afternoon....alone in his house, sitting on the couch, that he would be safe in the Father's arms. This morning, I saw that his lawn mower and trash bags were still on the driveway....his car in the open garage. I called my husband to see if he had seen wasn't unusual for John to sort of disappear off and on. He kept to himself, a lot. We tried to buddy up to him, but it was very difficult. He had apparently taken his ex-wife to the airport to go to L.A. for her father's funeral. My hubby said he hadn't seen him and we agreed that something had happened. I waited for a check in the spirit to see if I should go in or not...because I knew what I would find. He was just...sitting there on the sofa as if he had dozed off. I called 911 then dropped to my knees to pray for him, and for the house as well. This is the 2nd man that has died there; it's the third owner that has died. There have only been 3 owners. Please pray for his ex-wife; she doesn't know yet; and they were still friends, so her loss is doubled. Please pray for his family and friends. I just wept at the thought of him all alone last night; no one knowing. Dying alone. It scares the crap out of me. So, maybe a prayer for me and mine, as well. Thanks. "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb." Rev. 22:1

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Ready for grouting, trim, paint....thanks, Bruce and all of you! You spurred me on and encouraged me!'s very much appreciated!

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part. -Andrew Murray

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Of ghosties and afterlife.....

    Youngest son Grant watched Ghost Hunters late last night and got freaked out (we both did actually) over some actual evidence of spirits and such. I'm not sure why...I've certainly seen and heard my share of weirdness. But this led to a major conversation about what happens after we die. The heaven part is a given, but the concept of spirits existing is also a given for us, because of witness and heck, the Bible tells us so. We've had a lot of loss in our family, and death is no stranger to my kids. Praise God they deal with it as well as could be expected.

    We went into the theories: 1) that spirits are not our loved ones who have passed, but actually demons trying to trick us 2) that people who might not believe in God or an afterlife are trapped somewhere in between here and "there."

    He started really festering on these notions and concentrating on what will happen to him after death.....I suggested he go into contemplative prayer and ask God. I was kind of surprised that he was questioning these things...I'll relate a story that HE experienced in a minute. He went into prayer and about 10 minutes later he said he had a theory. He theorized that what we experience with spirits is really a crossover of the space-time continuum...that we may be seeing someone in the past or future phasing in and out, and they may be seeing US as spirits as well. (He didn't know that this is an actual theory) For instance, on the Ghost Hunters, they were chasing spirits (caught on camera, and voices on tape) up the spiral stairs of an old lighthouse. The voices said, "help me!" and you could actually hear conversation between people unseen, and their footsteps on the stairs. Grant thought that maybe in the dimension they are in, THEY were being pursued by "spirits" and trying to get away. The running away and "help me" are logical...I know that's what I would be doing if I thought something was chasing ME!!

    The universe is an amazing thing. We'll never know the ins and outs. I reminded him, though, of his experience a few years ago. He had decided that there was no good and evil and decided to call demons to our house to prove it. One night, he was having trouble sleeping (wonder why?) and went into the hall toward the bathroom. He saw a very dark entity approaching him. Suddenly, there was a brilliant light that stepped between him and the darkness. He was fully awake at that point! He said the light entity had a face that was neither male, nor female....a kind and loving face that looked down at him, placing itself between him and darkness. He said the light around it was huge and incredible. He remembers this, but sometimes convinces himself that it was a dream...even though we've told him that we've seen such loving creatures around our home. This happened when he was around 7 years old. What could I do but smile?

    Last night, I got up around 3 a.m. Gracie got up with me, so I opened the back door to let her out...but I didn't turn on the yard light. There was, I thought, plenty of existing light for her to go out....but she wouldn't! She poked her nose out, but backed up. My 80 lb. dog wouldn't go out without the light! I couldn't blame her...I can't imagine going anywhere, myself, without the Light, either.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Ebbs and flows....

    This was a perfect Saturday morning last weekend. Cool breezes, ignoring the garage clutter, big lab by my side....I started this mosaic on an old table. I have to have it done by the 12th to get it into a show. The rate I'm going..hmmm. Anyway, it's River of Life...big Daddy gave it to me one day, and every time I hit a snag on the design, He tells me what to do! I didn't know where the title came from til I happened upon Rev. 22:1~~ "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb."