Sunday, July 11, 2010


I always think of Alaska as being cold and snowy year 'round. This pristine scene looks as if it could be in Northern California or Washington State. Daughter Carajean and family decided to enjoy the cooler weather of Alaska while on vacation this year.

Yep! That's ice in the water! You don't see anyone swimming in this lake, or is it the ocean? Somewhere in Alaska.

Back home, they will be remembering this when the Panhandle temperature rises to 100 degrees this summer.

Branch, Audrey, Tanner, Carajean, and Ashlyn

This is probably the safest way to get around in the Alaskan wilderness to be certain you don't run into any bears! That's Ashlyn, looking good and ready for an adventure.

A reminder that they all dared to do this same thing, skimming through the treetops of the rainforest in Costa Rica! This makes the rides at Six Flags look tame by comparison!

By the way, I heard that Tanner kept the folks onboard ship entertained while answering questions that supposedly "could not be answered" from a book his Papaw was reading. He enthralled a Professor of Physics, who asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. His reply was "an astrophysicist". There goes my environmentalist... Must be all the Carl Sagan he's been reading!

Grandson Travis recently completed a week at motorcycle camp. At nearly eight years of age he was the youngest one there. In the first picture he is receiving instructions. It rained a lot the week he was there, but the mud didn't deter them, as you can see in the next photo.

By the end of the week, he was "poppin' a wheelie" for his Uncle Craig! It was a mighty proud little boy at "graduation", and I heard he just might be getting one of these bikes for his birthday.

His Dad Matthew took the pictures, sending them with the caption "mini me". Not only does he look like his dad did at that age, now he's following in his footst... uhhh, motorcycle tracks! He's #1 in my book!

Early this year I watched a popular movie star being interviewed. Not only is he an award winning actor who has starred in many action movies, but his personal life has always been one to be admired. He and his wife have four children, one of which is an NFL football player, and they are involved in many worthwhile charities as a family. I was a little taken aback when he told the interviewer that this year he is reading the Bible cover to cover for the second time in his life. As many years as I have spent attending churches of different kinds, this is something that never occurred to me to attempt. The most popular, all-time best seller in the world and I, an avid reader, spiritually curious seeker, have never read the whole book! Thus I began the monumental task, using two different versions of the Bible...the King James version, and the New International Version, which I use to clarify some of the language. I wrote my former pastor recently to get a metaphysical meaning of one of the terms.

I found myself enthralled with the stories that I thought I had heard growing up. However, I realize I was always being told a "sanitized" version! I am a great fan of mysteries and psychological thrillers, but never have I read of such mayhem as is contained in the Bible. I am nearly finished with the second book of Kings, and I swear I've read of more polygamy, adultery, incest, wars, cannibalism, and executions/murders of various horrendous kinds -- in particular, beheadings, that were committed by the "righteous" and "God's chosen people" than anything our children supposedly are exposed to in movies, video games or television in today's world. It is no wonder that some fundamental, religious extremists who view the Bible literally are driven to commit similar horrendous acts "in the name of God". (Or Allah, if the Koran is nearly as violent as the Bible.)

However, I have been learning new terms that cause me to laugh out loud at times. These terms I had to look up in the NIV version for interpretation. "Those who pisseth against the wall" was one that caused me to giggle. What an apt description of males! A couple of terms I had heard before, but did not know their origin. "He slept with his fathers" and "He gave up the ghost". How much more colorful than "he passed away" or plain old "he died" or as in my church, "she made her transition". MY KIDS: LISTEN UP! When my body wears out and you are ready to spread my ashes, I want the obituary to read, "She gave up the ghost"!
Recently a nonprofit organization in Burnet, the Global Art Initiative, joined with International Medical Outreach and Feed the Children, to send over 200 painted crutches, walkers, canes, and wheelchairs to the Haitian people who were disabled in the January earthquake. Not bad for a small town of less than 5,000 people. The Church of the Epicenter has joined with a group that is helping to bring fresh water to the people there as well.
I know we all (at least we women) have looked in the mirror and were shocked to see "our mother" looking back at us. That was tough, but I recently was horrified when I thought I saw my grandmother looking back at me! That ever happen to you?

Ah, aging. It is happening to all of us all of the time. But when a musical icon from our youth like Ringo Starr turns 70, as he did recently, it really brings it on home. As he was celebrating with his fans on the streets, he gave the familiar "peace sign" and all together they shouted

Peace and Love!


  1. I've seen my grandmother in the mirror a few times.......she's always shaking a finger at me.

  2. Friend Mary Smith said:
    "I like the new blog look. But then, I liked the other one also.

    I have heard about those Alaskan vacations and even though, some of the travelers may have had a couple difficult situations, they all came back glowing with the wonders of that state.

    Glad the kids had a good time."