Now I know, some of you are opposed to any Halloween celebration of any kind. But let me just tell you about my Halloween trick or treating growing up! We never had any evil attached to October 31. It was just a day to collect free candy. Our focus was upon Hershey’s and Mars and any other sugary item available to us.

I have a fond memory of my Dad buying me this product


for you see, Halloween is the day BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY!! So one year this was my treat to share with the class. Had to be elementary school because he died before I went to middle school.

It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized I could tell the people who were passing out the candy “Tomorrow is my birthday!” And


They would usually give me extra candy. What is not to like about that? And the best part is it was a true statement 🙂


Of course, we did not have plastic pumpkins in the 1960s. Just grabbed one of mom’s pillowcases ( with permission) and hit as many doors as possible.

Be sure to brush your teeth after you sort the kids’ candy and choose your favorites! Just sayin’!!

Love, The Birthday Girl



Not Quite Plain Sight

… unless you travel out a ways by boat.

We went out on the Sanctuary Cruise in Moss Beach, California to whale watch.


The white plume to the right is a whale exhaling. The naturalist on board taught us to look for bird activity, with seals and stirred up water. Shortly the whales would appear. They stirred up food from the bottom and that attracted the birds and seals. These were humpbacked whales and not seal eaters.


This one shows the seals and other activity. Sadly the man taking photos next to me is blurring the left side. I am not accomplished enough to remove him from the photo and keep the left whale.


And the fun continued! The mist from the plume drifted our way. The captain asked how we liked liked whale breath! It was fishy and fun in a whale sighting kind of way!! My favorite is the one minute video I took, but I have to pay lots more for the blog if I post videos. The video went to my facebook account.


Our trip was worth every penny. We had such fun. I marveled the God did not HAVE to allow us to see theses fantastic creatures. And yet, He did! So with the flip of the tail I say good day!




Authority and Faith


This photo was taken by my husband for me at the Cincinnati Art Museum when  a few soldiers from the terracotta army China toured at our museum. Dating from 210 BCE they were amazing. WHen I first saw this General I immediately thought of the Centurion from Capernaum. That man understood authority.

Matthew 8:5-13 (HCSB)
When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony!” “I will come and heal him,” Jesus told him.
“Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be cured. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following Him, “I assure you: I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith! I tell you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was cured that very moment.

With just the signal of a finger this general told his army what to do. The Centurion understood that Jesus did not need to travel to his home. With only a word our Savior healed a paralyzed servant.

I used this photo and scripture recently for a meditation during church wide prayer night. We have a time of confession in that meeting and I wrote, “Lord we ask Your forgiveness when we have not understood Your authority in our lives and over the powers of darkness that torment us. Forgive us, too, for not using the authority You have given us to push back against the darkness. Increase our faith that we might serve You mightily in all things. Help us Lord, to go when You say, “Go,” to come when You call us to come and to do the things You show us to do.”

LK 18:6-8 (Parable of Unjust Judge) Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”

This question often rolls about in my mind, will Jesus find faith on the earth when He returns? The Centurion was not even a believer and he amazed Jesus with his faith and understanding of authority. Do we have faith like the persistant widow in the parable about the unjust judge? Faith like the Centruion? Do we have faith that pleases God, for Hebrews 11:6 says “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who come to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

That sort of faith.

Missing my Dog!

Strolling © 2011 Molly Lin Dutina

Strolling down the street today with the dog
a north wind came to refresh our part of the earth
and summer
gave way
to autumn

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Instead of humid stillness packed
with dense air you could almost “see”
we were graced
with cool breezes
puffs of refreshment

And I found myself in the path of
one hundred

Thank you north wind for sharing the locust shower
Praise You , Lord, for the joy of changing seasons

Grow On!

Grow On! ©1994 by Molly Lin Dutina

Wild the wind that sends the leaves aloft
Gleefully they chatter, “I’m free! I’m free!”
‘Falling’ leaves of autumn
Travel far from their beginning
Mixing with a flock of birds
As we, all earth bound, fail to see
Which is bird and which is leaf.

Mighty Force of God, capture me in Your updraft
Hurl me headlong in Your love
Drift me sideways with the angels
Take me far from all complacency
Where the familiar dulls my senses
Gently land me back at the place
On my Pilgrim Journey path where
You meet me with new courage
To grow on.

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Dojo’s Kisses

Our hallway is adorned with family photos showing four generations. Both sets of our parents, Bob and I, our children with their children and our son-in-law. One afternoon in 2014 when the light was just right I noticed the glass over the photo of my daughter’s family was smudged. On closer inspection I found kiss marks over each face.

I remembered on a recent visit our youngest Grandgirl had been going into the bathroom often to apply her new lip balm that had slight color in it. I am certain she adorned the photo of her family! I did not “clean” the glass. It’s a blessed testament of love.

When we recently updated the family photos I asked my husband to be certain NOT to wash the glass. He did better than that! He bought a new frame for the new photo and let me keep old photo with kisses. I love that man!

Ellie kisses special

Radical Acceptance

… is just another way to say yield.


Sometimes I have to create my own object lessons with Sculpey clay. Not always professional looking, but seriously mine!

On our recent vacation I developed terrible Vertigo, the type that landed me in Urgent Care getting drugs for the symptoms. Over one week later I am still waiting for the symptoms to be healed. This is a very hard lesson in radical acceptance. Vertigo is like losing total control over your life. No balance, no ability to just “get over it”, no cure in sight. At least not nauseated any more. Waiting for 2 weeks to get into physical therapist who specializes in resetting the crystals of the inner ear. I never even knew I HAD crystals in my inner ear! If I carry a crystal and sleep with it will I be healed before then?

So yielding to my current condition is tough. But then again, what choice do I have? Fight and flail and kick against it and I am just likely to fall down. If I did not have a headache already, then exercises the internist gave me to perform induce one. Yep, I assert once again that growing old is NOT for sissies!


Autumn 2018

Today, October 2 the woods are reflecting my house! My favorite colors are yellow, orange, green and brown for my living area. Outside it is no longer just the edges of the maples that are yellow! The entirety of the leaves is turning.

A recent fact list about autumn stated: “Yellow, orange and variations thereof always reside in the pigmentation of tree leaves, but they are just overpowered by the abundance of green from the chlorophyll in the leaves. When the sun weakens and days grow shorter, the amount of chlorophyll in leaves diminishes, allowing the other pigments in the leave to show through.

Guess I likely learned that in school, but I am delighted to think about the other colors residing there all year long and just masked by the green of the chlorophyll.

Rabbit trail: Do you remember Clorets chewing gum? Creators maintained it cured bad breath. The actual ingredient was chlorophyllin. Scientists are now looking at that chemical in the possible treatment of cancer and burns.

The autumn fact list article goes on to say red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of leaves. Well, there you have it!

Ask Y or Yield?

Many years ago when faced with the fibromyalgia health situation I realized I had the opportunity to ask “WHY?” or to become a Y – yielded to God in the circumstance. Thus began my observation of Yield signs. This one in Ireland brought me up short as I do not read or speak Gaelic, yet I knew exactly what it meant!


Yes those signs are all around us! Yield can be defined as to concede, surrender or relinquish; to surrender voluntarily one’s right, privilege, etc. In that time of deciding whether to just ask Why or become a Y,  I often read where others had asked God, “Why me?” and often the response was “Why not you? Who better?”

To become a Y I needed to release my judgement of the situation and raise my hands in surrender to God. I had to yield to my Savior and my God.

In 1993 I came across a cartoon called 9 Chickweed Lane. I will just describe it to you because if would cost me $35 to place it in this blog! Frame 1: This guy is walking along. Frame 2: He comes upon a sign. Frame 3: He stops to read it; it is a yield sign. Frame 4: He drops to one knee and bows. That is how I try to respond now when I see a Yield sign. God knows I need object lessons to keep me on track! So each time I see



I try to remember to bend the knee of my heart and bow to the Trinity.


God has always been with me regarding the fibro. I had the opportunity to create and run a support group for a number of years at a local hospital. The diagnosis has opened many opportunities to encourage other people with the same diagnosis to press on and find their best self as they travel through and with the experience. We have each had to learn how to yield when there is a symptom flare up. I even wrote a talk on how to have a flare with flair!

The next time you are faced with a situation where you begin to ask why, consider becoming a Y and see where that leads. As my mother used to sing, “You’ll never walk alone!”


Lillies With Magic Powers

There is a plant I have never grown, though many people in the area have them in their yards. This pink flower shows up with a cry of “Surprise!” After the foliage has died away. They have several names.


Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily and Naked Lady because the leaves die back before the flowers emerge. These flowers are part of the amaryllis family. I enjoy those flowers in January! Researching this I discovered resurrection lilies can be used as cut flowers! Oooh, I “may have to get me some of those!”