Vanishing Tablets

The older I get the more lessons I learn about growing old. Case in point, I recently had to fill my evening pillbox in the bathroom at bedtime. I use 4 pillboxes daily, (breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime). Somehow I had run out of evening medication before it was time to fill all the pillboxes at once. I hauled out the medication and prepared to fill the box for a one week supply.

When I got to the Losartan, described as ‘elliptical green tablet’, the open bottle slipped from my hand and spilled all over the bathroom floor. I closed the door to keep Lucky out while I scooped up tablets. I amused myself thinking, “If the Losartan seems hairy in your mouth it is likely due to dog shedding and Molly shedding!” I wanted to be careful to get all of them lest the dog get one and eat it. Her blood pressure has not been an issue so she does not need the medication! I am grateful that the medication regulates my blood pressure so it is not an issue for me either!

As I continued to get ready for bed I realized the lump in the new shag rug was yet another tablet, and another tablet. Pharmaceuticals can camouflage! Who knew? The color of the rug is actually more lovely than this image of the pill. I finally shook the rug in the shower stall in an attempt to retrieve all of them. In case you are too young to know, the insurance company keeps track of how many pills are dispensed by the pharmacy and will not cover the cost of extras if you lose a few to the bathroom floor.

A few days later I had cause to mop the bathroom floor. I took up the rug and began to sweep up any loose hair or dirt. Voila! There were 3 more tablets against the edge of the cabinet that I had missed. Yikes. Glad the dog did not find them or find them tasty. “Hairy blood pressure regulator.” Never saw that from a Doc!

Senior citizen with hands that sometimes do not grasp, spilled pills, likely missed more than a few on the first pass, and second pass! The lessons go on and on for me!

His Power

Have you pondered the Power of our God?

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

Psalm 68:19-20 NIV

Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens. You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!

Psalm 68:34-35 NIV

All of that in four verses of one Psalm. Have you thanked Him for pouring out this power on your behalf? In your darkest hour do you know His light? He bears our burdens. He keeps us from dying in our heart, our innermost being. He gives power and strength to His people. When we feel most vulnerable and acutely know the very weakness of ourselves, He gives us power and strength. Who couldn’t use more strength?

Repeatedly I come back to

 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Romans 8:11 NRSV

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. I have found that the power that raised Jesus goes dormant when I choose to live by my flesh, pushing the Spirit of Christ aside in preference to my will and my ways. My thinking becomes corrupted with thoughts such as, “Why shouldn’t I be thanked?” or “What am I, chopped okra?”

The only way I know to begin again starts with seeing my sin and confessing it to my Lord.

If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 RSV

I cannot cleanse myself. I can recognize and confess though. Just as an addict cannot stop using until they want to, until they are ready, I cannot even see my sin until I am miserable and recognize how far removed I am from walking in righteousness with my Lord.

He daily bears our burdens and provides us an escape from death. He gives us life and strength and power. He indwells us with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. He knows we have the ability to shut off that power source by stubbornly returning to our ways of flesh. When the ‘Hound of Heaven’ shows us we are way off, He can also disarm us with His love and lead us to repentance.

I fled Him down the nights and down the days
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
I hid from him . . .

The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson

We serve an amazing God who never leaves us or forsakes us. Even when we are stinky brats, He stays close by. Come to Him, all who are weary and heavy laden. He will give you rest and life and love unmerited.

The Father will not make us obey. He waits for us to turn to Him and ask forgiveness. We give access to Him by confessing our shortcomings. We then turn towards Him and walk away from the sin habits. I would love to say we never return there. Sadly we are like dogs in Proverbs 26:11:

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

Lord, help us to follow You with joyful, peaceful, constant, yielded obedience. Thank you for pardoning us when we step off Your path and choose our own way. Please continue to lead us always in Your paths of righteousness. We will be ever so careful to give You the glory. Amen.

A Fresh Take on An Election!

This is copied from The Cincinnati Enquirer regarding a recent Northern Kentucky election. Trying to bring you this humorous news there were many typos created from copy and pasting. I hope I caught all of them!

Mon 11/21/2022 Jolene Almendarez, Cincinnati Enquirer USA TODAY NETWORK

How this NKY city forgot all about an election
MENTOR, Ky. – The election in this city earlier this month
featured no negative ads, no spam texts – not even any
candidates on the ballot.
In this city of fewer than 200 residents, every elected official
forgot to submit their names in time to run for office again. So, on
Election Day, voters had to write in candidates.
Mentor City Commissioner Maggie Gosney didn’t even know she
won the election until three days after the polls closed. When an
Enquirer reporter told her she likely did win based on unofficial
election results, she shrugged.
“We just got wrapped up in our lives and it slipped past us,” she
said about missing the deadline to run for office. “And we knew
about it, because the city clerk kept saying we have to get our
names in by a certain date. … We just forgot and we were like, ‘Oh,
yeah, we were supposed to do that, weren’t we?’ ” Run by a mayor
and four-person city commission, this Campbell County enclave is
roughly a mile-long strip on state Route 8 along the Ohio River,
about 30 minutes southeast of Cincinnati.

Red Pin is Mentor, KY

The political scene in Mentor seems even further away from the
name-calling and election complaints of Northern Kentucky
politics this year.
Gosney, 55, a lifelong resident of the city, said residents basically
take turns holding office. She also clarified that write-in
candidates still have to pay a fee to run for office and submit their
intent to run as a write-in candidate.
City Clerk Carol Dunn asked Gosney to run for office a little over
four years ago when another resident gave up the spot. She took
up the offer and it didn’t take much campaigning to win back then
or for her to win this year’s election, which she did with 30 of the
113 votes cast, according to unofficial election results from the
Campbell County Clerk.
She says she posted about her candidacy on Facebook the day
before the election. Write-in candidates were also mentioned in
the city’s one-page newsletter this month, where the election and
candidates were given a two sentence mention. More information
was given about this year’s Christmas parade
where the person
with the best float (usually a tractor or a truck) wins a gold painted
ceramic turkey and about $15.
The parade is the biggest event of the year in Mentor.
Last year, float winners won one of three city signs that were
being replaced. The city signs say, “Last one out of town, please
turn off the light.” Gosney and her family won one of the signs
with a “Very Covid Christmas” theme: A tree decorated with toilet
paper, masks, and bandages.
There are only a handful of businesses, including a dog training
facility and a hair salon. And Gosney said that as a city
commissioner, there is never any drama or people lined up to
speak about issues.
City council meets once a month at a nearby house. Meetings
used to be held on some church steps, but they changed the
location after the church became a residence.
At most meetings, she says they take on issues like potholes or
snow removal. The city doesn’t have any zoning laws or other
restrictions that require permits.
Mayor Peggy Fury declined to be interviewed. But she said
in a phone call that she’d likely end up being mayor again, though
unofficial election results show nobody was written in as mayor of
the city.
Campbell County Clerk Jim Luersen said a small town with only
write-in candidates isn’t unusual.
“We have 15 different cities in Campbell County and a couple of
them are very, very small. So, sometimes it’s hard to find anyone
to pay the $50 filing fee to run,” he said. “It’s not like you get paid
for the job or anything.”
In fact, when nobody wants to run the local government in a small
town, it could lead to dis-incorporation.
The Ohio Valley Resource, an online news outlet, reported the
eastern Kentucky town of Blackey has been dis-incorporated twice,
most recently this summer. It has been years since the city had a
government and its infrastructure began crumbling. The Letcher
County government absorbed it in June, the news
organization reported.
But Gosney says she isn’t worried about that happening in Mentor
any time soon.
“I think we’ll always be a little town. I hope so anyway.”

Mentor is a city in Campbell County, Ky. with a population of about
200 people and a total area of 0..81 square miles..

© The Enquirer. All rights reserved. Powered by TECNAVIA

My Collected Photos

I recently realized that the photo files on my computer contain many photos of folks who are no longer living on this earth. Guess that means I am getting old. In case you have an empty chair at your table this year I want to remind you that others are missing loved ones, too. None of us are getting out of here without experiencing death of ones we love or our own. If you are following Christ there are promises for a better life with Him after we shed this ‘meat bag’ body and live on in the spirit. You are a spirit, inhabiting a body. Either Dallas Willard or C. S. Lewis made that point. Regardless, it is so true.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 

1 Peter 1:3-5

If you are missing loved ones, I pray that you are able to celebrate their life by adopting their best attributes and making those your own. Try to list wonderful things you remember about each person. Prayerfully thank God the Father for their positive influence upon your life. Ask for guidance from the Lord as to how you can best honor each one with the days you have remaining. May God bless and keep you this holiday season and always.

Intertwined Story

Once we had a Jewish house guest. I do not remember what we fed him for supper, but our son, Jeff, had hot dogs. Our guest was to sleep on the bottom bunk bed that night. Our son on the top. In the middle of the night our son was ill. He vomited hotdogs all over the side of the bed, splashing our guest below. Yep, I was up in the night cleaning up that horrible sickness, changing sheets and apologizing to our guest, soothing our embarrassed son. One of those yucky nights.

Fast forward 30 or 40 years. I sleep in fleecy socks. Seems I sleep more soundly with socks on? I had purchased new white sheets for our bed. The elastic in the old fitted sheet had burst. The other set never fit this deep mattress correctly. So with new sheets I prepared for bed and grabbed a new pair of socks, too. I also nap daily. I pulled back the sheets the next afternoon for my siesta and there was black fuzz on the sheets. Oh man, I thought. That night I forgot and climbed into bed with the same combination.

Next morning as I made the bed I looked between the sheets and the mess was worse than ever. I simply pulled back top covers and went to get the new Giant Extreme Stick with “extreme results to quickly remove lint, hair and debris.” After I rolled over the black lint, tore off a sheet and was on sheet #6 I realized this called for the attachment sweeper. My bed socks had vomited all over my new white sheets. As I swept and swept I remembered cleaning up that bedroom long ago after hot dogs visited the bunk beds.

Yes, those socks quite literally vomited all over my new sheets. There was black fuzz where I never realized I put my feet at night. Must have been searching for Bob’s warmth? I swept top and bottom sheets and then threw them in the washer using extra water in the cycle. Separately I washed the socks and put them in Goodwill donation box. Someone else might like black house socks.

The really bad part, I had bought my Grandgirls the same socks for Christmas. So now I had to go back to the store and exchange for a different color! The clerk said I could not simply exchange them. Did not realize until the young man had made the return and new purchase that the original discount was not applied. Geez!

I know now that I should have taken a photo for you. Unbelievable how far black fuzz can travel on a white sheet! Grateful fuzz was not as stinky as regurgitated hot dogs!

Gift from My Friend, Dan

In the summer of 2021 my friend Dan sent me the book The Valley of Vision A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. I do not read it daily, but I was prompted to open it last week. Here is where I read:

Grace Active
Lord Jesus, Great High Priest,
Thou hast opened a new and living way
by which a fallen creature can approach thee with acceptance.
Help me to contemplate
the dignity of thy Person,
the perfectness of thy sacrifice,
the effectiveness of thy intercession.
O what blessedness accompanies devotion,
when under all the trials that weary me, 
eh cares that corrode me,
the fears that disturb me,
the infirmities that oppress me,
I can come to thee in my need
and feel peace beyond understanding!
The grace that restores is necessary to  preserve,
lead, guard, supply, help me.

And here thy saints encourage my hope;
they were once poor and are now rich,
bound and are now free,
tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess,
but bit more than is found in thee,
the divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells.
To thee I repair for grace upon grace
until every void made by sin be replenished
and I am filled with all thy fullness.
May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened,
that I may honour thee by my entire dependency
and the greatness of my expectation.
Do thou be with me, and prepare me for all
the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity,
the losses of substance, the death of friends,
the days of darkness, the changes of life,
and the last great change of all.
May I find thy grace sufficient
for all my needs.

Certainly said it all for me!

Sun Poetry

We have had so much sun lately since the weather has been ruled by these mostly drought conditions. I made a note to myself to “finish the sun blog.” Now I wonder what that meant!

Late October ©Molly Lin Dutina 22-10-29 
This morning the sun graces remaining leaves 
Barren trees now have a glow on their trunk
Knowing there are gloomy days ahead 
I want to store up this sunshine in my heart 
Perhaps like manna, that is not possible? 

The gardeners think they have repaired 
Water pooling in our yard 
Unless the drought breaks 
We will not know 
If drainage is corrected

And earlier than that on October 13, 2022 I wrote ….

Grandeur of Sun ©Molly Lin Dutina 22-10-13 

The black cloud perfect backdrop
As sun clears the trees in east
Lighting up treetop to west
Blazing red, swirling gold
Under layer of green
A momentary glimpse of autumn
Grandeur rarely seen 
Marvel of God’s handiwork
How was that even possible
That I looked up
Just then to see it?
Camera could not catch it properly
Totally gone now
Just gray rainy day
Orang-ish maple
No big deal
A few chirping birds
Patter of drops on fallen leaves
Applause of the crowd fading
“Camera could not catch it properly” see blaze of gold above the roof

Perhaps First Drops After the Drought?

We have had some surprising weather recently. We went from the 70s to the 30s. Here is a poetic reflection upon those changes.

Rain At Last © 2022 Molly Lin Dutina
Steady pouring rain this morning
Delight to our drought ears
Stunning to the parched ground
Cannot pour too much for me

Landscape errors highlighted
By pools of water
They misjudged water flow
“One more thing” husband declares

Yet the trees declare, “Bring it on”
Long ago fallen leaves
Ground up by machines of men
No longer have a voice

Next years foliage will have to be
Voice enough for them
As flower beds gulp and sigh
A desperate cry of “Finally.”

We volunteered for a food distribution at church one morning a few days later. At least we knew about weather change a few hours in advance and could dress appropriately! Surprise!

The snow collected upon the canopies and had to be cleaned off lest the canopies collapse under the weight! So the folk lore begs the question, since it snowed on November 12 will we have 12 snowfalls this season?

Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
And he has raised up for his people a horn
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 148:4, 8,13-14

Photo Bombs

I thought I kept a copy of the first time Bob did at photo bomb on me. I was trying to do one of my first selfies and he popped up between two trees. I can’t find that photo, (of course, since I want it). So here is the next photo when I made him get in the picture. We were at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There was a report on the news recently of this photo bomb.

Jordan Anast captures Surfer with Shark at the annual San Onofre Surf Club contest near San Diego.
Professional surfer Tyler Warren

I thought it was a whale but it is actually a shark. Lucky surfer, I’d say! He wanted a copy of the photo to show his mom.

You can hear the story at

Decades Ago

The photo that opened this post is my favorite Veteran. My Dad, Paul Arthur Rush, served in World War II. He was a navy signalman on several different battleships. Sadly, he died in 1961 from heart disease. There was not much in the way of treatment for heart disease at that time. Mom always told the story, “The doctors told him to quit smoking, quit drinking and quit hunting. His response was that he would rather be dead.” Sadly I was only eleven when he got his desired end.

Sort of amusing that the former navy signalman is playing with my Dennis the Menace puppet!

I cannot begin to express how much I have missed him over the ensuing 61 years. Here I am right before his funeral.

Since that many years have passed it is difficult to recall many details about my dad. People used to think I looked just like him. As I grew older, old family friends decided I looked just like my mom. Go figure. Dad and I did have a similar sense of humor.

I remember him letting me put his hair in pin curls while he watched TV once. He liked pretzels and candy, especially bulls-eyes.

On a run to the Pony Keg to get more beer with a friend, he would let me buy candy. When they read his will I asked if I could have the change they mentioned for candy. The room erupted in laughter. I do not think I ever got the coins.

AARP Magazine for October/November 2022 Has a Heart Disease Brief that reads: “3D view of Coronary Arteries, For people with chest pain, shortness of breath or signs of heart blockage, an FDA-cleared test called HeartFlow FFRct Analysis can provide a three-dimensional look at the arteries of the heart without an invasive imaging procedure. Studies show the test can help identify who does – and doesn’t – need more invasive tests and treatments.”

Dad’s favorite piece of classical music

I have one book that I know he owned. “Stories of Great Artists” with a copyright of 1903. His name is written inside the cover. His brother Howard is written inside the back cover along with mine. No other marks inside the book. I have always wondered if one of the works of art in the book was his favorite?

After his death I was forlorn. That also sent me on my quest for someone to fill his place. No one could. Then I truly began to turn to God as my Father. God my Father has never disappointed or abandoned me. I still miss my Dad though.

I have outlived both of my parents. Dad was 46 when he died. Mom was 61. I think we never appreciate our parents as much when they are alive as after they are gone. May they rest in peace.