Speaking of Our Beagle

When our daughter’s family came over Lucky Dog was in heaven. After opening gifts we had cake and ice cream and then put our masks back on while we visited. Oldest Grandgirl gives the dog an all over scratching. Same girl does not like to have her photo taken, so sadly, no picture of her. Younger Grandgirl decided to give Lucky a massage. This dog was hoping the girls would just move in and stay forever!

This is the face of Beagle contentment!

See Grandgirl’s smiling eyes!

I love you! Don’t stop!!!
The Parents are not going to take her away, are they?!?!

I believe Lucky almost cried when they left. Such are the glories of a doggie Christmas!

“To Bless the Space Between Us”

John O’Donohue wrote a book of blessings that I occasionally pull out and re-read. I think this one sums up Christmas Day 2020 rather nicely!

Now is the time to free the heart,

Let all intentions and worries stop,

Free the joy inside the self,

Awaken to the wonder of your life.

Open your eyes and see the friends

Whose hearts recognize your face as kin,

Those whose kindness watchful and near,

Encourages you to live everything here.

See the gifts the years have given,

Things your effort could never earn,

The health to enjoy who you want to be

And the mind to mirror mystery.

For Celebration John O’Donohue

May you celebrate the indwelling Christ as we remember His birth as man.

Windy December

The change of seasons always seems to hit hard in December. In southwestern Ohio we tend to have high winds during those times. The folks who display blow up decorations are hard pressed to drop their displays in time not to have them suffer permanent damage.

In years past people tended to buy hard plastic decorations. You have likely seen something like the one below over the years.

One year at Christmas time we were bringing our oldest Grandgirl to our house after her nursery school had let out for the day. At our encouragement she was looking at decorations along the way. It had been one of those windy December days. We passed the home of a Catholic family. They tended to not place the baby Jesus in the display until December 24th.

As we passed their yard Lizzie said, “I see Mary. I see Joseph. I guess Jesus blowed away!”

Sweet memory!

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Luke 2:6-7 NIV

Make room in your heart for Him this year! You will not regret it.

Star ?

Taken from https://images.twnmm.com/c55i45ef3o2a/5uIs5BUABAKcx7RAh1D4ju/43059da5725182207a342122cffd3644/Jupiter-Saturn-to-Great-Conjunction.jpg?w=680&q=10&fm=jpg

So what is the hype with the weatherman these days? (Guess I should say weather person.) They say that Jupiter and Saturn are going to be in close proximity on December 21st. {Oh! That is Monday she thinks as she writes this on Sunday afternoon.}

Being in the Northern Hemisphere, I am told to look to the southwest. I looked up all this information online for a better understanding about the details. “The December 21, 2020 conjunction will be the closest great conjunction since July 16, 1623. At the great conjunction of 1623, Jupiter and Saturn were slightly less than 0.1 degrees apart. The last time that the two planets were easily observable when separated by less than 0.1 degrees was almost 800 years ago, during the great conjunction of 1226.” Okay, now I am understanding how unusual this is! 1623 or 1226. I am no longer thinking pandemic here, yeah! Got my mind in outer space! Referring to conjuction means how these planets will appear to our eyes. They will not truly be only that far apart.

“In fact, some scholars have theorized that the original Christmas star, known as the Star of Bethlehem, might also have been a great conjunction.” Now we are venturing into speculation. I am not much for speculation. That site also referred to the Star the Wise men followed as Christian lore. Sort of made me grind my teeth.

As Bob and I drove around looking at Christmas Lights and decorations and discussing this my thoughts went as follows.

 
 
 
 20-12-21 © Molly Lin Dutina 
  
 Moon wearing a veil of clouds
 As we try to see planets conjunction of light
 Some speculate that is what happened
 At birth of my Lord
 I think perhaps their minds are veiled. 

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 NIV

The bad news is they say this conjunction will be visible in our location at 12:20 PM. Wait, that is lunch time! We will not be able to see the planets at all then. However, if the night sky is clear you can bet I will be going outside (probably with Lucky Dog) to see what I can of Jupiter and Saturn making history. I will start trying an hour after sunset. If I read the time charts correctly, my friends near Kathmandu will have a much better chance.

Lord, open the eyes, hearts and minds of all those veiled to Your truth. Help them to give themselves to You. Then they will have the merriest Christmas ever.

Jesus + You = the Greatest Conjunction ever!

Our Major Christmas Outing

Our Cincinnati Nature Center offered an event this month for the first time ever. They call it “Light in the Forest.”

People were required to wear a mask at all times. Historic buildings were decorated for the season. There were items for sale in the Rowe Visitor Center. Being extra careful we did not go into the Visitor Center.

There were lights in the the trees. There were moving lights upon the trees. There were luminaries along parts of the path. There were young people directing us which way to go when the trail came to a fork. There were electric icicles in some trees. The Krippendorf Lodge was decorated nicely but it seemed sweltering hot in there after being outside!

There were no refreshments as masks were required at all times.

Here is the closest we got to our daughter and her family! And it was only for moment out of doors!

We had a nice outdoors walk in the night, ie., 8 to 9 PM.

Ellie, the selfie expert, Lizzie, Dave, Emily, me and Bob. The lights gave me green hair and Dave has green on his face. Is he the Grinch? Naw! but it was fun to text Ellie posing that question. LOL.

Come the 25th we are not likely to even open gifts together unless there is a heat wave and we can do that in an open garage. The virus continues to spread and we are not brave enough to take it on! Or should I write foolish enough to challenge it?

How are you decorating this year?

Last year I bought these items and Bob laughed. Since we are having no one visit for Christmas this is the only tree I am putting up! If the infection rate continues to skyrocket we will simply be dropping off gifts at doors!

And yep, I added tiny battery operated lights, too!

Do you see Santa there? Kneeling right there at the manger? He knows who is most powerful and sees us at all times.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV2011)  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:10-12 (NIV2011)  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

How it comes together

When I sit down to write on this blog a number of things occur after I pray over the computer and the room. At times, I decide to share old poetry and musings. Other times the focus is photos from things I have noticed on my walks with Lucky the dog or drives with Bob the husband. As you likely know my faith plays a huge role in my writing. One thing I have not done very much is to thank you, the readers.

Today is another gloomy December day in Ohio and I have gotten chilled enough times this season to remember that when I sit to write I better have that blanket for my legs! Today I am even brewing a cup of hot tea. Choice this morning is Darjeeling leaves from Churchill’s teas in downtown Cincinnati. Yum.

If you were not reading and letting me know your comments and the ones you like I would not have much motivation to continue posting. I would still be a writer, just not likely to post. So thank you for commenting and hitting the Like Star.

As I have said before, often the Holy Spirit haunts me with a melody or chorus from a hymn nor song. Here was the one early this morning. It prompted me to think of you and begin a new gratitude list right there and then. You, the readers are on that list!

My Hilarious Husband

So in 2013 we were driving in the wilderness of Idaho and I was telling my husband about the Capacitar technique for reducing stress called “tapping”. [Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT; tapping acupressure points)]

My friend, Mrs. Hughes, taught me this.  I began tapping to demonstrate. Meanwhile, he was distracted by the GPS and drifted over the center line. When he noticed the center line he said, “Tap faster! Tap faster!”

Capacitar ends this exercise with reciting three times “In spite of the fact that I have this problem, I’m okay and I accept myself!”

Meanwhile I am reciting, “In spite of the fact that I have this problem (named Bob) I’m okay and I accept myself!

In spite of the fact that I have this problem (named Bob) I’m okay and I accept myself!”

Then we passed Hughes Road!

What a hoot! I wanted to call Mrs. Hughes from Idaho, but I could not stop laughing! And besides, there was no signal! Priceless 🙂

I have NO idea why this video is stuck on this unflattering image. It is worth listening to though!

Bangs and Birthdays

I recently had a birthday. Four weeks after my birthday comes my older sister’s birthday. Here she is as a child.

Now, mind you, she sent me a card for my birthday this year and asked me “Don’t we have a picture of you like this?” I think she forgot the photo of herself shown above!

Myself as a child

So below is the card. I opened it on my way in from the mailbox. And even in the midst of this awful pandemic, I LAUGHED OUT LOUD!!

And inside it read …

Yes, our mom cut our hair back then. She used to line up my bangs with a mole on my forehead. After years of that haircut I swore I would grow out those bangs and never have bangs again. I have only had a few times in my adult life when I had bangs. Besides, my hair grows so quickly it is hard to keep bangs! So here we are as adults laughing at Mom and remembering a funny memory together. That is a blessing!

Happy Birthday, Paula! You are a hoot!!

Other Sites in the Area

There was a one room school house basically surrounded now by cow pastures!! The sign reads “Debs School was attended during summer grades 1-8. Constructed 1930.” When our son-in-law, Dave, spoke with the Colorado water man who came driving past the cabins one day he said he went there as a child. Dave really wanted to go inside but the man did not who to contact or if that was even possible.

Always when returning to the ranch one must unlock and open the gate. Let driver though and then close and re-lock gate. My sister had taught me the how-tos on that over 20 years ago. Here I am doing the chore while Bob drove the vehicle.

My sister told us to be on the look out for their flock of mountain bluebirds. I saw many in the meadows while Bob drove back and forth to Pagosa Springs, but never could catch a photo. They are known to migrate in flocks of 50 or so. Below is a photo I found on the internet. I was delighted seeing so many together!

Mountain bluebird near Tower Jct; Jim Peaco; April 2013; Catalog #20016d; Original #IMG_9980

I included the scrubby photo below so you could see the hostile environment the thistle was growing in. Certain Bob and Dan could have gotten better photos. Remember I was shooting from inside the vehicle. If we had stopped for every photo we wanted we might not be home yet! This is musk thistle and considered an invasive weed. That color does POP! though.

“Oh, and you must eat at Kip’s!” instructed Paula. My sister was afraid the pandemic might have closed down one of her favorite restaurants, Kip’s. They were able to survive. Bob and I split an enormous green chili burger there! Wow! what a great feast! And GOOD guacamole not loaded with raw onion.

I did not eat the jalapenos!