The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Friday, October 30, 2015

It is raining here today!  Reacquainting with Texas weather is like skateboarding down a steep dirt bike trail, you don't know quite what to expect but you're certain it's going to be intense.  Samson doesn't have "a spot" worked out inside the house yet.  He roams. I am confident that he won't do outside business inside while I am away today, but I would prefer to let him out before I go.  He moves from one piece of furniture to the next like goldilocks in the three bear's house.  He usually keeps an eye on me from the back patio while I sleep.  Last night I woke up several times with him beside my bed smelling my breathe or some dog thing like that.  It's weird to wake up eyeball to eyeball with a dog who outweighs you.  At four a loud noise in the living room startled me awake and jumped me out of bed.  I opened the glass door and let him out.  Pretty sure he saw something out there and instinctively responded by hurling himself towards it realizing too late - the glass.  No harm done. I suspect a raccoon was after his food bowl.
Today I will brave the storms to meet my dermatologist  appointment.  I have a couple of yucky spots on my shoulder.  Of course I am concerned that it may be cancer.  It's funny - up till last year I've gone through life never thinking of cancer in my health picture.  Now, I do.  Gotta check these things out.

 - later -

Braving the storms didn't really work out!  That picture is of our next door neighbor's driveway.
The doctor's office called offering a courtesy cancellation because they've had so many no-shows today. People are reporting really bad traffic on the interstate.  I think I could have made it if it stayed about like it was in the maps app, with this rain it won't.  People don't slow down much for rain until they suddenly stop.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

All that each person is, 
and experiences, 
and shall never experience, 
in body and mind, 
all these things are differing expressions of himself and of one root, 
and are identical: 
not one of these things 
nor one of these persons 
is ever quite to be duplicated, 
nor replaced, 
nor has it ever quite had precedent: 
each is a new and incommunicably tender life, 
wounded in every breath 
and almost as hardly killed as easily wounded: 
for a while, 
without defense, 
the enormous assaults of the universe. 
~ James Agee

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


New favorite soup recipe:

1T olive oil
3-1/2 oz. bacon (pieces)
1T fennel seed
1 red onion, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 fennel bulb diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1t red pepper flakes
2 x 14 oz. cans cannellini beans
       (aka white kidney beans)
3 (or more) Cups chicken stock
1 Parmesan rind (I minced mine and left it in)
7 oz. kale

We were surprised (and delighted) with how delicious this soup is.  I will double the recipe next time I prepare it so that I don't have half a fennel bulb to figure out what to do with.  It was served with a nice walnut pesto.  1-2 cups of arugula, lemon zest, garlic, walnuts (I used about 1 C)finely grated parmesan (I used about 1 cup) and enough nice olive oil to make it work ... all in the food processor

Back to the soup:  Put chopped bacon and fennel seeds in pot of already hot oil until the bacon begins to render fat.  Add fresh vegetables and red pepper flakes - sauté to al dente. Rinse and place one can of beans in the food processor with "some" chicken stock - pulse to smooth.    Add to pan with the other can of rinsed beans and the rest of your stock.  I like broth-y soups so I used more stock then you might prefer.   Cover and simmer for about thirty minutes then add chopped kale for another few minutes (to soften).   Serve with pesto dollop.  So good.
Next time I prepare this I think I will cook the bacon before hand and include it later in the process (but use the rendered fat) ... I selected an uncured Black Forrest thick cut for this.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The "nothin'" much that is up

 Sammy and I took the chance of getting rained on when we went for a walk Thursday evening.  Finally rain!  Haven't seen real rain here since maybe May.  Hurricane Patricia made landfall in Mexico last night and here, some one thousand miles NE we enjoy only the benefits.  Thankfully, for those more closely involved, the storm weakened quickly once it made landfall. I have seen hurricanes with one fourth the winds they were projecting blow trees over and rip highway signage right off of the overhead structures (that I saw only afterwards)!

 This is a picture of Sam "seeing" a cow for the first time.  There are several in a pasture that we passed on our walk.  Usually I walk the trails around here but decided a walk in the neighborhood would be a nice change.  He really wanted to pull through the fence and would have if I hadn't insisted "no"!  The cows seemed to be somewhat interested in him as well. If he comes up missing from the yard sometime soon that will be the first place I look.

These pictures show couple of the houses in this area, my two favorites of the neighboring homes.
I can see that architecturally they are very similar.  If we bought a house rather then built a house, I would prefer something like these.  It feels kinda weird to be renting.  It's like being in a holding pattern without a specific (or even known possibilities) landing place to plan for.  I notice how fortunate I have been to never have experienced the strangeness of that situation before now. 
We do like this area very much.  I, for one, wake up aware of how very grateful I am to be "home" every day.  I do like Texas.  My daughter is still adjusting.  She has done admirable well under the circumstances!  She does not share my affinity for Texas.  Sammy and the cats have never been happier though.

Saw this this week and thought of old friends less present.
We get too busy for each other -  busy with more pressing issues and friendships suffer. 

 This is one of the hanger walls where I work now.  I like that the "tails" are hanging in honor of so many special days.  Each shirt is personalized with an individual quip.  Very sweet.

And finally, this, taken this morning from where I sit sipping coffee.  Sammy's feet aren't as muddy as they appear to be.  The floor was lightly tracked last night when he came in.  Both cat's opted to sleep out, but were delighted to see the door open early this morning.  He ignores them (mostly).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My friend, was really fit when she was younger, back when how she wanted to spend her time was what mattered, back before she starting having babies. Stuff changes when the focus shifts from here to there ... whichever there we chose as we ... grow up.  Sometimes that doesn't happen - the shift - but it seems to me that when it doesn't the person becomes less and less interesting as they grow old.
So ... H was crazy buff and now fitness isn't her top priority.  She misses those killer abs.  

That's what we were talking about yesterday when I was trying to describe how it "feels" to fly now.  I miss, really miss, the crispness. The smooth crispness.  I miss "not thinking" about execution.  I'm like Schroeder without a toy piano ... my hands seem to not know where to go. (lol)

My body is still capable of the tasks, I'm just out of sorts, and wondering if I'll ever be good at it again, if it's worth it.  And ... that curiosity stuff is about the larger picture.  Flying isn't that important to me anymore.  Waking up to something interesting and challenging is though. And, I do love the idea of participating in someone's aviation journey.  (And soaring ... I forgot about how cool that is for a minute or two there.) I'm curious about what God has in mind for me.  I'd like to cooperate with that.

H was talking about how that sort of thing is with God. You can sometimes really "feel" a connection.  You can feel not alone.  It's like HE is with us.  You think if you keep on doing whatever you were doing that the relationship will just keep on getting better and better.  (And that usually means "it" feels better and better.  She laughed when I said some of the contemporary music,umm, worship music, seems like spiritual masterbation to me.)  I'm saying, from personal observation of my own life, that a spiritual relationship is like any other relationship, even great relationships wax and wane as people go through life together.  I like that God assures us that He doesn't change.  It makes the relationship ever so slightly more knowable.  

It doesn't rain much here. I don't know much about trees at all.  I did do a tiny bit of research on trees in general during the summer because it's interesting how they work/live and a bit different then I thought, but over all ... I'm casual about trees. I have observed this though; over in Alabama trees grow really fast, they seem to thrive.  Over here they are basically scrawny.  They really have to work at getting the nutrients needed to hold their own and there are relatively small trees around here that are really old.  You can easily see the growth rings on Alabama trees.  Tree crops are all over the place and they cut 'em down, process 'em, and send 'em on to Lowe's still wet.  Here, the growth rings are so dense that you can't quite see them.  Really.  These trees are tough, determined if trees can be so described, resilient because the environment demands it!  I didn't see one single field of trees when I flew last week.  I saw a lot of freshly plowed (assuming corn) fields dark with beautiful rich soil.
big old tree stump ... cut down a long time ago
you can see the rings, but not as easily as some other trees

C - hiking in Tennessee last week

yes they are scrawny trees
on my little day hike last week
taken when her pic came to me

and this, just because those little geese
and the duck are fun to see

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid

But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case
We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time

Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case
We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case
We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace
But, Jesus, would You please

~Nichole Nordeman 

I'm thinking about the idea she is expressing.  That attitude is easier said then practiced.  Better and better ...  seems better.

Someone expressed the wish of seeing everyone as God see's them(us ... you  ... me).  That would be amazing.  I wish for that miracle of insight sometimes.  Wouldn't it be so amazingly cool if we could have a tiny peek at what God was "making" in/of us for eternity?    

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015


image via PINTEREST

wild flowers along the trail
reaching through the dry branches of a fallen tree

Sammy ~ off lead in the spillway

the tower around here

I flew yesterday.  First flight in almost two years.  Ummm ... I am rusty.

The flight, with the chief, consisted of departure, transition out to an envelope of open air, slow flight, stall recovery series, steep turns, back in for three laps. 1.2 ... 168 bucks with the employee discount.
It wasn't fun.
I can't say I enjoyed any part of it.   The best part was having it completed.  It might have been fun - I hoped it would be and in spite of the "rustiness" it should have been.
I actually wanted to cry when I got in my car afterwards.  I think for me the worst part must have been seeing the chief's fingers impatiently drumming (instructional fee was included in the flight).  It took longer then it maybe should have to get the preflight done.  I've never removed a canvas blanket from a plane and the wind was trying to whip the buckles back into the plane.  I spent awhile trying to find the fuel strainer outlet so I could trace the line back to where to "pull" so I carefully crawled around under the fuselage looking - only to find it not there but easily accessible as a right side drain.  I also didn't not find the hydraulic fluid check point which turned out to be unscrew the cap and look in there.  In other planes I've flown a dipstick basin out of view in the cabin was the go to location in the line.  My questions were met with  ... basically, eye rolling ... .  Sometimes it goes that way with people, chops busters.  I've been through it before in life, I just don't know if I want to do it again in this situation.  I don't know if what I want out of it is worth what it requires to be put in to it.  Becoming proficient isn't the problem at all, I knew it would take some time.  All the basic stuff was on point.  I'll spend the money on the flight time - I expected to.  The things I'm considering are:  if I want to spend any time instructing  (and the max there would be three mornings a week generally) do I want it to be where I'm currently at?  Do I want to instruct in a plane that I have flown not much at all and don't have any real affinity for.  I truly dislike the big flap lever ... practically yanking with the left  hand whilst delicately nudging the yoke forward with the right to smooth out the lift bump ... I have to lean forward to grab the lever and then seat belt cuts in to my neck.  The plane is not ergonomically friendly for my body type.

I'm praying about it.  All of it.  I want to choose wisely for what the next several years may look like. It would be nice to settle in to a routine that's interesting, challenging, peaceful ... fun maybe (even though just a little bit of fun is perfectly fine with me).

It was sad to fly over here with out being able to do that with Tommy.  It's one of the things we planned on doing.  Probably the grief of that was on the back burner some during the flight.  Anybody who knew me would know that a first flight back, and especially in Texas, after last year,  might include a little bit of a "thing" for me.  And ... I know they say you gotta let go of what you hoped for to make room for what comes next.  I'm making good progress there I think.

Well, that dream, the part I remembered, was a little creepy.  Glad that's not a reoccurring one!
Lately I have been dreaming about my family in pleasant ways.  The dreams have been about nothing except seeing them in my dream.  I dreamt of my older brother a few nights ago ... it was like I was standing at a window just looking at him.  He looked good.  I smiled to see him.  It felt like joy ... just joy.  I haven't seen him in my mind's eye for a very long time and I loved that I could see him so clearly.  My fourth child, C, really favors him.  I hadn't noticed that before.  It was sweet.

Been neglecting to make notes here ... just busy.  Each day I walk at least five miles.  And I'm starting to work out with kettle bells (just starting ... my former AME was a huge fan of kettle bell workouts) ... yoga mat hasn't been unrolled since we've been here. Some of that would be helpful.

I have been a person who will step up to the plate.  It is how I do life I think.

Part of "leaving" instructional work behind might seem (to me) like I just quit because it was hard ... and I didn't have to do it.  I don't want to feel that way.  Just reflecting back over my life,  I do think it might have been helpful to cut bait on things that weren't working for me.  I think what I think of as tenacity, and value as a trait in myself and others, may actually have not been (always) great for me.  That's part of what I'm thinking about.  Like - if you're consistently not getting back what you're putting in to a relationship or an activity, stopping it doesn't make you a quitter (loser).  

I did love to fly.  Do I still want to put in what is required to fly now? Do I still "love it"? 

And, along those lines, metaphorically, or as an analogy, I watched my brother fight what was absolutely going to be a fight to his death.  He was a fighter.  Some people are just warriors and that's how they do life ... they attack obstacles.  I get it.  I supported that for him  because I understood that to do less was to die before the body was done ... his regrets were that he gave up on some important things (people) too soon and it was important to him to be someone who fought even when giving up would be lots easier.  So he chose to fight the good fight.  Looking back on it I wonder if it might have been better to just go to the beach with his wife and enjoy whatever good days were left. 

Every body stops flying eventually.

From this window I can see ... .  Pretty great. 

  • "Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good." ~ Vaclav Havel
 My little brother expressed "who" he was as he fought to hold on to hope.  It was what he wanted, how he wanted it.  

For me, I'm just trying to figure out what's "good".  I'm perfectly willing to work for something because it is good.  What's "good" for now just isn't that obvious to me.  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

"There are thousands of thoughts

lying within a man 
that he does not know
till he takes up the pen and writes."

~ William Makepeace Thackeray

"Have a heart that never hardens,
and a temper that never tires,
and a touch that never hurts."
~ Charles Dickens

"If you aren't in over your head how do you know how tall you are?"

Friday, October 9, 2015

Arrowheads and worms

Sometimes I wonder if losing them will be ... harder in December then it is now ... or last weekend ... or ... .  I really want to leave last year completely behind and here we are in October of this year and sometimes ... .

Sometimes I talk to my husband about where I would prefer to be buried ... what I would do if I found out I have cancer sometimes I think about it.  I dreamed about my mother, or really it was just "a mother",  as she laid her head on my shoulder, I looked down at my arm and tiny, as small as a hair tiny, worms were rising out of my arm like a time lapse of seedlings sprouting in fertile soil.  They seemed to be as dense as the follicles ... yuck.  I picked up a fresh fluffy white hand towel in the dream and scrubbed at the worms and dirt dark as a freshly plowed cotton field fell from the cloth.  As I watched it and wondered how a clean towel could be holding clods of earth I noticed the worms sprouting from my other arm.  Then I woke up.

Creepy.   I think the dream was about dying.  I associate worms with dying or dead bodies.  Job.  The Book of JOB.
I don't have any idea who evangelist John Weaver is but he is credited with (I guess sermon notes) notes I found on line . The Theology of Worms! Job 25:6; Ps. 22:6

Isaac Watt's hymn: Alas and Did my Saviour Bleed

"Alas, and did my Saviour bleed and did my Sovereign die,
Would He devote that Sacred Head for such a worm as I."

The hymn, one of my dad's favorite hymns, was cited in Mr. Weaver's notes.
My dad taught me how to think of death ...I wrote about that  here.

Sometimes the pain of it, the grief, just sneaks up on me.  I feel guilty about it because I have so many very precious people ... alive ... in my life.  And I am trying to be very much alive myself.

This morning we walked up on a heron again.  It was fishing in the river at the bridge near our house. We almost expect to catch sight of it as we approach the area.  One of our cats hangs out there in the morning too.  It was not a surprise to see him coming out of the tall grass that borders the river.  It makes me smile just thinking of it ... of both the cat and the bird.  Mt husband says the walk is like going out to gather the day's manna ... a gift from God to start the day.  (Coincidentally, a "worm" note there. In the manna idea, there were instructions to not over gather ... to stay in the provisions of the day.  I think the worm thing is on my mind because of the graves ... the wasting away of the physical presences ... they are gone and I am so sad about that.)

My brother was genius at finding arrowheads.  I bet there are tons of arrowheads along that trail.  Really.  I never even thought to ask him how to find them.

ps ... sent text message to Tommy's wife asking for some of his arrowheads sometime ... a week later no response yet.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Probably this isn't as odd a thing as it seems to be to me. Probably goats ride around in pretty nice trailers pulled by the very nice Ford F-350 pickup truck all the time.  Probably just out joy riding - they seemed perfectly content.  I wonder what the deal is with goats around here. - the-benefits-of-raising-goats  There you go.  These guys exuded pampering so I doubted they were on their way to the meat maker - pets probably.

I've been working lately.  Did the second class medical which is required to flight instruct.  Next week I plan on flying some.  I'll get a flight review and It will be good to get some flying time in this area.  I'm reviewing the POH and an auxiliary manual specifically about the Piper Warrior(s)/Archer. Have previously  logged a bit of time in a Cherokee 6, an Archer and a Warrior (the one with 150 hp engine which seemed underpowered to me and apparently to someone else because they moved to a 160 hp engine fairly quickly it seems.)  There are things that I like about the Piper products.  A low wing is fun and looks more like an airplane wants to look I think.  I don't like the one door up front for the pilots. I'm not a fan of crawling over the seat.  I also like the ease of flaps input in the Cessna's  - a big ole lever seems a bit much.  Over all, they are sleeker looking - low wings.  My favorite:  Pilatus PC 12 NG

Here's their high wing - Pilatus PC 6 Porter
I haven't seen one in real life but I'm looking.  I do love the Cessna Caravan for rougher stuff which is what this guy looks like he's ready for.  I bet these are all over Alaska.  

I have yet to buy my Texas lottery ticket.  Lol.  
The  PC 12 NG is lovely.

That's not what I'm flying.
But ... the air is the same!  

(Pilates pictures found on Pilatus site.)