Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye 2009, once in a blue moon

In preparation for our guest for tonight, we went to Papa Murphy's and picked up a couple of pizzas to cook.  Ben grinned and said, "Sure, you can take my picture," but he never stopped working.  His boss would be proud of him.  While he worked, he asked why I wanted to take pictures and I explained about Bakers' Blessings, our blog.Ben at Papa Murphy's Pizza

Ben created this pizza with chicken, bacon, spinach, olive oil, seasonings and parmesan.  Don and I made a note that we must try this sometime.chicken, bacon, spinach with olive oil and Italian seasonings

Ashley prepared one of our pizzas and then100_4581

checked us out as she asked questions about where we were serving as chaplains.  Ashley flashed a big smile while telling me that she is on the praise team at the Calvary Church in CG.Ashley is on the praise team at Calvary Church in CG, AZ

With our pizzas in hand we traveled home a slightly different route and look what I found!!! an almost dead tree on Selma Rd

Back at the Q, we continue to prepare food for tonight.  With two couples coming, Don decided to move the table to the middle of the floor.  Now, I'm excited!  Who knew you could rearrange furniture in a fifth wheel??!!!  My recliner is now where the table was and the table is at the end of the island.  It works!!

Lori and Norm stopped by to find out what time to come over tonight.  When I heard them pull up, I grabbed my Kodak!Lori and Norm Post, back from a ride to Coolidge

They're so cute!  Norm rides a Harley and Lori rides a Honda that wants to be a Harley when it grows up.Lori and Norm. Aren't they cute!!?!!

They came back at 5:00 for our "New Year's Eve" party.  (See where my recliner is now?  Don't worry, I can see the TV just fine! Don says he can't see me from his chair unless the light is on over my head.)Lori and Norm Post

Rick and Wendy have arrived and we are enjoying our fresh out of the oven Papa Murphy's pizza.Wendy Fury, Lori & Norm Post, Rick Fury, Don

In between games of Zilch and Nil, we took pictures of the Blue Moon and enjoyed the cherry cheese cake Rick made. 

Once in a Blue Moon ... is a common way of saying not very often, but what exactly is a Blue Moon?  According to the popular definition, it is the second Full Moon to occur in a single calendar month.  The average interval between Full Moons is about 29.5 days, whilst the length of an average month is roughly 30.5 days. This makes it very unlikely that any given month will contain two Full Moons, though it does sometimes happen.  On average, there will be 41 months that have two Full Moons in every century, so you could say that once in a Blue Moon actually means once every two-and-a-half years.  However, New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years. The last time was in 1990 ...

Here's the Blue Moon early, a few minutes after rising.  100_4599

A few hours later, the Blue Moon is extremely bright.

now that's bright100_4621

Rick and Wendy are admiring pictures taken with their new camera... correction, Wendy's new camera, her Christmas present.100_4613

Back outside, Rick and I took more pictures of the blue moon.  100_4627

It's a blue moon over the moon over the Q

We played more games until the Big Ball fell in NYC and then we played some more until midnight.  A good time was had by all; we toasted with sparkling grape juice and kissed our spouses as 2010 arrived.

Once in a blue moon, we stay up long enough to see the old year out and the new year in.

Good-bye 2009.  You have been full of blessings.  We are grateful to have known you and all the new friends you brought into our life.

Friends at the Rose Bowl Parade

Our wonderful friends, George and Nancy Reid, are in California enjoying the Rose Bowl Parade festivities with a group of Escapees.

Following is an email we received from them describing the fun they are having:

Just thought I'd send a note and share a bit about the activities we've enjoyed in connection with the Rose Parade on New Year's Day. 

On Monday, we we went to a large warehouse that housed three floats that were in the beginning stages of attaching flowers.  Huge buckets of flowers were everywhere.  We worked a four-hour shift, along with hundreds of other volunteers.  I was plucking chrysanthemums off their stems while George continually moved buckets   The flowers were placed in flat boxes face down to the next volunteers who squirted glue on them, and then runners took them to the float where others were gluing them on.  I got to do that job for a while too.  The float we worked on was Ohio State University, so when you see that float in the parade, you'll know that's the one!

Tuesday, we were taken to what's called Equestfest, which was a pretty cool show of all kinds of horses, from little tiny ones to the Clydesdales.  Pretty fancy struttin' and riders with beautiful costumes.  They will all be in the parade.  After a tasty dinner at Marie Calendar's, we went to see "The Glory of Christmas" at the Crystal Cathedral.  (That's Robert Schuller's all-glass church you may have seen on TV.)  It's a nativity musical presentation like you can't imagine, with a huge set and flying angels and live animals including camels and horses.

Today the weather wasn't very good--rain and drizzle and overcast and cool, but we went to see another area of float construction where we took a tour and watched others work.  It's an amazing production that starts in March of every year and culminates this week with the actual attachment of the flowers, seeds, leaves, nuts, etc. that cover every inch of the float.   In the afternoon, we went to see the Bandfest, which is kind of like a half-time show at a football game.  I think there were maybe about 8 or so different bands performing for this--one from Japan.  We enjoyed, even though we were snuggling under our rain capes to keep warm and dry. 

We will be watching the parade from bleachers that are set up in front of Pasadena City College.  Some of us will be holding ESCAPEE signs.  Weather is supposed to be pretty nice on Friday!  Then we'll get to look at floats  up close after the parade.

We will be looking for George and Nancy on TV at the Rose Bowl Parade, in the morning!!!

"Life is both...

...pain and joy; to fully live I must

embrace both."

This is today's subject from The Path Beyond the Gate by Ann Smith.

This one I relate to so well.  I didn't say it was easy for me.  Au contrare! 

In my life, I have been one who shuts down emotionally in a futile attempt to avoid pain, only to realize after many years that I was pretty much "dead."  Blocking out pain not only blocked out the joy in my life, but it also blocked out my ability to dream; to know what I wanted; to love; to feel much of anything.  Oh, for sure, I was a good actress; I played the part of daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, friend...  to the point that even I was convinced that I was okay. 

It took an emotional miracle for me to return to life.  God healed me when he brought Don into my life a little over three years ago.  When Don began to "pursue" me, I argued with him; I argued with God.  I didn't think I wanted any kind of a relationship with a man, but God had a plan for Don and me and I knew in my heart it was God's plan for me to be with Don as his wife.  So, I asked told God He would have to heal me, emotionally, before I could be for Don what he needed.  The rest is history.

I opened myself up again to pain, joy, love, emotions and my life since that moment has been such a blessing.  Oh, it was a flood gate at first, and not void of pain, but I understand what Ann Smith means when she said,

"Life is sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, but the One who journeys with us uses all of it to benefit our becoming process."


[In most of the pictures I took of Ann Smith's book, I was able to crop the date from the picture, as I had forgotten to turn off that feature.  Except on this page, to crop the date would also crop the last line. The event in my life that caused the most pain in my life was the suicide of my late husband.  His birthday is December 23.  With God's help, I have been able to embrace that pain and God is using it in my becoming process.]

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Child Is This?

With thoughts of Christmas still in our minds....

if you've ever doubted Jesus Christ, listen to this....

if you're saying "I have no doubts about Jesus Christ, so I don't need to listen," listen anyway....

takes less than 30 minutes and it will affect you...

I promise, it is life changing.


(>>>click here<<< to open the site.  The speaker is Nick Garland, First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; December 20, 2009.  When the site is open, close this blog and turn up your speakers.)

Pinal County Historical Museum

It's Wednesday, already, and Don and I both enjoyed our respective Bible Studies over in the Activities Building. 

Afterwards, we met Tom and Sharon Peterson and their friend Ellen Hampton at Mimi's Restaurant for lunch. 

Next on our Wednesday agenda was a short road trip to Florence, Arizona.  The Peterson's followed us.  Florence is the county seat of Pinal County, where we are. Our main destination:  The Pinal County Historical Museum.  Admission is free, with a donation jar by the door on the table where all visitors sign in.100_4494100_4493100_4495100_4496100_4497

This Farmall tractor is of particular interest to me as it looks very much like one that my daddy used while cotton farming in west Texas.100_4498

Tom and Don examining items from Florence's past.100_4499

Sharon checking out an old wagon.100_4500

Inside, a museum attendant took us on a tour.  She was a wealth of local history knowledge.

Can you imagine typing on this typewriter? Upper and lower case on separate keys; numbers on the outside keys.100_4503


Don and Tom liked the double barrel, but I was partial to the silver barrel.100_4506

Old west items such as branding irons.  These are sheep brands.sheep brands

Chuck wagon utensils and cookware.100_4508

Have you ever seen a sidesaddle?   a side saddle

A very interesting collection of old saddles.100_4510100_4513

And barbed wire.  There is probably a similar collection in every museum in the western states.... west of the Mississippi River, that is.barbed wire

As you might guess, this display was of particular interest to me.  Mama Trudy had a Brownie camera similar to the box, center top shelf.  I have taken pictures with it.100_4512

Across from the state prison exhibit was this contraption that we all thought was probably an apparatus used for torturing prisoners.  Negative.  It's a permanent hair curling machine.  Torturous, I'm sure.  The price women pay for beautification!hair curlers for giving a perm

This was interesting.  Item on the right is a gallows floor displayed upside down to show how it worked.  The chairs are the first gas chamber double chairs built in the U.S.  There are still two large state prisons in Florence. Behind the glass in the wall cases are hanging rope nooses, framing a picture of the criminal hung with that rope.  In 1930 – Eva Dugan (<<<click for picture) receives a sanity hearing in the court house after a conviction of murder. She is deemed sane and put to death by hanging. Her head comes off during the execution and death by hanging is immediately discontinued. She remains the only woman executed in Arizona. Ernest McFarland served as the attorney for the prosecution.double gas chamber chairsA very interesting version of Eva's demise can be found >>here<<.  This version doesn't state that all evidence her was circumstantial.  There were no eye witnesses or finger prints.

On to more pleasant memories of Florence, Arizona... here is a radio table.  When the table top is closed, you would not know this is a radio.  The speakers face toward the floor, the controls are behind the fake drawer on the front, and even the cord is concealed in the hollow table leg in the back. radio cabinet

A Florence, Az parlor during the success of the silver mines in the area.a Florence Victorian parlor100_4524

Very tiny wedding boot high heels.  When I say tiny, I mean 1 1/2" across the top of the foot.very small wedding high heels

Furniture made out of local cactus plants are like their surroundings... they have a beauty all their own.  Here is a table made from cholla cactus.table made of cholla cactus100_4529


I was most intrigued by this display:  furniture made from Saguaro.100_4534Saguaro cactus furniture100_4536100_4537100_4538100_4542

A portal ex-ray machine and a dentist chair... no anesthesia except a shot of whiskey.100_4544

And the favorite item.  Steinway & Sons, New York, 1871, square grand piano.100_4547

We said good-bye for the day to Tom, Sharon and Ellen and.... Tom, Sharon and Ellen Hampton

headed to the Second Pinal County Courthouse.

Pinal County Courthouse built in 1891.100_4550100_4552100_4553

Florence contractors, A.J. Doran and T.A. Adams built the courthouse for a cost of $29,000. A shortage of funds resulted in painted metal clock faces in the distinctive cupola. Thus, "time stands still" at 11:44.


A dead tree!! With it's last fruit still hanging.100_4558 100_4557

The Arizona desert sky on our way back to the Q.100_4572

Ok, back up a little to the pictures of the Saguaro furniture.  This is the Havins house, located less than a mile from our park.  I will get a better picture on another day out.                     the Havins stone house where the Saguaro cactus furniture was

Hope you enjoyed this trip to Florence, Arizona.  We sure did and would recommend seeing the museum.  Don't forget to leave a donation at the door.