100 Years

This morning all the firetrucks drove by to the hospital at the end of the street,
where they circled the parking lot with sirens blaring. 
Then paraded down Main Street with sirens blaring.

A local says it's the 100th Anniversary of Tioga Fire & Rescue.
Her t-shirt says
Tioga Fire & Rescue
100 Years and Still Making House Calls

A little later I see activity at the other end of the street,
so I meandered down to the fire station for lunch. 
 But the unexpected treat was the giant flag flying from the
antique fire truck's ladder.

This flag is a commemorative 9/11 flag destined to fly in all 50 states. 

An end of the flag had been removed for signatures
of firefighters

While I nibbled on my pulled pork sandwich the flag was taken down,

 carefully folded by firemen,

 gently & respectfully
replaced in its travelling trunk

and sent in a rescue vehicle
to the next town
with a motorcycle escort

Today's Gifts:
#69.  A Parade (I love parades)
#70.  Firefighters & Rescue Personnel
#71.  Shiny Red Firetrucks
#72.  Giant Flags
#73.  Stars and Stripes
#74.  Being American
#75.  Patriotism

God Bless America


ReUse ~ ReStore ~ RePurpose

I confess - I like junk.
I just like it.
I like to buy it cheap, glue it, clamp it, sand it, paint it, use it and admire my treasure.  I really love old lamps, because they are so much more interesting than new ones. I've used them for years.
The other day I was testing my trove of dollar lamps.
 The switch on the first one didn't work, so it went in the trash box.  .

But when I plugged in the next lamp - the cord blew right off the plug in my hand.  I got a little shock and a black hand.  And that plug was still in the socket with exposed hot wire that I still had to do something with. So I promised the safety minded man that I would dispose of the rest of the old lamps and buy new ones from the only store in the next town (Walmart),  

From the minute the thing blew up - I knew there was a double lesson for me. 

Is it that my wiring is faulty and I can't be the conduit for His power to flow through in order to shine His light in the darkness? 
Or that I need to allow Him to restore, refinish, remake, rewire, repurpose me so that I CAN be the woman He's called me to be? 
I sure don't want my faulty wiring to blow up on somebody. 
 So I submit to the
and gluing
and clamping
and painting
and yes - rewiring. 
 I want to live fully right where I am so that any light that shines is His Light
and not be a shocking temporary flash that leaves an ugly residue.

"Let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds
and praise your Father in heaven."
(Matthew 5:16) 
(Red because Jesus said it)

But there's this one lamp I just can't part with.
The body of the lamp is a little off center.
The brass is dull.
The plug is bent.
  I think I'll rewire it and give it another chance to light the world we are living in.

So in this little North Dakota furnished rent house with 7 different floor coverings, orange floral couch, 50's mint green kitchen tile, harvest gold stove, and pink flamingo mirror - the turquoise lamp stays. 

 Maybe I'll come up with a turquoise and orange flamingo pillow!

And hey,
Thanks for joining my madness!


Small Town America

Stepping outside our little house this morning was breathtakingly serene.
The breeze was just enough to float cottonwood puffs from
 the giant tree across the street
right to my front door.

The temp was about 70 as I walked the block and half to church.
Zion Free Lutheran church was packed,
The singing preacher has a passion for worship.
His message was sin, judgement, repentance, and salvation.
(Seems to be a theme lately).

Later this afternoon, I walked the half block to the
Norseman Museum
(which is open Sundays 2-4 in the summer only)
and then another block to the grocery store
for a bag of something I thought I needed.

From our little house,
I can walk four blocks or less to anywhere I want to go in this town:
Post Office
Food Pride
Hardware Hanks
Crafty Hands
Drug Store
Flower Shop
City Park
Senior Center
Farmer's Daughter

It is amazing.

The road to Canada

Life is Good!

46.  robin having a squirmy worm for breakfast
47.  healthy walkin' legs
48.   small town quiet


Two Weeks

When can you connect Internet?
Two Weeks

When can you repair my truck?
Two Weeks

When can you deliver a mattress?
(silly me...)
of course,
Two weeks

So we lashed the mattress and box springs
to the truck,
stopped at Walmart, the Hardware Store
and my favorite place,
Salvation Army.

Then from Road side vendors we bought
Washington Cherries
Real Texas Barbecue Ribs
from a
Real Texan

And boogied out of town
to beat the storm clouds

On my One Thousand Gifts List Today:
smoked and seasoned to perfection
as close to tree ripened as I've ever had

Finding my camera cord
so I could download a better picture of the house


One Thousand Gifts

Today's Book Recommendation:

One Thousand Gifts
by Ann Voskamp

Ann chronicles her dare of listing 1,000 gifts
(which are thanksgivings to God)
and how it changed her life.

She is homeshcooling mother of six,
a Canadian farmer's wife,
with a childhood heartbreak that haunts her
as she starts her dare.

She is a gifted writer
and paints a word picture with every sentence.

So, I decided to start my own list.
Since my current journal is pretty new,
I started at the bottom of the last page with
number one working my way up and forward.

That day I recorded:

#1.  A warm fuzzy robe from the thrift store
#2.  An RV that feels like home                  
#3  A man that doesn't mind working        

My goal is not really to get to 1,000,
but to be more thankful.

Doesn't the Word say,
"Do not be anxious about anything,
 but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God." 
(Philippians 4:6)

In fact,
"give thanks" is in the NIV 34 times
"thanksgiving" is there 25 times.

God must think it's important.

Today, my list includes:
  a bear cave for winter hibernation
(a rent house)

rubber gloves
carpet and upholstry cleaner
orange floral couch
contact paper
open windows
view of bell towered church from my window
cottonwood puffs covering the grass like snow
washer and dryer
and my new favorite store,
Hardware Hank

So now I'm passing the dare on to you.
Will you take it up?
Will it change your life?

Let me know
and don't forget to read the book!



I had one of THOSE days
You know.
One of those days when you think you'll just
walk over to Gas N All
and get a six pack...
...of chocolate bars!

And I kept thinking about this song:

So I wrote my own verses

I lost his clothes
in the laundromat
Call me please
if you know where they're at

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed

Computer drive
Won't recognize
New printing device
and I'm getting hives

Refund check
Is not in the mail
I   R    S
Doesn't have a trail

This is the stuff
That gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust
You know what you're doin'

Pick up truck
Won't move an inch
Booked up mechanic
Doesn't own a wrench

Laptop is slow to show
and for a new one
A shopping I'd go
But walking's too slow.

Might not be what
I would choose
But this is the stuff
You use

This is the stuff!!

"We can be so sure that every detail
in our lives of love for God
is worked into something good"
(Romans 8:28 The Message)

There's my phone!



If you subscribe to my blogs -
you probably received an incomplete one today.

It posted before I was finished with it.

Please disregard the first post of the day
and proceed to the second one.

And thanks for following!

Waste Not, Want Not

 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. (Psalm 101:3) NIV
Well that's one scripture that doesn't apply to me at all.
Never gave it a thought.
Because righteous little old me never sets her eyes on anything VILE.
Vile, according to the Free Online Dictionary, means
loathsome, disgusting, unpleasant, objectionable,
morally depraved, wicked, degrading, wretched
Nope - not my scripture.......

Then, I happened upon the same scripture in another version:
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes (Psalm 101:3) ASV
Whoa!  Wait a minute.....


So, I looked up the Hebrew word used here:
It means:
worthless, good for nothing, unprofitable, wicked,

As in time wasters?
Does that mean surfing the net?
Worthless Calories?
Reading Christian novels?

So a few months back, when I first saw this scripture,
I wrote in my journal
the things I could have accomplished during these times
in the trailer.

I could have:
read the Bible through
written a book
made a quilt
learned to watercolor
learned to sign a new song
prayed more
studied more
walked more
exercised more!

So this trip:
I brought my sewing machine and unfinished quilt projects
I'm typing my mom's book about her family
I'm reading the Bible through consecutively
I'm walking the town,
I'm exercising,
I'm eating healthier,
and I'm working on watercolor

Nothing Vile
Nothing Worthless
Nothing Wasted


Vanity, Vanity

I have never seen so many Vanity License Plates:




Just makes you smile, doesn't it?


Sunrise Splendor

There are no trees
There is no lake
There is no grass
There is no laundry
We are just glad to have a spot to park the RV
other than the Walmart parking lot!

I haven't watched a sunrise
partly because is gets light about 5 or 5:30
and party because I don't have a view of it
(only close neighbors in trailers)

But this morning, just after 6
I could see blazing color in the east

So I walked between the campers
Over to the Gas-N-All
around the trucks
and there it was

His splendor is like the sunrise.
Rays shine from his hand,
where his power is hidden.
(Habakkuk 3:4)



I can probably count the number of pedicures I've had on one foot!!
But I am beginning to understand why pedicures are so appealing

....after working on my toenails and cuticles,
trying to get them into a position
where my bifocals
would focus!!!

These toes belong to me
and my two favorite girls.

(p.s. those oriental nail places haven't found North Dakota yet!)

 For He will command His angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone
(Psalm 91:11-12)


ND Flood 2011

Minot, ND
Population 40,000
June, 2011 - 10,000 people were evacuated
due to the flooding Souris (french for Mouse) River
It turned into the Mighty Mouse River last week
and flooded like never before in recorded history

We drove 70 miles to shop there yesterday. 
The waters are beginning to recede.

What we saw:
Sand bagged houses
Huge dirt dikes
Houses, barns and businesses standing in water
Roads closed
National Guard Hummers everywhere
People camping in the Kmart parking lot
One homeowner tearing out his damaged interior
Water boil orders
No Drinking from the Water Fountain signs
No Hand Washing in the Bathroom Sink signs
Limited menus because of the boil order
A River that looks like a lake
A big tent and a smoking pit in a park.
The Red Cross feeding flood victims.

What we heard:
I haven't seen my house yet
I can see my spruce trees, but not the house
The water is half way up the windows on the second floor
We put stuff on the second floor thinking it would be safe
We got everything out
We tried to prioritize what we moved out of the house
We were moving the furniture when we heard the dike broke
We can't go back until there's a big red X on the house
We are staying with my parents
We are staying with my brother-in-law
Our house was 100 years old this week
It was in the National Registry of Historic Homes
It can't be replaced
Yes, we had insurance
No, our flood insurance goes into effect in two weeks
We rebuilt in the flood of '69 - we're not doing it again
Our kids are having a hard time with losing the house
7 family members lost homes - all historic
Houses are really just about the memories made there
That can't be taken away

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
(Psalm 29:10)

So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.
(Psalm 59:19)


Sewing Machines for Uganda

The minute she told us that she was giving away treadle sewing machines at the
 Women's Conference in Uganda - I was ready to put my old treadle on the boat. 
But the realtiy of that thought flew right out of mind as fast as it went in,
 because she said she was believing God for money to buy
15 NEW treadle sewing machines over there.

So I sold my old No.66 Singer for enough money to buy
two brand new machines in Uganda.
I don't know when I've been so excited about a giving opportunity.
I even bought some super easy patterns for her to tuck into her suitcase.

Each machine costs $150
and includes lessons, scissors, fabric and other sewing supplies.

Pearlene believed God for 15 sewing machines
and she got 35.

35 poorer than poor women will have a chance to learn a skill that can
 earn money to help feed their families.

It's not to late to donate.
Just click on her name to be redirected to her web site.


God Bless America!

Small Town 4th of July Celebrations are the best!

Announcers gave us the names of each float member

and sometimes personal information

Then Sunday morning, the community came together for a worship service.

We sang patriotic songs, hymns, and contemporary praise songs

Our message was from the Old Testament, 2 Kings
(which, by the way is what I have been reading in the Daily Chronological Bible)
with an overview of the Northern Kingdom, Israel
and the 19 kings who reigned in 203 years.
According to the Bible,
They all did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
Not one good king.
and God's people tolerated and worshipped foreign gods

We were reminded that North Dakota leads the nation
in percentage of the population that attend church - 22%
and that we don't need to be reminded that
our great country is in serious moral decline

We were encouraged to be the Elijah's and Elishas of our day
to take the good new of Jesus to the other 78%

God Bless America!


Genetically Re-Engineered

This post is for anyone who has stayed up nights wondering where canola oil comes from!  Ha!

There are some cheerful yellow fields out here that just have a happy glow!  I've just figured out that it's canola.  I have not given one second of my thought life to wondering where canola oil came from.

An article in a local newspaper made a simple statement:
Volunteer Genetically Altered Canola has been found that is totally resistant to Round-up.
(Translation - this plant was growing in a place where it had not been planted and could not be killed with the powerful weed killer, Roundup.)

This somewhat healthy eating farm girl's ears perked up.
  Somehow the combination just didn't seem right.  Healthy choice oil that is genetically changed just doesn't quite seem right to me. 

Now, I know that it is great for the farmer trying to kill the weeds in his canola crop.  He can spray the whole field for weeds without even wilting his genetically engineered to be resistant to Roundup crop.

The bad news is that if his canola seed sprouts in his neighbors wheat field, his neighbor won't be able to get rid of it and it could, in time, take over the wheat. 

The worst news is whatever it is doing to the folks out there who think canola is a healthy choice. 
These are just my thoughts - I am certainly no expert on any of it.
But it bothers me.

I am also bothered that we (Believers in Christ) seem to have been genetically re-engineered by our society.  Are we becoming so like the world that we are hardly recognized as Christians?

Or is it that we have genetically re-engineered sin to be politically correct, diversified, alternate life style human rights. 

Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Just Sayin'.......


Why Do I Blog?

A while back, I read a blog when the blog author addressed the question of why she blogs.  She made a comment that she had gotten too involved in counting her comments.  Me?  I just wonder who in the world is reading this!

I really just started a blog (with a lot of help from a friend) when I started traveling with my man.  I wanted a way to keep friends and family updated on our where-abouts without bugging them with emails. 

But for me, writing really started in a Junior High UIL Ready Writing Contest.  I won.  I won and went on to district or whatever.  I was very sick that day, went anyway and still placed - but did not win.  But a seed was planted.

For years, I listened to Trina and Melissa extol the benefits of journaling.  Oh, I journaled.  But I don't think it counts if you have to start in a new journal every time you want to record something, because you can't find the last one you wrote in.  So, I had about 10 journals in drawers, shelves, closets, and bags - all with two or three pages written in each one. 

When I finally got serious about journaling and filled a tiny little journal - I felt like I needed to call my journaling mentors so they could congratulate me.

Then one night after a Bible Study, Nathalie threw out a question:  "How many of you think God has called you to write a book?"  I was almost the only one in the room with my hand still in my lap.  By the way - they are an incredible group of gals!  Really incredible.  I had something in me that wanted to write - but I couldn't for the life of me, know what I would write about and sure couldn't see a book in my future.

But I journaled.  And journaled.  And journaled.  Not like a Dear Diary kind of thing, but more like scriptures, and thoughts, and what I heard from God, and I drew pictures, and I made charts.  I filled another bigger journal.  And it was like there was just something in me that needed to be put on paper. 

Now, my journaling has expanded to this blog.  And the crazy thing is...I think in blogs.  Sometimes when we are driving along, he asks what I'm thinking about and I say, "a blog.  I'm just writing a blog in my head."

So sometimes I know what I'm writing here is from God.  Sometimes I know it's just from me. 

Why do I blog?  So my friends and family can stay up with our travels and because I just have this stuff in my head sometimes that needs to come out. 

But I pray that somehow, someway, by the grace of God - someone is encouraged, blessed, or inspired by this blog.

North Dakota Oil

The oil boom here reminds me of stories I've heard about West Texas in the 50's, when whole families left their homes and went out west to work in the newly discovered oil fields.  People lived anywhere they could find a place - often tents or cars.

Or maybe it reminds me of the California Gold Rush, except I don't believe people are working here hoping to find the golden pot at the end of the rainbow.  Most are here because they are somewhere in the process of having lost or losing jobs and homes.  There is no work where they are living.

 It's a great thing for these workers, but a mixed blessing for the local economy.  Business is also booming - however, there aren't enough people to work in the restaurants and stores.  Without enough wait staff, restaurants close early or just close a couple of days a week so employees can rest.  Help Wanted signs are everywhere.  There's not enough housing and people are sleeping in their cars, tents, and rv's anywhere they can find a spot.  Walmart has bars up over the parking lot entrances (to keep out the big rigs), but yesterday morning, there were at least 20 smaller campers in the Walmart parking lot, with a lot of bedroom cars. 

And for anyone that's ever complained about Walmart - this one must have first place as the Worst in the Country - just because they don't have enough employees.  Abandoned shopping carts and trash take up needed parking spaces.  Yesterday I saw a woman (not an employee), gathering up carts and trash.  Hmmm how about that?  Maybe she was one of the parking lot campers.  Aisles inside the store look like a warehouse.  Shelves are empty and boxes are everywhere.  This is a picture of just one aisle. 

Large companies are forced (by necessity) to provide housing (man camps), 3 meals a day (on the job site), and transportation.  Buses take the workers back to their home states on days off. 

So is it the Gold Rush, or the Oil Boom?

I think there is a famine in the land and the breadwinners have come to Egypt to take grain back home to their families. 

God Bless North Dakota.
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