The content of this blog is the author's personal view. I am not a theologian, writer, or photographer. The views in this blog are based on personal experiences and not a judgement of what others are doing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I love Mondays

Finally got a hummingbird pic after many do-overs!
I have always loved Mondays.  I know that's not the norm, but I have always been that way.  It's not really that I am so excited to get back into the grind of work, work, work.  It's more of being glad to get back into a schedule and the fact that we get to start over.  Kind of like a new year- I love those too.  It's a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over again.  I suppose that sometimes just starting a new day brings the same thing and I believe that we need to start fresh every 24 hours, but sometimes it seems you just don't get a break so instead of a fresh new day, if you've had a string of bad days, it's nice to start a new week.  Then if you've had too many bad weeks, it means a lot to start a new year and on and on until Jesus comes.

My week was kind of like that.  I like to see the positive side of things, but after this past week I just want a do-over. It started a week ago Sunday when I almost burned my house down.  Yeah, I wasn't going to mention it, but now that the trauma of it is over I can talk about it.  I was tired from not sleeping much on vacation, took a 3 hr. nap, got up to cook some supper and put some oil in a pan.  Yeah, you know what happened.  I had no clue why I even would walk away from hot oil in a pan, but I got distracted and one thing led to another and pretty soon I was playing piano -- for like 15 minutes!  No fire, but really close and black smoke.  Melted the front of my microwave and ruined my nice Pampered Chef Wok.  I had a bologna sandwich for supper - I was too afraid to heat anything up.  Thankfully that was the worst of the week.

Then, since I have been spending too much money at the vet for Turk's boogar nose, I decided not to get my toes painted this month and do it myself.  It's been a long time since I have even tried because I can't see my toes very well anymore.  Anyway, I had this all planned but decided to wait until Saturday so I could get some cottonballs at the grocery store.  So I am all set up on my coffee table and I had a thought that if I saw my daughter doing this on my coffee table like this, I would have yelled at her.  When I was a kid I was at my best friend Mary's house and we spilled fingernail polish remover on her dresser and it took the finish off. I have never approved of the way my daughter does it.  Obviously she hasn't ruined anything yet.  SO, sure enough I decided to just be very careful and reasoned that there weren't any kids around to spill it... and then Turk jumped up (from under me) to scare Tazer so he could steal her bone.  Yup, spilled it all over the coffee table and almost on my kindle.  And yup, took the finish off my coffee table.  I guess that's gonna cost me a little more than a pedicure.

There may have been something else, but the last thing that happened was that I got a really good deal on eggs: BOGO.  We didn't exactly need 2 doz extra eggs, but it was such a good deal.  I left them on the counter all night.  Actually a good 24 hrs.  Thought about it and decided I didn't want to chance Salmonella poisoning for $1.50. 


Last week just made me tired.  Even without an especially weary week (and then it was so darn hot on top of it!), I just really do like Mondays to start out fresh!

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
 great is your faithfulness.
-Lamentations 3:22

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sailor Lake Camping July 2011

View of Sailor Lake-- we are on the beach
We are trying our camper out again after not camping for quite a few years.  Last year we had water damage and insurance didn't pay so Tony spent the summer ripping the floor out and replacing it.  We were going to sell and are still considering, but thought we'd give it another shot.

After looking at the pictures, Tony said: "It looks like we had a really nice time".    I said we did, that it was a very nice vacation... just a few things I don't want to do over!

Camp set up-- Turk fighting horseflies
We went to Sailor Lake outside of Park Falls, WI and 4 miles from Tony's brother's house off Hwy. 70.  So far up north where you don't have a choice of radio stations and the dragonflies are as big as a hummingbird!  

Day 1
Hot -- mid to upper 80's?  We are about 3 - 4  miles from Mike and Alices house.  Off Hwy 70.  3 miles of it is dirt road into the Chiquamegon National Forest.  There was one other camper in the 25 unit campsite for one night and then we were all alone.  We marveled at how nice that was.  I liked it, but then as the week went I started thinking about how we had no cell service (a little down by the beach) and were in the middle of nowhere in the middle of bear country.  I know for a fact that there is bear there (well they did have signs too), because Tony's brother 4 miles down the road has pictures and Tony has seen the bear himself while deer hunting.  I started wondering why in this desolate place we would see maybe 3 cars a day going through the campsite.  Maybe they were casing the joint?  Well, Tony did have his gun along and the fact that he actually knows how to use one (and be safe with one) gave me comfort.

Finally found water hiding the next day
We couldn't find the water right away.  We walked around the campsite and nothing so we went to Mikes to fill up.  It's interesting when you are used to things like water being at your fingertips and when you don't have it, you start realizing how important it really is! 

It's been a while since we camped and everything is a jumbled mess, but we are seasoned campers and have learned not to worry about say... the hot water not working.  We are 'dry' camping as there is no electricity, but our battery will last quite a few days and then Tony will recharge it at his brothers.  We have a toilet and shower and refrigerator.  The fridge didn't work at first, but once we got set up and the camper leveled it worked like a charm.  I LOVE camping with a fridge and freezer!  Oh, and a potty too as there are only pit toilets (clean ones I might add).  The dogs are soft -- they don't like the bugs or the heat and they are not too nuts about Jiffy Pop popcorn (they are used to getting popcorn every night).

We are the only ones here at the campsite -- maybe because of the horseflies?  Went to Mikes to take a shower and Tony fished on his dock.  Turk and I sat in the screened porch.  I have downloaded 2 books onto my kindle:  "Unplanned" by Abby Johnson and "Choosing to SEE" by Mary Beth Chapman.  Tazer chased a fawn that came into the yard (not too hard).

Back at camp, Tony fished with his brother's boat that he kept on the beach.  We looked for the beach the first day and realized that we were ON the beach.  Our site was overlooking it.  We had supper over the fire.  Forgot lots of things I would have liked to have, but the nice thing about camping is that everything tastes better and making due with what you have is just fine.  I had vegetables packed until I found out the fridge didn't work, so left them home.  We ended up eating a lot of potatoes and onions and FRESH FISH.  Simple, but very good and satisfying.
Watching for 'daddy' to come home from fishing


My favorite pic
Day 3
Had a nightmare about bears coming into the campsite and I was trying to yell to Tony and nothing came out.  I tried harder and finally got "TONY!" out and then I woke up.  Tony never flinched and just kept snoring.  It finally cooled off enough to close the camper door.  I had been thinking about bears too much obviously and the fact that we had food in the camper and slept 2 nights with the screen door between us and any hungry bear.

Slept a smidge better with the door closed.  Camping with 2 big dogs is kinda like camping with kids only when they are having issues they can't 'be good'.  Turk smacked his lips all night due to his boogar nose.  Not sure what his problem is, but probably allergies.  Finally I made him lay up by me and petted him to sleep.  Not my idea of a great night.  Tazer -- when she is hot and pants, the whole camper shakes and then she needs to drink a LOT of water.  I was thankful neither of them had to pee in the middle of the night because I am sure Tony wouldn't have taken them out.  He figured he was on vacation and wouldn't use his snoring 'mouthguard'.  I found out that after an hour or two he usually stopped for a while.

Overall the dogs were really good, despite Turk almost going psycho because of horseflies.  Tazer's long hair saved her from being tortured.  Turk wouldn't even walk me to the pit toilet because he was sure they'd get him again.  Tazer never missed an opportunity to walk me to the outhouse.  Once it cooled down the horseflies were much more manageable.

What I did today:
  • read last Saturdays comics and laughed out loud
  • Did that same papers wordsearch
  • read half of my second book
  • took a nap
  • had fresh fish for lunch
  • got a woodtick (on my notebook) - the ONLY one I might add
  • did a little yoga
  • had supper with Mike and Alice

Tony went fishing here at the lake and also at his brothers and caught some for tomorrows supper.

Went to bed to the sound of a whip-or-will calling and possibly the eagle Tony saw fishing.  Possibly hunting?  I could hear his screech.  I haven't heard a whip-or-will since I was a kid living on a lake.  We could never go barefoot until we heard a whip-or-will.  I also noticed a bird call that was just gorgeous - like a piccolo.  He visited us almost every day.  Does anyone know what this next bird is?  The next clip has his call on it:

Day 4
Things cooled down even more.  Closed the camper up, but then opened one window because the dogs were hot.  Did some yoga while Tony fished.  Finished my book "Choosing To SEE".  Some quotes I like from some of the beginning of the Chapters:
  • Ch 36- Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead-- Frederick Buechner
  • Ch 40- There is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it. -- C.S. Lewis
Day 5
Went to Mikes to shower and decided to go to Park Falls and have lunch and go to Alices store.  Downloaded another book to my kindle with Mike's Wi-Fi.  I only got that book 9% done before we came home. lol

Back at camp Tony went fishing and I was going to take a nap, but went down to the water to see if the eagle was moving from his perch on top of a tree.  The dogs got all spunky with cooler weather and no horseflies and wrestled in the water.  Turk was ready to swim out to Tony's boat.
The eagle kept an eye on the dogs

Taking a break while wrestling in the water

Had to get firm with Turk -- he almost tried to swim out to Tony

Probably a weed, but kind of pretty

Maybe from the swarm of bees we heard in woods

Tazer looking to see what I was taking a pic of

one of Tony's catches
I don't clean fish

Had fresh fish and fried potatoes and onions over the fire.  Mike and Alice stopped by for a little campfire.

Tony, brother Mike and Alice

Day 6
Fought mosquitoes all night.  Don't know how they are getting in.  There were hundreds outside on our camper wanting to get me!
Didn't use Off! all week and then got nailed in the middle of night

Last Breakfast

We are packing up and spending the last night at Mike & Alices.  Although I didn't like the heat, horseflies, mosquitoes, hot dogs, snoring husband, fear of bears, lack of flush toilets, etc., I am thankful to have a quiet, restful, low-key, do nothing vacation where I could re-charge, re-boot and be excited to get back to my life!

Turk is very glad to have his soft spot on the couch back

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Picking my Toes

I have almost picked my toes thinking they were strawberries!
The strawberries are on their last leg.  I am picking on average a nice cereal bowl size a day.  Sometimes more and now lately, a little less.  This goes on for about 3 weeks.

My patch is just the right size that I don't get overwhelmed and have to figure out what to do with extra, although I would definitely be doing stuff with them.  Maybe someday I'll expand.  Right now I get some berries on my cereal, and then maybe some on my yogurt.  Oh, and once in a while some on my ice cream with chocolate topping.

My Favorite Snack
Last year I tried drying some strawberries with the little extra I had.  Not sure I want to do that again because I love the fresh stuff so much.  I also tried a recipe of Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler that was really good.  I would need a lot more strawberries though to do stuff like that regularly.  Mostly I just love fresh strawberries.

This year my patch was a little 'shy' since we had winter right up until the time they were supposed to start blossoming.  The leaves were barely out and then it was time.  Now I have to dig a path through the patch so new plants can establish themselves.  Anyone want some plants?

The big ones are always hiding
So as I pick lately with the berries dwindling, I get all excited with high hopes about the big find of berries only to find that it is my toes peeking out from the plants.  The only thing that keeps me from having a huge let-down with the end of strawberry picking is that raspberries are right around the corner!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cops Wife Does Time

Well now that I got your attention, this better be good, right?  Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not in the county jail right now.  Hopefully I never will be.  I am just 'doing time' as a cops wife.

I imagine that people think being married to a cop is pretty cool... you get to hear all the scoop, all the juicy stuff ahead of everyone else.  Well, sometimes we do but it's usually nothing to celebrate.  Usually it's something like this week where someone jumped off the bridge in town.  Actually I think I heard that first on facebook, but my husband was working and then I get the facts.  Most of the time it is a burden to carry and I am saddened for the family and wonder how my husband can take this reality up close and personal.  They usually brush things off or joke about things to deal with it.

Although my husband doesn't say much about his work, whenever there is a baby involved it seems to hit a nerve of some kind because he will mention these to me.  One year he seemed to get these calls a lot and he wondered out loud if he was cursed or something... that every call he went on, the baby died.  I thought about it for a moment and said to him that maybe he was meant to be there for the family, so that he could help the family while he was on this call.  

Usually it's not that serious.  Sometimes it's about puppies (all dogs are puppies in my book).  I'm pretty sure that most of the department loves dogs (I guess there are a few that don't).  When they find a lost dog, they really do feel bad and want to find the owner before they have to bring them to the shelter.  I don't know how many pets we've 'almost' had because my husband fell in love with a lost dog or cat (or bird for that matter).

So besides the false glamor front, sometimes it feels like I am doing time.  Like I am locked up and kept from having a normal life.  Here we are on a major holiday weekend:  I have grown up knowing what you do on major holidays.  You spend time with your family, maybe go visit your parents, get together with friends.  But it is a time to be together with the ones you care about.  As a cops wife, many of the major holidays are spent without your husband.  I'm sure this can be said for many people whose spouse works shifts.  It used to upset me to go to get togethers alone, or school functions for the kids and see all the other 'families' together while I was 'single mothering' it.

I guess over the years you just come to accept things and this is just one of them.  This weekend especially since my husband originally had off, but knowing we had no big plans accepted two days of overtime.  So what was going to be a semi-normal holiday (in my book) has become a very long weekend.

Not to say that I don't have things to do.  I have learned to enjoy the quiet time (although at the end of a long weekend things are a little too quiet).  Maybe this is why I am so into my garden or for that matter talk about my dogs too much.  Now that I am blogging, I will probably blog too much on these long weekends!  I have learned to enjoy whatever is in front of me, even if that is a very long weekend. 

When our kids were teenagers, I remember feeling like I was in jail.  With my husband working, if I were to go out, we were sure to have a party in our house.  *Gasp!* you say.  Cops kids getting in trouble with the law?  Aren't cops kids supposed to be perfect?  Let's just say our son learned never to run from the cops, they really don't like that, and in the end they will have you regardless with extra penalties for running.  So I picked up guitar.  I would spend my Friday evenings playing the guitar and singing and writing songs.

I used to run around more, but now have chosen not to be so busy.  Our kids are also older and gone, so there isn't the push to entertain them so much on holidays.  So I do time.  I still go to visit my family alone, but for long holiday weekends when there isn't always a lot going on (in our town), I stay home for the rest of the weekend. 

Husband Tony & Tazer, the wanna-be Police Dog
Even our dogs sense that we are doing time, because things just are not right until the whole pack is together.  Our German Shepherd, Tazer is not a police dog, but she wishes she were just so she could be with her 'daddy'.  I always tell Tony how upset the dogs are when he is on nightshift, or how bored they are when I am home with them and all I do is walk them and sit on my computer or play the piano.

As much as I have fought this 'doing time', I have learned to accept and embrace it.  How many of us wish we were just free to do whatever we wanted?  How many times did I lock myself in the bathroom when the kids were little just to get a little alone time?  How many times did I wish I could just take a nap?  I have learned to cherish the times when our family can be all together, and have learned to go with the flow if not just a little bit when we can't.

Maybe I'll learn to play the harp.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Blessed Regardless of Circumstances

This past week I had some better days where I almost felt like I was living 'life in the future' according to a recent blog.  It made me think about how nothing in my life had changed except a few circumstances, but I was able to see how blessed I am and how great life is.  I was joyful and it almost scared me because I have a LOT of joy in me waiting to get out.

 Sometimes it's really hard to get around our circumstances to see how things really are.  We blame others for our unhappiness - if you only did this then my life would be more pleasant.  We blame our health - if I felt better I would be more pleasant to be around.  We look around and don't see the goodness around us because we are so focused on our circumstances.

Praise be the the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. -- Ephesians 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the coorruption in the world caused by evil desires.  -- 2 Peter 1:3-4

  • has blessed
  • given us everything we need for life
  • given us his very great and precious promises
These are some of my favorite phrases that have hit me in the past and I have realized recently.  We always think that when things are perfect, when things get better, when we get through this week, if only I had more days off, etc. that life will be what we expect.  But we are already blessed - it's in the present tense, we have been given everything we need and it's all in God's precious promises.  They are truly precious to me because without them we/I would have no hope at all.