Thursday, May 30, 2013

Butterfly & Severe Weather

‘Tis the season for both beauty and severity I’d say for sure.  Let’s start with beauty shall we?  We had a visitor recently of the variety my little girl dearly lovesDSC02398.  This butterfly seemed to have come out of it’s cocoon with a wing not quite ready for flight but its beauty was unmarred in our mindsDSC02399.  I love seeing things through my daughter’s eyes.  The simplest weed has all the beauty of an orchid to herDSC02400.  Each thing we see holds an innocent wonderDSC02401but all too soon we are reminded not all there is in this world is kind and whimsicalDSC02402 .  Severe storms approached on all sides once againDSC02403.  The sickly green hues and rotation of these storms after all that’s happened in Oklahoma make a person wonder if we’re really going to get it this timeDSC02404.  I have an app on my i-touch that sounds an alarm when dangerous weather comes along…this time it was a tornado warning…fortunately it was for a nearby country and not us.  It still made my heart jump…I admit it!  Now it’s been raining for about two days…ugh.  The bright side is my older daughter got her test results and she passed all tests with flying colors!  We head to Florida for almost two weeks in just under two weeks time.  Now we go without the concerns of those test results…my eldest daughter with an easy heart knowing her graduation is official and my youngest being thrilled for the whole prospect of Disney World and whatever else we may see.  My son is excited too.  Come what may I’m so thankful to God!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Severe Storm Warning

Well we had our first close call this evening with a severe storm.  No tornadoes or anything but it did have quarter sized hail I heard.  I still stand in awe of the storms in Oklahoma.  We lived there in the early eighties and I well remember looking to the skies with concern as the tornado watches came almost every single evening.  We lived in a little apartment in Tulsa across from a mall that was devastated by a tornado and never finished…sobering.  Here we very seldom get such storms and I’m thankful for that.  My daughter has graduated and the ceremony was really a blessing.  It seems unreal still.  We are going to Florida to stay with family for about two weeks.  By God’s grace we’ll visit Disney World and perhaps another theme park or two.  It’s been a long time since we visited with our Filipino relatives…we are all excited.  It seems a wonderful cap to Danielle’s graduation. 

The weather hasn’t been conducive to photos so I’ll allow for another blast from the past.  Riding elephants is one of the most fantastical things I’ve ever done045 .  Riding on the head is a lot more difficult then the head but I’m glad I’ve done it at least once.  This was from an elephant trek in Thailand with my friend Andy from the Philippines046.  The Golden Triangle is a source for the drug trade but on a clear day looking down into the jungle that’s kind of hard to imagine047.  I’ve heard of drug lords with whole private armies protecting them…glad they weren’t around this day048.  Our guide was knocked flat when this elephant grew tired of his nonsense049.  Our treks often had a lot of walking in the humid jungle050and it wasn’t all on elephant back051.  The people on the trek were mostly European052.  I can almost feel the tropical sun beating down on us still053.  The Philippines didn’t have a trek but we did go on trips to see some things.  Here I am with a pastor in a church I preached at054.  This is me with a youth group055.  Some sights still take my breath away056.  Going from island to island on little boats made me feel so alive057.  The tropical sunsets always blew my mind058.  The last three pictures are a total change of gears.  London and a visit to the HMS BelfastE1.  The structure of the city after trips to locations in Africa took some getting used toE2but I liked the work it did on me.  The last is a Cathedral…I remember the sense of peace insideE3.  Now the lightning is flashing everywhere around us but still I feel at peace.  Good to know that the greatest temple God ever has had is found in us!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Return of the Grey

I shouldn’t be surprised to see some cold and rain return, I really shouldn’t.  The weather has been spectacularDSC02392.  The way to and from the mailbox is like the Garden of EdenDSC02393.  The smell of the blossoming trees is cloying but I love it.  Thankfully we are all allergy free and mightily enjoy the season.  Gabby loves the weatherDSC02394.  She is a ball of energy.  She easily keeps up with me on my walk/run and I love having her along.  There’s a lot of beautiful blossoms right nowDSC02395but none of them match my family…they’re the blooms of my life!  My eldest daughter Danielle graduates this Sunday.  I still am stunned at it all.  We are so very proud of her.  It may be the sunset of one chapter of our livesDSC02396but it’s beautiful by God’s graceDSC02397.  Greys of today become the beautiful blue skies and/or sunrises and/or sunsets of tomorrow!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sunbeams & Blossoms

Today has been so busy that I got online very little so now here I am in the evening trying to get in a quick blog entry.  There’s a wonderful blossoming tree a few houses down from ours.  It’s so covered with blossoms you can’t help but enjoy it but even if you couldn’t see it the sent would turn your head.  This day the tree had it all going on:  sight, sent and one more thing:  sunDSC02388.  The tiny pink flowers are an explosion of this little trees relish of the spring seasonDSC02389.  I think such moments make a person realize that in spite of it all God is still on the throneDSC02390.  Another one of my favorite sights are these red winged black birds singing in their quirky little croakDSC02391.  I don’t think you could ever convince them that they don’t have the most wonderful singing voice in the world even if you tried.  This is short and hopefully sweet for you today my friends.  Blessings to you.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Not Always a Jungle Out There

No, it’s not always a jungle, sometimes it’s a zoo!  We had one of the most beautiful spring days I can ever remember and my Mom wanted to bring the kids to the zoo.  Our zoo here really is not in the best shape…truth is it’s pathetic.  I have always felt that even if we couldn’t get a bunch of exotic animals perhaps rescue animals from our state.  People could come and invest in programs designed to help our local animals and kids could learn from workshops at the zoo.  Nobody asked me though so we take what we can get.  They did have an amazing turkey this time that I don’t remember seeing beforeDSC02368.  There was also a very pregnant goat who was rubbing her belly on a log…that poor thing was as wide as she was longDSC02369.  There were also a rabbit or two…they were very lazy on this warm spring dayDSC02370…note Gabby’s hand as she attempts to get in a pet or two.  It was so bright that it was hard to get a shot without a squint but I think this is pretty cute none the lessDSC02371.  There is a little section with some old wagons that I always like to seeDSC02372.  Ducks aplenty were in the zoo though there wasn’t much water to be seenDSC02373…maintenance perhaps?  Maybe the get up and go got up and went but if so not on this old thingDSC02374.  I like the rope fencing they have along the path around the zooDSC02375…I always think it looks artsy or maybe it’s just meDSC02376.  We’ve bears all over this state yet the bears in the zoo are Russian.  They weren’t even there the day we visited.  I wonder if these beavers are even localDSC02377.  The wolverine we’ve always wanted to see was again absent…the sign said he was in a breeding program somewhere else…vavavoom…LOL!  They did have some scraggly big horns…note the horns weren’t so bigDSC02378.  I expect they were either females or young malesDSC02379.  I bet they were hot and glad to be losing some of their winter coats.  The tiger was looking scrawny…sort of like Richard Parker from the Life of Pi towards the end of the movie so I didn’t take a picture.  The daffodils near the tiger enclosure were coming along nicely thoughDSC02380.  Some less inviting Cockle Burs were hanging around like skeletons from years pastDSC02381.  We had a Cocker Spaniel that was notorious for getting into these suckers…like a magnet with metal shavings…it was a terrible mess to get them out of his ears back in the day.  Further on they had an Asian deer…I wanted to visit a place in Japan where they are plentiful but didn’t get to see them in the wild…this one looked kind of sad if you ask meDSC02382.  My Mom figured it might be in part because the winter coats were coming off…I’m not sure though.  Many trees remain bare stillDSC02383but there were some interesting blooms here and thereDSC02384.  The bald eagles are rescues who can no longer fly after some injuries.  They were screeching at the keepers who were cleaning out their enclosureDSC02385.  Near the eagles some other blossom caught my eye…how lovely the colors areDSC02386.  Last some squirrels were raiding the garbage cans…this fellow had a huge chunk of breadDSC02387.  Somehow I think he wasn’t bothered by the state the zoo was in!