Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Call to Prayer for Our Nation

Perhaps you have seen this from Anne Graham Lotz, one of the daughters of evangelist Billy Graham.  I pass it on to my readers and hope you will be among those of us who will be praying specifically July 1-7 along the lines that Mrs. Lotz outlines in her message, below.

From Anne Graham-Lotz:
Blow the trumpet...sound the alarm...for the day of the Lord is coming.  It is close at hand-- Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God...   Joel 2:1, 13 
As you may know, my husband is in declining health. I am no longer traveling and speaking as much as I have for the last 26 years since I am staying home to care for him. As a result, I have had time to be quiet and listen more to the whispers of the Spirit. He has revealed things to me in the stillness that I'm not sure I would have heard in my former busyness.

One of the things He has impressed on me is that we are living at the end of human history as we know it. In light of this, He has given me some practical assignments. One was to be the Honorary Chair for the National Day of Prayer 2014 this past May. He gave me the message I was to deliver, which was from Joel 1...the Day of the Lord is at hand. It was a message warning that judgment is coming.

Just recently, He has given me another assignment, which is to call His people in our nation to prayer. This assignment came indirectly from a Syrian pastor through a National Day of Prayer attendee. In obedience, I am blowing the trumpet...sounding the alarm...issuing a national prayer initiative entitled7 7 7: An Urgent Call to Prayer. The Call is for God's people to pray for each of the first seven days in the seventh month-July 1-7. Then on the 7th day, July 7, we are to pray and fast for 7 hours. The purpose is... 
·  For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the evil that has come into our world.
·  For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives.
·  For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening.
I'm asking you to partner with me, and send out the word to everyone on your email address list, or who follows you on facebook or twitter. I will be sending out an eBlast this week and next, which you can access at r/. Please feel free to use it, and place your name in the paragraph that includes mine to make it more personal for your constituents. Feel free also to forward this letter.

I will provide a prayer I have written for each of the 7 days to help unite us in one spirit and one voice as we cry out to God. Those who receive the eBlast are invited to sign up for the daily email prayers. Please be assured there is no other agenda in this initiative. This is not about promoting anything or anyone. This is all about calling God's people together to pray, before it's too late, and judgment falls on our nation.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cole Slaw Stir Fry

Cole Slaw Stir Fry

Most of the time I eat raw vegan, non-dairy foods (not cooked above 118 degrees F) and always gluten-free.  Over the last 8 months this way of dining has proven to be very healthy for me.

However, there are times when I will cook something over heat, and this recipe is one of them.   It is fast and flexible, enabling me to make a lot or just a little,depending on how many people I am feeding.  It is a stir-fry made with pre-packaged cole slaw mix. 

For one serving, I use about 1/4 of a 16 ounce bag of Tri-Color Coleslaw (that's 2 colors of shredded cabbage with shredded carrot). Then I add about half of an orange bell pepper, sliced, about 1/4 of a red onion, sliced, and some sliced grilled chicken.

Heat a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the stir fry veggies and chicken (any cooked meat will do).  Stir and cook until the vegetables are softened as you like. Add a tablespoon or two of wheat-free Tamari sauce, stir, and cover, turning down the heat to low to warm up the sauce. (wheat-free if you are gluten-intolerant; otherwise, any soy sauce will do)

You can serve this over cooked brown rice, or not, depending how hungry you are.  I use whatever vegetables I have on hand, sometimes taking the opportunity to clean out the veggie bin the night before I go grocery shopping.

This is a fast, healthy meal with quick clean-up, too. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge for June 18

Today I am linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.  She's got fun questions for her participants to answer.  Here are mine:

1. Since you weren't Hodgepodging last Wednesday, how did you pass the time? I was invited to lunch at the home of a girlfriend who lives in a gated, mountainous community.  Her home was tucked into a forested cul-de-sac where we felt safe as the thunder rolled and fat rain drops splashed on the rock pavement outside. It was wonderful!! She thoughtfully served us a gluten-free salad, Quinoa and Parsley Salad (click on the name for the link to the recipe).  *If you need to avoid gluten, be sure to buy gluten-free quinoa.

2. What's the first word that comes to mind when I say marriage? Yes, one word.  WONDERFUL! It's been 43 years and counting!

3. Summer officially arrives in the Northern hemisphere later this week. Does it feel like summer where you live? Describe your idea of the perfect summer day.  Yes, it feels like summer here today, although it's been slow in coming.  My idea of a perfect summer day would be when all of my trees have leafed out, all my flowers are at their peak of bloom and color, and I can wear sandals with a cute pedicure while eating lunch on my under the blue, blue skies of Colorado.

our porch Black-eyed Susans last summer

4. "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." (Sam Keen)  Is laziness ever respectable? Do you have a lazy summer planned, or something semi-ambitious?  Laziness, in my opinion, is respectable after hard work or when in need of mental, physical, or emotional restoration (and that's not really defined as "lazy" in my opinion). I have some quilts to sew this summer for babies in the family due to be born in September, so that's one of my ambitions.

some of my quilting tools

5. Past or present, who's your favorite television dad? Why is he a favorite? Is he anything like your own dad? Hmm. There was Leave it to Beaver's Dad, Ozzie Nelson, Father Knows Best, and Fred McMurray in My Three Sons.  I enjoyed them all and it's hard to narrow it down to just one.  I suppose Fred McMurray.  He was a nice guy with wisdom and worked in the aviation industry.  My father was a people-person, lived by Biblical principles, and was a professional pilot.

6. June 18th is International Picnic Day ... share a favorite picnic memory. Hands down, that's easy to answer.  My first date with my husband was a family picnic to the Colorado mountains outside of Denver. My parents told my sister and I that we could each invite a boy to come along with us. I married the boy I asked!

Us, nearly 46 years after that first date

7. The travel site Trip Advisor lists the top five islands in the world for 2014 as Ambergris Cave in Belize Cayes, Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Marco Island Florida, and Lewis and Harris in The Outer Hebrides (Scotland). Have you been to any of these? Of those listed (and if price were not a factor) which would you most like to book for a holiday?

Wow. What a decision.  Let me begin by saying I've not even heard of most of these islands. I went to all of them via Internet by clicking on Trip Advisor.  Beautiful, every one. 

I guess my first choice would be Bora Bora in French Polynesia since those grass cottages out in the middle of the water fascinate me, although they are also a bit scary if a storm would blow in (do they have storms there?!).  I'm not much of a beachy/swimsuit person anymore, but I would like to see this scene with my very own eyes.

Then my second choice would be Lewis and Harris in The Outer Hebrides (Scotland) because I enjoy listening to a Scottish accent and I like places where I'd need to wear a sweater and eat hot food.

8. Insert your own random thought here. Odd as it sounds, one of my favorite forms of vacation is to travel by air in a window seat  and read a fiction book almost completely undisturbed for about 4 hours (I do ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot tea to accompany the salad I've carried onto the plane with me). No dishwasher to empty, to laundry to fold, no phones to answer, no doorbells, and no email (putting my phone in "airplane mode").  I got to do that last month and it was great!

flying Southwest Airlines

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Me with my Daddy and our dog, my mother, and maternal grandparents holding Sister

We are told that our impression of God is strongly affected by the relationships we have with our parents, and perhaps especially the association we have with our father.

That's a heavy statement but true. On this Father's Day 2014, I am blessed to be able to say that my earthly father connected to me in ways that enhance my thoughts of God my Heavenly Father.

It was my mother who led me to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior when I was young; and she, with my father, intentionally taught me how to live the Christian life.  

I was in the third grade when Daddy told me I should read my Bible every day and pray -- have a "quiet time" with the Lord.  He gave me a periodical published by our church that provided scripture and a devotional thought and suggested I use that. Through his example I learned this was an essential I must do. With extremely few exceptions, I have read my Bible and prayed daily ever since then.  

Through my Daddy I learned the importance of not only living right but also setting a good example.  Take the high road in all things; don't provide an opportunity for others to stumble by deliberate disobedience on my part.

Cancer took my Daddy's life all too soon, but even in that battle he remained close to the Lord. My husband and three children were with me during the last few weeks of Daddy's life.  We lived out of state and had come to see him for what we all suspected would be the last time this side of heaven.

When the time came for us to leave his hospital bed and start driving home, he called each one of us to his side and spoke words of love and encouragement, a blessing, if you will.  It was a remarkable privilege God gave us that day.  

It's been just a little over 28 years since God called Daddy Home, but his example and teaching still hold strong in my heart. God's love and time have healed the wound of Daddy's passing. I know I will be with him again.

Today I thank God for giving me a good earthly father. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where Have You Been? Part Three (last)

Today I will finish up the story of our vacation to South Dakota, show pictures of our visit to Land of Lincoln to see family, and conclude with the trip home.

After spending a couple of hours with the Minuteman Missile memories (see my previous post), we had lunch at Wall Drug.  This is a fun place on Interstate 80 where you can get free ice water, lunch (not free) and all the touristy souvenirs you can imagine.  They also have fun places to take pictures, and some of those water fountains that pop up intermittently out of the sidewalk.  I didn't take many pictures because we needed to eat and run, but as you can see, Beloved and I did make some new friends.

Not far from Wall Drug is another national park, the Badlands of South Dakota. What can I say about this place?  It's like the Grand Canyon except not quite as colorful but nonetheless interesting.

There are rattlesnakes, but I am very happy to report we saw none of them during our visit.

In the four years that we lived in the Rapid City area (some 40 years ago) we never made it out to the Badlands.  It didn't sound appealing to us then.  But we are much older now and we found them to be fascinating.

Look closely in that dark area in about the center of this picture. You can see a mountain goat resting in the shade. What you can't see is her two babies just out of sight to the left on their own ledge.  

Here is another one.  We stopped as she crossed the road. There were several more on either side of the car. This reminded us of the animals approaching our car during our trip to Yellowstone several years ago.

I wouldn't be able to explain to you all of the geological significance of what we saw at the Badlands; but I do believe we were viewing some amazing evidence of our Creator's handiwork that, if studied carefully, would reveal great truth about earth history.

We drove on to Land of Lincoln, spending another night in South Dakota and enjoying a lot of beautiful, green countryside along the way. I always enjoy crossing the Mississippi River since it's a "whole lotta wata" compared to what we have in Colorado.

The bridges and the traffic that go under them are a whole 'nother story, too. It's intriguing to see the "tricks" the bridges do to facilitate waterway traffic.

The purpose of our trip to Land of Lincoln was to see my sister, my mother, and other extended family members. They live in a quiet town in farm country.  

Usually when we visit, Sister has questions to ask Beloved about computer matters. We are "Mac" people, by the way.

I brought my sewing machine along so I could make good on my promise to do some alterations for Sister.

Sister and The Cook on Fifth Street are next-door neighbors.  Although The Cook does cook, during our visit, she came to Sister's house for several meals so we could all be together as family.

Sister and former farmer now live in town in a big antique house that was built during President Abraham Lincoln's lifetime. Here Sister stands on a portion of the huge wrap-a-round porch of her home.

We took a walk one morning from their house to downtown. This quaint gazebo begged for a picture of us.  By the way, when we were girls growing up, people often mistook us for twins! On occasion we still cause people to question that.

The houses in this town are like something out of Disney's Pollyanna movie.  

Oh the parties and adventures one could have with these houses! If I had one of these houses, I'd do a bed and breakfast, for sure!

The Cook on Fifth Street has a smaller version of these mansions and she decorates "country" with quilts and antiques. She made this Log Cabin quilt years ago during a visit to my house.  

We had a good visit for several days but then the time to came to head for home. These huge wind turbines peppered the countryside much of the way. To while away the hours on the road, I made up stories about how I think these turbines are aliens from outer space, disguised as do-gooders but really come to take advantage of us.  

Not to worry. I won't publish that story. I'm sure somebody political would get on my case about it and my book would never sell.

Another story of note was our motel room on the way home. I will not say exactly where it was, but we have stayed there many times over the years. Only this time it had been sold to another national motel chain and MAJOR renovations greeted us.

The orange walls and lack of carpeting were startling but the most disturbing thing was the distance of the toilet paper holder from the toilet!  Not even the tallest person with a good reach could ... oh never mind. 

Beloved filled out a questionnaire about our stay and mentioned it.  A few days later he got an apologetic reply saying they had fixed it.  

However, that was the last night we will stay there. We'll find other lodging next time. I'm surprised we slept at all with those orange glowy walls.

The one redeeming feature of that motel was the restaurant next door.... one of America's favorites, I'm sure! I had the pan-fried trout for supper (from their gluten-free menu). Delicious!

Always a welcome sight for our traveling eyes, Colorado is our home and we love it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Where Have You Been? Part Two

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site somewhere out on the prairie of South Dakota, just off I-80

The very next day after my flight home from the Land of Surf and Palms, Beloved and I packed up our car and drove to South Dakota. 

I would give the state a cute pseudonym like I did for my earlier travels, but with this post I'm promoting a National Park attraction you might want to visit, so nuthin' but the truth, okay?

Back in the days when Beloved and I were still newlyweds and he was a handsome Second Lieutenant (I love a man in a uniform!!), Uncle Sam sent him to his first assignment just east of the Black Hills and north of the Badlands.  

8-ton steel and concrete blast door at the underground entrance to one of the launch control facilities

The job was both interesting and dull. After a summers-worth of training at an Air Force base in Southern California, Beloved spent four years in this underground place, ready to launch Minuteman missiles toward the enemy if his Commander-in-Chief ordered it.  

Thankfully, my guy and his co-workers never had to launch a missile, so after they completed the usual check list-type work, he was able to study and earn two masters degrees while sitting 30 feet underground.

post card of the many the launch control centers in our nation's upper western states
I need to tell you that I'm not divulging any national secrets as I post these pictures.  Back in the Cold War Era, I got to see none of this. Beloved would come home from his "alerts" (time spent out in the field several times a month) and I had to just visualize with my imagination what he was talking about. But now this is open for public view and it's an important part of our nation's history.

Beloved points to the very chair he occupied as a deputy

It was a genuine thrill for both of us to go on this free tour that is now sponsored by the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.  Our tour guide was also a former missile launch officer from the years we were there, so he and my husband had a great time trading stories. He even offered him a volunteer job as a tour guide, but Beloved had to turn it down due to the 8-hour driving commute from our current home.

a Minuteman Missile is positioned under the roof structure out on the South Dakota prairie

At the end of the guided tour, we drove a few miles farther into the wide open prairie to where one of the [now disabled] Minuteman Missiles still rests in its underground silo.  

post card of the missile silo
I was struck with the thought of how much this location looks like something from the movies -- just driving by I would never know the gravity of the equipment positioned underneath that greenhouse-looking thing!

post card of a Minuteman Missile in its silo
I took my own version of this picture, but the post card has no glare and just shows it off better. But believe-you-me, it's pretty dramatic to be nearly nose-to-nose with a weapon of this magnitude.

The one thing that I carried away with me as we completed this tour was the awesomeness of the job entrusted to my young husband while I was in town with our babies, hanging pictures and sewing pretties for our home.

If you would like to visit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, click on this link:

It is located on Interstate 80, east of Rapid City, South Dakota, east of Wall Drug, and north of Badlands National Park -- all interesting places to visit.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Where Have You Been???

Top Left: me with The Cook on Fifth Street. Center: me with Surfer Girl. Top Right: me with Sister
Bottom photo: me with my 9 grandchildren and 1 grand puppy

Oh wait!  It's not where you have been ... I was the one who put a hold on blogging so I could travel.  So where have I been?

The past month has been a delightful whirlwind of travel to see family and sights and to dine on wonderful food -- all of it gluten free, much of it vegan and a lot of that was raw.  I came home weighing the same amount as when I began the travels!!!

My first trip required air travel to the Land of Surf and Palms.  Beloved was not able to get away from his Day Job to accompany me and he was greatly missed, but I managed to have a wonderful experience all the same.

Surfer Girl and Surfer Boy, along with Guppy and his puppy encouraged me to soak my feet in their pool as often as I wanted. (I am of the firm, unmovable opinion that a woman of my age does not need to be seen in swimwear)

The visit included time spent with an old friend, Lizzie.  These little guys are found in great number in that part of the country. While I'm not a reptile-lover, I learned to appreciate these little guys during the two times Beloved's Day Job required us to live in the Land of Surf and Palms. These "miniature gators" do no harm except to startle the beejeebies out of me from time to time.

Guppy was in his last weeks at the Christian school and Surfer Boy was working out of town for my first day or so of the visit, so that meant my daughter could take me to fun places, just the two of us. THAT is a rare treat anymore and I drank it all in with delight!

In addition to a mutual love for sewing and interior decorating, Surfer Girl and I now share an appreciation for eating raw vegan as much as possible. She has learned over the last couple of years that eating this way has greatly helped with some health challenges and now I am experiencing the same thing. So it was only natural that she would take me to a completely raw vegan cafe in her town.  I had the lasagna and she the tostada.

Our dessert was a shared slice of cheesecake -- completely dairy-free and raw!  (how did they do that??)  

We visited a fresh produce market that had veggies in colors I've only seen in gourmet magazines: purple carrots, yellow celery, and gold beets.  

Per my request, we made Kale Chips with Awesome Sauce in her dehydrator.  This was surprisingly delicious!

But my visit was about more than the food... end-of-year activities at the school and church filled a couple of our evenings. Here Guppy models the vest and awards from his year of participation in AWANA (derived from the first letters of Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed as taken from 2 Timothy 2:15).

Then more excitement was in store when our Homeschooling Family of ten (yes, that's 8 kiddos) arrived to attend the huge convention in town. They were able to get me in on a free Grammy Ticket (okay, "Grandparent Pass") for one day of the event, which I enjoyed very much. We, along with many other homeschooling families, brought our own lunches and found a nitch in the convention hallway to picnic.

On Sunday the Surfer family won the award for bringing the most visitors to church ... and that was followed up with ...

... a Pizza and Pool Party!  Guppy loved having his many cousins over  for this time of splashing and fun.  (and in case you are wondering, some of us had a hearty salad instead of pizza)

All good things have to come to an end at some time. The day after the pool party extravaganza, I flew home to Rocky Mountain High where the weather was much cooler. Beloved met me at the airport and we had supper at Panera Bread where the fireplace felt good!

My next post will feature pictures from the second part of my travels.  Be sure to check back!