Monday, October 17, 2016

Loss of special guy.

  When I heard that Rick Neal died last week, on October 11, 2016, I was surprised and sad. Surprised because he was only 64 years old and sad because he was a special guy from my past.
  I met Rick when I was a junior in high school and he had just graduated. We became friends and spent so many special times together....going to concerts (he loved music), swimming, movies, eating out, and playing games with our families. Once I graduated high school and went on to college we lost touch with each other until my third year. We ran into each other when I was home for a weekend. That meeting began our new relationship. Rick would come up to OSU on the weekends and help me study, go out to eat, check out the local music, and just enjoy each other. He was always such a gentleman, caring, courteous with a kind and generous spirit. He had a great sense of humor and we shared tons of fun times together.
    Over the years many things happened in both of our lives. I ended up moving to Texas and married Mike and Rick stayed in Ohio and married Karen and started his family and landscape business.
   Our paths never crossed again. That was over 34 years ago. I don't know what his life was like during that time, but I feel certain he kept his sense of humor, loved his family, and built a great business because of his hard work.
    I dug thru old photo albums and found a few pictures of Rick from way back then. Sweet memories of a special guy.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Year's Day-Winter Wonderland.

 A dream come true. During our numerous visits to Sedona beginning in 2000, I have been amazed at the indescribable beauty of the Red Rocks glowing in the sun, BUT, I have only seen pictures  of  of the area covered in snow. They look awesome. Since it does not snow much here, and when it does it melts quickly due to the intensity of the sun, you have to luck out to be around when such an event happens. This New Year's Day 2015 was that day for us. The entire day. WOW. The steady snow shower  began  the morning of the last day 2014. It snowed continuously with NO sun popping out until 9 a.m. New Year's Day morning after accumulating eight inches of glorious powder. Then came the sun. Mike and I, dressed in our warmest snow gear, armed with our cameras, piled in the jeep and went exploring. The views were out of this world. Exquisite. Enchanting, Breathtaking. Colorful. No words or pictures can capture our whole experience of  those 7 hours of prowling the area. One day later the white fluff was gone leaving the red rocks naked once more. How thankful I am for the chance to enjoy those snow filled hours.
A dream come true. 

Under Thundermountain at Posse Ground Park.

Mike taking photo of Bear Mountain off Dry Creek Road. 

Unusual spire formations near Broken Arrow.

Our front yard under 8 inches of power.

Alpine glow on the mountains at the end of the day. Taken from our back deck.

Near Doe Mountain.

Thundermountain later in the day. Snow has begun to disappear.

Wilson Mountain.

Coffee Pot rock.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014


   2014, our first full year of retirement in Sedona, has gone by quickly in many ways and yet it seems so long since our move from Texas.
  Much time has been spent  this year working on home projects, both inside and out. Mike relocated literally TONS of rock in our yard as part of his landscape transformation. Bushes, trees, flowers and GRASS have been planted that with time will grow and add greenery to the otherwise red rock that prevails. On the inside we added screen doors, built an entertainment center, and installed wood blinds on most windows.
   We had tons of fun with  friends and family that came to visit and look forward to sharing beautiful Sedona with others this coming year. Mike’s  Jeep allowed us to scout out new places and trails that we could never experience with our car. Each new hike becomes our favorite until the next one and I never tire of snapping photos of  our adventures. 
  I have gotten back in the habit of walking 2+ miles each day, helping me  shed some weight and enjoy the fantastic weather and scenery.
    The sad part of this year was losing our 14 year old dog Biskit who died suddenly in September. He was my first dog and very special. It will be awhile before Mike, Cookie and I stop missing him. A  “playboy” until the end, he brought laughter and fun into our lives each day.
   The three of us made a long cross country trip to Ohio this November and  had a great time with my family.  Thankfully, we left  just before the bad weather and snow hit. After covering the multitude of  miles in our small car, we arrived safely back in Sedona with tired butts and bodies.  Don’t think we will be repeating that trip in the near future!  It will be air travel next time with Cookie staying at the kennel.

   I have made some wonderful friends this year at work and church, but it will be some time before Sedona truly feels like home. Meanwhile, I thank the Lord for all His blessings...thru the good times and the hard stuff. He is good.
     Merry CHRISTmas ! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thoughts on Faith....

Unbelief asks, “How can this be?” (Luke 1:18–20) Faith asks, “How shall this be?” (Luke 1:34–37)

  I go on not knowing—

  I would not if I might,
  I’d rather walk in the dark with God
  Than walk alone in the light;
  I’d rather walk by faith with Him
  Than to walk alone by sight.
                  —Helen Annis Casterline

Loss of My "Big Boy Biskit"

  After 14+ years of unconditional love, fun, joy, playtimes, kisses, and walks, Biskit, the wonder dog of my life, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday September 29th, 2014. We had enjoyed a perfect morning together. Went on our walk, played with his squeaky ball, rolled in the new grass, snoozed by my chair during lunch time, asked for his treat....and then something happened. He took a few unsteady steps, collapsed and died. 
  My heart breaks, and tears overcome me as I try to work through my grief. I tell myself, "he was just a dog"...but he was more than just a dog to me. His big fuzzy body kept me warm in bed at night, his rambunctious energy infused me to exercise with him, his never-ending love for his squeaky ball and toys brought me laughter and joy, his sloppy kisses made me feel loved, his sense of time keeping for his meals got me up at 5 a.m. each morning and 6 p.m. for supper, his gentle behavior and self-control  when hurting gave me respect for his "smartness", and his care for sister Cookie deepened my appreciation for his sweet nature. 
  Beside my pure love and enjoyment of Biskit, the  Lord used him to teach me SO many lessons over these years. Consistent discipline brings results and transformation, unconditional love, rebellion has consequences, perseverance through trials, enduring pain with self-control, patience for the things desired, and joy in all circumstances, just to name a few.

   I have a brain bank filled with 14 years of memories with my precious Biskit. I lay him to rest, not knowing how or if the Lord uses our animals in heaven. Regardless, my memories are eternal. I might not ever see Biskit again, but I am always able to turn to my treasure of special thoughts that are never ending. I am thankful the Lord gave me the perfect first dog and allowed me 14 years of devoted love to my furry four legged child, Big Boy Biskit". 

 Kisses and Hugs. 

13 Weeks. Taken the day I traveled to Georgia to pick him up. 

First Christmas

Kissing Santa

Time with Dad

The Rope 

In the tub

The Ball

Selling his kisses

The Pink Pig

The Tennis of hundreds

Snoozing in the afternoon

Helping with home improvements

Bluebonnets and the Red ball

Six weeks

10 weeks

Getting beautified


Bed head

With Grandma and Grandpa

Being silly

Day in the sun

Toy overload! 

Looking on...serious

Bluebonnets with mom

Travel in the car


The Family

Orange Ball

Dirty Boy

Looking Handsome

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Sisters and best friends....

My sisters Sherri and Debbie are my best friends. It hasn't always been that way. Lots of fighting and fussing with each other at different times in our lives. BUT, as the years roll on we have grown close and love to spend time together reminiscing.