Category Archives: Notes from the Apex

The longer we live, the more we realize our entire lives are like hiking through a series of peaks and valleys. Going downhill is easier. Getting to our peaks requires more energy. But once we reach the apex we can relax, catch our breath and take in the view.

Why are you mad all the time?

via Why are you mad all the time?

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2019-01-10 · 16:09

Their Illicit Lover

Another example of the mastery of Mitch Teemley:

Mitch Teemley

 This is one of my darker posts. And for a good reason. Please read through to the end.   A true story.

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He said he would kill them

In his time, in his way

And yet they let him stay

Even before they loved each other

They loved him

Faithfully and steadfastly

And when they married

He moved in with them

Years fell away

They had children

Dreamed dreams

Lost their dreams

Then found them again

Aged a little

And aged a little more

They shared everything with him

Everything

Yet he never ceased to whisper,

“One day I will kill you”

By now it seemed a carnal jest

A monkeyshine

And then he killed the man

The woman was gutted, emptied

The man had been everything to her

 “Not you!” she screamed,

“It was never you I loved!”

And yet she let him stay

A generation passed

Before she…

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Cuttings

Longer ago than I like to admit Mom taught me to start new plants from stems of mature plants. She called them Cuttings.

One late winter I started a pot of golden pothos with 4 cuttings from one of Mom’s plants. By autumn the leaves had grown over the edge of the shelf and the plant needed to be re-potted. I started four more pots from the first plant and they soon took over that shelf by the window.

I enjoyed botany and especially spending time with Mom. She wasn’t my mother, but she taught me to be strong, as if she knew the hard times that laid in wait for me – maybe she did. She knew teaching me to start a whole new life from something broken, something that would otherwise die would help me through heartbreak and hard times.

For a long while my perpetually strained economy only afforded me to start new plants from cuttings to green-up my living space. Plants made my place in the world seem less harsh, more lovely.

Sure enough, believing as Mom taught me, that when God closes a door He opens a window kept me going over the years. Many doors slammed shut on me. When I barely had any strength to keep going, God certainly opened windows. Not only so, but all along the way He led me to fill them with pots and boxes of cuttings.

Many years later when FirstBorn brought LoveOfHisLife home to meet me, she gave me a potted kalanchoe. Many months and even more miles afterward, pieces of that plant became another beautiful plant on the other side of the country. And a year or two afterward, I started another plant and then another… The new plants eventually made it back to my sons’ houses.

Recently the sight of kalanchoes growing in pots on my grand daughter’s bedroom window seat, brought a deluge of fond memories.

Granted, GrandGirl’s plants may or may not be from the same plants I carried back and forth across the country so long ago. I love the idea that they could be, so I never asked. Wherever they started I’m certain the rest of this part of God’s story will be great.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid?”

Psalm 27:1 (HCSB*)

 

*Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy Pixabay

 

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Paws

The fur kids and I are taking pause to catch up on my reading while I mend.

So far they are unimpressed.

Feel the blessings and pray it forward!

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

 

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The Last Road Trip

So, it turns out I don’t bounce like I used to. This week a fall banged me up a bit. God is good – no major damage, just a few stitches and lots of color.

As I rest up and heal, I’m sharing photos from our last road trip for 2018, the drive to Potlatch, ID for a family Christmas celebration.

Outside Connell, WA:

Outside Potlatch, ID:

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Until next year, peace my friends,

Blog on!

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

 

Sunset in Potlatch image* used by permission, Julie Kirk Weatherby, all other images (c)2018 RapturePractice! Publications

 

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Second Stringers

To no one’s surprise, for this entire advent season, joy shot from Scriptures for me, but like never before. Okay, maybe I noticed them before, but this year they felt like a whole new ball game. Maybe it’s just me…

Rarely comfortable as a starter, I’m a strong second stringer.  So is it any surprise less popular verses struck me so strong?

Thanks to Handel some identify a line or two of these verses with Christmas (and Easter). Me too.

But this year the preceding and following lines sacked me daily as I read and read again.

I hope these snippets continue sparking everywhere all year around:

“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress… The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. …”

Isaiah 9:1 & 2, 6 & 7 (NIV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

John 3:16, 17 (NIV)

Peace, people.

 

Featured Image courtesy TheWay.com

Header image courtesy Pixabay

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Before Snow Falls – Walk #23

New treasures every day.
We only need refresh our focus.

A comfy home that is hard to leave.

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Crafty loved ones who share

Sunshine on a brisk morning

Gold in the most unexpected places

Silver burst

Cole, a brother when I forget I am not alone.

“The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.” Psalm 50:1,2 (NIV)

All images copyright (c) 2018 RapturePractice! Publications

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Humbly Humane

When summer began Hero, the 18-month-old steer was essentially wild.

One of his first encounters with man was to be roped and his testicles cut off. Back with his mother he likely forgot about his loss that day. He never seemed to forget about the evil ropes of doom and wanted no part of the upright beings at the ends of the ropes.

If he wasn’t already bigger than me I could still easily imagine how he felt, so I respected his space.

Before long he connected the rope creatures with food and water. During the next winter he would come running to the gate at feeding time.

Come spring his mother, “auntie” and “cousin” went away “to live on a farm” leaving him alone in the pasture. Afterwards he gradually became more open to humans.

After hanging around the vegetable garden fence all summer Hero became so comfortable with me he would gingerly nibble from my hand. I came to laugh at how he intimidated me the first time I power-walked the pastures. He pranced along with me, as if coaxing me to frolic with him.

Not long into summer the steer started begging for attention while I groomed the horses. The day Hero literally nosed my arm so I’d brush him too my internal red flags went up.

Hero is not a pet. Cole actually fussed at me for naming him (yeah, he didn’t read that post either). Unlike the horses who summer with us and then return to their people’s pastures for the winter, the steer will relocate to the freezer this year.

For two years I have recited the rule daily: never get attached to the livestock. Even so, something endears me to these bigger beings. I now feel sad when the lonely steer runs to the gate every time he sees me – too much like an 1800-pound puppy.

There were times in my life when I could relate to that steer. People hurt me, separated me from my loved ones and then left me alone and lonely. For a long time I too was very careful of upright beings.

Like the steer and most people I too learned that not all humans will hurt or harm us. Still we must watch for ropes – the things that can bind or hurt us.

Jesus knew about ropes – ignorance, fear, intimidation, greed and plain ol’ meanness. He knew about suffering for someone else’s sakes. With His life He demonstrated the best way to live is to forgive those who hurt us.

I want to use my life like that.

Oh, and thank You, God, that I’m not a steer.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven… For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37, 38 (NIV)

 

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Already Been So Long

I’m not done here yet, Baby Bother, but I sure long to see you and talk with you again.

Richard Mark

November 30, 1957 – March 18, 2014

 

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord… Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6 & 8 (ESV*)

 

 

*By permission, English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

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Retired. Right?

I can’t actually be retired when I daily work more now than I ever have. Oh wait, I’m talking about retired phones.

Part of the mystique of how I manage my life with such modest resources is first, trusting God my provider for everything. Then, showing my gratitude (while I dream about having a 50″ TV, tablet or new laptop I could put to good use – soon), I employ 3 cell phone devices.

My life is not really as complicated as that may sound, but my resources are limited. To maintain a very good credit score (despite many setbacks – jes sayin), I pinch every penny till it screams.

Electronic devices are an investment, so I take great care researching before funding something that can so easily be lost or destroyed. For example, I take into consideration I rarely watch television. I can’t stay up that late for programming in our area that I care to see. I actually use my 32″ flat screen as a computer monitor and both houses utilize old-school indoor antennas. Yep, Cole uses rabbit ears.

Since we only pay for cable internet service I am thankful for Hulu, Netflix and CBS-on-line to keep me attuned to life outside the ranch.

So every couple of moves, after changing carriers I also upgraded devices and “retired” my previous phones. This means I continue to use them for almost everything except talk and texting. Most apps work fine without cell service and some without a WiFi signal.

This will work even better for me once we hard wire the router into my cottage – past the metal roof and siding. Until that happens (hopefully this spring) I make do with a repeater. I can also leave my comfy little nest to work in the main house while Cole works in town. SchnauzerOne and ChueyTwo appreciate the company.

Yes, though Samsung recently released the Galaxy A9 and the Tizen OS, my vintage S3 (from 2012) brings me hours of digital and audio books, radio, weather and news.

But wait there’s more. I use the retired 2016 Samsung Galaxy Core Prime (a knock off) for Social Media, including the WordPress app, Gmail, Google calendar, alarm clock and banking.

This all frees up my current knock-off phone which is connected to the local knock-off  server (mobile virtual network operator – MVNO) for less costly talk, text, video chats and photography, of course.

Except for the GS3 this all extends battery life between charges. No worries, I acquired 3 extra GS3 back-up batteries and an outboard charger while they were available.

 

While a new iPhone X R 8, a Tablet or a Kindle Paperwhite would be nice, I thank God I may look rather impressive (at the senior center) when I’m actually making the most of what He gives me.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

 

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