to the Lord and the Lord answered me and set me free. Ps. 118:5 NLT
But the Lord directs his steps. Prov. 16.9 NKJV
Prior to a mandatory four-day annual conference, my plan was to have the new cabin plumbed, wired with heat and air so we, my pets and I, could move in. That was my heart’s plan.
By conference time our custom tiny home had water so the cats were moved. This allowed a caretaker to easily come and feed them. The dogs were kenneled. A new light pole with an amber light was installed.
However, to take the next step, provide underground wiring to the tiny house, a 1977 mobile home must go to its new owner who has put $100 down. The unsightly mobile is sitting in my front yard blocking a clear path from the light pole to the cabin. The person hired to haul it 12 miles has a backlog.
Today I looked for a drop-leaf table and chairs for a small space adjacent to the kitchen and electric heater, as well as a new tiny recliner for my writing desk. The two piece desk will be situated in the living room. My former, well warn chair is going in the dogs’ room. Buying time, I am, and waiting to be directed as to the next steps, the Lord has for me.
And your thoughts will be established. Prov. 16:3 NKJV
He knows the desires of my heart. What more is there to ask?
Peace, He said.
It is a matter of faith. Reconnect.
So I do.
Whisper his name.
Jesus. I close my eyes and find peace, always present …
Just this August a small portion of my land was cleared for my horses, Jack and Bebe, and pet cow Holly, pictured below in front of brush before the clearing.
The prediction is for warm, dry weather this fall ideal for fencing. We have had an unusually wet summer. In fact many hay growers have lost crop to army worms so there may be a scarcity of good quality hay this winter.
While a desire to return to the Northwest is still strong, all doors have opened wide to improve my property here in Tennessee and commit to managing low income housing for 24 seniors where I have worked since January. So, I walk through open doors and follow the still small voice.
Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV
And why are you disquieted within me? PS. 43:5a NKJV
A coup attempt and repression in Turkey, mass murder in France on Bastille Day, men in blue assassinated in Dallas, Texas, individual men and women of African-American descent killed or shot by individual officers for what? White privilege acknowledge by some; unacknowledged by most. Two candidates who are despised by many clamor to lead this nation. A nation and a world caught in a spiral of discontent.
I cry out to the LORD, help us please. Fill us with the peace You have promised.
If I look to Your creation, beauty shouts: “I AM here, Gabrielle, in the zebra, the gazelle, the lion, the sunset, the sunrise, waterfalls and the sea. I AM everywhere around you. Open your heart and be still long enough to hear Me. I have not left you. I AM searchable with each breath. Know Me. Trust Me. I AM with you always.”
Seeking to be clever and trip Jesus, the lawyer asked him, “Teacher which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love you neighbor as yourself.'” Matt. 22:36-39
Another time Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” In reply, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan who stopped to help an injured man on the side of the road, administering to him and taking him to a nearby inn and paying for his lodging while he recuperated. Prior to the Samaritan stopping two others had crossed over to the opposite side of the road, not wanting to become involved.
Presented with opportunities to become involved and administer to another who is in pain, sometimes I have stopped, listened and provided comfort and more. Other times I have behaved more like the two who chose not to provide comfort and sustain life.
My country, which I love, is at a critical juncture. If ever there was a time to become involved, commit to a dialog, listen and be open to change as part of the process of loving our neighbors as ourselves, it is now. And while this is a Christian precept, The Golden Rule, treat others as you want to be treated, is part of most faith traditions.
All of us…not just a few must be a part of the solution. Each death, takes aim at the heart of our national soul.
so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. Hebrews 10:36 NKJV
After living in my cabin-on-wheels for 10 months, my option to buy the land beneath my tiny house was nearly exhausted. Then the couple who had privately financed my cabin agreed to carry a mortgage on the land. The mostly treed 5.88 acres included two mobile homes on either side of me. Both were occupied with long-term tenants.
A month after the purchase one of the tenants moved. It was then I learned the furnace was not operational and there were electrical and plumbing issues which needed repairs. Once the repairs were completed, back-to-back families lived in the home and moved out. Finally, the third couple to move in turned out to be great neighbors and tenants, and now there is a baby too.
The home on the north side of me was vacated last March by a tenant who had resided there for almost two decades. After his departure, I discovered so much was needed to make it tenant-ready, it would be better to sell the mobile and have it moved off. A new tiny cabin, already designed, will go in its place once the damaged mobile is sold and moved. The story behind selling follows:
It had been 26 years since I had been back to my birthplace, Seattle, and God opened the doors wide to make my visit possible. In September, with the help of four families who volunteered to take care of my critter crew, I spent 10 days in the Northwest seeing family and good friends, taking in the sights and sounds of tides and waterfowl.
God informed me this was not simply a trip to be with loved ones or to read my poetry open mic night and display my artwork. My instruction was to photograph nature, and being compliant I obliged posting here and elsewhere the beauty all around me.
Just as the Apostle Paul said, I count all as blessings, the gifts and the tribulations. Before my trip to Seattle the cabin’s “on demand” water heater failed. The “on demand” heater rarely delivered “hot” water. I could anticipate lukewarm during summer; but winter, well it was too cold to dip even my toes.
Upon my return, I purchased a 30 gallon hot water heater and had the cabin cleaned and stained.
Eventually my current tiny house, or cabin-on-wheels, will be moved to the south side of the property and sold with an acre of ground. My projects list includes putting up a few sections of a privacy fence, getting the land surveyed to split out the acre creating two lots and adding a new tiny cabin for me and mine to move into on the north side.
Recently, I picked up the banner for the “As Is” mobile for sale and hung it yesterday. In God’s time, I expect it to sell. My assignment is to be patient and wait, keeping the faith.
always in every way. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thes. 3:16 NKJV
Tree trimmers roped three locust trees, notched them and brought all to the ground yesterday. A dead pine was also cut. One lone locust remains. Because of its height and angle, it needs a climber. The owner of the company hired to do the job asked to be paid for the three, and he was to return today to finish the work. So far, he and the climber have not arrived. Of course, the most challenging tree to cut down is the one which requires a climber. The still small voice inside is telling me except for the owner coming back for his rope, he may not finish the job as contracted. Thankfully, I have a back-up tree trimmer who is an expert climber. He was supposed to do the entire job but was not immediately available. By phone he reassured me if need be, I could call him. Alas, not all business owners conduct themselves with equal integrity. The Lord is giving me peace, despite this lesson.
pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thes. 5:16-18 NKJV
The staining is complete and the cabin-on-wheels has a new look.
all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28 NKJV
As part of the preparation for returning to the Northwest where I grew up, my property in Tennessee has been undergoing some sprucing. My cabin-on-wheels was washed and is receiving a coat of stain as I write this entry. The cabin has a new 30 gallon water heater. The on-demand one never provided much hot water and just before my visit to Seattle in September, it conked out completely. Hot baths feel sooooo… good. The plan is to put up lattice underpinning before winter.
The rental mobile located on the land is already listed with an acre of ground. Overhanging trees which threaten its existence come down tomorrow. A damaged mobile to the north has been spoken for and is just waiting for the prospective buyer to show up with funds and a mover. This will make room for a 10×10 shed and kennel for the puppies. The kennel is necessary so when prospective buyers enter to view the cabin they will not be greeted by a chorus of howling canines.
Yes, the preparation to move is labor intensive. Projects fill lists based on no cost, moderate cost and substantial. A little at a time they are checked off. To get through the process, I keep reminding myself to remain in the moment, not slip back into remembering the joy of my visit or dream about future events beyond my control. How I do this is to ground myself in faith in a triune God: Abba, Jesus and Holy Spirit.
like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matt. 17:20-21 ESV
Enthralled by the beauty of Camano Island from Barnum Point to Utsalady Bay, my camera fingers and eyes danced. During my entire 10-day stay in the Pacific Northwest, I felt cradled by God; and I was home.
The trip was nothing short of miraculous from the friends who volunteered to care for my covey of pets in Tennessee to family and friends who opened their homes and hearts during my visit. Most had not seen me in decades.
When I left with my husband in 1989, the Greater Seattle population was around 660,000 and it has grown to 3.61 million. Brick and mortar may have changed, but not the culture, my culture, the one that nurtured me from infancy to adulthood.
Friends and family have grayed, as have I. Yet, seabirds still swoop and perch on rocks in saltwater at high tide and Mount Rainier and Mount Baker jut skyward, holding court with angels. I will return, God willing, with critter pals in tow.
to my feet and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105 NKJV
to those who have a broken heart… Ps.34:18 NKJV
Oh, how I miss you, Sonny. Would love to be able to wrap my arms around you, feel your raspy tongue lick me, and let your soul touch me one more time.
Goodnight my dear friend, until we meet in spirit.
Reminding myself: “When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.” Micah 7:8 NKJV
every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth… Gen.1:29 NKJV
Just as the horses’ and cow’s hay supply was dwindling, farmers were harvesting this summer’s crop of Bermuda. Hooking up the trailer, I drove to a 50-acre field and purchased fresh green squares certain to delight my crew.
Beauties they are
with orange-tipped, translucent wings
spanning to three inches.
Stout bodied with concentric stripes
they belt their songs
and an audible trill pierces
the summer night and day.
A thousand small engines
Two or more falter
dropping to the ground
while others drone on
in an unrelenting cadence
east of the Mississippi River.
More than a decade long life cycle
live merely weeks.
Spending most of their time
they burrow into soil
feeding on deciduous tree roots
inhabiting meadows, forests and prairies.
At 13, or 17 years, ripened
the nymphs crawl to an upright support
split their skin and climb
fulfilling their destiny as cicadas.
(c) June 8, 2015 Gabrielle Songe
All Rights Reserved.
Found text: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders
Isn’t it curious these words spoken by Jesus in both the Gospel of Mark and of Luke, are identical while accounts of healing and miracles in other books and verses vary slightly from one Gospel to another?
If both the authors of Matthew and Luke repeated Jesus’ message verbatim, which it appears they did, then I for one, believe these words carry significant weight.
And, I am knocking on the door of a publisher based in London with offices in France, Germany and the United States to pick up my art only edition of Whippoorwill Calls. To the acquisitions editor, I submitted my publication story May 11, along with the book cover, my curriculum vitae and two drawings.
and comes down from the Father of light with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 NKJV
The Commercial Appeal, daily Memphis newspaper, publishes an events calendar online. After meeting the owner of a downtown bookseller and with a book signing date settled, I was nudged to drive a few blocks east to the newspaper’s headquarters.
Decades ago, while working as the public relations director for a Memphis theater, I had regular contact with the person in charge of publicizing Memphis shows, art exhibits, musical performances and other events in the paper’s weekend pull-out. Despite many personnel changes at the paper, to my surprise this colleague was now also in charge of the online events calendar. He agreed to meet me impromptu and the next day he posted the information about my poetry reading and book signing, June 27, at the South Main Book Juggler. The announcement features three of my drawings and the book cover.
A link follows:
The buyer for the Booksellers at Laurelwood, an icon independent bookstore in Memphis, purchased two copies of my large format, art only edition of Whippoorwill Calls. His plan is to display it where the book will be seen.
For this weekend’s art exhibit at Church of the Holy Communion, only one of my pieces made it into the show. The book cover was pulled. Since the nudes were considered a bit to revealing, the gesture drawing of the dancer was the one included.
And I read the title poem, Whippoorwill Calls, rather than two smaller ones, at a well attended reception Friday evening. I am grateful for the opportunities God is providing.
Nor fruit be on the vines…Yet I will rejoice in the Lord… Hababkkuk 3:17-18 NKJV
Last year I planted several fruit trees: two peach, an apple and a plum. Two plums were produced. This year the tree branched into a perfect Y with good foliage and the promise of abundant blossoms.
Alas that was until Holly, my pet bovine, walked through a “natural barrier” of underbrush during the night and feasted.
Taking the puppies out before daylight I found Holly contentedly lying beside her handiwork a few feet from the cabin. It doesn’t look like we will have a crop of plums this season.
Turning to the Lord to keep me calm, I went about creating a place to lure her to safety and still be in Memphis by 8:30 a.m. for a writers’ workshop.
my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Ps. 27:8 NKJV
Church of the Holy Communion at 4645 Walnut Grove Road in Memphis is hosting “Alleluia Be Our Measure,” A Festival of the Sacred Arts, May 1-3, and two of my drawings will be part of the art exhibit. The festival is bringing together artists, musicians and writers to attend workshops throughout the weekend.
God has opened the door for me to read two of my poems: “When Work Ceases” and “Silver Strands” Friday evening, May 1, as part of the opening ceremony. This will be my first public reading of poems from the pocket-size edition of Whippoorwill Calls, A Collection of Poems & Art.
Recently, I produced a large format, art only edition of Whippoorwill Calls. The interior paper is slick and does not absorb the ink resulting in drawings equal in quality to glossy prints sold earlier this year.
The local printing company responsible for the pre-press package of the first pocket-size book produced this edition titled, Whippoorwill Calls, Figure Studies & Gesture Drawings. It measures slightly smaller than 9×12 inches, and contains 23 drawings in this 30-page paperback. I am handling the distribution, currently with a 30% discount to retailers.
The task now is to get in front of people to sell books, individually, as well as identify a global printer/distributor to produce books of the same caliber, with a similar profit margin. My preference is to print the art only edition in Europe and distribute to independent booksellers in England, France and other countries.
Lorsque vous l’avez dit, Cherchez ma face
mon coeur vous a dit, “c’est ta face, Seigneur, que je cherche.” Ps. 27:8 ma NKJV
Église de la Sainte Communion à 4645 Walnut Grove Road à Memphis est accueillant ” Alleluia être notre mesure “, un festival de la arts sacrés, mai 1-3, et deux de mes dessins fera partie de l’exposition d’oeuvres d’art. Le festival rassemble des artistes, musiciens et écrivains d’assister à des ateliers tout au long de la fin de semaine.
Dieu a ouvert la porte pour moi de lire deux de mes poèmes : “Lorsque le travail cesse” et “Silver volets” vendredi soir, 1 mai, dans le cadre de la cérémonie d’ouverture. Ce sera ma première lecture publique de poèmes de l’édition de poche des appels Whippoorwill, une collection de poèmes & Art.
Récemment, j’ai produit un grand format, art Whippoorwill uniquement edition des appels. L’intérieur du papier est lisse et n’absorbe pas l’encre résultant en des dessins de qualité égale à tirages papier glacé vendus plus tôt cette année.
La société d’impression locale responsable de la trousse pré-presse du premier livre de poche produit cette édition intitulée, appels Whippoorwill, Figure Études & Dessins de geste. Il mesure légèrement plus petit que 9×12 pouces, et contient 23 dessins de ce 30-page livres brochés. Je manipule la distribution, actuellement avec un rabais de 30 % pour les détaillants.
La tâche consiste maintenant à aller au devant des gens pour vendre des livres, individuellement, ainsi qu’identifier une imprimante global/distributeur pour produire des livres du même calibre, avec une marge bénéficiaire comparable. Ma préférence est pour imprimer l’art seulement édition en Europe et à distribuer aux libraires indépendants en Angleterre, en France et dans d’autres pays.
be content with such things as you have. Heb. 13:5a NKJV
Holly is 15 years old and never been spanked until this morning. Why, now? Well, because she pushed her big head through fence wire forcing me to rearrange the fence line, not once but twice. On her third try, with open hand, I spanked her quite substantial bottom as many times as she had attempted to move to “greener pasture”.
It worked. She turned around. Funny thing is: her current space is far greener than the additional spaces she wanted to explore. Cattle are not the only animals who think the other side of the fence offers better prospects. My horses, Jack and Bebe, behave similarly. Puppies Stephen and Jude do likewise.
Humans are much the same. Often we are tempted to explore greener pastures: better job, better relationship, bigger and better houses…
But are they really better?
We can take a lesson from the Apostle Paul who said he could be content no matter his circumstance. We, too, can choose to appreciate what we have in this very moment and let go of hungering for something “out there”. And with contentment comes peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding.
give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thes. 3:16 NKJV
The fence line was opened for Holly, the last of my bovines, to allow her to come close to the cabin both to provide some greenery for her to munch and to meet her companionship needs with the loss of Sonny, her mate. In a few days she had cleaned up the new space and was looking for better offerings.
Thus, she walked through her new fence line three times in a row.
Each time I coaxed her back with grain until finally she ignored her dish in preference for clumps of tall grass in an open area. With natural borders on nearly three sides, the Lord nudged me to grab what was left of the welded wire and t-posts to secure her, finishing late that afternoon. The danger was in her wandering into the neighbors’ yard or the street out front.
There are plans to get rid of a 1977 mobile vacated in February by a long-term tenant and in need of major interior restoration. A for sale sign is posted.
Once gone, the horses will be moved from the back hill (where the mare Bebe can be seen in the above photo on the right) to graze alongside the cabin and include land stretching north which still needs to dry after a very wet winter.
While waiting on the Lord for the sun to scorch the earth, with the help of a local printer, I produced a large format edition of Whippoorwill Calls containing art only, which will be discussed in future posts.
if need be, you have been grieved by many trials 1 Peter 1:6 NKJV
In early April a friend came Monday, and again Tuesday to deliver injections of antibiotic to Buff, the Charolais-Angus bull, who had grown too weak to stand. The vet had made a house call at the beginning of the year, tubing Buff for bloat, administering cortisone, vitamin B12 and long-lasting penicillin. The gentle giant, who taught the rewards of grooming outside of one’s own species on the farm, rallied and began eating hay and drinking water.
He looked like he was putting on weight. I thought he had turned a corner until he began eating less and less. Wednesday morning, April 8, Buff died at 14 years old. So glad I was for having rubbed his neck and back and kissed him the night before, and he responded by licking my arm and hand.
“No, no, no…this just could not be happening,” I told myself. “I cannot be losing another one of my big guys.”
Raised on a bottle, imprinting me as their mother-figure, I was thrilled to be Buff’s and Sonny’s adoptive parent. There was something surreal about loving and caring for a baby animal who grew to tower over me, yet sustained a relationship of kinship well into adulthood. They never forgot me or what I was to them.
It is impossible to describe the sense of loss, or even the meaning their lives brought to mine. Because of this experience I can better understand how a person’s faith in God can be challenged as when a parent loses a child.
I remind myself: “Trust, I am to trust You. Yet, while I trusted, where were You? If you love me, God, why didn’t you intervene and save him?”
My identity outwardly, and more importantly inwardly, has been torn from me. I can never go back and redo any of it, relive it, the experience of raising them, loving them, caring for them. I can only go forward, forward from here, but forward how?
The how I am learning. Taking baby steps I am rebuilding my faith, not at the base. Just the outer layers were stripped away. I need to replenish, call on Him even when I am too distraught to know how to ask for help. Just His name, Jesus. I trust He will hear my cry and know the answer before I know the question.
Yet He will show compassion, according to the multitude of His mercies. Lam. 3:32 NKJV
My world is not as bright as it once was since the loss of my dearly beloved friend, Sonny. After photographing him pulled to life by a dairy farmer in June 1998, I proceeded to adopt this leggy, reddish-brown and white coated calf when he was 11 days old. Before bringing him home to live with me, on my lunch hour, every day I drove 20 minutes to the dairy to give him a bottle of his mother’s milk.
At six months Sonny’s color changed to black-and-white and all his playmates were rescued and abandoned dogs. The size of a fawn, at night he reclined outside my bedroom window adjacent to the front door so he could keep tabs on my comings and goings.
Once as a young bull, he escaped his confines and was found at the bottom of a ravine prancing about with a 10-12 foot long tree branch between his horns. Then he ran up and back down the bank, as if to say, “Look at me!”
Bottle-fed, at 16 years, he still would suckle my fingers and groom me with well placed licks. Sonny could be pushy at times, if he thought someone was going to remove his feed dish before he was ready to relinquish it. Yet, of all three of my bovines, he was the most closely attuned to human behavior. He understood some basic language commands, and was always curious about anything I was doing.
Sonny was totally loyal to those he loved, particularly Holly, the love-of-his-life. When she first joined the farm as a 45-day old heifer, he was smitten. His love for her never waned.
Unexpectedly, Sonny died Thursday morning, March 5, 2015. Some moments, the pain of not seeing and interacting with him is overwhelming, and other times wistful remembering his various actions. Time will heal. I know this from past experience. Yet, my grief is fresh and deep.
Bien qu’il cause de chagrin et pourtant, il va faire preuve de compassion, selon la multitude de ses compassions. Lam. 3:32 NKJV
Mon monde n’est pas aussi brillant qu’il l’était autrefois depuis la perte de mon cher ami bien-aimé, Sonny. Après avoir pris des photos lui tiré à la vie par un producteur laitier de juin 1998, j’ai procédé à adopter cette revue “teasing”, brun-rouge et blanc couché veau quand il était de 11 jours. Avant de l’amener chez lui de vivre avec moi, sur mon heure de dîner, tous les jours ma voiture 20 minutes à la laiterie à lui donner une bouteille de le lait de sa mère.
Au cours de six mois Sonny’s couleur a changé en noir et blanc et tous ses camarades ont été secourus et abandonné les chiens. La taille d’un fauve, la nuit, il se mit en dehors de ma fenêtre de chambre adjacente à la porte avant pour qu’il puisse garder un œil sur mes allées et venues.
Une fois qu’un jeune taureau, il a échappé à son cadre et a été trouvé au fond d’un ravin matamore avec un 10-12 pieds de long branche arborescente entre ses cornes. Ensuite, il a couru de haut en bas la banque, comme pour dire “Regardez-moi!”
Nourris au biberon, à 16 ans, il serait toujours téter mes doigts et le marié avec moi bien placé salifères. Sonny pourrait être agressif par moments, s’il avait pensé que quelqu’un allait déposer son alimentation antenne parabolique avant qu’il était prêt à renoncer. Pourtant, de tous les trois de mes bovins, il était le plus étroitement adapté au comportement de l’homme. Il comprenait certaines langues de base commandes et il était toujours curieux de savoir ce que je faisais.
Sonny a été totalement fidèles à ceux qu’il aimait, et en particulier le houx, l’amour de sa vie. Lorsqu’elle a pour la première fois rejoint la ferme comme un 45-jour vieux génisse, il a été frappé. Son amour pour son jamais faibli.
Inopinément, Sonny est décédé jeudi matin, 5 mars 2015. Quelques instants après, la douleur de ne pas voir et interagir avec lui est écrasante, et d’autres fois flamboie sans oublier ses différentes actions. Temps va guérir. Je le sais par expérience. Et pourtant, ma douleur est fraîche et profonde.
for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Rom.8:26 NKJV
It takes two munchkins, not to replace, but to ease the grief. In 1994, I began rescuing dogs whose owners no longer wanted them and put them out in the country where they were left to fend for themselves. Some were brought to a vet clinic where I worked. Of these, one was a blind Cocker spaniel, Stevie, and another was a chocolate Labrador retriever, Sara, with heartworms and a mammary tumor. Sam, was a puppy with a mild seizure disorder, who was found wandering and brought to the clinic. I adopted all three, only later discovering Sam’s condition. Of the 30 dogs rescued through those two decades, Sam was the last one left. We were together for 16 years. He saw me through many trials and joys. Sam died this weekend. He was of another generation.
A new generation started with the adoption of Luke in October, and now two mixed great Pyrenees puppies. I miss you, Sam. Rest in peace, my friend.
Et nous savons que toutes choses travaillent ensemble pour le bien de ceux qui aiment Dieu, de ceux qui sont appelés selon son dessein. Rom.8:26 NKJV
Il prend deux elfes, non pas à remplacer, mais à faciliter la douleur. En 1994, j’ai commencé au sauvetage les chiens dont les propriétaires ne voulaient plus et de les mettre dans le pays où ils étaient laissés à eux-mêmes. Certaines ont été portées à un vétérinaire clinique où j’ai travaillé. L’un d’entre eux était un aveugle Cocker Épagneul Breton, Stevie Wonder, et un autre était un chocolat Labrador retriever, Sara, avec heartworms et une tumeur mammaire. Sam, était un chiot avec une légère convulsion, qui a été trouvée errant et portés à la clinique. J’ai adopté tous les trois, seulement plus tard découvrir Sam’s condition. Sur les 30 chiens sauvés grâce à ces deux dernières décennies, Sam était le dernier gauche. Nous avons été ensemble pendant 16 ans. Il m’a vu à travers de nombreuses épreuves et joies. Sam est décédé ce week-end. Il était d’une autre génération. Une nouvelle génération a commencé avec l’adoption de Luke en octobre, et maintenant deux mixtes grand Pyrénées chiots. Tu me manques, Sam. Repose en paix, mon ami.
The psalmist could have said as much about a snowflake. Like twinkling stars they cascade downward, never touching another frozen flake, until they reach ground. When the sun shines and earth warms they melt and become rivulets of water traveling a path of least resistance and are no longer remembered as snowflakes. We humans often flow with the current, taking the path of least resistance, fighting no one. At times this is the best route. Other times, it is those humans, even divine ones, who took a stand, met resistance and brought light to the oppressed whom we remember as peacemakers. Pressing onward for a vision of the world where suffering would cease, and ultimately giving their lives, we observe and honor them starting with the Prince of Peace followed by Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. In between the path of least resistance and the path these extraordinary peacemakers took are many gradients. While we may not be remembered any more than the snowflake or the wildflower, we can make a difference by the path we choose, being bold and stepping forward in faith.
Les jours de la vie de l’homme, sont comme l’herbe : ils fleurissent comme un wildflower, mais lorsque le vent souffle à travers elle, il est allé, même dans le sol où il se tint ne se souvient pas. Ps. 103:15-16 CCS
le psalmiste pourrait avoir dit autant sur un flocon de neige. Comme scintillantes étoiles ils en cascade vers le bas, jamais toucher un autre gel paillette, jusqu’à ce qu’ils atteignent la masse. Quand le soleil brille et réchauffe la terre ils fondre et devenir les ruisseaux d’eau qui parcourt un chemin de moindre résistance et sont ne se souvenait plus de flocons. Nous, les êtres humains souvent le débit avec le courant, prenant le chemin de moindre résistance, combats personne. Parfois il s’agit de la meilleure route. D’autres fois, c’est de ces êtres humains, même divine qui, eux, ont pris un stand, a rencontré de la résistance et a tenu à les opprimés dont nous nous souvenons en tant qu’artisans de la paix. Appuyant sur onward pour une vision du monde où la souffrance cesserait, et, finalement, donner leur vie, nous observer et les honorer en commençant par le Prince de la paix suivie de Mohandas Gandhi et Martin Luther King Jr. En entre le chemin de moindre résistance et le chemin ces artisans extraordinaires pris sont nombreux dégradés. Alors que nous ne sommes peut-être pas oublier non plus que le flocon ou le wildflower, nous pouvons faire la différence par la voie que nous avons choisie, être audacieux et avancer dans la foi.
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. Luke 6:27-28 NKJV
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2 NKJV
While we have not had the deluge of snow the Northeastern states have, in Tennessee the drop in temperature to single digits has presented challenges. Streets turned icy as the light snow congealed. Our outside heating unit froze rendering the heat pump useless and worse blowing cold air through the ducts. Thank heaven for the fake fireplace which heats the cabin inside, albeit unevenly. What a joy it was when the temperature rose just now enough to turn on the thermostat. The bovines and horses are doing fine and receiving extra nourishment. And we are moving toward days when the weather is well above freezing with a few more colder nights.
Yet these cold weather issues are not the trials I am associating with the Scriptures cited above. My trial is the forgiveness of a person who brought harm to me 25 years ago. The memory of the incident, which is painful, was repressed until talking with a friend recently. Then I listened to an interview on SAT7ARABIC with the brother of Bishoy Estafanos Kamel and Samuel Estafanos Kamel, two of the 21 Coptic Christians slain by members of ISIS. The brother told how his mother said if she met the killers of her sons on the street, she would invite them to her home. The strength of her Christian faith and the love she expressed is exemplary. If she can forgive, then so can I.
minister it to one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10 NKJV
In my writers’ group the suggestion was made to approach a local coffee shop to host a book signing. The next day sipping a latte’ and checking messages on my cell phone, I began a conversation with a family at an adjacent table in Square Beans Coffee in Collierville, Tenn.
From Texas and visiting a daughter and grandchild, the grandfather, who has authored several books, asked to see a copy of Whippoorwill Calls. The couple became interested in my poetry and drawings. Following our lengthy and cordial discussion, I met the coffee shop owners’ daughter who had become available and agreed to my book signing and sale of prints on Valentine’s Day from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
It was certainly helpful that a patron had shown interest in my work: one author to another, not to mention the original suggestion from the first author to visit Square Beans Coffee shop.
It is noteworthy: Sometimes the manifold gift of creating art, is less the actual art than it is the generosity of the artist.
With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves Mal.4:2 NKJV
The youngest of my bovines, Buff, has been battling health challenges of late. After contacting several large animal vets, none would come out to treat a bull without a cattle chute. I could bring him in, they said. But Buff is not very compliant. On a good day, it could take eight hours to load him. He balks at trailers. Spending weeks cajoling and medicating him to the best of my ability, Buff was not improving. The last week he began shedding pounds with a complete loss of appetite.
Unnerved I approached a neighbor and friend who raised cattle most of his adult life. Either I needed to trailer Buff and take him to the vet or create a temporary chute I told him and asked which he advised. So my friend created a V-shaped cattle chute using two of his 12-foot cattle panels and a small bull gate of mine. We reinforced fence line around two adjoining spaces, one with the chute, and opened it to Buff who graciously entered.
The vet came out. Buff received subcutaneous penicillin, cortisone and B-12 injections, bloat release, bicarbonate boluses and pour-on wormer. Immediately he began eating hay and grain, as well as consuming water. He is continuing to eat and hydrate, sitting in sunlight in between helpings. The vet took a blood sample and so the chute is remaining for the time being.
I praise the Lord for Buff’s improvement and am grateful my big pal is responding to treatment.
abides in God, and God in him 1John 4:16 NKJV
With 15 new t-posts outfitted around the circumference of his space, Sonny is secure in his treed environment. The laminated 18×28 inch gesture-line drawing of a dancer from Whippoorwill Calls was placed beside his fence line. After eating some hay Sonny meandered over to investigate the piece created for a future book signing.
and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33 NKJV
Cutting back on Sonny’s and Holly’s grain ration to avoid health problems has not suited the Brahma. For the last five days he has pressed his weight against four strands of barbwire and snapped them. Not satisfied with remaining in the heifer’s space, which rings his confine, he has gone over her fence to munch on leaves and whatever he found pleasing to his palate. I don’t blame him. He lives in the trees.
The entire reason I published Whippoorwill Calls is to earn income to buy pastureland for the Brahma Sonny, Holly, the baby bull Buff and the two horses, Jack and Bebe. Yearning for my home state, to visit with friends and family, I wanted to move the entire kit and kaboodle east of the Cascades ideally in view of Mt. Rainier, providing it was in keeping with God’s Will for us.
This latest wrinkle and some health challenges facing Buff have led me to look closer. From our home just 3.2 miles along country back roads or seven miles by major streets is a bank owned property. There are numerous amenities specific to our needs with electricity, septic and well water, not to mention a rudimentary barn and outbuildings right down to a cattle chute.
In the meantime I have secured a radio interview with our local arts and entertainment personality with public radio for February 13, but do not, as yet, have a scheduled book signing with a local independent bookstore. Signs measuring 18×28 inches of several drawings are laminated with a gloss finish just waiting to be set on an easel for such an event. Yes, I am following my cues taking steps within my arena and waiting for God to do the rest.
Again I will say, rejoice! Phil. 4:4 NKJV
A friend held a dinner party this weekend and gave two guests a copy of my book, Whippoorwill Calls. After the meal reportedly they read poems aloud from the book. Thank you, Lord.
My friend had ordered four editions before Christmas and they arrived Saturday. Earlier in the day we met briefly so I could sign the copies. She was one of the individuals who had asked me if it would be possible to buy prints. While together I showed her my three-ring binder with 8×10 glossy prints of all 22 drawings. After her guests left, she sent me a text ordering prints, a 5×7 and an 8×10, of two figure studies.
The same local company that prepared the pre-press layout is creating the prints with a white border for matting and framing. Four laminated poster-size copies of drawings are being created to place on an easel at future book signings.
True both the paperback and hardcover editions are available online through Barnes & Noble and Amazon goo.gl/G0F2GG with an author site: goo.gl/h1pkVH, yet I have contacted a Memphis independent bookseller. In addition to carrying Whippoorwill Calls, I would also like to make the prints available through his retail store. A book signing before Valentine’s Day, with books and prints would top the chart.
In preparation, last week I ordered business cards and bookmarks….oh, and a mouse pad for blog posts and my next book already underway.
righteousness and peace have kissed. Ps. 85:10 CEB
It was late October and Luke had been hanging out in the neighborhood for several days. Roaming freely this brindle-colored canine was fickle. He would go up to and make friends with other dogs on our street while simultaneously watching for soft touches for a free meal. Two households were providing food and water to the interloper. When I placed a dish of food beside the horse trailer, it was a commitment.
But how would Sam, my 14-year-old, 85 pound, mixed breed take to him, I wondered. Sam is protective and doesn’t cotton to strangers, most fanatically not to humans. Oh, he likes my octogenarian female friend. However, she and only she is welcome in our 400 square foot cabin, as far as Sam is concerned.
Not taking any chances I rushed to purchase two muzzles, one for each dog, before introducing the latest rescue, now called Luke. At first separated by a doggy gate, Sam primarily ignored the upstart. After a few days the gate was used mostly at feeding. The muzzle still comes in handy when taking rations to the livestock or being gone for brief periods.
It turns out Luke still has enough puppy in him that furniture and other items appear perfect for teething, despite the fact that Luke doesn’t have a single baby tooth in his mouth. For long departures he is crated.
Recently, Luke has taken to checking on me around 3:00 am. The futon when unfolded is closer to the ground than a normal bed. While sleeping soundly, Luke approaches and first sniffs my face, then up comes a paw followed by a second one.
I say, “No,” several times while placing his legs firmly on the floor. Finally, I forcefully tell him to “stop and go lie down,” which he does. Half Sam’s size Luke is still ample. At different times in the day he gets a notion to crawl up in my lap and put his head on my chest with feet still grounded.
When all the affection he desires is not reciprocated or the session has concluded, Luke goes over to Sam. He has even once or twice licked Sam’s face. Sometimes Luke reclines beside the alpha dog, who has accepted the newest member of the family in stride.
the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop. 2 Cor. 9:6 CEB
Before adopting the Brahma-Holstein calf and bottle-feeding him, I rescued dogs. It started when my mother-in-law called and asked if I would retrieve seven orphaned pups from her farm and find good homes for them. A memoir, I began today opens in 1994, with the rescue of those orphans. It was four years before this photograph was taken of Sonny, the baby bull whom I also adopted. This story is my second book, following the release of Whippoorwill Calls.
so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long. Ps. 90:14 CEB
Links to YouTube video of Jack, (R), and Bebe, (below L), have been added to this site and a link to my blog was placed this morning at my Amazon.com Author Page for Whippoorwill Calls.
Life is filled with joy!
Serve the Lord with celebration! Come before him with shouts of joy! Ps. 100:1-2 CEB
Today the hardcover edition of Whippoorwill Calls arrived. Immediately I turned to the inside to see how the red Conte’ crayon figure drawings appeared in premium color and discovered they are better defined than in the paperback in standard color. I let out a sigh of relief. The hardcover passed the test and was approved for distribution.
What I didn’t expect was how the ridges and sharper edges of the hardcover would feel beneath my fingertips, or how the weight of the book would make it feel more substantial in every respect.
In printing, the company added a heavier blank page at the front and back giving Whippoorwill Calls a finished appearance.
I am filled with joy and gratitude to the Lord for directing my steps and opening doors for me to walk through not on tiptoes but confidently.
for he who promised is faithful. Heb. 10:23 NIV
I am concluding a third year of reading daily devotions from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, yet it took 2014 before the words “I trust you Jesus” became part of my everyday thoughts as naturally as breathing. Now my mantra, I say these words silently and out loud depending on need.
While preparing images for Whippoorwill Calls, I turned to Christ to ensure the book reached market at the optimum time, then let go. I refused to push myself and others to meet some arbitrary deadline. I simply remained focused on the task at hand. God had me covered.
On Friday, November 21, my proof copy of the paperback edition arrived and the book was approved for printing and distribution. That evening a feed with my title went to global online retailers and storefronts. However, I was advised by two different individuals that a behemoth in the online industry might take a minimum of 48 hours and up to three weeks to have Whippoorwill Calls listed and available for purchase. This meant my book would possibly reach market in mid-December. The news rocked me, and not in a good way. Fear was creeping round, waiting for an opportunity to envelop me. Mantra, repeat the mantra.
Having purchased a bundle of ISBNs from Bowker, in the evening I returned to their website and completed information about my book under its assigned 13-digit identifier. Saturday morning during my devotional time Hebrews 10:23 NIV was my verse for the day: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
Speaking with God, I reiterated going to market was in His control despite what others had to say and after meditating on His Word, my faith was steadfast. Immediately following this time with God I was nudged to go online and search my ISBN, title and authorship. In less than 24 hours and closer to 12, there it was. Whippoorwill Calls was available for purchase. Posting the news on Facebook, three friends ordered a copy.
God keeps His promises.
What joy! Ps. 126:3 NLT
Moved in but not yet moved out, that is our joy! All 10 cats, three dogs and moi are moved into the new cabin. Two armoires, other treasured pieces remain in the old cabin along with lots of “stuff”.
Letting go of much of that stuff lies ahead which means lots of work but once it is done, then we will be able to make ready the old cabin for a new occupant. It took more than a year to move into the new with all the essentials: lights, plumbing, HVAC.
Then there was the dilapidated mobile that sat at the edge of my driveway. Thinking it would find a new home soon I didn’t mind having it moved 100 feet out of the way. Finally, after 14 months it was gone. Just like that, one rainy Saturday someone came along and wanted it! In a week it was headed south.
I have started reading again, lots of nonfiction books. Not yet writing but that will come. Since the New Year we have had an onslaught of precipitation, saturating the ground and making it muddy miserable for not just my livestock but for neighbors’ animals too. Hay for purchase is scarce to nonexistent with it too wet for farmers to cut and bale. Looks like we might get a week of warm weather and hopefully squares will soon be available.
Spending multiple weekends repairing fence and moving the horses, including this weekend, now Jack and Bebe are back up on the hill with some dry patches of earth. They are happier and so am I. Holly is toughing it out. Now and then she speaks to me in grunts (her version of mooing) and tells me where to place her grain or to refresh her water.
Already mentioned the next project is getting rid of the clutter. You know the stuff you can’t take with you and do not want to schlep.
Life is good, peace…