Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stillwater Bird Sightings

Yesterday my husband and I ventured forth to a wildlife refuge about 60 mi. from home. Our purpose was to spot birds on migration. It is hard to believe that the area we went to actually has vast wetlands. Driving there is driving through sparse sagebrush, greasewood, and lots of alkali. There is hardly a tree to be seen except for a few scraggly cottonwood trees. Finally, after bouncing down rugged dirt roads, one comes upon ponds, canals, and small lakes that comprise Stillwater wetlands. We did see lots of different birds. I wish I had taken the photographs, but since most of the birds were either too far away, or shy, as in the case of the great egret, two white faced ibis's, and the great blue heron, I could not grab pictures quickly enough. The photos will give you an idea of just a few of the birds we saw.

White Face Ibis
Blue Heron
Great Egret

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day Tribute to My Grandfather

i don't know much about my family history. I never knew my father, and I have been trying to dig up information on my mother's family. I guess her parents (my grandparents) did not offer much in the way of their history. The other day I found some old letters my grandfather sent my mother when she was in the Army, soon after WWII ended. My grandfather passed down a proud legacy of military service to my mother who continued in his footsteps by becoming a WAC. It was the best time in her life. She traveled all over Europe and was apparantly a cryptographer, deciphering tip secret messages. But back to my grandfather.....

My grandfather was an engineer in the 4th Division. I found out he participated in the Western Front in WWI. I was able to find out that he received some very prestigious medals, one being the Distinguished Service Cross, which is the medal right below the Medal of Honor, and he also received the Croix de Guerre with Two Palms from the French. He also received the Medaille Militaire. Apparantly only 22 foreigners had received that medal, which was rarely bestowed upon foreigners, one of them being Winston Churchill. I found out that being an engineer was one of the most dangerous occupations a soldier could have. Once WWII started, my grandfather signed up again.

I want to share what is written on my grandfather's grave which is located at Arlington Cemetery.

Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
Home: Kingman, Arizona
Company C, 4th Engineers, 4th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: August 6 & 8, 1918
General Orders No. 46, W.D., 1919

The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to William B. Beach, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for repeated acts of extraordinary heroism in action near St. Thibaut, France, August 6 and 8, 1918.

Being a member of a covering detachment sent out to protect a detail which was constructing a bridge over the Vesle River, Sergeant Beach voluntarily left his squad and fought his way alone down the river, in order to locate an enemy machine-gun nest. The flashes from his automatic rifle drew fire from the enemy, and he was forced to jump into the river for protection. Swimming back to his squad, he organized a detail and led it in a successful attack on the hostile position.

Two nights later, after this bridge had been destroyed, this soldier, with three others, volunteered to rebuild the bridge. Under continuous fire from the enemy, he swam the river several times, and set the posts for the bridge, thereby making possible the infantry attack on the following morning.

United States Army
DATE OF BIRTH: 07/07/1893
DATE OF DEATH: 08/30/1954

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Prosperity Video...like way funny!

Here is a video that makes fun of the things that make me almost want to cuss (see previous posts) when channel surfing. Thanks to Slice of Laodicea for this one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Devouring One Another

There has been a conversation going on with a few blogs regarding vulgar language amongst Christians. After reading a few posts here and there, I found a great quote. It came from an article over at Jollyblogger. I have not commented at various posts regarding this issue, because frankly, I see both sides of the issue. When I was growing up, I very rarely said a cuss word. It wasn't until I became a Christian, and when confronted by severe frustrating situations, found that bad language just seemed to jump out of my mouth. Of course I felt bad and repented each time, and thought it kinda weird that questionable angry words flowed easier than before I belonged to Christ. I realized at some point that it was because sin becomes a glaring issue as a Christian, and the struggle against sin becomes more pronounced. The law shows me how little I can live by the law in my own strength, and how much I need God's grace. Anyways, the quote that I thought summed up my feelings and thoughts on the whole issue comes from Jonathan Edwards in his resolutions.

Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

I think Christians everywhere should memorize this resolution and quote it to themselves before posting half the stuff that gets posted on blogs.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Another fun writing exercise

I see these on other blogs and sometimes they are fun to do.

I AM: quiet at home

I SAID: the west is best.

I WANT: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail

I WISH: that people would wake up to the threat of Islam, and the apostasy of the Church

I HATE: pretentiousness

I MISS: when Reno was a small town and there was more wilderness and ranchland.

I FEAR: for our country.

I HEAR: birds singing in the trees in the backyard.

I WONDER: if my husband and I will find a good church soon.

I REGRET: decisions that hurt my children.

I DANCE: not as much as I used to.

I SING: worship songs in the car.

I CRY: whenever I see or hear stories about people overcoming hardships or obstacles in their lives.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: as disciplined as I would like to be.

I MADE: a painting of Pyramid Lake

I WRITE: poetry at times

I CONFUSE: myself with figuring out some theological terms that people throw around in blogs.

I NEED: solitude

I SHOULD: read the Bible and pray more.

I START: routines that don't stay routine.

I FINISH: each book I start, even the not so good ones.

I BELIEVE: that my children and my husband's children will become Christians.

I KNOW: that I belong to God.

I CAN: hike up large mountains even though I have gotten out of shape lately.

I CAN'T: stand how people have gotten so impolite and uncourteous.

I SEE: rainclouds coming in. Yay! We can always use rain.

I BLOG: sporatically.

I READ: voraciously every day.

I FIND: nature to be soothing and uplifting to my spirit.

I LIKE: growing flowers.

I LOVE: how God has worked in my life. I never take blessings for granted. I pray to be drawn closer to Him. Thanks to His grace, I love life more than I used to.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Now THIS is funny!

Instead of watching the Da Vinci Code, watch this instead.

A Meme

What is your favorite word? theoretically

What is your least favorite word? goodbye

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Nature feeds my creativity. Theological discussions and good books feed me spiritually. A good movie or touching family moment feeds me emotionally.

What turns you off? Lying, cruelty, and solicitors.

What is your favorite curse word? Hearing Basques curse. I can't understand but they are quite effusive.

What sound or noise do you love? Wind through trees, rushing water, or waves lapping.

What sound or noise do you hate? People slurping soup.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Artist.

What profession would you not like to do? Sales.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Well done, thou good and faithful servant.