Authentic Compassion

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hello Moon

A tiny bit of a moon and pink sunset is the ending of light for the year 2008. Can't say I'm sorry to see it go - a new year usually gives everyone a boost. We all like a clean page in our notebook and snow in which no one has walked. So 2009 come on IN!
I took this picture a few minutes ago from our back yard - it is very good on Buhlaland tonight .
To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy --to the only God our
Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Jude 24-25
and all God's children said - - - - ( I can't hear you yet - ahh that is right ) AMEN.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chicken Little might be right!

I'm not an alarmist at heart. I tend to avoid looking at problems way past the time they should have attention (maybe I have a streak of government in my soul huh?!) However - I have been taking pictures of the sky for a couple of years now and am seeing a frequent feature. Look closely - there are cracks appearing in the sky! Honest. The first picture probably shows most clearly right at the bottom of the picture - there it is - a long crack in the SKY. I've documented variations on this cracking phenomenon.
Some are vertical and some don't go all the way across the sky - but I'm getting a sneaking feeling - something's happening here. - Could be the sugar overload from the most recent handful of Jelly Bellies (sizzling cinnamon if inquiring minds want to know) affecting my ability to think clearly and rationally.

Aww - any sane person would realize those cracks in the sky are contrails from jets - probably. I don't have to be concerned about the sky cracking. I'll find something else to worry about - or not. Just a trip through the briar patch folks - end of the year crazies hitting me. :::sigh::::: it is good to be here on Buhlaland - nobody notices the crazies and I can see the sky cracks from my porch.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Amaryllis not Amarillo although both are in Texas!

So many bloggers are writing about gloomy weather and grey, cloudy day I wanted to share a burst of color. Playing around with the macro setting I got all Georgia O'Keefe with it. Love the intensity of red - hope it brightens your wintry day for a moment. It was a nice day on Buhlaland.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day After Christmas

83 degrees today - yes I am writing this post on December 26 2008. I love Texas! After some unusually cold days we are getting unseasonably warm -I just love it.

Winds out of the south bring moisture and warmth which creates heavy cloud cover.
At one point the sun seemed to pull open a peep hole in the clouds to reassure us he was on the job.

Snickers, has a longer winter coat. He is almost a year old so he still hasn't reached his full growth. Little fellow will still come when I call him but he is less my little bottle baby and more a buck goat.

Norman, my favorite doe, is beginning to look more like she will be having a baby within the next month. Her daughter Yo Yo is also looking quite ready to give birth - we think she'll be a good mother like her mother and grandmother (Nubiana). I'm posting mundane thoughts and sights as a reminder to myself - today was a simple day filled with laundry, cleaning ,making soup, tending to some business and then I spent an hour outside. Outside with a warm, humid wind and our animals in God's creation. Mundane perhaps but for me it was way more than good today on Buhlaland, a blogging friend might say it was wicked good! I answered a question on a religion blog about when we worship for Christmas - and my honest response was if we are in relationship with God - our lives are supposed to be worship. Worship on Buhlaland occurred with calm joy around 11 am December 26, 2008.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning!

Merry Christmas! Beautiful cool morning here on Buhlaland - a tiny sliver of moon still visible as the sun was rising. Fire in the fireplace, bacon, eggs, OJ and cookies for breakfast - Life is exceptionally good here on Buhlaland - hope it is for you wherever you may be and whatever your plans for today take time to appreciate the glory of the day. After an unbelievably lazy day - DH and I took a walk around our property - the fenceline to the southeast looked almost like a tunnel. Temperatures in the 60's and mostly sunny today - perfect Christmas day hope it was for you also.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

4 Words of Christmas

God is WITH us - Merry Christmas and know that the name Emmanuel is the name to change your life - know that God IS with us. He is with us here on Buhlaland - and wherever you are either physically or spiritually - God is with US. Merry Christmas and it is good on Buhlaland.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Playing with the camera

I was messing around with my camera and decided to see if I could take a picture through a different lens - as in the lens of one of the kaleidoscopes we put out for the holidays. All I did was put the camera smack up against the eyepiece of the kaleidoscope and point the 'scope toward a bright window. Isn't this pretty? Nothing deep here - just playing and thinking it was fun. Not everything is a big deal - but it was definitely a good day on Buhlaland - a very good day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

I'm sure the average person feels pretty great this time of year - barring a nasty cold, financial stresses, bad weather, unpleasant people in the malls or whatever obstacle they may think is in the way of their happiness. But those of us who Believe are a chosen people and commanded to give thanks in all things. Some seasons it is easier to be thankful . This December morning my gladness overflows,I realize how blessed I am. My home is safe and cozy with lights glittering on the porch,someone I love is inside the house. Sun is rising and begins to burn off a mist making the world smell fresh and new. When I walk out to the goat pens - the goats look up as if in welcome. It is good - and I'm giving thanks today - it is the right season every season to give thanks.

Psalm 100
A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness.

Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not given a spirit of timidity

On Buhlaland we love visitors, like to feed them special treats and make them comfortable in a way that makes them feel right at home-- the Mi casa es su casa vibe.

Yesterday our BFF(s) brought Buddy, the basset, to visit us. He is an early Christmas present from Kathy to her DH. Buddy is a 6 pound bundle of sweet velvety puppy. Buddy felt pretty confident while being held by Kathy, posing for my camera and then -- he noticed the Rat Terrorists were jumping up and down inviting him to play.

Buddy immediately wanted down to join in reindeer games (oops combining stories - listening to too much Christmas radio this week). I meant to say - to join in doggy fun going on around everyone's feet. Our sweet Corazon - Alpha female - decided to teach that pup a thing or two. She bared her teeth and snarled ferociously --while Conan (who must be watching too much CSI)made an identity check in case Buddy was someone he'd met before. Our little hero Buddy decided to be a Timothy 2 kind of guest and not be timid - in fact he put Corey on the defensive by jumping up and making puppy snarls. Soon - wild running and puppy exhausting fun ensued. Yes a glad time was had by all (except for Corey but she is grouchy - she may be a Rat Terrorist Grincher). Buddy will visit again and Miss Corey will find out how fast little cuddly Basset puppies become big husky dogs! But we' trust he will show the quality of love and if not self discipline - we know his family will help him have good manners. Wish we could honestly say our own animals had some discipline:::sigh::::: a dog's got to do what a dog's got to do. On Buhlaland it is a week before Christmas and all through the house - it was dogbedlam!

2 Timothy 1:7 (New Living Translation)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2008 Christmas Home Tour


You know you are in Texas when the welcome is warm, the jokes get corny and we display a rare CandyCane Longhorn - legend is they are bred at Santa's place somewhere near Abilene. Cowboys like the green Christmas tree brand but can't figure out how to tattoo an ornery steer.

Come on in - the gates are opening for your visit to Buhlaland at Christmas.

If you want mistletoe to take home maybe someone brought along a kiddo who can shinney up an oak and cut a chunk - we've got more than enough for kissing mania.

We don't do a lot of outside decoration - the front door spray and a few lights around the porch railings --our neighbors across the pasture are the only ones who can see the lights (except for Santa of course) .

Just inside the front door is our hall tree . The poinsettia is in a barbed wire basket given to us by my brother and sister in law several years ago .The cowboy Santa has a snowman sidekick - with our changeable weather in Texas a snowman doesn't have a long life expectancy!-

Our Christmas tree is decorated without any theme other than if it is something we have been given or like - it belongs on our tree.

Among the treasures are a small string of sleigh bells from MIL. She gave us the bells and attached a note saying they were from the Kiehler farm(where she grew up in Michigan). MIL also made the little colorful cross . The sand dollar was a gift from the family of a lovely woman who stayed in our Colorado bed and breakfast one year. A mission group in Haiti sent us the shiny angel. We have the infamous dill pickle ornament, MIL was certain it was some kind of German traditional ornament, but nobody we met in Germany had heard of it! The crafted snowflake ornament originated with my Aunt Dorothy, then MIL went wild and made a dozen or more for us. A little bling on the tree makes it sparkle more.

The nativity set was made by New Mexico native American artisans, we like it because it isn't the traditional European Renaissance styling.

Our holiday food treat is Coconut Scones - the recipe was originally published in Sunset Magazine but I've modified it a bit over the years.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a large square of parchment buttered generously or sprayed with Pam. In a large bowl combine 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, 1/2 cup dry oatmeal (not cooked!), 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into chunks. With your fingers or a pastry blender, rub or cut in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, beat 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup cold milk and 1/8 teaspoon Almond extract. Stir the liquids into flour mixture just until evenly moistened - don't get too energetic or you'll make the scones tough. Scrape dough onto a floured cutting board and pat into an 8 inch round (please measure this - it makes a big difference in the results if you make them too thin). Carefully slide the round onto your greased parchment on a baking sheet. Cut into 8 wedges,don't separate the wedges to bake leaving them in place. Brush the top of round with a mixture of one egg and two tablespoons milk. Sprinkle the tops with sugar ( I used decorator sugars\ sprinkles to get a glistening effect on the tops). Make a 1 inch diameter depression on top of the wide end of each wedge and fill with a generous teaspoon of pineapple(or your favorite flavor) preserves. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, re cut and separate wedges. Serve warm. If you like a brunch treat with more of a sweet roll taste, pour a glaze of powdered sugar and milk over the wedges.
That's it! For the tour of homes visitors from BooMama I've worked at keeping it short knowing there are many many blogs to visit and this time of year is busy. Remember the reason we celebrate. Be kind to one another and yourself .

So, this Christmas season I pray that the warmth of the Savior's love will spread itself over you as never before. And that whenever and however possible, you will keep reminding yourself that there are still tiny, shivering sparrows who are too terrified to come in from the cold. Maybe, just maybe, this Christmas, because of something you do or say . . . they will. Chuck Swindoll

Merry Christmas

and a peace filled New Year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Beware - Not a fluffy cute Christmas Blog Post!

I'm big on being forewarned - so y'all can just click on out if you don't want to read my current state of heart. I've held onto this blog post for a while now. Today I'm fighting a minor cold, writing cards and loving our beautiful spot in the country. My corner of the world looks and smells and feels a lot like Christmas. Unfortunately in America millions of people aren't feeling it. I've decided to post and let the chips fall where they may. My apocryphal references can be obscure or funny - what I'm presenting today is not funny. We are hearing many people (in person and in the media) complaining about shopping, parties, or gaining weight from the holiday treats. The one getting me most are the folks casting stones at the gingerbread houses of others for not being as righteous about how to celebrate, grumbling about Christmas in America and it bothers me - a lot. We live in a country blessed with abundant food, freedoms unimagined in much of the world and incredible freedom to worship. Christmas, whether secular or religious, is about giving --sharing ourselves,our resouces, our time, gifts, cookies - whatever is the norm for you. Maybe norm needs to be goosed a bit and widened in scope.
The story which follows is one received in an email from our respected friend - Waverly Parsons of Race Track Chaplaincy . Yes it is a little predictable, but if we used chances to speak up maybe more people would begin to "get it".
WHO STARTED CHRISTMAS?This morning I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable --and after hours of hearing her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids. She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year. Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming,taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car.She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strungup and shot."From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond, "Don't worry -- we already crucified him." For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it,just think of how different this whole world would be.-- Author Unknown

Which leads right into this video

For ideas about how to change up holidays - visit the folks who made this video Advent Conspiracy . I feel a little load off my heart. We are making cookies and treats and giving small gifts but the reason for this season is giving. Tomorrow, late, I'll blog with Boomama's Christmas tour and it will be all about hoopla - today it is my heart. I sound full of myself - if you think I'm tooting my horn, I obviously missed the mark with this whole thing. But then - it isn't about me is it? Bless y'all

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What do YOU think about these burning issues?

Borrowing a meme from my pal over at Fraker Farm - feel free to use the questions if you are searching for a blog topic this week. Isn't it funny we like to know odd facts about one another? Maybe it gives us one of these moments "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.'" (C.S. Lewis) I would bet I'm not the only one who might make similar answers - so now we're bloggy friends. Who is a friend ? No not just someone who really knows you and likes you anyway. King Solomon wrote about having a trusted friend in Ecclesiastes 4: 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! I'm grateful here on Buhlaland-- I have treasured friends who have helped me up more than once. It's good on Buhlaland to thank my old friends and welcome new ones. Read and realize - this is for grins not theology, doxology or even chronology - just a smile on a Tuesday.
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate - with a sprinkle of cinnamon!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Sit under the tree - especially the years when I got a doll - to see my new doll all beautiful and perfect waiting for me - woo hoo.
3. Colored light on house/tree or white? Colored lights are my preference but this year we are trying to do the frugal thang - so new lights are all white LED
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No and I should because I bet we have bushels of the stuff in our oak trees!
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the first week of December but this year - as mentioned in a previous post - I needed Christmas WAY early.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Squash casserole or the ever reliable green bean casserole - I mean when you exclude desserts an entire section of my holiday menus is gone - pooff!
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Being at my grandparents farm in Texas with all the cousins and aunts and uncles - my cousin and I both getting beautiful dolls an uncle brought us from Italy. Even went with Grandpa and cut down a cedar tree for Christmas - being a military brat we rarely were with extended family on holidays and that one was special
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think from my big brother but not clear on the details - I wasn't devastated I remember that much - Santa is more the feeling of generosity and miracles of Christmas (and we all know the miracles are from God)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Definitely
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Ornaments of every size, origin and description - lights and a handmade star - not garland or tinsel because it covers up our ornaments.
11. Snow. Love it or dread it? Dread it - I live in Texas and love it we don't get much snow or cold weather.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes - used to be halfway good at it.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Probably the pearl and diamond (chips folks not rocks) ring I got -- seemed to mark the moment when my parents thought I was grown up enough to get real jewelry. Still have that ring and I'm not a terribly sentimental person about possessions.
14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Time to recall the Reason for the Season - and the wonderful mood most people are in - so much more open to one another and loving.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Cookies - oh my yes cookies!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Going to church on Christmas Eve.
17. What tops your Christmas tree? A star - dear Mother in Law Ethel made our current star.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Love to give presents - don't mind receiving but currently DH and I are not much into the presents thing - our gifts are our home and our faith (sheesh that sounds corny - but you get away with cornball when it is Christmas)
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Joy to the World -
20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck? Totally Yummy - any kind - I love peppermint but the fruit flavored ones can be tasty too - I don't have canes on the tree yet because I walk by and eat them off and it is too soon before BooMama's tour!
21. What do you want for Christmas? A good day with people I love
22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party? Not really - our church has a special evening program and dessert party - but not a traditional Christmas party party.
23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's? We go to church Christmas Eve -I don't think our fellow congregants would appreciate my jammies - we dress but not formally - jeans and a sweater.
24. Do you own a Santa hat? Yes but I'm looking for a new one.
25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? My dear and precious husband.

Monday, December 8, 2008

More of the Dallas World Aquarium

Subtitled: surely you didn't think you'd get off without seeing at least a few more of the 133 pictures I took at the Dallas World Aquarium!

Didn't want to disappoint any of you checking hourly on my blogging (oh that's right I'm NOT the one giving away anything so y'all are dropping by out of sheer kindness - thank you!).You cannot go wrong with a blog post including giant clams, spotted freshwater rays, assorted reef fish, sawfish, big octopus, and penguins. Topping it all off - a manatee going in for a few more slices of sweet potato and going for them against a very aggressive turtle.

Seems like a long time ago already - but fun times are treasured here on Buhlaland. Our trip to DWA was fun. Bless y'all

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tablescapes Adventure

The Peaceable Kingdom

Isaiah 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

I treasure the verses in Isaiah- prophesying a time when there will be no predator or prey and all things can live together. Our church has a brunch for the ladies every two years and they call it Tablescapes. A person or group is supposed to select a verse and decorate a table for 8 in whatever way they feel will be appropriate. Since two of my church buddies are also goat keepers, we went with this verse (hard to imagine our skittish goats even being in the vicinity of a leopard!) and planned a goaty table. The favors for each person were bars of goats milk soap with our verse on a small card attached to the bar. On each napkin was a small Lindt chocolate goat (ok not really a goat - it is a reindeer but you'd have to be WonderWoman to read the label so we pretended they were goats!) Our homemade tabletopper had images of some of our goats and we used clear glass tablesettings so the images could be seen. Our wire, two level centerpiece had dried moss and toy animals (each kind mentioned in the verse). On the base level we put a nativity set (the little child). Our morning was a bit hectic even though our group worked together to set our table up, "hostess" for our 5 table guests and then take it all down this morning --it was a pleasant time. Whenever I try to write about social events which are ladies only activities, I recall the first (probably only) journalism class I took . The teacher had his favorite (and over used) example of terrible, provincial social reporting. The example was from a small town society columnist who described each social event and concluded "and a glad time was had by all". Might not have been great journalism but does sum up many gatherings of which I've been a part. Today - I ventured off Buhlaland for a while and spent time with lovely ladies and indeed a glad time WAS had by all.