Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grandparents Day

Friday was Grandparents Day with two musical programs.  One at Spalding and one at CAMS.  They both went off very well although we had a rush from one to the next with barely enough time (actually none) to eat lunch.  Fortunately we were able to grab a sack lunch at CAMS.  At first we were told a call time of 12:45pm but that changed to 12:00, hence the hurry!

The day was sunny but with a cold wind blowing.  We were thankful for the sun all weekend though!  As you'll see in a later blog, we had a fall festival today too with perfect weather.

All set and ready to go.

Spalding 4th and 5th grade orchestras playing Fiddle Song or something similar. Cute piece.

The CAMS strings group

They played 3 or 4 pieces. I have video of all the pieces....maybe will add them here sometime.
 We're glad you made it up from Florida, Grandpa and Grandma J!  (They always make grandparents day coincide with SAU alumni w/e thankfully!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Woulda if I Coulda.

This isn't actually going to be a blog cos Grandpa and Grandma J are here and this computer happens to be in "their" room.  Will try to get back to it later in the weekend or next week.  Today was Grandparents day and we have 2 musical programmes to report pease wait patiently, and with baited breath for the full report later!  We survived the tornadoes, the storms and the rain - so don't worry about us!

Hope all is going well with the move! Wish we were there to lend some muscle...

Love from us all and Happy Sabbath!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good and Evil

Two forces; two powers.  Only two: Good and evil.  Good was before evil.  Good is more powerful than evil.  Good will destroy and overcome all evil.  Evil paints a false picture of Good and calls itself good, and Good, evil.  Evil deceives and lies, hurts and kills, but lays the blame at the foot of Good. Good cannot lie. Good will not lie because Good is thoroughly Good.  If Good had even a speck of evil, it would be Good no longer.  But evil mixes itself with good to deceive.  Evil only serves itself; Good willingly serves all, even evil.

I believe this painting is by Lars Justinen? or Nathan Greene? (Sorry, I don't know, exactly)

We have a choice between Good and Evil.  Good has chosen us, but will not force itself on us.  Evil tries to force itself on all.  Evil claims us.  Good redeems us from evil. Good is LOVE. Love drives out all fear, all fear of what evil can do to us.  We are safe in love.  We are drawn to love. We belong to love.  Evil fears love, hates love. Evil twists love into something evil. Love willingly transforms evil into something good. We can choose.  Good allows that.

Painting by Lars Justinen
We all have to make the choice. No one can decide not to choose because we are either in one camp or the other.  To choose Good is a conscious decision because evil has claimed us.  (How it did that will have to be subject of another blog sometime) Anyone who doesn't specifically choose Good, is allowing himself to remain in the camp of evil.

Good has allowed Evil to exist because Good will not compromise Good in order to force a choice. If Good uses force, it will not be Good anymore.  Good allows evil to manifest itself FULLY that there will be no doubt, no wondering ever again, whether evil is actually good or not. If it is not clear now, it will be at some time.  Evil tried to destroy Good forever in AD31 but Good cannot be destroyed. God is Good; always has been, always will be. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is positive evidence that Good will triumph over evil.

"Let not your hearts be troubled.  Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved". John 3:16,17.

Happy Sabbath!

PS: Although I mostly talk of these two sides as "forces", I want to emphasize that they are, in fact, two very real beings - God and Satan.  One is good and one is evil.  And never the twain shall merge!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Colourful Anniversary

Today was our anniversary.  We decided to take the 2 kids and look for some colour in the hills.  We headed over toward Tellico Plains and on up the Tellico river valley to Whigg Meadow, returning on the Cherohala Skyway.  These are some of the colours we saw here in beautiful east Tennessee. But first, just to let you know we're slightly schizophrenic in TN - we don't know whether it's autumn or spring - here is proof from nature itself!

Is it spring or fall? You tell us, 'cos we don't seem to know around here!

I LOVE Etowah's main street!  Sometimes one sees a horse and buggy here from the nearby Mennonite community.  Or maybe that's Benton.  They're both quite similar towns, really.

Into the mountains we go.  This is part of the Tellico River.

From higher up the valley. 


And more reflections

Best friends!

Trying to climb a waterfall.

This water is COLD, Mom!

Mmmm, an autumn picnic lunch!

Gotta be careful of those hauling trucks!

I love how the sunlight shines through these.

A gnome's woodland castle garden.  Now we're on a little side road called, I think, the Little North River road.  This one cuts across the way to the Whigg meadow road. The road is a little narrow for comfort but we managed somehow!

Peace, perfect peace!
A tunnel of yellows

Plenty of water.

In the spring the Rhododendrons are magnificent.

There's a yellow glow everywhere in the woods.

View of the beautiful colour on the way to Whigg meadow

Blogspot, what are you doing now?  I can't move this photo around in my blog.  It's like once it's here, you can't switch it around.  Anyway, this is on the way back from Whigg.  Looks like the Yellow Brick Road, doesn't it?

Whigg meadow was cold and windy.  We were happy to have brought warm coats.  Also, as you can see, the leaves have about left and it's very wintry-like already.  The elevation here is around 4949 feet.

Taking photos of the colour reflections.

Why go up to New England when you have Tennessee?

A Gnome's stool.  This is about the size of a quarter.

And that's the end of our slideshow, folk.  Come on up (or down) to Tennessee and do some leaf peeping. We have about another week or two of colour then we're "down to brown" until April. (And that's about the time I go into hibernation - November!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our 5th field trip (and, as it turns out, other ramblings)

It's with a heavy heart that I write this.  Nevertheless life goes on.  We miss our little classmate; our star pupil; the eager one, the listening one, the bright-eyed tail-wagger; the one who galloped wildly to the schoolroom door when the bell rang, dancing and jumping on her hind feet til teacher let her in.  The one who loved to "find" all the little pieces of "bone" we hid around the classroom; the one who let us know with eager, happy barks if anyone or any "thing" had dared to enter our yard, or even to walk past on the road, dare-devils, you! The one who pretended to have been chasing squirrels away from the feeder all day if we'd been out, quickly running to the tree and barking energetically when she saw our car pulling in. OK, I'll stop reminiscing!  I hope we see her in heaven one day, and if not, I trust that God knows best.

I don't think any of us needs to think we'll be sitting on puffy clouds playing harps for eternity.  For one thing, we'll be in "heaven" only 1000 years (Rev. 20) before Jesus recreates the earth anew (Rev 21:1-3) and the Holy City will be moved from heaven to the very earth!  We, the redeemed from sin, will be the crowning exhibit of God's LOVE, to the universe through the person of His beloved son, Jesus, who has bought us, nay, adopted us.

So, getting back to eternity, - people, there's a whole UNIVERSE out there waiting for us to explore.  There's a whole, almost infinite world of microscopic minutiae waiting for study and exploration, on this earth, and then in the universe. Besides the objective world to know and study, we have millions of relationships to enter in to.  Not only with our relatives, but with our other loved ones, our friends, our acquaintances, new friends; our ancestors, then beings such as angels, beings from other worlds and of course, - the most fulfilling relationship of all, with Jesus our Saviour; our Creator; and with God the loving, merciful, Father, and with the Holy Spirit - who has guided and comforted us through our whole lives, never leaving us for an instant!  Bottom line - eternity will NOT be boring or monotonous!

Our now finite minds will be open to absorb billions of bits of data and information.  Our hearts open fully to the amazing and completely accepting LOVE of our Creator.  Please study the link between the Creation and the Creator.  Lets not worship creation, but the infinite and loving God who created it!

OK, back to the 5th field trip.  This time we killed two birds with one stone (isn't there a less violent analogy somewhere?? - I've asked this painful question before but nobody has given me an answer. Come on, people!).  We went to the CDM; and got to see the replicas of the Pinta and Nina (two ships that Columbus sailed when discovering the New World).  I'll show you photos of the day.

This was the first stop of the day.  When we got to the CDM, there was already a school group there, and being very noisy and busy on the upper level, somehow we all ended up in the quiet reading room for some solitary enrichment...

I have no idea what C was trying to accomplish here, but A seems to be a football player, or maybe an Indian with war-paint.

The girls seem to have favourite places where they always end up some how or another.  Seems like a familiar spot, doesn't it?

Good idea, A!  Let's trap C then go have some icecream!

Oh, my leg!  Guess I'll have to use this wheelchair while I recover.

Nice job climbing, girls.  I think this was too easy for you!

Oops!  I think we've passed the red line!

Our science class today was on the Bernoulli effect. (air flow, air pressure, and all that). Science class had to be out in the lobby/hallway due to renovations in the science auditorium.  They're moving the science theatre from North gate mall, to here.  They say it'll be ready in mid-November.
Ah, the Nina and the Pinta (this is the Pinta) are in port! Too bad we missed it sailing in today.

We're here, teacher!  (They're standing on a moving dock.)

Close up of the rigging (2nd ship, the Nina).  It's hard to imagine so many people on a ship this size, sailing across the Atlantic!

Hey Matey, can we come aboard?

And so ends our 5th field trip of the year.  It was a nice, sunny day with a brisk, cool wind blowing.  We are sometimes spoiled here in SE Tennessee - especially in October!  This month is the only reason some of us stay around here (perhaps I should only speak for myself, huh? - I don't want the Chattanooga tourism board breathing down my neck.)  Hey, I still say I named the Tennessee River Gorge Explorer (yes, thanks for making the name suggestions anonymous, you guys, I could be famous/rich by now! - ha ha).  MUCH better than the river Express or whatever!  You know who you are, :-)!

Til next time!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who would have known...

that living in the country is more violent and dangerous than living downtown? Yesterday morning our dog, Caridee, came crawling home after being shot (presumably by a neighbor?)!  Miraculously she survived, with the bullet passing between major veins in her neck, through her trachea and on up between lungs, past the heart, and more major blood vessels, into the skin on her back!  After major surgery yesterday, she is now recovering in doggy hospital.

Thank goodness for doggy pain medicine!

Our poor baby.
This miracle story is so miraculous, in fact, that our vet has posted photos on his facebook page to show other vets and even regular doctors how the bullet missed so many major "landmines", as it were. You're one lucky doggy, Caridee!!

By the way, I'd like to recommend Dr. Dickinson in Ooltewah if you're looking for a good vet! This is his description of the x-ray below: Gun shot. Ruptured trachea. Massive subcutaneous emphysema. Collapsed left lung. 2 broken ribs....... And of course, bullet fragment. (and microchip).
One of the vet's X-rays
After surgery, this is what he had to say: entry wound in neck, went through thoracic inlet, chest, and lodged in subq on left lat chest. NO MAJOR VESSELS/NERVES DAMAGED! Amazing!

Looking much better on Friday - see tail wagging?

Enjoying all the attention!

On Sunday the drip is out but still draining from the thoracic cavity (somewhere!)

Looking forlorn that she has to go back into the cage!

She came home on Monday late afternoon but here she is back in hospital on Tuesday.

Now I have to dodge a bullet myself - $$$!  If you don't see another posting, you'll know I didn't survive!


Poor baby got a blood clot, paralyzing her hind legs.  Poor prognosis, but Dr. is willing to try coumadin. Later: This is the last photo of her....sadly, we had to put her to sleep after things didn't look good at all...RIP, my sweet, precious doggy!
She'll be greatly missed!