Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


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Paul went to Iraq January 3, 2005 and returned on September 25. The Marines are based in Al Said, which is the next to the largest base in Iraq.

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The Marines are required to wear this heavy uniform in blistering temperatures.

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Sgt. Paul Cooke was assistant Convoy Commander. Their job was to go out and repair the roads. They were under constant threat of insurgent attacks. They were out there without rifles but had units in front and back of them for protection.
When the convoy reached the holes scheduled for repair, military police establish a safe perimeter and divert traffic around the site, then the construction team dismounts and teams sweep the area for mines.

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Once a crater is deemed clear of threats the team uses shovels to clear loose debris from the inside and sprays paint to mark where the surface needs to be cut with a jackhammer. Once the hole is repaired the Marines use a custom stamp to inscribe the name of the Oregon town they are from on the patch.

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This dust storm which was 4,000 to 5,000 feet high was at Paul's base.
Paul had three close calls in Iraq. First he went out on a convoy and his truck hit a device which turned his truck over and they thought that he was dead. Another time they were hit and two Marines were killed.
The last time, they were the fourth truck on a convoy and they decided to pull over and get out and relax. When they looked down they saw a wire coming out of the road, so they went back and dug up the mine and blew it up.

Paul arrived in Baghdad on his birthday Feburary 15th and came home on his mother's birthday, September 19th. Then he went to Oregon to be with his wife and children, arriving September 24th.

Paul is in the process of leaving the Marines and looking forward to building a new life with his family.

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Paul, Jayce, Lara and Lexi, Together again.

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Thank you Paul and Lara for your unselfish sacrifice. God Bless you and the many others like you, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

(my thanks and hugs to cousin Lili for the pictures and info)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pet Peeve

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Mine is when women try to talk like a baby.
They need to be informed that their vocal cords are much to large to make those cutsie sounds emitted from a sweet little babe.
In their ridiculous effort they should realize they sound much like Daisy Duck on Helium.
There. Now I've said it.


Another Sort Of Critter

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In my last post I had a picture of a deer by a cherry tree in my front yard. This one is of another sort of critter working on what's left of that cherry tree. (A nice looking critter too) :)
A crew of five men came early Monday morning and removed two trees from my front yard that were growing into the power and cable wires.
They accomplished this in approximately 30 minutes. The Cherry tree was at least thirty years old and very large. The Cedar was also quite tall. They put the whole works through their new chipper and hauled it all away.
I could probably do without lights, but I have withdrawl symptoms when I don't have internet.

(The smashed car in the background is NOT mine)

Young Buck-Morning Sun

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Early Sunday morning two deer came to graze in my front yard. The sun was rising and there was a dewey mist in the air. I couldn't resist wandering out to this friendly young fellow. He had no fear, and continued with his breakfast as I got several nice shots of him.
We have so many deer in our neighborhood that I am tempted to give them names.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Master Gardner

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This morning, camera in hand, I waded through a patch of posies to get a picture of a painted Lady. I got several shots and didn't realize until I turned to leave, that the flowers were covered with hundreds of honeybees. I'm not afraid of bees, but my heart did thump a bit harder than usual when I realized I was surrounded by this stinging army.

When I escaped the busy pollen gatherers I sat in my lawn swing and watched the little critters in my back yard.
I got to thinking about how our heavenly Father has decorated His earth with such a variety of life. Trees, grasses, flowers, and thousands of different kinds of critters.

Throughout the year he decorates the trees and bushes with colorful leaves, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and all the other cute things for us to enjoy. In the spring and summer there are innumerable blossoms of every shape and color. New life is everywhere.
In Autumn, colorful leaves, grasses, moss and nuts cover the ground like a patchwork quilt.

He sends his wind so we can see the trees dance and sway their branches as if they are conducting an orchestra our ears cannot hear.
In the early morning the birds sing their devotionals and again in the late evening just before darkness of night falls, we hear their evening songs.

In the cool winter months, He sends snowflakes, each one unique, an artistic design created by His holy hand, and icicles to sparkle and gleam in the sun. He gives us snow peaked mountains that become rainbows as the sun sets and rivers, lakes, streams and oceans to sparkle as they move in the sun and glow with ethereal mysticism in the cool moonlight.

He is the Master Gardner. We, his children are His helpers.

We hire backhoe's, and D-9's to dig and scrape the earth to our specifications. We plant every variety of tree and shrub, and flowering thing. We rake and pull weeds, pile rock and spread gravel. We design and create flower gardens and fish ponds. We plant willows to gracefully dip their long, slender branches into the ponds and use special clippers to trim it all to our liking.

We also scrape the flesh from our knuckles as we pile cinder blocks to build walls, rub the skin from the palms of our hands from raking, crack our shins on the wheelbarrow, become a pincushion for rose thorns, and dislocate our shoulder from trying to remove old stumps by hand.

In the evening we sit with band-aids and antibiotic ointment, to cover the blisters, scrapes, cuts and pricks. Ice packs and heating pads, for the herniated disc's while we are thanking the Lord for Tylenol.

I have often wondered why we do this. Today I believe I learned the answer.
I want to be in the Garden Of Eden.
(without the serpent if you please)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Dewey Morn

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Early this morning the dew was heavy and the sun was bright. Perfect for some photography.
This is a fall aster covered with teensy dew drops.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Matthew 18:20

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.

(even in blogdom)

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Please pray for our Country,
For ALL of our political leaders,
For our brave troops,
And one another.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


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Psalm 90:1&2
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Photo by Mountain Mama, Fugi FinePix 602Z
This is the west side of Mt. Baker on a hazy day from Whatcom County, Washington. (with a little help from Photoshop)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

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What If.......

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Mama's rant

Since Katrina's savage attack I have seen, heard and read so much that it makes my head spin!
All of the 'should have' and 'shouldn't have' remarks, blaming this one and that one. It's all such a waste of time.
No one plans a hurricane and no one can stop one.
I don't believe any amount of planning could completely prepare a city for such a devastating tragedy anyway but certainly could have saved some lives.
I agree there should have been an evacuation plan and anyone able to drive should have been able to use any available vehicle to drive residents to safety. There should never be a question about that when it comes to saving lives.
Many situations that could have made it a safer place were overlooked, or most likely ignored. Isn't it all about money afterall?

However, the residents knew there was not a plan for such an emergency and chose to reside there regardless. They knew the levees were not strong, and understood that flooding could happen.
When they were warned of the impending disaster many residents refused to leave, for a variety of reasons, none of which should be more important than life.
Because of their refusal to leave many hero's risked their own lives to try and save them.
(I am not referring to those who were unable to leave for financial or health reasons)

"The government was too slow in acting" , "FEMA didn't" , "FEMA did," "The mayor should have" ..... all this may be true, and I hope something is learned by it all, but what is bothering me right now is the seemingly unappreciative, and demanding attitude of so many, who I see angrily screaming into the reporter's cameras, "We ain't got no food, we ain't got no water, Ain't noone care bout us folk!" Then brushing teeth in the fetid water. What was that supposed to prove, or was it solely for the benefit of the photographer. Are these things deliberately being shown for some reason?

Whatever is done it seems its never enough. I pray to the good Lord that if I am ever in a situation like that, I will be grateful for what ever help I receive, and not shake my fist and make demands at those who are trying to help me.

I also pray that if I am told to evacuate I will do so, and not end up clinging to the rooftop of my house, expecting someone to risk their life to save me because I was too stubborn to leave when I was told to.

I am still apalled that they wouldn't leave the Astrodome until their food and water was cut off. You couldn't pry them out with a crowbar, even though they knew that life threatening disease was about to overtake them.

Is this what it is like in a horrible disaster? Do people just loose all common sense and behave like imbeciles?
Maybe we lose our reasoning power when we are so terrified because of shock. I don't have the answers.

I am truly sorry for those people who are suffering, and pray they will relocate to a safer place and build a better life.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


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This cute picture was sent to me in an e-mail. I saved it because it made my heart happy. This morning as I was looking at my photo's This one jumped out and said, "LOVE ONE ANOTHER."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

More Katrina

These past few days, the war in Iraq has taken a back seat to the Katrina tragedy. The media is totally absorbed as well as many blogs.
There has been a lot of mud slinging. "Bush didn't do", "Bush did," "The Mayor should have" or "shouldn't ." Now there are complaints that there was no preparation.

I believe President Bush is doing all he can. I also believe the Mayor and other city officials are doing their best considering they must be in shock and probably not able to think clearly at this time. Our brain shuts down when we are seeing corpses float by our windows. No one has a right to point fingers at these leaders.

What I am wondering is how can one be prepared for such a thing. What sort of plans can be made to evacuate the thousands of people who refuse to leave until the hurricane is ripping the roofs off.
How do you move Thousands of people on a few highways in such a short period of time and especially in that sort of chaos?

I guess most of all I am just very disappointed that even in this awful time, brother has come against brother and stumbling blocks are being placed for our leaders.
This is America. We are supposed to stand together and help one another.

My heart goes out to everyone touched by this awful thing and I pray they never have to experience anything like it again.
God Bless All

Friday, September 02, 2005


Several years ago, while visiting my daughter in SanDiego, I had my first experience with the Santa Anna, and nearly melted.
While my daughter and her husband were at work, their two children and I sat on the covered patio and dumped water on ourselves and each other, to keep cool.
We were standing on flagstone, and eventually I noticed some strange looking bugs come crawling out. When I brought this to my grandchildren's attention, they screamed, "Roaches," and ran into the house. (I had never seen a roach)

I can't help notice the similarity between these roaches and the dishonest looters who have been flushed out from the flooding caused by Katrina.

Some of them say they steal because they are poverty stricken. That's a lie. They steal because it is in their heart to do so. Katrina Aftermath just makes it easier. These people were dishonest before Katrina and will continue to be long after and will use any excuse they can think of, all of which are just that, 'an excuse.' There is no excuse for dishonesty.

When my grandchildren came back out to the patio, they brought cans of insect spray and went to work eliminating the unwanted roaches.
Smart grandkids I have.

Ken over at Squamata Report has written an excellent post concerning Katrina & looters. Go on over and get yourself educated.

My prayers continue for the honest people who have been devastated by Katrina, and for the salvation of all who have seen the awesome destructive forces in which we as humans have absolutely no power.
Get your eternal reservation made. None of us is promised tomorrow.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


My son called me last night to remind me to fill my car up before gas prices get any higher. So before breakfast I drove to my neighborhood station, expecting a huge line of cars. I was surprised to find several empty pumps.
I filled my lawn mower gas can and topped off my car tank, which was three quarters full, for under $20. Gas prices here are at $2.77 a Gallon.
I realize prices are much higher in other areas, some are paying over $5. a gallon! I'm thankful it isn't worse here.
You have to remember that we seniors come from a time when gas was 4 gallons for a buck, so paying $2.77 a gallon now is horrifying!

I can't end this post without mention of the many families who have been devastated by Katrina. Please remember them in your prayers, as you would want them to do for you.