Holy Tornado

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

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The squirrels are chasing one another around the tree trunks and in and out the branches. It looks like they are playing, maybe they are but it is also part of their mating ritual.
The birds are so twitterpated and distracted that some don't look where they are going and fly into windows and other stationary objects. Not unlike the human race.
Bumblebee's are busily bumbling around any blossom they see, even artificial ones. Hey, it's been a long winter!
The does are heavy with their young now, and will begin birthing soon. They walk more slowly than they did in the fall.
This little Squirrel is sitting on my back deck eating bread. I usually feed them seeds and nuts but they had depleted my supply so there was a menu change. He seemed to enjoy his unusual treat.
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord to thee.
Take my hands and let them move, at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing, always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be, filled with messages from thee.
Tale my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my intellect and use, every power as thou choose.

Take my will and make it thine, it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own! It shall be thine royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at thy feet it's treasure-stored.
Take myself, and I will be, ever, only, all for thee.

Author unknown

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I'm the barefoot four year old, third from left.
Two of my Soldier uncles were overseas fighting in the war at the time this picture was taken.
I heard the big people talk. They were afraid. So was I.
They spoke of bomber planes and people dying. When I heard a plane I hid.

We planted Victory gardens. I helped my mother plant the seeds. Our garden grew very well and we had a variety of fresh vegetables.

There was rationing and some things were hard to get. Sugar was scarce. Mother said it was needed for the war. I expected all the Soldiers to come back home with rotten teeth.
When dads monthly gas ration was gone he had to walk to and from work. Even in the icy cold.

We had to make our shoes last. It seems we were only allowed a pair every six months. maybe it was a year.
When the sole came loose we tied a cord around to keep it from tearing off.
If we wore a hole in the sole, we put cardboard inside our shoe so the rocks wouldn't hurt. Streets were gravel then. If it rained the cardboard got all soggy and fell apart.

We ate off the land a lot. Venison, ducks, mushrooms and other wild foods and a variety of seafood since we lived within walking distance of the bay. Family and neighbors shared and helped one another every day. That's how it was back then. We didn't do it because we would go to hell if we didn't, but rather because there was a genuine concern for one another. War and hard times can do that to a community. It draws people close, causes them to unify and work together. Borrowing and sharing was a way of life.

Everyone we knew lived like we did. Some would say we were poor. Maybe we were, but as children we didn't know it. We had enough food to eat, a warm bed and lots of family and friends to love us. Really, what more does one need?

When the war was over there was a lot of noise in our little village. Horn's honking, guns and fireworks, people crashing their kettle lids together or beating the bottom of their soup pots with a large spoon. They were yelling, screaming and crying. Some sang Patriotic songs at the top of their lungs, and I saw an old man sit on his front stairs with his head in his hands crying. Mama said his Johnny wouldn't be marching home.

All the commotion frightened me until I saw my mother smile through the tears streaming down her sweet face. She said, "It's over darling, the war is over."

I got a brand new pair of red sandals.

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Two elderly ladies were out driving in a large car. Both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along they came to an intersection.
The stoplight was red but they just went right on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself, "I must be losing it, I could have sworn we just went through a red lioght."

After a few more minutes they came to another intersection and the light was red again and again they went right through.
This time the woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it.
She was getting nervous and decided to pay very close attention tot he road and the next intersection to see what was going on.

At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was definitely red and they went right through and she turned to the other woman and said, "Mildred! did you know we just went through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us!"
Mildred turned to her and said, "oh, am I driving?"

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Ken over at The Squamata Report has a new blog. I just went for a visit and enjoyed myself very much.
If you like country living, some history and great pictures, go and take a peek at Carpenter's Bluff.
I'm sure glad I did!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I found an interesting site tonight and just have to share a bit. I won’t have to remind you that these old remedies are NOT to be tried!

1. Washing the face of a child with urine of its own manufacture is said to make it handsome.

2. Certain Spanish people use urine to cleanse their teeth.

3. The Holland Dutch use it to give a special tint to cheese.

4. Bedsores-If you lay the axe under the bed it may prevent bedsores; if you have no axe, draw a picture of one!

5. Fried mouse, or mouse pie, cures bedwetting; also, if burned to ashes, and the ashes secretly put into coffee, tea, or other drink, will cure.

6. Constipation-(We like this cure): Get a chicken, nice or otherwise kill it without shedding blood; boil it, feathers and all and make soup out of it--this, when eaten, will cure constipation.

7. Drunkard-If you scrape the dirt collected under his fingernails and put same into whiskey, which the drunkard will gladly drink, it will cure him of his nasty habit.

8. Felon-(a painful infection at the end of fingers or toes) lf you place your finger between the door and the jamb, and someone closes the door, it will cure the felon.

9. Headache-If you would prevent headache, or toothache, you must form the habit of putting on your right stocking, first, your right shoe, etc.

And last but not least…………..

10. Hiccoughs-Bend forward so that the hands touch the ground and say: "O hiccough, I wish that you were in my buttocks.'

There are many more but this will probably do you for a while!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Surprising Old Gentlemen

This old gentleman is my second great grandfather.
James Monroe Banks was born in 1792 near Lancaster, PA and died 1885 in Armstrong PA.
This picture was copied from a tintype made around 1870. The quality is poor but at least I can see what he looked like.
I've done some genealogical research on him and learned that he was married twice. His first wife died at the birth of their sixth child.

Later he married my second great grandmother, Barbara Kimmel who was 29 years younger than him. They had 14 children and she also died shortly after the last birth.
(No wonder after 14 births and no epiudrals!)

This left him with a total of twenty children. Of course the older ones took care of the younger and they all helped support the family.
James Monroe's last child was born when he was 75 years old. I thought that was awfully old to be bringing children into the world, then I read the following in a book called "Amazing Facts, copyright 1971.

The reverend James E. Smith of Carbondale, Illinois, was 101 on March 16, 1950.
Just sixteen months before his 101st birthday he became the father of twin girls, thereby baffling medical science. His wife was sixty four years younger than he, which incidentally is another kind of record. They were married in 1935. Smith's mother-in-law was almost young enough to be his granddaughter.
Besides the twins, the Smith's had four sons.
It is a rare occassion when a father is eighty-eight years older than his oldest son and nearly a hundred years older than his youngest daughter."

(this is the kind of stuff that drives genealogists up a wall!)

I didn't know this could even happen. Well actually I didn't know people that old could be that energetic. You know, with gout and arthritis and hitches-in-get-alongs.

Then I wondered why a young woman would want to marry such an ancient man.
I don't know the answers, but if this actually happened, I say the old guy deserves a standing ovation.
Well at least an ovation.
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Unexpected Blessings

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One day last year as I was having a wonderful walk in the woods, I came across this Wild Currant bush in full bloom. A photo never captures the true beauty of such a find. The color of the blossoms is much more vivid than the picture shows, and the clear blue of the sky sure set it off beautifully.

After the bleak colors of the long winter months, I am delighted that spring is officially here.
Boy am I ready!

Monday, March 20, 2006


This is Barnabas wearing a hat my mother crocheted. He has been gone almost a year now, and I still miss him even though I have two adorable Yorkies to keep me company.
He was big, a mix breed, German Shepherd, Boxer and Bull Mastiff, weighing 122 pounds, and as gentle as a lamb, but was an excellent guard dog. He seemed to enjoy being dressed up, but maybe he just tolerated it to please me.

Last night I dreamed he was with me again and he laid his big head on my leg so I would pet him. This dream was so real, as they sometimes are, and as I was petting him I could feel his warmth and even smell his obnoxious doggy odor. But the thing that has stayed with me so strongly this morning, is that I could also feel the mental or spiritual connection or what ever it is, that only another pet lover would understand. It is difficult to explain, but I suppose some might call it a kind of extrasensory perception.
There is no need for words, but there is a knowing. Like many times I would be watching TV and I would think to myself, "it's time to feed Barney." The next thing I knew he was standing before me waiting to be fed, without me saying a word about it. He "told" me when he had to go outside. If I was in the computer room and he needed to go he would tell me even though he was in the kitchen waiting by the door.

Yes, I know by now you must think that Mountain Mama has lost her marbles, but what I'm telling you is true. I hope other pet owners will share their similar experiencs.

In my dream, I knew Barnabas was dead, but he was 'visiting' me and I could enjoy him for a time. I knew he would have to leave again but it was ok, because I also knew that he would only be as far away as a dream.

Today I feel lifted because I was able to hug my Barney one more time.
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Friday, March 17, 2006


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Terrified the Irish raiders would spot him, the youth hid at wood's edge as he watched eager flames consume his family's house. Suddenly powerful hands jerked his arms behind him. Coarse ropes burned his wrists. He and dozens of others were herded to boats grounded in the cove. He was now a slave.
The sixteen-year-old watched his whole way of life slip away as the rhythmic oarbeats pushed the boats steadily west. A British nobleman's son, he'd had it easy enough. He hadn't cared much for school, preferring to go off with his friends. Christianity didn't mean much to him either. His father was a deacon in the village church, but Pat knew he held that office more for tax advantage than out of love for God.
The sound of pebbles crunching beneath the hull signaled their arrival. Yanked from the boat, he was thrust into a guarded pen to await sale.

read the rest of the story here

Thursday, March 16, 2006


There are many types and colors of butterflies, but I had never heard of a transparent one before. I did a little research and found there are many varieties and colors of these too.

I have always thought that flowers were God's most beautiful creations, but after spending some time looking at internet butterflies, I think they are a close runner up.
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When we were kids, my sisters and I took many walks up the wooded hillside behind our house in search of trilliums, which we callled Easter Lily's. They bloomed at Easter time so the name fit. We brought our mother many bouquets of these beautiful wildflowers, most were white but some turned pink as they aged. I have since learned that they were used as a medicine by the Native people many years ago.

Since the morel mushrooms began poking their crinkly brown heads through the fallen fallen leaves at the same time these wildflowers were blooming, we brought many back for mom to cook. She was very particular about cleaning them and soaked them in a salt water solution for at least an hour to get rid of any bugs, then when she decided that they were clean enough, she would get some kind of fat hot in her black cast iron frying pan over the wood cookstove.
The mushrooms were first coated in flour, then dipped in an egg wash and before hitting the frying pan, they were rolled in finely crushed soda cracker crumbs, fried till golden brown and piled on a plate. Yum!
If you've never tasted them, you don't know what you're missing!

With Spring just around the corner, I know the mushrooms and Easter Lily's are nearly ready for picking, and my thoughts are drifting to those wonderful days when I could run up and down that hill just like a young mountain goat.
The old path is long grown over with brush and it looks much steeper now.
I'm not sure I could find the special mushroom patches, or if they are even there. But I know where there are some and I don't have to climb a hill to get there either.

When I have spent a day in the woods I will post pictures of my findings.
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Friday, March 10, 2006


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Friends & family have been sending me some great pictures lately.
Here is one from my sister Bonnie.

Here's the scoop:
"Albino fawn picture from folks who live on Bolivar Peninsula, Texas.
This little feller ran out in front of a car, thought it was a lost baby goat. Stopped to get it, and WOW! a real albino Whitetail deer, just hours old and no moma deer around. Another car nearly hit it.

One in a million are ever born. He took his bottle of food, followed us around the house and is doing great. The kids called him "Powder."

It is illegal to raise a fawn at your home so they contacted the Game Warden to come for him. The fawn's foster family were assured that he would be well taken care of.

Thank's Bonnie. This is a great picture.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


For those of you who have kept Aimee in your prayers, I just want to let you know that she is getting over the influenza and pneumonia. We are waiting for other test results and she still has to see a specialist to learn why her immune system is not working right.
Thanks again for your concern and your prayers.


My sister Bonnie sent me this picture she took this morning.
She titled it "Braveheart," but I think she deserves that title for venturing out in the icy cold.
Thanks Bon
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Toodles Watching The Snow Fall

What are dogs thinking when they see snow falling from the sky?
We had snow this morning and Toodles jumped up to his favorite perch on the back of the couch and watched as the white stuff fluttered to the ground. He was very interested but eventually began to tremble, so I closed the blinds. He seems to be a bit neurotic at times.
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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Another Smile

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my four year old daughter on my rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs.
One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "the tooth fairy will never believe this."

Thanks to Robin for sending me this.
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Friday, March 03, 2006


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Prayers For Aimee

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been praying for Aimee. She is doing better and has been released from the hospital. We are now waiting for results of the tests, and praying nothing serious will be found.
God bless you all!!!!!!!!
You just make my old heart so dang happy!


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Dear friends,
Today my father, pastor of our church, was summoned to the court. He was charged with holding systematic religious meetings in his private home without permission from the local authorities. I should explain that in our country since 2002 churches can meet only in buildings registered as "religious". Our congregation meets in a building which formally belongs to my father as his private home. That's why our Sunday meetings are "illegal".
We expected that he will be found guilty. What we did not expect at all is the punishment for his "crime". The hearing took about an hour and a half. In an hour the judge announced the verdict - 10 days of imprisonment.
This was a real shock to all of us who were present (about 25 pastors and church members). This never happened since 1986 when the last religious prisoner was released from the Soviet prisons. My father is the first to be imprisoned for Christian faith in the former USSR since the fall of the Soviet empire.
After the announcement of the verdict we waited for about two hours when finally my father was given the court's decision in written form. From the court he was taken straight to the police station and from there to jail. I had just enough time to go home and bring him warm clothes and some food.
I will not see my father for the next 10 days. He will be released on March 13, about noon. But we will pray that the Lord may strengthen him and use this situation for His glory.
Please pray for my father and our church. Please let your friends know that persecutions against Christian faith in Belarus have begun. Pray that the Lord may protect religious freedom in our country.
I will be leading our church meeting next Sunday. I do not know whether police will come and try to stop our service, but we will continue to worship our Lord.
Slava,Son of Georgi Viazovski imprisoned pastor of Reformed Baptist Church "Christ Covenant" in Minsk.

More Prayer Please

This is apparently the week for prayer requests.
This little sweetie is my granddaughter Aimee at about two.
She is now a teenager and has been hospitalized and quarantined with bacterial pneumonia, influenza, compromised immune system and high white cell count.
Tests are being done to learn all they can in order to treat her. She is on IV with antibiotics at this time.
Please hold her up in prayer.

I am so thankful that through our blogs, we Christians can have a prayer network. It's a beautiful thing that even though we have never met in person, because we share a love for The Master, we have love and concern for one another and our loved ones.
What a precious gift our Christian family is!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Prayer Needed Please

Through some blogsurfing, I found Jimmy who's blog is called,
Being God's.
Jimmy is going through something we all pray never happens to us.
Please take a minute to stop by and give him some cyber hugs.
And remember he and his in your prayers.


One summer day when my precious grandson was about four, he was playing in a large field of very tall grass, next to his great grandma's house, where he had followed his dog. He couldn't see over the grass and had lost himself in the field. To make matters much worse, his mommy and I could not see him either.

We were filled with relief when his mommy finally found him and brought him to the house.
I asked him, "Honey, what happened? Did you get lost?"
He was embarassed and answered, " NO! I'm the Bionic Woman."
I love the things kids say!

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