Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Montana’

Joy at Easter


Easter is a time of joy.

Of course it is! It’s the day of “Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!” We sang at Sunrise service (even though it was a rainy day and we couldn’t see the sun), and we went to church and sang joyfully there.

religious embossed wall

Photo by David Jakab on Pexels.com

But in addition to its spiritual meaning, Easter has a social meaning, too. It is a family day. In my family, when I was growing up in central California, USA, it always was a day my sister and I got to wear pretty new dresses with shiny new shoes. We had an Easter egg hunt. We gathered with relatives for a sumptuous dinner of ham with pineapple and scalloped potatoes with cheese, lots of different vegetables, and a variety of home-made desserts. Aunt Angie’s Easter pie with a hard-boiled egg hidden in the enter of it was always part of the offerings. We played with our cousins. It was a day to look forward to and a day to remember.

silver spoon and forks beside vegetables

In my world today, the pretty new dresses are not a part of the celebration. Wool pants and a cozy sweatshirt was the way to block out the Montana cold. The shiny new shoes gave way to boots to keep my feet dry. No Easter egg hunt in pouring down rain!

red and gray rain boots near pink umbrella

But the part that hasn’t changed is the family gathering. It may not have been aunts and uncles and cousins. We didn’t have Aunt Angie’s Easter pie. But we had my granddaughter, Hope, and her husband Drew, and their almost two-year-old, my great-grandson, Xander. They joined us at church and stayed for the church ham dinner potluck afterward. What a joy! Look at how Xander is growing!

Hope Xander Drew

And we had our grandson, Chris, with us. If you have been following my blog, you met Chris earlier when he came from Switerland late last year and decided to go unshaven for awhile and be a “Montana Mountain Man.”

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Well, look at him now! He’s been at the Anaconda Job Corps since last February and is studying to be a heavy equipment mechanic. He’s taken off 30 pounds (with exercise and careful food intake) since he arrived in the USA last Thanksgiving. He’s feeling fit – and looking happy. What a wonderful Easter gift it was to have him with us this weekend!

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Easter IS a time of JOY. It looks different at different times of our lives, but with God and family as the focus, it always is a time to thank Jesus for His wonderful gift of love. It’s a time to shout “Hosannah! Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!”

Happy Easter!
How did you spend your day?

 

Faith Amidst Suffering


You know I take sermon notes each week
as I listen to the Sunday message
at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church,
Ennis, Montana.

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No, this isn’t our church, but I thought it would be fun to show you the church in
Chippis, Switzerland where we attended with our daughter and family.
Ah, but I digress…

Today our pastor, Rev. Jean Johnson, was ill, so one of our church leaders, Lucy Ennis, read the message Rev. Jean had prepared.Jean was among today’s “suffering.” The sermon was based on John 12:1-8.

As usual, I listened with intent to take away the message I needed… a message to help guide my actions this day and into the coming week.

The bottom line of today’s message was quite clear,
“Surrounded by suffering,
go reach out to others.
Ready?
Start!”

Jesus faced Jerusalem
Knowing what’s ahead.
His disciples were warned
He soon would be dead.

Jesus returned to the home
Of Martha and Mary:
Friends who’d always be there,
His sorrows to carry.

He knew they would respond;
They’d give him a dinner.
They’d throw a party
For their Savior, their Winner.

Mary went out of her way
To show Jesus her devotion.
She bought expensive perfume
And poured it on Him in loving motion.

Judas was horrified, and cried,
“Why waste this? You should sell it!”
Jesus told Judas to be silent.
Mary knew His end was coming; she’d tell it.

The last reminder of what’s good
In this troubled, earthly life
Was a gesture of love by Mary,
She poured sweet fragrance on His strife.

Such gestures of love and assistance
Help get us through life with courage.
Reach out to others as Mary did.
Don’t let your troubles discourage.

Whatever you do, my friends,
Do it out of a pure and loving heart.
Surrounded by suffering, go –
Reach out to others. Ready? Start!

shrimp soup in white ceramic bowl with chili on brown wooden surface

Photo by Lovefood Art on Pexels.com

So, I did as my heart directed. Following church, I practiced with our little church choir. We are going to sing at the town’s Easter Sunrise service. Then, I went downstairs and helped serve at fellowship. (I had made and brought two pots of soup to share.)

No, that picture is not my soup. I’m afraid our little Sunday School kids and some of my church friends would not have appreciated all those hot peppers and garlic! But, doesn’t it look good? Mine was a more mundane potato soup.

What did you do to reach out to others and show your love today?

No Joke!


It’s not a Happy April Fool’s Day!
No joke … the joke’s on me!

drape stains

Look carefully and you will see the water stain
on the bottom of the drapes
and the water mark on the carpet.
Look and see the snow drift outside the door.
There is no drain out there,
so where does the water go when it melts?
You guessed it!

We have lived in this Madison Valley, Montana home for 13 years – and this has never happened before! The owners before us lived here for 5 years and they said it never happened to them, either. This has been quite a winter! You’ve heard me complaining, haven’t you? More snow than a friend who’s been here since 1972 has ever seen!!

What does this have to do with a blog whose sub-title is “Love One Another?”

I’ll tell you… it has everything to do with people like Joe Smithson!

Joe Smithson
This delightful man is a God-send!

He came and helped me determine the extent of the damage.
He helped me understand ALL the furniture
in that downstairs bedroom has to come out
so he can come back with his rug cleaning equipment
and suck the water out and dry the carpet
and try to dry the walls where it has seeped up!

So, with my dear hubby off skiing today,
I found two other saints who came to help
move the bed, the dresser, the nightstands,
the desk, the chairs, the whole “kittenkaboodle”
out of there and into the game room
and other downstairs bedroom.
What a job!

guestroom empty

It’s a California King – with two top mattresses, two box springs,
a lower frame, and a headboard! Heavy stuff!
No way I coulda done it alone.

And the triple dresser is solid wood – a heavy sucker!
God bless those two friends who came to do the moving!

triple dresser empty

And before those could be moved, another friend came
and helped me move all the “stuff”
that was on top of all that furniture.
You know, nothing is “clear” like this
under ordinary circumstances, right?

Then, to avoid the continued drain
of the melting snow into the bedroom,
another saint of a friend came
with his shovel first –
and then his snowplow.

Steve's snowblower

The snowplow did
what would have taken all day with a shovel…
and did it so much more thoroughly.

Ah, the blog subject
is “Love One Another”

– right?

There is no greater love than to
lay down your life,
pick up your shovel,
load up your snowplow,
and come to help a friend in need.
That is a friend, indeed!!

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God bless you, Steve!!

Imagine how surprised Bob
is going to be
when he gets home
from a day at Big Sky
enjoying the slopes –
a last day (or so)
with spring skiing –
and sees how much more
is cleaned up
than the beach towel
he set out there
this morning
could have done
to fix the problem!!

Go back up to that first picture. If you look carefully, you will see the green and white polka-dot towel on the other side of the glass door. (Like putting a finger in the dyke to stop it, right?) Kind of gives you a new definition of April Fool!

Ah, God love ’em… we gotta put our priorities in order, don’t we?

Who can pass up a day on the slopes?

Unless it’s a day on the river!

Spring IS coming, you know!!
(Not soon enough here)

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How has your April Fool’s Day been?

Do You Photograph Food?


food photos.jpg

Hah! I related to this comic on so many levels!

Not only do I love food – and love cooking to create beautiful, tasty dishes, but I also love to take pictures of pretty food before I taste it when dining out.

My daughter married a chef. If you’ve read very many of my posts, you have met DeAna and her husband, Andre’. Thy live in Switzerland. They love to travel and to find restaurants where tasty, beautiful food is served.

De& Andre' @50th

Here are a few dishes they photographed during a recent meal at a fine dining restaurant in Paris:


I love the presentation of the beef with string beans. I could do that!

Oh, and wouldn’t I love a plate of that fresh lobster? Hard to find here in south-western Montana … and if you do find it, it’s probably been frozen and it’s price is outrageous! But, I can dream, can’t I?

The single scallop is something I could do. The sauce looks yummy. What is that on top? Looks like a carrot top to me!

And the stacked cookies with ice cream between and a strawberry glaze base with a berry on top… oh my, to die for!

The meat blob on the lower right in this collage doesn’t appeal to me. Can’t tell if it’s chicken or pheasant or rabbit or what. The plate even looks like it’s chipped (Oh no, that’s artistic expression)! Yes, I could present a main dish with more character than that, couldn’t you?

The upper left is a cre’me brule’e (where do I find accents and other stuff like that on my WordPress app?). Anyway, I love that dessert – especially if they flame it at my table. This one deserves a bigger look:

creme brulette

No, with the strawberries, blueberries (or are they blackberries?), and tiny lemon halves on top, I don’t think they did the flaming at the table. But, doesn’t this look yummy?


Do you ever photograph your food before eating it
when you are served a pretty plate at a restaurant?
Evidently it is becoming a more and more popular practice.

My goal is to serve a plate pretty and tasty enough to entice my guests to pull out their cell phones and take a picture before their first bite at my house!

Hospitality is one of my spiritual gifts (at least that’s what many of our friends have told me). So, if you were in our area, I’d have you over for dinner… and I’d love to know what your favorite meal would be!

Sharing a meal is one of the important ways
we demonstrate our love for one another,
don’t you agree?

As Theresa Brewer once sang,
“Come on a my house, my hous-a-come-on,
I’m a gonna serve you _______…” 
Fill in the blank.

What would your favorite pretty and tasty dish be?

Beautiful Travel


Yes, the roads were clear

While mountains of snowy white

Invited us out.

…And then there were five


We used to have a family of six Hungarian Partridge who hung around our front yard under the evergreen trees.

In the back yard there were three. They buried themselves in the snow. I tried to show them to you through the screen of my bedroom window.

All you could make out was a couple of dark blurry bumps!

This morning I noticed only five in that family that used to be six!

This afternoon I discovered why. I think one flew into our kitchen window.

All that was left of that lovely bird was a few scattered feathers.

I hope it wasn’t our frisky Boston Terrier who devoured the rest of the bird.

I didn’t see any feather residue on her when she came back in🤪💔

TazE, did you devour our lovely partridge!?

Think I should put some decals on the windows?

It’s a Terrific Tuesday


We had to drive 100 mile+ round trip this morning to deliver the car to the auto body shop in Bozeman. Had to have it there by 8: AM.

So what makes this day terrific? We survived the trip. It was knuckle-biting because we were driving right into the rising sun. Blinded!

But, now we’re back safely and feeling extremely grateful.

On the drive home (in Bob’s pickup), I could relax and enjoy the scenery. This Haiku danced in my mind:

Marshmallow mountains

Frame a beautiful skyline

Where’re the Graham Crackers?

.

Chocolate’s in the road

Where yesterday’s cattle drove

Our state’s traffic jam.

.

See the cattle drive?

No, it wasn’t elephants –

Not in Montana!

Hah! The mind’s a funny thing, ain’t it? Have a Terrific Tuesday!

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