Buckley and his human

I have a smart dog.  Sometimes too smart for his own good.  That is, he thinks he knows what he wants even when he knows it is the opposite of what I want even though he doesn’t understand why I want it, so he decides to go after his want, after which he may realize that wanting it was, well, not worth the want.  

Nevertheless, he’s still a pretty smart dog.  Right now he is not-so-contentedly lying at my feet despite the fact that he would rather be chasing the frisbee outside.  I, however, would Continue reading “Paradogs”

The Treehouse Book (and haiku)


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I adore treehouses.  I want one…period.  When Jesus promised “I go to prepare a place for you”, I’m hoping mine’s way, way up in the branches with the birds.  So when my daughter and family sent me a book of treehouses, it only reminds and rekindles a longtime love.

Now, having said that, I found a poem embedded in said gift.  But first, allow me to set the stage with a few quotes from, what else?  The Treehouse Book*:

“This writer’s place of work is deep in seclusion.  Imagine a trip by canoe as the first part of the journey, through the woods to a stream; find the z-shaped plank bridge, then across a small island, to another wider stream crossed by a narrow, curving, single-planked bridge, and into the woods again to find the treehouse…Stewart says that his treehouse is snug at zero degrees or even 10 below.  It is a marvel to be gently swayed by the north wind as it rushes through his supporting hemlocks.”

This is writer Stewart Tarry’s office, a far-cry from a city cubicle.


Here are five different haiku by Stewart Tarry–

sorry, no phone—

out here the chickadees sing

from thin branches


halfway up

four thick hemlocks—

moon in the windows


sunrise dances

across my ceiling—

beavers swimming home


new shadow

across the floor—

first quarter moon


quiet enough

to hear a cat’s tongue

behind the woodstove

As always, click HERE for my non-poetical disclaimer, and thanks for visiting!

*Quoted from The Treehouse Book by Peter and Judy Nelson with David Larkin, Universe Publishing and David Larkin ©2000 New York


Blind leap


I don’t mind heights; I really don’t.  It’s the sensation of falling that I’m not too keen on.  We took the youth group kids to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City and one of the other leaders convinced me to go on one of the big roller coasters with her.  As the attendant buckled us in, my friend turns to me with the sagacious advice that, once we get to the top of the first drop off, if I hold my breath and tighten my stomach muscles, I would be less likely to vomit…

It was most definitively “not fun”.

It was, in fact, ninety seconds of sheer bone-wrenching terror, as I white-knuckled the restraining bar and buried my face into my friend’s shoulder while she laughed and screamed for me to Continue reading “Blind leap”

In other words….

photo at:

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.


Romans 5:6-8  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Mirror, mirror…

IMG_20150106_175751214 (2)Today, I am 57.  I’m reaching that age where you look in the mirror and think, “who is that old woman?!”  I will confess that I’m still working on this adulthood thing.  I’d say most of my grownup life I’ve been pretty responsible.  Being in charge of a 40-bed wing of a big city hospital at the sagacious age of 20 tends to bring that out in you, that is, if you (and your patients) are going to survive.  And believe me, there were times it could seem like an emotional and mental warzone.

Unfortunately, being responsible is not the same as being mature.  Maturity, I am still learning, is a matter of jurisdiction over one’s own heart, and it will Continue reading “Mirror, mirror…”



Here’s one I fell in love with, tucked away in a small used book I picked up somewhere.  The author sounds like a pretty cool guy, not only because of the hopeful tenor of the poem, but that he was the assistant of one of my heroines, the one and only Florence Nightingale!  (You can’t be all bad if you worked for Flo.)  Here’s my INFO.



by Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)


Say not the struggle naught availeth,

    The labour and the wounds are vain

The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

    And as things have been they remain.


If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;

    It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,

Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,

    And, but for you, possess the field.


For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,

    Seem here no painful inch to gain,

Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.


And not by eastern windows only,

    When daylight comes, comes in the light;

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!

    But westward, look, the land is bright!


A Little Treasury of British Poetry, Ed. by Oscar Williams. ©1951 Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York

Priority Pause

IMG_20150103_172451138My great-grandmother, with whom I was privileged to grow up as just another part of the extended family, traveled in the Midwest via covered wagon as a younger woman, and lived to visit relatives in Florida…by airplane. She made the best homemade chicken and noodles, lived by herself well into her 90’s, and the house I remember as a child had one of those r-e-a-l-l-y steep stairwells with the door that closed behind it, which was only mildly creepy for a kid daring to ascend and explore all the old things “up there”.  Like the Singer sewing machine with this weird foot-peddle thing.  She also had a cabin; I don’t remember where, but I do remember pumping the water outside, and flushing the toilet by pouring a bucket of said water into the bowl.

Interesting experience for a little girl from the ‘burbs.

There are stories about how she nursed great-grandpa off morphine and/or whiskey after the war (which war, I’m not sure), about how her grandkids Continue reading “Priority Pause”

Party’s over


The Babylonians knew how to party; in fact, I get the impression they didn’t do anything halfway.

King Nebuchadnezzar was pretty full of himself despite being warned in a dream, interpreted by the captive Israelite named Daniel (of future lions’ den fame).  The outcome of the king’s pride was remarkable, but was unfortunately not duly noted by his young descendant and the current sovereign, King Belshazzar. 

 So, back to the party.

One thousand strong with plenty of intoxicating liquid, mixed with plenty of everything else, makes for a somewhat Continue reading “Party’s over”

A Parent’s Prayer


I like to call this “A Parent’s Prayer”.  Anyone who’s been a parent for, say, more than 60 seconds can relate to the feelings of: a) overwhelming affection and, b) overwhelming responsibility.  As uncomfortable as it may seem, all of us are born into a war zone; we call it Earth.  And it’s been a spiritual war zone since before Eve discovered apple pie.  So this prayer of David speaks to me of the spiritual warfare that we, as parents, are never discharged from.  But we have the best-ever assistance from our Captain.  Pray this over your family, no matter what circumstances looks like– Continue reading “A Parent’s Prayer”

Where’s the delete button?!?!


I read somewhere that Norman Rockwell was not actually considered one of the truly great artists.  Okay, so maybe his photo-like images don’t grace the Sistine Chapel, but the Saturday Evening Post sure liked ‘em.  And even though Michelangelo’s “David” has probably moved many a sensitive heart, Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” came at precarious time in our history when we needed reminding (and, BTW, still do) of what makes America great (and still does.)

I’m not an artist, and by no means do I profess to know what causes the moniker “truly great artist” to be conferred on someone.  And as such, I’m not “qualified” to even discuss art, at least at what would be Continue reading “Where’s the delete button?!?!”