Sunday, July 9, 2017

Eagle's Nest Hiking Trail

With our relatives visiting, we loaded up the truck and headed to La Porte, Colorado for a four mile hike at Eagle's Nest.  The weather in July is cool in the morning and hot in the afternoon.  With getting to the trails by 8 am, we felt that we could be finished with our four mile hike within two hours.

Arriving at the trails early, there was only one car sitting in the parking lot.  We were ready for the hike with our water, sunscreen and hats.

There are many hiking trails in our area and this was one we had not been on before.  This area has been home to nesting golden eagles for at least 100 years.  From February 1 to July 15, the area downstream of the bridge is closed to fishing and public access to protect the nesting area.

Eagle's Nest includes 755 acres.  This area has five miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding, as well as the Cache LaPoudre River that runs through it.  These acres are home for deer, elk, coyote, mountain lions and other animals.

As we headed north on the red dirt trail, the majestic view of the Laramie Foothills was breathtaking. You could see for miles.  As we walked, we enjoyed the beauty of the wildflowers.  The wildflowers are so small and dainty.  The vibrant yellow, blue and purplish colors were striking.

To think that cowboys use to trail herds of cattle through this area.  The pioneer settlers migrated west to develop a new beginning.  It is hard to imagine what these people went through to have their own homesteads.

The trail led us to the river and there was a tree stump waiting for us.  It was nice to rest and to enjoy a duck and her ducklings as they swam across the river.  The sound of the running river and the swishing sound of the leaves as the wind blew was so comforting.

We took a different trail as we headed back to the parking area.  This trail was more climbing than the previous trail.  We would go a few feet and then stop to take in the beautiful terrain and the silence.

We were hoping to see Eagles, but we didn't and we were glad that we did not encounter a rattlesnake along the open, rocky areas that we hiked.

Colorado has lots of hiking trails.  This is a nice, simple trail to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the surroundings.




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Make Cake Balls Out of a Crumbled Pound Cake!

It is amazing what lessons we learn from our surroundings.  I was having friends over for dinner the other night and I wanted to bake a Pound Cake and have strawberries and whip cream with this cake. I hadn't baked one in many years.  With all of my moves in the past six years, I had gotten rid of the bundt pan that I would bake it in.  I purchased a new one.  After allowing the cake to bake, then cool, I proceeded to get the cake out of the pan.  No luck!  I had to cut the cake out and it was in crumbles. It wasn't in a beautiful ring shape.

I was a little upset.  But I realized, I could make lemonade out of lemons.  That night with my guest, I took out martini glasses, put a layer of crumbled pound cake, then whipping cream, another layer of crumbled cake, and more whipping cream and then added some beautiful red strawberries on top. Everyone thought the dessert was superb!  It tasted great!

Later that evening, I was telling my sister about the disaster and she said make cake balls.  Cake balls originated because bakers would have flops with their cakes or have stale cake.  To prevent waste, someone created cake balls.  They are made by blending cake crumbs with icing, shaping them in form of a  ball and then dipping them in a coating, such as chocolate or white chocolate.  You can then decorate them with sprinkles, nuts, etc.

The next day I gave it a try.  I wouldn't win a blue ribbon for the appearance, but it would win a ribbon for taste and texture.  My nephew loved them!

I began to think of my situations in life.  Sometimes we think things are bad, but God has a different plan.

One verse that came to mind was:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28.  God works in all things for our good.  It does not mean that all that happens to us is good, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good.

Another verse was:

"But Joseph said to them: "Don't be afraid.  I am in the place of God.  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" Genesis 50:19-20.  Joseph's brothers had sold him into slavery many years ago because they were jealous of him.  Through this ordeal Joseph became the governor of Egypt and was able to save many lives during the time of the drought.

So the next time, you think something is a disaster, just remember God has a plan and He will help us through those times.  He will give us the wisdom, insight and knowledge that you need!

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

Cake Balls

Strawberry Short Cake in Martini Glasses

The Disaster





Friday, June 30, 2017

A Storm is Brewing

I watched the storm off of my balcony.  It was southwest of town and in the distance you could see the dark sky and the lightning, which would flash nearly every 10 seconds.  I tried to get a picture of the lightning, but it was just to fast to capture the white streak across the sky.

The wind had begun to pick up and I knew that the storm was headed my way.

Watching the storm, I thought that nature and mankind are so much a like.  In nature, storms produce heavy rain, snow, hail, sleet, thunder and strong winds.  In our lives, we also produce storms of drama, shouting, screaming, adversities, hardships, grief and so much more.

Just like nature is not exempt from storms, we aren't exempt from them as well.  We go through storms so that we can grow.  These storms in our lives help us to grow closer to God, as well as growing in understanding ourselves better.  They help humble us and force us to submit to the role that God has chosen for us.

As we go through these times, we need to continue praying; reading scripture(know that scripture is what keeps us from sinking); praise God for these trials; have faith(allow God to do something spectacular) and believe in miracles.  We need to believe that God is still in the business of performing miracles.

As the thunder and lightning was getting closer, I decided to go inside and to batten down the hatches.  I knew that after the storm, there would be a calmness, the air would be cleaner and there would be a freshness in the air and maybe even a rainbow.  I just had to be able to ride through the storm.

Riding through the storm is like riding through the situations in our lives.  I need to always remember that God will help me through my troubling times.  I just need to trust Him and look forward to seeing that rainbow!



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Me & My Shadow

You have days where you reflect on the past and today was one of those days!

As I went on my walk today, the sun was behind my back and I could see my shadow.  At that moment, it was 1966 and I am back in the sixth grade at Crestview Elementary School in Waco, Texas reciting the poem "My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson.

I remember my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Fletcher.  She had red hair and bright blue eyeshadow.   We were always having to memorize something and reciting it in front of the room.

When I got home from my walk, I went to my books and I found the book of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson that my father had given me back in 1962 and there was the poem "My Shadow".

It is amazing what our brain stores!  It was a good day to reminisce!



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Name Is Written...

The light started peeking in the window around 5 am.  I dozed for a little while, but about thirty minutes later, I decided to get up.  Sunrise was at 5:30 am.  Yikes!  I do enjoy the long days and the warmer temperature.

After drinking my coffee and having my quiet time, I decided to go get my steps in.  The temperature was a nice cool, fifty-six degrees.  It is amazing how many people are walking around the neighborhood at 6:30 in the morning.  There are bikers, runners, walkers and people walking their dogs.

I am always amused at how many people have their earplugs in and are listening to music.  To me, the natural music is my surroundings.  The red-winged blackbirds are squawking, the doves are cooing and the hawks are soaring and screeching.

Today the wind was blowing, so I could hear chimes in the background as well as the rustling of the leaves.  Also, there was a train going down the railroad tracks and blowing the horn.

As I walked along the sidewalk, I thought of the words that I had read earlier.

"I have written your name on my hand."  Isaiah 49:16.  To think, He knows me by name.  Just like the shepherd knows his sheep and He knows them by name.

I sometimes wonder does He even care?  Does He know when I am hurting or when I am sad?  Does He know when I feel insecure or when I don't have the confidence to do something?

The answer is Yes, Yes & Yes!  He does know!  He is right there with me; guiding, directing and pushing me to be the best that I can be.  He gave me the mind and the feet to move forward.  I sometimes, just need to do that.

Max Lucado, an author and minister, said these words "If God is able to place the stars in their sockets and suspend the sky like a curtain, do you think it is remotely possible that God is able to guide your life?  If your God is mighty enough to ignite the sun, could it be that he is mighty enough to light your path?  If he cares enough about the planet Saturn to give it rings or Venus to make it sparkle, is there an outside chance that he cares enough about you to meet your needs?"

As I am looking at my future and pondering the direction that I need to go, I just need to step-out and as Nike says "Just Do It".

When I got home, I looked at the palm of my hand and knew that my name was written on God's hand and that He wants the best for me.  So whatever you are going through, take a minute and listen as He whispers, close your eyes and see His hand as He writes your name.

Today is a new day and a new beginning!




Monday, June 26, 2017

Hope!

Looking at these peppermint petunias, the word that comes to mind is "hope".  Hope of a new day, a new tomorrow, a new beginning!

I don't see peppermint petunias very often. But these petunias bring to mind the "legend of the Christmas Candy Canes".  The story is that the white of the cane represents the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes are for the blood that He shed when he died on the cross.  And the peppermint flavor represents the hyssop plant that was used for purifying in the Bible.

Without God, we have no hope.  During my devotion today, I read these words, "people can live without many things, but they cannot live without hope".  Sometimes that is all that we have.

I have so many family members and friends that are going through some difficult times.  I have several friends that have been diagnosed with cancer in the past several years and have gone through surgery and treatment.  Other friends that are grieving from a death of a family member; some are having marriage problems and others that have lost their jobs.  There is so much pain in the world.

When people are going through these times, what do you say?  You can feel their loss, but you can't fell their emotions/pain as they walk through this journey.

God is not trying to destroy someone as they walk through these hardships, but He is trying to get them to grow.  While we suffer, we have to have "hope" and know that God is merciful.  He is with us.

Jeremiah 29:11-12 states "For I know the plans I have for you.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  You will call upon me and pray and I will listen."

Jesus tells us when we feel hopeless and afraid, look to Him.  He is the source of hope and promises.
We need to remember as we experience illnesses; a job loss; problems with your marriage or going through persecution, that this life is not all there is.  There is life after death!

So today as I go through my challenges and think of my friend's challenges, I will keep my eyes on Jesus.  He is the only answer!