I am blessed with the opportunity to help a dear friend document her journey from California to Washington DC. She’s driving across the country with her husband in a Convoy over 30 miles long spreading love and a message of freedom from the cab of a truck. My responsibility is to create pretty footage for our fellow patriots to enjoy, using photos and videos she records along the way. My goal is to invoke emotion from the viewer and to offer them a sense of hope and passion for a life defined by freedom, friendship and unity.
Each night since Day 3, I’ve produce a video using the best footage of the day. Here is my first effort, Amarillo by Morning by Mr. George Straight, featuring patriots across the great state of Texas. Photographed by Andrea Traphagan
Produced by Cynthia Peterson
Owner/Operator of Lassen County Proud: Thomas Traphagan
Music: George Straight (I do not own the rights to this music)
There are some days when your blessings are more blatantly apparent than others. Like a flower garden you pass everyday but suddenly take notice of, the blooms seem a little brighter, a little bigger and smell a little sweeter. Today my heart is full and my blessings abundantly present. I am thankful for this respite as I gaze upon my darling children, listen to their stories and songs.
I wish I could hold on to this feeling forever, unfortunately living gets in the way of life. Time to prioritize and live like the only things that matter are those I hold closest to my heart. Being content is often overlooked in the name of ambition. Not that there is anything wrong with ambition, but if it gets in the way of enjoying what you already have, let it go. Today I choose to let it go………
Someone once said: “to be a mother, is to have your heart reside outside of your body”. Never has that felt so true than the day Casey left for boot camp. The pain I felt was so heavy, so real, as if someone had physically punched me in the chest.
I knew the separation, the restricted communication, would be temporary but that offered no relief. The fact that he would be far away in an isolating, foreign environment among strangers without the physical or verbal support of his family and friends caused me great distress.
I remember that day vividly, almost 2 1/2 years ago. I was heading north, alone in my car sobbing uncontrollably like a lost child. With the sadness came anger. Why did MY son feel he had to serve? Couldn’t someone else’s child take that burden? It didn’t matter that I had three more boys at home, no one could replace Casey’s presence in my heart and home.
Before my angel left I reminded him that no matter where he was, or how long he had been away, if he looked at the moon he could find comfort that I was gazing at the same heavenly entity, thinking of him, praying for his strength and safety. Indeed every evening I would go outside and look at the moon.
Prayers and tears would find their way to the surface as the familiar pain would return afresh, like a wound reopened. Eight weeks is a long time when it separates a mother from her child, but the end did come, as ends do. I miss my handsome Airman as much as I did at the beginning of this journey, but the pain has dulled now, and I know longer feel angry.
I feel pride. Pride that my son chose to serve. Pride in myself for my sacrifice. Pride in my son for his sacrifice. I feel love. Love for my son, love for my God. I feel thankful. Thankful to God for protecting my baby, thankful to every military family who has endured separation and loss.
Another person once said: “Home of the free, because of the brave”.
Brave service men and women. Brave mothers.
I’ve been a “born again” Christian for 30 years. I’ve learned a lot over the past 3 decades, but I’m not quite “there” yet. I’m in good company, as stated by the apostle Paul: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” Phillippians 3:13 New International Version.
My spiritual growth is important to me. I want to use the time God has blessed me with wisely. What one thing can I do to make the most difference overall in my life and in the lives of others? I’ve spent the Advent season praying about this and I have received an answer.
Love. Like. Jesus.
If I “strain toward” this one thing, how might 2022 look for me and the people in my sphere of influence? How important is it to love like Jesus? Pretty important actually. When asked by a Pharisee: “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus responded: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (I’m working on this too….not as easy as you think to focus solely on things not of this world) And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself”. Matthew 22: 36-39 NIV
Love my neighbor as myself. Every neighbor. Even the ones I hide from when I see them in the grocery store. Who is a neighbor? If I take it in the literal dictionary sense “neighbor” would be those who live and/or work in close proximity to me. Knowing my Lord as I do, He means anyone (and everyone) who is in proximity to me (or potentially so) at any given time. EVERYONE is my neighbor.
Now that I’ve determined who I must love like Jesus, I must work on the how.
I’ll pray on that and get back to you.
Are you afraid of 2022? Or looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead? Each new year brings with it the freshness of a clean slate, waiting to be filled. Dreams can be realized, goals can be set and achieved. Everyone is given an opportunity to start over and make this year the best ever.
Even as I type this, I say these things more for me than for you. The past two years have changed me, made me cynical and suspicious. I don’t know who to trust and the constant flow of conflicting and often contradictory information makes my head spin.
How do we move past the pandemic and the resulting fallout it created and fight our way back to the people we once were? Do we want to go back? How do we move forward? Especially in states that are still coping with strict mandates and restrictions?
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to face these questions alone. One of the many blessings I received, emerging in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, was a deepening relationship with Jesus.
Turn to His many promises made thousands of years ago, still so very relevant today. Start with this one: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you or forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:16.
Father in Heaven, I give you this year that lies ahead. I trust you Lord, to guide me and direct me. It is my strongest desire to serve you and your purposes and live solidly within your will. I lean on your promises and step out in faith into the plans you have for my life. Thank you for the many blessings I’ve received Father, and for those that are to come. Through the holy name of Jesus, Amen.
So, a couple of us teachers were sitting around contemplating the state of affairs of the world and the topic of Americans fighting for Isis came up. What are your thoughts on this topic. I’m of the mind that “a person who stands for nothing will fall for anything” (Alexander Hamilton). Some of our youth want badly to take part in a passionate cause, regardless of the cost or the focus, and are attracted to the danger and the mystique. Or maybe they are bored? Seek travel? What say you?
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see one of my favorite childhood actors return to the small screen after years of therapy, treatment and fundraising for Parkinsons Disease. Not that spreading awareness or improving his overall condition is a bad thing, but I’ve missed him!
Michael J provided me years of laughter and entertainment. His wit and professionalism was the cornerstone of my early teenage years. From “Family Ties” to “Back to the Future” I was hooked. I pray that he enjoys his time in front of the camera and I thank him for his return!!
Can’t wait to see the new show Michael!
The Michael J Fox Show airs September 26 9/8 central on NBC
I began my dietary change to whole foods, which includes daily juicing, 21 days ago. I’d say I’ve adhered to “whole foods” approximately 80% of the time and juiced at least once a day, most days 2-3 juices. This week I reintroduced my 4x weekly 4.5 mile run/walk back into the regimen after the initial detoxification period.
Despite a nasty bug making its way through the ranks here at the Posse Palace I feel great! My resistance seems to be much higher than my housemates and to date I’ve lost 9 pounds! That is my “scale success”. Some of my other successes include: more energy and deep, satisfying sleep. We’ll see how regular exercise affects my fitness level when I check in next month.
The rest of the family hasn’t adopted my lifestyle as of yet, but we are moving in the right direction! Sean will make juice with me (as seen in the photo above) and he will drink most juices with a fruit base. Soda has been restricted significantly, store bought juices have been banned and water intake increased. Over processed snack foods and convenience foods have been replaced with healthy, home cooked options. Fresh fruits, vegetables and fresh juice is available 100% of the time.
Refined “white” foods have been eliminated. Dyes, corn syrup and bleach….GONE.
The rewards are great and I’ve found this lifestyle quite easy to maintain. I don’t feel hungry or deprived because I eat anything I want when I want it. My mindset has changed and I recognize the modern western diet for what it is: pure poison. Therefore I no longer desire it.
When I pass a chocolate cake it may as well be a box of cyanide, for that is how my minds eye sees it. I knew it would take a major mental shift for me to find success, and apparently God, in His goodness, has granted me the strength and determination to adjust the way I see food. Food is only fuel, a means to power this wonderful machine God has given me I call a “body”. It is up to me to ensure I fuel it properly.
I have been crocheting for about four years. I taught myself via “Crocheting for Dummies”. Both of my grandmothers crocheted and I thought it would be a valuable skill both for creativity and relaxation. I’ve made scarves, afghans, place mats, coasters, baby blankets, doll clothes, dog sweaters and bookmarks.
My scarves and cowls have turned out nicely, my afghans are “so-so” ( I hate the entire blocking process). I’ve been searching for something new and easy to create and possibly sell. Ryan, my second oldest, inadvertently pointed me in the direction of the perfect project!
Ryan is an actor (among other creative things) and needed a piece for his part as a beatnik. We researched and found a wonderful pattern for a beret. I was slightly apprehensive as the instructions included techniques and abbreviations I hadn’t been exposed to.
After several “start overs” and less than 3 hours it was DONE. And done so well that I immediately recognized the product as IT. The big IT I’d been searching for. I love making hats and this one was destined to be my signature piece and the inspiration for the name of my Etsy shop: Beatnik Beret Crochet.
Stop by and follow me for updates as I add to the “Beatnik” collection!
“Your illness is not your identity, your chemistry is not your character” Pastor Rick Warren stated during his first public sermon since his son took his own life after a long battle with depression. The newscaster stated that Pastor Warren is now working to remove the negative stigma of mental illness and instructed his parish not to be ashamed of that over which they have no control.
Unfortunately mental illness is sometimes seen as a weakness and a character flaw or a figment of the imagination. Some who suffer are ashamed to seek counseling, or medical attention and have little to no support. In other situations help is sought; treatment prescribed, prayers are lifted, support is given and the battle is still lost.
Mental Illness is no different than cancer, drug addiction, heart disease, diabetes or any debilitating disease. Some cases are more serious than others, some are realized too late, some go untreated and some sufferers will succumb. Hopefully the loss of Matthew Warren’s precious life will be a catalyst for change.
In the meantime, continue to lift up the Warren family in prayer as they grieve and heal.
Do you remember the movie “Night Shift” with Michael Keaton and Henry Winkler? It was about two “average joe’s” who work in a morgue. One of the character’s, played by Michael Keaton, called himself an “idea man”. He walked around the morgue speaking into a personal recorder with every money making invention he could think of.
One that I recall involved tuna fish. His idea was to mix mayo directly into the can for convenience, he immediately “one-bettered” himself by suggesting you feed the mayo to the fish prior to slaughter and canning (are fish slaughtered?). Anyway, I received a phone call moments ago from my oldest son, now serving in the United States Air Force.
He called to share an idea. An idea he is very excited about, one that if seen to full fruition, could be life changing. He is a visionary to say the least, a true “idea man”. I can’t share the details, lest you heist his gold nugget of inspiration, but I can tell you this…if ever you see a tuna fish being force fed mayo prior to slaughter, remember that the greatest inventions were first thought ridiculous or unachievable.
If Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Mark Zuckerberg or Henry Ford didn’t have the courage to work their dreams how would things be different in our world today? Here’s to the “Dreamers of the Dreams”! We will forever benefit from the brilliance and fortitude of those willing to take a chance on an “idea”.
It’s day three of my whole foods lifestyle dietary change and I’m down 6 pounds. If anyone tells me it’s “water weight” I’ll poke ’em in the eye with a hot stick!! I know it’s water weight! You don’t have to remind me, I’ve been at this long enough to understand the properties of weight loss. Furthermore, I don’t care if it’s water weight, fire weight, gas weight or whatever weight what matters is that is gone and I’ll never see that number again!!
Lovin’ the positive self-talk, can you tell? Besides the weight loss there are other “non-scale” related successes. I’m not hungry, my cravings are gone, I’m sleeping better and I feel more alert than I usually do. My intake is not perfect, I had some sub-standard peanut butter and farmer’s market jam on a rice cake, but if that is the worst thing I put in my mouth I’m in good shape!
80% of my daily intake for the last 3 days have consisted of fresh vegetable/fruit juices. I’m sold, however my family is not. They are trying I’ll give them that, after all this is my epiphany, not theirs. I will keep offering it up and refrain from buying the junk and pray that health by osmosis occurs. I’m not above “hiding” super foods either. This recipe my step-mom sent me is a perfect example:ALL NATURAL PANCAKE RECIPE… NO PROCESSED ANYTHING!!
– 1 ripe banana
– 2 whole eggs
That’s it. Just mix together in a bowl and make sure the banana is all mashed. Then spray your pan with some cooking spray or coconut oil. On a low to medium heat, scoop some of the batter into the pan & give it about 20-30 sec, flip, and done! Serve and eat!
*Some advice would be to make them small so they are easier to flip
Under 250 calories, nearly 14g of protein! No processed anything! These pancakes are gluten free, low calorie. Can be garnished anyway you prefer.
♥♥♥SHARE so you can find it on your timeline♥♥♥
♥✿´¯`*•.¸¸✿Follow me for daily recipes, fun & handy tips, motivation, DIY ideas and feel free to share your favorite things too:)
Click this website and join us here—> Vicki’s Skinny Friends