Monday, December 05, 2022

Seahorse Mailbox

seahorsemailbox

Pretty, isn't it?
My son Caleb was paid to make a repair on this and thought I'd enjoy seeing it.
I thought you might enjoy seeing it also.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Prayers Please

A gentle person I have learned a great deal from regarding natural medicine is about to pass from life to death. Please pray for their salvation. Thank you.

You were made for freedom!

 But I say unto you which hear,
Love your enemies,
do good to them which hate you,
Luke 6:27

Don't allow your WOUNDS to become WALLS. JESUS died to give you FREEDOM.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

My Bag

This is a partial response to the questions I received after people learned we had an off-roading mishap. This is the bag I take when traveling whether it be off-road or otherwise. Most of the time, if I am more than 30 miles from home, this bag goes with me. I know I can take care of basic needs for myself and my family for a few days as long as I have it. This bag is not packed for backpacking/hiking. I could use it for that, but I would take out some things and add others. Depending on how far I had to travel, I might work to lighten it. It weighs just under 20 lbs as it is. It has another bag that attaches to it which I will explain later. 

In addition to this bag, we also had our "Garage Bucket." I will share what is in that in another post. 

Clint has a trunk of tools he always takes with us and had an inverter, power tool battery charging station, and battery-powered tools. We were staying in motels on this trip, but we took a few extra blankets, camp chairs, and our 12-quart Dutch oven with us. We also had a cooler and a box of food. We also had traction boards strapped to the top of our suburban. Clint took down the full-sized shovel we keep on the suburban and forgot to put it back. W had to use the back up--the folding camp shovel.

We also have a very nice first aid kit that has been beefed up with several trauma kit items and also contains several OTC meds. It also has scissors and nail clippers. I also added saline solution to rinse debris from eyes and wounds. That stays in the suburban at all times. 

bag1
Brandon has this identical MOLLE backpack which he fills with much the same and keeps in his car. To help us differentiate them, I have an extra attached MOLLE bag and have my initial in red on the top.

bag2

hiking poles (one has a good measure of duct tape wrapped around one pole for blisters-works better than a bandage for me), telescoping fishing pole (recent gift from my husband), black bag with white zipper contains new and used paracord, six headlamps, multi-tool, 4 lighters, sweatpants, shirt, shemagh (useful for SO many things!), hat, underwear, socks, 2 pair of gloves, knife, large poncho that can be used as a tarp or tent, ground cover, fishing kit (burgundy/white container), first aid kit, pocket saw, magnesium bar, überleben Zünden ferro rod (not visible in picture-in a pocket I missed!), firestarter aid (petroleum jelly in cotton balls in recycled pill bottle), sanitation kit (bar of soap, 4 washcloths, hand sanitizer, razor), five mylar blankets, Sawyer mini, P51 can opener (in the bag with the filter), water purification tablets, collapsible canteen, instant coffee and electrolyte packets, five protein granola bars. I also have a flashlight clipped to the side of the bag (not easily visible in picture). The flag item is a bandana with cooling beads. I also have carabiners in different sizes on the outside of the bag. I also have a clear plastic compass but it was not with the bag because I had broken the one I had and had to buy another to replace it. A CPR mask is attached to a zipper on the back of the bag. 

The fishing pole will probably get zip tied under the hood of the suburban. My reel is not pictured because the pole is new and the reel is on the way. I live around the water, so if I have my pole, I can take advantage of opportunities.

The poncho is the same one pictured in the Mishap post. I have added one to the garage bucket since the trip. One worked great but having a bigger sidewall to the tarp we put up as a rainfly would have trapped more heat to help us dry some clothing quicker.

I don't always take a Dutch oven, so I'd like to find a small, lightweight pot to add to my pack or the garage bucket.

bag3

This is the bag that attaches to the MOLLE system at the top of the backpack. With a smile and a twinkle in my eye, I call the whole backpack "my purse," but this has more girly items. My phone has a wallet-style case that contains my money and ID, so that is about all I take into a store. The big bag pretty much sits in the suburban until I need something out of it. I do find I need things from it more than I thought I would. I take it into the house with me when I return home.

Fun story: I use to keep the machete inside the big bag. It zips up fine with it inside but I like saving that space so I stick on the side now. Clint and I were somewhere working a job, and he looks at me and asks without any hope: "You wouldn't happen to have brought a machete, would you?" I told him to hand me my "purse." He smiled so big when I pulled it out of the bag. He bragged about it to the guys at work the next day, and they think I am one cool chick. :-)

The smaller bag contains makeup, nail polish, essential oil (my kind of perfume), another lighter, another flashlight and headlamp, snacks, keys, gum, nail clippers, a small microfiber towel, etc. There is another CPR mask attached to the zipper. I've not weighed this one, but it is fairly light.

I've kept a bag like this since about 2015...almost 8 years. I inventory and make changes every few months. Clint has a similar bag that he has kept in his car since 2015, but he has different tools. I made a backpack similar to this for all of our children that year too. Most of them keep them in their vehicles. Some of them have upgraded or added new items. One of them lost theirs.

So, this pack combined with the stuff we had in/on the suburban and in the "garage bucket" kept us very comfortable despite the unexpected situation.

Dear Reader, I know I am "weird" in what I keep with me, but I have learned from many experiences that life can change in a second. I've never fit in any box (category) people tried to put me in any way, so why should I start now?! :-) I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. That way of thinking really paid off for us recently!


It's an eternity changing truth

"I do believe we slander Christ when we think we are to draw the people by something else but the preaching of Christ crucified."
-Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

called out of the world

Much of the modern church is trying to erase this division--between Christ and the world. The true church understands that it has been called out of the world. -Grant R. Castleberry

Dear Reader, In reading this, I ask myself what ways can I draw closer to the Lord and further away from the world? 

Coke Ovens

coke1

cokeovenemily

cokeoveninside

cokeovens


What is coke?

A coke oven is an oven coal was heated in to turn it into coke. Coke is made by heating coal at high temperatures (1650 F to 2000 F) for a long time (15-36 hours depending on the composition of the coal) through a process called thermal distillation. I have heard it equated to baking. Coal is a primary fuel source. Coke is a secondary fuel source. The advantages of coke are that it gives off intense heat with little to no smoke. These ovens have a tunnel that runs under them. Those tunnels were used to heat the coal. The coal was put into the hole at the top. The coke was harvested aka "pushed" from the open side. Coke is necessary for the manufacturing of steel upon which we are heavily reliant. It not only melts the ore, but it also removes the O2 to make the iron "pure." You could see where the chemical changes from the heat had left a glass-like sheen on the bricks. Across the street was a mine entrance and more coke ovens, but the brush was thick and full of poison ivy so we left it alone. I learned later that there is a nice hike up a steep old railroad grade that goes to a pretty waterfall, so we may go back and explore more. There were a couple of places to camp at the end of the road right next to a small waterfall. We also found some evidence of campfires inside some of the ovens. There are something like 150 ovens in this area from what I was told.

Monday, November 28, 2022

54 Years Closer to Meeting Jesus Face to Face

19 
the sunrise from the precarious place
It was much prettier in person with so many colors the camera did not capture.

It's my 54th birthday!

My husband and children gave me a party on Saturday so Brandon could be there before he left for a month. He will be in Memphis until just before Christmas. Our gang showered me with thoughtful gifts and a ton of love. Today, on my actual birthday, I am spending time alone with the One who loves me more than any other doing Bible studies. 

God has his own name for us, and I am eager to hear mine. I am eager to worship Him in His presence and thank Him for all He has done for me. I'm so weary of this world and its many facets of brokenness, but I also want more time with my family and to keep telling others about Jesus.

If you scroll down the blog, you will see where Clint, our two youngest girls, and myself were stranded in a remote area in a precarious position. I was unable to sleep that night, so I chose to sit up in one of the chairs we had brought along for our breaks from the truck. 

That night and the next morning were very special to me.  It was "me and God" time. I thanked Him and talked with Him. I prayed for people I care about off and on all night. I invited Him to watch the sunrise with me. I am so thankful I had those unique circumstances that created those precious moments. I will treasure that night and that sunrise forever. 

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Jesus! My husband, children, and home.  My external family members and Christian friends who check in on me, uplift me in prayer and encourage me when I need it. Ministry opportunities. Abundance and the ability to share God's provision with others. Plenty to keep me busy and challenge my mind. So many answered prayers in this last year. 

My health is nearly excellent except when I am battling CA-EBV which is mild compared to many others who have it. The flare-ups are less frequent than they use to be, but I've been dealing with one lately. The herbal medicine I am taking now is working to knock it down. I'm almost 100% but not quite there yet. I am not on any Rx medications and do not wear Rx glasses. I rarely have pain in my joints. 

I just moved two large pieces of crate furniture and several other large pieces around someone's house by myself. I'm still fairly strong and my mind is still sharp.

If you've read the aforementioned post, you know I was just mistaken for my late 20s. I think she must have been heavily vision impaired, but I'll take the compliment. :-)

I could be weak-minded and find many things to be offended over and complain about, but I choose to focus my mind on the just, pure, lovely, of good report, and anything that has virtue. (Philippians 4:8) God's Word has given me a strong mind and following His ways for self-disciplining my mind has carried me through some very challenging situations.

You know, I came to salvation and gave my life to Jesus in my first decade. "Gave my life" means I tried to give up doing what came naturally in the flesh and tried to walk in the spirit according to His Word. I have tried but have not been perfect in that. Even with my imperfect performance, He has seen my efforts and has blessed me with a fantastic life in return. I've lost nothing of value but have gained so very, very much. I give so very little, but God gives so very much!

Lord, help me to live my very best for your glory. That grace that you applied (and continue to apply) so generously to me, help me to apply it generously to others. Help me to love like you love. Help me be better tomorrow than I am today. And, thank you, Lord, for joining me for that special sunrise!

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Black Fork Grade

blackforkgrade

This uniquely steep grade on the former West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railroad, later the Western Maryland Railway, is located just past the location of a rail bridge and demonstrates the obstacles faced in transporting coal and other goods in this part of West Virginia. Few rail routes required more machinery or personnel to keep coal moving up the Blackwater Canyon grade. To get a loaded, 90-car coal train up to Douglas and into Thomas, it took nine locomotives to pull the coal hopper cars up the 3% grade of the Blackwater Canyon. Downhill trips were also difficult: in the 19th century, brakemen walked the car tops to set each car’s brakes by hand. Later, air brakes could stop an entire train from a valve in the engine cab, but still required great skill for safe use. source

From the sign: "Living near the train track was noisy, and dirty because of all the cinders and smoke coming from the locomotives. Passenger trains would go by 4 times a day...and coal freights...twice a day. It took 40 minutes for a steam engine to get from Hendricks to Douglas. You could hear them blow the whistle at the Handrics crossing, and then time them coming up the grade.

Kids would put soap on the rail, which would make the trains get temporarily stuck as the wheels slipped and spun in place. This generated a lot of smoke which was bad if it was a Monday and everyone had laundry hanging out on the line..." Richard Crawford, recalling childhood in Douglas in the 1940s. 

W's note: I bet they got a switch to their behinds!!

blackforkgradetracks

Friday, November 25, 2022

Waiting on Daddy

3lookingfordaddy

Penny, Ratchet, and Marty waiting on their favorite guy to return.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Giving Thanks Day!

                                          Happy Thanksgiving!

to our family and friends
near and far, old and new
close and estranged
You are loved!

Most of our family* is gathering together to give thanks to the Lord, enjoy a feast, play some games together, and watch some movies.

I hope that wherever you are on this day, you take time to thank the Lord. No matter what is going on in the world, there is always something for which we can be thankful.

*********

*God has really blessed us through the years! This is the very first year our family has not been together for a holiday. Bethany celebrated with Winter's family in Chicago but we all heard from her.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Off-Roading Since the 80s, First Mishap

SO, when our off-roading friends are next talking about their trail mishaps, we now FINALLY have a story to share. :-)

First of all, know we were not being reckless. We were on a road that had an official road sign at the entrance. At a certain point, the road ended but the sign saying so had been removed. There is no way we could have known that. Until we got over the hill, there was no change in the appearance of the road to make us question anything. GPS does not work in these areas, but we did have an app that showed a road where we were heading. There were also a few recently used campsites along the way making us think we were still on a good trail.

With young people reading and the danger involved, we don't feel comfortable sharing where we were, and hope you can understand. There are also people poaching in this area right now which adds a whole other factor of danger.


hillwithruts

Clint and I have been with each other since 1985 and we have always loved getting away from the hustle and bustle. I never heard the terms off-roading back then, but that's what we were doing as teens together. We'd explore undeveloped areas with trails and just pitiful roads and had great fun doing it! We bonded closely with each other while talking to each other as we rode around. From then to now, no problems at all. Until...

The hill in the picture had a steep descent, and the road was narrow and off-camber. The tire track depressions you can make out in this photo made us think others had come through here. We now think poachers parked at the top of the hill. 

We had walked to check the conditions of a previous hill we couldn't see over JUST before this hill. I took a picture of Clint looking at it. We should have walked this one too. Not doing so is what caused us to get stuck on a sheer cliff. If we had known what was ahead, we wouldn't have gone any further. That's where we messed up. We should have scouted to know what we were getting ourselves into before going ahead.

Monday night quarterbacking: A winch might have been helpful in this case if we had used it as an anchor BEFORE we started our turnaround to keep us from sliding. I don't think we would have put the winch on it at that point. Using a winch would not have helped after we became hung up on the stump unless we also used a jack. The ground was so muddy, I don't know if that would have been safe to do. We have a friend whose husband used jacks multiple times daily for a living. He was seriously and permanently injured (actually died and was revived) using a jack in muddy conditions. However, neither a jack nor a winch was what we really needed. You'll see why...

We actually had the plan to buy a winch, but we agreed to wait to do it after we accomplished a certain goal. We have not accomplished that goal yet, but we have a winch now. 

No going forward: Emily and Hannah later scouted the rest of the road to learn if there was a way out, a nearby home, resources we could use, if they could get cell reception with any of our phones, etc. They reported the road narrowed more and became more off-camber and ended at a big boulder with nowhere to turn around. They could not get reception on any of our phones. They also found corn that had been spread around indicating poachers. We heard a gunshot very early the next morning fairly close to us. We weren't the only ones out there in the dark. And yes, we were prepared for meeting an unfriendly too.

firstree
I considered the upslope fog a positive because it helped us not see how deep the drop was.

The day before we left on this excursion, some of our Appalachian Trail friends warned us they were almost seriously injured and others in their party were injured due to the heavy leaf litter and wet conditions. We knew we'd not do a lot of hiking, but we didn't think about how it could affect driving.

We could not back up the steep hill either. Too slick. There was only one choice for turning around, and it was not optimal. As soon as we pulled forward into the small cliff that had a steep drop-off to the front and passenger side, we felt the truck both sink into the mud/leaf litter and slide towards the passenger's side. Ugh! We were thinking we'd get out of there though.

As we tried to back up, gravity wanted a part in the fun and caused us to slide sideways into the first of the two small trees. We were so firmly against the first tree that the truck could not make any backward progress. We couldn't pull forward either. With the slope and drop-off, not a single one of us wanted to pull forward either. We were still thinking we could drive ourselves out. Clint even broke off the passenger side mirror with only his bare hands to give less resistance to the tree. Even folded in, it was sticking too far out.

sheerdropoff
from passenger window

cliff
from behind truck
We were about 10-12 foot from the drop-off.

Right around that log was a thin layer of leaves on top of small loose boulders. I learned this when I walked it and poked it with my hiking stick. I am very thankful for those trees that kept us from sliding further.

Situation: stuck, sheer drop off in the front, sheer drop off on the passenger side...suddenly, I wasn't enjoying the view as much. :-)

sideways

2
The license plate was edited out.

So, we cut down the first small tree. As soon as we started trying to move backward, we slid sideways and forward onto the second small tree which you can see against the suburban in the picture above. The area right in front of the truck is sloped with another drop off even though you can't tell it from the picture angle. Clint could not get the suburban to move backward. The angle of the truck made it so you had to brace yourself while inside. I needed a break from that, so I climbed out through the driver's side. Emily and Hannah wanted out too.

Emily and Hannah got bored and started throwing sticks and rocks off the cliff. Waiting for the crash and then for the crashes to stop is what told us how far it was down. Oh my, it was a LONG way down!!! I walked the very slippery road with my trusty ole Whistle Creek hiking stick which I purchased at Wintergreen many years ago. I never could find the bottom of that vast hole. I thanked God for trees and nicknamed the canyon the "Bottomless Gorge."

As I was watching Clint work on cutting down the second tree with the battery-powered chainsaw, I thought about something. I interrupted Clint to share my theory. He checked and sure enough, we were stuck on the stump of the first tree. That's why the truck could not go backward. We felt certain that if we got off of that, we'd be able to get out easily. We were correct in this theory.

He started cutting that stump out. Then, his battery charger was not working efficiently. His batteries for the chainsaw were not getting fully charged. He had less and less time to cut with each battery. That issue kept getting worse until we could not use the chainsaw at all. ARGH!

FYI, we carry a battery chainsaw because they are the only ones allowed to cut up fallen limbs in some of the areas we travel. It's quiet and does not bother anyone else in the area. We own three or four gas-powered chainsaws, but we never foresaw them being so critical. We will keep a gas-powered chainsaw with us going forward. Having that one tool would have had us out of this situation in one hour or less.

At this point, we knew we were stuck overnight. We had a camp shovel/axe combo that worked OK on the tree, but it was impossible to chop at the stump under the truck because the undercarriage was in the way. We needed a working chainsaw.

On gear...the "tarp" Clint is lying on in the picture was the most surprising. I have purchased five more since returning home and plan to buy one for every family member. I will share details about it in an upcoming post.

makingthebestofit

I sent Emily and Hannah off to gather firewood. I gathered what I needed to start my fire with my magnesium and flint which I keep in my "purse." I had a few lighters too. I firmly believe in the "If you have one, you have none. If you have two, you have one." rule. The experiences God has allowed into my life have taught me to be prepared as I can be. I also knew the magnesium would help get the fire started in the wet conditions.

I reheated food we had prepared the night before. We had marshmallows, so Emily and Hannah enjoyed those. We had enough food and water to last very comfortably 4-5 days.

16

We had not been able to text anyone at all. We would get service for a few seconds only. We kept a message loaded up and ready to go just in case. We also had three different cell phone providers between our five phones. The service we pay the least for is the one that worked the best!! (Visible) We also tried Clint's HAM radio and morse code with the truck's horn.

Clint thought he had a message go out from Hannah's phone around 6 p.m. but we never heard back from any of our children.

We sat in our camp chairs, put up a rainfly, put up three side walls to trap the heat of the fire. We were pretty cozy! We used the bathroom downhill on the path to keep it away from where we were.

We cleaned up with baby wipes I keep in the truck (aka sub) before bed. We had our toothbrushes and toiletries with us too.

Since it was secured by two trees and a stump, we slept in the truck. We had the blankets that we had taken to use in the motel. However, the sub was tilted forwards and sideways and was so uncomfortable! I gave up after a couple of hours and asked Clint to get out so I could climb out through the driver's side again. I sat in a camp chair and prayed and contemplated our situation. 

I heard a deer snort loudly probably disapproval for us being in its path. That's the second time I've been snorted at by a deer in the woods. The first time was a buck angry I was in his path. I also heard and smelled what I BELIEVE was an animal in the Mustelid family off and on for a few hours.

I stayed up all night which paid off for all of us...

Around 3 a.m., I had great cell phone reception on my phone for about half an hour. I texted several messages with GPS coordinates and instructions to all of our children. Caleb woke up at 5 for work and saw the messages and was able to get a message back but it only went to Hannah's phone. That woke Clint up and he replied with our "loaded" message. Clint was able to text him continually until Caleb arrived to help.

threesisters

I named them the three sisters. This was directly behind where we got stuck as we tried to turn around. We could hear wind coming through the forest, but we were sheltered from it so we stayed warmer than we might have. We've slept on the windy side of a mountain in late winter before..during a steady rain. It's not an experience I care to repeat.


CalebtotheRescue
Caleb pulling out the gear.

Caleb first called Brandon to let him know. Brandon was in Memphis, TN. Then, Caleb gathered everything he thought we'd need and headed our way.  Without revealing our location, I'll say it was a good little drive. Our son gave up a day's worth of work to come to help us. He also took his Excursion where he said he'd never take it...off-roading. We paid him back for everything he purchased and for most, if not all, of his gas.

Although we had sent GPS coordinates, Clint hiked out with a backpack to make sure Caleb could find us. As he waited, he found a heart-shaped rock and set it aside to give to me once we got out. It's now in our bedroom.

Awake all night, I had a lot of time to think and pray about our situation. Before Clint left, I suggested we air down the tires to get better traction. That's a tip we got from an off-road driver a long time ago. Pay attention to things you can learn from others because you never know when you might need that knowledge. Clint thanked me for the reminder and let some air out. 

I also suggested we put logs between the tires and the next tree to keep us from getting stuck against the next one like the previous two times. Clint thought that would work, so we did that. It had an unexpected benefit. It did help the suburban stay off the tree. But, the logs also helped quickly and sharply pivot the suburban around the tree which kept Clint from having to pull forward and back up again a few times in that very narrow space. It was a little unnerving for me to see, but it saved us from having to pull forward into that muck again.

But as soon as the suburban got turned around and the logs were free it slid into the big tree that was labeled in the picture. It was from a different direction this time. I was up the hill for this part. I did not enjoy seeing the suburban with my husband inside start sliding again. The sub was pretty firmly against the tree. Moving the sub either backward or forward was going to heavily damage the door.

At this point, Clint looks right at me. After 37 years together, I knew he was asking me how much I cared about the door that was firmly against the tree. I nodded and yelled, "Just get her out of there!" So, he drove/slid it back a bit to get the momentum he needed to get up that slippery slope. Then he charged up that hill! At first, it looked like it would be easy.

Then as she spun wheels at the very top of the hill. Oh how my stomach sank!

For several seconds, I didn't think she was going to make the climb. There was a great effort made by the suburban and the driver. Clint started using a back-and-forth motion with the front tires to find a place to get traction...and the tires finally gripped something! My knight and his white steed crested that hill!!! Freedom!

As soon as the suburban was parked, we started putting gear away and preparing for the trip home. We have an air compressor on board, and we used that to pump up the tires. Then, instead of heading straight home, we finished exploring the area to complete our trip goals. Plucky people persist! THEN we headed home.


suburbandents2
We would never take a new vehicle off-roading, so she was never perfect. There are other new dents along the side of the suburban but this is the worst area.

The door will not open from the outside but will from the inside. The window is trapped and can't roll all the way up. The door will cost $62 to replace. The other dents, we think we can pop out. Caleb has the set up to paint it so we just need to buy the paint.

We were stuck in place for about 24 hours. We were comfortable and in good spirits. The slanted sleeping accommodations and Clint having to use a day of vacation are the only real complaints we had. I was the only member of the family who could not get any sleep, but I do well with little sleep for about three to four days.

Practicing and teaching your children self-discipline pays off in situations like this. No one said anything negative. No one showed a bad attitude. Everyone remained calm and optimistic and kept working together for a solution. Everyone thanked the others for their contributions and praised each other's efforts. It was very rewarding to see the seeds of self-discipline that Clint and I planted bear fruit in Emily and Hannah.

It was good to see how being prepared with gear and skills can make a less-than-optimal situation much easier for everyone. It was rewarding to see how creative and "outside of the box" thinking everyone was too.

It was also very touching to see how concerned and determined to help Caleb was and how he was willing to sacrifice a day of work on our behalf. His boss did not mind at all, and he made up the day later that week. God blessed him that weekend with a car he purchased for $200 and had offers for $2k immediately. (He works on and flips cars sometimes.)

finishedthetrail
Homeward Bound!

After off-roading for more than three decades, we had a mishap...

but we survived with good attitudes and got ourselves out.

Did it ruin our love of off-roading adventuring? Nope! We already have another trip in mind for the spring.

Like I said before, we finally have a story to share when we are talking with our wheeling buddies about issues on a trail.

Before I posted this, some off-roading friends asked what gear we found useful and what gear would we add since this. I PLAN to write that soon, but I am in the middle of a very busy season. Please be patient. My love to all!



Beware of The "Train"

This will probably offend a good portion of my readers, but I am going to share it anyway. 

A large portion of Christians turn a blind eye to sin and think it is harmless. Even worse, they laugh at it when it is sold to them as "entertainment." They memorize and sing the lyrics of evil while their Bibles, the very "letter of God," grow dusty from neglect. They dance vulgar dances. They dress like the worldly do. They accept sin when the world or culture says it is good. Most don't even acknowledge or live like we are in a spiritual war. They've let down their guard. They don't read their Bible, so they are not renewing their minds to become wiser and stronger. They do not engage in critical thinking and are easy to deceive. They are so asleep they couldn't spot evil if it wrote itself on their foreheads.

The overwhelming majority of Christians are excited because of the recent announcement. They are eager for that "Train" to get going again. I am not going to use his name for a reason. 

I admit I voted that way and rode that train until some observations had me questioning things and watching more closely. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. In fact, the further this goes along, the more certain I am. 

My opinion is that both men and both parties are two sides of the same coin and serve the same master. They are puppets. Actors. Working for evil. 

There are many things I have observed and things I uncovered in research that made me form the opinion that the Train is not a good one.

Our enemy is a very intelligent, very cunning deceiver. He is the father of lies. Do you think you can outwit him? or do you need to plead with the Holy Spirit for understanding and wisdom in these last moments before the end times begin?

Dear Reader, I don't ask you to accept or even consider my opinion. I hope you will ask the Lord for wisdom and understanding. I hope that your eyes are open to what is really happening and that you are engaging in critical thinking. Please don't give your trust away easily to anyone. Put your guard up and observe all you can. Stay frosty. Don't let emotion lead you. Form opinions and make decisions with your intellect. This is not a time to be weak-minded or turn a blind eye. We are engaged in a raging war. Keep your eyes on Jesus!


Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
Romans 10:9

 


Prayer Requests

Please pray for two different friends who lost their children several years ago in different accidents. Grief coupled with regret is a very heavy burden.


November 18: Heather has Addison's Disease. She is a homeschooling mama. She woke up in an Addison's crisis with a fever. The doctor suspected bacteria in her blood and called the ER. She had a seizure on the way to the hospital. They did find bacteria in her blood and removed her line. She is on several strong antibiotics and antifungals.

November 22: The infection is fighting back. She was hoping to be home by Thanksgiving, but that will not happen. 

*****

November 18: I am late on posting this one and I apologize for that. Our family has been praying, but I just didn't get it posted here. Please pray for Wendy's cousin Katie who went through the hurricane that heavily damaged her home. She recently had a stroke-like incident due to very low potassium. She was unable to use her hands or talk at first. She was driving when it happened and had to get a stranger to call 911 for her. She is able to speak and use her hands again but still has a long way to go.

*****

October 16: Please pray for a friend who is hiding in a hotel from an abusive man. She has pressed charges.

November 18th She reports that she is safe in a different area. Hopefully, this is the end of it.

*****

October 13: Please pray for Elijah's heart to be prepared for the gospel and for him to turn his life over to Jesus. If he will not turn to Christ, pray that God completely removes his destructive influence from the life of a young friend. This young man is right on the edge of becoming violent.

November 18: Please continue to pray here. This situation has the potential to harm and disrupt a lot of lives long term. Please pray the young friend learns to make decisions for herself and her child with her intellect vs emotions. Just because you have romantic feelings for a destructive person you have known a long time does not mean they are a wise choice. 

*****

October 12: Please pray for S. who lost her husband four weeks ago to lung cancer. Yesterday, she and her son came home from the social security office to find her other son dead on the floor due to an overdose.

November 18: They are coping as well as they could be. A friend gave them a vacation rental which she said was restorative.

*****

Aug 24: Our dear Mama B is in the hospital with congestive heart failure. They are trying to pull fluid off with large doses of meds so she can breathe easier. She is the mother of a close friend and has been a mentor to me my entire life because of the way she loved and raised her girls. I modeled much of my parenting after her. She has encouraged Clint and me since we were dating and continued to do so throughout our marriage and parenting. Her husband is also not doing well due to lung issues. We texted a little with Mama B this morning. Please cover her, Papa B, and their family in prayer. Please pray for me as I try to support her daughter through this.

August 25: The Lasix is removing the fluid and she is breathing easier. 

August 27: They think something might be going on with her kidneys and are doing tests. 

The hospital she is at cannot do the tests on her kidneys, so they sent her home. She still has fluid and issues breathing. They gave her an O2 tank and told her to see a doctor. She had to call her daughter and SIL to come to help her because her husband is in too much pain to do it. We thought they would keep her until Monday, but she's been sent home. 

August 31: When Mama B stands up or moves around a lot, her O2 levels drop quite a bit. She and Papa B are alone because her daughter had to go home for a doctor's appointment. 

Sept 13: I won't give my opinions on the quality of healthcare. Mama B finally got an appointment had the u/s done on her kidneys.

Sept 23: Mama B does not have anything wrong with her kidneys. They are going to do a procedure to see if her new heart valve is leaking. From the numbers, she has an internal bleeding situation. Her blood is going somewhere.

October 19: She had the TEE procedure to see if she had a leaking valve. The doctor did not see any leaks. The cardiologist says he has done all of the tests he can to determine why her blood levels are indicating a bleed. He has referred her to a hematologist.

Nov 10 Both of them are having respiratory issues. She has bronchitis and is on a third antibiotic. He is having issues due to the condition of his lungs. 

Nov 18: Mama B is on her third different antibiotic. 

*****

Aug 5th: Please keep praying for Tim B. who was heavily burned and has been in a burn rehabilitation facility. He is hoping to come back to work this fall. 

Sept 14: No word from Tim B. 

October 12: Still no word from Tim. 

Octobeer 20: STILL no word from Tim or his family about what is going on with him. 

Nov 10: A coworker visited Tim. He is hoping he can get back to work in a month or two.

*****

Nov 18:  Steve's scans show the very large mass has deflated. That is an answered prayer! He is still having some pain. Please keep praying for him and his family. 

Nov 10: He is handling the cancer treatments well and is feeling better. "He is doing great!" were the words his sister used in a text to me. 

October 19: Please cover him and his family in prayer.

Sept 23: A test showed the foot pain is caused by the cancer. They are going to do a PET scan to see if it is anywhere else in his body soon. He is in a motorized scooter due to mobility issues.

Sept 14: His sister is staying with him. He has mobility issues. He is going to the doctor for a scan because they think the foot pain is bone cancer. I do not cry a lot, but this situation has brought me to tears many times. 

August 31: The chemo and radiation are hard on him. He is not able to work.

August 24: They shared another picture with me. The cancer is definitely much, much worse and is oozing. Please pray hard for him and his family. He is still pushing through work each day and still has not told his father. 

Aug 2nd: S is a friend from middle school and high school. I am a long-time friend of his family also. He has metastatic squamous cell carcinoma and is having pain in his bones. He is in a lot of pain and is doing all he can to keep working for the business his family owns. He has not told all of his family yet. This prayer request has burdened my heart so heavily for months that I have not been able to even type the words until now. Please cover him and his family in prayer. Thank you!

I saw a picture of what his cancer looked like on the outside of his body months ago. I was told it is much, much, much worse now and that it is oozing. Please cover him in prayer.

*****

July 13th:

Please pray M, son of a family friend, who is in rehab for the fifth time. Please pray this time works miracles. M is home, working, and on medication. 

Update 8/24: M is still taking his medication consistently. Doctors think the strong THC may have altered his brain permanently. 

Update 8/28: M stopped taking his medication. He flushed it down the toilet. He wrecked his car and was arrested for trespassing. He is in jail. The family is dealing with serious health issues in two members, so they are just overwhelmed by this. Please intercede on M and his family's behalf.

Sept 14: This troubled young man is not taking his medication. He threatened to take his life. They moved him to a prison in Raleigh that has a ward to keep him safe. He goes to court Sept 22. With what I read online about the charges, he will have served all of his time which will allow him to be released after sentencing. That is very troubling for his family who is concerned about what he will do. Please pray hard God breaks through to him. The doctors and law enforcement said he may have damaged his brain permanently 

Sept 23: He has been released from jail due to his time being served. They have him on medication again. Please pray he stays on it and stays out of trouble. Please pray for his salvation.

October 13: He is working and doing well so far. Please keep praying.

October 20: He continues to work and do well. Please keep him in prayer. We are right in the time frame where he usually stops taking his meds and struggles very hard again. 

Nov 10: He is still showing up to work every day. They have his meds adjusted to optimal levels. The family says it is like they have the "old XXXXXX" back. 

*****

July 13: L. family friend, is losing his wife and his house. Distracted by all of that, he made a $77k mistake at work. The boss has not been informed yet. Please pray he does not lose his job and that God saves his marriage and home. 

Update: A walk-through inspection was done on the flooded unit, and there was NO damage! PTL!! Update 7/31: His wife has moved to another state. 

Update 8/24: Both L and his wife have made some bad choices. His wife caused an accident by texting while driving a while back. She was arrested for shoplifting just a few days ago. He was cited for public intoxication. Please pray for them, their marriage, children, finances, and jobs. Please pray my children who are around L will stand strong and influence L for the Lord. 

Nov 10: This situation continues to degrade. They are getting a divorce. Pray they stop drinking. 

*****

October 20: Please pray for S. to give her life to Christ, get free of the drugs, and stop messing up with the law. We have prayed for her before, but here are a few more details to help target those prayers on her behalf. Her mother had a parade of men in her life, and one of them molested her. She is a sweet girl who struggles very hard mentally. Doing some dumb stuff. :-(

Nov 10: Please keep praying about this situation.

May the Lord bless you for the prayers you lift on behalf of our friends. How can we pray for you? Our email address is in the header.


So We Took the Girls to Olson Tower

AmandaandHannahOlsonTower

viewfromOlsonTower

This is one of the many places Clint and I scouted out for our family trip. Amanda, Emily, and Hannah joined us for a trip back to Olson Tower. They enjoyed being able to climb it and enter the cabin at the top. They weren't too impressed with the way the tower moved as they climbed it.

A little ways from here, we showed them the camping spot where we found Captain America who still rides with us!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Bible Prophecy Update – November 20th, 2022

This is probably THE most important prophecy update I have ever heard.

To paraphrase: "I can't say this will happen in the distant future. I can't even say immediate future. It's happening in the present. It's happening now."

J. D. Farag's Bible Prophecy Update

Painted in the Prophetic Corner

Watch the video in full here.

Even if one does not agree with him on every little detail,
the signs are definitely pointing in one direction.

Christian, are you ready to go HOME?

Sunday, November 20, 2022

make a joyful noise

boulder

O come, let us sing unto the Lord:
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Psalm 95:1-2

Hard Truths

It has often been said that the gospel contains some hard truths. I understand what is meant by that. But the reason the gospel is viewed in such a way is not because its truths are hard, but because our hearts are. The gospel dares to confront us about the sin we love to commit. -Darrell B. Harrison


I saw this on Facebook, but it originated from Twitter.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Passing Through Campfire Meals

CoalRoadStopforSupper

The logs with spruce branches tucked in between serve as a wind block for the fire. Mountain tops are often windy.

CoalRoadSupper
Crack chicken with broccoli is easy to fix on the road. It's not pretty to look at once mixed, but it is tasty and hearty.

CRCountryBoy
We literally left within an hour from making our decision to go exploring. I forgot the pot holder. My country boy adapts and overcomes. FYI, I have my own multi-tool in my backpack which I use as a "purse." My "purse" carries items that kept us comfortable on our recent off-roading mishap. Life experiences have shaped me a little differently than most, but God created me to be a unique being. I am supposed to be a little different!

CRHickoryStump
Chips from this old hickory stump have flavored many a meal.

Coal Road is a halfway point between most of our adventures lately, so we often stop there for a meal and a break from being on the road. Sometimes we'll spend a night depending on how far we are going.

This particular time, we only stopped to make supper and enjoy the mountaintop view before going to our motel. Supper took a little longer, but it worked out for good. A late 20s dating couple new to off-roading had a tire go down. He had just put new tires on his truck and the old tire changing kit did not fit. We saw him from a good distance limping along until he got to us. He asked if we could help. Clint had all the tools he needed to do the job in the suburban. They were very grateful. That meeting was definitely a "divine appointment." Please pray for the young woman. She carries some heavy burdens. I believe she needed to hear what I shared with her. It definitely touched her heart.

On a side note, she thought I was her age. When I told her I have a 30-year-old son, she stumbled backward and grabbed her chest. I'm 53, so I took being mistaken for late 20's as a very nice compliment! I really really REALLLY don't think I look that young, but it was very nice to hear.

Our Let's Get Away Together Spot

getawayspot

Friday, November 18, 2022

My Pillow Towels

mypillowtowels

mypillowtowels3



mypillowinvoice

I purchased our family four packaged sets of the My Pillow Bath Towels. Each set was $39.98 after discounts and contains two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. The total with tax and shipping was $183.94. I am going to use them for six months and then will write a review of my experience with them. I will either purchase more or keep looking for quality towels.

I was also sent a free $19.99 Go Anywhere Pillow. Honestly, I would have rather had $20 or even $10 off, but it is what was offered. I will probably either put it in our travel trailer (which we use as "guest quarters") or in our overlanding gear. I left it in the plastic until I decide what to do with it, but I did lay my head on it. It is adequately sized for a head, comfortable, and offers good support.

Dear Reader, I do like that they included a Bible verse with the order. James 4:10 is a great reminder to keep our focus and dependence upon Jesus.

When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence upon Him, He will lift you up and give you honor. James 4:10 NLT


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Tall Cottongrass

tallcottonsedge

Not only did Native Americans use tall cottongrass for making cloth, but they also used it to treat stomach ailments. Emily really enjoyed finding this plant.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Caleb's encounter

Yesterday, a late 90's man, who originally came from another country, asked if he could hang out with Caleb while Caleb serviced his RV. My son welcomed him to stay. The very healthy and agile nonagenarian then proceeded to share his life story with Caleb and took time to give him some warnings and plenty of sound advice. I love it when good people invest themselves in our younger generation. On a side note, that man is arguing with his wife about selling the RV. She wants it gone. He wants to go camping! <3 🙂

Went Back and Crossed Canyon Rim Wash Out

crossingwashout

The pictures do not do the depth and steepness justice.
When Amanda was standing in this hole, it came up to her hip.

crossingwashout2 
I missed getting a picture of the actual crossing,
because I almost fell off the side of the road and into the water.

  crossingwashout3

The story from earlier this year.

You can't really tell it in this photo, but we crossed it with the suburban. There is only a little "island" of land on the other side, so I didn't have much room to get a shot.

Another driver who came up behind us later that day said that was a "hellacious hole." He was very surprised we had done it in a stock suburban. I was surprised he had crossed it in his very old 2.5 ton army truck! He was the only other person we saw on that trail that day.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Winter Weather Fosters Friendships

2friends

Marty has mostly bared her toothless gums at Playful Penny. However, Marty has just started allowing Penny to sleep with her now that colder weather has started.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Suffolk Armed Robbery

There were two employees who were robbed. One of them is a friend of mine. Please pray for her. She is still recovering from the incident. She said the gun was in her face and all she could do is what they told her to do.

https://www.wavy.com/news/local-news/suffolk/police-investigate-armed-robbery-at-suffolk-gas-station/