Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration — Say It With A Camera

Without a doubt I have admiration for one of the great landscape photographers, Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984), an American photographer and environmentalist. His black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park have inspired me to take photographs of the Snowdonia National Park, here in Wales. I […]

via Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration — Say It With A Camera

She has a riddle behind that smile


Who doesn’t love a fiery little redhead? Eyes green as coke bottle glass, long fingers, long legs, long hair. She is stunning and cunning and ornery and sweet. 

This particular red-head came to me fourteen years ago. She was a surprise. I had my hands full and my heart webbed with cracks. God must have thought I need a diversion. She has provided that, always.

She is fearless and bold. She does the most terrible and amazing things. I don’t know whether to spank her or hug her most of the time. She tickles everyone around her. Sometimes I wonder if she isn’t really an old soul living in that pretty little self. She keeps everyone guessing as to what is coming next. I never know.

Rats, snakes, moles, mice, fish, lizards, newborn kittens and flea bitten dogs with no where to go…all of these have been presents at one time. The worst were the HUGE rat with the broken leg she had shoved into a red solo cup so she could come and show me the poor thing and the Copperhead snake she ran over with her mule, then stuffed in a ziplock bag for me to admire.

She’s hell on boys and she skips around the girls. She lost her best friend and is in no hurry to replace her. That would be disloyal, and she is anything but. There will be a hole there until she chooses to smooth it over and take a chance with someone else. And maybe she never will. It’s her prerogative.  She won’t be rushed or pushed.

I love this little strawberry more than I can ever explain. She grows more wise every day and she is moving up and branching out. Leaving me behind one smile at a time. I will mourn that day when it comes. I am blessed to be able to mourn, I know.

This is my Bellicious. She loves frogs and jumping and cute boys and fishing in the dark, anxiously waiting on what lurks just beneath the boat. She loves her sister and worships her brothers and tolerates the rest of us buzzing around her. She needs room to fly. Get out of her way. Be really quiet and maybe you can sneak along behind her. You’ll have the greatest adventure ever.belle10

Sit here…..

Doesn’t that look like a great spot. It needs a little bench between the two doors. Plenty wide enough to hold me and my little doxie. Some pretty chintz pillows in reds and pinks. A soft throw, maybe in a sweet green.

School is out for summer. It’s all quiet on the lake today, Wednesday’s are always slow. Church tonight, you know. This looks like a fine place to spend my day. It’s going to be hot out, I’m going to need a little fan. I’ll also need that small yellow table to set my Coca-Cola on. Ok, I’m all set. Now……

What do I want to read?  I’ll want something that is familiar, something I can get lost in for a while. The Bobsey Twins? The Boxcar Children? Anna of Green Gables? No….not today. Today I want a good ol’ fashioned who-done-it. While I am enamored of both of those Hardy Boys, I think I’ll go with Nancy Drew. Nancy always finds something that needs a little bit of investigation. That’s just the ticket for me this afternoon. I’m going to lay here and smell the wind off of the lake and listen to the birds, but only for a few pages. It won’t take long before everything around me fades away into nothing.

Ir’s just Nancy and me…..

One of THOSE conversations

Periodically, our family has ridiclous conversations.  I will be posting them under the heading you see above. I hope they make you giggle a bit. They sure tickle us!



One of THOSE conversations….
Ken has been forgetful lately so naturally he thinks he has Alzheimer’s. He keeps calling me Virgina.
Me-Why are you calling me Virginia?
Ken-I’m practicing for when I forget your name.
Me-Well, I don’t want to be Virginia! I want to be Blanch or Anastasia Beaverhousen or Smitty.
Ken-I’m going to go with Itty Bitty Beaverhousen.

How we are failing our girls

Let me make this perfectly clear. I am all for abstenence.I am a Christian and I believe that we should teach our girls to wait until marriage to become sexually active. I also believe that we are kidding ourselves in today’s society if we think that will work for all of our girls.

I was in sixth grade when I started to be aware of sexuality in a specific way. Before then, I knew what sex was but only in a rudimentary fashion. I knew what went where and that’s pretty much where it began and ended. I remember Doug Van Clean and Donny Tucco asking me if it was true that girls ‘tits’ got hard when they were ‘horny’. Ok, to start with, I wasn’t really all that sure what horny was. I did know what tits were, as I had two of them myself. Did they get hard? Were they serious? I pictured my entire breast getting hard. In my head, not always a safe place, I stood in front of a mirror with torpedo like boobs sticking out of my chest. In my imaginative state, I knocked on them and a resounding bass echo shattered the quiet. I was a percussionist in our band and I imagined the sound of a bass drum being hammered on loudly. Was that going to hurt? How long did it last. This was gross. Boys are dumb. I answered, quite vehemently, that NO, this did not happen. Geez.

My second brush with sexual schooling, if you will, was from Rob Freestone. He and another boy, I think it was a Runyan boy, were talking about what I later learned was fellatio. What I heard was the phrase ‘giving head’. I went home and asked my mother what that was. She asked me if I knew what a head was, I said yes and she said “Put your mouth on it.” OH MY GOD!!! That was NEVER going to happen. What is WRONG with people?? I didn’t want to hear anymore. I never wanted anything to do with sex. Ever.

That sentiment was short-lived.

My daughter’s knowledge of sexuality far surpasses mine. Although I still keep a short leash on her, I do worry about what she will do when the time comes and she has to make these decisions. She comes home and tells me things that go on at her school and what boys say and do now. Every boy asks for ‘nudes’ or naked pictures. You would be surprised at the amount of girls who will do this. My daughter is in 8th grade! She has no questions for me. In fact, if I needed any pointers, I could probably just ask her. There is no shock value for any of this to her. She tells me that a classmate, who is 14, is pregnant. She knows a girl who is pregnant by a 24-year-old. Kids are getting hand jobs in class and having sex in the bathrooms. She states all of this in such a matter of fact way. Oh, sure, the drama factor is there, but no surprise. How did this happen? How do we slow this down? Can we slow this down?

Sexuality is rampant in our culture. TV, movies, literature, music, social media, we are drowning in it. My daughter is drowning in it. So how do I make her understand that this is something sacred, something that she should only share with her husband? I have thought and thought about this. I have talked to my daughters and their friends. I have talked about STD’s and teen pregnancy. They learn about it in school.  They learn the basics and they learn about condoms, even being taught how to put a condom on. They use a banana. Can you imagine doing this in class at school. I would have laughed hysterically and I would have failed the class.

I think I know what we are missing. I think that I know what we ought to be teaching. Parents, schools, youth groups, we should all be teaching the same thing.

How it makes you feel.

No one ever tells you that when you are promiscuous, you have a hollow, empty feeling inside. So you sleep with another guy, because this one will be different. No one tells you that when you are older, you will regret this. Not the gross warts on your hooha, but the sick at your stomach feeling when you realize how used you were during what should have been the innocent part of your life. No one tells you about the embarrassment  you will feel when you run into a man and his wife in the grocery store and you imagine he’s thinking about the last time he saw you. Not at the Homecoming game 20 years ago, but after, in the parking lot, with most of your clothes off and your hair a mess, smelling like beer and cigarettes. No one tells you of the humiliation of his buddies showing up, exchanging knowing glances and the raucous laughter that follows you to your front door.

No one tells you of the hurt and the shame you will feel. Everyone leaves out the disappointment you will experience when the man you finally fall in love with asks you if you are a virgin and you have to say no.

I never had an STD, I wasn’t a teenage mother, I didn’t sneak to the clinic to be put on birth control for my ‘period cramps’. People didn’t know that I wasn’t careful or caring about who I slept with. No one knew of the hole I was trying to fill with sex and was in reality, just digging a much deeper hole.

As a mother, when my daughters encounter a situation, I always think of what place I was in when I was their age. What would have kept me from the mistakes that I made? I think some really plain talk about why they acting out in this way and addressing the ramifications of it. No one ever told me that.

I want my daughters to be proud. Proud of their bodies, proud of their virtue. I want them to feel whole. Talk to your daughters. Talk to your youth group leaders. See if you can open a dialogue in a safe atmosphere and be real. While diseases and pregnancy are important points that need to be taught to our daughters, we need to teach them self-worth. I honestly think that if young girls knew what they were doing to themselves emotionally, what they were doing to their souls, they might take a minute and decide to say no. Young girls need to know that sex will never get or keep a guy. We are teaching the wrong things. Maybe if we talked about these things, everything might change. Maybe not. But really, what can it hurt? We are in the middle of the biggest blizzard we have ever had, and our snowball is a runaway mess that we aren’t able to stop. I don’t want my daughters to experience the regret that I feel. Intimacy, not sex, should be what our daughters learn about. How else are we ever going to change things?



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