I Wonder…….

Dear God,

Did you plan all this when you first spoke and divided the heavens from the seas;

when you spoke and the earth separated from the water? Could you see what your creation, man, had the potential to do as he questioned and asked and tried?

The first man to build a raft or canoe – was he thankful?

Were the Vikings thankful for their dragon lead ships?

How about the Chinese with their junks, were they thankful?

Was Christopher Columbus thankful for the Nina?

Those that built the Mayflower, what did they think?

Were all these builders and users thankful? Did they appreciate the improvements gained from one to another? Did they realize how each improvement served the purpose so completely?

As I ride on this ship – that, except for a little quiet rocking and seeing the wake through the water, hardly seems like riding or traveling. I marvel at how far this ship has come from a raft. I wonder at the ability God has given man to question and create, building, improving, and fulfilling their dreams.

Are we, am I, fulfilling God’s dream for me? What did He see for me when he said “Let there be light”? As I have made my choices and planned and dreamed – Have I been thankful for my steps and my improvements?

Can God still look at me as his creation and say…It is good?    Amen.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 26, 2009 at 5:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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October 25, 2009


Quebec… if you ever get a chance to visit Quebec don’t turn it down.

A romantic city of narrow cobblestone streets at the narrowing of the St .Lawrence River, Quebec invites you to wander and take your time exploring. A horse drawn carriage gives a glimpse of more of the town and whets your appetite to spend and extra day or two.

Emily visited the city 4 years ago and tried to tell me what it was like, but I needed to walk the streets myself, hear the sidewalk musicians play, feel the breeze off the river and see the lights as they came on at night to really appreciate Quebec.


The weather was gorgeous, sunny and clear and crisp. We were told the 23rd it snowed, and the 24th it rained all day long. We were thankful for the weather prepared just for us.


I spend some time exploring outside on deck watching the lights of the city and along the banks of the river. A large half moon hung in the sky watching over me as I meditated the grandeur of God’s plan in a quiet almost deserted spot.


With Emily’s 219 pictures, Mary’s 149, Mom’s and Elmer’s,  I’ll have many to try to show my version of Quebec.


Published in: Uncategorized on October 26, 2009 at 5:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Overcast and Cloudy

October 24,2009

At sea, over cast and cloudy all day. We all wandered here and there taking in the programs, listening to live music, eating as the spirit moved us, sometimes together and often apart.


That is the end of October 24, 2009.  Good Night…Sleep Well…Love you


Published in: Uncategorized on October 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bunches of Nothing

October 24, 2009

Today at sea.  I saw a hint of land about 5:30pm, Anticosti Island as we went through the Gaspe Passage.

A day at sea means you can do bunches of nothing or go from one activity to another provided by the activity crew.

We did alot of one and a little of the other. The other was the show that was supposed to be country and western. It was loud and not very country or western. I guess I’m just not that kind of person.

I saw Mary once while she ate breakfast/lunch and Em before she left for the day. Mom went to a comedy workshop. she said it was really funny, she had a good time.  We had dinner with Mom and then saw the show. Elmer got ice cream to eat in the room. Back to our cubbies. I ate the gingerbread with lemon sauce that I got at Peggy’s Cove, It was yummy even though it was cold.

What the girls did???I don’t know may be  I’ll find out tomorrow.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 24, 2009 at 6:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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Yes, Shirley I do come out of my room to eat. I find there are eating places on this ship that I will only eat in once. Not my style. Right now it is cloudy out, sea all around going 23 kts. Don’t know how to translate into miles per hour. Ships position is 49 degrees 20.04′ N, 064 degrees 42.17′ W if you want to know, the thing on the screen has a little ‘o’ high where I put ‘degrees’ don’t know how to do that. We will be in Quebec in the morning at 9AM.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm  Comments (2)  
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Relatives in Burying Ground

October 21, 2009 written October 23, 2009

This won’t have pictures, it takes too long to upload and insert them one by one, since I’m having to buy internet time and speedy it is not.

It was nice not to have to hurry. Elmer and I went up to breakfast about 11:00 at the Grill, a mini breakfast bar with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, pastries, hash, toast, coffee, juice, at the rear of the ship. It was sunny. After we ate Elmer went back to the room, while I sat and knit for a while. One waiter said he’d watch my progress.

We arrived at Boston 12:30pm. We didn’t have a tour planned. I wish we had, because we didn’t

know where we were going and the map we had was tiny and not too clear. Elmer again stayed on the boat and the Ladies went walking. Years ago when the buildings in Boston were built there was land around them, now there are tall buildings and sidewalks and busy roads. We did find an used bookstore that Emily said was how bookstores should be. And we found a cemetery on Tremont Street, King’s Chapel Burying Ground. The stones had skulls and skeletons and father time engraved on them. There was a plaque tell what the symbols meant. When we started reading this plaque, Mom said Joseph Tapping that is the name of our forefather, Tapping was changed to Topper. (For those who don’t know Topper was my maiden name.) I’ll include part of the plaque information:

“One of the first and most famous gravestones, visible upon entering the burying ground, is that of Joseph Tapping, (d.1678). The marker is famed as a work of art conceived by the unknown carver known as ‘the Charlestown Stonecutter. The stone is one of the most elaborate in the burying ground with beautifully carved symbolic images: the skull with wings represents the soul leaving the body, the hourglass represents time running out, the skeleton snuffing out the candle is Death ending life, and the bearded figure is Time attempting to stop Death. The stone’s Latin inscriptions refer to the quick passage of time and awareness of death’s inevitiablity. Little is known of Tapping, a Boston shopkeeper who died at the age of 23, leaving his young wife Marianna, a widow.

Next is the grave of his father John Tapping (ca.1628-1678), a felt maker, and the double tombstone of his mother, Mary (Woodmancy) Tapping Avery (ca.1629-1709) and her second husband William Avery (ca.1622-1686). His mother is said to be the first female bookseller in Boston.”

This was the highlight of Boston for me.

At the ship, we all went our separate ways, Mary and Em pairing off. Elmer and I had a late dinner and crashed. Mom did the same. Mary and Em watched different performers, while playing cards and knitting.

That is the end of October 21, 2009.  Good Night…Sleep Well…Love you

Published in: Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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from New York City to the Ship

This post had such creative dialog and pictures, then………..the computer monster entered the process. Maybe someday we will see the pictures, please just use your imagination as you read.

October 20, 2009, written October 21, 2009, 8:30amEST

View from hotel room window about 8:00EST – Mom’s room

View from Mary, Emily & Mom’s room

Mary, Emily, Mom and I left Elmer in bed at 9am (6amCaliTime) to see the sights.

After some discussion with a longsuffering concierge, Emily and Mary as our fearless guides led us to the subways of New York. Subways are underground and not dark and dank as I had pictured. In some areas it was like mini malls food courts and stores. Other areas were waiting areas for the trains. We bought $8.00 passes that were good for 4 transfers. We used three.

We took the R downtown train to 34th. Walking in New York felt like San Francisco and Chicago, but  not like Birmingham.  We breakfasted at a Café, that was long and narrow; food counters on left side, tables on right. A waiter took our order although we could have ordered at the counter. Everything was available: traditional breakfast, lunch, sandwiched, soups, Chinese dishes, fruit, luscious looking desserts and muffins. We visited Duane Reade, like a rite aide. DR are located often through the city.

When the doors of Gotta Knit opened at 11:00, we were there. On the 5th floor a room about 15×20, full of samples and yarn on the left and rear, on the right portioned off by screens was their office. Not a very large variety of yarns, but high end cost and quality. Emily was the buyer, a skein of hand spun, she make a pair of sox or a scarf as the spirit moves her.

Down to E subway, downtown to W 4th  to Purls a quilt shop.  On ground level, again the store area was very narrow 8 ft wide and 20ft deep, with office/storage behind closed door. Different fabrics than commonly seen in Sac. Emily purchased fabric of a baby quilt (that had been on her list) and princess and the pea fabric for a pillowcase as a souvenir of New York. Mary bought fabric to make a tote bag to remind her of the City. My buy was the store’s own canvas tote, $15.00, The girls didn’t tell their totals, but the main fabric in the princess and the pea collection was $18.00 a yard

Walking on down the street about 4 stores is Purls, a yarn shop about twice as wide and the same depth,  Both shops are owned by the same people. Everyone escaped with no yarn,

By now it is 1:20pm, we were to be back at the hotel by 1:00. Elmer has checked out of the hotel, put luggage in storage, and has had breakfast (about 11:00). He is now waiting very patiently in the lobby for us. I missed judged the time because of the subway rides and the walking to get to where we wanted to go from the subway stations.

We called Elmer, got back on the subway and were back to the hotel about 1:45. As the porter brought out our luggage to load into the taxi, he said to Elmer, “Looks like she brought the whole house!” A Yellow Cab was whistled down, a suv type, five seats for passengers and luggage compartment big enough for everything. By 2:30 we were at the port and saw our ship. I knew the ships were big, but hadn’t realized just how big.

This is what our balcony looked like. We had two rooms side by side with connecting door on the balcony

We checked in with little waiting in lines, got our picture taked and walked up the gang plank. Champagne and orange juice waited for us.

This is what our room looked like.

We got on our way about3:00 and safety drill at 3:30. We learned how to put on our life vests. The vest weren’t flattering to anyone.

We went back to our rooms to put life vests away, get settled in, have coffee (thanks, Mom), and relax on the balcony. We watched the Lady as we left New York Harbor. Mary started singing The Cross is my Stature of Liberty.

Neat Picture of the Lady

Mary and Em went scouting; the rest of us vegged.  By chance we all meet in the Garden Café, a buffet, for supper and watched the sum sink into the ocean.  We split up again,

Elmer and I to sight see and get internet connected, Mom to the library, etc, and M and Em ?????.

I crashed about 9:00, I must have walked two miles in New York and there are many steps down into and up out of the subway.

More firsts:

My first subway ride, on one leg of the trip I knitted.

First time I (we) was honked at crossing the street.

My first Yellow Cab ride, from hotel to boat dock

this one I didn’t watch too closely as he drove.

Now I know about the others after dinner:

( the short version)

Mom went back to her room, took a bath, had a flood in the bathroom, called the plumber, water got cleaned up and read in bed for a while.

Mary and Em picked up their knitting, card games, and water bottles(because the cups are tiny) and went to –

  1. Crystal Atrium, listened to a string quartet
  2. went to get water
  3. back to Atrium  for sleepy music ( their words)
  4. went to Bar City, Constance played piano, then another lady played guitar and sang ballads and played Phase 10
  5. went to the theater and played garbage while the band played, then watched a comedian re-enact the Wizard of Oz
  6. returned to room to shower and bed and read.

Beautiful sunset

That is the end of October 20, 2009.  Good Night…Sleep Well…Love you.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm  Comments (3)  
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To the things I’ve done…

I can add; I have walked the streets of New York City.
We did leave at 5am after taking this picture of stuff, 6 suitcases, two garment bags, two carry on bags, three purses, one back pack and a briefcase.

Allpacked up and ready to go.

All packed up and ready to go.

At the airport little snag, one suitcase weighed 63#. Yep, it hadn’t thrown up enough. So some shuffling was done from suitcase to Mom’s garment bag. All was well. We took off on time to Minneapolis, we had lunch, yummy tomato/basil soup for me. On to New York City, I was told by someone in the know to get in the cab and close my eyes. The ride to Hotel wasn’t bad. The cabbie was a good tour guide pointing out Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. I think Renee could have driven us, after riding with her in Philly.
As Elmer said, Ladies went out for dinner, Italian. We walked about 4 blocks. We each had something different that I can’t spell but could taste. If I could remember the name of the restaurant I’d recommend it.

Ladies made plans for Tuesday, again Elmer is sitting this one out. I guess you’ll have to check back in to find out what Elmer missed.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Are My Bags Packed Yet

It’s 12:20 pst, I’m supposed to get up in three hours and forty minutes and I still wondering about my packing. Do I have too much?What is too much? Have I forgotten something I really want/need? Will all three suitcases be over the weight limit? How much time will I read? How much time will I knit? I have to sleep sometime. I think I need to start all over with at least two of the suitcases, but will the third one feel left out, like I don’t really care about it or something.
As you can see, I’m much too tired and am probably making way too much about the whole thing. Margaret, will you come and pack for me?
(She has it down to a science.)
I am really excited about this trip. but it’s been along time since Elmer & I traveled with anyone. Will I be too close to the others or too aloof? I hope they understand I’m use to most of my waking hours being by myself . I wish I knew how to take pictures and down load them to the computer myself and I would show you what a mess I’m in, and then you could offer suggestions. But by the time Elmer gets up, I’ll have to be done. So I’m just going to shut my eyes, toss in everything and be done with it. Wish me luck. I’ll write tomorrow from somewhere other than Carmichael.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 19, 2009 at 12:33 am  Comments (2)  
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A Vessel Ministering Grace

After reading about my vocation; I read on in Ephesians 4 and verse 29 bounced around on the page: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Amplified Bible states it like this: Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth, but only such (speech) as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.)
“Minister grace unto the hearers,” but grace is unmerited favor. Does that mean that I’m to speak gently and kindly to others even when they don’t deserve it? I’m sure that is what it means.
Proverbs 31 Woman in verse 26 reminds me, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness”
Amplified Bible She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness (giving counsel and instruction.)

Is this the reason the opening of a vessel is called the mouth and the rim of the vessel is called the lip?

Published in: Uncategorized on October 9, 2009 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Errand Day

I’m up and dressed; my list is made. Off I go!

Drop off tablecloth and red sweater at the cleaners, the little Asian man says “Thank you very muchee.” check

To the post office, one package to Oakhurst and one package to
Arizona. check

Next the OUTLETS, Legg’s etc here I come. check (it’s personal)

Lunch at Mel’s, I like the Chili burger, no onions please. check

Oh, look, Pier One, hmmm, not on the list, stop anyway! New pillow to go with one I bought last week, more placemats and napkins, rest of Margaret’s placemats, wreath of stars for the front door, I love it,
3 cute little shopping bags in their own storage bag, I’ll use one for gift wrapping. I might have found the nite stands, dresser, and head board for guest room when Emily moves out. No rush Em, but you know, a mom has to be prepared.   add to list   check

Office Max, it’s in the same parking lot. Pencils with erasers that haven’t petrified and a key board for the lap top, so I don’t get writer’s cramp.  check

Batteries Plus, finally, I”m remembering to get a battery for the
camera Mom gave me. Maybe I can learn to do the picture thing on the blog, since now I can take relevant pictures. You don’t want to know how long it took me to figure out how to spell relevant correctly. Thanks Mom. check

Barnes and Noble is next, Happy Birthday Acacia, Rainbow fairy
books, Hope by Lucado for Mary, Creative Journal Writing and The Art of Thank You for me. check

Last stop Safeway, cat food, tp, cards, snacks, gift card, Happy Birthday, Courtney, sweet 16 on Saturday. check

A Subway – dinner check

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

Published in: Uncategorized on July 21, 2009 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Margaret’s 10 Good Things about Staying Home


1. Sleeping in.
2. Time to read.
3. Playing with the kids.
4. Blogging.
5. Getting all the laundry done.
6. Not having to eat in the van.
7. Actually having time to do the cleaning that gets put off – like dusting.
8. Long, hot showers.
9. Having time to go through boxes/closets/the pantry and cleaning them out.
10. Having time to breathe.


Published in: Uncategorized on July 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Another Journey

This is an exercise in writing. Writing is something I’ve always wanted to do, but always been hesitant, my great fears raise their hoary heads, what will she look like, what will people think, it’s not good enough, others can but not me.
Well, I just took a deep breath, let it all out , holding my nose I’m jumping in……

This exercise tells me to take a quote and just start writing, I don’t know where I’ll end up but surely the journey will be interesting, (the “U” is in journey because this time you are invited.

Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives,
as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present-love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure – the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

What do I have abundance of—in material things—cloth, yarn, books, audio stories. What is abundance; where do I draw the line? If I have more than two towels, one to use and one to wash is that abundance – it isn’t lack for I have some…I guess I’ll have to look up abundance.

I have abundant grace; there is always enough grace, especially if I reach out for it. I am loved abundantly, regardless of me, by my heavenly Father and my husband.

I try to see where is the lack – yes there are things I don’t have, but put on a scale-side by side-I am so blessed. I have more than two of everything, except a husband and one is enough.

Am I tending the secret garden of abundance? Am I nurturing, pruning, fertilizing, weeding or do I take my abundance for granted?

I have a choice, Isn’t that powerful? I can choose to focus on abundance not on what I imagine as missing. Are those things really missing or are they just hidden in a corner of the secret garden where it is sheltered and the most tender of plants grow?

“the abundance that’s present” I have today. What a present!

“The wasteland of illusion” how often I get bogged down in the desert land-the barren land of the “Isn’t”. Lift up your eyes! Don’t choose to try to bring to life a wasteland when a secret garden is right at my doorstep of the present.

Abundance n. – great plenty; more than sufficient quantity (see abound)
Abundant adj. – very plentiful; more than sufficient; ample; rich in something
Lack n. – the fact or condition of not having enough; shortage; deficiency

Whew! What a ride! Are you still there in the backseat? Are you carsick yet?
NO, we are not there yet!

Published in: Uncategorized on July 11, 2009 at 9:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Family blog?

Margaret gave me a crash course in blog terminolgy today. My brain is a bit fuzzy; but I hope the set-up becomes clearer.
I was thinking we could use this as a family bullitin board: what you’re doing, info we should know, greetings, thoughts and encouragements.
Let’s talk (write), if you’d like to try.

Published in: Uncategorized on June 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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