Five-Minute Friday: Last

Five Minute Friday

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “last.” At Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog, we gather each week to share our nonstop, unedited, five-minute writes. Hope you’ll join us!

Here’s mine:


The last thing I remember before falling asleep is the peace of hearing you breathing. The last thing I remember before waking up is the remnants of a dream I don’t even remember.

Now that I am wise for my years, I know what is made to last: memories of laughter as a child, the soft beauty of grass under my feet, love that took a lifetime to find. When I drink in an exquisite sunset with its orange symphony, the wonder of colors lingers into the next morning.

When I meditate on the truths that set me free, that bring peace and joy, and grace and mercy, I learn that these are the things that are made to last.

With a humble and quiet heart, I see God’s gifts with new eyes every morning, no matter what dreams disturbed my sleep. I thank God that the last thing I hear is your peaceful breathing, and my thankful prayers.


Bamberger Park Nature Trails

We picked up our cameras and went for a walk this afternoon. Bamberger Park, which has nature trails on 70 acres of land, is a short drive from our home.

Needed peace and nature’s quiet today. Soothe our souls, Lord, and bring us back to the beauty of the present.


bamberger 2_tonemapped

bamberger 3_tonemapped

In spite of the heat and humidity, we enjoyed this chance to take a deep breath and slow down. To come back to ourselves.

Amazing how distant our struggles seem, how refreshed we feel, when we pay attention.

As John always tells me, “Stay creative!”

bamberger compressed

Five-Minute Friday: Broken

Five Minute Friday

Here we are at Five-Minute Friday again! This week’s prompt is “broken.” All you have to do is write from the prompt for five nonstop minutes — no edits, just keep writing. Then go to Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog to share your post and read other five-minute writes!

Here we go…


“The X-ray looks great,” the neurosurgeon smiled during my husband’s 8-week followup. “The bones are fusing as they should…”

I didn’t have to hear more. After the words “looks great,” my attention drifted into comfortable, easygoing gratitude.

But what about the broken pieces of the past two months? The trauma was almost too much to bear for us at times. Changing bandages was a mystery to me those first two weeks. Our hearts broke two or three times, at least, as we negotiated the foreign highways of recovery, walkers, neck braces and pills.

Our cat didn’t miss a beat when John first came home. Ready for a lap, Lucky’s head tilted upward, puzzled. For a cat, a broken routine is not a small thing.

We hand the broken pieces to each other, and then to the One who heals all wounds, and make our plans.


There! It’s always a pleasure to read other Five-Minute Friday posts. Hope you’ll join the writing party!






Five-Minute Friday: Belong


On Fridays, we gather at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog to share our five-minute writes!  All you have to do is write to the prompt for five minutes, no edits. This week’s prompt is “belong.”

Here I go!


Something about the word “belong”…it started in second grade, when I was old enough to know who belonged and who didn’t. School is a harsh place for the word belonging, especially for a shy, sensitive only child who wanted so badly to belong.

She went home every afternoon, where she could rest and find her haven from the cliques and backbiters. She listened to her parents’ soothing records, and learned to love violin music.

The first place she belonged, outside of home, was in the orchestra, where the conductor did his best to enlighten young artistic minds.

Later, as her hair grayed, she found the Master Artist, who had created her from his own colors, who guided her heart to true love.

With Him we all belong.


That’s my five-minute write for this week. See you next Friday!

Multitude Monday: 148-155


As I write this, we’re watching the agonizingly slow progression of rain toward our region. Here in South Central Texas, even a hint of rain is a reason for gratitude! Why not celebrate the simple gifts with us at Multitudes on Monday at A Holy Experience?

rain 08102012

148. Microwave stopped working. Why am I happy about this? Because I had forgotten how delicious bacon smells when it’s sizzling in a skillet!


149. Cooking dinners with my mom. We’ve enjoyed this since I was a kid, and always will!

150. Thunderstorms in the forecast all week…much needed rain and cooler temperatures (well, cool compared with 100+ degrees!).

151. My husband John is getting stronger almost 2 months after surgery…finally able to enjoy photography again, like he did in this picture from before surgery 🙂

DSC_0144 compressed

153. Looking forward to traveling with John and visiting friends…praying that we can do this later his year.

154. Quiet Sunday afternoon, enjoying crochet instead of the computer!

155. Studying for my social media professional certification…fun!

Five-Minute Friday: Beautiful


“Beautiful,” I’ve thought in recent weeks. The way the flag snaps in the breeze on a summer afternoon, reminds me of school days just before summer vacation, when my attention was drawn outside, where the flag waved in the sunny schoolyard.

“Beautiful,” I realize, and I pick up the camera because my husband reminds me to take beautiful pictures.

It’s a long holiday weekend, spent recalling our shared sacrifices that forged a nation. We eat picnic food and watch fireworks…how beautiful the shimmering sparkles look against the spreading haze of smoke…the smokey halo around the Washington Monument as the 1812 Overture blasts in celebration.

Wounded warriors — some with invisible wounds — salute the flag without fail. My husband proudly puts up the flag every morning, even as he heals from his own wounds as a Veteran.

The sun shines on a long holiday weekend, and heroes from two centuries ago smile on us. What do they see from their vantage point?



5 minute friday

Written for Five-Minute Friday, hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. This week’s prompt is “Beautiful”…hope you will join us and write for 5-minutes — nonstop with no editing. Fun!

John’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce Recipe: No Longer Secret!

I’m honored to post my husband’s spaghetti sauce recipe…you’ll want to try it! It’s a vegetarian recipe, so he uses textured vegetable protein (TVP) instead of ground meat. You can find TVP at Bob’s Red Mill, or at your local health food store.



Two 15-oz cans sauce

One 10-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles

6-oz tomato paste

Dried Italian herbs

1/2 cup sliced lack olives

¼ cup brandy or red wine

2 Bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 serrano peppers, diced

1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped

6 scallions, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

3 strips bacon, chopped

Apple cider vinegar

Dash of seasoned salt

Onion powder

2 tbsp sugar or sweetener

Olive oil

1 cup water

1/2 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)


Place all ingredients except for italian herbs, onion powder, seasoned salt, TVP and water in a large pot. Stir to combine. Sprinkle a layer each of onion powder and Italian herbs. Drizzle some olive oil over the ingredients and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add a cup of water. You can add more water as the sauce cooks, if necessary.

Bring ingredients to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally and add a little water if the sauce becomes too thick. Feel free to sample on a piece of fresh baked bread!

About 30 mintes before the sauce is finished cooking, stir in the TVP. Cover and simmer another 30 minutes.

Done! Serve on pasta with grated cheese. This sauce freezes well, too!

Shared with Thursday’s Favorite Things…join us!


Thursday Favorite Things