Saturday, September 26, 2009


Have you ever been shopping for nothing in particular only to find the most wonderful bargain ever? I love when that happens!

Recently Rick and I were in a Western Store (his idea) just to look around. He needed a couple of shirts and jeans. I was just killing time. It really was a nice place, with very cute clothes, western decor, name it. So I really didn't mind walking around and browsing while he picked up what he needed. I actually found a cute jacket and a couple of other things to try on. But first, I needed the restroom. You see, I have this quirk about trying on things - they will fit much better if the bladder is empty. Now, tell the truth. You've thought it before haven't you?

"Hmmm...if my bladder is full, I'll be bloated and this won't fit right."

You know you have, so just go ahead and admit it to yourself. I located their restroom and headed that direction before I tried on my items, assured that they would fit much better once I took care of that extra 4 oz. in my body. On my way back to the dressing room, I glanced upward and what to my wandering eyes did appear...but something so awesome, it became very clear!

I went to the counter and asked the clerk if this object of beauty was for sale or just an item for display. She looked at me quizically, and said, "Well, the owner is here. I'll go ask him if he's willing to sell it." I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself. Little did they know, I had been looking for one these for a couple of years! And here one was...please, please, please! She returned with the news. YES! I could buy it! Cheap! It was about 13 years old and had collected quite a lot of dust, so I would have to clean it up a bit before I could display it.

Off I ran to find Rick so I could show him this treasure I had discovered. He looked at it, shrugged, and said, "If that's what you want, get it." I don't think I can express how excited I was to learn that this beautiful item would soon be mine. Rick wasn't quite as thrilled as I was.

We finished our shopping, checked out, and drove back home. I couldn't wait to get it home, clean it up and put it in a very special place. The kids were here for the weekend, so I waited until a few days ago to get it out and work on it. It cleaned up beautifully! I now have it displayed with great pride in a very special place.

Don't you love it???

p.s. I'm not sure it will stay there. Rick is not amused. But, he has a "trophy" room. I think I should have mine.

Mr. R.M. Dillo

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Weekend photos of family fun! We had a great time...even though Parker wasn't feeling well for his belated birthday party. It's pretty wild and crazy when we're all together, but that's half the fun! Enjoy the circus!

Playing With Wax Lips

Random Fun

Wiggles Cake

Birthday Boy

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Prayers Please

We have much need for prayer this weekend. Remember my friend a few posts back who lost her dog, Angel? Her brother was killed yesterday in a terrible car accident. Such a shock. I know her family would covet your prayers. Her name is Karla. I just ask that you lift her and her family up as they seek comfort and answers during this difficult time.

Today my mother-in-law lost her father. He had been ill for a long time and we knew this day was coming, but one is never prepared for that loss when it happens. Her name is Betty. Please lift her and her family up as well...they are a close family and this will be a very hard time for them.

The kids and grandkids are all here and things are as crazy as ever. There are many schedule changes to be made and much going on to work around...floods, moving cows to safety, class reunion, Matt preaching this Sunday, Susan singing, me playing the piano...and more, but we trust the Lord to work all of this out for us. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Thursday Matt, Susan, Natalie and Parker will be coming in for a long weekend! Boy, I hope the rain ends soon...we all like to get out and play on the ranch. I talked to Natalie on the phone for just a few minutes tonight before she went to bed. She has our activities planned. One thing she wants to do is watch the sunset. She said, "Sanni, maybe we can watch the sunset while I'm there. Maybe we can do that on Saturday! It's been a very, very long time since I did that."

This precious little 4 yr. old already has that special memory buried in her heart. It's been many months ago that she was here when she and I were riding around late in the afternoon on the mule. We watched the sunset together and we talked about how beautiful it God had made it. How it warmed my heart to know that she shares my passion for the sunset to be something of wonder and beauty that God made for us to enjoy.

You've seen a few pictures of her on a previous post. What you haven't seen yet, is my sweet little grandson, Parker. His birthday was last week, so we will celebrate with a party while he is here this weekend. Parker hit the big 2! He's such a happy little boy...talking up a storm now. And, he can finally say my name, "Sanni." It evolved from "ganpa" (he associated me with Grandpa). Then it went to "nee-nee", and now I'm Sanni! I can't wait to see how he's changed since I last saw him! Here are just a few of my favorite snaps of my little man.

For those of you who don't know - Matt is currently working on his Ph.D. at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. Yes, my son is a preacher...which means I have to behave when he's around! His high school class reunion is this weekend, thus the trip home. He will be preaching at our home church this Sunday and Susan will be singing. God has blessed her with a beautiful voice and a talent for playing the piano. I usually try to coax her into playing the piano on weekends they are here, to give me a break. But, since she is singing, I'll let her off the hook this time. It does a mother's heart good to hear and see how God is working in their lives! I'm looking forward to hearing both of them!

It will be a wild and wonderful weekend. When Matt & Co. come home, Sarah, Stuart, Spanky and Scrappy usually spend a lot of time over here too. So, we have 6 adults (who act like children most of the time...well, 3 of us anyway - Susan, Stuart and Rick are a little more mature than Matt, Sarah and me), 2 toddlers and 3 dogs! It's a 3-ring circus around here and we wouldn't have any other way! Imagine when Sarah and Stuart have kids to add to the circus! Bring it on!
*Be prepared for family photos next week!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh, The Tangled Web We Weave

Like most people, I have my own phobia - arachnophobia! I get chills even thinking about spiders. To tell the truth, I'm really not fond of any kind of insect, but a spider just freaks me out in a big way. I hate them. I despise them. But I can't kill them. I don't know why. I just can't make myself do it...maybe it's the "squish", the mess, the pop...I don't know, but ask anyone who knows me and they will attest to the fact that I will call someone to come kill a spider before I will do it myself.

Isn't it funny though, that the same thing that freaks us out or frightens us, also fascinates us as well? This is true of my spider phobia. I am very intrigued by them. I even like to get close enough to look at them and study their intricate designs, but if they happen to move...well, I would win the $10,000.00 on America's Funniest Home Videos!

Living out on a ranch, in the middle of rural country is not exactly the place to avoid encounters with spiders. This is the honest truth - when we built the house out here, I told the builders that I wanted every hole, every crevice, every crack filled with something to keep spiders out. They said they would do it and they were true to their word! I personally watched them toward the end of the project, go around with spray foam, and fill every hole, crack and crevice. Can't you picture them walking around with these spray cans with me following them saying, "What about right here? Oh! Here's a place!" They were truly kind about it, but I know they thought I was a total wacko. Hey, whatever it takes. We've lived here 3 1/2 years and I've seen 1 spider inside the house. Which takes me to the point of this post.

Do you have any idea how many spiders are lurking outside? You really don't want to know. I had no idea. But, the reason I know this is because one foggy morning, I took Buddy, our Yorkie, out for his morning business. I was astounded at the "evidence" I found. As I walked all over the yard, I wasn't freaked out, I was amazed at the sight of tangled webs everywhere! I marvelled at the true beauty and complexity of what I saw. It was like being in some foggy wonderland.

Before I share some of what I saw, let me give you a link that has some incredible facts about spiders and webs. I hope you take the time to check it truly is amazing.

These photos don't even begin to capture the true beauty of the "foggy webby wonderland" I was in. They were everywhere. They were every shape, size, mangled, tangled, perfectly woven....different in all ways, yet all amazingly beautiful and mystifying in their unique form.
Creepy, but very, very cool.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Used to be Normal

I've seen it slowly coming. I've even fought it "tooth and nail". I've argued with my husband over it. I've rebelled against it. I've scoffed at it and I've even made fun of other people because of it. And now...I am it. I have officially declared myself a germ-a-phobe. It pains me to admit this, because life used to be simple before it took over my life. Remember the days before everything under the sun became"anti-bacterial"? Maybe you're in this new generation of naturally born germ-a-phobes where you've never known anything different. But no, I had to become evolve into one. How could I not? Every day a news article is written about germs or a Dateline Special Edition is all about germs. Germs are taking over the world! How can we possibly survive against them?

Let's go back - when my children were born, I was the normal mother who washed the pacifier if it dropped on the floor. I sterilized and sanitized their little world, but not obsessively. My husband on the other hand, was more concerned with the germs of the world. He drove me nuts sometimes over things that were "dirty". He would bring up the silliest notions and I would just laugh at how absurd they were. Simple little things - using his elbow to push open a door, a napkin or paper towel to grasp a doorknob, stressing over the cleanliness of a hotel room. At first I was not on board with such ridiculous behaviors. But, the more he brought up these things, and the more I saw on TV and in news articles, the more I began to think about them too. The "EEEWW" factor began to creep into my thoughts and I found myself thinking like a true germ-a-phobe. How about you? Do you use those "anti-bacterial" wipes in Walmart for your shopping cart? Do you have a portable high chair cover for your child? A portable shopping cart seat cover? Are you a germ-a-phobe???

Let's see if you have ever thought about any of the following scenarios. WARNING: What you are about to read could change your life forever.

Let's begin with something simple....public restrooms.

1. Person uses the restroom. They turn on the faucet, wash their hands, turn off the faucet that they just used their dirty hand to turn on, get their paper towel, dry, leave. Now, you use the restroom, turn on the same faucet they did with their dirty hands, wash your hands, turn off the faucet with the dirty germs still on it, adding yours to it, and so on....get the picture? Modern restrooms are catching on. They have automatic faucets and towel dispensers, either no door or a door that pushes out so you don't have to touch the handle to get out. Or, they place trash cans right beside the door, so you can use that paper towel on the handle and throw it in the trash instead of on the floor. (which is why they moved the trash can over there...tired of picking up paper towels off the floor)

2. I do hope you are not one who sits their purse on the floor of a public restroom. Or one who uses their hands to flush. YUK! Did you know that when a toilet flushes, it spews little minuscule particles into the air that reach as far as 6-8 ft.? That's even gross in your own bathroom. Hide that toothbrush girls! Don't leave it out in a holder! And for goodness sake, learn to flush and run!

Let's move on to doorknobs - now this is just nasty...not trying to be gross, just honest. And you can thank my husband for this one. I never would have come up with it on my own.

3. When men use the restroom, they must aim right? How do they aim? With their hand. Suppose they don't wash their hands? They walk around handling all kinds of things, including doorknobs. Then you come along and innocently handle them too. Or they push a buggy around in the store...the same one you're using. Ever thought about how many times you are indirectly touching a...well, you know? (sorry, I know that is yucky, but if you think about it, it's true!) That's not even considering the other multitude of germs lurking on these surfaces.

My favorite - hotels. (graphic and gross, but certainly true)

4. I have witnessed this with my own eyes. Did you know the housekeeper mops the bathroom floor with toilet water? Think about that. Let it soak in. You walk around on that floor, usually barefooted. When housekeeping comes along the hallway with their cleaning carts, have you ever seen a mop bucket with them? I promise you, this is how they mop the floor. Do they change rags after cleaning the toilet, tub and on to the counter top? How about those glass cups and glasses? Saw a nasty hidden video series on that one. (thanks Dateline) You don't want to know.

5. Let's think about the TV remote and the phone. Know what goes on in most hotel rooms? They don't offer adult movies for nothing, you know. Just because you don't watch them, doesn't mean the thousands of other people who stayed in that room don't. So, these same guests handle the remote, the phone, the faucets, etc. Do you really think the housekeeper wipes the remote and the phone down with disinfectant? Have they ever cleaned a doorknob? What's the first thing your kids want to do when they enter the room? Turn on the TV!

6. Here's a fun one - the shower. How many times have you been taking a shower and the curtain brushes up against you? Think that only happens to you? Has the tub ever backed up and you're standing ankle deep in everyone else's drainage?

(Are you hating me yet?)

See???? Once your mind starts going won't stop! The list goes on and on, but I'm going to stop here and leave the rest up to you. But beware - your imagination can get the best of you.

Here's what I've decided. I will do my best to use "anti-bacterial" wipes, spray, etc., when possible. But the truth of the matter is - germs are everywhere. They always have been. You cannot escape them and live in a sterile world. Yes, I am now more aware of some of the "quirkier" things than I used to be, but I will not fall victim to being a prisoner in my own world! I will overcome this obsession!

For example, just last week, I was in the airport going through security. You now must take off your shoes and place them in the little gray plastic baskets...along with your purse, bags, whatever you are carrying. ( purse is now sitting where someone else's filthy shoes have been sitting? STOP IT!!!) They usually have disposable booties available so you don't have to walk barefoot through the check zone, and then put your dirty feet back into your shoes. This day, they were out. Everyone else was walking around barefoot without a care in the world. See, if they can do it, so can I. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...But wait! Lo and Behold...they had little zip lock bags for your personal items. VOILA! See how well I am doing???

No Dirty Feet For Me!
Zip lock Feet
God save the germ-a-phobes!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fun in the Midst of Chaos

Well, I've been at it again...taking pictures that is. The last few weeks have been really hectic, but in between the craziness, I have managed to slip out and transform into my favorite character - "Miss Legend in My Own Mind Photographer". Thus, a few of my subjects...

Thunderhead Clouds
Gianormous Spider
Her Egg Sack

One Mean Dude

Bloom After the Rain



Little Monster, Mr. Banana and Blackbeard - Phfft!!
Where's Waldo?

Our Father, which art in heaven
Visitor Outside the Door

Red Beauty Pretty Lily Pot

Froggie Death Grip
Tree Art

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Find time to de-stress!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

There's really not much to be said of this posting...

Every year at the fabulous Yell County Fair, the week is kicked off by the Miss Yell County Pageant. I am on this committee and my job is music/entertainment. Our theme this year was Motown. The "Raisinettes" opened the program last night. Expect to see this on Broadway!
Hopefully (or not) a video will be available soon...

L-R : Singer - Karla McCool, Harem Girl - Shonda Penzo, Punk Rocker - Sarah Millsap-Creamer, Michael Jackson - Me, Old Lady - Tonya Stanley,
Cowgirl - Amy Stanley
The Punk and Jacko

Well, it seems we are a youtube item now...a friend of the "Old Lady" videotaped this from afar. The quality isn't the best, but you can get the idea! - takes a while to download.

* Reminder - Pause playlist music first

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Gentle Whisper

These past couple of weeks have been busy, but I'll save that for another post. No matter how hectic the schedule, I always try to spend some quiet time outdoors in the afternoon or evening. I know I've mentioned before that where we live is truly my sanctuary, and I never cease to be amazed at how my spirit just seems to settle when I'm cruising the ranch on my mule or just out piddling around in the yard.

For a number of years, Rick tried to convince me to move from town and build a house out here. It's only 9 miles out of town to the ranch, but my parents lived across the street from us and I felt that need to "be there for them" as they grew older. As Rick gently nudged me from time to time, I knew deep inside he was was time to start the building process and get on with it. I would only be a 10 minute drive from my parent's house and my older brother was only 5 minutes away. But, I felt guilty even telling my parents we were going to start the process. As always, Mother was encouraging and all for us doing what we wanted to do. Daddy did his best to convince me I would hate it out here. I was "his girl" and as his health declined, he became quite dependent on me for security. I assured him daily that I would come into town to see him every single day and if he and mother should need me, I was only a phone call away. I did my best to reassure him that I would never neglect them. After we moved, Daddy would often ask me, "Now you tell me the truth. Do you really like living out there?" I always responded, "Daddy, I really do love it out there. But you know what I hate? I hate being away from you." I think that's all he needed to hear. Someday, when I'm able, I will share my story of losing both of my parents 17 months apart. It is still much too raw and personal to relive again, but there will be a time to share it - because God taught me so much about myself and about Him during that time.

For now, I just want you to see how and why this place provides so much peace for me. God is here. Don't ask me why I sense His presence so much more here than other places, but I am convinced that He provided this sanctuary for my sanity, my enjoyment and especially for my spiritual growth.

Enjoy the presence of God!

Magnificent Sunset

Fingers in the Sky Reflection Itsy Bitsy Spider Reflection in the Pond Dewy Surprise Hanging On Red Cluster Mrs. Killdeer Pretty LadiesIce Berries
Ice Magnolia Leaf
Stare Down With Mr. Toad
Mr. Toad Plays Dead
Praying Mantis in My Tomatoes

Until next time -

"The Lord said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1Kings 19:11-12

"Be still and know that I am God". Psalm 46:10

* Sometimes we are not quiet or still enough to hear the gentle whisper.