Have you had more than a few candles put on your birthday cake? Ever had trouble blowing them out? My friends, Kathy & Ron, served a cake at fellowship after church today. They didn’t put all 83 candles on it, thank God… don’t wanna burn the church down! But, they put on a LOT – – – and I could not believe how long it took me to blow out those sparkling candles!!!!
This is just a very brief clip of the process… It’s OK to laugh with me as you watch it!
As you can see, there were only a few left to extinguish at this point… I had been at it for awhile…
Yes, things take longer as time goes by… And yet time seems to go by faster as the years progress. How do you figure that?
It was a happy birthday. I celebrated in Bozeman yesterday with Bob. He got me a new travel purse for our upcoming trip to Switzerland. We had a lovely dinner at The Mint in Belgrade.
Today I enjoyed exchanging messages with over a hundred of my friends from far and near on FaceBook. Also, had a wonderful FaceTime exchange with daughters, DeAna & Laina. It’s days like this when most friends and all of our family are far away that I especially enjoy the internet.
And Laina could share her java with me virtually!
Our son, Ty, and his wife Monika, were not able to be here with us this year, but they FaceTimed this evening… so my heart is full. It took longer for them to reach out this year because Ty was on a Mission trip to Mexico. But I received a card from them… and this evening’s call was the frosting on the cake!
Yes, it takes longer between visits to see our family and friends these days, but thanks to the internet, we can FT and text, message and e-mail. In those cases, communication takes shorter – not longer!
Where do you tilt these days? And what things do you find take longer? I’m not alone in this, I bet!
Thanks for visiting! Have a great Sunday night – and a wonderful week.
I have taken a week off from blogging… time to enjoy company … time to enjoy summer finally!
July is a month Of special celebrations First: Back on the road
Bob, TazE and I were invited to join our friends, Mike and Julie, on an ATV ride into the Gravelly Range.
The wildflowers were out in full bloom, and my friend, Susan Phillips, captured their beauty magnificently. What you see is the Madison Valley and the Sphinx in the Madison Range in the background. Impressive, huh?
Thank you, Susan, for letting me share some of your photos.
I captured some of the panoramic scenery. It was such a pretty day!
Then, other dear friends, the Tillions, came from California to spend a few days with us.
We went to our nearby tourist attraction, Virginia City, and enjoyed time together there. No time to blog… too busy being in the moment!
We went on the 4th to watch the parade from the comfort of our friends’, the Washburns, beautiful yard. They provided breakfast and lunch for an amazing group of their friends. We felt privileged to be included and to be invited to bring the Tillions with us.
To continue our July celebrations, we went with the Tillions to Bozeman on July 5th, and we all enjoyed a yummy brunch at Jam! (my favorite BZN brkfst)
We didn’t stop there… yesterday we invited our pastor, Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds, to come celebrate her birthday with us. So you can see why I have not blogged for a few days. It’s been a wonderful time of face-to-face with people who are dear to our hearts. No better way to celebrate!
It’s good to be back on my blog. I thank you for visiting and sharing time with us. I hope you will share how you are celebrating July, too.
See ya again soon, I hope. Have a beautiful rest of your week. What will you be doing? Tell me…
My friend in our local senior living center is in his 101st year on earth. Next week he’ll celebrate another birthday. We want to have a special party … a wheelchair parade … with balloons and horns and a lot of hoopla. But he’ll have none of that. No siree! Just celebrate it with all the other April birthdays … don’t make no big deal about it.
But it IS a big deal! Don’t you agree?
Do you know how many sunrises and sunsets that is? More than I care to count! However, God bless him, my friend can count them all. His mind is still sharp as a rack. How does he do that?
I need to go ask my friend, Anita. She’s about ready to celebrate her 100th, and she’s sharp as a tack, too! Stay tuned. I’ll get the secrets from both of them … and I’ll share it here. I wanna get to be 100 and still have all my marbles in place, too.
I already know one of Anita’s secrets. Keep busy doin’ for others! She was a member of our Montana’s Senior Companion Program well into her 90s! Always out there “helping the old folks” by taking them to their doctor appointments, helping them get their groceries, shoveling their walks, you name it! What an inspiration!
Another senior friend of mine, Carol Orr, was in her 90s when this picture of her and me was taken. Like Anita, she kept her marbles polished and in place.
I asked Carol a few years after this photo to share with me some of her life lessons – and I posted a blog about that about a decade ago. I’ll find it and give you a link tomorrow.
If my mom were alive today, she’d be celebrating her 106th birthday. Born 11-15-1915, she was an Scorpio, through and through.
Do you put any stock in the Zodiac signs? Here’s what the internet reveals about people born October 23 to Nov. 21:
Scorpio is one of the most misunderstood signs of the zodiac. Because of its incredible passion and power, Scorpio is often mistaken for a fire sign. In fact, Scorpio is a water sign that derives its strength from the psychic, emotional realm. Like fellow water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is extremely clairvoyant and intuitive.
What makes this water sign unique is its distinctive venomous sting. Like their celestial spirit animal, the scorpion, Scorpios lie in wait and strike when least expected. Life is a game of chess for these calculating water signs, who are constantly plotting several steps ahead in order to orchestrate an eventual checkmate. This doesn’t mean their intentions are necessarily nefarious. Scorpios simply know what they want and aren’t afraid to work hard and play the long game to get it.
This is one of my favorite pictures of mom and me. She knit my sweater and sewed the skirt that went with it. She fixed my hair so meticulously! Look at the little watch on my wrist. Don’t I look loved and cared for?
My Scorpio mom was not afraid to work hard – for what she wanted and for what she wanted my sister and me to have. As I mentioned in a recent post about self-confidence, she planted in me the firm belief that I could do and be anything I set my mind to.
That’s my mom (Elizabeth) with my dad (Salvadore) at their wedding. They met on a double date set up by mom’s younger sister, Emogene. Later known to me as “Aunt Jean,” Emogene was Sal’s date and Elizabeth was matched with Sal’s best buddy, Joe Cabral. By the end of the evening the couples had switched partners. Two months later Sal & Elizabeth (soon to be known as Betty) were married. Yes, as early as 1937, Mom was a Scorpio who knew what she wanted and managed to get it (him)!!
Long before the word “Selfie” was established, Mom knew how to take one! Here she is in front of the bathroom mirror, capturing a shot of her new hairdo. Quite striking still even well into her 80s, don’t you think? She had flawless skin… very few wrinkles! But she didn’t spend a lot of time out in the sun either – and she creamed her face with the best of products morning and night.
To demonstrate how Mom was a Scorpio who embraced “Life [as] a game of chess … constantly plotting several steps ahead in order to orchestrate an eventual checkmate,” let me tell you a story.
It was a hot California Valley summer. The temperature in the kitchen was a few degrees warmer than the triple digit figures outside. The house had no air conditioning. Betty (my mom) was in the kitchen, roasting to death as she roasted a prime rib for a special birthday dinner for her daughter (me) who was home from college to celebrate with her parents. Betty needed a cross breeze to cool off the kitchen. She had asked Sal (my dad) many times to replace the stationary window above the kitchen sink with one that would side open. He had not done so. Frustrated with his lack of follow through, she decided to force the issue. She took a hammer from the kitchen tools drawer, stood back half way across the room, and threw the hammer through the window. How she avoided getting shattered glass in the food or on her or me was a God thing! But, needless to say, she had a cross breeze – and soon after she got the window replacement she needed.
How my dad stayed married to this crazy Scorpio is beyond me! He had the patience of Job! He obviously loved her spunk and her “incredible passion.” He recognized that she was “extremely clairvoyant and intuitive” – and he gave her a lot of wriggle room! Mom was a poetry lover, a whiz at mathematics (she was Dad’s company’s bookkeeper), and she was a winner at Bridge (I never learned to play it).
She was stylish and impeccably dressed and groomed – until her last days. It was then that I knew she was not long for this world… when I picked her up at her Senior Care Nursing Home to take her one afternoon to a doctor’s appointment and noticed she had her blouse on inside-out. I called it to her attention and suggested we go back up to her room for her to fix it. Her response was, “Oh, who gives a shit?!”
Now, that was not my real mom! Dementia had stolen her from me! The scorpion lost her usual sting and Alzheimer’s replaced he “calculating water sign” with something else… something nefarious. Instead of “[using] emotional energy as fuel, cultivating powerful wisdom through both the physical and unseen realms,” she became careless and caustic. It was not a transition I was prepared for. Dementia can do that, you know.
Here is Mom with me and my sis, Sally (who also had dementia before she died last year), and my daughter DeDe… during the a celebration of my brother-in-law’s birthday. (That’s his picture posted behind us.)
Mom’s flowered, Hawaiian shirt speaks of happy times when life was full of the days when she knew how to “work hard and play the long game to get [what she wanted].”
What’s your Zodiac sign? Does its description fit who you are (most of the time? some of the time? not at all?) … Tell me about it!
I am a Leo. Born July 24th, parts of this description that fit … but I hope I have matured in my Christian life enough to let the Holy Spirit round out some of the self-centered tendencies and make me more compassionate than this would suggest: “Roll out the red carpet because Leo has arrived. Passionate, loyal, and infamously dramatic, Leo is represented by the lion and these spirited fire signs are the kings and queens of the celestial jungle. They’re delighted to embrace their royal status: Vivacious, theatrical, and fiery, Leos love to bask in the spotlight and celebrate… well, themselves.“
I was named Janet – after Janet Gaynor, the first female Academy Award winner. That’s where I get my ham! But, I am more than happy to share the spotlight… and celebrate YOU! Tell me about your sign!
Thanks for visiting. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love ya, JanBeek
Are you blessed with a daughter who is your DollyWolly? We are! Today is her 54th birthday. Happy Birthday, DeAna Laura Beekman Solioz!
Born August 29, 1967, DeAna was given her name because it was as close as we could come to having the DeAngeles (my maiden name) carried on. Just drop the tail on the g and that’s how the spelling of DeAna came to be.
Recently DeAna had surgery… and it was hard being a mom with a daughter so far away at a time like that. But I sent her encouragement and love – like this meme:
If you have the blessing of a daughter who is a DollyWolly in your life, embrace her once for me, wouldja?
And have a good night. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Hugs, JanBeek
I really appreciate all the Happy Birthday wishes extended my way this past weekend. Thank you so much!
Even though I am happy to tell you I am starting my 83rd year on earth, I am also happy to tell you that I am a fan of Jack Benny. Now, if you are too young to remember who Jack Benny was (or you are in another country where Jack Benny was not a nationally known figure), let me tell you: Jack Benny was a comedian who embraced 39 – and decided to stay that age forever more!
Actually, I embrace aging (I wrote a blog using that title once) – I I have no desire to be stuck at 39 or any other age.
Each year brings new insights. Each year brings new joys. Each year brings new challenges. I don’t want to miss any of them.
How about you?
“Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.”
Each day I pray for wisdom. Each day I ask God to increase my understanding and I thank the Holy Spirit for the fruits of the spirit that are mine: LOVE, JOY AND PEACE. And I ask God to help me with the other fruits of the spirit: patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… those that I work to increase as I mature in my faith.
How about you?
As I gather up those birthdays and mature in my faith, I remember to keep a child-like spirit. Enjoy that song. Sing it often. Teach it to your grandchildren. Sing it with your great-grandchildren. Put it in your heart.
You can’t be a lemon or a grape if you wanna be a fruit of the spirit!! Who wants to grow up to be a lemon anyway?
Work on that patience, Jan … your great-grandchildren need to see you model it! And your grand-dog needs you to exercise that gentleness and kindness, too. Ain’t always easy.
How about you?
On my birthday, Ty (our son) and Bob went out fishing (not catching… just fishing) … and that required a lot of patience! I went along for the joy of the ride. It was cool on the water in the morning, but the afternoon warmed up.
That evening Ty and our daughter-in-law, Monika, Bob & I went in to Bozeman for dinner and dessert. We had a delightful time at a table out front of “Hooked Sushi” enjoying the music being played down the sidewalk a half a block, and the people and dogs walking by. Such fun!
Only in a college town would you find this kind of vibrancy. I love it!
We went after dinner to a very popular ice cream store … and had great fun with some college students who were in line ahead of us. Look at this cute kid! (Ya, I had fun teasing him …)
Sunday afternoon Bob, Ty & Monika went kayaking/paddleboarding while TazE & I found a shady spot and relaxed.
You can barely see the mountains outlined back there… not a typically beautiful day on Ennis Lake. Pray for the forest fires to be contained and the firefighters to be safe!
What are you doing this Monday evening besides surfing the net?
When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience, do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?
Well, trust me –
Trust the Savior –
He’s gotta grip on you!
God’s gotta grip on me.
Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!
“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My Prayer for Today
“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”
God’s Not Gonna Lose Me
In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!
In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”
Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”
Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”
“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”
Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday (I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow). Our hands certainly show the wear and tear of work and years!
But, like that hold God has on us, we’ve got a grip on one another – and we’re not letting go!
Taking a clue from us and God, Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan (GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!
My great-granddaughter, Sienna, gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope. When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.
It’s a double blessings when Grandpa gets down on the floor with his granddaughter. Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.
Children are blessed indeed when they have a grandma who reads to them. Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about with Grandma Monika’s help.
How special to get a grip on my great-granddaughter, Sienna, and her mommy, Hope … while they get a grip on TazE, our Boston Terrier!
Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together! Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!
Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!
Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander… They sang Happy Birthday to help me get a grip on turning a year older. Not older… just more mature, right? So nice!
Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…
… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on having such a big buddy!
She was exhausted! Time to get under the table and get a grip on some rest!
Happy 26th birthday to our new pastor and dear friend, Mary Grace Reynolds!
If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more, you have seen posts about Mary Grace Reynolds.
For the past year and a half, my life has been consumed by the Pastor Nominating Committee. The search was arduous, extensive, long and detailed… and successful!
We reviewed over 100 Pastor Information Forms, Followed up with phone calls, texts, ZOOMs and reference checking on at least 40 of those. The bottom line: We believe Mary Grace was God’s choice for us!
Do you remember your 26th birthday? Where were you? What did you do? What was your station in life?
1939 +26 = 1965; I was a new mom. On this day, my baby, Ty, was 3 months old. We were living in San Francisco – Park Merced, near San Francisco State Univ.
I was teaching in Daly City, California. Bob was working for Shell Oil in S.F. Mama Fran was our babysitter – But, I had the summer off.
Ah, to be 26 again! What would I do differently? I am not sure. What would you do differently?
Yes, I was 26 once upon a time. Seems like an eternity ago. Would I change anything if I could go back and do it again?
Embrace Fellowship Cherish being together Time is so fleeting
Enjoy sharing time So much, you forget photos! Just be in the now.
Today our Presbyterian Women met at a gorgeous home right on the Madison River.
Those pictures above were taken several years back at our two annual fundraisers.
Today I intended to take some pictures to post here for you to see how much we enjoy our fellowship. But, I was having so much fun, I forgot to capture the event with my iPhone!
Instead, it is stored up in my memory bank. There were eleven of us. We had Bible Study, then dessert, and then our business meeting.
We planned future events – among them our volunteer schedule at the local Blood Draw next week – and our participation at the Ennis Art Festival (it was cancelled last year due to COVID).
Not being able to hold those functions helped us realize just how much fellowship means to our mental health. We really missed the connections!
I’ll bet you had the same reaction. Being isolated, socially distancing, wearing masks, cancelling events… all took their toll on us! How good to be back together again!!
Now we are able to go out to restaurants again. We socially distance, but we don’t have to wear masks. It is so good to feel safe in the company of others!
I ordered my favorite item on the Sidewinders menu: Reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries. MmmMmmmMmmmm!!
This afternoon, after our PW meeting, our new pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds, came for dinner and a fly casting lesson. Bob took her to the back yard and she practiced. Mary Grace is going to love going out on the Madison River. The guys are all lined up ready to take turns…
I took this slo-motion video so she can critique her technique. She’s a fast learner!
It was such a beautiful evening here. We thoroughly enjoyed our fellowship with Mary Grace. The Pastor Nominating Committee process was a long, arduous task that lasted about a year and a half… but MGR was worth waiting for!
Today our daughter, De, sent us links to this event coming up in Switzerland. (You remember our DeDe lives in Vissoie, Valais Switzerland, right?) We’ve been to this fun event in the past. “The Cow Fights” are an annual event. They are well attended. People go not just to see the excitement of the cows selecting their “Queen Cow” by the survival of the fittest, but for the fun of fellowship with as many friends as they can muster. They bet on the cow of their choice, drink their fill of Swiss wine and beer, and enjoy a picnic lunch high up in the beautiful Alps.
We won’t be there this weekend for the event, but we look forward to fellowship with our daughter and her family this October (God willing). We learned yesterday that she has a polyp on an ovary. It was detected during a routine annual physical. We are waiting for the biopsy report. Please pray with us that it is benign – and she can have it removed with no long-term adverse affects.
Looking out today at our neighbor’s house here in Montana, I can’t help but thank God for this beautiful place we live. I thank God for our “Hood” … gracious, loving, helpful neighbors. The Hockings, across the field from us, installed a gorgeous flag pole while we were on our trip to CA. What a great addition! We look forward to future fellowship with them – soon!
Meantime, here we are in this video – back in CA, sitting around the table at our son’s house, enjoying family fellowship, singing to our grandson-in-law, Drew, who celebrated his birthday back in Montana.
Ah, Family Fellowship… there’s nothing like it! I thank God each day for it. With Father’s Day coming up Sunday after this one, I look at these fathers in my life, and I thank God for their loving hearts.
I hope you have the gift of loving fathers in your circle of fellowship, too. Never take them for granted! Not every child is so blessed!!
IT’S GIFT FROM GOD!
I pray all you dads out there can slow down this week, enjoy life (it’s fleeting – passing waaay too fast), and Embrace the Fellowship of family, friends and fish.
(And I pray Bob can take some time to go out fishing… He’s been working waaay too hard this last few months.)