Thursday, July 28, 2011

Skywatch Friday Thoughts and More

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Room With A View

This was the view from my room at the Fountain Bleu Resort in Miami Beach.  It's not like I spent a lot of time on the tiny balcony staring at the ocean.  I just thought this would make a good capture for a Skywatch post.  I believe that building next door is vacant because I never saw any lights on in the evening.  It looks like it might be a high-end condo, so maybe all of the owners only come down in the winter.  That's a jet ski flying across the water.
I have been blessed throughout this life and I am forever grateful.  I have my health, I've been married for thirty-seven years, our family lives close by, and the list goes on.  In fact if I stop to thank God for all that He has done, I can never praise Him enough.  With that thought, here is this week's inspirational song from Greater Vision.  Have a blessed week-end.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Miami Vice

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

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Open Road Warrior

Thursday, July 21, 2011

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Morning Has Broken

Last week I was on a business trip.  The event I attended was held at the Fountain Bleu hotel in Miami beach.  One morning we had breakfast on the terrace.  It was hot.  It was humid.  It was not pleasant, but the view was spectacular.  I'm not sure if the bit of haze you see in these photos is real, or just the camera lens fogging up.  At any rate, the photo is much more pleasant than actually being there.  At least on that day.  
 For my inspirational song this week, I came across something from one of my favorite groups.  It only seemed appropriate that the Booth Brothers would sing, "Castles in the Sand".  Have a blessed week-end.  Enjoy and my God bless.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Cool Tool

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

 Saturday morning 80 youth and sponsors, from our church, boarded these bright red buses to go on a mission trip.  The destination, South Chicago, IL.  They will be there all week, assisting with Vacation Bible School and worship services.  Lives will be changed.

Prior to boarding the buses, there was a brief meeting to answer any last minute questions.  It's a great group of kids and they are doing a wonderful work.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

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Click on photo to enlarge.
Sky High Skywatch

I was flying home from Miami Beach this week.  Just a few minutes before we landed, the plane flew through this cloud formation.  It is the first time that I have actually had my pocket camera handy.  It won't be the last time though.

Times like this remind me just how great God really is and how small I am.  I cannot begin to wrap my head around all that God is or why He does the things that He does.  I rest in the comfort of knowing that when I don't understand why bad things happen to good people, God has already told me, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways     For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).  We should not expect to understand or know the reason why everything happens.  We simply need to know, nothing happens that is a surprise to our Creator.  Although I love these clouds, there will come a day when all is clear.  That will be an unclouded day.  Have a wonderful week-end.

When the world give you a hundred reasons to cry, show the world that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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I need a break!

Monday, July 11, 2011

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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Great Wall of Bella Vista

Do you remember those days in elementary school when you would get up in front of the room and tell your classmates about  your summer vacation?  Maybe you played baseball all summer, or spent two weeks with your grandparents.  Whatever the major event in your summer was, you shared the adventure with your peers.  Well, this summer I built a wall.
I've been threatening to do this project for several years.  The slope of the yard right at the house is relatively steep and it's difficult to maintain a planting area.  So, phase I of my project involved building this wall of landscape stone four levels.  Each level is about 18 inches high.  I believe that first level is just over 2 feet tall.  I built that lowest level last summer.

Two weeks later, it's time to start phase II of the Great Wall project.  The first step in phase II of the project involved removing some plant material and metal edging.  As you can see, I have already planted the shrubs in the area completed as a part of phase I.  We're making progress.

Once the prep work was done, it was time to start laying the stone.  I usually started around 7:30 a.m. because it's going be 95 degrees by noon and there will be no shade in the work zone.  After I got started, I realized that I was going to have to rework a small section of that third tier in phase I in order to get a smooth transition around the corner.
Once the stones were placed and leveled, it was time to place the new plants.  Needless to say, I made several trips to Lowe's during this project.  The plants include a yew, several knockout roses and some variegated laroipe.  Prior to setting the plants, I had to add about 24 bags of top soil and two bales of peat moss for the entire project.  Once the soil was installed I put down a layer of landscape weed guard material.
After the plants were in place, it was time to add the mulch and water the whole thing.  Phase II complete.  WooHooo, we're almost done.
Another two weeks pass and now I'm ready to finish this project.  The final phase began with removing some more of the metal edging.  I thought this phase was going to be pretty simple and go quickly.  However, there was just enough slope to this secion of the planting bed that I still had to do three tiers.
Three week-ends total, over a period of six weeks and the final product looks like this!  Ta da, The Great Wall of Bella Vista is complete!!!  Not bad for a 64 year old, nearing retirement.  All in all, it took two pallets of stone, 24 bags to top soil, two bales of peat moss, and another 24 bags of mulch.  There is also the better part of a 250' roll of weed guard material in there somewhere.
So, how are you spending your summer?  I think I'll go fishing now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Skywatch Friday Thoughts and More

Our family vacation this year was spent at Still Waters Resort in Branson, MO.  I would recommend this place to anyone looking for some place to spend quality time with your family.  What did we do, you ask. Well....we rented a pontoon boat with a 115hp engine and a tube.  So...

I got to drive and try to dislodge everyone else from the tube.

Next up, our daughter and Son-in-law rented jet skis and took the grand crew for rides.  It has been said that sometimes speeds reached 55 mph!

Paddle boats and kayaks were always available for free. 

There is nothing wrong with just hanging out in a tube and not being pulled behind a boat.
And, swimming in the lake from the marina or in the pools were also options.  In fact, we spent most of  our time at the resort and very little time in Branson.  It was a great time for everyone.  We're already planning next year's trip.

Since this post is all about the lake and spending time on and in the water, I need an appropriate inspirational song to wrap up this week. So I give you one of my favorite groups, Signature Sound Quartet and "Step Into The Water." Enjoy and have a blessed week-end.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

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While on vacation in Branson, MO. we spent our first afternoon at Branson Landing.  It is a shopping mall, anchored by one of my favorite places, a Bass Pro Shop.  There are a number of specialty stores and restaurants as well.  One of the specialty stores is the subject of my Ruby Tuesday post.

 Ride MakerZ is kind of like Build-a-Bear for those with a need for speed.  You can take any one of a number of body choices and customize your ride to suit yourself.  You can jack it up with a "monster truck" look or you can give it a full race adaptation.  The bodies start at about $20 and go as high as $40.  You can add, spoilers, scoops, chrome trim, even radio control.  One must be mindful of the budget when building these little rides.  You can drop a $100 bill if you make it radio controlled and add too many custom features.  Still, the results can be pretty cool.

 Here is a pretty cool adaptation of a new Camaro.  Mustangs are also available for  you Ford enthusiasts.

 There is this Viper looking body, for those so inclined.

And for you Pixar fans, there is Lighting McQueen.  Mater is also available in several color options.
If you're still wondering whether or not I built myself a custom Ride, the answer is no.  At least not on this visit.  I'm thinking of something a little more airborne.

Happy Ruby Tuesday all.